Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Sleep is underrated.
I rarely get enough but when I do...........it's magic.
I've been thinking about Ironman a lot today.
I don't have any specific deep thoughts on it.
I've just been thinking things like:
oh my god, what am I doing?
I hope I can make it.
I hope I can run the whole marathon.
I wonder if I am eating the right foods day to day.
What will the training be like?
Will it rain? (anyone at IMLP Last year will get this one)
These sound like self-defeating thoughts for the most part. I see that. I do think those things but I also think these things:
I am tough.
I Will do it.
I can't Wait to tackle the bad ass training this will take.
I hope I see my family at the finish line.
I know I will attack this race and want more.
And when I let my mind really wander and get to that moment, I get teary just imagining myself crossing under the Ironman arches into the finisher's chute.
Bring it on 140.6
Monday, December 29, 2008
Can you sweat out a virus?
Remember people used to say that? Just "Sweat it out."
I am trying to do that.
I went to bed at 8:45 last night!! It felt great. I kept waking up because the night felt so long.
The alarm went off at 4:30 and I was feeling good. I headed to the pool and got a nice 3200 yd workout in. I thought I dodged the bullet. My husband was sicker than I yesterday although we were both pathetic. A few times our kids found both of us just laying on the run staring off into space. ( we have a new rug...it's very cushy so we like to lay on it.) Sad image huh.
Driving home I continued to feel good.
However, that ended mid morning. The rumbling started again. My head started to pound. I had zero appetite. But still, the body aches were better so I ignored it for the most part.
I was able to eat a nice healthy lunch. Yummy turkey (real turkey not deli meat) on toasted bread with avocado, tomato, and spinach. And I even had an orange! I must be cured. I had an appetite and I ate a Lot!
The kids headed out to play so I hopped on the treadmill.
Blah! It's back. My stomach is just ready to burst I am so so nauseus!! I hung on for 5 miles and then had to get off.
I remember being Really really sick one time my senior year in High School. I even missed a swim meet. That was Unheard of for me. And totally unacceptable to me. But I was horribly sick. I ended up coming back to practice too early. Our team was practicing at Bowdoin during Christmas break and I threw up in the locker room before we got in the pool. I had lost about 10lbs (not recommended for me at that time) and felt like a zombie swimming down the long course pool. Coach figured it out. He was Mad. I should not have come back yet. I wasn't better.
Other than that, I have almost always been told to suck it up. MOtor on. Unless you're 'dying', get out there and do the workout.
Is this wise?
I am sure tomorrow will be fine. And I will likely do the same thing. A swim in the wee hours and a bike on the trainer while the boys run circles around me.
It's not like I can go to bed! I still have to be Mom so therefore, why not throw in some workouts too!
Of course, I WILL be better tomorrow!!
Sunday, December 28, 2008
First, my son went down. Middle of the night blues. Crying, headache, body aches, and then the dreaded: vomit. We ran down the hall together Hoping he'd make it to the bowl. Ohh....5 feet short. That always happens.
Next, my husband. Again, middle of the night. He Never gets up at night. But off he went. Scampering away. I knew. I waited. Sure enough. Sick. The shakes, headaches, body aches. He was up again 2 hrs later with no sleep between for either of us.
My turn. I haven't officially gotten sick yet. But...my lip keeps quivering. My stomach is not happy. Energy....yah right. Totally gone.
I'm staring at my bike on the trainer. I haven't been on that baby for a week now. Not good.
I am going to try anyway. Maybe it's in my head.
Friday, December 26, 2008
I keep Wiping out!!!
I headed out for a short Christmas run yesterday and wham! Right in my driveway. Flat on my butt. I also hit my knee and it is SO sore and swollen and bruised. Very nice.
Today, I flew again. I was 1 mile into a 6 mile trek. I landed Hard on my ass again and it shook my whole brain. I'm sure I looked like a crazy cartoon character.
Despite my pain, I ran on. I had to focus on each and every step on my icy roads.
Ahh, winter in Maine.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
I was afraid to see the number.
I can lose that quickly right?
Probably if I stop sneaking those Mr. Goodbars from the Christmas candy dish.
And stop stealing sugar cookies that my kids decorated.
I am a little obsessive about my figure. Not really my weight. I haven't even stood on the scale since before Worlds. But I just Knew things felt a little different.
I hope I can find the right combination of food to make me feel good each day, to give me the energy I know I need, and to satisfy my simple joy in eating some foods. Like peanut butter. And chocolate. And coffee.
New Year's goal: lose 10lbs. Not goal #1....Goal #1 is personal. This weight thing is just one of my Tri goals. I want to be sleek and strong and ready to fly. Just get me to Dec. 26th and I Promise to stop eating treats!
Sunday, December 14, 2008
But boy am I having Fun! This past weekend was full of Christmas activities.
Thursday night Maine had an ice storm. The kids were let out of school an hour early and while most of the state hunkered down for a stormy night, we headed to the North Pole. You heard me. The North Pole.
We boarded the Polar Express in North Conway, NH and 30" later we were at Santa's workshop. What a blast. Elves surrounded my little boys and the magic was in full swing. Good times.
Friday was a snow day. Or an ice day. No school for the kids.
Saturday was Tommy's 7th birthday. He felt very special all day and we had a fun family day celebrating.
Saturday night was an annual Christmas party in my neighborhood. It is a beautiful event with lots of glitz and glamour. It's fun to get dressed up that way every now and then! Two of my neighbors (they are both in their 80s) even commented that they are not used to seeing me this way! They usually see me running circles aroudn the neighborhood with shorts and a pony tail.
And finally today was spent shopping with my family. I don't really like shopping, but it was fun to see the kids so excited about all the holiday decorations around.
I am thinking hard about my big season ahead but I am also taking time to enjoy this magical time of year. I have 3 small boys and I need to focus on them right now. I will bake cookies, Eat cookies, eat birthday cake with my boy, and train when I can.
Jan 1st is coming quick and I will hit things hard.
For now, I'm having some fun.
Monday, December 8, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
I don't have much to write about.
My life is so busy despite the "off season." It's Christmas season and that means BUSY in a house with 3 kids. My middle son was born on the 13th. So we also have a birthday party this weekend and his "real" birthday next week. Our home is still under construction so I have zero privacy and lots of mess. That's ok. It's close. Soon we will be alone again. I feel like I live in a college dorm right now. I find myself drying my hair, applying makeup, and singing in front of these guys who were strangers not so long ago.
I am starting to create my 2009 race schedule. I am torn. My big focus of the year is Ironman Lake Placid. That is THE A Race. Everything else will have to "fit in" around that.
Here's the question. Should I do a Half before the Ironman? I have raced three 70. 3 races and two of them were in the same calendar year as the big kahuna. I also know that an IM is not the same as a double 70.3. There's more to it.
There's a race in CT on June 7th. I'd love to race it but don't want to take any of my energy away from July 26th. I just can't decide.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
Today I ran an Easy 4 miles in 25 degree air. It was cold at first, but so refreshing.
My lungs felt like they were going to explode as I climbed the 1/2 mile hill I start with on each and every run. (that's just the way my road is...it's not a crazy warm up I instilled upon myself.) Once I hit the flat roads I felt better. However, my quads are clearly out of sorts. I was slow. I didn't try to go fast but my easy run pace was slow. Oh well. I'm not worried. It is, however, odd to have my last memory of running one of cruising down the finisher's chute at the World Championships for the race of my life and then to hit the roads at home 2 weeks later barely able to jog through 4 easy miles at a normal pace.
So that's that. My long break is over. Hmmm. I think I'm happy.
I will not start Training yet. I will start exercising again though.
That will feel good.
I had begun to feel rather blobbish. I started sleeping poorly. My headaches became more frequent. My energy levels have been down.
I need to feel like myself again.
So my 5 hour training days will have to wait a bit.
But when I want to swim I will swim and when I want to run I will run. Will I bike? We shall see.
Monday, November 17, 2008
It is true that I am enjoying my "free time." (more on that in a bit) I enjoying going to bed without laying out 6 sets of clothes--swim stuff/travel to and from swim sweats/bike clothes for warm inside trainer rides/run clothes for sub 30 degrees and wind Or run clothes for treadmill Or run clothes for 40+ degrees, etc etc
I enjoy going to bed without preparing my nutrition for pre/post/during workouts.
I enjoying not writing out the minutes of the days to make sure it will all fit.
