Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ironman Louisville; the Non Participant, Volunteeer and Cheerleader Report!

Wow, wow, wow.  Where to start?  It was an amazing weekend at Ironman Louisville!

Being silly before heading to the race,
OC, Me & Jim (Mel's Hubs)
First thing's first though, Mel finished in 13:55.  We're all sooooo glad her Achilles held out and she finished.  She executed a very smart race and even though her bike was slower than she wanted (she sacrificed speed for heart rate), it made for a more comfortable run and of course the finish.

Up until this past weekend the largest event I'd been to was the Lonestar 70.3. The transition area looked huge for that event, but that was because the bike racks used for the Sprint and Olympic distance the day before.  On Sunday morning we got to transition at 5am and I just couldn't believe how big it was.

Mel was in great spirits; a little nervous, but totally excited.  It was almost a  1.5 mile walk to the Swim start from the transition area, and I couldn't help but think, here we are walking 1.5 miles... I pray Mel doesn't need this 1.5 miles later.  Truthfully, in my gut, I knew she would finish.

I saw her to the start with her Husband and OC then headed back to the volunteer check-in; I was going to be working in the woman's changing tent from 7am to 10am.  At the tent we got the rundown of how it all would work and waited around and at about 45 minutes, the first of the pros emerged from the water.  Most of them just ran through the change tent to get to their bikes, a few of them stopped, made a quick change, and were assisted.  I helped out two pros, that I remember specifically -- so that was kinda cool.  Every one of the athletes were so appreciative of the help.  It was good to be a volunteer in this particular area.  I'm glad I did it.  It's not something I can do here locally.

Only a half of the transition area
As I left the volunteer tent I saw athletes leaving on their bike.   Of course I was noticing how there were very few "fluffy" triathletes there, and I'm talking about fluffy like me, fluffy.   I finally saw someone who might was about my size.  And you know me, I have to root for the birds of my feather!  I'll call her Hammer girl, because she had on a Hammergel jersey.

Once we finished volunteering we re-grouped and hopped in the car to visit mile 30-something in La Grange.  Mel would loop twice around, so we'd see her again at almost 70 as well.  She was looking good on the bike, though a little miffed she had to go a little slower to keep her heart rate down.  I think she mentioned the climbs were a little harder than the computrainer course was, but she was managing and she looked great.  Smiling as usual!

Before the Swim Start
After she passed we grabbed some lunch and waited another 90 minutes before she'd make it around again.  We decided to really turn-up the cheerleading.  So what did I do?  Cartwheels, of course!  Yes... me.  I can still do cartwheels, and in succession even -- but they're only for special occasions :)  I practiced a few and got some cheers from the crowd and cyclists -- quite hilarious.  I was ready with my cartwheels by the time she came around again and she loved it!  On the 2nd loop she stopped to eat her cookie and quickly headed back out there to finish up for the run.  And yes, still smiling.

We drove back to Louisville and waited for her at the bike-in.  Her husband "borrowed" our volunteer shirt so he could get into transition to walk with her from the bike-in towards the changing tent; it was a great boost for her to see everyone.  She had a super-quick transition and made her way out on the run. We caught her several times out on the course, but she made it clear that the 3rd time we saw her it was "way too long to go without seeing any one."  Her Husband ran back to the hotel and got a bike so he could ride the sidewalk, not on the course, to keep up with her easier.  The rest of us hopped in the truck and tooled around to wait for her.  At mile 18 we took her dinner order, picked up everything she wanted and met her at the finish line.

Cookie break!  Mel, Me, Her Hubs and OC
When I finally saw her dots come in, I just started to cry.  I was so overwhelmed happy she completed this; I knew how badly she wanted it.  We all knew she would and could -- last year was just a bad race day. She is an Ironman now, 100% earned medal and all. It might have taken her 278+ miles to to believe it herself, but we all knew she was an Ironman already. :)

We collected her and took her back to her room for a while, until she got her second wind.  We went back at around 11pm to watch the remaining athletes finish.  Here's where it gets really fun!

Mel Finishing!
So we went to the end of the finishers chute; just before all the bright lights and music gets loud. We cheered runners on.  These athletes were spent and their faces showed every ounce of determination they had.  It was amazing how most of them came to life and donned a smile twice their normal size.  It was great to see them realize... I'm going to finish!!!

One guy in particular, I don't know his race number, came toward me for a high five.   Clearly he was talking himself through finishing.  I don't think he was delirious, but I do think he was completely spent.  He jogged past me to the city sidewalk. He totally dodged the chute and was now running on the sidewalk.  It was just 100 yards to the finish, but he wasn't going to cross the line if he continued.  I literally sprinted when I realized what he had done and then realized he didn't know what he had done.  I collected him and sent him up the chute to Finish.  The time was about 16:51 or 16:52... I can't remember for sure, but I have an idea of who it was looking at the results.  So Joseph Prudhomme of Miami, if  in this small Internet world you find this story -- Awesome job!  Not to toot my horn, because I'm glad I was there, but could you imagine if after almost 17 hours of effort and months of training to not officially finish?  Oy!!

I never saw Hammer girl finish, but Mel said she saw her on the course and figured Hammergirl was at mile 18 when Mel was at 23.  Mel said she looked good.  I"m sure she finished after Mel, but before we came back down at 11pm. 

