Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Calling All Expert Swimmers...

If you haven't already, check out the cool swimming video (in my last post - the McMinnville Tri Race Report) that my husband shot during my last tri. If you watch carefully when I make the turn at the wall, you'll see a swimmer with a bright greenish-yellow swim cap coming up behind me. That is Michele! Give her 100 more yards, and she catches me, and we exit the pool together (Nice job, Michele!). Do any of you experts see anything that stands out to you about my stroke or my swimming in general that makes me a slow poke? I swam the 350 meters in 7:33. If you see something funky, please let me know!! Any and all advice is welcome!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

McMinnville City Triathlon 06: Race Report

We spent the night with J.T.'s parents in McMinnville Friday night, so I got to sleep a little later this time. I made my way over to the race around 6:15. I got set up in transition, visited the restroom, and did some stretching. When I came back to my transition area, someone said "Hey Lana." I looked up and it was one off my best friends from high school (and jr. high, and elementary!). Ross Stephenson. He was #160 and I was #159. How cool!! This was his first triathlon, and he was nervous. I never got real nervous this time, so maybe I'm getting over that. We all got lined up, and it was my turn in no time. The 350m swim went well, no real congestion at the walls, and plenty of room. I got passed in the next to last length by some girl who was flying, and then I looked around and Michele was beside me too. We exited the pool and entered transition together. Official Swim Time: 00:07:33

I made a point to get in and out in T1. No messing around. But I've still got some room for improvement there. Official T1 Time: 00:01:25

I took off on the bike and things were going great until about 3/4 of a mile into it when my chain fell off. "I knew it!! I knew better than to go all the way up on the rear derailer then try to shift the front down onto the small chainring!! Stupid!" It takes me forever to get the chain back on. I could see the people flying by, and the time ticking away. I finally did get it back on, and when I got ready to mount my bike I saw that my hands were covered in black grease. "Should I wipe this on my shorts? Or get it on my handlebars? Shorts or handlebars? Make a decision, you've got to go!" I decided on the shorts...and they became black too. I spent the entire bike ride trying to make up all the ground I possibly could. I was so mad about the chain I could barely see straight. I even passed Michele at some point and didn't even realize it until returning to transition. And to make things worse, after I got the chain back on I couldn't get it onto the top chainring. When I finally did, I had to ride the rest of the race there. I am thankful there weren't any major climbs. I was pretty discouraged throughout the bike leg, but told myself to suck it up and finish as fast as possible. Official Bike Time: 47:23 (I know this would have been atleast 2 minutes better without the mechanical problems...possibly more. Disappointing.)

As I rode into T2, I saw my Dad running over to snap pics. I slipped on my shoes (no socks), grabbed a Hammer Gel and my race number belt, and took off. Official T2 Time:00:52

As I headed out for the run, I glanced at my watch to see where I was. I had told myself before the race that if I came out of transition around 1:55 I was doing great. After the bike incident, I figured I wouldn't be close. So when I saw 1:57, I was pleased. After about a half mile, I heard footsteps and decided I'd try to keep them behind me. I did, until I had about a half mile to go. It was a girl that I remember from that triathlon last year, and she sped up and went by me. I didn't have enough left to hang. UGH. I had to let her go. Soon after, I passed by my Dad, J.T., Briar, Bo, and J.T.'s parents! That was a huge encouragement! I pushed on ahead, passed a few people near the end, and finished the race strong. Official Run Time: 24:00

Total Race Time: 1:21:15

That's over 5 minutes better than last year, and with some bad luck on the bike. It was also good enough to get me 3rd place in my age group. All in all, I am happy with it.

Between the end of the Triathlon and the Awards ceremony, Team-Magic had a "Small Fry Tri" for ages 3-6. Bo, my 4 year old, was very excited about doing this!!! It was awesome. All the kids lined up, ran through 4 kiddie pools and a sprinkler for the "swim leg".

