Monday, April 25, 2011

Marathon Monday!

Marathon week is here!

As of today the Nashville Saturday forecast is Partly Cloudy low of 65/ high of 78.  Guess it will be a little warmer than I have got used to.  I just don't want want rain/wind or super hot so while it may be on the warmer side, hopefully I will be done before it gets too warm.  Plus I am relieved I will not need arm warmers after the terrible chaffing experience at the 25k.

I just got a call from home saying Brown Santa came today and this time with my Trakkers kit!  Sweet!  I can hardly wait to get home and try it on!  Not only did Brown Santa bring me that sweet TYR wetsuit last week, but  Friday I also got a delivery from Trakkers sponsor, AVIA!   I tore into that package to find my new sweet looking, Avia Bolt III's.  Perfect timing as my Bolt II's now have quite a few miles on them already!  So this morning when I went for my last longer run of 9 miles and I wore the new shoes and had no issues at all.  I did find them to feel a little roomier than the Bolt II's but that might have had something to do with the super thin socks I had on.  Either way I will be adding these shoes into my regular rotation!

Thursday after work I headed over to DM's place to do my FTP test on the bike.  My results were about the same as my initial test back in December so I was slightly disappointed, but given I have been more focused on the run of recent, than the bike, it really was no surprise.  After Nashville, focus will switch to the bike.  I did pretty much kill myself on the test though.  We did a 20 min w/u and the 6 min alternating 1 min spin ups, 1 min easy.  Then it was on to the 5 minutes all out.  Crushed myself here.  Thankfully I had 10 minutes easy to recover before I started into the 20 min block which I was now dreading after destroying myself on the 5 min set.  The first 10 went by fine.  Picked up the effort and by about 18 min I stood up to stretch out the legs briefly which just messed up my rhythm and had a signicant fall off that final two minutes.  Wow, what an ass kicker!

Friday I had my last ART session with Dr. Keyes.  Then sis and I headed over to Lifetime to get in a run.  I did my 3 mi tempo sandwiched in the middle of the 8 miles.  6:45 average pace for those and it felt very comfortable and actually pretty easy which made me happy, especially after the prior nights FTP test!  Then we relaxed in the hot tub, which was a welcome reward.

All the bikes, mine is the red Ducati front right!
Saturday, I was tapped to start the CTC east side cycling workout as we actually had pretty decent weather.  Some wet roads to start but not raining and actually warmer. I had mapped out a nice little route with a downhill start and one major climb up Old Mill out of the valley.  This led the group to where we would start some short 1 mile TT efforts on Gates Mill Blvd.  We did 3 repeats which were into the wind and slightly uphill before regrouping and rolling back to the start about 23 miles later.  It was a good effort and a perfect way to accommodate different abilities.  Then I rushed home to go meet my husband and friends to go for the Taco Run on the motorcycles.  This was such a fun afternoon filled with gorgeous scenic roads and a lot of laughs.  Then we were off to our friends' Euchre party for the evening. GREAT SATURDAY!

Sunday ended up being an off day after a very late night Saturday and bouncing around most of Sunday at our families.

This week will be a pretty light week!  Now this week needs to just go by fast!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I heart brown santa, TYR and Trakkers!

It was another cold rainy gray day in Ohio yesterday.  I pulled the covers up over my head when my alarm went off yesterday morning.  I thought that it would be nice to sleep in and I did.  I got up for work and packed my bag and hoped I could sneak out at lunch for my scheduled run.

Lunch time came but it was pouring down rain, 40 degrees and windy.  While I like to think of myself as hard core, I really had no desire to go outside and run in that alone.   Couple that with the notion that I would have to return to work as a drowned rat, I decided I would try to get it in in the evening.

Then the call came from my husband that after he had spent the day painting at his mom and dad's, they wanted to take us out to dinner.  SCORE!  Even better was that my husband who loves Mexican so, and would eat it every day, picked to head out to Jimmy Dadonna's for some Italian because he knew I had been mentioned it a few times over the past few weeks.  What a good husband!!!

So yesterday ended up being a day off and I ate myself silly with delicious garlic doughballs and lasagna.  Then we stopped for ice cream on top of it all.  My belly was rock hard full and that provided plenty of guilt to get me up to run 10.5 miles before work today.  Time to reel in intake so I can taper and not weigh a million pounds come raceday!  But DANG that was good!

