Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Blogging Project - Day Thirteen

A Fictional Book
Didn't we cover this? I guess that was 'My Favorite Book' post. So, I'm just supposed to write about a random fictional book? Maybe just fictional books in general.

I love fictional books, they take me away from reality (not that my reality is that bad) and into a dream world. My favorite 'fluff' books are historical romance novels. I know, I typical, but I love reading about London society in the midst of war. I always wonder what kind of standing my family would have had. I'm assuming that we would have been of the working class with land out in the country, farmers or the like. The books are easy to read and fulfilling because almost all of them have a happy ending. Yep, sucker for happy endings OR sequels where we find out more about the characters in another book along the way.

Other fictional books, the Merry Gentry series by Laurell K. Hamilton, I know I've mentioned her before. Awesome books about good and evil...and sex...I know, you're shocked. Um, I used to read Dean Koontz until it was a little out there for me, James Patterson is awesome with anything he writes, Patricia many, so many... I just finished A Great and Terrible Beauty and I could go get the book to cite the author, but it is upstairs and I'm downstairs and feeling kind of lazy on this Saturday morning. It was decent, I like the ended abruptly, but then I saw that there is a sequel, so I'll have to find that and see how it ends.

I do like dramas, such as Good Grief and Water for Elephants, books along those lines. But some of the heavier stuff I just don't enjoy as much. I'll read it, think about it, but really give me a fluff book, a cup of coffee and a pastry and I'm in heaven.
In other news:
I had to get new compression stockings yesterday, mine are about 4 years old and have lost what makes them valuable. My athlete friends believe that they understand the compression thing, they don't, unless they have medical grade compression that is for something other than recovery, maybe that's not a fair thing for me to say... I guess mine are for recovery, the recovery of circulation and a damaged valve. I spent the better half of last night trying not to get into the 'this really sucks that I need these' depression. I just have to be firm with myself and remember: 'There are worse fates, you are not dying, you have two legs that are functional, and you live a pretty damn good life.'

Life, gotta love it, I know I do.

On the training front. I'm not doing TOO bad this week. I missed a run and decided to forgo the second swim, BUT I met with my new coach!!! I'm so excited for next season. We met on Wednesday for lunch and kind of mapped out my first 'A' race for next year, which is the Austin 1/2 Marathon. This style of coaching will fit me better, I believe anyway. Warning, I'm about to sound like a parrot that repeats itself! In every other aspect of my life I LOATHE being told what to do, but with this athletic stuff I need a firm hand and lots of direction. Left to my own devices I discovered (the hard way) that I mash all of my training into a small window, I get it done, but then need more recovery and the cycle keeps repeating itself.

With this new training regime I will get a weekly schedule that is already mapped out for me. And I report back and someone is looking over my shoulder and giving me frequent feedback. VERY excited. I'm staying with the T3 team on the weekends and joining a gym. This way I can do what I need to do with a facility that is just a couple of miles away. At first I felt guilty, but then I remember that this is my life and I need to do what fits and is good for ME.

Goals for next year:
-Become a stronger runner
-Volunteer a LOT
-Be very picky with races
-Keep it fun and light - I do NOT make money doing this...I pay to do it
-Be selfish with my training (this will be the hardest one)

Alright, time for me to feed my crazy cold weather loving pups and then head to the new Natural Grocery Store that opened up this week! Peace out Peeps!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Blogging Project - Day Twelve

'Something I am OCD about'

Hmmm... I don't think that I am OCD about anything really. I've been sitting here wracking my brain to think of something (anything) that I do every day. The only thing I can come up with is washing my face and brushing my teeth. Is that really OCD? I do it even if I'm three sheets to the wind, always wash my face and brush my teeth. I don't think it's OCD, just a lifetime of habits.

Oh, maybe there is one thing (again, I don't really think it qualifies as OCD, but whatever) that I do almost every day. I re-arrange the dishes in the dishwasher. Trainer just puts the bowls in there however they fit instead of putting them one after the other. It's not efficient or a good use of space so I end up re-doing every day. Is that OCD? Other than that I've got nothing. Unless someone can tell me what I do that would be semi-OCD?

