Monday, December 27, 2010

Holiday Running!

There are several things I love about  the holidays and among my favorite are the special holiday runs!

Southeast Running Club, which I am very proud to be a member of, does two holiday runs on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve.  Each hilly run of approximately 13 miles out of Bedford Reservation is followed by breakfast with the gang!

In keeping with tradition, I chose to wear shorts and my festive tall holiday socks!  The weather this year was pretty good in the low 20s with very light wind!  I ran most of the run with my girls AS and CV which was very fun and we just held a steady pace around 8 min miles.  Then it was off to one of the best breakfasts ever at RH's house!  Now I am already looking forward to the NYE run!

The other special run is the Waterfalls Run with the trail running gang.  This is a run of up to 17 miles on the Buckeye Trail and visiting Blue Hen Falls, Buttermilk Falls and Brandwine Falls!  There are plenty of photo ops and hills to keep us warm!

The start at Lock 29
Getting us organized! 
Blue Hen Falls Money Shot!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Running faster but never fast enough!

This time of year just makes me thankful and this year I have been feeling even more thankful after the rough go last year!

This winter, after last years stress fracture, running has been sheer bliss!  For the first time, the last couple months have included very structured runs.  The past few weeks unfortunately due to our passing blizzards and bitter cold wind, I have done a lot of runs on the treadmill next to my faithful training partner CV.  For some reason, next to her and in the middle of the gym, it does not bother me (like so many of my treadmill hater pals) for us to bang away loudly on our treadmill workouts.

The bonus is that while we banter during the warm-up and cooldown, I throw on the headphones for the meat of my workout.  Now I have always fancied myself as being an extreme music connoisseur...only the hippest and coolest music for this girl and if it is not already, it will be!  I never have been a girl into country, always more of a alt rocker with a small rap / pop edge (years ago it was all Korn, Disturbed, Zombie, Rage love before most even knew who they were, hitting every concert like it was my job).  I do love my Pandora and Sirius.  On that note, while I am not a daily girl, I am a pretty regular Howard listener and was SO happy he resigned...seriously, best interviewer EVER in my book!  Have I mentioned that my daily commute is 94 miles round trip which leads to lots of radio time!  So anyways back to the treadmill and music...there is nothing that makes the workout easier than awesome tunes!  I am almost embarrassed to mentioned that lately, I have started to embrace my sister's favorite----the gay pop music.  And I soooo love dance music....on Sirius the Beat is my station and while on the treadmill listening to Pandora, David Guetta radio might be my first choice!  It must have a fast good beat or it must just be awesome!

Lately I just can't get enough Enrique Iglesias (is it wrong that I like the new song titled Tonight I'm F-ing you?).  I love Pitbull.  P!nk is my girl.  I do have a soft spot for the Indie Rock.  I love the song, Dignity by New Politics and Internet Killed the Video Star by The Limousines.  Anyways, new fun tunes send me to a happy place on the treadmill even when dying through some killer fast workout!  That coupled with the fact that I am happy to be running this winter has me moving!

On an even happier note, the weather broke this week and we got above 20 degrees without a major snow storm(GASP!)  HEATWAVE!  The past two mornings I have been delighted to run with the girls!  3 or 4 of us, downtown Cleveland running by 6am (yes, that equates to a very painful 4:45 am wake up call for me with the drive).  I take satisfaction in the fact that I am running very high quality workouts but unfortunately I am still the slowest in the group....among these other girls, most men would be happy to run like a girl!  At the end of the day, it is hard to be a triathlete running with the elite female real runners....I never ever feel fast enough or in the same league...but these ladies rock!!!  Yet I love the challenge of trying to keep up and pushing myself to get better.  Hopefully a bit of their speed will rub off on me....someday!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Ho Ho Ho!!!!!!

Yes folks I am here to spoil the surprise for some of you who have been waiting like children on Christmas Eve for Santa....just waiting for a glimpse of the Edward's happy holiday letter! It is done, last minute as usual and hopefully going out in the mail tomorrow to bestow Christmas Cheer on everyone!!!  So for those of you who might have been naughty ;-) and are not the privileged few to make my merry mailing list, fear not, it is here for you off the press.....!!!!!

Ho, Ho, Ho, Ho-ly Moly, has it really been another year???
As 2010 comes to a close, here are some interesting
factoids and thoughts as I reflect on the year-

·          -Apple — on the verge of bankruptcy in 1997, reached a market value of $222Bil in May, surpassing Microsoft as the highest-valued tech firm in the world. (not a surprise with the husband’s love of all things apple like the “I want an Iphone” video.)
·         - If Facebook were a country, it would be the third biggest in the world behind India and China.  There are currently over 500 million users on Facebook….including Joey, Mr. “I stay in touch with my friends in real life..”
·          -On May 22, Google turned its home page into Pac-Man.  Around the world, five million man-hours were wasted...
·          -“Those Chilean miners have gone so commercial. I preferred it when they were still underground..”
·        - “King Who?  More like Wade’s Le B!atch!”

So in our little world, my complaints have started to fly:  “Stupid idiots can’t drive…been in my car for 4 hours today!  My dry itchy scales er skin is just going to fall off.  It must be time for bed.  It’s been dark for hours (usually said about 7PM) .  I hate cold and gray”.  Guess that means it is time again to bestow upon the fortunate few, the festive follies of our past year!

So where to start?  This year kicked off with a bang for me.  I was down and out with a tibia stress fracture, which meant no running.  Bummer, but at least I thought this would give me time to work on my weaker disciplines, swimming and biking.  Yet after a sweet run on the jump line at Ray’s Indoor Mountain Bike Park, a pole reached out and grabbed my handlebars and sent me flying through the air and I broke my cute little beaded bracelet and my elbow.  Ouchies!  So much for swimming!  Guess that meant it was left to work and housecleaning…oh joy!  Thankfully, I could still ride my bicycle on the trainer which I did….A LOT!

I am not sure who was more bummed about my elbow, me or the husband, as our trips to the Indoor Mountain Bike Park went on a hiatus while I healed.  That meant he got to spend more time with the ole boys and their toys, and as usual he spent a good bit of time working on his shooting over the course of the year!  Between that and his love for all things zombie (books, TV shows, movies) I feel very lucky that he will be able to protect me if ever there is a zombie apocalypse. 

