Sunday, April 29, 2012

O Solo Me-O

Yesterday slipped away without me having much of an idea where it even went.  My son left for Branson with a friend about 8:30 in the middle of the craziness of our neighborhood garage sales (though I didn't have one, I helped a neighbor with hers because I had stuck a few things of ours in it.  Plus the first hour is always insane.  Puttered around with the garage sales most of the morning.  Afternoon slipped away with laundry and some blog reading time plus watching a movie with my girl (Dolphin Tale).  Before long it was time to change for my date. 

Date night was relatively uneventful.  We really should get out more because when we finally did we were both a bit stumped on what to do - though bad luck plagued us trying to make plans.  My husband isn't big on movies, but had two he was kind of interested in.  Both were playing last week.  Both left their respective theatres on Friday. Grrr... We tried to go out to a winery that was supposed to have live music on Saturday nights.  After 15 min curvy drive out there, it was closed for the winter?!  WTF?!  We hardly had a winter and it has been springlike here since damned near Feb!  We settled for a margarita and a quesadilla at the Mexican joint on the way back into town.  Then gave up and went home.  We did go look around at Kohls for my Mother's Day gift (found a nice robe - all I have is a winter weight one) and then looked at a couple of places before purchasing some cushions for our porch chairs.  Got home and found out that they didn't fit.  Such is life.  Returned them today and got ones that did.  My bad for not measuring.  We did sneak in about a mile walk at the nature center which was sweet.  He said I couldn't complain to anyone about our lame date - it wasn't like we didn't try to do better. 

Today was church, big breakfast fundraiser (oh, we ate so much) and then reading the paper and chilling out.  Lowes trip in there somewhere, but the day slipped away again.  I tried about 3x to convince Susan to meet up for a run.  Struck out.  Called Stacy - struck out again.  So it was time to suck it up and go solo.  It was closing in on 8:00 so I put on my bright orange shirt (with reflective details) and headed out.  Got pretty dark on me, but knocked out 3.55 mi.

Need to count up the weeks, but I think it is time to get more organized about training for Pewaukee in July.  I haven't been in the pool since finishing the CTER 140.6 and that isn't cool.  My biking is coming along as is my running.  But need to do some strength training and go looking for my inner shark.  Kick me if I don't go to the pool this week! :)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Sweating with Friends

Shouldn't there be an app like that?  Who needs to play with WORDS?!  LOL - apparently Alyssa and Stacy as Alyssa was complaining about some 60+ point word Stacy threw out ("Dandiest" in case you play).  Nope - I think we should all have an app where we can work out together - sharing our groans, cuss words and farts.  Good times.

At the last minute, Stacy called for a workout meetup (another 8:30 PM workout, but better than skipping).  Except she wanted to meet at Alyssa's which is about 0.56 mi from my house (I mapped it - because I am a goober that tracks that stuff).  It was for some of the beloved time with Tony Horton - P90X baby!  So I ran there, sweated my ass off with three friends and ran back.  I even proclaimed how that made me a "Superstar" during the Mary Catherine moves on one part of the DVD.  LOL  Two of the three friends ate something today that stank up the room.  It was like SUAR herself was there!  Women after her own heart (or is that colon) anyway. 

Dh thinks he'll be home from the state Knights of Columbus meeting fairly early in the afternoon because he is going to mow so I may sneak off for a run or something if the weather cooperates (and maybe even if it doesn't completely).  Then it will be time to figure out what to wear for date night. :)

Alyssa, Colleen and Stacy are truly rock stars!!  Thanks guys!!  Do you ever sweat with friends? 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

God bless him

At 6:30 this morning, I may or may not have said something along the lines of "I might try to go for a bike ride tonight."  You see, my husband calls the kids on his way to work (at various job sites - an electrician) because they get up just before he has to BE at the job site (which is nearly always out of town by as little as 30 min and as much as 2 hours).  So I just mentioned it in passing after we discussed that we didn't have much on tap this evening.

After knocking out the drafting on nearly six pages of sanitary sewer plans today, I wasn't so much feeling it.  But the weather was warm (still 70° at bedtime!) and some clouds had started to form (so less hot than earlier in the day).  Dh (dear husband) asked if I was going on my bike ride.  I wondered aloud if I might get rained on.  He assured me that it wasn't likely.  Then I tried a lame excuse about being tired of my boring route.  He suggested I head a different way, but still close enough.  I tried to see if I should bag it to fix dinner.  He assured me that he'd cook the ham steak and it would be ready when I got home. 

