Monday, October 30, 2006

SAFE!!!...but just barely

Whew...If I ever appear to have it all together, or come across as though I have this wife/mother/software programmer/runner/triathlete thing figured out, just remind me of this post. Granted, I have been known to hit a grand slam for my kiddos every now and then, but today, I just barely squeaked out a single. Barely - and I almost got out. When I picked Bo up from preschool Thursday, his teacher told me that he was to bring 8 Halloween treats and his trick-or-treating bucket to school Monday.

"Yes, sure, no problem! See ya Monday!"

Fast forward to 7:00 a.m. Monday morning. I come in from my interval workout at the track and wake up the boys. Bo asks if I will take him to school this morning and let Dad take Briar. "Sure" I tell him, and I proceed to let J.T. know he's got Briar, and I've got Bo. So J.T. and Briar get off to school, and Bo and I are ready to leave when the panic alarm goes off in my head.

BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! Halloween Treats...Bo's Halloween Treats...Remember???!!!

"OMG - The Halloween treats! And the bucket!! Where is the bucket?!? The attick, I hope! Oh my...I should already be at work..."

I immediately start thinking we're going to have to drive all the way across town to Wal-Mart. But then I remember that I bought 3 bags of Halloween candy yesterday. I decide that I can use the candy we have to put together 8 treat bags with Zip-Lock bags. But the bucket...that's a different story. I didn't want to mess with getting up in the attick last year, so I just bought 2 buckets at Wal-Mart for $0.96 and threw them away afterwards. But I thought I had one up in the attick, and while I hate going up there, it would be faster than going all the way to Wal-Mart. So I climb up in the attick and find the bucket...along with all the other Halloween decorations that Bo has been asking about for 2 weeks:

"Mommy, when are we going to decorate our house for Halloween?"

I stand there and look at the fiber optic pumkin, the light-up scarecrow, the pumpkin night light, the strobe light skull, and the other light up pumpkin. I almost grabbed the bucket and ran back down, after all, Halloween is tomorrow, but I couldn't. So I gathered all of it up and made two trips down from the attick. I resigned to the fact that I would be late for work today, and Bo and I decorated our house for Halloween. No, it wasn't as elaborate as usual with the fake spiderwebs and spiders and spooky music, but it was enough to make him happy. And it didn't make me all THAT late to work anyways. When we finished, we put his treats in his bucket and got off to preschool. He walked in proud of his little Halloween treats and telling them about his decorations. And I got back in my car and pulled out with my heart still pounding at the thought that I almost took him to preschool without him having his treats. I guess it wouldn't have been the end of the world if he didn't have them, but I was sure glad that I somehow pulled that one off, even if it was just barely.

On a marthon training note - Week 10's long run was suppose to be 15 miles, but I have switched Weeks 10 and 11 long runs in anticipation of doing the Team Nashville Half Marathon next Saturday Nov 4th. So the 20 miles for Week 11 was done Saturday at 4:10 p.m. I had intended to it at 6:00 a.m., but the thought of being out running when the kids woke up talked me out of it. So I enjoyed my morning with them, and set out a little after four o'clock. The problem with this decision was that it really does a number on my mental aspect when I take off running during the midday sun, and watch it go down, and continue to run another hour into the darkness. So the first 14 miles went great, with the following splits (target pace was 9:30 - 9:45): 9:25, 9:25, 9:14, 9:31, 9:27, 9:34, 9:36, 9:35, 9:50, 9:42, 10:02, 9:52, 9:39, 9:47. But it then got dark and all I could think about was getting home and getting this over with....wondering what J.T. and the boys were doing at home...wondering if the UT game had already started. And it got cold, too. And the last 6 miles came in like this: 10:07, 10:01, 10:01, 10:04, 10:24, and 9:59. I finished the 20 mile run in 3:15:25, a 9:46/mi pace. Avg HR:155, Max HR:175. I'm not very happy with that, as I think if I had stayed focused and positive I could have easily gotten that pace down in the 9:30's. But I guess any completed 20 miler is a good 20 miler for now.

