Friday, August 22, 2008

Now THAT'S fast

A whole year has gone by since Cutie joined the family, I swear it's been the fastest year of my life. At 2:03pm she burst onto the scene and has been an absolute joy since then. She's so happy and laid back and at the same time very determined and independent. She sure keeps us on our toes with her running around (yes, running at 1-year old), attraction to the stairs, dog water bowl and toilet, love of climbing and all toys choke-able. She's a trip. We love you, sweetie!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Correction and confession

Some of the people on the work running team are very competitive runners and noticed that their times for the 5k on Tuesday seemed slower than they should. A few people also had Garmins that determined the distance was actually 3.18-3.2 miles. Based on that correction, my time for the race was 11:43 miles. Again, a stroller aided time, and I'm even happier with the new one, but my participation wasn't about the time. Incidentally, the correction gave the overall winner a mind-blowing 4:51 pace.

Now for my confession. I'm lazy and I hate the treadmill. I have always professed to enjoy running on the treadmill, but it was a cover for my laziness. The treadmill is convenient, there's no weather or terrain to deal with and I can stop any time and still be at the end. There's also a restroom about 100 feet away, which I needed after only one mile this morning. But, it's time for me to move up in my running world and take it outside. I'm going to scope out some routes near work and start going either before work or at lunch. The two main reasons I need to do this are: I think I have psyched myself out about needing the bathroom more often than I actually do, and it's too easy for me to cut it short at the gym- like today for instance. I need to run a route so that when I'm tired, I've still got to get back. It's time. I've got the 5.5 miler in November and I'm toying with the idea of a half marathon in the spring. That's only just popped into my head in the last couple days and will need to be discussed with my ever-patient, wonderful husband before any plan is enacted. End of confession.

In cool news, for being the first place Athena in the tri two weeks ago, not only did I receive a very nice medal, but also an obnoxiously loud but very useful cycling jacket. I ordered the men's medium thinking that would be plenty big and it does fit, but there's not much extra room in there. Those darn slim cyclists.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


(subtitles for this post are also: "Two in Twelve" and "Riding on Empty")
I know that when there is a wind-aided time recorded for some races they are given an asterisk. So, I'm reporting my 122 lb double-stroller "aided" time for the 5K last night was 37:13. That's 12:00 miles even, I'm not too disappointed considering I was pushing the boys the whole way. Well, they each ran about a total of 0.2 miles at different times which only meant I had to stop and start as they climbed out and back in. I wanted to encourage them to run, though, so I didn't really mind. Hot Wheels really had trouble understanding why we were doing a race that we weren't going to win. We finished 243rd out of 251- it's a fast race. He kept asking me how many people were behind us until I told him I didn't want to hear another word about where we were going to finish. The boys kept up a pretty constant chatter the whole time, including "are we almost done?" every two minutes or so. I was a nice change of pace from a normal race, and I was given much support and many compliments from spectators who seemed unnecessarily impressed that I was running with the stroller.

The race last night started at 6:15pm and this morning we left for a 13-mile bike ride at 6:15am. I think it was actually 6:17am by the time we got going, but close enough. That covers the two in twelve. As for the riding on empty- I only ate half a banana after the 5k last night and then I didn't eat before the ride this morning. I also brought my water bottle in to work to fill it and then left it at my desk, so I was really riding on empty. I bonked. I think we were somewhere between 14-15 mph, but my legs were wasted by the time we finished. Even now, I'm feeling it.

I went to donate blood last week and was told that my iron levels were low enough that they wouldn't take my blood and they said I should call my doctor. Being a still nursing mother, I've been way too lax about my vitamins, that would probably explain part of the reason I've been so blasted tired for a while now. I try to remember to take my iron and multivitamin, I make it about every other day, so my energy level should bounce back up soon, I hope. I'll try to give blood again next month, if it's still low, I'll call a doctor.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


My plan to run a 10k in October has been changed, because Cutie's baptism will take place at the same time as the race. That's the priority so no 10k this fall, but there will be a 5.5 miler in November. I've also added another triathlon on September 14th, going with a few friends from work, so that will be fun. Tonight's a 5k and kids run. The boys are going to run the kids run and then we'll all do the 5k. It's a no-pressure one so the boys will run when they want to and I'll push them in the jogging stroller when they need a break. No time goal, no expectations, just some fun family exercise.

Here are some pictures from the recent triathlon. Be forewarned, the image of me in a trisuit is not exactly flattering. Oh yeah, and I'm smiling in the run picture because my kids were cheering like crazy and I'm almost finished, not because that run felt good.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The next phase

Now that my one and only triathlon for the year has passed, I'm on to my next goals. First, there are 8 weeks until my first ever 10k and I'm a little intimidated by working up to the distance in time. And, this morning I started the 100 push-ups challenge. I was pleased to complete day 1 level 1 without too much difficulty. Considering I started at 2 push-ups, it can only get better from here. This morning was a cross-training day, 40 minutes of step aerobics. I don't really enjoy the group classes at the gym as much as I once did. And the gym workouts in general just don't make me as happy as they once did. For safety I'll stick with the treadmill runs- and they're a good way to keep track of my progress as well, and I'll keep up my group bike rides until it's too dark in the morning to ride before work. Here's a recent pic of Cutie, my favorite so far.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Left it all...