Lastly, there was a female athlete who approached the chute at like 16:50-something,  She had on a NJ Triathlon jersey, so you know I had to show a fellow Jersey girl some love, right?  She wasn't young, but she wasn't old... I felt like if you saw her on the street you'd never suspect she was a triathlete.  Anyway, she was looking really spent (who didn't look spent?) so I talked to her and ran along side of her from the sidewalk and she started to pick-up the pace and run again.  Unfortunately the clock ready 17:01 by the time she had crossed.  After that, the music was turned off and they start breaking down the race. If you finish after 17 hours your an Ironman in your heart, but not on the results page.

As we walked back to the hotel I saw my fellow Jersey girl exiting the Finisher's chute.  She was completely alone.  No friends or family.  I was curious if she had finished (I was glad to see she did have a medal, but her results were not on the results page).  She was walking ahead of us, stopping occasionally to rest.  I didn't want to say anything to her, well, because, I didn't want to bother her if she didn't want to be bothered.  Leave it to OC though... he just struck up a conversation and told her good job.  She smiled and continued on.  I'm not sure I would have been all that talkative either.  *hugs* to that lady from Ocean Grove, NJ

The whole experience just solidified my desire to continue moving forward with plans to do an Ironman one day.  What an amazing day!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Friday Fill-ins

1. You do your thing; I do mine and sometimes we'll do the same, but always be supportive.  

2. Mel finishing her unfinished business is what's been on my mind on and off all day.

3. Remember when things were super-duper tough and then count your blessings.  

4. Triathlon, Bejeweled Blitz and the search for Athena apparel are three of my favorite obsessions :-)

5. During the last year I've been very busy.

6. My Duaghter's whole-hearted laugh puts a smile on my face.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to washing the gray outta my hair, tomorrow my plans include a solo bike ride and flight to Louisville and Sunday, I want to watch Mel cross the finish!

Join in the Friday Fill-in Fun! 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thursday 13

13 Blogs I enjoy...

1)  The Athena Diaries:  Tales from the Back of the Pack.  I really enjoy Misty and her frank, realistic attitude about triathlon and running.  And even though I've gleaned a ton of info from her blog about training, products and general attitude, one of my most memorable entries was her rant on Pearl Piddle Izumi's "We are not joggers" Campaign. 

2) Fat Cyclist.  And no, not just cause he was fat, but because of how he leads his life.  I've been following him for a few years and watched him lose his wife, Susan, to Cancer last year, maybe more than a year; time flies.  Anyway, this guy is an amazing fundraiser for Livestrong and his obvious passion for biking AND cause makes him unstoppable.  He's also dabbled in triathlon some this year.  He's been fun to watch/read.

3) The Ballerina Project.  Awesome photos of ballerinas in public venues.

4)  Tri My Will.  He's a gastric bypass post-op turned Ironman and Ultra Runner.  He's swimming from Spain to Africa to fight childhood obesity.

5) Divine Self.  Dr. Annette Colby, an RD, who specializes in the spirituality and finding inner peace that will keep you loving yourself and continually giving yourself the gift of good health. A little tree-huggin' hippy for some, but I often find some very inspiring things to think about.

6) Smitten Kitchen.  Yum.  Good whole food.  Nothing but food.  Not all necessarily restrictive, but if I'm going to have a quality meal, I'm going to search her blog for whole food inspiration. 

7) Iron Makeover.  Sara's blog of encouragement for triathletes.

8) Judith at The Dreaded Diary Pages.  Not sure what exactly it is about her, but I love how she talks about her reality with cycling.  It's not all unicorns and rainbows. 

9) Courtney, Lynn and Courtney and Lynn!  Fellow Tri Divas - though they both need to update more!

10) This self-named "canucklehead" is a triathlete of small stature with big dreams.  He's a little-person who never ceases to inspire me and always finds the best about triathlon and training

11)  Simple Kids.  Yeah, it's Mommy blog.  It has some great ideas!

12)  Lifehacker.  Tips and ideas for getting things done!

13) A couple more faves for the RNY post-op life, meet Michelle and "The World According to Egg Face".  From Affogato to Zucchini, her blog is chock-full of post-op friendly recipe!  And last,  but certainly not least, the snarky, frank, judicator of the "pouchworthy" products, and sometimes in-your-face-honest (sometimes innocently to her detriment), but ALWAYS lovable, Melting Mama.  

It's really, really, super-hard to pick just 13, so if I didn't list your blog here, it's not because I don't ♥ you; 
I may be respecting your relative "virtual" privacy. 

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, August 24, 2010

Like a Hair Dryer!

Get on the treadmill and run while someone points a hair dryer directly to your face on high heat.  Then maybe you'll get a clear understanding of just what it feels like to train in this heat and humidity.  You can't breathe deep; in fact, you're lucky to be ab;e breathe at all.  And you pretty much feel like you're going to collapse once the sun comes out or you lose cloud cover.

Okay, maybe a little dramatic, but it really does feel like the whole hair dryer thing.

This weekend was a long run on Saturday; 3 hours.  I haven't gone the half-marathon distance since last year's half marathon, so I asked the coaches if I could push long to get 13.1.  Nice (Good Cop) Coach thought maybe I shouldn't because my quad was really fatigued earlier during the week, but Mean (Bad Cop) Coach thought, "Sure, go for it."  So I did.  I even did 14.2 miles at a staggering 15:23 pace.  I know.  I know.. I know... hold your applause.  LOL

The point is I got through it.  My body now recalls what it feels like to go the distance, and then some.  That was actually my longest run ever!

