Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Just another day...

Well, I ran 7.91 miles Sunday morning, but it wasn't my best run by a long shot. First of all, I don't think it was "morning" enough. I didn't get started until 7:45, and after 4 miles it felt hot and humid, and I could tell I was needing some water. I was pretty much hitting a 9:30 pace consistently, which I was okay with since I had just rode 100 miles the day before, but in a search for water I ran down the greenway and stopped to drink from a water hose I found at the ballpark. That kinda killed my pace and my momentum. I got started back up to head home and then stopped again on the last hill to help a couple find Starbucks. Bless their hearts, they had gotten off at the wrong exit and must have really been needing that Starbucks fix. That stuff should be illegal. BT called for a 1:10 run, but I ended up running slower than I had wanted/expected and by the time I arrived back home I had gone 7.91 miles in 1:17. All miles were around 9:30, but the two 10:30 miles for water and Starbucks directions killed the pace. It's all good though...a run completed is always, in one way or another, a good run.

Monday morning my alarm went off at 5:00, and I decided to hit the evil snooze button a few times because I knew that I had plenty of time to get to the pool for my swim by 5:45. Simple enough, right? Nope - that snooze button will screw you every time. This time the stars must have been in some kind of funky alignment so that the alarm actually awoke J.T. He got up, got ready for work, and said "Lana, I'm going on to work early...see ya later." I looked at the clock, saw 5:45, and wanted to curse, but then I figured an anomaly such as this could only be related to a crazy alignment of the stars, and so I just went back to sleep for another half of an hour. I did the swim late yesterday evening, and chalked it up to a lesson learned about smacking the snooze button too many times - nothing good ever comes of it.

This morning, I didn't chance it. The alarm went off at 4:30, and I got up. I met Tim, Lee, and Heather at the rec and was actually early, believe it or not. They wanted to run 4 miles; I needed to run 40 minutes - so we compromised and ran 4.5 miles in 37:33. I guess I should have kept going for another 2.5 minutes, but that 8:17 pace convinced me that I had done enough, so I didn't. I'm not Type A, remember? Jumper says it's called Type A-. Anyways, I grabbed my sports drink and went up to the weight room to do weights. It was nice to do weights this morning. I have missed them. I shot the breeze with Russell, talked about baseball with Brett, chatted some with Tracy, and got all the BT prescribed sets in plus a few lunges for my back side.

Tomorrow is a bike and a swim, and I have yet to decide whether it will be an early bike ride in town and then a swim, or if I will commute to and from work and swim during lunch. We shall see.

Congrats to Bigun, Taconite Boy, Momo, Blink, and Ashley & Joseph who all kicked butt at IMCDA Sunday!!! And congrats to Bree Wee for an awesome 9:37:12 at IMJapan!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Wrapping up week 1 of Ironman Training and the Harpeth River Century

I'll wrap up week 1 of 20 tomorrow with a 1:10 run. That run was supposed to be today, but I substituted yesterday's brick with today's 100mile bike ride and pushed back the run to tomorrow so that I could do it on tired legs. All in all, the first week went great. I did skip the first day (last Sunday) because I was recovering from Bonnaroo, but other than that and switching/substituting some things so that I could do today's century ride, everything fit nicely into my schedule. I've looked over the next few weeks and decided that it's not going to be too bad. I won't be doing the McMinnville City Triathlon (sprint) next Saturday because we will be all up the in the middle of Briar's district all star tournament. I do wish goodluck to everyone I know who will be there, though...off the top of my head...Michele, Amy, Don, Chris P....I know there are more...

And...I gotta say congrats to my running peeps who smoked the Moon Pie 10 mile run in Bell Buckle this morning - Lee (1:13), Tim (1:16), Heather (1:26), Holly (1:18), Tony (1:24), Tammie (1:22) and Jay (1:38). And I also noticed that Lynn got first in her age group with a smoking 1:09!

As I have said, Holly and I went up to Franklin and did the Harpeth River Century ride this morning. Instead of a normal report, I have...