They then hopped on their bikes and rode down the path a ways to point where volunteers instructed them to stop. Bo was really into it! He was doing great!

When they got to the "transistion area", they hopped off their bikes and turned around to run back through the official race finish line. As Bo took off running, he lost one of his shoes (maybe Crocs weren't the best choice!) but he kept right on running!! He ran hard all the way through the finish!!! I think he has a future in Triathlon!!!!

Notice he didn't even bother taking off his helmet!!

No time to go back and get the shoe!! (That's my boy!!)

Gotta catch this guy before the finish line!!!

All the kids got a medal!

Monday, June 26, 2006


I'm a little unorganized with my pics from the McMinnville City Triathlon, so the race report will have to wait until tonight. If you've read Michele's Blog you know that I got 3rd place in my age group, and I had some trouble with my chain. Pretty good race, but disappointed about the mechanical trouble. I had to ride the entire race on my top chainring after the chain came off. More on that later....

Meanwhile, I just took a stab at a modified version of DaisyDuc's and Elizabeth's last track workout. It was high noon, and boy was it tough. Folks, it nearly brought tears to my eyes! I wrote down the workout on a piece of paper before I left work:
1 mile warmup
3 x 800m, 400m, 400m
1 mile cooldown

And I left spaces to write in my times for each interval. As I was writing I said to myself:
"I know you are going to want to stop after that second round of 800m, 400m, 400m. But you better not. It's just like when you do 6 x 800m's - you always want to stop after 4...but you are glad when you press on and finish them up. Do the same, do not cut the workout short, no matter how bad you want to do so."

And sure enough, I thought I was ready for the graveyard after that second round. But I was mentally prepared to feel that way, so I kept on going. I have all the splits written down, but I left them in my back pack, which is in the car. I'll post them later.

Anyone who runs out there has GOT to go to read Leah's latest post entitled "Now THAT'S The Way It Should Be". She really gets to the heart of the matter!!!

Congrats to DaisyDuc who finished her first triathlon this weekend and took 2nd place in her age group!! And congrats to CurlySu who finished (OMG!) IronMan France!! And had an awesome showing. I am in awe. And also congrats to Rae and Brent who smoked their 5k this weekend - getting Rae a 1st place age group award. And ofcourse I can't leave out Michele who snagged a 2nd place in her age group at the McMinnville City Tri this weekend. Nice going, guys!! You all inspire me so much!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Next up, McMinnville City Triathlon

Tomorrow is the day. I am looking forward to it, but I haven't really been antsy about it as usual. Yesterday I ran 5.25 miles at a 9:33 pace, and today I have rested, if you don't include cleaning house and doing laundry (I don't work on Fridays). That's not a big taper, but it's not a regular training week either. We'll see how it goes.

Goodluck to all you guys out there racing this weekend! Michele will be at McMinnville with me. Rae and Brent will be doing a 5k in Nashville. And CurlySu will be doing (OMG!) IronMan France.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

To Train or Not To Train

I'm caught in the same delima I was this time last year. I am not really following any kind of set triathlon training schedule right now, and I find myself training pretty hard, then tapering off for a day or two because a race is coming up. Then resting a day, then training pretty hard again for a few days. And I really need to be getting in more long miles for the Olympic Distance triathlons I'm gonna be doing in several weeks, but then again, I also want to do well in these sprints I've got scheduled between now and then. I guess I'm gonna just have to decide which is more important. I just hate going into a race knowing I might still be a little fatigued from training.

So I rested on Sunday, Father's Day. And when I say "rested", I mean I went to church, cooked out with my parents, came home and crashed. I slept from like 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. that night. I biked during my lunch break at work Monday (20 miles), and then I ran 6.75 miles Tuesday morning. And I was struggling. My time was 1:01:46 which is a 9:09 pace, but I thought I was gonna die before I got home. It was not that hot, but very humid. I did some strength training Tuesday night while Briar practiced with the swim team, and then the boys and I relaxed at the outdoor pool until like 8:30. Holly just got back from the beach, and she joined us.

