Tuesday, November 04, 2008
This past weekend was Ironman Florida. The weekend was an AMAZING, bittersweet, awe-inspiring event. Because I was unable to race due to my broken wing, I decided to volunteer. I am glad that I made that decision.
Monday, September 22, 2008
This weekend my friends Missey and Rick raced in the Athletes for a Cure Triathlon at Fort Wilderness on Walt Disney World Property. Rick set a new PR by 20 minutes and Missey had a great training race. She had specific Heart Rates and zones she had to maintain and did so with flying colors! It was awesome to see my friends race and for a moment I had another pity party for myself while walking over to the race start. However it only lasted a moment.
The Athletes for a Cure Triathlon was the innaugral event to raise money for the fight against prostate cancer. Athletes from all over the world competed while raising money to fight cancer. As you all know I coach for Team in Training and have been either a participant or a coach with TNT for over 10 years. Fighting cancer is near and dear to my heart.
So at any rate, as I was standing at the starting line with my friends and feeling just a little sorry for myself, I saw this child, a nine year old named Winter Vinecki, walk up to the swim start. She was with her mom and as she walked to the start I wondered what was going on. They were in front of wave 1. Wave 1 is the wave where all of the elite and professionals athletes start. The announcer asked us all to sing the national anthem, the horn sounded and mother and daughter started to swim.
I need to interject here that it was just after 7am, the sun had barely risen and there was fog over the lake, watching them swim out into the foggy water was just mind boggling. As I watched them swim, I noticed a man with three boys standing inside the start area as well, watching these two swim off. While I tried to figure out what as going on, I saw that the man had a urostomy bag on his leg. Suddenly the lights came on. This man was somehow related to this child and he had prostate cancer. Just as the fog was lifting from my head, the announcer started to explain the story. Here is what he said.
In May of this year Michael Vinecki, husband and father of 4 was diagnosed with a very agressive form of prostate cancer. His nine year old daughter, Winter, decided she wanted to help and decided to contact the AFACTri to register. Team Winter was formed. Her goal was to raise $10,000 in for cancer research. In the end she raised $31,000. What an amazing feat! And now she was competing in a Olympic Distance Triathlon.
For everyone that is not a Tri-geek like me, the distances are a .9mile swim, followed by a 24 mile bike ride finshed up with a 6.2 mile run. It was incomprehensible to me that a 9 year old would finish the race much less even want to start. Just amazing. I saw Winter and her mother finish the swim in just over 50 minutes. Then I saw them leave on their bikes. I did not see them again until the were running to the finish line. Winter was running with a past Ironman World Champion, Karen Smeyers, past Olympic Distance World Champion, Simon Lessing and her mother.
Winter crossed the finish line in 3:59. I was crying, my daughters were crying. Everyone was screaming and cheering. In my life I have never seen anything so amazing!!! Michael and the boys were waiting just across the finish line where they were handing out medals!
Shortly after this, Winter was signing autographs with two world champion triathletes, Simon Lessing and Karen Smeyers. My daughters and I went over to meet her. What an inspiration to our family! We all have racing hats signed by this amazing child! If you would like to read more about her story, please review this article. You can also keep up with the family by reading their blog or signing the guestbook.
My daughters are ready to start training to battle cancer. They have even promised to be nicer to each other and quit fighting. Wow! We will see how long that lasts. Even if they fight with each other tonight, I know that seeing Winter and her family has made a lasting impression on me and my family.
God Bless you Winter to sharing your family's story with my family. Good luck. My prayers are with your father and your entire family as they continue on this difficult journey. Thank you for doing what you are doing to raise awareness and fight this terrible disease called Cancer.
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Bad News: I have a nondisplaced fracture of my humerus bone (Translation: broken arm) and I won't be doing Ironman Florida with Missey this year.
Good News: I don't have to have surgery and this is nothing that time and some physical therapy can't heel. Also, I can be in Panama City cheering Missey on and supporting her on November 1st! This will also give me more time to design my custom Ironman tattoo.
How do I feel? Well of course I am not happy. Completing the Ironman is a life goal of mine. I am very disappointed and honestly a bit depressed. I know this is a relatively minor problem. I am not dying, I will get better and I can try again next year. I know all of these things and I believe them. I just need my five minutes to cry and get over it. My friend Missey says that everyone gets 24 hours after an upset to have a pity party for themselves. After 24hours, you have to shut up and move on. So my 24 hours started at 4pm today. I know after a good night's rest, I will feel better, I will be able to face this disappointment with a smile on my face and set my goals for moving forward.
I think this quote by Robert Kiyosaki sums everything up nicely:
I will move forward. I will complete the Ironman. It won't be on November 1st, 2008 but I will complete it. Ironman Florida 2009 watch out! Here I come......
During my half marathon in Va Beach, somewhere between mile 1 and 2, I tripped and fell. I am not sure if someone stepped in front of me or if I tripped over an invisible crack but I crash landed. I knew as I was falling to get my arms out of the way so I would not break my wrists. However I never thought I would land literally in my arm pit. When I got up after falling I did not realize that my shoulder was injured. It was not until a few minutes later, trying to re-attach all of my water bottles and watch, that I realized I had done something to my shoulder. I could no longer move my left arm. Now I was freaked out.
I decided to continue running as the nearest first aid tent was mile 3. I stuck my hand in my running bra, sorry folks no pictures of that although they would be funny, and pushed on. YES, YES, I know I should have stopped and been transported to the finish line but you guys know me I am stubborn. So I kept going. My sister and I had started the race but I had sent her on. I knew this would slow me down and I did not want to ruin her race. Good thing I did as she set a PR!
I made it to mile 3 and went to the first aid tent. Of course the paramedics wanted me to stop. Of course I said NO! So they put my arm in a sling, made me sign a paper saying I refused transport and off I went. Let me tell you this was not any fast race. I was moving in a forward direction. I called my coach and left him a voice mail. I was very glad he did not pick up because I knew he would say stop and I was not going to do that.
I ran/walked until mile 5 where I had to stop at the medical tent again. The way my arm was wrapped, was not helping and I was getting chaffed around my neck. They re-wrapped my arm, tied some gauze around my shoulder, put an ice-pack on as well and after signing the refusal of transport again, off I went. This time I made it to mile 8 before I needed the first aid again. The paramedics at this stop helped adjust my arm and at this stop I did not need to sign another form. Thank goodness.
At this point it had been about 2.5 hours since I started the race and I knew that I was not going to set a pr, so I just did the best I could. Thanks to the help of my friends Missey, Debbie and Joy, I made it to the finish line in 3:29 and some change. Definitely not my best race but I finished. The whole crew running for my birthday finished as well. Kimberly set a new PR by 45 minutes! AWESOME.
Now I just have to find out what my injury is and what it means for the Ironman.
Wish me luck!
Talk about an embarrassing weekend! Enjoy the photos.
Dinner at Aldo's the night before the race! YUMMY!
Dinner after the race. Notice the sling on my arm?
Yes Ms Coordinated fell at mile 1. Not sure what I tripped over but my shoulder is all messed up. More in a later post.
I just wanted to post some pictures and say thank you to all of my AMAZING friends.
Missey - Thank you so much for organizing this trip!
Debbie - Thanks for helping and decorating and running the last mile with me.
Joy - Thanks for everything the night before the flight and for the totally embarrassing crown of peanuts on the flight.
Aimee - Thanks, Sis!
Jackie - Thank you so much for being part of my "crew"
Sandi - Thanks for drying my back
Alan and Kim - Thanks for coming and taking such lovely pictures on the flight.
Kelly and Bob - Thank you for coming, thank you for packing my clothes for me.
I love you all!
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
"Dying is fairly easy. Little choice is involved. Living well is much more of a challenge. We have choices every moment, and we have to live with the results of our decisions."
- JackIsIn from Rules of Thumb
Today as I cross another generation boundary into my 40's, I am reflecting on where I have been, what I have done and where I still have left to go. To be honest, I don't really feel like I am 40. I am sure that everyone says that, but I am serious. I really don't feel like 40 years have passed since I took my first breath and I certainly don't feel like I have accomplished everything I was put on this Earth to do.
I was going to write a blog the other day entitled "Holey Smoke I am Pregnant!" But LIFE as usual has a way of interrupting my plans. NO! for anyone who is wondering, I am NOT pregnant. I am however an emotional wreck. What I have realized is that training for the Ironman (or not training for the Ironman as has been the case for me lately) is a very very emotional process. Much to my surprise exactly like being pregnant.