I took Sunday off, and picked back up this morning (Monday) with intervals. FIRST said I was to do 1k,2k,1k,1k w/400m RI. Target pace for the 1k was 4:25, and I have no idea what the target for the 2k was. Here's the results:

1 mile warmup:10:25
1k Interval:4:39
400 RI
2k Interval:9:31
400 RI
1k Inteval:4:32
400 RI
1k Interval:4:33
1 mile cooldown: 9:16

Off pace, as you can see. I could still feel the 20 miles in my legs during each interval, as it had only been 36 hours from when I finished the long run. But it's in the books, and we are on Week 11 of 16, now. Hopefully a good night's sleep tonight will have me rested and recovered by tomorrow.

Friday, October 27, 2006

I finally decided...

I finally made a decision, and got the bike shop to order me this:

Gary Fisher Tassajara Disc GS


...especially when I find them on sale!!

New Keen Boulders

New Keen Venices

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Ugly Intervals and Pretty Tempo

I rested on Monday after Sunday's 20 miler. I had intended on getting to the gym for some weights and lunges, but cooking dinner became a bigger priority. And when I sat down to eat, I knew right away I wouldn't make it to the gym - I just wanted to make it to bed for some sleep. I did get a good nights rest, but I wasn't able to do my intervals Tuesday at 5 a.m. because J.T. had to be at work early again. So I did them during my lunch break on the road behind my office (I still haven't gotten the courage up to go back to the track for fear of running into a powder puff football game again~yikes!~ ). This meant it wouldn't be flat like the track and the wind was bad, but I did my best with them. The plan was 3 sets of 2x1200m w/2min rest intervals and 4min rest intervals between the sets. Target pace for each interval was 5:28. Results are as follows:
warmup mile:10:01
1. 5:44
2. 5:29
3. 5:33
4. 5:38
5. 5:45
6. 5:33
Cooldown mile: 9:45

I guess you can kindof tell that I was running against the wind on numbers 1,4, and 5...and with the wind on 2,3,and 6. All of them hurt. I guess nothing good comes easy though.

Wednesday morning I loaded up my bike and packed bag before leaving for work, intending on riding the Brinkley Hill route again. So on my lunch break I got my bike out and got it ready, and went to change clothes only to find I had packed everything but my shorts. Great. No way I'm riding Brinkley Hill in my khakis. So the only other option was the CTS Time Trial DVD at 7:00 p.m. that night. And it kicked my butt like it does every. single. time. Whew.

And on the plan for Thursday was a 10 mile tempo run at PMP (Planned Marathon Pace) which is 9:00 min/mile. The real goal for Vegas is to break 4 hours which would be about 9:09 per mile, but I am trying to keep my goal marathon pace at 9 min even just to give me a little room. This run had to be done at 5:30 a.m. or not at all, because there is not enough time on the lunch break for a 10 mile run, and Grey's Anatomy comes on tonight (the one and only TV show I watch). I just started watching GA this season, mainly to try and find an excuse for me to sit down and relax for atleast an hour. I am a busy body who sees no sense in wasting precious, otherwise productive time on ficticious television shows - or lame reality shows for that matter. When I watch tv it is normally for 1 of 3 reasons: 1)To catch the news, 2)To catch the latest ESPN scores and clips, or 3)To learn something, i.e., a documentary or something of intellectual value. BUT - I have made an exception for Grey. This is part of my "in my next 30 years..." resolution. It took me a couple of episodes to decide I could watch it, but I think I'm almost hooked. So every Thursday night I get all my housework done before 8 p.m., change into something comfy, pour a glass of wine and relax while watching GA. Although I do make a rare exception sometimes and fold laundry while watching it if my laundry room is stacked to ceiling. Whoa - I got way off subject there - back to the tempo run. So I forced myself out of bed at 5 a.m., got dressed and brushed my teeth, ate a chocolate GU with caffeine (it was good too!!) and set out down the highway. My first couple of miles were around 9:30, which was the plan. I didn't want to start out too fast that early in the morning. Plus, I was a little worried about my legs because they were still a little fatigued from the cycling last night. But they held up fine...I slowly picked up the pace from there on out, and ended up with 10 miles in 1:30:22 - a 9:02 pace - that's close enough to make me happy!! I did a lot of praying while running this morning - my uncle was having surgery to remove cancer from his throat this morning, my good friend Mary Beth's sister has just been diagnosed with a brain tumor, and one of my long time best friend's mother is going through chemotherapy now after having cancer removed from her colon. And another friend at church is going through a rough battle with cancer. It is scary. So I spent lots of miles praying for these folks instead of focusing on any petty fatigue I might have been feeling. My average HR was 162 and max HR was 183.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Putting a twist on cross training, Week 9's Long Run, and a Birthday Party

