Monday, June 30, 2008
Race starts at 7am so we're up and at 'em around 5 again. I turn on the weather because we've been having crappy storms and weird on and off nice days and they show a huge line of yellow and red moving straight for Columbus. It should arrive around 7am according to the Mr. Accurate Weather Man. We bundle everything up in plastic bags, thinking we'll outsmart the weather channel and at least have dry shoes for the run! Get to the race, get the bikes pumped (they are all set to have a fast day - we're familiar with the course and they told us that it's one of their favorites in Columbus!), hit the potties, and get to transition. I dislike transition sometimes because at this race we're racked according to our numbers and I have some bumblenut next to us that takes over the ENTIRE rack with his bike and stuff. The rack is only probably 10 feet long and excuse me dude... there are probably 10 bikes that need to fit in there. We're also of course right in the middle of the rack. It takes us a while, but we get everything straightened out, wetsuits on, chipped, marked, all that good stuff.
We make our way to the beach. The swim is 1.5K and it's 2 laps of a triangle. There seem to be people everywhere - a good turn out for a Columbus race. The RD gets on a mic and tells us that the olympic race will start first with 3 waves. I'm 2nd, Tom's 3rd. My wave gets called and there are maybe 15 people there, 3 of whom are telling everyone that it's their first race every. We see a guy in the heat in front of us who seems to be swimming in the wrong direction and laugh, I'm sure partly out of nerves that it doesn't happen to us. The horn blows and we're off. The water is fairly calm, still no storms that Mr. Accurate Weather Man predicted and I've found a spot that I'm alone and comfortable. Things are going well. Then Tom's wave catches me (that was ALL Men under 45 - so like the whole Olympic Race). And there's a Collegiate tournament too and all of them are after Tom... they catch me. I'm fine... just staying slow and steady. The second lap I hit all the sprint distance people who are on their first laps, mainly the ones that have never swam before and are floating on their backs. I'm dodging people left and right. All I want to do is finish. I'm having a hard time sighting because whoever was in charge of purchasing the swim caps for this race did a piss poor job. They decided to buy bright orange ones (smart for safety reasons) but the buoy markers are the same color. Brilliant... you should get a raise for making the race just a little more dreadful! :) As I'm rounding one of the last buoy's someone grabs my foot and I do a good 'ole donkey like kick in hopes that they get off me. Turns out it was my hubby. Gotta love him! Anyway, finish the race feeling great. I'm thinking to myself, "Sweet. This has gotta be a PR"! Look at my watch and NOPE! It was slow. 33:07. I've gotta work on that! :)
On to T1 which is a mud bath. I don't even sit to get my wetsuit off because I know I'm just going to stand up with mud all over my butt. Of course this leads me to not be able to get my wetsuit over my ankle. I think that this just isn't going to be my day. Bumblenut's stuff is still in the way and I'm fighting to not scream. I make it out in 1:51 and am glad to be on the bike.
The bike is 2 loops of a course that Tom and I bike a lot. There are people everywhere... many of whom are on mountain bikes or bikes with one gear. They are all the people that started the Sprint distance 5 groups behind me... you know, the ones that are weaving in and out of the side of the road because they are looking at the pretty flowers along the road. Yeah, them. I pass a bajillion of them and get stuck with a bunch of guys. At least they are going my speed, which to them shocks their pants off. I get quite a few looks like "Where did this chick come from" and of course I'm feeling awesome inside... you always love passing these guys who think they are tough stuff on the bike, especially as you calmly eat a fig newton and enjoy the scenery. I spent more time the first lap saying "on your left" than anything. I feel good though and think I'm on track with last year's pace which was good for me. 2nd lap is a little harder - all of the sprint people were gone which was nice, but the wind had picked up. I probably pushed the gears a little too much on the first lap because the speed wasn't coming as easy the second time around, but I still felt good. Coming up the last Dam hill (the Dam Hill is how it's known, not because I was mad at it but because it's right after the Dam of the lake) I see that I'm having a great bike. I might even beat my goal of 1:10:00 for the 24.8 miles. I make it to transition and know I'm only 6.2 away from a PR if I keep things up (and this is with a slow swim!) My bike time was 1:08:40 and I averaged 21.81! I think that made me the 3rd fastest girl on the bike and like 37th of 105 on the bike overall. I'll take that any day.
