Thursday, July 31, 2008

if its Thursday, it must be long run day!

I had a long run this morning

It was raining lightly when I started, and the rain felt like sweet summer rain

Then it stopped and I felt like I was breathing through a wet towel over my face

I tried to sing songs from the Kooks cd I’ve been listening to lately (which I love!), but I’d just sing the same lines over and over, because my brain couldn’t work to make it through a whole song.

I smiled when I passed a deer lying in the grass, their eyes glowing in the faint street light. I always think they are beautiful creatures. I wonder what he thought of me – that crazy woman!

I wondered if the worms I stepped on felt any pain. I thought back to high school biology class, and dissecting worms, and I think, ‘no, they probably didn’t feel any pain’. Sorry wormies!

I had to stop twice for a potty break! Why does my body not cooperate on these long runs – oh wait, maybe its that 4:45am wake up call! What do I expect!

This run, I carried sharkies instead of gel, just to try something different. They are ok. Stick to your teeth, and you try to chew and it takes like 5 minutes to get it down your throat. But they sit ok in the stomach.

I had to run past road construction, and even at 6:20am they were working, always a treat to run past a bunch of me when you’re half naked (shorts and running bra). I just spit and blow snot from my nose as I go by to make sure they know I’m a tough girl, not a prissy one.

The last 30 minutes hurt. A lot. I kept wondering if these long runs will feel better as the weeks go on. I sure hope so!

So happy to get home. I walk in the house, and both dogs can’t stop licking the sweat from my legs. I drank a tall cold glass of chocolate milk, sitting with my hamstrings on cold packs, and poured a few dribbles of the milk on the patio for Daisy to lick up and then gave the rest in the cup to Sam to clean up. They were happy dogs! I was a happy girl. I was done running!!!! Oh yeah, next is the little thing called work. 8 hours sitting on my butt, I know I’ll feel awful by the end of 8hours of that. Better take some advil.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I've done it now!

I entered the Great Floridian, ironman distance tri, Oct 25, 2008!

I figure I need to do the distance again before I race at IM Lou in 2009. And nothing like plopping down the entry fee to keep the pressure on with the training.

dunkin donuts, would Dara do it?

I don't think so!

Dunkin Donuts opened this morning , across the street from my office. I'm sure Dara Torres wouldn't dare eat donuts (at least not while she is in training for the olympics). And even though I'm not in training for the olympics, I aspire to her abs! So no Dunkin Donuts for me!

I will however have my Wednesday cookie from the BBC today - because its Wednesday and every Wednesday its my treat to have one!

Other treats I'd like to have more often that I dare:
graeters chocolate chocolate chip ice cream
coldstone creamery chocolate devotion

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

where, o where, have my run legs gone.....

Every race this year, my run has been less than stellar, on races that I also went to last year, this year has been consistently 2 or more minutes slower. And I don’t get it. I’ve been working hard on my run, doing plenty of running at all zones 1-5. I’m not a fast runner, by any stretch of the imagination, but I’m starting to think maybe I’ve been thinking I’m training hard, but I’m just out there plugging around at 9 min miles. So I went to the local high school track this morning to run a mile at what felt like z4 pace, and I ran 7:13. At least it wasn’t 9 minutes! Let’s hope the run legs show up at the Great Buckeye half ironman on 8/24. I’m hoping for sub 1:50 on the run there. I better be ready to eat pain there!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Xterra DINO New Castle - 2peat!