When I say "Putting a twist on cross training", I'm not talking about hopping on the eliptical or playing some raquetball. I am still giddy about what I did Saturday morning. I have been keeping an eye on the South Cumberland State Recreation Area website because I had heard from a coworker that the park rangers there have some awesome activities on the weekends. This Saturday's activity was rock climbing, so I planned to take Briar and Bo to this while J.T. went to the Alabama vs. Tennessee game. I really didn't know anything about it, but my coworker had told me that most activities were suited for adults and kids alike. So at 8:00 a.m. we set out to "The Stone Door" to check it out. When we got there, we were the only ones to show up so far, and the park ranger - Ranger Angelo - introduced himself and took us out to an awesome overlook. The trees were beautiful and it was a beautiful day. Ofcourse, I had forgotten my camera, but he had one and took a few pics of me and the boys (he should be sending them this way soon, and I'll post them - I can't wait!). So then he takes us down through the Stone Door and gives us the history of it, and we arrive at the climbing site.

(This is not us climbing, but I found this photo on the net of the same place.)

I was pretty scared, but Briar was stoked and couldn't wait to start climbing. Bo, on the other hand, made it perfectly clear that it was too scary and he didn't want to try. He played around in the rocks and entertained himself nicely, though. Angelo gave us our harnesses and explained how it worked, and Briar started climbing. It wasn't like a man made wall or anything with things to put your feet on - we had find places in the natural rock to put our feet. Briar made it all the way to the top, with plenty of instruction from Angelo, and then I belayed him as he came back down. He loved it. Then it was my turn. I was so nervous my legs were shaking, but soon realized that the rope attached to me was as safe as could be. It took me forever, but I finally made it to the top. Some of Angelo's friends soon showed up and climbed for a while, then Briar climbed again and made it to the top again. I tried again, but only made it 3/4 of the way this time - I guess I just sorta caved in mentally since I was still pretty tired from the first time. Briar liked it so much, he did it a third time too. And since there wasn't a big crowd, Ranger Angelo asked if we wanted to try rapelling. I was like "sure!!". I'd always wanted to try this, so now seemed like the perfect opportunity. I didn't figure it would be anything too scary, but when we looked out over the 180 foot, yes - 180 foot - high cliff I was scared to say the least.

(This is the cliff!)

I'm sitting there watching them secure the ropes and all thinking,

"Oh dear. This like, the real deal."

It was certainly not for the faint of heart. So Angelo sends his buddy Michael down first, and then it's Briar's turn. He was very nervous trying to get back off the ledge, but with Angelo's assurance, he closed his eyes and got started. A lady on a rock across the way a little bit took his picture as he was going down, and she should be sending it to me soon. It was an awesome pic! I was so proud of him....he made it all the way down the 180 feet with no problem. Then it was my turn, and I was like a scared little puppy dog trying to back off that ledge. I ended up having to get down on my hands and knees and stuff - it was quite hilarious to the spectators I'm sure. But once I got going, it was exhilirating. I made it to the bottom, and then came back up for another go at it. We were there all day long, and I was glad that I had brought peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and drinks for the boys. I just can't tell you how much fun we had! It was a beautiful day, we were learning to do new, awesome, exciting things, and we were out in God's beautiful creation having fun. And you wanna what else was great about it? It was FREE!!! Totally. I was thinking "Man, we pay lots of money for things like Disney World, amusement parks, etc., but none of that compares to this - and this doesn't cost a dime!" I am completely sold on it. I already can't wait to go back. The next time, instead of being so scared the whole time, though, I think I'll pay closer attention to how everything is hooked up and try to educated myself a little on the sport. Pictures should be coming soon - so check back.

