Wednesday, May 30, 2007

GJCC Triathlon: Race Report

Ok, here's the story for the GJCC Tri. I had originally signed myself and Briar up for this thing because he said he wanted to do it, and I was going to do it with him. Well, between end-of-school activities, baseball, my trip to MIM, baseball season, and a stomach virus that lasted 3 days, I really didn't feel he had gotten enough training in to feel comfortable. So when I got an email from Team-Magic stating that the race was sold out, and that if you needed to cancel they would credit your registration fee if you volunteered for the event, I knew right away that was the thing for Briar to do. That way, he doesn't have to do an event he's not ready for, and I can get my money back for his registration fee by signing him up to volunteer. So that I did.

Race morning...I pulled Briar out of bed at 4:40 then opened the garage door to find Michele sitting in my driveway ready to go (she was going as a cheerleader). We took off to Nashville, and I actually made a wrong turn getting off of I-440 and we lost a few minutes but we were still plenty early. Due to the wrong, Michele got an awesome pic of the Nashville sunrise - check it out.

We finally made it to the race site shortly after 6 a.m. and saw David right off the bat. This was David's first tri!! We got Briar checked in with the volunteers, then I went over to get body-marked by TriSonq. He made fun of me for my serious look...haha...and called it my game face. I always laugh about people saying this, because I do have a naturally "serious look" on my face most of the time. If you didn't know me, you might think I was ticked off a lot, but I'm not...I'm just usually thinking about what I should be doing, or what needs to be done next, or what I could get done later....anyways, enough of that. Trisonq wrote "88" all over me and I enjoyed having a double digit race number...I don't think that's ever happened before.

We also met up with Laurie, Amy, and Don. I was glad to finally meet Laurie...if you can call it "meet"....because I felt like I had known her for a long time. This was her first tri, and she totally rocked it, taking 1st place in her age group!! This was also Amy's and Don's first tri. Amy has been training for almost a year now, and it showed - she flew through that course with a smile on her face and didn't even act like it hurt her!!! She also placed really well in her age group. And Don, well, Don was amazing. First of all, he beat me in the swim, and even said he got held up by slower swimmers a few times. Being as though my swim is the most improved part of my training...I am very impressed. By the time he does another one, he is going to smoke me with no problem. His bike was incredibly strong, and his run was great as well. He missed 3rd place in his age group by only a few seconds.

So here's how the race went for me...I got passed right off the bat in the swim and was pissed. I didn't get passed again, but I didn't pass anyone else either...not sure what happened there, but my time was 4:11....I was looking for under 4:00. Transition went well, except for trying to mount my bike when I couldn't get clipped in for some took me forever to get going. But once I got going, I felt great. I passed tons of people and one of them (a 41 yr old male) passed me back, then I passed him back, and he passed me for the last time as we rolled into transition. My bike time was 28:03, second best overall female bike time.

That guy who had passed me beat me out of transition by a few seconds, and took off for the run at a pretty good pace. I stayed within about 15 yards of him, then picked it up a little. I believe he was slowing down at the same time, because I was reeling him in quickly. I passed him after about a half mile, and there was no re passing by him this time(YE-AH!). But it wouldn't be fair if I didn't mention that I got passed like I was sitting still by the girl who went on to win 1st Overall. Dude, she was flying...

I pushed the run pretty hard. It was just 2 miles and I wanted to see what I could do. At the turn around I saw that I was barely over a 7 min mile. I even got to that point with about a quarter of a mile to go where I started to panic, thinking-

"Oh dear, I can't make it...this pace is too much and I can't hold it to the end, but slowing down's not gonna help...I need to walk...I can't walk during a 2 mile run!!!!...

Then I heard the crowd, then saw the crowd, and decided I could make it....whew...then I heard Michele yelling for me as I made the turn to the finish. As I crossed the finish line, Briar handed me a bottle of water - he was the water boy in the finish chute! Run time was 15:28. The bike and run times include transition.

