Saturday, August 30, 2008

So there I was, doing my longest run to date...

Last night (Friday) was my weekly long run as I ramp up for the Marine Corps Marathon. It was 16 miles and it took me 2 hours and 45 minutes. It was slow. I know it was. I took Brick out for the first 6 miles, a loop through the university and around two local city parks. It was warm, I had worked all day and it was nice to be out with Bricko who cracks me up when he runs.
He keeps his head up high watching for birds and squirrels and he doesn't really bend his back knees but circumducts his legs. I can almost here the phrase, doh da doh. He's so cute!

Anywho, we were just coming through Memorial Park running up Dodge Street getting ready to cross when about 15 guys painted completely head to toe in blue paint surrounded us. There was one guy in a mascot costume waving a flag that I couldn't read. The rest of the guys were shirtless, with boxers or running shorts on. All painted blue. It was Friday night about 6:00 and they were headed towards the University of Nebraska Omaha football field. I couldn't tell how old they were but they were screaming and yelling. They waited briefly at the light and then jumped out into traffic. P.S. Dodge Street is the main drag that divides Omaha into north and south and at 6 pm it is way busy, all 5 lanes. The light finally changed just in time and Brick and I ran around them as they were screwing around in the street. Then I heard, "dude, keep up with the dog, keep up with the dog". Great, now Brick was leading the way, with a blue nose, as he had wiped it against someones leg on the way by, followed by me attached to the other end of his leash, followed by 15 bright blue boys. They finally turned off after they couldn't keep up with Brick and I and we finished our six miles and I dropped him off at home. I found out later that they were Creighton Prep kids. It was the first game of the season. I had forgotten that UNO was their home field.

I picked up Kona and she and I were off after a couple of gulps of water and half a bag of fruit punch sport beans. She is a little trooper. I had only planned to take her for 6 or 8 miles and then finish it off alone but we were out on the trail and I decided to just finish. She did get a little tired but when she started to slow I would walk with her and then she was ready to go again. Kona and I ended up doing 10 miles. We ran out on the local, flat, paved, bike trail. Kona did great. We didn't have water with us but we stopped on the way home at a fountain and I lifted her up to drink. We finished just as the sun was dropping behind the horizon.

Brick and Kona had a little dinner while I walked to the gas station to get two bags of ice. I was sweaty with wild hair flying out of my visor, and pink cheeks. I paid for my ice and as I was headed back out the doors, some guy in his mid 40s was sitting in a baby blue Jeep Wrangler with the top off. You could tell that in his prime, girls had flocked to him and I had heard him tell one of the gas station attendants when I arrived that he was working on buying some land in Mexico so he could build a house and retire there. Yeah, right. Anyway, he saw me come out and said, "where's the party?"
"No party," I replied.
"What's with the ice then?" he said. (What a dork.)
"I'm going to sit in it."
He asked me what I was training for, I told him some endurance events coming up. He said, "I did a half marathon once."
Great. Good to know. He asked if I had done that and I said yes, he asked if I had done a full marathon and I said, "that's the plan for October". He asked what other races I had done. (Trying WAY too hard.) I told him I liked triathlon as I was backing away. As I turned around, I heard him whistle under his breath and say to the gas station lady, "now that's bad ass." I just had to smile. People are so easily impressed. If he knew how much harder it is to get into the ice bath than go for the run, or how much my feet and legs were aching, or how anyone could do it if they just start with walking around the block... well you get the point.

I got home, poured the ice in the tub. Climbed in and iced down. I really, really love that despite those first 2 agonizing minutes before things go numb. Kona managed to fall in, which was a little on the cold side when the water splashed up.

And then we all ate and rested.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Black Squirrel Race Report

Hm, well that was interesting.

I rode with some friends out to the race in good old Council Bluffs, Iowa. Yuck.

Checked in and got body marked by some high school girl with a very pointy Sharpie marker. I had to check to make sure she didn't draw blood. I picked up my timing chip which was gigantic and put it on with the sensor on the inside as is customary.

