Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Didn't make this year's merry mailing list? No worries, as you can read it here!!!

Hi-dee-ho dear little elfs,

We have been busy still picking meat from the bones of the Thanksgiving turkey and nursing the wounds we received while shopping on Black Friday, but apparently everyone wants to know what exciting things the Edwards’ have been up to this year.  After turning down repeated pleas from E! Online and People Magazine, we are going to give you dear friends, family and any nosy onlookers…wait for it…wait for it….. the EXCLUSIVE!!!

Being the holiday season, it seems fitting to mention that we have not yet been invited to a single New Year’s Eve Party this year.  We only mention this to make you feel guilty in case you have some awesome plans that you forgot to tell us about.  Don’t worry though; we will just entertain ourselves by hopping into a frozen lake on New Year’s Day to make the pain worse!

Many of you might have heard that this summer, I (yes, first female ever) was in the lead of the Tour de France and I climbed like an angel up the Alpe d’Huez.  I crested the mountain and quickly looked back to see all the goldfish behind (just sucking air just trying to catch me) and made for the wicked descent.  All of the sudden, this pothole jumped out in front of me and reality hit.  Crap, I guess that I was not in the Tour and I must have been dreaming or perhaps that was the good drugs they dosed me with as I laid in the ambulances and hospital bed.  In 2011, I learned that when I get in a fight with Gravity and Asphalt, I lose!  They left me with a fractured scapula (shoulder blade), some bruised ribs and a whole lotta road rash.  But I hear scars are cool!  Right?  But sigh, I had to take 9 entire days off from working out.  And oh yeah, I learned I could run with just one arm!  As they say, no rest for the wicked!! And by wicked, this now includes Joey, who seems to have the workout bug too these days!

Ahhh, but the ‘Year De Clutz’ continued in the Edwards household.  About the time, the better half (aka: the name for all female counterparts in case you were unaware), the other half (the super talented landscaper...well don’t look at our yard 75% of the time) experimented with cutting some limbs down with his extension chainsaw above our garage.  (I swear he has done this before at least once successfully!)  Yet, on this day he managed to trim all the limbs but one and when it went to let loose, the big old thick limb landed right on top of his thumb on the saw crushing his thumb joint.  (Insert one of Joey’s choice $!%@ words!)  The treatment, immobilize and rest.  It has healed fast because he is really good at that!  (Insert sarcasm!)  Suffice it to say, we have had quite the busy year with a whole lot of tiger blood!

In other breaking news, our little (rather quite chubby cat generally) Zippo gave us quite a scare this year.  Zippo got so sick, quit eating and got so scrawny that he could only muster a very sickly meow!  Did not mention I really only do triathlons to meet vet triathletes who perform house calls?  Anyway, my super-friend came out and saved our lil guy!  This was likely due in part to the joy Joey got from getting to stick the cat with needles for a while!

I thought hell might have frozen over this year (not because Arnold Schwarzenegger admitted to the love child with family maid but) because I randomly got a call from Joey one day at work that we were getting a new puppy!  (Cue to me jumping up and down and doing cartwheels)  Apparently Joey’s Mom Edwards was hooking us up with a cute little girl to keep our 7 year old Matches golden retriever company.  Of course, we had to think of another name with a fire theme, so we named her Ember!  She is the most adorable puppy ever even when chewing my socks while I clean up her messes!

And that folks is just the cliff notes version…!  Other than that, life in our world remains pretty much the same and we still both ‘Occupy’ Jobs (no not that Jobs (RIP and thank you for my new IPhone).  No wonder the world is coming to an end in 2012—how could it ever live up to 2011, a year which gave us a royal wedding, Sheen declaring himself to be a Martian rock star made of tiger blood who no longer does drugs (glad rehab helped), a second ex-Mr. Kim Kardashian and a political penis scandal (what a Weiner!)?  "I'm not bi-polar I'm bi-winning" (LOL)

So wishing all of you and all of the best!  Keep your friends and family close and your enemies closer!  Time to get shuf-f-f-ling!  HUGS AND KISSES to all of you!  XOXOXO! Janet, Joey, Matches, Ember and Zippo!!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Trails, Leg and Hubby-Yes I think my brain is fried!

Just a quick note before I embark on a nice long 4 day weekend.  I have been so darn busy, blogging has been a struggle and just keeping up with all the little things I want to do has been rough (including sleep).

So here is the cliffnotes version-

1.  I have getting in lots of good training- This includes being consistent with hitting masters swims (thank you coach amanda for all the tips), returning to indoor cycling class (which are always good for a nasty sweat pool on the floor) and lots of running and trails!!!  :-)

My trail slave-drivers!
2.  My troublesome left leg has been feeling so-so.  I never know if I am just paranoid or that tibia stress fracture from 2 years ago has never healed but it always makes me nervous so I am monitoring it closely!  I did manage to have a pretty clutz week the sunday before last on the trails which resulted in two falls, 4 ankle rolls and some good bruises.  That said, luckily while the knee looked impressively colored, nothing hurt me!!!

3.  A huge factor lately in my workout ramp up has been my husband!  Now this guy never gets enough mention here.  Yet, anyone in this tri-area knows him well as he comes to everything to sherpa, cheer and every other thing you can think of.  Now my husband has never been one to workout seriously.  Sure he would ride mtn bikes or road bikes here and there and we might go to Rays Indoor Mtn Bike Park the last few years which was still A HUGE STEP for someone who never worked out or really played competitive sports ever.  BUT, all of the sudden a month ago, for some reason (still not sure exactly what but likely a variety of things) but my husband has come to the dark side!!!!  He is now watching his intake and exercising a lot intensely about 6 days a week.  He has been coming to indoor training rides, running including treadmill workouts with stud tri guy, DM and lifting.  He even just picked up some trail shoes and has filled me in on some pretty big ambitions for 2012.  I AM SOOOOO EXCITED FOR HIM and he is doing AMAZING to the tune of a fast dramatic change already.

Regardless this has been super fun to watch and he is just soooo motivated!  So now I have been doing more evening sessions while he gets in his workout and not feeling guilty about spending my evenings away at some indoor cycling session because now he is there with me.  Did I mention how excited this makes me?  I am also super excited about not setting an alarm tomorrow morning for the first time since 10/30.  And when I get up, the husband and I will hit the gym together!!!  This all seems like a big Christmas present to me!!!

4.  I think after maybe 7 weeks of being sick, I FINALLY FEEL GOOD THIS WEEK!  It's a christmas miracle!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Decisions, decisions!!! 2012 Potential Schedule!

I have been giving a lot of thought to 2012 and there are lots more posts to come on this subject.  I don't want to short change a few of the topics, so for now, here are some thoughts on my 2012 schedule.

First off, every year I like to try to keep it fresh and do something new every year.  I love to race the local venues, but I feel the need to always try something new.

2006 - First year of tris- Completed sprints and olys
2007- Focused on Duathlons and First Half Iron
2008- More tris, a half, more marathons and even a couple 50K trail runs
2009- Focused on Xterra Tris, Mtn Biking and of course some tris and runs!
2010- First 140.6 (REV3 Cedar Point)
2011- Second 140.6 (REV3 Cedar Point) and Triple T Tri (4 races, 3 days, 140.6 hilly miles)

So I scratch my head now trying to figure out what I would like to do for 2012.  For a number of reasons, I have decided to try to limit the race travel.  My thought for the year is to continue to challenge myself and hopefully put down some stronger times at my key races (TTT, REV3CP) but also to sprinkle in something new and fresh to mix it up and this year I am thinking some more bike races.

So here is what I am currently debating between.  And of course I already see some races I like that are not on there (Maumee Bay, Hinkley Du, ??).  So stay tuned to see what I end up deciding.....

Green events are ones that I am pretty much 100% on.