Nothing big for T2. I had forgotten my socks at home that morning so just zipped in, racked my bike (rolling over Mr. Bumblenut's stuff which was all over my towel by now), avoided as much mud as I could and got started on the run. I think that transition took me 1:12.
Ah... the run. 6.2 miles. I can do that with my eyes shut. This is a boring 2 loop course that starts with about a half mile on a trail. We're used to it. It's not horrible. I get to the trail and it's a mud pit. I'm talking "step-in-the-mud-and-hope-your-shoe-stays-on-your-foot" kind of mud. OH... MY... GOODNESS... There's just no avoiding it. I'm brown by the time I get out of the trail... good thing I didn't have socks right? Yeah, except for the massive blisters I felt by mile 3 from where the mud was drying and the shoes which were wet and muddy were rubbing. LOVELY! I stopped three times to try to adjust the way they were rubbing. It was horrible. I knew that I wasn't going to PR on the run or break 9:00 miles which was my goal and at this point, I didn't care. I was hurting. I made it through the two laps and was so happy to see the finish line. I was going to PR which made me happy and carried me through to the finish. They called my name as I crossed, Tom took a picture and I was so happy. First thing to do - hit the water and get the mud that was caked on my legs and shoes off. I couldn't stand it anymore (and realize that I could never do X-terra races, but that's another story!) Run time was 57:20 (9:15/miles) and my over all time was 2:42:15 - a PR by about a minute and a half! I was so excited!
Tom had a great race too, although I could tell he was beat. He said his swim was slow, his bike was fast (23 mph average!) and his feet were bleeding from the run. Ouch... We waited around to see if we might get awards, but they weren't updating the standings very often. We ended up grabbing some food (they served burgers, which totally made me want to gag at 10:30 in the morning!) and just laid in the grass. About 45 minutes later awards were being said. Tom thought that there was a chance he placed, but he came in 4th in his AG out of 13! I think he was bummed with no plaque, but my goodness... 4th?!? I was thrilled for him. My age group comes up and they announce the 3rd place person with a time of 3:17. Sweet - I'm going to get second. They announce the 2nd place person with a time of 2:47. Tom's jaw drops and I just laugh. Yeah, I came in 1st in my AG! I got some hardware again!It was so cool. I didn't think I was going to place because of the top 3 women overall, 2 were from my AG. I'm not supposed to tell you this, but you can't place overall and in your AG so I got 1st kind of by default. Whatever... I didn't make up the stupid rule! And I got a plaque that proves it! Teehee...
So it was a good race. We were happy... and a bit tired. We had pushed for two and a half or more hours and we felt it. Of course we were convinced that it would be smart to ride 30 miles (15 miles into the wind) when we were done to get pizza. By the time we left, Mr. Accurate Weather Man's storms hit (it was about 2pm... so just a few 7 hours late) and we got to ride 15 miles home in the pouring rain. But we got our pizza which was a nice treat.
We finished the afternoon off by meeting some friends up at Quaker Steak and Lube. I just need to tell these ladies that we both had a great time. They are all "newer" friends of Tom and I and I love them to pieces. They are the sweetest group of girls, their hubbies/boyfriends are great, they have cute babies, babies on the way, and they don't hate me when I'm a boob and talk about myself and my day too much (which I'm sure I did yesterday and I apologize!). Looking forward to the next time I get to see them all!
Friday, June 27, 2008
I'll post race results and picture either Sunday or Monday. Have a good weekend!
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
And here's a decent picture of Tom and I. Guess I could have cropped it so that you see more of us and less tree. :)
So Tom twisted his ankle yesterday on our transition run. Lovely! He's been resting, icing, elevating and all that jazz. No biggie except for the fact that we have a race this weekend and as I'm typing this, he's sitting at his computer looking at the results from last year saying "it's on like Donkey Kong". Ha! We'll see how he does with it! Me on the other hand... I'm a bit interested to see how it goes. Last year I did this race and had a darn good day so I'll be hard pressed to beat my time from last year. Hum... should be fun!
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Alright, on to my weekend. It was grueling! I could end it there, but I won't leave you in suspense (ha... like you're sitting on the edge of your chair waiting for details right?). Yesterday we hit the bike fairly early. I knew that we'd be going about 50 miles or so. It was windy, but I started off feeling great. I pushed myself pretty hard though and kept up with Tom for the whole ride. Probably a bad choice. We had a great ride, don't get me wrong, but I got off the bike, threw on my running shoes and ouch. Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! My 5 mile transition run was a disaster! It was hot. It was still windy. Tom looked like a million bucks and I resorted to walking about 3.5 miles into it. I had nothing left in my tank. Had I just pushed it a little less on the bike I'd probably had a slow transition run, but a run for 5 miles none the less! :( Lesson learned.
