Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Kiss Myas Folks!!

Ho ho ho!!!!

Yes I am still saying it folks despite what all the haters may say!

So how has Miss Daisy been over the holidays you ask???

Well I tell ya....BUSY as usual!

Last week kinda blew, or at least that is what I was doing with my nose for the better part of the week. Blah! So I rested up and was off both Thursday and Friday. I think I took off more on the account of that I had stuff on rather than trying to get a rest.

Friday I met up with my ole college gal pal TriSaraTops and we drove down to Columbus to meet up with our other ole college roomie TriShannon! It was a fun filled day complete with food, laughs, smores and fun! It is good to know that some things never change as we still quote Waynes World and laugh at Shannon when she orders her plain food!

Saturday I hit the Buckeye Trail for the muddiest run yet. Wow it can be quite slippery in that thick mud and let's not even talk about what the shoes looked like afterwards. Then my muddy butt drove a little further south to hit a Excel Cycling class. I was good and tired after those 4.5 + hours of working out that morning and HUNGRY!!!

So I ate some good ole country cooking at the local Amish restaurant, Mary Yoders....yum!!! After I had a good base in my belly and cleaned the house, I was all set for the gathering at my place that night. Ole high school pals rolled on over and the beer flowed as we had shots, played cards, danced to the music!!!

And then the alarm clock rang and I hit it so hard that it fell off my night stand. Crap! It is dark and I am hungover, but I had plans to run so I rolled my butt out of bed. I met up with my group and we embarked on a very warm 8 mile trek. Sweating out the alcohol felt good but after the one huge climb I think the tequila in me was doing some sort of tribal dance in my belly! No worries though I made it home just fine to wrap some gifts and head out for some more last minute shopping!

Monday I awoke early again for another group run! My running club, Southeast Running Club had their annual 13.1 mile holiday run out at Bedford Reservation. I was dragging the minute I got up that day, but I was decked out in my holiday outfit in my red polk-a-dot tall socks and shorts in the very windy 27 degree weather. A few other folks were in shorts but none were quite as decked out as these guys.

If only they had been there, perhaps my run would have felt easier!!!!

My cold which was settling further and further down in to my chest and throat gripped my chest as I jogged up and down the rollers. Thank goodness for E and Amy who helped motivate me along as I struggled to talk. Finally many rollers and 2 descent climbs later we arrived back to the cars about 1:45 later. I was so happy to be done!!! The group headed out to breakfast and I chugged a vat of coffee to warm up. Funny thing was as soon as I got home I proceeded to fall right to sleep on the couch. I was just tuckered out!

Holidays were awesome as always. The hubby makes a mighty fine Santa and it is always good to hang with the family and my lil nieces!

Hope everyone else had a very wonderful Christmas!!!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Saturday morning I was flying high! I headed out to the Buckeye Trail for a fun 20 miler. Although it took us 4.5 hours and I fell on an icy rock in the creek, I felt fantastic after running in the 27 degree weather. Some days you run with a fantastic group and you talk and laugh and you realize you are done before you know it. I must be getting used to the trail as I was not unbelievably fatigued like I used to get after a long trail run as I worked muscles I was not used to using.

As the day wore on and the snow started to fall, I started to feel stuffier and stuffier. I was a bit bummed that night as the roads were so crappy that my hubby had to go plow and we had to miss not one, but two parties that were on the agenda for that evening. It was just as well, I suppose (YET I HATE TO MISS A GOOD PARTY, ESPECIALLY A DISCO PARTY WITH OLE FRIENDS!!!) as I my headcold was angry by the time I went to bed.

I awoke Sunday with my head in the clouds, as I got up to go run in Solon. The snow had turned to rain and I was not sure what the roads were like. I felt awful. Without too much delay I returned to bed to bury my pressured head beneathe the covers. I had intentions to run that morning and also to get in a trainer ride. After pushing it back and pushing it back, it never did happen.

It is Wednesday now and I still feel icky. I have managed to get workouts in the last 2 days and really it is the only time the sinus pressure feels better. I like to think that as my cold wet sweat soaks my clothes that my germs are being sweat out. I think today I finally feel a bit better than the last three days, but still not good. Why does it always seem that you get sick on the weeks that you have the most on and you are so busy when all you want to do is rest????

Friday, December 14, 2007

Hermes Road Race Series!

Another fun awards night was had by all at this years banquet!

Congrats to B & A on making it a year after meeting during last years wild banquet!

2007 Reflection

No more races for 2007! It seems a natural time to take a moment to reflect on 2007.

This year I completed 33 official events. This year included 2 full marathons, 4 half marathons, 1 full century ride, 2 metric century rides, 1 half ironman and a bunch of other stuff!

The List --
1 3-Feb Dirty Dog 10 K - 57:36 (9:16 pace) 2nd OF
2 17-Feb Chili Bowl 20:45 (6:40 pace) 1st Age
3 4-Mar Youngstown 1/2 Mar 1:47:26 (8:11 pace) 2nd Age
4 10-Mar St Malachi 5 Mile 33:32 (6:42 pace) 2nd Age
5 31-Mar Jog Into Spring 5K 20:29 (6:35 pace) 1st OF
6 7-Apr Spring Classic Half - 1:40:21 (7:39 pace) 1st Age
7 21-Apr Old Oak Run 5K 20:28 (6:35 pace) 3rd OF
8 22-Apr Socius Search 10K (39:25-SHORT) 3rd OF
9 28-Apr Hermes 10 Miler 1:13:45 (7:23 pace) 2nd Age
10 29-Apr Buzzard Du 3M R/15M B/3M R-1:33:13 3rd OF
11 6-May Silver Springs Du Intl 5K/17.5M/5K 20:30/57:58/20:50-1:38:37 1st OF
12 20-May Cleveland Marathon 3:38:32 BQ!!!
13 9-Jun Irish Festival 5K 20:40 (6:39 pace) 1st OF
14 10-Jun Sunday in June Metric Century Had Fun!!! n/a
15 16-Jun Jim Klett 10K 44:17 (7:07 pace) 2nd OF
16 24-Jun Alum Creek Intl Du-5K/40K/5K 21:13/1:13:18/48:44-2:25:35 2nd OF
17 4-Jul North Canton YMCA 34:42 (6:56 pace) 2nd Age
18 22-Jul Columbus International Du-5K/40K/5K 21:56/1:12:05/48:44-2:26:23 2nd OF
19 29-Jul Sweet Corn Century Ride Rode 60, flats!!! n/a
20 2-Aug Twilight Trail Run Humid!!! 1st fem team
21 12-Aug Greater Cleveland Half Iron 5:34:06 5th OF, 1 AG
22 1-Sep STOMP Metric Century Ride Time Flew! n/a
23 8-Sep Mantua Potato Stomp 1:08:08 (7:34 pace) 4th OF $!
24 9-Sep Cleveland Clinic 1/2 marathon 1:48:25 (so sick) zilch
25 16-Sep Portage Lakes Duathlon Intl 1:23:27 (20:42/38:33/22:07) 1st OF
26 29-Sep Akron Marathon Relay Team Time -3:02:47 (6:58 pace) 2nd Overall female Team
27 30-Sep Powerman Ohio 3:30:05, tough! nada, but Worlds Invite
28 7-Oct Chicago Marathon Sweated & finished w/ cousin just fun!!
29 20-Oct Stomp the Grapes 1/2 marathon 1:45:41 2nd Age
30 5-Nov Autumn Leaves Run - 5M 38.11 with fun footing! 4th OF
31 17-Nov Pigskin Classic-5K 21:11 (6:52 pace) 4th OF
32 22-Nov Turkey Trot-5 Miler 34:56 (6:59 pace) 2nd Age
33 1-Dec Reindeer Run 5K 20:18 (6:35 pace) 1st Age


The Highlights!!

* Fat Rabbit Racing International Battle of Ohio International Duathlon series and 1st overall female!

* Hermes Road Race Series - 3rd overall female!

* Boston Qualification!

* First half ironman and event finished 1st in my age group and 5th overall!

* Running with cousin for her first marathon!

Most of all, the biggest highlight was the truly wonderful friends and memories while training and racing these events!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Swimming update!

Are you sitting down?

I have swam two days in a row this week! Gasp!

Yes, it is true due in no small part to ESpeed who has got me swimming with her. She still zooms through the water tons faster than me but I am hoping that a little more pool time will pay off.

Last year my general swim workout was on my lunch hour when I would drive to the gym, change as quick as I could, swim 1000 yards, shower and get ready and drive back to work all in that hour.