Every day brings us options and challenges. Some days, we get the luxury of making a choice other days, the decision is made for us. Last week, my kids came home after 7 weeks of Mom vacation and it was back to the real world for me. I did not realize until I had them in my arms just how much I missed them! It was honestly excruciatingly painful seeing them again, seeing how much they had grown and changed as well as what I had missed over the summer while they were visiting their Dad and his family. I understand that I am extremely lucky that my kids are able to spend several weeks during the summer with their father which gives me a much needed break from being a single mom but do regret I missed some milestones in their lives. Like their trip to see the Jonas Brother's concert, and the first time they were able to ride their ripsticks without help.
It is funny what you miss when they are gone. The morning hugs and kisses when I wake them up, hearing them say Mom I love you and I missed you so much. It is also extremely funny what you DON'T miss when they are gone. Mom, you are the worst Mom ever, It is not fair, she has more than I have, Don't touch me you have cooties......
At any rate, getting the girls back has been a drama filled challenge. The first day of school was Monday, August 18th. The first bad weather day was Tuesday, August 19th. Thanks to the Tropical Storm Faye the rain and possibilities of high winds school was out. So the kids and I were home all day stuck in the house. Back to school for Wednesday and Thursday and then out again on Friday due to the storm. By the end of the week I was pulling my hair out. I had missed several workouts, and was frustrated about that. The kids had not left the house in days so they were getting on my last nerve.
I am scared, very scared. Now is the prime time for my Ironman training program and I cannot get all of my training done. I am so happy my kids are home with me again. I am angry because being a mom is limiting my ability to train. I am angry at myself for being mad about not being able to train. I am sad because I should be over the moon happy that my kids are home, not upset that I cannot train. See I told you I am pregnant! Not being able to train prevents me from having an outlet for all of these emotions, not being able to train causes alot of these emotions. What to do?
I spent a long time on the phone with Coach Bill the other night. The reality of the situation is that I am a single mom with limited options as far as training goes. I am NOT training to win, I am training to finish with a smile on my face. I have to take my training one day at a time and do the best I can. That is all I can do. There will be days where I will miss my workouts because I need to stay home and be a mom. There will be days when I have crappy workouts because I am a mom. BUT... the MOST IMPORTANT thing is that I AM A MOM! When I cross the finish line on November 1st, 2008 and I WILL cross the finish line, my daughters will be waiting there for me! They are my biggest cheerleaders and I could not do this without them!
I am pasting my quote of the day in here again for reinforcement:
"Dying is fairly easy. Little choice is involved. Living well is much more of a challenge. We have choices every moment, and we have to live with the results of our decisions."
- JackIsIn from Rules of Thumb
We make choices every day. Some days our choices are the right choices and some days they are not. What matters most is how we live with the decisions that we make. Completing the Ironman will be very painful for me. I know that but the decision I made to become a mom is going to be worth every bit of that pain. My daughters will learn from me that they can do anything they want. They can be anything they want to be. Yes there are sacrifices I have to make, a faster time, a less painful journey, but when I cross that finish line and run into their arms...
EVERYTHING THAT I HAVE ACCOMPLISHED WILL BE WORTH EVERY STEP!
I love you Kelsie and Hannah! Thank you for allowing me to be your Mom!
Have a great day my friends!
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
It is Monday, August 11th. My 40th birthday is August 26th. I cannot believe that I am almost 40. Time flies when you are having fun! I am going to run the Virginia Beach Rock and Roll Half Marathon on August 31st to celebrate my birthday. Yes I know why run 13.1 miles to celebrate my birthday? Well just to say I can and I did? To spend some quality time with my closest friends? To get back to my running roots? Well I say Yes to all of the above. It is going to be a blast. I don't think the race is sold out yet, so if you are not doing anything Labor Day weekend, sign up and run/walk with us!
What else has been going on with me? Well I am still training for the Ironman. Everyday is a challenge. Some days are a step or two forward and other days are a step or two back. Recently there have been many days when I question both a.) my sanity and b.) what I was thinking when I signed up to run this race. I vacillate between knowing I can finish albeit slowly and thinking there is no way in Hades I will ever get to the finish line. This weekend was one of the latter days.
The "Iron" crew headed to Panama City Beach for what was supposed to be a race simulation long bike ride and run with a little open water ocean swimming thrown in. Well as par for the course for me lately, I was completely nervous and had a terrible ride. I did not make the distance I wanted to make and could not keep any food down. Great start to my training weekend. On top of everything else that was occurring and not occurring that morning, I had a great experience at the first pit stop.
For those of you that have known me for a few years, I have a redneck magnet somewhere inside my body. As a matter of fact, if there is a redneck within twenty miles of me, they will find me and ask me out. Forget waiting on Brad Pitt. LOL. My dream guy apparently likes to drink Milwaukee's Best from a brown paper bag on Saturday morning at 9am. So while stopped at the BP pit stop, and while puking my guts up, I was asked on a date! Oh well, I must be a closet redneck and not even know it. Either that or I have a sign that says - "Please ask me out I am desperate!" written on my forehead.
On Sunday, I did not even attempt to run, my stomach was still sour from the day before. I decided that I would just get in some swimming instead. Rick and I got dressed and made our way down to the beach. Guess what the first thing that we saw upon stepping into the ocean? A JELLYFISH. This was no little stinger either. It had to be 8-10 inches long. Of course I freaked out! Rick being much calmer than I told me not to worry it was probably just a one-off and to go ahead and swim. Well so much for that idea. By the time we made it out to the third buoy, we had seen quite a few jellyfish, one that was at least 4 feet long. At the buoy, Rick made the executive decision to swim back to the shore and cut our distance short. While I was a bit disappointed, he was right to do that because no sooner than I had started swimming in, I felt a sharp sting to my wrist and a couple of feet later one to my knee. Yes FOLKS! I had been stung. What luck I tell you. I swam to shore as fast as I could and got out of the water. We quick went to the hot tub and to get a bit of relief to my stings and NO RICK DID NOT PEE ON ME! Although I have heard this is a great remedy, I was not in the mood to be pee'ed on.
After a quick soak we made our way back to the hotel room, showered packed and headed out to begin the drive back to Orlando. We all were exhausted. None of us more so that my partner in crime, Missey. For some reason she seemed to think she was still on her bike and was driving down the bike lane on the side of the road. Of course I had to give her a hard time which ended up backfiring on me as she pulled over at the first gas station and handed me the keys. Yup! I just teased my way into driving back to Orlando. Woo-Hoo!
Since we were stopped, I decided to make a quick run to the bathroom. Of course Missey had to give me a hard time and ask me if I needed a "terlit"? This I have since found out, means Toilet in Redneck. LOL. "Terlit" became the new joke for the next 200 miles or so. Needless to say, Missey had better watch her back this Christmas. You never know what might end up under the Christmas tree if she is lucky and I am so inclined.
Of course paybacks are hell and for the next couple of hours every time I passed a semi-truck I had Debbie roll down her window and make the universal sign for truckers to HONK. Missey was MORTIFIED. We were laughing HYSTERICALLY. It was awesome. A perfectly good Range Rover loaded to the gills with expensive bikes and bike equipment getting semi-trucks to honk at us. I am not sure that any of us will ever forget this trip home. Can a Range Rover driver be a redneck? LOL.
My daughters come home this weekend and school starts on Monday. I have missed them dearly and cannot wait to see them but WOW another thing to juggle. Some days I have no idea how I can do it all! Thankfully their grandparents have done most of the pre-school shopping and I will just have to pick up and few odds and ends. I will post pictures when they get back so you all can see how big they have grown while they were gone.
Wish me luck this week as I continue on my journey! I will keep you all posted. Hopefully a little more frequently than I have been able to do lately.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Friday, July 25, 2008
Last weekend, our schedules were completely opposite, she had a Lactate Threshold test and I had a long ride so we were not able to sync up. This weekend she is doing her training in beautiful San Diego while I am heading over to Lake Minneola in Clermont to train with the Central Florida Triathlon team. Now I realize that I won't be alone but I have only ridden with a couple of the CFT members once in the past and that time I was with Missey also. The only person I will know is Coach Hector, who is also Missey's coach and the one who invited me out to ride.
