Monday, March 31, 2008

LoneStar Weekend Update...

Where to start?!

I took my computer with me this weekend with every intention of posting play-by-play action, but obviously, it didn't work out that way. Anyhow, here are the goals/outcomes of this, the only race I will participate in prior to CDA:

1: Stay within myself and don't worry about what's going on around me.
2. Concentrate on nutrition.
3. Maintain focus throughout the race.
4. Walk only through aid stations.
5. Remember this is a training race...I have to pick up my training as soon as I get back.
6. Have fun!
7. Finish in 6 hours (I know, I's only a training race and I shouldn't place time expectations, but hey, it's still a race)

1. On the first bike loop, I started to panic because I was getting passed by EVERYONE :( but I kept reminding myself that my plan was to ease into it before picking it up. It worked and I felt great on the second loop and managed an 18 mph bike split. Not my best, but then again...
2. I managed to lose my one bottle that had all my nutrition in it going into the second bike loop, but didn't panic. I still had my gels and grabbed a Gatorade at the hand up. On the run, I drank water/Gatorade and sometimes a bit of cola (it tastes soooo good!) and my gel.
3. For the first time ever in a long course race, I was able to maintain focus throughout the day. I am the queen of blowing up (i.e. giving up) during the run. Which is why I had a 48 minute PR this weekend! Once I realized that a sub 6 hr was possible, I just kept running that in my head and held on to my plan. Plus, seeing all the other T3ers on the course was so motivating!
4. Referring back to number 3, when I get to the run, I have a nasty habit of bargaining with myself and giving in to walking at various points during the run that are not aid stations. Again, I just kept thinking "sub-6".
5. Every time I felt like I needed to pick it up or like I was being left in the dust, I just remembered what my coaches told me...this is a training race, a measurement of my fitness as I get into the core of my CDA training.
6. I was happy knowing that I could have gone faster, that I felt good (well, as good as you can during a half ironman race), I felt stronger than I ever have before during a race.
7. I beat my goal time by 4 minutes and PR'd by 48 minutes...I couldn't have asked for more!!

Other "first" thoughts:
1. This is the first time I have been able to overcome some very powerful demons out on a race course.
2. This is the first time I have finished in a time that I expected.
3. This is the first time I had run 13 miles since the Dallas White Rock Marathon...yes, that was in December.
4. This is the first brick I've done in over a month.
5. This was the first time on the road with my bike since the accident.
6. This was the first time I've raced after just being sick.
7. This is the first time I've trained with a team - and totally diggin' it!!

It's been a tough couple of months, but maybe that's what I needed to find the fight within, to find my desire to conquer the demons, who knows. I just hope to harness that feeling and take it with me as I continue to train for CDA. I have the confidence now to go forward and push through to the finish line.

Friday, March 28, 2008

All Packed and Ready to GO...

Tomorrow I leave for Galveston, TX for the Lonestar Half Iron Triathlon...along with a good portion of the Austin Tri Community!

I'm a bit nervous because I feel like I've been sidelined for the past couple of weeks in my training and still have a bit of congestion and a cough. My coaches have told me to use it as a "training" event...has anyone ever been able to get out on a course and NOT give it 100%??? Chrissie, Mo - I promise I'll try really, really hard to not "race" the race.

My main goals are:
1. Finish
2. Nutrition
4. NOT bargain my way out of what I'm capable of doing (I do this to myself all the time, then I'm pissed off).
5. Finish Strong

It's funny how training with a group really makes you want to perform better, I feel like I'm being held accountable to others when really, all they want is for me to have fun and do my best...still, I don't want to let the group least that's how I feel.

I need to go to sleep, it's waaaayyyyyyyy past my bedtime!


Go Longhorns!!! All the way to the Elite 8!!! Way to kick some cardinal butt!!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A Vending Machine Quandary

It's not often I visit the vending machines, but today was an exception. As I put my coins in and selected A0, the Lay's Potato Chips, I began to wonder:

Why is it that the potato chips and other light-weight items were placed at the top of the machine while the heavier weighing items like candy bars and soups are placed at the bottom. Wouldn't you think that the lighter items should be placed lower so that they don't break as easily? Why do the heavy items get to just plop down while my chips have to sky dive from above?


