Race Schedule and Results

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

It's all about T.I.T.S my friends...

**First, our trip to Napa and Sonoma was fabulous and once I get pictures uploaded, I'll write a whole blog about it.  Truly an amazing place, the vineyards were breathtaking, the wedding we went to was one of the best (besides the freezing cold temps), we got to explore a little of San Francisco and we made it home with little delay (for us, that's a victory in itself, especially since I got a call on Thursday after we landed in San Jose that our return flights were canceled and they had rebooked us on separate flights, with me leaving late Sunday night and Tom leaving early Monday morning.  I love American Airlines so much...)

Anyway, yesterday we had the brilliant idea to head out for a century - the first of the year.  I hadn't been on my bike for a few days and thought the T.I.T.S (time in the saddle) would be good. Little did I know how hellish, yet amazing the ride would end up.

After being in 60 degree temps of California for the last four days, we were a little shocked by the high of 92 predicted for the day.  I slathered myself in sunscreen (which, a little PSA - DO IT KIDS... being tan may be cute, having cancer sucks).  We filled as many water bottles as we could both hold, loaded up on food and money, printed out a new route sheet which would take us to the Utica Ice Cream Festival (gotta have a destination) and headed out.  The first 20 miles or so were amazing.  Wind at our back, not a cloud in the sky.  At one point, Tom says to me "I think we're going to be fighting on the way back".  Whatever... I was thoroughly enjoying my T.I.T.S.  Around mile 35, we hit some gravel roads.  These were new roads for us and we didn't know what we were going to get.  We got rocks... I'm not talking the typical summer-in-Ohio chip and seal.  These were rocks.  I slowed my pace to about 5mph, death gripped my bike, unclipped one foot and slowly made my way forward.  For about 5 miles.  It was on and off, but it sucked big time.  Totally takes the wind out of your sail.  At about mile 46, we couldn't take it any more and changed the route according to my GPS.  5 miles on a busier road would be no problem as long as we didn't have to endure the rocks.

But, I put the wrong address in my phone.

Opps... so maybe 10 miles later we arrive in a town.  Cold beverages.  That's all we wanted.  Screw the ice cream festival which was outside... there was a brand new Subway which had air conditioning. We nom nom nomed a sub, downed 32 ounces of Poweraid and filled up all of our bottled empty bottles with ice cold water.  Our return route home was on different roads so we were fine.

The ride home was in the wind.  By mile 65, I was dead. Our next turn was on more gravel roads. My water was hot, my stomach was sloshing, my eyes couldn't stay open.  I had flash backs of Ironman Louisville... this is dehydration / heat related.  I stopped at a tree, laid my bike down and cried.  How was I ever going to make it home 35 miles? And then I realized that it was more like 45 miles because of our detour out... I started thinking "I'll call my mom.  She can come get me".  But I knew they were having a BBQ for Memorial Day and I didn't want to ruin that.  And who am I to quit when the going gets tough?  At that minute she called me - mother's intuition I guess.  I cried to her and of course she said in a stern voice "figure out where you are and I"m coming to get you".  I hung up, defeated.

This ride wasn't about time or speed.  It was truly about T.I.T.S and enjoying the day with my husband.  I'm not a quitter.  We'd be in a little town soon enough to get fresh water.  My spirits started lifting and I called my mom back.  "Don't come get me... you just called at a bad time".  We rerouted ourselves a more direct, albeit busier, way home.

Within 5 miles, I felt like a new person.  Granted we were paceline riding on a 55 mph road and it was getting late so the sun wasn't as strong.  But I felt awesome.  We stopped at a fire station for ice water.  And then again at a pizza shop for more poweraid.  At 85 miles, I felt like I could ride forever, but that pizza smelled so good that I just wanted to get home!

I knew the ride would be around 108 to our house and I was actually excited.  I had made it through a miserable low and felt strong.  My pulls were 22mph, nothing hurt.

At mile 99.58 were hear it.

Psssssssssssssssst

Tom's flat.  Our spare tube is faulty.  I try to call my mom just to tell her we are alright because I know she's panicked.  I get one and a half rings out and my phone dies.  Great.  We're 8.5 miles from home.  I tell Tom that I'm going to start riding to get the car and he insists that he'll go since he's faster.  So I sit (luckily on a bridge over a beautiful body of water here in Delaware), and wait.