1/15/2012 – Run for Regis 50K Run, http://winterrunforregis.blogspot.com/

1/22/11- CTC Indoor Tri at University of Akron, http://www.clevetriclub.com/events-menu/indoor-tri-menu.html (MAYBE, ONLY QUESTION IS RACE OR VOLUNTEER)


2/26/11 – CTC Indoor Tri at Twinsburg Rec (MAYBE, ONLY QUESTION IS RACE OR VOLUNTEER)

3/4/2012- Millcreek Distance Classic (Youngstown Half Marathon)- http://ytownrunners.org/Assets/2012%20Classic%20app.pdf

3/10/2012 – St Malachi Run – 5 Miler http://hermescleveland.com/roadracing/

3/18 – CTC Indoor Tri at CSU, (MAYBE, ONLY QUESTION IS RACE OR VOLUNTEER) 

April 21  Races at the Lake, Munroe Falls, OH, Summit Freewheelers  (CRIT ROAD BIKE RACE) OR TOLEDO MARY OR KENT ½ MARY (STILL DECIDING)

April 28  Races at the Lake, Munroe Falls, OH, Summit Freewheelers (CRIT ROAD BIKE RACE)

May 4-6 – CTC Training Camp at Mohican

May 12   Races at the Lake, Munroe Falls, OH, Summit Freewheelers (CRIT ROAD BIKE RACE)

May 20-22 – American Triple T Tri!!! Full irondistance over weekend,  http://www.americantriple-t.com/


June 10- Sunday in June, 100 M Bike Ride, http://www.clevelandtouringclub.org/ridesandevents/sundayinjune
June 24th –Monroe Falls Sprint Tri, http://www.champracing.org/schedule.html  

July 13-15 – Tour of the Valley – 3 Day Bike Stage Race, http://tourofthevalley.com/

 
August 5, 2012 - Greater Cleveland Tri presented by North Coast Multisports, Olympic Tri

Some HALF TBD within reasonable driving distance (Thinking Steelhead (8/19) or Morgantown (6/24) or Musselman (7/15)

September 9, 2012, REV3 Cedar Point presented by REV3 Tri,  Full 140.6, Cedar Point; Sandusky, OH, http://rev3tri.com/

Sept 29, 2012 – Akron Mary Relay, http://www.akronmarathon.org/

October 21, 2012 – Columbus Marathon, http://www.columbusmarathon.com/

Turkey trot and reindeer run too of course!!!

So any thoughts on something awesome I just need to do that I am leaving out???


Thursday, December 08, 2011

Welcome to December!!!

So after a relatively nice warm November, December has arrived and the temps are dipping a bit.  The last few years, December has always meant a few things-

1.  A ramp up in miles for the USAT National Club Challenge
2.  The Reindeer Run 5K
3.  The return to trail running to prepare for the Winter Run for Regis
4.  The kick-off of indoor trainer classes

All of which, make me excited!!!!

USAT National Club Challenge
So as a board member for the Cleveland Triathlon Club, one responsibility that has typically fell in my hands was coordinating the club's USAT challenge.  I like it a lot for a few reasons.  Mainly it is 3 months of the year where I am the most responsible with tracking my mileage.  You would think that I would be better about it after all these years, but despite my decent (can't say best) efforts, I always fall off tracking and forget things when I go to log it.  That and I have never stayed consistent with logging it into one database.  Perhaps a goal to strive for in 2012???

Anyways, another reason that I like the USAT NCC is that I find that I get more motivated to put up some big numbers.  That and I always seem to have a rivalry with my good friend CK to see who puts up the bigger numbers.  I got him last year, but he has a very tiny lead on me as of today...but not for long ;-)

In my defense, I have skipped a few workouts in lieu of sleep or just relaxing as I still have not shaken this dang funk of a cough I have had for over a month now.  It is now better than Thanksgiving week and I had went to the Dr. last week finally to get on some antibiotics, but the coughing fits have still not subsided!  GRRRR, I hate hate hate being sick and have such a hard time laying low which probably only delays me getting healthy.

So far in the challenge since it started on 12/1, as of 12/8 at 9:45 am, I have logged-
Swim:  1.55 M
Bike:  28 M
Run:  49.5M
Total:  79.05 miles giving me a weighted points total of 192.

Seems pretty obvious I need to pick up the biking and swimming AND that I just love running!

Reindeer Run 5 K
Saturday morning the plan was to run the Reindeer Run 5K.  Despite me being sick, I figured since I was signed up already, I might as well go see what I could do.  It is always a flat fast course and I was hopeful that maybe, maybe I could break 19.  But, I should have known from the warm-up, that it was not to be my day.  I got in a nice 3.5 mile warm-up prior to the race as it was pretty cool out (around 30 with a wind out of the south) and stripped down to my shorts, tank and arm warmers.  Yes, I had several comments about the fact that I must be freezing but I was actually pretty comfortable with my race temperature in those clothes.

I lined up next to my good friend and training partner, CV and hoped to keep up with her.  However not even a half mile into the race, I let her pull away feeling my effort getting too high.  I hit the first mile marker at 6:06, exactly the pace I needed.  However, I knew then, there was no way to get that 19 as my effort already felt maxed out and I still had 2/3 the race to go.  I slowed down and suffered through the miles.  Blah, I felt like crap and kept coughing along the way.  To make matters worse, a chick passed me with about 50 yards to the finish and I pretty much gave up and jogged the last 50 yards in.  I was definitely frustrated with myself by slacking off that last quarter mile and not holding my position.  That resulted in me dropping to second in my age group as that lady who passed me there, ended up with first in our age group.  Total time was 19:51, 6:21 pace.

Not what I hoped, but I quickly shook it off and started cooling down with CV to wrap up 10 miles on the day.  She had taken 2nd overall and now it was time to celebrate her birthday!!!  The best part of the race was all my other good friends that had came down.   I can honestly say that over the years, my running and triathlon friends have just become such a huge part of my life and I just LOVE hanging out with them.  Several friends got PRS on this day like Bridget being paced by fast Salty.  And (ole college roomie, trisaratops PR'd, being paced in by silly fast NC.  Jen C prd too!  Espeed was out there cheering all of us on as she is on the recovery train post her 2:51 Philly Mary.  Espeed's hubby PRd running with the super cute GP.  Bottom line it was a super morning.  And then to top it off, a huge group of us went to the "Original" Pancake House and indulged in gourmet pancake deliciousness!!! 

The return to trail runs!
Oh, how I love these...well sort of!!!  I had organized a group to hit the trails Sunday.  After all, I need to start to prepare for the 1/15 50K trail run I signed up for...again!  Only my legs felt tired from Saturday and oh yeah...still sick!  It was great company, great scenery and lots of hills!  GG and AM were pushing the pace a fair amount and of course, I did my best to keep up.  The last 5 miles, I was pretty much in a daze because I felt so fatigued, but still I managed to get in those 18.5.  OMG, only like another 13 to do on race day (HOLY CRAP, I got some work to do!!!)  Time to rally for 21ish this Sunday!!

Indoor trainer ride commencement!
These are always good fun and I work so hard for these 1.5 -2 hour sessions.  New this year, I am heading up the bi-weekly rides at the bicycle hub.  Last night was our first session and with a 90's theme, how could it not be fun???!!!  Great turnout, good workout and kick arse tunes brought to you by your truly!!  This Saturday, I will be back to my normal Saturday's at Twinsburg!  LT test week!  Bring it on!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Let's talk turkey

So apparently working hard at the Fall Classic was enough to make my sickness worse.

My cold / crap in my throat decided to really take hold on Tuesday.  I had taken Monday off from working out as I felt generally tired.  Tuesday, I awoke early and just ran a nice moderate pace on the track with AM, while CV clicked off her repeats.  My calves felt a bit sore from Sunday's race and I just felt sick.  Mid-way through the afternoon I was just feeling crappy.  However, the husband was heading to jujutsu so I decided I would force myself to go to Masters Swim, but I did not feel like going at all.  Thankfully, even though I worked my tail off, I felt better after I was done than before I started.  Wednesday was another easy swim day and I felt worse than ever.  My throat now had a tight vice and I was coughing terribly without much of a voice.

The timing totally stunk, being the holidays and I had so many fun things on the calendar!!!  I passed on heading over to the social gathering at my sister's Wednesday evening and hit the hay early.  Thursday was the turkey trot in Aurora and I made my way over to my sister's place to meet up with them.

Despite feeling quite awful, I decided I would just run as hard as I could on this given day, knowing it would not be an ideal performance.  It was however a very nice day outside so I warmed up, barely made it through the bathroom line (dejavue!) and stripped down to my shorts, ctc tank and arm warmers at the start.

