Thursday, June 28, 2007

My Dearest Coffee,

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:

With apologies to Mr. Shakespeare of course; what would I do without you? Just when I think I can't get through another morning without drifting off into dreams, you wake me up and warm my heart. Just one cup, and I am armed and ready for the battle of the work day. For everything, there is a time and place. And you, my friend, have your time and place with me at 8:00 a.m. each morning. Now and forever. I appreciate you more than you know.

Your friend,

The alarm went off 4:45. I got up at 5:00, which is when I should have been walking out the door. I walked out the door at 5:10, and made it to the trails by 5:30 just in front of Holly. Kelly, however, was ready and waiting. The minute I saw him there I knew I'd better wake up fast. This wouldn't be a little jaunt through the woods with him. And it wasn't. I couldn't keep up with him, but I tried. Within 2 minutes of taking off, I was gasping for air and my legs were on fire. We went 9.07 miles in 1hr 11 minutes, with ride time being 1hr 2 minutes. That seems slow, but these trails are seriously twisty and tight for the most part. I don't think I could have gone any faster if the devil was chasing me. What a workout! I need more rhythm, though. I am too herky-jerky around tight turns.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Not Satisfied

So...I didn't get up early this morning. But that's okay, I didn't plan to. The whole family was tired and needed some rest. It was appreciated. Briar's all star tourney starts tomorrow, so he needs to rest. I did get my 4 mile tempo run in(time - 34:27), though, during lunch in the heat that I love. Check me in, but I swear that thought went through my mind as I went running down the blacktop, drenched in sweat, and noticing that the air was awfully thick for breathing. I can't help it, though, I love the heat. I'll take it any day over the cold. Granted...had my run been much more than 4 miles, I might not be singing such a song...but you can't beat a mid-summer 4 mile tempo run in Tennessee at high noon.

Onto other things. Specifically, that little event called the "swim". The one that I struggle through so that I can ~insert Hallelujah Chorus~ jump onto my little QR and zoom out of transition, then return and take off running. I went back to swim class tonight. That would make the first time I've been in the pool in 2 weeks. Kicked. My. Ass. I've been lazy. It shows. I don't like it. I'm not satisfied.

Going mountain biking bright and early in the morning, and then I've got to figure out a feasible plan for getting my booty back in the pool and getting ready for Chattanooga.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Sunrise Ride

I got out of the bed this morning when the alarm rang and did not see any way possible I could get on up to the rec center to meet my homies for a 5:30 a.m. ride. I went through my usual routine and then just sat there thinking "I am so tired. I could so use 2 more hours of sleep. Maybe I can text H and tell her I'm not coming." I am weak, folks. W.E.A.K. But there was one thing stopping me from texting...I knew I would be embarrassed if I was a no show. So after sitting there pondering on it for 7 minutes I got dressed into the bike skirt and jersey I had sat out last night and got out the door. Whew...barely escaped another lazy moment! Ofcourse, I am glad that I went on. It was Don, Holly, Michele and myself. We had a good hard ride and got to see a beautiful sunrise. I ended up with 21 miles in an hour and seventeen minutes. Not exactly blazing, but we did several hills. Don is faster than all of I am hoping he will keep coming back to ride with us. We need the push to make us faster!

I am getting back in the pool this evening if at all possible.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Ridin', Runnin' and Playin'

Where should I start? I guess back at last Wednesday morning...when Briar and I were "Starting Again". He was hard to get out of bed Wednesday morning, but once we got to the rec center and starting running with Michele he perked up. We did the 2 mile loop through town and then did Cindy's toning class. He enjoyed it, and I deemed it a success!! I skipped swim class Wednesday because I just really wanted to watch Briar's all-star practice instead. On that note, I've got to get back in the pool ASAP. But Thursday morning Holly and I met up at the mtb trails for more exploring and learning the trails. We had a better sense of where we were, and found our way just fine, but we still only managed to get about 6 miles. These trails are very twisty and hard to go very fast on, but we are probably too slow as well. It was a good ride though, and a lot of fun. Friday I did nothing. I didn't wake Briar up because he had two friends spending the night with him, and I was just enjoying my sleep too much to get up and run the 10 miles I should have run. We went and swam all day at Michele's pool, though, and had a good day.