Quick results: Swim- awesome, Bike- good, Run- not so much. First place Athena division- out of one. Total time: 1:35:12. There ended up being 53 individuals and 32 teams competing.

Here's the detailed story- might be longer than the sprint itself.
Overall it was the most perfect weather I could ever have for a triathlon. I think it was in the mid 70's and it was cloudy. Even the humidity that had rolled in during the day seemed to clear out. There was a threat of some big thunderstorms, but all was clear.

The swim: The swim course ended up being a 2 loop 0.4 mile total course with a short beach run between the loops. I'm not a fan of a run in my swim, but it went well. And for me it was the best I have ever felt in a swim. I even got right in the pack and was part of the kicking/ pushing/ shoving, but it didn't throw me off much. Until I saw the results this morning I thought I had done a bit better statistically in the swim, I was 47/85 with a 13:25. But I felt really good and enjoyed it.

T1- This is where I lost tons of time last time I competed because I had a wetsuit on that time and sort of fumbled around. This time I didn't even wipe my feet off, just threw on a t-shirt, my socks, shoes, gloves and helmet and headed off. Time- 1:26, 48/85. (Time in 2006- 2:16)

Bike- The bike course is 6 loops of a 2.1 mile route. It's a bit boring, to understate it a little. I leapfrogged back and forth with one of the female team competitors that I know from the gym. She would pass me on the uphill and then I would catch her on the downhill. It was a good motivation, especially when mostly I was just getting passed, as I knew I would. I was really working, though, I had told myself I was going to push as hard as I could in the race and I really felt strong on the bike. The only negatives were that I have a hard time drinking on my bike and oh yeah, I threw up. I didn't even have any warning on it, all of a sudden my mouth was just full and I was spitting it off my bike. Somehow I menaged to miss both me and bike, but it was gross. Total time: 45:58, 66/85. (Time in 2006 for the same course- 46:20)

T2- Felt a bit shaky getting off the bike. I'd been telling myself to drink some water in transition and I promptly forgot after changing my shoes, grabbing my hat and running off. Time- 1:14 74/85 (2006 time- 1:30)

The run- I started off okay. Then about a quarter mile in I felt cramps like I have never felt before. It was my calves and my stomach/side stitch. My calf muscles were just a ball of knots, I was trying to pick up my toes as much as possible between steps to stretch them a little. There a short but steep hill just before the mile mark and I was hurting at that point. At the water stop at the top I grabbed a drink of water and I'm not sure whether it was the water or the stretching from running up hill but my calves eased up. I was passed by about half a dozen people on the run, I think. My first mile must have been some horrendous split, but the second two were more comfortable. Running into the finish, though, my husband, my parents and the kids were sitting on the curb cheering for me and I was just so happy. Run time- 33:09 81/85. (2006 time- 31:07)

So I met most of my goals, the only one I really blew was the run goal. I wanted to finish under 1:40:00 and I was almost five minutes under that, although the swim was 0.4 miles and not 0.5. Next year I want five minutes off that bike time and at least that on the run. I'm going 1:25:00!

Right after I finished the thunderstorms rolled in so we didn't stay for food or awards. I think I've got a medal to pick up at the gym. I was pretty beat by the time we got home, showered, got the kids to bed and then fell into my own. I'm still a little sore this morning, but not as bad as I had anticipated. Next up- October's 10K.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

I'm all tapered

Because you taper for a sprint, right? It was an unintentional taper, but that's how it goes. I went for a group open water swim last Saturday morning and then nothing since then. Oh well. The OWS was awesome. The distance is supposedly 0.46 miles and I was done in just over 15 minutes, with a probably two minutes stopping for sighting problems, then some goggles adjustments and then looking around for the rest of the swimmers because somehow I got out pretty far ahead. The people I was swimming with, though, admit that their goal on the swim is to just not drown. So I look pretty fast next to them, but then they can drop me on the bike and run pretty quickly. Again, oh well.

So, tomorrow's the day. The weather looks awesome. Low 80's (maybe even 78 by the shore) with moderate humidity and possibly some cloud cover. I've heard the field this year is really big- 30 teams and 125 individuals. That's the twice the size of when I participated two years ago. I've got some goals, I should put them out there.
1. Have fun.
2. Work hard enough that I don't get to the end and say "I could have gone faster on the...." My husband remarked the other day that I've said that at the end of almost every race. I'm so worried about hitting the wall that I'm saving something, for what, I don't know.
3. Swim- 1/2 mile- 18:00
4. Bike- 12.6 miles- 47:00
5. Run- 3.1 miles- 29:00
6. Total- under 1:40:00
7. Place in Athenas, not sure how big that field is.

Oh yeah, and I'm still legally an Athena. My weight this morning was 150.5, so I gained back some of my stomach bug weight loss. I feel better knowing that I'm not cheating in any way, although I hope to be solidly under Athena weight for next season. I've decided I'm going to wear my tri suit. I used it in the OWS and it was surprisingly comfortable. I still feel a little like stuffed sausage wearing it, but I've been looking through pictures of past events and there are other people about my size wearing similar things, so I think it will be fine. I also realize that no one else is there to look at me and if they are, too bad.

After tomorrow, it's time to train for my October 10K. I've slacked on the running recently, I'm looking forward to getting back to it. And I'll get a better idea of what the end of an Olympic will feel like. I've got a few more people lined up for an '09 Olympic, it will be fun.