10 Things I Loved About Riding 100 Miles at Harpeth River

10. The weather was perfect. 70 degrees when we started and 82 degrees when got done. Little wind, lots of cloud cover...just beautiful.

9. Beautiful Countryside. Wow. What I would give for about 20 acres at most any place along that route. It ran along a little river nearly the whole way...so peaceful and pretty.

8. Great rest stops. We skipped the first one...but then there was Margaritaville. Then the hippie 70's rest stop...complete with incense. Then banana bread and some great chocolate chip cookies at the top of a killer climb. And we skipped the last one because we just had 13 miles left. Great volunteers...I ate rice krispy treats and oranges, mostly. I also had a warm chocolate chip cookie and some banana bread that rocked, and there was much more, but I have to be careful about what goes in my belly. Even being careful, I started to feel a little queezy from all the sugar during the last 15 miles.

7. Nice little cool-me-off rain shower during the last stretch. I call it a victory shower.

6. No mechanical failure. I had a terrible rattle all day long...especially on the rough roads. I finally found out it is just my bottle cage that has worked its way loose. Atleast I sure hope that's all it is. Either way...no flats and no mechanical failure over 100 miles is always something to be thankful for.

5. No knee failure for Holly. Around mile 35, Holly had a pain in her knee. It hurt with every downstroke of the pedal. With 60 miles to go, I was pretty concerned. I said a prayer for her knee every so often. Thankfully, it never got too much worse and she toughed out the full 100 miles!

4. Hammering up hills like nobody's business. I hereby declare myself a climber. And Holly too. We smoked the hills. You see that fire behind my tire at the top of this page? Yep...that's what it looked like out there behind us going up the hills.

3. Meeting nice people. That's one thing I love about century rides. I met "Mr. Lightspeed" that I had battled back and forth with on the bike at Mach Tenn. I found out his name was Paul...and I met his friend, Paul, too. We also met Tom Campbell from Mureesboro, and many others.

2. Riding right past our car at mile 96 and proceeding to do a 4 mile out and back because the course was 4 miles short. Well, maybe I didn't exactly love this at the time, but I do now. You see, this was Holly's first 100 mile ride...ain't no way we're riding 96 miles and hanging it up just because the course was short. We kept on trucking and got the full 100.

1. Sharing in the victory of my sister's first ever full century ride!!! Victory tastes sweet when your cyclometer trips 100 miles...and it's even sweeter when you've rode the full 100 miles with your sister during her first one. Gotta love it.

Ride time was like 6:03, I think, and total time including rest stops was like 6:38. And now for the pics:

Thursday, June 19, 2008

IMFL training begins, Getting my mind right, I'm not Type A, and Goodluck wishes

The Ironman. It's the ultimate test of endurance, passion, tolerance, and balance for any triathlete. It's our Mt. Everest. It's our Super Bowl. It's our game 7 of the World Series. And we don't even to have to sit in the bleachers and watch. We can participate...we can swim, bike and run right along side of the pros. We get cheered for and get our names called out at the finish line just like the pros. What a thrill. What an opportunity. I've got 20 weeks to get ready. It started Sunday. I'm going through the mental checklist...
- Finished the GCT half iron easily - check
- Kept up the bike mileage and am ready for a century - check
- Got the foot injury all healed up and ready to go - check
- Got the BT training plan in place - check
- Got a good idea of nutrition requirements and how my body reacts - check
- Feeling more confident about the swim - check
- Getting the diet under control - check
- Mentally ready - not so much...

There's no denying it, my mind is not right for this, just yet. It's really not surprising, though, because I am a procrastinator by nature. I hate it, but I am. If I'm a little uncomfortable with something, I will dance around it for a while before I completely jump in. I'll think about other things, and just leave it in the back of my mind until I deem it necessary to get down to business. I did the same thing with Gulf Coast, actually. The first few weeks of that 20 week plan, I dabbled with it instead of taking the plunge. I tested the waters of those long bike rides and brick workouts and very few rest days. That's what I've been doing this week - testing the waters. Good or bad, I'm not sure, but it's something I have to do. I've done most of the workouts listed on the plan for this week, but I am also changing it to allow for the 100 miles on the bike Saturday. I am excited about going 100 miles at the Harpeth River Ride, so that's really what is on my mind, more so than November 1st. Which is okay with me, right now. The century ride is going to be great for my training, and I am coming to realize that I do better by listening to my body and going with the flow, and keeping it fun, rather than trying to be a type A personality who must do everything by the book. Which leads me to...

