Monday, January 29, 2007

Tagged by Michele

Okay, Michele tagged me, so here goes:

1. Describe a memory from your first triathlon ever
My first tri ever was the Mach Tenn Triathlon, which included a 1,000 yd open water swim. I had barely ever swum 1,000 yards in the pool, much less in the open water on a day where the wind and current was down right cruel. So I can remember, as people were swimming all over me, debating in my mind which one of two things was going to happen: 1) I was either going to wave down one of those kayaks to come get me and be humiliated, or 2)I was going to drown. Thankfully, I eventually gutted out the swim and didn't have to do either. But at the time, it sure seemed like the only two choices, and I wasn't sure which was worse.
2. Describe a memory from your most recent triathlon
My most recent tri was the Chattanooga Waterfront Oly. And a vivid memory I have is getting through T-2 and taking off on the run when I hear my name being shouted loudly. I look up and see my parents waving and cheering, and I had no idea that they were going to be there.
3. What's the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you in a tri?
In the Star Triathlon in my home town, it's a reverse tri, and I had about a 20 second lead for 1st overall female heading into the pool for the last leg. But somewhere in the short 200yd swim, 2nd place passed me, and ended up beating me by a tenth of a second.

4. What's the most thrilling thing that's happened to you in a tri?
Last year the in Mach Tenn Tri (my second year) while on the back, I flew passed a girl in my age group who I had thought I had no chance of beating.

5. What is something you discovered about yourself by doing triathlons?
I can do anything I set out to do.

6. What is The Big Goal that you're working towards?
Ultimately, finish an Ironman

I tag anyone who wants to be tagged - have at it!


I love Rocky.

I can remember, when I was in 3rd grade, sitting in the theatre watching Rocky IV with my mom and my best friend and being absolutely beside myself with excitement. This weekend, I got to sit in the theatre with my husband, my 4th grader, and my 5 year old and watch Rocky Balboa. It was great! Granted, there's only so much you can do with the movie when Rocky is like 50 years old or something, but it still gave me chills and made me want to jump and scream "Rock-y!" over and over!! It also made me want to go out and buy some of those old gray sweats..haha.

Saturday, I did Michele's "Have Mercy" Spinervals dvd on my trainer. Wow - 2 hours of all the best spinerval workouts back to back...believe me, I needed some mercy by the end of that thing. The great thing about it, though, was that it was shortest 2 hours I've ever spent on the trainer. Actually, I never even spent a whole 2 hours on it before. But the dvd changed so often that the time flew by. And since the Rocky movie only played at 4:30 and 10:00 at the theatre here, I had to put my swim off until Sunday so that we could all get ready to go. I was afraid the boys would fall asleep if we waited until 10:00. I didn't complain, though, after doing that dvd I was glad to put the swim off..ha!

So Sunday afternoon, Bo and I headed to the pool around 3:30. My swim workout was supposed to be 4000 yards like this:
WU: 300 then 8x50 on 10 seconds rest
MS: 1000,800,600,400,200,100 on 1 minute rest
Everything was going great - my 50's are getting down to 52 - 53 seconds regularly. I did the warmup, then the 1000 in 20:29, the 800 in 17:00, and the 600 in 13:00. As I looked up after the 600, I noticed I was the only one in the pool, and Bo was the only one in the kiddie pool. I asked one of the life guards if they were closing and she said "Yes, we close at 4:45 on Sunday." Blah. So I had to call it quits. And I really hated that, because I had been a little nervous about my ability to complete the 4000 yd swim workout in the beginning, but at that point, I had no doubts that I could finish it just fine. But I got out, got Bo out of the kiddie pool and headed home. I still got 3100 yards, so it was still a good workout. Then Bo was coughing his head off this morning and for some reason my back was aching badly, and I opted for no 5 a.m. workout today. I'm going to do my scheduled trainer ride this evening, then hit the pool early tomorrow morning if all is well.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Mental toughness, 9 miles, and a massage

Rewind to Wednesday. This week actually called for a swim, a 40 minute run, and strength on Wednesday. But I can't swim on Wednesday unless I swim in the morning because the pool isn't open after I get home from work on Wednesdays. So I scratched the Wednesday swim this week, since next Wednesday Michele and I are going to be traveling to Franklin for a tri swim class coached by the one and only Olympic gold medalist, Ashley Whitney. (Yes, I am excited!) I ran 3 miles on the treadmill in 28:29 then ran into Cindy's 5:30 a.m. toning class just in time. She does a lot of core work in this class, and it's a fun class, so it has to schedule.

