Friday, July 27, 2012

Ride w/ Friends & "Nexts"

Walter texted me all week trying to coordinate a group ride for last night.  Scattered storms moved through Wednesday night and Thursday morning and dropped the temps into the 90's.  The humidity went up though so I wasn't sure how it would end up feeling at 5:30 PM.  And I was juggling work, kid pickup from two different day camps, and report delivery with trying to get there on time.  I texted that I was on my way at 5:25 and would be just a few minutes late.

We met at the Ellis Blvd plaza parking lot.  Walter had invited Bruce, Andrew and Bree to join us.  Walter and Bruce are engineers, Andrew is an engineering student interning with them and Bree is a math teacher at the technical college.  What a bunch of geeks we are!

The ride started out with Bruce falling over trying to unclip at a roundabout about 1/4 mi in.  Poor guy!  But I was glad it wasn't me since it usually is.  We headed out Ellis to Greenberry to Clark through downtown around the Capitol and out Main.  We paused for a drink at Memorial Park and I started thinking I wasn't going to make it to St. Martins with the crazy heat and that wicked hill by Binder Lake.

We rode out Truman/Ten Mile Dr and then Walter decided to help me shorten the route by splitting off from the group on Rainbow and go down to Apache Flats and back up to Big Horn by the roundabout on Old Lohman.  We waited at the convenience store there for about 10-15 min for the group.  I refilled a bottle with ice water and ate a pretty melted granola bar while chatting for a bit.  Once the others caught up, we headed out to Fairgrounds, County Park, Rolling Hills Road and back to Route C.  I took my turn pulling and tried to push my pace so that I wasn't slowing everyone down.  Then we circled back to Ellis and got back right at the 2 hour mark for a total of 20.3 mi. 

I've decided that Walter is a bit of the "bike dad".  He helped me adjust my helmet strap that I've never taken the time to get quite right.  He also checks on everyone to make sure they are safe and have anything they need.  He isn't offended by making on the fly adjustments so that you can enjoy the ride - even if it is shortening or adding a stop to rest for a minute.  Bree had rode from her house so he rode with her home to make sure she got back safely.  I passed him in my truck on his way back.  His kids are mostly grown (youngest is in college) so maybe old habits just die hard.  I think it is sweet. 

Always nice to get in a good workout with friends.  Riding with a group is still new to me and I struggle with uncertainty in my bike handling and all of the roadie etiquette.  I find it hard to follow at the right pace - usually too slow, but sometimes I ride up too fast.  But I'm getting the hang of it and hopefully the others enjoy having an extra face along even if the heat kicks my butt.

I've been looking around to figure out "what's next" and have found at least the first "next" thing.  On 8/11, I am going to celebrate my 39th birthday with a trail run/race called "Kicks in the Sticks" out at Binder.  I've never run on this kind of trail so we'll see how it goes.  At least there will be shade.  There will also be food, beverages and music!  Gotta drop off my registration today.  Susan has tentatively agreed to do it with me though we are still deciding between the 3.5 mi and the 7.5 mi route.  We may play it by ear and see how bad the heat/humidity is that night.  I'm leaning toward the longer route just because.

Another "next" is the Epic Mud Run at Midway on Labor Day weekend.  My husband actually wants to do this with me.  We aren't going for speed - just fun!  Eighteen obstacles including zombies from Fearfest, a color obstacle and more water, mud and fun than you can shake a stick at.  All while cruising along a 3 mi course to a finish line beer garden.  Too bad I don't drink beer.  Tentatively have two other friends to do it with us.  Still recruiting for more so let me know if you want to come to Mid-MO over Labor Day weekend for some fun!  I saw on FB that Luke from Team Virtus snagged the $10 coupon from Ultramax's FB so I hope that means I'll see him there.

Looking for at least one or two triathlons before the end of September.  Need to get with it and register for something before time gets away from me.  Hopefully I can decide in the next week or so.  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Show Me State Games Race Report

Finished my fourth sprint triathlon on Sunday morning at the Show Me State Games in Columbia, Missouri.  This race is only 30 minutes from my house and has to be about the cheapest triathlon out there - $25 if you pre-register (and only $30 day of)!  The course starts in Phillips Lake with a half mile swim, then leaves the park on a 15 mile out and back bike ride that doesn't contain any crazy hill grades (not out of your seat mostly), and finishes with two laps running around the lake with nearly no change in elevation.  As far as courses go, it is pretty top notch (aka beginner friendly). 

