Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Final Prep for Mach Tenn

Ok, I'm getting over losing the Garmin now. I am researching the 305 but won't allow myself to buy it for a long time. I am going to make myself suffer through a probation period to see if I can start taking better care of my goods. I found the Ironman watch at though, for like $ I did order it. I can't be completely without a timer!!!!!

I've been trying to have fairly solid, but not overly tiring workouts this week. Monday I ran 5 miles in 44:57 (8:57 pace - cool with me).

Tuesday I biked during my lunch break - 18.39 miles in 59:45 - 18.5 mph average. This was a good ride. As I got started my legs burned and I thought "Oh man...I'm not gonna be able to do this..." as I panted heavily from a high heart rate. After a few miles I quit worrying about the burn, and before I knew it I was at the halfway point. When I got there I looked at my averages and realized I was having a good ride and feeling when did the pain turn into rockin' and rollin' with the pedals???? I find that very interesting. Thinking back to the CTS dvd I do on my trainer, Charmichael talks about burning the lactic acid out of your legs early in the ride. I think that may be what was going on, and probably explains the initial burn followed by a good, solid ride. That's cool, I guess.

And this morning (Wednesday) was my last "hard" workout of the week, as I will start resting up for the Mach Tenn Triathlon that will start at 8 a.m. this Saturday. I met Michele at 5:15 at what will be the transition area Saturday. We rode the bike course in around an hour, having to stop twice because we each had our chain to come off and couldn't get it back on. Mine was a real mess, and when I finally got it back on I couldn't even change my front gears. GREAT!! The good news is that we were less than a quarter mile from being finished when that happened. I guess I'll just take it MOAB Friday morning and get them to look at it - it probably needs a tune up anyways. So then we put on our running shoes, tried out my new Apple Cinnamon Hammer Gels (not too bad...I was able to consume half of it as I tried to convince myself it was apple pie filing) and took off for the 4 mile run course. I wore my new Mizuno Wave Elixir's with my new Yanks! laces in them. The Wave Elixir is supposed to be a lightweight trainer, so I thought they would work out well as my Triathlon racing shoes. I felt suprisingly well for pretty much the entire run. It didn't take long for my legs to adjust, and I was able to keep my heart rate down fairly well as Michele kept assuring me that we running around an 8:15 pace (she's the only one with a Garmin now). We finished the run in 32:38 and jumped in the lake to cool off. WOW! Last year, during the tri, my 4 mile time was 33:45. So I was extremely pleased with this time. This was the one leg that I wasn't sure I'd see any improvement in. Very encouraging.

I'll be swimming in the morning and resting on Friday. And obsessing about things I can do to improve my time....

Sunday, May 28, 2006

In a State of Mourning

Times are sad around here folks. I have done one of the most stupid things imaginable. Friday night, when it got too dark for Briar and I to practice baseball, he asked me to time him in 50 and 100 yd sprints. So I went inside to get my Garmin 301 and my brand new Timex Ironman watch. I measured off the distance with the Garmin, and then timed his sprints with the watch. We had a great time, and when he got tired we walked into the garage and I sat the Garmin and the watch on my rear vehicle bumper because we rode our bikes up and the down the street for a bit. And I left it there....and totally forgot about it when i got back out that night to go get milk. I thought about it the next day as I was on my way home from a bridal shower. As I approached my neighborhood, I saw the Garmin on the side of the highway, and I pulled over to get it. It was destroyed. I walked a few more feet down and found the watch destroyed as well.

I know it could be a lot worse, but I am really upset with myself for this. And I sooo miss my Garmin. I was almost emotionally attached to that was right there for every step of my marathon training. And the watch was brand new. I just picked it up on Mother's Day at REI. So this stuff really sucks. All my timing devices are gone.

As far as what I've been doing towards my training, Thursday I did nothing. I slept too late to get in my swim and Briar had a ball game that evening.

Friday, I ran 11 miles with Holly. We set out around 5:15, and had originally intended to run 12, but time only permitted me 11 (Holly was able to finish the 12, but I had to get kids ready for school). The run was great, 9:21 pace, and it would prove to be the last with my beloved Garmin.

Saturday Briar had a 3:00 ball game, and I did 4 mile run with no timing device whatsoever. I have an older sports watch I coulda used, but I opted to go with no clock, as I was so mad at myself for losing the Garmin.

Sunday was a fun workout. Leslie and I did a lake swim followed by biking the Mach Tenn bike course. I met her at 7 am and had a great swim in the was a beautiful morning, the water temp was comfortable, and I finally got to try out my wetsuit that I purchased back in the winter. After the swim, we biked the course in around 55 minutes. Ofcourse I had to finish it up by crashing as I got back to my car....I couldn't get my dang left foot out of the clip again! I went down pretty hard on my left knee(saw stars for a minute), and it hurt to bend it for about 24 hrs.

I didn't do the Cotton Row 10k after all. We missed the online registration cut off, and as it turned out I'm glad we did because my knee was still pretty stiff Saturday morning. I finally got out around 8:30 and ran 5 miles in the good ol' Tennessee humidity. I actually had a pretty good pace. Time: 5 miles in 44:45, 8:57/mile.

I am getting antsy about the Mach Tenn Tri coming up this weekend. I'm in that phase where I start thinking about it constantly. And it's hard to take it easy this week, even though I know I have to, because I haven't gotten all the the training in that I really wanted to by now (due to recovering from the marathon). But I am still very excited about it. My goal is to improve my times from last year in all three legs. Which I should do easily, considering this was my first tri ever last year. More specifically, I want to take atleast 4 minutes off the swim part. I was not ready for the swim last year, and I thought I would die before making it back to land. But I am ready for it this year, and that is a good feeling.