On to mental toughness now. Ok, on the schedule for Thursday was a 1500 yd swim and a 40 minute bike. Briar and I went to the rec center at 5:30 a.m. and I ran 2 miles with him, then went down to the pool and did the 1500 yd swim. We chilled out in the warm water therapy pool for a few minutes, and then headed out for the mad rush to school/work. I loaded up my tri bike, packed a backpack, and decided I would do my 40 minute ride outside during my lunch break at work. The bike ride was supposed to be one leg drills on the trainer, but I wanted to test my mental toughness a bit and see how I would fair riding in 38 degrees with 14 mph winds. Whew. I'm not that tough. I did okay, but my poor little feet were so cold they went numb and I didn't think they'd ever regain the feeling. When they finally did (after I was showered and back at my desk at work), it hurt like hell!! Like needles were sticking my toes!! Ouch! Plus, the ride actually turned into 1hr 11 minutes because I got about 3/4 done with my loop and ran into a "road closed" sign, and had to turn around and go back the way I came, making the ride longer than expected. Anyways, I didn't feel like Rocky or anything when I got done. I was hoping I'd be proud of myself for getting out in the cold, but I was just pissed that my feet were hurting, actually. Maybe I'll try it again when it's over 40 degrees, but for now, road biking is on the trainer indefinitely. Go ahead, call me a wimp. I can take the sun, heat and humidity - but I don't like this cold stuff. If it's going to be this cold, could we atleast have some freaking snow?!?! So then I had to work late due to a computer software crisis, and I barely got home in time for Grey's Anatomy. Oh...and I guess I should dinner was a Sonic grilled cheese and an Oreo Blast. Nutritious, huh? I've done so well with diet lately, that's ashame. And it's not really that I ate one unhealthy dinner, but that since I indulged in the Oreo Blast, that means I'll crave one every day for the next 3 months.

This morning, the alarm went off at 4:45, and there was no skipping out on running this morning because I had planned to meet Michele at the rec center for a long run. I arrived about 5:17 and we took off. This is the first time I've run outside in a while. She was running 6; I was running 8 or 9. It was 21 degrees. COLD. But running in the cold is a different story from road biking in the cold. About a mile and we were warmed up. We discussed all kinds of things, I complained about the amount of reading Briar had to do for school, and before we knew it her 6 miles were finished. I did one more 3 mile lap down the greenway and through town for 9 miles in 1:23:07 (9:14/mile). I'm tossing around the idea of doing the Team Nashville 10 miler next weekend. Maybe, maybe not...we'll just wait and see. I'm not anywhere near racing shape, but it I thought it might be fun to just go run with a crowd of people and get a shirt.

Now, the massage. I purchased a gift certificate for a 60 minutes massage last November at a charity auction. I had intended to use it during my marathon training, but I could never get an appointment since the therapist was always so busy. Then I wanted to use it after the marathon, but still couldn't get in at a time that was convenient for me. So finally, I got an appointment at 8 a.m. this morning. Thus, the reason I made sure to do a long run this morning. The massage was good...she worked out lots of trigger points and loosened up any tight muscles she found. I talked to her about possibly getting one once a month since Friday at 8 a.m. is open for her. She even said if you get one per month for 3 months, the 4 is free. So I might could manage that.

I have to do a 1-2 trainer ride tomorrow and a 4000 yd swim...4000 yds...whoa. That will take me like, all freaking day. And I wanna go moutain biking too. And I also wanted to do that cyclocross race Sunday. And we're also going to go see the new Rocky movie. Yikes....I'm gonna have to make some choices.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Practice makes...

Where, oh where, during my mere 30 years on this planet did I forget that the old saying "Practice makes perfect" really is true??? Well, sortof true...I don't think it really makes "perfect", but no doubt it makes improvement. Perhaps they were searching too hard for a word that begins with letter "P". Practice makes improvement. Without a doubt.