This year was another hectic year of travelling and weekends away.  We made it down to Joey’s family’s place in AL. 3 times so he could attend classes and visit.  We also hit Raystown Lake to mountain bike the Allegrippis trails 3 weekends.  Beyond that I did race weekends in Nashville, TN; Knoxville, CT; Middlebury, CT; Toledo and Sandusky, OH.  The big one was in Sandusky which was the REV3 Full Triathlon held up at Cedar Point where I did my first ironman distance triathlon.  After a slight panic attack in the elbow fest of Lake Erie, I went on to finish the 2.4 mi swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run in 11 hours and 38 minutes.  It was actually not so bad, and I was quite excited to pick up a 2nd place age group award in my first showing.  Needless to say, I am so very thankful to my very supportive husband, who came to cheer me on and chauffer all of my crazy triathlon friends around throughout the race!  

On the subject of all the travel, our cute lil Matches has been doing a lot of vacationing himself over to Joey’s parents place.  Hopefully the girl doggies are not too tired of him yet because he sure is tired when he gets home.  And also on the subject of Matches, in keeping with our Halloween costume festivities, he was Mr. T this year, complete with Mohawk, eyebrows, goatee and gold chain!  Whatta Sport!

I am happy to report; much of everything else is the same.  No crazy drama.  No breaking news.  Wish I had something good to report like we had won the lottery, but at least we still have jobs, our old house, our same vehicles (the truck that totals anything in its way and the clown car which can haul more crap than you can imagine while getting 40 mpg), our health, and the best family and friends that we are forever grateful for! 

So have yourself a very merry Christmas & Plunge (w/the Polar Bears) into the New Year (we will)!

Wishing all of you some Peace, Love and Silliness!
Zippo Kitty, Mr. T. Matches, Joe and Janet!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Groundhog Day?

So I live in the snowbelt of OH and it's snowing.  Big surprise!  And while I actually sort of appreciate the snow since my husband plows, my 47 mile one way commute to work, has become increasingly unbearable as most people can't drive and I end up in the car 3 hours plus.

The last two weeks it seems I wake up to more snow and I am like, "Again?  Goundhog Day".  Unfortunately this seems to be making the most impact to my workouts....specifically my pool time as many days I have drove straight downtown instead of hitting the pool.  Booooo!

And while I am on my rant.  I hate being pasty, dry, itchy and even burning.  Being a freeze baby, I crank that heat which just dries my reptile skin out.  And the chlorine does not help!
My boy, Matches, loves playing in all this white stuff and biting snowballs and such!

Oh and then there is the super monstrous mountain of laundry as now I am wearing 3 heavy shirts and pants and more instead of a simple tank and shorts.

Last Wednesday was an interesting day in Cleveland.  White out snow all day.  At 3 PM my husband who was out plowing said he would come pick me up as he was concerned about me driving, or rather other drivers driving.  At 4 PM, he still had only been able to get about 15 miles as the freeways turned to parking lots.  At 5 PM, he made it another 6 or 7 miles and was starting to come unhinged.  By 5:30 he got ended up stuck on E55th at 490.   He was not moving.  I stared out the window as I had since about 3PM to see the insane Cleveland gridlock.  It did not look like the husband would ever get in to get me and if he did, we were never getting out.  So I did what any practical person would do.....   Changed into my running clothes and bounded through the snowy 4 miles to go to him.  I think I was the only one making progress out there.  Sure did get some funny comments along the way.  Too bad I was not up to running the entire 47 miles home!

In other news, just building the run up for the 50 K around the corner on MLK weekend.  This Sunday's long trail run was a slushy wet mess but with half way decent albeit very cold footing.  Really enjoying the trails!

Things sure seem to be heating up for the Cleveland Triathlon Club (USAT NCC challenge, banquets, indoor tris, kona party, polar plunge and more) which has me pretty busy outside of work.

Separately, I am happy to say I am staying on the super awesome Trakkers team again and with the addition of many new team members, there sure seems to be a ton of excitement surrounding 2011!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Itza wrap!

OK, so forgive weird formatting but this post seems to be a PIB and I don't have all day, so deal with it!!!!
So with the Reindeer Run behind me, I think we can officially close the book on the 2010 racing season.

2010 sure started rough.  I was dealing with a tibia stress fracture that started back in November 2009.  I took time off and tried to come back too soon and end up not really running until mid-February and even then, I felt the need to be cautious with the running volume.  Too much volume, speed or pounding and the tenderness on the inside of my bone started to groan loudly and I was careful to listen.

So I focused on biking and swimming at least until mid January when I broke my elbow (radius) at Rays Indoor Mountain bike park when I did a double 360 10 feet in the air over this bad arse jump and ......

OK not really so cool.  I had done a sweet run through the one jump line only to clip a pole with my handlebar which sent me sailing into the concrete.  So much for swimming at least beyond kick drills!

A few of my highlights for the year included-
1.  Training for my first full  distance race....REV 3 Cedar Point
2.  Being a part of Trakkers and doing the REV3 Series
3.  Working with Mark Gorris, an area coach who I valued tremendously
4.  To the many wonderful things that happened in my role as President for Cleveland Triathlon Club
5.  All my other friends and groups, the girls, BAFF, TLE, Clev Touring Club , SERC...

Reflecting on the year, there are just so many things I am thankful for!  I am glad I was able to come back and race relatively injury-free.

1.  To point one, what a journey and I enjoyed every minute of it.  I am sure much of this was due to my super awesome training partners, friends, BAFF teammates and many more people kept me company on the long days and often pushed me beyond what I would probably have done on my own.  Training for an IM with good training partners is SOOO much easier than alone.  With the race itself, I finished and while it was not easy, one of my first thoughts was, "That was easier than I thought it would be".  My goal was to break 12 and luckily I was able to.  My CTC friends who came out as official cheering squad should also be applauded as keeping me super upbeat all day!

2.   It was amazingly motivating to be part of the Trakkers green and competing in the REV3 series.  The entire REV3 Series could not have been better in my book and I always got the feeling that priority to thinking of the athletes and their families was always first in their book which I give them major props for. I was also thankful to the many Trakkers sponsors, much love for First Endurance (switching to their products and actually working on nutrition this year was huge), TriSwim, Kestrel, Saucony and All3 Sports for everything throughout the year.

