Sunday, September 8, 2013

Back for a Longer Ride

It has been a long time since I did a bike ride that was over 25 miles.  I'll have to go back and look, but possibly even since June 1 when I did the Tour de Cure!  But Walter and Prenavi were doing so much more this weekend with their MS150 ride, that I felt like a loser if I didn't get off my duff and get some time in the saddle.  So I posted a request for an early Saturday ride to Brie and she was game so we met at her house at 7:30 AM.  My husband dropped me off and I was ready to go.

We headed down Green Berry, turned down Leslie, jumped on the greenway to Dunklin, down Dunklin back onto the main greenway, out to Country Club, past the furniture store, out to Meadows Ford, up Scruggs Station, back to town and back to the greenway and headed back to Brie's.  At the bottom of the Dunklin hill, I slowed way down to make the 90 degree turn back onto the greenway and forgot there was a barricade gate there to keep cars out.  Good thing I wasn't going that fast because I hit it plenty hard enough. OUCH!

I suffered a bit going up the Leslie hill, but I caught my breath by the time we got back to Brie's.  Stopped there for a bit and refilled my water bottle and talked to her and her husband, Eric.  Finally drug myself back out the door.  I wishy washed about whether to ride home or downtown to meet my family for the Labor Day parade.  Decided there were less hills to go downtown and headed there as quickly as I could.  I got to the place where my family normally watches parade and called my husband.  Turned out they were walking IN the parade.  And at that moment, they were actually right in front of me!  So I asked if I could meet them at the truck after the parade and was told they brought the CAR!  Doh!

By this time, it was 90 degrees and the sun was so bright!  So there was nothing to do but head back home.  It was only another 4-5 miles, but with two pretty good climbs and after about 30 miles, I wasn't looking all that forward to it.  I spun up in my easiest gear and before long, I was home - though I shot past it to the first side street and back because I was just under 35 miles and wanted that extra little bit (and I actually finished with exactly 36).  I grabbed some Gatorade and tried to cool off while I posted on FB.  Then I took a shower and ate a little lunch.  I took it pretty easy the rest of the day, but felt pretty decent overall.

The hard stadium benches at the football game (high school) last night didn't feel good on my backside and the bruise on my arm had gotten very colorful.  Today, I slept in a little, went to mass, chilled out and finished a book, and took a short nap.  Nice to have a relaxing weekend.  Back at it tomorrow. 

Swimming = 10.25 mi
Biking = 1107.1 miles
Running = 166.9 miles

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Epic Mud Run 2013

After testing out this race last year with my husband, we felt like the kids could probably handle it so instead of signing them up for the junior race (much shorter with fewer obstacles), we signed up as a 4-person co-ed team to do the full course - "The Luebbert Lunatics".  It was also a little bit to make up for them not getting to do a kids triathlon this year. 

A couple days before, my dear daughter (DD) and I picked out some dry fit shirts at Walmart so we could all match.  I couldn't find a matching one in her size so I put her in an adult men's small and tied it off in the back with a rubber band.  Since my dear son (DS) has been in men's clothes since he was 9, this wasn't an issue for him.  I had them both designate a pair of old worn out shoes for the race.  My DD wore her black unpadded bike shorts (though I couldn't convince her of the value of going commando in them) and DS wore his swim trunks (which aren't likely to be around by next summer anyway). 

We got up fairly early Sunday (having gone to mass Saturday night) and headed to Columbia's Midway Expo Center.  We had signed up for one of the earlier "competitive" waves after the lady at Ultramax said that most waves weren't full and to just pick the time that worked best for us.  This was only the 4th wave so we were definitely on the early side - as shown by our awesome parking spot.  The sky was getting dark and we wondered if we were going to get rained on (it did sprinkle a bit - barely noticeable).  The overcast sky kept the morning temps in the upper 70's.  Almost cool!  What a blessing!  We got our packets, put our timing chips on, etc and walked over to the start area (which was in a different spot this year - as was nearly all of the rest of the race/obstacles).

They had a color station right outside the start area with folks spraying or tossing color on you as you wished.  DD got some on her, but the rest of us waited a bit.  I got someone to take a pre-race team shot and then we stood around and watched the 3rd wave take off and we got in the starting corral.
Can't see it too well, but she has orange legs and purple splatters on her upper body/face/hair

Luebbert Lunatics team shot - pre race
It was kind of neat because the race course actually went over a bridge over the starting line towards the end of the course and we could see a few runners from earlier waves jumping off the bridge into the ice trough where a guy was standing to the side emptying a pallet of ice bags into the water.
Me and the kids in the starting area - just behind us you can kind of see the wood that is the bridge
and to the right (behind the "EP") is the trough of ice water - it'd be about 45-50 min before we were back here
Mark Livesay (the announcer and owner of Ultramax Sports), had us repeat a pledge that was essentially a battle cry against the course and to pump us up to have fun.  Then he counted it down and we were off.  Just about 20' in was the first obstacle, a fairly wide expanse of muddy water with a super squishy bottom that you had to get across - and it got deeper and squishier as you went across.  Here is a pic of my DD and her dad ahead of me.  By the time I was on the other side, I practically had to crawl to get out.  Between my slowing for a couple pics and my struggles with the mud, all three of them were a smidge ahead of me on the run up the hill out of the obstacle.