Let me catch you up - Sunday and Monday, I took off, as you know if you read my last post. It was the right decision. I feel comfortable moving forward now. So Tuesday morning, bright and early, Briar and I hit the gym before school/work. He's getting back in shape for a 5k happening here in Manchester that's called "The Sweetheart Run" on February 10th. It's couples or Mother/Son or Father/Daughter teams, and the lowest combined times will win. Briar is going to be my sweetheart. So he ran 2 miles on the indoor track with me and then shot basketball while I ran 2 more. We discussed the need to go see the new Rocky movie while running. Hopefully we can make that happen this weekend. So anyways, back to the point of this post, we went back to the rec center Tuesday night for swimming - Briar had swim team, I had a 3600 yard swim on the schedule, and Bo wanted to play in the pool. My 3600 yard swim was comprised of:

WU: 500
3x100 on 20" rest - build each 25 to go faster.
3x100 on 25" rest.
5x300 on 30" rest. Try to make each one faster from 1-3, then 4-5.
200 easy.
6x100 w/paddles on 20" rest. Make each on faster again with #6 being faster then #3.
CD: 200

This is part of the 8 week "Swim Focused" triathlon plan I've been following from It's got me swimming 4 - 6 times a week. I haven't actually made 6 days yet, but I've done 4 and 5, and the yardage is much more than I have ever done before. In the past, 90% of my swim workouts consist of a couple laps of Total Immersion drills, then a 1750 yard(I round that to a mile) aerobic swim....and that's it. So this is a huge change for me. Granted, my run and bike are probably just barely being maintained, but I had come to the point where I could no longer move forward in the sport of triathlon being such a terrible swimmer. I couldn't find a swim coach (that since may have changed - more on that later), so the only thing I knew to do was to try this swim focused plan. My lack of progress in the pool up to this point is probably because of the lack of practice. My judgment on this had been clouded by all the articles and things I have read that talk about swimming being all about technique, and how "just putting in the laps" wouldn't make you a better a swimmer. And I didn't want to waste a lot of time swimming the "wrong" way. I have read the Total Immersion book, but I haven't been sure that I've got the technique down since I have no one to critique it. Coach Dan, an accomplished masters swimmer and who used to coach Briar's swim team, gives me tips when I see him, but only swimming twice a week just hasn't been getting the job done. I have heard him say you need to swim atleast 5 times a week. I haven't done that in the past because I didn't want my bike or swim to suffer. But since this seemed like a good time to do the 8 week swim-focused plan, I have finally been able to put in that kind of time in the pool....and whoa-can I tell a difference!!! It is amazing. I don't know that I'm that much faster. Actually my times are a little faster, nothing really huge...just a few seconds per 100 yards. But the way I feel in the water is totally different. Like, I may not be that much better yet, but I feel like at this point, I'm capable of getting better. I feel more like a fish, instead of a human being trying to force my way through the water. I am totally comfortable with my flip turns, now...instead sucking water up in my nose and coming up spitting it out like whale on about every fifth attempt at one. I am actually enjoying the workouts, instead of suffering through them. I really can feel the difference.

Practice makes improvement.

It's no different than anything else. I mean, there was a reason that, when I was 10 years old, I stood out in the back yard every spring afternoon until dark shagging fly balls or picking up grounders hit to me by my dad.

Practice makes improvement.

There was a purpose for the countless times of dribbling the basketball down and back up the driveway all summer long. For the hundreds of layups and hundreds of jumpshots out in the hot sun.

Practice makes improvement.

And lets don't forget 800 and 400 meter intervals involved in my marathon training plans. Or the every weekend long run. Or the day in, day out running. How else would I have continued to PR?


And what is it that I constantly remind Briar of when he wants to play a video game or watch television instead of shagging fly balls, dribbling/shooting, or getting in a run? I always tell him "That's fine. But you remember that while you're not practicing, somebody else is. And they're getting better. Are you?"

"We talking 'bout practice, man." That's right, T.O., and I'd probably retire if I had to coach you, too.

Note: I am a pro football fan, so if you didn't get that last comment, don't had nothing to do with triathlon or running.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Family First

Staying true to the promise I made to myself to keep my family first, my workouts have suffered some for the past couple of days. I won't go into detail, but let's just say my family needed me, and there wasn't much time left for training. So I did my mountain bike Saturday, but I have taken Sunday and Monday off. And when my heart started to race at the thought of it, I took a deep breath and reminded myself that it would be okay. This is why I don't have a 2007 race schedule yet. Right now is not the time to be pressured about training for a certain event. That time will come, and there won't be any question about it when it does.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 - 8

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate, a time of war, and a time of peace.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Getting Educated

