Friday, November 30, 2007

Catching up

I have been busy. I like Christmas and all, but it wears on my nerves. I love buying Christmas presents, but I like buying them online. Although I did sit in the Best Buy parking lot from 10:30 p.m. until 5:00 a.m. on Black Friday and scored a...well...on second thought I can't guarantee who's eyes may be reading this, since my oldest has become fairly internet savvy lately, so I better just say I got a good deal on something somebody really wanted and kept it within Santa's budget. It wasn't easily obtained, though, and just arriving at the store 7.5 hours before they opened did nothing for me, as there were already about 100 people in line. I had to play the Ace card...I hate to admit that, but I did. You know, the sweet smile, the half-shy look, the "Hey guys...what are y'all here to get?...oh yeah, me too...guess there's not much of a chance at the end of that line, huh?...mmm...well...what about you? What are you getting?...oh, you're not here for the $xxx.xx xxxxxx? REALLY? But you could probably get a ticket for that, right? You would?!?! I would be sooo thankful! Can I get you some coffee, food, anything?" He was such a nice guy. Sat there all night long and told me to just go sit in my warm car with Mom (who so unselfishly accompanied me on this adventure even though she's always sworn she'd never participate in such). Anyways, the guy barely, and I mean barely got it. They stopped handing them out as I saw him grab it. And the sad part? He didn't even get what he wanted. I told him to just keep the one he got for me, but he said he didn't want that either...and he seemed fine with it. He was still all smile when he left. I was like, "Whoa...he must be an angel or something!" He refused to even let me tip him. So...even though Christmas makes me a little nervous and it's a little too high strung for my liking...that guy showed me the spirit of Christmas on the FIRST DAY (yes, I am holiday separatist like Trimama) of the season. Anyways....

Since it's been forever since I posted, I'll summarize most of it. On Thanksgiving morning, we started our own Turkey Trot here in Manchester. I'll post a recap and pictures very soon. I, of course, was a zombie for most of Friday after staying up at BB all night, and then ran my 16 miler Saturday. It went fine, nothing great, total time was 2:30:23, 9:24/mile pace. Sunday the kids and I went to the pool and I swam about 1400 yds I think. I haven't really been keeping up with my laps lately. Just focusing on my form and body position in the water. And I consider it a real bonus for me to even suit up and hit the pool right now, actually.

Monday I was lazy and slept in. Tuesday was a VO2 Max run with Michele. 8 miles w/3x1600m intervals, and I was pleased. The interval times were 7:27, 7:26, and 7:21. Wednesday I was lazy again (soaking up the taper, baby) and Thursday we ran 5 @ 5 a.m. with a swim afterward. It was Me, Briar, Michele, Amy, Mike, Mary Beth and her son Matt. Briar and Matt cut out after 3 and hit the pool, and we joined after 5. This morning I met Michele and Mike at the rec center for a invigorating 32 degree bike ride at 8:00 a.m. It was cold, fun, and I stayed fairly warm except for my toes. Booties woulda helped it, but I stay true to my Christmas ethics - no using presents before they are given to you. Even if they are currently in your possession.

Tomorrow is a 12 miler. Next Saturday is THE DAY. And today - I paid my $500. I'm in, officially, for Ironman Florida 2008. 'Tis the sesason!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Tagged by Streak

I've been tagged by Streak.

Rules:-- link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog-- share 5 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird-- tag 2 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs-- let them know they are TAGGED by leaving a comment on their blog.

1.I ran track in the 7th and 8th grade. In my first track meet, I ran the 1600m (the mile) run, and placed LAST. I think my time was up over 8 minutes. It scarred me for life, and to this day I am terrified of being "last" in anything.

2.In 2000, when Briar was 3.5 years old, I was pregnant. At about 16 weeks my blood levels did not look right, and I went in for an ultrasound. The ultrasound revealed that our baby was anencephalic. Anencephaly is a neural tube defect that occurs during the 4th week of pregnancy. The neural tube, or what will later be the spinal cord, begins to close, but in my case the cephalic (head) end did not close properly, resulting in the absence of parts of the brain, skull and scalp. The condition is incompatible with life. I gave birth to the baby, Robert Matthew, at 20 weeks, and he only lived a few seconds. 18 months later, I gave birth to Bo.