3.  Super Coach Gorris was fab.  He made me work so hard on the bike over the winter which set up the season perfectly.  The workouts made me work and the structure was just what I needed.  I really learned to focus more on heart rate and knowing my zones and so many other things. I was fortunate to get some training days with Coach G, much confidence and strategy and then he even let me borrow his race wheels for Cedar Point.  I can't thank him enough and have nothing but respect for him.

4.  CTC has been a huge presence in my world over the course of 2010 and it has been a busy year.  There were so many notable events but the hugely successful REV3 training days (held in conjunction with the REV3 Race Director and outfit) were definitely so very beneficial to me in setting me up for my big day at Cedar Point!  The hard working board and awesome members has made for a ton of fun events throughout the year and the training opportunities such as the spring training camp at Mohican are incredibly motivating!
Just being a part of it all has been truly awesome and even I think even my non-triathlete husband (who also deserves super kudos) loves the group!

5.  Much love for the inner circle, my local training partners and teammates, the people who I spend hours talking to and who always push me to keep going!

So here is how it went-

2010 Race Results
12/1/10, Reindeer Run 5K, Lakewood OH, 19.18, 3rd OAF
11/25/10, Aurora Turkey Trot 4 mi, 26.21 3rd OAF
11/13/10, Twinsburg Turkey Trot 5 mi, 33:17, 1st OAF
10/17/10, Columbus Half Marathon, 1:33:18, 9th AG
9/25/10, Akron Marathon Women’s Relay,  2:51:56, 2nd place overall women’s team
9/12/10, REV3 Cedar Point Full, 11:39:09, 2nd AG
8/12/10, Twilight Train Run 8K, 2nd place overall women’s team
8/8/10, Greater Cleveland Olympic Tri, 2:28:36, 2nd OAF
6/27/10, Summi Sprint Tri, 1:06:02, 1st OAF
6/20/10, Maumee Bay Oly Tri, 2:26:56, 3rd OAF
6/6/10, REV3 Quassy ½ IM, 5:38:13, 9th AG
5/9/10, REV 3 Oly Knoxville, 2:36:20, 6th AG
4/24/10, Nashville ½ Marathon, 1:37:41, 15th AG
3/13/10, St Malachi 5 mi Run, 34:18, 4th AG

Bring on 2011!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, December 06, 2010

Mad Monday

Ughh, still so busy with too much to do.

So just a brief update before I get too far behind...

Friday, was a nice easy day of swimming at 2000 meters so I could be fresh for Saturday's Reindeer Run.

The Reindeer Run would be the first 5K I have done in at least a year and a half or so.  Prior to that I had done soooo many 5K and while I would get darn close with lots of 20:10s, 20:15s, 20:20s, I had never broke the magic sub 20 number that I so badly wanted.  This was to be the race!  It is a nice flat course and I thought I was ready.

Now normally I would have skipped it but my regular running speed session partner, CV, had a birthday on Friday and so the plan was to celebrate it by running the 5K and having breakfast afterwards, so I was in!  The morning was brisk in the mid 20s and a slight breeze out of the south....thankfully the course was mainly east /west so it would be pretty much a non-issue!

I showed up bright and early and after some joking around with GP and her super awesome coat, CV and I headed out for a warm up and some strides.  A bathroom trip and 2.5 miles later, we were lined up at the start and we were off.

Now my thought was CV was a little faster than me.  I was thinking I would just try to stick close to her and hope I did not blow up!  I started to the right and after the first turn CV came into site and I moved in closer to her.  I was feeling pretty good and was just trying to focus on running tall and thinking about my breathing.  As we came up to the first mile I heard the guy yell 6:10 a second or 2 before I approached.  Perfect.  I knew 6:25 was the magic number so I was nicely in range and still felt ok.

About a quarter mile down from there, I felt my first sign of slight discomfort and toyed with the idea of letting CV go, afraid if I kept this pace up, I might blow-up.  However I forced myself to stay dialed into her pace thinking we have done most of the same workouts and trying to convince myself I could do it....just another run trying to keep up with her!  Mile 2 had several turns which forced the pace to slow a bit but corners seemed to help me keep close.  Finally we hit mile 2 and all I could think was hold on.  It was a long straight away back.  I heard the voice of an old friend (NR) cheer me on and I just plugged on now loudly sucking air.  The lights near the finish line looked oh so far away.  My lungs were gasping but my legs were not building the lactic acid that they have in many of the past races so that was good.  I got a nice rise from the loud cheers of EH and NC out on the course, screaming their heads off!

As we made the final turn into the chute, I hung on to finish in 19:18 (~6:12 pace) , 2 seconds behind birthday girl and training partner CV!  CV ended as 2nd overall female and I was 3rd overall female!!!  Woot!   I think we even managed to run a pretty even race! Could not have been much happier....well maybe a little had I broke 19. really is never enough!

CV and I then went for round 2 of the course, albeit a little slower for our cool down and then we all headed to breakfast and had a lot of coffee and laughs...great day!

Sunday was super awesome too.  Hit the Run for Regis Familiarization Run.  I took sis out there for her first real trail run.  What a trooper!  She handled those 13 miles hanging super tough at a very respectable pace and I even think she enjoyed it!

This morning I finally got my butt on the bike for a bunch of 90 sec intervals.  Bike fitness feels low which is not all that surprising, given how much I have been biking or rather not biking!  I totally missed my swim today as the snow led to a 1.5 hour commute even at the wee hour of a 5:30AM departure.  Ugghh!  Wonder how long the commute home and back in tomorrow will take as it is supposed to keep coming.  Had a good 10 inches of snow when I left the house this morning!


Thursday, December 02, 2010


Hmmm, last week.....I hate when I have not wrote everything down and I must be getting old and forgetting things!