I've been catching up on podcasts lately, and I'll tell ya, there's some good information out there. I think there's just something about hearing people actually say these things, even if you already know them. A week or so ago I was listening to one of latest "Get Your Geek On" podcasts, and Iron Will's Tri Life Lesson really gave me chill bumps. One of the things she said was something to the effect of "You must fail and fail again to trully appreciate success." I've probably butchered that up a bit from the way she put it, but it took me back to the Vegas Marathon and helped me make some peace. Maybe I didn't need to get a sub4 that time, ya know? So whatever, I'm cool with it. We'll try again another day, and it'll be probably be sweeter when it comes. I also got caught up SimplyStu's podcasts, and he really puts the whole "heart rate" and "base training" into perspective. I 've read about all that before and think, "Yeah, okay...whatever." But some of the stats he gave were extremely eye opening. At one point he talks about a certain pace where, according to his VO2 Max, he should be able to run 2 hours. Then they slow the pace down by around 15 seconds, and at the pace he should be able to run 4 hours. Stu was pretty amazed, and so was I. It's pretty easy to see how going out just a little too fast in the marathon can really screw you up. Anyways, check those podcasts out if you haven't already, they are good.

I did get my run in last night at the rec center. I ran on the track for 1 hour straight, and I totally lost count of my laps, so I have no idea how far I went. My Dad ran a mile with me, though, so that was fun. Afterwards, I did the 1k "easy swim" that was on my schedule in 20:31. Not too bad - I was pleased.

Then Bo and I slept in this morning (I don't work on Fridays), and we finally made it to the pool around 10:30. The only workout on the schedule today was this 3200 yard swim, consisting of:
WU: 400, then 4 x75 on 10" rest
MS: 4x400 on 30" rest
2x100 kick on 20" rest
10 x 50 on 10" rest
CD: 200
I finished the whole thing, so I was happy with that.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

I can't think of a title

Obviously I'm not feeling very creative today, but hey, I posted - that's progress. Because of a crisis at work last night, I had to come to work early today and didn't get to do my run. I guess that means I'll be hitting the treadmill at the rec center tonight when I take Briar to swim team, and then doing my 1k swim afterwards. Bo wants to swim tonight, too, so we may at the pool for quite some time. I guess I could have run at lunch, but since the run is supposed to atleast an hour, that would make a fairly long lunch break. And I don't want to stay late today.

This weather is depressing. It's cold. It's dark and cloudy. No leaves on the trees. I need either a big snowy mountain and a set of skis or some sunshine and warmer temps very soon. Last Saturday was in the mid 60s, and I got to do a 35 mile bike ride with Joe and Leslie, followed by a 3 mile run. I can't imagine doing that now. The wind was pretty vicious then, I can't imagine 30 degrees cooler. I should stop complaining. So here's what I have done so far this week:

Monday a.m. - 2500 yards at the pool (WU: 400 MS:4x75 on 20" rest - odds ones have middle 25 yds as drill (1, 3) - the evens have the first/last 25 as drill.
8x200 as follows:
- #1, #5 - 150 cruise, 50 FAST!
- #2, #6 - 100 cruise, 100 FAST!
- #3, #7 - 50 cruise, 150 FAST!
- #4, #8 - 200 FAST! These are all on 30" rest.
CD: 200) Whew! That was a tough one. And I was actually supposed to do 5x150 w/paddles before the cooldown. But since I don't have paddles and I was out of time, I passed on that. And I felt like I was sinking the entire swim. I just couldn't get it together.
Monday p.m. - 45 min trainer ride doing one leg drills and such.

Tuesday a.m. - 2000 yards at the pool (WU:400 free, 100 drill MS:3x(400 free, 100 drill)) It was supposed to be 5x(400 free, 100 drill), but since they didn't unlock the pool doors until 5:45, I wasn't able to get the last 2 sets in. I needed in at 5:30 sharp, and even that was pushing it. Note to self: Try and convince the pool manager to get that thing opened at 5:30. I will do that tonight if she is there. I did graduate HS with her and consider her a friend, so perhaps I have a little pull. But then again, you never know. But it never hurts to try. Regardless, I did have a moment of magic during this swim. My first 400 was 8:05, which is just a little better than normal for me. Then the 100 drill, then 30 seconds rest. The next 400 was 8:01, which is about the best I've been able to do in the past. Then the 100 drill and 30 seconds rest. But then during the last 400, something felt better. I didn't feel as winded while swimming, and I wasn't sure, but I felt like I was going faster. When I got done and looked at my watch, it said "7:54". That's 11 seconds better than I normally do over 400 yards! Fluke? Maybe. I don't know...but I'm definitely going to keep going with this plan.
Tuesday a.m. - 55 minute trainer ride. When I started this ride I really didn't think I could stay there for 55 minutes. But, as usual, as time passed it got better. The intervals that the plan called for made it interesting and hard, but sometimes I think interesting and hard is much better than boring and easy.