Yeah, I won my first overall race of the year - the xterra series race in New Castle, IN. I won this race last year, so its my first official repeat win. Very exciting for me. As until I started racing xterra, I was never a contender for race wins. It feels pretty good. I am completely aware that its a small race, and there aren't any of the big guns from xterra here, but there were some girls who did travel from out of the region to give it a try. Funny that even though New Castle is only a 2 hour drive, I never made it up there to preride the course since the race there last year - and while it would be nice to preride and get a feel for the twists and turns, there is nothing technical, except the twists and turns, so I didn't feel concerned without a preride. Six of the guys from the Get-a-grip team in Chicago came down, so we had a good showing in numbers, and in results. The swim was uneventful, except when I hooked an arm around the rope on one buoy - that was just stupid - as I was in clear water, a couple people in front of me by a good 30 seconds, and I was swimming, very little sighting as I seemed to be swimming pretty straight. I saw the buoy coming up, and just cut it too close - doh! Quickly untangled, then out of the water, and I hear the announcer saying I was second female out of the water! What! Ack! I usually expect to be first out of the water at the DINO events - in fact, last year I was first person out of the water. Yes, first person, not first woman. Oh well, just chill, I tell myself. I caught Mary maybe 3 miles into the bike, and as I approached her I noticed she has these long thin legs, and I'm thinking she must be one of those people who can swim and run! So I better get a good lead on the bike. I pushed it until the last couple miles then eased off to settle down and save some energy for the run. As I was heading out of transition I hear them saying Bev was coming in! She made up time on me on the bike, but she and I had talked and I knew the run was going to be difficult for her, as she just pulled a calf muscle last weekend in a race, and she was just hoping to finish without making it worse. She is usually the main competition at these local xterras (she is in the 50-54 AG, but consistently kicks all the youngers girls butts - and she won Nationals and Worlds last year!), but there were a few new faces, like swimmer/runner Mary, and Emily from Terre Haute, so I was hoping I had a big enough gap, as it was hot and humid, and when I started running, the times I was in sun on the horse trails I felt horrible - not breathing well, just suffering a lot. Luckily its just a 4.2 mile run, and I just kept plugging away, and won by 4+ minutes.

Todd came to the race with me, and he always manages to place himself around so I can see him and hear him give me a big cheer. My parents also drove up from Cincinnati, and they got to enjoy an exciting morning in New Castle, IN. thanks mom and dad for coming up!

what I'll miss about the Tour

watching Mark Cavendish busting out of the bunch in the sprint finishes

Phil Liggets commentary, he is the voice I hear in my head on difficult bike rides

beautiful French countryside

Mountain descents - being a mountain biker, I love watching crazy fast descents!

Fabian Cancellara - my favorite Tour rider

Friday, July 25, 2008

Dunkin Donuts Grand Opening July 30

yes, its directly across the street from my office, and it opens in 5 days. uh-oh!

are apple fritters considered a fruit?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I’m fed up with the pools I swim at

I live in a small college town, and have 3 pools in the summer to choose form for swim workouts (two 50 meter pools, one indoor, one outdoor, and one indoor 25 yard pool). I swim during lap swim times, by myself (the masters team swims at lunch time, which doesn’t work for my work schedule). All I want is two 45 minute sessions a week where I can swim in a lane with other people close to my speed, or at minimum, with people who know how to swim in a lane with other people. Now the outdoor pool is instituting circle swim only – all the time. This is not good. I was informed of this last week when an old man asked to share my lane, and qualified the request with a ‘I am very slow’, and since there were just two of us (and the pool was not crowded), I suggested we split the lane. 200 meters later the manager stopped me and said I had to circle swim – safety reasons. On top of this requirement now, you are only allowed to pass people at the walls – so how does that impact a workout when you are trying to swim repeats at your pace, and run into a slower person 15 meters off the wall and have to wait 35meters before you can pass them! Last night I went to the pool for a 30 minute easy swim. I figure I can tough out any annoyances since I’m just doing 30 minutes ez. They had signs at each lane stating circle swimming required in small print, and a few other rules (only pass at wall, swim on right side, stay to far corner on the wall). 10 minutes into my swim, a woman asks to share my lane, I say of course, and she asks me if we should split or circle (she did this with hand gestures, so I take this as a bad sign). She is sitting right next to the sign saying to circle swim, and is asking me to split the lane. WOW - Those signs really work! Oh yeah, I forgot to add that they designated 2 lanes as group swim, like they do for the masters swimmers, to try to encourage swimmers doing workouts to use them. SO I was in one, the woman in the other was practicing floating on her back at the wall and then doing a modified elementary backstroke for a lap, more floating, more whatever she was doing. Again, another super successful attempt by the pool management to make swimming better for everyone. When she got out of the pool, the woman in my lane moved into that lane, and 5 minutes later old man from last week came to my lane and asked if I share lanes. I said everyone here has to share lanes. He says ‘not everyone shares nicely’. I just stared at him, when he said ‘I am very slow but we (he and his wife) are going to get in your lane’! of course they are – why would they choose any of the other 9 lanes with some slower people when I have “I’m a glutton for punishment, come swim in my lane” plastered on my swimcap! I got out and left. I swear by next spring I am going to build a small pool in my backyard and drop in a fastlane so I never have to deal with rec swimmers, or management who doesn’t seem to want to provide a decent swim experience for everyone.

