Monday, August 28, 2006

Playing in the rain!

Well yesterday was my first bi which was a 5K run followed by a 12.5 mile bike.

Part I.
The knee ache:
I am assuming it is iliotibial band syndrome. I have never had trouble with my right leg, ever. It is always something with the left leg...some times the pain is inside my knee, sometimes outside, sometimes the hip flexor...but never any trouble with my good right leg. Not any more....

The start:
Last Sunday, I ran the Perfect 10 miler race. This race was far from perfect as a few miles in things started churning in my stomach. At the 6 mile mark I hit the bathroom which cost a couple minutes but at least I was able to finish without any more trouble. I was just not feeling great with my stomach issues which continued for the rest of the day. When I got home, my hubby asked if I was alright as apparently he was also having issues....I suppose something we ate was off. At any rate, I had finished the 10 miles in 1:24, a far cry from by 1:17 at the beginning of the season. Bummer...and then as if that was not enough that night a knee pain set into my right leg. With a couple light days the pain went away until...

The 15 miler:
Saturday's 15 miler went well. Felt great, time flew, but 3 miles to the end the darn pain came back. Spent Saturday evening icing the knee and got everything ready for Sunday's bi.

Sunday's Biathlon
Sunday, I awoke with a sore knee, nothing awful but definitely there and felt with every movement. I was not sure what to expect as my 8/5 5K was disappointing as was my 8/20 10 miler and now my knee hurts too! It was pooring outside yet for some reason I still felt giddy because I was looking forward to doing my first bi. I caught up with some pals before the start and was off. I felt a little off because I was missing my headphones but I figured that messing with them at transition would not be worth it. As I ran my knee ached. I started looking at my watch 7 mile marker, 8 no mile marker, about 9 in, I decided that there was not one. This was sort of bothered me because I was not sure where I was at. The course turned around twice on the run and I could see that I was in 4th and 5th female for most the way and was pushed into 6th right at the end which I did not worry about. As I came in for the 5K I was excited to finally break 22 minutes! 5K time 21:54 and into transition.

In transition, I was trying to hurry as I knew many others were not changing shoes but I figured I always ride in my bike shoes so that even if it may cost some time to put them on, I did not want to change things on race day. 45 seconds later I was back out on the course in the rain and unsure of where I was versus the other females now I just started pedaling. My legs and lungs ached but I just tried to slow my breathing down and concentrate on a high steady cadence. A few men passed me and then one girl with a Cleveland Mountain Biking Jersey on passed and as she went by, she cheered me on. That chick ruled! I did not get to talk to her later but she really helped me as I pedaled the last 7 miles or so doing everything I could to try to keep her in my sights. I thought perhaps I may have a chance to catch her at the end but a car cut me off and I lost some momentum there and I just ran out of time. Total biking 39 minutes at just under a 20mph pace. Total time was 1:01 and I am still not sure what place female overall I was, but I am guessing 5th.

In retrospect, I was pysched to pick up my first in my age group award in my first bi. I really enjoy the running and biking events b/c my swimming is not there to really hold me up. More than anything I was excited that after two poor races, my time was redeemed here on my run. The only bad thing is my knee continues to hurt. So today I bought a IBS band and a streching band and I plan to spend more time stretching & icing and hope that I can get this issue worked out!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Quick Update!

So what has Daisy been up to you might ask?

Well things have continued to remain super duper hectic! I suppose that is how many of the tri folk out there feel but lately this has just been much more so than normal for me!

My last day with my full time job is Thursday 8/31. Pretty much most of my firm will be let go then and at this point I am looking forward to getting away from what has become a poor work environment. Fortunately, the company has tried to do as much as possible with giving us a heads up that it was coming, time to interview, and a month's serverance. I have spent as much time as possible researching companies and lots of talking and meetings. Things are going well and I remain optimistic that something will work out here in the next month which is my goal.

Also I have been spending quite a bit of time at the hospital with my sis who is pregnant with twins and not technically due until 10/17. For a number of reasons her docs would like to keep her at the hospital until the babies are born (no clue when that may be but hopefully they can wait a little while longer for their sakes) so that they can closely monitor things. Clearly she is not happy about this but taking it in stride and at least she will have her older sis there even more often without having to work the next month!

Last weekend did a 10 mile race which went OK, not quite the speed of my 10 miler earlier in the season but I suppose my training is not where it was earlier in the season either. I have started to work on my marathon training. I am behind where I should be...but I felt good throughout my entire 15 mile run today, which was helped in large part to my company and our conversation. I am totally pysched that I will have much more time to put towards my training in the next hopefully my shortcomings in the last few weeks will bounce back.

Anyway doing my first bi tomorrow and really looking forward to it and keeping my fingers crossed that everything else will work out!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Juggling act...

So much to do, so little time.

Full time job, part time consulting, training, and all the other normal things that life throws at you....if only I did not require sleep maybe I could fit this in..??..