After I arrived home from dinner I was sooo excited to see brown santa had brought me a package compliments of Trakkers and out team sponsor TYR!!!  I ripped into the box quickly to open another box and then some plastic to reveal a most gorgeous wetsuit!!!!

It is the Female Hurricane Wetsuit Category 2 which is stated as-

"The highest-end suit in the Hurricane series is created using the finest fabrics available. The suit’s outside is made exclusively of the lightest Yamamoto Nano SCS rubber. The combination of super stretchy rubber with the soft jersey fabric on the interior makes for a superior fit and feel."

I know one girl who is super excited to test this out.  (Cue to me jump up and down screaming me with my hand up!!)  This girl can use every ounce of help I can get in the water with my dragging legs.   First race in this suit will likely be in the frigid cold waters of Portsmouth, OH in May.  Yikes, it has not even started warming up in OH this year!  Thank goodness it is a full wetsuit!!!  Now I think I am going to need to find myself a neoprene swim cap to go with it for that race as this girl knows just how cold that water is likely to be and I am a gigantic freeze baby !!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

12 days...not that I am counting :-)

until Nashville!  Nothing like spending the day tracking all your favorite friends running Boston to get psyched up about an upcoming marathon!

So inside two weeks and I am feeling pretty good.  My ITB seems much happier which I attribute almost entirely to ART and Dr. Keyes.  The pain is almost completely gone.  Also I have been a little concerned about some weird numbness and tingling down by my tibia which immediately makes me panic and think stress fracture.  Yet after discussing with Dr. and looking into it a bit, it seems to be my posterior tibial nerve is being compressed.  So now I am working on getting that sorted out, but pretty optimistic about that overall.

I am soooo over this spring and ready for summer.  I really just want to run in shorts and bike outside without a billion layers on!  Last week was quiet and did not get much in in the way of biking but hit all my runs pretty well.

This past Saturday, Cleveland Triathlon Club was supposed to host a duathlon but due to the forecasted rain, cold and high winds we switched it to a trail run.  This was a great idea.  There was a huge turnout that came out in the rain to get muddy on some gorgeous trails.  At first I was trying to avoid getting my shoes fully soaking wet, but by the time I was half way through I was just splashing through the creek crossings.  It was gloriously fun to feel like a kid again, get muddy and run with many old and new faces.  This equaled a perfect way to spend a rainy morning and I even managed to hit the pool for 2000 meters beforehand!

Then it was time for our CTC brunch and swap meet.  I came out ahead for the day with my sale and picked up a sweet vintage yellow bike jersey, some tires and tubes.  SCORE!  CTC VP, Durno, was our evil genius of a chef all morning making us up the best egg sandwiches!  YUM!  Then we had a huge pow-wow with TTT vet, EG, to learn all that we would want to know about TTT.  One of the best perks of this club is learning from the other members!

Sunday,  I met up with sis to go run the Fleet Feet Pepper Pike Grand Opening 5K.  Coach wanted me to run even and run 19:56 or 6:26 per mile.  Doable, no problem I thought.  Yet, my legs were feeling less than fresh after a solid week of running and all those hills on the trail run which were not exactly ran at an easy pace.  Then there was the howling wind screaming out of the south west (at least most the time but sometimes I swear I could feel it random directions).   I got in a nice solid easy 3 miles before starting into my striders before the race and then was ready to go.

With the start, I was off.  I was consciously looking at my garmin forcing myself to slow down.  Even pace I kept thinking which I should have known was crazy with the wind. One female ran ahead of me, but I was resolved to try to stick with the plan and hope to catch her later.  Mile 1, 6:21 (a hair fast).  As we started into the second mile a pack of guys were right around me.  There were two options in the parking lot before heading into the path.  I was not sure which way I was supposed to go.  I took the slightly longer one which likely cost a few seconds and a lot of other took the other option and I sort of berated myself for not going that way too.  Then I surged ahead to get into the path first which I think got my HR a little too high.  As we made the right on to the road we were heading dead into the south wind and I looked down to see my pace slowing.  CRAP!  As we hit the second mile marker, I tried to pick back up  my pace but now I felt like I was working hard.  There was a little downhill before heading west into the wind on Chagrin.  Then another down and up before making the final left onto 87.  "THIS WIND IS KILLING ME," I kept thinking.  As I rounded the corner into the lot I saw 19:XX and I tried to sprint as fast I could to get in under 20.  I finished with a 19:59 and 2nd overall female.  It was not the 19:56 I was looking for, but guess I will shrug it off for now.  I would make the excuse it was the wind but I should have ran harder!