As far as race management goes, it is low rent and I guess you get what you pay for.  Bike racks are first come, first served and apparently aren't required to be used as some people just laid their bikes here, there and everywhere.  This year they added a timing chip to your run shoe, but this only gave you your total time - no split information.  Still, it was nice to actually SEE a finish line as opposed to last year when they just had someone writing down your time on a clipboard and you weren't even sure if you crossed the line.  There was no post-race snacks (or at least that I saw - my kids said that they were giving out beef sticks at the end because the beef council was a sponsor, but I never saw them).  They ran out of water on the run course (only had one jug at one station) when the temps were in the 90's and headed into the 100's. 

OK, enough bitching.  On to the report.  Got up about 5:30 and ate half of a peanut butter sandwich.  I really wasn't feeling it, but was hoping to get my bowels moving along and wanted to have some kind of calories in.  I packed another half sandwich and banana, but didn't manage to choke them down pre-race.  I managed to go to the bathroom a little, got dressed and packed everything up to leave while the kids got dressed and my husband loaded my bike, chairs, cooler, etc into our truck.  God bless him!  We hit the road about 6:15 and got to the race shortly after registration started.  Got my race numbers, cheapo t-shirt and went to set up transition.  Checked on the kids and husband who'd set up in a shady spectator area.  Daughter took a quick pic and pretty soon it was time to head to the start.

Too bad daughter didn't get this completely in focus.
SWIM:  They did one single wave mass start.  It wasn't all that organized, but I was in about the middle of those who went in the water.  I got swum over a little bit, but for the most part I had clear water.  On the back stretch, I got just to the rear and side of a guy with a lot of splash in his kick and I seemed to get a spray in the face every time I turned to breathe.  Ugh.  I didn't have the issues I had at Pewaukee even though this swim was twice as long (give or take).  It probably helped that the water wasn't quite as warm, but I mosty just focused on taking five or seven or ten breaths and then sighting and catching my breath with a breast stroke or two and then starting over again.  Before long, the buoys were going by and the end was in sight.  I got out of the water and looked at my watch and was pleased with what I saw.  This race doesn't do splits (did I mention it was low rent?) - so my kids and husband tried to track it for me.  They said I did it in 21:42 minutes - less than twice the time for around twice the distance from Pewaukee.
Son captured this one of me running up the ramp.  Glad to see people behind me, but wonder why my top unzipped during the swim.  I think the look on my face shows how glad I was for the swim to be over though.

Daughter shot this one of my trying to run into T1 strong.  The lake/ramp is to the left and the parking lot/T1 is to the right.  Spectator "seating" under those great shade trees in the background.
T1:  Wiped feet, put on helmet, socks, bike shoes and headed out.  Oops - sunglasses still on towel.  Didn't realize it until I was heading into the sun.  Oh well.  I can see good enough without the Rx so it wasn't a big deal.  Approximate time - 2:01
Heading out on bike - daughter needs to learn to zoom
BIKE:  The bike course came out of the park up a slight hill and then turned onto Gans Road, up over the interchange and around the outer road to New Haven - out and almost to Rangeline through several rollers and then turn around and come back.  I had a headache almost immediately and started drinking the gatorade and water I had on the bike.  The water wasn't cold enough - I should have frozen the bottle or used one with better insulation.  But the gatorade fought off the icky feeling I was having.  I got passed by a few people and only passed one or two people, but I felt like it was a solid ride.  I tried to drink as much as I could especially on the last downhill before the dismount line.  Unclipped and got back into transition without incident.  Fifteen miles in  1:04:15 for approximately 14.0 mph.
Getting ready to dismount in front of my adoring fans
T2:  Took off helmet and shoes, slipped on running shoes (still loving my yankz!) and headed out.  Approximate time - 1:06

RUN:  Here is where it all fell apart.  You really couldn't ask for an easier run course.  It is two loops around a lake with almost no elevation change (one clockwise and one counter-clockwise).  It is mostly a crushed gravel trail with just a few short sections at the spillways that are concrete or larger gravel.  The one downside is that the area surrounding the lake was redone a few years back and has no mature trees (ie. no shade).  Did I mention the temps were climbing quickly and the humidity this time of year is insane?  But in the end, it was my lack of training in these temps that did me in.  I walked most of the course.  I tried to run for 15-30 seconds at a time hoping to make it go by faster, but I felt really bad.  Passed the water station at mile one as the lady was tipping the jug trying to get water out.  I should have stopped and took the last cup of water, but I thought I would just get it when I looped back around at the 2 mile mark. 