Got transition organized and walked down to lake for the pre-race meeting. And then the race started, literally. I mean one minute we were standing at the water's edge and the next minute we were all rushing in, ready or not. There was no gun, no "ready, set, go", nothing. All of a sudden, we were just going. So strange.

Distance: 1000 yds
Time: 13:06
Pace: 1:19/100 yds
Swim place:38

Ok, so... The swim was short. I am sure of it. I was not the only one who thought so. I clocked myself coming out of the water in 12:26 but I don't know actually how short the course was so not sure of my actual pace. I just know that it wasn't 1:19. It was a mass start and getting all thrown in to the dudes who are willing to club anyone in their way, over the head, is not as great as when we start in waves.

T1: 2:03

There was a decent distance run from the water to the transition area. I'm not sure where the mat was and to be honest, I am not sure what the point of the mats was because as we went over them they asked our numbers and some guy punched them into a box. Really, welcome to Council Bluffs.

And yeah, my T1 time is a little long. Get this, I totally got stuck in my jersey. I usually pull it on with nothing in the pockets and then stuff my stuff in. Today I had everything in the pockets and was trying to pull it over my head and got it all wrapped up on my wet shoulders. Suck. I struggled with it for WAY, way too long. Annoying. Oh well. I also had a truck load of sand in my cycling shoes when I left T1. I knew that wouldn't be good eventually but decided to suck it up.

Distance: 21 miles
Time: 1:05:34
Pace: 16.7
Place 85:

The bike course was not awesome. Bike paths, bumps, railroad tracks, not well marked, blind turns, tight turns, blind underpasses, no room for passing, etc. At one point I ended up with a group of riders who missed the trail head turn. We did at least .6 miles before we turned around which lost us about 4 minutes. Damn. The other thing that was frustrating was the amount of drafting going on. There really wasn't room to pass, nor was it safe, on the bike path. In addition, this was not a USAT sanctioned race so there were no officials and the course was not closed. People were in small groups of two or three and big packs. It's just frustrating when you know the advantage they are getting.

Although the avg speed seems a bit low. I was ok with my ride. I kept my speed above 20 mph except on the technical stuff where I slowed down. There were bandaged up athletes everywhere at the finish line. All of them were male (sorry guys) who had just been too aggressive on this particular course. I like to go fast as much as anyone but there is a time and a place and if you come around a corner and take out a mom with a jogging stroller you've crossed the line.

Nutrition on the bike: 14 oz of Gatorade. Period. With all the twists and turns and bike handling I was afraid to pull anything out of my pockets. Hmmm, what kind of a run will that make for? Read on.

T2: 1:03

In and out. My feet were still covered in sand. Sock, sock, shoe, shoe, visor, go.

Distance: 10K
Time: 53:41

So with all of these crazy variables; the no nutrition, the sandy feet, the crazy timing chips, etc. I still had one of the best runs that I have had in a race. I felt great. I picked up the pace to be about an 8:08 average. The course was a little long. It ended up being 6.5 miles instead of 6.2 so that helped the average out a bit. One of the track guys jumped in and ran my loop around the lake with me. He was out for his long run and ran his first loop with the really fast guys and then jumped in to do the second loop slow, with me. He didn't pace me but he definitely kept my mind on other things. He told me about his miserable IMOO race. Poor guy puked for 15 hours. It was nice to listen to him talk about stuff while I gasped for air.

Clock Time 2:15:27
Overall Place 60 / 132
Gender Place 6 / 36
Division Place 4 / 13 (Girl from my division won overall.)

Lessons Learned:
* You don't really have to push very hard to create a mark on the skin with a Sharpie marker. If you forget this fact, it hurts.

* I can run faster than I think I can. It is mental for me.

* It is ok to reconfigure your race plan in your head if what you were going to do initially is dangerous. (aka; go as hard on the bike as possible)

* It makes me crazy when people race with iPods, draft, or do other equally uncool things during a race. Who cares if it is USAT sanctioned, do the right thing.

So, overall a pretty fun race. If they changed the bike course I would do it again. If the bike course stays the same, I will not. Too sketchy.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Not really blog info but...