4:35 alarm set
4:55 out the door to pool
6:27-6:58 drive home
6:58-7:02 Greet kids, kiss hubby, drop bags, bye to hubby, take over where he left off with kids: no joke here.....all in 5 minutes
7:03-8:00 clean kitchen, make sure kids are done eating, dress 3 kids, redress 1 kid because pants are too short, redress antoher because shirt is itchy, brush 3 boy's hair with wet brush because hair Won't lay down otherwise, listen to them fuss because water is in their eyes-again, brush 3 kid's teeth (ok, 1 does it alone), make 2 lunches, collect library books/homework and pack bags (I know I know...should do this the night before...but note fact that I'm preparing for MY day! :-) Bad mommy here), remind them 3 times to put on socks, oh yeah...I Have to get dressed, put hair out of face, try to hide goggle eyes, EAT! I have a long brick headed my way after alll, make sure bike is hooked up to traiiner, say Hello to 5 contractors walking around my house, discuss where I want outlets, how high should shelves be, what color is trim, "GET IN THE CAR GUYS!! We're late!" Ahh I forgot to brush MY teeth!! "I'll be Right there!! Just get In and Buckle up!!!"
8:00 Phew. I did it. We're off.
8:15 hug Nick 10 times and kiss him more. Leave at preschool. :-( Still miss the little guy.
8:25 drop big boys at school with hugs even though they're pulling off towards playground.
8:35 Home. Try to avoid contractor's questions, change, grab nutrition bottles, hit the trainer by 8:45-9:00
ride ride ride ride ride ride
12:30 maybe 1:00 Off bike. Dry sweat, change out of jog bra and shorts that are gross and soaked, put on running tights, shirts, hat, gloves, mp3 and head out the door for 9 mi run avoiding crazy looks from contractors leaning on their trucks for a smoke break.
2:20 In the house. No shower. Guy is working on bathroom. Ok fine. Who needs a shower?
I'll just change my clothes AGain, wolf down a few calories and hop in the car.
2:45 pick up Nick. "Hi Mommy. Do you have a snack for me?" In my head, "Hon, I've been training since the Moment I left you and YOU want a snack? I've had a lousy glass of recoverite and a luna bar! That's it!!!" To him, "yes sweetie. Here's a granola bar." Breath. Mommy first.
3:05 Pick up big kids. Head home. More snacks. There's lots and lots of dirt through house and the contractors are still there.
Breath. I Need a shower!! Maybe later when hubby gets home. Right before I make dinner. Right before I lay out clothes for tomorrow's workout.
So...that's what it was like. For months after school started while preparing for Clearwater. The race of my life. It WAS worth it.
I'm still busy. I am volunteering in kid's rooms, I am shopping for things for this house project, I am taking care of typical Mommy things. We all know what those are. Moms are always busy. If you take away 1 thing, others fill it's space.
Am I happy those crazy crazy days are over? I guess.
But mostly, I'm lost.
I am stir crazy.
My body is Desperate for a good dose of endorphins.
I am eating like a maniac. What happened to that off-season weight loss? I am eating junk. I think I'm over it now though. Ready for good stuff again. I just Had to have a bunch of cookies, and chili, and tacos, and a donut. A BIG donut. It was good! I dont' really want another one though and that is a good sign.
I am a triathlete now. It's in my blood. I want more. I know I can go faster. I am Itching to go faster. I want to try again. To push harder.
For now, I will try to enjoy setting the alarm for 6:05 instead of some ungodly 4:00 hour buzz. I will enjoy taking showers just because that's what one does each day and not because I stink with sweat.
However, I dont' feel good. I have headaches. I feel sluggish. My energy levels are down. I know my body needs to get back at it.
It's been 8 days. I will not do Anything until next week. I swear. I know it is for the best. Many many people with Far more experience than I are promising me that it's the the right thing to do. I Will do it but interestingly, it's almost harder than training each day. It's just not who I am anymore.
So, I'm hanging on.
This is just confirmation that this sport is where I belong.
And you know what, I am a far happier and more patient Mom when I am in the midst of my training. I can't pinpoint why but my overall focus is much deeper.
Rest on Ange. It'll be over before you know it.
Monday, November 10, 2008
I was very anxious as I prepared myself for the trip earlier in the week. My stomach started to wiggle, and gurgle and hurt! I was anxious to leave the kids. I was anxious about the entire event.
I sacrificed a lot at home for this race. School is in session for the boys. That makes life busier. My mind was distraced with this event much of time. Our home is under construction. Instead of keeping things under control and peaceful at home, I chose to train for 5-6 hours at a time. There was stress. There were tears. But in the end, there was success and satisfaction. And I do believe, I also have children who are proud of their Mommy. That means a lot too.
I put so much work into this race and then SO much money to travel there. My family was helping with the kids, my husband took time off from work. I just felt the need to make it “worthwhile.” That said, a strange calm came over me on Friday. I just knew I was ready. It was finally time to actually race and do what I knew how to do.
Sat a.m. Mary and I headed out of the hotel to the transition area to get body marked and check our bike tires etc. We were allowed to check the bikes but not take them out and we coudlnt’ go to our bags. We had until 6:30 and then transition was closed. It was dark outside but there were HUGE spotlights all over. There were TV cameras. There was awesome music blasting. And the fittest looking athletes you’ve ever seen. No one looked soft. No one looked like a first timer. All the bikes were rockin’ fast. It was a bit intimidating. Remember I'm from Maine. We do have big races that sometimes pull in 500-600 people, but the scene is much different.
We got marked with stamped #s rather than markers. I was enjoying the special treatment. There was a guy running around transition helping everyone pump their tires. There were volunteers all over the place.
After a few trips to the bathrooms (and we are proud to say we avoided porta potties the whole a.m!) we headed to the beach.
We were finally in our corral with 75 other fast and f it looking women. I had no idea how I would hold up against these women but figured I just had to go for it. I positioned myself in the front and on the right so I could hug the buoys. The course went straight out, a short turn right to antoher buoy and then straight back to shore.
Finally….a Gunshot. And it really smelled and sounded and in some ways Felt like I got shot. It was right next to me and I smelled that smoke immensely. It was a running start but the water was quite shallow for a ways out. I scooted down and dove over the water 6-7 times before I could begin swimming. I saw 1 girl head out like a shot. She was gone. Ok ,no problem. Another one was next to me but a few strokes ahead. I could tell she was strong and would probably move ahead. I settled into 3rd and tried to find my groove. I had really hoped to warm up but the format of the morning didn’t allow for it. I was off for a bit but felt ok. After a little while, I had a strange sensation around me and realized I had a draft pack behind me! In what felt like slow motion, 3 or 4 other women surrounded me. Darn. I thought I was safely in 3rd. Guess not. This is Worlds after all and I had to work for it! We hit some big swells as we approached the turn buoy. We made the turn and headed back with the sun directly in our eyes. There were now 4 of us in a straight line across. I sighted off their arms the rest of the way. We were all stroke for stroke. Sometimes I was two or three strokes ahead of them and sometimes they were ahead of me. We caught some of the swimmers who had left ahead of us and dealt with some kicking and thrashing all around.
The swim is my favorite leg but there is a serious thrill for me as I sight and see the crowd on the beach and the huge arch paving the way for us. I get so excited. At the same time, I knew 56 miles of nervous biking were headied my way. I was tired too. I had swallowed a lot of water. I was feeling it already. I was having my first “low” and started to doubt myself and what I could do for the next 69.1 miles. Here’s where the mind games began. I took another look at the crowd and regained my excitement and focus. I wish I had pushed myself to stand up a tad bit faster because all of us came out of the water together but I somehow clicked that mat behind most of them. Darn. It didn’t matter in the big picture of the race though and that’s what was on my mind. I just had to get my bearings as I stood up.
The crowd was huge at swim exit. I heard Mark, Andy, and Marni yelling to me. I was struggling with my wetsuit and unable to give them a big smile but I was thinking, “Hey I hear you! Thanks guys!! Here I go!”
We ran up a long beach and hit the showers. Those things are great. The water was warm and super powerful. It felt so refreshing. And the wetsuit strippers! YES! Finally some strippers who meant it!!! I have used them a few other times and practically had to help the kids (yes I had some 12 year olds once) rip it off. I had 2 girls this time who Yanked that baby so hard. I was psyched and thanked them.
I ran to the rack where my gear bags were. Blue bike blue bike blue bike. I had to keep saying that to myself. I was afraid I’d forget which was which!