Huh, well, this is a short one then!
On the training front - I'm back on the horse. I took my one week of bliss and unmindful eating - meaning I had WAY too many empty cals and fat and didn't give a crap, AND I didn't work out aside from walking all week!!!

Sunday was my first exercise day back, a nice (EASY) 15 mile no-drop ride followed by a yummy brunch. Monday was my usual rest day (I really needed it after that brutal 15mi ride...haha), Tuesday I ran 4 mi with D (need to come up with some new names...) and today I hitched a ride and made it to Coach Pain's swim practice. I've been wanting to go to her practices for a long time, just couldn't wake up to do it. SO I bribed a friend/teammate with coffee if she picked my ass up, and it worked! And now my shoulders are going to fall off...but worth it.

Today I'm meeting with my new coach!! Very exciting stuff. AND she's effing hilarious, we're going to get along great, I just know it. Back soon with Day Thirteen!

Thursday, October 21, 2010


My first reflection is: should have waited a day or two to write my race report and let myself process everything. But, I didn' here we go.

I recently wrote this to a friend: 'You do not make me who I am. I define myself. I am me.' I think I made it up, but I read so much that I could have taken it from somewhere. :) However, looking at my advice or words to her I can relate them to myself. The race did not make me a triathlete...the months of training did. I still define myself and I am me - an awesome wife, dog mom, friend, athlete, funny (even witty at times) person who decided that racing 70.3 miles was a good idea. And it was.

I like to push myself beyond my limits, and sometimes I choose to do too much too soon. But hey, we have to keep life interesting and it gives me good fuel for my blog.

The race pictures came out last night. I was relieved to know that I wasn't crazy and my left leg was indeed swollen. I was also happy that they came out decent, I was even smiling at the end. If you didn't know me well you won't even see the grimace in the last picture! And looking at the pictures made me realize (once again) that what I did WAS amazing, even more so considering my leg! So I AM a badass rockstar!

This experience has made me stronger, it has given me the opportunity to meet some really great people who will be in my life for a very long time and shown me both my strengths and weaknesses.

Now...on to the entertaining parts of the race:

-I am always amazed by the 'outfits' that people wear for these races. Some people were wearing the bike shorts that they had JUST purchased a day or two before - can we say 'Chaffage?'

- The conversation you have with yourself during a tri:
Mind - Okay, let's do this!
Body - Yep, let's do it!
M - Strong strokes, remember what your coaches say
B - Yeah, yeah...tpr, rotate, alligator it.
M - Hey, we're slowing down
B - Um, yeah...that happens when someones arm is grabbing my leg and we're not on a date!
M - Go, go, swim faster!
B - Look, just trying to breathe, not take in the entire lake, meanwhile belching underneath the water!
M - I see the shore! I see people!!
B - I see...'Ouch. MOFO! (&#%!! Hit in the head!!'
M - We're out of the water!
B - LAND!!! Shit, where did my legs go?

M - Woohoo, our favorite part!!
B - Yep, let's get into this rhythm thing
M - Circle, circle, keep drawing circles
B - Got it, doing it
M - Oooh, pretty sights...look at that field
B - Hey, concentrate! Focus! Eat! Drink!
M - Be Merry??
B - NO, not merry, shift
M - Uphill, you know what to do
B - Yep...oh, wait, sheister...Hello quads, nice of you to make an appearance
M - Only 2 more hours to go!
B - $(^&#$# 2 more hours to go.
M - Pretty...

