Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Those were the thoughts of the last few days. Those measly thoughts
Today is different
Today my Dad is in the hospital. Very sick. He's so tired of being sick. We're all so tired of not having answers and solutions. I want him there at Ironman. He wants to be there at Ironman to watch me "win". I love those inspirational people who can let circumstances like this motivate and push them. Who work harder with the thoughts of loved ones in their head and hearts. I tried to be one of them this morning and I just wasn't. Not today. Get well soon Dad, I need you.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
I got up on time after waking up and looking at the clock 3 or 4 times during the night like a kid on Christmas. I wasn't THAT excited for this race, it was more a in the middle of training, fun race, but still a race (which also means I get to break my running skirt out. Love it and it's kind of fun to have certain things I only use for races). Anyway, had my PB&J at 6:15am while surfing the web, finally meandered upstairs to get dressed about an hour later, and left for the 9am race about 7:50am. Nice. Arrived in enough time to use the bathroom twice, get my packet (tech shirt, reusable bag, nice), and warm up for all of maybe 5 minutes. I wanted more for sure. I've heard running 10-15 minutes at a pace 2-3 minutes slower than race pace can be very beneficial in getting the neurons, and all the little technical parts of the body warm and ready to race.
My great running partner Jonathan and I went out too fast for the first 3 miles, but it's hard not to get caught up in everything. I remember going from 1st to 4th lady at like 1/2 mile in and started hating the feeling of pressure to place overall. I didn't even want to think about it, just wanted to race my own race. Funny how my competitive feelings have changed. I don't get shy or hold any animosity toward competitors anymore, and get overwhelmed sometimes with the pressure (mostly from me actually.....and from Jonathan ;) ) to place, but enjoy the confidence at the same time of finally being in a position to compete. And don't get me wrong, I haven't totally softened up, I do LOVE to race.
Anyway, I ended up running miles 3-13 on my own, but that's ok. I was running fast, but felt in control most of the time. Felt pretty strong up the hills, except that JRT hill by the steam around mile 7? I carried my 10oz handheld during the race, and took my gel and Endurolyte at about 6.5-7 and maybe a sip of water at mile 3 and mile 10. It was perfect. I did also take a gel and Endurolyte 15 min before as I always do.
I passed the 3rd place lady early on, like mile 3, and had #2 in my sights the whole race, but she was far enough ahead (400 meters maybe?) I didn't put any pressure on myself to catch her, just raced my own race. About mile 11.5 I crept up a little, but still didn't really think about trying to pass her. But by 12 I was running 6:30-6:40 pace and feeling good, and did eventually catch her, much to my surprise with about 1/4 mile to go. I felt a little bad passing her, but at least it wasn't one of those all out 100meter out of control form sprints into the chute like I absolutely detest :)
Anyway, I did end up running a 1:35.06! but only got 13.05 miles on my watch, so if you wanna make it precise I probably ran a 1:36 something, BUT that's still under my 1:37 PR at Hobblecreek and this was not a generally downhill course, it had it's share of short uphill stretches, so I'll take it. The awards were lame, totally just called names and you picked up your prize, no time for clapping, no group picture. Oh well. I walked away with $40 to a local running store, but get this, the gift card cannot be used on anything on sale or clearance. Isn't that kind of weird/lame?
Crystal, Me, Heidi
Great job to Heidi for toughing though it with an icky stomach and all the leg issues you've dealt with. Very nice.
And Great Job Crystal! You finished your first half marathon - nothing half about that! :)
Jonathan, you ran a time we wanted, and without your partner in crime :) so kudos to you!
Awesome job with you 1:39.30 Chuck - nice run!!
Go Steve and Cindi for sneaking under the 2 hour mark! Wish we could've chatted longer
Yay for Dianna getting to run a half marathon after dealing with injury stuff the last couple years - way to go! Another thanks to Dianna for the Girl Scout cookies she sold me the day before the race. Whatever you laced them with, I'll take more :)
So all in all a great race. A couple of humerous/disturbing moments I'll share. We had to run about .5 mile on a dirt road. It isn't usually a dirt road, but they're tearing up the trail for some reason. Anyway, last week Heidi and Jonathan said it was in horrible shape, big ruts everywhere, definate evidence of big construction equipment driving around. Race day though, I found it very runnable, they must have smoothed it out. It was seriously like your average canal road. These guys behind me though, didn't think so. One of them said "Dude, this is a really rugged trail!" Are you kidding?? You don't trail run much I take it......were my thoughts, not my words :)
Next, after Jonathan and I split around mile 4, I passed this proabably 50 something year old guy, who said something about "all right, a pretty girl. I'll just hang back here and watch you run, this is the legal way to chase young girls you know" UH, WHAT?!? Holy pedaphile. How in the world am I supposed to take that? Yeah, that was disturbing, too bad for him I passed him and put at least several minutes between us. Yikes.
