Friday, June 30, 2006

We finished!!!!!!!!

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

SummiTri Race Report

Woke up at 5:15 to start race day. Thankfully I had spent Saturday evening loading up the bike and all my stuff so I had very little to think about that morning. I had to take a picture that morning for all you people out there that thinks NE Ohio is cloudy all the time. This day was absolutely a gorgeous morning for a race with bright sun in the 60's.

The race was to start at 7:15 for females and 7:20 for males. It was a 500 yard swim and thankfully I had practiced this before. As we made our way into the water, I knew I would not be fast but I was hoping to not get hit bad and not fall too far behind. With the tone, I was off. It started off OK and then I could feel my form just falling apart. I felt like I was kicking and splashing around some little kid at swim lessons. As I neared the turnaround I saw my 52 year old friend, Carol who has not swam in three years already heading back (yeah she is one of those natural swimmer folk...she was the 4th female out of water, swam with no goggles, and half of it on her back.) Anyway as I made my way back I heard the men start. There wake from the men going down made some little waves for us and then I started to get really nervous. They were closing on me fast. All I could think was, "Please let me get out of the water before the men catch up as this is hard enough without them." Thankfully, I made it out just in the nick of time as they were on my heels on the way into transition. I was not the last one out of the water, but there could not have been many females behind me.

Both transitions seemed uneventful and pretty quick. I was exhausted after my splash in the lake. I can't figure out why but my legs were really exhausted. Too much frantic kicking? I don't know. So as I took off on my bike, it took me at least 5 minutes to just collect myself after the swim. As I rode I saw a guy laid out on his back. Apparently someone was backing out of their driveway and hit him. Poor guy...I thought. I guess he was pretty much OK but you could not say the same for the bike. At any rate the bike portion went by fast. I was ablet o make up some ground and many of the men passed me here. Into transition which felt fine and back out for two loops around the park. With my heavy legs I still felt pretty good. Honestly I think I was just relieved to be back to my comfort zone...running! I kept a decent pace and started passing people. Then when I got to the front of the park entrance I wondered why there was no cone turnaround. Crud, I missed it. It turns out we practiced it wrong and so without paying attention and just doing what I practiced I totally missed it. I saw the one girl I had passed rounding the corner giving me a strange look as I said that I totally missed that cone---oops....I could tell on my second lap that it was clearly marked and I was just paying any attention. So then I was mad that I added on extra distance and lost ground. Oh well, as they say, shit happens! So I continued on and picked up the pace. As I came around for my second loop I was happy to see my friend Carol in the distance who was on her first lap. I cheered her on and headed to the finish line and collect my trophy.

I would think I would feel happier about the fact that I did my first tri and I was the 5 out of 23 females. However, I was more frustrated than anything. I was frustrated that my swim really put me far back and frustrated that I could tell my swim affected my biking and I just did not feel as strong on the bike as I expected, and frustrated I missed the stupid cone on the run. In retrospect...stupic missed cone, no biggy. Bottom line, my swimming is very weak and that is where I need to focus.

Monday, June 26, 2006

I'm a triathlete!

Well folks, guess who finished her first tri?

Tough one, huh! Yup, Sunday completed the Summi Triathlon. I did not get any splits and neither did the people running it, but finished 500 yd swim, 11 mile bike, and 5 K run in 1:14:39 for 2nd in age group and 5 out of 23 females. All in all, it was OK. My swim time & positioning afterwards was awful but made up ground later. Guess I know where I need to work.........

No time for write up now as circumstances that will probably continue may have me quite busy for awhile.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Track workout, take 3!

Yesterday did a lunch time run comprised of a 5 K at an 8:33 pace. Then in the evening I headed out to Independence for the Southeast Running Club track workout. It was my third track work out of the year. My last track workout I did by myself and I can tell from my times that I must not push myself nearly as hard when I do track workouts by myself. Last night at the track I felt extremely winded, my lungs & chest hurt, and I was exhausted...but this has been the case with every track workout so far so I kind of am beginning to expect this. Again I was the slowest person there...but I was there so I will take some credit for that! Liz lead the workout and as usual, she helped push me along. Thank you Liz! I must admit I stole the log setup from her so I would not have to retype things and adjusted as appropriate with my slower times and missed 800.