No excuses left, I changed into my neon orange running shirt and bike shorts and clipped in for an hour of fun.  I mention that it is a "running" shirt only because it became obvious to me why people buy cycling jerseys.  Umm..they are longer in the back!  Thankfully, this shirt didn't contribute to "crack" issues, but I was a little aware of how much I bent over on the bike.

Road out to the other end of Algoa (big hill on way out), then across the highway on the overpass, down Liberty (and UP Liberty - long ass hellish hill), then across highway (at-grade intersection that is sometimes dangerous, but thankfully rather void of cars), then WHEE! down the hill by the Hwy Patrol and looped Scholastic before heading home.  Got to the house with 58 min on the watch and decided to ride up the street a ways to get in a full hour (plus a minute or so).  Total mileage was 13.79 - and I'm good with that because I averaged 13.5 mph even with some nasty climbing. 

But I really do need to find some different routes as I get to adding distance.  It is nice to have a change of scenery.  Got back and dh did indeed have our meat cooked (side dishes really aren't in his purview).  I ate several bites of the deliciously salty meat and drank some water while he and my son washed the dishes (apparently my daughter never made it inside to eat - oops).  Then dh wanted to go for a walk so I clicked off a couple more miles with him.  I kind of wanted to run it - how weird is that?!  But it was nice to just chat along and walk briskly with my tall guy (considering a year ago I couldn't have kept up with him much less held a conversation at that pace).  He managed to organize pawning off our daughter on his sister Sat evening (and son is going out of town with a friend) so SCORE - DATE NIGHT!!  Lovely news on our lovely walk.  God bless him.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Life nearly got in the way

Life nearly got in the way, but I succeeded in pressing on and getting in 3.5 miles this evening.  I was supposed to go for my standard Tue run with Susan and then life got in the way.  I was still up for squeezing it in, but she had lost the spirit and was deep into running errands (what every busy mom does on her "day off") and decided to bag it.  Weather was gorgeous so I still held out hope and finally called Stacy about 7 PM and asked if she was good for an 8:30 run (our standard time as she puts her kids to bed first).  She was game - YAY!  God bless her, even after coming home from the ball field and getting everyone run through the shower and headed towards bed.  We just did my neighborhood - one of our somewhat standard routes (plus a little). 

This morning my poor little girl had to have a tooth removed and that did a fair bit to screw up my day (and hers).  Tomorrow I'm going to have to hit work hard and catch up.  I have a deadline that is technically tomorrow afternoon, but I'd like to finish and suck up to the City review guys by turning it in before noon.  I had planned on turning it in today, but said tooth removal fouled up that plan as I had to keep her home to change the initial dressing and then find something for her for lunch.  But I'm in charge of pick up tomorrow too so I'll have to bust a move back to town by 3:00.  Never mind the client that wants his sewer plans that I said I'd only need a couple weeks to do a month ago.  Oops.  And wouldn't you know it, when I went to renew my library books - one had a stupid "hold" on it so I have to go by there tomorrow and return that one (plus the others I've read already).

Maybe the title of this post should be..."It's always something!"

Monday, April 23, 2012

More Running/Triathlon Book Reviews

I continue to be on a total inspirational biography kick.  No, I haven't gotten around to the Hunger Games books so I have no idea what the big deal is.  Still haven't read any Harry Potter books (though my son has been devouring them this school year).  Have only seen the Twilight movies (some of them) and never read the books.  But reading about talented athletes and what brought them to the various points in their lives where they made some impact on the history of our sport (and I'd dare say, our world) has me begging for more.

PRE:  I read this one a while ago.  It was pretty quick.  It was the biography of Steve Prefontaine - an incredible runner from Oregon.  Apparently one of the men that sparked the 70's running boom, he is just enough before my time (died just before I turned 3 - when he was 24), that I really didn't know anything about him.  My biggest take away from this book is that people who want to run well, though they are often blessed with natural talent, they also work super duper hard to get to that elite level.  Everyone wants to think that fast people are just born that way.  And while there is some element to genetics, I think this book (and several others) continues to point out to me that it is the people that put in the work that others aren't willing to who get there.  I had a similar feeling after reading Kathryn Switzer

Duel in the Sun: Story about the 1982 Boston Marathon battle between Dick Beardsley and Alberto Salazar.  Told a lot of the backstory of these two men and their lives before and after this crazy battle against the heat, the course and each other.  Again, this was a little before my time (in grade school) and I again enjoyed the historical aspect of this book and again saw the theme of people working really hard to achieve their dreams.