I met up with Hombre and his GCRC peeps to run Kemah.  We didn't do the bridge, but instead did a few loops in and around the boardwalk and Clear Lake Shores.  It was nice to be running on the water when the sun came up.  I enjoy running in different areas.  Originally I was just going to run the roads in and around my hood; I had mapped out a quite boring route.

The run itself was okay.  I hydrated and fueled as appropriate.  By mile 9 my quad was a little tired but not hurting.  The funny thing was, my glute was fine!  Generally on my long runs my glute starts giving me fits by mile 8/9.  I have to admin I almost stopped at 12+ miles when I ran into Hombre finishing his last loop, but reconsidered and had to finish mine.  I couldn't let the negative mentality win.  I headed back out... if not for the distance, but for the mental win.  3:40 was my total run time.

For our next trick, it was a 4 hour bike on Sunday!  4 hours on the bike is way better than 3+ hours of running so I felt pretty positive.  By the 3rd hour I hit a little bit of a slump for about 30 minutes, but then all of a sudden I got a quick burst of energy and made it through the last hour.  Sometimes I wonder if that slump happens when my body needs to start converting fat for energy.  That process can be draining in it of itself, never mind trying to ride.  We actually rode 3:44 (yeah, we cut off 16 minute avoiding detours we took on the way out) for 54 miles.  A long, slow ride.  Neither Hombre or I expected to have much to give to the ride after the run on Saturday, so we were just out there for the endurance. 

On the way back I was "done" though.  Each time I had to stop for a light or stop sign I just rolled through if it was clear (that's not like me; I always obey the lights traffic signs).  It was like the moment you stopped a hair dryer was blowing you in the face with high heat.  Headwinds all the way back to my house down LCP left me muttering, "Really?" and laughing, because that's just how my training rolls... it's never easy. I know, I know... makes me tougher though, right?  Right.

I choose to do this.
I get to do this.
Some people can't even think about doing this.
Some people physically can't do this, but would love to if they had the chance.

This weekend I'm headed to Louisville.  My coach, Mel,  has her unfinished business this weekend with IM Kentucky.  I'm volunteering in the women's changing tent so I should be able to catch her coming out of the swim, heading to the bike.  I know the tent is going to be crazy, but I hope to catch her.  After the volunteer gig is over, I've got the rest of the day to root her on out on the course.

Long story short, Mel did her first IM last year in Florida. She made it 138.something miles (the total miles for an Ironman is 140.6 -- that's how close she was!) before the medics took her off the course.  She's been training so hard and has had some injuries to deal with, so we're hoping for the best.  Mel needs all the good vibes possible.  She so deserves this finish.  

Oh, and in other news, I've already rode enough miles this month to ride more than once the island of Kona 220 miles, according to DailyMile. :)

I Love the Tri Folk

I love my fellow athletes. It's no secret I had a bad week last week and when I headed out for track, I was not in the best mindset. I regained perspective after talking everything out with one of my club peeps there, but there was another who expressed concern from a distance... only because he was not sure of  what to do/say for me. He reached out to the person I was talking to, and they let me know he asked about me.I wrote him back to say thanks! I can only hope to pay it forward to someone else!

"I was concerned about you, but I know you are a competitor and will do your best. Walk/Run is a solution that might get you through like the lunch break on the bike that I took in my one and only IM. I did it to get through, not to go fast.

Our sport should be a joy and not a burden. Unexpected challenges like Thyroid and Anemia for you and a heart attack for me, can just be a bump in the road in the long run if we put them in their place.

Well maybe a pot hole……but just don’t let the wheels come off."

Wise words from a fellow triathlete. :)  See why I love my tri peeps?  I even have peeps who send me encouraging words directly , even when I disable comments!

Then last night I get another message from another bloggy-tri-virtual friend.  One of the reasons I started this blog was to track my progress and journal everything from my post-op life, family and training.  If I can help another aspiring athlete along the way, or live my live in a way that inspires someone to believe enough in themselves to get up, get out and move (because we all can!) it makes me sooooo happy.  But, when someone writes me and tells me they're doing a tri because of what they read in my blog, it just blows me away (in a great way!).  I don't paint triathlon in flowers and rainbows.  It is easier for some people and it would be easier for a reader to read about an athlete who has great success, but J continues to read my diatribe.  :)

"I wanted to send you a quick note to thank you for the information you write about in your blog.  I've signed up for my first sprint tri and am starting to get nervous - what should I wear, how should I handle transition, etc.  I've been about to find lots of information on gear and such from your posts - THANK YOU for taking the time to provide reviews and opinions on the products you have tried.   Best of luck with your continued training - you inspire me to continue to push! J"

J, you're gonna rock your first triathlon.  Please remember to send me the details; looking forward to your race report, 'cause I'm geeky like that!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Recovery Smoothie

Cherry and Blackberry Smoothie (for after training sessions)

This complete meal in a blender provides carbohydrate, antioxidants and protein. The cherries and cherry juice have anti-inflammatory effects that have been shown to reduce muscle soreness following exercise.

1 1/3 cup frozen sweet dark cherries
2/3 cup frozen blackberries
1 cup tart cherry juice
1 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds    <--nix these; bad for thyroid funciton

Combine all ingredients in a blender container and puree until smooth.

Nutrition Data:
445 calories, 75 grams carbohydrate, 16 grams fiber, 25 grams protein, 9 grams fat and 75 mg sodium.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen really good memories... I won't have time to go into detail on each of them, but you'll get the gist.