So this may be slightly inappropriate but I just found this interesting...

10,500 Olympic athletes in Beijing.
100,000 condoms available.

In Athens in 2004, 130,000 condoms were provided and they ran out and had to order more.

They are no longer putting them in rooms, but instead are keeping them at the medical centers. Still in Sydney, I think, each athlete received 51 condoms when they got there. Holy, freaking, cow. That seems like a lot for two weeks.

Apparently all those really, really athletic, world class athletes are attracted to each other, go figure. No wonder you have to turn 16 that year in order to compete. (Just kidding, of course.)

Here are the Olympic ads. They really are hilarious but I wasn't so sure about posting them on my blog for those of you who may read at work. Check out the link if you can. It might make you smile.


Sometimes I forget that every one's life doesn't include words like "brick", "transition area", and *audible gasp*, "Ironman".

So there I was, sitting in the chair, getting my hair cut, like I do 2 or 3 times a year. My stylist, Tiffany, was working away. She is into bikes, both pedal and motor as is her husband. He used to race motocross until he wrecked pretty hard and was injured seriously enough to have to stop racing. Up until this year, they both have cycled quite a bit. We would always talk about which rides we had been doing and what the few-and-far-between up-coming events in Omaha were. Apparently, she has also been having some chronic pain issues and hasn't been riding. I guess people's lives and interests change. It's no big deal but it was so strange the way our conversation was so different from before. It went from comparing adventures to her telling me what a "go-getter" I am. Lame. Anywho, she asked what trips or races I had done this summer and I had casually told her about the HIM in Wisconsin. (Really, it's the only place I have gone.) She looked at me blankly.
"What's that?" she asked.
I looked back at her a little confused. "You know, a half Ironman."
"Is that a bike race?"
"Ummm, no.... it's half of an Ironman." I was confused. You know, Ironman? I couldn't even explain it, I was so bewildered that she didn't know what I was talking about. I even busted out the, "you know, the Hawaii Ironman?" Hahahahaha. Wow.
I did eventually explain that it was a triathlon and stumble through the distances.

I know that it is unreasonable to think that everybody knows all about triathlon but isn't Kona one of the biggest sporting events EVER? Well, maybe not, but you know what? I like the little imaginary world that I live in. If anyone cares to join me, I'd be happy to have ya, it's great here. Otherwise, see you on the flip side. :)

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Apparently I don't share well with others

Well, I feel like after announcing my workout schedule last week, I should keep myself honest and post how it actually went.

But... I am not going to bore you with all the details. Basically, I got mostly back into the two-a-day groove. I also commuted to and from work on my mountain bike every single day. I ran a total of 28.11 miles (the goal was 29), and I rode 53 miles. I swam twice, and the good news is that I still have one more day left in the week. Rock on!

Now, I have a question for you all.

Does it bother you if someone else wears (and sweats profusely in) your helmet? I really want to know.

Let me lay it out there. Wednesday night, I came home from guitar practice and changed into my cycling gear to go ride. I pulled out my baby blue TT bike, tri shoes, etc. I looked for my helmet but it was nowhere to be found. I knew it was on my aero bars when I left because I had set my mountain bike helmet on top of it after work. Both of Mr KT's bikes were gone (a little strange) and I realized that he had my helmet, I was sure of it. Just to clarify, he has two of his own helmets. The road helmet was gone and the mountain bike helmet was hanging on its hook. Anywho, I proceeded to get madder and madder. I had decided to wear my mountain bike helmet when he pulled in on his road bike in my helmet. I asked why he was wearing mine, he said his was at work. I said, "why didn't you wear your other one", he said, "it was dusty and dirty". Boo. He said, "here, you can have it." I got annoyed and disgusted and more annoyed and actually, pretty mad for not a very good reason. I said no, he said yes and I finally took it and put it on and was totally grossed out to have it touching my face. He said he would go back out and ride with me and put on the "dusty, dirty" helmet. We had a nice ride out and then the last 1/4 of the ride I turned it on. I was pretty much over the helmet issue so it wasn't that I was still mad. (Although I still feel like that is comparable to sharing a toothbrush, GROSS, or wearing someone else's underwear really gross.) I have no idea how fast I averaged that last part. All I know is that I was working as hard as I could sustain. I was drooling all over my face and when we got to the end of the trail I gagged hard about 4 times trying not to puke. I coughed and spluttered 3 more times trying not to hurl in the street. I have never been that close to puking during a workout.