3.I played basketball all through school and was on the State Champion basketball team as a Sophomore. Today, basketball is my least favorite sport.

4.Phil Simms was my childhood hero. I was a tomboy and a huge NY Giants fan in the mid 80's, and I thought Simms was the greatest QB to ever live. I wanted to play football SOOO bad but my parents wouldn't hear of it. Instead, when I was 11, they drove me all the way to New Jersey one summer to the Giants training camp at Farleigh Dickinson University, and I got to meet Simms. I visited him two days in a row after practice, and spent every second telling him how great he was and how much I loved him and how meeting him was my dream come true. He was very nice and patient with me, and I have video and pictures of the experience that are absolutely hilarious. Maybe I'll post them sometime. I ran along behind him as he signed autographs telling him that I was his biggest fan in the whole world, and I even said "Phil, I'd do anything for you. I'd even give you my heart if you need a heart transplant someday!" Now I am a Titans fan. And I wanna keep my heart. So the deal is off.

5.I like to draw, but haven't in a really long time. I drew some really good pictures when I was in high school, but college, marriage, kids, and triathlon haven't left time for me to draw since. I always say that when my kids go away to college, I am going to fill the empty nest with drawing.

I tag Holly and Lisa.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Motivation Monday

" must never give yourself a chance to fall apart because, when you do, it becomes a tendency and it happens over and over again. You must practice staying strong, instead."
-The Guru to Elizabeth in Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Yesterday was 8 miles VO2Max w/5x600m intervals. It went well, I hit the target paces every time. Today is supposed to be recovery 5 miles, but I slept right through the alarm, J.T. turned it off, and I didn't wake up until 7:00 a.m. I packed my bag to run at work during lunch, but that got shot down when Briar called for me to come get him - he was not feeling well. I'm still hoping to squeeze in the 5 miles, but if I don't get it in, I just don't. Not stressing over it...

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The final 20

Yesterday Michele and I ran our final twenty miler in preparation for the Rocket City Marathon. Incase you are a newcomer to my blog, this is my 3rd marathon and my last (for atleast a year) attempt at breaking the 4 hour barrier. I've done a 4:17(Country Music Marathon) and a 4:08(Las Vegas Marathon). I used a generic plan from for the first one. I used the FIRST plan for the second one. When I began considering Rocket City, I went all in and ordered Advanced Marathoning by Pete Pfitzinger. I chose the 18 week/55mi peak week plan to prepare for a sub 4 at Rocket City. This is by far the most mileage/week I've ever put into running. As a result, my paces have been somewhat faster, and my long runs have not hurt as badly. I can remember previously doing 20 milers and my legs being complete toast for 36 hours. I've even had dreams the night after the run that my legs were tree trunks. LOL. But by last night my legs were already feeling recovered from that morning's twenty miler. Whether or not I'll break 4 hours on Dec 8th remains to be seen, but I can say with certainty that I am now better prepared than I have ever been.

So, onto the run itself...

Michele arrived at my house and we took off at 4:00 a.m. in the dark and in the cold. 27 degrees cold. Somewhere during the first mile, I told her the plan I had thought up the night before. It was this:

3 sets of 6 miles, and two to hang tough with at the end.

The first set of 6, though, was to be broken up into two subsets. The first 3 were for warmup, as slow as it takes to get warmed up. Pace doesn't matter. The next three, just allow the legs to speed up naturally, and it should be around 9:45.

The second set of 6, shoot for 9:20 - 9:30.

The third set of 6, marathon pace. That would be 9:09.

The final two? If we're feeling good, sub 9. If we're about to die, just hang on tight to the marathon pace until the end.