I again opted for no headphones and with the start, I was off.  I went out behind FD and felt pretty good that first downhill mile.  5:52.  I told myself that while it was fast, it was downhill so don't read into it!  I tried to find an effort to run steadily but not blow up.  I knew I was sitting in 3rd position for females. The fun thing about to course is there are two out and back sections where you can see the runners in front and behind you and I cheered for my sister, a bit shocked with how well she was running!

Around 2.5, 2 females passed me and I decided to keep my effort steady instead of upping my effort to go with them, knowing that the hill was approaching.  Last year I remembered pretty much blowing myself up there, so I ran conservatively up the hill.  I was feeling ok around the last one mile stretch and passed a couple guys but I pretty much just cruised into the finish.

Total time:  25:23, 6:21 pace
Last year my time was 26:21, 6:35 pace

So overall I was pleased that I managed to run nearly a minute faster, especially given how sick I felt.  Of course, I don't think that little trot made me feel any better but probably quite the opposite.  The BEST part of the day was that I was super proud of sis who ran a sub 28 and just under 7 min miles!  I had told her she should try to run sub 30 and boy did she show me!!  WOOOT!!

Sadly since I was not faster and did not place in the top 3 overall, I knocked her out of an AG placing as I took first in our AG and she had 4th.  I did score a $20 gift card to the Nike store (which I already spent!!).  Turkey day was then filled with eating and two family gatherings and me just feeling generally crappy.  Again I hit the hay early to wake up at 4AM for our traditional black friday shopping.

Poor me was just miserable but I did get lots of good deals.  Talking hurt my throat terribly, but I did my best to rally through the day.  I got home from everything just before 4PM and now my husband was sick too.  We scratched our evening plans (that I had been really looking forward to) and made some turkey noodle soup and curled up on the couches to watch some movies.

I had planned to wake up Saturday feeling good, but no such luck.  I figured I could feel sick at home or maybe a little better if I got out and did something.  So off to run some trails with SERC I went.  It was a gorgeous day with a good group.  I did not talk much as every word hurt my throat but I was happy to be out running trails with a bunch of fun people.  I would definitely say the uphills felt like much more of a struggle on this day with my funk.  We ended up with 11 muddy hilly miles.

I drove home and changed into some other clothes and was picked up to head out to West Branch to mountain bike.  Despite feeling generally crappy, I was enjoying the gorgeous November weather tremendously.  Our mountain bike ride was cut a little short for a few reasons but I could have rode all day.  We had another Thanksgiving feast Saturday night at my husband's family and I finally laid down in bed, so ready to get some rest.

However I tossed and turned and coughed most of the night.  I woke up to a rainy gray day but decided I should do something so I headed off to Solon to run.  I had no plan other than to roll with it and get some miles in.  I ended up running towards the front of the group and was happy to chat with NC and we ended up sticking together.  I was a little surprised that I was chatting away and clipping off miles at a decent pace.  My throat did not hurt sooo bad but I still was trying to breathe shallow as deep breaths brought on coughing fits.  All in all, I managed 12.75 miles at 7:12 pace and the run did not feel too hard.

Sunday was also a pretty lazy day and I crashed out early that night hoping to feel better today.  No such luck.  Despite plans to hit LFT early this morning, I opted to get some extra rest...maybe I will feel better tomorrow!!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Fall Classic Half Race Report

Official Time: 1:32:47
Official Pace:  7:05
Official Place:  3rd Overall Female behind 1&2 by about 1.5 minute

So again I missed that sub-1:30 goal.  I was not feeling very optimistic the week of the race.  I am still sick and I feel like I have struggled on workouts more.

Race day I woke up feeling generally crappy and after much debate popped a Mucinex D.  I was a bit worried it would affect my heart rate but I knew it would make me feel a bit better.

The husband came with me on this day so it was nice to have some company.  I arrived early but had nearly a mile walk to the race start.  I found a picnic table to wait for things to get started.  It was surprisingly warm (mid 50s) and slightly windy.  About 8:30 I started on my warm-up on the race course.   Just over half a mile in, I decide to double back as I really have to pee and knew there would be a line for the POP.  I got in line by 8:40 but by 8:55 I was not even close and finally got out of line to shed my pants, shirt and get to the starting line.  This was terrible planning on my part.  Had I realized on my warmup that I only needed to go a bit further out and I could have hit the bathroom at the Challet I would have done that...but I did not know!  Lesson noted for next time!!!  Guess if I was going to use one of the POP at this race, I needed a lot more time!!!

So now I am sort of freaked out knowing I was going to have to hold it for at least another hour and a half.  Even worse, I had forgot my inhaler in the car and could not hit that pre-race.  I hate not parking close!!!  Not quite feeling like an ideal start AT ALL as I lined up!  Guess my warm up should have been back to the car to grab it...oh well!

But as the race started, I settled down and tried to focus on the task at hand.  This week I went with no headphones knowing CV would run part of second half with me and there would be a lot of racers and I wanted to be cognizant of those around me.

I was trying to watch the garmin closely those first few miles to pace properly. I was actually feeling pretty relaxed.  I was really glad I had opted for no headphones as I was just trying to stay focused.  The miles were clicking by and I was doing my best to run tangents on the winding road which was pretty easy on the way out.  On the return trip I was counting down the minutes until I would see CV but with every passing minute, my bladder was getting more uncomfy!!!

I had passed one female and was closing on the lead female right ahead of me and her young friends let her know I was coming.  I had almost caught her but the day was catching up to me!!!  As soon as saw CV about mile 6, I said I was not feeling it.  I think I pretty much gave up on the pace at this point and started trying to go about mission-no-meltdown.  As I ran onto the path from the road I got caught up in a lot of traffic or walkers and slower runners from the 5K heading into the finish.  I wasted some energy here and by the time I hit the road, the extra exertion made me have to pee waaaay worse.

I told CV I was going to have to stop at the POP at mile 8ish.  I knew my pace was fading but I was just moving forward...MISERABLE!  As we hit the Challet I changed my mind and passed that bathroom.  I had a feeling if I stopped, I would say screw my time and jog the rest of the way in slowly knowing I was not going to make my goal with a stop.  Not sure if that was the case or maybe I would have felt better but I continued on.

I was now not looking at my garmin and I saw a female close in on me pretty fast.  She went on to take the lead and win it by a 10 second margin over the young female.  I plodded along and was having a hard time running tangents now with all the racers on both sides of the roads and it was obvious as my garmin was now beeping way before the mile markers.

I was soooo happy to make my way onto the path towards the finish and picked it up a bit at the end.  Then I was again side-stepping runners who must have been on lap one running three wide on the tight path.  As I hit the finish line they announced third overall female and they handed me my finishers medal.  I was struggling to catch my breath as now my asthma was flaring.  I am thinking maybe I walked out too fast, as afterwards it seemed a little strange I did not get some kind of award. 

So now I am walking and circling the POP because I am dying to go but I know if I stop walking and hit the POP, that my asthma will get worse.  Ahhhh, I was so torn and DYING!  Finally I was able to settle my breathing down enough to hit the POP.  SWEET SWEET RELIEF.  Picture Adam Sandler and longest pee.  I know TMI but OMG I needed that!

Coach said I should have just relieved myself when I was running.  Ha!!!!!  Well maybe someday but to this day I have still not ventured into that territory while I was racing...!

I walked my sweaty body over to see my husband and grab some water.  Then my coughing fit began with all the funk in the back of my throat.  Technically the 1:32:47 is a PR so I should be happy.  It was not what I was going for but given the circumstances, I will take it.  I am really glad I toughed it out and did not throw in the towel there at mile 8.  Overall, I did feel much better this race than last and know I am gaining running fitness!

The thing that jumped off the page at me was just how high my heart rate got.  Looks like the Mucinex infused run recorded my highest heart rate data ever!