Iron War: It was interesting to read this book shortly after reading "Duel in the Sun" because the stories had similarities in that they were as much biographies of the two main characters as they were a story about the legendary race.  However, this book was better written on the whole and included some extremely interesting scientific background into endurance sports (though at times this part got a little long winded for me).  I especially liked the line "If you don't want to quit, you aren't doing it right".  I might have to write that on my arm for my next event/race.  This was closer to my time, but still long before I knew anything about triathlon and Ironman.  These guys really are amazing and I really enjoyed this book.  It seemed well researched, but it definitely delved into some personal issues on both sides with some possible conjecture that may have lead to the lawsuits (which originally made me question wanting to read this).

Run!:  Dean Karnazes shares 26 (and change) hilarious and inspirational stories about his life as a runner.  This book was a super easy read and thoroughly enjoyable.  I really enjoyed his book "50/50" (previously reviewed) and now I need to track down "Ultramarathon Man" because I really enjoy reading what this guy has to say.  He is a great author (no ghost writer here) and comes across as a very decent guy who happens to enjoy running long.  The only thing that would have made this book better would for it to be longer. 

Have a pretty good stack of books on my nightstand that I continue to wade through.  When I run out of good running and triathlon books, I'll get around to the Hunger Games.  As I've said before, no one has yet to offer to let me review a book by sending me a free copy (would love to read Chrissie's new book!) - all of these books were obtained from the public library.  All opinions are my own.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Back in the Saddle Again

I had a pretty lazy, although incredibly busy, week and my workouts suffered.  Nothing Wed, Thur or Fri save hiking around a conference in heels (and at the Lake of the Ozarks, that is a bit of a workout because the resort is on a freakin hillside).  Wed I was freaking out due to a massive technology fail.  Got my laptop out of the shop at 6 PM.  Not good when leaving at 7 AM for a conference where I was to give a presentation that was only on said laptop.  STRESS!!  Thankfully, I had given the presentation 3 other times so I was solid on it and didn't even panic when the freakin laptop decided to reboot and install some stupid update 3/4 of the way through the presentation. 

But the bad news is without my laptop for the greater part of a week (and a healthy dose of procrastination), I hadn't written the slides for my Friday presentation (same conference).  I tried staying up Thur night, but the laptop wouldn't connect to the internet and I tried a few workarounds to no avail.  Pretty hard to go grab some images when I can't get online.  I said "Fuck it" at 10 PM and crashed into bed.  Got up and skipped the first half of the first session to stop in at Staples and pick up a sticky note flip chart and some flip chart markers and gave a 1.5 hour presentation very OLD SCHOOL.  I had a basic outline of what I wanted to cover and it came out perfectly.  Too bad that it was the last session and only about 15 people came.  Though they seemed engaged and it was probably better than the "death by Powerpoint" that it would have been otherwise.

Amongst all of this, I made sure my husband got my daughter to a Girl Scout event, I packed lunches each day at 5:30 AM and dropped kids off at school at 7:00 to get to the Lake by 8:00 for the conference, remembered to have daughter wear spirit shirt for the field trip on Friday, picked up a cute running tank for Susan at the Nike outlet for her birthday which was Friday (and invited her to stop by to pick it up and chat for a bit) and wrote a Statement of Qualifications that had to be submitted by 5 PM Friday for some possible engineering work (delivered at 4:30 after I picked up the kids, dropped off the neighbor's kids, came home and printed, etc).