1) Meeting my Husband and our first non-date, "date."
2) The birth of my Daughter, Cassandra Rose (aka  Cassie, Cass-a-frass or Cassinator)
3) Baking with my G'ma and cake decorating contests!
4) Sunday Dinners when our family was really a family
5) My first singing solo ever!  8th grade
6) Beach days and 4th of Julys at Asbury Park, riding my bike to Sea Bright beach w/friends
7) Working 3rd shift at DnD with Patrick; good times... a long, long time ago.
8) The first real conversation with my Dad after being estranged for many years.
9)  Picking up and moving to Texas to "start over"
10) Every one of my races and my friends I've shared them with... especially Courtney, Alana, Elysha
11) Learning to ride the Honda 70!
12) The pool in Hicory Acres, racing to the black recliner, Easter Egg Hunts and baby bunnies
13) Seeing my Sister get married and have her kiddos.  :)

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!

A New Day

What a day yesterday.  The pre-race roller coaster is quite a ride; sometimes it's great fun, other times you wonder why you got into this triathlon stuff at all.

You know, up until that crazy-@ss brick on Sunday, I was feeling pretty darned good; in fact I never once questioned whether or not I'd make 8 hours; in fact I was shooting for 7:30!  I have one not-so-good and challenging workout, and I let myself fall apart?  

OC always says triathlon is 90% mental and on Sunday the mental won and that is precisely why we push ourselves to do these crazy kinds of challenges in our training.  These challenges are supposed to make you nervous and get you to focus on your weaknesses for the remainder of the time.

I suppose anyone can train to swim/bike/run physically, but it's the mental strength and tenacity that gets you to the finish, and we all know the pride outlasts the pain. :)

So I'm not going to worry about things I can't control.  The more I do that, the lesser experience I will have.  I'm not going to worry about who I *might* let down if I have a bad race.  I'm not going to let anyone down by FINISHING.

By yesterday afternoon I couldn't talk about the race without tearing up; I know... real half-ironman-athlete-ish, right?  AND in front of the boys!  You never cry in front of the boys.

Unfortunately, or fortunately as it would turn out, I ran into a couple club friends at the track and all I could say when the asked what was wrong was, "I'm not in a good mental place."  I tried to do my track workout but really it was just a self-deprecating fest for the first hour; me vs. the ugly in my head.

That is, until one of them asked, "Is there anything I can do to help?"

Once someone shows empathy, I'm done.  Stick a fork in me! "T" is a well-respected triathlete and has done his share of halfs and fulls, so he's got some wisdom.   :)

Basically T just talked logic to me and it was all I could do not to turn into a full-on faucet.  All the things he said I knew already, but refused to hear in my head.  All of them the very things MC's were telling me throughout the day yesterday.

T:  "Have you ever DNF'd?"
Me:  "No and I don't want to start now.  I don't want to let my family down, they sacrificed so much for me to train for this.  I start thinking about everyone, including myself, who I'd let down..."
T:  "I have, but there's always another race." I don't believe you'd let anyone down by finishing no matter the time.... we talked about cut-ff times and such.
T:  "Is this going to be your last half-iron distance?"
Me:  "I don't think so"
T:  *laughs* "I don't think so either." *laughs*
T:   "Did you run your paces, do your numbers meet your goals?"  We talked about times...
Me: "Barely... everything has to go near perfect.  I have very little wiggle room for error."  We talked about strategies...
T:  "Then spend your time worrying about the things you can control and not the things you can't"

We chatted some more and thereafter I was fine. The tears were done.  Just like that.  This is suppose to be a fun and challenging experience -- it is a race!

After "T" left Hombre showed up to the track (finally!).  When we were stretching I told him about my freak-out fest.  He told me that it was ironic because his nerves got the best of him as well.  He lost sleep and focus throughout the day.  He said he just wanted to get to work and spend the say surfing motivational YouTube videos, but didn't want to tell me because he didn't want to shake my confidence -- that's a true training buddy!  I felt better knowing he felt my struggle too.  The difference was, he was mostly worried about the things he can control.  Still, it made me feel better.

So here's what I can control:
  • Rest, Nutrition and Hydration - in the days leading up to the race
  • Make sure my bike is prepped well.
  • Continue to practice race nutrition on training rides.
  • Be prepared with supplies for my race nutrition plan
  • Make sure I have all my equipment!
  • Check and recheck details
  • Keep a positive frame of mind.  No negative thoughts.
  • Make time for some race vizzing (race visualization)
  • Know that things might not go as planned and be ready to roll with the punches.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Join the Wordless Wednesday fun and meet other participants!

Wait for it... wait for it...

And it's officially here.  The freak-out stage.  Just like with the half marathon last year.

The brick did what it should; made me plenty nervous about Redman.  My only goal is to finish, but that infers finishing under 8 hours.  I started thinking about how challenging Sunday was and wondered if I would even beat 8 hours.  I know they don't close the course because the full is going on, but still, on principle I need to finish under 8.

I started thinking about the few workout sessions I missed; that if I added all of them up would I be in a different place right now?  Would they have made a real difference?

So after a few emails between MCs (My Coaches) and I, I know I just have to relax and stop worrying about time.  But how do you not worry about time?  I mean if it was just a matter of going faster because I know I could make the cut-off, that's different.  This is now questioning whether I'll make the cut-off.  All this training, all the sacrifice my family made for me to do this.  I would hate for it not to come to fruition.

I know I have to trust my training.  I know I just need to relax.

After the last email I took a look at my Google Reader, and this headline just blared out at me:

"Forget about all the reasons why something may not work. 
You only need to find one good reason why it will."