The Bike Authority Fleet Feet team had a good showing and it was an awesome turnout and showing of support for Jody& Heather and their new Fleet Feet Pepper Pike location!  I ran just over a 2 mile cooldown with sis before heading out!  Sis ran so hard I thought she might get sick at the end :-) .  She ended up with 2nd AG and of course this big sis was proud!   Headed home after that for a little more chilly motorcycle riding!  Given the somewhat crummy weather for the weekend, it turned out pretty good!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Monday Ramblings

Enjoying a quiet Monday morning after a busy weekend.  I opted to sleep in today as opposed to an early morning workout.  The 7:30 am wake-up call was a nice change from the wee early morning ones that I have had everyday for the past two weeks or so.

Saturday morning I woke up to run Jackson Laughs 25k.  The temps were in the low 40's and there was a decent little wind coming out of the southeast which made it feel a little cooler than expected.  Yet, I still opted to race in my ctc tank, shorts, compression socks, little gloves and arm warmers.  Actually I felt quite comfy in those conditions in that outfit as it was perfect racing temps.  I lined up near at the front after about ~1.5 mile warmup.  My plan was to roll out at a 7:26 pace but if I felt good, allow down to 7:14 and then try to pick it up at mile 10 if I still was feeling it.

As the race got started I was messing with my garmin which was in bike mode (annoying mistake) but I think I got it all squared around within about .3 miles.  I had opted for headphones on this day, figuring I would be alone much of the course as it was not a huge field.

As I got going I looked down at my gamin and saw my avg pace hovering around 7:11.  I was a little concerned I was going out too fast but I felt comfortable and decided I would just run where I felt comfortable and had plenty of room to ease off if I desired.  My IT band felt tight and I was hoping she would just protest quietly for most part but that was also a concern as I ran.

For the most part, I was just enjoying myself unlike other races of late.  I think the idea that this was a training run to run PMP or so and not a race had me very relaxed and I was having a nice time thinking about all the fun I had had in Kent over the years.  I was listening to one of my favorite dance podcasts, DJ Scene, and literally was ready to sing and dance along the course, while I was trying to keep that on the DL so no one thought I was crazy.  Yet, rocking along with my tunes, I was just ticking off the miles enjoying them.  This has me sort of wondering what I want to do for Nashville as I was planning on no headphones but I really enjoyed having them on this day.  I did not stop at all for water which I would regret later.  As I hit mile 10, I was very pleased to come though and see a 7:11 avg pace and still felt very good so I thought it was time to pick it up and I did.

I started to pick it up holding right around 7:00 and could definitely tell the hills were beginning to feel a little difficult for the first time in the race.  Throughout the day, I always had someone or a couple people within my sight which helped as it made me feel like I was on the right course despite few markings.  I had taken a look at the course to try to familiarize myself with it in advance but somewhere along the way, a bunch of us missed a turn.  As I look at the map now I think we all missed making the left on Meloy so it appears I was on course through 12.5.  As I came through mile 15 on my garmin (already ~.3 off from the start) I started to wonder where the heck the stadium was and thinking I have not seen a mile marker in a long time.  The two guys ahead of me had stopped  as we hit 15.7 on my garmin and I looked down to see a 7:07 avg pace.  Not too shabby!!!  :-)  Makes me think I am in a good spot for my Nashville training.  But that was where the 3 of us concluded we had ran the distance and clearly we are lost!  :-(

