Showing posts from June, 2011

Spending Dough, Crazy Brick and Serious Stuff

It's been an expensive couple of days, I'll say that much. It started yesterday with needing new tires for my vehicle... $825 later, I have new tires. Ugh!

Then I had to find 10 speed Dura-ace bar end shifters for my bike, so it could be fixed before this weekend's training session. I can get through the week taking spin class for cycling, but going a weekend without a long bike, on my bike? No way.

T., my bike fix it guy, texted me before I left the bike shop and said I needed a new chain too... there I go, back into the store to spend more money.

He just texted me a little while ago that my bike is done and it "rides better than it ever did."  I hope so!  I"m so tired of problems.  It ought to ride itself with a full tune-up, new shifters and new chain!  :)

Tonight my Daughter is going to learn to ride her two-wheeler.  One of my friends from the club is coming over.  He swears he'll have her riding in an hour! He's as excited as she is.  I have …

The Body Marking Debate

So if you read my mini rant yesterday about body marking, then you know how I feel about it.  However,  I thought it was important to learn exactly what the rules were before I start preaching the rules.  I checked out the regulations on USAT's website, and I couldn't find any clarification.  Instead, I emailed my question and the Officials Commissioner wrote me back:

"Body marking of category, age, or division, is not required by the Competitive Rules.  Only race number body marking is required.  Identifying each athlete by division or category is optional for race directors.  Accordingly, your should address your concerns to the individual event organizer where you compete.  The race director may very well be able to accommodate your request and be happy to do so."
So there you have it!  You really don't even have to have your age, just your race number!  My apologies to Sarah for being thoughtless and embarrassing her, prompting the discussion at the race…

Race Report: Y Freedom Sprint Triathlon 2011

I am, by no means, full of myself, but I know when I feel good on race day. Last year I spent so much time being tired from training, not knowing I was Anemic, so darn near every race I felt like crud -- it really did take some of the fun out of it for me. 

Last year, this race in particular, was just a killer for me.  I cried a lot at this race, missing my dear friend Elysha.  It was a good day last year in that I was able to help her son and his friends do the race, but outside of that it was such a bad performing and sad day for me. 

This year, another one of Elysha's friends decided to do the race, so it was again a chance to remember Elysha and smile. I met up with M to give her tips on transition, and I was so happy she was doing the race.  M had told Elysha she would do a tri with her one day.  Who knew Elysha would be gone so soon?  Life is too short.  Anyway, when M crossed the line, one of the last finishers, my eyes just filled with tears.  I still miss her so much.  :…

Mental Toughness

It's occurred to me that one of the hardest parts of training isn't really biking and running in the heat, and it's not swimming in a pool or lake that's so warm you feel like a piece of poached salmon.  It's not getting up at 4 am and repeating the insanity day-after-day, nor is it early bedtimes, whacky nutrition and declining invites because you "have to train."

One of the hardest things to train is your mind.  When you first start, there's lots of "low hanging fruit" which translates to quick improvements when you start training.  It makes for good motivation to continue.  However, when all that low hanging fruit is harvested and you have to start working a little harder to get the fruit at the top, that's when the mental training begins.

Everyone handles stress differently.  When it comes to training, if I'm stressed, I tend to want to train alone. Others just force feed themselves their workouts in and effort to release some of…

Here's Your Sign: Your Favorite Race Signs

I want to be ready with some awesome signage for Redman.  I'm doing the Half, but I want to be ready to root for the half dozen who are doing the Full.  They're going to need it!

So what are some  of your most favorite race signs you've seen?  Here are some I've seen personally, and found on the internet: 

"You're living my dream!" IMTX 2011

"If you pass-out we'll DRAG you across the FINISH line"  Houston Marathon 2011

"Hello complete stranger!  I'm proud of you!"  Housotn Marathon 2011

"Do it for the tamales!"  IMFL 2010

"Your Feet Only Hurt because you're KICKING ASSphalt!"

"No time for tiring, only INSPIRING" Houston Marathon 2010

"Pain is temporary, but results on the Internet last forever!"

"Chuck Norris never ran a marathon"

"PR or ER"

"I didn't wake up early to watch you WALK!"

Mind Matters & Weekend Training

It goes without saying last week was a pretty emotional week and yeah, it impacted my training a little bit; short about 45 minutes total, so really not that bad. I got my surgery date for the end of July and I just can't believe the ups and downs I'm experiencing, grieving for something I don't even have; grieving for having my option taken away from me.  :(

My life is full though, and I'm completely blessed with my Daughter and Husband.  While having another child would be nice, it's not a necessity for our happiness.  Disappointing?  Sure, but we are still happy without another kiddo.  Cassie will be fine and will still thrive without a brother or sister.  She has cousins who adore her as if they were her siblings... heck, probably even better!  Knowing what we know now, we just have to make more of a concerted effort to foster those long distance relationships.  I think as they get older, that will happen a little easier.

So training.  I was registered to do th…

Favorite Oprah Quotes from her Finale

“You can help somebody. You can listen.  You can forgive. You can heal. You have the power to change somebody’s life.”