Michele and Amy both did the McMinnville City Triathlon Saturday. Michele once again brought home hardware in a TOUGH age group - Congrats, Michele!! I had already decided I was not going to do that one. I've already done 3 triathlons so far, and I just wasn't pumped up about this one. I figured there's plenty more coming up, and I'd rather take it easy for a while and focus more on Chattanooga coming up. I might add a later season tri, maybe August or Septmember. So, since I wasn't doing McMinnville, I decided to join my sister on her first Metric Century Ride - The Harpeth River Ride. She picked me up at 5:30 a.m., and off we went to Thompson's Station. The drive was about an hour, and I slept part of the way. When we got there, Holly couldn't believe how many people were there. And we both couldn't get over how many expensive bikes were there. I mean, like, I didn't see a single entry level bike that I was familiar with all day long. And I really didn't see very many triple chainrings either. In my quest for a good riding/climbing bike to complement my racing bike, I was eyeballing every one I saw. I've been thinking that I should get a triple to make sure I could climb anything that came my way...but now I am wondering if I should just get a double with more sufficient gearing than my QR double w/ the 11-23 rear cassette. Either way, the little QR held up just fine for this ride. There were some decent climbs, but nothing QR and I couldn't handle, by any means.

HRR Elevation Chart

So Holly and I are sitting there among all the riders before the start, and she gets really nervous. Her heart rate even got above 155 while sitting still! This probably had something to do with the fact that she had been sick with a chest cold and stomach virus the week before, though. But we take off, and before i know it, I see TriSonq. I looked at Holly and said "I recognize those calves! That's Patrick!" And sure enough, it was. We got seperated after a few miles, but I caught him at the top of the first big climb. Holly and I skipped the first rest stop since it was only mile 14, but we were good and ready for the 2nd one. Before getting there, there were some HUGE decents that scared the crap out of me. I am so scared when I get up around 40 mph, and this one ended with a sharp left turn. I braked a lot of the way, and Holly flew passed...she is good at the decents! I just figure...I mean...I have wrecked once going about 18 mph and it wasn't a picnic...I think if you were to wreck going 30 or 40 mph, you would pretty much be dead. And man, I just can't afford to die right now. Especially if I can help it. The second rest stop was fantastic, though. There was tons of food and drink, Margaritas(Holly got worried they might have had alcohol in them!LOL), and Jimmy Buffett music playing. I ate several oranges and a banana, filled up my bottles, sat around and socialized for a while, and we were off. Patrick took off ahead of us, and we didn't see him again until the final rest stop, but he was leaving as we were arriving. The scenery between the 2nd and 3rd rest stops was just beautiful. Holly was really doing great - climbing each hill and riding strong. When we got to the thrid stop, we filled up our bottles again and I ate another couple of oranges. Holly didn't eat anything here, and then she got a little tired over the final 10 miles. But she stayed focused, and we both rolled in with a total "ride time" of 3:41 something...ofcourse that doesn't count rest stop time and all. It was over 4 hours with that.

We got our picture made with Patrick, and I ate, but Holly didn't. She couldn't stomach anything, andThe post race party was fantastic. Great music and food. We got was just ready to go home. Keep in mind she's only been riding for 3 months!!! And she just finished her first metric!

She's finished!!

So Sunday rolled around and I spent all day cleaning, doing laundry, and playing with the kids. Oh yeah, and Bo and I washed his bike and both my bikes. Bo got back on his bike for the first time since the broken arm, and he did great. I think he has grown a little, making it easier to reach the ground and get started.

Sunday night I met all the girls at CB for T's and N's birthday party. While there, Michele and I made plans to do an 8-10 mile run at 4:45 in the morning. I've been having this issue where I wake up each hour the night before I have to meet someone early, and I did it again. Not fun. But I managed to drag myself out of bed and Michele showed up shortly after I got ready. And boy was she feeling rough. I can't believe she even got out of bed - but I'll let her talk about that(if she wants to). We ran an 8.5 mile loop through town at a slow, fat burning pace, and when we got back to my house Briar was up and waiting in the driveway to run the last 1.5 miles with me. Tomorrow it looks like we're going to have a group meet at the rec center for a 15 - 20 mile ride early before work. I have to get back in the pool!!! Maybe this evening. Maybe.