Congratulations to Michele and Scott who both placed at the GJCC Tri - great job guys!!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Runnin' On Empty

Lots of things to talk about. The first is yesterday's 6 mile run. Here's the deal: I am embarrassed to say it, but during my marathon training, I GAINED weight. That's right...I'm out there running 18, 20, 22, 24 miles at a time...and running a total of 6 days a week...and I gain 5 lbs and can't get it off.(By the way, 5 lbs makes a big difference in how I look). I was constantly starving. And I also had the "I just ran 20 miles, I can eat whatever I want" attitude. I tried to cut back and take it off at times, but I would end up hungry and weak during runs....even with Sport Beans and a fuel belt full of Gatorade.
So now that the marathon is over, I declared that I would take atleast the 5 lbs back off....and I'd like to take off 10 lbs. That would get me to the weight where I have felt really good in the past. All this being said, I have restricted my calories...restricted my fat intake....and somewhat restricted the carbs, but not really...I still eat lots of fruits and veggies....I haven't gone overboard or anything, but I've gone back to eating salads most of the time for lunch...taken out ALL fast food(except for the occasional pizza that is unavoidable when you have 2 little boys and spend most afternoons at the baseball field)...and tried to reduce my portions. So, I've lost about 3 of the 5 lbs. Great! But when I went out and ran my 6 miles at lunch yesterday after having a banana for breakfast, I could barely make it. My first mile was great, like 8:39, the second was 9:07, and it went down hill from there. The 6th mile was 9:59 and I felt like I could barely turn my legs over. I ended up finishing it in 56:34, a far cry from that 9:00 minute pace I wanted. I ate a decent lunch and dinner, no sweets, and was still pretty tired this morning when Michele and I did a bike/run brick. I am having a hard time finding the right balance to create a calorie deficit that will get rid of a few pounds without effecting my performance so much. I bought some Zone bars at Wal-Mart last night, and I'm thinking that may be better for breakfast than just a banana. And I've got some Hammer Gels ordered, but I have a hard time wasting calories on those. Any and all advice is appreciated!!

Now, about the brick that Michele and I did this morning. What a beautiful morning to be out riding throught the country! It was a bit cold, and we didn't even get out of the parking lot until I decided to go back to the car and get my arm warmers. And I was too lazy to hunt for socks in the 4 baskets of clean laundry this morning so I decided to just go without them. Needless to say, I didn't regain the feeling in my toes until I was in the shower afterwards. Ugh. So we did 20 miles in the country and saw some interesting sites. A field full of llamas, like 6 houses in a row of dogs on the loose in all shapes and sizes, and a beautiful sunrise that we had to turn around to view because we headed west when it happened. I really wish I would have taken my camera on the bike, but I'm not that good yet.
I know what to do to make sure Michele places at her upcoming tri - just bring a big dog and let it chase her the whole way!! We were riding along and she sees the dogs and all sudden I feel like I'm sitting still...she left me in her dust! Oh, and after getting back onto the highway, we did one encounter one pathetic female who thought it necessary to drive as close to us as possible and honk in anger. WHATEVER. I like, never, ever give the finger to anyone...but something took over at that moment in time and forced it upon her...right in the middle of town with other cars around. I was embarrassed of myself...and just hoped no one in those cars recognized me!!! When you feel like your life is in danger sometimes you do things you wouldn't normally do, I guess. So we ride 20.06 miles in 1:16:30, change into our running shoes and take off.

We had originally planned to run 3 miles, but our time was running out, so we opted for 2 miles. Ouch...this transition hurt worse than it did last week for some reason. We ran the 2 miles in 16:32 - 8:16/mile and got a small but steep hill in that was painful over by Sage's house. I was tired and glad to be done. I am also glad that I actually get to go out and have lunch today with Holly since I don't have to workout on my lunch break. We're gonna have Mexican Food (no wonder I can't lose any weight, right?)...mmmm!

I now have like 420 miles on my Ascics Gel Kayanos that I wore in the marathon and for most of the training. I have a new pair of Mizuno Wave Nirvanas on the way, so expect a retirement post for these shoes soon...I looked at them today and almost go emotional. :)

Here are more photos from this morning:

Michele's new sticker on her van
Michele running on the greenway
Me running on the greenway

Bo before preschool this morning

Monday, May 22, 2006

Lana Wins!

4:50 a.m. Beep.Beep.Beep.Beep.Beep...

Lazy Lana: Oh great. No way it's already time to get up. There is no way I can get up and go to the track like I said I would.

~hitting the snooze button~

4:59 a.m. Beep.Beep.Beep.Beep.Beep...

Lazy Lana: Ugh. I don't wanna go.

~turning the alarm off and fast forwarding the mind to 10:00 a.m.~

Lana: Do you see that? You are gonna hate yourself come 10:00 a.m. if you don't get up and go. It's Monday, and you're gonna screw up your entire week right here and now. Get your lazy butt up and go to the track!!

So I go ahead and get up, get dressed and ready, and head for the track.

Lazy Lana 0
Lana 1

I get to the track.

Lana: Atleast it's daylight out here nowdays, and not so dark you can't see your feet.

As I approach the track, I see a sign and a gate blocking the area I go normally enter.

Lana: What the??? Oh no. Michele told me Ronnie came a while back and it was closed. It can't still be closed!!!

~reading the sign that says "Track Closed for Maintenance and Repairs"~

Lazy Lana: You can still get another hour of sleep easily. Hurry - back to the car and back in bed....mmmm...don't that bed sound good right now?!?! You didn't want to do this in the first place, ya know.