There were volunteers Everywehre in the changing tent. They were Amazing. This girl kept offering to dump my bag but I had a system instead. She handed me my glasses and I just went about my thing with my shoes etc. She took over from there. She repacked my bag for me and sent me to my bike. Fun stuff. I loved this. I ran to the bike, prayed for no flats or crashes, and off I went.
This bike course was NUTS!!! At first, I was breathing so hard and my glutes killed. I was a bit worried. After a bit I settled in and felt better. These roads are crazy. It was really flat (although there were actually a few small hills over bridges etc) and very fast. Somehow I managed to be alone on the roads most of the day. But let me tell you, these draft packs are insane!!! I think about 5 packs went by me during the race. I have no idea how many people were in them but let’s say 40. At least. It was scary. I’m sure they were going 30 mph and they were just cheating their asses off. Not only was it super dangerous the way they just took over the whole lane but it’s flat out illegal. And they didn’t care. Oh well. What can you do? There were a few women mixed in there too. That's how some of them got such fast splits.
The miles just flew by on the bike. I was having fun. Each 10 miles that hit were 10 less miles for me to flat on! I was super worried about something technical ruining my day. But, I made it. I got all my nutrition in while I was out there. I took time to slow down for gels, for my bottles, to stretch my legs after not climbing for an hour…I think it paid off.
So I climbed over the bridge to the finish area and the energy was amazing. The music was blasting. The crowds were huge. I love that stuff. When I climbed off the bike, I was swarmed by volunteers again ready to take my bike. I didn’t have to rack it myself! I loved this. I ran over to the gear bags and should have started my red run red run chant but I forgot and grabbed the blue bag! Oh no. But lucky for me the volunteers were there again to tell me and have me drop the blue back and grab the red and all was good.
I had a decent transition except my race # had ripped off my race belt Before the bike so I had to spend time reattaching that. Besides that, I was fine. My stomach killed heading into the tent and I thought I might be doomed but when I ran out, I was fine.
I headed off and made a plan. My quads were Not on fire like my last 70.3 so I wanted to play it smart. I decided to take it “easy” for the first 6 and then to let it go. I would build into this run. I dind’t want to blow up. I wanted to enjoy the day all the way through.
Mile 1 felt smooth and easy. 6:40. Ooops. Ok, so maybe I’m off the pace a bit. I thought it felt easy! Try again. That was too fast. Next mile had a hill (the bridge..big hill actually ) and I was over 7:00. Ok, that’s better but let’s see what I am without the hill. I felt ok. I started running between 7:10-7:26. I was ok with this. But I started having to deal with mental issues along the way. I was just so tired. I wanted to lay down. Really. Just be done. Enough. I had had enough. I wasn’t really miserable, just done. You know that feeling?
So I had to talk myself out of that. Losing focus? Time for a gel. This is something I’ve learned. I took a salt, a gel, lots of sponges down my shirt, water on my head, I drank Gatorade constantly. It was getting hot. The roads there are white b/c they’re concrete and so it’s super bright.
We ran over the big bridge, down the road, off into a neighborhood and then back over the bridge, all the way to the finish line and psych…not done yet….go around again! So like I said, I had a plan. I was just going to get to that turn and then play the game. I was doing ok. Around mile 5 we went through another Ironman arch and they had a message board. I had one! A. Bancroft U are a Winner. I had a moment of feeling important out there in the sea of hard core triathletes so my stride grew longer and I pushed on. It was surprisingly “fun” to go through the finish chute even though I had another loop. The music was still blaring and the screaming crowd is good for a tired soul.
I saw Mark, Andy and Marni as I came in for the turn and back around again. They were awesome!! they screamed and took pictures and yelled great reminders about water and pace. I hope you all know how very much that helps. Your support means everything out there. I could Not do it without you.
My legs felt loose and I decided to try to pick it up. Well, ok, I thought I did but my splits just wouldn’t get faster. But they were dropping too much either so I was ok. I kept them all under 7:30 so that was good for me. New plan. Get to the neighborhood and then when I was back on the bridge with 2-3 miles to go, then I would start to go hard. But my mind kept going places. It kept going to LP’09. How am I going to do that run?? I had to get away from that because it was bringing me down.
I forced myself to stay in the moment. To look around and look at all the people with me. I focused on the runners I went by and the fact that I was hanging on and doing my job that day. I ran by Sister Madonna Buder and told her she Rocked and gave her a thumbs up. THE BRIDGE!! I was almost there. I started to smile. I smiled and smiled and then geez, I got a cramp. Darn. Ok, no big deal. Remember those hard hard hard miles I ran through and pushed myself to exhaustion during training. Why was this different? It’s such a head game I think. I am learning how to get out of these ruts when out there… I think that’s a huge part of these endurance races.
One mile left. I wasn’t pulling out faster splits but my effort was huge and I was hanging on. I was happier than I can explain. The emotion of getting to this race, of hanging on for months and months of hard training when it was the “off season” for others close to me, of fighting pain and fatigue to push on was overwhelming me. I saw my watch as I came into the long finishers chute and was ecstatic. I did it. I started pumping my arms and jumping around. I was one of those crazy finishers jumping all over the place. I loved it!!!
After I crossed the line this huge wave of relief and satisfaction came over me. I just kneeled down on the ground and smiled so big inside. Of course, I was swarmed again with help, “are you ok? Are you ok?”
I’m GREAT!!! I was so great.
I waited for Mary at the finish and we had the biggest happiest hug ever.
It wasn’t quite over. Mark and Andy found us at the end and Mark told me I was 5th in my age group. Cool!!! A neighbor called my father in-law who called Mark to tell us. Funny. There I was At the race and my supporters back in Maine had to let us know this.
What did this mean? I was heading to the podium! Top 5 get awards!
We went to the awards that night. Thousands of chairs lined up on the beach in front of a HUGE stage with video screens on either side. After awarding the pros their prizes, it was time for the age group winners. They called each of the top 5 in the age group up to the stage. We were awarded M-dot trophies. Our names and and times were on one video screen and we were on the other. We held our trophies over our heads while cameras snapped away. My 6 minutes of fame. I did feel like a rock star for a minute. I mean, little me from Paris, Maine. Pretty fun.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
A Race Report will follow but for now I'll just fill in some fun details.
Overall Time: 4:42.0 5th place in the 35-39 age group
Swim: 27:33 (6th in Age...however, 3 of us tied and two others were within 30 seconds. Close pack)
Bike: 2:32.11 (13th age group)
Run: 1:36.10 (5th age group)
I'm thrilled with my race. I enjoyed the day so much. It was a thrill to be part of such world class event.
Race report soon! I need to sleep first..
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
"What's this Tommy?"
"Open it..it's for you."
15 Good luck cards. 15 cards wishing me "Good luck to your race!" "Mrs. Bancroft I hop you win god luck" "I wish you good lukc...I hope yor the best wun out thar!"
Exactly what I needed.
Thank you Tommy. You Always make me smile.
almost time to go!
Sunday, November 2, 2008
don't push it
enjoy the moment
did I say SLow down
Ahh, The trick of taper.
The body's feeling good.....6 more days.
I have slept 10 hrs two nights in a row!!!
My mileage has been cut back and I'm starting to heal.
I swam Friday and had to hold myself on the wall and say, "STOP!" Time to get out of the water. I had to fight the urge to swim 100s just to see how fast I could go. I ran today and fel the same way. Light, fresh, strong. But as I circled my neighborhood loop for my final mile, I had to fast forward the mp3 player to a different-less motivating song so I wouldn't fly around just to see how fast I could go!!
Keep my eye on the prize. The big goal is Next week...........I must hang on. Keep focused. Stay rested and fresh.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Clearwater. 9 days. World Championship race. Wow. I did it. I got there. It was a goal that was deep in my head when the '08 season started but I wasn't sure I could accomplish it. Now, I'm 9 days away.
I'm ready. I have been working so hard for months and months. My body is strong and now, it's tired. This is one of the first times I remember looking Forward to taper. I usually dread it. I don't want to stop pushing myself. I want to use every last minute to Train!! Yes, I'm a bit of a work horse. But the fact that I am oh so ready to taper is comforting to me. It says to me, "you are fully trained and now need to rest." And that means I will be super strong and full of energy by next Saturday at 7:00 a.m.
Alright. My body is about ready, but I have some nerves. Fear of the unknown. I am travelling all the way to Florida from Maine for this race. Woah! That's a lot different than a quick trip over to N.H.! My bike is already there! I feel a bit lost without her. I feel completely out of control with my bike all the way down south. I don't like feeling out of control. I have no idea what Clearwater, FL is like. I do not have a clue how to do transitions from bags rather than having my gear all set up the way I like it At my bike. Small town girl heads to the big race! I am sure this will be a humbling experience.