Now, on to my 20 mile run scheduled for Sunday. The Mach Tenn Running Club supported a 20 mile run Sunday, so it worked out great for me. The only people to show, though, was myself, Leslie and Dutch (her dog), and Joe(a fast as lightning guy who lives in Manchester). Dutch isn't good for much more than 8 miles, and Joe had done a century the day before, so they both ran 4 miles out with me then turned to go back. I kept on going, planning to slow the pace a little once they were gone. We had been doing around 9 min miles and my pace was suppose to be 9:30 - 9:45. At some point, though, I slowed it a little too much according my my splits on the Garmin. It turned out to be pretty weather even though the forecast had called for rain. Joe hopped on his bike after getting back to the starting point, and caught back up with me around mile 11. We chatted, and it really helped the miles to go by. I felt good pretty much the entire way. I was upbeat and happy to be running even though I had been cursing my running shoes earlier when putting them on. I think it's just amazing how sometimes you don't want to run or workout, but once you get going, it feels great and you are so thankful that you made it out the door. Anyways, around mile 16 the route came back into town so Joe took off back home. I made a loop through town to finish off the 20 miles and felt strong the entire time. Here are the numbers:

Mile 1:9:01
Mile 2:9:15
Mile 3:9:06
Mile 4:9:22
Mile 5:9:46
Mile 6:11:04 (Stopped to drink some water and Gu that Joe had set out)
Mile 7:9:55
Mile 8:10:07
Mile 9:10:10
Mile 10:9:38
Mile 11:10:15
Mile 12:10:39 (More water and Gu)
Mile 13:9:56
Mile 14:10:00
Mile 15:9:48
Mile 16:9:29
Mile 17:9:42
Mile 18:9:28
Mile 19:9:09
Mile 20:8:58

Total Time: 3:14:57
Average Pace: 9:45
Average Heart Rate: 157 bmp
Max Heart Rate:174 bmp
Total Calories burned: 2699

I'm thinking maybe I didn't push hard enough from mile 8 to mile 14. And I'm not sure about my average heart rate either. Is 157 about right? I'm thinking it may be a little too low, especially since I just barely hit my target for average pace.

After the run, I had an ice bath and started getting ready for Briar's baseball game. And after the game, we had his birthday party at the rec center.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

I am in Week 9 - wow!

I just happened to take a serious look at my training schedule and realized I am in Week 9 of 16! It sure doesn't seem like it. After this week's 20 miler, there's only 6 more weeks until the Las Vegas Marathon!!! That being the case, I decided it was time to book the trip. So I arranged the package that I have put together several times over the past couple of months, with a few minor tweaks, and this time I clicked the "Submit" button. Now I just have to register for the marathon. But my gosh, the price doesn't go up until November 20th, so I'll probably wait a little longer to do that. I prefer to hold on to the money as long as possible unless there is a monetary incentive to register early. Just ask Michele...she doesn't care for that side of me. haha.

So all this leads me to another question - Am I the only one doing this thing?!?!?! Good grief, there's tons of people talking about Chicago. There's always a few coming to Nashville for CMM. Michele is already signed up for Memphis. David's doing Huntsville; Lance is doing Dallas...what's the deal? It's Vegas, Baby! C'mon!! I LOVE some Black Jack. Maybe I'll go Google "Las Vegas Marathon" and see if I can find anyone else.

Here's what's been going on in Week 9. Tuesday - speedwork. This was crazy. I went to the track on my lunchbreak, and students started coming out on the track right after my warmup.


So I asked the P.E. teacher if I needed to leave and he said "Oh no...just push them aside if they get in your way." So I said "Cool, thanks!" And started my intervals (I opted to run around the poor kids instead of pushing them aside though). Here's the numbers:

1 mile warmup 9:49
1mile Int 7:27
400 walk 4:43
2 mile Int 16:05
800 walk 9:17
800 Int 3:37
400 walk 4:28
800 Int 3:36
Cooldown: walk to the car

I didn't get to run a cooldown mile, because near the end of the 2 mile interval tons of kids started coming to the track. It didn't take long to figure out they were having some festivities, including a powder puff football game. There were students up in the pressbox on the loud speaker and everything, but I wasn't going to cut it short at that point. They all looked at me like I was idiot during the last two 800m intervals, so when the last one was finished, I grabbed my jacket and headed to the car!! I was never so glad to be off the track in my life!

Wednesday I had a great bike ride with Coworker Jack. He took me up "Brinkley Hill", which happens to be, as he pointed out, the same "ridiculous hill" that was included in my 13 mile run of Week 1. I'm not sure which was worse, biking up it, or running up it. We rode a total of 17.5 miles in 1:01:00. I did a few (not many) lunges when I got home, and some pushups and crunches since I haven't been hitting the weights lately. I've gotta get back to the gym!