Lana: I could climb the fence. Daddy would probably climb the fence. There's nothing wrong with that track now that wasn't going on 3 months ago when Michele and I were running around it in the dark. This is ridiculous. I wonder what time people arrive at the school...what's the worst they can do to me, tell me to leave? I'd sure hate to have to leave like 2 800's into my workout though.

Lazy Lana: Just go back to bed. You've got a perfectly good excuse.

Lana: Hhmmph. I guess I can run hills. Ugh. The Moonpie 10 Miler will be here soon...I need hills worse anyways I guess. Ok, hills it is.

~heading back to my car and driving over to the rec center~

Lazy Lana 0
Lana 2

So I run the hills. I start at the rec center parking lot...jog about a quarter of mile over to the base of jail hill and get going. Up jail hill, over, down and up thrill hill, back down and up the other side of thrill hill, then back down jail hill and then repeat. When I got back to the bottom of jail hill again, I decided to go up it one more time out of respect for the RC Cola and Moon Pie run coming up. So, I did a total of 7 hills w/warm up and cool down jog, 3.14 miles in 30.11 minutes, 9:37 pace. I went into the rec center when I was done and did some ab work and some lunges, then went home and got my boys up to start the day.

Got to work, and at 8:45 coworker says "Are you going to get cake? Today is the birthday celebration." Once a month our company has a big birthday cake for everyone to celebrate all the workers' birthdays that month, and oh how I love that icing! I always go get a piece, but I have a specific reason that I could not do so today. I had ice cream last night, and swore to myself I would do better today.

Lazy Lana: They only have that cake once a month. You better go get a piece while you can. It'll be another month before they have it again.

Lana: If you go get that cake, you aren't gonna be able to fit into your triathlon suit for the Mach Tenn Tri. Mind over Matter. You don't really want the cake.

~telling the coworker to go on without me..."I'll pass this time."~

Lazy Lana 0
Lana 3

I'm on a roll now!!!! Whooo Hooo!!!!! So when lunch time came around and I looked out at the gray skies and wondered if it would rain while I was on the bike, I told Lazy Lana to take a long walk off a short pier. I went and got dressed, got on the bike, and rode 19.8 miles in 1:08:00...that averaged close to 17.7, but it would have been better if I hadn't taken the airport route back to the office...I ended up having to walk my bike through the gravels several times and screwed up my pace, but oh well. The bike ride was great. The hills seem to be getting just a little bit easier, and I have 2 workouts in the books already for this week.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Catching Up

I have gotten behind on my blog. The last time I posted was Wednesday, when I did the brick workout. I didn't get up early the next morning, and instead I did a 4 mile run during my lunch break at work. It actually turned out to be 4.1 miles in 37:41 - 9:11 pace. I wasn't pushing very hard, since my legs were somewhat tired from the night before, so I was pleased with the 9:11 pace.

On Friday, I went to the rec center early. I got on the eliptical for the first time in about a year and warmed up for about 10 minutes to get my blood flowing. Then I did a pretty good weight workout, something I've been wanting to do more regular lately. I worked abs, chest, shoulders, biceps, triceps, and back. Then I did some leg lifts for the quads, and some lunges for my butt. It was a good workout, then I headed down to the pool. I think this probably turned out to be the best swim workout I've had in a long time. I first did a 1750 yards (or a mile) in 37:19. I realize that's pretty slow compared to most people, but it's actually pretty good for me. I'll take it. I then had a few more minutes before I had to leave, so I did 3 x 100's. The splits were:


I think my long term swimming goal will be to eventually get to where I can hold that pace for 500 yards...and then for 1000 yards.

Then Saturday, I decided to a long run of 12 miles. I set out around 9:10 a.m., without a fuel belt, or any money. I felt fine up until around mile 8, when I need some water BAD. I was passing by the post office in town, and I thought "Surely the post office has a water fountain inside." I walked through doors and looked around - Wrong. So I left and kept going. It was 87 degrees, and the humidity was terrible. Then I came upon the fire stationa and saw the firemen sitting in the garage. I ran over to them and asked if there was a water fountain there. They said "No, but we have a 5 jug full of ice cold water, how about that?" I said "PERFECT!" So they gave me a big mason jar and I filled it up with water and drank until it gave me a brain freeze. That was the coldest water I've ever had in my life!! That costed me a couple minutes, and I ended up with an 11:29 mile for mile 7, which sucked becaused I had a fairly good pace going on considering the heat and humidity. My splits were:

11:28 (post office and fire station)
10:09 (started getting tired and thristy again)

My overall pace was 9:44/mile, and if you were to take off the 2 minutes off when I stopped to get water, it would have been about 9:34...which is pretty close to what I was shooting for.

Average HR this time was 167 bpm, and it said my max was 209 bpm. I guess that's a little more believable. This time I put some water on the monitor and wore it around and let it get warmed up good before I took off. Maybe that's the trick.

I think Holly and I may go run the Cotton Row 10k in Huntsville on Memorial Day. I have run several 5ks, an 8k, several half marathons, and a marathon - but I have never run a 10k. I think it's time to do that.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


I did my first real brick of the year today. I did not get up and go to circuit training class this morning because Bo was not feeling well. I had to wait until 7p.m. to do anything. I took off from my house on my bike and rode 20 miles - the same loop Michele and I did last week. I averaged 17.2 mph and did it in 1:07. I put my running shoes on (and remembered that I need to order some speed laces soon) and ran up the hwy and back for 3 miles in 24:45. I felt great! I was expecting my legs to feel heavy and dead, but it wasn't that bad at all. Maybe it was because I wasn't running at the break of dawn for a change.

