Thursday, August 30, 2007

The best race report

I just got done reading dying water buffalo's IMLOU race recap, and I am literally sitting at work trying to look like I'm not really crying. It is fantastic, you should check it out. I've never read a recap that captured so well the experience. I can only hope that I hold it together as well as she did! Read it here

Monday, August 27, 2007

Sorry, I cant talk now, I have to get up early to run 20 miles. I'm training for an Ironman.

…..that’s what I would have said if you had called me up on Friday night. Saturday morning was my first 20 mile run on the “season” and it went pretty well. Well, it was as good as a 20 mile run can be. Our course was over in Independence, about a 40 minute drive for me. The logical way to get there for me was to take I-35 to downtown, and then jump on I-70 and head east. Well, apparently they had closed down 670 on Friday night and I couldn’t get onto 70, so I had to get off in downtown and they didn’t have a detour marked yet. So in my half-awake state, it took me a while to figure out how to get back on the interstate. Downtown is all torn up, and I ended up over on Troost before I was able to jump back on 70. It’s amazing what you see in downtown KC at 5:00 am on a Saturday….a couple of people in the middle of Broadway playing shot put with a big rock, random other drunk people walking around, etc. But anyway, I managed to make back to the interstate without getting too terribly lost or getting a rock shot putted through my window.

Kris and Marcela and I have been going early to get 2 miles in before starting with the rest of the group at 6:00. It’s a nice mental boost to be able to turn around a mile earlier than you think you should be. Court decided to cancel masters practice for the morning so she could come out and do a long run with the group. I think she just needs to permanently cancel Saturday practice so she can run with us every week! The run was on the Little Blue Trace Trail, which is crushed limestone so it’s soft, and it was pretty much completely flat. Perfect. After about 5 or 6 miles though, we got to a portion of the trail that was marked “Trail of Death”. Aaahh!! I don’t know WHAT that was all about, but there were no dead hookers, steep hills, or scary dogs that would warrant a name like Trail of Death.

It was relatively cool and overcast for the first 7-8 miles, and then the sun came out in full force. At least it wasn’t 100 degrees like it has been for the last 2 weeks, but it was still pretty darn hot. After we turned around at the 9 mile marker, things definitely started getting a little tougher for me. My hips were tightening up, my calves were getting sore, and I could feel my pinky toes blistering. Court and I decided that we both just need to have our pinky toes amputated. Its not like they serve a purpose. At some point around mile 16 or so, I think I started hallucinating because I thought a patch of sunlight was a yellow cat. Either that, or I need new contacts.

We made it back to the starting point in about 4 hours. I think we kept on pace pretty well for the first half, but I know we slowed down quite a bit the second half. And we took our time at all of the aid stations, so I’m not sure exactly how much running time it was. But all in all, I felt a LOT better than I did for my 20 mile run when I was training for Lincoln, and I’m actually pretty excited to know that I have another 20 miler and a 22 miler coming up. I’ll be going into IMFL feeling even more prepared for the marathon portion than I was at Lincoln, and I anticipate that I’ll even be able to break my Lincoln time. We’ll see.

After we ran we stopped at Chipotle and stuffed ourselves with a couple of 1100 calorie burritos and then I headed home. I would have liked to have just laid around on the couch the rest of the day, but I did have a few errands to run. I dropped off a deposit check for Erin at the apartment she’s going to be living in (she moves back in 2 weeks! Yay!) and then stopped at Target to pick a few things up. As you can probably imagine, running 20 miles makes me a bit cranky. Well, it at least makes me a little less tolerant than normal, and I am not that tolerant to begin with. This little trip to Target just about gave me an aneurism. First off, they didn’t have the flavor of air freshener that I wanted, so I had to settle for something different. Then, while I was trying to find some SOS pads, I kept getting my cart run into by these 2 little girls who’s mom had decided it was a cute idea to let them push the cart around. Whenever they would hit something (or someone), she would just say in her sugary sweet mom voice “no, no! Watch out for people!” I felt like running over HER feet. THEN, as I’m walking around with what must have been a pissed off look on my face, one of the employees comes up and asks if I’m doing ok. Well, no, my fucking feet and legs are killing me, but where are the damn SOS pads? She starts walking me over to the aisle with the dish cleaning stuff (where I had been, and stared at the shelves for a good 5 minutes) and another sales lady overheard us and said “we don’t carry SOS pads”. WTF?! What kind of Target is this?!?! I didn’t get mad though, because both of the sales ladies were talking about how it’s totally ridiculous that they don’t have them. At least I wasn’t the only one who saw a problem with it. So I finished my shopping, got hit by the brats pushing the cart around again, and left.