The other major whiff on my part was some body glide!  I was SOOO chaffed between my legs, under my arms and even on my wrist from my garmin!  This led to a painful shower at CV's post race but I was still thankful to just get that shower....as was my husband!!!!  :-)

Garmin said 13.24 miles,  7:01 average pace

Split Avg Pace Avg HR Max HR
1 6:41 173 179
2 6:49 179 180
3 6:47 179 180
4 6:55 180 181
5 6:50 180 181
6 6:53 180 181
7 7:01 179 180
8 7:04 179 180
9 7:16 179 180
10 7:16 179 180
11 7:20 181 183
12 7:21 184 185
13 7:23 186 196

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Win Some, Lose Some

Sunday was the first of the two half marathons I had planned to run.

The long story short is I fell waaaaaaay short of my goal for the race.  There are several reasons which could have contributed which I hope to fix in 2 weeks.

So the morning started out pretty early even with the time change.  I was up early on dog detail and my lil cutie pie, Ember, decided that on that day she only wanted to play outside instead of taking care of business.  This led to me wasting a bunch of time outside and then she created a big mess for me inside to take care of before heading out the door!  Good thing I love that furball of a puppy!

Finally made it on to the road but was just feeling generally kind of crappy.  I could not swallow completely as the thick funk in my throat seemed even worse than it had the past week or two that I have had been sick.  Super fun trying to clear my throat the entire way out there!  It definitely gave me pause with my goal but I have been putting in some decent workouts I thought over the past couple sick weeks so I was hopefully I could muster up a decent run despite it all.

Upon arrival to the race, I was able to easily get my stuff and was ready to board the bus as the half marathon was point to point.

Race temperature was 38 at the start and the weather report looked like it would warm up to 42.  The wind was pretty strong mainly coming out of the south but slightly also out of the east which was not ideal seeings that we were running east the majority of the race and then south.  Thankfully the route was lined with trees most the way and it was not bad until heading south.

I dressed a little warmer than I normally would because I was not aware that we could drop clothes on a bus to return and I did not want to be super cold.  Upon getting off the bus I had about 15 minutes so I hit the portopotty (and all 4 of them were out of tp-not cool!) By the time I was running, I managed to get in one mile before I headed over to the start line.  However apparently we were not starting on time and it took some time before I even seen a race organizer.  Then a bus rolled in full of more racers.  Hope they did not need tp or a warm-up but they did get a couple minutes to hit the POP.  By the time we got going it was 8:17 and now I was cold.

I took off trying to settle into 6:52 pace.  We headed west for the first half mile which was nice with the wind at our backs before making 2 sharp left turns putting us onto the bike and hike path heading east.  Three guys went out fast in front of me.

Mile 1- 6:47, Not feeling too bad but this was not feeling very good either!
Mile 2-6:41- a little fast but managing fine.  I think I am passed by another guy.
Mile 3-6:51- crap, I already know this is not going to be my day.
Mile 4- 6:53- I am thinking seriously I cannot imagine running 9 more at this pace!
Mile 5-7:06-What if we just try to keep to ease up a little bit and see if I start to feel better?
Mile 6-7:14- Got passed by a couple more guys.  I am suffering!

Almost half way and all I can think is I am not even halfway and I am soooo miserable.  I am now frustrated that my pace is slipping into slower than some of my long runs' paces but it is taking most everything I had to keep running.  The main thing driving me is that I know I am winning the women's race.  I decide to run hard and quit looking at the paces.

Mile 7-7:17 - "Why do I do this for fun?"
Mile 8-7:06- Counting down the minutes
Mile 9-7:19 - Had to slow down and fix my Ipod as one podcast ended and I at least needed something better to listen to! 
Mile 10-7:09- ???  Why am I am mile 10?  For some reason I thought I only had two left. NOOOOO! I can't bear the idea of needing to run one more mile than I thought I was at!
Mile 11-7:22- I got nothing left
Mle 12-7:24- Finally just one more mile of torture.  Older guy passes me.
Mile 13-7:27- Into the wind and uphill grade.  THIS IS JUST MEAN!  Where is the finish line?
Total Time: 1:34:07, 7:11 pace, 1st overall female and 8th overall.


I got done and could not catch my breath...AT ALL.  I felt crappy and just kept coughing and coughing!  I was hugely disappointed that I did not run as well as I know I can but the sting was dampened that it was nice to get the Overall Female Win.

Average HR 175,  MAX 183- It was not that I was not working! Part of me wondered if it was just that I was not pushing as it was a little lonely on the course.  But judging from my HR, clearly I was pushing, it was just not meant to be this day.

I am hopeful that if I can get myself healthy and warm up properly, that I can do this next time.  Nice to know that I was getting a redo in two weeks and hoping I can do it.

PS- I have always thought I would be able to run NY marathon if I wanted as the half qualifying time was 1:33.  Now it has been dropped to 1:27.  Running a 1:27 half sounds awful difficult for me!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

The Halloween Fun!

Oh last week was tons of fun as expected!  I love this time of year in that I feel more relaxed with my training and take the time to cut loose with friends and get a little silly from time to time!

I have been totally slacking swimming and biking!!!  Coach just sent out our first set of off-season bike workouts so I am starting those this week!  Also as of 11/1, you could purchase your USMS 2012 membership so I did that this week too.  So time to get back into the swing of things after a pretty lax September and October for two reasons.

1.  I need to get myself back in biking shape as I help lead indoor trainer sessions starting in December and ideally I like to make sure I am well-prepared.

2. Improving my swimming is my numero uno winter goal!

So on the training front, I continue to just run, run, run lately!

Tuesday was the normal 10 mile day which included a track workout of 6x800's, some drills and then 4x100's.  Felt strong!

Wednesday was a 2.5 mi super easy fun run for CTC's Halloween Costume Fun Run!  Always a good time! 
I went as JEM!  Jem was my favorite cartoon on in the mid-80s when I was a little girl!



Thankfully as the designated driver Wednesday night, I was able to make it up for my Thursday morning tempo run which was 8 miles and 3mi@6:46.

Friday-?  Not sure what I got in that day.  Maybe it was an off day or maybe I ran easy??

Saturday was our girls Halloween / Pancake Run!!!  I had conned CV into meeting me out early for some miles before the group run.  We managed 7 mi at 7:03 before running 6 more easy on the trails for a total of 13.  I earned my breakfast that morning while having a super fab time with some of my favorite ladies!

Saturday evening was our Halloween Party.  Of course I had to go with my LMFAO themed outfit and showed my guests the "I'm Sexy and I know it!" ridiculous video a time or 6!  Heehee!  Another fun evening and late night which led to a very lazy Sunday!


So a super fun week in the books!  This week's workouts are a bit lighter as I taper for Sunday's half marathon race, the Inland Trail half!  Overall aerobically I feel pretty good and pretty confident.  My leg (tibial nerve area) habitually gives me pause so erroring on the easier side this week.  Bring on the gorgeous looking weekend forecast!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

This is how I roll, animal print, pants out control

Yes, just rolling along running in stride with whatever hand I am dealt AND rocking out to some fab tunes like LMFAO and of course my favorite, DJ Scene podcasts!

Last week it was the case of an extremely upset stomach which lasted for 4 entire days and resulted in me being quite dehydrated.  This led to taking off Monday and Wednesday, a horrible track workout Tuesday (and even worse run back to the gym) and a blown tempo run Thursday which thankfully I at least had the sense to do on the treadmill near a bathroom.

The husband has been bow hunting some mornings which means I am left to stay home and on dog detail instead of going to the gym, so swimming is just not getting done.  That said I am just rolling with the flow and just trying to at least get in my 3 key runs a week and not worry much about anything else.  Besides the 3 key runs, it remains mission do as I please!

On the running front which I am LOVING, all seems to be going along well.  I was super excited to run both days this weekend with my favorite running club evahh, SERC!  Saturday morning was trails.  SG had picked out some of the less muddy trails for us to run which ended up being a good portion of the Run for Regis Course (score for me since I am doing it in Jan!).  I was feeling pretty good running throughout the morning, but I did manage to roll each ankle once and planted my hands in the mud to save my face as I slipped going up a muddy hill.  It always amazes me how bad it hurts to roll an ankle and then I run some more and 1 minute later, it is like it never happened.  THANK GOODNESS!