I'm not Type A.

I almost am. I can be. But inherently, I'm not completely type A. I have spent a lot of time lately meditating about my discontentednesses and my never ending desire to excel and achieve. I want to be the best. I always have, at everything I do. The problem, though, is that when you are a wife, mother, corporate computer programmer, soccer/baseball coach, triathlete, etc. It's not always possible to be the best at all of it. You have to bring in some balance. Some peace and acceptance with doing the best you can in all of it. That is hard for me, but it is necessary. However, it leaves me feeling kind of like a failure at all of it.

It doesn't have to be that way, though. I can sit on a bank with a rod and reel and enjoy a day of catching no fish just as much as anyone. I can paddle my kayak down the river without having to enter an adventure race. I can go for a jog (yes, I said "jog") without having to be the first to finish. I can love you for who you are and not for what you can do for me.

I still don't like to enter a race and not go all out, but, I can do it if I have to. I took a "Type A or B" test online and this was my result:
Results of Your Type A Personality Test

Personality Type
Your score = 61 Your score

What does your score mean?

You seem to be in the middle between the Type A and Type B personality. In this case, the middle ground is good. Your attitude to life is more of the "smell the roses" kind and you know how and when to relax. Nonetheless, you realize that picking up a challenge and competing a little bit for your place in the sun can add some spice to your life. The equilibrium is important, so don't let your hostile, aggressive, and competitive alter ego take over too often. Generally, you are easy to be around, and people tend to feel relaxed and comfortable in your presence. Yours is a very healthy attitude towards life.

Had I taken this test a year ago, no doubt I would have been all over the Type A side. But the good thing about life is that if you keep an open mind and observe what's going on around you, you can always learn new things. You can even learn new things about yourself, and you can recall things that you had forgotten. You can change. When I signed up for IMFL,I thought this year would be about rigid workout plans and no holds bard training sessions and the world revolving around me. I was wrong. This year is about training hard and training smart; being passionate when the time is right and relaxing when it's not; it's about mental toughness, but it's also about listening to my body; it's about riding 70 miles in the hot sun and then staying true to my promise of taking the kids to the pool; it's about being grateful for the opportunity I've been given - my health, the support, and the financial means to train for an Ironman, and then it's also about scrapping the 60 min ride or weight session because I have Little League ballgame to attend.

I am not a professional triathlete - I survive the swim; I think I'm fast on the bike, but in comparison to many, I'm not; and I am only an average runner. I have tested the waters of this 20 week IM training plan this week, and I like it. I'm riding 100 miles this weekend, and then taking the kids to see a movie. I'm turning it up a notch next week. And probably another the next week. I'll be ready for Ironman come November 1st - Lana-style.

Now, speaking of Ironman...if you didn't know already, IMCDA is Sunday!! Goodluck to all of my peeps who are toeing the line! If you haven't already, go over to Bigun's blog and check out his list of participants and their numbers, and instructions on how to track them live. You guys rock!!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Bonnaroo Pics

Bonnaroo '08 in a nutshell: Friday night Mary Beth and I were on the front row for Willie Nelson. It rocked - and that is an understatement. Then we saw Metallica and I lost my cell phone. :( Saturday we saw the last part of B.B. King, then Jack Johnson who was wonderful (Where'd all the good people go-o?!?!?) and then Pearl Jam who's performance was almost surreal to me. It rocked. Sunday night I took the boys and some of their friends and we watched Widespread Panic and saw the sites. Below you'll see me and some of my peeps...