I count 110 cars in a 20 minute period that pass.  Only one asks if I need help.  Tom finally arrives and we head home.  What a crappy end to a hard day.  And I'm short .42 miles of my century.

I got home and hopped on my bike.  I went around the block until I hit the 100.  I had come too far to not finish what I started.

Might have been the hardest 100 I've ever done, but if that doesn't built mental toughness, nothing will!

Afterall, it's all about T.I.T.S my friends and 100 miles of T.I.T.S in May makes me happy!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Ack...

Just when I think I'm catching up, a million things get plopped down in front of me.  I swear I love you all, I'm just WAY behind. Quick update...
  • Feeling a ton better - this cold lasted about a week and after taking it really slow last week, I feel like my head isn't in the clouds.
  • Tom's Achilles is healing.  The swelling is totally down.  He ran two miles on Monday and five with me yesterday.  He said that he doesn't even feel a twinge when we run fast.  Great...
  • We're heading to Napa tomorrow and I can't wait.  One of Tom's teammates is getting married and I absolutely love Matt and Steph so it should be fun.  Plus it's in Napa... I've never been, but I'm super excited.
  • I honestly can't believe that it's almost June.  Where did January, February, March, April and May go?  I'm getting excited for some small local races, although I'm kind of worried if my sprint/olympic speed is there.  Guess I'll be testing it soon enough.
  • We had two great rides this last weekend and I can't believe how awesome my Kestrel fits.  We did a 60 mile American Diabetes Tour de Cure in Louisville this past weekend (seeing signs for La Grange made me throw up in my mouth a little... which is a shame - I like the IMLOU course a lot) and then we did another 70 on Sunday in Columbus.  I'm thinking we'll do our first century on Memorial day. Ice cream festival time and that's the best motivation to ride!!!
  • My countdown says 109 days until the Full Rev Cedar Point.  I'm so freaking excited for that race!!!  
Sorry for the bullet points.  That's kind of where my mind is these days...

Have a great holiday weekend everyone - BE SAFE!!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

REV3 Knoxville

It's all about perspective.  I learned that this weekend.  If you live in a hilly area, this course is awesome.  If you live in central Ohio, this course is brutal (but still awesome).  If you train all winter in a warm place where you can swim and bike and run outside, it's not too early for a half Ironman.  If you live in Central Ohio and Mother Nature hates you,  it's going to be a bit of a struggle.  If you think about how lucky you are to have the ability to move your body 70.3 miles, you'll love every minute of it, no matter how slow, hard, and hilly the day is!

We got to Knoxville on Friday, checked into out hotel (which was located right at the finish line and perfect), checked into the race, walked around the finish line area and finally met up with teammates.  It was so fun to finally put faces with names and I'll always laugh about us twitter and facebook stalking people as they walked by in their lime green visors, trying to figure out who everyone was.  A lot of  "hi, I'm Colleen... aka Irondiva or @CBKingery. :)  We ended up grabbing a great Mexican dinner on Friday night with a bunch of the team and Tom's teammates.  Lots of laughs!
Saturday was super busy.  We met in the morning for the practice swim.  Holy crap - the water was cold.  And yet, I freaked a little.  Again, about perspective.  I've been swimming in a pool which is probably 82 degrees or so.  Tom's two teammates are from California and thought the 62 degree water of the Tennessee River wasn't too bad.  I couldn't feel my feet, hands or face.  But it was fine.  The TYR Hurricane Cat 5 wetsuit was AWESOME and I'm not just saying that because they are a sponsor.  The thing freaking rocks... flexible, no chaffing, kept me floating and warm! :)  Two thumbs up.  
After the practice swim, I showered, busted out my "I pee on my bike" shirt (thanks Triathlon Rocks!) and grabbed some grub before volunteering at the registration tent for a few hours.  People loved my shirt - some took pictures, some asked if I really do that, others just said "best shirt we've ever seen" (btw, if you want one, you can contact Triathlon Rocks and tell them I sent you - they'll give you a special deal!  Their website should be up shortly, but they are on twitter @TriathlonRocks). 

After volunteering, I got my bike to check, realized my brakes were rubbing something fierce that I couldn't fix, totally freaked out and luckily the great people at the mechanic tent took care of Papa Smurf and made it better.  I love my Kestrel to death, but the breaks are a little funky and I changed my wheels out which weren't working real well with the set up.  They got my bike done by 7:15 (bike check in closed at 6) but I was still able to get it in there, all settled and ready. Quick bite to eat with Tom's team and I was ready to crash!