Finished reading another awesome book this week when I was restless and couldn't get to sleep (plus some today).  I'm behind on some book reviews so I'll try to get to that this week.  Today I did a lot of mom duty driving kids here there and everywhere, but with them gone half the day, I got some work done for a meeting on Monday and laundry and the like.  It was a beautiful day, but I procrastinated going out for a bike ride (after a 2 week hiatus from riding).  Finally got moving and knocked out 13.7 miles in an hour.  Not bad.  Husband did some minor adjusting to my saddle afterwards and I'm looking forward (sort of) to another bike ride to see how it feels after another hour or so back in the saddle.  Now if I can just drag my ass back to the pool.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Katy Trail in the Sunshine

Tuesday comes and it is like my body knows that it is time to run with Susan.  I texted her last night and we decided to meet up at 9 AM at the Katy Trail.  I've been feeling a little twinge here and there (arch of foot, shins, knee, ITB) and just didn't want to beat the pavement.  The trail is a bit more forgiving with its gravel surface and flat terrain.  It was cool and super foggy when I got up this morning, but the sun came out by the time I left to meet her and I ended up only mildly cold in my tech tee and capris.  We headed east on the trail and there is a lot of shade there.  I was perfect in the sunshine, but under the tree canopy it was cooler (especially given the moist air from all our recent rain).  We did 4.4 miles and then shared an orange before going our separate ways. 

I convinced her to go splurge on a new pair of running shoes for her birthday this week.  Why is it that many of us struggle with spending money on ourselves (especially the moms)?  I swear, her shoes were long overdue replacing!  She called me a little later and told me she had gone to the running store in Columbia and got a gait analysis and properly fitted for a great new pair and I was just so pleased for her.  I'm going to see if I can find some kind of new top for her at the Nike outlet when I head to the lake this week for a conference.  Would love to wrap that up for her to thank her for all her friendship and support for my slow running this winter.

Better get some work done.  Woke up at 2 AM and had trouble getting back to sleep as I thought about my crazy to do list.  Enough procrastinating!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Rainy Sunday

We got more and more rain last night and today.  There were periods of dryer weather, but none bike appropriate.  And the rain usually came with lightening and thunder so didn't want to be too far from home regardless.  Bike will have to wait - maybe tomorrow.  Today was relatively lazy - mass, breakfast, read the paper, watch a movie, hang out and take walk with hubby, dinner, grocery shop, pick up pieces for first communion banner from friend who ordered them, etc.  Gee, when I write it out - it looks like more than it was.  It really was some good down time. 

Stacy wanted to run tonight.  I really wasn't feeling it.  Was more sore from the 5K than I should have been.  But I told her to run here (she lives a couple miles away) and then run a few with me (just under 3 as it turns out) and then run back or have my husband drive her home (since it was dark).  She chose to run it all.  What a fiend! 

Heard from a lady at the 5K yesterday that Map My Ride/Run web site has a challenge to finish a half marathon in 2 weeks or a marathon in 4 weeks (and a 3rd longer one that I can't recall).  You can sign up between now and June.  But when you complete any of the challenges, you can get a discount code to the Rock-N-Roll Series.  Since I'm still on the fence about doing the half in St. Louis in October with Susan, I figured better safe than sorry and signed up for the challenge.  Shouldn't be too hard to get the running in (it wasn't for the CTER 140.6).  Just have to remember to log it all on MMR.  I'm not sure how much the discount is, but anything is nice really.

Thinking about and praying for all those choosing to go ahead and run Boston tomorrow.  So hard to not do it if you've been training for it.  Just hoping everyone keeps their egos in check and is safe.  Found out a friend's husband is doing it and I'm so pleased for him.  He has also signed up for IMAZ so I'm stoked to hear all about that training too.

Busy week coming up.  Better get myself off to bed early so that I can face it all. 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Ava Brown Memorial 5K

Other possible titles for this blog post:
- Last Minute Decision
- 5K PR
- Because SuperKate Said So
- Between Downpours

This morning I ran with the Brown family to remember their sweet baby girl who passed away from SIDS.  It really was a super last minute decision though I had thought about it on and off for a while.  I was seriously still in my pajamas less than an hour before the race.  It STORMED all night - like thunder, lightening and downpour (5+ inches of rain in the gauge).  It was pouring when I woke up.  As I sat reading Facebook, blogs and emails this morning - the rain started to lighten up and I looked at the radar.  It was only to be a little pocket of less rain followed by more orange, red and yellow stuff.

My son was at my mother-in-law's for the night and my husband left to take our daughter to piano lessons.  I sat here and tried to decide what to do.  The race was at 9:00 and I looked at the computer's clock and it was 8:20.  What the heck - SuperKate told me to run this!  Throw on my capris, sports bra, duathlon tech tee - darn!  Running socks in laundry!  Oh well, cotton will have to do (Please Lord don't let us get too wet!)  Speedlaces let the shoes slip right on and I grabbed my wallet and out the door I went.  Ate a granola bar as I drove into town.  Another downpour on the way into town.  Geez, what am I doing?  Stopped by ATM for $20 to enter race. 