I’m SOOOOOOOOO over it!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sometimes shit happens

Saturday I went to Louisville to do the Cardinal Harbor Half Ironman Triathlon. The swim was in the Ohio Reiver, and that was themain reason I went - I wanted to know what it was like to swim in the river so I was prepared for IM Lou 2009. The bike also covered some of the IM course, so that was a bonus also, to see some of the course.

Forecast was for a high of 96 - this is not good - I am not a good hot weather runner. But oh well, everyone has the same conditions. I racked my bike, went to check out the water, came back, and Heather Gollnick had racked her bike next ti mine! Heather Gollnick! pro, multiple im winner! She was in town for a clinic and they talked her into doing the race too. Got to talk to her several times, super nice woman, friendly, willing to talk to everyone. The swim was great. I really enjoyed it. Nice comfortable water temperature, water quality was good, little current. I think this was better than some of the awful hot, choppy swims in some midwest lakes. Onto the bike, and I was expecting a mix of hills and flat, like Bloomington, but I was surprised to find just hills, big hills, short hills, long gradual hills. Maybe 1-2 miles of flat out of 56. It was not a rhythm course. I'd rate it as one of the hardest bike courses I've ridden in the midwest. The hills weren't big, long, steep, just relentless. Again, I'm glad to know what to expect at IM Lou. I got off the bike in 3rd (not counting Heather). It was a small race, 100 people, so I was hoping to hold my 3rd place, or even move up. The runstarted up the road out of transition, right turn, first aid station. Manned by kids, they just dispensed tons of water into cups which had been sitting in the heat, and they were all warm (note to RD - tell kids not to pour drinks out so far ahead of time in hot temps). Out of the neighborhood, right turn, few small hills, pass a neighborhood entrance with big fountain, was tempted to dunk my head, but t would have meant an extra 50 yards, so I skipped it. Right turn, half mile and aid station #2 - this must have been near mile 3. Pass the station and half mile later turn around, back to same aid station. The volunteers were great, giving cold drink, and I just kept running straight back to prev turn, this time left, left again, all the way back to aid station number 1, and I'm asking where the turn around is, and the volunteer is like 'what? - you missed it way back by the first turn around!' ANd I'm so pissed! Not sure what to do, my race is already over as I've already run an extra 3 miles now if I run back to the 3 loops. I just keep running just to burn the energy that is seething in my brain. Back to that aid station and now one of the rd's are there, along with the aid station volunteers. Apparently I was supposed to have turned right at that aid station, but neither of the women told me, and I did see a light purple chalked arrow on the road right in front of the aid station indicating a right tunr. Well, light purple is not exactly a standout color on gray pavement, and at the aid station I was looking at the aid station, not the ground. ANd 2 volunteers, they just let me run straight instead of turning. I just don't get it. I told the RD, and she was so sorry. She tried to think of what I could do, but nothing was going to let me run a fair course now, fair to myself or to the others. SO my race was over I ran back to my bike , packed up, and waited for Kim to finish her race. I know its the racers responsibility to know the course, but the course must be marked well, and I ran past 4 volunteer turns where I was directed back toward the start/finish before someone told me I missed the turn! At first I was indifferent, and I had an ok training day. But when I saw/heard that 5 other people (including the lead man had the same mistake!), I was miffed. Then when I saw one of the women ahead of me off the bike come shuffling in , looking very slow, I knew I might have been to move up one more spot, assuming I didn't melt down in the heat. If if if. Its water under the bridge. Too bad. DNF number 1 of 2008.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Nashville 90

