Thursday, July 26, 2012

Did I mention I'm doing an 9 days?!

Well I am!  Sorta  :)

There is a brand new 133 mile race here in Utah this year called the Ultimate Relay and I'm lucky enough to be one of the 10 or so that get to try it SOLO!  As difficult as it might be to imagine with the variety triathlon already is I was getting a little bored with regular triathlon.  Not ready to retire or anything, just wanted something more, something different.  I'd seen races like the SOS in New York and a similar smaller one in Michigan near my sister's home, and was SO intrigued!  I wrote a blog post about it last year here

Anyway, when the race director emailed me asking if I'd be interested in doing this (they wanted to hand pick who they let do it solo this first year to be cautious and safe as it is quite the undertaking), I was still pregnant I do believe, but I said YES!  I'm super excited about this new venture, it's so unique.  Here's the run down:

We basically do about an olympic distance triathlon....4 times.  133 miles between 4 lakes.
Swim 1000 meters in Pineview Reservoir, bike over a mountain (climbing aprox 1150 ft in 4 miles) and down and along a false flat for a total of 41 miles, then run 6 miles on a hot somewhat hilly trail alongside East Canyon Reservoir.  After that I hope to be more than ready to swim the 1000 meters there, and jump back on the bike for another 21 miles which shouldn't be too bad after the short but really steep climb out of East Canyon toward Henefer.  Run 6 more miles on a flat straight dirt path then jump in Echo Reservoir for 1000 meters.  Back on the bike for a scenic and temperate 32 mile ride past Rockport Reservoir and through Oakley, Kamas, and into Francis.  6 mile up and down run along the perimeter trail of Jordanelle (Rockcliff side) then the final 1000 meter dip there.  Last 13 miles on the bike with a climb out of the Rockcliff area and a long descent into Midway where the final 6 mile run will be on streets around the finish line.  Tired yet?  :)

I have really been trying to train as smart and as much as I can for this.  Yes my baby is only 5 months old and I really sat out the first 2 months of her life training wise recovering from the hemorrhage, but I'm counting on the years and years of endurance base I have and I've tried to put the best training forward I can.  While the last couple months have made me nervous because I just felt more unprepared every training session, I think I'm finally hitting it and feeling ready as of Saturday's race.  I have ridden every part of the course now, and run all the routes except in Midway but I have ridden on those streets before so I'm pretty familiar with it.  By then it will just be survival mode as it is!
So I'm feeling ready and really excited!  Such a new and cool adventure.  My husband (and hopefully 3 older kids) will follow me in the van from lake to lake and set up my transition areas and prepare and stock my nutrition.  I'm excited for a crew, something ultra runners have that I was looking forward to as I've pondered ultra running over the last year or two.  My baby will be with my mom as that's way too long in a car for her and my husband would go crazy trying to help me and take care of her.  I am counting on my parents to come up for the final leg though as I'd love to have everyone there for the finish and for a picture after.  That sweet baby has put up with a frequently sweaty mommy for the last few months, she needs to be in the photo too  :) 

I really only have a few concerns with this race.  1) will Ella be ok with bottles all day while I'm gone?  She takes a bottle or two every week from my husband while I'm training, but never more than one a day.  2)  Will I be ok not nursing all day??  I've only been away form her about 6 hours at a time and have been fine then, heavy, but not painfully engorged or anything, but this will be more like 12 hours away from her or my pump.  3) Will my saddle sores cooperate?  They're much better today than Saturday, but I do plan on packing real big padded bike shorts which I may have to change into after the swim at Echo.  I would like to do well and don't want to be sitting up wincing in the saddle the last 6 hours of the day.  4)  Will I just be too heavy to move the last part of the race?  We shall see.  I am a big believer in positive thinking and I picture being fine, but you never know.  5) last one, I will wear a wetsuit at the first swim because I'll be dry and have time to put it on, but may not be able to the last 3 lakes.  I'm a big baby when it comes to cold water, but I want to do well (ok, I'll just sneak it in here conspicuously....I would like to win the women's solo division.  There, I said it.  I won't be angry if I don't, but I have to have a goal beyond finishing right?) and may not have time or energy (putting a wetsuit on a sweaty body is hard work!  They are only 15 minute-ish swims, I should be able to tough it out for that long.  Yes, wetsuits are always faster, and safer, but where it's only 1000 meters, it may be more time and effort than it's worth to put a wetsuit on in the later swims.

So there it is.  This race is coming quick!  August 4th!  Just last night I had my first feelings like I did about Ironman St Geoge in 2002.  The feelings of "oh my gosh, it's almost over, almost done!" even though it hasn't even started.  I tell you, in my opinion, the training journey's of these long races are just as meaningful if not more sometimes, than the race itself.  Nevertheless, bring it! I'm ready, lets do this thing!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


So I haven't raced in almost 2 months, haven't done an oly distance in 2 years so decided last minute (as is the story of my life) to sign up.
I enjoy having our kids there but it's not super convenient but I have missed having them there. Life with Altra and a new baby means i have to leave the kids with grandma to race sometimes and that it's easier to leave the kiddos home with dad when we have a baby. Actually my husband generally stresses out regardless and isn't always the funnest to be around at a race. He gets more stressed than I do and I get that handling 4 kids is stressful, but love, I do it everyday :)

Sorry, getting sidetracked. My point is they were there and I was grateful to hear and see them and play by the water with them after.
As soon as we got there I rushed to sign up, set up, and fill the baby up :)

Swim - Not the best time but not bad. Zero visibility and stinky water but a nice temp and pretty color :) I appreciated not feeling all sloppy and rushed in my stroke but pretty long an strong. Very hard to sight on the long length that we did twice but I found a tall tree to sight off of behind the buoy so it worked out

Bike - saddle sores. Oh the saddle sores. Really I've been dealing with them since our baby was born 5 months ago, but they've flared up bad this week. I just couldn't sit comfortably which meant little power. I also think I got stung by a bee on the way back. Oh well. I did really want to see how well I'd do with the extra time I've been putting into the bike.
No I didn't ride like that the whole time but it may have been more comfortable
Run - hallelujah a great run! I've been discouraged by my run since having Ella. They've just felt weak and uncoordinated. This one though felt like a pre Ella run and I am so glad to feel it! 43:something and I'll take it!
Running in a new mystery Altra shoe, always fun being around prototypes
So I started 4th overall and ended 4th overall and I'm happy with that. There were some great ladies there and while I would've like to have seen what I could have really put out on the bike I'm pretty satisfied with my race. It is so much easier to race when only worrying about your own race and not the place.
Really looking forward to my big race on August 4th which I will preview in a soon to be written post