But by the turn around I was feeling bad and just wanted this to be over.  I tried to look strong and jog a bit as the kids and husband cheered, but I was getting worried I wouldn't make it to the end.  So I just hung on and tried to jog my way back to the water station.  I had seen a truck head over there and thought they were bringing more water.  Nope - apparently they just collected the girl and jug and left.  No water on a hot July Missouri day.  Not cool!  I was starting to feel kind of sick so I walked a lot of the last mile.  I'd jog 50 paces and then walk until I could catch my breath and try again.  But in the last 1/4 mi or so, it wasn't working.  I would start to hyperventilate as I tried to breathe and I just trudged on.  I was bonking hard and by the time I crossed the finish line, I couldn't think of anything other than getting myself to the shade and drinking as much as I could.   Run time: 43 for 13:52 min/mi. 
Picture doesn't completely convey how atrocious I feel here as I ran into the finish line.
Total time (per race director): 2:12:21 - 6/6 in age group - with a total of six people finishing after me (though a few literally passed me in the last 1/4 mi, but NOT LAST like last year (which I finished in 2:42:54)!

Post-Race:  Sat in the shade and finished most of a bottle of orange gatorade and felt mostly better.  Loaded up my stuff and the family's spectators stuff and headed out while they were finishing the awards.  After a shopping trip to Bass Pro and lunch at Olive Garden, I spent most of the rest of the day sipping water and chilling in the A/C.

Monday (last night) - Stacy called and wanted to go for a run at 8:30 (when it was STILL 98° outside).  I agreed if she would keep it short.  I really didn't want to go, but I sucked it up for just under 2 mi.  I was drenched and drank a ton of water before showering and getting ready for bed.  Hid out in the A/C again today.  Heat is not my friend! 

Sister called today and asked what was next.  Still trying to figure it out.  The heat makes me want to say "nothing", but I like racing and want to see if I can find one or two more this season before the fall running races get going (seems like October is "5K" month).  I had wanted to shoot for an Oly in Sept, but the sprints keep kicking my ass enough that I have some fear of tackling something twice as long.  On the other hand, having such a big hairy goal may just be what I need to kickstart my motivation to train that has been waning lately.  The flip side is that I am worried I've "lost that loving feeling" with triathlon and don't want to get to the point where I don't want to train at all.  Will mull it over and make a decision soon - otherwise, my non-decision will be a decision.   

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

In just one year...

How can one year change your life?  It can happen in all sorts of ways.  Do you think this is at least part of the reason we celebrate birthday, anniversaries and maybe even holidays in general?  We all get the same amount of days, weeks, months, hours and minutes.  But a mixture of the choices we make and what fate brings our way can sure make that 365 days maintain more or less status quo or completely turn our worlds upside down (for the good or the bad or, sometimes, just different).

On July 18, 2011, I first started blogging.  It didn't really take long to decide to put my voice out there.  I've always been a bit of an oversharer - believing that there might be someone who would benefit from knowing my story.  I had been surfing blogs for only about a week after my first triathlon (which totally hooked me).  I enjoyed commenting on other blogs and decided it would be a great way to track my own progress on my fitness journey regardless if someone else read it or not.

Took me a bit to think of a blog name and I still wish I had a better header than the generic blue.  I keep thinking I'll take some pictures and come up with something better, but so far it just hasn't been a priority.  But having only recently conquered the nasty hill by my house on a bike (literally getting up it just a few weeks before my first tri), I felt like it was a fitting metaphor for the things I was overcoming physically and mentally.  "Climbing Those Hills" continues to be a way for me to track my own progress at overcoming obstacles. 

What I didn't really envision was how much I would be thrilled with the friends I would make that would take their precious time to encourage me and cheer me on as I worked toward bigger goals.  Keith from Canada was my first commenter ever.  His comments were thoughtful and helpful and encouraging.  He reminded me not to worry about what others thought when they saw me out there doing my workouts.  He said it was so much more important that I was simply out there.  Period.  After a year, I have 44 followers.  I don't know how many of those actually read all the drivel I put out there.  I'm not offended either way.  I will tell you that I still get a tad giddy for comments.  Know that each are read and appreciated - usually within minutes of them being posted because they drop to my phone via email.