Today's run went well. I was pooped from yesterday and this was really the first loooooong week that we'd had - I could feel it adding up. We ran 11.5 miles (I think I averaged about 9:17's on the way out and 9:40's overall so I slowed considerably). I knew I probably had gone out fast, but I felt great and somehow had convinced myself that I was running a pace that I could sustain after yesterday's workout. Funny how the mind works! And I had a lot of mind work to get sorted out. Tom said that he's never seen someone run a pace based on their mind. And I do - my mind is my worst enemy sometimes. I would speed up if I knew that there was a water stop ahead. I'd speed up if I was in front of Tom (otherwise, I feel like I'm chasing him). I'd slow down if Tom asked how I felt and said bad. It really is something that I need to work on. I think I need to crack open my copy of The Triathlete's Guide to Mental Training. It's sitting on my beside waiting to be read. After today's run... I better get reading! :)
So that about sums it up. We jumped on our bikes after the run,but cut it short due to the blackening sky. We were fine with things. I'm just getting ready to cook up some real post race food - homemade fajitas!!! Now that's the way to end a long weekend!
Friday, June 20, 2008
Today we set out for a long open water swim. The longest I've been doing is maybe 0.7 miles total in the lake. Today I did 1.4, although I had hoped to do 2.1 or so, but I started cramping in my calves (probably a little dehydrated). My wetsuit also has a rip in it (boo) so I was thinking about that the whole swim. I was happy with my 2 laps at the lake though. And for those of you living in Columbus who weren't at work today - were you at Alum Creek in your boat? There were a craptastic amount of people there today so I'm sure some were playing hookie. It was perfect for it (and made swimming a little more challenging!)
Tomorrow we have a long bike-run brick. I think it's about a 3 hour bike and an hour run. Sunday it's a 12 mile run and a 1 hour bike. Ugg - and it's only June! :)
We did some speed work yesterday which is really the first time that we've done it. We have decided that every Thursday we're going to do Yasso 800's. Here's the link if you've never heard of them: http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-238-244-255-624-0,00.html. I'd love feed back if you have any. I didn't really know what to expect so we warmed up with a mile and set out just to test where I would be (I thought maybe 4:00 800's since my fastest marathon was 4:44 and I usually run around 9:15 miles when I'm out and comfortable). I was pleasantly surprised by my times:
1st 800: 3:31
2nd 800: 3:25
3rd 800: 3:31
4th 800: 3:35
5th 800: 3:40
6th 800: 3:44
Those biotches are tough though! Tom ran the first three with me and when he started talking through the 3rd one, pointing things out, I told him he wasn't running fast enough. He ran the next 3 in under 3:15. Slacker! :) I'm anxious to watch my times and see if the Yasso 800's work. It's the first time I've done real speed work since college soccer when I swore I would never do sprints again. Ha - it's funny how triathlon can change you!
I'm also starting to feel the effects of training on my personal life a little. I'm so happy that Tom and I are doing this together because I know the stain that can cause, but I don't think that all of my friends completely understand what a time commitment training for an Ironman is. I've read so much about the sacrifices that someone training will make - be it with family functions, social events, keeping up with relationships and friendships, etc. It's tough when I hope those closest to me understand, then tell me that I'm not trying hard enough or not willing to change for them. Unfortunately my priorities lie with running my company and training for an Ironman. Everything else that I can fit in is icing on the cake. It's not that I don't care. It's not that I don't want to be doing tons other things. I just know I can't. Hopefully they will come to understand the life goals I've chosen to live out and just be supportive and maybe even a little bit patient. :)
Best of luck to those racing Coeur d'Alene and Grandma's this weekend!
Monday, June 16, 2008
We live about 10 minutes from the race start which is awesome (it's also where we do a lot of training so it's familiar to us). We woke up around 5am, plopped the bikes on top of the car, grabbed our breakfast and took off. We met up with our friends Steph and Erick in the parking lot and pumped tires, filled bottles, shook out the nerves, etc. This was Erick's first tri so we helped him along. Poor Steph was a long for the ride was a great sport about having to be up and out so early. Transition was fairly empty when we got there so we were able to get spots at the ends of the racks which was nice. Here's Tom getting ready and sporting his Team Type 1 jacket
Got everything organized, got marked, picked up our chips and swim caps, hit the potties and then donned our wetsuits. Even though it was only a half mile swim, the water was chilly and I figured I could use all the help I could get!
