Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Need some? We got plenty. At least Bo does, anyway. We were filling out and coloring his "All About Me" 1st grade poster last night for school, and we came to the the last section that says "3 Super Cool Facts About Me." I said, "Bo, tell me something super cool about you." He takes his pencil and writes, as he says "I am good like Michael Phelps!"

"Ok, yeah. Yes, you are a great swimmer, Bo! Now name something like to help oth-"

"I AM AWESOME AT BASEBALL!" he says, and he writes that one, too.

I jump in a little quicker after this one. "Bo, I know a good one! How about 'I am a good friend to others'?"

He kind of stares through me for a minute, like I just stole his thunder or something, and says, "Ok, will you write that one?" And he runs off to play.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Give me some credit, now...

Do you really think I'd purchase a car that I couldn't fit my bike inside? You know me better than that...

Trying to fit it all in

This week is crazy. With J.T. in Memphis taking continuing ed courses, it's not going to be easy to fit everything in. So far, though, so good. Sunday night we had a Mach Tenn Running Club group run. It was a 3 mile loop, organized by your's truly, although I'm not very organized. I went out about 30 minutes before the meeting time to mark the course, via running it with sidewalk chalk, and my tired legs were screaming at me. I made it back right on time, though, and then ran another 2.5 or so with the group. It should've been another 3, but I had to wait on Briar who was playing in the creek and got behind, so J.T. gave me a ride down the road a bit to catch up with everyone. We had a great turnout, actually. Let's attendance was Tammie & Jay, Tim, Lee & Laura, Eric M., Roger B., Stephen A., Audra, Trisha, Kim & John. We all had a good time. I think these organized, relaxed runs are a great thing for the Mach Tenn Running Club.

Yesterday I needed to swim 3800 yds, and I did it after work at the pool. I took the kids with me, and they played while I knocked out the laps. I was doing 3 sets of 10x100s as my main set, and after 15 of the 100's my kids came and told me they were ready to go. "Oh my," I thought. I wasn't sure what to do, since 30 more laps plus 4 cool down laps would take a while, especially with the 20 seconds rest in between each 100. So I told them I'd just swim the rest of my laps nonstop, in order to hurry, and they were okay with it. I felt so good swimming those 34 straight's hard to explain, but I can really get into a rhythm when swimming long. I have no idea what my time was, but it felt great.

This morning I needed 1:45 bike ride. The plan said:
15min warmup
4x15min in hard gear at 65-70 rpms with 5min rest between each
10 min cool down

The last time I did this on the road, and it worked out well, but since it's raining cats and dogs here, I opted for the trainer this morning. I started at 5 a.m. and finished just in time to wake the boys up for school. This workout is hard. I don't know if I just didn't have the drive or push I needed this morning or what, but I just couldn't push those hard gears and keep my cadence up this morning. Nevertheless, I flooded the floor and the towel on the floor with perspiration, and I put in the time, so I'm calling it a success. It was slow...I think I only got like 26 miles, which is not even a 15mph average. I'll take whatever I can get on this one, though.

You might be a triathlete if...

Your quest for superior aerodynamics trickles down into the decision of what car you buy.This baby is averaging 48 mpg!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

It's done...

Week 1 of this set of 3 straight hard weeks is done. I am burnt toast, but I am a happy girl.

What I said I'd do this week:
Swim 7950 yds
Bike 140 miles
Run 29 miles

What I did this week:
Swim 7950 yds in 2hrs 59min
Bike 143.3 miles in 8hrs 16 min
Run 29 miles in 4 hrs 29min

I never doubted that I'd finish everything in this hard week until about mile 1.5 of the 7 mile run that followed the century today. I had to promise myself I'd stop and turnaround and go back after 3 miles, and only run 6, in order to keep going. Of course, when I got to three, I talked myself into going out another half, making 7 miles.