I slept well the night before the race, but had been on my feet WAY more than I wanted on Saturday and woke up Sunday a little groggy and sleepy.  And nervous.  Did I mention that?  Holy nerves.

Tom, his team, my twin Kristin and I walked to transition and got everything set up.  It was chilly in the morning and all I could think about was how cold the water was going to be.  My stomach was flip flopping.  I found Tom and we walked out of transition and the tears started.  I just felt like I was in over my head with this race.  He assured me that I was fine and to remember that I'm not racing it.  This isn't a course that suited me well - we don't have the terrain around Columbus to get us fully prepared for the climbs, and it's early in the season.  I knew I wanted to treat it as a training day and just get through it. 

We got our wetsuits on and made our way to the swim start.  It's an in water start and all of the half women started together in pink caps.  Tom was in our wave too because he changed to the aqua bike so I smiled when the man on the mic yelled "the party has started now that the women are in the water".  The women and Tom. :)  He was loving it...

Swim - I positioned myself in the back of the pack.  Tom didn't think I needed to be that far back, but felt like I was going to panic.  There were a lot of pink caps in front of me and the water was cold (although it felt warmer than the practice swim).  The horn sounded and I panicked.  Full on "oh my God, I'm going to die" panic.  Called that one.  As the pink caps swam off, I did a quick pep talk.  I can do this.  I swim all the time.  Head in a go.  Maybe a minute later, I was totally calm, swimming in a body free bit of water and passing some pink caps, then some yellow (the wave before).  The turn out seemed to be 5 miles away and there was not the help of the current that I was hoping for.  I felt like I was in the water forever, and that was fine.  I got out in 48 minutes.  Shoot... that was really slow.  I later learned that the course was long and on average, people were 5-6 minutes longer than usual.  Made me feel better, but I'm still slow.

T1pokey for some reason and didn't get out real quick.  I think it was like 2:30. HA!

Bike - Remember how I said Tom was going to bike with me.  Yeah, that lasted about .05 miles! :)  This course was a dream for him (he was in the top 5% of the bike overall).  I just got comfortable and knew it would be tough.  I didn't however think it would be that tough (Wes, you warned me and I will forever listen to you!).  Again, perspective... when you don't bike any hills, it felt like I was climbing mountains.  The course was beautiful and I really have to tip my hat to REV3.  The volunteers were amazing and I loved having police AND volunteers at ever intersection.  I used my small ring a lot.  I just rode comfortable.  I ate when I needed. Drank my EFS Grape (love that stuff)  Yes, I peed on my bike.  I think I averaged like 17.2mph and I was thrilled with that.   It might have been my slowest half bike at 3:15, but I was happy with it.

T2- I got to transition and Tom was finished with his race and waiting.  Kristin's bike was the only one in my rack at this point (she rocked her race btw getting 2nd in our age group and I am so excited for her).  I guess others struggled with the course too.  I couldn't for the life of me get my belt on right.  And I think I yelled at Tom to not take pictures of me trying to get my shoes on.  Yelled hi to Meredith and Dave and got on my way.

Run - Again, I just wanted to take this run comfortably.  I turned my watch off.  I didn't care what pace I was running.  My legs felt a little sluggish, but I was happy.  The first couple of miles were flat and went by quickly, but I knew I was running a very slow comfortable pace.  I got to maybe mile 3.5 and the climbs started.  Short and steep.  Mile 4 had a huge climb.  Miles 5-8 were up and down.  I never thought "I want to be done" but I knew that I was running a very slow pace.  It felt right that day...  I saw some teammates and cheered them on.  I talked to people, thanked the volunteers and police.  Running to the finish line was amazing. 
I finished in 6:19:xx. That's slow for me.  But it was a great race - I was comfortable, happy, enjoying it.  I didn't care about being fast, what my pace was, where I was in the pack.  I just moved forward.  A teammate told me to repeat "I eat pain for breakfast" when it hurt and I added "I eat hills for lunch" which kept me smiling.

I ended up 5th in my age group out of 20.  Not too shabby for a training day.  Trakkers rocked - I'm so honored to be racing with my teammates who are pure rock stars... a few podiums, a few big PR's!