Wednesday a.m. -
4 miles on the treadmill, then 1 hour of strength/core. The strength/core was actually Cindy's toning class at the rec center, and it was great. Lots of legs and abs.

That would be all for now. I hope to get in my run and swim tonight, then a massive swim Friday morning. It looks like my bike for the week is going to be a MTB ride @6:30 Saturday morning. And then Sunday, a long trail run in my new trail running shoes. I need to post a picture of those babies.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Collecting My Thoughts

I apologize for my absense lately, it's been a while since I've posted. And my commenting and reading blogs has been lacking as well. But, as my title suggests, I've been collecting my thoughts. I have to do this from time to time, and the past couple of weeks have been that time. The bad news is - I have so much to catch you up on it will take me forever...and the good news is - I feel great, refreshed, and excited about '07!! I don't know if I am the only one who gets this way, but my life can get so hectic at times that I don't know if I am coming or going, and I don't know why I even do some of the things I do. I just go through the motions. Having this blog really caused me to reflect on the past year, as lots of bloggers were doing, and as I did that I realized that I needed to make some changes for 2007. And I'm not talking about shedding a few pounds and getting more organized.

I'm talking about really asking myself why I do the things I do.

I'm talking about lining up my priorities along side what takes up my time and checking that they match.

I'm talking about being true to myself.

Somewhere along the way, I had let things get out of line. I ran a 4:08:28 marathon in Vegas in some tough conditions, and soon afterwards I had a hard time smiling about it because it wasn't under 4 hours. I think back to the end of tri season last year, and what I remember is feeling burned out and pressed for time. I can also remember scouring through previous race results and beating myself up for not finishing ahead of "this person" or not doing as well as "that person". The normal prerace routine for me was filled with self induced pressure to make sure I was able to expend every single ounce of energy inside me. I had to make "Competitive Lana" proud. One thing that comes to mind is meeting Michele on the run course at the Mach Tenn Triathlon. She yelled and cheered for me, but I was so intent and focused on using all my energy on that run, that I could only wave and force a smile at her. It's a 4 mile run, guys. We're not talking about anything major here. And even if we were, there's no excuse for that. I mean, even the IM pros talk to and encourage each other on the course. And I'm just a middle of the pack age group triathlete at best!!! How lame. And that's why I get so burned out. That's why I don't seem to enjoy it as much as I did at first. And that's why, if I don't turn things around, I won't be doing this for life, like I intend to do. December I rested. I gave all my attention to my family - they have earned it. Then during the first few weeks of 2007, I collected my thoughts, rearranged my priorities, and formulated a plan to accomplish what I want the most....which me a kid if you have fun!!!! And what do I consider fun?

*Time with my kids and husband
*Learning new things
*Teaching my kids new things
*Swimming, biking, and running
*Racing - without the unhealthy obsessive compulsiveness I had in '06
*Baseball games!!!
*Mountain biking
*Being with friends
*Meeting new people
*Pushing my limits, improving myself and reaching goals

And the list goes on...but you get the picture. I've got to bring the fun back. I mean, I'm not a speed demon, and that's just the way it is. If I get out there and put the time and training in, though, I might be able to finish ahead of a lot of people...but if I don''s okay. OKAY. It's still fun! It's still great for my health. It's still a great way to do most all of the things I mentioned above.

