Saturday, February 24, 2007

Big Baby!

One upon a drunken spring break day in Mexico with more than a few beers in me, I drew a sunshine and explained the colors, rojo and anarillo that I wanted my sunshine tattoo done in. Maybe not the wisest choice, but heck, I was young and carefree!

So I have talked about perhaps getting some different there for about 6 of the last seven years....and....

Lots of sweating....
Heart is racing...

Kind of want to vomit....

Trying to breathe....

Need some orange juice...

Trying to relax but my tense body won't listen...
"Are we done yet?"

...and two hours and fifteen minutes of sheer pain later.....

Yup, got myself a new tattoo and yet another excuse to slack on my swim sessions. (No swimming 2-4 weeks while it heals!! I figured I better get it now as I could not take 2-4 weeks off closer to the season! Now I just need to get my body is to kick ass shape to show it off when I wear my bikini!!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Chili Bowl Update & A PR!

Well after carb loading with some Dos Equis at the Mexican restaurant Friday night I went home and put together my speed-inducing playlist for the day. I awoke early to head out to the far side of town for the Chili Bowl run. Met up half way with some friends and got to the race with plenty of time to spare. I quickly spied Liz and after a bit we were off on our warm up run.

The warm-up sort of stunk as the snow started to fall with a vengeance and it kept getting in my eyes. I was starting to think that the conditions were just not ideal given it was only about 15 degrees, snow and there was a light wind that would hit our face for a bit of the course.

The game plan was to hang with Liz who was using it as her tempo run and shoot for a PR. In my last 5K I had broke my old PR and thought that if I could just get close to my last one that it would be an accomplishment.

Upon the ring I was off. There were about 500 people racing and this race was chipped so it was a tight start. I was looking around a bit for Liz with all the people and before long, decided I was just going to go and not worry about it.

Mile 1 I was rocking out to I Like The Way You Move by the BodyRockers and was just moving along into the wind. I felt good and the crowd started to spread out a bit which was nice. I turned the corner and hit the split at 6:35 for Mile 1. A little nervous thought popped into my head hoping that I would not blow up with a fast first mile, so I backed off a bit. I made another turn and started picking off a few other runners. I got passed by this one female in this stretch that was clipping along at a good pace (incidentally later I watched her pick up the first overall female award--must have ran a nice negative split race) Still cranking the tunes and not feeling too bad I hit mile 2 with a 6:58 split. I started the one out and back section and had to slow a bit for a u turn and started heading back. I was happy I had run this part of the course in the warm up as I knew exactly what was left and I started to pick up the pace as we headed back. A few hundred yards I started pushing and was hoping to pass the only other female in my sights. I was beginning to feel a little uncomfortable with this pace but I knew the end was near. Hit mile 3 with a 6:38 split. I picked up my final kick and the lady heard me coming and sped up as well. The end was slick and I just decided it would be too close so ended up sailing in behind her as I watched the clock read 20:51. Official chip time, 20:45, a 6:42 pace and a new PR!

Sweeeeeeet!! I was stoked as this was way above my expectations. On top of that, even as I manuevered a with the wintry conditions, I felt generally pretty good especially compared to many of my other 5Ks. So all & all, happy for the day! I ended up with a 1st age group award and 8/211 females and 58/484 overall.

The best thing in my opinion is the improvement. Last year at the Chili Bowl I was so excited as it was the first time I had ever broke 23 with my 06 time of 22:56. Then I danced around in the 22-23 minute range for most of the year and breaking 22 was this goal for the 2006 that I had for myself. Finally at my last race of the year I broke my 22:07 PR with a 21:37. Goal accomplished! I had thought about my goal for this year but still was not sure how things would go and then I came out first race of 2007 with a 20:45. All I can figure is my speedwork is helping! So we will just keep putting in the work and see what happens!

After the race, I cheered a few friends in. Liz, who had ran a nice even race according to plan, went for a cooldown but I was already starting to freeze so I declined to head in and change out of my wet clothes. The best part of these races is the aftermath and getting a chance to chat it up with fellow running buds. We goofed around snapping some pictures and BS-ing with others before I headed off for breakfast with a few pals and my long day of taking down wallpaper!

Quick Sunday Long-run Update

Well the schedule called for a 17 miler. I totally had not organized the plan so I was on my own as pretty much most of my normal running pals had something going. The weather conditions continued to deteriorate and I was not looking forward to a long cold run by myself. The towpath where I normally have been doing the long runs is currently buried and not really an option. So I decided I would meet the Sunday SERC group and hope I could keep up. I was even more nervous when I showed up the lone woman with about 20 guys. Oh well, I brought my headphones in case I ended up alone....just so I could find my way, I would be OK with that.