Because I've trained. 

I am disabling comments because I'm not digging for "atta-girls", though they're always, always appreciated. It's just what's in my head right now and I went through this with the half marathon last year.  I just need to be positive and practice everything I know to practice.


Love After Love 
by Derek Walcott

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other's welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.

You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.

Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

I'm not a major poetry buff, but I heard this yesterday and it just resonated with me.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Long Brick on Sunday

This was my last long training session before Redman.  It was originally scheduled to be a 1 hour run, 3:30 bike ride and 1:15 run.  Earlier last week Mel changed it to a 1 hour run, 2 hour bike and 1 hour run.

I inquired as to why the change, and it was because of the heat.  Which I can understand since its hotter than Hades here right now.

That said, if it doesn't cool off before Redman, I'm going to be in a world of hurt.  I'm in one of the last waves anyway and it's not like I'm super fast... I need to be ready to be in the sun.

So I asked if we could do the original plan, "...because what if it's sweltering hot on race day?"  I'm told "OC" gave they typical "WTF?"  when anyone asks to change their schedule, but agreed with my reasoning.

We started a run at 5am.  I managed a 13:20 pace for my first run!  I felt sooo good and walked very little.  I'm not sure where it came from because my nutrition and sleep from the day/night before wasn't all that great, plus it was hot (but dark/cooler). 

On the bike I had to made a point to watch my heart rate.  After all, I had to run after.  It caused me to sacrifice speed, but the goal is to finish not to be fast, so that's what I have to do.  By the middle of the ride the sun was hot, and humidity was high.  We decided on doing 2 loops of CLI course because it gave us a couple little bridge climbs, plus 2 passes over the Kemah bridge.  The last 15 miles were just miserable.  We did 54 miles on the bike and headed right out for our 1:15 run.

It was a little before 11am when we started the run. We placed a cooler of ice at the end of the driveway in front of the house and my Daughter was there with the hose.  She sprayed us down as we passed on our 1 mile loop, and cooled us down we passed (like aid stations on the course).  I was literally stuffing my shirt and hat with ice to try and keep cool!.  The 1 mile loop in my  neighborhood was a little boring, but knowing I was going to hit the cooler again was motivation to keep moving! 

I can't even begin to tell you how hot it was.  Seriously.  I never got heat rash before, but have it all over my  my legs... Mel says, "You're in the half ironman club now."  LOL

The last run was a constant mental battle.  My legs were fine (they're way sore today), but I had to keep saying... "Heart rate is fine... legs are fine... keep going" over and over again.  My body just kept wanting to stop.  I'm hoping it was just the heat.  I only went 4.2 miles and if it had been race day, I would have  had 8.9 more to talk myself through!

Today I feel pretty good, except for my quads being a little sore.  I did sleep like a baby last night

I did take my first ice bath yesterday.  Woah!

So Bummed

Before you say it...

I know there are other races...

I know something else will come along...

I just want to be disappointed about this for a minute.

How is it 90% of marathoners got in and I'm in that 10% that didn't make it?

That mean's I'm just 1 of 1,100 people.  Maybe I should enter the real lottery!

Admittedly, this morning, I did contemplate raising $350 to get a "Hero" spot.  If I would have done that to begin with it would be a more sincere gesture -- seems selfish to do it now just because I didn't get in by lottery.

And there are other races, but they're not the Houston Marathon.  It's like saying Six Flags is an okay substitute, if you can't make it to Disney.

There is one in Kingwood, which I wait listed for this morning.  There's also one in Sugarland mid-January, so I have some options. 

I just wanted my first full to be Houston.  Ugh.

It sucks not to get what you want.  :P

Not Selected

So 90% of marathoners who entered got selected... I was one of the "lucky" 10%.  I can't even win a chance to run 26.2 miles.  Bummer.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Time Just Moves so Fast!

Seems like the last few weeks have just flown by.  I can't believe Cassie starts "real" school in just 10 days.  Never mind the last few weeks, but where did the almost 6 years go?!?

This weekend will be a weekend of catch-up on all things domestic.  One of Cassie's day camp friends has a b'day party at that pizza and game joint which has a ginormous mouse as their mascot.  In the past we've come up with other reasons to avoid b'day parties there because each time Cass would get really, really sick.  Here's hoping she doesn't this time.

Just 6 weeks until Redman; I can hardly believe it and it will be here in no time.  I'm praying that Fall comes a little early and cools things off in OKC. I can't believe it could be as humid there as it is here on the Gulf Coast, right?  It will be what it will be, and I will finish!  :)

This weekend I have my last crazy brick before Redman.  It's a 1 hour run, 2 hour bike, and 1 hour run.  It was originally almost a 6 hour brick, but coaches changed it since it's been so wicked hot here.  I'm actually a little bummed because I was kind of looking forward to it because if I got through that, I know it would give me confidence for the actual race. I think we're going to ride a little longer anyway though.  I need that run after the long bike. No. I really need it.

In the end of August I'm headed to IM Louisville to root-on one of my coaches who has some unfinished business to attend to. :)  See last year was her first IM; she did IMFL.  Within 2 miles of the finish...yeah, do the math 138.6 of 140.6! she was taken off the course by the medics.  2 miles!  They took her to the tent, cared for her and tried to give her her finisher's medal anyway, but she threw it down -- she wouldn't take it because she didn't REALLY finish.  I would dare anyone to challenge her after going 138.6, but I totally get her point and I'd probably do the same.