I have thought about doing my first Half Ironman at the Gulf Coast Triathlon in May for a while now. But the thought of the pressure of a rigorous training schedule with the "old obsessive compulsion Lana" completely turned me off. Not only that, but my swim really stinks. And it will just stink even more for 1.2 miles in the Gulf of Mexico. So about 2 and a half weeks ago I startd following's Winter Maintenance 8 Week Swim-focused Plan. I promised myself that I would follow the schedule, but not overload myself with pressure. At the end of that 8 week plan I will reevaluate how I feel. If I feel good, I might decide to go ahead and go with a more specific Half Ironman plan. If I feel pressured or burned out at all, then I'll slow down and do something else. But after two and a half weeks - I feel better than ever. I think mentally I am refreshed and stronger than I've been in a long time. I have been following the plan and swimming 4-6 times a week. And let me tell you, the water and I have been getting to know each other like never before. Lately, when I walk up to the edge of the pool, I don't complain and dread making the plunge. I've also been able to take Briar to the rec center with me and run a mile or two with him beforehand. (Briar is back on the swim team for the time being, too - YAY!) And when I take off running, I'm starting out slow, and then before I realize it I am running faster and feeling better than ever! I've even got in a few bike rides between the spurts of winter weather we've had. And when it's too cold, I've ridden the trainer if the plan calls for it. And I'm loving it. It's fun. That's how it should be.

I'm going to try my best to get in a MTB ride this weekend with Briar and hopefully H &K. And I might even go check out a cyclocross race in Columbia on the 27th or 28th. All because it sounds fun!!

I'm working my race calendar for 2007...but it's probably going to be fairly "tentative". Because any triathlon that includes a kids tri or is of the distance that Briar can participate is going to take priority. We're gonna have some fun this year. I'll try to get the calendar done soon, and I'll get back to posting and commenting regularly on my training.

...Here's to a fun 2007!!!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

1/6/2007 - Megan and Adam

My cousin, Megan, tied the knot this past weekend. Bo was the ring bearer, and I was an honorary bridesmaid. It was a fun weekend!!

Isn't she beautiful?! That's her with her dad.

Bo and Maddie

J.T. and I

Eric and Laura (Laura is Megan's sister - they are both beautiful!)

Holly, Dana (Megan's mother), and my mom

Megan and Adam

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Reflecting on 2006

I think it's time I do this since we are already a week into 2007. But hey, it just wouldn't be the same if I didn't procrastinate a little.

When 2006 began, I was 3 1/2 weeks into a 20 week marathon training program for the Country Music Marathon. I had previously run 2 half marathons, and I eagerly awaited the "next step". The thought of running 26.2 miles at once really seemed like an insurmountable task at first, until I looked at some training plans week by week. I realized that if I could run 13.1 miles, that I could also run 26.2 miles if I applied more training, dedication, and persistance. I learned a lot about myself during that journey. I suffered injuries and withstood them; I suffered from overtraining and burnout. But in the end, I crossed the finish line with a huge smile on my face. During the training, I also set a half marathon PR of 1:51:02 at the Tom King Half. The one thing I wanted out of this experience was increased mental fortitude, and I can say that was certainly achieved. I finished the marathon in 4:17:17 and ready to start triathlon season.

The season started with the Mach Tenn Triathlon, where I met my goal by improving my times in all legs from last year (13 minutes overall!). I love this tri. It just feels like a real deal triathlon. The open water swim, the bike ride around the lake, the hilly run, the sunshine, and all the cool people who are doing this one. Not to mention that it's been going for 24 years. There's lots of encouragement on the course, lots of comraderie, and lots of pizza and beer at the end. It's just a great time. And, it was my introduction into the triathlon world in 2005.

After Mach Tenn, I did two more sprint tris. I placed 3rd in McMinnville and got 2nd overall on my home turf at the Star Triathlon. I completed my first oly at the Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon, and I wasn't able to make the Music City Tri because my kids were sick, but overall it was a great season. I took Briar to do 2 youth tris, and Bo did the "Small Fry Tri" in McMinnville and still talks about it to this day!!

Somewhere between all that I did the Moon Pie 10 miler, along with H (my sister), the Old Timer's Day 5k, the Franklin Classic 10k, and then decided to start training for the Las Vegas Marathon. I turned 30 on October 6th, and I did my first century ride on October 7th. Oh yes, and let's not forget that I bit the dust with Michele in my first serious bike wreck about 8 miles into the Delta 100k. Talk about lessons learned.

Not related to triathlon and running, I went on my first rock climbing and repelling adventure with the kids. And that was TOO MUCH FUN! I want more of that 2007, for sure.

During Las Vegas training I had a good run at the Team Nashville Half, and then finished up the season with a 4:08:28 in Vegas. My goal was sub-4 there, and I came up quite a bit short. I was pretty disappointed, but hey, there's always next time, right? I found out that there is a reason you hear of so many people trying to get under 4 hours for a marathon. It ain't easy. But it ain't impossible either(and yes, I know that "ain't" aint a word!). I took the rest of December off, except for a run or trainer ride here and there whenever I really wanted to.