Monday, gosh I am not sure now.  Swam I think or maybe off???
Tuesday, ran with CV and slow your roll Steve....7.5 miles at 7:50
Wednesday, swam 2600 meters
Thursday, 6 miles (4 mi soaking wet cold Aurora Turkey trot, 26:21, 6:35 pace, 3rd OAF)  Disappointed with pace
Friday, off-black friday shopping extravaganza
Saturday, 12 miles with SERC on trails--SO FUN, checked out caves, rocks, icebox!
Sunday, 17.25 miles on BT  (somebody is getting ready for a big trail run !!!!!!)
Monday, 1000meters (thatz it...woke up late as I was SOOO tired)
Tuesday, 8.5 miles (2.5 w.u, 4x400 @6min/mile pace, 1 mile @ 6:30, 4x400 @5:40pace, 2+ mi c.d)
Wednesday, 4500m swam, 7.25 m ran (8:15 pace)
Thursday, 8 m ran, 45 min core/ubwo

Just keeping super busy.  Moved offices this week which had me working overtime.  Also getting ctc setup for USAT NCC which was the motivation behind the long wednesday swim to kick things off right!

Anyways, no time for long post.  All in all, have not been eating as healthy as I should and need to shed some turkey pounds.  Ready to hit it hard this month and start the new year off right.  Last race of 2010 coming up Saturday, Reindeer Run 5K.  Hoping to PR this 5K....woot!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Kickin off the holiday week!

It is rather gloomy here in Cleveland today and while the rain might have made my commute slow, I am not letting it dampen my mood!  But why, you may wonder....lots of reasons!

1.  It is a short week and I am excited to lots of things this week such as seeing family and friends for turkey dinner, my beloved stuffing and my aunt Linda's kick arse Lemon Merange pie.  Mmmm!
2.  This will all be earned of course with a morning turkey trot and for the first time ever, my sis is going to do it with me!  It will also be my first Aurora Turkey Trot as opposed to downtown Cleveland which will make the morning much less rushed which will be nice!
3.  The early Friday morning shopping extravaganza with mom & sis in keeping with tradition.  Yes there is madness, yes there are lines, but every year this is a very enjoyable day for us that we go in with a plan, get awesome deals and really just enjoy our time together!  :-)
4.  I am also happy as I have really really been enjoying being able to run again more regularly.  I am not sure which was more enjoyable, the return the Saturday morning SERC trail run on the most awesome Buckeye Trail or running 15 miles on the Headwaters Trail Sunday with my very own sister on her longest run to date!
5.  And finally in the spirit of giving thanks, the list is very long and distinguished from my stinky dog, to my patient husband, to my favorite friends & family, to my health, my wonderful training partners, these awesome sports and soooo much more!

So last week went as such-
M- 4000 Meters Swam
T- 8 miles (with 6x 800's at 6:00 pace)
W- 7.75 mile run with lunch run gang at 7:45 pace
R- 7.25 mile run in morning (2 mil @ 6:30, 1.5 easy, 1.5 miles at 6:45)  Fell off at end as stomach was not happy!  , 1 hour weights
F- 2600 Meters Swam
S- 13 miles ran on BT with SERC
S - 15 miles ran (8:59 pace) with sis on Headwaters  ---SO PROUD OF THIS GIRL!

Swam- 6600 M
Ran - 51 miles
Biked - hmmm 0, yes the 6 week ramp up to the hard stuff starts today which means a minimum of 2/3 workouts per week!
Core- 1 hour

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Email from today

"Good news, we've received your check & you are now a confirmed participant for the American Triple-T Ohio! Your conf # is ... !"

Yes, I finally did it and signed up!  I am sooo excited as this race is legendary around local area triathlon circles both for the unique experience and the difficulty of it all...and did I mention, supposedly incredibly HILLY!

"The American Triple-T Ohio is based on a unique 3-day, 4-event, long distance format triathlon with participants competing on 2 person teams or in the solo division. This event is unlike any other triathlon and offers participants intimate camaraderie not often found in traditional triathlons."

They say-

"This is one of the hardest events you will do."
"People claim it is harder than an Ironman."

Guess we shall see!

They also gone on to say-

 "You're in for something special. Shawnee State Park is the proud host of the American Triple-T and looks forward to showcasing their awesome park on May 20 - 22 of 2011 Shawnee State Park is located in the Appalachian foothills near the banks of the Ohio River. Shawnee State Park is nestled in the 63,000 acre Shawnee State Forest, once the hunting grounds of the Shawnee Indians. The region is one of the most picturesque in the state, featuring erosion carved valleys and wooded hills. The rugged beauty of the area has earned it the nickname "The Little Smokies." Solo and Two person teams! The American Triple-T is a unique 3-day, 4-event, Full Distance format triathlon with participants competing on 2 person teams and in the solo division. The American Triple-T is unlike any other triathlon and offers participants intimate camaraderie not often found in traditional triathlons. The field size is limited to just 500."

Oh, I have wanted to do this race for years but have never been able to commit until now!  Not only that, it appears there is a large group of CTC and BAFF team members heading down for it which is sure to add to my fun factor!  

Also I am excited to have an awesome partner as the other half of Team Edwards, the non-related super awesome Tim Edwards! Time to get my butt in gear as this will be the start of a busy triathlon season which again will be ended by a return to REV3 Cedar Point Full!  Woohoo, bring on 2011!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Super sweet weekend!

Soooo after getting off work on Friday, the husband and I headed to meet up with some friends at Rays Indoor Mountain Bike Park for a super fun night of checking out all the new changes such as the new room on the cross country loop, the new jump line in the intermediate area, some improved bathrooms and a host of other things!  We were sure to hit everything there to take it all in!  While I felt a little rusty and a wee bit cautious on the jumps, it was a good time all in all!  The five of us had some fun playing HORSE on the different lines and seeing just who really had technical skillz....needless to say, I did not win!  Afterwards, we hit Rocknes for some food and drink and then it was time to hit the hay!

Saturday morning I got woke up early by the dog so I had plenty of time for stupid housework before heading off to the Twinsburg Turkey Trot!  It was a beautiful morning that was warming up quickly!  After picking up my packet and seeing some friends, I headed out for a 2 mile warm-up with some striders before rushing to the bathroom for one final stop.  With the count down at the start line, I was off.  I glanced down at my Garmin to see the splits and saw something with a 4 at the front and then I slowed way down.  Oh the thrill of the start line!!!  As we started up the bridge last years overall female winner passed me and I urged myself to be patient.  I was running just over 6 now and I knew I still need to slow a bit as I was shooting for a 6:30 avg pace.  As we crested the bridge and made a hard left to head down to the trails, I closed the gap a bit on the lead female.  I was feeling darn good and honestly I think I am just thankful to run these days whenever I get the chance after last year!  I was now on the heels of lead female and reluctant to pass but after a quarter mile or so,  I passed in the uphill section of the trail as I wanted to run my own race.