The century was a bitch. It wasn't really the riding of 100 miles that was hard, like it usually is in a century, but the route was just freaking hilly! Up and down and long, gradual climbing, followed by a short decent and then more long, gradual climbing. I was totally okay with it, until about about mile 90, and although I normally have a good attitude about that stuff, I just started cussin'. I couldn't help it...I kept thinking "Now I KNOW that they could have found many other roads that would get us back to the starting point that aren't this hilly!" I deemed my sister, Holly, the smartest girl alive for opting out of this one, and myself the dumbest. They even made us ride 103 miles! I did the 103 miles in 5:56. Don't get me wrong - it was a well organized, well supported ride with lots of good rest stops and friendly I'm not knocking the ride...just knocking myself at letting it kick my booty. And I kinda goofed on the nutrition thing, too. Chalk it up to cockiness...I thought I'd just go out and ride and run without a plan, just eat when I wanted and not worry about it. Dumb idea. There's a certain amount (can't remember it off the top of my head, need to go back and look it up on here) of calories that I need to take in during long rides to feel like I've got optimum energy. I didn't get it today, and it got hot and muggy by the end, and I still had to run to 7 miles. I took off for the 7 without a lick of anything to drink or eat, and nearly dried up and turned into a pillar of salt before I found a flower shop with a nice lady outside who offered to let me go in and get water from her cooler. I finished the 7 miles , just glad to be alive, in 1:11:25...a whopping 10:20 pace. Not happy about that, but I learned the lesson (again): Pay attention to nutrition or pay for it dearly.

I showered and got my cool long-sleeve t-shirt, then went through the line to get my food. I got spaghetti, salad and cookies. I sat down to eat them and couldn't choke it down. It looked great, I just couldn't stomach it right then. I finally got a few noodles down before I gave up and went on my way in search of a gas station to get some chocolate milk. I downed the chocolate milk and felt better immediately. Another lesson learned: Take your protein shake mix or recovery drink to things like this in the event you can't eat the food afterwards.

So...a big deposit in the Ironman bank, finishing up with a great 100m ride/7m run brick. Now, it's time to get some rest and get recovered...I have another hard week starting tomorrow.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Doing what I said I'd do

I only have a minute, as my eyes are almost forcing themselves shut as I type. Just wanted to let you know that I'm doing what I said I'd do. I swam 2550yds Tuesday. I ran 16 miles Wednesday. I rested on Thursday. I rode 40 miles and swam 3200yds today. I've got everything packed up and ready to head to the HOT 100 tomorrow, including the running shoes, because I've got a 7 mile run following the century ride. It's long and tough these's getting up at 3:45 a.m. to ride 40 miles with my badass light on my bike. It's getting up even if I only got 2.5 hrs sleep. It's doing what I said I'd do...because I want to be an Ironman.

Be true to your work, your word, and your friend. -Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Stuff I don't train without...

Not when I'm training for very long, anyways. Take tomorrow for example - I've got a 16 mile run. When I lay my clothes out tonight, I'll get the shorts, the sports bra, the top, the socks, the shoes, and the BodyGlide. The BodyGlide is just as important as the socks, actually. I've been using BodyGlide faithfully for over the 3 years. Or, to be more exact, since the first time I did a long run and came home chafed. I ended up crying great big tears in the shower, and soon after did a Google search to find a solution.

BodyGlide is a great Anti-chafing solution because:
1)It really does work great. It keeps my thighs from chafing, even in hot weather, for at least 18 miles of running. And for biking, it works great too. I used it for my 70 mile ride Saturday and had no saddle sores.

2)It's not messy like petroleum jelly. This stuff applies just like a solid deodorant, so there's no mess.

3)It's reasonably priced for how long it lasts. A 1.3oz stick is somewhere between and $8 and $10, depending on where you buy it. I think I usually go through maybe 3 or 4 per year. Maybe. It might not even be that many.

4)It's waterproof. This is the best because you can put it on your feet before the swim, and it's still there for the bike and the run.

5)It even comes with sunscreen in it. I was excited about trying this one because I think it's cool to have the bodyglide and the sunscreen all in one. Fewer pieces is always better for me because I tend to misplace things. I have used the sunscreen during my last two long bike rides and it worked like a charm!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Rally The Troops

We're invading Ironman. Eleven weeks to go, and it's put-up or shut-up. I sub-4'd the marathon in January. I completed the Gulf Coast Half Iron in May. Then I piddled. I raced a few sprints and did a century. I ran a maximum of 10 miles as my weekly long run. I went through my normal summertime burnout, and I somehow found my way out of it. I got a little bit lazy, and I remembered that it's not for me. I've been following my plan as closely as possible for the past several weeks, except for the occasional "something suddenly came up," like the 3 a.m. snuggles, and the occasional extension of a long bike ride because Bigun and I think I need more bike miles than said plan requires.