One of the classic rides out of Bloomington, the Nashville is a 90 mile loop through the rolling countryside. It was a beautiful sunny day, low humidity, light winds, Angela, Randi and I set out at 8am. We rode 90 miles, approximately 3500 feet of climbing, saved 3 turtles, and received one middle finger wave from an irate motorist (he must not be a happy person).

Here's some of the ride in pictures:
ok, there is a lot of corn in Indiana...

at the bottom of the causeway at Lake Monroe

Lake Monroe from the causeway

a turtle we saved - he was all mossy, not very pretty, but he thanked us

one of the little bumps in the road

isn't he sweet!


the Story Inn, a must stop, as its the first real bathroom after leaving Bloomington, 50 miles into the ride.

That's it. We passed a great shot of 5 turtles sitting on a log at Lake Lemon, but by the time I got turned around to take the photo they all looked at me and waved goodbye before the plunged into the water. Party poopers!

It was a great ride! Ice cream is calling!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

all this by 8am

SO this morning I wake up. Its 3am. Why, I'm not sure until I hear Junior bouncing around the floor making a commotion. He doesn't stop until I'm wide awake. 4am the alarm goes off for Todd to get into work early for an hour of night vision testing before the sun comes up - oh the glamorous life working for the govt. 4:45 and the dogs won't stay quiet anymore, so we are up, I am eating my cheerios, watching the weather, while they eat and Junior bounces around the sunroom some more. We are out on our walk by 5am! We see the paper delivery guy, and 3 deer, one laying in the grass, not even 5 feet from the sidewalk. He doesn't flinch, the dogs don't even notice him in the dark. I don't shine my headlamp in his direction to protect his anonymity, and to keep the dogs from going ballistic if they were to see him. other smells distracted them in the opposite direction. Now if you don't have dogs, but want them, you should know a few of the fun things about having dogs. ANd of course, those involve cleaning up after them. My dogs have two funny things they do. We are walking along, and Daisy starts to do her poop dance. That is 3-4 pirhouettes to find her starting point, then a travelling poop walk where she deposits her poop over a 5-10 foot area that I have to follow behind and scoop up before Sam takes off without us. Sam then 5 minutes later begins his poop walk (Daisy has the dance, Sam the walk). Sam starts this slow squatty walk, it can go the length of two yards, and when he reaches a point where grass ends and pavement ends (driveway or street), he stops and poops. Today however was a special day. He pooped, I scooped. He walked into the middle of the street (on his way to the other side), and right in the middle he stopped. I look at him. He looks at me, and I realize he's giving me the 'mom I have poopie in my butt still, and you have to get it out' look. Lucky me I get to pull poop out of his butt! Yes, and if you have a dog you can do that too!

ok, dog adventure over, and I get to run now. I have not mentioned that its a nice comfortable 70 degrees (not bad), and 100% humidity (bad). Clouds low and thick, cannot see the sun coming up for the heavy cloud cover. The run calls for 30 minutes in zone 1 and zone 2. Then 2x8 min xone 4-5! ouch! ok, so running is not easy for me. And running in zone 4-5 is really not easy for me. And running in zone 4-5 in 100% humidity is REALLY REALLY not easy for me. This run hurt. I was drenched when I got home. Had a large cold glass of chocolate milk sitting on the patio while the dogs licked the sweat off my legs.

shower, pack food for the day, ride my crappy little commuter bike to work, and I'm here before 8am! Now I can eat my second breakfast - my favorite - yogurt, grapenuts, berries, all mixed together. YUM. Time for the ipod to come out to get me through enother exciting morning in the office.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Easy Speed