Then this morning I forced myself out of bed at 5:30 a.m. for the tempo run. You just would not believe the things that my lazy streak tried to convince me of to get me to go back to bed. But thankfully I didn't, and it's a good thing, because I'd have been running in the rain had I put it off until lunch today. The run was supposed to be 6 miles (1 easy, 4 @8:06/mile, 1 easy). I don't remember the exact splits, and don't have my Garmin handy, but it was something like10:15, 8:30,8:22,8:20,8:29, 9:56. Something like that. Not on pace, but I'll take it. The tempo run is ALWAYS the hardest for me. Especially when it's early and dark outside.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

My 30th Birthday

I haven't said much about it, but my sister and friend Mary Beth threw me the best 30th birthday party in the world!!! All my friends surprised me at my favorite restaurant, High Point, in Monteagle. We had a blast!! Here are a few pics:

And Michele, Tracy, Sage, and Mary Beth got me the cool new Triks Biking Skirt!!! I'll be biking in style in now!
There are more pics of all the people, but I haven't gotten them from Holly yet. I'll post more later.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Cold Weather & Rain, Allergies & Knee Pain

Ok, I’ve got to get caught up. This is always a crazy time of year for me – it seems like 90% of my families birthdays are this time of year, but mix that with nasty weather, marathon training and long work days, and it gets really crazy. So, I am going to attempt to catch this blog up before it gets too far gone. Last week after the century and my 30th birthday party, I was little more tired than I had planned on being. But I got my speed work done Monday and was at and below target pace on all the 400m intervals. I rode my bike about 15 miles Tuesday in 48:42 during my lunch break, and then I did my tempo run Wednesday after work. It was very close to target pace, but I kept noticing knee pain. I did my time trial dvd on the trainer Thrusday; I finally got back to the pool and swam Friday,I and did my 18 mile long run Saturday – just me and the iPod.

The iPod is actually Briar’s, but I manage to borrow it every now and then. I listened to the Pheddipidations podcast and enjoyed hearing Steve Runner during his cool World Wide Half Marathon. Then I listened to the newest GYGO podcast and totally cracked up about Wil giving the Kahuna a hard time about him not mowing his own lawn – haha!! And then I listened to the TriTalk podcast, a very informative one that is fairly technical but has GREAT information. As I got down to the last 4 miles, though, I had to have some music. I switched off of the podcast and listened to some of Briar’s motivating tunes. I completed the 18 miles with an average pace of 9:49, though, and was supposed have been down around 9:30 according to FIRST. My knee ached for a good bit of the way, but it didn’t ever get unbearable. And ofcourse I wore too many clothes and had to stop and shed my fleece jacket, gloves, and ear warmers at mile 14. And those last 4 miles were pretty painful, but I did manage to finish fairly strong. This run was not nearly as good as my last 20 miler, so I was a little disappointed, but atleast it’s in the books.

I did nothing Sunday because my legs and especially my knee did not feel up to it. Then I did nothing Monday (yesterday) either. It was Briar’s birthday – 10 years old – and we did all kinds of celebrating for him, including taking him to his favorite restaurant – Demos’s – for dinner. His big present was a new basketball goal, since he shot the one he’s got out with his BB gun a couple years ago....yeah, I sorta refused to buy another one for a long time.

I’ve got lots of pics to post – pics from my 30th birthday party and also of my now 10 year old first born. I’ve also got to get my speed work done today, and get back on track for the rest of the week.

Oh – and Congrats to Papa Louie and DaisyDuc who had great Colombus Marathons!!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

My First Century - Leaves of Lincoln 2006

“If you're going through hell, keep going.”
- Winston Churchill

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve posted. I turned 30 last Friday, and J.T. and the boys took me out to eat and also surprised me with a large gift certificate to the bike shop where I’ve been wanting to purchase a new MOUNTAIN BIKE!!!!! Briar also made me the sweetest card ever, and that would have been plenty. I am not disappointed at all to turn 30. I love it, as a matter of fact. I've been waiting to turn 30 for like, 30 years!!!! But I'll post more on that later.