The 1000 yards was always just a straight set at an easy to moderate pace. No drills, nothing working with speed.

Now E has me trying all sorts of things. Since we started swimming together I have learned pull drills and kick drills, worked with shorter fast sets, and I have even been enjoying it!!!

As a benchmark for me to reference later (no laughing at my times please!!!)

100 meters free 2:02 first set. Other ssets around 2:06-2:07.

200 meters free 4:17. Other sets around 4:20+

Then I tried a little test to see how my 200 free compared to my 200 pull. I have always known I had issues with my lower half dragging in the water and not being as efficient with my kick as I should be. I try to work on pushing my chest down to bring up my rear end.

200 meter pull 4:13 - Yup, faster without kicking with just my little swim floaty thing between my legs (OK, not down with the swim lingo either!!!)

All in all I have been so excited about having someone to swim with who can even teach me stuff!!!!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

First Indoor Cycling Class of the winter!

Last night I hit the first class of my prepaid 17 of Pete Gladden's indoor cycling clinics as I promised I would do with money I won from Fat Rabbit.

This year the name has changed from New Vision Cycling to Excel in Cycling and the location is also different (still far, but I think it is a little more convenient for me!). Everytime I have had the opportunity to train with Pete, he has never disappointed me. These workouts include music which is choreographed to the cycling, video footage on the big screen and led by Pete with a variety of drills to help people become more proficient cyclists.

As I drove down to Akron I nibbled on some pretzels as I was sort of hungry and figured I needed something in my belly. You see I have gotten into the habbit of keeping a ziploc bagful of pretzels in my car all the time these days. It is so often I leave a workout or find myself on the road just dying for something to eat. Don't fear as now my pretzels save me!

I hopped on my trainer just around 6:20 to start warming up. It did not take long before the sweat started to form and start the disturbing puddle which would be under my bicycle by the end of class.

As I started class I knew it may be rough. I was somewhat drained from the amount of training I had put in over the last few days.

We started with spin ups. You start in a very easy gear and based upon your group you have a cadence you must hit. I seeded myself in the B/C group. So I started at 100-105 rpm for a minute and bumped it up by 5 rpm each minute to 125 and then went back down each descending minute. We rested for 3 minutes and repeated the pyramid starting 5 higher.

We did one leg drills between around 50 rpm at a hard gear making sure our pedal stroke was very even.

We did an 8 minute (which will build to 20) overgear drill. (Pedaling with about as much resistance as you can handle at a particular cadence) For some reason I like these as I think I have always been somewhat of a gear masher.

One drill we did alternating increments of big ring (work) / little ring (recovery)where I would try to get above 100 at a hard gear as we alternated 5 sec on 55 seconds recovery, 10/50, 15/45 and so on up to 50/10. I stopped at 30/30 and repeated that 3 times as I was whooped. After a recovery we repeated.

I ate some cliff blocks-the cran razz flavor as my tank was empty. Mmmm, these are delicious little gummy things!

Then in the main set, we did these sprint things. My low end was supposed to be 100 rpm (for 40 seconds) by my group and my high end was 120 rpm (for 20 seconds) We did 10 of those.

Then we did a cooldown and I hopped my sore butt off my bike at 8:30. Oh my sweat pile was big and nasty and I was so tired! My bike lingo stinks but I wanted to get it down so I can remember what we did so I can try to practice this on my own. I grabbed a gearing sheet. I vow to learn my gears this year...finally!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Ending with a PR!

Well Saturday I ended the season on a high note with another PR. Despite the fact that I feel I am not in optimal condition and my speedwork has definitely been lackluster, I managed to pull out a 10 second PR on the day!

It was a great day all and all despite being on the cold side around 27 degrees. The Reindeer Run is a nice flat fast course which is an out and back with a loop at the turnaround. I enjoyed a nice 30 minute warm up with Salty and ESpeed and then we wrapped things up with some strides which was a new thing for me and something I will try to incorporate in the future.

As we lined up I took off behind E and JP. Mile 1 6:15. It seemed that I was jockeying for position more than I wanted and I felt I needed to back off a bit as I was tiring. I came into the day with some extremely sore hamstrings from hard bodies class on Thursday and did nothing to loosen things up on Friday like I had originally planned.

During mile 2, two girls passed me and I let them go. The footing was a little rough which slowed the mile a bit but mostly it was just me slowing down. Mile 2 6:50.

Ouch, 6:50 disappointed me a bit as I thought it would be next to impossible to break 20. Oh well there would be other days, but I did try to pick it up a bit knowing there was only a mile to go.

Mile 3 6:34. Final 0.1, 39 sec. I finished in 20:18 (~6:35 pace), a PR by 10 seconds! While it was not below 20, it was a PR, so who can complain!

To make things better ESpeed, JP, Salty, and JT all PR'd and ran fantastic races!!! There was much to cheer for at the awards ceremony as Salty claimed 3rd overall female with a smoking fast time of 18:49, E got 1st in Age Group (HUGE PR with a 19:23!!), JT got 3rd in AG, JP got 1st AG and I got 1st AG. Luckily for this group of gals we have our ages spread out nicely between the 25-39 groups!!!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Friday Fun

Friday is here and I am looking forward to the weekend as usual! As of now, it should be pretty low key and I am looking forward to taking care of some things at home like Christmas decorating and finally getting my motorcyle cleaned up and ready for winter! Saturday I will be racing my last race for 2007!

For now I will leave ya with some fun Friday pics!

Halloween pic of hubby and I as Drew Carey and Mimi!

Sis, hubby and my lil ladies at Halloween!!

Cousin Michelle and Terry

Alyysa and Erin with troll hair!!!

Thanksgiving Pic with all my crazy cousins!!!

Chicks Rule!!

Monday, November 26, 2007


So it appears I am realy slacking on my posts lately!

Last Saturday 12/17 I ran the Pigskin Classic 5K. It was my second slowest 5K of the year. Thankfully the fun factor of this race more than made up for my time!!

First off, there were lots of friends all out there running this race. The good guys were wearing red of course!!! I headed out behind JP, who always beats me. I hung with her for a mile before the inevitable slowdown started.

Mile 1 6:12

My super light weight Nike shoes were bothering me as I had my chip bouncing around and I kept looking down for fear that it would fall off. Funny, that my warm up did not show this but I suppose the speed was quite different.

Mile 2 6:54
Mile 3 7:15 I had made the mistake of opting for my headphones which quit working at the start of mile 3. :-( Then I had to head up a hill which I run regularily which seemed so much steeper and longer than usual at this point in the race!

Finish Time 21:11 (6:52 pace). Time for beer now! After the race watched everyone else come in and grabbed a beer. The best part was that they gave away these really cool Bud Light Cooler bags with built in speakers that you can plug your ipod into to the top 5 men and top 5 female. Luckily I was able to snag one of those at the award ceremony during the tailgate party!!! Sweet! And to top it all off, the good guys won! Go Buckeyes!!


Sunday I woke up sore from the 5K and had a rather pathetic "long run" day. I had intended to hit a swim clinic Sunday but I just felt crappy and decided to keep my suffering to the morning and skip the afternoon swim clinic.

Monday and Tuesday, I enjoyed some easy 5-6 mile runs with Salty. Every run is better with company and I was thankful to have some to get my butt outside in these cooler weather temps.

Wednesday took it easy with a very social swim with ESpeed. There was much more talking than swimming!

Thursday I ran the 5 mile turkey trot in downtown Cleveland. I lost my splits but ended with a time of 34:56 for a 6:59 pace. Again I wore stupid headphones that quit mid-race! Frustrating! Some races I opt for the music, some I don't. I just hate when I plan to have music and then my dumb ipod acts up (which has been happening frequently lately!!!). I felt better for the turkey trot than I had for the Pigskin. It was a little longer and my pace just felt more even, even up the same hill from the prior weekend! About 75 yards from the end a lady tried to pass me and I was not going to have it. We started sprinting and I gave it all I could to maintain the lead. I guess I should have applied that extra a little more evenly the last mile as I came across the line gasping for air! In the end, that lady must have started behind me with her chip time as she finised 2 seconds ahead of me in my age group so I took second place.

It was the highest I have ever placed in the big race and it will be good enough to get some free Malley's chocolate! On a side note it was a windy sleet/rainy/snowy day and I was chilled to the bone. Some days it is just an accomplishment to get out and run in those icky conditions!