The weather was just gorgeous Saturday morning and running trails with the bright fall leaves is sooo hard to beat and makes it hard not to have a good run!  What a great way to start my day!  I arrived back to Lock 29 12 miles later and FD hooked us up with some banana bread compliments of his fab wife.  Can it get any better?  :-)

Yes....

Sunday I showed up to Solon to again run with the SERC gang.  FD asked me what my plan was and I said I was hoping to run the 12 mile loop at a 7:15 or better pace.  I was definitely nervous about stating this out loud with this group (as u better be ready for trash talk in this crowd) as I figured this might be tough to hit when I got to the hills and everyone might catch me and know I failed.  Fortunately for me, FD said he would roll with me.  :-)

And after 100 meters with the group we buckled down and got with the plan.  I really struggle to pace properly at this pace.  One minute I see 6:50 and then 7:20 and I was trying to find somewhere close to my target.  Thank goodness for my gps!

Mile 1:  7:17
Mile 2:  6:56
Mile 3:  7:02
Mile 4:  7:10
Mile 5:  7:02
Mile 6:  7:01
stopped for water
Mile 7: 7:07
Mile 8: 7:35 (up the Solon Rd hill from Liberty which continues Cannon)  Picture me breathing heavy!
Mile 9:  7:20 (calm before the storm as I try to recover)
Mile 10: 7:24 -OUCH (up Bedford Chagrin Pkwy to SOM)
stopped at top for water but there wasn't any...like I cared I just wanted a second to catch my breath!  FD pulled away from me a bit on this hill and made it look easier than it was!
Mile 11:  6:41 - Some downhill but as we hit the flat I was thinking this feels hard and I must be out of gas.
Mile 12:  6:51 - Stick a fork in me

Average pace 7:07.  Not too shabby for a hilly course, albeit we did stop twice.  Overall I think this run was a good confidence builder for my half marathon goals especially after a hilly 12 mile run Saturday.  I owe FD huge for pushing me and keeping me accountable to my goal for the day.  I am guessing if I was running it solo, I would have slacked off.  I feel like I need to learn to dig deeper when the going gets rough on my own.

I was a slacker yday morning and slept in but managed a solid track workout this morning.  Tomorrow I am super excited about CTC's Halloween Costume Run and after-party!  Stay tuned for some fun pics!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tums and Pepto to the Rescue...I WISH!

Rough, rough morning here in Daisyland.

I am not sure what the deal is but my gut is SUPER PO'd.  It started yesterday and morning.  Waves of cramping pain and trips to the RR.  It seemed to get a little better after I left work but my stomach hurt so bad in the middle of the night, it woke me up twice (stupid homemade taco salad for dinner probably a bad idea with a sour stomach).  It does not seem like I am sick as I feel fine besides these overwhelming waves that come over me and I can't decide if my stomach and back is cramping or if I might have to peuk or something else that girls don't do ;-)

Regardless, clearly I had reason to be concerned about this morning's track workout.  Popped some TUMS around 2AM and then at 5AM popped some pepto and was hoping for the best.

I opted to just run CV's workout.  I probably do better workouts when I am running with someone.  We were doing 800's.  I think CV said all of them were between 2:55-3:05 so I will take that.  I can't remember if I did 4 or 5.  Yet, I really struggled because my gut hurt so bad.  When I got done, started jogging easy and the waves of pain that doubled me over immediately started coming on every 5 minutes or so.  It was SUCH a rough run back to the gym.  Running just is so hard on your insides.  I am thinking if I was biking or swimming, I might have fared much better.  Oh well at least I was super happy to see CV getting strong again after her injury!

I have been having more GI issues lately running lately it seems.

On the running front, I am managing to get in pretty solid workouts.

Last week totals went as such-
M-OFF
T-7 miles (included 2x2000 repeats with 400 recoveries, bailed on third bc stomach hurt)
 - 28 miles biked evening with touring club.  Nice night to ride although lights are now reqd.
W-9 miles with lunch gang (8:01 pace)
R-10 miles ran with AM  (8:17 pace)
F-OFF
S- Key Run- ran 8.5 miles at 7:16 pace until I met sis and AP.  Ran 2 easy miles with them and then decided to pick up the pace so I could run ahead to POP (that hurt).  Then circled back to finish up last 3 miles with sis.  Total 15.5 miles.  Plan was 12 at 7:20 but ended with 15.5 and some slower and faster miles so I think it should be close enough to the intent.  
S-OFF

Miles Ran:  41.5

Can't believe I took 3 days off!  Really really need to get in the pool!  I want to spend the next two weeks on operation flip turn mastering before starting Orange Masters in November.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Wedding Fun!

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A very busy Monday so here is the cliff notes version!

Had a crazy fun weekend hitting Rob & Emily's wedding.  Gorgeous church and reception lodge, great band, fantastic food and drink selection and a whole lotta fun!  Fist pumps, flexing muscles and silliness was on the agenda for the night!

Thank goodness I had gotten in my key hard workout first thing Saturday morning!  Sunday was just chilling on the couch while the puppy napped on me!  Ember=Spoiled!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Mixing it up!

Mission do-what-I-feel-like is continuing.  Some days I like having the flexibility of doing what I want to and other days I miss the structure of a plan.

I continue to struggle with morning motivation lately.  I have resumed running with friend(s) on Tuesdays and Thursdays downtown.  The accountability factor here can not be underrated as these are the only two mornings lately that I always force myself up.  

For now, the only real plan I am trying to follow is Furman's First to the Finish half marathon plan.  I like the idea of 3 key runs and doing whatever I feel like the rest of the week.  I am planning to run Inland Half on 11/6 and then Fall Classic on 11/20.  Would love to get a half marathon PR this fall!  (Must beat 1:33:18 but targetting sub 1:30).  So I got two shots on two flat courses.

The thing I feel I really need to focus on would be dropping a few pounds as that always makes running easier.  My intake has plenty of room for improvement and I have been really slacking here.  I must say although I love my husband's mom, she is killing me with the Peanut Butter cupcakes and then the whoopies she has given us this week.  Then there was my mom's birthday which we celebrated Saturday at my house and there was waaay too much left over ice cream which we made sure did not go to waste.  Oh I have not behaved.  Not only that, even the food has been a little bad and I have paid dearly during my runs this week as I wince trying to make it to the bathroom.   Must find a way to focus here...somehow!

In other news, I really enjoyed this past weekend.  I got to see several of the ladies Saturday morning for Jen's Birthday / Pancake Run and we hit the the trails of North Chagrin.  Saturday afternoon I headed to the Cleveland Triathlon Club picnic and took my pumpkin, Ember with me.  She was SOOOO cute playing with the other doggies and got so wore out she needed a nap in the middle of all the action!  

Sunday we got out for the first time in awhile and hit the mountain bike trails at West Branch.  This was an awesome time riding and despite not riding a lot this year, I felt very comfortable navigating the rock gardens and just really enjoyed myself!

Just wishing the nice weather would never come to an end!  Also, there are just not enough hours in the day to spend with my lil cutie pie!

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

On the Horizon

Fall is clearly here and the leaves are coming down!  That always means more running in my world!

Last week, I was a giant slacker and slept in several mornings (post IM rule is I do what I feel like), but fortunately 3 days I was able to get out a lunchtime for a workout.  My pool is not downtown where I work and my bike is not typically either, so of course I ran!

Monday - off
Tuesday -6.75 Miles at lunch around 8 min miles
Wednesday-6.75 Miles at lunch around 8 min miles
Thursday- 7 Miles ran (5@7), 20 min core workout
Friday - off
Saturday- 11 mile trail run with SERC
Sunday- 7 mi ran (5x1@7), 20 mi bike, 1000 m swam

Totals
Run 38.5 Mi
Bike 20 Mi
Swim 1000 yd
Core 20 min

Saturday's 11 miles was the first time I had been on the trails since last January (GASP!).  It was high 40's and raining.  Following our fearless leader onto trails less traveled, we probably crossed 12 rather deep slippery water crossings and saw sights in the CVNP that few have got to see.  Easily one of the funnest runs I have done in awhile!  I could have kept going all day!  I came home and signed myself right up for the Winter Run for Regis 50K.  I am just sooo stoked to spend some time on the trails and stay warm from the wind, nestled in all the trees!