Daughter and husband ahead of me on the first obstacle (before it got deeper)
My teammates running up the first hill without me
We headed across a field and very quickly went into the woods.  This was a lot different than last year where a lot of the running was more in the open.  They had cleared essentially the width of double track, though I had seeded us fairly far back to avoid holding up any of the speedsters.  My son wasn't too big on this running, but still had some start line fever so he didn't walk much yet.

Pretty soon we popped out of the woods and had to climb over a wall.  The "step" was about waist high and too high for my daughter.  I sent my husband over to help her down the other side and thankfully another racer helped her up.  Then we raced across a field to the big slide.  This was about the only "obstacle" that was the same - and that is because it was once again super awesome!  I was trying to wipe off my camera and get it ready to take a pic, but my son was too fast and already mostly down the slide when I got this snapped.  He's the orange dot about mid-pic.  I'm pretty sure that is my husband on the left slide about the same distance down.
Would have loved to wear my Garmin and get the speed on this big slide.  It was FUN!
At the bottom, you headed to the left and there were big power pole logs to walk across balance beam style (which is hard when you are wet and muddy!).  This was followed by monkey bars that were impossible to cross.  Bill helped my daughter try since she was too short to reach the first rung, but her hands were too slippery.  I tried to just swing out from the first bar and then landed in the mud below and lost my shoe having to crawl out with mud all over my sock.
Daughter is up on log ahead of her dad, monkey bars in the distance
 (fighting wet disposable camera)
We headed to the hay bale maze.  It wasn't covered this time (so less crouching and not nearly as miserable hot).  It also had less dead ends.  But it did have a couple of zombies!  My husband and daughter laughed when I squealed with fright (since they were a little ahead of me and my son and could look back and watch).  They jumped right out at you!  Way better than going past them in the barn like last year.  There was one part you had to crawl under in the stinky mud and it made my poor son gag a bit.

Then, it was back into the woods for some more relatively open running.  My son wasn't too keen on the running part and walked more than I had hoped he would.  My daughter was a freaking rock star and was regularly asking her dad to run ahead of us with her.  It was down and up through some ditches and crawling out of a couple ravines on wood ladders.  There were a few more zombies to jump out at us and some eerie banjo music playing from a stereo run off a generator.  At one point, we popped out of the woods again after a pretty good hill to a water station and caught a quick pic (because we take the term "race" pretty loosely):
Glad I thought to make my husband take at least a couple of me
Shortly after this was some cool tractor tire obstacles.  There was one that my daughter wasn't tall enough to jump from one tire to the other so she got down and climbed back up.  But she was looking as strong as ever.  Her brother just tried to look like he was feeling strong in this pic.

Then it was back into the woods and my son was starting to fuss about all of the running.  My daughter was still anxious to go faster so they ran ahead of us for a while as I tried to talk him into short bursts to just get us through.  But he walked A LOT here.  We came out of the woods and went through a color station and back towards the starting line.  We went up and over into a big metal dumpster type structure (ladders up and into and then across and back up the other side and over the starting line bridge you see in an earlier pic).  Then it was time to jump into the ice water.  It was brisk, but felt good too since we were pretty muddy and sweaty at this point. 
Daughter is out of the ice water, husband heading up the ladder 
Then it was across the same mud pit as the beginning (except a little over so not in the same spot).  It was even squishier and you were even more tired.  DD got her shoe stuck and I had to help her get her foot out and then again with my son (like buried his leg almost to the knee and I had to dig down for his super stuck shoe).  He also cut his hand on a rock and was really ready to be DONE.  We knew we were almost done so we tried to do a little running.

There ahead of us was the last obstacle.  There were ropes about 2' off the surface of the mud so you had to nearly army crawl through it.  My son walked around because he was just not up for it.  But the rest of us powered through:
Two orange shirts crawling are daughter and husband
Then we ran down the hill to the livestock barns.  I had to stop and wipe some mud out of my eye with a paper towel that a volunteer had there.  The barn had the "car wash" song and a disco ball going with water misters.  I'm sure it felt great later in the day when it heated up.  We ran through the barn and out into the finish chute.  There was another color station and a big sudsy foam machine that had bubbles we had to run through to get to the finish line.  It took us just over an hour to get through the course.