The uphill sections in the trail were definitely slow for me.  As I crossed the 2 mile mark, I looked down to see a 6:55 avg.  CRAP!  Then the fun part.....massive long downhill.  I just let my legs go while even getting a nice recovery!  I was just loving it as we winded through the neighborhood!  I kept thinking I was feeling too good and perhaps I should pick it up but I just wanted to ensure I finished strong.  As we rounded onto the bike path in mile 4, I was having some trouble getting around this one guy with headphones that seemed to always run one step in front of where I was going.  Finally I got around him!  I was taken back by this younger short boy I passed...he was looking strong for someone so young and I gave him a "nice job" as I went by.  As we came around to the main road, there was definitely some confusion with the copy directing traffic.  I thought he was stopping cars but later realized he was trying to stop me.  He was not pleased with me as I headed in towards the finish line.  The final 100 yards, I even managed to have something left to kick it in to finish with a 33:17 (6:39 pace).   I was soooo excited....a 1st place overall female win.  As I walked trying to catch my breath, I returned to the finish line to hear the 2nd place overall female coming in and it was none other than my girl, SS!!!!!!  She had ran an awesome race after just wrapping up a tough workout with her trainer.  She rocks!  Best part was Top 3 Men and Female won turkeys!!!!  What a super awesome morning!  To be honest, I am still a bit disappointed in my race pace, but I will work on it and it was not the easiest course with the hills and trail sections.
Look at these turkeys....Amie (SS) & I!

Then I went home to get a few things done and get ready for some afternoon mountain biking at West Branch!  The leaves made the rock gardens even more interesting but oh the ride was such good fun!  I was just having so much fun hitting the long bridge and rock gardens that by the end of the ride I was just feeling like a kid flying through Lakeside as we had rode the ~13 mile course in reverse (as Joey's cousin Ricky wanted to ride the harder stuff when he was fresher).  What a great time and we capped that off with some Mexican and Dos Equis!  (Yeah, not in my diet plan, but I felt it was earned!)

Then Sunday was another funday!   Can't imagine a better way to kick off a Sunday than a 13.35 mile run with my sister.  Sis kicks butt by the way.  We managed to hold sub 9 and this was after sis had ran 13 miles the day before (how about that for a girl who has only been running just over 7 months!)  Then it was off to Lifetime for a short swim & a shower!  Hit a couple meetings Sunday, which included a great seminar put on by Pro Triathlete, Jared Woodford.  Wow, what a busy super awesome way to spend the weekend!

This morning as I made the sad return back to reality I forced myself out of bed at the crack of dawn again to kick off the week on the right foot.  The plan was 6AM Performance Cycle followed by some pool time.  However as I put my stuff into the locker I looked down at my Crocks as I realized there were only heels in my bag.  Neither of which would work for cycling...CRAP!  So instead I managed my longest swim of 4000 meters which I have not done in forever....I must say, strangely it was almost enjoyable!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Finally Friday!

It was a long tiring week so I am so excited for the weekend!

I am giving myself a little gold star this week for hitting every early morning workout.  I must finally be getting used to my 4:50 AM alarm.  Oh believe me, I still hate it, but have been able to drag myself out of bed, hit the coffee maker button and somehow manage to get in the car to wake up as I head to either Beachwood or Downtown Cleveland to workout.  (Beachwood is the Lifetime Fitness destination for Performance Cycle and Swimming...Downtown is for Running & typically Lifting)

I started the week not feeling so fresh after kicking my own butt last week and pretty much died trying to keep up all weekend.

This week has went as such-

Monday was Performance Cycle.  Usually I swim after, but I was so exhausted, I just plopped myself in the hottub.
Tuesday, interval workout with CV.  1 mile at 5K pace, 8x 400 plus w/u & c/d for 8 miles total.
Wednesday, 6AM Performance Cycle followed by 1000M swim.  8 mile lunch run with the boys and ES (7:42 pace).
Thursday, 7.25 mile easy run (8:03 avg).  NC, MY, and ES were all out doing a tempo....I probably could not have kept up but I was so tempted to try but opted to be conservative in the hopes that I would have fresher legs Saturday.
Friday, decided to give the legs a nice rest and just swam 2650M.  Ever since my sinuses have just been messed up and driving me crazy!  Too much water or is it a cold????  Probably the water!

Tonight I could not be more excited to return to Rays Indoor Mountain Bike Park!  I always look forward to my first visit of the season to see what changes have been implemented.  Plus I will get see the rest of my Rays peeps like GS and ET!  Should be fun, however I will probably try to take it easy because....

Saturday morning, I will race the Twinsburg Turkey Trot 5 Miler.  I have never done it but want to show support for the club that is the host for our East Side Indoor Cycling!  I am looking forward to seeing if some of this running is paying off but already dreading the pain of trying to run hard!

Then later in the day I am planning to meet some friends to ride mtn bikes at West Branch.  Now I know I will likely be a bit tired but with this November weather treat, it would just seem wrong not to get outside and enjoy it!   Sunday should be another busy day filled with some running, maybe some swimming and 2 meetings!  Is it 5 yet???

PS, I don't deserve a gold star with my healthy eating kick which did not really survive a week.  :-(  But it was the husband's birthday and my only options were pizza, cake & icecream!!!!  And I am already looking forward to Dos Coronas post mtb ride tomorrow, but I think I will have earned that!  I think the husband and I are going to need to recommit bc it seems we are off to a false start.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

How did I end up on YouTube???

Thank goodness it is nothing to embarrassing!  KM took some video at the Red Flannel Ride!

The show!

That video reminded me how cold my face was at the start.  Next time, ninja face mask at 30 degrees!  Also, I would just love to figure out even warmer hand options...perhaps thick mittens!