My next race is going to be the Chattanooga Waterfront Tri. It's Olympic, excuse me, Intermediate distance. It's a fun but challenging course, although I've heard they've changed a lot of it this year.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Starting Again

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men -Col 3:23

Tomorrow is going to be a second try at getting Briar up early to work out with me. We have a theme, and it is the verse you see above.

I can remember a few specific times in my life when one person or another instructed me to do my best at everything I do, regardless of the task, however big or small. One time was in a Sunday School class, and I wonder if the teacher was referring to the verse above? Another time was in the 6th grade, when my teacher was disappointed in my handwriting, although I had made a 100 on the assignment. I can remember her talking about doing my best at everything, even it's taking a little extra time on my handwriting, to make sure that what I present is something I am proud of. And another time was at a softball tournament in Cleveland, TN. I was not happy with the position I had been assigned to play, and I wasn't exactly giving my all on the field. My Dad pulled me aside and told me (in that serious tone of voice that immediately got my attention) that I had better quit dragging around and do my best at whatever position I was playing or he was going to jerk me off of the field and take me home immediately.

Sometimes I live it out, and sometimes I don't. But you can rest assured that it is always in the back of my mind. I have thought about it for much of the two marathons I have run. I always think about it when doing a triathlon. Especially when the pain sets in after getting off the bike. I think about it when doing intervals at the track. It's constantly on my mind when making decisions for my children. And I want to pass it down to my children. I want them to have the same thing pulling at them when the urge hits to let up a bit, no matter what the challenge. Because there is no worse feeling than coming to the end of something, whether it be a sporting event, an academic assignment, a task at work, or even the end of someone's life, and having to face the fact that you did not put your best foot forward. Because opportunities pass. And you never know when the day will come that they will never come around your way again.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Trading Moon Pies for Bonnaroo

Well, no Moon Pie race. I dreamed about it all night Friday night, and woke up promptly when the alarm went off, but just didn't ever get out of the bed to go do it. Instead, I opted to run 10 miles with Michele on Sunday morning. 5:30 on Sunday morning to be exact...and 5 hours after I returned home from watching The Police play at Bonnaroo. Sting(biceps...omg..biceps) is just too cute, by the way. So anyways, I was in such a deep sleep that I evidently turned my alarm off at 5:00 when it rang, and I didn't wake up until 5:29. Did I mention I was supposed to meet Michele at 5:15??? Ooopps! So I ran to the phone in a panic, and thank God she hadn't given up on me yet. I got dressed in a rush and got down to the rec center. We decided to try running down Bushy Branch Rd...which goes straight through Bonnaroo. And they let us, surprisingly. It was a cool run, and all the scenary distracted my mind from the pain I was in. I am sure of that because about a half a mile past all the excitement I immediately got nauseaus. At mile 7 I told Michele that I was running straight to the car and that was it - which would only have been 9 miles. But at mile 8, I was feeling okay again. So I decided to go for 10. And for some reason (it must have been Michele's idea), we ran up Jail Hill(ouch!) and back down to get 10 miles in 1hr 35min and change. See chart below for pace and elevation:

I am getting Briar back in shape starting tomorrow. I told him a week ago he had one more week to be lazy, because Monday the 18th, he's starting Mon, Wed, and Friday mornings with me. I have no idea how I'm going to get my own training in...but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. I honestly don't know how this is going to work out, but I'm going to give it a shot. Briar always seems to really enjoy early morning workouts with me when I get him up to do them. But getting him up is the challenge. So I'm hoping the key is getting him in bed early. You all know I have to really watch myself with crossing the line of pushing him too hard. So the focus of these workouts is not going to be competitive in nature. I'm not going to push him for a certain pace, distance, or anything like that...but rather focus on getting him up consistently. I'm going to do it 2 weeks, and the evaluate how its going.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

So far (this week)... good. Last Sunday I did an 8 mile run on lots of hills. Man, it felt good to run long. It sounds funny to call 8 miles "long", but it's the longest run I've done in quite a while, actually. It was hot, but it felt good. I got in no hurry, and only averaged 10 minute miles, but it was a good, mind clearing, "yes I can still run more than 6 miles" run. My quads were a little sore on Monday, so I rested.I had planned on swimming Monday night, but Holly came over and we opted for shopping on the internet for a new road bike. Man, I am in LOVE with the Orbeas. But they really are racing bikes, and I have a racing bike. I need a climbing bike.

