training for triathlon

It’s Getting Sharky In Here

Boy, did summer come in with a vengeance this weekend. Mid-to-upper 90’s and lows in the upper 70’s. To quote Paul from RunningWild, “Satan is sitting his ass crack smack dab in the middle of North Carolina”. That pretty much sums it up, but¬†I have to be thankful the humidity is lower than usual, although just going outside makes you feel like you’re visiting the surface of the sun.

Things have been crazy busy, good busy, training is going well, and my kids are out of school. They both got straight A’s for the entire year, and I am so proud of them. I did remind them why I bugged them so much about doing homework. ūüôā This week, they’re at their grandparent’s house, so I have a HUGE list of things I want/need to get done while they’re not here. I’m not doing well with my list so far.

I had to do a little dance when I got my Inknburn Boston Jacket in the mail the other day. I immediately put it on and hoped for cooler weather so I could wear it. That certainly isn’t going to happen anytime soon (see above), but one can hope.

LOVE it.

LOVE it.

 

LOVE IT MORE.

LOVE IT MORE.

I’ve been enjoying my swimming, although I had a bad swim the other weekend, due to expectations not meeting reality. I thought it was going to be 1.2 miles with a significant current push, but it turned out to be 1.4 miles with basically no current push, and at one point, it was a current push in my face. It can get frustrating when expectations don’t meet reality, can’t it? I beat back the negative thoughts in my head for a few days before I was “back to normal” again. I do not have time to second guess my swim. There’s no room for it in my training plan, and just as there is in running, there will be bad swim days. Just do your work and move on. That’s what I keep telling myself anyway!

Finish Line of the swim race.

Finish Line of the swim race.

My running has been going very well the past few weeks. I’ve been pulling out some impressive times in speed work even with the increase in temperature, and I think it’s mostly due to the work on the bike. It happened last fall when training for the half iron, so I suspect it’s the case now. I’ll take it!¬†I’ve been riding 60 miles on the bike most weekends, some faster than others,¬†and I’m putting in some good interval work during the week. I honestly think coming into Ironman training after a marathon was good timing. I’m also hoping going into marathon training after Ironman will prove to be a good thing too.

IMG_8222

Before track practice. Sooo pretty!

I’ve had the pleasure of seeing some of the most beautiful sunrises the past few weeks.¬† I’ve gotten to know more people through the school,¬†training, running, biking, and swimming. It’s a trip, and I am finally feeling back to myself after several years of stress and moving. I feel settled, feel happy, feel lucky, and grateful for the life I have full of amazing people.

Before Friday's swim.

Before Friday’s swim.

We’ve had a few twists this week. Friday, my friend and I went for a long open water swim in the channel. I made her swim under the bridge (mostly because I missed the boat on where everyone else was starting, but it really did turn out to be a good thing), which she HATES because there’s trolls who live under there and lots of fish hang out in the dark, shaded water. They might be drug dealers, but no one knows for sure. Not long after we successfully swam under the troll bridge, she told me she saw a jellyfish. Ok, that’s cool. I’m down with that. But I wasn’t. Totally wasn’t. At all. The first time I saw one, and you have to know, this was my first “wildlife encounter” during a swim besides seeing those teeny little fish and a skate along the shore, I screamed and started splashing around like a 2 year old. I immediately thought that I would then attract sharks, because they like noises. But I couldn’t help it. I knew these jellyfish were safe and didn’t sting, but it was the thought of it that freaked me out. Things kept bumping my feet, and when I saw one, I tried really hard, but I couldn’t help but¬†jumping a little¬†under water and coming up for air.

I may have behaved a little like this.

I may have behaved a little like this.

I may have let out a few “OMG” or possibly a “Oh, FUCK”, but it was my first wildlife encounter!!!! Then it was like they were everywhere, bumping my feet, getting allupinmybidness. I couldn’t go ten feet without seeing one and I told my friend, “Hey, that’s enough, I’m out.” She guilted me into finishing my workout with a simple, “You’ll regret it if you don’t finish your workout”. Needless to say, I got in some extra cardio with that jellyfish swim. But we got it done, 1.5 miles in 50 minutes, with lots of stopping, screaming, splashing, talking, troll-watching,¬†swearing, and a good push from the current, THANK GOD.

We felt like they were out to get us!

We felt like they were out to get us, laughing and texting all their jelly friends, “Look, we’re making them scream!”

Some other people we knew swam by and I heard a random, “OMG” and “What was that?”, and¬†one of them¬†ended up getting out of the water too. I don’t know how many kinds of jellyfish there are, but one of my friends got stung, I was freaked out by just seeing them, and they were just everywhere, scaring the crap out of us swimmers. I was ready to get back in this week. Until this weekend happened.

We all KNOW sharks live in the ocean. We all KNOW they have to eat. They’re misunderstood creatures, thought to be scary and evil, but they’re just sharks doing what sharks do. I like to pretend there’s some netting, really good netting, or gates at the entry of the waterway where larger fish, except for dolphins of course, cannot come through. It’s like a gated neighborhood. When the hoodlum wants to come in, access denied. But this weekend, on three separate occasions, people were injured by sharks. One was not a major injury, but two of them were. All of them involved kids, and two of those kids will have at least one amputation because of the shark bites.

And people, this happened in my neighborhood.

I swim at Wrightsville Beach, I take my kids to Kure Beach, and good ole' Mr. Shark was chewing on people at Oak Island, barely around the corner.

I swim at Wrightsville Beach, I take my kids to Kure Beach and Ft. Fisher, which is at the southern end of the island, and good ole’ Mr. Shark was chewing on people at Oak Island, barely around the corner.

That’s a little close for comfort. I believe the bites happened near a pier, which makes complete sense considering there’s bloody bait at the pier from fishermen WANTING to attract fish, so I do wonder why they were swimming so close to it. Then again, I have too. And I was going to on Wednesday for an ocean swim lesson in prep for Ironman Florida. I’m not now.

So there’s been a lot of shark jokes thrown around, but when there’s three bites over a weekend really close to home, which defies the odds, it’s time to maybe just be a little extra cautious. I assume two of the bites, and even all three, were from the same shark, but you just never know. I’m not willing to take that chance, especially when, according to one of my coaches,¬†shark attacks occur more during a new moon and a heat wave, two things that we have going for us right now. As for open water, I’m finding out from OTHER people what the jellyfish situation is. Depending on that, I’ll see if I want to swim in open water or head to the pool. As for now though, I’ll just keep assuming there’s some big gates filtering all the sharks from coming into the waterway, and if they slip through, they’re just little guys like this:

He's so cute!!!!!

He’s so cute!!!!!

Or that they’re just trying to help:

IMG_2604

What would you do? Any “wildlife encounters” you’d like to share?

 

 

Categories: interval training, iron distance, ironman, ironman florida, marathon, open water swimming, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Medication: Friend or Foe?

Another week slipped by since I’ve written and it seems like just a few days. I’ve been pretty busy (I hate using that because really, who isn’t busy?) trying to get a bunch of stuff done before the kids are out of school (and dealing with the events of last week- details below), and getting my workouts in of course.

Ahh, the events of last week. Last week was “interesting”. Due to a mysterious allergic reaction to something the week before, I had to go on Prednisone, and then the dose started decreasing last week. I thought all was good and that I was lucky enough to not have the side effects of the medication, since I heard they could be…um, well, not so fun. THEN last week happened. And I got all the side effects. No sleeping. Hunger. Moodiness. Aggression. All of them. And I was training hard and trying to start a business. It was hard. It was weird. I¬†didn’t like it.¬†It made me feel crazy. I didn’t understand why I was feeling that way after the dosage went down, but after talking to other people who have been on it, it’s pretty normal to feel “slightly off”. Yeah, I’ll just say I felt slightly off. If off feels like this:

 

Thursday.

Thursday.

And then I was hungry. All. The. Freaking. Time.

Everything I could pile into my mouth, I pretty much did.