My Log for the night:

2 mile warm up
1 mile cool down

walked most of the recoveries tonight so total mileage 6.75 but probably only "ran" around 6.0 miles


1:37.92 tummy ached & slowed a bit before leaping fence to hit library bathroom (dang last night's Mexican dinner wanting out right then)

Skipped an 800 with the group



All in all, I felt tired but was pleased to see consistently lower times which I think was only possible due to the slow recoveries. I definitely plan to complete 1 track workout per week going forward to try to help my speed. Furthermore I have decided to do the FIRST marathon training program (thanks to Lou) for my Columbus fall marathon and track workouts are a part of the plan.

Total distance for the day 9.75 miles

Monday I did manage to get in a swim of 1650 yards but sadly I skipped my bike workout on account of those storms that rolled through. Yeah, total slacker again because if I would have just waited an hour or two instead of going out for Mexican I could have got it in...but the hubby insisted that Mexican sounded way better and it did!

Today I have the afternoon off to train with a friend so I am looking forward to it...more on that at another time!

Monday, June 19, 2006


I was a total slacker the last two days! Saturday was the planned day off and before I could exercise on Sunday I just had to get the upstairs picked up including major laundry that needed done, last week's that still needed put away, and let's just say before I knew it, it was time for the day's activities and an unplanned day off! Strange, I feel like such a slacker after two days in a row has been quite some time since this has happened!

But alas Monday has arrived and I already hit the pool bright and early to start the week off right. Upon arrival at the gym, I took a look at the dark pool. That was strange as I thought that perhaps there was lightning in the area that I was unaware of (as it was raining outside). Noooo! I really need this swim after my last bad session on Thursday. Well, there was no sign about a lightning closure so I went to ask the worker. It turns out I could swim but they could not turn the lights on because for some reason they did not have the key to the utility room where the lights were. They apologized and I said with a smile that it would not bother me at all. I was just happy I would be able to get my swim in. I was worried with slacking in this department that my form was totally off.

As I eased into the dark pool day light was peaking in the windows and the dim lighting was actually to my liking this morning as I swam alone in the pool. Although I plan to work on bilateral breathing, I reverted back to breathing on the even counts and felt my rhythm (might not be that great...but at least it is what has been working for me) seem to come back....thank goodness. I was not sure after Thursday and I really needed a confidence builder for my first tri coming up this Sunday.

The quickie weekend recap...Friday the BBQ and bonfire was a hit. Lots of food & beer were consumed with many friends!

Saturday I awoke to pick up the house a bit. We ran around picking up things and meeting friends at the motocycle dealership and for lunch and then we had to get ready for a wedding. The wedding was very nice and my sis was in it. I missed the best picture of the night which was my sis and dad comparing bellies, but my sis sure looked cute, belly and all in her bridesmaid dress! We left the reception a bit early to do some more running around (last minute father's day shopping) and called it a night after some Cold Stone (not that I really needed that after the wedding cake but ....)

Sunday was a ton of running around visting husband's parents and our friends with cute 5 month old baby. Mom is 6 ft, dad is 6 ft 5in, so this baby is growing fast! Then we headed to my sister's place for a bbq with the family.

Felt like a total slacker over the weekend, but sure enjoyed getting to spend so much time with family and friends! It is a recovery week this week, so we'll just say I was easing in to it!
Man of the weekend...dear old dad!

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Drew at 5 months...he will be taller than Joey soon!

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Good friends, good food & good beer = A really good time!

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Friday, June 16, 2006


Thank goodness it is Friday! I feel like there has been much I have been juggling this week and I am ready to slow down and spend some time with family and friends over the weekend.

At 5, I will head out the door, ride my motorcycle 28 miles home, check on my poor kitten (who got declawed and fixed this morning), clean the house, make some food for this evening's bbq, and get ready for my friends arriving at 7. Yeah, this sort of busy evening just seems par for the course this week, but when my friends arrive and I chill with some good food and conversation it will all be worth it!