Got there about 15 min before it started and registered.  Nothing like last minute!  No shirt - that's fine as I don't need another and more of my fee will go to charity anyways.  Walked back to starting area and stretched a bit.  Saw only one or two folks I knew.  They had over 200 pre-register but the weather kept the turnout relatively low (though more than you might have thought with the very brief break in the rain).  Pretty soon, Ava's Dad did a short welcome and then started the event. 

We took off out of Memorial Park and I found a couple people to hang on to.  Orange shoe/pink compression sock lady and I did some leap frogging.  She ended up besting me on some uphills.  For a while I tried to hang on to Ava's big brother (cutie pie Zachary).  He outran me for a while, but I finally was able to get in front of him (though he took 2nd in his age group LOL).  Ran with a guy pushing a regular (non-jogging) stroller for a while.  The uphill section at the end did us both in, but he was able to run better once we were on the flat just before the finish and came in just before me.  I came in just after 36 min on the clock.  I'll have to check official results, but that is about a 4.5-5 min PR for me.  Still need to work on getting under 30 min for a 5K, but a PR is a PR no matter what. 

I've been regrouping mentally this week.  I've been looking hard at training plans and how multiple races affect those plans.  You guys are right - I'm racing myself and shouldn't worry about how fast or slow I am compared to others.  I know I've come a long way.  Stomach bug took me out on Wed-Thur this week.  The up side is that I finally hit my "off-season" weight loss goal (a week late).  But I'm sure as I eat this weekend some of that will come back.  Have a girls night out with a friend in from Kentucky tonight.  No big plans for tomorrow - will see if the weather is conducive to a bike ride.  Busy week coming up so I'd better get some workouts in while I can.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Head games

Thank you for all your kudos and comments on the duathlon.  I think I was feeling pretty negative about it for a number of reasons.  First and foremost was that I just didn't expect it to be so hard.  I mean, I've done those distances before.  I had done some practice workouts in the weekends leading up to it that didn't suck so badly.  I really thought it would just be a fun time.  And it was a real hit to the ego to be suffering pretty early on.  Yes, the conditions were less than ideal, but I really don't think that was what did me in.  I think if it had been as hot as the weather we'd been having, I would have suffered much more.

Don't get me wrong, I never doubted finishing - but I was hurting a lot more than I thought I should be.  I've tried breaking it down a bit, but the only thing I can think of was that I pushed my pace more than I do during training because I didn't want to be DFL (though I was close).  Coming off the bike was brutal so I definitely need to do some more hard bike rides followed by some running.  I know I've been slacking on my swimming so I will need to amp that up too (which is just really a side note - not related to the du). 

My ego hit has also made me start doubting the idea of finishing an Oly this year.  Before the race, I was like "I've swam 1500 m before - no biggie" and "I've biked 18-19 miles before without feeling like it was that hard - could surely add 5-7 more" and "I've jogged/walked 8.4 mi before - 6.2 shouldn't be that bad".  But what became absolutely apparent on Saturday is that putting it all together will be a super challenge.  Yes, I can train harder and get to the point where I can finish.  But what am I going to do with my training to really "get there"?  And can I stomach being last again?  It is really demoralizing to me.  That said, I'm still thinking about it.  The two front runners (though if I got to the point where I really felt I could, I might try both) are the Lake St. Louis tri on 8/25 and the Redman OKC tri on 9/23 (part of Club Championships so tri club would partially sponsor my travel).  But am I crazy to aim this high?  Both races also offer sprints.

Regardless, I'm signed up for the Pewaukee sprint the weekend after the 4th of July (and my kids are doing their races again).  And I'll likely redo the Show Me Games sprint 2 weeks later (and see if I can avoid the DFL this year).  I'd like to find a tri that made sense to do before July and then make the solid decision (ie. sign up!) for something later in the season.  No matter what I feel like I need to be following some kind of plan because I am flying a bit too much by the seat of my pants and maybe that is what did me in at the du.