The result? 20 miles in 3:06:06 for a 9:18/mile overall pace, and as you can see, we exceeded our plan expectations:

Elevation (ft)
Pace (min/mile)
Heart Rate (bpm)
MilePace (min/mile)Speed (mph)Heart
actual+/- avgactual+/- avg
19' 58+0' 406.0-0.4151-4 ft
29' 59+0' 416.0-0.4146+30 ft
39' 44+0' 266.2-0.3148+4 ft
49' 42+0' 246.2-0.3155+39 ft
59' 26+0' 086.3-0.1153-16 ft
69' 23+0' 056.4-0.1151-52 ft
79' 15-0' 036.5+0.0156-10 ft
89' 15-0' 036.5+0.0157-20 ft
99' 19+0' 016.4-0.0160+16 ft
109' 21+0' 036.4-0.0160+20 ft
119' 16-0' 026.5+0.0162+23 ft
129' 17-0' 016.5+0.0163+29 ft
139' 35+0' 176.3-0.2164+26 ft
148' 58-0' 206.7+0.2163-16 ft
158' 58-0' 206.7+0.2167+10 ft
168' 58-0' 206.7+0.2167-19 ft
178' 46-0' 326.8+0.4169-23 ft
189' 00-0' 186.7+0.2169-10 ft
198' 51-0' 276.8+0.3170-36 ft
208' 42-0' 366.9+0.4173+7 ft
end********174** ft
Versus average of 9' 18 min/mile
** Insufficient data to calculate this split

Posted from

I drank OS Endurance Lemonade again, but it was hard to drink anything as cold as it was outside. As a matter of fact, around mile 10 my OS had ice in it! And it wasn't the only thing that froze either...check out the ice on my pony tail:
And if 3 hours and 6 minutes is long enough to freeze a pony tail, it's long enough to cause damage if your tights are rubbing the back of your ankle:
Oh, and we saw a pretty sunrise:
And some pretty fall's a shot of Michele running past the fall trees during mile 13. If you'll notice, mile 13 was a 9:38 pace, and was supposed to be run at marathon pace. We took some time to take to take some pictures and enjoy the sites, though:
I have one more thing to say. If you haven't already noticed, my heart rate got a little crazy at the beginning of the run. Not only that, but my heart rate has been noticeably higher for the first few miles during my last several runs than it was, say, three weeks ago. My heart rate used to start out in the 130s. Just an observation. Not sure what to make of it...but I felt it was worth mentioning.

I lied, there's actually one more thing. If you haven't already, go check out David's AWESOME 20 miler that he did today. He's on the same plan, for the same marathon, and I challenged him to beat our time today. And he didn't just beat it, he CRUSHED it. Way to go, David!! All I have to say is if we all 3 get sub 4 marathons in Huntsville, there's going to be a serious sub 4 celebration going on!!!

Also in for Rocket City are Lisa, Joe, Wes(also in for IMFL '08), and Darrell. It's going to be another great blogger meet up!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

No use crying over spilled milk...

Or dropped birthday cupcakes, that is.

Today is Bo's birthday.
And a great day it is...except that I seem to be having a little bit of bad luck. It started at 4:45 when I met Michele at the rec for 10 miles. I knew when I stepped out of my car that I wasn't feeling it. I was hungry, my stomach was empty, and I felt weak and shaky. I considered taking a Gu, but was afraid of what it might do to my empty stomach. I haven't had much of an appetite lately, and I've cut way down on the sugar and carbs trying to get rid of some of the not so attractive love handles the mirror thinks I have. We set out down the road, and I bail after one loop of town (4.67 miles) when we get back to my vehicle. I had no fuel, and saw nothing productive coming from letting my ego torture my famished muscles just so she could log the miles and be proud. I do have a brain and every once-in-a-while she will prevail over said ego. This wasn't a "dead legs" type of was more along the lines of not having my body prepared for what I was asking it to do. And it was only a general aerobic run in the Pfitz plan; the big one is Friday - the final 20 miler. I deemed it more important, went back home, and cuddled with the birthday boy.