M - We got this. 2/3 of the race down!!
B - Why are my legs always missing through transition?
M - Helllloooo??? 2/3 down,check?
B - Check. Gotcha. Going to not.
M - Okay, just 2 minutes, get into your zone, we've done this.
B - Yep, I remember the amount of times that I've done this...thanks.
M - LOOK! People!!
B - Crap, people, must run. Ok, shuffle. Ok, keep moving at least.
M - Into the park we go, there has to be shade! :)
B - Yep, somewhere...where is it? YOU PROMISED SHADE!
M - Eat something, you're grouchy.
B - Eat, drink, not very merry.
M - More people!
B - Feet won't go faster, sorry.
M - Come on! People are watching!!
B - Do I look like I give a crap? I'm trying to breathe here!
M - Look, last mile.
B - Oh, sweet, I'm awake now...all good. I'm good. Ouch. Shit. I'm good!
M - Camera alert!
B - Smile!
M - I see the last turn!
B - Oh, look! My stride has returned! Look at my feet lift off the ground!!
M - About time...
B - Hey, doing what I can...
M - Woot! Woot! Finish line baby!!!
B - Rockin! Smile, smile, grimace, smile, cry, smile!

That's all for now. I have plenty more to say and I still need to complete my little blogging project, but it will wait another day!

Thanks for hanging with me through all of this craziness peeps. Next year will be so much better! Wait...did I just say that? HAHAHA!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Longhorn 70.3 Race Report (LONG POST!)

So, buckle in and grab some snacks, this is a long report.

My morning started off at 4am, woke up, made the coffee and oatmeal and sat down at the computer to check Facebook. It's relaxing and mundane which is good for race morning. I had my bags packed and ready to go. I stretched on the floor with the pups (well, they weren't stretching, they were still sleeping wondering WHY THE HELL we were up so early.) My bike was already racked so I gathered my stuff and left the house at 5:20am, should have plenty of time to get there, drop off my run back and put my nutrition on the bike.

I brought a banana and bagel with me to get extra cals in before the start. Coach told us to eat about 600-800 cals before the start. I had 300 down with my oatmeal, the banana would be an additional 100 and the bagel is over 200. Perfect!

Okay, so this is where it gets 'not the way I planned it' and I sat in traffic for 1hr and 45 min. Reaching the parking lot at 7:05am, transition was supposed to close at 7:15am and I still had to catch a bus to the lake. I ran in my flip flops from my car (which they had us park really far away!!) to the run transition, found my number and dropped off my bag. Then I ate my banana as I got on a bus to the lake and bike transition. Got there at 7:13am to the announcement that the race would start on time and 'Please exit the transition area.' I finally heard that the delay was an accident, and I couldn't believe that they weren't going to delay the race as there were still athletes parking. But, I squeezed into transition, my training friend had put my helmet out for me (thank you!!) and I got my water bottles on. At the last minute I remembered that I hadn't pumped up my tires. I found a pump got one tire done and then went to the other side and it was deflating my tire instead of putting air in. Stressed to the max, I finally got it to at least 90-100psi (My usual is 110psi so I was a little freaked) and left transition.

I was so mad from the morning's events and my adrenaline was pumping, but the good thing was that I didn't have time to stress about the 1.2 mile swim. As we all know, swimming terrifies me and I'm not a great swimmer, not to say that I haven't made great strides within this year. Well, it was too late to eat my bagel, I had never done that before swimming so I didn't want to have cramps and dnf (did not finish) in the water. Got my wetsuit on and saw a lot of my T3 peeps volunteering and already giving us morning cheers.

The swim - I rocked this (for me) and finished in 46:35 (2:27/100), which is better than my normal pool time of 2:30/100!! Very excited! I got my wetsuit down, plopped on the ground for the wetsuit strippers to do their thing (sounds dirty doesn't it? Teeheehee) and off I went. Coach called out, 'She's right in front of you! Go get her!' He was referring to one of my training friends. I tried to run up the hill, but it didn't happen. I got stickers in my feet and decided to take my time, get my heart rate down and relax. Transition 1 - 7:27 (whoops!)