I go back and read old posts from time to time to reflect on how this year has changed me.  When I started this blog I had lost about 23 lbs from my high in Jan 2011.  A year later, I'm down about another 27-30 lbs (depending on the day lately).  I still have some weight to lose, but I try not to necessarily focus on this as a goal, but as a byproduct of the other work I put in.  A year ago, fifteen miles on my heavy old mountain bike was about the absolute limit that I could go.  Now, I have finished 34 gravel miles on that bike and some 25-30 mile rides on the road bike I bought the beginning of spring.  A year ago, I didn't run at all.  Over the winter I built up to running some.  Probably dropped my "run" pace from 15-17 min/mile to 11-12 min/mile.  A year ago, I had just built up to being able to finish a half mile open water swim.  Hmm....not sure I've improved here much.  Let's see how Sunday goes.

I continue to be inspired by the runners, cyclists and triathletes I've "met" via the internet and look forward to someday meeting more of you in real life.  I look forward to another year to see where this journey will take me and the special roles each of you will play along the way.  Thank you for joining me. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Catch Up

So my workouts have been kind of here and there (when not MIA entirely), but my blogging has been even worse.  Need to rededicate myself to both as well as try to get more focus on my workload because it is all about to hit the fan if I don't.  So I'll catch up here and try to do better going forward.

Post-triathlon there wasn't much to mention.  Had a great time at Summerfest, but didn't do a ton of walking around.  The next morning, we were up early and out the door to head back to Missouri from Wisconsin because my daughter had a softball game and my son had judo (same time of course - Murphy's Law of Motherhood).  Nearly 8 hours on the road and it was back to home sweet home.  Unpacked and shuttled kids and Monday was shot.  A little tightness in the lower legs, but I wasn't feeling too awful.

Tuesday and Wednesday I was a couch potato though I got some work done.  Thursday, Stacy called for the first time in like a month after I had worked a super long day.  I guess between her vacation and mine and the hot weather and general apathy to working out, time just got away from us.  It was pretty warm when she came over at her usual 8:30 (though still light this time of year).  We only ran down to the first Wakoda and back for like 1.2 mi.  It was just too hot still and there was NO breeze.  So then we did Just Dance for quite a while and tried out some new songs (my daughter got the first JD for her birthday and we hadn't done it yet).  I'll chalk it up as a "better than nothing" workout.  Still nice to renew our fitness friendship though.

Friday was just a short walk with my husband.  Two miles at his brisk (long leg) pace, but chatting the whole way.  It was super muggy out and I was glad to get back home and have a cool drink and visit on the front porch since the breeze was pretty decent by then.  I'm such a hot weather wuss.

Saturday was filled with the usual laundry and household stuff.  We went to mass at 5 and then out to dinner.  This allowed for today's early morning adventure (ie. skipping 8:30 mass).  I had gotten a couple of texts from Walter (CMC friend from the winery ride and our 30 mi ride a few weeks ago).  He wanted to know if I wanted to get in 25-30 miles early on Sunday.  I decided it was a great idea regardless of being a week out from my next sprint tri.  I really do enjoy biking and he is a super decent guy who tries to watch out for this relative newbie (must be the dad in him).

Road construction has snagged up my usual long route direction so I played with some ideas on MapMyRide and decided to do an out and back from a shorter loop that I wanted to try (had only driven to verify there wasn't gravel).  So we left at 6:30 and rode from my house, to Taos, to Wardsville, back to Taos, but then took Shamrock (including a wicked downhill and some gnarly uphills that kicked my ass), and back around Scholastic before heading home.  Had one close call with a truck that rolled through a stop sign and ran me into the oncoming lane (where thankfully there was no one coming).  I had the right-of-way, but his one ton truck begged to differ.  I also nearly crashed into poor Walter on one turn I didn't warn him was a left and he was about to swing around me to go right.  Oops.  I thought he knew where we were and which way my house was - my bad.  Being done by around 8:30 allowed Walter to get home and head to church with his wife (which he says helps him stay married) and allowed me to have time to write this as my husband took the kids out to the gun range this morning. 