Everything I could pile into my mouth, I pretty much did.

The good thing that came from¬†this was¬†a 5k race on Thursday night.¬† I didn’t want to run it, had had a VERY disturbing day (as for how I felt, otherwise it was normal), but if you combine eating and aggression, running a race really isn’t a bad thing. I had a crappy attitude coming into it, fueled on Diet Coke and chips only 3 hours before it started (because eff it, WHO CAAARRREEESSSS??!!! See above picture.) It was hot. I swam that morning and it felt like my arms were filled with concrete. Blech. So when the horn went off in the Wilma Dash, a unique women’s only race, I went. I ran. I ran hard. I ran until my lungs hurt. My legs were tired. My mouth was dry. I was sweaty.¬†I just wanted a sub-24:00. Ok, a sub-23:00. And I came in at 22:21, enough to win 15th overall and 3rd masters. I felt a little bit released. Well, let’s just say I felt better.

Look at me on the left all scared like. Maybe it's because he took a hundred pictures and I was just tired of standing and wanted to get my beer back in my hand.

Look at me on the left there all like, “Let me go so I can get my damn beer back before she drinks it.”

Bonus on the night is that the team I’m on, Without Limits Sole Sistas, won largest team and a party at the famous Front Street Brewery. It’ll be like one free beer per teammate, but hey, better than nothing!!!

On Friday, we headed to my husband’s alma mater, Clemson, for my youngest son’s football camp.

Takin' it down.

Takin’ it down.

The Dabo Swinney Football Camp was top notch. My youngest was among the best players and coaches¬†in the nation, filling them with life lessons and football skills.¬† I’ve never really felt a lot of love for any team on my own, and I was very happy to adopt Clemson as “my” team back when I met my husband. Same for the Red Sox. I’m not a die hard, but I’m right there, wearing my orange and purple and white, cheering them on in good seasons and bad.¬† My sons have a sparkle in their eyes when they talk about it, which to me, means a TON of money will eventually be heading the tiger way (which brings on the same kind of hulk feeling when thinking about how much money college costs), but for now, we really enjoy our time there. It hasn’t been often we have time to wander campus and check out the sites in his old stomping ground and spend way too much at the apparel store. While there, I got in eleven miles of hills and even more exploration.¬† Good times, minus the six hour drive and¬†getting home at 11 pm the night before the kids start their end-of-year testing. Hopefully we can get back this fall for the game against Notre Dame, which just so happens to be on my birthday and one month before Ironman Florida. Yes, we really are trying to do it ALL this year!

Death Valley

Death Valley

As for training, I’ve been doing what I can when I can, pushing myself to be ready to start training.¬†Yesterday marked the first day with my coach, Sami, from Without Limits. She’s a 12-time IM finisher and Kona qualifier, and she¬†recently qualified for worlds in the 70.3. I know I’m in good and experienced hands! I’m not a very OCD person (if you saw my house right now, you’d get it – it’s just a mess but I’m sitting here blogging), but I have to admit that all was right and good in the world when I got my Training Peaks email and next two weeks training uploaded. Ahhhh, structure!

I learned a few lessons listening to the coaches at the football clinic and¬†will find so many ways to use them in my training and for coaching. I’m motivated (even without the prednisone), am happy about my choice to push the register button that day in November, and am so looking forward to the journey. It’s certainly not going to be easy, but what journey worth taking IS?

Oh, oh, oh!!!!!!!!!!!!! The word is out, the number is in, and I wanted to let you all know that the UNCW running teams have MET THEIR FUNDRAISING GOAL and can continue on for another year!!!! They were able to raise $255,781.59 IN THREE MONTHS! Thank you for listening to me talk about my local issue and a very special thanks to those who contributed to the teams. They are so appreciative of our support and are already working hard to secure large donations to be able to update/renovate/rebuild the old track and field facility that so many in our community use and probably take for granted. I love running!!!

So all in all, it’s been a good week, I’m “officially” IM training now, and I have a love/hate relationship with prednisone. I’m glad it quickly helped my allergy, but man, it certainly made me feel funky.

Have you ever had “interesting” side effects of a medication? Do you have a love affair with any particular school?

 

 

Categories: coaching, ironman, ironman florida, marathon, open water swimming, running, swimming, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

And Then It Was Summer

Monday, when I went into Walmart to get all those things you get in Walmart, it was nice outside. When I came back out less than an hour later, it was summer. I don’t know how that happened and how I missed the weather report that it was going to be scorching that day. But it’s summer, complete with disgusting humidity. As much as I was looking forward to running this week, I am dreading it now. Blech.¬†Here’s a little recap of whaz been goin’ on here in the ILM¬† lately. I been BIZZY. PLEASE, if anything, make sure you read my huge news at the bottom regarding the fundraiser for the UNCW running teams.

Honestly, I don’t know the last time I wrote. I think was half way (it totally wasn’t half way, it was whole) freaking out about the triathlon or something and I’m just too lazy to go back and look at my last post. I tried and tried to come up with a way to get out of that race. I really did. Beach erosion from Tropical Storm Ana? Cancel it. Too dangerous. Not enough participants? Cancel the thing. Big dark scary cloud? No way, don’t mess with storms. Increased chance for rip currents. No way, Jose.¬† But there was nothing LEGITIMATE about my fears (except for the sharky ones), and there was no reason to cancel that race. But I sure get an A for Effort ūüôā

But I’ll get to the tri here in a minute. Let me back up. Friday morning, a¬†friend of mine and her training buddy asked me to join them on a practice ocean swim and bike ride in prep for the tri. I figured it was the best thing I could do, so went for it. We rode our bikes first and then headed to the beach. The waves were not small. They weren’t “Hawaii 5-0” waves or anything, but it took some effort to get past the breakers. It seemed the end of the¬†breakers never came.¬†I struggled a little, swallowed a good amount of sea water, but it was a very good indicator of what Sunday could be like – not easy, but doable. The confidence came as soon as I got out of the water, but when I was swimming, all I could think was, “No way, there’s no freaking way, this is bull$shit.” But I made it through.

Saturday morning was a proud day. It was my Stride boys’ 5k. We got up bright and early and headed to the start to meet our team. They all arrived on time, and we joked, got our numbers on, and then warmed up. I got attached to those kids, and I will miss them! We posed for pictures and did our warm ups. I reminded them about pacing, taking it easy in the beginning, then charging at the end. It got pretty warm that morning. I had originally wanted to do somewhere close to 22:00,¬†but I just didn’t¬†think I could pull that off.¬†I figured I’d just do the best I could and not worry about it. For the first time in a while, I did not care.

When our race started, I was very mindful of seeing my team out on the course. I passed many of them, complimented them, and then half way scolded one of the competitive ones for cutting in front of me multiple times. In all the race prep I gave them, one thing I totally forgot to do was teach them about race courtesy. Oops. My bad. I finished in just over 23:00, which I was happy with. I realized that I hadn’t looked at my pace more than one time, which is refreshing when you are just running to run. No pressure, and I knew I had a pretty big day ahead on Sunday. I got some water and parked by the finish line so I could cheer on my boys. They all finished strong, and I was so proud of them. I think they were proud of themselves too. They were sweaty, tired, but they smiled. (Only one threw up.) It was a very good ending to a very good¬†season. ¬†I ended up winning 3rd overall Masters division with my time, so I won a gift card. Score.

My son and his dad as the running buddy. We started two minutes after the clock did, so pulling down a 27:00 5k when you're 9 is pretty darned awesome.

My son and his dad as the running buddy. We started two minutes after the clock did, so pulling down a 27:00 5k when you’re 9 is pretty darned awesome.

We left the race, washed up, and took off for my son’s last soccer game. He rocked it. It was his first season playing soccer at all, ended up playing goalie 98% of the time, but he did very well.

My little man defending his goal.

My little man defending his goal.