Friday, my training consisted of power shopping. I left the house by 4:15 AM with sis and arrived home at 3:30 PM. Despite crowds, we got lots of deals, people seemed friendly and we enjoyed good girl time! That night I hit my mom's side of the family Thanksgiving and Chicago marathon cousin, Ar and I "A Team" cleaned up on the pool table. It was one fun evening with the family!

Saturday morning I dragged my tired butt out of bed for a long run with A & T. I was dragging...! We set out for our 14 mile run on the Buckeye Trail. I decided I could go that long without water. As we headed up and down the trail, again my clumsy butt caught a rock under some leaves and managed to take a tumble. My tuck and roll was less painful than my fall the prior time that knocked the wind right out of me.

We ended up taking a wrong turn somewhere at one point and realized we were off course. We hit this road and tried to figure out which way to run and ended up heading the wrong direction we would later find out. I was so thirsty at this point. I had too many beers the prior night and the two small sips of water I stole from T was not nearly adequate. The snow was looking tasty! As we hit Brecksville Rd at least we knew we were finally heading in the right direction. YEAH! Then we found Snowville and had some nice downhill. As we finally hit Riverview we had two miles to go and I opted for the road as I figured it would be faster and I was ready to be done and get something to drink! We arrived back to our cars 2 hours and 58 minutes later. I figure we ended up with around 17 miles on the day. Water never tasted so good!!!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Borrowed time-Autumn Leaves Report

So I just can't seem to find time to blog lately. I often will steal a couple minutes to quickly read my blogger peeps latest, but have rarely found time to comment!

Even now, I really am quite buried with work but will try to make this fast. So time for some updates.

-Had a kick-arse time at our annual Halloween party. I need to get some pictures up but I looked less than cute as my hubby and I dressed up as Drew Carey and Mimi, and yes I was Mimi. It is hard to play ping pong well if you are big I think!

-The Battle of Ohio Duathlon Series. Well finally they announced the results and to be honest there was not a ton of participants to put it mildly, but I ended up winning Overall Female in the Olympic Duathlon Series. Yeah, that means I get some money which will probably go towards a New Vision Cycling package and some new shoes.

-I ran the autumn leaves race on Sunday. I was a bit tired from the runnning I had been putting in over the prior days, but my friend Bob had conned me into coming out to this race. What a tough, yet very different race. It was all ran on this farm out in Kirtland through a couple barns, a ton of hilly cow pasture and different roads and trails. It was unbelievably difficult to get into a rhythm in the grassy, uneven pasture and the hills kept coming.

Mile 1 6:58
Mile 2 7:30--cow pasture slowing things down
Mile 3 8:23--why does this entire mile seem up hill in crappy footing?
Mile 4 8:06
Mile 5 7:14

Total time 38:11 It was not the fastest 5 miler, but it was fun! I took 4th overall female and 1st in my age group. I knew going in I did not have a shot at top 3 as Salty and two other Team GR chicks were out there, who are just plain faster than me. It was great to see so many friends out there cheering and running. It was a tough course, but definitely unique and a nice one to wind down the year!

I am trying to log more miles and still trying to do some different things to avoid boredom. I am starting to ramp up for hopes of my first 50K in January.

I want to try to track workouts better than I have been.

Monday 10/29 --6 mile bicycle ride with hubby ---His first road bike ride ever. I think his seat area is not looking forward to attempting a second. :-(
Tuesday 10/30 - 6 miles ran, 30 min trainer ride
Wednesday 10/31 - 7 miles ran (hilly and windy!)
Thursday 11/1 - 10 miles ran, 1 hour hard bodies class
Friday 11/2 - 5 miles ran (one minute ascending intervals), yoga class (1st ever, jury still out on what I think, but my poor piliformis could use anything helpful)
Saturday 11/3 - 15 miles on Buckeye Trail (ate serious dirt as I tripped over a root, just a bruised knee. My first fall on the trail, guess I am in the club now!)
Sunday 11/4 - 6 miles ran (1 mile w/u, 5 mile autumn leaves race), 1.5 hour spinerval trainer ride with JT

Weekly Mileage (10/29-11/4) --49 miles

Monday 11/5 - 2.5 miles ran, 30 min stationary bike, kick boxing class (1st time--thumbs up in my book!)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Stomp the Grapes Half Marathon

Saturday morning I woke up early to make the drive down to Navarre, the last long race in the Hermes Road Race Series. I figured at the very least, I could pick up some nice participation points, but as usual I had my own goal set a little higher than that.

Carol, an ole running friend of mine, rode down with me and we arrived to this cute lil winery out in the country. It was a bit cool as I shed my jacket but I knew I would be fine in my tank top before long. My stomach was feeling a bit off as it had the entire evening before.

As I started off, I was feeling pretty good and staying with the lead group of women for the first couple miles.

Mile 1, 6:35 (Downhill)
Mile 2 & 3, 14:29

It did not take long before I started to feel like I was working harder than I wanted to be. I let the lead women go. I had my headphones just cranking but I was already sort of bored and ready to be done, even on this beautiful morning.

Mile 4, 7:37 I drank some thirsty already!
Mile 5, 7:32
Mile 6, 7:57

As we made the turn on to the towpath, I thought I was upping the pace but when I looked at my watch I found it must have just felt like it!

Mile 7, 7:47

At this point people started to pass me and I was losing the battle in my head.

Mile 8, 8:11
Mile 9, 8:12
Mile 10, 8:43

I think mentally I started to give up. The hill after 10 seemed so long and all into a stiff wind. I walked a couple times. Then I was mad at myself for not sucking in up. My stomach hurt and I just wanted to be down already. Unfortunately I knew there were more hills.

Mile 11, 9:37
Mile 12, 8:50 Ughh, I am discouraged. Again people who don't normally beat me are beating me and I know I have down training runs faster.

Last 1.1 10:05

Total time 1:45:41, which put me in second place for my age group.

About a mile before the end, this one girl passed me who ended up snagging first. As it turned out they were giving a cash award to those breaking the record in their age groups and she had with a time of 1:45:01. Even though I had no idea what the cash award even was, I was mad at myself as there was no reason that I could not have beat her and took first other than the fact I was lazy. Sigh!

After the race I headed directly to the restroom to take care of my stomach issues. I was pooped. My feet were trashed. For some reason I had a bloody toe nail and a really bad blister. However as I quickly changed after the race, so did my mood.

My favortite part of the race is being done and watching the others come in. I had an opportunity to talk to one of the other ladies who I always seem to be in competition with and it was the first time we actually had the chance to talk and she seemed like a fun gal. There was also quite a spread of food and free wine after the race. How can you go wrong with that?

Even though I was mad about my pathetic performance, I got the coolest award. Apparently the race was trying to make unique awards and when they replaced the slate roof off their chicken coup they saved the slate and had it all cleaned and cut into 1 foot square pieces. Then an artisit placed a really cool winery design and Stomp the Grapes Award Winner on them. The slate was drilled and a pretty purple ribbon to hang it up with was also put on there. This is now one of my favorite awards I have collected!

So after having the chance to chat with friends such as Jen C and her hubby (who both ran well), fellow ER peeps (the Gorris's) and my road race series friends I headed home after having a great time at the after party!

At the end of the day, I highly recommend this race. It definitely is challenging, but totally worth it. Now I am looking forward to doing a couple of short races to end the year, which are to my liking. I like the fact the in a 5 mile race or 5K race, the suffering is limited! Also I am looking forward to spending time with my ladies doing the long runs in perparation for the 2008 year!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Left Foot, Right Foot, Repeat

It was a whirlwind weekend all to support my girl, Arlene!!!

Joey and I left out first thing Saturday morning to go out there. Thankfully Arlene had already picked up my stuff so I just had to get there and relax. We did do some arts and crafts upon my arrival.

I thought we would call ourselves A-Team for Arlene, as it would just make us laugh to hear people cheer for that!

Arlene was dreading the weather as she is not a hot weather fan and pretty much prefers not to really even train in it, let along run a marathon.

But we did not have a choice, so we boarded the L and arrived downtown to the start. Needless to say, even at this early hour, it was warm and humid and were already plenty warm outside in our shorts and a tank.


There were so many people, small walkways and I learned what hearded cattle must feel like. Finally we got all things taken care of--drop bag dropped, restroom hit and then we lined up with the 9:30 pace group.

The excitement was overwhelming! With a hug about 5 and a half minutes later after the official start, surprisingly we started to move forward!