On my way home, I stopped at the bank to deposit a check. I tried it 3 times, and kept getting a “we can’t complete your transaction” message. What?! Piece of shit ATM, I drove around to the second one they had at the bank and the same thing happened. UGH!! So I left there in a huff and drove to another Bank of America. I had just tossed my crap on the seat, and when I reached over to get my ATM card, I realized it was the wrong card. It wasn’t even a bank card, it was a credit card. Oh. I guess that’s why it wouldn’t work at the other branch.

On tap for this week, more swimming biking and running, and only a 10 mile long run on Saturday. Woohoo!

And congrats to all those that did IMLOU on Saturday! I can’t wait to read race reports. I was jealous all weekend long thinking about how some people were actually getting to do their Iroman and I still have 10 weeks until mine.

Monday, August 20, 2007

74 days and counting

I’m tired. I’m tired of always being tired. I’m tired of training. I’m tired of thinking about IronMan. I’m tired of having to go to bed early and get up early. I’m tired of counting down the days till November 3. I’m ready for it to just phucking get here!

Other than that, not much new to report. I had a 14 mile run on Saturday and decided that it is DEFINITELY time for new shoes. I had been running in Adidas Supernovas for a couple of years, then they switched me to Mizuno Wave Riders last time I bought new shoes. For one thing, I don’t like that name. Wave Rider. Sounds like it should be a movie about some kid who befriends a dolphin or something. Maybe it is. Who knows. But I digress. Anyway, I have been blistering more than I ever did before with these shoes. It used to be only the bottoms of my pinky toes. Now it’s there, the bottoms of my other toes, the sides of my big toes, that bony part on the side of my foot next to my big toe, the side of my foot, and a new one Saturday; the ball of my foot. Yes, I got a blister on the bottom of my damn foot. And my pinky toe blisters had blood, and they were unusually painful. You can imagine how awesome my feet look. Of course, this IS the pair that I’ve been running in since April, so they got me through the marathon and are probably as tired as I am. But I think I am going to maybe go back to the Adidas’ and try some new socks. I usually wear really thin socks, maybe I need some thicker ones. Or, I could just dip my feet in Second Skin before I run….

Since my work finds it necessary to block most photo hosting sites (but somehow blogger isn’t blocked, go figure), Court went through the pics from the Women’s Tri and sent me mine. There were actually a few good ones, though most of the shots from the run make me look mildly retarded, as usual.

I like this one because I actually look like I'm running, not power walking which is usually how I look in the "run" pictures.

And for good measure, some new doggie pictures.

Monday, August 13, 2007

How to brag about doing an IronMan.

Borrowed from 140point6's blog.

Um, yep, I think I've got this covered :)

"Before I started to train an Ironman, I bought a training plan; I read books on hydration and fuel replacement, I listened to endless hours of advice from elite and pro triathletes. This information did help me finish, but it did not teach me how to correctly brag about being an Ironman. My friends and I came up with a six phase program which will aid you in bragging about your Ironman . Use this plan from the moment you register until well after the race is complete for the most bang for your bragging buck.

Sign Up Phase: For most Ironman events, you have to register up to one year in advance. This gives you plenty of time to brag about doing an Ironman. During this phase, you must let all of your non-Ironman friends know you can't hang out with them anymore, because you just signed up for an Ironman. If you don't have any Ironman friends, then go to a place where runners or bikers hang out. Look for the Ironman symbol (M Dot) on their training clothes. An Ironman would never be caught running or biking without their Ironman stuff.

Training Phase: Training for an Ironman can be compared to having a part time job. You must let everyone you meet know this. This can be accomplished by sighing loudly at work, mumbling how tired you are because you just biked 100 miles, because you are in training for an Ironman. You can also skillfully steer the conversation with your neighbors and co-workers to your Ironman training.Here is an example:
Neighbor: "Did you hear what President Bush said this week?"
Lee: "Were you aware that President Bush is a biker? I just biked 100 miles today. I am training for an Ironman."
Co worker: Lee, are you working late tonight?
Lee: No, I have to get up early to do a 20 mile run. I even once rang my neighbor's door and when he answered, I said "Sorry Bob, can't talk to you now, I am training for an Ironman."

One Week before the Race Phase: You need to let your neighbors and co-workers know you will be gone for a little while, competing in an Ironman. Once again, you can steer the conversation to your Ironman race.
Neighbor: "Wow Lee your lawn looks great!"
Lee: "My lawn is going to look bad this next week; I will be competing in an Ironman."