I did have a first on this bike ride. There are some pretty darn steep and curvey downhills on this route, and I normally ride the breaks pretty hard on the way down because I am a scaredy cat. So today I promised myself that I would give it try without the breaks. I put my arms in my aerobars so I wouldn't be tempted to use the breaks, and let it go - WWWWEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!! My max, I think was like 39.5 mph. I should've given it a little more gas and went ahead and hit 40 - that would be a record for me I'm sure. Other triathletes or bikers - what is the fastest you have gone on the bike? Just curious. 40 mph felt awfully dangerous to me!!! But then again, I am a scaredy cat on the bike.

I went to Yoga again last night. I am trying really hard to like Yoga. Not sure if it's gonna pan out or not. It's awfully slow. But I think it really might help my flexibility if I'll stick with it for awhile. So I am going to stick with it for a few more weeks anyways. Heck, I might even purchase one of those little "Yoga mats" if I find one on clearance somewhere.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

I Got The Coolest Backpack

I need to take pictures of the other stuff, but I was able to snag this one of the backpack from the internet quickly. Anyways, on Mother's Day Briar gave me a beautiful little flowering plant that was in a planter he had painted at school, and a pretty homemade card that said "Happy Mother's Day! I love you!". How sweet! And Bo gave me a precious little book of all kinds of pictures of him and pictures that he had made at PreSchool. They are sooo cute. And J.T. took me shopping at REI! That's where I found this backpack and had to have it, inspite of already picking out several running/biking outfits. So I decided to put the outfits back and get this. It's called a DayPack...not real sure what that means...but it's kind of small, made for a woman, has a place to put a hydration resevoir, water proof zippers, and has lots of neat little compartments that actually hold alot of stuff. It's made for hiking I think...and I've never hiked a day in my life, although I would love to. It has really comfortable cool straps, and also buckles across the chest and waste if you need it to. I'm not sure why I wanted it so bad, other than the fact that I thought it would work great for carrying my stuff if I ever ride my bike to work and back. And I thought it would also work great for amusement parks and such with the boys...we always have to take a change of clothes and stuff. But I love it. I emptied out my old gym bag and decided I'd use this instead for awhile. So anyways, it was a Happy Mother's Day. Before shopping, we cooked out with my Mom, Dad, and sister. I got my mom a Nike Imara HRM watch for Mother's Day. She is starting to really workout alot harder than she has been, so I thought the HR monitor might help.

I still haven't decided on a plan for my triathlon training. I can't seem to find one that really fits my schedule and has enough running. I know that I don't have the time to do all swimming and biking that I want I am just trying to make a plan of my own. Swimming is my worst event, so I probably should put the focus on that, but I don't want to lose any of my running fitness. The Mach Tenn Tri was supposed to an A race, but since it's only 4 weeks from the marathon I just did, I sorta bumped it down to a B, figuring there's no way I'm gonna be in peak biking and swimming condition by then. There are a couple sprints that I'd like to do well in, too, but I guess the only other A race I have would be the Fall Creek Falls Triathlon, which is Olympic Distance. It will be my first Olympic Distance tri. I only did sprints last year.

So, my workouts this week have gone like this:
Sunday - I rested
Monday - 5:30 a.m. Briar and I want to the rec center. I ran 3 miles on the treadmill in 26:49 and then swam 1200 meters in like 31:05 I think(counting rest periods...I did 2x500 and 1x 200). This is the first time I have timed my swim in over a year. But since I got a new Timex Ironman watch, I decided to give it a try. The brand new watch just reminded me that I am SLLLLOWWWW in the water.
Tuesday - 5:30 a.m. Ran 6.09 miles through town with Holly in 54:53. Pace: 9:01. Yay!!!! Finally, I was able to get the pace down around 9:00/mile. That will be all for today, as I am spending my lunch break at Bo's preschool, and Briar has a ballgame at 5:00.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

The Weekend Is Here!

I was sorta debating as to whether I would bike Friday and run Saturday, or run Friday and bike Saturday. Either way, they both had to get done early because J.T. is covered up at work and wouldn't want to be waiting around on me to finish. However, when the alarm went off Friday morning, I hit snooze a few too many times. So many that I left myself time to do nothing but get up and fix some breakfast for the kids. We had a good day, though. Briar worked on his pitching in the back yard, and it has gotten to the point that I just can't catch for him anymore! I told J.T. he was gonna have to get me a mask and some catcher's gear if I was gonna have to do that - because he is really throwing that ball hard. And I am scared to death of it. I played fast pitch softball in H.S., but somewhere between then and now I have developed a fear for that screaming baseball headed straight towards me. I toughed it out for awhile, though, and finally told him I couldn't handle it anymore. It wouldn't be so bad if he hit the glove everytime...but when they start bouncing right before they get to me, I start dancing around in fear. I don't want big blue bruises on my shins and knees - it's shorts weather now!!

So anyways, the good news is that I actually did get a workout in on Friday. That evening I brought my bike inside and put it on the trainer. I did the 50 minute Chris Carmichael "Time Trial" dvd. That thing kicks my butt EVERYTIME. I thought, "oh, I've ridden a few times lately, it'll be a piece of cake". hahahaha, yeah right. I had sweat pouring off me. And to make matters worse, I thought I had turned the air on in my house before starting, but come to find out, when I got off the bike sweating profusely and wondering why it felt so warm - I had turned the HEAT ON!!! Crazy. Just crazy. When I got done, Briar decided he wanted to do it, so we brought his mountain bike in, put in the trainer, and he did that whole thing too!! I was impressed. During one of the speed intervals he proclaimed that "he was gonna be as good as Lance Armstrong some day!". I said "go for it!".