We (Training Buddy and I) were going to v'teer for the race to get up close and personal with a full IM race, but it seems we'll be more helpful to our friend/coach if we're out and about on the course to root her on.

To add to the spirit we came up with some funny shirts:

This is the shirt's front.

This is the shirt's back. The M-dot family is her, her husband, her twins and oldest son.

Each back of the 8 shirts have different quotes that we've heard one another say... especially OC (Our Coach). Sometimes we just wonder where he comes up with some of his material. :)
  • WTF? 
    Generally in response to a race request that interferes with "A" race focus or changing your training without consulting.
  • "I want a donut real bad" 
    When Mel wants a donut she earns it!
  • "Lean forward and don't fall down."  OC
  • "You dont HAVE to do this.  You GET to do this."  OC
  • "Make it a happy-pretty race!" 
    Mel says to make just about anything "happy-pretty"
  • "Was this in my "Race Viz?"
    Race Viz = Race Visualization... Something OC insists we do before every race.
  • "WWOC Do?"

There are probably enough coined phrases between both coaches and their athletes to come up with many more.  Hopefully Mel will see us on the course in our neon yellow-green shirts and smile.  Knowing her though, chances are she'll be smiling anyway... like she always does in every race.

I'm getting excited about going!!!

Friday Fill♥Ins

And...here we go!

1. Music speaks what cannot be expressed, soothes the mind and gives it rest, heals theheart and makes it whole, flows from heaven to the soul.

2. Quiet-time and coffee is what I like first thing in the morning.

3. The first thing I said this morning was: "Good morning."

4. Leftovers; it's what's for dinner tonight.

5. It's all been a learning experience.

6. Being productive and running personal errands is what I feel like doing right now.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to relaxing, tomorrow my plans include domestic goddessing and a birthday party and Sunday, I want to kick-ass on my crazy-brick!

Join in the Friday Fill-in Fun.Complete yours and post a link to the comments here.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thursday Thirteen

Let's do 13 things I'd love to do around the house...

1)  Get the playroom moved back upstairs to the gameroom and reclaim the office space.  Paint and take a stab at putting new flooring in.

2)  Finish the border in Cass' room!

3)  Paint the guest room and Guest Bath

4)  Closet organization in the Master Closet.

5)  Paint the entire downstairs area some dramatic color... still living with the same cream color we moved in with.

6)  One day, finish the window treatments in the Master Bedroom

7)  Plant some trees in the back yard and trim the patio with something.

8)  Replace flooring in entire downstairs foyer, living room and kitchen.

9)  Re-mulch the front yard landscaping; find some nicer greenery.

10)  Plant something along the sides of house... it's so empty.

11) Help Hubs find some kind of organizational help for the garage

12)  Get a shed; this will help with #11

13)  Would love to have someone come in and help me pick-up wall color!  Maybe I could convince David Bromstad? Surely he would feel badly for us when he learned we've had a new house for 6 years and have yet to paint the main living spaces! 

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!

Brick Training

Wow!  Last night's brick training was great.  Quite honestly when I got in the car at 5pm and it still read 100 on my car's thermometer, I was less than happy to go.  When I got there I just couldn't bring myself to do the same small loop 5 or 6 times, so I did two bigger loops around NASA.  That was much better.

The first loop I took at a decent pace, but then two faster riders from my club caught me at the beginning of the 2nd loop.  So I decided I would try to keep up with them.  I managed to stay within 30 to 40 yards of them the entire way.  It's not like I was right on top of them, but at least I didn't see them taking off into the sunset!

My run was good too!  I was supposed to do a negative split run by 2 minutes.  I've done it once, but generally missing by 15 to 30 seconds.  Last night I did my run with a 2:22 negative split -- and felt really good, walking very little.

Have to celebrate the little victories!  :)

Oh!  And my "Kinder Ninja" earned her Yellow Belt last night!  Cassie is on the left.

Cassie and her Classmate receiving their Yellow Belts.
Daddy and Cassie after her Spar Match; Cassie won her match!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Food Journal

Carbs were a little high, but not worrying much about it since I have an hour bike and :30 run tonight.

Sodium a little high too; need to find a lower sodium alternative to Laughing Cow Light for my Ezekiel muffin.

Fiber... a little low.  That's the last thing I need! 

Seeing Red

I haven't been blogging much of anything the last few days, as my family was here from NJ visiting.  We celebrated my Daughter's 6th birthday (a month early) with a water-park party and it was a ton of fun. Family visits are much too short and few and far between, so I'm grateful for the time we do get spend together.  So much so, I didn't do one second of training over the weekend.  No training = no green boxes in my training log :(  Seeing lots of red!

I've been trying to get my nutrition in line for my training and race day, and had my RMR test redone.  The results were completely different than the initial test done back in December and definitely more in line with what I would expect.  My RMR is about 1,461 calories; this is what I burn doing nothing but existing.

So we have a plan now.  I get about 1,300 calories a day, which is completely doable, but the challenge has been meeting very specific goals.  They took 4 days of my food journals and averaged it out.  Then they compared it to my new goals:

*CHO (Carbohydrates) ∙ *SFA (Saturated Fats)

"My Average" does not include my supplements, which I take routinely because of my RNY, but dieticians strive for clients to get all of their nutrition from food, instead of relying on supplementation.  I'm still taking my supps... so no worries.  ;)

As far as macronutrients I was pretty close; cut some cheese out and I'd be on the money!  I was really surprised at the sodium though, because... I feel like I eat a low-sodium diet, but obviously not! 

