Sunday, March 8, 2009

Legs of Lead...

but that's because of another successful weekend. Now, technically it was supposed to be a "recovery" type week and all in all, it was...kinda :)

Yesterday's ride was awesome - 20 mph winds, riding at a 45 degree angle to not get blown over and all in the name of charity and training!

Because of the wind, my ride plan changed from riding hard to enjoying the 50 miler. It was a short ride anyway, why did I think I needed to work so hard? I found myself invoking the same changes, for the same reasons, as I did last weekend for the half marathon. And guess what happened?

Hell ya, baby...I had a freaking great ride!!! Apparently, I like annoying hills and vicious winds. I felt strong the entire ride and never went to a bad place mentally, even when the crosswinds were blowing us all over the place. I concentrated on my leg turnover and keeping my upper body as relaxed as possible. I didn't want to have a stiff neck/shoulders after the ride. Because that sucks.

Again, I'm not sure what happened or why, but I just felt really good.

So good that after the turnaround, the boys came flying by and I was feeling fiesty; I thought, "do I go with them? do I give it a shot?" And without hesitation, I grabbed on to a wheel. I figured that I would hang on for a minute until I got dropped and then I would finish the ride with J. But that did not happen - for a while.

I couldn't believe it...I wasn't getting dropped...I was holding on...and I was flying!! Call me a wheel sucker, I don't takes a lot of work to not get dropped by them. Eventually, after the last right hand turn and less than 10 miles from the finish, I started to fall off the back. And that was ok. It was a slow, painful drop but oh, so worth it!

I made the last couple of climbs by myself and still felt good. I pulled over at the last aid station only to find that it was a mere 6 miles from the finish - back on the bike and steady to the finish. I finished that ride on a huge adrenaline high - I "rode" today. Chalk it up as another milestone training day.

The only thing better than an awesome ride today? Getting to eat Fuddrucker's burgers after with two awesome ladies!!
Gotta take 'em when you can get 'em because we all know that training is always sprinkled with those sessions that aren't so great. But that's ok because now I know that I can be strong. That I am strong.

Even though my run today was mediocre, at best, it never deflated my confidence. I expected to have one of these days soon and given the effort from yesterday, I'm not surprised it happened today. The first several miles were really hard as my quads were not happy and a hamstring was angry too. I just made sure I kept running. C kept me honest and did a great job helping me stay on pace. And at the end I had 10 more running miles logged in my book.

Training has never been more fun.

(and no, I didn't have a stiff neck/shoulders afterwards!)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Scratching my head...

I'm not exactly sure what's going on here, but I like it. I'm running. Faster. It's a strange (yet, cool) feeling when things start to click.

Ok, I am in no way setting any land speed records, but for me this is uncharted territory; mmm...maybe not uncharted, but I haven't been at this point of "AHA!!" in a long time. I remember a time when running a 10:00 min/mi was a milestone...then a 9:00 min/mi and I was happy with that...then I wanted an 8:00 min/mi

and now I'm gunning for 7:00's

I can't help but think of Carrie's recent post basically wondering when is it good enough? It brings the same kind of questions to my mind. When will we be satisfied with our successes? Will we ever be? It truly is the good and bad of this sport. It sucks you in with the small successes and makes you want more. It is what keeps pushing us to greater achievements both in and out of sport.

I like it.

I love it.

I want some more of it!

(mile repeats: 6:57/7:00/6:49/6:44)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


I am writing this as I sit on my bed...guilt ridden.


I did not go to swim practice today.


I was tired. Really tired.

For some reason, I'm never as guilty about missing a workout as I am when I miss a swim practice. I know I'm not going to forget how to swim overnight. And I'm really trying to listen to my body and rest when it calls for it...and this morning called for it.

I need to relax about it.


Sunday, March 1, 2009


I did not believe it would come today. It was 39 degrees when the air horn blew and the winds were fierce out of the north at about 15-20 mph. I was having second thoughts about running the Moe's Better Half today. "Fun" was not an adjective I was going to use today for this race.

I began to reassess my strategy for the race and just try to stay as close to 8 min/mi as possible. All hopes for a PR were nonexistent.

The horn blew and what happened next was not at all what I would have predicted, given the conditions:

mile 1: 7:38 - holy crap it's cold and I'm going way too fast

mile 2: 7:18 - I think my Garmin's gosh I'm cold

mile 3: 7:28 - surly it's broken because it feels too easy...I should back off

mile 4: 7:36 - wtf?? oh, wait...duh...tailwind...go with it!

mile 5: 7:21 - this was not the plan, but keep it up and bank it for later 'cause we gotta turn around soon...and what's with the hills???

mile 6: 7:24 - I still think maybe the Garmin is off...

mile 7: 7:57 - crosswind, this is more the pace I was expecting

mile 8: 8:08 - oh crap, the wind is RIDICULOUS!! and what's with the HILLS??? I'm off pace...hang on!

mile 9: 8:13 - I've never worked this hard for so little return...keep pushing...oh, the HILLS!!!!

mile 10: 8:13 - I feel like I'm going to be blown over...I can do this...I can hold on...maybe even PR...did I say "PR"???

mile 11: 8:00 - if I just hold this pace, I will PR...the crosswinds...the headwinds...the HILLS...argh!! I can even walk a little and still PR - NO!!!! NO WALKING!!!

mile 12: 8:02 - I am doing this. Winds...Hills...NOT GOING TO STOP ME...KEEP PUSHING...uh oh, girl in front of me...looks to be around my age maybe...WILL CATCH HER

mile 13: 8:25 - uphill into the wind...then turn uphill and crosswinds...dropped the girl I just passed...HANG ON...PR IS IN SIGHT!!

FINISH LINE: 1:42:56 - 2nd place 35-39 - 7th place overall female.

I PR'd my half marathon by 3 minutes and that previous PR was on a perfect day on the 3M course.

What kept me going out there? It was my head. I kept telling myself that this was for a greater goal...this would help me build for Ironman...this would make me stronger for that day when all will be on the line and my mind will want to quit, my body will want to quit...but I'm going to train myself to not give in, to stay with it and keep my mind strong. It wasn't my legs that carried me to the was my head.