Holly, Me, Mary Beth

Keegan from outwest, Me and others

Me and BethanyMe and J.T.
J.T., Willie, and Martin

Katy (Brad's wife) and Bethany

Brad and Katy

Bethany and Jeremy

Me dancing with Willie

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Training thoughts:
  • I did a 70 mi ride the day after the Mach Tenn Tri with Tim, Don, Holly, Ben, and Mike E. It was hot and my legs were tired, but it was just what the doctor ordered. It felt like real endurance training. It was mighty hot, but I love hot weather so no complaining here. I got home, dove into some pizza and breadsticks, assumed my position on the couch, and then I hear, "Mom, will you take us to the pool? You said you would." I paused, took a deep breath and recalled the conversation I had carried on with Briar the night before about how 'I would be glad to take him and Bo swimming Sunday afternoon when I was done with my bike ride.' I'd be lying if I said I didn't desperately try to come up with a valid excuse or a reason why another day would be better, but my excuse database produced nothing. I looked up into those pretty green eyes and instinctively said "Yes, your right. Sure, go get your swim trunks on and we'll go." I mean, after all, I could lounge on the couch and feel like a loser mom, or I could lounge at the pool and be super mom; it was a no brainer, really. I took the kids to the pool, we had fun, and I sat UNDER an umbrella for the first time ever. Five hours of sun on the bike was enough.
  • I took Monday off. After all this is the last week before IM training. No need to kill myself. Tuesday I was a victim of the snooze button, but packed up my backpack and got a nice 5 mile run in at work. 44:15 - I felt really good on my feet for the first time since my foot injury. This morning I skipped out on the early morning bike ride, and opted for a quick 2 miles on the treadmill and abs,back while Briar had swim.
  • As I previously said, Sunday starts IM training. I will be self-coached, following the 20 week, Beginner Full Ironman plan for silver members at Beginner Triathlete. Nutrition will be something that I'll have to work hard on, both in my daily diet and during the long training sessions. I am going to join Ashley and the Excel triathletes when my schedule will allow it, but I won't be going on a regular basis. With gas getting up to $4/gallon(it's about 70 miles away) and spending as much time training as this thing will require, I'll need every extra dime and every extra minute to spend with my family. This is going to be the ultimate test of balance.
  • I'm doing the Harpeth River Century Ride July 21st. Not this weekend, but next. I had originally planned on doing the metric, but after coercing Holly to bust out a 60 miler, then a 70 miler, I talked her into doing the full 100. It will be her first 100 and my second. It's not exactly going to fit the Ironman training plan of a 45 min run, but we'll figure out something. If you're going to be there, leave me a comment and let me know.
Life in Manchester, TN:
  • So if training starts Sunday, then what am I doing this weekend??? Going to BONNAROO ofcourse!!! I'll be a hippie all weekend long. In my back yard I'm going to be rocking out to Jypsi, My Morning Jacket, Willie Nelson, Metallica, Jack Johnson, Ben Folds, Kanye West, Pearl Jam, and more!!!
  • Briar's Little League team is still in the city tournament and yesterday he lead off with a triple, then singled, and then got hit by a pitch(no damage done though, he's tough) as his team advanced to the next round.
  • I finally turned on my air conditioner. It kinda became a....mmmm...matter of saving my marriage. LOL. Seriously J.T. had been very patient with my quest to save energy but mid 90 degree temperatures with no air conditioner about sent him over the edge. So I finally obliged and turned it on. Now the house is just cold, but at least I can go outside and warm up.
Well, this is it. Half the year is gone, half the training is gone, the half ironman is gone, and the downtime is almost gone...now it's time for the big show. 20 weeks of training for 1 day, 1 race, and a once in a lifetime opportunity. Let the fun begin...