So I need to figure out what to do with my workouts this week as I taper to the Show Me Games.  I looked up my time from last year and it was about what my Pewaukee time was last year so I am hoping I can shave 40+ min off like I did my Pewaukee time.  Maybe I can avoid last place this time.  A little nervous about the swim, but stoked to get back on the bike.  Hopefully I can get to the pool or an OWS practice this week to ease that worry.  Then will come the big decision - do I sign up for anything else this season?  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Pewaukee Sprint Tri Race Report

Hopefully you saw the previous post with all my proud momma pics of the kids race at Pewaukee.  My daughter told me as I was putting her to bed last night that her race was the highlight of our vacation.  I love that!  But I know you are anxious to hear about how my race went.  The short version is:  I crushed last year's time.  Truthfully, there were still highs and lows that make every race report a special blog entry, but my end result showed the hard work (ok, and better equipment) and weight loss of the last 12 months.  Let's break it down:

Pre-Race:  I've kind of been on a bender of watching Netflix instead of sleeping.  So the bad news is that I've been going to bed late.  The good news is that when I get there I've mostly been sleeping ok.  This year, I didn't lie awake fretting over what was to come.  So I probably got about the same amount of sleep as last year.  I should have gone to bed earlier though.  Up at 4:30, ate a bagel with peanut butter, did the bathroom business, loaded everything up and made the relatively short drive to the race with my sister.  We had a bit of trouble figuring out where to park and burned some time that we didn't really have.  Note to self if/when I go again - park southeast of transition on a side street in the first open spot you find and leave about 15 min earlier.

Unloaded the truck, waited for sis to air her tires (mine were good), rode to transition, set up my area, put on sunscreen and got kicked out of transition while sis was looking for pins for her number and I was still trying to buff out the defogger from my goggles.  Felt rushed and didn't like this (thus notes to self above).  Went to the park/beach bathroom (such a good idea compared to having to do the port-o-pots).  Did more bathroom business and got ready to race.  We signed up pretty early and apparently that is how they assign waves.  This also meant that my sis, her father-in-law and I were in the same wave (she coordinated us signing up together).  Her husband's brother and wife, cousin and wife and son were all a few waves behind us because they decided later to make the trip to join us.  I didn't really get nervous until standing on the beach with just 5-10 min to go.  Then it kind of hit like a freight train.

Swim:  I tried to seed toward the back of my wave of 50 people because I knew this was going to be ugly based on the warm water (80°+), heavy lake vegetation and my sucky practice swim.  But I still got swam over a couple times.  I think I went out kind of fast and my breathing was a mess.  I felt out of breath and struggling nearly the whole way.  Enough that I had multiple kayakers ask me if I was ok.  Twice I flipped on my back hoping to do a "reset" and catch my breath.  A few times I even did a few breast or side strokes to try to calm myself down.  But it was a very mentally ugly swim.  I started getting upset and thinking about how much I just wanted this to be over and how I was out of my mind to be thinking about an Oly.  After the final turn, the sun was in my eyes.  I had been sighting pretty well (of course when you breast stroke it is easier to sight LOL).  But it got hard to figure out where I was and that also upset me.  Finally, the beach was in view and it was almost over and I was ecstatic.  Then I saw that sis was just a little in front of me.  So I tried to run up the beach and into transition without trudging like last year.

Swim time: 14:11 (in theory this was for 1/4 mi - sis's brother-in-law is convinced that it was long.  He compared several people's times from last year including elite folks and everyone was about a min or so longer.  His wife was a collegiate swimmer and she crushed this course but her time on the swim was long too.) The good news for me is that I did last year's course in 14:38 so regardless my time was better. 

T1: My spot was way at the back by the port-o-pots.  It smelled which kind of gagged me as I was still gasping for breath from that awful swim.  I pulled on my helmet and sunglasses, grabbed my race belt, dried my feet enough to knock off some sand and put my socks on, pulled on my bike shoes (not talented enough to do this on the bike) and grabbed my bike to run out of transition.  It was solid - enough so that I beat sis out of T1 even though she beat me in by a little bit.  Yay!    T1 time: 2:06.9  Last year's T1: 3:48.9 - most of this improvement is better clothing (tri top/shorts instead of trying to pull on bike shorts and a t-shirt).