And finally, around mile 10 I ran along side this guy after he finally stopped trying to sprint ahead any time I got near him. I was totally not racing him, but he didn't think so I guess. Anyway, I tried to help him shorten his long stride since I could tell he was tired. He mentioned he had just run the Moab half the week before (I didn't mention what I had been doing the week before....hehe), so we chatted for a minute about the race. Then out of the blue he asked if I was single. Nope, sorry buddy, married with 3 kids. He politely said "well, it was worth a shot". That was totally ok with me, no offense taken at all. He was polite about it, not creepy like the old guy. I'll take his as flattery at least.
I'm sure he'll give me a hard time for putting this picture here, right after I talk about the weird guys at the race, but Jonathan is definitely not weird. He's a perfect training parter, and an excellent physical therapist. The only thing weird about him is the smile on his face while inflicting such torture on my glute and IT band. :)
Didn't get my ice bath at home like I would've like as we had some family time to spend out and about, and am feeling pretty stiff today. I'm sure it will work itself out soon. I took the pretty new green machine out to the Legacy Parkway trail north of SLC for a spin. Just wanted a chance to spin the legs, test out the new saddle and fit I have. It was so nice to have resonably straight trail, in great smooth condition, only have to eat a few bugs, and not have any cars to worry about. Aside from discomfort in the saddle I've got to get worked out, it was peaceful to just pop in some music (something I try not to do much) and ride without expectations along the pretty fields with the sun going down. I did push some pretty good speeds for not really trying to push hard which made me really happy. I love that bike!
I decided I'll put something valuable I may have learned at the bottom of a post so it's easy to find. So here's today's: Pack a bag with several different layering options in it to take with you to the race. I ended up stripping off my arm warmers and going with a thin long sleeve top instead, and I'm really glad I did. It's just nice knowing you aren't stuck with what you have if you decide the weather is warmer/cooler come starting time. Also pack extra nutrition in there (extra gels, electrolytes, drink mix, whatever you use), and have your recovery drink in there all ready to add water too.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Sarah and I survived our ride the day before, and capped it off with Bajio that night. Yum! Woke up about 7:30am, and was on the road by 8am. First section for me was the 6.5 miles on Hwy 18 toward St George. St George has invested a lot of money in their paved trail systems, they're really great, but I wasn't about to spend 20 miles on pavement if I could help it. I proabably got some wierd looks running along side the highway so I could run on the dirt shoulder, but so be it. It was so peaceful and quiet, and downhill...hehehe, a lovely start to the run.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Or that's what Sarah tried to tell me anyway. What a great training partner she is. We took off about 9:30am Friday about 6 miles up Hwy18 from SG and headed into town. Noticed some winds starting out, but nothing bad. Made it through Ivins and turned onto the highway heading toward the reservation. That's where the winds made their appearance, and boy did they ever! Normally that's a quick downhill section with a mild grade uphill to get to the top of the reservation. As soon as we turned out of Ivins the wind just smacked us in the face, hard. That uphill has never felt so hard, and we were only maybe 15 miles into our ride. I asked Sarah how I was supposed to ride 100 miles in this and she wisely said to just worry about one loop right now, just focus on the road right in front of us.
The next 25 miles were brutal. Headwinds that would try to stop you, uphills, and no chance to catch any relief on the few and small downs that are there. My one hope was that we would at least have a tail wind going up the switch back, and thankfully we did! It was still brutal, but sure felt nice to have a few pushes from behind.
Check this picture out. Did I mention things got bad enough we resorted to drafting behind a lady on a mountain bike? Yeah, it's true. But before you get all worked up, let me introduce said mtn biker. This is Lynda Wallenfels, a local pro mountain biker and coach, from Europe I believe. She's amazing! Totally spun up a few hills we were grinding away on barely moving, and just flying down the Hwy back to Veyo. I asked her if she wanted to trade bikes, as mine even matched her shorts, but she didn't fall for it...I mean agree :)
Sarah knew her fairly well, and I got a short chance to chat with her too. She said she will be escorting the 2nd place pro woman on the run course (while on her mtn bike) on IMSG race day, very cool! And get this, she asked me if I was pro - me! Bless her heart ;)
Anyway, back to the ride. Finally had the chance to get some downhills heading back toward SG, and again, had to play with the winds. It was pretty scary. Wind gusts thrown at you every which way when you're already traveling 30-45mph. It was frightening, and I was frustrated. I was definitely not in my aero bars. Sarah toasted me down the initial descent and waited for me halfway to town where we got started. I was really grumpy and upset by this point. The split was horrible. More than 20 minutes slower than my ride 3 weeks ago. And Sarah, awesome-I-don't-deserve-to-train-in-her-presence Sarah, was killing me and it was, get this, her second ride of the season. I was really feeling like crap now. I've been training ALL winter! I passed her quickly and told her not to let me hold her back and that she didn't have to do another loop just for me. She followed me back in for our second loop however.