Everyone is talking about the off season. I am so close. Again, I usually dread the off season but I find myself getting excited. I can't wait to set the alarm for a solid 1.5 hrs later than normal during the week. I can't wait to have 3-4 hours to myself for something other than biking, running and swimming while the kids are at school. I can't wait to pick Nick up Before Nap at his preschool just to make him smile. However, there is 1 more week. I have to block that out for a little longer and stay focused. I hope I can. I hope I can lay off the candy tomorrow night and the 5 days to follow Halloween!!!
So here I go. REady to rock and Roll. I am excited to hit the beach and do what I do best. I am excited to give this race 120% and then put my 2008 to rest. It was a Great great year.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Today, I put that bad workout to rest...officially.
I had a great workout and feel much better now. I'm back. I have confidence again and am ready to tackle one more week of hard work.
While this workout isn't too glamorous, it was satisfying.
I hopped on the trainer around 8:00 a.m. and got off just before noon. 70 miles. Hot, sweaty, long miles in the living room.
It was rainy, windy and 40 degrees here in Maine. I stripped off my drenched biking clothes and donned warm running gear. I wasn't sure how this run would feel. I was nervous after Monday.
I hit the road and the wind hit my face. By the time I was 2 miles in, I knew I was good to go. I was floating. I was strong. What a relief!
I knocked out my 8 miles and wanted more as I neared my driveway.
However, as soon as I started walking, my body was So happy to be done and besides, I was Starving!!
Bring it on Florida..
Monday, October 20, 2008
This isn't a new concept. But I need to remember it more.
Today I awoke at 4:10. Ok, I can handle that. I've done it quite a bit this season. In fact, if I get up after 5:00 it's considered a late morning.
I was out the door at 4:25. It was 24 degrees out. Woah. The first Real cold of the year. As the winter progresses, this will be rather mild. Not yet. It's still cold. I thougth I was dressed well . I had 2 think layers of underarmour and an underarmour jacket, tights, a headband, gloves, and a headlamp. No, the lamp doesn't keep me warm, but it is comforting on the pitch black country roads I travel on.
I began my 14 mile trek.
I wasn't into it.
I quickly fell into Loop Coma.
You see, my neighborhood has a very handy 1 mile loop. There are three or four street lights and my friendly neighbor's homes. It's great in the winter when I don't want to travel off into the woods in teh dark. I'm sorry. I'm tough but I have no desire to do that. I am afraid of shadows and noises and the idea of a scary guy behind a tree ready to make me into a headline. Enough of that! So I stick to my loop.
Today, it was horriflyingly boring. dreadful. Painful. (see previous post) I didn't even have the urge to listen to my music. I ditched it by a stump with my water and headlamp. As my eyes grew comfortable in the dark even that thing bothered me on my head.
Around and around I went.
I was slow. I was stupified at how slow. I ran a solid 30-40 seconds slower on these flat loops than normal.
Want to hear the good part?? I saw 3 Shooting stars!!!! How cool! The night was crystal clear. There were stars Everywhere. I thought of my 9 year old and how amazed he would have been by the scene. He would have tipped over backwards looking up at the sky.
And then....I saw a MOOSE!! Right there in my neighborhood galloping down the neighbors lawn. Yes, I live in the woods folks.
While I was in my loop coma, not listening to motivating music, I heard siren after siren at ~5 a.m. I later learned that a home burned to the ground not far from here.
See...things aren't so bad.
Later, I headed to the pool. Thanks to my friend and former swim team buddy, Alina, I had a fresh new workout to try. I killed it. I felt awesome. I swam 100s faster than I have all year. But just as I was about to start another set, the pool filled with people there for a therapeutic swim. I messed up the schedule. I was out. I only got in about 3000 yards when the plan was for 4500. I was so bummed.
But as I dressed myself in a twit, I watched a very nice and patient woman trying to change a young boy in a wheelchair. I'm guessing he had Cerebral palsy. He could not speak.
Again, things aren't so bad. I have a damn good life and I vow to stop fussing over small insignificant issues like crappy loop comas and shortened swims.
Here's to shooting stars...
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Occasionally, it flares up and causes me a lot of trouble.
Years ago, I started having pain in my right foot. I would start to feel a sharp burning in the toes and then diffuse pain over the entire forefoot. It was very bad when I ran but also hurt after a mere 30 minutes of walking around the grocery store.
After lots of tests and opinions from various doctors, I had surgery in 2005 to remove a huge neuroma. Nerves had been pinched and caused a big ball to form. The mass was removed. I had 3 kids between 18 months and 5 at the time, but I survived my month on crutches. I behaved and refrained from running for 3-4 months! I started back in the spring and it was glorious. I ran that whole summer pain free. I compared it to swimming. It was like I could 'finish my stroke.' I had a new form. I was stronger. Myself again. It had been torture, but the surgery was worthwhile.
And then, it came back.
The pain came back. But alas, not just in my right foot, but my left too.
I have seen my doctor on and off since 2005 for this. She struggles with new ways to help me. I try different sneakers. I tried orthotics. I had them altered. Nothing. Nothing helps. Sometimes I have relief for a few months. I kid myself into thinking I am cured.
It always comes back.
Since August I have been in PT. I had great hope. Someonen new. Someone who had fresh ideas. "We'll break the scar tissue. We'll do ultrasound. We'll cure the bilateral plantar fascitis because it all connects together and that may be making it worse." Nothing. More pain. Bad bad pain.
My training is going well. I am strong. I have been working hard for months and months. I have 2 weeks of hard training left before I get to taper for Worlds. I am honored to be going and excited to race in these hard core conditions.
But while I'm on the roads fighting fatigue from a hard 12 mile run or a 60 mi ride followed by an 8 mile run, I am also fighting pain. I limp. I cringe. I stop and try to squeeze the burning out of my toes. I want to push the final 3 miles but I can barely step. If I fight the foot monster for a few miles, it sometimes diminishes and I can go on without losing my breath to the hurt.
It almost brings me to tears. Yes, the pain makes me want to cry, but it's more than that. Why me? Is this going to sideline me eventually? Who knows. I can't think that way. I am told by some who are familiar with this that it'll be ok. I just need to rest after Worlds and let the neuroma "settle down" Sometimes they flare up. My Physical therapist told me I was a time bomb. Thanks for the encouragement. I don't need that right now.
I must hang on. I can fight through this. It's an added challenge in my world of sport. And I am all about challenges.
Monday, October 6, 2008
It was 32 degrees when I left my car but I think it was a toasty 40 by the time the race started. Beautiful beautiful Fall day in Maine. Perfect!!! I was envious of those who were running "their marathon" of the year. It was ideal for that. My last marathon was 1 year ago in Chicago. And it was HOT!!!! Hotter than hell hot. Miserable humid thick city hot. Ugh. Not a good day for me in Chicago. So.... back to Maine I came!
But alas, I was not running the full marathon this year. I was ok with it. I thougth I might feel strange, sad, regretful. I have done this race twice before and enjoyed the course and the hometown support. I thought I would miss the challenge of towing the line for a 26.2 event.
Instead, I was gleeful! I was relaxed! I was 100% at peace with my decision NOT to do a marathon in 2008. This season was all about triathlon. Even this half marathon was all part of my preparation for Worlds next month.
It was fun to get ready for this race too. I arrived, got my race # and chip, changed into my shorts, done. that's it. Well, I did run in the bushes and portapotty a few times and of course, chatted with friends. Before I knew it...we were off.
I ran hard from the gun. I wanted to push myself for the whole 13.1 to see what I had. I am used to training long and going pretty hard so I had confidence in my endurance. I felt strong and light. Then I had a cramp aroudn mile 3. It lasted for a while but then soon after I thought I'd never get away from it, I had forgotten it existed.
I was holding my splits around 6:50-7:00. I focused on my stride. On the feel of my legs.
I passed my Mom, Dad, Brother, niece and nephews on the course and even had the energy to Smile big and wave and say Hi guys!!! (during tri races I am all business and gasping for air.)
Oh, and Mary, I saw DW running fast. I couldn't catch him though. :o)
And then, the moment of truth. The turnaround. When running the marathon in years past, I have secretly growled at those turning around for the Half marathon. "Oh...they're just doing the half!" I don't know why I felt that way. Guess I was jealous and dreading the 13 miles I had to add on past those I had been running with to that point.