So these are my macro-nutrient goals:
1,301 calories divided as follows:
130 grams carbohydrate
110 grams protein
25 grams fat
25-30 grams dietary fiber

I'll be a boring food blogger for the next couple weeks.  I'm really going to give this a go and see what happens and how I feel.  I started to casually do it and I'm seeing/feeling results so I feel optimistic. :)  The more weight I can drop before Redman, the better!!!

Wordless Wednesday

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Laurie's First Super-Fantastic Giveaway

Laurie (aka Gastric Girl) just posted her very first giveaway!  Please visit and help make it a SUPER DUPER Fantastic Giveaway... so she can have more!

Friday, August 06, 2010


And...here we go!

1. Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets.  So love the people who treat you right, forgive about the ones who don't and believe that everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it.  If it changes your life, let it.  Nobody said that it'd be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.  

2. Go and keep going.

3. My last text message (or IM) ended in these three words: "...pool around 5:30"

4. Tuna Tacos is what I'm thinking about for dinner sometime soon.

5. On the 1st day of August I had great fun at River Cities Triathlon.

6. My favorite running music should be lively and energetic.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to my family coming in from NJ!  Tomorrow my plans include a long run, making/decorating a pink pirate birthday cake and Cassie's 6th birthday party and Sunday, I want to get in at least 3 hours on the bike then off to Schlitterbahn!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Overheard: Thursday Thirteen

Just 13 things I've heard listening to what's going on around the office this morning:

1)  "Oooooh, la, la" (I have no idea what they were referring to, but it spawned the idea of my TT and they were very happy

2)  "Stupid Machine!"  (referring to the postage meter)

3)  "I'll be back... maybe.  *snicker*

4) "You're not kidding, are you?  What part of my message did they not understand?"

5)  "Is the Internet boken?"  Because FB wasn't loading on their PC

6)  Sirens.  Not uncommon in this *lovely* area of Houston

7)  "I tried my wedding dress on yesterday.  It doesn't fit."

8)  My mind telling me, "Go home and get stuff done."

9)  "They are a cash-only customer now."

10)  The clickitty-click of the keyboard.

11)  The sound of receiving text messages on my Blackberry

12)  Squeaky Doors

13)  Toilets flushing (thank goodness, anyway.)

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!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Woah! Flashback!!

Everyone hates pictures of themselves, and no matter how proud I am of accomplishments I just hate pictures -- as do mot people I suspect.  They don't lie; especially if you constantly find yourself in lycra/spandex.  It doesn't hide. a. thing.

I used to keep a online journal in another location.  It's still there and once in a while someone hits my current blog from it.  I started going back through old entries and stopped when I saw this one.

It hurt, but it is a good reminder of where I was.  Especially when I'm sitting here tearing myself up in my most recent triathlon pictures.

Wordless Wednesday

Credit to the artist of this picture... I love it.

Join the Wordless Wednesday fun and meet other participants!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

River Cities Pics!

Fellow BAMmers Kathleen, Hombre (Training Buddy) and Me

Front:  John, Kathleen, Me and Sandy
Back:  A lurking Hombre and Scott

"You keep your paws off my Dave Scott"

"Training Buddy Powers; Activate!" 

Me, Dave Scott (6 time Ironman Champion!) and Kathleen.

Monday, August 02, 2010

River Cities Triathlon - Race Report

First, I have to say that this race may not been my fastest times ever, but it was a day of challenges and in spite of them I didn't let it phase me and just overcame and remained positive. That was huge. :)

First, my aerobar pad was loose; almost lost it. On Saturday after packet pickup I got some industrial strength velcro to fix it. Unfortunately by the time I actually made it to the race it had come off during the drive! Thanks to Scooter's Bike Shop, they actually had pads for my bars!!! $20 and a friendly one-on-one chit-chat with Dave Scott as he was having his pedals changed, and I was on my way. Can I just say he is so cool and very down-to-earth! I told him how never having swam before, that I learned to swim from his You Tube videos. He thought that was awesome!!! (Of course I didn't tell this 6 time Ironman Lengend-in-his-own-Time that at that time I didn't know who he was.) *wink*

My wave start time was 8:33 and I was supposed to eat my b'fast 2 hours before. Well, it was a little challenging since we were already at the race, checking in, setting up, hustle and bustle. Again I didn't get all the volume in. I got 1.5 power bars, a small banana and 2 granola bars (I didn't get the strawberries and accidentally brought my G2 to drink pre-race, instead of G'ade Endurance -- crap!). Anyway I got in what I could. My Sports Nutritionist is trying to come up with a smoothie type option that will allow me to get what I need since I can't do volume.

Swim 23:36 (800 "the course was long")
I did go for a warm-up swim, 15 minutes, and when I came out I was pretty nervous. The Athena wave was launched with an age group wave. I've never been in a wave of nearly 100 people! I decided I was going to be aggressive and "claim my space" and I even found people to draft off of along the way! I started right in front. Wow! When that cannon went off it insane with everyone knocking each other around. It was exciting, but definitely the most active wave start I've ever been a part of. I held on through it and felt like I was swimming well after the chaos passed. I was smooth and steady and didn't break my pace. It also seemed I was still among a lot of other pink caps and even passing some -- which is unusual for me! Typically I am separated from the crowd pretty quickly. I had trouble finding something on land to spot consistently, so I was spotting the buoy -- bad move. At some point I started spotting the wrong buoy. I looked up to spot and if I had taken another stroke, I would have hit the boat -- it was right there in my face. I went so far off course the kayaker had to come get me back on course. Of course that cost me some time, but I didn't let it bother me and though it was pretty funny! By the 2nd third, the the water was feeling stoopid warm! I'm not sure I've swam in anything so warm before. I started wondering, if not worrying, that drinking the G2, instead of the G Endurance was going to cost me. I let it go because there was nothing I could do about it while I was swimming; I remembered I had brought an extra bottle of hydration on the bike and figured if I needed something, I would have it. I kept positive and took the 2nd third I took a little easier, and then the last third I wanted to finish strong. I know going off course cost me some time, but I really experienced some great stretches where I could just feel myself moving through the water efficiently. My "moments of greatness" are slowing turning into "stretches of greatness" and I can tell my effort is paying off -- and that makes me really happy.