I have decided there will definitely not be a fall marathon in my future.  I am going to focus on some speed and staying uninjured!  I am planning to do some races up to 13.1 and hopefully get a few PRs along the way.  I am really hoping to break that 1:30 mark for the half and I am planning to race the Fall Classic (already registered) and Inland Trail half.  Beyond that I will do a Turkey Trot and the Reindeer Run of course!

October and November will mainly be operation do-as-I please and do what I love the most (running) and then east side indoor cycling will start back up in December.  I really need to figure out how I am going to tackle my BIG goal for the winter which is to improve my swimming.  More on that once I figure it out!

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

I AM IN LOVE!

Yesterday's post got tabled and then never got done.  It was discussing difficulty waking up mornings and all the stupid rain.

I went to finish it but my tone feels so different today.  I see something giant and yellow in the sky!  Rumor has it we are in for perhaps 8 nice days of dry and sunshine!  SO EXCITED!

AND DRUM ROLL PLEASE....

We got a new puppy AND I am SOOOO in LOVE with her!

Now I never thought the husband would let us have another animal at our place.  We have our 7 year old golden retriever, Matches!  When we got him my husband thought it would be cute to say, "We were playing with Matches!"  So goes the story of his name!

My husband's mom breeds and shows the golden retrievers.  I love going to her house and seeing all the dogs and usually puppies!  Matches also really likes going to her house to play with all the girl doggies!  Matches might have become a show dog but he ended up a little short so he has just always been our cutie pie!

And then we have my lil 5 old year kitten, Zippo.  Zippo is a great cat.  Thank goodness because the husband would settle for no less.

Yet, between these two guys, we are constantly sweeping and cleaning up animal hair!  The husband has always said no more!

About 8 weeks ago, there were 2 litters born at Joey's mom which totaled 17 puppies.  We were there that day and my heart was melting!
As usual, my husband's mom always says we are welcome to take one home and raise her and that she would breed and show the dog.  Instead of taking up room in the kennel, the doggie could have a happy home life with us!  Of course, the husband was not buying it as we had enough hair to keep up with!

But for whatever reason, 5 weeks ago, his mom must have asked my husband on a good day or perhaps the husband knew how excited I would be, because he finally said ok!

I have been counting the days just waiting for my little cutie pie to come home!  Oh and of course I visited my puppies often!

Yesterday was the day we finally brought our little girl home!  We decided to name her Ember in keeping with our fire theme!


I can't wait to get home from work tonight to take her and Matches to play!  I am actually quite excited for Matches too as I think having a companion will be nice for him!  For now he needs to settle a bit as he starts jumping around like crazy and lil Ember has been scared and hiding under our feet.  I am certain they will become the best of friends as Matches is really good with other dogs!  As a side note, I really wish I had a nanny cam to see what is going on at home!  Ember is in a decent sized Xpen and there is no doubt Matches is nearby....and hopefully has not jumped in!

While I hate doing it, we are crate training her.  I really wanted to just hold her in my arms while I slept but we put her in the crate last night.  She howled and barked and cried quite a bit before finally falling asleep.  Then she started again at 4:50 when I leaped out of bed to get her.  My alarm was set for 5:10 so actually it made getting up easier than normal.  Maybe my new little alarm clock will be a good thing as I managed a great workout this morning since I was up and going!  The hardest part was easily having to quit petting the cutie!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Lunchtime Run across a piece of Cleveland's History

Many days when I can sneak out at lunch, I take the opportunity to run with a group of guys and ESpeed (when she can get out).  Now these runs are always interesting.  There are few boundaries for where the conversation may go, lots of trash talk and most often the runs have some sort of theme.  There also seems to be a flare for runs surrounding Cleveland history and running in the most ghetto of neighborhoods.  It seems the more uneasy it would make the common person, the more these guys seem to like the route.  They are rather tough looking with their long lean bodies! ;-)  Also, I always try to make sure when I go on these runs that I will be able to keep up with the average pace which will generally range from 7:30-8:10 over the duration of 7-9 miles because I never like the idea of running by myself through most the neighborhoods!

Today's run was a new one for me which I found rather interesting.  We ran out Payne to E70th along some random side streets and made our way to run across the historical League Park.  This was new to me!  The only thing that really remained was the ticket booth.  We stopped for a minute to check out the historical marker.

League Park, located at E66th and Lexington, opened in 1891 and was once home to the Cleveland Spiders which sat 9000 on wooden seats at that time.  The stadium was rebuilt in 1910 and the Cleveland Indians played there until 1947 when they moved to the Cleveland Stadium full-time.  Also of note, Babe Ruth hit his final home run there in 1929!  I learn something new about my city all the time and who knew this would be thanks to one of my lunch runs.  Very cool to run across a piece of history, yet strange to see how it sits vacant in a run-down part of the city.

Who knows what I will discover on my next lunch run...  :-)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The numbers

So after enjoying one solid week post 140.6 of eating and being lazy, last week I started to ease back into some sort of training.  However last week the plan was to still go light on the running and still only do what I felt like.

Monday-60 min performance cycle, 2000 m swam
Tuesday- ??  can't recall so I am guessing I took it off
Wednesday-60 min spin, 2000 m swim, 9 mi run at lunch (8:10 pace)
Thursday- 45 min interval ride, 1 mile run
Friday-2100 m swim
Saturday- 7.5 miles ran (6.3@6:38)
Sunday- 75 miles road with CV & MV

Run-17.5 mi
Biked-127 mi
Swam 6100 meters

This morning I was looking at my garmin data from my relay leg at Akron.
Distance: 6.3 mi
Total Time:  41:48
Avg Pace: 6:38
Average HR 179
Max HR 186
Elevation Gain 112
Elevation Loss 348
Miles:  6:31, 6:10 (big downhill), 6:20, 6:43, 6:57, 7:04 pace for 0.3  - Those last couple miles felt way slower than that.

The plan-I don't really have a set plan for the next couple months which I am excited about!!!  I think I would like to try to work on my running speed a bit and just do some halfs and shorter races.  Then I plan to transition to trail running when temps cool as trails just keep me warmer and will likely plan on Run for Regis 50k as having that on the calendar seems to keep me motivated.  I plan to do more weight training and core work as I always have enjoyed that.  Hopefully I can still ride my mtn bike some but all this stupid rain just has a lot of the trails quite wet at this point.  I also plan to continue to get in a fair amount of riding but there will not be too much structure there until starting in December. Starting soon I plan to really focus on my swimming this winter which is my big goal to work on this winter.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Running the Bird update!

:-(  Monday already!  Fun weekends always go by WAAAY 2 fast and this one was quite fun!

Friday, hit the Akron Marathon expo and the Spaghetti Warehouse for dinner with some family and friends.  We hit the hay and woke up BEFORE the crack of dawn to make our way down to Akron Marathon.  I live nearly an hour away so we left home at 4:50 because I wanted to be parked no later than 6 and road closures and one way streets always make parking where I want interesting!

Before we knew it,we were all meeting up and I was super stoked about the day.  My best friend from high school was running on my sister's relay team so the two of us walked over to the third relay exchange point together.  Good thing I found someone with a map as of course I thought I knew where I was going and realized I was wrong.  It is amazing just how quickly time flew by that morning because by the time I got to the place I needed to be, I was rushing to get in my warm-up as I wanted to be sure I was ready when super star ESpeed came through as she was running our team's First and Second legs.

She came through mile 9.3 around 1:01 even after a stop at a POP!  Super awesome effort given a sour stomach and coming back from injury!   I grabbed our snap bracelet and took off.  I could see one local running star ahead of me and a pink relay team.  I was not really closing the gap much but not losing any ground either.

It has been a long time since I asked my legs to go fast for 6+ miles and was not sure how they would respond after all this long course training.  Yet, as our team tried to figure out best and worst case times, I figured a pretty realistic guess was I would run 6:40's.

My leg had a fair amount of downhill to get going and I was feeling pretty good.  I had opted for headphones and was just zoned into the music and totally zoned out to everything around me.  I would say that within 2 miles I was just hoping I could maintain without blow up.