The Swim 0.5 miles
We got to the end of the beach for the swim start and the race director improved the swim by moving it back a few hundred yards (the swim was short last year). I was in the 4th wave, Tom and Erick were in the 5th. We patiently waited for them to call our waves, although it was much warmer in the water than on the beachSince we were swimming along the beach, we could line up in the shallow or deep water depending on how comfortable you were with the swim (they make it very beginner friendly as you can pretty much walk the whole swim if you really want). I figured I'd be best starting as far out as possible in the deep water, avoiding the chaos of the newbies and make a straight line for the buoy. Good choice! When my wave was called I swam to my spot and got ready to go, peed (cause you just have to in cold water) then put my goggles on. These are the same goggles I wear all the time. I waved to Tom and the race director said go. Even though no one was really near me, I totally panicked. Lovely - a sure sign of how the day was going to go right? What happened to my bi lateral breathing that I've worked 6 months on? What happened to "being one with the water"? Right out the door. Then to goggles fill up. I just think to myself, I'm in for it. It's going to be a long day. I realize that I'm not going to be able to make it without fixing my goggles so 30 seconds into my swim, I'm on my back emptying my goggles. I get them fixed, flip over and quickly calm down. I think it was just the adrenaline of the first race and whatnot. I loved where I had lined up - there really wasn't anyone around (expect for the random YMCA corporate challenge swimmer from 3 waves in front of me doing the doggie paddle) but I was able to maneuver around them and find a pretty empty, straight line to the finish. I actually felt really good once my goggles weren't full! I got to the end, got out, looked at my watch and then didn't even process my time, forgot to push my split button as I stepped over the mat and made a mad dash for my bike. Steph was there cheering which was fun, although I feel bad that I didn't really acknowledge her - maybe I wasn't all with it.
Swim time : 15:44 - not bad. I'm a slow swimmer so I was happy with that.
T1 I had sprayed my wetsuit with my new favorite tri product, Wetsuit Lube. It's this spray stuff in a blue bottle that we bought at a race last year. It's almost like lotion in a bottle that you can spray. Anyway, you put it on your wetsuit and on your legs and that puppy slides on and off in no time. I literally pulled once and the thing was off. LOVELY! I grabbed my shoes (no socks), threw on my helmet and grabbed my bike. It was very smooth and uneventful.
T1 time: 1:28 (I beat Tom by a second in T1 - SUCCESS!!!)
Bike 16.8 miles (although I think it was a little over 17 when it was all said and done).
I love my bike. It's fast. It's red. It's good to me. I got into my groove quickly and with only three swim waves in front of me (the YMCA Corporate challenge which is really the "this is the first time I've done a tri" challenge, the Clydesdales and Athenas and the under 25er's) I passed people left and right (of course always on the left, but you know what I mean). I couldn't believe how many people were on mountain bikes, but I really think the people in the groups in front of me were mainly first timers. I pasted a few decent bikers, but later said to Tom that there really weren't that many people "racing" the bike. I was surprised, but it was pretty fun just zooming by people. There were lots of USAT officials which was actually a nice change so no drafting (for the most part). I felt strong. Around mile 14, I hear "on your left hotstuff". It was Tom - he had finally caught me after starting the race 4 minutes after me. I kept him in sight for the last couple of miles and finished strong.
Bike time: 49:47 - average 20.6mph
I flew through T2. I had decided not to wear socks in the run which was a first for me. I figured it might save me a few seconds and with such a short run, why not try it out. I saw Steph yell for me - waved quickly, racked my bike, threw off my helmet and bike shoes, hopped in my running shoes, grabbed my belt and left.
t2 time: 0:51 - yeah, I finally beat 1 minutes! AWESOME!