I got up this morning about 5:45 and went to the pool. I felt like I really needed to get a good swim in, so I passed on biking with Michele, Kim, and Tisha. I first swam 2000 yards, then swam a 350 to get ready for the McMinnville City Triathlon swim leg. But I forgot that there are 1.0936 yards in a meter, and the McMinnville swim leg is 350 meters, not yards. So I really should have swam 7.7 laps instead of 7. I didn't get an accurate time on the distance anyways, though, because I had my watch in the wrong mode.

I'm not sure what the rest of the week holds for my training. Either an easy bike or run in the morning, and probably rest or easy swim on Friday, then race on Saturday.

Monday, June 19, 2006

RC Cola and Moon Pie 10 Miler 2006: Race Report

I love this race. Even though I am not very pleased with my results this time, you can't argue the fact that this is a great race. There's like a certain pre-race atmoshpere that you don't find at all races. It's like an old school race with all the luxuries of the present day and age. You can be running along during this race and instantly make friends. There are bonds to be created between those who conquer "The Hill" together. And all the sweat poured out becomes worth it when you make the turn into the backstretch lined with people cheering and the smell of good food being cooked up just for you.

Having run this race last year, I knew all this when the alarm went off at 4:45 a.m. Saturday morning. But as always, I had those "Do you really want to do this?" thoughts. And I answered quickly and firmly, "Yes, ofcourse I do!! Let's go!". I got dressed and all packed up, and Michele and Holly showed up around 5:30. We set out to Bell Buckle - got parked, picked up our t-shirt, race number and chip. We chatted briefly with Mike Neiderhauser and Carla and Chris Bloom. They are from a neighboring town here, and we always see them at races like this. We also spotted many of the speedy Nashville Striders that we know about.

We soon made our way to the start line, and took off. I felt like we had started out a little fast, but the first mile was 8:47, and the second was down around 8:35. Keep in mind I don't have a Garmin anymore, so I had to just rely on my watch. After mile 3, though, Holly and I realized we were right at an 8:20 pace, though, so we really must have sped up for that mile. I was hoping to finish the race with an 8:20 pace overall, so i was okay with that, although I didn't really feel as good as I had hoped for. Michele had dropped back a little, and I figured she must have been doing a better job of employing a "start slower, finish stronger" strategy than we were. But we kept moving, and found The Flash(my Dad) and my mom around mile 4. We gave them a "thumbs up" as they cheered and snapped our picture. Shortly after, "The Hill" came into sight. Holly looked up and mumbled "Oh. Dear. God." We made it to the base and i cheered "HERE WE GO!!!" as we started climbing. All the hype surrounding this hill makes it exciting for's like the most important battle of a war or something. As I made it to the top, I realized Holly was no longer with me. I looked back and didn't see her, so I proceeded on. I hit the 5 mile split in 43:57, twenty-six seconds slower than last year. From there on out, I tried to just run as hard as I could without losing control of my heart rate. I talked to a few people, and had a good time, but it wasn't long until I realized I wasn't going to beat my time from last year. As I turned into the backstretch, I figured the only other thing to shoot for was to pass everybody I could see between myself and the finish line. I gave it everything I had, and passed about 5 or 6 other runners, the last one being just a couple steps before crossing the finish line. Official Time: 1:25:51 (8:36 pace) and 48 seconds slower than last year. I was 9th out of 62 in my age group, 55th overall female, and 218th overall.

I talked to my mom and dad for a few minutes, then went out to cheer on Holly, Michele, and others I knew who were still out there running. Holly came in strong at 1:28:15, and Michele at 1:28:53.

I enjoyed a popsicle, banana, and an RC some pics taken with my friends and headed home.

