Sunday, April 27, 2008

It's a little crazy and that is what makes it awesome, right?

Brrr. Race report is going to involve a lot of adjectives relating to cold, just so you are prepared.

We woke up in the hotel on race morning to 29 degrees outside. Yeah, I know. This was my planned wardrobe, with the exception of the race briefs and tri top I already was wearing and the thermal shell (jacket) I was also already wearing.

That would be...
Tights, running shorts, smart wool running socks for the bike, a dri fit long sleeve shirt, and wait, what is that? Yeah, let's get a closeup of that...

Do I see a hat, fleece gloves and pink arm warmers there at the bottom. For a triathlon? Wait a minute?

So off we went. We drove the 5 minutes to the race site, picked up packets that happened to contain cowbells and went to get the bikes organized. Did I mention we could see our breathe?

We got transition all set up and look what we found.

Look closer.

Yup, your eyes did not deceive you. That was, in fact, a bottle of Miller Lite on a BMC. To stay warm maybe? It was zip tied on so that it wouldn't crash to the ground. That's awesome.
Mr KT was in wave 7. We were ordered by our swim times, slowest to fastest with relays starting off first. It was a pool swim and so it took about 15 minutes to get one group in, swam, and out before next group could start. What a handsome devil, huh?
He looks a little nervous here.

There, that's better.
He had a good swim and came out of the water in one piece. This was a very good thing. Into T1. Wow, was that a cold transition. From, warm and humid to wet and frigid in a matter of seconds. Remember at this point it may have been 32 degrees. I could actually see the steam coming off the racers as they came outside, I just couldn't catch it on my camera.

Off he went.

I may have said, "atta boy" at this point to which Mr KT promptly rolled his eyes. It just popped out, Those are the kind of things I say at work to my little patients.
Now it was my turn to hurry up and wait for my heat, #11.
Finally, my turn. In I went, got smoked by the dude in my lane by at least 3/4 of a lap, and out into the cold air. It was like getting out of the hot tub at the ski resort and making snow angels (well, maybe not quite but a close second). I felt like I was going to puke during the swim and I think that maybe it was because I had a NutriGrain bar at 6:30 like I would for any other race but then my wave didn't leave until 11:30. I had no idea it would take that long. Anywho, out to transition to add the dri fit, arm warmers and the jacket as well as a hat and gloves. I also pulled on running shorts because I felt weird riding in briefs on the lower half and three layers on the top. I had considered tights but didn't think I would be able to get them on wet. Off on the bike.

The sky had been gray and cloudy all morning but the rain had held off... until I put my feet on the pedals. You guessed it. Rain, about 15 mph wind, and well, cold. The rain was plinking off my jacket and my sunglasses (didn't remember to bring my orange tinted racing/riding glasses) and my helmet. The wind was blowing up my shorts and all I could think about was how cold it would have to be to get frostbite. :-( I kept thinking, "It's a little crazy and that is what makes it awesome, right... right?" The streets were getting slick and the volunteers kept yelling out to be careful on the turns because of the conditions. It was a little lonely out there, to be honest. I got passed by one guy right away and then passed someone towards the end but because of the wave start we were each out there by ourselves.

Here I am, coming in off the bike in all my wet clothes.

And here, trying to get that tiny little bike to hang from the rack.

From here, I meant to drop my jacket and keep my gloves but I did the opposite. Oops. I ended up taking off my coat and dropping it on someones lawn just out of transition which I know would normally be illegal, but I knew nobody was going to care. My hands were cold and my feet were so frozen where the wind had come through the spaces for the cleats, I felt like I was still running in my cycling shoes. Seriously, numb and then moving to painful until I started mile two and everything kind of thawed out. At the turn around I headed back and saw there was a gal just behind me in an Ironman hat. My new mission was to not get run down by this chick. I found another gear and off I went. I felt really good. I just kept pulling farther and farther away from her. Come to find out later, she actually won the female division so I felt good about my run.

Transitions were a little strange at this race. The official times are swim and T1 combined, bike and T2 combined, and then the run. The times on my watch were slightly different from the official times but close enough.

500 yd swim time on my watch: 7:33 (1st fastest in my age group)
T1 (as calculated from official results): 2:19
Bike(14 mi)/T2: 48:37.0 (17.9 mph)
(2nd fastest in age group)
5K run: 25:07.3 8:06
(I timed it out to be 23:20 which would have been a 7:30 pace)
Total time: 1:23:36.3
Age group place: 3/9
Overall place (men and women combined): 34/100

Mr KT also placed 3rd in his age group even with an 11th place swim. He's too fast on the bike and run for his own good. Although I have to say that he has been lobbying pretty hard for a "faster bike". We'll have to see. Seems to me like he should practice his swimming but what do I know?