So I'm home now and sick as a dog.  Sunday night I started to feel crappy with a sore throat and itchy eyes.  Yesterday was all out cold.  Last night I slept 11 hours, got up, ate breakfast and went back to bed for another 4.5 hours.  And I could shut my eyes now and probably sleep till morning.  My body is run down.  Oh... and for all of you asking about Tom's Achilles.  We don't know what's wrong.  It started bothering him 2 weeks ago.  No distinctive pop.  Lots of swelling and absolutely no way he could run.  Not a ton of pain, but went to the ART tent on Saturday before the race and they wouldn't touch it.  They said that there was a visible ridge which made them think rupture.  YIKES.  He raced the aqua bike Sunday (and came in 2nd out of 8!) and it felt fine, but he couldn't walk the rest of the evening.  It's probably two times the size it should be and we have an appointment with a sports med doctor on Thursday.  I'll keep you updated!

REV3 does things right.  From check in, to the volunteers, the race and the finish line party, everything was top notch. I honestly felt this was one of the most organized races I've ever done.  All of the little nuisances that usually bother me at races weren't there.  This is a top notch race and I'm hoping to be back next year.  But, I'm going to have to find some hills this time around!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Teaser...

Totally flattering, I know...
I'm home, I'm sick, I have a stack of a bazillion things to do. 

BUT...

Knoxville was awesome.  REV3 is amazing... top notch race.  Team Trakkers - simply the best!

I survived, barely - race report to come!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Three Thought Thursday

  1.  My week has been nuts.   I'm so sorry that I'm behind in blogging.  My google reader multiplies daily and I promise to get to them as soon as I can!!!
  2. Thank you all so much for the comments on my last blog.  I was having a woe is me day.  After reading all of the amazing thoughts though, I realize I'm totally not alone!  You are the best!
  3. It's race week.  I'm leaving tomorrow for Knoxville.  Will be racing the Half REV on Sunday.  Can't wait to meet some of my teammies and finally get this tri season underway!
  4. (Okay, so I know I said three, but whatever).  Good luck this weekend to everyone race - my TRAKKERS teammates in Knoxville (there are too many of you to list), Tom's Team Type 1 teammates in Knoxville, Matty-O, his wife Heather, and Beal who are all racing the Cleveland Marathon.  Anyone else I miss???

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Weakness

I wish I could say that I didn't have any weaknesses.  But then I'd actually have a weakness - lying.  This weekend has been tough for me because my weakness reared it's ugly head in a big way.  And I've really been struggling with it.

My husband always tells me what an amazing woman I am.  Easy for him to say since he's married to me and it would look kind of bad if he was happily married to a less than stellar woman. :) And any time he tells me this, I guess he has facts to back it up - I mean, not to toot my own horn or anything, but I'm a wife, sister, daughter, friend, mommy (to fur pets, but they count).  I'm a business owner, a chairperson, a philanthropist.  I'm a swimmer, biker, runner.  I've run 6 stand alone marathons and I'm a multi-time Ironman finisher.  On paper you'd think I'm a strong woman.  And in most aspects of my life I am.  I know what I want.  And I'll get what I want (but in a good way... not some diva sort of way).

But I'm battling a mental weakness that I can't seem to kick.  I admire people who can be tough through anything.  Me, I crack.  I falter.  I crumble at adversity.

Prime example - Saturday was the Capital City Half Marathon.  I was super excited to go after a PR.  I got there early, with my biggest supporter right next to me (he wasn't running, but took pictures and cheered me along).  I met with up Meredith and Dave and generally felt good. I had some nerves and my stomach had been acting funny prior to the race, but nothing I couldn't handle.  I'm amazing, remember? :)  Mer and I started out together and we ran fast.  Too fast.  Of course, I don't really start to realize this until it's too late.  6 miles into the run and we're averaging 8:08's.  Meredith was feeling great and I had told her to go.  I ate something, thinking maybe it was just hunger, but the damage was done.  I'm started getting the chills.  Maybe I didn't have enough electrolytes - made sure I got some at the water stops and kept drinking.  My legs were feeling it.   I started to slow down, which on most days is fine with me.  But today, when I so badly wanted to PR and have a great race, my body didn't necessarily fail me - my mind did.

As soon as I saw those miles start slowing down, I was defeated.  I can be my own worse enemy.  Instead of saying "Colleen, you're lucky to be out here running.  It's a gorgeous day.  Enjoy it.  You're body is strong", I was saying "this hurts.  Why am I doing this?  How am I going to get through my half IM next weekend."