After that, we went to the beach a few hours to waste time before my packet pickup was open.¬† It was an absolutely delightful day, and I enjoyed those few hours totally unplugged. When it was time to get my triathlon stuff, we¬†scoped out the course and realized how easy it was going to be to navigate. Then we headed home. My soccer son had a birthday party, so we got ready for that, picked up his friends and took them all together. Then¬†we took our youngest to eat and had a few drinks. We headed back to pick up the rowdy boys from the party, took them home, and then my friend picked all the kids¬†to spend the night at her house so my husband could Sherpa for me¬†the next morning without getting the kids¬†up at o’dark thirty. ¬†I checked over my triathlon supplies and went to bed. What a day.

Sunday. Triathlon day. My first sprint race. I¬†woke at 4:00 am. I had a lot of my things ready already. It was a swim, run, bike, run, swim format, so transitions would be very simple. The transition from swim to run was in the sand, so I put my running stuff in a bucket so it didn’t get covered with sand as other racers came through. I was signed up as a novice master, so all the novices started last. I was determined to place in my division, the new/old division (novice master female). The fact that I was the only one in it had nothing to do with it. Haha!!

Just beautiful.

Just beautiful.

The sunrise was gorgeous, and I patiently waited, with very little anxiety, for my start. Maybe not feeling nervous is a good sign. That’s how I felt before my half iron, and that race went well, so I figured that having too many nerves could waste much needed energy, so as much as I was dreading the double swim, I knew I just had to take one stroke at a time. The waves look smaller than how they felt, that’s for sure.

I won’t get into the details of the race, but when I started, I just went. I channeled all my energy and focused on each stroke, each breath, getting to the first turn, second turn, and then transition. I did the entire tri without a Garmin, so I had no idea how long it was taking me, my pace, distance (except on my bike, I knew my mph and time), and it was¬†a really nice way to race.¬†Just focus and go. The run was 1.5 miles, and the transition to the bike was fast. The bike course was a closed road, and it was smooth and very fast too. I pushed, but I didn’t want to wear my legs out for the remaining run and swim. I ended up going just over 19 mph. My second run was a tad faster than the first, and when I got to the beach to head out for the final leg of the double sprint, I smiled. I was almost done. We had to run down the beach to the start, and when I entered the water, it felt delicious. I don’t really know what happened, but I wish I was wearing a Garmin just to see how different the swims were.¬† The first trip was probably a rectangle, as it should be. The second was probably more of an amoeba. I ended up going way around the first turn buouy, and it seemed to take me a long time to get to the sight bouy. But I was doing it and making progress. Then all of a sudden I was turning back towards the finish and was washed up onto the beach. I ran to the finish line and crossed with a huge sense of accomplishment.

Running to the finish.

Running to the finish.

I did it. My first sprint tri, a double sprint¬†with¬†two ocean swims, DONE. And I had three spectators, just for me. Who wouldn’t love that? Thanks for being there, Andy, Stacey, and sis, Randee!¬† And just as I planned, I won first in my division, bringing home a really nice set of grill utensils. Two prizes in two days, gotta love being a Master!!!

First on the podium. I sure creamed everyone else in my division!!

First on the podium. First of ONE. I sure creamed everyone else in my division!!

Two hours after I finished my tri, I headed back out to take pictures for my new venture. One word: coaching. Here, look at the picture of me being all coachy.

What was I thinking? "I just want to go home and sit down" was all I was thinking.

What was I thinking? “I just want to go home and sit down” was all I was thinking.

I had a date with the couch for the rest of the weekend. I was tired. I dozed for a while and truly enjoyed opening my Miller Lite later on that evening. Bedtime was early, but I had even more going on the first few days of the week.

Monday was our Stride pizza party. I printed pictures for all the kids and had them come up so I could say something about them individually. At the party, I was given a check to pass along to the UNCW running teams. In case you missed it, the university decided to cut the track and field teams unless the community could raise $250,000 by the end of May. People, my little Title I school, the school that gets ignored and doesn’t even have room for the Kindergartners to attend in the building (they’re bussed to a different site), the one who has the happiest staff I’ve ever been around, the kids and the¬†teachers and the staff and the parents came together and raised $7800 to help save the teams. That is a HUGE amount of money. I’d already planned to have my brother-in-law make a big check for a photo op, so the kids¬†could see picture proof of what they did, but one of the Stride parents put another idea in my head, and of course, the staff made it happen. On Tuesday morning at 8:30, three UNCW coaches¬†came to the school, were then walked back behind the school to find the entire student body around the little track,¬†just so they could see for themselves what their fundraising did. I was able to keep my wits about me and give a little speech about how a little idea could come together to make something big happen. It was one of my proudest moments and I knew how lucky I was to be a part of this¬†school and community.

Presenting the $7800 check to the UNCW running coaches. They were floored.

Presenting the $7800 check to the UNCW running coaches. They were floored.

“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something.

And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.”

 

As of Wednesday, the teams have only $10,000 left to raise to meet their goal within 10%, which we all heard was enough to keep the team for another year. If you can, please donate to their cause.

And for the holiday weekend? I’m heading to Raleigh for the Dave Matthews Band concert Friday night, then I really have no idea what I’m doing besides my long bike ride. Sounds perfect to me!

What about you? Swam in the ocean before? Scared of sharks? Ever been overwhelmed by the generosity of people? Running this weekend?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: coaching, follow your dreams, iron distance, ironman, ironman florida, open water swimming, running, swimming, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

I Signed Up For What??!!

You know when you sign up for a race and it sounds like a really good idea and how awesome of a training event it will be for a bigger event and then the race gets really close and then you wonder what the hell you were thinking when you signed up for it? Yeah, that’s me this week. A long time ago, when it sounded like a great idea, I signed up for a double sprint tri that takes place this weekend. And I’m really scared to do it. Why? Because the swim is in the OCEAN, y’all. The friggin ocean. I saw the ocean yesterday, and it was angry. Yes, Ana was passing through, giving us all her Mother’s Day finger, but the ocean is not something that can really be predicted nor tamed. At least not by me. I can barely swim in the waterway when it’s windy without getting a face enema, so I really don’t know how this race is going to play out. Well, I did read the participant list, and I know I’m going to do so awesomely well and place in my “Masters Novice Female” category. The fact that I’m the only one signed up in that category is of no significance, mind you. I’m going to kill it. Unless it kills me first. Let’s say I’m trying to find every possibly way out of NOT doing this tri, but the only response in my head after I think of a completely logical reason (such as DEATH BY DROWNING), my mind just tells me to shut the hell up and quit being such a wuss. I’ll keep trying.

So how IS everyone, anyway? I’ve been in my fundraising, “secret surprise”, dog-fostering, and long bike ride on the week day¬†haze.

Some of my Stride boys with our fabulous MC, Colin from It's Go Time

Some of my Stride boys with our fabulous MC, Colin from It’s Go Time

Speaking of the fundraiser I’ve been telling you about, let’s say the ONLY thing that could have been better was about five degrees shaved off the temps. The kids were supposed to run for 20 minutes, but we backed it down for time constraints, but I think we really would have had to anyway or we’d still be peeling those melted elementary school kids off the concrete. So far, we’ve raised over $2000 to help save the UNCW running programs, and we have this week to get in the rest of our donations. I’m planning to take the coaches a “big check” early next week. The event went off without a hitch, and everyone had a great time in the process. Lots of the athletes came out to support our little runners, running with them, cheering them on, and even doing their hair.¬† It was a great thing to see come together.

UNCW Runners with just a few Girls on the Run and Stride runners

UNCW Runners with just a few Girls on the Run and Stride runners

I had a foster dog for a few days last week, and it wasn’t all fun.¬† The poor thing had an allergic reaction to SOMETHING, and he just couldn’t stop itching. I took him to the walk-in vet the¬†morning after I picked him up (and he¬†kept me up half the night pacing and itching), and a strange series of events led him back home. ¬†It was really meant to be, since it was by a total chance meeting with someone at the vet office¬†who KNEW how to reach¬†his owner,¬†a family¬†who¬†had been looking for him for two weeks. He is a 14 year old beagle named Walker, and I was able to get him back to his people on Friday evening. Good times.