My plans were to drive to Fayetteville(about an hour away) early the next morning and do the 62 mile route of the Leaves of Lincoln Century. Saying that I was only going to do the 62 mile route was a combination of fear from crashing the week before, fear that I had not put in enough long rides to get me through anything more than a metric, fear that I would not be able to tackle the hills in the later miles, and of course, fear of the unknown –

~I have never ridden more than 60 miles before~

~I am going all alone, will I see anyone I know? Meet anyone?~

~How big are these hills going to be?~

So basically, I was being a big scaredy cat. I was reverting back to that old Lana, the one who stays in her comfort zone, and inches out very slowly and carefully. The old Lana, who is terrified of failure and doesn’t try anything if she’s not sure she can handle it. The old Lana, who must appear as though she has it all together, at all costs. The “Delta Crash” caused her to surface, and she started taking charge.

I got up, got dressed and took off to Fayetteville around 5:50 a.m. I had already signed up for the 62 mile route, not the 100 mile route, so “just incase” I asked the volunteer at check in if it was a problem if I decided to do the 100 instead of the 62. She said “No, not at all”, and gave me a sticker to put on the back of my helmet for all those who were doing the full century. I was nervous, just like I always am before an event I’m not familiar with, and quickly found the restrooms. With my schwag bag in hand, I went back to my car to get my tires pumped up and ready. I saw Tom in the parking lot, a guy I ride with some at work. It was still pretty cool, so I decided to wear my bright yellow Pearl Izumi jacket over my sleeveless Biker Chick jersey, which was over a long sleeve black jersey. I looked around and most everyone else had on about the same amount of layers. I rode down to the starting line, chatted with a few people I didn’t know, and then we were off. I was cautious, but felt pretty good during the first few miles. I didn’t get close to anyone, though. Around mile 9 I saw that the elevation was starting go up a little, but didn’t think too much of it until I passed a guy and he look at me and then looked ahead and said “Here we go!” I thought, “hmmm…this must be one of the hard climbs.” Up ahead the road was marked saying “500 meters left!!” As it turns out, it was the infamous “Crystal Ridge” talked about on the website. It was very steep, and at the very beginning of the steep part, people were dropping like flies…weaving, stopping and pushing, etc. I was doing fine, but cursing the 11-23 rear cog on my tri bike…it got steeper and steeper, I looked ahead and it was a sharp left turn, then the final steep part. At that point, someone ahead of me weaved over in front of me and caused me to lose the little momentum I had, and I quickly unclipped to keep from falling. I was mad that I didn’t make it to the top, but not too disappointed as I saw all the other people around me with triple chain rings and nice big gears on road bikes who had been pushing way before I did. I pushed to the top, got back on and rode until I reached the first rest stop at mile 13.

There was a ton of people at the first rest stop; I ate a package of Fig Newtons (mmmmm! I love Fig Newtons!!), stood around a while, and then took off with a group who was leaving. This was a fun little stretch, as there were about 8 or 10 bikes all in a line, drafting off each other. I didn’t really notice, but evidently there was a pretty significant headwind most of the day. There was another challenging climb before the next rest stop, but I made it with no problem. I came upon the next rest stop at mile 25. I thought to myself that I really didn’t need to stop, but I pulled in anyways, since everyone else was, and just stretched out my legs for a minute. I soon saw a man and woman ride by the rest stop and keep going, so I took off to ride with them. I stayed with them for about the next 10 miles as I lusted over her pretty blue Cervelo tri bike. And I wondered what kind of gears she had on that thing, and if she made it up Crystal Ridge. I saw her at the mile 40 rest stop again, and found out she had a 12-27 on the back but still didn’t make it up.

I stayed too long at the mile 40 rest stop, probably…just sitting around knowing I had to make a decision about whether I was going to do 62 or 100 miles. Around mile 30 I had really gotten comfortable back in the saddle and had been singing the Rodney Atkins song that certainly was inspired by the Winston Churchill quote above:

“…If you're going through hell

Keep on going, Don't slow down…
If you're scared, don't show it
You might get out
Before the devil even knows you're there…”
And I thought of myself riding through hell, scared and embarrassed from last weekend’s crash, and fighting with the Old Lana who wants to keep me in my comfort zone.  So I kept going, didn’t slow down, I was scared but didn’t show it, and I rode right out of it.  It was at that point that I had pretty much decided that I would be doing the 100.  I figured that this day needed to be monumental.  I had just turned 30, I was riding with a monkey, or should I say, “Old Lana”, on my back, and today did not need to be a day of settling for less.  So I got up from the sidewalk, stretched my legs, picked up my bike and took off saying silently to myself “I’m going 100.”    