On to the bike. We were told to start eating asap, I waited until 7 min had passed making sure that the blood transferred to my legs. So far so good, got my first bottle down within the hour. Took 2 salt tabs and was enjoying myself. The second hour is where things started to go South. I ate 1/2 my power bar and it didn't sit well at all. I tried drinking water and the stomach cramps came. I kept eating and drinking, but I only got half of it down. I poured water on myself like I was told, but MY GOD the chaffing was terrible. I forget that we don't often practice swimming then biking, need to do this more. The ride started to feel really hard, and in spots where I usually fly. It felt windy, but when I looked around I didn't see the trees moving. In the third hour I started on my second bottle of nutrition. Got 3/4 of it down. Didn't finish my water. Total bike - 3:08:17 (17.85 avg mph)

As I rolled into the transition my back hurt and my shoulders hurt. Very unusual for me after riding. But I took out all of my run gear (we had to keep it in bags, which was different) and put all my bike gear in. I saw T and he was saying 'Go, Go!' and I said, 'I'm trying, not working!' and off I went. Transition 2 - 4:57 (way too long!!)

I started jogging (shuffling) and quickly realized that my quads were toast. And they shouldn't have been. My plan was to run an 11 min mile, as I've been doing 10-10:30 on my longer runs. I got to mile marker 1 I was at 14 min. I DID stop and use the port-a-john, but that didn't take too much time. I did some calculations in my head and knew to make my goal of 7hrs I would have to do a 13 min mile. Here is where it got really, really hard. The sun was beating down (or so it felt) and by mile 3 nausea had set in. I carry my water with me and it has a pouch for nutrition. I started chomping on these gummy Honey Stingers (tasty) and sipping my water. The really hard part about the run is that it's two loops. So when you're on your first loop the first sign you see is 'Mile 8' and knowing that you haven't even hit mile 2. Big bummer.

Through the park we went, the volunteers were great, thank goodness they were there since no one else was in the park, and 2/3 of the course was away from spectators. I made myself a deal. If I needed to I could walk up the inclines, but had to jog any decline and flat section. It worked for the first loop, kind of. My run coach was at the top of this long ass hill and as soon as I knew he could see me I started jogging (hahaha), but man did it help with him out there. At mile 5 I started feeling really sick. I dry heaved and had to stop, but then kept going. I ran past all the cheering sections and they said 'You're looking great! Almost there!' and bless their hearts I just wanted to bite their heads off b/c I knew that I didn't look great or strong and I just wanted to cry!!

I ran past T at the turnaround for loop 2 and he said, 'Almost there!' and I said, 'WTF would you say that???? I'm just starting my 2nd loop!!!' I was pissed. Which I guess was his intention, except unlike most people I don't get motivated with that kind of thing, I get into self-defeating mode. So onto the second loop. I try to take a Hammer Gel and I have to chew it because it does not want to go all. My clot leg was like a lead weight, it felt like it weighed 5lbs and was getting more and more swollen by the mile. I kept sipping water, had 2 oz of Gatorade and as I reached mile 10 I was sick of eating and drinking. Nothing was making me feel better. I really wanted to stop. But I didn't.

I kept going and ran up the section of the hill where my run coach was. I ran through the park and let the volunteers put ice down my back (THAT was awesome) and walked/ran until I got to the spectator section. I ran it in, finishing with a forced smile on my face (you have to have a good finish photo right???) and seriously was wishing that there was no one there. Run time - 2:48:31 (12:51min mile)

I wanted to cry. The overwhelming emotions of finishing, feeling bad, relief...etc. You get the idea. But my husband, friends, co-workers, teammates....they were all there. I finished in under 7hrs, my goal.

It was a good race and it was a bad day. I finished and I'm proud of myself. There are so many lessons and takeaways from this day. But for today it's just - 'I finished!'

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tapering is supposed to be fun???

There is a period in training called 'Taper', pretty self explanatory, you wind down your sessions and rest your body getting it ready for the event. Every time I think about the event I get a little sick, yep, still.