Invited, lol, that is an interesting description. I had actually emailed him to get the UCF route since I was planning on riding alone or with Karen and I needed directions. His response to my email was "Call Me!" So of course I called. Coach Hector said that I needed to plan on being at Lake Minneola in time for a 6:30 start. He did not even offer directions for the UCF ride. So tomorrow at 6:30 I will be at Lake Minneola. I am scared not to show up. Don't want to face the rath of Coach Hector. However I have heard a nasty rumor that we are riding Sugarloaf!
This is a picture from the bottom looking up! I AM TERRIFIED!!!!! I will post when I am done and let you know how it goes. Wish me luck!
If you have not had a chance to watch the video of his "last lecture" please click on this link. It will change your life. You can also go to his personal website for additional videos and information.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Tim McGraw sings a song entitled "Live Like You Were Dying." As I get older, I think more about the "To Do List" that I want to complete before I die. Today, this song takes on a new meaning.
I belong to an online community called Beginner Triathlete, BT. This community has tips and tricks, forums, race reports, gear reviews. Essentially anything that a newbie getting into triathlons for the first time or someone that is just trying to get better at their even would need. One of the greatest things about this community is all of the support you receive from people that you have never met.
One of these amazing people was Christine aka "Lucy". She passed away from a brain hemorrhage on Monday and left behind a husband and two boys. When the members of BT first heard that Lucy was in the hospital with what appeared to be a brain tumor, a call went out on the forums for prayers and support. Immediately the forum was flooded with well wishes, prayers and offers of help. Many of the posters like myself had never met Lucy, but had been the recipient of her support and well wishes. The forum became a place to post all of the things Lucy had done to help each of us.
Back in May I had completed my first Ironman 70.3 here in Orlando. Although I thought at the time I was prepared, when I finished what ended up being the worst run of my life, I was very discouraged about continuing my training towards the Ironman. I decided to post a race report on BT so that maybe just maybe someone else had an experience like mine and would post as well so we could commiserate. The second person to add comments to my race report was Lucy. Here is what she said:
"It was brutal out there . . . I think we ALL wanted to just stop, sit in an ice trough and then go running in the many shady running spots that we weren't routed through!!
Excellent way to tough it out tho...and who knows when the added mental strength from making it through this horrible run will help you out in another, more important 'A' race?
Thanks for hanging around to cheer on the last few of us stumbling through!! If I remember correctly, I think I high-fived you just before I finished?"
Even though I don't remember seeing Lucy, she remembered me. She posted on my race report to tell me what a great job I had done just finishing. And as I read the posts from other members who had been touched in similar ways, I started to cry. I wish I remembered meeting Lucy. I wish I could do something to help. Over the rest of the weekend, every time I had a chance, I logged onto the computer to check for updates. I was praying for the best realizing that the worst was yet to come. On Monday, Lucy died.
Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow all over America, other BT members are running a virtual 5k to honor Lucy. The local running store in her town held a 5k in her honor, Hit the Trails XC Classic. All of the proceeds are going to Lucy's family. Many of the members of BT registered for this race even though they live hundreds of miles away, just to support the family.
Tomorrow I have a 13 mile training run. The first 5k of this run will be for Lucy. I know she will be there with me just as she was with all of us on BT. The rest of the run, I am sure will be spent checking off my "To Do List."
I want to thank you Lucy for making me remember that how you live you life is important. Thank you for reminding me that we don't know which day will be our last and we should appreciate what we have been given, what we have accomplished and what we have the ability to do. I am so thankful that I am healthy enough to train for an Ironman. I am so thankful that my daughters, my family and all of my friends are there to support me and lastly I am thankful that I have my "friends" on BT who support me as well.
I think that Pericles says it best, "What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others."
Christine has left behind a legacy of support and accomplishment that her family can be proud of! My only wish is that I leave behind a legacy as wonderful as hers.
This weekend no matter what you are doing whether it is spending time with family and friends or training or just relaxing, Live like you were dying in honor of Christine!
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
- Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. - Mark Twain
- I find I'm so excited, I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it's the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain. -Red from Shawshank Redemption
- Our biggest challenge isn’t someone else. It’s the ache in your lungs. The burning in your legs. And that voice in your head that yells “CAN’T,” but you don’t listen. You just push harder. And then you hear that voice whisper, “can” and you discover that the person you thought you were is no match for the person you really are.
- The reason you want every single thing that you want, is because you think you will feel really good when you get there. But, if you don't feel really good on your way to there, you can't get there. You have to be satisfied with what-is while you're reaching for more.
Once upon a time there was a bunch of tiny frogs....who arranged a RUNNING competition.
The GOAL was to reach the top of a very high tower. A big crowd had gathered around the tower to see the race and cheer on the contestants.The race began.... Honestly, No one in the crowd really believed that the tiny frogs would reach the top of the tower.
You could hear statements such as:
'Oh, WAY too difficult!!'
'They will NEVER make it to the top.'
Or: 'Not a chance that they will succeed. The tower is too high!'
The tiny frogs began collapsing. One by one....
Except for those, who in a fresh tempo, were climbing higher and higher..
The crowd continued to yell, 'It is too difficult!!! No one will make it!'
More tiny frogs got tired and gave up....
But ONE continued higher and higher and higher....
This one wouldn't give up!
At the end everyone else had given up climbing the tower. Except for the one tiny frog who, after a big effort, was the only one who reached the top! THEN all of the other tiny frogs naturally wanted to know how this one frog managed to do it? A contestant asked the tiny frog how he had found the strength to succeed and reach the goal?
It turned out....
That the winner was DEAF!!!!
The wisdom of this story is:
NEVER listen to other people's tendencies to be negative or pessimistic....
BECAUSE they take your most wonderful dreams and wishes away from you -- the ones you have in your heart!
ALWAYS think of the power words have.
BECAUSE everything you hear and read will affect your actions!
"There's life and death in the power of the tongue." - Proverbs 18:21.
above all: BE DEAF when people tell YOU that you cannot fulfill your dreams!
and think: God and I CAN do this!
Most people walk in and out of your life......but FRIENDS leave footprints in your heart.
If you fall down 10 times,
Stand up 10 times.
Have a great day my friends!
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
To make a long story very short, I crashed and landed completely on my head during my 60 mile ride last weekend so I never completed it. I spent most of this past week recovering and completing adjusted workouts. Coach Bill was awesome and sent me a workout each day to make sure I was not having and headaches or dizziness.
My workouts from Thursday to Sunday were supposed to be:
Thursday - Swim 2000 at Lucky's Lake /Bike 2 hours
Friday - Bike 2 hours
Saturday - Bike 30 miles run 4 miles
Sunday - Run 13 miles, swim 1500
I did everything Coach Bill asked EXCEPT on Sunday, I decided I needed to complete the 60 mile bike workout from the week before instead of running. Yes I know Bill is the coach and I should be listening to him. However there was the little insecure voice in my head saying: "You need to ride or you will not be able to do the Ironman."
I decided it was in my best self-interest to ride. Please note I said best self interest not best interest. I loaded up my bike and headed over to Missey's house. She wanted to ride the General James A Van Fleet State trail because it was 29.5 miles in one direction with little to no road crossings, completely flat with a lot of wind. This of course closely matches the IMFL course so I was thrilled. Well maybe not thrilled but definitely up for the challenge. Too bad my legs did not agree with me. LOL! More on that later. This trail runs from Mabel, Florida to Polk City, Florida and there is nothing out there to distract you from your riding. I mean nothing......
We headed out to the trail. Ok just so you guys know, I have never seen the movie Deliverance but I have heard the banjo music that is the signature tune from the movie. When we turned off Highway 50 onto the dirt road leading to the trail, I could have swore I heard banjos. I was even more convinced I was hearing them when we pulled into the parking lot and realized we were the only two people there. Other than the sound of the wind blowing and our own voices and the banjos in the background, we were completely alone. Or so I thought.
We had not been pedaling more than 3 or 4 miles when a deer ran across the trail in front of us. Next we saw a family of turkeys, a few squirrels (one of whom had a death wish), a turtle, several lizards and a rabbit who tried to hop along with us. This caused me to start singing "Here comes Peter Cottontail hopping down the bunny trail." I told you I was not in my right mind. I could not get that song out of my head for the next 5 or 6 miles much to Missey's chagrin. Poor thing, I cannot sing on key to save my life and it is no where near Easter. Although, the bunny did have a white tail.
