Monday, September 29, 2008
I'm married to Superman. Did you know that? I didn't think so.
This past weekend Tom and I went to Akron for the marathon. We've heard that it's one of the top 10 up and coming marathons and I know why. Every detail was perfected, from the water station volunteers wearing gloves and holding the cups by the bottom (that's a big pet peeve of mine - I hate people's fingers in my water) to race director shaking your hand at the finish line. It was high class!
We went up Friday to check in. The expo was great - small, but worth the 45 minutes or so that we spent looking at all of the booths. We were staying about 15 minutes away and went straight to our hotel after the expo to just hang out for the night. The hotel was great - brand new, comfy beds, a continental breakfast for runners starting at 5am... what more could we ask for? We just laid around Friday night, although very unconcerned with the run Saturday morning. This wasn't like us. Were we setting ourselves up for failure? Why wasn't it a bigger deal that Tom was running a marathon and I was running a 20 miler? Why did we think it would be okay to eat Italian subs, calzones and cookies for dinner instead of our normal pasta dinner? Why were we alright staying up to watch the Presidential Debates, even though the alarm would be going off at 5am? Maybe we're just different now that we're training for an Ironman. :)
When I signed up for the race, I registered to do the full marathon, although I knew that I didn't want to run the whole thing. Tom didn't run a full marathon last year and I was a little worried that it would take too long to recover from. There was a 5 person relay team event that had an exchange point at 6.2 miles. They even bused the second person of the team there. Sounded like the perfect way for me to get my 20 miles in while Tom ran the full marathon. Saturday we got up, ate breakfast and headed downtown for the race start at 7. Parking was easy which was nice. I was super worried that I wasn't going to be able to get on the relay bus. I hid my yellow bib and just played stupid, kissed Tom goodbye, got on the bus and got to my spot. Tom had planned to carry my time chip for me so that it activated (although we found out when it was all done that it never activated - oh well). I sat for about an hour a half until the marathon runners were in full swing around me. Still with my bib covered, I waited for him to get to me and I would just jump in and take my long sleeve off like I'd been running all day. Our plan worked like a charm!
Tom had a great first 6 miles. We took off together and were easily running a 9:01 pace. Sure that we'd not be able to maintain that, we cautiously kept an eye on things and kept telling each other that we'd slow down if we felt like it was too fast. Our goal was to run a 10min/mile. Akron was hilly - much hillier than we are used to. Not only ups, but very steep downs. It was kind of fun - a definitely change of pace. The course was pretty - through campus, residential roads, on a crushed limestone footpath. They had great "you might be a runner if" signs the whole way which kept my attention (it doesn't take much). The miles just ticked by.
Around mile 22, my foot was burning a little (something that I'm having problems with and associated with the uphill miles and landing with my toes bent a little). I stopped to fix my sock and told Tom to go ahead. He was on track to PR and I didn't want to stop him. I could feel myself slowing down a bit. He gladly ran ahead of me and that was fine. The last 4 miles were uneventful for me. I felt kind of like a poser when people yelled for me - I had only run 20 miles that day. I felt like if they knew that, they would have been disappointed or something. It's like I was running with a secret. I just kept going though... what could I do at that point?
I got to the finish line and Tom was there cheering. I was about 6 minutes behind him. He ran his fastest 2 miles at miles 25 and 26!! How about that for training! And, he PR'ed by 36 minutes to boot. (that's according to the race time... our Garmin said that the course was 26.56 miles and that he finished the marathon in under 4 hours at a 8:57 pace which would have been closer to a 28 minute PR). From now on, it's subs for dinner, 4 hours of sleep and no thinking about the upcoming race for us. It worked!!!
Tom's superman. That's all I can say. He gets diagnosed with diabetes and proceeds to do amazing things. And the best part - he's the most humble human being I know. Now if he can only get over his fear of public speaking and realize that he's got an amazing story to tell and should be an inspiration to other diabetics, then his speech this weekend in front of 6,000 runners and walkers for the Cure for Diabetes JDRF 5k should be a piece of cake.
Guess my superman is human after all!
Monday, September 22, 2008
By 10pm, I was out cold! Guess I needed it.