Okay, so I took Wed - Fri off of work to rest and now I'm BORED! There are a ton of things I could be doing, like sorting the crap room (Trainer's name for it, it's really the craft room.) I could be cleaning the floors, house, doing laundry...lots of things. What I want to do is go shopping, however we're trying to save money and I would end up buying crap that I want, not need. I could be cooking, but even that didn't hold my interest, last night we had pizza. Yes, I was off ALL day long (all I did was run 4 miles and do 45 min of core) and we ended up with pizza for dinner. *sigh*

Tapering does not set well with me. Today I rode my bike to work and back (30 min total) and I'll go swim in a little bit in some open water. Yawn!!! I've been on facebook all day, uploaded some albums I've been meaning to get to and really just wasted the day. I think I'm one of those people who need to be busy to be efficient. Maybe? Or do you think I'm just lazy? It could be a combo. Restless, that is what I'll call it...I'm restless...but rested.

Alright. Well, maybe I'll vacuum before I hit the water, maybe that will make me feel like I did something today.

OHHH, please leave a comment and give me a story to think about during my 13.1 mile run. I'm going to dedicate these miles to the people in my life, stories will make it go by faster. Please?? Pretty please? :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Blogging Project - Day Eleven

This is supposed to be about a recent picture of me...hmmm, there are so many. Be right back...

Okay, so this picture is from July, not super recent, but it's one that I love.
Not because I look awesome (b/c I don't think that), but because there, on my face, is exactly how I feel when I finish these races. I had just sprinted my way up that little hill to the finish line giving it everything that I could...putting it all out there.

This triathlon thing is hard for me. I think I've expressed that before. Athletic endeavors...yeah, well it's just hard work. Give me a new piece of sheet music to sight read, or a new book to devour...all over it. Give me open water and ask me to jump right in?? I'll look at you like you're evil and slowly lower myself into the water and panic for about 3-4 minutes.

My journey though this past year and some months has been incredible. I've met some wonderful people, new training partners, new friends and found some new confidence. Looking back at the start of this 16 weeks of training when we had to ride 40 miles and then the next day run 7 and then a month or so later be able to ride 75 miles and run 13...well, it's just flabbergasting and it's ME doing it! My race is rapidly approaching and every time the word 'Sunday' is spoken I throw up a little in my mouth. :) Nice right? Sorry, but really this is how I'm feeling.

What have I learned?
That I am capable of more than I give myself credit for.
That my husband does support me, even if it's not in the way that I expect him to (ie; the way that I would do it for him!)
That I have no ambition to do a full IronMan, I won't say never, but seriously this takes enough of my time...I can't imagine doubling up on the training.
That I have incredible friends that have helped me through this time in one way or another.
That the will to finish will overcome the physical challenges of any given day.
And that said...
That I WILL finish this 70.3 mile race on Sunday.

Thank you all for hanging with me through all of this. I hope to get back to the entertaining blogs soon. I miss them as much as you! Peace for now!

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Blogging Project - On hold

Okay, so obviously I've had little time (or motivation) to post in the last umpteen days. The Half IronMan is approaching fast and I've been training, recovering and now tapering. This taper period is not fun. I like the longer miles, the feeling of doing something significant. Now I go run 30 min and I'm like, 'Why bother?' I know the reason of course, but

My bestie Yoga Zen Babe had her baby!!!! Sweet little Zen Baby and she is precious. I got to watch my little Zen Boy while his mom was upstairs being the strong, beautiful, warrior princess that she is - having her baby. Home birth, no drugs, no tearing, just a little yelling and it was all over in a jiff. Or that's how it seemed to me...being downstairs and not pushing a baby out my va-jay-jay.

Update on stats: Born on October 6th at 11:15am, 9lbs, 10oz and 19 3/4 inches long!

Truth time, I'm freaking out. I feel like I should be doing so much more. I feel like I'm not ready. I feel like I'm not going to get out of the water. ANXIETY!! And then I breathe....and the butterflies quiet down a bit. Not completely gone, but quiet.

Alright, back to work. I'm going to be a super slacker next week. I took Wed - the next Wed off. I love having paid vacation time. Peace out my lovelies, I'll post next week.