I'm not really sure why I was slower this year. Last year I finished in 1:25:03, and my goal was to get down around 1:20:00 this year. I guess I'm just not there yet. Either that, or Saturday was just not my day. I guess you can't PR every time, but I don't like thought of stagnating. I won't dwell on it, though. This coming weekend is the McMinnville City Triathlon, and I'll be up against those 30-34 year olds again!

Here a few more photos:

Holly coming through the finish line!
This was Holly's first race in almost a year!

My dad, me, Holly, and my mom

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

A Real Cyclist Complemented My Hill Climbing!

Yep, that's right! It made my day. I am very insecure about my swimming and cycling abilities...especially since I am a "runner turned triathlete". It's not so easy to take up 2 new sports at age 28 (last year) while living in a town where there is a total of 4 triathletes. And that includes myself, Michele who turned triathlete last summer, and Kim who did her first triathlon this past Memorial Day. Actually, the only person I had to consult was Leslie - an old friend and basketball teammate from High School. Granted, Leslie is an awesome triathlete with a wealth of information, but she's also very busy and trains at different times than my schedule usually permits. So anyways, today Michele, Kim and I rode with Ray and Tisha (Kim's real cyclist friends). We rode the same hills I rode Monday, and on our way back at the top of the last hill Ray said "Man, you have some awesome climbing ability!" I was like "Huh? Me? Surely not." But he said he was serious. You just never know where the next source of motivation will come from...but I got my dose this morning! Sweet! Afterwards, I ran 1 mile with Michele in 8:11.

Yesterday, Holly and I ran our normal 5.2 mile loop through town in 44:51 (8:37 pace). OMG it was a BEAUTIFUL morning to run. The air was crisp and cool and SO easy to breath. One of those days where you really appreciate being able to get out and run. Holly and I saw several deer. Afterwards, I had a short swim...2x500 yards. One of them in 10:57 and the other in 10:53. It took me a long time to feel balanced and comfortable again. It seems like I don't get in the groove until after 400 meters or so. Oh well.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Watermelon Hill

The alarm went off at 4:45 this morning. I turned it off, and the thought started swarming: "You are sleeping SO well - don't get up." "You can workout later." "All this sleep you've been getting is good for you." "If you try to get up and work out right now it's gonna hurt."

But thankfully, like the knight in shining armor, came the counters: "You've had a good nights sleep, now get up and get moving." "There is no working out later, girl, the Little League Tourney starts tonight and Briar plays at 7:00." "The longer you give in to the demons, the harder it will be to fight them. Stop it right now. Get up, and get on your bike."

So I got up. And I decided, that today, I would tackle "Watermelon Hill". Legend has it, in my county, that back in the older days when trucks would haul watermelons up this certain hill on this certain highway - that it was so long and so steep the watermelons would come rolling off the back of the truck...and that people would stand waiting on the side of the highway to grab one.

Everytime J.T. and I drive up that hill, I make the comment that I need to try and ride my bike up it. So today I did it...and it wasn't all that at all. The fact that I went down on the other side, then back up and down another one that was almost as hard, then turned around and came back by doing it all again(out and back) made it a good, tough ride...but it wasn't as difficult as I had expected. I'm not sure if I am stronger or if it's just not as mean as it looks. For now, I'm going with the "I'm stronger".

Anyways, I rode 19.42 miles up and down hills in 1:10:00. 16.5 mph average. And I no longer have Watermelon Hill hanging over my head.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

I Am Too Moody

*Sigh* So I haven't been in the mood to do much of anything the past couple of days. I was gonna run 10 miles Friday morning, but instead I slept late and enjoyed every minute of it. And Saturday I was gonna go on a longer bike ride than normal, but instead I decided to just run 6 miles in 85 degrees, which took me 59:37. Pathetic. And then today I was planning on getting up early and making up the bike ride I missed, but I slept late again instead. Didn't even make it to church. I am distracted lately by other stuff, mainly Little League Baseball, and can't seem to get my act together. I even suited up in my bike shorts and jersey and was gonna ride at 2:00 this afternoon. I loaded up Bo and took him down to the ball park to stay with J.T., and instead of leaving, I got into the activities going on at the ball park and never left to go ride! I am so "all or nothing" - it's really frustrating. I struggle with balance all the time. I wish it came natural.

