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!