Walker the old fossil dog.

Walker the old fossil dog.

Some of you probably heard something about this little tropical storm called Ana who decided to blow through our area this weekend.

"Hi, Ana! Wish you the best! Now leave."

“Hi, Ana! Wish you the best! Now leave.”

In order to get my long bike ride in, I decided to complete the ride on Friday morning since my in-laws were staying with us and Saturday was predicted to be a washout. I love to listen to loud music while I bike, so I figured it would be best to do this before they got to the house (and not when the family was trying to sleep – I’m courteous that way). I knew it would take a lot, mentally, to get this done, but I figured it was time to just grit my teeth and bear it. My legs screamed at me, probably because I did some harder interval¬†work during the week, but I pushed. I can’t say the trainer is the equivalent of riding on the road, but it was a great long bike, my longest on the trainer and longest of this year. 56 miles in 3 hours. Done. The fastest I’ve ever been able to go. I learned a lot about my bike, how to adjust my gears, and that it’s only going to get harder from here, so just quit being a pansy ass and get to work.

56 miles in 3 hours. Whew.

56 miles in 3 hours. Whew.

On Saturday morning, I needed to get another workout it, so I decided to hop on the old bike again and got an hour in at an easier pace. My legs were tired, but I felt good. We slept in, so it was late, and I skipped my post-bike run.

When I got up on Mother’s Day morning, I looked at the radar and saw my chance at a run, which is really all I wanted to do that day. It would have felt incomplete had I not been able to run, so I got my 4.25 miles in and came in not long before the first monsoon started.

It rained A LOT for a while.

It rained A LOT for a while.

Mother’s Day was a very nice day, and I hope all your mother bloggers reading this had a special day. I don’t know why, but I’ve seen a lot of negativity regarding Mother’s Day this year. To me, it’s just a day we set aside to tell our moms how much we love them, do something a little special for them (and ourselves), and pay tribute to those mothers we may have lost. My motherhood is not the end all, be all, of me as a person, and I don’t let my identity get all wrapped up in just¬†being a mother, which is probably why I don’t feel too guilty when I do other things outside of parenting. I am a person as much as I am a mom, and I want my kids to see that I have a valuable life besides being their mom.¬† It can¬†be difficult since I am a stay-at-home mom with kids in school, for sure. Seeing the Mother’s Day backlash was sad. I think it’s¬†a great day to celebrate, just as a birthday is. So celebrate away.

That being said, I’ve got sort of an interesting week ahead. I have a lot of work and research to do, and I’m taking it more easy with this pesky triathlon coming up. Our end-of-season race for my Stride kids is Saturday, so I’m hoping to pull out a 22:00 5k if I can. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and the humidity will decrease a little from the 8,978,409% current reading. It’s humid, people. Even the mold is moldy.

Have you ever signed up for something thinking it was a great idea and then question your sanity the week before that event?

 

Categories: coaching, iron distance, ironman, ironman florida, kids, marathon, open water swimming, running, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Mish-mash and Nash

IMG_7874

Last weekend, I headed to Nashville with a group of wonderful ladies where some of us would run the half marathon and celebrate having good friends and a bachelorette. Turns out, it was an amazing time and I CANNOT wait to go back to Nashville. First, the race.

Pre-race. Awesome. I LOVE big races.

Pre-race. Awesome. I LOVE big races.

It was a ton of fun. Two probs. Not nearly enough bathrooms. I saw one row of them on our way from the parking lot at the finish. One row. For probably over 20,000 people. I heard there were more along the start line, but I never saw them. Good thing I never had an emergency situation and didn’t want to run this race for time. And speaking of running it for time, I think it would have been nearly impossible to run this for time. At least in the corral I was in, which was at the 2:00 mark. There were no less than one million people in the street on the same block at one time. It was tight. The first six miles were almost at a ten minute mile pace, and it was difficult to move around and stay with my friend who was running with me. We didn’t care, it was a hoot, the start was great as always, the crowds were great, the bands were fun, and we eventually found a row of bathrooms about five miles in. There was beer, food, and excellent support.¬† I would definitely do this race again if I didn’t want a certain time, and I might just remember to NOT drink a bunch of Bud Light Platinum the night before. But heck, we were having fun in our KOA cabins, and THAT’S why we were there. My friend and I finished our race in just under two hours, collected our medals, and met with the rest of the runners and friends who didn’t run. Thanks to my sister who gave me her bib so I could run!!

Got me a medal with boots and a horse shoe on it. Yeah, I did.

Got me a medal with boots and a horse shoe on it. Yeah, I did.

That night, we went out on the town. Let’s say there were no shenanigans, but we had tons of fun.¬† We danced, we laughed, we ate, we drank, we took lots of pictures.¬† We are already looking at where to go for our girls weekend trip next year.

THE girls. Loved every minute of it. Except the not being able to sleep part.

Bride-to-be and her posse. Loved every minute of it.

My big Stride fundraiser is Monday. I’m nervous that it will be as organized as what I think it needs to be, but the most important part is for the UNCW team to know that we care about them and that the runners have fun. In case you missed it, the UNCW running teams must raise $250,000 by the end of May in order to keep the program running (pun totally intended) another year. Please comment if you’d like to know how to donate and thanks to you who have contacted me to donate! I have everything loaded in my truck all ready to go, and the only thing I need to do is run 5 miles bright and early and get enough bags of ice to fill up my cooler on wheels to keep the water cold for the participants. Organizing an event is difficult. I didn’t think it would be easy, but there’s so many things to think about and I have no control over many of them!!! Here’s hoping we raise a lot of money to save the UNCW running teams!!!

So as for training this week, I did get three whole days off because of Nashville. I sort of freaked out and immediately got up early to run the first morning I was back home. Don’t tell me you wouldn’t do the same thing….

I didn’t sleep well the entire time, partly because of staying up late and getting up early, but part of it was that I just couldn’t sleep. Weird, but it happens. So I’ve been trying to catch up this week. I think I finally got it this morning.¬† Speaking of this morning, you may know that I’ve been into this coaching thing. I LOVE to coach kids. And I thought I could start taking on adult clients as well. I got my first client as soon as I got back from my RRCA coaching certification class, and I made up a plan for him to PR and get a sub-2:00 half marathon. Today was that race. I have to admit, I was nervous. What would his time mean about my coaching? As it turns out, it has something to do with it, but obviously, not even close to everything. It was warm today, and I worried about him being able to meet his goal in the heat. You just never know with races!! What do other coaches feel? Do they feel pressure? Do they worry as much as I did?

The result of my client’s race? Awesomeness, and it wasn’t because of me. I think this guy would’ve met his goal because of his thought process and focus. He told me he was going to fight for his PR, and sometimes, that means more than any amount of training, which he did and did well. So I’m very proud of my very first coaching client, my husband, Andy. He got a 12 minute PR on the same course he PR’d on last year, and finished in 1:52:30. I’m so proud of you!

The Hubster with his medal and beer. Turns out he got first in his age group too. BONUS TROPHY!

The Hubster with his medal and beer. Turns out he got first in his age group too. BONUS TROPHY!

Blah blah, I’m training, I’m biking, swimming, and running. My first open water swim was Friday, and it was PERFECTION. I felt great and that I could keep going after 1.2 miles (with a slight current). The water was shockingly cold, but once we got going, it wasn’t as bad as my wetsuit chafing. Ouch!!! I only gagged twice, and it was something I could handle under water. It was great!¬†(not the gagging, the swimming) I’m swimming again Monday evening, before my son’s baseball game, and I’m actually looking forward to it!

Perfect conditions for our first open water swim!

Perfect conditions for our first open water swim!