Friday, April 25, 2008

Getting our Race on

Headed to work and then to small town Nebraska for the first sprint of the year. Woot woot. Gonna freeze my tail feathers off tomorrow morning but still gonna love it. Packed and ready to drop the dogs at my parents and head west.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Fast, Faster, Fastest

Whoa, look out Beijing, here comes your fastest swimming yet...

It was an interesting day at the MavREC center pool yesterday. I hadn't seen my lightening fast swim buddy (LFSB) for a week or so and we were catching up before practice. I showed up in my red suit which just happened to compliment the red shoulders and chest I had from my bike ride on Saturday and my tapered long run on Sunday. I also am presenting with super stylish cycling short tan lines already. Yes, thank you, I am taking my bow now. Anywho, we started talking about cycling and LFSB, who is so fast in the water you can hardly see him as he goes by was also quite the cyclist a few years back. I said, "it was a pretty good ride, I only cried a little tiny bit once!"
To that he looked astonished and said, "there's no crying in triathlon". He said, "when you see a cyclist go by who is crying, you would never say, 'there goes a triathlete!'" Funny guy, I know. =0)
I explained it's not that Patrick drops me with no effort (at all), it is that I can't keep up. I just can't ride any faster. We passed a guy and Patrick jumped in front of me and he was gone. I maintained for a bit but when I looked down and saw that we were riding 24 mph I knew that I wouldn't be able to hold that pace. Especially since I still had to ride 20 miles home into the crazy Nebraska wind.
To this LFSB says, just tell Mr KT that I have been sandbagging in the pool for a year and a half if it makes him feel better. Really?! I didn't know whether to laugh or be furious or a little bit of both. I suppose I will have to resign myself to the fact that he is telling the truth. Damn, the truth hurts.
So, practice was practice. Bunch of IMs, some free, some other stuff, you know... and then I get a wild hair to see how fast my 25 fly is. So I swim down, climb up on the blocks and LFSB starts his stopwatch on the first movement. I dive in, fly to the other end with a nice undulating motion and apparently too many breaths. Anywho, after we get that all straightened out I end up with a 16.5 sec 25 yd fly. And then LFSB, who has a beautiful butterfly stroke pulls out a 12.5 fly! Wow. Now that is so cool. Then I decide to see how my 50 free is coming. 32.62 sec off the blocks but I got a huge gulp of pool water one stroke before the flip turn and I was more worried about trying not to drown than my streamline. I think I could be a second or two faster!

So, that doesn't say much about the 500 I am swimming this weekend in the first triathlon of the season but we'll see how it all pans out. Can you say, brrrr!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

A surprise for Blink

So, if you read the latest episode of As the Cassette Spins by Blink you will see that he is quite the diligent triathlete. He is logging his hours as he trains for CdA and I can just tell that he is going to have an amazing race. He also went on a bit of a tangent about the Tiger Gatorade. I believe these were his exact words...

"Like pansy ass plaid clad goof balls need to drink up all that potassium and sodium so they can get in and out of their carts to make it to the next shot. Whats next supplements? EPO? Drug tests in the PGA for performance enhancing drugs?

I for one refuse now to drink Tiger. I am an endurance athlete not a golfer, but I would wear a plaid speedo if someone made it. :)"

Well buddy, check out what I found!

Fuchsia Plaid

Royal Plaid

Or my personal favorite... orange plaid

You laid it out there and I found someone who made it. Hmmmm, now what?!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Speed work hurts...

but it is a good hurt. I think.

Did my first track workout of the season tonight. I switched up all my workouts this week because it was going to be so nice out today. Yoga to Thursday night, easy bike to this morning, track workout to tonight, tempo bike in the afternoon tomorrow, blah, blah, blah.

So E told me to do 5x1K track repeats with :90 RI. I was to complete them between 4:35 and 4:45. Absolutely no slower than 4:45 were the instructions I was given. Oh yeah, and hold your pace.

So here was the workout
1 mile warm up
1K - 4:33 (7:19 min/mile)
1K - 4:25 (7:06 min/mile)
1K - 4:28 (7:11 min/mile)
1K - 4:30 (7:14 min/mile)
1K - 4:33 (7:19 min/mile)
.75 mile warm down

for a 4.76 mile workout

By the way, those are pretty good splits for me, but I sure hope they get faster. I usually run my long runs at a 9:15ish pace.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Been a good week

This has been a good week. Got in the miles on both the bike/trainer and the run. Swim is maintaining and even got in one strength session and one yoga session. I have to say that the snow/sleet/rain/ice/cold/wind wasn't super awesome and by the end of my Thursday morning 7 miler, Kona was shivering and I was soaked all the way thru 3 layers of clothes. I didn't have time to deal with it before work so, you all know the drill, throw the dripping clothes in the bathtub to save for later! Brrr. Anywho, 70 degrees forecast for Tuesday so let's just put that behind us, shall we?