So how do I feel about all that? Well, all things considered, I'll give it a C, maybe a C+. I didn't do anything really above and beyond my potential, but I did put in a lot of solid, dedicated hard work to complete some pretty big tasks. I made a lot of mistakes, but hopefully I learned from them and am better for them. I also met a lot of cool people along the way. One thing that concerns me is the fact that I got burned out several times. I put a lot of pressure on myself when racing. Whether it's my age group, a certain time to get under, or another athlete that I want to finish ahead of - I HATE to lose. And I think it's gotten to an unhealthy point. I find it almost impossible to just go out and participate in a race without going all out. And that has to change if I'm going to do anything longer than an olympic distance race. I've got to chill out. And when I finished Las Vegas, I was completely drained mentally. I couldn't even think about planning out another training plan or picking out another race to do. I think I need more balance in 2007. I also am going play the race schedule by ear for awhile. I had thought about doing the Gulf Coast Half Ironman in May, but I'm not ready to commit to that yet. I am loving the mountain biking, and I am looking forward to some road riding with Briar. I'm tossing around the idea of MTB race, or maybe even an Xterra....but just tossing...nothing for sure yet. I wasn't very pleased with my nutrition for 2006. I tried to follow a fairly balanced diet, but I really didn't put the research and time into it that I should have. And I followed the balanced diet in spurts, instead of making it my way of life.

I have several triathlon and running related goals for 2007, but I have even more that aren't related to either. I'll share some of them soon. For the record, though, I am back to training. Nothing too hard core, I'll talk more about that in my next post too.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Do NOT eat the Texas Toast

Before I rant and rave about Texas Toast, first I need to say Happy New Year to everyone!!! We had a great holiday, I have been eating up the relaxation and the family time, and I will also do some sort "2006 review" and try to set and let you know about some '07 goals very soon. But for now, let's talk about Texas Toast.

I go out for a nice relaxing 4 mile run today during my lunch break - oh, which, by the way I ended up doing at an 8:42/mile avg pace without a lot of effort...WHERE did that come from??? I haven't a whole lot of anything since the marathon. - and after I showered and got dressed I decided that my lunch would be the nice, seemingly nutritious Zaxby's House Grilled Chicken Zalad. It's nice and tasty and looks very nutricious with grilled chicken, lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, and a little bit of cheddar cheese...except for that big piece of Texas Toast. And yes, it does look to be drenched in butter of some sort, "hopefully not margerine" I always think, but hey, I just ran 4 miles and I'm eating a salad as my first meal of the day, so what's a piece of bread going to hurt, right? WRONG. After scarfing down the entire salad and piece of toast like I do about every 2 weeks or so, I went prowling around the net to see if I could find some nutrition info on this salad. And I was thinking the whole time how good it was going to be, especially since I get the Lite Vinaigrette dressing and not that fatty Ranch dressing, when I found this from

I was horrified, I tell you!! Do you mean that I just ate a SALAD for lunch that had 650 calories, 53, I repeat 53 fat grams, and 5g of TRANSFAT!! Transfat is not allowed in my diet, under any circumstance. It's horrible for you, and it's not worth the consequences. So I am thinking that surely this information is wrong, when I confirm it by the official nutrition info from the Zaxby's site. The Zaxby's info actually broke down the components in the salad, though, including the piece of Texas Toast. So get this:

- Of the 650 calories in the salad, 191 of them are in the toast.
- Of the 52 carbs in the salad, 37 are in the toast.
- Of the 53g of fat in the salad, 29g are in the toast.
- Of the 5g of transfat in the salad, 4 of them are in the toast(and it never said where the other one was, so I'm not sure that it doesn't account for all 5).

All I know is that little piece of Texas Toast is NOT worth all that. It turned a healthy lunch into an unhealthy one for me. I could have had some ice cream and come out better than that! For the record, I soooo heart ice cream, but it unfortunately goes straight to my thighs as soon as I digest it.

Lessons learned:

1.) Research the food before you eat it, not after.
2.) Just because it looks fairly harmless doesn't mean it is, especially if it is drenched in the yellow stuff.
3.) Do NOT EAT THE TEXAS TOAST. Throw it away before you pick up your fork!!

Here's to a more nutritious 2007!!!