I was more unsteady than usual getting out of the water. Wobbly on the uphill, sandy swim-out and didn't really run it. I know it made for a longer 3+ minute transition. :(

Bike 1:03 (18.2 miles)
I'd say that the course was rolling hills, but there were BIG rollers, smaller rollers and some double-rollers. I will also say it was FUN! It was not like anything we train on in Houston; it was much like the bike course around Decker lake in Austin.  A triathlete friend had said "nothing traumatic" with regard to the hills, but there were two real challenges for me that I can recall where I was climbing at less than 10mph. The first 15 minutes on the bike sucked. I mean, really sucked. I felt tired and my legs felt horrible. It took so much mental tenacity for me to not accept that's how the entire ride was going to be. I couldn't get up over 14/15 mph when I first started and there weren't any hills yet! I just kept telling myself it would get better and not give-in because I knew I had more in me. After 15 minutes I started to feel my legs again and felt stronger. Later I would have some really good stretches on the bike where I was able to climb at 18/19 mph, but then others where I found myself in the wrong gear and you know how that goes. I think I hit a downhill max of 33 mph and that was great fun! I did pick it up in the last 15 minutes of the bike like my coach and I talked about.  I slightly altered my nutrition on the bike, starting with the G'ade endurance since I didn't get it before the swim and thought maybe that's why I felt so cruddy. Doing so pushed everything in the rotation though, so I didn't do my first get until 30 minutes into the ride. Also I couldn't get my nutrition timer working (I should have double-checked it and didn't! Lesson learned). Anyway, I did a gel at 30 minutes in and one in the last few minutes of my ride, and since I can't do gel w/G'ade I was a little short on my G'ade intake.

Bike to run transition was a giant horseshoe, and I was on the complete opposite end. It felt like it would never end. It was another 3+ minute transition.

Run 45:55 (3.2 miles)
My legs pretty much felt like they should after getting off the bike: a little more tired than usual. I knew I just had to keep pushing through. I really wanted to run mile-to-mile, but in the first mile I took a couple of 15 second walk breaks -- nothing too long. I'd say within 10 minutes of running I was feeling better. I carried G'ade Endurance with a Nuun in it since I knew there was water on the course and I had a gel, which I'd knew I'd need 30 minutes into the run. The run was mostly shaded with cross country paths. I made it to the first aid station and just kept thinking "1 mile repeats". My first mile was just over a 15 min pace, I made it to mile 2 with just a couple super short breaks in just over 14. On mile 3 I really wanted to get in under 13 and thought I could. I hit the cross country portions of the run and slowed down a bit. At about the time I needed a gel there was a larger uphill walked up to get my gel in. I forgot I had only g'ade with me and the next aide station was 1/4 mile away. The gel was stuck in my esophagus. I didn't know whether a small swig of the G'ade, just to get it down, would have bad effects. I really got uncomfortable and had just took the gamble and drank a small sip. It was enough to get it down. I made it to the next aide station and took in some water. I still had it in my mind that I wanted to come in under 14 for mile 3 and just kept going for it. Mile 3 wound up still being faster than mile 1 -- I look at it as a victory because I didn't get continually get slower. I wanted to come in in 45 minutes but missed the 3.2 miles by 55 seconds! I'm really not unhappy with that at all. I worked hard for it and learned a couple more things.

Total Time 2:19:55
Athena (26 of 35) <-----I wasn't in the bottom 5!!! Yay!
Swim Time 23:36 (swim rank 796 of 955 finishers)
T1: 3:15
Bike Time: 1:03 (774 of 955)
T2: 3:13
Run Time: 45:55 - 14:49 Pace (925 of 955) <--- I am going to get better!

Lessons Learned
Don't travel with removable equipment on bike.
Don't settle for feeling crummy when you know you have more (because you train!)
Check, check and recheck Nutrition
Check, check and recheck Garmins/Watches BEFORE the race
Be ready for the unexpected -- it paid to have the extra bottle of water w/Nuun on my bike!

Dave Scott, at the dinner the night before, commented on how generally triathletes want to be perfectionists. For him, he said it was always an all-or-nothing scenario. As if when he couldn't train the way he wanted or as much as he wanted, he just wouldn't train because it wouldn't be perfect. We forget that triathlon is as much about being competitive as it is about healthy, physically and mentally. What I took away from his comments was I have to remember that even though I'm surrounded by athletes who are fierce competitors, that's not who I am. I'm one who's happy I can be out there at all. Do I want to get better? Sure! But I can't let the fact that progress is slow bring me down because it takes me out of the moment and I miss out on the experience. My coaches all say "triathlon is mental" all the time and I hear them, every time they say it, but it really sank in this weekend.