Today I was only able to manage a 4.5 mile run on my lunch hour which went really well. It was a lot better than my 4.5 mile run I did on Thursday. Thursday's run was tiring as I think Wednesday's biking kicked my butt. I think today also went better as I finally relaxed for an evening and ate a good dinner last night, which I needed as I just could not seem to keep my hunger at bay this week. Today was supposed to be more swimming and biking, but I will squeeze that session in another time as today all I had at my disposal was some running shoes!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

If only I could swim like a fish...

5:00 P.M. Tuesday, I left the office out on my motorcyle with a back pack stuffed to the gills with my wetsuit, towel, running stuff, showering stuff and more. I drove across town through rush hour traffic and a ton on construction. I was happy to get in to the town of Bay Village where our tri club was holding a swim training in Lake Erie. I had arrived a bit early and took off all my gear and chilled on the beach for awhile and listened to the lifeguards banter. I had called TriSara to make sure where we were meeting. Time kept ticking by and I started to wonder where everyone was and then my phone rang and it was TriSara wondering where I was....I was at the wrong beach! Oh well, at least I was in the right town so I was not far.

Then I had to gather up all my crap and re-stuff it all into my backpack and hop back on my motorcycle to find this other beach...oops, my bad! I am now late for the training. As I arrive at the right beach, I really struggle to get my wetsuit on. My zipper comes completely apart at the part at the bottom and getting it together and zipped was proving to be quite a challenge for me to do by myself as everyone else is already swimming. Finally, I make my way into the water and start my swim. First swim in the wetsuit and I am liking this added buoyancy as I can use every bit of help I can get in the water. TriSara helped me with some pointers including the notion that it would be very helpful if I tried to breathe opposite instead of every 2 or 4 strokes as I currently do. All in all, it was a short swim (maybe 500-600 yds) but it felt OK with the exception of my goggles that were leaking like crazy...what gives? Maybe I should not have worn them to the bar!!

To sum the lake swim up, not too bad. Water was not the cleanest by the beach and the slippery rocks at the entry were not my friends. I like the wetsuit. The thought crossed my mind that it would make for an excellent X-men costume except after trying to get it on Tuesday, I now know that I would be a sweaty mess trying to wear that all night and it would be a pain in the butt if I had to go to the much for that bright idea!

At any rate this morning I finally made it to the pool for a short swim. I have been slacking a bit in the pool which is where I need to focus the most. I tried trying to breathe opposite every 3 strokes. This was extremely uncomfortable for me. It was definitely not my best swim. Not only was my breathing making my swim uncomfortable, I felt like my lower body was still sleeping. It just did not want to work and I felt all over the place. I am going to try to resolve to get my ass to the pool at least 3 times a week as it is where I am the weakest. I was happy to tighten down my goggle straps and they quit leaking.

I am thinking my lower body stayed in bed this morning during the swim as it was pooped out from yesterday. Yesterday I did a 11 mile loop on my bicycle at noon and then I went down to the Wednesday training session with New Vision Cycling. Every week more and more people come! We started with a nice warm up to the start of the training session. We did 5 climbs of a 2.5 mile hill which were supposed to be at a Zone 5 and then the recovery periods were the return trip. These were supposed to be time trials but I did not bother timing myself yesterday. At any rate, each climb was exhausting but I got them all in. It seemed like no sooner would I get to the bottom and I barely had time to take a drink and I was heading back up again. My favorite part of these sessions is the final recovery and cooldown knowing I had put in a solid day's training. All in all 42 biking miles for the day. Scheduled time was 124 minutes, actual time on the bike was approximately 160 minutes. And then as I finally hit the hay for the day, I fell into a deep sleep yet woke up dreaming (or was it a nightmare) about hill repeats...........

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Final Sunday in June Tidbits

A few statistics from Sunday in June ride 2006.