After we rode up the big hill, I pulled in behind Mr KT and he said, "so that is why everyone was looking at us". Apparently he thought my jersey was unzipped a bit too far. I was hot, I didn't even notice. However, when I went up to change clothes I realized I had 26 gnats smashed in my sports bra. OK, maybe it was a bit low. I was going to document this phenomenon photographically but decided against that since there was no way I could do it with the bra on and that may have changed the rating of my blog to at least PG. :)

Anywho, back to the original question...

Does it bother you if someone else wears, and sweats in, your helmet?

Cause it makes me crazy and apparently it makes me ride a lot faster.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

It's Time for a Kick in the Pants

Ok, somebody give me a little shove. I really, really need to get going. It's been exactly two weeks since the HIM and I am really not motivated to get back in the training routine.

My new shoes helped briefly, until I actually ran in them. Hehe. My foot still hurt and it was still 94 degrees. I was supposed to do a 10-12 miler today and after 5 called it quits. I was shivery and thirsty and really, really hot. The humidity was 92% and the heat index was so high they were telling people to keep their pets indoors. Yeah, that's hot. I had to work this morning so I couldn't go for the long run right away. Well, looking back, I should have gotten up before the sun and run to my heart's content. I didn't, but I will next time. Anyway, by 10:15 am it was too broiling for me. I decided it wasn't safe and ran home and had lunch.

Last week I did 3 runs and 3 swims and that was it.

The week before that was a recovery week and I did 1 run, 1 bike, and 2 swims.

So, this week is a new week.

The plan is...

Monday - Run 6 miles am, Swim 3000 yds pm
Tuesday - Bike 1 hour am, Track workout
Wednesday - Bike 1 hr 20 min am, core pm
Thursday - Run 6 miles am, Swim pm
Friday - Run 3 miles am, Swim pm, lift UEs and core pm
Saturday - Rest (?)
Sunday - Long run (10 miles)

The other part of the plan includes some healthy, all natural eating habits. I never really fall off completely, I just become more careless. I seriously need to have someone really qualified look at this!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The weekends are filling up

I totally want to race. Benson asked me after the last post when the next race is and I will be racing an Olympic on either the 23rd or the 24th of August. I haven't decided which race to do. One would involve a little more planning and a longer drive and a way better race the other is right in my backyard but I have to be concerned with growing a third arm in the nasty lake that I would be swimming in. Yuck. It may be worth it though just so as not to have to pack up the dogs and spend the whole weekend away. (That first one I described is the race that I managed to throw Mr KTs keys away at last year, as some of you may recall.)

So this weekend I am on call at the hospital. (Already been in twice this morning and it is only noon.)

Next weekend I spend all day Saturday at a continuing education course on orthotics and bracing and Sunday I am headed to Lincoln to see my momma.

The weekend of the 23rd and 24th I am racing... somewhere.

I am on call again Labor Day weekend.

My cousin gets married in Iowa the first weekend in Sept.

I have a girls weekend planned the 2nd weekend in Sept with 3 of my PT school friends that I TOTALLY miss.

Sept 28th is the Omaha half marathon.

Etc, etc, etc.

Now, I just have to squeeze in my long runs around all that and we should be good. Yikes, the marathon is going to be here before I know it. Time to kick that into gear.

PS I fell out of love with my old running shoes and bought a pair of Asics Gel Kayanos today from my LRS. They have the same gel as the Nimbus, of which I had about 10 pairs of, and just a smidge more stability then the 2130s I was trying and don't like at all. I am looking forward to giving them a shot on my longish run this weekend. Don't worry I loop by my house so if I don't love them I can switch out. The only down side... they are purple.