Afterwards I went out to yell for all the others...I saw my friend Ross (who took 2nd place in his age group) and chatted with his wife and met their new baby boy. Then Michele and I cheered for Don, Amy, David, Laurie, and everybody else as they all came in looking great!

My final time was 48:08, and good enough for 3rd Overall Female. I'll take it...

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Memphis in May Triathlon: Race Report

Well, I'm back from Memphis! We had a great time, and the triathlon was a lot of fun, and I have a new Oly PR. The downside is that I came down with a some kind of cold and congestion mess on Tuesday before the triathlon on Sunday. I kept thinking that surely it would be better before Sunday, but as I sit here and type today, the following Tuesday, I am no better. Coughing, sneezing, tight chest, sore throat, etc. I have taken Clariton and Mucinex and neither have helped at all. So I am going to finally break down and try to talk to a doctor today. I would prefer to fight this off without an antibiotic, but I think I've tried long enough.

Anyways, Bo is back to playing to T-ball. The pediatric orthopedist said he could play with his cast, so made his comeback Saturday morning. We didn't win, but Bo did great...he can't open the glove to stop a grounder because of the way the cast has his arm turned, so he just gets in front of the ball and traps it underneath the glove - it is so cute! I guess the other team thought he wouldn't be able to do that, so they started out hitting the ball his way every time, and he made 3 straight outs! He made a couple more, but didn't get too many more balls hit his way after that.

So J.T. and I left after Bo's game and headed for Millington, TN. It's a community right outside of Memphis where the triathlon is held. I got checked in, got my packet and we walked around the expo for awhile. I got the custom bike jersey they had made for the race. It's really cool, I like it a lot. We then headed over to the lake and scoped out the swim course. J.T. said "Now how long did you say it would take you to do this?" and I said "30 minutes or less." And I could tell by the look on his face that he wasn't so sure about that! And to be honest, I wasn't either - it looked so long!!! As we walked back out, we decided that if I do this one again, we will camp there at the site. There were several tents set up where people were camping, and once we checked into our hotel, we both agreed that we would much rather be staying in a tent (I won't elaborate on that one, but draw your own conclusions). We then drove to Memphis, had some pasta for dinner, then came back to the hotel and got some sleep.

My wake up call came at 5 a.m., and I got up and got showered and ready. I always shower before a race because it wakes me up and makes me feel better. We got everything packed up, went ahead and checked out of the hotel, then made our way to the race site at 6 a.m.. I realized when I got to transition that we were seeded by age group. I felt a little relieved because I knew that if I had given an estimated swim time and ended up with bib# 318, then I had obviously made a mistake(there were almost 1700 participants). "Elvis" sang the national anthem, and we got lined up for the swim start. While waiting on the swim I saw Irene and Kelleah from swim class. I said my last goodbye to J.T., and then took off for the swim. After about 200 yards it got very crowded. I made it to the first turn and thought to myself "Man, I can't wait to get out of here and get on the bike." It was unusually rough for an incremental start - I got kicked in the jaw, elbowed in the face, and someone even grabbed my leg at one point! It really didn't bother me too bad, though, I figure that's all to be expected. I even accidently hit someone in the face, so I can't complain. It probably worked to my advantage, because it when it got very congested I would swim a lot harder to get away from all the people. Before I knew it I had made the last turn and was headed for land. As I exited the lake I glanced at my watch and saw that it had just turned to 27:00. MUCH better than I expected. Official Swim Time: 26:38.

I didn't get in a great hurry in transition. I hadn't planned to, either. My goal for this race was to stay focused the entire time and put together 3 solid events without being overly competitive with those around me. I think that's what you call "running your own race". Offical T-1 time:2:11.