I was scared of the winds, and couldn't believe we were going back into them. We experienced a little less wind once headed back toward and into Ivins, but I was still leery. We made our first stop of the day at a park right before the reservation Hwy (I will learn the name of it at some point). Sarah used the bathroom, we both put in music, I refilled my drink, and broke out the Hammer Endurolytes. I hadn't planned on using them because the drink I use, HEED, contains Endurolytes, but I have come to learn on a difficult course like this is, with winds like we had as well, I'm gonna have to supplement them. And wouldn't you know it, 20 or so minutes later I felt so much better! Sarah could tell too without me saying it. I was finally riding a little stronger, a little more confidently. The winds were still there but calmer up until we got to Gunlock Reservoir where I think they picked up again. We rode pretty strong, barely made it up some of the couple standing climbs, but saw a light at the end of the tunnel.
The last switchback was absolutely brutal. I wasn't sure I'd make it up without climbing off, but I did eventually. It's not a great pic, but here is the view looking down of where we were only a scant 1/2 mile earlier
We were able to get aero past Veyo before the top of Snow Canyon, feel a wind at our back, ride on smooth road, and say "THIS is why we ride these bikes". I enjoyed the last of the descent to our starting line, and we meandered back to our homestay and ended the day with a quick 15 minute post ride run which I thought felt great! Sarah, I'm not so sure.
Total riding time (not including our 2 quick stops) was 6:05, NOT where I would have liked it, but the second loop was only 5 minutes slower than the first, so that's not too bad. We'll just pray for less wind come race day.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Anyway, finally made it back down, pleased to find out bikes still there as we'd forgotten to lock them up before we left - whoops!
1:10 of good solid adventure training!
Calf was not feeling great and the winds were really picking up. I was a little nervous for what was in store tomorrow.
We made our way 6 miles up the road to Winchester Hills a community where my friend Sylvia lives. They were such a great homestay! We had everything we needed including THE coolest accommodations I've probably ever seen.
Waiting for the pics from Sarah, so stay tuned!
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
I also got to meet Shannon, a great lady who's fitness blog I stumbled upon. She is training for her first triathlon. So glad you came up and said hi! I'll post a link to her blog, assuming that's ok with her -is that ok Shannon? :)
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Daybreak Triathlon - May 29th. Probably going back to defend my title :)
Drawing for FREE 2010 races!
We'llll be giving away a number of free races and you must be present to win! Don't miss the opportunity to race some of Utah's best triathlons for free!
Presented by Jameson King and Leslie Howlett, Winners of the 2009 Daybreak Triathlon
- What to expect on race day
- Building sustainable swim speed and strategies for the swim segment
- T1 tips for a fast swim to bike transition
- Biking equipment to make you go faster
- T2 tips for fast bike to run transition
- Finishing strong strategies
Prize Drawings Presented by Triathlete's Edge
Win sweet Skull Candy Headhpones and other way cool stuff. Almost everyone wins something so be there!
Oh and yes, it isn't friday, but I meant to post it then, here's a couple flashback friday pics from 2 years ago Saturday. Running the Rex Lee Run 36 weeks pregnant. I loved every single look I got!
Monday, March 8, 2010
Saturday I had the opportunity to help coach at the annual Desert Sharks Triathlon Club Swim Clinic. So fun to help other athletes! Swimming is one of those things that 80% of triathletes are not good at coming into the sport (or even after years for that matter), yet a sport easily improved by tweaking just a couple things usually. Good times!
Afterwards I rode 90 miles with friends Charity, Rob, and Te Koi. We did a 50 mile loop of the valley, then I continued on up Emigration Canyon and back to finish out the ride. A bit discouraging at times as I was really working hard to keep up on those first 50 miles, and I'm the one that's been training all winter! Charity had to remind me that I had just run 18 miles the day before. I know, I know, it's true.
This taper is going to rock! .....or it better anyway ;)
So now we come to today, and my legs are pretty darn heavy. I thought they may just sink to the bottom of the pool at my swim this morning. I'm finally going to take the plunge (haha, no pun intended) and invest in a pair of recovery tights. I'll post a review on them for sure (one of several gear reviews I have to post actually), but I look forward to legs even just a little bit lighter.
Monday, March 1, 2010
I rode my bike in the dark at 6:30am the 3 miles from my homestay into transition to of course find the PowerTri boys already on the two best spots. That's ok, I could have predicted that. I got a great spot too, got set up and ready to race.
The 5k course was down on the way out, and back up the same road, so up on the way back. I usually don't like to run a fast race like that first because it demands so much warm up, which I didn't get a lot of that day, but I actually felt really good. Ran into T1 in 1st in about 20:15, probably 30-60 seconds ahead of the next woman.