This week's it's Tom's birthday and our dog Buddy's birthday (Tom will be 33 and Buddy will be 8) We're not doing a terrible amount of stuff to celebrate - out to dinner with Tom's parents on Wednesday and homemade cake that night for he and the dog (yes, our dog eats cake, among other things!) We're heading to Akron on Friday night for the marathon on Saturday. Anxious to see how that goes. It'll be a busy week!
Friday, September 19, 2008
This is one of the laps on the bike (we came into the park 3 times on the bike)
At T2 - it was HOT. I ran out of water on the bike and had this bottle at transition. If I had known that I'd be drinking brown well water for the next 13.1 miles, I probably wouldn't have wasted it on my face!
Okay so I have to explain this. Here I am at the finish, getting my finishers medal. The volunteer and I are standing that way because the winds at this point were so strong that you had to brace yourself. I heard that gusts were up to 75 miles per hour.
That's really it. My sister sent me a bunch more, but they are pretty much the same thing. :) So we went to swim the other day and they took the swim buoys in at the local lake. No biggie, but there were already boats invading the usual swim space so we're a bit uneasy with swimming there in case they wouldn't see us or something. Guess they don't think that anyone's dumb enough to get into the water when it's only 51 degrees out in the morning! That's a bummer since we have 6.5 weeks to go and no where to swim. We are going to try one other local lake before we cave into joining the pool. I'd really love to get my 2.4 mile practice swims in open water... we'll see.
I also just want to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my favorite little ones, my niece Emily and my nephew Spencer. They are 2 today. They are probably two of the cutest kids in the entire world and my hope for both of them is that they are having a great time. We don't see them much because of some family issues, but I love those little guys to death, so a big happy birthday to them!!!
Monday, September 15, 2008
So leading up to the race, it's beautiful and the forecast is perfect- I'm talking 70's, sunny skies, perfect for a half ironman. What more could I ask for on race day right? Spoke too soon - don't you know that it of course changed the DAY before the race. Hot temps and wind advisories because Ike is moving north. Lovely. And that's just what we got.
The race started at 9:00 so of course my wave didn't go off until closer to 9:30. I was the last group to go - all women in the half. The first lap of the swim was fairly uneventful, but I could feel the current starting to pick up. On the second lap, one of the turn buoys had come lose and drifted away. If you attempted to sight, you got smacked upside the head with a wave. Lots of water was being drank. It wasn't pretty. My swim was slow - 46 minutes but I was alive. That's a good start to the day.
Got up to T1 with no problems and out on my bike. I exit the park for the 1st of 3 laps and get smacked in the face yet again, this time with wind. I thought that the advisory wasn't supposed to be until noon and it was maybe 10:20 at this point. I averaged about 15 for the first 5 miles, made a turn and FLEW for about 10 more miles with the wind at my back. Alright, I can get used to this. The first lap I averaged 19.2 and felt great. Second lap, the winds just a little harder. And it's getting hot. I'm running out of liquid but know that I can get fresh bottles at the 36ish mile mark. 3rd lap - couldn't maintain more than about 13.5 into the wind. It was after noon and the winds had kicked in full force (or so I thought... I would later learn this was nothing compared to what I could soon face!!). At times I actually thought that I might get knocked off. Corn husks were starting to fly and it was crazy. I was actually looking forward to the run at this point because it was just hard. I got off the bike in 3:16 and averaged 17.1 for the ride. Felt good because I knew I had something left in my legs and hadn't pushed it nearly as hard as I could have on a good day.
T2 was uneventful as well... mom sprayed me with sunscreen but it was too late. I was fried! :(
The run started bad. I felt really good but my mind started getting to me. I passed Tom around mile 1 and he was looking great. No matter what I tired, my mind started playing games with me - telling me that I couldn't do this, that I felt worse than I really did, that I shouldn't be attempting an Ironman in 45 days, that this just isn't for me. After about 3 miles of fighting with no one but my mind, I won! YAY! I just figured I was out there to have fun. Very few girls were doing what I was doing that day. And who did I need to impress anyway?? It was windy, people were walking and I wasn't going to let my mind get the best of me. It was like *poof* instant attitude change. That was my biggest success of the day!!! The rest of the run was more of a run/walk, but I have to tell you - it was 95% because of the winds. You couldn't run into them so you walked. And when it was at your back, you ran. By the time I was done, the gusts were upwards of 60-70 mph. Limbs and leaves were blowing off tress and hitting us. At one point, as I was crossing the damn about a mile from the finish, 3 of us dropped to a three point stance just to keep from blowing over. The wind took your breath away and you needed to stop every once in a while just to keep your footing. IT WAS NUTS! I finished in 6:50 - no PR, yet SO thrilled.