In the end, I'm just doing a lot of thinking right now.  I'm not in the best of head space so maybe I just need to sit on this for a little bit.  Another week and maybe my head will be clearer.  I tried to go on a walk/jog with Stacy last night.  I wasn't up for much running though I keep up with her fast walk better than I used to.  We did a couple miles, but it was more social than workout.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Did the Du

I took it pretty easy this week though I had not intended to be quite so lazy.  Got busy (and lazy) and didn't do much the rest of the week.  Did got to a quick packet pickup yesterday afternoon.  Last night my husband challenged my son to run to the corner, then walk back into Wakoda Woods and out and then run home.  I told him I'd do it with him.  I just had on jeans, but this really isn't an excuse for the way he dropped me like a bad habit.  Now realize, though he is almost 11 (in May), he is 5'2" and 125+ pounds - not a small boy but also not particularly athletically inclined.  I was a bit impressed that he could sustain the pace and didn't seem too worse for the wear after the first run.  When he dropped me on the run back, I was surprised until I caught up and he was having a total mental meltdown with tears and the whole nine yards.  He hasn't figured out how to adjust his pace and he had psyched himself out.  He couldn't just enjoy the fact that he had smoked me, but rather he was throwing a fit (not cute at this age btw) that he couldn't just sit down (we encouraged him to walk until his heart rate came down, but the tears and snot were precluding that).  Frustrating for him and us.

We went to a long mass last night for Good Friday and came home to a pretty chill evening.  Daughter headed to grandma's for the night and we all turned in relatively early.  I slept fitfully - excited and nervous about today.  Woke up a lot to check the clock - maybe paranoid the alarm wouldn't go off?  Anyway, got up about 5:45 and dressed.  It was a tough call with the cool weather that moved in this week.  They were calling for afternoon rain, but 70° - but morning low was in the mid-40's.  I settled on my tri shorts, a tech tee, my light running jacket, some semi-disposable gloves, my lucky ear band (from XLMIC - thought I could channel my inner honey badger on those hills) and then slipped on sweatpants (way too large now, but with a drawstring good enough) to keep warm.  I was glad I had those! 

My sweetie and I kissed our son goodbye and headed to Columbia (returning briefly when he realized he didn't bring a chair to sit on while he waited for me).  We got to the site and I waited while he parked a couple blocks down.  MaxTrax Duathlon is a pretty small race, but well attended locally.  After setting up transition, getting body marked (which was silly because it was covered), and getting my timing chip - hung out for a bit.  Then went for a very short warm up run, stood in line for the portopots, tinkled a bit and headed for the starting line.

Warm and feeling strong before the start.  Sun wouldn't last. 
Ditched the pants and headband just before the start.

Listening to race instructions - not sure why I look constipated here.

Listened to the national anthem and then it was time to be off on the first 1.5 mile run loop.  The folks doing the long course were a speedy bunch and I was at the back of the pack by the time we left the parking lot.  Only folks near me were much older.  I leapfrogged with a gal that was 64 (according to her calf) and passed her just before the end of the loop.  For me, it was a solid pace - 10:42 min/mile - and there was a wicked uphill at the end.  But I managed to run (aka "jog") a good portion of the loop.  Peeled off my gloves pretty early on and stuck them in my jacket pockets.

First run loop finished...the old lady is now behind me,
but everyone else doing the long course is in front of me
Transitioned to the bike pretty quickly.  Had a sweet rack spot right next to the Bike Out/Bike In which helped.  Off to start my 2 x 7.5 mile loops.  I had looked at the elevation profile and it didn't "look" that bad.  It started out flat/downhill, but then the first uphill wasn't steep, but seemed to last a while and was just after a turn where I kind of had to slow down (though I will note here that we had AWESOME intersection support with volunteers and police).  I got up the hill and through the intersection and passed a couple people on the next downhill and got passed by the only guy who came out of transition after me.  He was obviously more of a biker than a runner.  I cranked away, but suffered on a long uphill by the fairgrounds (also not that steep but the lack of shoulder unnerved me a bit when a couple cars came kind of close).  The terrain was pretty rolling, but the uphills were longer than any momentum you built on the downhills.  There was a seriously fun long downhill on BlueRidge, but then you had to slow to turn and then climb Derby Ridge. 