I got on my bike, got out of the park area, we had a few short little climbs, and boy was this a great bike course. Flat and fast is the only way to describe it. There wasn't much of a wind either. I drank my OS endurance and didn't take where a bottle of Gatorade at the bottle drop. I got passed by two people in my age group, who I kept in site most of the way, but I would have had to really hammer in order to stay with them. That would have gone against my strategy for this race, so I calmed "Competitive Lana" down and told her there was a time and place for that, and this wasn't it. Not this time. I felt great the entire ride. I rode hard and solid, but didn't hammer enough to send my heart rate into the clouds. I saw J.T. as I was riding back into the park, and I finished with an average speed of 21.2, which is a PR in itself. Official Bike time: 1:09:29.

I got into T-2 and reached for my running shoe and discovered that I had left my wetsuit on top of it - big mistake - the shoe was soaked. Nothing I could do about it then, though, so I laced it and the other dry one up and took off. I didn't even my Yanks! laces in my running shoes. I had them with me, but never put them in since I wasn't in a big hurry in transition anyways. It was quite a jog to the exit of T-2. Official T-2 time:2:34.

The first mile of the run reminded me that I had a congested chest. My chest seemed tight, and I coughed a lot. I just went by my perceived level of effort for the run, and kept it just under LT. I got passed by several people again in my age group, which really started to bother me. "Competitive Lana" got somewhat upset, but I was doing all I could do. I estimated my splits around 8:20/mile to 8:30 mile, and I had hoped to be closer to 8:00/mile. I decided that I would focus a little more on my running for the next few months. The run was actually fairly hilly. Not anymore so than Mach Tenn, but pretty close to that. I picked up my pace over the last 2.5 miles, and before I knew it the finish line was in site. I passed a couple of people on my way there, and I was about 100 yards from the finish when I felt someone coming up behind me. Competitive Lana or no Competitive Lana, I have a rule that I don't get passed in the last 100 yards. So I kicked it on through the finish line(you can see this in the pic!ha!), and I guess that guy decided not to race me. ~Good call, buddy.~ Did I just say that?! No, it's Competitive Lana again. Bless her heart. Official Run time: 52:41

Final Race Time: 2:33:31

I am happy with that. It was 30th in my age group out of 79, which doesn't sound so hot, but I am still happy with it. Given this, I think I can also improve my time at the Chattanooga Waterfront Tri from last year.

After the race I ate BBQ and some other stuff, took in the atmosphere for a while, and then J.T. and I head to Tunica, MS. Since we couldn't check into our room for 2 more hours, we entered a poker tournament in which I placed 2nd out of 44 people, and won $1182. Nice. Wanna guess what I'm going to do with the money?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Opportunities Pass

That doesn't sound like anything fancy, but the words "Opportunities Pass" has as much truth to it as anything I've ever heard. Someone told me that about 5 years ago, and it has stuck with me, echoing daily in the back of my head.

It's nearing 10 a.m. here in Middle Tennessee today, and lets name the opportunities that have already passed me by...
  • Seeing the sunrise on one of the most beautiful spring mornings yet
  • Hearing the birds sing as my heart rate could have risen while doing the 400 meter repeats at 10k pace that my training schedule said to do.
  • Swimming laps with Briar before school on what was an easy swim day for me, making it easy to get in my work while spending time with him.
  • Riding my bike along side Briar on his way to school. - today would have been a perfect day for him to ride to school.
I traded those things in for 1.5 hrs of extra sleep this morning that I really didn't even need.

No excuses. I'm just not taking advantage of the opportunities I've been given. I am not receiving the beauty, the love, and the zeal for life that is out there for the taking. I know it's there, and it's just a little out of my reach right now...but if lunged out a little I could get to it. I don't know what it's going to take, but I'm not giving up.

I will get my work out in during my lunch break, and I'll enjoy the weather and sunshine given to me. I have been doing better about disciplining myself to get the things done around my house that need to be done, so I will continue that this evening. I'll soak up the time I have with the boys tonight. I'll get in the bed at a decent hour, and pray that I'll have another opportunity tomorrow. I am going to get it together, eventually. Tomorrow is another day.