We stopped every 10 miles to take some gels and if we were lucky refill our water bottles. This trail only had 3 water faucets on its entire length. If you are going to ride and run here, you have got to carry all of your required essentials. This is good and bad. Since there are no distractions, you can really focus on your riding. But since there are no distractions, you also can focus on what hurts. Which for me is not necessarily a good thing.
We made it to the mile 29 turn around with smiles on our faces. We had been exchanging the lead back and forth and had kept up a great pace somewhere between 15 and 17 miles per hour. At one point Missey even threw in a mile long sprint at about 20 miles an hour. I thought I was going to shoot her. We took our pictures with the mile marker and headed back out. We had to get back to our car. Trust me there is no public transportation out here.
On the way back I started feeling the long ride, as well as the fact this was the fourth day straight I had been on my bike, in my hips. At some points the pain was horrible. But I just kept pedaling. Missey was having cramps in her right foot so she was behind me a bit. I was alone. I knew I was in trouble when I started having a conversation with the lizards on the side of the trail. For some reason I was PISSED that they kept passing me. However had I been in my right mind I would have realized, it was not the same lizard. Insert the sound of banjos here .....
About mile 55, Mr Turkey and his entire family of cutlets decided to cross the road in front of my bike. Mr Turkey was quite offended when I started yelling at them to get out of the way. I was only going about 15 miles per hour at this point but still having to slam on the brakes or run over a bunch of turkeys did not sound like a great option. Remember my crash the week before was the entire reason I was doing this ride. I was not going to hit the ground again.
After having safely navigated through the turkey road block, I tried to speed back up. I wanted to be done. My hips however, had other ideas. At this point, I felt as if there were two hot pokers one in each hip just twisting and turning. No matter how I adjusted my position on the bike, I could not relieve any of the pain. So I decided I would stop. Not sure what I was thinking. Remember, bike or no bike I was still 5 miles from the car and the only way to get home was get to the car. I tried to stretch but short of laying flat out on the ground nothing was helping. I got back on my bike and started to pedal again. I made it to mile 56. I had to stop and stretch.
This scenario played itself out over each remaining mile until the finish. I rode a bit. Stopped my bike, stretched, yelled at the lizards passing me and then remembering I was out in the middle of nowhere, jumped back on my bike before I was another casualty from Deliverance. I know at this point 5 miles does not seem like a lot but for me it was FOREVER.
I was never so relieved to see the car in my life. As soon as I got to the car, I got off my bike and laid out on the top of a picnic table stretching my hips until Missey arrived a few minutes later. I was quite frustrated with my hips and my performance at the end but I know that I have to just keep on training.
We loaded up our bikes and gear and started the drive back to Orlando. I can tell you I have never been so glad to see traffic as I was on Sunday afternoon. After some lunch and a nap, I started to feel more like myself just tired.
Of course being the good Catholic girl I am, I had to tell Coach Bill the truth about what I had done. And of course being the good Coach he is, he had to tell me that I had over done my training and I should be listening to him. Thanks Coach Bill I promise I will listen to you from now on.
Here is my training schedule for this week.
Monday - Bike 2 hours in small ring spinning my legs out.
Tuesday - Swim 2000. Run 5 miles do not do a brick.
Wednesday - Track workout
Thursday - Swim/bike brick
Friday - Rest day or if I feel great run 5 miles.
Saturday - 13 mile run
Sunday - 65 mile bike/3 mile run.
Anyone want to join me?
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Dinner with the girls plus Rick on Friday the 4th.
Thank you Missey for this weekend! Even though I crash landed on my head and screwed up our long bike, the rest of the weekend was amazing!
Can one person do it all?
My friend and IMFL partner in crime wrote a very good blog on this today. Instead of posting comments to her blog, I decided to blog about this as well.
How do we accomplish everything on our to-do list? Is this day and age, we all have many many commitments: A significant other, children, jobs, homes, fitness goals, possibly a desire to give something back to our communities. For me personally, I am a single mom of two daughters. I work a full-time job as a Principal Support Engineer for Oracle USA. I am training for the IMFL and normally from July through January, I am a marathon coach for Central Florida's Team in Training program. This year because I am training for the Ironman, I have taken a season off and will coach the Spring program for TNT which starts the end of January.
On a daily basis, I have to decide what I can accomplish and what I have to let slide. There is never enough time to complete everything and I have learned that you just have to let some things go. In my case, it is cleaning my house. Yes I know, GROSS! However at the end of the day, I cannot quit being a mom, quit my job or stop training if I want to complete the Ironman. There are many nights I am getting up every hour to change laundry and once the clothes are clean they usually sit on the back of the couch until they are worn. Rarely do they make it into the closet or the dresser that they belong in. Do I iron my clothes? Never...LOL
Many nights, one or both of my daughters wakes up crying and I have to calm them down. So sleeping longer than three hours in a stretch is something that I hold dear. I am lucky right now because my daughters are visiting their dad so I don't have to feel guilty about getting a sitter for them so I can train. Or not being able to take them to every birthday party or school outing that they would like for me to attend. I do get to sleep three hours straight unless I am doing laundry, But coming home to an empty house at night quickly reminds me of how much I miss them. And when they get home in a couple of weeks, the guilt of training and having a full-time job will return.
Am I overwhelmed? Yes of course quite frequently I am. Some times I wish I had a significant other who could share the responsibilities with me but then I realize I would feel guilty if I left my spouse for extended training. So at the end of the day it is a half dozen of one and a half dozen of the other.
I think for everyone out there, not just those people training for an endurance event, you have to think of your life as a bunch of options. At the end of the day, are you a good spouse, parent, friend, employee and most importantly do you take care of yourself? If you can say YES, then you have accomplished it all. So what if there are dishes in the sink or the bed is not made. I personally cannot say Yes every time a friend wants me to do something. I frequently don't return phone calls in a timely manner. I have to chose training over sleeping. My days off are for training or races. Sometimes on a Sunday, I disappear, I sleep on and off all day just trying to play catch up. My friends worry about me on days like those. But know I am ok. I just need a break. HOWEVER, I love my family and friends and if anyone of them needs help, I would drop everything all they need to do is ask.
Is my house a mess? YES! Are there dirty dishes in the sink? YES! Are there clothes on my couch? YES! Is my bed made? NO! Do I care? NO!
After work I am off to the YMCA for a 2200 yard swim. Once I am done with that, I will grab a quick bite to eat. When I get home, I might unpack from this weekend. I might not. Who knows. Tomorrow the routine starts again.
To all of my loved ones! I have not disappeared. I am still here. If it takes me a few days to respond don't worry, I am just slammed. If you need anything just ask. I will listen.
Oh and if you know a good cheap house cleaning service, let me know!
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
This past weekend, I really did not feel good on my bike ride but my average pace was faster than it had been the week before. Last week I had a terrible cold. The week before I had thrown up during a speed workout. I hope that all of these things are not going to affect my overall fitness.
I posted my workouts for this week and I will give you an update after the end of the week to let you know if this was a better week for me.
So as everyone knows, I am new to this biking thing. So when I bought my bike, the wonderful people at Orange Cycle helped me to get all of the accessories and equipment that I would need. Along with a bike and helmet, a rider needs spare tubes, electrical tape, C02 cartridges, chain lube etc. Well being the excited newbie that I am, I try to bring everything I need with me every time I ride. I have a very large saddlebag with all of this equipment in it. Needless to say everyone laughs at me when I am riding. I am certainly not aerodynamic.
In one of my older posts I mentioned that one weekend I had trouble making a decision on whether to run the ING Georgia Marathon or head to New Smyrna beach for a friend's birthday. In the end, I went to the beach. Everyone was bringing their bikes to get a long ride in. So after I left work on Friday, I ran home and packed really quick. Then headed over to the beach.
Well in my frantic packing of course I left a few things out of my travel bag. I had forgotten toothpaste but I had packed chain lube. I had forgotten my toothbrush but I had packed chain lube. I had forgotten underwear but I had packed chain lube. This was quite the joke all weekend since I was so prepared to ride my bike but not for anything else.
Anyways to get back to the point of this blog, I went to Orange Cycle last Saturday to pay for my layaway. I had a new and better bike helmet on layaway. As Tjice was entering the amount in the computer, he started laughing. I could not figure out what was so funny until he handed me my receipt. Across the top of the receipt it says:
CREPEAU, BETH (CHAIN LUBE)
Lord help! I almost pee'ed my pants. Tjice said what the #@$# does Chain Lube mean? I explained the story and then everyone at the counter was laughing at me. I had no idea how Orange Cycle had heard the story and then put the nickname in the computer so I called Missey and left her a message.