I think most things in life come and go in cycles, and certainly Ironman training has it's different know, the base building period, strength building period, etc. While these are probably reflected in the training plan I am following, I am more concerned about the cycles that I go through mentally over the course of training for nearly an entire year for one big event.

Take for instance the buildup to the Gulf Coast Half. For me, that was my confidence building period. I needed to prove to myself that I could do the training, formulate a plan, and execute it on race day...for a long distance event...and enjoy it. And I did.

The early summer was a maintenance period for what I had gained during the spring, and mid-summer was my mental break because I felt the burnout coming on strong.

The past three weeks have been a gradual increase in both my focus and my mileage. It's been fairly steady and not too sporadic. It's helped in reviving my confidence, and most importantly, my motivation. I looked ahead at my calendar the other day, and I realized that it's a good thing I have arrived at this point, at this time.

It is time. It is time to step up. It is time for the long stuff. It is time to embrace the challenge I have taken upon myself and put in the sweat, blood, tears, and whatever else it might take to get to the start line of Ironman Florida, confident that I'll see the finish line. Lazy Lana and Timid Lana be damned, this is what it's all about. This is where The Fire Inside forges the Iron.

Saturday I rode 70 miles with the Highland Rimmers and then ran 5 through the campus of The University of the South. Sunday I did a 49 minute open water swim at the lake. This morning I ran 6 with Holly and then did weights. I am going to continue following my BT plan through the week days, and on the weekends I am slightly modifying it to 1)get more bike mileage and 2)be able to participate in some organized century rides. Starting this weekend, I am going with 3 weeks hard, then 1 week recovery. Then 1 week hard, 1 week recovery. Then 2 weeks hard, and then taper. This weekend is the Hot 100 century. Next weekend I am going to give the Alto/Sherwood ride another try, and the following weekend is the Elk River Century. In terms of distance per sport, here's what it looks like for the next 3 weeks:

8/177950yds140 miles29 miles
155 miles
29 miles
200 miles
18 miles

And the road becomes my bride
I have stripped of all but pride
So in her I do confide
And she keeps me satisfied
Gives me all I need

And with dust in throat I crave
Only knowledge will I save
To the game you stay a slave

Rove or wanderer
Nomad, vagabond
Call me what you will

But I'll take my time anywhere
Free to speak my mind anywhere
And I'll redefine anywhere

Anywhere I roam
Where I lay my head is home...

Friday, August 15, 2008

The 3 a.m. Snuggles

I fell victim to the 3 a.m. snuggles this morning. I had really good Ironman training intentions. I had my alarm set for 3:00 a.m. so that i could be up and on my trainer at 3:30 for an hour of intervals, followed by a 45 min run, followed by a 3000yd swim at the rec center when the pool opened at 5:30 a.m.

The alarm went off as planned at 3:00, and I woke up. I turned it off and sat up. Then I heard something....little footsteps across our new hardwood floors. It was Bo, half asleep, feeling his way over to my side of the bed. I helped him up into the bed and he grabbed me and said (in that sleepy little voice), "Snuggle with me, Momma."

Is there anyone around who can turn that down?

I can't. I thought I would snuggle for a few minutes and then proceed to get up and get on with my training after Bo was sound asleep again.


The 3 a.m. snuggles consumed me and lulled me into a sleep so deep that I didn't wake up until the final 6:30 alarm went off.


And I was doing so good lately...but 3 a.m. snuggles might be worth the set back! I'll get back on track tomorrow....

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

An Attempt to Catch Up This Blog

Things have been especially crazy lately, and when it's all I can do to get in the training, the blogging must wait. Yeah, sure, I could sacrifice one of the four or five hours of sleep I've been getting each night, but...nah, you wouldn't want me to do that. My posts wouldn't be very nice, much less motivating.

So, where did we leave off? The Super Duper Staggerwing Duathlon day! Yes - it was a great day. It reminded me to not be a wuss. Because I wanted to just wuss out on that race that day. I didn't want to get beaten, but I still had to get the long stuff in, so it was mentally more of a challenge than physically. I love it when it turns out good like that...'cause it don't always. But it's a good thing that it does every now and then, because I'm pretty sure that's what keeps us coming back for more. Anyways...