It was my turn this time. Again, peace. Glee. Sheer Joy to make the turn and head back!!! Yippee!!! No serious suffering at mile 19 this year!
It was also quite a rush to head back along the route I had just run with the 100s-1000s of people running the other way. Face upon face of those out to challenge themselves that day. Thousands of different expressions and types of stride. It was awesome. A beautiful sight to a runner. I loved it. And, I saw tons of people I knew and had so many cheers of "GO ANGE" thrown my way. It was a rush.
I was holding my pace. I was feeling good.
They had two big drums working us up and down the hills. I love drums. It's always been a dream of mine to play the drums. I smiled all the way for those 2 miles.
I started to falter around mile 9 and 10. My pace slowed a bit. I lost some focus.
there was a guy next to me that was driving me nuts. He kept talking. At one point he was literally On my heels!! I had to ask him to go ahead. He was drafting!
Mile 11 hit and I found my groove again. Back under 7:00 pace. I could book it in for the next 2 miles! Go!! I ran hard and felt great.
Finish: 1:32.10 3rd age group, 12th woman, 96th overall for men and women. (actually 5th for my age but 2 of the women were in the top 5 overall women and they all "placed" so I got bumped up.
And then I did what I have called others crazy for in the past. I went for a ride with a friend!! I'm officially a crazy triathlete now!!
Great day. Can't wait to do it again.
Friday, October 3, 2008
I have never run a flat Half marathon before. I've done 6 marathons and 2 Half Ironmans. Ironmen?
Anyway, I've gone the distance many times, just never alone.
I plan to do a short bike ride before the race with some friends and a solid 90 min. ride after the race with some friends. It'll be a fun training day for sure.
Besides all that, training has been going well. Until today. I have felt strong and solid. I did a few hard bricks this week and felt incredible when I finished. I could have gone much longer. Today, I was a piece of raw meat. I felt slow and wobbly in the pool. My form was sloppy. I was weak and slow. I didn't even have the urge to Try to go faster! I rode my bike for an hour in the freezing cold. That part felt fine. Nothing too great but not too bad either. Then I ran. Dead again! Just slow and tired. My splits weren't even worth recording. Blah blah.
In my defense, or at least what I'll note in my log book is that I do have a chest cold. I have a nasty cough and no voice. Well, it's weak. It makes my kids laugh when I sing crazy love songs in the car. So, maybe that's it. Maybe it's that I worked hard the rest of the week and now I need to rest.
They can't all be good days right?
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
- Stop, count to 10, and exert more anger management with....my contractor. He didn't show up Again today. This is after a week vacation. He didn't call. what is up with people. Basic manners folks. Basic. However, I am going to choose, as of now, to be More excited about the final result at our "new house" instead of my day to day annoyance, frustration, anger, disgust with what's going on around me. Phew. There. Done. no more Anger!
- I will try to stop eating when I am not hungry!! Why do I do this? I eat just because I want to try a new snack. It could be the healthiest snack in South Paris, ME but if I'm not hungry, why am I eating it?? I do this all the time.
- Break 4:45 in my Half Ironman at Worlds. I had to throw a tri goal in there.
- Drop my swim times down--I am talking about my times in the pool while training. I only race in teh open water these days (except rare pool triathlons) but I want to swim fast in teh pool again. I used to swim fast. I used to swim 5000+ yards twice/day, six days/week. I could swim butterfly for entire workotus. I could do 100s on 1:10 intervals. I could do 200s on 2:20 intervals. I do not wonder what happened. 15 years out of the water happened. Three babies. A Shoulder surgery. Blah blah blah. I'm over that. I want to swim fast again. Maybe not 1:10 100 intervals but maybe I can hit the wall at 1:05 again? Please? Maybe I can hit the wall in a 200 at 2:20 or faster? I'm going to try I tell ya....Just to make myself feel better.
- I am going to drop the vacuum (see above note of frustrations with contractors), ignore the laundry piles, and ignore the dishes and play, I mean PLAY with my boys more. This is a big one. I think about this a lot. I am with my kids all the time. If they are not at school, they are with me. I love this about my life. I really really love being a stay home Mom with them. I wouldn't trade it for the world. People (one in particular actually) ask me All the Time if I am bored. Are you kidding? I am the Mother of 3 boys! I am really never bored. Tired, yes. Overwhelmed, yes. Did I say tired? But, you know what, I am damned lucky and I do know it. They are fantastic children. Sure, I'm biased. But I adore these little people and they bring me more joy than anything in my whole world. I snuggled with Nick today. He said to me, "I love the days that we snuggle Mommy." Ok, can't beat that! I rode bikes with them. I played 2 on 2 basketball yesterdya and their faces were lit with joy the whole time. Priceless. I need to do this more. THIS is a priority. Life is too short and as my Husband's 99 yr old Grandmother once told me, "no one is goign to remember you for your clean house." oh how true.
- I will work super hard on my bike workouts. I will make it hurt, even on my 50 mi rides around the county. I need to learn to hurt on the bike. Just like Mary said. I am still learning how to do this.
- Goals: I'm going to be frightningly specific here. Clearwater is coming. I have to get real. Swim: 27:30 Bike: 2:35 ( I only dare say this because I know it's flat) Run: 1:35 I need to hold it together on the run this time. No quad trauma this time. I hope I'm preparing adequately!
- Finally, I will savor the moment. I promise. I will enjoy the run in the fall air, I will enjoy sweating to death on my trainer in my living room, I will enjoy the spontaneous hug from my 6 y.o., I will appreciate all that I have and stop stressing over the things that are making each day tough.
Monday, September 29, 2008
A huge thank you to everyone for all your great nutritional advice. I've restocked the cupboards and an motivated to do better for myself. I have some new yummy breads, crackers, and meal ideas.
Finally, my question. Travelling with the bike. I think I might be more nervous about this than I am the actual race at Clearwater. How sad is that?!!
I have a great friend who has offerred me her bike box. Yeah! That's great. Step 1. Now, what next. I have reservations to get from Maine to FL on USAirways. It is not a direct flight. One of the planes is a regional jet (the smaller ones) and the other is a Boeing 737 I think. A big one anyway. I have been told that you aren't guaranteed that you can gate check on any plane. Some let you, some don't. I do NOT want to check the bike in baggage. No way. I've lost my luggage before and I can't risk this. So......I have been advised to ship it FedEx. This trip is going to cost a million $$$!! Geez.
Any advice? How do you guys do this ?It all makes me very nervous.
A quick training update:
I'm feeling strong. I've been able to fit it ~3 swim workouts/week which is a bonus and am up to ~10, 000 yards/week. This is about 6000 MOre than usual. I feel more comfortable and natural in the water each time I go. I am bikign well and feel decent on the roads. I have noticed that I have really turned into an endurance athlete. I feel fairly fast at times. I can pour it on if I need to. But, when I run or bike or swim even, I feel stronger and more solid as the miles go by. It's a cool feeling. I think it's progress since I have an IM on the horizon.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
I am intrigued by nutrition. I love to shop for healthy foods. I love to eat healthy food. I am obsessed with feeding my kids all the right things and teaching them Why they should do it for the rest of their lives.
I don't eat junk. Well, I do eat cookies from time to time. Love cookies. Love them. Oh, and Peanut M&Ms.
Here's the deal. I'm in a rut!! I can't seem to figure out what to eat day to day! I eat the same things all the time! I am bored with my food. I know I'm missing some key things. I know I eat too many carbs...probably too much peanut butter. It's just that I'm really not big on sandwiches. I'm not likely to make a good ole' turkey sandwich for lunch. So I struggle with what to eat at lunch.
Can you guys share some of your breakfasts &/or lunches? I need some ideas.
I am almost always grabbing something as I head out the door to drive the kids to school in the a.m.: Oatmeal wolfed down in 60 seconds or maybe rice cakes with peanut butter..yum.. ;o) I do love this.
I almost always grab a snack mid-am as I'm running around town...a Luna bar? Banana? Nectarine?
I sometimes make lunch: yogurt/fruit/granola mix
These thigns don't sound so bad. But I am hungry a lot. I nibble on this and that a lot. That's probably my problem. I do snack after dinner....bad bad bad I know. Sorry Marn. Bad bad habit. I try to keep it under control!
I feel like if I could have some better/more filliing daytime meals, I'd do better overall. I need ideas!!
I really appreciate any of your ideas. I'm in a rut!
Thursday, September 18, 2008
After talking it over and thinking it over, I realized that I would be more upset if I didn't do the race.