Race Expo Phase: You must buy as much Ironman merchandise as possible. For years we saved our money to send both of my boys to private college, but sacrifices must be made. Both Derick and Ty will be going to junior college now. You must buy enough Ironman clothes to cover every day at work and training. You must also buy plenty of shirts for your spouse and children. They will also spread the word that you just finished an Ironman.

The Race Phase: At you can setup automatic emails and cell phone message notifications of your Ironman timing splits. You can use all of the entries in your email and cell phone address book. Include everyone regardless of whether they remember you are or not. It just does not matter, because you are an Ironman.

Post Race Phase: The finisher medal can be worn for one day per the number of miles raced and everyone knows that an Ironman is 140.6 miles. So wear that medal for 141 days (always round up as opposed to rounding down your finishing time). Your children must be trained to say, "My daddy is an Ironman. He gave me this shirt. He's an Ironman." This must be emphasized over and over with your children. I did not do this after I ran the Boston marathon, and Derick, my oldest boy, told everyone at his day care that his grandma ran the marathon. Your spouse must memorize all of your splits (swim, bike and run). You must also include both transition splits as well. Instead of wearing a shirt which states, "I am with Dummy", your spouse will wear a shirt which says, "I am with a stud Ironman". All conversations must be steered to your Ironman race.
Co-Worker: "Did you hear about the new work policy?"
Lee: "Nope, I did not; I was racing in an Ironman."

For at least one month you can say, "Well, I 'm only going to run easy today, I just did an Ironman." When someone brings up a subject of hardships suffered, you need to remind them that you also have suffered through hardships while training and racing in your Ironman.You can also use these ideas to brag about other races, but please only brag about races which are longer than 13.1 miles."

KC Women's Tri recap

I just love hearing the alarm go off at 4:15 on a Saturday morning. Well, not really, but I don’t mind it too much when it’s for a race. I was really excited for the KC Women’s tri, I had heard good things about it and was looking forward to racing. We headed up to Smithville around 5:15, and as soon as we got on the interstate, I realized I had forgotten my camera. Dammit! I forgot it for Shawnee Mission too, and Dan had to miss QuarterMax, so this would be the THIRD race that I didn’t have my own pictures from. Ugh. We made it up to the race site a little after 6, and had to park at the very back of this huge field. It wasn’t TOO far of a walk, but still kind of annoying to have to tromp across a hay field with my bike and T-bag. I went to get body marked, and had more ink put on me than I have at any other race. They put your number on both arms, both hands, and both legs. Usually you don’t get your hands marked, especially if it’s not a wetsuit legal race, so it was a bit odd. Oh well.

After I got my TA set up, I milled around for a bit and ate a Pop Tart (speaking of Pop Tarts, I have a story about that….). Once Court had her stuff set up, we went on a little warm up ride about half way out on the bike course. After that I jumped in the lake and swam for a few minutes, and by that time it was time to get lined up to start. Actually, before we could line up they had a “mandatory” pre-race meeting. About 60% of the participants were doing their first tri, so I guess I can understand. Courtney had warned me that they make you hug people during this meeting (she did the race last year) so I made sure to stand at the back of the crowd away from people so I could avoid that scene. I’m not fond of being forced to hug strangers.

The swim start was a little different, they did it in a time trial fashion. We lined up according to our number, which was based on our estimated swim time, and then every 3 seconds they had someone start. You had to run into the lake for quite a ways because it was so shallow near the shore, but once it was knee deep, I dove in and started swimming. I was a ways back in the order since I’m a slow swimmer, and I STILL got passed by a bunch of people. You would think that with the time trial start, people wouldn’t get bunched up, but it still happened. And this was the first time that I’ve actually gotten jacked in the face by someone’s elbow, and it happened twice. I think it was the same girl both times, the same girl that tried to push off me while she was side stroking at the end. Yes, I am that slow, I get stuck with the people that decide to side stroke. It’s not funny.