Missey called me back later that night. Once I relayed the story to her, she was laughing so hard I thought she was going to pass out. Of course she had told the story to Darren at before he moved away. So I am sure as a lovely parting gift, Darren had given me a new nickname.
So IMFL look out!!! BETH "CHAIN LUBE" CREPEAU is on the way! LOL!
Elizabeth aka Chain Lube
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Most everyone knows I was sick last week after returning from Key West so my training last week was a bit compromised. I had a scheduled rest day for Friday before a busy weekend so I decided I would not try and make up and workouts I would take the day off to be well prepared. However being the "SMART" girl that I am, I decided to wear my new FIT FLOPS.
Not sure if you guys have heard of those. However these are new flip flops on the market that are supposed to give you an awesome butt and leg workout while you wear them. So ignoring the disclaimer to work your way up to a full day in these shoes, I decided to put them on at 7:30am and not bring another pair of shoes with me to change in to, I took them off at midnight. At the time, I felt tired but thought it was just late and so I packed my gear for the Saturday morning ride and set my alarm for 5:30 am. Off to sleepy night night I went.
Well you guys know me, I could have punched myself in the forehead when I got on my bike on Saturday morning. OMG! Tired quads, Tired glutes....WOW! I was suprised. So needless to say, I had to really suck it up and push myself on the bike. However I finished 30 miles in 2:05. So tired or not I was proud of my time!
Note to self: DO NOT WEAR FIT FLOPS ON REST DAYS!
Having said that, I do think you get a workout in them and I will continue to wear mine. Probably not for 17 hours straight and probably not the day before a long run or bike! Everyone should get a pair and YES they make them for men!
After the ride, I went to Baldwin Park to pick up my packet for the race on Sunday and then to Orange Cycle to pay on my lay-a-way. More on this in the next blog.
Sunday morning, off to Baldwin Park for a sprint tri. I had registered for this before Coach Bill started helping me with my schedule so he and I agreed I could still do the event. Even if the distance was short for my current training.
I was a bit tired this morning so I think I was more nervous. However I got to the race and Sandi was there to cheer Missey and myself on. We spoke to her coach, Hector who gave us some great tips and off to the swim start we went.
I had a great swim! It was supposed to be 750 yards. However since I cannot swim in a straight line to save my life, I think I ended up swimming about 1000 yards based on my current swim times and what time I came out of the water.
Transition 1: 1:38 - MUCH BETTER THAN IRONMAN
I got on my bike and started riding. My legs were definitely tired but I was willing to suck it up. This was a 5 loop bike course with some very sharp corners. I have to admit I was a bit scared but I have to get over my fear of corners. So off we went. It was very crowded and the faster people where whizzing by me. Wow they are awesome. Lap 1 was good. Lap 2 was good. Lap three all of a sudden I here pssssssssssst! Flat tire about half way around lap3. Crap. That sucks! I had to quick get my bike out of the road so I would not cause a crash. I had spare tubes and tire tools with me but it takes me so long to change the tire that the race would have been over before I could have changed the tire. So I decided to walk it in. As I walked the half a mile or so to the transition area in my bike shoes, I passed a biker walking holding his pedal in his had, another couple of bikers with flat tires and one guy with a flat tire and bent rim. Obviously I was not the only one!
I called Coach Bill and left him a message. He sent me an email that said Yup! It happens to all of us. Chalk it up to a great swim and good bike until I had the flat and move on.
Workouts this week:
Monday: 100 minutes on the trainer at a consistent pace.
Tuesday: Swim long 3000 meters, middle 1000 using pool bouy.
Wednesday: Track workout followed by core workout
Thursday: REST (NO FIT FLOPS)
Friday: Bike 60 miles keeping heartrate around the 135 level. Add some hills if possible.
Saturday: Run 12 miles
Sunday: 60-75 minute recovery ride spinning legs in the small chain ring in the front the entire time.
I have to say that Kelly is so funny. We talk all the time and I knew she was registered but had not had much time to train. Can you say:
1. Just got back from six weeks in California because her brother had emergency brain surgery.
2. Her job is in Charlotte, NC. Her husband is in Chicago, Il. Her school is in Minnesota!
3. She has had a calf injury and has been trying to recover from that.
Let me just say that I have to give Kelly props for even thinking about completing the event. You know my I just go for it. Yes I am a nut. But Kelly is smarter than me and actually tries to train well for her events. So after a couple of conversations with me, we decided she should try to do the tri, LOL, as a training and if she needed to stop after any of the events, she would and not feel guilty about it.
Well so much for that needing to stop. She had a great race. Have I mentioned that before?
Transition 1: 6:22
Transition 2: 3:16
Awesome Job K!
ps. When are you going to sign up for an Ironman?
Monday, June 23, 2008
Congrats to all of this years finishers!
Can you say I am terrified again of what I have gotten myself into!
On Wednesday night, after track practice, I headed home to pack. I had to fly to Key West after work on Thursday as Rick was going to compete in the 12.5 mile Swim Around Key West on Friday morning and I had been asked to be part of his support crew in the kayak after one of the crew had to back out.
After a few delays, a pretty harrowing flight out of Orlando to Miami, a $26 Mojito in the Miami airport, Joy and I arrived in Key West. Missey picked us up at the airport and we went to the hotel to prepare for the swim on Friday. Rick was nervous but I think he held it together pretty well. We had to be at the beach by 7:15 am the next morning for final instructions and then the race started at 8:30.
After tossing and turning all night, we awoke to a gorgeous day. We loaded up the car and headed to the beach. They kayak arrived about 7:45 so we packed everything we would need to keep Rick hydrated and fed as well as food and water for ourselves. We then covered Rick head to toe in zinc oxide to prevent him from burning during the long swim and boarded the kayak. The first wave of swimmers were off at 8:30.
Paddling the kayak was not as hard as I thought. It was definitely not easy but not the worst thing in the world. Rick is a great swimmer, so Missey and I had our hands full keeping up with him. We made it to mile 8, Rick was in first place. However we got there so fast that the race organizers had not placed the buoy. This sucked for us as we could not see the next channel and ended up about a half mile off course. As we were trying to get our bearings, we noticed a jet ski pulling the buoy out to the 8 mile mark. We repositioned ourselves and made it back to the course. However Rick was passed by the first relay team swimmer. This sucked as he wanted to be the first done but he was still the first single swimmer.
We kept going. I was in charge of monitoring the timing between Rick's nutrition breaks. Missey was in charge of directions and keeping Rick from burning. Rick was passed by one more person, the first female single swimmer at about Mile 10.5. This was not her first rodeo so she had not gotten off track like we had and I am sure probably felt better at that point than Rick.
For those of you that have run Virginia Beach, the finish to the swim was very much like the RNR 1/2 at Va Beach. There are 10 telephone poles in a line in the water with a yellow buoy at the end. Very similar to the run where you have to make your way down the boardwalk block by block to the finish line. Sometimes it felt like we were never going to get there.
After 5 hours 41 minutes, Rick finished his swim! He was the first male single swimmer to finish but because he wears a snorkel for medical reasons, he was not allowed to win a trophy. He did however get a finisher's medal which by the way is totally awesome. I have to say I was glad to be on dry land. I was covered in sunscreen, salt water and starving when we finished.
Joy was at the finish in the water cheering Rick in and had thankfully brought the car to pick us up! After some awesome watermelon we all went to the hotel to shower and celebrate Rick's awesome finish!
I have to say that although it was fun albeit hard to paddle the kayak, I don't think I ever would like to be support crew for this event again. BUT..... I think maybe one year I would like to swim it. Yes I know I am crazy!
Congratulations again Rick! You were awesome. Thanks Missey for making the kayak trip bearable. Thanks Joy for being there just when we needed you both at the hotel and the finish line. And finally thank you Debbie for coming down and making us laugh when we all were so exhausted!
I cannot wait until our next adventure!
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Normally I eat instant oatmeal and a banana before I ride or run. That is about 300 calories. This morning I decided to eat one of those new Power Bar Smoothie Bars - the Citrus flavor. Well you guys know me and my taste buds. I made it through half of the bar and I was DONE with a capital D. Not a good start to my nutrition day.