That was enough, I was done with running hard.  Now where the heck do we go to get back?  I started running along again hoping we would find our way.  This is about the time I started really regretting that I had not taken any water at the aid stations.  The 3 of us split but regrouped at the next intersection when we asked someone how to get to 43 to get back.  Sounded like it would be another 3 or 4 miles.  I was defeated as I did not want to run that far and push my ITB any further.  One guy ran ahead and seemed fine with getting in a long run and I am guessing the other guy was more discouraged than me as he fell behind me.  :-(   I just wanted help.  I got to the corner of Howe and 43 and had no idea which direction to even go.  I went right.  (Wrong).  Thankfully a volunteer who had already picked up a couple others off course pulled over to tell me I was heading the wrong way.  I think I probably looked like I was about to cry because they then asked if I wanted a ride back even though the cab was full.  THANK GOD as I answered yes without thinking twice.  The one guy hopped back in the bed and I was soooo thankful for that ride.  I had gotten picked up just after 17 so just 18.5 on the day.  I was a little worried about the 2 guys that had been around me that were so off too.  When we got back the RD was very apologetic and tried to make it right.  All good in my book.  While I was a lil frustrated, I took comfort in that I knew I had ran and felt pretty good so the day was not lost.  As bad as it sounds it also made me feel good that I was not alone in making the error but lots of the front people were off before someone made the fix as I think it might have just been the first group following the lead vehicle that got it right.

Then it was off to play on motorcycles Saturday afternoon before another quiet evening.  Sunday I awoke early to head out and meet up for the Bike Authority Fleet Feet team ride.   I limped down the stairs with some sore legs and got the coffee going.  It was going to be a foggy start but the day's forecast was looking up.  It was a huge turnout and great to see so many friends out.  I did not have a specific plan other than let's ride more than last Sunday which was 46 miles and not overdue it.  I thought if I felt good I might just hang in for the 100 and if not I would probably peel off as we came back around Brecksville around mile 60.   It was pretty foggy and there was a decent wind.  As we got going I felt pretty good riding. Yet after climbing out of the valley around mile 25 I noticed I was feeling rather flat and already tiring.  The majority of the crowd peeled off just before 30 and then there was just myself and 3 guys.  There was a fair amount of climbing throughout the day and I could feel myself fading fast and working harder than I wanted to.  I clearly was not taking in enough fluids and as we hit a climb around mile 50, I fell behind.  The guys waited for me at the top and were working out their next plan.  The one guy was peeling off for a final short loop after the Parkway and ES and ST were going to go on back down into CVNP to complete the 100.  Stick a fork in me, I was done and was now just looking forward to getting past the last few hills into Brecksville.  We flew down the final hill on 21 and I said my farewells before getting back to my car 56 miles later.  It was sort of a reality check that I needed to really put in some more bike time because come TTT, I would have to bike 56 hilly miles and likely I would be tired that day too.

Just as I was about to treat myself to some post ride Starbucks the hubby called and said they just stopped for lunch so I made a b-line to Solon to scarf down a burger and fries.  I can't believe how fast I ate and how many times the server filled my water glass.  I SOOO NEEDED THAT!  Then I headed home to grab a quick shower before heading out to meet the guys on my motorcycle.  I was really exhausted as I showered and it took everything I had to just keep moving Sunday.

Also as a side note I had the WORST chaffing of my life I think on my underarms from my arm warmers from Saturday's race.  The post race shower was pure agony.  My bike jersey on Sunday only further aggravated things and I grimaced again during that shower before the husband finally putting bandages on them Sunday evening.  Glad I tried those armwarmers out for Saturdays race and did not try it out at the mary!  I am not sure I will even consider using them.

All in all, it was a good training weekend.  My plan has me starting to cut back run mileage this week so that has me a bit excited.  I do have my bike FTP test on Wednesday so that should kick my tail. Now to figure out how to rest up a bit for that while getting in my running workouts for the week coming off the weekend with some very sore tired legs.

As a sidenote which I am almost afraid to say, I think I am finally feeling better without the sinus infection!

Friday, April 08, 2011

Christmas Eve????

Well not really but I am super excited that it looks like after the longest winter evah it looks like we are going to finally get a reprieve from our cold gloomy weather!

Tonight I plan to get home from work, have some dinner and chillax watching 127 hours which is about a mountain climber who becomes trapped under a boulder while canyoneering alone near Moab, Utah and resorts to desperate measures in order to survive with James Franco.  I had read about it awhile back in Outside magazine and it looks interesting...we shall see!  Then I want to hit the hay early!