Total Registration: 600 with only 25 no-shows
Volunteers: On site adults 295
T-shirts: ~ 130 purchased entire order used or sold!
More than a mile of elevation gain on the century route!
Elevation climb on 62 mile route: just over 3000 feet

Quite a well-run event! Thanks Cleveland Touring Club and all volunteers!

Training for 7/13 (scheduled 77 min run, completed 91 min for a total of 10.5 miles)--trying to catch up on my running time today.
5:50 AM - 6 miles at 8:33/Mile pace, ab workout
noon- track workout 40 minutes 0.75 M warmup, (4) 800's with 400 recovery (ok, these aren't fast but it is today's second workout), 0.75 M cooldown
800 #1 3:39, 800 #2 3:41, #3 3:50, #4 3:36
Notes: Well I was tired and sweating good. Speed work really kicks my butt and is new to me...but trying to work on it. There was a poor lawnmower dude who had to wait on me several times as he was trying to mow the inside of the track as I ran.

Tonight will be my first Lake Erie open water swim which I will be doing with the Clev Tri Club and my first time in my wetsuit. Hope it goes smoothly...always get nervous about something totally new and out of my comfort zone.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Sunday in June Update

Woke up Sunday morning with a sore back and calves from my busy Saturday of aerobics, cleaning the house & car, and a host of other chores that needed done. I guess my plan for taking it easy Saturday just ended up utilizing other muscles that I typically do not use! My cold was quite a bit better but still blowing my nose...darn as if it doesn't run enough normally on the bike!

I grabbed some water and a Clif Bar and was off to Burton for the start of the ride about 7 miles up the street. I had debated quite awhile whether I should just ride my bike there, but I figured that I may not be happy with that decision when I had to ride home so I opted for the car.

Upon arrival, I grabbed my packet and saw several other Clev Tri Club members and Su who apparently was back in town for the weekend. The weather was actually sunny and a cool 55. After some debate and figuring it would warm up a little bit I opted to just wear my tri top (though most others had long-sleeves on) which was a good idea. I was only cold for about 5 minutes and comfortable the rest of the morning!

The ride seemed very leisurely in its nature in that there really did not seem to be an official start and people just kind of went off as they were ready. This made for a nice spread out start where there were not all kinds of people in a large group at the beginning. Jodi, another CTC member and I, rode the entire course together. We went out of Burton down a nice hill which chilled me a bit and then we started to get into a nice rhythm. We kept a steady pace, good conversation, and the miles just flew by.

Not too far into the course I hit some decent sized potholes and my gatorade went sailing. Thankfully it was a cool morning and Jodi let me have one of her bottles--what a lifesaver!! We rode out of Burton into Middlefield, past my house in Parkman and did not need to stop at the food/aid station that they had set up there at the park. We continued on through Garrettsville and in to Nelson. I was excited to hit the hill in Nelson which Jodi and I had climbed half of the previous week which we would get to ride down the entire monster. As I sailed down I chanced a look down and read 43!!! and I had to take a second look...43 still!! Woohoo--new top speed which blew my 37 out of the water!

As we progressed along the course people were occasionally stopped to take random pictures of the Amish, the animals, or the cars racing at the Nelson Road Course. It was a nice course with much to see...until the gravel road. What? Why would they send us down this road? We slowed down as there were some thick areas of gravel and we were nervous about wiping out or getting a flat. First time riding on that surface for both of us, but we managed to make it through with no problems.

As we approached Parkman the second time we still felt good and did not need to stop at the aid station but we dropped a block down to stop at my house to use the rest room. Heck that was nice as the port-o-potties had lines and I so would prefer the bathrooms at my house. After some brief re-fueling we were back off for the last 13 miles. As we headed back north the winds picked up quite a bit. We pushed on and before long we were riding up the big hill at the end of the course passing all the people walking up with their bicycles. 62 miles down in a total of 3 hours 50 minutes (including stops) which would average out to 16.2 mph. Not bad! We passed many people out there on the course and were only passed by a couple females. I felt strong the entire ride and encountered no major issues. My back was sore but I think a lot of that was due to the fact that I was sore before I started the day! So all and all, a great ride which I think was due in large part too my great company..thanks Jodi!