Since we have several other activities planned for tonight, I've already ruled out the possibility of any workouts...let's hope I get back on track tomorrow.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

My Feet Are Bruised

I have sore's like they're bruised, and I'm not sure why. The left one is tender on the "pad" of the foot, and the right one is tender on the right side and heel. I wonder if it could be from the Triathlon...running sockless in fairly new shoes that are "light weight trainers"??? I don't know...hopefully it will go away soon.

Whew...I'm a little tired right now. I haven't gotten enough sleep lately. I took Sunday off after the tri. Monday, I ran 5 miles during my lunch break at work in 45:56 (9:11 pace). Then Tuesday I rode my bike 19.2 miles in 1:04:00. Wednesday I finally did a "two a day"...I got up and hit the pool at 6 a.m., swimming 2000 yards. Slowly as usual. I was missing that wetsuit!!! Too bad we can't wear them all the time. And at lunch I went to the local High School track for some much needed speedwork. I did a 1 mile warm-up, and then ran 6 x 800 meter intervals. Ouch. I went too fast on the first one. Why do I ALWAYS do that????? It was high noon, and although it was only about 83 degrees I could really feel the sun bearing down on me. I like that, though. I know the heat slows you down some, but I'd still rather run in hot weather as opposed to cold weather. I was sweating like dog. And as usual after the first two I didn't think I'd be able to do 6, but I did. The body does what the mind tells it, right? My times weren't that great, but here they are:

1 mile warmup in 9:20
6 x 800 meters:
1. 3:31 (too fast, and I decided to jog 200 meters and then start the second one)
2. 3:46 (OUCH! I then decided I'd walk during the recovery)
3. 3:40 (better)
4. 3:41 (not bad...maybe I can do 6 afterall)
5. 3:43 (one more and we're done!!)
6. 3:40 (whew...finally done)

The body had two requests for me when we were done:

1.) "The next time you do this, please do not kill me on the first
one. I swear I will perform better on the subsequent ones if won't do
2.) "Oh, and please relieve your bladder BEFORE you start the
intervals next time" (i won't elaborate on that)

Getting into the present time now, Holly and I ran 5 miles this morning through town, and I'm not doing another thing all day!!!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Mach Triathlon 2006: Race Report

I could not have asked for a more beautiful day to kick off the 2006 triathlon season. It was gorgeous, and to make things even better, the rain we had gotten for the past two days caused the lake temperature to drop enough that wetsuits were indeed allowed - yay!

So my goal was to improve my times in all legs over last year's time. Mission Accomplished. I improved my time by almost 13 minutes over last year.

Am I content? Uh - NO. Not by a long shot. Let me tell you - those 30 - 35 year old females mean business. Last year I placed 5th in the 25-29 age group with a 1:57:06. This year I placed 5th in the 30-35 age group with a 1:44:30. Point taken...yeah, I still have a long ways to go.

So here's the run down. Bo and J.T. had been sick with a dreadful stomach virus the night before, so I loaded Briar up with me at 6:00 a.m. and we headed to the race. He went straight back to sleep, and we found out later he was about to come down with the virus as well. So I racked my bike, picked up my packet, got body marked and saw Michele. We were there early - which is what I wanted for a change. We had plenty of time to get our transition area set up and take in the atmosphere. The atmosphere got very happy when they announced that wetsuits would be allowed! About 7:45 I finally got my wetsuit on and got Briar to wake up and walk down to the start line with us. A few minutes after 8:00, my mom, dad and Holly showed up. As I was about to start, my Dad decided he needed me to point straight up in the air a few times while I was swimming so that he could know where I was at...I laughed, but after I got out there I got confident enough to do it - LOL - he never picked up on it, though. I'd say the rescuers in the kayaks got a kick outta the girl who pointed her finger straight up in the air on about every 15th stroke! The swim went well, and it felt so much easier in a wetsuit. Even though it was only .6 miles, it still felt awfully long. I spotted my family on the pier as I swam in, and Briar ran up to the transition area with me. I checked my watch after getting there and saw that I had broken 20 minutes. Cool. Official Swim Time: 19:43