I rode along by myself paying close attention to the route markings – I did NOT want to get lost – and became excited about being bold, strong, and brave. I rode with a pack of riders who really seemed to know what they were doing, and rode straight through the turnoff, staying on the 100 mile route – no turning back now! I lost the pack on one of the hills, and then I came upon a guys from Scottsboro, AL(the town right next to where my dad grew up). He was a really nice guy, and hadn’t been cycling long, so I felt comfortable riding with him. We chatted about tri’s and every thing else under the sun, and then before I knew it, I was at the 62 mile rest stop.

This rest stop was themed “Gilligan’s Island” and the people were SO nice. On a side note – every rest stop at this thing was incredible. Any kind of food, drink or energy bar or gel you could ask for. I had taken off my jacket a long time ago, and the people at this rest stop really liked my Biker Chick jersey. I met the rest of Scottsboro Guy’s friends here, and they gave him a hard time about my getting to the top of the recent hill before he did. They were really nice, so I took off with them when they were leaving the rest stop. I rode about 10 miles with them when a couple of them broke away a bit. Things started to get a little tough around mile 70. I would think I had surely gone several miles, but I would check my computer to find it had barely been one. Ha! But I kept spinning and finally made it to the mile 83 rest stop – the last one before the finish. As I pulled in, everybody cheered for me. I filled up my bottles and started talking to some guys from Huntsville, AL. They knew my friend Leslie, and we talked about all the triathlon events around the area. They invited me to ride in with them, saying they were going to take it easy, so I accepted. As we took off I remembered that this was the pack from earlier “who really seemed to know what they were doing”, so I wondered if I’d be able to stay with them.

They kept my mind off of my aching shoulders and my numb left hand quite well. They were all upbeat and funny, cracking jokes, just cruising along. And one of the guys was wearing a blue jersey with rainbow strips on it, which meant he was the MASTERS WORLD TIME TRIAL CHAMPION – Mike Olheiser! They explained that to me while we were riding, but I don’t it really sunk in until I got home. During the last 10 miles, all I could think of was:

“Surely we’re almost there…”

(checking the “Dist” on my bike computer)

“Damn. We’ve only been a half mile since the last time I checked. I thought surely it had been 2 miles.”

(repeat that over and over)

But we finally made it in, and I was ecstatic to see the Fayetteville town square. As we rolled through the finish, I smelled the BBQ that was being cooked for us, and I was so excited about it that I got off my bike and got a plate right then – before changing my clothes or taking my bike back to the car or anything!!! Then I realized I had a plate full of food AND a bike to get back to my car which was 2 blocks away. I had to hurry home to celebrate my 30th birthday with some friends…but more on that later. Before checking my bike computer, I was thinking that the ride took me almost 6 hours...but then I went back and checked to find that I was way overestimating myself - it took 7 hours!!!

I'll end this post with another Churchill quote:

“Mountaintops inspire leaders but valleys mature them.”

- Winston Churchill

Thursday, October 05, 2006

I'm still training...

I just haven't been in much of a blogging mood lately.
Some good news:
- Briar went 2 for 2 with a walk in his fall baseball game Sunday (YES!!)
- We went to Fall Creek Falls immediately after the game and spent a fun 2 nights in the state park. We fished, hiked, cooked over a fire, played baseball, etc. Lots of fun.
- I completed my 8 mile tempo run Monday on the trails
- I did my intervals yesterday on the track, was right around the target on all of them, and my knee felt much better
- I will make another attempt at a group ride Saturday. The Leaves of Lincoln has a 62 mile and a century option. I think I'll do the 62.
- I will turn 30 years old tomorrow!!!!

Some bad news:
- My knee was hurt worse in the crash than I had thought. I have some internal bruising and inflamation. It was very painful to run Monday. The trails were hilly, and the down hills were excrutiating on my knee.
- Since Tuesday was a busy day of getting back from Fall Creek Falls, getting unpacked, etc., I did not get in any cross training.
- I have yet to get back on my bike since the crash (but plan to do so this afternoon).

There's more good than bad, so that's cool. Tomorrow's long run is only 13 miles, but it's gotta be done at a 9:15 pace. Sounds like fun!