Bike:  The first mile or so on the bike, I still felt winded from that sucky swim.  But I tried to push myself and pretty soon I felt in the groove.  I got passed a lot, but once in a while I passed someone else.  The first couple of hills didn't feel great, but none felt awful - even the last one that was an ass kicker last year.  As I suspected it would, the bike went great.  While I was ready to get off my bike, it was nothing like last year.  I was excited to find my family at transition and was disappointed I didn't see them on my way in.  I unclipped early (a little paranoid here) and tried to swing my leg over while still moving and nearly fell.  Oops.  So I just stopped, put my feet down and got off less than smoothly, but then tried to run strong into T2.  I managed to drink most of a bottle of diluted powerade on the bike and felt good about my hydration.

Bike time: 1:03:31.8  (16 miles for 14.7 mph avg pace - my fastest pace ever!) - last year's bike 1:28:32.2 for 10.5 mph avg - though changing from mountain bike to road bike was part of it - mostly this difference was just a lot of hard work over the last 4 months and weighing 30 lbs less than last year didn't hurt either.

T2: Ran through the stench and got rid of my bike, bike shoes, helmet and slipped on my running shoes (love my speedlaces!).  Also grabbed my MP3 player.  Came in the same time as one of my sis's former students who looked to be a lot younger than me and she congratulated me on my solid bike ride.  I beat her out of transition!  T2 time: 1:40.8  Last year 1:22.2 (no shoe change last year and a better transition location).

Run:  Here was where I was praying to shave a lot of time from last year.  Last year I walked (trudged) through the 5K.  It was super hot and I didn't run any of it.  I have been working on building up the running, but it was hard to jog out of T2.  I was helped by seeing my kids and husband cheering with a sign right as I came out.  I tried to jog the first couple of blocks that are fairly flat, but I was walking before long.  The temps were pretty good - not nearly as hot as it has been and the breeze off the lake wasn't bad.  In the shade it was awesome.  But my legs were feeling the bike ride.  So I decided to focus on running the choruses of the songs and just trying to hold off my sis - though I wasn't sure how far behind me she was.  Grabbed water at an aid station and saw one poor lady pour gatorade over her head that I'm sure she misheard as water.  LOL 

Leap frogged with a guy whose jersey I'd see on the bike a fair bit too.  It said "Racing for Christopher".  He was doing a run/walk combo too so I tried to keep him in sight.  As we came out of the school area he introduced himself and I told him I'd been leapfrogging him and trying not to walk more than him.  He shared he lost his 8 year old son Christopher a couple of weeks ago and was just trying to power through this race.  I told him I was sorry for his loss and would run/walk with him for a bit.  I turned my music off for a bit and tried to focus on a prayer for his son and think to myself that I needed to suck it up because nothing could possibly hurt like this father's pain.  But he pulled ahead on a downhill and started running with another guy for a bit and I put my music back on.  When they took a walk break, I passed them once and told them to pick up the pace with a laugh, but they passed me back a block later.  I saw sis coming up the hill to the school area when I was leaving it.  I couldn't believe I was ahead of her and wanted to hold her off.  I was wearing my cheapo walmart watch that I had started the stopwatch when I got in the water so I didn't really know my splits, but I had a total time and my goal was 2 hours.  It was closing in fast so I poured it on at the end.  It took me a bit to get my breath after it was over, but there was fantastic shade at the finish area (park). 

Run Time: 37:46.7 for 12:11 min/mile pace.  Last year 54:47.8 for 17:40 min/mi.  The really impressive part?  My stand alone 5K PR is 36:03!  Both that PR and this race had some nasty hills so I know I can lower that PR with a bit more work and a flatter course. 

Total Time: 1:59:17.3  Suck it two hour goal!  I did it!!  Last year: 2:43:08.9 - Almost 44 min faster!  Go me!  Oh, an aside because it is hard not to compare when my sis and I have been compared for most of our lives (she is 4 years older and did most things first and better) - beat her by almost 5 min - mostly by my solid bike though I should pray she doesn't invest in better equipment as she did hers on a heavy mountain bike.

Post-Race:  A couple cups of water and some good food (mexican - kind of weird, but tasted better than I would have guess) and I felt great.  I had a little tightness in my calves and some pain on the run behind my left knee that went away quickly.  Loaded up the gear, kids and headed back to sis's to shower and change and head into Milwaukee for Summerfest.  My brother-in-law's band was playing noon-2 so my sis and I went with her kids and my daughter to the show.  Kids didn't last long, but I watched the whole thing while sis took them off to play for a bit.  Other than a little soreness in my lower legs, I barely can tell I did this race.  No chafe wounds like last year (thank God - those hurt!)  Better clothes this year probably helped that.