I had a little trouble getting my wetsuit off over my chip, but finally did. Got suited up with helmet, shades, and bike shoes, shoved an Apple Cinnamon Hammer Gel in my pocket and took off. Official T-1 time: 1:58

The 16 mile bike felt good. Got passed by a few men, one of them being a coworker, but I kept him in sight. I think there were two women who passed me. There was this one guy, who was also riding a Quintana Roo like myself, that battled with me the whole way. I even thought I had lost him for like 8 miles, and he showed up again near the end!! It made it fun and interesting. I flipped through my computer after about 11 miles and saw that I was averaging 19.5 - wow! Then at about mile 13 I came upon a girl with a "34" marked on her leg (her age ofcourse), and I recognized her as someone I knew was in my age group, but that I didn't think I could compete with. So I hammered on the pedals, looked straight ahead, and blew by her. I didn't look back, but I kept thinking she wouldn't surrender that easy...I figured she'd be back...but I never saw her again. I gave myself an imaginary pat on the back and felt pumped. Even though I thought I was making great time, as I cruised into bike dismount area, I noticed I hadn't broken 50 it wasn't all that great, but much better than last year. Official Bike Time: 50:42

As I racked my bike in T-2, I glanced at my watch to see 1:12. "Ugh - that's not good enough...get outta here and run!" I changed shoes and took off - forgetting to put on my race number belt (oops!). I saw my Mom, Dad, Briar and Holly shortly. Got a high 5 from Briar, and my mom ran down to the road cheering me on. Official T-2 Time:1:01

I purposely took it easy during the first 1/2 mile or so. I kept my heart rate down and let my legs adjust to the change. Then I started increasing my speed to a point I thought I could handle and tried to hold it there. I saw Michele after the 2 mile turn around...and all I could get out was "Go!Go!Go!" as I pointed at her. I still felt relaxed and just tried to keep increasing my speed as much as I could handle. When I saw the turn in to the finish, I was very happy...I turned on the speed and sprinted (if you can realy call it that) in for probaby the best 4 miles I've ever run in my life - either fresh or in a triathlon! Official Run Time: 31:07

Michele came in shortly after with a very strong finish and had a great race as well. There was an awesome post race party as usual. I'm pretty happy with my swim time, I think I should have done a little better on the bike, and I'm very happy with the run time. Now maybe I can improve all of them again next year.

And here is my own personal Race Day Photographer. Most call him The Flash. I call him Dad.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Weather Forecast Tomorrow's Mach Tenn Triathlon

Who could ask for more? Sweet...

The Rest Day

Today is the rest day. Yesterday, I barely made it out of bed for my swim, but I did make it. I had no watch though, as the one I ordered still HASN'T EVEN BEEN SHIPPED....GOOD GRIEF! I did 1500 yards and have no idea how slow it was.

I got an email from the Mach Tenn race director last night saying the water temp has been hovering around 80 degrees. Well that's nice...I have had this wesuit for like 8 months just waiting on an opportunity to race in it...I went out and practiced in it the other day...and now all the sudden the water gets warm. Warm water is a good thing, I know...but dang I wanted to wear that wetsuit. *Sigh*

So the triathlon is tomorrow. I got my bike, along with Briar's, fixed today at MOAB. Pre-race dinner was at Demos'. Yummy. I still need to go get my stuff packed up. And I need to get a good night's sleep. For whatever it's worth - I feel pretty good.

Bring. It. On.