Run 3.1 miles
I knew with the swim being long that I was going to have a hard time beating my time from last year of 1:36. I was at about 1:07 when I left transition and I would have to average about 8:50's to do that. It was a possibility, but I just wanted to have fun so I didn't think much about it. I just ran. And ran. The race goes a little off course which I'm not used to so the grass was interesting, but I was doing fine. First mile was about an 8:45. I didn't see anyone in my age group in front of me (we had all been marked with the letter "D" that morning) so I just ran. Right about the half way point I see a "D". I push past this girl then get scared that she's right on my tail so I don't look back. I have to at least beat her and it gets me going. I see Erick for the first time - he's having a great race and seems to be having fun which is important! I know that Tom's not too far in front of me and the girl in my age group could be right behind me. I don't look at my watch at the 2 mile point so I don't know how I'm doing, but I feel fine. I get to the finish, Tom and Steph are cheering for me, there's a huge crowd waiting for their triathletes and I feel great. This is right at the end - do we look cheesy (and sweaty) or what?We waited around for Erick to finish and then all head to our bikes. Last year they hand out awards as you crossed if you got one. I figured that's what they did this year. As we are walking away, the race director says "preliminary results are in and posted". We gather our stuff from transition and start to head to the cars. I tell everyone that I'm going to just stop and take a look at the standings - don't know why, but I had a weird feeling since I didn't see anyone in my age group around me except for the girl I saw at the turn around (who I did see finish about 3 minutes behind me). Erick and Steph walk ahead and Tom comes with me. There's a crowd of people standing around, but I find my age group and I came in second!!!! YAY! I ended up getting a plaque and was so excited. Good thing I checked the standings or I would have been out a prize!!! A very cool ending to a very good race.
So overall, I finished in 1:35:02 (beating last years time even with the longer swim by 1 minute, 45 seconds. I came in 2nd out of 12 in my age group. I finished 15th out of 138 women. I finished 80th out of 450 overall.
It was a good race! I feel like I'm making progress. Would like the get the swim down a bit, and possibly even the run, but I have a long season ahead of me to work on that.
We enjoyed us some good ole country cooking afterward with Steph and Erick at Cracker Barrel then headed off for another 30 mile ride with Tom's mom and step-dad. I proceeded to end the day by falling off my bike at the end of their driveway. Nice rookie move huh! Didn't clip out fast enough and hit gravel which proceeded to throw me to the ground. I have a bruised elbow, a bruised palm, a bruised and scraped knee and some wounded pride. I mean really - I came in second in my age group and then fell over on my bike? Nice...
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Our last night was great - just stayed around the Palazzo and the Venetian. Monday morning was another lazy one - Tom came down with a cold, but I dragged him out for a tough 4 mile run. By 9am it was well past 90 degrees and brutal!
So we're home now, recovered (although Tom is still struggling with his cold a little). We did our first open water swim yesterday - can we say panic for Colleen? After about 3/10's of a mile I was alright - just forgot what it was like to be in a wetsuit, to have boats around causing ripples, to be in brown water, to not have lane lines etc. We have a sprint tri this weekend and I'm super anxious for it. I know that the swim will go well now that I've gotten that little bit of nerves out, although we'll swim the course tomorrow and Saturday just to be good and ready!
Friday, June 6, 2008
Ironman training will continue while we are out there - no rest for the weary (or hung over). We plan to run 8 miles each morning - 2 to UNLV, 4 around campus and 2 back. Should be a site to see!!! I'm sure that'll get the body moving after a late night. We're also going hiking at Red Rock on Monday which should be fun - I've never been and have heard that it's super nice.
So for everyone racing this weekend - have a good one, kick arse and take names! For everyone stuck at home in Ohio - sorry! And for everyone else, have a great one - I'll post pictures and a report when I get home!
Sunday, June 1, 2008
I look lighter. At least that's what Tom says (he's a good hubby and I wouldn't expect anything less from him, but he wouldn't say it if he didn't mean it!). And I feel it. I don't feel like I'm pounding the ground when I run any more. I have had no knee problems. I'm actually thinking that I might have some muscle somewhere in these arms of mine. Tom and I often talk about what 12 pounds would be like taken off my body. To give you some ideas 12 pounds is equal to:
- 1.4 gallons of milk, or
- 31.2 cups of chocolate chips, or
- 36 medium apples, or
- 36 cups of cream of wheat, or
- 49 sticks of butter, or
- 48 cups of shredded cheese, or
- 72 small carrots, or
- 96 cups of elbow macaroni cooked, or
- 576 graham crackers, or
- 1 of the 2 dumbbells that I used to do chest press with (yeah, I said used to... I know!)
That's pretty impressive (and kind of gross) that any of the above mentioned are forever gone from my body. Now if I can only get people to say things other than "I can really see it in your face" I'd be happy. I mean, come on... how fat was my face prior to losing 12 pounds? I know that can't be the only place it came from! But even if it was, it's gone for good!!! :)