Tuesday I met a whole crew of people at the rec center at 5:30 a.m. for an early morning ride. As I rode into the parking lot the cyclists were swarming around like bees!! You wouldn't believe how many people are riding these days, compared to a year ago. Very encouraging. We rode the Star Triathlon route, and then I rode on home and got ready for work. I did manage to get a swim in that night - about 7:45 the boys and I decided to get on our swimsuits and head to the pool. The boys played while I swam laps and tried to get my feel back for the water.

Wednesday I met Michele at the rec center at 4:45 a.m. and we did our usual 4 mile tempo run in 35:29, and then we went to Cindy's toning class. The class was good as usual, and I added an extra half lap(63) of lunges afterwards since I have been eating too much chocolate and twizzlers lately. Gotta cut that out. I also managed to get swim class Wednesday night. It was a little different this time. Ashley took all the lane ropes down and made us swim in circles and against each other so we could used to looking, sighting, and dealing with swimming in a crowd. Whew...I was just glad I escaped without injury! I am so bad at sighting. I just can't seem to do it like she tells us too. And I feel like it messes up my rhythm, so I don't like to practice it. I guess that's no excuse, though.

Then this morning Holly and I had planned on taking a stab at MTB trails on the Air Force Base again. I was gung-ho about it at 9:30 last night when we made the final plans, set the meeting time for 5:20 a.m., and said goodbye. But somehow between 9:30 p.m. and 4:35 a.m. when my alarm went off, I turned into a chicken. I got scared we were going to get lost. My printer cartridge is out of ink, and I wasn't able to print out the map. So I call Holly at 4:55:

"Uh...Holly, have you left yet?"

Holly: No, but I'm about to."

Me: Oh ok, well, I just wanted to let you know I wasn't able to print that map out. My cartridge is out of ink.

Holly: Oh. Ok. Are you wanting to back out?

Me: (hoping she's wanting to back out) Well, no. I just don't wanna get lost again, ya know. What do you think?

Holly: Well, I don't wanna get lost either, but we could try it.

Me: Yeah, yeah, we could try it. Do you think we can make it?

Holly: Well, I don't know. What to do you think?

Me: Whew...I don't know. (I'm even too chicken to ask if we can just go back to bed!LOL)

Holly: Well, we can try it.

At this point it's obvious that she's not going to offer me the option of going back to bed. And I won't be the first to say it, either, so we decide to head on out. I get ready, put my bike up on the roof rack and take off. I get about a half mile down the road and remember that I left the front wheel in garage. U-Turn in the highway, go back and get the weel and skewer. I finally make it to the AF Base, and we get started. We studied the map that was posted there for a while, and thought we had a good route to ride. But we got back in there about 3 miles and it didn't exactly look like we had planned, so we turned it into an out and back to ensure we didn't get lost. I got covered in spider webs on the way out, so I was happy to have already knocked them down during the trip back. It didn't seem like too much of a workout because we were really more concerned with finding the right way than getting up our heart rate, but it was a productive ride in that we learned more of those trails. The next time, I think we can do more of it and almost actually know what we are doing.

On my way home, it was evident that Bonnaroo is now here. The interstate was lined for miles with cars waiting to get into the festival. It made me a little bit excited to see all the people and everything. Holly got J.T. and I tickets for the event this year, so we'll actually, legitimately get in this year. Our main goal is to take Briar to see The Police. After getting Guitar Hero, he became a fan because he loved playing "Message In a Bottle". I enjoy seeing and meeting all the different kinds of people that show up for Bonnaroo. I have a little bit of an alternative side to me anyways...and if I wasn't a 30 year old mom of 2 kiddos, I'd be right there camping in the midst of them.

I don't think I'm going to do anything major tomorrow. I'm a little short on sleep this week, and my legs feel sore from the lunges and toning class. I'd like to go do the Moon Pie 10 Miler Saturday, but I'm not in 10 mile racing shape, so I don't know if I will or not. I might just go do it and run with some friends and not try to push it. Then again, I might be doing good just to keep up with them. Or I might just run my own 10 mile run and skip the entry fee.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Random Training/Racing Photos

"You have a choice. You can throw in the towel, or you can use it to wipe the sweat off of your face."


Training ride with Holly...

Memphis in May Tri...

GJCC Sprint Tri...