Monday, May 14, 2007

What's going on with me?

Lots of random stuff here lately...Happy Mother's Day to all you tri-mom's out there...Congrats to Michele on finishing her first HIM at the Gulf Coast Triathlon...Congrats to TacBoy and all the other Tri-Bloggers out there who rocked WildFlower...especially Trimama, who was forced to play a different role this time.

Now on to the title of this post. I have my first tri of the season coming up in 6 days. Memphis in May. And you could say I'm looking forward to it, but I'm not carried away with the thought of it, really. I'm excited about doing the Oly Tri (it'll be my second of that distance), and I'm looking forward to spending a couple nights in Memphis/Tunica with my husband....excited about playing some poker...but I'm just not completely carried away with it. What is my deal? This time last year I was starving for a taste of a triathlon. Couldn't wait to suit up and survive the swim leg on race morning so I could have some fun on the bike and the run. And this year I've actually improved my swim, so you'd think I'd really be excited. You'd think I'd be anxious to hop out of bed at 5 a.m. every morning to get a good workout in. You'd think I'd be anxious to hear the birds chirping at 5 a.m. as the sun comes up. You'd think I'd be scanning or every day looking for new events that I might be interested in. And reading blogs constantly to find out what all the other tri-bloggers are doing. But I'm not. My mind keeps beating me up about it. Calling me lazy. Saying I'm weak. Asking where my mental fortitude has gone to.

But deep down, here's what I want right now.

I want to keep my house clean. I want to cook dinner for my family. I want to be available to help Briar with his homework. I want to be patient. I want to help Bo figure out how to catch a t-ball with a cast on his arm. I want to get in the bed early. I want to read the New Testament of the Bible on my own because I am tired of walking through life believing what I've been told or picking sides based on what I hear. I want to decide for myself. I want to hit grounders to Briar in the back yard. I want to have a glass of wine with J.T.. I want to go camping. I want to ride some mtb trails. With Briar. I want to road bike. With Briar. I want to run. With Briar. I want Bo's arm to get well so he can perfect his "bike riding sans training wheels". I want to get up at 5 a.m. with J.T. and run a mile with him. And not be concerned about getting in another workout that day. I want to do core exercises every day. I want to look in the mirror and be able to smile at what I see. I want to pass on the dessert. I want to see Briar smile when he walks off the baseball field. I want to ride my bike a very long way. I want to sign up for a 5k and run it with someone who's never run one before. I want to know without a doubt what time I will be getting up the next morning when I go to bed at night. I want to be in control.

Where did I lose control? At what point did chaos come in and rob me of my passion? Because the passion is gone. And that's just the honest truth of the matter. No, I haven't bailed on my training plan. I get the workouts in. But they aren't the same without the passion for what I'm doing. My goal this year was to have fun and not be stressed out. So I passed on doing a HIM. Cut back the training time. Went ahead and managed Bo's T-ball team. But things are still crazy. They are too complicated. Too chaotic. I can't drop the 5 lbs that need to be gone. I can't get my house in order like it should be. I can't breathe.

Is it because I haven't forced myself to get up every morning at 5 a.m.? Because sleeping late definitely has a negative effect on my mood for the day. Or am I trying to do too much? Surely not...plenty of other people do this much or more. Heck, I'm not training for an Ironman.

I don't know what my deal is. I just know that I feel unsettled and out of control. Not sure of what I want. Not sure how to get back in control. Maybe I need a routine. I thought the oly training plan I was following would give me that, but it didn't give me what I needed.