My swim was close to 13 minutes, which is not good, even for me. But I knew I’d make up some time on the bike. I still take time to put on socks even when it’s a short bike course like this, which I know slows me down in the TA, but it helps to somewhat preserve my feet. I figure one less pain for me to worry about while I’m riding is worth the few extra seconds. Once I got on my bike, I just laid the hammer down and started passing people left and right. And for the first time EVER, not a single person passed me!! I probably passed a good 50-60 people, it felt pretty cool. It was a 10 mile out and back course, with a tight turn around in the middle of the road. My bike handling skills are not stellar, so I had to slow way down for the turn around. I forgot to check the time on my bike computer when I got off, but I’m guessing I was somewhere around 30 minutes. The run, well that’s a different story. Once I got on the run course, all those people I had passed on the bike passed me right back. I felt slow and heavy and hot. It took me about a mile and a half to really get into my groove and feel good running. When the course is only 3 miles, and it takes you half that to get settled in, it’s not good. I know I’m capable of cranking out a faster 3 miles, I just don’t know how to really push myself on the run. That’s something I’d like to work on next year, improving my run speed. I’d love to work on it now, but there’s only so many things a girl can focus on! The official results aren’t up yet, but my time was around 1:24. Not what I had hoped for, but being that it was about 100 degrees, I’ll cut myself some slack.

I wasn’t feeling all that great when we got home, so I ate my lunch and then fell asleep on the couch. I spent most of the afternoon napping, waking up occasionally to watch a few minutes of TV before falling back asleep. I was supposed to go out with Courtney and a few of her friends that night, but I was definitely in no mood to get off the couch, so I ended up skipping that. Around 8 or 9, I crawled into bed and slept through till Sunday morning. I guess it was just a combination of the heat and the cumulative exhaustion of the last few weeks. But that 15 or so hours of sleep sure felt good!

I woke up around 8:30 or so on Sunday morning and decided to head to downtown OP to watch the Tour of KC crit. Megan was in town racing, and I hadn’t seen her since she moved to CO after this race last year, so I wanted to be sure to watch her race. Since we live so close, I just hopped on my bike and rode down there. Sure was nice not having to mess with parking. I found Monica, and we watched the women’s 1/2/3 race, which Megan won! Nice! After that I hung out with our friend Bryce who was there with a few of his buddies to watch another of their friends race in the men’s cat 3 race. They had a tent set up right at the corner of 79th & Santa Fe, so I stayed in the shade with them for a while and had a few beers. Dan showed up around 11 or so, and we watched a few of the races before I decided I had better go home and take a shower.

Later in the afternoon I met up with Megan, Dawn and Melissa at Cinzetti’s for a late lunch. Yummy! There are few times where you can feel justified in gorging yourself at an all you can eat Italian buffet, and the weekend of a race is one of those times. We had such a great time, it was really nice getting to hang out with the girls for a while. So all in all, a good weekend :)

OH, my Pop Tart story. I went to HyVee on Friday night to get a few things, including Pop Tarts, which I’ve discovered I like to eat while I’m riding. They’re a good way to get sugar in, and they sit well with my tummy. So I’m standing there reaching for box, and some little kid sees me do it and starts screaming about how he wants Pop Tarts. His mom looks at me, looks me up and down, and says (while still looking at me), “no, Pop Tarts are crap, I’m not feeding you those”. WTF, biotch! Without even thinking about it or considering what I was saying, I looked her up and down (she was, shall we say, pleasantly plump), smiled and said “that’s the nice thing about Ironman training, I can eat crap and not get fat”. Aaaahhh!! It was a total “You’ve Got Mail” moment, where Meg Ryan was complaining about how she never has any “zingers”, she always thinks of a response later on after someone says something to her. I NEVER say things like that, especially to strangers, but I was actually kind of proud of myself for doing it!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Just your ordinary, average, everyday, sane psycho.

I have officially reached the certifiable stage. I emailed Eladio yesterday with a question, and he responded, so I was re-reading my original email. I had to read it a few times to make sure that I actually wrote what I did. Did I seriously say “I’m worried because my longest run for 4 weeks will ONLY be 13 miles”???? That is not normal!! Of course, it seemed normal to him and he offered a wise solution which now has me running 20 miles in 2 weeks as opposed to the 18 I had been scheduled for, among other changes. But seriously, what happened to the girl that thought she was going to die the first time she ran a mile, and who used to watch the IronMan broadcast and feel sorry for those people instead of feel insane jealousy?? It got me to thinking about other things I now do that would not have seemed normal to me a year ago. Thanks to all this IM stuff, I now:

  • think that spandex is a perfectly appropriate thing to wear in public
  • have no problem examining the blisters on my feet while sitting at my husband’s softball game
  • openly discuss my bathroom habits with anyone who wants to know
  • think that “what several hours in the saddle does to one’s girly parts” is a normal topic of conversation
  • have gone THREE weeks without cleaning my bathroom, because laying on the couch on a Saturday afternoon after a long run is preferable to cleaning
  • have spent more on race fees in the last year than I have on clothes
  • find it nearly impossible to wear heels because my feet are so mangled
  • can’t get a pedicure for the above mentioned reason
  • fantasize about shaving my head so I wouldn’t have to stuff hair into a swim cap or deal with it sticking to my face when I’m sweaty
  • don’t remember the last time I “slept in” past 8
  • would rather spend my money on new running shoes than cute shoes
  • have nice tan legs…..from mid-thigh down. My thighs are nice and pasty white
  • think that a $2000 bike is relatively cheap