I also made it to the track to tackle 8×400 at 1:30-1:34. Most of them were 1:30, but wowzers, they were not easy. Coupled with an interval bike ride, it’s been a great week of workouts! I’m very excited to work this month in prep for starting up with a coach in June. She’s awesome, a great supportive person, and is going to Kona this year after 12 Ironman races (she qualified the last race), so she knows her stuff.

This triathlon stuff has proven to be a road I never thought I would take. I have already had so many journeys and met so many people, I can’t imagine what I will think after I cross that finish line in Florida in November as an Ironman. To anyone considering it, do it. Same thing for any goal. You never know the path you will take until you take the first step.

 

 

 

 

Categories: being epic, coaching, follow your dreams, go for your dreams, iron distance, ironman, ironman florida, marathon, marathon training, open water swimming, running, swimming, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Off to Nashville to RnR

Although I’m not technically off the grid, but I’ve had a lot of stuff (do you like my descriptiveness right there?) going on lately so am off the WordPress grid I guess. I don’t want to be all like “I have a big announcement”, but I have some really big and good news to share, but I’m not quite ready to share it yet. It’s taken up a lot of my time and¬†Three Buck Chuck¬†money, but I’m so excited and am impatiently waiting for the right time to talk about it.

The “big announcement” work is being paired with, but not really associated with,¬†a big event I’m coordinating at my son’s school for the Stride (elementary running group I coach) community service project that seemed to have taken on a life of its own. To make a long story short, here’s the gist:

1) UNC-W decided to shut down their running programs but gave the community a few months to dig up $250,000 to save it for a year. Crap.

2) I do not like #1. At all. And I wanted to do something about it. Because it’s crap.

NO! Do NOT eliminate running programs!!!!

NO! Do NOT eliminate running programs!!!!

3) I wanted the Stride kids to know that they are empowered and they CAN make a difference to someone by taking action. Sometimes when you don’t know what to do, you can always run.¬† And sometimes people give you money to run. Because we give a crap.

4) We are having a school running event to raise money and awareness about #1. Not just the Stride boys, not just Stride and Girls on the Run, no, the entire student body was invited to participate to raise money for our event, complete with an MC, the athletes and coaches from the affected programs, and possibly the school mascot himself, Sammie the Seahawk.  We will even be discussed in the local paper in a story about ways the community is coming together to save the running teams. Because cutting them is a bunch of crap.

5) It takes a lot to coordinate the above, especially when you are not a part of the school staff and you really have no idea how many people will be participating. No crap.

So many emails, phone calls, newsletters, and¬†Costco trips to handle, but I’m loving it. Our event will be on May 4th and I’m hoping the kids have a great time, raise a lot of money, and inspire someone to give the remainder of the funds required. Ok, the last one is a pipe dream, but if you don’t ever dream it, chances are, it won’t happen, right?

And if any of you reader is so inspired to donate any amount, please comment with your email and I will be glad you send you the info. K? K. It’s tax deductible, too. Bonus.

Now that THAT is done, my IM training has been going really well. I feel like I’m sort of spinning my wheels a little (pun totally intended)¬†since I don’t have a schedule of workouts to do, I just do what I can on the days that it works for me. Since swimming is my weakest event, I’ve gotten in the pool and swam 2000 yards twice in the past two weeks, which is almost half the distance in the IM event. I think it was a good sign that I was thinking of food instead of form during the swim.¬† I have many months to grow that distance, and open water season starts next week. I’m seriously ready to tackle the waterway, the ocean, and all the swimming I can in any condition. Well, maybe not the “bacteria warning” days. Speaking of crap….

Trails at Poplar Grove Plantation.

Trails at Poplar Grove Plantation.

I had a nice 51 mile bike ride followed by a 5 mile run on Sunday.¬†There were only two sub-20 mph bikers so at least I met someone really cool out of the deal. I was one of the sub-20 mph bikers, by the way.¬†It felt good on the bike, but I was lacking for nutrition on the run. I pushed myself and finished up faster than when I started, so I was happy for that AND for seeing the little bitty snake in my path on the run. I didn’t even scream.

You'd think the thing was 12 feet long and two feet tall the way I walked around it.

You’d think the thing was 12 feet long and two feet tall the way I walked around it.

I’ve been doing speed work and hills, so when I start back with my training group in June, I won’t get shin splints. My friend and I ran 800’s the other day, and it’s funny when you realize you’re faster than a few months ago. The first set of 800’s I did in January were at 3:30, and I pushed for those, and I was really super happy about it. Fast forward to this week, we ran them in 3:21, and I think we could’ve gone faster. Probably 5 seconds faster. That’s progress. I guess when you’re running mile repeats in 7:00 over the course of marathon training, your 800’s should be quite a bit faster, right?¬† Of course, my thought process turns toward the run in my Ironman. I dream of having a 4:00 race (the running part). I know that’s probably insane, but hey, why not make that a goal? That means I have a TON of biking to do and a TON of running to do. But it’s doable, and I want to make my way back to Boston. I already have my next race planned.

Nashville, here we come!!

Nashville, here we come!!

This weekend, I’m doing something that I’ve never done. I’m taking a trip with a bunch of ladies and we are going to par-tay this weekend in Nashville. I’m running* the Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon on Saturday, which will be interesting since I’ve only done one run of any substantial distance since the marathon. Oh well, my friend is going to run with me, so it should be fun. I hope, anyway. We are celebrating the friendships and going out on the town in Nashville, a city I have never visited. I’m super excited and may come back with a truck load of stories to tell. Wish me luck on the race. We have an open water swim planned for Sunday, so hopefully the weather will cooperate for the race and swim. If not, I’m sure we’ll deal with it just fine. I really enjoy the RnR races and I’m sure this one will not disappoint!

Have you been on a ladies/gentlemen trip before? Do you like Rock ‘n’ Roll races?

*I am running the race but MY name will not show up in the results, if you know what I mean.

 

 

Categories: Boston Marathon, coaching, interval training, marathon, marathon training, open water swimming, qualifying for boston marathon, running, running buddies, swimming, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Spring Really IS Here

 

azalea

You know it’s officially spring here in Wilmington, North Carolina, when the Azalea Festival arrives. It’s a time when everyone in town can 1) Party like it’s 1899, 2) Eat fried anything, 3) Go to concerts that would never normally come to a town this size, and 4) Watch a 3 1/2 hour parade.

azalea1

There’s the¬†parade, carnival, craft shows, garden parties, a bunch of stuff I’m not invited to because I’m not a belle, more stuff I’m not invited to but is put in the paper, probably to make everyone NOT invited jealous and WANT to be invited, which makes the entire Festival one of those “I really want to be a part of this thing but I really don’t know how or why”, and concerts. Alan Jackson was in town last¬†night, and tonight, it’s the rap god, Nelly (and my son would have said, of course it’s not the rap god, THAT’S Eminem), who will be donning the “big” stage. There was plenty of “wha?” when it was announced that Nelly was the festival headliner. I mean, this Azalea Festival is all about southern belles and gentlemen, spring flowers, and¬†fried oreos,¬†so what does Nelly have to do with THAT? Because he brings in a LOT of people, that’s why, and there’s no way in gold teeth that he would ever come here at any other time. Hey, maybe he likes azaleas…

It hasn't gotten too hot because he still has his clothes on.

It hasn’t gotten too hot because he still has his clothes on.

So last night, when everyone was donning their cowboy hats and boots way down yonder by the Chattahoochee, I was at a home run derby, getting eaten alive by flying jaws. Tonight, when what I suspect will be a different set of people will be getting hot in here but hopefully keeping their clothes ON watching Nelly, I will be at a different field, yet again getting eaten alive by flying jaws, watching my son play soccer.