We got our finisher glasses, but decided to come back after we washed our hands for the drinks and food.  We took a couple of pics and then jumped into a big swimming pool they had for a rinse before getting some Gatorade and granola bars and bananas.  My husband had a beer too and the kids split a Monster energy drink with me. 
Immediately after the finish line
Wish the lady would have been a smidge closer, but this is the team shot after the dip in the pool
The boys went to get our flip flops and we took another couple pics before heading to the showers to do a bit more rinsing off.  We managed to clean up and change clothes at the truck and then I drove us home since my husband had enjoyed a few of the free beers and I didn't have any (not a beer drinker).
After a little bit of a shower
Selfie with my girl after our garden hose showers
It was a fun time.  I took a couple days off this week and then joined Susan this morning for a 5.7 mile run.  Had one pic left to burn off my disposable camera so you get a post-run sweaty shot.  Thankfully, the camera isn't that great and the lighting wasn't that good so you can't see how bad we look.  It was a beautiful morning - 60's with a bunch of shade on the trail.

Katy Trail and soybeans behind us - beautiful morning for a run!
Swimming = 10.25 mi
Biking = 1071.1 miles
Running = 166.9 miles

Monday, September 2, 2013

Another Catch Up Post

Not sure what is going on in my head these days.   Been battling a bit of depression - not all that uncommon for me, but frustrating nonetheless.  It also tends to lead to a strong gravitational pull from the couch and self-medicating with Netflix (which I heard on the news the other day does have a similar brain chemistry effect to drugs and alcohol - just peachy).  Thankfully, Susan is coming off of a stress fracture earlier this summer and is happy to restart some of our weekly runs - though they haven't been quite as long as she would like and included plenty of walking as summer really hit with the higher temps and humidity these last couple of weeks.

I haven't signed up for the century in October yet and I think I just missed a cheaper price by not doing it last week.  Oh well - $5 or $10 isn't the big deal.  But my husband pointed out that I had better be getting my ass on my bike more if I have any hope of completing it without a lot of suffering.  I hate when he is right.

I've gotten a few runs in and finally got back on my bike tonight after a hiatus since my birthday:

- 5.4 miles with Susan on the Katy Trail on 8/15 (13:27 min/mi - nice day, but purposely kept it slow as it was her first long run in months)

- 3.0 miles with Stacy after kid dropoff 2nd day of school 8/20 (12:39 min/mi though I got a call from a client and walked/talked for a few min)

- 5.0 miles with Susan looping 3x around Stephens Lake on 8/22 (miserable hot/humid - tough to even keep the 12:58 min/mi pace)

- 3.0 miles with Susan - testing out the 5K course (except the last 0.08 mi which was on school grounds) for the upcoming race our school is sponsoring that she is co-chairing - another miserable hot/humid run with way too much walking (it was so bad my heart rate was still sky high while walking for 13:25 min/mi overall moving pace) - this last Thursday

**EPIC MUD RUN** - 9/1 - did this with my entire family.  My 9 year old daughter was a freaking rock star.  My 12 year old son whined some, but overall seemed to understand that sometimes "epic" isn't all that "fun" while you are doing it and thought it was overall pretty "awesome".  I was proud of him.  My husband and I enjoyed it.  Full report with pics from my disposable camera yet to come.  Still some debate on the distance, but it took us just over an hour and we did some running in between obstacles so I'd like to hope it was around 3 miles (which is what I'm putting in the total - didn't want to gunk up the Garmin).

- 10.3 miles solo hill repeats on my bike in my neighborhood; bummed to see that my favorite "loops" in my area have fresh gravel/oil (ie. "chip and peel") that do NOT look road bike tire friendly.   So tonight I did hill repeats for lack of a better term.  I did the nasty "Wavco hill" 3x with a little loop up past my house, down to the Moreau River bridge and through one of the other cul-de-sacs.  It was getting pretty dim on the last one and I had my goal of ten miles in so I called it good.  But I do need to spend some serious quality time back on the bike for the next 6 weeks or so.  Susan said I just need to keep Thursdays as run days for her.

So to sum it up, have ran a little, but my workouts leave a lot to be desired.  Not in a great head space, but some of that is work stress the last few weeks that hopefully will get better this week or next.  Gotta take the bad with the good - finding a way to hang in there and at least get something done.  Hope to be less MIA in the coming weeks.

Swimming = 10.25 mi
Biking = 1071.1 miles
Running = 161.2 miles