That last hill was tough, but you knew at the top you'd get a glimpse of your cheering section.  I was seriously annoyed that I had been slightly talked into doing the long course at this point.  I really didn't want to do the bike loop again.  But I got a couple drinks on the flat/downhill and kept pedaling away.  Husband missed getting a pic on my bike.  It was awesome having him there to cheer for me though - he wore this crazy bright carhartt (safety orange) sweatshirt so I could see him 3 blocks away.  The second loop went about like the first on the bike.  My knees were getting cold, but otherwise everything felt ok.  I did notice just before the 2nd to last turn that I had dropped a glove on the first bike loop - mental note to pick it up afterwards.  Fifteen miles on bike = 1:07:30 = avg pace 13.3 mph (solid for me!).

As I came in from the bike, I was dreading the run.  I was getting pretty tired and sore and my legs felt gooey as I unclipped and prepared to dismount.  I stopped and couldn't get my leg to lift over the bike.  I didn't fall though I felt like I could have.  I tried to jog out of transition, but my legs wouldn't heed the command.  I was hurting and nearly wanted to cry thinking about having 3 more miles to do (with a big uphill in the middle and end).  I walked out of the parking lot and the volunteers are trying to cheer me on with "You're almost done" and I said "No - two laps to go - UGH!"

At the first turn, it started to sprinkle.  I tried to jog down the hill.  Sometimes my legs would cooperate and sometimes they wouldn't.  As I turned back to the west, the sky was getting dark.  I tried to pick up the pace again, but my legs wanted nothing of it.  Got to the top of the hill and was so glad to be starting the 2nd lap and it helped to have my husband cheer me on.  But 1.5 mi in 21:06 min was nothing to be that proud of.  Man, why didn't I do the short course??  I'd be long done by now!!  SHIT!!  Thanked the volunteers as I went and felt bad that they were still standing there waiting for me and a couple others to finish as it really started to RAIN.  Now I really, really wanted to be done.  So I counted mailboxes - jogging four or five at a time and then walking a couple.  Spelling out "M-A-I-L-B-O-X" with my left footfall to make it go by.  Then spelling out the number too (O-N-E, M-A-I-L-B-O-X).  Anything to get my mind off the fact that I was now getting pretty wet and pretty cold and my ass was hurting on both sides (usually it is just the RAC).

Saw my husband get up to cheer me in.  He was a trooper of a spectator - already moving the truck closer to us and loading up his chair to get it out of the now pouring rain.  Finished a little stronger on the 2nd loop (probaby due to wanting to get out of the rain) = 19:19 for the 1.5 mi (better pace for me). 

Really ready for this to be over and fighting to finish in the rain.
Slogged my way through the finish chute as they were calling out the award ceremony.  Grabbed my cool Maxtrax pint glass and caught my breath as I talked to my husband.  Final time for the 19.5 miles was 2:06:22 - within a few minutes of my guess.  Ended 120/121 for long course folks (held off the 64 year old woman!) and 8/8 in my age group.  But I finished.

The slump of my shoulders is indicative of how I was feeling here. 
Didn't know husband was taking this shot or I'd have tried to fake a better finish smile. 
The gal to my right was racked near me at the Show Me Games last year
and commented that I was "shrinking".  So nice of her to say!
They were dismantling the transition area quickly due to the rain so my bike was laying over there so we got that and headed back across so I could get a couple slices of pizza.  What sounded good as I started out on the run (jealous to watch folks eating it when I was facing the 3 mi death march), didn't so much when I got it.  I nibbled on one piece and shared most of the other with my sweet husband.  We loaded up and headed out - as I just got colder as I stood there in the rain.  He fired up the heater and we went back to pick up my glove.  Then headed out so he could get some lunch as he had failed to pack food for himself.

Stopped in at Culvers and I still didn't feel like eating much, but did have a little ice cream and take a quick pit stop before we went home.  The truck heater finally defrosted and dried out my feet by the time we got back, but the hot shower was nice too. 

Had a pretty lazy afternoon with some foam rolling, resting in the recliner and reading of "Iron War".  Never took a nap that I had hoped to, but such is life.  Tomorrow we'll do all the Easter stuff with the in-laws.  Luckily that is just across the street and all I have to do is throw together a 7 layer salad.  I think my lettuce wilted all up so I need to pick up some more after mass tomorrow.  Will leave you with a little shot my husband and daughter set up to celebrate:

(Colored actual eggs by kiddos, pretty and yummy cookies from neighbor)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

"Easy" Run

I'm trying not to overdo this week, but the stars aligned for a quick run with Susan this morning.  After her morning meeting, we hooked up at the Edgewood trailhead on the Greenway for an "easy" run.  I told her I didn' t want to go all that far or go all that fast and she said that was fine because she was still recovering from her week in Hawaii (conference and family trip).  Must be rough, huh.