We sang our terrible rendition of Happy Birthday to wake him. He opened presents, jumped up and down, ate donuts, and we got dressed and out the door to school. We arrive at the school with only a minute to spare, and I open the back door to get the cupcakes for the Birthday Boy's class party. The cupcakes were having to share space with my bike, and were evidently pushed over against the door I was opening. And splat. Just like that. The cupcakes were bottoms up on the ground. Stuck there, collecting grass and dirt, with no hope for saving them. I bent over to pick them all up in front of the hurried traffic, presenting my butt crack to each of them I'm sure, as ofcourse I picked the low rise pants this morning. Bo realized that his cupcakes were history, and he took off into school, crying.

Big. Long. Sigh.

I walk in the school and explain to his teacher that I dropped the cupcakes, and I would find a way to get some more by the time I came back to school to eat lunch with him. Thankfully, the bakery at Wal-Mart bought my sad story, had pity on me, and fixed some more, ready to be picked up by 10:00 a.m. Perhaps I won't badmouth Wal-Mart for a few months now. When it was all said and done, everything turned out fine, just not as smooth as I had hoped for. ;)

It's all good...I just have to somehow teach the Birthday Boy that we don't cry over spilled cupcakes around here. Suggestions?

One more thing. Go give my sister some bloggy-love...she's got her own blog now, and she's going to start training for her first marathon. I'm so excited for her!!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Motivation Monday

"Thus I urge you to go on to your greatness if you believe it is in you. Think deeply and separate what you wish from what you are prepared to do."

-Percy Cerutty

As I glided through the streets this evening, headed to the track for speedwork, this quote went racing through my mind. I received it in my inbox Friday morning, and read it, almost tearing up, at the mere irony that this quote would be today's "Runner's World Kick in the Butt" for myself. I am "just an ordinary girl"...but there is a fire that burns inside me always nudging me to "go on to (my) greatness". I really don't know what that greatness is. Maybe it's being the best mom that I can be for my boys. Maybe it's somehow finding a career that I will love and excel in. Maybe it's finally taking my foot bath over to the nursing home and giving pedicures to the old ladies free of charge...I've always wanted to do that on a regular basis. Maybe it's finally sorting out and finding contentment in my faith. Maybe it's getting the sub 4 hr marathon. Maybe it's becoming an IronMan. Maybe it's a combination of them all.

What is it for you? What forms of greatness lie just ahead, waiting for you? Waiting for you to make your move. To go all in. Full speed ahead.

I am a fairly conservative southern lady, but I will surprise you sometimes. The fire burns deep. It burns hot. It burns long. It burns of the desire for greatness.

If you feel the fire burning, don't even think about putting it out. Percy urges you "to go on to your greatness". Nothing is impossible. We don't have any clue as to the limits of our bodies...and even more so the limits of the mind. Feed the fire. Stoke it. Go out and get your greatness, whatever it might be.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Dead Legs Running

About 6 miles into my 17 miler Friday morning, when I still didn't feel any better than mile 1 at 4 a.m., I realized that it must have been Pfitz's intentions to make me run a long run on tired legs this time. And boy were they tired. They felt like heavy lead. That's what I like about following a program, though. Had this my own made up program I would have seriously doubted the benefit of running 17 miles on tired legs, but since Pfitz had it scheduled like so I could only assume he was getting my legs ready for the "the last 6". And that's cool with me, because I want them to be ready this time. So Michele and I plugged away and finally completed all 17 with an overall pace of 9:24/mile. I am so behind on my bimActive log right now that I don't have any splits to post.

The good news? Next week is the finally 20 miler, and the completion of it will put me on the down hill slide. That sounds great to me. Although I really have enjoyed this program. It's much more running than I've ever done, but I have honestly not been burned out nearly like I have in previous marathon training attempts.

Friday night we finally had Briar's birthday party. I ended up with about 10 kids spending the night. 10. 11 year olds. Whew! Actually, it wasn't that bad...they are good kids and nobody got hurt. Atleast if they didn't it wasn't bad enough to come wake me up and that's cool with me.