I was starting to feel really blah from not working out due to being sick and injured; and my coaches were conferring on whether or not I should participate in the LoneStar Triathlon this weekend. With all that I was not happy, BUT I after deliberating my coaches came back with good news - they decided that participating might be a good re-jump-start to my training!! The only promise I have to keep is that I keep it to a "training day" not a "race day"...WILL DO!!

I need this as a confidence booster. I have to "know" that I can do this. Even though I've done it before, I need to know I can do it THIS TIME.

I also hit spin class pretty hard today, too...not all out, but it was a solid effort.

I'll be back on track in no time...just gotta get my head back on straight!!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Some Very Interesting People...

I've been reading other blogs. Blogs of friends, of acquaintances, of friends of friends. I've come to realize something I already knew...there are some really fascinating people in this town. People I've known for a short while or only known casually somehow seem to have become kindred spirits...all of us with common interests, thoughts, fears, goals, etc. While we are aware of the commonalities between us, when we actually read other's thoughts it somehow becomes more personal.

We become more connected.

Just a thought.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Well, I never thought I'd say it - I'm a mom!

Welcome Home, Sophie & Bella!! (thanks Stacy & Jack)

Well, here they two girls. This is as maternal as I get and yup, I'm nervous. I know what you're thinking - puppies during Ironman training???? But if I wait until after CDA in June then there's AZ in November and then something else after that and something else after that...I guess there's never a perfect time to become a parent. Fortunately for me I have my sister, Katy, to help with the training.

This is a huge deal for me and since I don't plan on children in my future, this is it. I am now responsible for living, breathing creatures aside from myself. No longer can I be completely selfish with my least I can stick 'em in a crate! JUST KIDDING!!! Actually, they really like their crate. I left the door open for them and after a while, Sophie just went back in and curled up on her blanket.

I hope I can do this...I hope I don't let them down...I really want them to be happy with me.


Aside from the excitement of my girls coming home, I'm glad to say that I really am starting to feel much better. I have done nothing physically active this weekend. I have completely rested my body. I was miserable yesterday with the weather being so beautiful but all I could do after breakfast was go back to sleep. I only got up to get the girls then headed to Mom's for an early Easter dinner. Afterwards, I went back home, put the girls and myself to bed and only heard Sophie wimper once during the night. I woke up without an alarm clock for the second day since who-knows-when. I still have a bit of a cough and congestion, but my body is feeling much better...I hope it's a sign of improvement since I have a half-ironman race next weekend!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Stupid cold...

That's right, it's Friday and the weather's great...a gorgeously perfect day and I'm sitting on my bed with chicken soup, Gatorade and an assortment of vitamins and pills that I am depending on to alleviate this nasty cold. I have the blinds closed so I don't have to be reminded of what I'm missing.

I know, I know...I shouldn't be complaining, it's not like I had surgery that's going to keep me down for weeks or some terrible illness that will incapacitate me indefinitely. I have a cold. A cold. That's it. Still, it's frustrating and makes me feel grumpy.

I started to feel it a bit on Wednesday and thought maybe a run would help - it didn't. Thursday morning I thought maybe a swim would help - it didn't. Thursday afternoon I tried to convince myself that spin class would help - I finally decided that it wouldn't and I went home (ok, I did spin for 45 minutes before coming to that conclusion). In 10 weeks I have only missed 2 swim practices and not one spin class. What's worse is that I will miss my long ride tomorrow - the 100 miler I was supposed to do as a makeup ride for last weekend when the accident shortened my ride to only 65 miles.

I've talked with several people who keep assuring me that missing this weekend is going to be ok. That I still have plenty of time to get in my long rides. That life happens and this is not a bit deal in the grand scheme of things. That it is more important for me to recover and get healthy so I do well at LoneStar next weekend.