Always a good choice to run with others when it is crappy out. About two thirds of the run was slick but had some easier wet surfaces for a little while. I ended up running with 2 guys for the first 10 or so and then one split off as he had already ran 8 and was going to wrap up the 12 loop for 20 total and call it a day. The other guy and I continued on with two others to do the 15 mile loop. Some of the hills were slippery and I was kind of tired as my long run pace on this slick surface felt a little faster than normal, yet I was too headstrong to let up. We ended up back at the parking lot as snow men 15 miles later in about 2 hours, 10 minutes, so I guess we ran approximately 8:40 min pace. So not the 17 the schedule called for, but had got in the unscheduled 5K the day before and had ran 17 last week, so I am OK with that for the day. My warm shower when I got home felt so good!!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentines Day!!!

This morning I woke up early to look outside and see that the snow was still falling. My sweet Valentine, Joey, had been out plowing for most of the night. I had went out plowing what his freebie route last night which included a few friends and family who live close and after almost getting the truck stuck in one 3.5 foot deep driveway (partially caused by drifting winds) I knew he was most likely having one long night.

I walked downstairs to check the internet to see if my Jewish Community Center where I workout was listed as closed. I noted the Summit County one was closed and was nervous that I may drive all the way there at this crazy hour through horribly deep snow only to have it closed. So I went back upstairs to bed flipped on the tv and called Joey. I decided to take his advice to wait awhile before heading out as the roads where pretty I went back to sleep. I am such a slacker as I have all the equipment I could want right there at home...but this weather seemed to call for staying in bed, so I listened. An hour and a half later my alarm woke me up and I got ready for work. I was leaving a bit early in the hopes that I may get to work on time and as I grab my purse I see that at whatever crazy hour my husband left last night, he took the time to place a really sweet card in my purse. It is just these little things that mean so very much! So hope everyone else out there can find a smile on their face this Valentines Day even if you are looking at a lot of snow!!
Training Update has been awhile
All & all things have been progressing well, except swimming, of course!
Mon 1/29 60 min spin, lower body weights
Tues 1/30 7 miles treadmill, 1 % incline
20 min w/u, 3-1600 at 6:49, 1 min recoveries, 15 min c/d
Wed 1/31 60 min spin class, abs, upper body weights, 1000 yds swam
Thu 2/1 7 miles treadmill, 1% incline
2 miles easy, 2 miles @ 7:24 pace, 3 miles easy
Fri 2/2 60 min spin, 40 min stat bike, lower body weights, abs
Sat 2/3 Dirty Dog Trail Run - 6.2 Snowy Miles 57:36
Sun 2/4 9 miserable miles at very cold temp
Mon 2/5 60 min spin, 1000 yds swam, upper body weights
Tues 2/6 7 miles treadmill, 1% incline
1 mile w/u, 4-800's @ 3:20, 2 min recovery, 8:13 pace for cooldown miles
lower body weights, abs
Wed 2/7 60 min spin, upper body weights
Thu 2/8 abs, 6.3 miles treadmill, 1% incline
1 mile easy, 5 miles at 8:24, 1 mile easy
Fri 2/9 60 min spin, 3.2 miles treadmill, 1% incline, interval training
Sat 2/10 1 hr, 45 minute trainer ride incl 1 hr spinerval dvd
Sun 2/11 17 mile run with Liz - watch messed up but were hitting around the desired 8:45 mile splits for the most part (although slowing down at the end) despite less than optimal conditions
Mon 2/12 Rest
Tues 2/13 7 miles treadmill, 1% incline
20 min w/u, 1200 (5:12), 1000 (4:14), 800 (3:17), 600 (2:41), 400 (1:34) , 200 m
RI, cool down; 3 miles stat bike, abs

Saturday, February 03, 2007

10K's are not supposed to be this tough!!!