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Mach Tenn Triathlon 2008

The Mach Tenn Tri was my very first date with triathlon, back in 2005. It's a .6 mile open water swim/16 mile bike/4 mile run. The first year I just wanted to finish, and I did, but it was questionable until I got out of the water. In '06 I was going for a top 3 AG and didn't get it, but I improved my time considerably. '07 - still no top 3 AG, but still an improvement. What is it they say...???..."If at first you don't succeed, try and try again???" I hereby declare 2008 my year! The year of Sheera!! 2nd place AG at Mach Tenn!! The Flash sent me the breakdown via email and here it is:

mach 10 time age group overall
2005 1:57:06 5 227
2006 1:44:30 5 144
2007 1:42:49 4 119
2008 1:38:46 2 76

So, I am definitely happy with the improvement. However, you know how I feel about 2nd place. There's still work to be done.

Here's how it went...

I got there plenty early and picked out a pretty good transition spot. I found all my friends, including Justin C., who was doing this race for the first time, and Tim G. - my super-fast marathon running friend who pushes me to run faster. This would be Tim's first triathlon ever. So after getting set up, body marked, and finding out that wetsuits would not be legal (first time in many, many years for this race), we headed down to the beach area and got ready to go.

There was definitely no need for a wetsuit in this race. The water was very comfortable and would have been too hot with one on. I took off when it came my turn and felt pretty good. I concentrated on long, smooth strokes, and I probably sighted better in this race than I ever had. I was right on top of each buoy, and I was outta the water in 17:49. Yeah baby! That's over two minutes faster than last year.

I ran outta T-1 and up the hill talking to The Flash. I told him it was my best swim ever there, and I was so excited I completely ran by my bike and had to turn around and go back. T-1 Time:1:33. Still not too bad.

I hopped on the bike and took off. One of these days I am going to tell you how much I love my new bike, and I am going to name it, but not just yet. Everything was going great until about 4 miles into the bike. I was really grinding it out, so much so that I tucked my head in and decided to glance down at my feet as they were spinning. Problem was - there was something in the way. My boob was hanging halfway out of my sports bra!!!! Not all the way, now...not even enough that would be considered obscene if you know what I mean...but it was definitely protruding out in a way that I would normally not allow. So after a quick gasp I tucked it back in and went back to attacking my opposition. (Upon review of the Flash's photos, this damage was done in the water, and I trotted all the way through T-1 without a clue. Nice.) Mr. Lightspeed Guy and I battled each other the entire 16 miles. This was good for my bike time, and I told him so after about the 3rd time I passed him. We had some fun with it, and I know he must have thought I was crazy because the last time he passed me I was literally gasping for air. I love this sport. Bike Time:45:49. Almost 3 minutes faster than last year.

T-2 was quick as I again pulled my feet out of my shoes just before I got there. That is definitely the way to go. I am convinced it saves at least 8 seconds. T-2 Time: 00:45.

This is where things go awry. I considered grabbing a gel as I was slipping my running shoes on, but I decided against it in an effort to save unnecessary calories. Lesson learned - when it's 90 degrees and 80% humidity, don't try to save calories. I knew this, but I have to go back and relearn things sometimes. Needless to say, my legs were dead from hammering the bike and the water on the run course just wasn't enough to revive them. I ran the whole thing feeling dead and knowing that I was probably losing the ground I might have gained on the bike, but I just couldn't do anything about it. Run Time:32:52. Over 2 minutes slower than last year. That's not going to cut it.
Total Time:1:38:46

Enough about me. This race was worth doing just to see all my tri-friends! Congrats to all my friends...
Tim G. - first ever triathlon and nailed it!
Justin C. - first time at Mach Tenn and did great!
Mike N. - PR'd the course
Chris C. - beat me. Dangit. My streak is over. Really though, Chris had a GREAT race, and after a bad experience at GCT, I am ecstatic to see him pull together an awesome race!
Charles P. - 1st Place AG
Chris P. - 3rd Place AG
Bob Alt - 1st Place AG (70-74) - he's a legend.
David S. - 1st triathlon and did awesome!
Patrick - he beat me too, dangit! Great job Patrick!
Becca V. - 1st overall female. HUGE congrats! She was smokin' out there!
Lynn M. - 3rd overall female. She is having an awesome year and kicking my butt!
Jere P. - 7th place AG!
Missy - 5th place AG and had an awesome swim time!
Dee - 10th place AG and 1st place party girl - had FREE BEER AT FINISH written on her calf - gotta love it!
Larkin and Katherine both placed in 1st in their age groups...but they almost always do! Congrats!
Tammy R. - 2nd place AG. I just met Tammy at the race - she is an awesome triathlete!
Kevin S. and his relay team - 1st place out of all relay teams!
Ryan S. and his relay team - 2nd place out of all relay teams!