So then this morning, I actually did get up and get a good run in. I was gonna run with Holly, but she didn't make it out of bed early enough, so I took off on my own. It was a beautiful morning. I ran 9 miles in 1:28:04. 9:47 pace. Not very speedy. I also wore my heart monitor this morning, the garmin reports that my average heart rate was 169 bmp and my max was 230 bpm. Yeah right. I hate how that thing does that!! We all know my heart could not beat that fast. I wonder if the 305 is more accurate with the heart rate monitor? Does anyone have it? Does anyone else have a garmin that reports such ridiculous heart rates? Here are the mile splits:


Not very speedy, huh? I think I get kinda lazy out running long runs by myself. Oh well. I hardly ever average under 9:30 on a long run. But then, I can run a half marathon at 8:29/mile. Weird. I wouldn't think race day would make that much of a difference...but I'll take it. Maybe if I can get those long runs down around 9:00/minutes per mile, I'll see an improvement. I've got a long way to go to get there, though.

I'm thinking tomorrow will be a rest day, since it's Sunday and it's Mother's Day. Happy Mother's Day to all you mother's out there!!

Today is the Gulf Coast Triathlon half ironman that my friend, Leslie is competing in. I will report how she did as soon as I find bad I couldn't make it down to the beach to cheer for her!!

Goodluck to Rae and Pippin today at See Spot Run!!! You go Pippin!!

And goodluck to DaisyDuc tomorrow at her duathlon!

Thursday, May 11, 2006


I was meeting Holly at 5:10 this morning for a 5 mile run...but, when she pulled up, it started to rain. So...we went inside the rec center and ran on the treadmill instead. She hates the treadmill, but I really don't mind it at all....especially if it's just 5 miles or so. I like to be able to take my index finger, press the "+" and say "legs, you better speeeeeed up!". Then they have no choice. Anyways, I ran the 5 miles in 45:09, then headed down to the pool. Since we had gotten a late start, I didn't have a lot of swimming time left, so I just worked on my form for about 500 meters. I also worked on breathing every 3rd stroke (the opposite side - OMG!) instead of every 2nd. And it feels sooooo strange. That's really gonna take some work to get used to. I can't really decide if I wanna try and get that down soon, or wait until the winter when I can perfect it.

Briar has a ballgame at I'm out.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Makin' a comeback...

This morning I made my "come back" in Wednesday morning's 5:30 a.m. Intensity Training class at the Rec Center. Oh yeah. Complete with Drill Sergeant Cindy who threatens everyone with pushups if she sees you loafing. Man, I have missed that class. If I didn't already know it, having to stare into the mirror at myself for an hour was enough to show me. It's like 15 or 16 stations set up of abs, arms, chest, legs, etc.....and you go through the stations like circuit training. And then when you're done you go back through them again until time runs out. I should have never ditched that class for an extra day of running.

I enjoyed the class...I was sweating like a dog...and I hope I'm sore tonight. Was hoping to get another bike into today at lunch but it's been raining off and on all day...oh well.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

A New Week, A New Focus, A New Perspective

Maybe I'm just still on Cloud 9...but I feel great! I am still thrilled with the whole marathon experience...I feel good about the accomplishment...I feel rested from last week...and I am excited about upcoming events. I'm just excited about life in general now! I have had two great workout days this week.

Yesterday (Monday) I met Michele at the rec center at 5:15 a.m. and we took off for a 3 mile run through town. We started at the rec center, ran out on the road and then over to Hwy 41 where we climbed jail hill (need hill practice for the Moon Pie race), then ran around town and turned left onto Hwy 55....ran to the greenway, and stayed on it until we reach the rec center again. It was beautiful outside. We ran the 3 miles in 27:15 (9:05 pace), and then headed inside to the pool. I swam 1600 meters solid, and felt pretty good the whole time. The water didn't bother my ears too bad - let's hope I'm getting tougher about that. I finished up with 5 minutes in the therapy pool, and then back to the hustle and bustle of getting the kids up and off to school and myself to work. After work, I had a treat. My mother had bought me a massage gift certificate as an Easter gift, and my appointment was at 5:30. The massage was wonderful. I then met up with J.T. and the boys, who had been at Briar's baseball practice, and we headed to our bi-weekly small group/Bible Study/get together. Leslie, the super-human triathlete of Coffee County, is in that we talked alot about her upcoming Half Ironman this weekend. She's doing the Gulf Coast Triathlon in Panama City. I was hoping to go and cheer her on, but it doesn't look like it's gonna work out. I know she'll do great!

Today (Tuesday) I met Michele again at the rec center at 5:20 a.m. (supposed to be 5:20, but I didn't arrive until 5:25...sorry Michele) for some cycling. We got on our bikes and rode out to Blanton's Chapel Rd, cut through Ward's Chapel and over through Fire Lake, up to Hwy 55, and on down to the Rec Center for 20 miles in 1:17:00. This was a beautiful was a little cool outside, but nothing that bothered me after getting my heart rate up a bit. We could smell the honeysuckles everywhere, and we decided that we must have had like, evil vibes radiating from ourselves, because we had several encounters with BIG, SCARY DOGS but each time we just gave them our evil eyes, yelled at them with our evil screams, and they all like took off the other way. hahaha...seriously. It was wild. At one time there was like 4 that came out at once...3 on one side, and the other on the other side of us...but they couldn't hang. So just about the time I was getting all confident we came upon a stop sign.

Uh oh.

I clipped one foot out as usual and put it on the ground. I turned to make sure Michele was behind me, and noticed a truck approaching too.

It's been a while since I've tipped this bike over.

For some reason, my balance sort of got swept away from the side where the foot was still clipped in.

Uh oh...I might, I've got I don't...oh *&%!#!!!!