Last week I was informed at my full time job most everyone would be losing their job soon. I have known for some time this was coming, I guess I was just hoping for more time. More time to have a new job already set up, more time to figure out the best match. As much as I appreciate the owners for trying to give us a heads up and going against what would make the best business sense for them to keep it amongst does not make it any easier for myself or my co-workers as we come to work full of anxiety. I have been here for over 6 years. I have never lost a job before. When is the day? Are we going to get a severance? Who else can I network with in the industry? So many questions, and no easy answers. The only definite thing I can grasp is that I need to keep making contacts.

Apparently Cleveland area is not the hot-spot for a lot of investment-related jobs....but if I wanted to move to Atlanta, NY, or PA, I could have a job right now. However there are many good people, good firms, and satellite office opportunities here so I will just keep at it and surely something will turn up, as moving is not an option at the moment. So feel free to drop me a line if you have any finance or investment related contacts in Cleveland.

Training has been significantly impacted. Job searching and networking is time consuming. I was frustrated on Saturday that although I still got a second place age group award, my 5K at 23:19 was my slowest of the year.

This weekend we host the annual corn party at my place which should be 100+ guests. I am really looking forward to the fun times to be had with family and friends, but the preparation is an unbelievable amount of work. And as I lay awake exhausted in my bed with worry, I try to think that this career transition will probably be a good thing and we will get through it as the saying says when one door closes, another one opens, right??

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Sweet Corn Ride!

Saturday I decided to hit the bike shop in preparation for Sunday's century ride. I picked up a new pair of bicycle gloves which are way better suited than the dirt bike gloves I have been wearing because a) they have more padding in the right places and b) they are cooler as they are fingerless versus my full fingered dirt bike gloves. Also thanks to my blogger friend recommendations, I also purchased a ProDesign waterbottle and mounting kit for my bike...which I now highly recommend!!

Saturday evening I got everything rounded up, filled my bike tires, mounted the bike on the car rack and was all set to go. Woke up Sunday morning, had some oatmeal and was on the road by 5:45 AM. Upon arrival around, I got all my gear on and headed down to registration and waited for the CTC gang to arrive. There was a fairly large pack of us that started off the day together which seemed to spread out fairly early on. I felt fine and was enjoying my company throughout the ride. We hit the first waterstop and I downed a gatorade, had a half a banana, and hit the restroom and was back off. Miles seemed to fly by and before long we were at the next rest stop. There was a group of 8 of us that remained together for the majority of the ride. We stopped at all the stops and at each I drank at least a bottle of gatorade and filled up the three bottles on my bike.

Oh and FYI, one of my bike bottles was fruit punch gatorade which I had froze the night before. It was leaking all over the place first thing that morning, so perhaps I should have drank some before I froze it. Thank goodness I had put the bottles in a Walmart bag to carry out to my car or my car would have been a mess!

At lunch at mile 62, we took a longer break and sat down in the shade to have our sack lunch and I had a sandwich and chips.

Back out on the road for another 30 hilly miles. It was now quite hot out and we are in the hilliest portion of the course. Our group started to spread out and I just remained focused on getting to the next stop. I found it much easier to try to keep as much momentum going as possible to make getting up the hills a little easier. I felt fine physically the entire way through except my feet were extremely sore from pushing my petals and I could not wait to give them a break. Oh and my neck and back were also causing me some discomfort.

I heard along the way that many were suffering from dehydration but with my 3 bottles on the bike that I continued to fill, I always had something to drink, even if it was extremely warm. I saw another CTC member which had crashed out in the ditch and I felt bad for him having to deal with that on this long hot ride.

At the 92 mile rest stop relaxed for a bit over some water and gatorade and started to look forward to the end. There was another rider that had taken a serious spill and his leg was swollen and road rashed. I thought about this older man as he was bound and determined to finish the course despite his injury and in the back of my head I kept thinking if he is going to make it dealing with that injury, I should have no room for complaints. This final section of the century went by pretty fast. I spent some time trying to catch up as I was a little behind leaving the rest area since I was trying to take care of my water bottles. The end finally came, however my mileage was at 102 so not sure where that extra came from but I kept thinking the end would be sooner than it was, which is never good!

I grabbed some horribly sweet lemonade and had a chance to see some other riders come in. We finished in approximately 7.5 hours including all of our leaisurely stops. Unfortunately I had to leave right after the event as I was late for a birthday party, so I missed out on the buffet dinner. Darn, because I am sure that would have been fun too.

All in all, I felt that it was a fairly consistent effort which went pretty well with no real issues to speak of which I was thankful for. It was a great day with great people and I really enjoyed the experience.

Order of my discomfort immediately after the race:
#1 feet (which hurt to push the car pedals on the way home, thank god for cruise control)
#2 back and neck
#3 front seat area (perhaps I need an adjustment or new seat)
#4 legs a bit tired

However upon returning home, in my shower my butt bolted to the front of that list...guess all the time in the saddle had resulted in some chaffing. Guess that is why so many other use that lubricant stuff and baby powder...perhaps something to consider in the future!