I got my bike fixed yesterday - yay! I knew something was made a loud noise around the front wheel when I rode on it, but now when I just spinned the wheel by hand. As it turned out I had some loose spokes. The guys at MOAB took very good care of me and got it fixed right up. I thought I might ride today, but I lifted some weights after my 5 miler instead. Maybe another day. Soon.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Unofficial 10k PR

Again this week, Pfitz suggested a tune-up race for today. I met Michele and Mike at 5:30 a.m., and we took off on the same 10k route that I did the last time. I knew during the first mile that I felt better this time than the last. The last time I did this, which was 2 weeks ago, I finished in 51:46. My official 10k PR is 50:14 last year at the Franklin Classic. Today, I did it in 49:57!

Tomorrow is 17 miles. Next week, the long run is 20, and then it's down hill from there.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

No Rest For the Weary

Just because I spent 17 hours driving to and from PCB and got less than 10 hours sleep the entire weekend doesn't mean I get any sympathy from the rest of the world. We got home just shy of 9:00 p.m. Sunday night. I got up at up and ran 11 at 4:30 a.m. Monday morning and then resumed my regular schedule of getting the kids to school and going on to work. I get home from work Monday evening (in the dark, I might add - ugh!) and head to the gym for Briar's basketball game during which I had been assigned to keep the book. We got home after 9:00 and finished up a 4-H poster for Briar's contest, and I finally breathed a sigh of relief, as Tuesday was a rest day. I went to bed, still too tired to unpack that suitcase or even think about the other 20 things that needed to be done around my house. So the sun came up, and with the rest day came the time to actually notice the situation around my house - suitcase still packed, dirty laundry, clean laundry still in baskets, dust, carpet that would appear to have never met a vacuum...and...then...the...meltdown.

He had to know it was coming.

Yes, he knew. We went back and forth for a minute with ways to get more organized and ways to ensure the boys are cleaning up behind themselves...we threw in a few jabs at the other, and then each took some blame for ourselves...I threw my hands in the air and scurried out the door to work...and then I got home and he had cleaned every thing he could get his hands on during the time he got home from work with the kids and when I walked in the door. As we southern women like to say "bless his heart". I rewarded his efforts with some good homemade chili and grilled cheese sandwiches...and some steamed broccoli and cauliflower to ensure the kids got their veggies. So we're lying in bed last night, still and quiet, and he looks over to see my eyes wide open with a glossy stare.

He asks "What are you thinking about, Lana?"

I snap back into reality and have to respond with " be honest...swimming, biking and running." Not exactly what he was hoping to hear, I don't think.

But here's the kicker - he's all about me and Ironman Florida 2008. 100% supportive. Perhaps it has something to do with the "light at the end of the tunnel" he sees for 2009, but nevertheless, he is supportive. And yes - I even told him what the registration fee was.

I haven't told him about my obsession for that red, white and black '08 Cervelo P2C...but we'll save that for another day. If the day ever comes when the new bike fund is sufficient, that is.

This morning was a 4 mile recovery run with Michele, Mike and Amy then a swim. I've no idea how far I swam, I just know that I swam about 20 or 25 minutes. The pool doesn't open until 6:00, and I have to be home to start getting ready for work by 6:30, so something is going to have to give come January. I'm thinking we're going to have to have a talk with the aquatics staff at the rec center.

Tomorrow is a mach 10k race in preparation for the sub 4 hr marathon I am beginning to see in my future. One step at a time, one load of laundry at a time, one goal at a time.

Monday, November 05, 2007


IRONMAN Florida '08, look out...I came, I saw, I Freakin' Signed Up!!!
Actually, I just "pulled the slip"...being onsite after the race I gave them my name, number and email, and they gave me the above piece of paper that says I can sign into between November 15th and December 1st to claim and pay for (ouch!) my slot. To say that I am excited is a slight understatement.

Oh man, where do I start? What a weekend. I guess you could say it started at 4:00 Friday morning when Michele and I took off for our long run. It was a 17 miler with 14 at marathon pace(9:09/mile). To make a long story short on this one - we rocked it. I haven't analyzed the splits, but the overall average pace for all 17 miles was 9:04. And we ran the first 3 around 9:45 or we took some marathon pace to school for the last 14. A couple hours later, we were on our way to PC Beach - me, Holly, and Michele.