Mile 1 8:51
Mile 2 10:00

We saw the family!! My husband Joey, my aunt and uncle (Arlene's parents), and her roommate were all out spectating and taking pictures!!! I think this was the only time they saw Arlene smiling!!! We had almost missed them as it is hard to pick out people from the crowd. Some people made signs so they could be easily this one which my hubby thought was so funny that we needed a picture!

As we passed through the city, every street was stuffed full of spectators. The bank sign read 74 degrees as we passed and fortunately the city buildings provided shade.

Mile 3 9:27
Mile 4 9:34
Mile 5 9:44

Arlene had not been talking much and I was trying my best not to annoy her but to try to keep her mind off how much further we had to go. As we headed out towards Wrigley there was a long stretch out by the high way in the bright sun and it was really starting to warm things up. By mile 6 we walked through the water stop so Arlene could take in a gel and get some water. We talked about with it being so hot today that is was going to be important to take in plenty of fluid even if it meant falling off your pace goal. Already Ar was so hot, that it was going to be plenty fine by her!!

Mile 6 11:01
Mile 7 10:31
Mile 8 10:37
Mile 9 12:43

As we tracked through boystown I was cheering and laughing. It was men cheerleaders, men in drag, men in army fatigues with their fakes guns singing and dancing slamming their guns on the stage while sticking there butts out!!!! I howled with laughter.

Mile 10 11:14
Mile 11 15:42 -- Arlene had finally found that bathroom she was looking for! I took this time to sit down on the sidewalk to stretch out my piliformis (as yet the butt pain is forver there!!) It was at this point that I really started to notice just how much everyone was really suffering. I saw several people just littering the med tent and streets who looked as though they were just done, some with IV's. I had been hearing the sirens all morning and obviously many were not dealing with the heat well.

Mile 12 12:24
Mile 13 11:35

Half way 2:24:38 - At this point, it hit home that this was going to be one heck of a long run and we were going to go over 5 hours! Just after half way we saw the family again. Seeing them always brought a smile to my face and I would wave and Arlene struggled to acknowledge them at this point. Actually I think I was doing a ton of smiling through the race. Although I was focused on getting Ar through her first mary, I was so preoccupies with all the entertainment and spectators---SO AMAZING!!!

Mile 14 13:08
Mile 15 & 16 25:49

We were walking all water stops often for at least a minute or 2. I was pretty much drinking one gatorade and two waters per stop as was Arlene. Fortunately for us, we have always drank a lot together...only this time there was no alcohol involved. Ar was struggling with the heat. I remember E's trick with ice in the sports bra which turned out to be one of Ar's favorite tricks for the day. She was melting and made the extra effort to hit every hose and sprayer while dumping water over her head. I knew she was struggling but she continued on.

Mile 17 12:15 As we came back through town I read another temperature sign which said 93 degrees...or we will just call it friggin HAWT!!

Mile 18 16:07 About this time she looked at me with a look of misery to say "Marathons aren't easy!" My response was that I don't think anyone ever thinks a marathon is easy, even the great athletes.

Mile 19 13:27

Fire hydrants were popped and we were told the marathon was officially over due to the unsafe heat. "Please walk to the nearest water area where buses will begin transporting people back to the start."

At first Arlene did not think they were serious. I had been watching through the day. Sirens were constant, people were struggling and I said "They're serious."

We were not sure what to do exactly we walked some as we were told not sure what the heck was going on.

Mile 20--FINALLY!!! 14:48

How long was this process going to take? I was so disappointed for Ar. She had worked so hard and had been hydrating well. She had trained all summer. She deserved to finish. We decided to keep moving forward for now while we seen how this way playing out.

Mile 21 - 12:05

Then Ar started to get mad, "F this, I am finishing this thing!!"

Thatz my girl and I was proud!!!

Mile 22 - 10:45!!! Fastest mile in a long time!

You could see the state of confusion all over the course. Announcers and police were yelling at people to stop running. We would walk momentarily when passing and start to run again. The thing was almost everyone was now walking. We weaved through the people now just wanting to get to the finish.

Mile 23 17:58

She was doing great and we even started to cheese it up for the cameras as the camera guys were surprised to see some smiles at that point!

Mile 24 13:59

At this time Arlene said she did not want to walk anymore because it hurt too bad to start again. We skipped the first water stop in forever!

Mile 25 & 26, I missed the splits.

As we entered the final stretch, Arlene was moving!!!! She practically sprinted the last two hundred and crossed the finish line in 5:21:36!!!

I am not sure which miles were the toughest for her. My guess is 12-20, when she knew how far she had left to go. After the race announcement, she was so angry, that I think she got a second wind and anger pushed her through those final miles. She had even started talking to me!!

At the end of the day as we collected our medals and I was so happy to have had the opportunity to experience this crazy marathon day! I will forever be proud of Ar's determination to finish in the heat which she hated!

Morals of the story to others-Stay hydrated to finish
Train in all conditions as you never know what weather will get thrown at you on race day!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Bringing Sweaty Back!

The title was my favorite shirt I saw on the course!!!!

The long and the short of it was my cousin (who hates the heat and never runs in it) rised above the insane heat of the day to complete her first marathon ever!!! I AM SO PROUD OF HER!!!

Well for all those who were looking up my name, there was a chip issue, so my chip did not register. However lucky for me I have the chip results as I hung tight with my girl throughout the long hot day!

START 0:06:38
5K 0:29:15
10K 1:00:57
15K 1:36:06
20K 2:16:50
HALF 2:24:38
25K 2:54:13
30K 3:39:30
35K 4:19:03
40K 5:04:09
FINISH 5:21:35

TIME Chip Time: 5:21:35 Clock: 5:28:13 Pace: 12:15

More details later on this crazy day of marathon shutdown due to the heat.....

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Mr. Matches

My doggies name is Matches. The husband thought it would be funny to say 'We were playing with Matches' and the name took. Originally we thought he may be a show dog as my mother in law breeds and shows golden retrievers...but Matches (Burning Down the House-formal name) ended up on the short side, so he is just our lil buddy!

When Matches was younger he used to run with me. However the runs got longer and it was too much for him, so I left him at home. He got lazier and lazier. Now I can barely get him to walk a half mile before deciding it is break time when he lays down on me. Sometimes a belly rub can coax him to move on but it is only a matter of time before he lays down again!

So this week I have been working from home and decided to spend some time with him. Monday we went for a walk to the post office. In total it was about a 3/4 mile walk. 3 breaks.

Then Tuesday I jogged him 1/2 mile up the road to the park. It was just me and the township worker who was mowing the grasss. I tied Matches to the fence as I started into my scheduled workout. It was supposed to be 6 400's. I ran around the path which circled all the baseball fields. My guess is that it is closer to 600 meters. I ran 4 loops easy to warm up and then started into my sprints. After my sprints I would grab some water and Matches would get excited as I would come over and untangle the leash he always manages to get wrapped around his paws.

Every lap you could see he was just begging to come but I knew it was too much for him. After I was finished with my sprints I untied Matches to take him with me for the cool-down...or so I thought.

He sprinted two laps as fast as he could as if to show me he could do it too. It was all I could do to keep up while I held him back some. As we jogged towards home he was tiring fast. I tried to encourage him on when he looked like he was about to lay down. About 150 yards from the house it was enough. He laid down in the middle of the road. After some time we finally made it home. Mr. Matches then proceeded to collapse on the floor after draining his water dish for a nap.

PS---Leaving for Chicago soon!!! I am looking forward to just enjoying the course with the cousin, Arlene!!! Even though Arlene did go to OU, (Ewww for us Miami U folk) this chick is da bomb! We just need to make sure there is beer at the finish line as we run for beer!!!

The forecast is calling for Mostly Sunny with a low 67 and a high of 88....guess we will not have to worry about being cold!!! I think we are planning to line up around the 9:30 pace group so hopefully we will finish in 4:15 or so!!! I AM SO EXCITED!!!

PSS--GO TRIBE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YEAH KENNY!!!!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Win Some, Lose Some

Saturday the 5 Fast Femme Fatale Freaks walked away with second place in the Akron Marathon Relay with a time of 3:02:47, with a 6:58 pace!!! They only lost to Kent State cross county...but we will be back next year to go after them!!!! It was quite a morning! Beautiful day, lots of friends, and free beer! All I can say about this relay team is CHICKS RULE!!! It was an absulute blast and I highly recommend this race.

Congrats to all the other finishers that day...Salty with your sick fast relay, Brian and Adam with their mary's, Brandon with your half mary, running friends Bob, Pat and Jen on their halfs, my cousin and high school friend completing their first mary's in under 5 hours, and so many others!!!
After the relay, I headed downtown Cleveland for a picnic with the Cleveland tri Club!!