I didn't do a damn thing Sunday following the race. I rested and enjoyed it. Monday I swam early (1950 yds) and then ran 4 miles at lunch. Tuesday I got in a great 2hr ride starting at 4:30 a.m. Yes - in the dark - but I have a new light! I ordered the NiteRider MiNewt X2 Dual, and it is awesome. I feel pretty much like I've got vehicle headlights on my bike, minus the bulk and the weight. I probably could have gotten away with the single, instead of the dual, but it was just a few bucks more, and I want all the light I can get if I'm going to be out riding in the dark for very long. Tim and Don joined me, and with the 3 of us there was more than enough light.

Thursday we rode for 1:36 and got 27 miles with Tim, Don, Holly, and Lee. Great ride other than the flat I had. The problem was that somewhere on the ride back from the Staggerwing Duathlon I lost my flat pack, and hadn't been anywhere to replace it. Mistake. I think that's something to do with Murphy's Law. I've been carrying that flat pack around forever, never using it, and the same week that I lose it , I have a flat. Thankfully, I had good company, and I borrowed levers from Holly, a tube from Don, and CO2 from Tim. Lee took charge of changing the flat and, we had 'er fixed up in no time.

Friday, my plan called for a 1:50 hilly run. I sent in a request to our running crew for 12 hilly miles, figuring that with the hills we'd be lucky to get in 12 miles. In attendance, at 4:15 a.m., was Holly J., Rosalind, Tammie, Audra, Katrina, Tim, and myself. Dude, we did some hills. Be careful what you ask for. First, Old Stone Fort, then Mortan's Lake, then we ran the rolling Old Woodbury Hwy and finished by running up Cracker Barrel Hill. We got back to the rec center, and I looked down at my watch to see that it short of 1:50 by a few minutes, so we kept going over to the baseball park and then took the greenway back, for a total of 13 miles in 1:50.

During all this, we had been putting down hardwood floors in our house. That means spending every spare minute moving furniture, painting walls (cause I like for everything to look new), ripping up carpet, etc. Sleep became scarce, until I came crashing down and slept about 12 hours straight, then turned around and took a 2.5 hr nap. It's patient, but it will not be denied. Thank goodness my Mom and Dad were willing to come help, because that hardwood stuff is a job.

Saturday my plan was to ride 90 miles in the mountains, climbing Alto and descending Sherwood until I had 45 miles, and then turn around and come back. Tim was the only taker for this ride, and we headed out at 5 a.m. We made it nearly to the Alabama state line, and then we turned around and headed back up Sherwood Mtn. About 3 miles into the climb, though, I felt the same "thump, thump, thump" from my back tire that I had felt Thursday. Yep, another flat. This time did not work so well, though. We thought we had the tube up in the tire as well as possible, but when I used my one and only CO2, we found out that we had not - it ballooned out of the tire and then blew out. I had used Tim's last CO2 on my last flat, so we were stuck. On Sherwood Mtn, with no cellular reception. Somehow, I got a text message to go through to J.T. and he came and got us. When we got back, Tim finished out 60 miles, and I decided to swim. I was sick of messing with that stupid tire, and I still had a 3000 yd swim to do anyways. I was bummed out about not getting my 90 miler done. We had a really good ride going on, and it was ashame that a stupid flat tire had to ruin it. least I can say that if I have a flat at Ironman, I positive that I can change it effectively now. When I finally got around to messing with it, I realized that I should have blown some air into the tube with my mouth first, and that would have kept me from pinching it with the tire. That, and also that I should probably carry more than 1 CO2 with me. Lessons learned...

Sunday I met up with Mary Beth and Kim and we had a nice 5 mile run around the golf course into the evening - Briar even ran 3 miles with us. Monday I got the bike tire situation straightened out and had a good interval session during my lunch break. Monday night, Briar came and asked if he could get up early and run with me the next morning. Of course I jumped at the opportunity, and we got up at 5 a.m. Tuesday morning and ran 1 mile, then did core and weights, and then swam. I ran out of time swimming and only got 2200 yds, when I should have had 3500...ugh....but we sure had a good time. I'd say that I will try and make it up, but then I'd be lying. I'll just make sure I don't let it happen again. I might have to start doing some of these swims in the evening to ensure that I get the correct amount of yardage.

