What Ironman Training has taught me.. thus far.

As I was running this morning reality hit me. I am nine weeks away from my first full distance Ironman. This is the start of week 12 in my 21 week training cycle for Ironman Florida and I can tell you I have found this journey has had the largest impact on my life thus far, that is besides my absolutely adorable supportive husband. Generally, I am in the best physical shape of my life which is sort of a given with the amount of training that goes into a race of this caliber, but I am more affected with the new found mental and spiritual strength I have developed. It’s hard for me to put these into words right now but I know, feel, and believe 100% I am right where I need to be, doing exactly what I am meant to be doing. I think that helps keep me focused and motivated. I can’t imagine anyone being able to get through the training it takes if they didn’t have some feeling of belonging present.

Other things I have noticed since I have started this Ironman training: I now have the ability to eat copious amounts of food.  Literally I will eat anything in sight including food off Mathew’s plate since I tend to inhale mine. He does not mind (I don’t think). Don’t even get me started on the amount of pancakes and PBJ sandwiches I eat, its embarrassing.

I have an odd fascination, all of a sudden, with green Powerade. I can’t get enough of that stuff but it HAS to be green. You can give me a purple one and put green food coloring in it and I will drink it because its green, flavor does not matter.

My time management skills have gone from good too off the chain. Every moment of my day, other than when I am at work, is planned out to fit my training/family schedule. I am glad I am a morning person. How in the world non morning people train for this distance is beyond me.

You would think I wash clothing for 5 people when its only Mathew and I. Laundry is NEVER ending.

It only takes me 60 seconds of non movement to go to sleep and yes I go to bed the same time most grandparents do, don’t hate. Mathew is constantly waking me up after I pass out on the couch. I blame him for getting a comfortable couch.

Coming back from knee surgery sucks! There is no getting around it. Its going to hurt but once you learn to except your body can take more than your mind says you can, you have the ability to turn off the pain, temporarily of course.  

On a more serious note. I think the BEST part of this whole experience along the way is the people you meet. I have had the opportunity to meet and become good friends with some great people that, I doubt, I would never have met, had it not been through this sport. Triathletes have got to be some of the most giving people I have ever come across. I have not met one who would not offer you all the advise you could handle. I recently was able to go on a traincation with these three wonderful ladies: Beth, KC, and Karen.  I am of the opinion that everyone should have the opportunity to experience a traincation. I have been blessed to have met Jason (thanks to Kc) and have been honored by being able to race as a part of Team CTER because of him. This may be biased but my teammates are pretty awesome, you should go check them out.

Well Augusta 70.3 is just a few weeks away and I feel I am more than ready. Its not my A race but I will be going out there and giving it everything I have to give for myself and my team. I have a goal in my mind that needs to be taken care of because I know I can crush it if I play smart. But my main focus will remain on the major task that is only 9 weeks away….

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Hello 2012 “The Year of Epicness”.

I set my sites on running my first 26.2 in 2011 so I did what many others do I started a blog in the hopes that it would keep me focused on the goal at hand. While I was researching which 26.2 venue would be my marathon debut I came across an Olympic distance Triathlon being hosted just miles away from where my family resides. I had been reading all about triathlons ever since I had started my blog and to be honest reading the stories of these triathlets left me in complete aw of their athleticism and physical accomplishments AKA they scared the “heck” out of me. The more I read the more I found their perseverance, determination, persistence, dedication and never give up attitude intriguing. So I figured why not try a triathlon along the way to my 26.2. So I did and as they say the rest is history. The tri awakened something in me that I was not getting from just running. A new challenge that not only tested me physically but also tested me spiritually and mentally. I knew the moment I crossed the finish line of my first tri that my path was about to be altered. I never did make it to the starting line of my first 26.2 in 2011 but I am okay with that because the new journey I took taught me so much about myself and I can honestly say I have a passion for the sport unlike any other sport I have participated in. 2011 was a good year and I am ready to start 2012 with the goal of completing my first 26.2 miles just after I finish the 2.4 mile swim and the 112 mile bike ride – crazy yeah but to be honest I like to be challenged. So goodbye 2011 and Hello 2012 “The Year of Epicness”!