The Lobsterman Tri is held in Freeport, Maine. Freeport is like a 2nd home to me. My Grandparents lived there, my parents live there, and our family's cottage is there. I spent a lot of time in freeport as a child and continue to vacation there now with my family. I would hate to miss a chance to race in this beautiful town.
In addition to that, so many great friends were going to be there. It is the last big race of the season in Maine. I just couldn't miss it.
The week before the race was tough for me. I was dead tired. I had migraines all week. I was overwhelmed with a few things in my life. My head was Not on the race. It's an hour drive from home to Freeport and I had to stop Twice on the way, with my kids in the car, to nap!!! Not good.
Things changed from that point on. I got to packet pickup and immediately felt the race pulse. My friends were all around. I got my new spare tire set up on my bike and was ready to go. ( now racing with tubulars so I had to get some new things...and a lesson!)
I headed to the cottage and met up with Mark and my parents. Mom and Dad made us an awesome dinner and then left with the kids. Ahhh...peace. We had a fire in the place and the amazing ocean air kicked in. It's therapeutic for me. Truly. I went to bed early, slept like a log and woke up feeling 100%. I was cured. The cottage did it again. Thanks Grammie and Grampa. We will cherish this place forever.
Now onto the race. I got there early again and enjoyed a relaxing pace for myself. I could set up my transition without any distractions and then I could enjoy socializing for a while before the race. I headed out for a ride. All was good. I felt fine. The bike felt fast...
POP!!!!!!! What the heck?????
I had a FLAT!!! I almost died. I walked back about 1/2 mile and found my faithful bike mechanic friends. Thank god I had that spare. But, now that was it for the race. If I flatted again, I was out.
Ok, regroup. No big deal. I went on with my routine. Next thing I knew, I had lost my cap!! Oh come on! What else?? I back tracked and found it. Phew
I went down to the water now to warm up and found a few friends. I said, "So far today I have flatted, lost my cap and..." I realized there wasnt' anythign else. But as I said it I also had this sinking thought....things happen in 3s. ooops. Had I just jinxed myself? Whatever. Dont' be superstitious Ange. Move on.
Time to go...
Swim: I was nervous here. I had someone I had to keep up with. She blows me away when we swim together at the lake. I mean, blows me away. Gone. She's waaaaaaaaaaaay ahead. My goadl here was to keep up...to draft...to stay within 1 minute? I hoped. GO! Four strokes--we're even---10 strokes---she's gone. BEHIND ME!!! Woohooo. Go Me! I took off. I felt great. I never turned aroudn. I just keep pushign on and enjoyed the moment. But how can it be?
Time: 16: 38 1st woman
Bike: I felt good here. Nothign too notable. I just pushed it. It was a quad ride. In a good way. I felt like I was using my quads more than usual and I felt powerful. It was a hilly ride. I had forgotten just how hilly it was.
time: 1:08.47 no idea what place!
Run: I headed off on the run and hoped I had a big enough cushion to keep my competitors away. The fast swimmer I was worried about is also a super fast runner. I hoped I coudl pull out a strong 10K to hold her off. I felt strong from the beginning. AFter the first mile of breathing uncontrollably, I found my pace. I was pulling out decent mile splits and felt like it might be my race. I was still ahead. Hold on Ange.
I got to about mile 5 when this little tiny thing came zipping by me. I was convinced she was in a wave ahead of me so I didn't have to worry about her. Ooops. but she was SO fast!!! She appeared adn was Gone in about 20 seconds it seemed.
I finished the race about 1 minute after her.
Second place. Cool. I was psyched. The girl who ran by me did a 38" 10K!!
But I did a 41:50 and was lovin' that. My flat 10k PR is only 15 seconds faster than that. I felt strong the whole run. I didn't suffer like I have on other races this summer. That was success for me. I beat the girls I compete with in Maine and that was satisfying. My love for racing was right there with me again. I am so so happy I raced after all.
Overall time: 2:09.16 2nd woman/ 1st age group 14 minutes faster than last year!
It's alwasy fun to finish a race. It feels good. But I got to turn around and watch so many special friends finish the race. My friend Mike, Katie, my Husband Mark (cranked by the way!), Tim, Rob and Mary!!!! Poor Mary had swollen hands when she finished. She took a spill. I felt so sad for her but was glad she was ok. I just love hanging otu with all these people. I hope we can all keep in touch over the winter.
p.s. Remember I said things happen in 3s. Well, they did. I was the 2nd woman to finish, but I was listed as 3rd place. bummer. I got a 2min penalty. AHHH!!! There are people drafting left and right out there and they write me up! There was a guy who had the same bike as me and we played cat and mouse the whole ride. He dropped back at one point and then he caught back up. He rode next to me and told me his woes. He'd dropped his chain. Ok. Immediately after this, he rode off and a guy the back of a motorcycle went by me writign in his notebook. I was so sad.
Oh well. Lesson learned. I know what place I got ....
Fun fun day.
Now it's time to train my butt off to prepare for Clearwater.
Friday, September 12, 2008
A few weeks ago I agreed to chaperone my son Tommy's class to the fair. He is in 1st grade. As the date approached, I regretted this big time. What had I done? My Wednesday. I gave up 5 hrs of 'me' time to walk around the fair with 6 year olds. What on earth would we do there for all those hours!? I did feel very happy that I could be there with Tommy. It is rare that I get one on one parent time with him because he is my middle boy. That said, I needed that time. I am sinking into a black hole at home.
Wednesday came. The morning rush was worse than ever. These contractors just laugh at me each day. I kind of like that they are seeing what Moms everywhere are doing each morning after they leave home. (And Dads too...I know some Dads are home with kids too.:o) love that by the way) I was out of the house by 8:00 after a great 7 mile run pre-dawn. Nick was off to preschool, the big boys to their school, and I headed to the grocery store to grab a few things before meeting the bus at the fairgrounds. Still wishing I had those hours.....
The next thing I knew the bus was pulling in and there was Tommy's little round face highlighted by his blue sweatshirt. He was squished to the windown with his hands around his face. He saw me there and his smile was amazing. This kid's enthusiasm and spirit have always been larger than life. He didn't let me down. My heart melted. He was happy I was there.
I had 3 kids with me and they were wonderful. The little girl held my hand the whole time as did Tommy. They were overjoyed by the softness of the bunnies, the big fat stinky pooping cows, the sheep with racing shirts on, the goat that escaped.
I was forced to stop. To look. To teach. To smile. To breath. These kids were so excited by these simple little animals. Tommy was so so happy that I was there. My heart melted about that over and over all day. He is a 6 year old boy. I am guessing that when he is 12 it might not be the same. I am savoring all the hugs and hand holding I get now.
I told him that this was the best day of my week. I told him how happy I was that I wasn't at home doign all my "jobs." His face smirked like it does when he's proud. Success.
On a Triathlon note! I Race TOMORROW!!!
Yowza. This race has NOT been on my mind. I have big goals...primarily go faster than last year. But I mostly want to have fun and feel good. I haven't been training for this one specifically. I' took a break after Timberman and now I'm getting ready to gear up for Clearwater. This is a race with lots of friends, in a town close to my heart, and in the Maine ocean. It was 38 when I got up yesterday!! Brrr. Did you know that Mary? Yup, it's been COLD!
Time to go, little Nick just crawled on my lap, Cam asked for his homework and TOmmy asked if he could put his rain boots on so he can run in the mud.....5" before we go to school. Ahh boys. :o) Gotta love 'em.
p.s. In case I sound like I've got my head together again...get this one. I just searched all over my house; dirty laundry, clean laundry, boy's drawers, my drawers, under beds for my black shorts. I couldn't imagine where they went. Guess where I found them? On me. Scary!
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
However, I can't seem to get my life in order! I feel like I am constantly running from one errand or one task to another. Nothing is ever complete. With all 3 boys at school 3 days of the week this fall I thought I would be calm, cool and collected Mommy. Not so. I'm scatter brained!
Today I awoke at 4:35. I was out the door at 4:55 to the pool.