THE Azalea Queen

THE Azalea Queen

Last year, we went to what we now call “the longest parade in world history” on that beautiful Saturday morning, which was three and a half hours of watching five floats go by, followed by ten minutes of watching the people across the street because there was nothing coming down the street, followed by five more floats, followed by ten more minutes of watching the people across the street (repeat no less than twelve thousand times), and then finally, finally, FINALLY, the Azalea Queen float comes down the street, which is when we went to the carnival and spent $20 for a¬†glass of ice water with a cup of sugar and a lemon’s worth of juice in it and resisted the urge to buy a fried tenderloin on a stick with Kurly Fries for a “great deal” of $75. All served with a smile. This year, we will be at the soccer and baseball fields for our entire Saturday, which is part of the deal when you have two kids in sports. In honor of the Azalea Festival though, I just may have to spring for a $2 hot dog.

So in my last post, I had mentioned that word “cry” and I was upset about something. Simply stated, I was sad about my marathon goal. I’m¬†over it, but get bouts of sadness every once in a while. I’m allowed.¬†I STILL have a post to post on that one, but there’s been a lot of stuff cooking here in my house, and it ain’t the Food Network’s fault this time. And it’s not actual food cooking. Except for when I make dinner of course. So sometimes, when there’s a lot going on, I do this:

deer

Yes, the proverbial deer in¬†headlights. ¬†It’s all good, and I really CANNOT wait to share what’s going on, but I need to get my ducks in a row first. After I get done staring at the wall and going buh buh buh. Let’s say that this youth coaching thing is getting bigger and my vision is now a very distinct possibility.

As for my workouts, I’ve ridden my bike the last few days, simply because 1) that’s the workout I planned and 2) I had no choice yesterday. Storms rolled through the entire morning, and as much as I like to bar-b-que, I do NOT want it to be me, so the only option I had was to ride my bike indoors. I absolutely LOVE storms, or at least not the ones where you head for the basement, and yesterday’s was like therapy. Rain, thunder, more rain and thunder, for hours at a time. I kept the house perfectly quiet while I cleaned, and it was perfectly soothing. My version of a bath in lavender.

Anyway, I’m headed to the pool today, which is almost like going to get my teeth extracted, because it’s PERFECT outside. BUT I know what I need to work on and my legs are tired, so I don’t want to do too much, plus I have a brick planned for Sunday. You know you’re tired when you walk up the stairs and need to pause and take a breath. Yeah, I need a day off. That will be tomorrow. Enjoy your weekend, every one, and I hope you are enjoying spring!

Do you enjoy spending your weekends getting eaten by flying jaws? Does this make you think of sharks like it does me?

 

 

Categories: being epic, coaching, follow your dreams, ironman, ironman florida, marathon, swimming, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

From 0 to 120 in Seven Days

I wonder what it’s like to go 120 in a car. I’ll never find out, but I’m curious if your face flies back like when people skydive. I would think so.

I wonder what this feels like. Probably dry.

I wonder what this feels like. Probably dry. And windy.

I’m 30.5 weeks ahead of Ironman Florida.¬† It doesn’t seem like that much time when you think about all the training the race will require, but then again, it’s over half a year.¬†I’m sure it’ll be here before I know it, so it’s time to get to work!

Last week, I started riding my bike and swimming. I¬†rode 30 miles on the trainer once, then twice, I¬†rode 20 easy miles. No intensity was necessary, as I felt I needed to¬†avoid ramping up miles and intensity at the¬†same¬†time.¬†Saturday, I decided that I needed to get up to 50 miles. I planned to meet up with my friend, Gary, so we took off early on the route we rode tons of times last year.¬†Part of it is¬†a 4-lane highway at 60 mph (for the cars, not me because if it was me, hello Kona!), but it’s a good route with a 30 mile loop. There’s a convenience store that’s conveniently located for pit stops as well. I felt the 30 miles was done at a pretty good pace, especially since it was the first road ride in a LONG time. My device didn’t work right, but Gary’s Garmin said we were going between 17-18 mph. I felt like we were going slightly north of that, but who am I to argue with a Garmin?

I mentioned last week that my tri bike didn’t feel that different from my old road bike. Well, once I got on the road, I could definitely feel a difference.¬† It was good, and when we were done with the 30 (Gary’s first 30 in a long time), I decided to go home and ride another 20 miles on my trainer to avoid the A-holes who¬†think they¬†don’t have enough space in an entire highway to move their¬†vehicles-of-death¬†more than two inches away from my arm. A-holes. I felt like I was going to be endangering my life on the road enough this¬†season, and I did not feel like getting killed, as I was NOT Jesus and would NOT be rising from the dead.

The 20 miles on the trainer was not what I expected. I was tired. My legs were tired, and¬†it was hot and sweaty inside. I decided to leave the TV off and listen to music instead. It was sort of nice to have my own personal DJ (thank you, dear husband) and when I needed a new song, I just said, “NO” and he changed the song. I’m definitely going to look into this Sufferfest I hear rumors about. A lot of my harder workouts are going to be inside and probably by myself, so it’s time to turn off “Oprah’s Where Are They Now”, and get into it for real.¬† I wanted to give up my bike ride and wondered why 50 miles seemed so challenging. Well, one week before, I hadn’t ridden, and within seven days, I’d gotten in 120 miles. THAT is probably why. It makes more sense when you add it up.

Post-bike run. It was pretty awesome.

Post-bike run in the sprinkles. It was pretty awesome.

I stopped pedaling as SOON as that thing whispered “20” to give me a total of 50, and I quickly laced up my shoes, grabbed my phone and gum, and went out the door for more torture a two mile run.¬† It felt super slow, and when Helga from “Map My Run” spoke at the 1 mile mark, I was happy to realize that I was going at an 8:30 pace. Ahhh, the glory of post-bike running. I got in another mile at the same pace and was. just. done. Wow, from zero to 120 in seven days. Glorious. I’m guessing I’m going to feel accomplished for the next several months as I continuously cross the line of what is comfortable and redefine uncomfortable. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

On Sunday, I slept in. It was awesome. I felt good and it was an absolutely gorgeous Easter Sunday. My husband had gone to run 12 miles with his group, so I talked with the kids, told them to wait on the Easter egg hunt, and went out for a good 5 mile run. At the first mile, the one that seemed like the longest mile ever, I wondered if that was how I was going to feel every Monday, since my long brick workouts will be on Sundays. But after the first mile, I got into the groove, remembered what it was like to be injured, was very thankful to be exactly where I was in life, and the rest of the run felt better and better. It was Easter, a time of new beginnings, and this was my new beginning. I ended up at an 8:28 pace overall, and I came in with a smile and spent the rest of the day with my family. My husband, on the other hand and a possible rock star in the making (ok, he IS a rock star), ended up running 13.1 miles at his goal race pace. That isn’t what he was supposed to do, but he was really happy, and I am now 100% sure he’s going to blow away his old half marathon time in just a few more weeks.

My tri training is really in it’s infancy, and it’s only going to get bigger and badder, so I’m channeling my inner beast whenever I can, but especially when I have a workout in my head.¬† My plan is to push past it, even if just for one minute, yard, or mile. I headed to the pool on Monday and planned to do 8×100’s with a rest. I’ve just started back swimming and it’s my most difficult sport, so I’m giving myself some time to adjust to it. When I had one more 100 left, I channeled the Beast and decided to do a 200 after I was done with my 100’s. I knocked out the 200, and decided to finish with a 100. So my workout ended up being 1100 instead of the planned 800, and I was pretty happy when I left the pool. I could have stayed and done more, but I plan to swim thrice this week, so I didn’t want to end up regretting that decision. Unfortunately, I’m going to have to deal with my chlorine allergy until open water season starts, but¬†hopefully Loratadine¬†will help.

My view at the pool. Interesting, ain't it? Not.

My view at the pool. Interesting, ain’t it? Not.

This morning, I woke up feeling like crap because we decided to stay up and watch the basketball game. WHY DO THEY START GAMES AT BEDTIME?????¬† I don’t know what time it was when we fell asleep, but it was too late and¬†after too much beer and a mini Totino’s pizza. That was dumb, but at least our dinner earlier in the evening was healthy and delish.