In other news, this morning was another gorgeous morning to run with CV.  With the time change, we were able to watch the sunrise as we did our interval workout which was 1 Mile at 5K pace, followed by 8 x 400's with 1 min recovery!  I have not done 400s in forever!  I SO LOVE THEM!  Pain is contained to less than 1.5 minutes but boy did they get the HR up there!   Loving the gorgeous forecast this week and excited about racing a 5 miler this Saturday (Twinsburg Turkey Trot)!!!!

Monday, November 08, 2010

Smelling like a man is good???

This past week has been getting back into a groove.  I give my intake a B-.  Going out to dinner just kills me!

I was good eating at home all week.  Thursday before the Race Across the Sky, started the downward spiral.  A healthy salad, but Christmas Ale was $2.50 a pint.  That was too good of a deal to pass up, plus I had been hearing all about this year's Christmas Ale for 2 weeks.  Then Friday we hit Winking Lizard before seeing the very funny, JackAss 3D.  More delicious garbage food there!  :-( And I paid for it as my stomach hurt from the hot bonesless wings overnight.  So back on track today!

On the plus side I have been hitting the workouts pretty hard.

Monday was off as I was in the car 11 hours.
Tuesday- 8 miles (4x1 @6:20), 1 hour core, weights, stretch
Wed-7.25 mi lunch run @ 7:45
Thurs- 9 miles (5 mi @6:55), 1 hour core, weights, stretch
Fri- 1 hour performance cycle, 1000 m swam
Sat- 13 mi on Buckeye Trail (Brandywine/Pine Lane)
Sun- 63 Mile Road Bike Ride (Red Flannel Metric Century)

Core / Weights- 2 hours
Ran- 37.25 mi
Bike- 83 mi
Swam - 1000 meters (way too low)

By Saturday and Sunday, I was just feeling flat.  My legs were tired and I just struggled to keep up with the people I was running with Saturday and riding with Sunday.  Ughhh, I hate that feeling.  My heart rate was sky high, yet my paces continued to fade.

Friday evening brought a fresh layer of snow to Northeast Ohio and the trails were just gorgeous to run on Saturday morning....oh I have missed them!  I think it has been nearly a year since I ran them...yikes!  My tail was a little tired adjusting to using some different muscles!  I realized Saturday that my trail shoes were all so old.  That and last time I bought trail shoes I was wearing size 8 and I have now switched to 8.5 in all running shoes to allow for more room.  My little toesies felt all sore after that run probably a little to do with being used to more room and probably some with all the downhill!  My feet got soaking wet both creek crossing and I was so happy to get home and shower and warm up after my run!  Time to order me up some more Sauconys I guess.  I wish I would have known last week when I placed that order which has these super sweet Kinvaras in this new all hot pink and black color (SOOOO SWEET and I thought the white with hot pink shoes were cool)

Sunday was a chilly morning to start riding but I bundled up and was ready to go as it was supposed to warm up and be sunny!  After a chilly start, I managed to work up a good sweat over the 63 miles with all my layers.  As I finally made it home, I was already looking forward to a nice warm shower to wash all the salt off me.  As I reached for the soap I noticed the Wild Cherry Blossom was all gone so I reached for the only other option I saw in there, Nivea Cool for Men.  Wow, it smelled so good as I lathered it everywhere and even as  I left the shower I just kept inhaling the manly aroma!  Mmmm, I could smell it on myself for awhile afterwards and I just kept thinking that was good stuff, albeit not very feminine!  As good as it smelled, I did toss a new bottle of some more feminine smelling soap in there for next time!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Running with the lady cheetahs!

"The top speed man has run is about 25 miles per hour; the fastest dog, the greyhound, reaches a speed of 40 miles per hour; racehorses have been timed at 50 miles per hour; and antelopes can go close to 60 miles per hour.

But none of them can come close to the world’s fastest runner, the cheetah. No animal on earth can outrun the cheetah’s 70-mile per hour speed."

This morning was my run with some local lady cheetahs...thank goodness they were running my workout and I was not running theirs!

Between Tuesday's interval workout and the stupid lunges and squats my tail was a little tired.  Wednesday I was able to sneak in a lunch run with the downtown boys and ES.  Our easy run turned into a 7:45 average which was not quite the recovery run my legs could have probably used.

So today I woke up at the ridiculous hour of 4:50 to go meet the CV for a tempo run.  The plan was 5 miles at 7:00 plus warm-up and cool-down.  We got the unexpected surprise that we would be joined by 2:49 marathoner, ESpeed and 2:44 marathon, MY.

I was feeling a little less than fresh, but I was determined to keep up with the girls.  After our 2 mile warm-up and bathroom stop, we started into the 5 mile tempo.  I never felt great.  Just over 2 miles into it, we go up a little ascent and downhill on to a path and we did a Uturn at 2.5 and repeat the up and down, so mile 3 was the slowest at 7:03 (and I hated those little climbs).  I was getting out fewer and fewer words but it was obvious ES and MY were running well within their comfort zone and chirping away.  Lucky ladies...not that they don't work for it!

Anyways, I was hanging on for dear life by the last mile of the run, just waiting to get done and finally the garmins started to sing and I was sooo happy that the hard part was over and it was just an easy 2 mi cooldown left to finish out 9 miles.  Average tempo pace was 6:56 according to my garmin and the last two miles being 6:51 each (no wonder I was tired).

Getting the chance to run with these fast lady runners is incredibly motivating to see the ease with which they can run at relatively fast paces.  Not only that, while I am running with these ladies and dying inside, I just feel like I must keep pushing as I don't want to be the one slowing down the workout.  What a fabulous way to kick off a Thursday- a good run, a pleasant morning for running and awesome company!

Then I headed inside for an hour of stretching, core and weights....good times with good tunes on my ipod.

As a side note, over the last month and a half or so, has been the first time since before the tibia stress fracture (over a year ago) that I have started back with some structured run training.  While it makes me work, I truly do enjoy the sense of accomplishment of it!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Day 1

I made it through Day 1 but Day 2 is starting off on a bad note!