 

The day before…

The day before any big or new distance race, for me, always seems to be filled with so much nervous excitement. I think I stress more this day than I do the day of the actual race. Mathew and I drove from Valdosta to Greensboro, Ga on Friday so we could hang out with my family Friday afternoon then make the hour drive to Augusta, Ga early Saturday morning so I could take care of all the pre race requirements. The race expo and registration/race packet pick up was scheduled to begin at 11AM and we figured we might as well get there then and get all that taken care of before it got “busy”. We were not the only ones with this plan. The hotel was packed with compression wearing, fit, toned, lean, muscular, M-dot tattooed, water/sports drink caring, last race T-shirt wearing amazing looking athletes. I know this sounds stupid, I promise, but just looking around at these people was intimidating. I was standing in a VERY long line waiting my turn to pick up my race packet just taking in everything and I noticed a lady a few people up in front of me who was “wringing” her hands in what I picked up to be a nervous behavior. This particular lady was a bit larger than most of the 100’s of people around her and I could see her looking people up and down as her eyes moved along the line of racers. I don’t have a clue if she was feeling the same intimidation I had previously experienced but I really wished I could have given her a hug and told her how proud I was of her for being there in this line. All I am saying is if I felt intimidated by the extremely athlete people then I can only imagine how she felt and I was so proud of her for being there doing what so many don’t think is possible. After spending an hour in line I finally got my race kit and made it to the pre-race meeting just after it had started. I was able to pick Beth from (Discom-BOB-ulated Running) out in the room and since we had sort of a challenge I made sure she did not see me…yet. After the meeting I headed over to the Expo to look around and realized that was not going to happen due to the small size of the room which was packed with more people than a Fire Marshal would be happy with so I waited around till I saw Beth walk into the room. She knew I was in there due to the exchange of text but I was able to sneak in behind her. I was going to go in for the sneak attack leg hug but I really did not want to get kicked or hit in the face so we “re-introduced” ourselves before we exchanged leg hugs! Go check out he page I am sure she will be doing a race re-cap as well! (Beth I am so glad we got to meet). 
Once all that was taken care of I found my mom and dad and we headed out for some lunch. Being that the hotel we were staying in was only a mile from where we had lunch we decided to go ahead and check in so I could look over Koa one last time before taking him to the bike drop off for his first slumber party. I knew something was wrong when my dad came out from checking in and Matt was not close behind him. I had already taken Koa off the truck and was messing with my gear. I realized Matt had been in the lobby for a long time so I called him and he informed me the hotel had messed up our reservations (made in June) and they were booked with no room for us. The hotel began calling other area hotels trying to find us a room. They finally found one a few miles away that said they had one room left and for us to come on over. The Jameson Inn (Original hotel) told Matt they would pay for the room due to mistake being their fault. So I put my bike back up and we took off to the other place. Once again I realized something must be wrong because people were coming and going and Matt was still in the lobby. I walked in and he looked at me and shook his head. I asked what the problem was and basically there was a new person working the desk who did not understand how to read the computer and they were also booked. My stress level went from medium to low high. We drove back over to the Jameson and Matt explained to them what had occurred at the hotel they had just sent us too. While Matt was dealing with that I went to my parent’s room and hung out with my mom. Apparently the Jameson Inn had done the same thing with another lady’s room and she was at the front desk being rather crude. Matt on the other hand stayed cool calm and collected which went a long way. Crude lady was sent packing and Matt was told 20 people had yet to check in their rooms thus he was given a room due to the length of time we had made reservations and his “nice” demeanor. I felt sort of bad for the last one that got there to check in only to find out they did not have a room. Augusta was booked! 
I had Matt check Koa over real well for the 100 time and we headed to the race start to look around at the swim and drop off the bike. I was able to meet up with a good friend of mine who lives in Augusta. She brought her husband and daughter to the bike check in to check out the atmosphere and wish me luck. She is a runner – a good runner at that. I have had the privilege of running with her and she made me work for every mile we covered… Maybe she will try a Triathlon next =) I dropped Koa off amongst the gaggle of other bikes. Goodness there were some good looking bikes out there! It did feel rather odd leaving the bike there. The officials were asking those that were there to go ahead and get marked to save time in the morning so my number and age were placed on my arms and leg. I sort of thought this was pointless because I knew I was going to be taking a shower before the race but they said if it came off they would just redo it in the morning. Matt, my dad and I walked down to the swim exit so I would get an idea of where I was going once out of the water. The exit was a boat ramp and and I remember thinking running up that after swimming a mile was going to suck. I stood at the end and looked back to where the bike racks were and man it was a long way away. I am not sure if that is normal all I know is the Oly Tri was not that long of a run from swim to bike. I had a moment of panic when I “saw” how long the swim was… I sent KC a text and she reminded me to focus on one buoy at a time just as I had been doing in the pool one 25 meter lap at a time. I know I have swam the distance before but it just seems longer when you can see the whole distance rather than laps in a pool. Anyway, I knew she was right so I put it out of my mind.

My dad and I checking out the swim course.

By this time it was getting rather late so we headed back to the hotel to pick up my mom and my aunt and uncle who had made the trip to watch the race. We all went out to Bonefish grill for dinner. We had to wait an hour before we could get a table but it appeared to be that way every place we passed. I struck up a conversation with a husband and wife who were there for the race (the husband anyway). He was from Tennessee so we got along GREAT! This was also his first 70.3 but he had done several Olympic distance triathlons. I love hearing race stories from other athletes! 