Tomorrow morning, I will head out to my old stomping grounds, Kent State (where I played often when I was home from college) to run the Jackson Laughs 25k.  Weather looks perfect and my plan is to use it as a tune up race to see where I am at in terms of my marathon goal.  The plan is to get in a two mile warm-up or so, run the race at planned marathon pace and then get in a cool down for a total of 18 miles or so.  I have decided I think I will roll out at my more conservative marathon pace as I think it is a safer bet than risking blow-up or injury come marathon day.  I am hoping to run 7:26 pace and feel comfy enough that I would be able to do it another several miles come least then I will have a real taper.  I had another appt with Dr. Keyes last night and he really got into the ITB hard and made me sweat from the pain.  Oh how I wish that ITB pain would go away already!  That is my big ? for the day...fingers crossed!

Post race it is time to ride!!!  I got my baby all cleaned up and put back together last night and she is ready to go.  The husband is more than a little excited for us to get out on our toys so we will be just rolling around
where ever the breeze takes us.  I have not been out on my motorcycle since the fall which is the longest hiatus I think it has ever been since I started riding so I am quite excited.  I have a 40 mile one way commute to work everyday and I am thinking this year I will try to ride most days to keep some miles off my car as it is getting up there in mileage fast to the tune of not even 2 years old and already up to 72K.  Eeeks, I am so going to probably have the car wore out before it is paid off.

So after that good day Saturday, the plan is to roll out on my other two wheel toy (my bicycle) on Sunday.  The Bike Authority Fleet Feet team is meeting at 8AM to head out for a hilly 100 mile ride.  That is awful big day this early in the season, so we shall see how it goes.  Regardless I am just really looking forward to getting outside on a warm day with good people and with TTT quickly approaching, some mileage is definitely needed.

Bring on the the weekend!

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Hmmmmm....2011 season

So I have been giving a lot of thought to my racing schedule as every year I like to mix it up a bit to keep it fresh!

2006:  My first year in tris and I did an Oly tri that year.  Swimming & Biking was new to me!    Completed Summi Tri and Cleveland Tri and a host of duathlons.

2007:   Focused on Duathlons and First Half Iron
Fat Rabbit Racing Battle of Ohio Series-1st place Overall Female,  Hermes Road Race Series- 3rd Overall Female, Silver Spring Intl Duathlon (1st OAF), Buzzard Duathlon (3rd OAF), Greater Cleveland Half Ironman ( 1st AG, 5th OF)

2008:  Started into the 50K Runs, ran 3 marathons, Hermes RR Series and a lot of tris!  BUSY!
Completed Winter and Summer Buckeye 50K runs, Cleveland, Boston and Akron Towpath Marathons (2nd AG, BQ), Silver Springs Duathlon (3rd OF) Summi Tri (1 AG), Greater Cleveland Half Ironman, Hermes Road Race Series- 1st AG

2009: Focused on Xterra Tris, Running and Mountain Biking
Completed Winter Buckeye 50K Run (2nd Overall Female), Pittsburgh Marathon (3:35), Columbus Marathon (3:27), Xterra Trimax (2nd AG), Xterra One (2nd OAF), Mohican 100K Mountain Bike, Planet X Tri (2nd OAF), MiltonMan Tri (2nd OAF), Invited to race Xterra Triathlon National Championship

2010:  Focused on my first 140.6 Tri at Cedar Point
Completed REV3 Series including Knoxville Oly, Quassy Half and Cedar Point Full (2nd AG).  Summi Tri (1st OAF), Greater Cleveland Tri (2nd OAF), Maumee Bay (3rd OAF)

2011:  Thinking key races will be TTT and REV3 Cedar Point Full…but perhaps instead of doing the same local tris that I have done every year, perhaps it is time to mix thing up with some bike racing ?????  I also think I will need to stay close to home for the most part so perhaps something along these lines-