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Mach Tenn Triathlon 2007

You would just have to have been at the Mach Tenn Triathlon last Saturday to understand why I love this picture so much. It's me and my Dad - The Flash (that's what they call him). You see those binoculars around his neck? They were for spotting me in the open water...not that I think he was worried I might drown, but he wanted to keep me in sight...for good photo opportunities and stuff. When I finally came out of the water, he was running along side of me someone to grumble to about how "that was just not a good swim". He ran from one point to another spotting and taking pictures for the better part of 2 hours until Michele and I both crossed the finish line, at which time he quickly loaded up Bo and his friend and shuttled them to the ballpark for their ballgame - the one that I was going to be a few minutes late for by the time I got my transition area packed up and said "goodbye" and "congrats" to my tri-friends. Some triathletes have fancy bikes, some have big sponsors painted across their tri-suits, some have years worth of a fine-tuned swim stroke, and some have blazing running speed. I have The Flash. And I wouldn't trade him for your bike, your sponsors, your stroke, your speed, or anything else in your triathlon arsenal. The Flash is my secret weapon.

So now you know.

I wasn't exactly feeling up to racing on Saturday morning, actually. I had been a little queezy the day before, and just wasn't feeling up for it. But I went on to the race, waking Bo and his best friend early to go with me (they had a ballgame immediately afterwards, so they had to be ready). I found a transition spot beside Michele, got my stuff in order, and the start was upon me before I knew it. The swim seemed to go on FOREVER. It was 1000 yards, but I swear it seemed longer than the 1500 MIM swim. I was expecting to be down around or under 19 minutes, but as I came out of the water my watch was a good bit over 20:00. I was upset about this, and mouthed off to my Dad about it some as I ran to transition with wobbly legs. Official Swim Time(1000 yds): 20:32

The wetsuit came off smoothly this time. I hopped on the bike and took off. I saw H, K, and little G as I zoomed off on the bike. Official T-1 Time: 1:56

I beat myself up about the bad swim for the first few miles of the bike. I knew it was useless and stupid to do such a thing, but I felt like it was deserved. It did, however, stir up a sense of urgency in me on the bike. I got passed by a couple of guys with expensive bikes and disc wheels, but other than that I held my own. I set a bike PR for the 3rd year in a row here. Official Bike Time(16 miles): 48:37

T-2 went smoothly too. This time I had my Yanks! in place, so I slipped my shoes on and took off. Official T-2 Time: 1:01

I didn't push too hard to start the run, but it didn't take long to get going. I felt better with each mile, and I saw Michele at the same exact place I saw her last year!! I saw tons of people I knew, like Laurie, TriSonq, Joe, K. Sipe, Coach Ashley (who was blazing a trail for 2nd overall female!!), Dee, and more. It gave a nice feeling to see all the people, and I started forgetting about the bad swim and not feeling so well. After about 2.5 miles, I really turned it on, and left nothing out there. And I had fun doing it - it felt good to push up the hills and then fly down them. My legs felt good. I set a run PR for the 3rd year in a row, also. Official Run Time(4 miles):30:45

Official Race Time: 1:42:49

Ok, so I've said all 3 years that I was aware it would take less than 1:40:00 to place in any age group I might find myself in. However, when I checked the results I found myself in 2nd place of the 30-34 AG. "YES!!" I thought to myself..."someone must not have shown up today!". So I pack up transition and go find Michele to ask her to get MY AWARD before she left. Ofcourse she agrees, and I leave for the ballpark. It's not until later that evening when I pull up the results on the website that I find that my second place was not official. AhhHmm. Evidently there were some timing problems, and everyone showed up afterall.


So I figured Michele knew from listening to the awards ceremony. But evidently Michele making sure that she had enough fun (between filling up her beer cup) for me and her both, and didn't hear the awards for my age group. But being a good friend she didn't want to leave my award there so she went and told them what she needed, and they gave it to her!!! She made away with someone else's 2nd place AG mug!!! Thankfully, her husband works with someone in charge and he was gracious enough to return it for me....whew....

Lesson Learned: By all means, WAIT until those results say OFFICIAL RESULTS. Unofficial is not good enough to go claiming an age group 2nd place.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

"The greatest pleasure in life is doing the things people say we cannot do."

- Walter Bagehot, English social scientist