All that brings us to today. I have changed my BT Ironman training plan, because Bigun and I agreed that the other one was not ideal in terms of making sure I that I was ready for the 112 mile bike. I've gone from the intermediate plan to the beginner plan. I know, it sounds like I've gone backwards, but the beginner plan actually has more mileage. Plus, it's got Thursday as a rest day, which I like, because that means I can always use Thursdays to do something easy with the kids. It's also a "2 weeks hard, 1 week easy" plan, which I like better than rotating the long run and long bike each week. I feel more comfortable with a long run and bike each week, even if the long run now falls on Wednesdays. So today I ran 15 miles in 2:13:08. My legs were a little bit heavy from yesterday's weights, and I had to make a bathroom stop, but over all it was a great run. I am really amazed at the fact that I can run 15 miles like that when I have really only been doing 10 milers (except for last Friday's 13 miler) throughout the summer. The body never ceases to amaze me. It's the mind you gotta watch out for.

I'm all fired up and ready to take on whatever the next 11 weeks wants to throw at me.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Staggerwing Du Report

Ok, Bigun said to get my booty on the bike and keep it there, so I obliged. I consulted with him about this duathlon I had coming up, and we agreed that I could ride to the event (17 miles), participate (2.5m run/18.6m bike/2.5m run), and then ride home, adding on enough extra miles to get me somewhere around 80 total on the bike. So here's how it went:

Actually, let's back up to Friday first, because that's important. I like to run long on Friday mornings, so I met up with Holly, Tim, Rosalind, Tammy and Katrina at the rec center at 4:15. I warned them that I would go the distance with them (around 10 miles is what I was hoping for), but that I wouldn't be doing any sub 8 min miles, or anything close. Tim feeling the same way, since he was racing the next day too. So we took off, and I felt fairly comfortable for the entire 100 miles. I didn't have my Garmin on (left it at work), and I had no idea of the pace. I just ran by how I felt, and boy did it work great. I finished the run 1:25, and 8:30 pace, didn't feel sore or smoked, and had effectively manufactured Excuse #1, as to why I would take a public stomping at the duathlon the next day.

The sad part about this whole thing is that Holly-Jane has been training her butt off for this event, and a few days ago she got taken out by a dog while riding her bike. A BIG, MEAN dog, and one that was just allowed to run loose and harass bikers and runners. She went over the handle bars and ended up with a terrible case of road rash, but thankfully no broken bones. Unfortunately, she wasn't ready to saddle back up by Saturday, so she came out and took pictures and cheered instead. But we all better be looking out for her next year...

So, I met Michele in town bright and early Saturday morning and we rode our bikes to the race, about 17 miles for me and 20 for her, giving us Excuse #2, as to why we would take a public stomping at this duathlon. I couldn't believe I was doing that. I just kept thinking...what if I get beat by like a few seconds or something, or what if my legs are already tired during the first run?! I knew that it had to serve as a long training day, and leave it at that, but there's still the fact that results will be posted...and you know how I feel about that. Let training be training, and let racing be all out, bttw, fight, scrape and claw your way to the beat everyone you possibly can. So I just made peace that I would ride easy to the race, race in the manner I described above, and then ride the last 40 with whatever lactic acid, spunk, 'fear of Coach Bigun' I might could turn into fuel, if that's even possible.

So we got there, I got body marked and set up transition, chatted with my peeps, was successful in the potty-a-potty, listened to the prerace instructions, which included penalties for littering, and I was off in the 2nd wave. My legs felt surprisingly well, and I ran the first 2.5 mile leg in 19:25.

T-1 went okay, although I felt somewhat slow and clumsy getting out of there. I still made it out in 59 seconds.

Now the bike. I love this bike course. It is deceptively challenging, but it is loads of fun. It's flat for the few miles, then a long downhill, and then rollers all the way to the turnaround...and there's usually a wind at your back all the way there. I hammered the flats, hammered the downhill, and hammered the rollers, trying to pass as many people as I could, and I managed to reel in quite a few. My Dad was out there on his motorcycle, and Holly was riding with him snapping pics and yelling for us. About a mile from the turnaround, I decided it was time for a Hammer Gel - the chocolate one in my back pocket. It was difficult to open, but I finally got the top ripped back enough, even though it looked like a mess. So I'm hammering along, trying not to slow down too much as I take in this gel, still aero, and I lower my mouth down to the gel and squeeze.