After the ride we met up with two other CTC peeps, Matt and Brooks and we headed to Blazing Bills for beer and a burger. What a great way to wrap up a great morning!

New long ride, new top speed...things are going good!

In the hopes of attempting to track my workouts better, I am going to try to log them daily.
Thursday-painful lunch time run of slow 4 miles--cold kicking my butt
Saturday -75 minutes aerobics
Sunday- 62 miles biked-3 h 50 m-16.2mph
Monday - Lunch time run 4.5 miles half on grass / half sidewalks 38:39 (8:35/M). Despite sore legs felt extremely good and better than usual.

Friday, June 09, 2006

First Organized Long Ride!

Matches (my lazy golden retriever) & I were out walking on Tuesday night and I noticed all the paint on the roads in preparation for the Sunday in June ride that I signed up for.

How exciting!!!

Out in my little town of Parkman we don't see a whole lot in the way of events that go through the neighborhood, so this is awesome!

This ride is touted as 'A Scenic Bike Ride through the Amish Countryside'. Our general area is the fourth largest Amish settlement in the world. There are routes consisting of 25, 50, 62 and 100 miles and in total they are anticipating around 600 riders for the event. What a wonderful way for many to come see the area that I call home! So, Sunday bright and early I will be embarking on my longest ride of the season yet which will be the 62 mile ride and am looking forward to it!

This week has been good and bad. Wednesday, I had a great bike training day with the Wednesday night group down in the Valley which we did a total of 28 miles which comprised of:
-a 3 mile plus warm up
-a 10 mile out and back time trial starting from Hampton Hills Park (14.27 (5M split) /29:00 total)
-a 8 mile one way time trial with 5 miles on the flat and a 3 mile hill climb (??, this 8 felt much harder than previous 10)
-a 5 mile recovery/cool down ride back to Bolanz Rd. (Enjoyed immensely!)

The bad rolled in late Wednesday night when I started feeling a little Thursday I awoke with a stupid cold. Thursday's run was slow, shorter than normal, and took all the effort I could muster. My chest felt tight and I sweat buckets. Today (Friday) I am taking the day off to try to gain some strength back. I may take off tomorrow too depending on how I feel. It is not so bad that I can not exercise, but would rather get healthy ASAP and feel good for Sunday's long ride!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Ramblings of the last day and a half

(Picture at Nelson Ledges State Park about 3 miles from my house)

I never knew sighting was so hard until this year when I started swimming with my head in the water.

I can't believe how lucky I was when I lived in Stow & Kent to have the gorgeous Munroe Falls park and the Valley so close by, and at the time I never even took the time to appreciate them.

I can do a open water swim (first one was Monday night) with only hitting the rope a few times.

I still love the water and do not mind the temperature as much as others...although I find myself thinking about doing tricks in the water and goofing around as opposed to working hard.

I can contemplate turning around and going home for an extra hour of sleep even while already on my bicycle...although if I would have turned around I would have missed an extremely gorgeous ride and the wonderful feeling from accomplishing it!

I hate bugs! One little one tormented me nearly the entire hour I was on my motorcycle as it flew in my eyeball right as I started riding before I flipped my face shield down. Then when I got out of the water biting flies decided I made for a good dinner!

I love the nice tan that comes along with training...even if it looks silly when I put a bathing suit on with them crazy tan lines.

I never complain about the heat and sun as I wish for it all winter.

I like the feeling of sweat dripping off me because I know I worked hard for it.

Northeast Ohio really offers some gorgeous scenery.

The tri community in this area is extremely supportive and I am so thankful for all the new people I have met.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Busy Weekend and a PR!

Time sure flies when you are having fun!! Started off the weekend a little early and left work at noon on Friday. First stop, Bike Authority. The owner, Sherman totally took care of me for a very overdue bicycle tune up. I had some time to kill so I figured I would test out the bike with a 16 mile loop in the valley. However, Cleveland's typical weather decided to make her return to remind us all that we should expect clouds and rain, so the minute I parked to start my ride, the drops started to fall. After some clothing debate I was off. I was slightly troubled because my bike computer was not registering data and after five minutes or so I thought to check the magnet. Problem solved!