Sunday I had another wake up call in the 4 o clock hour. This day was just plagued from the start I think. I had a major panic attack upon arrival to my destination. I had checked in and went to put on the numbers only to find out my helmet was not in my bag. I was so screwed and I had drove over 100 minutes to get to this race.

I had taken everything out of my bag earlier this week to let things dry out. I have no idea how my helmet never made it back to my bag!

Luckily I walked by one of the bicycle support vehicles, John from Trek Bicycles out of Columbus was handing out free water bottles and asked if I needed one, and I asked if there were any chancce he had any extra helmets. My little savior for the day said he had personal ones in the car and let me borrow one!!!

So I waited around and finally it was time to start. The 8K run started with a steep one mile ascent and then the descent sized rollers just kept on coming. This was the last chance du to qualify for worlds and the field was amazing. The women in my wave were moving. They had the course marked in KM and I really could not think what the conversion was to figure out how my pace was at the time. Only the last mile seemed kind...definitely a very challenging run course. As I came into transition in 37:25 (7:07 pace) I grabbbed the bike and took off.

I took in a gel which ended up on my aerobar pads and all over me somehow! A few miles into the course and onto the chip and seal. 3/4 of the course was crappy chip and seal. It was jarring everything like my aerobottle like crazy and it just felt like I could not keep speed up as well on this surface. Several of the chicks came blowing by me on their sweet bikes with race wheels and disc wheels and I just kept thinking, my bicycle is not even in the same league. Oh well, I was doing my best to keep up.

After the grade 8 climb I was sailing down one of the descents and I dropped my chain...crap! After greasing up the fingers I was off again. But then I ended up dropping my chain again .....and again! By the third time I was frustrated. It was costing quite a bit of time and several women had passed while I was pulled over.

My back was killing me!!! The rollers and hills kept coming. I was hating the road surface for much of the course.

And then things went from bad to worse. I screamed ouch in pain. I had been stung by a bee in the inside of my bike shorts on my groin. I was not sure if the bee was inside or outside my shorts. I had compression shorts on so I did not think it could be inside but I could not get it out of my head that the bee was trapped in there and would be stinging me more. I was having issues my chest felt tight immediately. I thought about stopping in transition for some Benadryl just to make sure I would be OK but then I just wanted to get this stupid course done even if my time was going to be a real disappointment at this point.

Finally I pulled into the transition 2:07 later...a pitiful time which averages out to 17 mph. I suppose all my issues had taken their toll.

Out for the run. Only problem was at this point, I was not in it. I was tired, pissed, and my leg kept hurting from the stupid bee sting. There was a girl ahead of me and everytime she would walk, I started walking up these big hills. My chest felt so tight and I was so dehydrated as I had run out of water on my bicycle and I was just dying for the water stops. It was one of the most miserable runs of the year. One volunteer was so great with inspiration. Seriously I ran one section of the course by the turnaround just for him as he was saying to keep up the pace,I would pass at least 5 people. I started to get some motivation back. Volunteers really can make a difference. I legged out that last mile descent well but I had such a pathetic start the first 4K that it did not help my time that much. I finished the second 5K in 45:29 (~9:08 pace) and a total time of 3:30:07.

I am a Powerman...only thing is I just felt so crappy about the whole performance. Oh well, I kept going and finished what I started. Also I finished out the Battle of Ohio Long Course Du Series. Now it is just a waiting game to see if this performance will knock me out of first. We shall see!

For now my leg is still killing me from my second stupid bee sting on the bicycle this year. It is nice and red and swollen!

This week will be a nice easy week leading up to Chicago marathon with my cousin!! I am so excited!!!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

25 of 32 down

So the season is still going...

I was thinking about a post on the Cleveland Tri Club forum. It was pick your top 5 of 2007. While my season is not yet done, I had to think a minute as there are so many to choose from!!! Perhaps next year I will spend a little less money and focus on quality over quantity. But for this year, racing has just been plain too much fun (except river run half when I was sick)!

YTD top 5 have been in no particular order-
Youngstown 1/2 marathon--I like the challenge of a hilly race early in the year!
Cleveland marathon-just because I got my BQ!
GCT Half-enjoyed going the new long distance
Twilight Trail Run-loved running with the girls and the post race beer afterwards!!
Portage Lakes Du- Great course, lots of familliar faces and just felt great!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Beautiful Ohio

This weekend my husband I decided it was time to take a weekend away for ourselves. Usually most weekends, my husband does competition shooting and I do some sort of exercise thing.

We left out Saturday afternoon (after I snuck in a long run!!) for a 200 mile trip down to Hocking Hills on our motorcyles. It was just gorgeous! We took the scenic route through many country roads and towns.

After a few stops we pulled into the cutest little cottage for our evening stay.

The place included pretty much everything you could want-full kitchen and bathroom with all towels, kitchen utensils, fireplace, dvd player, hot tub, two different patios, and all sorts of other comfort amenities!

It is always nice to enjoy some quality time with the spouse in an extremely beautiful part of Ohio. We stopped off in Berlin on our way home for some very tasty country cooking. Finally we made it back home with some very tired bodies from all the miles on the motorcyles....I may need a hot tub at home now!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Random Numbers and Tidbits

Portage Lakes Sprint Du---thankfully HFP did not loose my splits like I did!

5K #1 - 20:42 (6:39/mi)
T1 - 1:06
13 m Bike - 38:33 (19.3 mph)
T2 - 1:00
5K#2 - 22:07 (7:07/mi)

Random thought: Although my preference is warm hot summer weather, my body definitely likes these cooler temps with low humidity for exercising!!!

Friday ~ 40 ish mile bike ride
Saturday ~ 18 mi run
Sun ~ Spint Du ~ 7 mi ran, 13 mi bike
Mon ~ easy 6 mi run
Tues - 5 mi speedwork ran

I had a super in shape aerobics instructor last week that made me think I needed to refocus.

Several pounds have crept on over summer as I have really ate pretty much whatever I wanted.

I watched the biggest loser and thought if they can, I can.

I decided to get my act together and clean up my horrible diet. No more salmon caesar salads for lunch daily, no more two starbucks frappachinos a day, no more nightly chicken wings, burgers and fries. Ramped up exercise a bit more. Dropped 8-9 pounds in a week. I think I must have weighed in on a heavy day the morning after a big dinner or something. I am feeling so much better to just stay commited.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Riding the Rollercoaster

First and foremost, a huge thank you to Mallie who is the Rockstar of blog designs!!! She totally has pimped out my blog and I am soooo lucky she took the time to apply her mad skills to this site which was definitely in need of some TLC!!!

So last weekend and most of the week, the cold definitely had me down. The half marathon was rough and I felt crummy. I took Monday off entirely and my chest felt too tight to run on Tuesday, so I hit hard bodies class. I made it through class that day although my cold had me sweating as if I was working out in a sauna!

Wednesday I ran a whole 3 miles still feeling off. I just had no motivation.

I was starting to feel a bit better by Thursday however I still just had no desire to get in a normal workout so I did 1.5 miles on the treadmill before a hard bodies class at lunch and then another mile in the evening before hitting a interval aerobics class. I had such a nice time just doing something different although my calfs screamed for the next 3 days from doing so many toe raises in class.

Friday things started to finally turn up. I met a couple friends for a gorgeous 2.5 hour bicycle ride through some very hilly roads. The weather was just perfect and again I was rejuventated by my training which I had been lacking all week. As the evening rolled around MT called to see about the weekend long run. I hated to risk not performing well on Sunday but I figured we could just do an easy long run Saturday. So we met at noon out in Mantua to run the soft, flat Headwaters Trail. The temps had cooled and we easily picked off the miles at a decent pace. I felt great and 18 flew by so fast!

Sunday I awoke early to head out to the Akron International (Portage Lakes) Duathlon. My muscles remained a little sore from the prior workouts and the cold was not totally gone, but I was ready to go. I had signed up for the short course du. It was a crisp morning and I was thankful I would not be doing the swim as the transition out of the water to the bicycle was going to be a cold one! I lined up next to a fellow teammate who was doing the long course du (& she incidentally went on to win it!!!) and I said that I was going to try to pace off of her if I could keep up. I must be a cold weather person as things felt good. Mile one 6:32. Mile 2 was pretty much an uphill grade 7:11 and then Mile 3 was back down 6:14. Last 0.1 mi was 38 sec. I felt good and stayed within 5 steps of my teammate the whole way. It had to be one of my best runs of the year and then I headed into transition for my bike.