I'm a little nervous about the 1/2 mi swim in the Show-Me State Games coming up in 2 weeks.  I'm going to have to find a better way to suck it up through the swim, but I'm stoked to have a little revenge on the course that demoralized me last year.  If I can take 44 min off that course, I won't be last this time. 

The race photographer's pics of me are here.  I'll probably buy the bike one as I LOVE it.  I emailed sis as her husband took a few shots and asked her to send them to me.  I've come a long way this year.  Will be interesting to see how SMSG goes weekend after next.  Then I have to figure out if I'm going to do another race this season, and if so - if my BHAG of an Oly is even attainable (and whether I want to commit to a more solid training plan to get there).

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Proud Momma!

Sorry I've been MIA.  I'm fighting a bit of a mental funk and ended up kind of "tapering" a week or so early.  Once I got to WI, my sis kicked me in the butt and took me on a super hot 3 mi run on Friday morning and we did some casual swimming in her lake Thur and Fri. 

Then we went to packet pickup and a swim clinic on Friday evening.  We thought the clinic was just a practice swim, but we had to sit around listening to a lady talk about tri strategy that I wasn't interested in (and it was SO hot - just wanted in the water).  But I did the swim course and it took longer and was harder than it should have been.  Guess that is my payback for skipping swims this last month.  I fought fog in the goggles (almost turned the wrong way) and heavy lake vegetation.  It wasn't pretty - but I finished the practice in about 13 min.  I should have done it in closer to 11-12.  Oh well - last year it took me nearly 15 min so I'll take the improvement. 

But this proud mom watched her kids in their races this morning.  They rocked their 2nd triathlon.  My daughter came out of the water towards the back (she tried to swim it, but most of the kids were really just running through the water). 

Blonde in shirt and shorts on left is my girl! 
She actually made up some of her poor swim time on the run out of the water!
I was worried that she wouldn't be able to come back from being so far behind, but she had a solid T1 (she chose to wear water shoes the whole way so only had to pull on her helmet). 

She had a great bike and another solid transition to start the run in a close 2nd place! 

But the leader faded and walked part of the run and my daughter kicked it into gear and finished FIRST!!  She was hurting and cried a little at the end with some pain in her calves.  I think the water shoes were the culprit, but I know that the saved time probably secured the hardware.  Check it out!

My son was up a little later.  He came out of the water last of the 11 year olds and was looking a bit defeated, but made up a place or two in T1. 

He pedaled hard on the bike, but it was a longer race than last year and he hasn't spent much time on his biking. 

But soon T2 was behind him and he was heading out for his 1/2 mi run stronger than what he was last year.  He's been working on his running with dad and you could tell.  He didn't stop to walk that I saw and played leap frog with a girl.  But when he poured it on for the finishing kick, she couldn't answer back.  He finished strong and I was so proud. 


I'm not sure of his place though it was towards the back of the pack (hey buddy - momma knows how that is), but last year he was nearly hyperventilating and took a long time to recover.  This year, he was sweating and breathing hard, but seemed happy and recovered quickly.  I know he has to feel good about how strong he did.

 My four year old nephew also finished first in his group.  His brother (age 7) somehow ended up in the wrong group and raced the shorter 6 year old distance so was basically DQ'd. 

Tomorrow is my race.  My sis, her father-in-law, her brother-in-law and wife, her cousin-in-law (husband's cousin) and wife and son are all doing it with us.  My goal is to beat the 76 year old.  Last year he beat me by 34 min.  Ugh.  It is a sprint distance (1/4 mi swim, 16 mi bike, 3.1 mi run).  Last year it took me (with transitions) 2:43.  This year, I'm shooting for the 2 hour mark.  I weigh 30 lbs less and have a better bike.  Weather forecast indicates a break from the heat and I'm in an earlier wave than last year (so not finishing so late).  The run sucked it out of me last year with the sun beating down on me.  Last year I had not yet biked 16 miles when I did the race and was hurting when I got off the bike.  This year, I have hardly ridden less than 16 mi during any workout and a few times recently nearly doubled that.  Last year I did not run ANY of the run leg.  This year, I'm hoping to run at least half of it.  Fingers crossed that I can step it up and git'r done.