When I got back to the finish, everything had been taken down. All of the bikes had been laid on the road, helmets were blowing all over the place. All of the port-a-johns had been knocked over. People were running around picking up wetsuits, shoes, helmets, etc that were just blowing around. It literally looked like we were in the eye of the storm. I've never in my life seen anything like it. When we got home, we found that just about all of the power in Delaware was out, trees/lights/poles/wires were all down, everything was shut down. Still today, things are just weird... very little power (we luckily have power!), almost all businesses and restaurants are closed, and it looks like we went through the hurricane.
It was a race I'll never forget - not in a good or bad way. Just kind of different. My family was there which was awesome, Tom had a great race (he came in first in his division), my mother in law did a du (came in first in her division) and my father in law did all of the half except for the last lap of the run. We all had great days, considering everything. I'll post pictures when I get them.
Whatever Florida throws at me, I think I've trained or raced through it. Hopefully I'll survive that race too.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
The weather is changing daily for tomorrow - it was supposed to rain, then be sunny, then be cool, then be hot. Who knows... as long as it's not 92 degrees with blazing sun, the conditions will be better than my previous 2 halves!!! I'll fill you in when we're back in town!!!
And just another little side note -
GO BUCKS! BEAT USC!
Monday, September 8, 2008
Saturday I did a 112 mile ride - 60 with Tom and then 52 alone. It went really well. I averaged 16.9 (with all the stop signs, red lights, potty breaks and whatnot) so I was real happy with that. Felt good the entire ride and got off feeling like I could run if I had to! :) Nutrition seems to be in check which is a relief!!!
Sunday we got up and did a 16 mile run. What a great training day for me. I was tired from the bike and my legs were pretty fatigued, but I mustered up the energy to at least shuffle through the very last mile. I averaged about 9:48/miles and was very pleased with that. Definitely slower than I've been running this year, but all things considered, it was a good run. That would have been a fantastic run last year so that's encouraging!
My butt was then planted firmly on the couch where I remained the rest of the evening!!!
It was interesting to go through the ups and downs though that everyone talks about, especially during the 50 miles I biked alone and during the run. I felt good, I felt bad, I felt alright, I wanted to do it, I didn't want to do it, I was proud of myself, I doubted myself, and in the end, I finished with a smile. I'm sure that's a lot like what November 1st will be for me so I consider it all a very good weekend!
This coming weekend we're racing again. The Toyota Challenge Half Ironman. I did it last year and it was bad. I'm hoping for a better outcome this time around.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Training is going well. Tom's foot is feeling better which means that he's able to run again. I ran 10.5 alone on Saturday and then 11 today with him (he did an extra 2 alone). This coming weekend I will ride my first 112 with 50 of it being alone which will be good practice. We will follow the next day with a 17 mile run. These are the weekends I'll remember... that's what he keeps saying! :)
I had a little bit of a freak out session yesterday. We volunteered at the finish line on Sunday at IM Louisville. There were A LOT of people who were not doing so great after the race. Granted it was in the 90's and these people were the first finishers (we were there from the eight and a half hour finish time to about twelve and a half hour finish time). Lots of blank stares, throwing up, passing out, eyes rolling back, loss of other bodily function, etc. I'll be honest... it FREAKED me out. A lot. Like where I had a big ole' breakdown on Monday morning. These people weren't looking like they were having fun or that they were happy to be done. Most of them looked happy to be alive and I just don't know if I'm ready for that mentally yet. I have 60 days until my race and a lot to work on. But God bless Tom - he's my saving grace and I know I'll be ready.
Plus I'm going to be a studette on a new bike! :) That's some of my big news! Tom and I just got new Orbea's. He got a 2008 Ordu and I got a 2008 Ora. It's pretty fly. I'll post picture when she (or he) gets here. That's gotta save me some time on the bike right? :) Mrs. Felt Good understood when I broke the news to her that she'd be training indoors soon. Gotta love personal relationships with inanimate objects...