Ran my last long run before the Lincoln Half in three weeks. Mr KT, Brick and Kona and I set out to do about 11 miles. We ran down the trail about 5 miles to a park with the wind pushing us from the back. Felt good to be out and running. We saw a huge fire to the west of the trail behind some buildings and as we ran up on it we saw a crane with a giant stream of water. Mr KT had thought that maybe someone was burning something on purpose. Apparently not. We got to the park and were scoping out some picnic shelters Mr KT could use for the youth group at church when it hit him. You know the feeling, stomach clenches up and we were no longer looking for picnic tables, we were looking for a bathroom. Poor guy. The bathrooms at the baseball diamond were still closed for the season so we ran over to the Skeet/Trap shooting range and he ran in there while the dogs and I waited outside. Man, that was good timing although I feel sorry for all the dudes in there that were left with the aftermath of that. If that had happened anywhere else on the trail he would have been out of luck. All of this made me think of Steve in a Speedo's 5K this weekend. I hear he was going to try to eat a bazillion donuts during the run. Yikes. Hope that went ok. We finished our run with no other craziness or pit stops. It was a smidge too long for the babies. We decided that they are limited to about 7 miles. It's just too hard on their little paws.

Oh yeah, one other thing about our run... we always see this same man riding his road bike. He never has on a helmet and oftentimes he is in street clothes. Doesn't matter the time of day or day of the week, seems like he is always riding. Anywho, Mr KT said to me, "I'll bet you a yoga session and dinner tonight that we see him out here today." I took him up on that as I had nothing to really lose. We didn't see him, which means that Mr KT will be partaking in a Bikram yoga class with me. I have been begging him to come. He has been quite resistant. I think that he might be afraid he will like it! Wish him luck.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Um, Hello...

Whoa, by the way, I have a triathlon (sprint) three weeks from today. Sneaky little sucker. I almost didn't see it coming until it was too late.

And then, the weekend after that is the Lincoln Half Marathon. I feel super ready for that. Especially since my 11 mile run today where I ran 9:14 mins/mile. I have a bunch of friends who are running so I am sure I will see people that I know. One of my good friends from PT school will be coming in from Kansas City to run and we have kind of planned on using the "race" to chat and catch up for a couple of hours. Not really racing, but just a nice medium paced long run. I think that my goal is going to be for 9 min/mile splits. (E, I know, that is too slow. Depends on how I feel, maybe I will pick it up a bit at the end.) =0)

Also, work is going good. Two jobs and training is taking its toll but as soon as school lets out in the middle of May, things will calm down a little. I am seeing some really interesting kiddos at my new job and although I had to go in this morning, I really enjoy my time at the hospital. It is such a great feeling when you convince a little one who feels too yucky to do anything to try something and they forget just for a little bit that they are sick. At the same time they are doing something good for them even though the therapist made it into a game. My body and brain are exhausted at the end of the day but I get home and get my workouts and my dinner in and life is good.

So, I also have a new favorite website. It is a Pearl Izumi website and basically they slam on "joggers" and I think it is hilarious.

Some examples of the wallpaper. Pearl Izumi's creative directors rock.

You can build your own postcards and get wallpaper for your computer and other things like that. It freakin rocks. I am in the process of really wanting to be a faster runner. Especially off the bike. I am doing tempo runs and long runs and medium distance runs, and bricks, and hoping for some track workouts soon. (E did you catch that!?) So, I suppose that contradicts the statement I made above about the 9 minute miles I was considering for the half. I sort of, maybe, need to make that 8:somethings. We will just have to see.

P.S. Check the comments section, but Danielle posted a comment about 5 seconds after I put up the post that was very insightful. I just wanted to acknowledge her comment quickly. (Danielle, I also sent this to you in an email almost word for word.)

Yeah, I have seen these ads around for awhile, I just hadn't checked out the site. Lol, I actually don't buy any Pearl Izumi stuff really. I totally get what she is saying, because there are things that I don't agree with but my Bachelor's degree in advertising tells me that sometimes that is what it takes to get people to pay attention. (Yet another reason I didn't stick with that profession.) The ad team had a target demographic they were shooting for and I am guessing that they hit it dead on. (I am guessing the demo was male. No offense to those of you out there who cringed at that.) Anywho, it is the ad campaign and the branding and the creativity that I was impressed with. I like how they were trying to say that running is a mentality and that speed doesn't necessarily matter. (You have to read pretty far in their website to get to that part.) Obviously, that wasn't the main message.

I am super glad she wrote what she did. Always glad to have another opinion.