I had started the morning which was around mid 40 with a tri top and shorts and arm warmers. My hands had been cold all morning so I put on the only gloves I had which were big thick fleece ones. I thought I might need them on the bike but after the first run my hands were so sweaty that I had them off at the transition entrance and rode with no gloves at all. My legs felt incredibly tight on the bike but I was keeping a decent pace through the rollers. Over the 13 miles I never saw another female and passed several guys and several guys passed me. I have been having trouble getting my bike sensor to stay put on my wheel and of course it did not work during the race so I was guessing my mileage as the miles were not marked.

As I pulled into transition, I quickly changed shoes and headed off on the run course. I thought I was in front but there had been one girl (who I think ended up a DNF) ahead of my teammate and I on the first run and I was not sure if she was doing the sprint and might be in front of me. So I took off. The legs were tight but I plugged away increasing turnover and feeling generally good. After all the international du's this year, it is a huge mental boost to only have a 5K to run! As I passed the first mile I was close to 7 min mile pace which I was happy with. I was passing men as I ran the course and as I started up mile 2, I was happy to not see any women still as the the course has 2 out and backs and you can see who is in front and behind you. As the downhill mile 3 started, I saw the sprint tri female leader about 3/4 of a mile back and knew even she could not catch me. I came across the line holding around a 7 min mile pace for 5K #2 and finished with a total time of 1:23. I was the first female across and was so excited that for once I had felt pretty good during the race.

I was a little upset that as I tried to save all my splits that I took perfectly, I managed to clear them. Ooops! I hung out for a little while cheering on fellow friends before I had to head out for the day. It was a fantastic day and I left Portage Lakes feeling totally re-energized in spirit! It was just what I needed after having such a dismal week!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Under the weather

I should have known...

I was so tired last week, yet I dragged myself out of bed Friday morning to go to the gym. Usually on this long drive downtown I manage to wake up, but not this day. I turned the air conditioning on and painfully struggled to stay awake and drive. Once at the gym, as I rode the bike and the sweat started to flow, I finally woke up. However as I left the office around noon to work at home for the remainder of the afternoon, again I was so tired driving. I stopped on the way home for some much needed caffeine, thinking that must be the problem.

However about 5 I started to feel sinus pressure and then the sneezing started.

Just what I wanted as I headed into my busy weekend!

We headed out for some Friday night Mexican and after a couple Dos Equis my sinuses started to feel better. But I awoke Saturday morning for the 9 mile Potato Stomp feeling like a cold was setting in.

I had got to the race early and went for a nice warm up. However the race started 30 minutes later than anticipated so it had only really succeeded in making me damp while I waited.

Yes, in keeping with usual style, I headed out too fast and then struggled to hang on.

Mile 1-6:36
2- 6:40
3- 7:45
4- 7:39
5- 8:04
6- 8:08
7- 7:58
8- 6:45 (short)
9- 8:33 (long)

I originally had signed up for the course as it was close to home and the fact that they gave away prize money to the top 5 overall males and females. I came away with #4 overall female and $25. I felt I could have done better but perhaps the cold was holding me back. Overall the Potato Stomp was a challenging course with lots of rollers which never ended. It was a humid day and I was soaking wet. Thankfully as I crossed the finish line about a mile from the starting line, they handed out embroidered towels which I wiped the sweat from my body.

The race was not chipped and it took quite awhile before all the results were tallied up and I sat there shivering through the awards as my dry clothes were parked a good way up the road. I finally made my way home and was cold and hungry. The sick related off feeling just continued to get worse as the day wore on and as I went to bed at I started to consider skipping the Sunday half marathon.

I awoke early Sunday morning. I probably should have just stayed in bed. My legs were sore from the prior day. I was so congested. It was raining. But, I had said I was going to do this and meet a friend and I hate not following through on something I said I would do. So off to the 1/2 marathon I went.

I did a short warm up while I debated whether to just run for fun or to go out in seek of that PR as usual. Yeah, as usual I lined up for the PR.

With the start after the previous day's fade, I planned to run an even race and hold back at the beginning. Mile one, 7:12. Right where I wanted to be. As I went into Mile 2, I knew I was in trouble. My legs were so sore. I had hoped after mile 1 they might loosen up but it was not happening and they just felt like heavy tight bricks. 7:22. I was already looking forward to the end and my chest started hurting. Mile 3-7:23. Mile 4-7:52...already slowing down. I was wet. My legs hurt. I felt awful and congested. My head was not even in it and I just plain did not care. I just wanted to be done. My headphones quit working at mile 5 which was my the one distraction keeping me somewhat happy.

Now I was bored and I just plodded along. I started walking the water stops and I watched as females passed me that I had not lost to all year. I did not care...much.

I skipped the water stop at mile 12 just wanting to get done and finished in 1:48:25. It was a disappointing time, yet I was just glad to be done. If nothing else, I did pick up my participation points for my Hermes Road Race Series. Jeez, I was just exhausted. After running around with family for a few hours afterwards I went home to collapse on the couch. The cold has set in and as I type this on Monday I feel like crap. Needless to say, I skipped an AM workout today and slept in.

I am anticipating a very light, easy week! I suppose it is time to take it easy for a bit and get healthy before next weekend which will just be a nice short du!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Weekends rule, especially the long ones!

Saturday was awesome! I met some friends out in the valley to ride the metric century STOMP ride on the most beautiful day!!! Morning coffe was good, volunteers were cheery, conversation was fun, the ride flew by and I even got to pet a donkey! Yup, definitely a good morning!

Then I headed over to fulfill my auntie duties with my girls. They turned ONE on September 5th!!!



Sunday I woke up bright and early to run a spirited 15 mile run with SERC and my running girls!!!

Sunday afternoon and Monday was filled with motorcycle riding and picnics!!! Weekends is just too bad they fly by so fast!!

On tap for this weekend is the 9 mile Potato Stomp Run and then the River Run half marathon! Bring it on!!!

Best of luck to all my other peeps out there racing this weekend including my ole roomie, TriShannon doing IM Wisconsin and my running gals doing the Punxy 50K!!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Yesterday, I hit the gym just after 6 AM to start my track workout on the treadmill. I was still tired and my legs and joints felt tight.

The best thing is after a mile or two when things finally loosen up and you feel like your self again. I ran a nice solid track workout with various longer intervals 1K-2K-1K-1K. Then I cooled down at a 8 minute mile pace feeling rather comfortable. I love how that pace feels so comfortable when I am done, but the same pace would have felt uncomfortable in my warm-up.

Running my interval workouts on the treadmill at the gym always seems to garner a few looks wondering why I am pushing myself so darn hard. I have only been at this new gym a couple weeks and I suppose they are not used to me yet. I was a disgusting sweaty mess, but I felt good.

Later around lunch I was still feeling frisky, so I returned to the gym for something different. A Hard Bodies Class. I did lots of core work, abs, pushups, shoulder and chest exercises and lots of lunges. Oh my butt and ab muscles are sore today! Yet, I am stoked about it...I just love the opportunity to do something different on occasion and with new people. I may have to make this a weekly showing!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The quick and dirty

Gosh, has it been so long since I posted??

Time flies when you are busy!

So after the half, I had an easy day Monday with an easy spin on the bike. By Tuesday I was feeling back to normal and resumed the regular schedule. Last weekend composed of a 16 mile run with regular running pals, Bob and Espeed and then I capped off Saturday night with our family's annual crazy Corn Party. I will just say it was mad fun, craploads of people, drunken karoke, hillbilly games, lotza food, and the best part was that this year it was at someone else's house!!! Sunday was recovery day...more from alcohol than runnning!!!

This week continued on the regimen although definitely switching things around a bit as mornings got messed up a couple days on account of sleeping in. Oops! This weekend friggin rocked. 20 miles of tough trail running with the gals on Saturday which left me a bit tired and dirty!! Sunday I awoke and met the Cleveland Touring group for 103 mile bike ride over to PA and I felt pretty great the whole way. We averaged a brisk pace of 18.8 mph the whole way. Needless to say, there was a lot of helping each other out drafting. I learned that in this company I am not much of a puller. Today my bicycle never would let me shift into the small gear, yet I managed to make it up all rolling climbs with no trouble. It was my first century of the year and I cannot believe how pain free I feel! Last year after the sweet corn century I was all sorts of sore. Granted it was hot and much hillier, but dang I am stoked that I feel good after today's ride, especially considering how sore I felt after yesterday's run!