I'm going to listen to logic and reasoning and take the next day or two off to focus on caring for my body. I'm not going to like it. I'm already feeling guilty about it. But, I'm going to do it...unless I feel better in the morning :D

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A friend sent this to me a few weeks ago and I giggle every time I read it. Tonight it seems especially appropriate since I was sitting at Little Woodrow's in my running shorts and a t-shirt with some of my triathlon friends. All the other girls in the place were dressed and looking smokin' hot...compared to them I was lukewarm at best.

Now, there was a time when that would have really bothered me but tonight it was merely an observation. Ok, maybe I felt a little out of place but since I was with people who don't care what I'm wearing...who think that fleece is cool...who also live similar lifestyles...I didn't feel so bad. I guess the point is that my life and my lifestyle have changed to a degree that where I once felt comfortable and at home, I now walk in and feel a little bit of an outsider. C'est la vie!

As I was telling Esther, it's fun to go out and have drinks and hang out with "the crowd", but to do it like I used to...I just can't and don't want to anymore. Hanging out at the clubs, tearing it up is just not something I really want to do. It's not worth the hangover. Can't make 5:45 a.m. swim after drinking all night!!

So for now, I will continue hanging out with my (not-so) imaginary triathlon friends...


I managed to run 3 miles today.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Back in the Saddle Again...

I'm trying to write but I'm watching Law & Order, SVU...I think she's going to deliver the baby in the car!

It was back to training today!

I made it to swim practice today. My shoulder felt better but I still can't kick. I watched everyone else swimming their sets and am happy that I know I"ll be back at it 100% soon!

Oooh...she's in the ambulance now...she's about to deliver!

I managed to make it through another work's tough because all I can think about is everything else...

Something else I thought about while I was at work - being sick. I'm sure it's just the allergies but I can't help think that maybe it might be a cold. Aside from the debate over cold v allergies, I realized that I have been sick with either several times over the past ten months. I feel like I've been sick more since I've been at this job than I have at any other job. hmmm...

It's a boy!! Uh-oh, she's coding...will they make it to the hospital in time?

After work I headed over to the PTC for spin class. Chrissie had told me to take it easy today, but I couldn't help myself. I had a hard time getting into my aerobars because of my elbow but I managed. I kept up with the class and didn't have any pain until we started to push some bigger gears, but it wasn't bad.

Ahhh...Elliot made it to the hospital and the baby and mommy are ok...yeah! Gotta love SVU!

I have to mention that my T3 peeps are the best...everyone was very thoughtful and happy I was ok. And of course, I got to show my war wounds...the sexy thigh bruise was the big hit ;)

Tomorrow's a big day...will I be able to run?

Monday, March 17, 2008

Blah, blah, blah...

That's me today...

Hopefully I'll get a good night's sleep tonight and feel better tomorrow.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Day After...

This is my hip after yesterday's tumble...ouch! Remarkably, I was able to make myself go to swim practice this morning. Everything hurt. Not in a oh-my-something-might-be-broken kind of a way, but in a sore and battered way. My right shoulder is very stiff and sore. My right elbow stings but I now have full extension. My hip, as you can see, is nicely bruised and hurts every time I do anything - kick off the wall, climb into my car or bed, get the idea. Surprisingly, my left leg also hurts. I guess the pedal smacked it or something because I have bruises along the anterior and medial aspects of my lower leg.

Something else I didn't expect were the feelings of lethargy and exhaustion. I didn't anticipate sleeping well (which I didn't) but I couldn't believe how tired I felt all day. After swim and coffee with Eryn and Booher, I went to Target and started to not feel well. A couple of waves of near-nausea and I suddenly felt like I was going to pass out. I made my way to the register and headed home. After a quick bite to eat, I climbed into bed (slowly) and tried to nap. I would doze then wake then doze then wake...

At swim I had a chance to talk with Chrissie. She's so sweet - she came and gave me a hug. She doesn't strike me as a "hugger", so that was nice. We talked about making adjustments this week while I mend - it's going to be ok. These things just happen...that's why they're called accidents.