Springtime Orzo - Um, YES.

Springtime Orzo – Um, YES.

I wasn’t too thrilled with doing speed work, but again, I know that in order to race fast, you have to train fast, so my plan was to do 4×400’s at as fast as I could get down to, or 6:05. I hadn’t done really anything faster than 6:50, but closer to 7:00 minute miles in a LONG time, so I honestly didn’t know if I could get these done. I made the mistake of not going to the track, so it was hard to see what my paces were and then I had to check on the distance relatively often. Next time, to the track I go. My Garmin was fussy since it was cloudy. For instance, it had me going at a 5:24 pace during my warm up. Yeah, NOT. So to the best of my estimation, I got my 400’s in, not four of them, but SIX 400’s at about a 6:15-6:20 pace. I thought my hands were going to fall off when I was done and I do not understand how people can run marathons at that pace and faster. Seriously. And how do they keep their hands from falling off?

I came home after 6.3 total miles in an average pace of 8:06. A good day’s work. I then burst into tears. I was sad. It was the song’s fault, but I was just sad. I’ll tell you why in my next post but it’s running related. It comes and goes, but today it was here for a short visit.

It’s not all bad, and I’m not sitting here crying while typing. It’s just one of THOSE days.

crying

Not me.

It’s cloudy, I’m tired, and my cat is at the vet. He’s fine, but it’s weird without him here. I can go pick him up this evening and pay my bill that is probably the equivalent of my mortgage payment, but at least we’ll have him back.

With the training for this Ironman, my focus has shifted. My perception has shifted. I was annoyed a lot of the time¬†when training for the half iron last fall. Maybe it’s because I just wanted to run and was spending all my running time on the bike or in the water? But this time,¬†I’m getting my workouts in and my¬†mileage built up for when I start with my coach in June. I’m also allowing myself to run when¬†I want to run. If I want to add running, then I’m going to. I’m planning a post-IM marathon, so I will have to¬†really work on running along with the swimming and biking, more than I would¬†normally.¬†This Ironman can’t be¬†a fluke. I have to be prepared, mentally, physically, and yes, emotionally. It’s going to take a lot of Beast to get it done, so I might as well be a Beast now. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Do more than the minimum. Push yourself. Give more and¬†you just may surprise yourself by what you find on the other side of the effort. From 0 to 120 in seven days.

Now where’s the food because I’m going to eat all of it.

Do you mentally prepare for big races? Do you for training? Do your hands feel like they’re going to fall off when you run fast?

Categories: 10x10 challenge, anything is possible, go for your dreams, half iron distance, iron distance, ironman, ironman florida, marathon, marathon training, no fear, open water swimming, running, swimming, training for half iron distance, training for marathon, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

It’s The Food Network’s Fault

It’s that time of year. You know, when you have the heater on in the morning and the air conditioner on in the afternoon. It’s spring!!! It finally sprung here in coastal North Carolina, and you can simply tell by all the pollen all over the place. It’s kind of gross.

The kids are out of school this week, and although I desperately miss having a career of my own, I really enjoy this time with them.¬† We stay up later than normal, we sleep in, we watch TV in the morning, we go to the beach, we cook, we clean, we eat ice cream, we play games. Last night, my boys had two friends over and tonight, they’re going to stay at my sister’s house. All of us are off on Friday, so who the heck knows what we will do.

I¬†still consider myself in post-marathon recovery mode, but I’ve only taken two full days off where I didn’t do any workout at all. It would have been three days, but yesterday, I convinced my kids to go run a few miles with me. I’m just about going a little nutty. I think part of it is not meeting my goal in the marathon, part of it is just to move on from that to the triathlon. Part of it is just being used to having workouts almost every day. Since I’m not running 50 miles per week, I have a ton more energy.

Saturday, I ran 5 with my husband at an 8:30 pace. I  felt great and had to hold back, and he went faster than his normal pace Рso it was good for both of us.

Sunday morning was cold (29),¬† so when¬†the hubster went for his 10 miler, I got my new (to me) bike out and rode 90 easy minutes on the trainer, or just over to make 30 miles. This was my first ride on a tri bike. Felt about the same, but then again, it’s been a few months since I’ve been on a bike. My legs were slightly tired, but I figured it was from the marathon just a week before. Ironic the movie “Without Limits” was on. I’d never seen a movie about Pre, and honestly, I don’t know much about him. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t learn too much more because I found myself really bored and turned the channel. Later that day, we took the kids to see the Harlem Globetrotters. I think they’ve been doing the same thing for generations, but the really enjoyed it and it was cool to see them play ball.

Dunk!

Dunk!

On Monday, I took my kids to the YWCA pool and swam an 800, stopping after each 100 to catch my breath. Crazy, I can run a marathon, but swimming just sucks the energy right from me.¬†Then we played in the deep end for half an hour until I was too raisiny to stay in any longer. I’m really working on form, and I have to say, my right side is catching on, my left, not so much.¬† I know it will just take persistence and work and patience, but as much as I dislike swimming as compared to how much I love running, I do look forward to more workouts and especially some open water swimming. I can’t believe I actually just typed that.

Playing around in the pool.

Playing around in the pool.

On Tuesday, I rode for an easy hour, 20 miles, on the trainer and then went for a 3 mile run. I LOVE the post-bike run feeling and I ended up doing my 3 miles in a 7:47 pace. I was BEAT when I finished, but I had a pretty big smile on my face. I met a friend of mine at the beach and we walked the 2.5 mile loop with our dogs while the kids trotted behind, beside, and in front of us. We then took our lunch to eat on the beach and had ice cream when we were ready to head home. It was a fabulous afternoon with almost perfect weather. Ok, for March, it WAS perfect weather!

The beach.

The beach.

Wednesday was the few miles with my kids, and then this morning, I rode my bike easy for an hour. The boys slept in later than they probably have, almost EVER, so I didn’t have to share the TV as I rode. Bonus. I usually check their breath with a mirror when they sleep past 8:00, but I checked in on them and did NOT want to disturb the bears, so left it alone.

My "new" tri bike, now called "KitKat"

My tri bike, “KitKat”

Tonight, my husband and I are going to a social run for 4 miles, something we haven’t done in a really long time. Part of me is looking forward to it (Running AND social? HELLO!) but part of me wants to just go to dinner or something since we don’t get out very often just the two of us.

The Cooking Part

The cooking frenzy started last week. I’ve always liked cooking, but this is probably the most I’ve spontaneously cooked, like real food with recipes, since, EVER. It was the new show’s (I CANNOT, for the life of me, remember, what the name of it is!)¬†fault, totally. Well, Chopped too. A lady had made gnocchi, which I’ve never made but have eaten before only from the pre-made packages, so¬†I decided on a whim on Saturday afternoon that¬†I was going to make gnocchi. Plain gnocchi was a no-no, so I decided to make some garlic butter cream sauce to go with it. Once I had that going, I realized that I needed to make some pesto with my huge basil plant that I’ve been loving on ever since I got it. Did you know that two cups of basil is pretty much every leaf from a medium sized basil plant? Poor bald thing.¬† Ok, I LOVE pesto. I REALLY LOVE pesto, like eat it out of a jar with a spoon,¬†and I love garlic, but¬†I learned a very important lesson when¬†I made my homemade pesto with home grown basil. You CAN have too much garlic, or shall¬†I say, gahhhhhhlic, in your pesto. I may have “accidentally” put in twice as much as what the recipe called for, but I’ve never been a real stickler for following recipes, except in baking. It almost garlic-burned my mouth. It was pretty bad. There’s no way in h-e-double-hockey sticks¬†I was going to waste my lovely basil plant I’ve been lovingly caring for, so¬†I just stuck it in the fridge.¬† And that was just Saturday afternoon.