"Nobody but you is responsible for your life. You are responsible for your life. What is your life? What is all life? What is every flower, every rock, every tree? Energy. And you’re responsible for the energy you create for yourself, and you’re responsible for the energy that you bring to others.”

The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams.”

“Everybody has a calling, and your real job in life is to find it.”

“Start embracing the life that is calling you. Find your calling—know what sparks the light in you so you in your own way so that you can illuminate the world.”

“There’s a difference between thinking you deserve to be happy and knowing that you are worthy of being happy. Your being alive makes worthiness your birthright. You alone are enough.”

Turn your wounds into wisdom.”

Try saying to your loved ones: “I see you. I hear you…

Ups & Downs

Yesterday was a particularly tough day, for many reasons.  It started off bad, went to just barely okay, and by the end of it I was spent.

Masters started off great... I was pleased with my TT effort -- especially being able to note such a marked improvement over my 2011 time trial.  However at the end of the TT I got into a little scuffle with my lane mate and it's been bugging me entirely too much.  I'm not certain he was having the best of days.  He's a great runner and biker.  Swimming?  He's getting better, but suffice it to say that swimming is probably the only thing I can do better than him.

During our time trial I came up on him at around 800m in. I started ahead of him too, which means I was ready to completely lap him.  I tagged his feet with my right stroke, then with my left and backed off.  He hammered me, solidly planting kicks right in my face and then shot me a look.  It was abundantly clear he had no intention letting me by.

I was kinda stunned at his…

1000m Time Trial

This morning at Masters we did 1000m time trial after about a substantial "warm-up".  LOL  Had a little scuffle with a lane-mate (not quite sure what his effin' problem is yet), but outside of that it was good.

In January 2010, I was swimming 1000m at 2:33/100m

Today?  I swam 1000m in 21:15 that's 2:07/100m 

Would love to get under 2:00/100m for this same time trial.  One day.

CompuTrainer Fun: FTHR Testing

I've never had the chance to ride a CompuTrainer before and Hubs and I have been contemplating the purchase of one.  MC gave me the opportunity to do my FTHR test on his.  It's way cool, and if you're a data geek, it gives you plenty.  I have so many numbers and charts from my 90 minute test, it's a little overwhelming!  I have data for the right leg, left leg, spin scan, cadence, wattage, heart rate... there's a ton of it!  All if it helpful with improving cycling performance.

Your FTHR is the highest average sustainable heart rate you can produce on either a 40km time trial on the bike or a 10km run.  So, whatever your average HR for the 20 minute TT portion of the test, minus 5%, gives you a "functional threshold" for HR... an important number to know for training.

This is the test (source Hunter Allen & Andrew Coggan):
20 minute warm up riding at a moderate pace about 65% of your max HR
3 X 1min fast pedaling efforts at 100rpm with 1 min easy reco…

Race Report: FunFest Run by the Bay 10K

I don't generally plan to do running races, except for the half marathons and a turkey trot over the fall/winter months, but sometimes it's nice to run a supported race for a long run on Saturday morning.  I get to run with others, there's hydration on the course, and I generally run somewhere different.  It's nice way to break the monotony. :)

Friday night was a rough night though.  At around 1:30 am I woke up vomiting clear stuff.  Ugh... even to think about it still makes me want to gag.  It wasn't fun.  I was up until 3:30ish, then must have finally fallen back asleep.  I woke real tired and groggy.  Suffice it to say I did not have my race day BuZzZz going.  :(

Until the rough night, I was looking forward to this run because I had been making good progress and I wanted to see what I could pull off (even after a full week of 70.3 training).  I tried to remain positive, knowing I didn't feel quite as badly.  I knew I'd have to change my mindset and go fo…

Hire a Triathlete, USAT

Blog Post: Hire a Triathlete | Community | USA Triathlon
by Rob Urbach / June 09, 2011After I accepted the position of CEO at USA Triathlon in February, I attended a summit where I was introduced to a number of CEOs from different companies. One CEO in particular had been sought out for his position in a high-profile company because of his qualifications, one of which was that he’s a triathlete. As CEO of this particular company, which is a household name, his leadership qualities and endurance were traits necessary to perform his job duties well under pressure.Think about triathletes you may know. They are determined, disciplined folks who manage their time well and are typically prepared to deal with stressful situations. Being a triathlete takes dedication and focus to keep going when you hit a wall in training or a race. Triathletes understand the importance of balance as they make time for training sessions between the time they want to spend with their families, frie…

More Small Victories!

Wow!  This morning was great for me, if I do say so myself.  I'm sort of waiting for the bottom to fall out of my "speed" bucket, because I had two more great runs this morning!

Run 1 was :40 fartlek run to the Y for spin class.  It was 5 minutes easy, 8x1 at 5K pace with 1 minute jogging between each minute, 5 minutes easy and then a mile straight out and easy the rest of the time.  My 5K pace was more like a sprint, because maintaining at 10 minute mile for me is not possible on 5k, and each of my minutes were all 10 min/mile paces.  Me?  10 min/mile pace? 