I have found that I can drink the new G2 without getting an upset stomach. However there are not enough calories in the G2. I am terrified about the nutrition part of the Ironman. Everyone says this is the 4th discipline in tri's. I know I don't eat enough when I am biking which causes issues when I start to run.
To make a long story short. This was the first time I had worn my heart rate monitor. At the end of the ride, the display showed I had burned 2600 calories. I had only taken in 450. Obviously no where near enough.
I am taking to Coach Bill about this and reading everything I can get my hands on. Hopefully I will be able to find a solution.
Friday, June 13, 2008
On Sunday while out on our ride Missey had a flat. This was at about mile 17 of our ride. Can you say oh crap.? Nothing like the blind leading the blind. Well to make matters worse it was her rear tire which of course has the cassette attached. She had been talking for a few miles about the fact it had been five years since her last flat. God was smiling down on us that day and obviously in a bit of a feisty mood so next thing we hear is WSSSSSHHHHHH! Nothing like Karma right Missey?
So here we stop. It is 90 degrees outside. We of course have on a lot of black. And where we stopped was at a road crossing with no shade. We got off the bikes, took out the tire tools and the spare tube and CO2 cartridge. Started working on the flat. Got the tire off. Now covered in grease we tried to use the tire tools that Missey had with her. They were too small. So I pulled out my really super CUTE pink ones which match my bike and tried again. HA HA to those of you who laughed at my pink tire tools. They do work!
After about 15mins we were able to separate the tire from the rim and pull out the tube. A mere 10 minutes later we had the new tube in place and tried to inflate it with the CO2. Yeah well that did not work. We about froze off Missey's ring finger. LOL! There went one cartridge. Thankfully I had a couple more. We hooked up the second one and inflated the tire. Now we could see the hole where the glass had punctured the rubber. YUCK.
We spent the next 10 minutes putting the tire back on. After 30 minutes in the sun we were ready to go. So we packed everything back up, got on our bikes and started to pedal. As we got moving we suddenly realized that we were in the shade. WOW!! how amazing is that? If we had just walked our bikes across the road 30 minutes before, we could have changed the tire in the shade. Lord help! Like I said, nothing like the blind leading the blind.
So yes I guess when I have to be, I can be a bit of a grease monkey. But please don't tell all of the nice people that pump my gas for me. ;-) And yes I know I still rode off my bike trainer on Monday night. I plead the 5th!
On Monday, I was doing my bike workout which consisted of hard intervals with matching slower recovery intervals. On my 3 minute hard interval, my bike shot off of the trainer and I crashed into my entertainment center. I did not get hurt and more importantly I did not hurt my bike. I was laughing so hard I really could not cry. So I guess it is a good thing I did not hurt myself as I would have never known. Arabella, my dog, must have thought it was pretty funny as well, as she started barking and running around in circles. Needless to say, this ended my workout for the night. I was not about to try getting back into the trainer. Not because I was scared of the trainer but because I did not want to crash into the entertainment center again. Obviously I had not connected the bike to the trainer correctly. I am not mechanically inclined, I don't even pump gas!
On Wednesday, I went to my first Team Hendryx Miamiman practice. This was supposed to be a speed workout at the Maitland Middle School track. I arrived on time, barely, we all warmed up and started our speed intervals on the track. On our third interval, sound familiar, lightning started coming right on top of us. Coach Sean blew his whistle and had us go under the shelter at the side of the school. At this point since our running was cut short, Coach Bill and Coach Sean decided we should do some lunges, and then some more lunges and some more lunges. WOW my ABS are weak! Gotta work on that. But practice was fun! Even if it was a bit short. While we were waiting for the storm to let up so we could go to our cars, I told Coach Bill and some other teammates about the crash. Everyone laughed, Coach Bill said maybe I should not tell that story often.
On Thursday morning, I went to Lucky's Lake for my first open water swim there. I had wanted to come out before but Lucky only opens his house at 6:30 am during the week and I had the kids. So today was my "lucky" day. I got up at 5:00 am. No I do not like mornings, got dressed, loaded up the car and headed to Lucky's Lake. When I arrived there were about 6 other people there including my friends Joy, Missey and Rick. Rick was planning on doing 10 crossings which would equal just over 6 miles. He is preparing for the swim around Key West. Missey paddled a kayak beside him to prepare as she is going to be his crew in the water when he does the swim next week.
At any rate, I walked out into the water and started my swim across the lake. The swim over and back is a total of 1000meters if you swim in a straight line. Well you guys know me, straight lines have never really been my forte no matter what the sport. I run crooked, bike all over the road and apparently I swim around in circles. I tell you guys, either I am extremely strong on my right side (NOT) or I cannot sight worth a crap (possibly) or swim like I am drunk (probably). Actually I could see fine, I just cannot swim where I was looking. Every time I looked up to sight I was going in some other direction that was not headed towards the correct dock on either side. At one point I actually crashed into Rick. Of course we are blaming him cause he never sights at all since he wears a snorkel. Love ya Rick!
When I talked to Coach Bill last night, I told him that I had to have swum an extra 500 meters, I saw everyone else's dock and pretty much the entire center of the lake. Good think the Lake Cane Monster was not hungry cause I was surely swimming alone. :-) Once I finished my swim, I was able to sign the Wall of Fame and get my patch for my first crossing. It is a great patch. It has an alligator head on it with bloody teeth and says "AQUATICA Enter The Food Chain 1K Swim." Nothing like positive motivation I say.
Well I guess that is it for today! I will blog again soon!
Thursday, June 05, 2008
I think it is time to head out for a run. What do you guys think?
P.S. use the potty before you head out......
Time for me to hit the training schedule hard. For those of you that have been around me for the two and half weeks since the Ironman 70.3, you know that between the girls' schedule and my exhaustion from the race, my training has been a little lacking. I took the first week off after the race except for a 30 minute spin on my bike. The second week I ran twice and road my bike once for a grand total of 18 miles between the three workouts. Can you say SLACKER? I met with Coach Bill and Team Hendryx on Saturday. That was fun but I have to tell you there were times during the meeting that I wondered if I should just do the Miamiman 1/2 Iron distance race. HA HA
Coach Bill sent out my workout for this week on Sunday afternoon. Here it is:
**add your lunch run of 3-5 miles to any day you want
Monday 6/2 – bike – indoor trainer – 10 minutes warm up (60-70% effort), 2 minute hard, 2 easy, 4 min hard, 2 easy, 6 min hard, 3 easy, 6 hard, 6 easy, 4 hard, 2 easy, 2 hard, 2 easy, 10 min cool down – should be about 70 minutes
Tues – swim – 200 warm up, 5x300 with 1 minute rest after each 300, 200 cool down (1900 total) try to work on form and technique
Weds – bike – indoor trainer – 10 minute warm up, one leg pedaling – alternate legs every minute until you have done 5 reps – 30 minutes steady pedaling, repeat one legged again – 10 minute cool down – should be about 70 minutes
Thurs – swim – 100 warm up, 50 kick, 100 pull, 50 kick, 100 pull, 50 kick, 100 pull – rest 2 minutes – 800 straight swim – try to keep every 800 at the same pace, 100 cool down (1450 total)
Friday – rest day
Saturday – group run – 7:30a at Fleet Feet – 6 miles – steady
Sunday – 35 miles steady
So I should warn you guys he did preface the email letting me know that since this was going to be a crazy week for me with the girls, if I missed a workout or two not to stress. Well today is Thursday, Bill don't kill me but all I have done this week so far are the two bike workouts....And I think I am going to do and Ironman on Nov. 1st.
Oh and one more thing! I want to thank everyone that has been emailing and posting comments on my blog about my 70.3 finish. I appreciate all of the support. However,
I AM NOT GOING TO PEE ON MY BIKE!
If I was in contention for an age group spot or a podium spot (ROFLMAO). I would definitely consider it. But since I am a MOP'er usually and at the 70.3 at least on the run leg, I was a BOP'er, I will stop and use the porta-potty.
To any of my fellow running/triathlon friends, if you are peeing on yourself during any portion of your events, PLEASE PLEASE don't tell me I don't want to know.
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
To say that I was intimidated would be an understatement. When I arrived at packet pick-up, hundreds of triathletes were in line to get their packets and none of them looked to be as scared as I was. I know I was not the only first time Half Ironman at the race it just felt like it.