We got our volunteer shirts upon arrival at the race site, and met up with Trimama, Taconite Boy, Bigun and Mrs. Bigun, IronJenny and her Ironman friend that his name has now slipped my mind because I'm a dork, and TriFeist(Linae) and her cool husband, Joe. IronGirlNyhus also dropped in for a few minutes. OMG what fun!! I won't even go into how cool all these people are. After the racers left out to get some sleep before their big day, Holly, Michele and I went with Tac, Trimama, and the Biguns to have food and drinks at Hooters. We didn't stay out too late, though, because body markers had to be at the race site at 4:30 a.m.

Now, I'm not stupid. I've read tons of Ironman race reports, and you guys all talk about "The Voice of Ironman" - Mike Reilly. I knew his name and all. But I had this vision of him being only at the start and finish line. So as I was directing people to the body markers as a volunteer, I got many questions from the participants. Some were pretty lame - like does anyone have a couple of rubber bands-someone stole mine. So each time someone asked me a question I'd turn around and ask this guy with a microphone that seemed to have all the answers. I thought he was just a volunteer or something...he was really helpful for most of the questions, but he looked at me a little strange when I said "Hey man, you got a couple of rubber bands by any chance?". Obviously, it was Mike Reilly. LOL. I was asking him questions like he was the captain of the body marking team or something. I realized this when I got to the start line and that same helpful guy was asking "Do you want to be an Ironman today?!?!" Nice one, Lana.

We volunteered for the swim too. We were supposed to be stippers, but instead we got put right at the swim exit next to the timing mats. Holly was one of the first volunteers that the swimmers saw when exiting the beach, and boy did she do a great job! The guy in charge got all serious and told her "We've got about 4 minutes until they start coming - get ready." She said she got all pumped up and said to herself "BRING IT!" Our jobs were to direct the swimmers onto the mats and keep them on the mats to ensure they got a chip time. We did a fine job if I must say so myself. One poor guy was so confused he asked where the strippers were and fell right down in front of me before I could tell him they were on down. So I just said "STAY THERE! I GOT IT!!" I stripped him like nobody's business, baby...and even got applause from the guy leaned over the fence and said "Now you know you just wanted to pat that bum, didn't you!" It was fun. I saw Jere from swimclass, IronJenny, and Linae all come out of the water looking great. And then some came out not looking so great, too.

Volunteering was great. It's like a free front row seat to the whole event. I highly recommend it.

After the swim and our shift was over, Michele and I got our wetsuits and swam about a mile in the crystal clear ocean water with Bigun, Tac, and Trimama. Cool stuff. I was surprised at how easy it was to swim in the ocean with a wetsuit. Granted, we only went a mile. We left the race site for a while after the swim and found some lunch and laid on the beach for a while. We cheered for tons of racers as they were coming in on their bikes. I saw Jere AGAIN during that time - can you believe that!! He looked very strong! We got back to the race site just in time to see the winner cross the line, and spent the rest of the night mesmerized by all the runners and the finishers. We yelled and cheered and high-fived until we were delirious. We saw IronJenny finish like a pro and snag the 1st place Athena spot. We saw Jere come across looking like he'd been out for a 5 mile jog. And we saw Linae absolutely rock the finish line with her strong sprint to the tape. I sent all my friends a picture message and said "No doubts. I am SO in!" We searched and searched for TJ, and thought we had seen him a couple of times, but were never sure. I just read his blog and saw that he did AWESOME!

Michele and I got up and did our 8 mile w/intervals run at 7:00 Sunday morning, then got in line and signed up for IMFL '08 along with Tac, Trimama, IronJenny, Ashley,Dee,Abby and some others from swim class. Tom, a guy I workout with some from work, called on our way home and said that he and his training partner got in online! It's gonna be a wild 2008! And you know what I say about that, right? Bring.It.On.

Me, Linae, and Michele after Linae's awesome finish.

Talking to IronJenny after getting our signup slips the next day.

Trimama sharing some of her highly solicited wisdom on IMFL

Congrats to all the finishers Saturday. You guys rock!