Oh by the way, I am almost finished with the first book I have choose to read in years (the last several years I have only read text books required of me), Lance Armstrong's, It's Not About the Bike, My Journey Back To Life. This book is so addicting that perhaps it has impressed me so much that not only is Lance forever my idol, I may just start reading more books again for fun. "How about them apples?"

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

GCT Half Iron Race Report

Friday night I did not sleep well. I awoke and started overthinking the race.

Saturday, I hit the expo quickly. I purchased a new bicycle computer as mine had been acting up lately and I could not get the speed and distance to work. Unfortunately when I got home I had the realization that it would not mount on the bar I needed it to. Crap! So we made an emerency stop at Dick's that night and bought another computer. However that computer would not mount on properly either! Bummer! So I was going to go with no computer. Grrrr!

After a short, but good night's sleep, I awoke around 4:15 to get ready. I was still not awake and managed to hit the door a little earlier than planned. No one was on the roads except a couple cops which I passed. On my way I realized I had managed to forget my water and gatorade so I made a pitstop at 5AM in Chardon at a gas station. I had to laugh as I overheard a girl say to the other worker as she looked at me, "Oh I feel guilty now. I am going to have to work out when I get off." I suppose they don't get too many crazy exercise people in there at that hour of the morning on a Sunday.

As I drove up to the race I snacked on a generic lowfat fruit and grain bar and chugged a Rockstar to wake up.

I parked right next to transition (the bonus of getting there early!) and started setting up. I had not really prepped the day before so it was taking me some time to put the numbers where they belonged. All this extra swim stuff in my transition area had me scratching my head on the best way to put it all out. The area was tight and I set my transition bag out of everyone's way over by the fence. However one of the officials made a beeline to tell me that I could not have stuff there that it had to be in my space. OK. I personally would prefer everyone to keep any excess crap out of the way since transition area is so tight, but whatever. Since I parked close, I ended up just taking some stuff back to my car and adding a few other things to the transition space.

The morning flew by as I chatted it up with other CTC folk and before long Brandon and I started on the long walk down to the start. Thank goodness he had talked me into departing when we did, as it took us a long time to walk down the shore to the start. I was feeling SOOOO lucky as I peered out into the calm lake on this gorgeous morning!

After a quick dip in the water to wet the goggles and get a feel for the water temperature, I lined up with my age group for the start. I remained nervous but felt somewhat calm as I glanced around and saw familiar faces of Mickey (the best RD) and my other CTC friends. I started in the second wave at 7:03 AM. As I darted into the water I started swimming hard out to the first buoy. It took a long time to get out to it and by the time I rounded the bouy, my form started to go. Gosh, the end looked unbelievably far away. People were splashing all around me and I was slightly anxious. I decided to take some rest breaks of 5 to 10 second breast strokes to catch my breath and remain calm. I swam bouy to bouy and even caught some caps from the wave ahead of me. There were people from the waves behind me catching me. I had to stop to let out a giant burp which was probably part water, part Rockstar! So ladylike! A funny thing happened about half way through. I finally got into a rhythm. I started taking less breaks and felt much more relaxed. As I rounded the last buoy, I started to get really excited that the swim was almost over and I did fine!!! 1 mile swim was 38 and change. Wahhooo!!! Yeah, anything under an hour was going to be cool by me on this day!

As my feet hit the sand I was taking it in and not really pushing too fast. I smiled for a picture and was excited to see all the spectators on the beach!! Unfortunately as I ran to transition I could not get the sand off my feet. I took so much time trying to get it off and was getting frustrated. After wasting a ton of time trying to get the sand off, I gave up and proceeded to Body Glide my feet as this year has been filled with blister issues. I left transition over 4 minutes later.

When I pulled my bicycle on to the road, a girl was ahead of me going slower than I wanted to go. Two guys passed us, but I did not want to pass her as I heard you could get penalized for passing in the park. So I just hung tight. As I went out on the course, I felt like I was going so slow. Was I tired from the swim and just trying to adjust or what? Later I would realize it was just a headwind that I would take advantage of on my return trip. While I was on the bike I made an effort to start drinking. The day was heating up so I alternated between my water and my gatorade. I was riding pretty conservatively as I wanted to make sure I had plenty of strength and energy left for this long event. At 10 miles in, I was at 33 minutes. I climbed the one decent hill on the course and then I rolled up on some spectators who were none other than MT and Espeed. Oh I was stoked to see them! They had even made signs!!! Oh they are the best!

At 20 miles in, I was at 66 minutes. Consistent anyways! It was slower than I would have liked, but the goal here was to have a nice steady day. I was really taking it all in and enjoying myself thanking the cops and volunteers as I made my way through the course. As I was starting the second lap, Jodi caught me to my surprise. I had assumed she was already ahead of me as I figured that even though she was in a later swim wave, that she would have swam by me! I passed her back as I told her that she realized it was going to be impossible for me not to try to keep up with her! I guess her goal of lighting a fire under my butt had worked! Sometimes when I am out in the course I start relaxing a bit too much and can use people like Jodi out there to keep my head in the game!!!

On lap two I had my first successful bottle grab of some water on the bike and I refilled my aerobottle. I cheered as I circled around to see the girls, espeed and MT again! They were going nuts, as was I, and I saw the cop directing traffic just laughing at the display! They rock!

As I neared about 48 miles in, I took a gel. I had two short loops to go still on Heisley road. I enjoyed seeing all my friends at Snakebite racings water stop. They were a spirited bunch!! I grabbed a second water on one of my loops. During these two loops and much of the last 15-20 miles, two other ladies and I kept passing each other periodically. The short two loops on the freeway had some good bumps which were not feeling so good on my lady parts at this point in time! Finally, I pulled into the park to the next transition area. 56 mile Bike time 3:02 and change. ~18.5 mph My biggest complaint at this point were my feet which felt bruised from pushing the pedals!

When I got into transition the first thing I did was pop open my cooler to chug half a blue Rockstar! Oh my was it soooo good! Mmmm! And then it was out to the run as I left transition 3 minutes later. My transitions were slow but I figured I just wanted to take my time to do what may prove to be important in them!

As I headed out onto the run, I went out behind one of the ladies I had went back and forth with on the bike. She looked pretty strong and I just followed her pace. I was hot and wanted to keep my energy high so at the first stop I took a gel and had some water. Dang, I was thirsty! As I made my way down by Pickle Bills I saw my girls again. Wooohoo! I was again re-energized and hooting it up with them while they briefly kept me company! With renewed energy I passed the lady in front of me as we got into the hilly portion of the course. I missed some of the mile markers and other hit my watch a little late but here the splits as I hit them.

Mile 1 7:57 Another rockstar burp!
Mile 2 8:51
Mile 3 9:00 Oh crap, my feet are blistered already I can tell and I had to adjust my stride!
Mile 4 8:13
Mile 5 9:49 (hit late)
Mile 6 7:27 (started late)
Had to love the energy at the turnaround as I threw my hands up in excitement!!
Mile 7 8:47
Mile 8 10:10 I hit the bathroom! First pee of the day since I started! No bike peeing for me at this point! Saw TR and wanted to catch up to him to see if he had anything funny to say, but alas my stop put me back.
Mile 9 9:56
Miel 10 8:45
Mile 11 9:19
Mile 12 9:14
Mile 13.1 8:31 little pick up at the end!!

Total time 1:56 and change ~8:50 /mile pace. All in all I felt solid the whole way through. The volunteers were fantastic!! I really think I could have went faster on the bike and run. However I wanted to play my first half safe. Plus I definitely tried to take it easy on my feet with my blisters!

Final time was 5:43:06! This ended up putting me in 5th and I got 1st in my age group! I am happy to take that for my first half! I do like this distance a lot and nothing can beat a half iron debut in your own town with all your peeps around!

I had totally winged the nutrition and strangely it worked out fine.

Totals include-
-3 bottles of water, 1 fruit punch gatorade and one gel on the bike.
-2.5 gels, water at nearly every stop, and one glass of gatorade.

At the end, I felt pretty good. However, as the day wore on, I got more sore by the minute. I started to get rather uncomfortable to the point I could not sleep well that night as I was in quite a bit of pain.


Monday I felt better. I did an easy 25 minute spin before sitting in the hottub. Lots of stretching!

Tuesday I ran a 5 mile treadmill workout at various speeds averaging out to an 8 minute mile pace. I really felt fine and back to normal already!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

I came, I saw, I conquered!

Well so I did not conquer the race, but at least my goal!!!!!!

More later...Final time 5:43 and change. 5th female overall and 1st in my age group!!!