Don't laugh, you runners, but I did the 10 min/mile pace 8 times in a row! 

LOL  (I can laugh... you can't!). 

My average pace came to 12:45 for the 3.18 miles.  I'm thrilled with anything under 13!

Spin class was good, but my legs were spent from the fartlek.  I got on the spin bike and really had to get into a couple minutes before it felt better.  Eventually it did and I left it all on the bike by th…


On Tuesday I was supposed to see my OBGYN to get the reults of my Ultrasound and have a biopsy done.  I show up at the office, and they tell she had to do surgery that day and was not coming back to the office.  The attendant told me she tried calling me, but I had no messages.  This kind of ticked me off because no one called my cell or work number after I just filled out a dozen pages of contact info on my last visit there, updating everything... but that doesn't matter, really.

When she told me the doc was out, I couldn't control it, and busted into tears.  I felt like such a wuss.  She rescheduled my appointment for the end of June (so now I had to wait another 3 weeks for an answer) and I walked out... then the flood gates opened.  Another 3 weeks of not knowing what the heck is wrong with me?  Another 3 weeks of feeling like everything is on hold.  Ugh!

It's the unknown I can't stand.  I can't prepare for it.  I don't have the chance to be ready for whate…


My morning run/bike/run thing is working pretty good.  This morning I actually woke before my alarm, so maybe my body is adjusting to this early morning stuff.  I am on Week 3...  so almost 21 days.

I got up so early that I took advantage, and got my longer of the 2 runs done first.  Hubs had a meeting this morning and I figured if I got home earlier I could help with Cassie, if needed; both can be a little pokey in the morning. :)

I ran from home, through the 'hood and made it to Bauerschlag in 40:18 for 3.11 miles (12:57 pace). I saw the stats and hit STOP on the time. I took a slow jog the rest of the way to the Y and then I reset it when I started spin, so I guess I somehow wiped it out? Grrrr. I hate that because I like data!  Especially when I feel like I had a pretty good run -- although my heart rate got away from me at about 2.5 miles in and I took a super-quick :10 walk to pull it together.  Other than that, no walk breaks.

Later, my Daughter saw how ticked I was when I…

Race Report: Tejas Triathlon (Relay)

I did a relay for Tejas Triathlon yesterday.  I did the swim.  It was a 600 yd open water swim in a man made lake in a subdivision.  My time was 13:24 (or 2:14/100 yds)  My goal should have been to maintain a 2:00-2:05 pace per 100 yards, but I thought the course was in meters so I had set my goal to do between 2:05-2:15 per 100m. Long story short, I met my goal in meters, which means I failed to reach my goal in yds.  That's the bad news.  The good news is, I'm now confident I can hit my goals for my next race's 300m pool swim... so long as I can be aggressive, pass people and not let people go ahead of me! 

Side note:  I took a look at some swim time and paces from previous years.  My
worst recorded pace was 3:17/100m in 2009 -- so I'm pretty darn happy being
able to note a marked improvement.  Where I couldn't break 2:00/per 100 yds
on intervals at the pool, I'm now doing 2:00/per 100m regularly, and had a
PR of 1:48/100m.  So as long as the swimming is …

Signs of Progress and PR's

Well, it's going to be official tomorrow, my Husband is going to start training with my coaches as well.  3 triathletes in one household requires a lot of logistical planning.  Laundry might not get done timely, the grass might not be perfectly manicured, and the kiddo might be tired and crabby, but the PR's and firsts will abount from this family!  I see lots of fun this Summer. :)

So this morning called for an extra-early start because Hubs had decided to take the coaches up on their open invite "crazy brick."   They were doing a 6 mile loop over and back on the Fred Hartman Bridge, riding 2 hours, then running the bridge again.  The bridge doesn't look that steep in the picture, but trust me, it's pure insanity.  LOL

I did not have the brick on my schedule since I'm relaying Tejas Triathlon tomorrow.  I'm the swimmer on the team, but I have been directly to take a loop on the run course after my swim as well.  I don't get off that easy.  It'…

Let's Try This Again for 2012

So maybe 2012 will be a lucky year for me and I'll get selected? I really abhor this lottery system, but I know if I'm on the sidelines just cheering, I'll be even more bummed (like in 2011!).  So I'm in.  I registered this morning.

I've already registered for the Texas Marathon which is on New Year's Day.  I actually signed up for the full, but with the intention of switching to the half if I got in to Houston.  The thought of doing a full crosses my mind... but then I think, why?  I just need to stay focused and work on my running.  I don't want my first full to be a more miserable experience than it needs to be.

Anyway, if I get selected I'll be doing the Texas Half Marathon on New Year's day and then the Aramco Half on January 15th.

If I don't get selected for 2012, there is a rule in place that ensures I will get to participate the 3rd time I enter the lottery.  So I will definitely have an entry for 2013, if I don't make 2012.

Maybe t…