I crossed the finish line in 1:53:31.  4:10 off my PR, but my 4th fastest half marathon EVER.  I should be ecstatic.

Why then was I disappointed?  Why can't I be happy in my accomplishment? Why could I not get over the fact that I wasn't strong when the miles got tough?  Why couldn't I force a smile, tell myself to put on the big girl panties and get it done?  Why did I make it so hard on myself?

The mental side of triathlon is probably the hardest part.  I often tell people that the sport is 10% physical and 90% mental.   But it doesn't get easier for me.  I can put hours and hours in at the pool, on the bike, and on the roads.  But how do you train the mind? 

I know I can do it.  I know that I'm fit.  But the minute my plan changes, especially when I'm alone, I self destruct. When it's really not the end of the world (like Saturday...), I check out instead of persevering.

I  have admitted the problem, cried too many tears about it this weekend and am working on how to fix my mind.  It's my weakness. I have a mantra, which I will learn to repeat.  Hopefully it will help with the valleys that come with training and racing. I need to remember that not everyone has a body that lets them do what mine does.  And maybe I need to tell myself that I am amazing, and not because that's what my husband thinks about me, but because I am strong.  And I get what I want.

But in a good way...

Monday, May 2, 2011

My future's so bright I've gotta wear shades

Last week I got hooked up with Ryders Sunglasses to test our and review.  I've been stalking the Ryders site for a while now, knowing that they have some pretty amazing sunglasses and although I love my pink no-namers, I would be needing some new cycling ones soon. So I was pretty stoked when I opened the box to find two different pair to use - the Vela and the Hex.

Vela -  Retail $39.99
Right out of the box, I liked the look of these glasses.  I'm a fan of rimless or at least no bottom rims when I'm cycling because of riding aero.  I was sent the white ones with the mirror lenses (it's not quite orange... more of a dark brownish color).  I loved the feel of them.  They have adjustable non-slip nose pads and non-slip temples which I'm a huge fan of, especially when I ride.  They fit great -snug on my head, but not squeezing it, but I also knew that they wouldn't bounce around.  It was a cloudy day on Saturday when we rode, so I opted for the other pair, but Tom wore them and said that they were prefect, even as the day brightened up.  They came with a nice little bag, but I always worry that I'm going to crunch my glasses with something and put them in a hard case.

Hex - Retail $69.99
I'll be honest, when I first opened these, I wasn't thrilled.  The lenses were clear and I have this thing with clear glasses... I was a bio-chemistry major and any time I see someone with clear lenses, I am immediately time warped back to my lab days.  Not a pleasant memory.  I loved the black sleek frames, but ugh, the lenses.  Then it happened - they started darkening.  Say what?  These might be the best glasses ever!  They have a photochromic lens which means that they darken in the sunlight.  When I showed them to Tom, he said "these are the perfect sunglasses for anyone in Ohio where the weather changes in a minute".  I agree.  The Ryders Website has a great explanation of the lens here.  I wore them on a run on Friday (I never wear sunglasses while I run).  They started out very light gray and within minutes, were tinted to a very dark gray.  As the sun set, they lightened a little and adjusted perfectly.  They didn't bounce and didn't cause a headache (which is the reason I've always avoided running with sunglasses).  Since Saturday was cloudy, I opted for these glasses and was so happy to have them as the sun started shining 40 miles into our 60 mile ride!

It was like having two pairs of glasses in one!  These came with a great hard case.
Tom wearing the Vela and me in the Hex

Both pairs of glasses come in a variety of color frames and lenses (I'm still eying the hot pink ones... maybe I'll splurge and get myself a pair).  And if these aren't the style you're going for, Ryders has something for everyone.  They have a great chart helping you choose the right lens for your activity and many of their glasses are adjustable through the nose and temple. I'm super happy with my pairs and would definitely recommend them to you if you are looking for a quality product that's fashionable and functional!


And this is a totally random picture from our ride, but Tom is pointing to a little dot on the far off tree.  It's actually a huge bald eagle's nest. We couldn't see much more than a head sticking out when we stopped this week, but two weeks ago, we saw a big one in the nest and then another big one a few trees over.



*** Please note - I was given these glasses free of charge and the opinions that I presented are solely mine.  I am not getting paid to review these products.***
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