Great. I didn't just go down...I got all tangled up...legs going everywhere and everything. And that dang guy in the little truck that was approaching would NOT just GO ON!!! I popped right back up, but I would NOT turn around and look at the truck...I just looked at Michele...and she confirmed that the dude was laughing. Oh well...maybe I brightened his day a little. LOL. So we made our way back to the rec center without any other episodes, and departed to prepare for Tuesday's hustle and bustle.

That was supposed to be all for me in the way of workouts today, but when I got to work Holly emailed saying she was running at lunch. My legs didn't feel tired at all, so I decided to run with her. I had eaten a banana following the ride, but since I hadn't had anything else to eat since, I decided to try out a Rasberry Hammer Gel (left over from a tri last year...hope it wasn't spoiled???) I managed to get about half of it down with a cup of water. I decided the flavor was definintely better than the plain ones. We ran 5 miles, and she really pushed me. Our time was 45:59 (9:12 pace). I hardly ever run that fast at lunch. But we had a good run, and I felt good. I'm gonna give a thumbs up to Hammer Gel, and hope that they will become easier to consume in the future.

I'll probably take it a little easier tommorrow...maybe get some strength training in.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

My Recovery Plan...sorta

Golf?!?! You got it! I played 9 holes with J.T. yesterday for the first time since last summer. Since I decided to take up triathlons about this time last year, I had to "retire" from golf due to the time constraints. When I say "retire", I don't mean I never play...I just mean that I won't be practicing all the time, and I won't put pressure on myself to do well. ;) In other words, if you play me and beat me you can't brag about it!! I started playing about 4 years ago, but it just takes too much time. I complain about having to get everything prepared for a bike ride, but atleast I can just jump on it and go...with golf you have to like plan out when and where and with whom, call and get a tee time, etc. I just don't have that much flexibility in my schedule. J.T. plays alot, though, and he is GOOD!! I keep telling him that I'm waiting on him to make the "Tour" so the boys and I can travel to all the golf tournaments and get picked up by a Suburban at our ritzy hotel and be chauffeured to the tournament (we were staying at the Hilton in New Orleans one time during a golf tourny and saw several of the famous golfers' families being picked up like this - I was IN! We joke about that alot.). Anyways, we had a great time. I had already gotten in a 20 mile bike early that morning, so I didn't feel like I was missing a workout - which helped me to enjoy it.

This recovery stuff is cool. I have to say I have enjoyed it to the fullest. Here is what I did during the post marathon week:
Sunday - Rested
Monday - Rested
Tuesday - Yoga (I really enjoyed this...I may actually try to go back!)
Wednesday - Walked 1 mile on the treadmill, worked arms and chest with weights, swam an easy 500 meters
Thursday - Rested (went to bed at like 8:30 pm.)
Friday - Ran a mile with J.T.
Saturday - 20 mile bike, 9 holes of golf

I decided to hit the road again this morning with a 4 mile run. It was a little cool and there was a steady mist - great running weather. I ran the 4 miles in 36:14 - 9:04 pace. I felt really good, except that I still feel a little funny about my knee. It didn't exactly hurt - but something is still there. That's okay though, cause I'm gonna be spending less time pounding on it and more time in the saddle and in the pool for the next few weeks. I am excited about the Mach Tenn Triathlon, and getting in some good biking and swimming in general. I am also excited about getting some weight room workouts in and losing a few pounds. I like variety.

Congrats to Rae and Brent - looks like you guys did great the Pig!!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

It's Been 10 Years!

That's right! Believe it or not, J.T. and I have been married 10 years today. We were married on May 4th, 1996.
"Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful,
and endures through every circumstance." --I Corinthians 13:7

"If you live to be a hundred, I want To live to be a hundred minus one day, So I never have to live without you." -- Winnie the Pooh

"For wherever you go, I will go: And wherever you lodge, I will lodge, Your people will be my people, And, your God, my God." Ruth 1:16

"A good marriage is the union of two good forgivers." --Ruth Bell Graham

"Union gives strength." --Aesop

"Lust fades, so you'd better be with someone who can stand you." --from The Story of Us

"A successful marriage is an edifice that must be rebuilt every day." --Andre Maurois

"A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person" --Mignon McLaughlin

"I got gaps; you got gaps; we fill each other's gaps." --Rocky

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Country Music Marathon 2006: Did I hit The Wall?

That is the question. I really didn't want to hit that thing. As I have said before...around mile 21 I started getting tired and couldn't get the Sports Beans down. And, yes, my pace slowed down a bit. But I'm not ready to admit that I hit "The Wall". Holly thinks I did. She even sent me a link explaining what it is and how you feel and told me she thought I had hit it.

I told her that "IF I did hit it, it wasn't a brick was just a wall of shrubs or bushes". Laugh if you must...but man, I didn't wanna hit that thing! So I wonder, if I had been able to get the extra 100 calories of Sport Beans down...would I have felt better? If I had brought along a gel and could have gotten it down, would that have made a noticeable difference? Or were those shrubs going to get in my way regardless...just because of who I am or how I trained or whatever....hmmm...I don't know.