2011 Tentative Schedule
1/16 – Run for Regis ½ Mary
2/13- CTC Indoor Tri at Twinsburg
3/12- Malachi 5 Mi
4/9- Jackson Laughs 25K Run
4/16- CTC Brecksville Du
4/30- Nashville Full Marathon
5/20-22-  Triple T
6/4- Mohican 100K MTB
7/8-10- Youngstown Tour of the Valley- Bike Stage Race  ???  Would be new to me!
June –Aug-some local sprint/oly tris and or bike racing
9/11- REV 3 Cedar Point Full
9/24- Akron Mary Team Relay
9/30- Wineglass Marathon? Or maybe 11/6 Inland Marathon if not feeling recovered enough

Probably also several tours like 6/12 – Sunday in June Century Ride, 7/31-Sweet Corn Century Ride, Right Side in August.  I am thinking about racing the Westlake Crits every other Tuesday and perhaps racing the NEO POWER SERIES (mtb) which includes-

Stage # 1: Reagan Park Time Trial - June, 19 2011
Stage # 2: Vultures Knob Double Down Enduro - July, 16 2011
Stage # 3: The Thorn Trail Time Trial - August, 7 2011
Stage # 4: The Big Valley Race at Camp Manatoc - September, 4 2011
Stage # 5: West Branch Mini Enduro - September, 18 2011
Stage # 6: Vulture's Knob - October, 15 2011

Hmmmm....what to do?  I do think my husband would enjoy spending some more time on the MTB trails.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Think Spring!

Today I sit at work and cannot quit thinking about spring almost being here.

It is easy to do at the moment as it is actually over 60 degrees and yesterday I got out on the bike for the first time this year in OH!  Whoot!  (Just don't ask about tomorrow's forecast!....grrrr!)

Anyways last week was so-so in my book.  I am desperately trying to calm the angry beast known as my ITB.  Dr. Keyes helped a lot but I would be lying to say the ITB was happy.  Foam roller, ice and recovery pump pants por favor!

Other than that, just sticking to the plan as laid out by coach.  I had delayed my speed workout until Thursday which went well (4x1 mi at 7:03).  The mile times were not really that difficult compared to the repeat times I was accustomed to trying to hit in past training plans like FIRST which were closer to 6:15/mile, so that helped.  The way coach lays my weeks out is Sunday-Sat.  However, this week I flip flopped my long run day to Saturday (with the hopes of good outdoor rising weather on Sunday) and I managed to log my biggest run volume week in a long time with 74 miles.  This is probably a good and bad thing, good with getting in the miles, bad because ITB is angry.  During Saturday's long run with sis, she had to make a pitstop about mile 15 and I really did not think my leg would let me get moving again.  Thankfully after gritting my teeth while whincing in pain for about 45 seconds, I was moving again.  If it is not one thing, it's another!  It was sister's first 20 miler on Saturday and finished looking so strong....she is so ready for her first mary at Nashville!!!  I have such a good little protege there and she makes me proud!

The one nice thing is biking is that it does not bother the ITB....oh how I heart the bike!  I was sooo excited to meet up with the Cleveland Touring Club on Sunday to do their ride.  Eight or nine people showed up as it was maybe 30 degrees but the skies were sunny and the wind was very light.  I think I finally figured out my perfect 30 degree riding outfit as I felt perfectly dressed which made the ride comfortable.  We left out of Chesterland heading straight uphill and continued our way rolling through some hills up to Holden Arboretrum area and then up the long 2 mi climb up Thwig road to Chardon.  By this point it was just the 3 of us off in the front.  Then a bunch more rollers through Newbury and then entered Chagrin Falls.  We hit the short super steep hill at the north end of town before returning back to the start 45.7 miles later.  While I am still hacking up the funk in my throat that will NEVER leave, I managed to hang tight with super biker, T, throughout the climbs. T did the majority of work throughout the ride leading the majority of the way, but I managed to feel pretty good and consistent throughout the ride and was ready to keep going. The funny thing about the ride was halfway through I realized I never put on bike shorts.  Yet, no chaffing or soreness.....I so love my Adamo ISM road saddle that I picked up late last year!

The weekend ended up being pretty quiet and I continue to do well with my intake overall....progress!   The good thing is the more I make good decisions with what I eat/drink, the easier it seems to get!

I am debating my plans already for next weekend and think it will likely be a big one if the weather cooperates.  Fingers crossed!