Its what I strive for when I swim - easy speed. How fast can I go with as little effort as possible. Swimming is the easiest of swim/bike/run to gain easy speed. Good technique will take you a long way, and 40 years of developing technique certainly pays off. I never thought of it much when I was a competitive swimmer, because we ALWAYS worked hard. Now as often lazy adult swimmer, I don't like to train swimming hard, so I'm always looking for the easy speed. Some days its there (last Friday), somedays its not (last night). When I was swimming last night and realizing I was not having a good swim, I tried to concentrate more on my stroke than usual, strong pull, finish, balance. It didn't help much, but at least I didn't cut the swm short. I also spent some time while I was swimming thinking about how I get easy speed on the bike and run. Bike - being aero, using gravity. But its not so easy on the run. I never have an easy run, sometimes good runs, never easy. I don't think I ever get easy speed on the run. Oh well - I'll keep working on it!

Monday, July 7, 2008

14 year old girl swims across Lake Erie - BUTTERFLY!

WOW, she is crazy.

weigh-in time!

I have not weighed in for over a month, but I've been training hard, and eating fairly well. This morning I weighed in and was at my college swim weight! woohoo! That makes me very happy. My body is definitely different than it was when I swam in college, but for 18 years I was 10-20 pounds heavier than I was in college, and last year I got back down there. Gained about 8back over the winter, but now I'm back! I feel good, and I'm not injured, and training is going well.

I'm also entering my first half IM of the year, Sat July 19, in Louisville, KY. Its sort of a last minute decision. Its a new race, just saw the ad for it, and thought it would be a good chance to swim in the river, before I sign up for IM Lou 2009. While I'm not going into the race with high hopes for a PR, I'll use it as a good practice race - my first river swim, ride on the IM Lou bike course, on my new bike, practice my nutrition, see where my bike speed and fitness is, and see how I can hold on the run. Its all about positive self talk. I'm looking forward to the race.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

amazing Dara

Dara Torres is doing amazing things in the swimming world. She is my age, and a huge inspiration.

Here's a great article about her attempt to qualify for her 5th olympics at age 41:

and check out the abs in the photo of her on page 1 of the article - at age 41! - she has really worked hard to make her body do what I'm sure no one in the world thought someone her age could do.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

swimming is a beautiful thing to watch

I'm really enjoying the US swimming olympic trials. These people are so smoking fast. And it is a thing of beauty to watch how effortless they make swimming look. The men's 400IM the first night was incredible. Phelps and Lochte are heads and shoulders above the world. And that last turn by Phelps was amazing. Katie Hoff followed their race up with her own new world record.

Last night the 100 backstrokes were both incredible - my favorite event - when I was a swimmer and now as a spectator. Sad to see Hayley McGregory miss the team after setting a short lived WR, but that's what's so amazing about the US swim olympic trials. There is no committee making decisions on who goes and who doesn't. You have to do it in the one race that counts. No second chances.

Last night I had a swim workout. And I was happy to walk into the pool and see it set up SCY. So, I abandoned any workout that had anything to do with freestyle sets, and getting ready for a long tri swim, and I did IM's and strokes - 100's and 50's. And I had so much fun. I imagined during my measley 2 dolphin kicks off the wall on freestyle that I could imagine breaking off the wall like Michael Phelps does. I could pretend in my mind that my strokes were a thing of beauty, effortless and fast. They weren't, but I dreamed it. It was the best swim workout I've had in months.

Can't wait to watch Phelps in the 200fly tonight, and the gals battle it out in the 200IM.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

I entered my first race for 2009 - yes, 2009!

and its not even an Mdot ironman. How insane is that!

I decided I wanted to do the TTT next May, and it sells out fast, limited to 400, so I made sure to get my $$ paid up. Should be a fun weekend of camping, and pushing myself through 4 races, totaling close to the mileage of a full ironman distance race, once you add all 4 races together.