Tom, of course. He couldn't compete, but he and Connie were there supporting every one and helping out.
Joe - Joe has been working out in California, but came back was there cheering us on!!
Michele - Out of town for a friend's birthday. Don't worry, though, she'll be back!
Leslie - Leslie is almost 6 months prego now and you'd barely know it. But as you would suspect, she was out there volunteering.
Stephanie - wearing a boot and can't run. Get well, Steph!
Ashley - Volunteering her time at a youth tri. Can't knock her for that!
Holly, Amy, Don, Eric, Kevin, Heather, and Lee - you guys better be doing this one next year!

New Peeps:
So I'm standing around afterwards and I hear "Hey Blondie, do you write a blog?" And I'm like, "Yes, have you seen it?" And I proceed to carry on a conversation with this guy named Chris Pastina and his friend Bill who has done IMFL before. Way cool!

Later, at the food tent, another guy comes up and recognizes me from my blog. How cool is that?

This is a really great race. Big thanks to the Mach Tenn Running Club, and especially Melissa, Al, Denny and Joanne, who all work their @sses off to make the best triathlon in Middle Tennessee.

Now, more pictures for your enjoyment:

Glad to be done!

Mike on the run

Justin running to the finish

Me and Holly

Me and Charles

Collecting the hardware!

Justin, Holly, me


Daddy - The Flash

Tim, Robin, and the girls

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

On Being Green

I'm getting in on all this 'trying to be green' that everybody is doing - Holly and I made the 18 mile commute to work today on our bikes. Of course I've ridden to work and back before, but that backpack can get a little irritating while climbing hills through Normandy. So, with gas inching up to nearly $4/gallon and watching the gas pump say $72 each week when I fill up, I decided to strap the backpack back on and get my cycling workout in while commuting to and from work, instead of before or after I commute in my gas guzzling SUV. The hubby accuses me of using gas prices as an "excuse" to ride my bike to and from work instead of the actual reason, but hey - I am all about multitasking and saving money - I think it makes perfect sense!

More about green stuff, though. Is it just me, or is everyone becoming more aware of the social responsibility we should take on lately? Most of you have probably been at this point for quite a while, and I am probably late getting the clue, but still. Funny thing, I never considered myself to be a tree-hugger or anything...but...lately...I am finding myself picking up trash at the ballpark and elsewhere and putting it into it's proper container(and immediately using some antibacterial wash, I might add). I also notice that I scour the headlines to find any news on the oil industry, and then I decide to try and commute via bike to work at least twice a week. Oh, and I am considering (gasp!) selling my beloved SUV and purchasing a (double gasp!) Toyota Prius Hybrid!

Dude! What's going on?!?! I'm buying organic food whenever possible (although the price tags cause some serious internal discussions in the grocery aisle.). I've yet to turn on my air conditioner at home this year. We're not even going to take a long, expensive vacation this year, instead we are going to do some nice and easy camping close to home. So do I qualify as green, yet? Or am I just finally growing up?

I admit, I still have a tough time with water consumption. I heart my long showers, and I still buy bottled water. But this is progress!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

You might be training for an Ironman if...

You fall asleep during Sex And The City.
Uh, yeah. I did. It was a good movie, and I wanted to stay awake and all, but I just couldn't. Yeah, I'm embarrassed. Thank God my best friend noticed and gave me a little tap on the shoulder just before I came out with a big snore. Because I was well on my way.

I hereby turn myself in to the authorities of the Tomb of Shame. This time, I deserve to be locked up.