My goal was to break 6 and so I am stoked with the outcome.

No major trouble except for some sandy feet causing more dreaded blisters on my poor sore feet!

I had the best day due in no small part to so many awesome people out on the course!!!

More details later.... I am quite exhausted!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Half iron eve!

Well the longest event for me ever is tomorrow.

I would be lying to say I was not nervous.

I know I can do it.

It is really far.

I have not stuck with a plan so the whole thing sort of feels like I am winging it.

The swim is even more of a hail mary but seems a little better lately.

I could have trained more.

I could have raced less.

I could have tapered better.

I think the run is going to be hot.

I've got about 12 hours to come up with my nutrition strategy. Hmmm?

But the time is here, and there is no time like the present to suck it up and give it my all.

I'm off to packet pickup.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Where to start?

So much going on and always so little time to catch up. So we will start at the beginning!!!

Twilight Trail Run

Thursday, I had signed up to do the Twilight Trail run with some of my running gals and we divided up into two female teams. Team Two Trail Freaks consisted of Solar Squirrel and Espeed. MT and I were Team Pimp My Stride. A couple days earlier I had made up some generic tanks for us to show our spirit at the race!

At least we would look good!!! We were just plain pysched to run in these bad arse breathable cotton tanks!!!

Just before the race it rained enough to make things quite messy on the trails. The race had an age graded start which made things interesting. I was SOAKING wet before I even started from sweat and between the heat that night along with the hills, it just zapped my energy. However us ladies held strong and our two teams walked away with first and second overall female team awards! The best part was due in large part to MT's kick butt performance, our team won free Brooks shoes!!! (Which I bought already and I totally love as much as my Asics Kayanos!! SCORE!!!)

This race was not one of my fastest runs, but it was one heck of a good time! I enjoyed a totally different sort of cooldown after that race!!!! mmmmbeer!

Independence 5K

Saturday when I woke up I knew as I warmed up my legs were still tight from Thursday night's trail run. Things were heating up fast and lately I have learned my breathing seems to be affected with the heat more than I like to think.

I lined up at the start and with the start I was off. Quickly the road race series female leader surged ahead with another girl and I was on their tails hoping to hang on. Mile one 6:17. As we looped around during mile 2, I could feel my legs tightening and fell off the other ladies pace. Mile 2, 6:44. My tunes were not helping me and I was pretty spent and about a half mile before the end MT closed in on me. My breathing was becoming more labored and I finished 6 seconds behind her as I worked to catch my breathe. Oh this heat and humidity really hurts my lungs. Mile 3.1 (1.1 miles), 7:44. Final time 20:42 (6:39 pace). It was not my best time, but coming off the Thursday run and given the heat, it was a pretty decent run.

At this point I should note that MT is kicking butt at the moment and her run times continue to I am going to have to step it up I suppose. Darn her and her 23 year old long legs!

Burning River Update

Whatever I comment on this will simply not suffice for what these ultrarunners endured.

The Burning River 100 is a new 100 mile run held in Northeast Ohio that travels through several of the region’s most scenic areas, including the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, the Cleveland Metroparks and the Metro Parks, serving Summit County.

Starting at Squire’s Castle in Willoughby Hills, the run follows the scenic Cuyahoga River Valley Corridor and finishes in Cuyahoga Falls. The course definitely has some tough terrain and they would not come to the aid station I was volunteering at until they were 91.3 miles in.

Espeed had organized the aid station and I can tell you this girl really gives back to this sport. She was up all night running around like crazy trying her best to make sure every runner coming through had the very best of care. Seriously, I give her mad credit! Our station was festively themed Hot Fiesta Party on the Burning River and we had a bunch of decorations, foods, and music to complete the feel! I worked the station from 9:30 PM to 1:15 AM and saw 6 runners.

The race had started at 5AM with 144 people and 68 finished. The course was incredibly tough and it had been such a hot humid day. I can only imagine how it wore on the runners. I felt so much for those runners as I can only imagine the pain some were feeling. The strength it took for those people to keep going just blows my mind. These runners who endured so much to finish really accomplished quite a feat! The most amazing thing was the overall male and female were both from my running club!!! How cool is that to get to run with some truly talented runners???

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

August already????

Wow, this summer is going by wayyyy too fast!

Things have been crazy hectic and although I have been getting in the workouts, they have been scattered at random times and have left me just feeling a bit out of sorts.

Saturday was an awesome day. I ran the Buckeye Trail for the first time ever with the girls. All went amazing well with the new running surface for me. Yet, with such fantastic company of the gals, I think it would have been impossible not to have a great day. We were targetting to get in 16 miles. However after a 12 mile loop and heading out another 30 minutes, I was calling shenanigans on Espeed's 2 mile turnaround to get in the total 16. We ended up going out 3 miles before turning around, so we ended up with 18 for the day. I am sure I was a bit fatigued by the end of the day as I kept tripping as I must have started dragging my feet the last couple miles!

Sunday I awoke with a stiff back and tight quads. Just perfect for the start of Sunday's Century Ride. I had stopped in at the bike shop the prior day only to hear that they changed the course this year to make it as absolutley challenging as possible. Fantastic!

Upon my arrival, there was no one I knew that was heading out for 100, except for one speed demon on Team ER who I could never keep up with. So I headed off on my own which was sort of a bummer. (OK Jodi I am missing you!!!) But all was fine until my computer quit working 4.9 miles in. Crap again! Two guys breezed past me with the green 100 mile bracelets, so I thought I would try to keep up. All was going well. I was enjoying the ride and talked with a few others out on the course and my legs were loosening up nicely. We hit the first stop at around 23-24 miles in. I grabbed some pretzels and some water and hopped back on the bike talking with another CTC member. That CTC member rocked by the way. I recognized him from Wednesday night cycling. This year he was turning 60. It was a big year-First grandchild, first half ironman year and today was his first century...quite amazing his acccomplishments at 60!!!

Another few miles down the road and I knew something was wrong. A flat. Luckily I have had my share of these this year so I said I was fine and started to change out my tube. However every flat has always had a regular pump nearby for me to utilize. This time I was not so fortunate. Luckily I had 4 of these CO2 tubes. However I had no idea how to make these work. Just as I was scratching my head, some more familiar faces rode up and stopped by. Yeah, what perfect timing!! However no one had used these tubes before. Then I had the realization you need a tool to pop these tubes (which I did not have!). Duh, now I know! However we were having trouble getting this to work and one guy had a hand pump so we used that too. What an ordeal to just pump up the tire! And then as we took the pump off the tip popped off and I knew it would not hold 70 more miles. Not only was the tip off, there was a weird bump or bubble in the tire that I could not see but I could feel riding down the road. I was going to just take it easy and hit the bike shop in Pennisula and change out this tube.

Upon my arrival I was saddened to see the store was closed for another 2.5 hours. Crap! Then I saw the free air sign! Woohoo! So I changed out the tube. I went to pump it up but then had the realization that the pump was not one I could use with my valves. It worked fine for the guy on the hybrid riding down the towpath but I was SOL. Now what??

I sat there debating who to call. After a bit, I thought to look at the map and saw the SAG phone numbers! I called and they were coming!! YEAH! After awhile they arrived and I said I needed a pump. They did not have one (seems like a logical thing they may want to carry wouldn't ya think) but they could take me to the start to have the bike sponsors pump it up. Well as that was my best option, I took it! Back at the start they were pumping it up and no sooner did they pump it up, it exploded! I think this day is jinxed! Lucky for me I was now back at my car so I went for a third tube. During this time Eddy's checked my tire and rim and everything was fine, so I am not sure why everything was being so difficult. However this third time was the charm and alas I was ready to ride again.

Now I was very behind. The 100 was out as I had other places to be that day. So I cut down a few roads to ride the last half of the 50 mile course. Since I was not riding 100, I made it a point to push through my miles as hard as possible. It felt good to pass lots of riders as I climbed the hilly course.

At the end of the day I ended up with only 60 miles, but still ended up enjoying myself. By finishing early I got to eat lunch and hang out with some friends who had done the 50. I was glad I had went back out to tack on the last 30 miles as the thought did cross my mind to just call it a day when I was having so many flat issues! What a day!

Monday I had a overdue rest day. Tuesday was a fantastic swim with TriSaraTops followed by a kick butt track workout with Espeed and MT!

This week on tap I have a fun team trail race Thursday night, a 5K Road Race Series race Saturday and then some volunteering at the Burning River 100 mile race! Time is flying by!!!!!!!