Packet pick-up was relatively easy and went without a hitch. I received my chip and cap and the race numbers I would need for the bike and run and I was done. Off to the expo. Have I said I love EXPO's? I love looking at all of the merchandise, actually buying it is kind of fun as well. However this time I resisted. I have a fear of buying any merchandise when I have not completed the event. So I resisted all urges to buy out the place and made it safely back to my car.
Now I am nervous. LOL! I had done the all the distances in training but this was a race. Well for me it was just supposed to be a training day but you could not tell that to my brain. I kept having visions of forgetting how to swim, crashing on the bike and getting lost on the run. Just what I needed for pre-race motivation.
Since Missey was also racing this weekend, we checked into the Wilderness Lodge hotel with all of our support crew, the kids, all of our gear. You would have thought were were going on a safari. Friday night we all dressed up and went to Timpano's ChopHouse to celebrate Vi Auld's birthday. It was great fun and took some of the worry about the event away.
Saturday morning we were up bright and early as my daughters as well as Rick's daughter Jessica were going to compete in the kids splash and dash. We went over to the race site, registered all of the girls and then set up their transition area. They were so cute. All excited!
Hannah's age group was the second group to go, she just took off. It was funny watching her swim/run through the water. Out onto the sand and up to transition where she put on her race number and shoes, off on the run. Back down to the water for Kelsie's age group start. She swam and ran her way through the water as well. Then up the sand and into transition. After putting on her race number and shoes she was off on the run. I ran over to the finish line just in time to see Hannah getting her picture made as she finished the run. Shortly after Kelsie came across the line. They both loved the race and asked when they were going to be able to do the next one. YEAH!! I think I have champions in the making. We waiting for Jessica to finish her run and then we were off to the pool for a day of swimming and sunning.
By dusk, I was beyond nervous and scared about the race the next day. In my mind I felt like I could finish but there is always some doubt especially when the race is over 70 miles. I switched rooms to be with Missey the night before the race and attempted to get my race gear together. Our bikes were already over at the transition area. All I needed to do was pack my race bag and I could go to sleep. HAHAHAHA!
After packing and repacking I finally laid down about 10pm. I tossed and turned most of the night but I think I was able to get a couple of hours of sleep. Wake up call at 4am. Took a quick shower, ate some oatmeal and grabbed my stuff to head out.
As I walked the mile and a half to the race start, all kinds of fear and questions were running through my mind. I pushed everything out of my head as best as I could. Entered the transition area and laid out my stuff. I put air in my bike tires, my fluid and food on my bike, laid out my shoes and socks, hat and glasses and went to body marking.
Body marking is the fun part where people get to write your race number and age on your body in permanent marker since you cannot wear race numbers on the swim. After this was done and everyone could see I was 39, I headed down to the beach to wait for my wave to start.
Here are the times I wanted to finish each event in.
Here is what actually happened.....
The swim went better than expected. I was out of the water in 51:42. WOW I was shocked and really happy. I knew I would not finish any faster as I am just not a great swimmer yet but I was very happy with this swim time. I ran up to transition with a smile on my face. I put on my bike gear and headed out. T1 time 6:31 OOPS! I need to work on that.
The bike course was fun. There were lots of straight aways where you could get speed up but there were also rolling hills and some sharp turns. And to make things worse, there was rain! I have never ridden my bike in the rain so I slowed down quite a bit to make sure I did not crash, I saw people sliding all over the place in front of me. I was drinking and eating pretty well I thought. I was able to do the bottle exchange without crashing which was awesome since I had never practiced that. I did have to stop at mile 35 to use the bathroom. Hindsight that was a mistake. It was raining and it took me over 10 minutes to get my tri-suit back on. Lovely. The rain quit after a few miles and the sun came out. Other than slowing down to get on and off of a sidewalk, the rest of the ride was pretty fun. However it according to my GPS, it was 57.2 miles long instead of 56. Final bike time 3:51:51. If you subtract out the bathroom stop and the extra distance, I was not too far off my original goal. In to transition only to find that all my gear was soaked of course from the rain. Switched socks and shoes, grabbed my hat and fuel belt and I was off on the run. Okay I was walking out of transition but atleast I was moving in a forward direction. T2 time 5:25. Yep need to work on that as well.
I don't even know where to start. The run if you want to call it that, I would say shuffle myself was a cross between the Bataan Death March and a long run inside a Sauna. I alternated running and walking but I was certainly doing more walking than running. My whole crew was cheering me on but I just did not feel like I had it in me. Hindsight being 20/20, I realize now that I had not eaten enough on the bike and was starting the run quite low on energy. As I went along the course, I noticed everyone was alternating running and walking and everyone was having a hard time. There were aid stations every mile. I stopped at each one taking sponges, ice, gatorade, cola and whatever they offered just to make it another step forward.
I have to be honest with you guys. The first lap of the three lap run course was almost my undoing. I really did not want to go on. There were several times I wanted to quit. On that note, Thank you Hector Torres and Mike Auld. If it were not for the two of you, I can honestly say I would have quit. You both had some great advice and it kept me moving. Thank you Debbie, Karen, Sandi and Vi for cheering me on. I don't know what I would have done without you there. Thank you Joy and Rick for entertaining Kelsie and Hannah during the race, if you had not done this for me I would not have been able to even do the race in the first place.
On the second and third laps I found my groove. That is not to say I was moving fast but at least I was not wanting to quit. I knew I was going to finish and I did. Final run time 3:37:41. Final overall time 8:33:09. Yes I know I might have the slowest finish time in the record books but I did finish.
Will I do this again? Of course!!! In some very sadistic way I loved it. I actually have already forgotten how bad the run hurt. Must be that same selective memory that makes you forget the pain of childbirth so you will have another child. There are 23 weeks until the IMFL and yes I have a lot of work to do. But I will do it and I will be at the starting line on November 1st 2008!
Thank you to my awesome support crew! Thank you to my awesome coaches! Congratulations Missey on another great finish!
Ironman Florida here I come!
Thursday, May 01, 2008
At the conference championships, a player hit the first home run of her career ever. Not only was it a home run but it went over the fence. As she was trying to tag first base, she blew her knee out and collapsed. The first base coach stated that if anyone on her team helped her, she would be called out. The umpire stated they could send in a pinch runner but then the hit would only be a single. That is when the most amazing selfless thing happened. The first baseman, who herself is the state home run career leader, asked if she could help her. Remember this is the player from the opposing team. The umpire said there was no rule against it. So this first baseman and her shortstop came over, put one of the injured players arms around each of their necks and carried her around so she could tag the rest of the bases and then to home plate. This was the winning run and the girls who carried the injured player around the bases were part of a team that was now eliminated from the play-offs. As she crossed home plate her team was crying. The first baseman said later, “In the end, it is not about winning and losing so much, It was about this girl. She hit it over the fence and was in pain, and she deserved a home run.”
As I read the story today, it brought tears to my eyes thinking about the girl who injured herself and the two girls that sacrificed their game for the good of someone else. These days stories like this are almost non-existent. Parents are being ejected from games for being too aggressive. Kids are taught to win at all costs. We live in a fast-food society where the most important thing is our own selfish happiness. If we don't like it give it back. If they won't take it back sue. If we don't win put up a fight and if that does not work sue.
As a mom myself with two girls who would rather be shopping for themselves, I know how hard it is to balance the desire for your child to be the best with the ability to teach them how to be selfless and put others' needs first or at least equal to their own. In competition I want my kids to be the winners but more so I want them to come away knowing that even if they have lost they played their best and the effort not the outcome is what matters.
I am a runner and now most recently a triathlete. Those sports in and of themselves are selfish sports. You are out there alone and it is your physical and mental efforts that will get you across the finish line. For this very reason, I joined Team in Training over 11 years ago. I wanted to be able to give back to those people who could not run a marathon or bike or swim. For those people who lost their battles to cancer. Now I am a coach and when I am at an event, I cross the finish line last. It does not matter how long it takes, I am out on the course until my last person crosses the finish line and then and only then do I cross myself.
I don't do this because I want to be seen as some sort of martyr, or a hero. I am a coach and I care because I can. Because I want everyone else to know what it feels like to be a winner. And for me, being able crossing the finish line of whatever race you start whether it is physical or mental makes you a winner in my book.
So I congratulate those women! Thank you for being a positive role model for my daughters.
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Does becoming a triathlete cause a person to crave sushi? Is all of the time in the water turning me into a cannibalistic fish?