There was one lady that had passed me within the first half mile.  I kept within a couple steps of her throughout the downhill grade sections.  She was also on a relay team and I was hoping I would not lose us another spot.  As we transitioned onto the towpath which we would run for about 4 miles, I stayed right in behind her.  However, it was not long before I decided I wanted to run my own race and surged ahead of her pretty hard, wondering if I would pay for that later and if she would pass me later.  There were not really many spectators in the towpath area and I was in the abyss of mission keep-it-together.  I was half way done and hurting.  I refused to look at my garmin pretty much the entire race.  I knew with the downhill start, I was likely to go out fast and did not want that pace to scare me and also I did not want to see the slow down once I got on level ground.

Akron really does a nice job  with even the little things.  As I ran along the towpath, there were lots of official motivational signs along the way.  I read them all and looked forward to seeing what the next one would say.  I kept looking around the corners still keeping pink relay girl and local fast chick in sight.  Dang, here I am hurting and local fast chick is running the whole thing at this pace...OUCH!  Finally I saw mile 15 and knew that meant a half a mile left.

At this point, the chick I had passed at the beginning of the towpath surged.  I was sucking air in a major way (and really should have hit my inhaler before the race) and had nothing left to answer back with.  We made a left onto the road and started into an uphill grade.  I was DYING and HURTING very bad and my pace now felt soooo slow!  And out of the abyss, I saw the only spectator of the day in my fog.  I see my friend Amie with her shirt up over her pregnant belly jumping up and down and screaming.  I found a smile and the energy to wave and dragged my weary butt up where I finally saw the relay exchange zone and BH ready to put an end to my misery.  I passed off my bracelet and walked trying to catch my breath!

Ouch, that hurt but tried to push for my teammates.  I ended up running 41:52 for the 6.3 miles which worked out to a 6:38 average.  BH took off for her 2.8 mile leg which is the most uphill leg of the relay.  I lucked out that BH's mom was there and I took her up on a ride back in lieu of running the ~5 miles back.  My toes hurt pretty bad.  It was no surprise to take my left sock off and see that it was all red.  The downhill grade likely contributed to that.

As I got back, I grabbed a change of clothes and headed into the stadium to watch the finishers and grab my food and free beer!  SCORE!  Then I headed down to my normal spectating spot to where all the finishers had to walk by.  It was not long before I saw my teammate Salty, fresh in from her butt kicking relay leg.

Team Four Freaky Fast Females came in 3rd overall women's team (behind 1st 2:51:35 and second 2:53:34) with a time of 2:53:27 averaging 6:38 min miles!  It is super fabulous when 4 of us can all work together to contribute to a very respectable finish!  We even came in ahead of where I thought we would!!!

Then it was time for some fun!  We sat down at the stadium for awhile congratulating friends as we watched them come in before heading over to continue having more fun at a local establishment for some real food.

I was also super excited for my sister and her team.  She shaved 5 minutes off her 7.9 mile relay leg time from last year and their team with my cousin, high school friends, sis and her husband came in with a 3:51:25!  HUGE!

So it was another super fun day hanging with some of my favorite people!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Random Wednesday Thoughts

1.  I am super doooper excited for the weekend.  Team Four Freaky Fast Females will be out partying it up after the Akron Marathon race.  Hard to tell how fast we will go this year.  Needless to say I am assuming we will make up for any speed shortcomings with the fun factor!  This year the line up is ESpeed running legs 1&2, yous truly on leg 3, Perservance tackling Sand Run on leg 4 and then Salty bringing us home!  I am not sure where we will come in at but I am guessing somewhere between 2:55 and 3:10 so say hi if ya see us!

For fun comparisons, here are our past year's results!
2010, 2nd place women's team - 2:52:03
2009, 3rd place women's team -3:06:38
2008, 2nd place women's team - 3:05:30
2007, 2nd place women's team - 3:02:47

Every year, it seems things we girls get switched around a bit based on availability, injury, schedules, etc but it has been an AWESOME TIME every year!

2.  Another reason I am excited for the weekend is my sister is running on a relay team with good friends, Nathan & Lindsay.  Also my sister's husband will also do his first running event with a leg of their relay (I think as poor guy has been sick for a month!).  Rounding it out will be my cousin, ST, doing her first running event!  Oh and I should mention there will be a fun Friday dinner and Saturday party surrounding the fun run with all of us!!!!

3. Feeling really torn on my racing plan for next year at the moment.  Still scratching my head on it.  I always feel like I need to set my plan early.  I also like to keep it fresh.  I don't want to get bored doing all the same things.  Also, likely I will need to keep my travel schedule something reasonable.  Anyone doing anything fun? I thought about some halfs or maybe some xterra tris?  I am still leaning towards TTT and REV3 CP again pretty strongly.  Not signing up for any full official full IMs this year so those are out too for 2012.

4.  A friend just dropped off my winnings from REV3 Cedar Point. I must say I was pretty excited about it!  It included an Avia watebottle, a FuelBelt, TYR goggles and a very nice REV3 award!  Love it!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Recovery Week!

The only caveats to the week post 140.6.

Do only what I want.  No running.

And it was an awesome week!

Monday, I took the day completely off and ate a lot!

Tuesday, 20 min ez spin on stationary bike at gym

Wednesday, off

Thursday, 1000 M Swim

Friday, P90x Chest and Back

Saturday- Rode 14 miles on MTB at West Branch mountain bike trails with ET!

Sunday- P90x, shoulders, bis. tris.  Rode 14 miles very easy with family on Portage Hike and Bike from Ravenna to Kent and back on park bike.

Some notes-
I had met with my coach Wednesday and talked through some stuff.  A lot of emphasis was placed on waiting to run much.  So despite wanting to run over the weekend and not feeling too bad, I decided I would wait to run until something short and easy late this week before I run my lil Akron Mary Relay leg on Saturday.

All and all, I feel pretty good.  Main soreness left Thursday.  My toes on the outsides of my feet seem like they lost a little feeling for now.  My tibial nerve feels a little tingly at times so I have a proactive ART appt set up for Thursday.

I really enjoyed the weekend.  Weather was gorgeous.  I had really missed mtn biking and ET and I had a blast out riding the trails at West Branch.  She was doing a practice ride for the West Branch MTB enduro which was Sunday.  I SOOO wanted to do it too bc WB is my home turf, yet a 4+ hour mtn bike race seemed like it would be a giant middle finger to my legs after last weekend so I behaved :-(  All good, at least ET was female winner!

Sunday, was sooo nice.  My aunt and uncle have really gotten into biking and my mom has been wanting to get riding.  We had got mom's bike all set up last year but she really had not rode much ever.  So we had set Sunday up as the day to show my mom the ropes awhile back.  As luck would have it, Sunday was a gorgeous day to ride.  The 3 of them and my husband and I met up in Ravenna for a roll out to Kent on the Portage Hike and Bike path.  We did a lunch stop at Rays Place in Kent in the middle and I likely consumed more calories than I burned on the ride, but it was a really nice change of pace! Mom did very well and managed just over 14 miles while the husband and I played hooligans on our park bikes throughout the day.  Super fun!

You may note the P90x sessions above.  I have decided to start to re-integrate some weight training back in the program.  I used to do this a lot but haven't lifted AT ALL since my crash.  Probably one of my longest hiatuses in years.  After Friday's session, I did not think I did a very good job as I was not sore....but that all changed Saturday and especially Sunday!  OUCH!  Time to strengthen that core!

Today, I decided to start my return to normalcy with workouts (albeit that they may be a little different) while still taking some caution to allow for recovery.  Can't just keep eating like IM training and not workout!!!  Hit 6AM performance cycle this morning with KM at LFT.  Good stuff and felt great to finally work up my first solid sweat in a week!  Then it was back to 2000 m in the pool.  Actually feeling ready to go today!

Plan for immediate future is Akron Marathon relay (6.3 mi leg) Saturday.  Debating the Border War Sprint Tri for Sunday but not sure I want to do two back to back hard efforts this weekend.  TBD.  Other than that, I had toyed with idea of Towpath Mary if I felt good but it just seems too close and after talking with Coach MG, I have decided to take a pass on that.  I am thinking perhaps some shorter fall running races for fun!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

REV3 Cedar Point Race Report

Where to start?  We will skip right to the race and circle back later with everything else.