Here are the splits for each mile according to my Garmin GPS:

1. 10:11
2. 9:49
3. 9:47
4. 9:41
5. 9:17
6. 9:12
7. 9:20
8. 9:22
9. 8:59
10. 9:11
11. 9:13
12. 10:14
13. 9:25
14. 9:19
15. 9:18
16. 9:32
17. 9:44
18. 10:01
19. 10:01
20. 10:29
21. 10:39
22. 10:53
23. 10:49
24. 10:23
25. 10:39
26. 10:11
and the .2 at the end: 1:27

Miles 20 - 25 are 30 seconds+ slower than everything else. Does that qualify as The Wall? If so, I'm gonna stick with my story that it was just a Shrub Wall. ;)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Country Music Marathon 2006: Race Details

As I mentioned Friday night in my post from the hotel, we made it to the expo around 6pm or so. We didn't have a whole lot of time, and it was pretty crowded. Briar is like his Daddy about stuff like that, and he didn't really want to fool with it. Except for when he begged me for that fuel belt. I told him he could use mine anytime, but that wasn't good enough, so I finally just said "No - I'm not spending another $30 on a fuel belt. Don't ask again." So he was ready to get out of there and go eat. But I wanted to get a few things. When I did the half last year, I didn't buy much of anything, and I wanted to take a few things home this time. I found a CMM running hat that was overpriced, but I decided to go ahead and get it. The next thing I did was go to the Fleet Feet booth and pick a pair of socks and a thing of Body Glide. They have the Balega socks I like and I needed another pair (I couldn't locate my favorite ones at home amidst all the laundry that needed to be put away). Now that I had the essentials out of the way, I browsed for other things. I found a shirt from the booth that I felt like was the story of my life lately. It's the pink one above. And I also was brave and purchased a "26.2" bumper sticker. I told J.T. that I took a chance in buying it, because I would only be putting on my vehicle if I finished "respectably." But it was only a couple dollars, so I thought 'what the heck'. Briar and I found several freebies, and by this time J.T. had already bailed and gone outside the expo doors to wait on us...he doesn't like big crowds. I met back up with Gary and Tracy, and we visited the I Run For The Party booth and talked about how we were gonna get J.T. to run that this year. If we could ever convince him to run one, that one would be it. So we got out of there a little after 7 pm, and decided to have Olive Garden for dinner.

We actually got in and out of Olive Garden quickly, and got back to our hotel around 9:20 or so. Got checked in with no problem, and we got settled in. J.T. found the song writers pickin' and grinnin' downstairs and was all over it. Briar put in a dvd and got settled in bed. I layed out of my stuff for the morning, pinned on mine and Briar's race numbers, and got my chip on my shoe. I posted to my blog, and was off to sleep. J.T. got back to the room shortly, and we all slept until about 4:40 a.m.

A wake up call got us up the next morning, and we started getting ready. We were out the door by 5:25 or so, and on our way...until we hit the horrible traffic. Ofcourse we sat in that crazy interstate traffic for an hour. When we finally got downtown, we realized that J.T. had to go different way to take Briar to the kids race. So he dropped me off in the parking lot with Gary and Tracy, and proceeded to follow the directions to the kids drop off. To make a long story short about this - the traffic was at a complete stand still, and anyone who wasn't already at the kids start by atleast 6:30 - wasn't going to get there in a car. It was awful. I felt really bad for J.T. - he kept calling and saying he was trying and didn't know what else to do...he ended up somehow getting out of the traffic, going back across the river and trying another way, and still couldn't get there. He finally gave up at 7:30 when Briar's was set to start and they were still in the middle of a traffic jam. I am going to email elite racing...or whoever...and ask them to go ahead and send him his medal. He worked really hard to get those miles in, and he ran the last one with me in the race - I think he deserves the medal.

In the meantime, Gary got stuck in the parking lot and couldn't find a place...and couldn't really get out. Tracy and I ran to the Tiger Market and got our bathroom stop out of the way, and he finally found something. We boarded the bus just before 7 a.m. , got to the park, found Michele, checked our gear, made use of the bushes in leui of the port-a-potty line, and hopped into corral 9 or 10, I think. We shoulda been in 7, but didn't make it.

The gun went off - and all was well. The first mile was around 10 minutes according to my watch, and then we got down around 9:30 pretty soon. I felt like I could stick with 9:30 if I played my cards right. We caught up to Ronnie around mile 5, and not too long afterwards Tracy ditched us for Ronnie. I found out later, her knees were hurting at mile 3, so I can't blame her. Somewhere around that time we passed a man handing out Mimosas...haha...and one runner took one and drank it!!!! Not me. Then we passed a guy in a big black Gorilla suit - can you imagine?!?! I wish I had my camera. But I was too serious to carry a camera...LOL. Looking back, I shoulda lightened up a bit. We met Kim around mile 7 I think....and got an orange around mile 8. That was the best orange I've ever had (Michele agreed)...I sure coulda used one of the those around mile 20. So we pressed on...we finally came to the half marathon split...made some jokes about taking it...but we stayed on course. Our pace was low 9's I think...and I felt good. Michele forgot to put body glide on and her legs were hurting. I had body glide on, but it had worn off, so when we found a medical tent we got hand full of something that made us feel alot better! The medical tent visit was definitely a first for me - but it didn't take but like 10 seconds. By now we were around mile 13 or 14, and it was lonely. Very few spectators, bands few and far between. The river was beautiful though, and I just kept telling myself what a priviledge it is to be out running in this marathon. Michele's heart rate seemed a little high, and she dropped back a bit. We went through a water stop after turning away from the river, and when I got out of it I turned around to look for her, but didn't see her, so I went on. I found out later that she was close...I wish she should have yelled at me. Anyways, I believe miles 16 and 17 were uphill...or one of them was...and close to the top of that hill was where I saw the most moving site of the marathon, in my eyes.

I saw a guy who was very physically disabled in a wheel chair, by himself, on the side walk. He was sitting there with what looked to be a smile on his face, and his hand was stuck out to give the runners "five". I swear I almost cried. I ran over there and gave him five, and told him "thanks" for the support. I still can't get over it. I thought "what he would probably give to be able to just walk, and he's out here supporting can I complain because I'm having to go up a hill or I feel a little tired." It was very emotional for me. I believe I will pray for that guy for the rest of my life.