Gnocchi with garlic butter cream sauce and pesto

Gnocchi with garlic butter cream sauce and pesto

Sunday was Lemon and tarragon-poached chicken with mashed potatoes.  The terragon recipe required white wine, and when I have leftover white wine, I immediately think of risotto. So the next day, I made some delicious risotto with our leftover grilled chicken. The risotto was perfect for toning down my fire hot garlic pesto sauce, so I mixed some of the rice into the pesto and BAM, you have a four-star meal.

Risotto with gahhhlic pesto

Risotto with gahhhlic pesto

THEN I decided to make some cheese filled shells with turkey spaghetti sauce. I made a batch with shredded spinach in the shells and one without. It was good.

Cheese shells. Mmmm. Good.

Cheese shells. Mmmm. Good.

The kids have been asking me to make jambalaya for about a month, so yesterday, I made that for the crew since I can just add more rice to make it go further. Thankfully,¬†I didn’t get crazy with the cayenne pepper as I’ve been known to do, so it was the perfect spice heat for us. Because the kids had friends over, I decided to make some knockoff Cinnabon cinnamon rolls. My house actually smelled like the mall when you walk by the¬†Cinnabon store. Fabulous. I’ll have to make a double batch next time as one regular batch only makes SIX!

Check out that bun!

Check out that bun!

So with my girth a little thicker than a week ago, thanks to my current¬†cooking¬†phase, I’m looking forward to some warmer weather, getting my bike out on the road, and running for speed, maybe even looking for a 5k PR (21:13).

Do you like to cook? Do you go crazy right after a marathon?

Categories: ironman, ironman florida, marathon, open water swimming, quintiles wrightsville beach marathon, running, swimming, training for marathon, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized, wrightsville beach marathon | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Post-Race Euphoria Has Risen Again

This has been an interesting week. I mourned the loss of my PR successfully. Thanks for your kind comments. I took time off. I went to the pool. I ran slow. I ran fast. I took videos of squirrels sliding down the bird feeder pole (they went down super fast when I used cooking spray-it was freaking HILARIOUS). I did what I wanted to do. I drank beer and didn’t care. I got post-race euphoria. Again.

Post-marathon run pre-post-race euphoria.

Post-marathon run pre-post-race euphoria. Wouldn’t be classy without the smoothie seeds.

I’ve never done a shakeout run AFTER a marathon before, so on Monday, when my brain wires were all crossed, I decided to get out there and do it. I was slightly sore (definitive proof that I could have done better on Sunday), but I went two miles easily in the light rain. It was just enough to clear my head, work out residual soreness, and bring a smile to my face. It was perfect.

brain before after run

Then I noticed a blood blister on my thumb. Strange. I had done it while running the race on Sunday – I pinched the¬†pad of¬†my thumb with my index finger when I got upset in the last¬†few miles enough to cause a¬†blood blister. Strange…very strange.

Weird. Just weird.

Weird. Just weird.

I was sad until Wednesday. My soreness was gone, the sun was out, and I was ready to get back to it….slowly. I headed to the pool to re-acquaint myself with the water. It was, um, ok. I got out of breath VERY fast, but I practiced form for about 30 minutes, taking a breather after every 50 meters. I remembered what I learned at the swim clinic. Not sure if I could really execute it, but I tried. I was almost excited about getting back in the water.

Back at it!

Back at it!

On Thursday, post-race euphoria hit. And I was happy. I was happy that I was happy and not the anvil-on-head feeling of devastation after Boston last year. I could feel¬†the euphoria¬†coming, like a train whistle in the distance,¬†on Wednesday, but didn’t know how nutty it was going to make me feel. I dropped my son off from school, decided to go pick him up at noon and play hooky since he was just having a hard day and felt “invisible” and walked into the school looking pathetic¬†like Eeyore or Winnie the Pooh, which was enough to make me cry while grocery shopping in Walmart. I assume¬†the dumb U2 song, “Stuck in a Moment (and can’t get out of it)” coming on did not help matters. But first, I got the groceries put away, and again, went for a run in the rain. I ended up going about 3 miles at 8:15 pace.

I didn't have my hat so this is what I looked like most of the time. Dazed and confused.

I didn’t have my hat so this is what I looked like most of the time. Dazed and confused.

My legs were tired when I was done, but they weren’t tired enough to deter me from looking into running a marathon this weekend. And by the way, when I say, “post race euphoria”, it can also be called “making bad decisions within a week of running a marathon”. I’ve had this before, I’m experienced. I’d been watching the weather, and THIS weekend’s weather was going to be cold, which is PERFECT for me. Give me 30-something degrees and I’ll run all day long. Perfect for running another marathon, right?

So I Googled all the marathons for the rest of the spring, including Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, MN. I even got so far as looking into plane tickets.¬†I think the $750+ air fare and the relative warm race¬†conditions¬†were the final slap to sensibility.¬†Plus, duh, there’s Ironman training that is WAY more important than marathon racing right now. BUT there was a marathon this weekend, just up the coast. It was still open. Hmmm, I clicked the “REGISTRATION” button. (By they way, THAT is how the whole Ironman thing started…it was open, I clicked, I clicked again, and BAM, I’m in an Ironman). I checked the weather again. Hmmmm, rain and possible snow. The next screen after hitting the¬†“click this if you’re a complete idiot” button, I found the registration was, in fact, closed. Ahhh, saved!!! I’m no marathon pro, but I DO know that running a marathon two weekends in a row for time is not a good idea. For anyone. I just had a brief moment of invincibility and that those particular rules to not pertain to me. Because I didn’t run all out on Sunday. Yeah, so let’s run again a week later. Seems smart to me! That’s how tricky this euphoria thing is. I mean people, who actually clicks the button to sign up for a marathon that’s ONE WEEK from the marathon they just ran? INSANITY AT ITS BEST. That certainly wouldn’t have been a huge disaster, would it?

I Googled more, looked at dates, weather, experiences of other people who ran marathons not long after Ironman races, and I think I’ve decided on when I will race a marathon again, but it will be after Ironman Florida. One thing at a time, Kelli, one thing at a time! Post-race euphoria, the best way to run up your credit card and do stupid things!

Later on Thursday, I stole my son away from school at 12:30. There’s nothing like the ocean and ice cream custard, the most delicious¬†invention EVER,¬†and an afternoon out of school to elevate a pre-teen’s¬†mood. We chatted, we collected shells, we laughed, we put our feet in the ocean, we took goofy pictures. It was wonderful, and it worked.

My boy and me

My boy and me, at Wrightsville Beach, wearing Wrightsville Beach shirts, just in case we got lost, because, you know, there’s a map on the shirt.

So anyway, today is Friday. I decided to take the day off any exercise. The kids got out of school early for spring break, which is all next week, so we went to Lowe’s and got some supplies to build a flower bed around a tree in the front yard. Our neighbors and we were planning to have a nice big bed combined in our front yards, but they are moving and decided instead to put one bush up surrounded by a few handfuls of mulch. It’s gorgeous and could be¬†a contender for Better Homes & Gardens “Front Yard Award”. Yeah, I’m totally exaggerating, it looks like crap. I’ll post a picture when we get it done.

I’m fighting the urge to buy a bunch of books on endurance nutrition and the best method, as I know it’s part of the euphoria effect. I want to know all the things about all the diets, but I am especially curious about Nutritional Ketosis. Not sure if it is even a good idea with my history and a very long endurance event planned, but I’m going to be looking more into my options.

For workouts this weekend, I’ll be on my trainer for “all the miles” (euphoria) and then I’ll be doing some running as well. I’m also planning to be at the pool 2-3 times a week, so we may all head there on Sunday for more practice. Then we’re heading to the Harlem Globetrotters game. My kids are going to have a blast!

What is everyone up to? Do you ever go nuts after a marathon?

 

 

 

 

Categories: ironman, ironman florida, marathon, marathon training, open water swimming, quintiles wrightsville beach marathon, running, swimming, training for marathon, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized, wrightsville beach marathon | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com.