Next stop, sister's house for a shower as it is conveniently located in the area, unlike mine out in the boonies!! Then it was off to my mom's retirement party. 36 years of teaching and the long journey has finally come to an end. My mom taught high school spanish for 32 years and then moved to elementary / middle school technology teacher for the most recent four years. It was a hard decision for her to retire as she has really enjoyed the switch in teaching subjects and grades. To her credit, she was a fantastic Spanish teacher and now also an extremely helpful and knowledgeable technology teacher. That was one huge switch for her which she handled well! I have often thought that high school foreign language teachers, particularily ones in less affluent districts, have an extremely rough job. I give her a lot of credit for the amount of time, work and effort she has put in over the years and know she will continue to do many new wonderful things in this next chapter of her life. Her party, put on by her co-workers was very nice and I was the official photographer!

Next stop, to the other side of town for Su's going away party. What can I say, cheap good beer and good friends. Yes, many of us decided to wear tri-gear to commemorate TriSaraTops 10,000 blog visitor. Yes, we were tri-geeks and enjoying every minute of it! Strange, that in a full bar on happy hour we must have scared others off because I did not even hear any comments about our phat get-ups! And then I finally made my way home.

Saturday, Jodi made it all the way out to my house for an easy brick. I had a nice 26.5 mile loop planned out that took us by Nelson Ledges Park, a short steep hill, my hometown of Garrettsville, past Hiram college, out into Amish country and back home. Then I grabbed my dog, Matches, my old running buddy who has gotten lazy on me and we went for a 3 mile run. He made several pitstops to lay down and lick the grass, but before long the training session was over. It amazes me how much quicker time flies when you have someone to pass the time with! So glad Jodi came out!

Sunday was the Solon Yates 5K Run which is one of the races on my Road Race Series which counts for points. My goal for the race was to break 22:00, which I suppose was a somewhat aggressice goal as my last 5K I set a PR of 22:56. However that 5K was in 20 degrees and I have trained quite a bit since February so I thought breaking 22 was totally in the realm of possibility.

The weather was typical cloudy with a chance of rain and about 55 degrees. I woke up early, made my race playlist with all my favorite songs, drove 25 minutes while eating my Oatmeal Raisin Walnut Clif bar and did a short warm up. And with the buzzer I was off. I started off trying to keep up with a fellow Clev Tri member that I knew was a lost cause. I decided rather quickly that I better ease off or I may suffer the consequences later. I was feeling pretty good at mile one (6:53) rocking out to my playlist. A few females had passed me ,which is recently bugging me a lot more than it used to...and I just figured I would try to get them later in the race. Mile 2 had some small rollers and a couple other girls passed me. My chest and legs felt tight and I pushed on. At about 2.5 miles, I started to pick up speed and passed both girls who had passed me the previous mile. Into the home stretch I continued my push to the finish on the track. I rounded the the corner and saw the clock at 21:50' hard I could push, no luck breaking 22 as I crossed at 22:07 (7.08/mile pace). NEXT TIME!

Oh well, it is a new PR! I finished 2nd in my age group and 13 out of 211 females (74 of 419 overall). This year has been somewhat ground-breaking in terms of my times starting to drop. Last year my Solon 5K time was 24:04 and the year before was 24:11. Not only that, I managed to shave nearly 50 seconds off my best I will take it!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Wishing Su farewell and all the best Jersey has to offer...she will sure be missed in Cleveland!

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Saturday, June 03, 2006

Looking hot in our gear at the bar!

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TriSaraTops 10,000 Blog Visitor / Su Going Away Party!

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Thursday, June 01, 2006

Exciting news!!!!

I have known that I get to be an auntie to twins due in the fall...and finally yesterday we learned it will be to twin girls!!!! My sister's husband is trying to get used to fact that he will be with all females!
Old Man & I kicked it at the BBQ!

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High school partners in crime!

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