I swam from 5:50-6:25
Drove home until 7:10
Changed, washed face, made beds, packed lunches, put kids on bus at 7:45
back in car at 8:00 with Nick and drove BACK to Auburn for His swimming lessons at 9:00
appointment with bathroom designers at 10:00
left at 11, did errands, home at 12
Husband met me at door and we had impromptu meetings/decision making until 2:15
HOles were cut in walls unexpectedly today so I had to scramble to move my son's bedroom to another room
HURRY! We're late to get boys from school at 3
Car wouldn't back otu of driveway...too many construction trucks in way....hurry get in other car and Go! We were late
home by 3:20. Time to make snacks, review homework, convince kids they wont' melt if they go out in rain, and again....answer more questions and try to ignore scowls from contractracto when I say yes, that IS the way I want it. It's my house! Why do they care!? Breath
answer phone, it's MIL who wants to come visit to see new stuff at house....breath...maybe after dinner?
Now, it's 5:03. Hubby is coming home at ....5:00....to do some work here and so I can run my fast 5 miles before I make dinner and start the evening rush!
Tomorrow...field trip to fair for 4 hrs with first graders. Waoh. But...electrician needs me. When will you be here they ask? Can you talk to him on your cell? I will be with first graders at fair....not so sure that'll work. Breath.
Time for a run!
Monday, September 8, 2008
I finally FINALLY went grocery shopping alone this morning. No one jumping on the front of the cart pulling it into innocent shoppers, no one begging me for donut holes, no one fussing that they're bored. No one. That was the problem. I was lonely.
I called my husband and I Cried!!!!!!!!!!
I tell ya....I'm a bonafide sappy Mom. I miss my little boy So much!!!
My 6 and 9 year old have been in school for a couple years now. They started 3rd and 1st grades a couple weeks ago. I'm a bit used to them heading off for the day.
But little Nick. He is my buddy. My sweetheart! My snuggler. My last little baby at home. It's very hard for me to grasp that he's not here with me right now. Sitting on my lap. Twirling my hair with his fingers.
He started preschool last week. Today is his 3rd day. I'm happy for him. I'm happy that he can go and make some little friends his own age. He is always tagging along wiht his big brothers. In fact, I don't think he realizes what it means to be four. He is just one of the "guys." He just runs with the pack. This is a good change for him. Three days/ week. It's not so bad. I am actually able to get some daytime training done! What could be better!? Breath Mommy breath. It IS ok. This is life.
I have stayed very busy. We have lots of work being done on our house and I am being bombarded with appointments and decisions and more decisions. I haven't had a minute to spare but I still wish I wasn't alone. I can't believe I feel this way.
I just have this god awful lump in my throat because I miss my boy so very much. When they are all under my feet, tracking in dirt, begging for more snacks, bickering and whining, I think I might turn into Momzilla. But when they are all off....I can't stand it!
What is wrong with me? I know I should enjoy the "peace." After 9 years of noise...this quiet time is just deafening!
Thursday, September 4, 2008
I'm so psyched. And scared. I have no clue how to ride these things. I will test them out tomorrow. I hope I don't get blown off the road by a log truck.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Final Time: 4:56:15
1st AG/101 6th amateur woman OA/424
111th overall (men & women) /1900
It was a day to remember. It was fun. It was nerve wracking. It was Hard!! It doesn't matter how fit you are or how fast you are relative to the field, I believe that endurance racing hurts for every one of us out there. It's a long day. When you put yourself out there and leave nothing back on the couch, it's going to hurt. However, dare I say there are few things more satisfying than conquering that pain and getting to the finish line. All the suffering is worth deep sense of satisfaction. It is a remarkable high....
I was nervous last week. But I was able to maintain a clear head. I was feeling reasonable with my nerves. I wanted to do my best. I had specific goals and I felt they were within reach. I do always wonder how taper will work. How will my body react to the nutrition plan I had in mind. Will I be able to push through the pain.
Saturday arrived and I was feeling calm and relaxed. I had a great warm up. It was a fun day with Mark, Mary and Andy. I was able to finally meet my coach in person and that was great.
Before I knew it...that relaxed fun day was over and beep beep beep. My alarm was ringing 4:01 across the hotel room.
I stood in the middle of the room and reality hit. My hands shook as I brushed my teeth. This was it.
After watching Michael Lovato and Simon Lessing go through the same breakfast routine as me in the hotel's pre-dawn continental breakfast, I had a wave of calm again. They are just like us. They may be super fast, but their mornings start just like ours. They are sleepy and staggering around fixing oatmeal and coffee. It was a nice way to start.
We pulled into the park around 5:00. Like last year, I was struck by the flood of athletes making their way into the dark transition area. Lit by flood lights it is a bit surreal. Slow motion. Thousands of people moving through their own ritual.
I found Mary after a short time. We talked quickly and then separated again. It was time to start the non stop porta-potty trips. I swear I spent more time in line for those stinky blue cases then I did getting ready for my event.
After standing on the beach for 45 minutes and yes, waiting in line for the porta potty again, it was finally time to get in line. I wanted a few more hours. I wanted to set my clock back. At the same time, I was ready to hear the gun and go for it. Two thougts battling in my mind at once. That is normal for me on race day.
I edged to the front of the pack and right next to the orange start buoy. The thing flipped towards me a few times and I had bad flashbacks from my near drowning incident at the Portland race.
Ten, nine, eight, seven.....GO!
I felt great. The swim started and I took off comfortably. I didn't get hit by anyone. Smooth sailing. I looked behind me after 15-20 strokes and realized I was alone. I headed off and never looked back again. I felt really strong and smooth for the swim. I didn't have much trouble getting by the people in the waves ahead of us. It went well this time. Finally the orange triangle buoy appeared and we headed to shore. It was really choppy but I love watching the crowd on the beach grow bigger as I sight to shore. It's one of my favorite things about triathlons I think. There's some kind of rush in that for me.
I hit the beach and heard, "First blue cap!" Yeah. That's me! I heard and saw Mark and Andy screaming. Mark yelled my split for me. 29:10. Right on. I wanted to break last year's time of 30:57 and get under the 30" mark. 1st amateur woman in swim.....cool. Goal # 1....Check...
Transition was easy. I skipped the wetsuit strippers. They haven't worked for me. I was calm and methodical and went through the routine that I've grown used to this summer. Off I went. 2:04 not bad.
Bike--This was actuallyFun this race! I dont' usually say that about the bike segment. However, I felt great. Coach had told me to work the hills since I can gain the most there and take it easy on the decents since it's hard to gain much on that. Unfortunately, there were remarkably few downhills! So the first 10 or so miles are up up up. I worked them all and felt amazing. Strong and light. I kept cranking the whole ride. I was cautious of drafting and blocking and all those annoying and hard to avoid bike laws when there are 2000 racers!!! Mark and Andy were on the course in several spots (thanks Guys!!!) and I got great smiles from them, enthusiastic cheers, and quick updates on Mary!!! She and I were nervous about flats so I had to make sure she was doing ok!!
The way back was kind of annoying. There was a headwind. The hills continued to go up up UP even though they did that going out. How is that possible? It sure did feel that way. I was watchign the clock and working hard to get in before 2:45. I Really wanted to break 5 hrs and knew I had to come in around then in order to give myself a bit of a cushion on the run. I was still feelign good but my quads showed signs of fatigue. Just a touch. I took salt. Hammer gels, Heed, water. I kept fueling and hoping I was doing it right. Plus...no flats! No penalties! And NO Blood!!! Woohoo! Mom and Dad will like that last one. :o)
Finally, 1/2 mile to Ellacoya...YEAH! I was at 2;39 or 2:40 and knew I'd make it. Big smiles for this girl. That's about 20+ minutes off last year's time. Final split: 2:43.20 3rd in my AG on bike. Goal #2....Check!
T2 was fine as well. In and out in 1:42. Not bad. I had to change my socks. They were soaked from squirting water all over my legs to wash off sticky Heed. Guess that slowed me a bit. That's ok. Worth it I think.
Well, before the race, Mary and I had agreed that we just wanted to get to the run. We knew we'd be ok once we just got off the bike.
Um........woops. We were Oh SO wrong!!!