Day 1 was a busy day.  Wake up at 4:50.  Hit car by 5:10.  Downtown by 5:55.  Fast walk to gym.  Leave gym to run at 6 AM for 8 mi incl 4x1M repeats.  Return to gym to stretch and do core and weight-training (as a side note yesterday in addition to normal pullups, pushups, upper body exercises, I did a few squats and lunges without weights.  As usual, I am SORE from just those few...thank goodness I did not do more.  I need to build up slowly on these!) Hit shower at 8:25.  Work from 9-5 without break.  5-5:50, drive home. 6 PM vote.  Drive to store and grocery shop to arrive home at 7:30.  Put away food and make dinner to finally get to eat at 8:30 and take in some Chuck (one of my fav shows) on the tivo!  Then finally head to bed at 9:30.

So here is what I don't like.  It just never fails that dinner always lands right before bed.  I hate that as I always go to bed feeling so full....must work on that!  On the plus side, after spending way to much money, I have plenty of healthy food to choose from!

This morning, I must have turned off my alarm instead of snooze meaning I totally missed my workout time.  Booo!  For some reason I was sooo exhausted this morning!

I am going to try to sneak out for a short easy lunch run and then when I get home from work, my goal is to set up the bikes/trainers in the living room and the husband and I can get a nice quality workout in!  Problem is again, it will probably be a late dinner! 

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

It starts today!

November 2, 2010.  I am marking it down, my weight down and from here on out starts the log of all workout activities AND food intake!

It seems like a random day to start a program but we just returned home from our whirlwind trip to the south late last night and after enjoying the southern hospitality and road trip food, both my husband and I are ready to buckle down.  Yet another motivator to start today was my husband's cousin, BE.  BE started mountain biking this year and over the past 4 months or so has really started to watch his intake and his results are astounding.  BE is planning to come up from Chattanooga, TN and ride in the Mohican 100K Mountain Bike race that I am planning to do again in June and my husband plans to do for the first time ever!  The Mohican 100K mtb race is a major undertaking for anyone, especially with the significant amount of elevation changes, but this will be even more so for BE and my husband who have never done any sort of endurance event.

So my husband is ready to get serious now!  This is much to my delight!  You see we can be quite bad influences on each other and if we can just try hard together I think we can both achieve HUGE results.  I had been letting things slide a lot since race season so I am excited to get myself not only back into shape, but hopefully in the best shape ever to start the 2011 season!

In addition to watching our diets, our goal is to get in exercise together on a regular basis in the evenings!  I think this will be fun for us.  This time will likely alternate between weight training (often likely including P90x) and riding bicycles (or trainer time).  Also I think I got the husband planned into attending the 2 hour Saturday morning East Side Indoor Cycling Classes too which will be soooo good for him!

My plan is to calorie count and just eat healthy in general.  I also want to cut out all the white flours.   The other significant change will to serious curb the alcohol intake as way too many empty calories there and thankfully I think the bulk of parties, weddings and celebrations are winding down a bit for the time being!  I have a calorie intake goal in mind but if my energy is too low, I am not opposed to ratcheting it up a bit as long as it is healthy food, given the amount of time daily I generally exercise.

So there it is.  I am excited!  I am excited for me and I am even more excited for my husband.  I think this will be the first time he will truly focus on being fit!

As a sidenote, we ate sooo much crap yesterday knowing that was it.  My stomach hurt last night and on this mornings run consisting of more mile repeats.  Icky!  Enough of the bad food but surprisingly I was able to hit the paces without too much discomfort and felt way better this week than last week on all four of them!

Training Run Down-
Monday, 10/25 - 60 min performance cycle with KM, 1700 M Swam
Tuesday, 10/26 - 8 Miles (4 x1M (6:18, 6:22, 6:23, 6:25), 1 hour weights & core
Wednesday, 10/27 - 60 min performance cycle with TK, 1000 M Swam, 5 Miles Ran with CTC Costume Run
Thursday- off
Friday-5mile mtb
Saturday- 60 miles road bike
Sunday- 9 mile hilly run (7:58 avg pace on the hilly course)
Monday -off (in car 11 hours :-(  )

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Who are you???

Reporting in from Ider, AL...which is about 45 minutes SW of Chatanooga, TN right on the AL, GA, TN border.

The husband has a long weekend class down here and I figure since he gets dragged around so much for my events that I would come down here with him.  Although, this is not a spectator class, so I am left to my own devices....which would be occupying my time training.  What else would a girl do?  Shop?  Not so much!

We are actually staying with my husband's aunt and uncle who live on a gorgeous piece of property complete with trails (for their horse back riding) and a 10 acre lake (perfect for me to swim in!).

We arrived about 5AM Friday morning.  A short nap later, a full day's worth of work, and finally it was playtime!  A cousin and I hopped on the mountain bikes and took a spin around the horse trails which was a nice mix of fields, hills and wooded areas....I would say it was only a 3 or 4 mile stretch, but good times just the same!

Yesterday, I pumped up my road bike tires.  I think my bike was wondering who the heck I was.  I have not touched it since REV3 Cedar Point.  Between the dark, cold, rain and just taking a break, it had just collected dust in my garage.  Not that I had abandoned biking, I was still riding my mountain bike some and regularly hitting M,W,and F 6AM Performance Cycling classes (which are structured to replicate outdoor riding vs regular spin classes...which rock btw).  

I was not sure what to expect but I had mapped out a 60 mile course (nothing like starting small as I had all day!)  I waited until 11 for things to warm up a bit and headed out to get chased by dogs, fight the wind, climb Sand Mountain and Lookout Mountain and just enjoy being back out on my bike.  Truly it was hard not to enjoy the ride, it was sunny, 70 degrees and the views on Desoto Parkway could not be much more scenic!

I was trying so hard not to worry about speed today although I inevitably watched it and was a bit frustrated by it...stupid hills and wind!  Yet, all and all it was so nice to be back out on the bike and was almost as if I had not missed a beat!

Hmmm...what to do today other than to continue reading the Lance Armstrong Performance Program by Lance Armstrong and Chris Carmichael to see what other tidbits I can pick up.  I see a run in my near future!

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Last night was the first ever CTC Halloween Fun Run and wowzers was it a good time!

Holk Hogan showed up to the party and was hanging out with sis and party pirate ESpeed!

I almost lost it when EricA showed up and started into cheers!

All eyes were on us as we corralled out of the back past a room full of attorney, lawyers and many other bar patrons.  At 6:45 we took to the streets about to head out for a 5 or 10 K Run!