Well for some reason I found myself really looking forward to this race. Perhaps because I enjoyed it so much last year, mabe because I was planning to run for fun and not a fast pace, but I think because I was looking forward to hanging out with my friends!!!! I cannot say enough about my pals the journeyed out with me, most of them had to drive aways, it was crazy cold & I am thankful for every one of them!!
I woke up early Saturday as I wanted to make sure I was ready as everyone was supposed to meet at my place. Well needless to say I woke up way earlier than nescessary but it gave me plenty of time to prep my cold weather stuff. My trail shoes were in my car and I wanted to get them in the house early to warm them up before the race.
My pals started arriving and soon we were off to the race. We got there early to see that Mosquito Lake had ice fisherman tents all over the place on it. (you can see them in the backgound of the pic) It was cold as heck and the wind was not helping the temperature AT ALL!
For this race there was no awards and prizes were selected at random. I was psyched because I won a Vertical Runner technical shirt and both TriSaraTops and my friend, Beth won prizes too! There was no warm up and we ended up sitting in the car until 5 minutes before the race started. I was dressed warm as could be, complete with these huge insulated mittens, but I am a freeze baby that doesn't mind sweating, but hates to be cold....and it was really freiking cold. I hate to mention it as I am not sure how cold, but I am guessing it was around 8 when we started but with the windchill, it had to be below zero. We lined up and hung out long enough for me to start getting rather cold with numb toes before we were off.
We started off in a group and BS'd for awhile before my running partner Bob and I moved ahead. The terrain was tough to say the least. We crossed many a trees, 3 streams which I got one foot a little wet, and a ton of drifted snow. I would say at least every 15 steps or so I would loose my footing in my trail shoes and was all over the place. Bob and I manuevered around the path running with some dogs for awhile and trying to not twist an ankle. The course was gorgeous, covered in snow and everyone in good spirits. We ran throught the woods out by the frozen lake for awhile and then went through this path by the water which was a little deeper snow before heading out to this field by the main road. This was a tough section, the snow was deep and Bob seemed to pick up the pace and it was majorly tough to pass everyone in snow that was not as packed down. Half way in I could tell I was rather fatigued from the deep snow. There were very sparse, short, random sections we would hit where it was not snowy and it was unbelieveable how easy they felt.
As we went back through the trails there was one corner where many of us were confused if we should turn or go straight. We ended up standing there for a minute trying to figure it out and then making the turn which was the right call! Thank goodness as we were getting tired.
Of the most importance.....on the way back one of the volunteer appeared to be having medical trouble. As we ran past, we were all concerned and although I am totally in the blue what happened and the outcome I wish him the very best. As if it is not hard enough to run outside in this weather...I cannot imagine how cold the volunteers must be just standing there. THANKS TO ALL THE WONDERFUL SOULS WHO VOLUNTEER, ESPECIALLY IN THIS COLD ASS WEATHER!!!
So anyway finally we made it to the finish. I finished in 57:36, a 9:16 pace. I supppose I am not proud of this time, yet I was not running for time. I ended up 32 of 101 overall, 2 of 22 for women. Yet, I can say that it was not a 9:16 pace by any road race standard. I really felt like the conditions were so tough that I worked hard just due to these conditions.
I ran back to the car afterwards to grab my camera and grab some shots of my pals as they finished. I started to get really cold as I waited and by the time my last friend crossed the line I was running to the car to get warm.
I had so much fun hanging out with the girls afterwards at breakfast telling racing stories and tightly gripping my coffee cup trying to warm up. I drank more coffee at breakfast than I have in a really long time.
Highlight of the day---all my pals coming out despite this weather!!! Friends make it alll worth it!!!!!!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Tri Tag Time

Tri Tag Time

Just staying warm after our cold morning Dirty Dog run, report to come later after I have a chance to upload some sweet pics!! OK, so as not to let TriSaraTops down, I guess I am here goes!

1. Describe a memory from your first triathlon ever.

A short and sweet small local tri out at Monroe falls, the SummiTri. I had went to the park and practiced with friends and we were not 100% sure of the course but had a pretty good idea of what it would be. On race day I was just moved my way through the course we practiced and did not pay much attention to the sign and had ended up totally missing the run turnaround and tacked on an extra quarter mile or so. Smooth! Somehow it really did not bother me much as I was happy to have completed my first tri with friends!!!

2. Describe a memory from your most recent triathlon.

At the Great Lakes tri which turned into a Duathlon due to the lake small craft advisory, I remember being totally relieved not to have to swim in that water. Even though the event did not turn out as planned and in the face of some strong winds, I learned that you have to be flexible out on the course....that and friends and support really can make the race!!

3. What's the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you in a tri?

While I have a rather embarssing marathon story, knocked a bike rack over in a duathlon, probably still the only real embarassing thing about a tri has been my sweet backstroke last summer in the Cleveland Tri. Forever a weak swimmer I just tried to make my way through a long swim (for me) even if it was going to have to be swam on my back! I zigzagged around the lake like crazy as spotting was even more difficult, but I made it and I was not last! Let's hope we never have to see that broke out at another race.

4. What's the most thrilling thing that's happened to you in a tri?

My most thrilling memory about a tri was at the Cleveland Tri downtown Cleveland. I had joined the Cleveland Tri Club early in 2006 and just several months later at the tri I was overwhelmed by the sense of support and camaderie among the fans and other members during the race. This course had many loops back and forth and the amount of positive comments duing and after the event really just made the day.

5. What is something you discovered about yourself by doing triathlons?

It is all about perspective. What I once thought was this huge accomplishment can become a reality with some work and then I am always dreaming of something bigger.

6. What is The Big Goal that you're working towards?

Hmmm, improvement overall. 2007 A races for now will be half ironman completion and a marathon PR with that BQ goal always in the back of my mind.