The bike course was 3 miles out of Tuacahn and into Ivins, then back and then a 3 mile climb up Snow Canyon and back down. Sprint did it once, Olympic did it twice. So I hauled out of transition quickly and powered west down Center Street in Ivins. Got passed by the next lady around the first turnaround and tried to keep her in my sights. The climb into Snow Canyon was good. Continual rollers mostly, but a few big short climbs to keep things honest. The leading lady, Gail, who's from Boulder CO who I got a chance to talk with after the race, probably had 4 minutes on me by the time I got done with the bike and back into T2. Not good, but I rode stronger than usual, so that's good. Rode the bike in 1:06 averaging 19.8mph. Maybe I broke that 20mph barrier since I didn't stop my Garmin before transitions, only after. So T2 counted as part of my bike time, make sense?
The second run was definitely harder, but I held on pretty well. I made up probably 2 minutes on Gail and finished 90 seconds behind her in 1:48.42, 2nd woman overall. The second 5k split was 21:30. Not too shabby
The poor guy in this pic. I passed him with about 1/2 mile to go, I heard him try to creep up just before the finish line so I put an extra kick in and came in in front of him. I think his face says it all. Hehehe, that's what you get for wearing headphones dude! I could race a lot faster with music in my ears too (it's against USAT rules).
I had a such a great time. The weather was perfect, sunny, calm and crisp (until awards). I probably could have done without the tights. I LOVE my new PowerTri kit (uniform), and of course my bike! We had lots of PowerTri people there racing and that was so much fun getting to cheer for each other while we were out there. Great job David, Jameson, Ryan, and Grant!!! Also great job to all their kids. So fun watching the kids race. Definitely made me miss my own though.
And the highlight of my day? Ryan and Jamie's (co owners of PowerTri) little girl Bryndie wanted to meet me. Meet me! I guess she thought I was "really nice" because I "smiled and cheered a lot", not like those serious boys ;) What a sweetheart!
Times have been kind of tough in our house lately for various reasons. This was such a good weekend though. I rode down and stayed with friends saving money and leaving our car at home for the family. My hubby encouraged me to go down, sent me a good luck text that morning, took great care of the kids (he took all 3 to the Safe Kids Fair - go Dad! He also informed me we weren't having any more, LOL!), I got to get some great training in, raced well and with lots of friends, our tax return finally came in, my husband found a new job in something he really loves (Web Design), I'm riding a great new bike, and I made it home safe, healthy and happy to the loving and supportive family I love so much. Life is sweet!
After a long drive down Thursday night with a poor little 4 month old baby Aubrey that just wanted to get out of that blasted carseat, Ryan, Anna, and Aubrey (I swam with Anna in age group and high school) and I made it about 10pm. Cleaned up the bike a little and visited with the couple I stayed with, Aliese and Darin. Thanks guys!
Woke up Friday morning about 8am (yes!) and started getting ready for the long ride. I didn't realize my new frame doesn't fit on the bike rack the same, so some of adjusting had to be done to the brakes after the ride down. I tried to have Jameson from PowerTri talk me through it, but yeah, that didn't work so well. It's a new bike we're all a little unfamiliar with and I'm not the best with adjustments like that. So since the brakes wouldn't release fully after applying them, I had to ride 6 miles into town and pay $34 for them to do it. Ouch! I really do want to learn good bike maintenance soon.
So anyway, sorry, all this set me back so I didn't get out on the course till almost noon - not good! I managed to squeeze in 70 miles though, so that's good. I was a little worried that I'd be sore from riding in a new fit, but it was great actually! After getting used to shifting in aero I absolutely love it. I feel so much more in control and confident! It is so so nice not having to come out of aero to shift, especially on a course like IMSG. Which by the way I am totally using a tri bike for. The discussion is out there as to whether to use a road bike or not, and I totally say tri bike. Yes there are probably 3 short climbs (1/4 - 3/4 mile long) where you're definitely standing and a granny gear would be great, but that's it.
Back to the ride. I was so pleased to see my average move up from 15.7mph on my old bike to 16.8 on a very windy return, on a new bike, during a ride I didn't push super hard. Very nice! I will definitely change up my gearing to make those couple climbs a little more doable, but I'm feeling really good on the bike. And as the title points out, carbon is so great!!!! The ride is so much smoother which helps me translate more power into the pedals. So very happy with it. I recommend at least trying a carbon seat post. I also got several "nice bike" comments which was so fun. I've certainly never heard that before :)
My ride after the race got rained out. It was actually sunny and warmer up north than in SG. I did manage 6 wet miles instead though, not the same, but something. Awww, life is good though. The massage my great friend Sylvia who lives in St George (who is awesome! Please let me know if you'd like to get in touch with her for massage if you're in the area) gave me Friday night didn't hurt either :D