I could go on and on. I'm ruined for life!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Swimming fun

So, I am not a fast swimmer. At all. And I have decided that’s OK because I’m finally to the point where I’m actually ENJOYING swimming. Isn’t that the goal? And I think I’m finally enjoying it because I’ve been doing most of my swimming in the lake lately. I HATE swimming in a pool. I absolutely despise it. I feel like one of those plastic ducks in that carnival game when I’m in the pool. Swim down, swim back, swim down, swim back, swim down, swim back. Bleh. But I absolutely love swimming in the lake. I feel like THAT is how a person was meant to swim. Not in a concrete aquarium, fenced in by two plastic lane markers, following a stupid black line, but out in an actual body of water. Yeah, there aren’t any lakes around here where I can just jump in and go swim wherever I want to, I have to stay in a roped off area, but it is still fun.

Last night I swam out at Longview and had a blast. It was SO choppy, I don’t know if it was that windy, or there were a bunch of boats, or what. But it was fun! I remember Courtney saying “you need to swim OVER the water”, and last night that was about the only thing I could do. I was forced to really reach up and swim over the water. Because if I didn’t, I was just dragging my hands through the waves. And whenever I would look up to sight, I’d get slapped in the face with a wave and take in a mouth full of water. So it made me really work to find a way to get through that chop. Which is good for me, because that’s how it’s going to be at Florida. Except it’s going to sting a little more when I get slapped in the face with a slat water wave. Oh yeah, and I don’t have to worry about jellyfish in a lake :)

Monday, August 6, 2007

Uppin' the mileage

95 degree heat + 95% humidity + 16 mile run = not much fun. I had to run 16 miles on Saturday, and I was NOT looking forward to it because I knew it was going to be pretty miserable. Even when we started at 6am, it was already 80 degrees and really humid. Once the sun got up, it heated up really fast. Luckily, our run was on a trail, so there was quite a bit of shade, but there were also some long stretches that were out in the blazing sun. After I turned around at 8 miles, it had gotten so hot that the top layer of tar on the trail was melting and my shoes were sticking to it every step I took. “Squish, squish, squish, squish”. Yeah, that is pretty hot.

That run made me realize that there is absolutely NO way I would be getting in these long runs without Runners Edge. This was the worst heat I have run in, but because there were aid stations every 2 miles, I was able to pour cold water down my arms, back, and over my head to cool me off. Not to mention the cold Gatorade and gummy bears that I had to look forward to. Nope, no way I would be able to do these long summer runs on my own. I would definitely puss out and call it good at about 6 miles.

I don’t know what it is, but 13-14 miles seems to be some sort of threshold, at least for me, and any runs longer than that really do a number on me. So this was my first real LONG run since the marathon, and I definitely felt it. I was reintroduced to my old friend, the “post-run, corncob up my ass, shuffle”. You runners know what I’m talking about. I spent the rest of the day hobbling around like an arthritic old woman. But Chipotle and a nap helped :)

Sunday I planned to ride to Lawrence, since it didn’t quite work out last weekend. It was about 56 miles round trip, and Monica came along for the ride. I found out that her longest ride this summer had been 15 miles, so I normally wouldn’t suggest that big of a jump in mileage to someone, but she did really well! It was hot again, but definitely not as miserable as it had been on my run. It was also pretty windy. On the way out, we had a head wind, and then somehow it switched so that we had a cross wind on the way back. Not fair! Part of my route took us down 143rd Street south of DeSoto, and last weekend that road had been just fine, but in the last week they have completely torn up the road and now it’s like it’s covered in fine gravel. I guess maybe they are getting ready to repave it. I ALMOST wanted to turn around when we hit that, but I was bound and determined to make it to Lawrence, so we kept going. It ended up being that gravel crap for about 3-4 miles, so not too bad. I was just worried I was going to get a flat, but luckily I didn’t.

I was actually surprised at how good my legs felt. I was a little worried that they were going to be toast after my run on Saturday, but they weren’t too bad. They started feeling fatigued on the way back, but nothing that really bothered me. This was the first weekend that I had a LONG run combined with a LONG ride the next day, and I’m happy with how it went. I’m a little tired today, but feeling pretty good. Up this weekend, the KC Women’s Tri!