Coming upon Mile 20 i spotted J.T.'s blue shirt! Boy was I happy to see him and Briar! He snapped some pictures and asked what time I had on my gps. Briar ran a little ways with me, and then I was off again. The Sport Beans station was just short of Mile 21...I grabbed the beans and knew I needed them, but I could not get them down. I barely choked down 2 of them and realized that was all I could do without the risk of vomiting. At this point I saw lots of people with gels...and I wished I had one. From here on out, I had to concentrate. I was pace slowed down, and I kept my mind focused on moving forward. A few of the bands cheered me up, and I knew all along that I wouldn't be quitting...I knew I'd make it, but I knew I needed to focus. I spotted Rae and Brent just short of Mile 25!! Yay! I yelled at them and they cheered, but I don't think they knew who I was. By the looks of some of the pics at that point(which I won't be posting) it's no wonder they didn't know me!

A few yards later I heard Holly. She was running towards me and yelling loudly!!! And J.T. and Briar were right behind her. Boy did it cheer me up!! Briar jumped and said "I'm going with ya!" and off we went! He was so precious. He kept looking at me and saying "You can do this, mom! You can do it...come can do it!" I told him I believed him...and how much he was helping me...he talked to me the whole way...and when we made the turn to the finish line I ran as strong as I possibly could. It is kind of a blur - but I heard lots of cheering, and heard Kim's voice (Kim is a friend who ran the half) yelling as loudly as she could for me. A few yards later I spotted Bo up on the fence yelling and waving with my Mom had a HUGE smile on her face! We crossed the finish line.

My time was 4:17:17. That's good enough for my first one, I guess. I got the medal and Briar and I went through the food area and hung out for a while. I was a little disappointed that I couldn't find some more Power-Aide there - perhaps I overlooked it. Anyways, we found Michele who had just finished, and then went on out. J.T. was waiting for us at the exit.

Gary came in shortly after...then Tracy...then Ronnie. We all made it. It was a great experience. I don't think I'll be doing another one for a while, but I won't say I'll never do another one again. For now, I'm gonna try to make up some of the time to my kids and J.T., and start thinking about the Mach Tenn Triathlon on June 3rd.

Oh, and I'll be putting that bumper sticker on my car.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Country Music Marathon 2006: Thank You

Wow. It's Monday night, and I am still giddy from the marathon. I'm not overally pleased with the time, but I am happy with my effort and humbled by the experience. I feel so much more experienced as a runner now than I ever have - and I realize how much I still do not know about running. I know what it feels like to really need an energy gel now. And I saw the consequences for those who did not drink enough Power-Aide. I found out what the "next level" is for myself - and I pushed through it. I most definitely increased my mental fortitude.

I feel so incredibly lucky to have been given the opportunity to accomplish this goal. It was not just a matter of saying "I think I'll train for and run a marathon!" one day. The sacrifice on my part was only the beginning it took sacrfices from many others as well. My husband was incredibly patient and supportive throughout the entire 20 weeks. He didn't complain when I was out for 3-4 hours on weekends trying to get in my long run. He took over Briar's basketball team that we were supposed to "coach together" and pretty much coached it all himself while I came flying in to the games at the last minute. He understood when I was too tired to fix dinner and when I wasn't even home for dinner because I had to get in another run. And he probably walked a half marathon of his own on race day finding me at different places during the race and trying to get Briar where he needed to be. Thanks, J.T., you'll never know how much it means to me.

Thanks to Briar and Bo who were patient and forgiving when I had to "go run again". And especially thanks to Briar for running the last mile of the marathon with me. I can't express how special that will always be to me.

And I also am thankful for the sacrifice made my mom and dad. Anytime J.T. and I had conflicting schedules they graciously offered to help out with the boys. My Dad wasn't able to make it to race day, but he followed me to the Tom King Half Marathon and was always willing to help out when time wasn't on my side. My mom kept Bo the night before the race, and as I made my way down the last stretch I found them on the front row cheering and waving!

And Holly was as close to my side as anyone during this time. She was constantly encouraging me, and even started picking her running back up and was able to run some training runs with me near the end. She also helped out with my children, and especially with Briar near the end when he needed to get in a few more miles but I needed rest. And she also gave me the most encouraging note and cd just days before the race. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that she believed in me - and that she was always praying for me.

Thanks to Tracy and Michele, my training partners, for being there. For listening to me complain and listening to me brag (sometimes - haha)...and especially for sticking this thing out with me. Some of those runs were tough, but atleast we were in it together. I so hate it that I didn't get a picture of you guys...we've got to teach J.T. some better camera skills.

Thanks to Darrell, our preacher and a runner himself, for all the prayers and encouragement.

Thanks to Leslie for all the encouragement and advice....and to Dr. J - who took care of my knee - you rock!!!

Thanks to all the other bloggers who have given me advice and encouragment - you guys are great!!!

And last, but certainly not least, thanks to God. Thanks for giving me the physical and mental ability to run a marathon. Thanks for giving me a beautiful world to run in and a healthy body to enjoy it. Thanks for great friends and family. Thanks for giving me such "fun" in life. And thanks for answering my prayers.

Week 20 - Day 6: I DID IT!!!!

I completed the Country Music Marathon in 4:17:17!!!! I have been completely swamped with work since returning home Saturday afternoon, so I'll post all the details later. But to make a long story short - I felt GREAT up until about mile 21. I wasn't able to choke down any more of the Sports Beans at that point, and I started feeling pretty fatigued. But I kept moving and kept focused...I kept telling myself that I may not ever get an opportunity to do this again. And at Mile 25 I saw Holly, J.T. and Briar...Briar jumped in and ran the last mile with me - encouraging me the entire way...and I was able to finish strong. It was a great experience. Details and pictures to come...