We ran across the superior bridge taking in the darkening skyline!
We ran over the bridge!
We took in beautiful views of the city!
We ran past Browns stadium!

Bunny hopped along the run too!
It was a super fun run that garnered a bit of attentions on the streets of Cleveland!

Then came the costume contest awards!  A 25 person happy hour compliments of Barley House Cleveland was won by CTC, VP President, Alice Cooper!
Hulk won one of the Fleet Feet gift certicates!  Sis one a gift certificate to Rezults Downtown!
And then we did what CTC knows how to do....and proceeded to have one heck of a good time!

There was a cheerleader flying into the ceiling fan!

And lots and lots of hilarity that ensued!  What an absolute friggin blast of an evening!  Lots of Halloween Fun for me!  We are sooooo going to have to do this next year and if you missed better find a way to get there next year!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tuesday morning speedwork!

Wow, was I lucky this morning (well despite that my day started at 4:50AM)!

Hit the road by 5:05 AM to get my butt downtown to meet running friend, CV.

As I parked my car there were two things I noticed.  Wow, it is warm out and it is pretty windy!  After dropping my stuff at the gym, CV and I headed out (me in shorts and a tank  :-) ) for our run!

Despite the total darkness, the weather very nice for running.  Thankfully it was mainly a cross wind that seemed to hinder us more on our return trip on Marginal by the Lake.  After an easy 2 mile warm-up and a stop at the best downtown bathroom (BLA) we started into mile repeats.

I was really hoping I could try to stick with CV and her goal was 6:20 for each.

As we started into mile one, I could not see my garmin pace but it felt fast.  My Saucony Tangent shoes felt light and my feet felt good.  As we came into the lit area of marginal, I was happy to see we were right on pace and managed to cruise to a 6:18 for Mile 1.  Ouch!  Only 3 more to go, but 3 more at that pace...double ouch!

We walked a bit to let our heart rates drop and so I could quit gasping for air and into number 2 we went.

As I ran and pushed myself to that place where your body wondered why you would torture it at that hour when I so should be sleeping, I kept thinking, "HTFU, you can do it...this is all mental, just hold on!".  Then the last 100 yards was uphill to the mean!  6:22 Mile 2.  Well given the hill, I was pleased. 

Another short walk and some more whining and some "Ouch, that hurt!" and it was go time again.  Thankfully we started down the hill and the first 100 yards felt nice and easy but then back to having to focus, singing in my head and telling myself it's all mental, don't give up.

You know what I hate?  It is looking at the garmin hoping you only have like 1/4 mile left and seeing you are only at 0.4 mi of the 1.0.  Drat!  Pace at 6:25 (too slow).  Double Drat!  And I am dying!  Yet, what a difference in running with a friend.  I wanted to stay with her and she is even sick...suck it up!  Guess I need to pick up the pace while I am at it so I sped up!  Ouch, I am breathing so hard!  Pleading to hang on in my head and counting down, finally I made it.  6:23 for Mile 3.

The goal was 6:17 for number 4 to hit the 6:20 avg.  Oh this is going to hurt!  I tucked in as we ran around the curve and into the pitch dark street.  I could not see my garmin if I tried.  I did not care.  I did not have the energy to look.  So tired!  I am sucking wind and just begging for the pain to come to an end.  When when is this going to end????  Did I mention these last 2 miles seemed to be more into the wind????  Oh I really want to stop but what if that messes CV's workout up...HTFU!  Finally the heavenly beep came and we were done.  6:25 :-( a little slow, but given the wind and that we could not see our pace, not bad!

As we trotted our 2 mile cooldown to complete the 8 miles I was feeling so thankful!  Thankful to be back running!  Thankful to have a good friend like CV to push me as lord know I would have probably been done after 1 by myself!  Thankful to have strung together 4 pretty decent mile repeats.  And thankful to have such a beautiful morning to run!

Then I went to the gym to stretch and lift for an hour before retiring to the shower with my butt officially kicked!

My concluding thought of the morning was that I give so much credit to fast runners that I look up to.  So many of them push themselves incredibly hard on such a regular basis and just really deserve credit for how hard they work.  Putting the effort in is not easy and speed often really comes at a price of a whole lotta work!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Monday Moaning

Another gloomy Ohio Monday and back for a busy, albeit short work week!

This weekend was our annual Halloween Bash, which as usual was too much fun!

There is one last Halloween event which will be this Wednesday's CTC Halloween Costume Run which I am quite excited for!  Weather looks fabulous and HULK HOGAN will even be making an appearance ;-)

Besides the lazy day Sunday spent laying on the couch, cleaning house and taking down Halloween decorations, I had a pretty solid week of getting back to it. 

Monday-off (day after race plus I needed sleep)
Tuesday- ran with CV, 6.5 miles followed by 45 min stretch/ strength
Wednesday-2000 meter swim, ran 6 with ET
Thursday- 8 mile run, 10 min core
Friday-60 min spin class
Saturday- 13.8 miles with sis, ET and Amish Country Fun Run

Last Week Totals (10/18-10/24)
R: 34.3 M
B: 60 min
S: 2000 m

Monday, 10/25 - 60 min performance cycle with KM, 1700 M Swam

Saturday's Run was especially nice and very needed so I could earn my fun night and MARY YODERS.  Mary Yoders is home-cooking at its finest.  I am talking homemade bread, pies, gravy, potatoes and this Amish Peanut Butter Spread which is to die for!  That morning, sis and I met early to get in a little over 5 miles before meeting up with ET & GG to roundevou with the hard core group coming down for a 23 mile run from Painesville.  Hard core!  I finished with 13.8 on the day and was proud of sis for enduring the hillier than normal route!  Then we all sat around and shot the breeze over a good breakfast!  Good times!  I just love these random group runs!

This week we are leaving to head south again to stay with my husbands family in Alabama so he can take a class.  I think I will have Friday, Saturday and Sunday pretty much to myself so without much else to do, I guess will try to get in some good quality mileage.  I even hear the water should be warm enough to swim in.  I am pretty excited about mountain biking on Monday at Raccoon Mountain  with Joey's cousin as we have never rode with him but apparently he has gotten quite into it and is even planning to come up and do the Mohican 100K MTB with us next June!