Anyway, we did a fair bit of chatting (which meant more walking) and ran one short hill near the turn around.  A lot of my runs have been kind of sucky lately so I was pleasantly surprised that this one wasn't.  I'm sure the company made it a lot more bearable, but I generally was feeling ok too.  Even felt strong and fast on that uphill kick.

Got home and mapped it out.  We did 4.13 miles.  Yay!  Will probably try to hit the pool with the kids being on Easter break and then maybe take a short run or an easy bike ride before making Friday a full on rest day before Saturday's duathlon.  I'm getting excited to see what I can do (or du as the case may be).

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Family BBQ + Masonry

I never made it out yesterday.  I decided it would be wise to shower and rest a bit before the onslaught of 4 (additional to my daughter) giggly second grade girls for the five hour birthday party.  And that was a bit of its own marathon though I did sit and watch part of the new Muppet movie with them.  Chicken nuggets for dinner - so classy.

Today continued the crazy week I've had.  Got up early-ish and got dressed for Palm Sunday.  The boys went last night so my husband to tackle the bbq-ing all morning.  Daughter and I stood through the entire reading of the Passion and 80 min later, we finally got released from the longest mass we've been to in ages.  Hit the grocery store and then back home to throw everything together for yet another birthday gathering. 

This one was kind of a big family thing.  Been a while since we've been together so when my daughter suggested a bbq to celebrate her birthday, I capitulated.  Only later did it dawn on me, the exact same group would be together next weekend for Easter.  Oh well.  When I say "big family" - it is a relative term.  It is "just" my husband and myself, his two sisters, one brother-in-law, his two parents (plus dad's girlfriend), and our collective 8 children (ages 7-next week, 8, 9, 10, 10, almost 11, 11 and 14) = 16.  His brother is currently deployed overseas and his wife is back on base (Norfolk - and they have no children).  We are blessed (most of the time) to have so much of my husband's immediate family close to us.

In just the hour or so after mass, I made two huge pans of hashbrown casserole, a batch and a half of fruit salad, cut up carrots and celery, mixed up a gallon of orange Koolaid, and warmed up 3 cans of corn.  Nothing fancy and certainly only borderline healthy at best.  My husband did the pork steaks and hot dogs to round out the meal.  I had made the cakes yesterday when making the cupcakes for the other party and iced them before bed last night so that was taken care of.  I did dig out a "8" candle to get the proverbial "blowing out" picture.

Weather was actually kind of hot, but after we all gorged ourselves - the kids (and some of the adults) played outside for most of the afternoon.  My daughter got a few gifts and blew out her candle.  We got everything cleaned up and at 4:30 I was trying to get myself pysched up to do a brick workout.  It was still hot, but nothing to do but suck it up, sweetheart.

I ended up doing the bike workout from last week with the end run from last week (so just shaved off the short run before the bike from my duathlon test run).  I was not in a good head space on most of the bike.  This was not helped by a bottle drop early on which I decided to circle back and pick up.  I got back from my 13+ miles and everyone had left so my husband had set up my transition area in front of the garage (bless him) and was reading the paper on the deck.  He asked me how it was and I told him it was "hard, but that if it were easy - everyone would do it".  He said if it were easy, I'd be on the couch right now and skipping the workout altogether.  So true.  The conversation was short though because I had pulled on my running shoes and headed out again.  There was far too much walking on this "run".  I just was not feeling it (other than feeling hot).  I listened to some music, but I mostly just slogged my way through it. 

So glad I have last weekend's workout to offset the mental crap from this week.  Will probably do something with Stacy tomorrow night and a short-ish (< 4 mi) run with Susan on Tue and maybe hit the pool with the kids on Wed since they are out of school for Easter break.  Need to try to "taper" a bit for the duathlon on Saturday.  I'm kind of getting excited about it because my husband suggested maybe he'd come along and be my cheerleader/sherpa/#1 fan (probably without the kids so he doesn't have to listen to them whine).  He said he was stoked to hear it was a looped course so he'll get to see me a bunch (once on the first run, twice on the bike and twice on the 2nd run).  I hope it helps me suck it up too.