I knew almost immediately. I wasn't quite right. I wasn't breathing too hard. My stomach was fine. But my legs. My Quads. OUCH!!! they were on FIRE!!! They felt like they each weighed 50lbs. I was suffering right from the get go. Mile 1 was 7:20 and then the next 2 were under 7. That was great. Good splits. But there was way too much effort involved here. I was a bit stressed. I worked very hard to keep my head in the game. I shuffled. I was barely moving. "Put One foot in front of the other" was goign through my head. I had it in my head that if I made it back to the park, the half way mark, I woudl get a boost from my husband and Andy and then I could fight my way to the end. That turn around at 4+ took Sooooo long to get to. It was hot. It wa in the 80s and while in reality it was a gorgeous day, it wa hot to me. It has been cool and rainy for 3+ weeks in Maine and these temps were hard. I drank so much gatorade, water, squeezed sponges, and took gels. I was trying everything. I knew that I had to try something different. I know...COKE! I never take Coke. But I've heard stories about it really helping some people. I gave it a try. Magic!!! I had a boost and could run again. Not for long and not hard, but I had some relief. I drank so much soda on that run. There are aid stations Everywhere. It's awesome that way. I found myself dreaming of slush puppies the whole way. I couldn't wait to get back to the lake to jump in and to somehow find a slush puppy. I had to make this dream come true. It's all I could think about between painful steps. Slush puppies and staying upright. Either my legs would give out and I'd tip over, or I'd make it allllllllllllllllll the way back to the finish and have my dream meal of icy fruity slush.
Meanwhile, I had not been passed by a single woman all day. That felt good. Until mile 11. There she was. Girl in Red. Damn. Her leg had a 3 on it but not the 2nd digit. I almost asked her point blank, "listen. How old are you? I am really tired and really don't want to race right now. " Instead, I raced. How could I give up? We ran shoulder to shoulder until 12.5. At that point, what seemed like 100 of her teammates ( I learned later...at the time I thought people just picked Her to cheer for!) came out to yell GO RENEE!!! Hey! What about me? :) One guy ran right up to us and said to her...dont' wait! Get her now! Ugh. I was too tired for this! I was in so much pain but my running legs had come back. I did fight. I pulled a 6:55 for my last mile. But...she outkicked me. That's ok. I got it in the end. She started in a wave ahead of me. I beat her anyway! Ha! Take that! :0) I did give her a big congrats at the end and thanked her for saving me from the dead. She forced me to work the end of the race which is what I really wanted to do anyway.
When I crossed the line, I almost hit my watch. But at the last minute I remembered to smile for the camera! My attempt to do that resulted in an expression that I'm sure looked like a dying animal of some sort. I can't wait to see that one !
After hanging on to a fence for a while after crossing the line, I had a nice cold towel thrown on me and get this ...FREEZE POPS!!! CLose enough!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I almost hugged the guy. He gave me 5. I hit the cooling tent and ate my 5 freeze pops and all was good again. I did it.
Run 1:39. 52 (1 min slower than last year) Pace: 7:38 2nd in my AG for run. 11th amateur woman in run. Given how bad it felt, I'll take it. I didn't meet my goal for the run, but I'll take it. I did what I had to do.
Final time: 4:56:15 Goal #4 Big CHECK!! I broke 5 hrs!!! And finally, my last goal was to earn my Clearwater spot. Goal #5... Check!!
After hugging Mark at the finish, I said, "hun, I think I won." He confirmed it. I got my spot. While running out there, I wondered if I'd ever do another tri again! It hurt hurt hurt. But, after a little cool water and frozen fruity slush, I accepted my spot and am psyched for Worlds 2008!!!
That's that. My day on the race course. Now, I rest. I can't walk. I'm exhausted. But I'm So so Happy. It all came together.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Here I am post 70.3. Not a pretty picture but I'm SO happy in the cooling tent with my wet towel, medal and freeze pops. More on that later!
Thursday, August 14, 2008
You know, this happens to me at some point during almost every race.
But you know what, I fight back. With this:
"What the hell are you saying? You Go Girl! You've worked so hard. Your legs are strong. A little fatigue won't kill you! Rest when you're done. You've fought through the pain before, do it again. It's hard for everyone right now. What makes you think you can rest? Fight fight fight!"
It's a mind game for me. I don't know if I'm alone here or not. I imagine some superstar athletes out there have their Lazy Racing Demon hidden so far in their minds that she doesn't have a chance to emerge during competition. I could use a little injection from Michael Phelp's supply of confidence.
It's not that I don't have confidence. I do. I know I can work hard with the best of them. I know it. It's maintaining that strength when things get tough.
It's been a great season. I've raced a lot and I've raced well. I'm very satisfied with how I've performed this year. It's rewarding to do well after putting in hours and hours each week. This triathlon adventure is a high maintenance hobby. It takes thought. It takes discipline. Money. Time. Patience. Grit. Consistency. Day after day after day. We all know what it takes. I imagine anyone reading this has made their own sacrifices and fought their own battles to get to the starting line prepared for the big day. It's been a fun journey but it hasn't been easy every step of the way.
That's what makes the finish line feel Oh SO Good!!!
Sunday is my big day. It's the race that I have focus on all summer. My body is ready. I have put in all the time in the water and on the roads. My muscles have been worked and now they are rested.
But is my Mind ready? That's what it's all about at this point. 100% state of mind. It's time to believe. To feel strong--inside my head. It's time to hide my lazy demon and fight the urge to let her surface in the middle of the race. I can not let her come to get me. Things will get tough out there. But I can do this. I can feel the pain and savor it. I will savor the fact that my body can overcome the discomfort and reach a new level on the race course.
After all, if it was easy, everyone could do it.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
My biggest hurdle is pool time. Time in general is a big thing for me but I've figured out a way to make that work.
Pool time is a different story. I'll try not to get too fired up here. I live in an area without a local pool. I almost makes me cringe just to write that. I've been a swimmer since I was 8. I was lucky enough to grow up in an area with a beautiful town pool.
Now, the closest pool is 35 minutes away. It drives me nuts.
For the past few years, I have driven there for their 6 am swim. I leave home at 5:03, arrive there a 5:40, and hop in the water at 5:50. You see, the man who has lifeguarded the "early bird swim" for the past 14 years is nice enough to let us in 10 minutes early. I swim until 6:22, jump out, dress while still wet and drive like a maniac to get home so my husband can get to work at 7:00. Lucky for me he works ~1 mile from home and can leave here at 6:58!! Phew. That's a whopping 2000 yds most days! A whole 4000 yards/week! Yeah. Way to get fit! Sorry for the sarcasm. It just bugs me.
Things are even more annoying right now though. Our devoted lifeguard is out for 5 weeks. His sub does not see things as he does. She opens the locker rooms for us at 5:58. Arrrgh!!! What a waste of time! It's driving me nuts.
I tried to very calmly and politely explain to her today how much every minute counts and if she'd be willing to open at even 5:55 it would help. I offered to swim the lane lines down the pool to help her. She was ok about it...seemed to understand...sort of.
Somehow I need to convince this town of ours that the area needs a town pool. And then I need to raise the mega bucks to build it!!! Any ideas??
We all have hurdles we deal with to train for this sport. That's mine.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
I'm getting nervous.
Will it all come together?
Can I pull some speed out of this body that is feeling sluggish and slow in the middle of this taper week?
I know that there's nothing more to do this week that will improve my level of fitness. But I also know that if I handle this week incorrectly, I could lose some ground.
I must eat right.
Rest the body but not stop the body.
It's a tricky process I think.
My trust is in my coach. I am following the plan and hoping that when the gun sounds next Sunday, all the hard work will funnel into a rock solid 5 hrs...or less! :o) Let's hope.
Today was a rest day. This always Always leaves me feeling blah and lazy.
Tomorrow I will swim a little and run a little with some short bursts of speed.
When do I start to feel the pent up energy? I want to feel that caged animal inside me ready to break out of it's cage.
Let's see what happens this week.
Now I'm off to watch some faaaaaaaaast Olympic swimming to get myself psyched!
Thursday, August 7, 2008
AHHH!! I'm losing my mind.
You know, I'm ok with a good rainy day every now and then. It's a good excuse to stay inside, get things done, play quietly with the kids. Except I have 3 boys. Today I had a 4th here. Yesterday I had a 4th here for that matter. Ages 4, 6, 8, and 10. These little people need, I mean Really Need some good-hard-active outside time Every single day!! Trust me. Quiet inside time is very limited. And, it's August. There's only a few more weeks of summer vacation. And it's been raining and raining and raining!
On a good note, I did have a nice 6 mile run this evening. My husband came home and agreed to make dinner while I ran. Perfect. And it was just that. 45 minutes to myself PLUS a relaxing shower after!!! All while someone else made dinner!!! Heaven.
Except for the slugs. They really were everywhere.
That's about all I have to say about my run.
Except, I felt quite sluggish and slow. It's taper time. I know people feel odd during taper. I know it's not quite time to feel zippy and ready to race. But it's hard to feel off so close to a big race. Instead, I am going to focus on the wonderful afternoon alone time I had instead.
Mr. Sun...PLEASE come back!!!
There's my rant for the day.