Short pause.

What the???

Nothing. Nope. Nada.

Uh...Houston, we have a problem.

I just successfully squeezed this open, chocolate, turd-brown Hammer Gel at my face and there is nothing in my mouth. So I look down and find out why - both legs look like I have tried to run a marathon after eating at Krystal for the pre-race meal. Brown gu running the down the sides of both of them. Nice. So I raise my hand up and wipe it across my cheek and find out where the rest of the brown gu is. My first thought is to sling this gel packet as far as I can sling it and try to get this mess off of me without losing too much time. My second thought is that of the officials warning that if you litter on the course and get caught, you will penalized. I look over my shoulder. No official. Therefore, my third and final thought is to sling the *&%$! gel immediately, and I acted, with no remorse as I continued to find brown, sticky gu all over myself and my bike. I got over it, finally, and hammered back to transition as hard as I could go. Bike Time: 53:01. That's over 2 minutes faster than my last year's bike time (Hooray!!!), but still slower than Tim's (51:49) and Chris C.'s (52:35) smoking fast bike times (Boooo!!!). Those guys have become serious forces to be reckoned with!! I still averaged 21.05, though, so I am pleased.

was just a complete cluster. I successfully got my feet out of my shoes on the final stretch, but for some reason I failed to throw my leg over as I stopped my bike. So I did the ol' "clip out, straddle the bike and feel like your gonna fall, then hike the leg over and try not to scream Owwwww!" as you push the bike to it's rack. I heard Leslie yell to me that I was the first woman in, and I got a little bit excited! I got out of there in 35 seconds, and I knew right away that my legs felt better than they did last year at this race.

I took little steps, high cadence, and let my heart rate settle in for the run. I went out for the first little loopty-loop and saw Tim kicking butt. I high-fived Holly, and kept going towards the out and back on the runway. My legs were getting tired, and I was pushing as hard as I could push. Then I heard footsteps. I looked over my shoulder, and knew immediately who it was. The foot steps got louder and closer, and I couldn't seem to pull away from them. So I yelled, "I hear you back there!!!" and in a matter of seconds Chris C. was effortlessly running by me. The thought did cross my mind to try and hang on, but he was like Jack Handy's keys dropped into a river of molten lava - "let'em go, cause man, they're gone." And Chris was gone. I didn't let anyone else pass me, though, and enjoyed watching the race to the finish between Chris C. and Charles P., with Charles digging deep to fight him off at the end. I finished the second run in 20:35.

Fun times! And you know what's even funner? My final time of 1:34:34 won 1st place overall female!!! And what's even funner than that is that there were more of my peeps at this race than any - including Lee, who won 1st place in his age group at his very first multisport event and only the 4th time he'd ridden his bike! And Eric, who did awesome, too, in his first multisport event! And Tim The Machine, who smoked the course and got 1st place in his AG, and wasn't far from an overall award! And Chris C. was just a few seconds behind him in 2nd AG. And Michele - who also biked to and from the race and was right behind me for 2nd place overall female! And there was Tracy - who almost made herself sick on the course and took away 1st place Female Masters! Tony took away 4th place AG!Charles claimed 3rd place Male Masters! Joe made a brave, last minute decision and decided to race the event on little to no training, and did great! David S. from the running club took away 1st AG, and Rebecca M. did the same in her AG.
I met Roger B. in person for the first time (he did a relay team), and chatted with lots of other running/tri peeps and their spouses and kids.

Mike was volunteering...

Charles, Tim, Me, Lee, Michele, Chris C.

Tim, Lee, Tracy, Michele, Eric, Me, Tony

After helping out with the clean up some, I got back on my bike and took off for 40 more miles - out the race course to 41-A, then onto Rutlege Falls and into Manchester. Michele had already left to go home, but my Dad decided to be my riding partner on his HD. He rode the whole way with me, and the ride flew by. I ended up with 75 miles biking and 5 miles running, and a first place overall award. That's a step in the right direction.