I'm going this weekend to do my first triathlon of the year. It'll be fun. I won't place in my AG, but I'll give it my all while I'm out there. But it really doesn't amount to much in the grand scheme of things, ya know. It's just a little race that no one but myself will even remember that I did in a few years. I don't know what's causing me to feel this way. I'll let you know if I figure it out.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Getting Back to Normal

Well, we're getting there. I worked from home today, so that I could keep an eye on Bo and make sure he didn't take off running and fall and injure his arm again. Right now he has a splint on it, incase of swelling. When he goes back to the ortho in a few days they'll put a hard cast on it and hopefully we can breathe a little easier. He's feeling fine, though, and it's become quite a task to make sure he doesn't get too brave. Bo is a pretty big boy for his age, he's always in the upper 90th percentiles in weight and height. That's great, but it also makes for a little bit uncoordination at this age. Simply put, he stumbles around a lot. On top of that, he's never really run around stuff...he just sorta runs over it or through it. So he's got some adjusting to do.

Yesterday my plan called for a 30 minute run and a swim of some sort. I did the run during my lunch break, followed by weights and abs, and then I did the swim yesterday evening while Briar had baseball practice. I did a straight 2000 yd swim in 39:57. I'd say that's about par for the course.

This morning, Briar and I got up ran 1 mile on the greenway and then did some abs and strength. This is the first time in a long time he has gotten up to work out with me. My plan called for a 30 minute ride today, so provided I get that font tire back on my bike, that shouldn't be a problem.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Bricks and Broken Arms

I'm falling behind on this blog, so bear with me as I attempt to catch up. Friday I had a swim/bike/run brick. It was actually supposed to be done Saturday, but since Saturday is packed with baseball/t-ball games, I did it on Friday morning. Early Friday morning, actually. I started the 1 hour swim at 6 a.m. I swam 2600 yards, most of it at race start pace and race pace, then changed for the bike. The bike portion was supposed to be 1.5 hours, but the route I took brought me back to the rec center at 1 hr and 20 minutes, so I left it at that. I think I got about 24 miles and averaged around 17.9 mph. The run was supposed to be 45 minutes, with most of it at race pace following a 10 minute warmup. I felt pretty good after the warmup, and after my legs realized they were running, not spinning. I ended up with 5.34 miles in 45 minutes for an average pace of 8:26. Average HR: 163 bmp, Max HR:177 bpm. I don't know if I would call that race pace or not, but I was pleased the with the workout. I felt really good the entire time, and that was probably my longest workout in a long time.

Saturday morning we had a T-ball game at 9:30 a.m. Bo did great, and his friend Nicholas ended the game with a triple play!!! Briar's team played at 3:00. Bo and Nicholas were playing on the playground during Briar's game. The game was about to go into extra innings when my friend called and said Bo had gotten hurt on the playground. J.T. ran and got him, and we peeked up his sleeve since it was his arm that was hurting, and we found this:

We rushed him to the emergency room where they gave him morphine and made him crazy, but didn't take away the pain. After 3 hours of trying to calm him down or get them to give him something to sedate him to no avail, we had him transferred to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital. We felt it was better for him to see a pediatric orthopedist anyway, and the only ones available in this area are at Vanderbilt. As it turns out, he had a compound fracture of both the radius and the ulna. He also had two bruises where the radius and the ulna were about to break through the skin. The resident pediatric orthopedist at Vanderbilt was able to set the bones back into place without surgery, though, so we were thankful for that. He is doing much better now, although he's a little upset about missing out on T-ball. The ortho said he would probably be in a cast for 4-6 weeks. If it's 4, though, he might make it back for the end of season tournament. We'll have to wait and see.

Needless to say, the training has been on the back burner. I didn't go to swim class Sunday. I was supposed to ride my bike 45 minutes yesterday, and I almost pulled that off until I had a flat tire. I had changed my tires Sunday, and I evidently damaged the tube of the front tire in the process. So when I went to pump it up yesterday for the ride - no luck. I attempted to change the tire, but for some reason I could NOT get the tire off the wheel. I had to get J.T. on the job, and he finally got it off, but not before it was dark and everybody was hungry and wanted dinner. So I cooked dinner, we ate and went to bed. Maybe I'll get back on track today.