I just hope Stephanie's surgery goes well tomorrow.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

On the road again...literally

Today I crashed. Not only did I hit an uneven patch of asphalt but I took someone, Stephanie, down with me and now she will be having surgery on her freshly broken elbow. I feel terrible. As if that wasn't bad enough, she was training for Ironman Arizona - one month away.

Knowing how much time and dedication it takes to train for an event like Ironman, I feel terrible that I am why she will not be in attendance. She was very gracious in her reply email to me, chalking it up to what it was - an accident. I hope the best for her in her surgery and recovery.

I fared better - a peeled and swollen elbow, bruised shins minus some skin and a seriously bruised hip. The hip hurts more than anything. I'm afraid what tomorrow will feel like :(

I'm sure I'll recount what I remember of the accident here soon, but for now the Ultram and Valium are starting to kick in...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

What a difference a week makes...

Last weekend I was basking in my successes...this weekend, sulking over my lackluster training performance. Ah, nothing like Ironman training to bring you back down to reality. It's been a long week and I've felt pretty tired and rather melancholy.

This happens during training. This will happen during Ironman. I just have to pull through the week, try to keep positive or at least not beat myself up.

Keep my head in the game...

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Up and Running...

I did it!! I ran 10 miles today without pain!!

I had such a great time riding yesterday that I felt my confidence level soar and I thought to myself, "if I can run 10 miles tomorrow pain-free, then maybe, just maybe I'll have a good race in Galveston at the LoneStar Triathlon (a half-iron distance event). Having a good showing (by my own standards) will mean that I'm on track for IM CDA in June.

So this morning I laced up my shoes, grabbed my iPod and headed out to a gray and very windy day. I didn't pay attention to the wind or to anything, for that matter. All I cared about was running. After the first couple of miles I got into my groove and everything fell into place - my breathing, my arms in rhythm with my legs - it was all working. The more I ran, the stronger my legs felt. I stopped at one point to get rid of a rock that jumped into my shoe and as I was bent over I saw Terra Castro run past. After we waved as she flew past me I had a thought...what if I can just keep her in sight? So off I went...the chase had begun! Now granted, she was running many more miles than I and wasn't running race-pace, but I was determined to not let her out of my sight. So for maybe 3 miles I did all in my power to keep her in view...and it worked! She was the only person I saw; I was blind to everything else (ok, I did look both ways before crossing the street) around me and it wasn't until I neared the MoPac bridge that I lost her. I was dying for water and had to stop - she was long gone by that point. Terra's such a great person and inspiration that just running (way) behind her gives me such motivation to stay focused and positive.

After the 10 miles, I felt in my mind and in my legs that I could've run 3 more miles...I'm now looking forward to Galveston!!


On a separate note, I went to San Antonio today with a friend of mine to the Majestic Theatre and saw The Phantom of the Opera...awesome!! Thanks, Rafael!


And on yet another separate note, thanks to Esther, Eryn and Jessica for letting me vent my frustrations and being so supportive!! You girls rock!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Finding the Right Shorts...

Why is it that I can't seem to find the right pair of shorts? You know, ones that won't creep up on my thighs and won't bother my "delicate" sitting area. Today I was out for a 63 mile ride (Pedal Thru the Pines - a great charity ride) and thought I'd try out a new pair of tri shorts...bad idea!! The elastic in the thighs is great - no creeping there. But the seat was a whole different story. Why does the chamois seem to always bother me right where I sit? It's terrible to have to constantly be adjusting my shorts and not to mention, very unlady-like. It's as if the seam of the chamois just starts to dig into...well, you know what I'm talking about.

Anyway, if anyone has any suggestions on how to find the "perfect" tri shorts, please let me know!

Oh btw, the ride was great- great weather, very well supported with volunteers and goodies and I averaged 18 mph over the 63 miles and felt like I could've kept if I can only get my running legs back!