Strange I know but for the past couple of months I have been craving sushi like crazy. I cannot seem to get enough of the raw fish. My favorite sushi is either the spicy tuna roll, Maguro tuna, and Mexican Rolls. Of course I am constantly asking all of my friends if they would like to go have sushi. I never used to crave sushi like this so I am thinking that all of the swimming has something to do with this desire.
I know that after I run a marathon, I always crave cheeseburgers, not the McDonald's kind but the kind you would make on the grill yourself. So now I crave sushi. What will I crave riding the bike?
This is going to be one crazy post race meal....Sushi Appetizer, Cheeseburger entree and ???? Any suggestions.......
I think it is time to go get some sushi!
Monday, April 28, 2008
What a weekend! I went to the St. Anthony's Triathlon in St. Pete to cheer on some friends! All I can say is WOW! Amazing! I cannot wait until registration opens for 2009. Which by the way is Dec 1, 2008. I will be signed up as soon as it opens.
I drove down to St. Pete Beach with little Debbie on Friday night after work. Driving through town we saw bicycles everywhere. We made it to the hotel about 9:30pm. Unloaded the car and grabbed a bite to eat. Saturday was going to be a crazy busy day.
We woke up bright and early at 6:45am on Saturday morning as we needed to be in St Pete by 8:30 for the open water swim. Team in Training had set up the open water swim on part of the race swim course for their participants to get in a last minute training swim the day before the race. My friends told me I should come and get in the water with them. I had yet to do an ocean swim so I was very nervous as we drove up to the pier. My nerves certainly did not calm down as walked down to the water and saw the waves and mass of TNT swimmers. However I knew I had to face my fears and get into the water. After all my Ironman swim will be in the ocean in November.
Karen and Missey got into the water with me and we walked out and started to swim. Our plan was to get to the first buoy, turn around and come back. Karen was swimming in front of me and Missey was swimming to my side. Thank goodness, as I had no idea how to swim against the waves. I made it out to the first buoy with quite a bit of encouragement. Once there we treaded water for a couple of minutes as I had swallowed a bit of (OK... a lot of) the ocean on the way out. They asked if I was ready to turn back. I told them no I wanted to continue. Apparently salt water makes you crazy. So we swam out to the second buoy. This time common sense had returned and I agreed to swim back to the shore.
Once back on shore they were both congratulating me, I must have looked scared to death as Karen said ok now get a drink and we are going back in for a second swim. I agreed, again... salt water makes you crazy. I took a drink from our awesome support crew Debbie and headed back down the beach to the water. We sent Missey out on her swim as we knew she had to get some distance in. Karen had been swimming before we arrived so she was done with her distance and offered to swim with me. As we walked into the water, Karen hugged me and said, "I have two pieces of advice for you. 1. Become one with the water and 2. Push your head down, squeeze and lift your butt." We started to swim. This time, I did not fight the water and current. I actually enjoyed the swim. We only swam out to the first buoy and back but I really feel like I did much better the second time. When we exited the water I was ecstatic and bummed at the same time. Ecstatic because I had done a swim in the ocean and bummed because I was not going to do the event with them the next day.
We waited for Missey to exit the water not knowing she had to help another TNT participant who got a bit nervous on her swim and panicked in the water. After a few minutes Missey found us and told us what was going on, we left the beach, quick put on bike gear and headed out on a twenty minute ride. OOPS! We forgot the Meek and Mighty triathlon was going on so we kept getting re-routed.
After an easy 25 minutes on the bike, we returned to the beach to listen to Dave Scott, 6 time Ironman World Champion give last minute tips and answer questions from the TNT participants. That was so awesome. He is actually really funny and a great informational resource. I had my picture made with him and I will post it when I get a copy of it.
After the talk and after Missey and Debbie completed a 20 minute recovery run, we were off to the expo. Rick needed to pick up his packet and everyone needed to rack their bikes in bike transition. WOW! what an expo. I love the marathon race expos so I knew I would love the triathlon ones as well. I met Sister Madonna Buder and Scott Rigsby. I had my picture made with Sister Madonna. I will post that one as well when I get a copy of it. If you don't know who they are, Sister Madonna is the oldest women to ever complete the Ironman World Championship in Kona. She has also completed over 200 triathlons and as well as many marathons. She is an amazing inspiration. Scott Rigsby is the first double below the knee amputee to complete an Ironman. Like I stated two amazing people.
After a long day we headed back to the hotel to rest everyone was competing in the race the next day. We decided, thanks Debbie, to take a nice relaxing paddle boat ride around the hotel. That was a workout. I don't think any of us will be doing that again the night before a race. Thank goodness I did not have to race on Sunday my legs felt like led when we were done. LOL, just kidding Debbie but it really was harder than any of us thought.
We were supposed to meet Karen, her mom and some of her friends back in town for dinner but just as we got back to the room, another one of our friends called and said she was on her way to town. We called Karen and left her a message telling her we would miss dinner but see her in the morning at the race start. We also found out at this time there was no late checkout so we would have to check out of the room at 5:15 am on our way to the race but it turns out this was the best thing. More on that later.
Race morning! Another early day. The alarm went off at 4:30 am. Woo-Hoo I love mornings! I can tell you I was a bit bummed that I was not doing the race. I finished packing, called the valet and ordered all of the cars. I loaded up and headed down to put all of our gear into the cars. While I was waiting on the valet, I noticed a small group of TNT'ers that looked a bit nervous. On my second trip down, one of them walked up and said "Are you going to the race?" I said sure am what is up. She quickly told me they were from the NYC chapter and had decided to skip the bus transportation at 4am to the start in order to get an extra hour of sleep. They had reserved a car which had not shown up. She wanted to know if there was any way we could drive them over. There were 10 of them, thankfully we had four cars. I said load up and let's go. We crammed their gear in with ours, divided everyone into the cars and we were on our way.
We arrived at the race at 6am. Perfect timing. Missey, Rick and our band of TNT'ers jumped out and headed to race transition to do their final race prep. The rest of us took the cars and parked them just in time to see the U.S Army parachutists jump out of helicopters with the American Flag. The gun went off and the pro's hit the water. Missey and Rick met us at the cars and we walked down to the beach. What a site. There were about 4000 triathletes on the beach waiting for their wave to be called. Every five minutes a wave went off. We stayed on the beach until Karen's wave went off at 8:40 and then headed to the water exit. We missed Rick getting out of the water as his wave went off at 7:25 and he is a really fast swimmer. However we saw everyone else get out of the water and onto their bikes.
Our group divided up. Mike and Vi went over to the run course, Steve went to the bike in, Debbie was at the bike transition outside the fence but near Missey's rack. Kim and I were at the finish line which was also the run out. We played telephone tag and kept each other posted as to where everyone was on the course. Each of us taking pictures as our friends passed.
Here are their results! Holey Smoke they are AMAZING. Can I say that again? THEY ARE AMAZING! In alphabetical order:
Karen Cowden 3:06:43 - This was her first Olympic Distance Event!!
Melissa Daly 3:56:12 - A NEW PERSONAL RECORD by over 10 minutes!
Rick Stafford 3:09:18 - This was his first triathlon since the IMFL in Nov '07 and with no training.
Ron Hitzel 3:25:45 - Only his second triathlon ever and a Personal Record as well.
To say that I am in awe is an understatement!! There are no words to express how proud of each of them I am!
I also want to say congrats to the Central Florida Tri Team peeps who competed this weekend, Coach Sean from Team Hendryx, who had an amazing time. Bill, one of my ex-marathon trainees also with Central Florida Tri who had an amazing swim but a blowout at mile 11 on the bike course, Michelle, Karen's friend and all of the rest of the 3500+ finishers this year! I cannot wait to be part of the group next year.
And to that end, Missey reserved rooms for us at the Hilton near the race start for next year! This is definitely not a race I want to miss again.
Anyone want to try a tri?
Can't wait for my next race. I think I am crazy. LOL!
Missey - I read your blog and like I said yesterday, "Greatness takes time!" You are one awesome lady and don't you ever forget it.
Karen - I need more swimming lessons. One day I would like to grow up and swim like you!
Rick - What can I even say. You are an one heck of an athlete!
Kim, What is going to be your first race?
Debbie - You look amazing!
Steve - I have you in my thoughts! Good luck!
Mike and Vi - It was awesome being part of the "crew" again with you both. Glad I finally met Scooter.