Race morning- Woke up at 5AM and started the process.  Make coffee, eat banana, bagel, hard boiled eggs.  Race mornings go by so quickly.  By the time I dropped my bags off, there was not much down time to relax before I made my way down to the swim.

Swim:  Upon getting to the beach around 6:45, I had the opportunity to get into the water which was nice and made me feel more relaxed than last year.  I was also probably feeling more relaxed as I did not the race chip ordeal from the prior year.  The race had a slight delay (about 12 minutes on my watch) as the pro men and pro women got going.  I was thankful for that as my goggles were a bit dark and I had been nervous that it would be too dark to sight well.  (Mental note:  next time bring clear and darker goggles.)

Lake Erie had had pretty rough waters a lot of the week with a lot of storms blowing in which led to a very thick deep sludge which had developed as you entered the water.  It was sticky, slimy and muddy but who cared because race day, that lake was calm!!!  I lined up probably 2/3 of the field back and far left.  I kept saying,"I hate the swim and couldn't wait for it to be over with" to TR between saying sarcastically that "I love the swim".

As the siren went off, I took my time getting going.  No panic attack.  It still feels very chaotic to start with so many people.  I got clobbered pretty good at one point as we made our way out to the far red turn buoy.  He knew he got me good because he apologized as I regrouped.  Then after the first red buoy turn, another guy was swimming alongside me.  He scratched me twice with his finger nails.  (Definitely was not surprised to see my hand bleeding when I got out of the water.)  As we came around for the first loop, I took advantage of the time to walk a bit and conserve my energy before heading back out for loop two.  I would say my swim was so-so.  It was steady, but not a great rhythm and there is always plenty of room for improvement.  I focused only on staying relaxed.  It seemed like I was swimming for an eternity.  Finally, I made my way to the beach!  


Goal time 1:20.  Actual time 1:22:15.  Not bad and I was happy with that.  (Beat last year's time by 5 minutes)  Take that scapula with my subpar swimming efforts this summer.

Transitions:  Both were pretty uneventful.  No clothing changes.  I think I really tried rushing through transitions but did not do that great of a job.  I probably should have taken a little more care to wipe the sand from my feet. 

T1:  3:27
T2:  3:36

Bike:  As I went out on the bike course I thought something was making a strange noise and it had me concerned.  With no clue what it was, I tried to push it out of my head.  It took me a little while to get my heart rate down those first 5 miles or so.  Last year on the bike my HR averaged 150 and when I hit 160 you could tell I backed off the effort.  This year I focused on letting my HR drift up to 163 but always taking care to try to keep in mid 150's.  I watched my HR and speed (trying to stay over 20) like a hawk for pretty much the entire bike.  Every 10 minutes I tried to make sure I was getting in nutrition.  I would say on the bike I was very focused on the task at hand.  

The bike course has a last minute change so I just rolled with it and took comfort that I knew the bulk of the course quite well.  As I was totally focused on the task at hand, the miles clicked by on the bike and I felt very good.  I really just looked forward to the time when I knew I would see the ironfan crew which would be mile 26, 60 and 90ish.  Truly, I looked forward to this more than people may realize.  They were so loud and it just gave me extra strength! 

The wind was not much of a factor on this day although on the bike you do always notice it as some points.  My seat area seemed to fare better than some days and the main issue I was dealing with was that my right ball of my foot felt like there was a hot spot but more than anything my feet were just feeling bruised from pushing down the pedals.  I was really thinking that bruised foot feeling was going to make the run hurt!!!

The other point to note was special needs was at approximately mile 50 and then 80 something. At mile 50 I swapped out my two bottles but one FE EFS bottle was almost entirely full so clearly I was not drinking enough.  I also had a fair amount left on my bike at the end of the day in one of my bottles too.  This would be probably my biggest mistake of the day.  I was taking in a lot of water and finished both liquid shot flasks but apparently I was not drinking enough from my bottles.  (Perhaps next time, clear bottles that are marked with lines??)

So finally, I made my way back into the park.  I was super pleased that I was still on pace to get the sub-11 I was targetting.  


And I got off the bike feeling even better than last year!  I was sore with some tight hammies but moving better through transition than last year!

The volunteer at the changing tent was great.  She put my garmin and race belt on for me and got me moving.

Automatically my little sore legs were turning over sub 8 minute miles and I kept slowing myself down.  I knew if I could just hold under 9 minute mile pace, I would get my goal.  

First 4.4 miles, 8:38 pace.

I passed another lady who let me know I was in second or third place.  I really did not know how that was possible.  I said there must be more up ahead.  It was good to see to SSSMT out on the bike and run course who also encouraged me as I was mentally trying to prepare myself for all the miles ahead.

I was carrying my handheld and a FE Liquid Shot flask.  My handheld somehow had a broken lid which led to me losing a lot of water at some points.  It did not take long, I would say just over 4 miles and I could feel twinges in my legs as if they could cramp at any point.  My left quad felt particularly on edge, but so did my hanstrings and calves.  SOOO NOT GOOD!

I stopped once to take off my shoe and readjust my sock just after 4 miles or so.  I figured it was worth a little time now to avoid horrible pain later.  It still felt like blisters were coming on my poor little feet which hurt pretty good already.  I was just over 4 miles in and already thinking this was going to be a long marathon!  Crap!

But, the fan crew was out there cheering me on so I tried to suck it up for them.  It felt soooo hot and there was very little shade.  I must have repeated, "you are tougher than you think you are and can do more than you think you can" 100 times sandwiched between "one foot in front of the other".  

The day before the race I wrote, "Don't drown, don't crash and don't walk" on my twitter page.  As I slowly jogged along I would not allow myself to walk and just knew it would hurt regardless and might as well get done faster!  There were a couple points when I thought, "oh no the quad is about to seize" but my slow shuffle gate seemed to keep the cramps at bay.  

I was totally kicking myself for not taking in more electrolytes on the bike.  Yet, I have had more issues with tight cramping legs a lot lately.  So maybe it is something more.  Oh and in case anyone wondered, I did pee in my wetsuit right at the start but never went again the entire race until well after at the hotel so apparently, I was quite dehydrated.

The one lady who went on to take first place amateur flew by me on the run.  I had seen her coming for awhile with all the out and backs and u-turns.  She had a good stride and one I could not match on this day.  I just tried to find something steady.  As we came within a little over 2 miles from the finish I saw another lady walk by me at the aid station.  I jogged along ahead of her and then she would run at a good clip and start walking.  We leap frogged a couple times.  Then I hit the little incline on the bridge with 1.5 miles to go and I kept a running gate moving ever sooo slowly.  The quad seized and then the right calf seized.  My leap frog lady rushed over to help me as I almost fell down as I let out a little yelp.  I have never had this happen so badly ever.  I stood up and encouraged her to go on.  I turned around and tried to walk backwards.  I was also trying to focus on my breathing as I got upset when this happened which triggered my asthma.  Thank goodness I was so close to the finish as I just kept telling myself it was only a little bit further.  I turned around and started walking forward as things loosened up a bit.  Then I started jogging again.  Espeed came on me and encouraged me to catch my friend ahead and said I had another female closing in.

I dug deep to keep moving hoping I would not have another terrible cramp.  I passed the lady in front of me who was surprised to see me but seemed set to walk it in.  Then with 0.5 miles to go, another lady passed me.  On this day, I knew I could not ask more of my legs without risking total shutdown so I let her go.  I closed in on one other female to see she was a pro.  There was no sense having to sprint ahead of her at the finish line since she had started way ahead of me so I just made my way into the finish line.

Run time:  4:16:16 (slower than my 2010- 4:15:03).  
Total time:  11:17:27 (clock reflects pro start time)


Overall, I ended up 10th overall female and 3rd overall amateur female.  I did not hit the goal of sub 11 due to my run which I know I should be capable of (which I think was due to my poor nutrition intake).  Next time!  For now, I am very proud to have come back from my bicycle crash 13 weeks ago and to do it with a 140.6 PR of nearly 21 minutes.  

This was only my second 140.6 and the training was FAR from perfect.  As much as I wonder why I do this for fun (as I dig deep on the race course), I just can't help but finish and think what I can do better for next time.