It was a long day. It all worked out in the end which I am rather thankful for! It also wore me out which helped me get over my pre race jitters and sleep. I set my alarm for 4:15 and I was OUT. Next post… Augusta 70.3 Race Day Recap. 

Taking a leap

I spent two full weeks going back and forth on what I felt I “needed” to do vs. what I felt I “wanted” to do. Thus, I finally came to the conclusion that I tend to over-think things and I should just go where I felt lead. So I signed up for the Augusta 1/2 Ironman that will take place on September 25, 2011. I know I am no where near being ready for such a beast of a race but I can’t help the pull I feel of such a challenge. I honestly don’t have a clue where to even start training for such an event. I know what I need to do running wise since I have trained for the 13.1 miles in solo form but 1. I’M NOT A SWIMMER and 2. While I have enjoyed learning the whole cycling thing I’m not very strong there yet.
The finally push for me came to me in the cartoonist light bulb moment – you know the thoughts you get that just click right into place regardless of the countless hours you have spent searching for the correct answer. You see I have been helping a group, all middle aged gentlemen police officers, with their fitness desires. Some are wanting to be stronger, others just wanting to be healthy and feel better, and a few who just want to be able and run their first 5K (which a couple have done now =)). Anyway, I have written some lifting plans and I run with a group after work for as long as they want to run and at their pace. I have been doing this for about 8 months now. Anyway, I can remember at the beginning all the self doubts and fears they shared with me about starting a fitness plan. I did not always know the right thing to say but I would try and I know they look to me for support and motivation when it comes to their fitness. I don’t know why I am not an expert at all in the area I just love anything to do with fitness and I guess that just tends to radiate off me at times. Anyway, it hit me.. Here I am telling these guys that sometimes we have to step outside our comfort zone in order to achieve something we want to achieve and yet I was struggling with the exact same thing I am preaching to them about. So there I was thinking how can I attempt to help them overcome their fears of training, distance, pace, whatever if I can’t first say I have overcome my own. Just seems to be slightly hypocritical of me to do. So there you have it sometimes those light bulb moments are for the best. Ironman 70.3 Augusta I’m coming for you!

Lake Oconee Olympic Triathlon Race Report.

After a few days of mentally absorbing this race I have finally found some time to sit down and write out my race report. I had gone over to the race start on Friday May 20th in order to pick up my race packet. While I was there the crew was setting everything up so I stood around for a little while and tried to make mental notes on where everything was so that when I arrived the next morning I would not be walking around looking lost. I went down to the water where they were setting up the big yellow inflatable marker. I stood there for a while being mesmerized by how far out the marker seemed. I remember thinking to myself over and over “I have to swim that far twice there is no way”. I have said it before and I will say it again I am not a swimmer by any stretch of the imagination. I have gotten better but I am far from being consistently good. Anyway, when I realized I was mentally panicking I turned around and walked away. I found out the transition area opened up at 5am in order for those participating to set up their gear. So I left and attempted to push the swim portion as far from my mind as possible. I went back to the house and had a grill out with my family and some friends that have driven in. I cooked the meal Jason from Cook, Train, Eat, Race sent me, The Blue Line Runner Risotto, which was a HIT I must say. I hung out and talked with everyone before going to bed around 9:30.

Like most people the pre-race excitement had me tossing and turning all night. I got up before my alarm went off at 4:30 and showered, dressed, and headed downstairs to have my cup of coffee and some chow. I think I was only able to drink 1/2 the cup and eat one piece of toast with peanut butter, agave nectar, and a banana. I was just to nervous to eat anything else. My husband, Mathew, had come downstairs by this time and asked me if I was ready. I don’t think I even answered him just shrugged my shoulders and walked to the truck to make sure my transition bag and bike were there.

We got to the park around 6:15 and there were only a handful of people there which I found surprising. I sort of thought we were running late since it opened at 5. Mathew inspected my bike gears once again for me since I had some issues with the front gears the day before and put the right amount of air in my tires (he is just the BEST). I got my bag and bike and walked into the transition area. As soon as I got in I noticed they had names on each spot in order of your number. I was number 21 so I found my spot which was on the outside right by the bike exit (remember this part). I got my spot all set up and one of the race crew walked over and put my numbers on me. I almost had to show the lady my ID when I told her I was 28 not 18.  I did not have a clue you had your age put on your left leg I am still not really sure why its there…  The only thing I can figure is so that you can look for others in your age group in case you are attempting to place in your AG. (For those of you that know why you are marked with your age can you tell me?) My family, all 13 that came, kept asking me why I had a 28 on my leg and 21’s on my arms =). For some reason the race crew had missed # 20s spot so when he got there there was a little issue with spacing. We were on top of each other and instead of turning his bike opposite of mine he turned his the same way which literally left them touching each other. I thought about switching mine but If I had I would have messed up #22.. so I just left it alone.

Once I was done setting up my little spot I started walking around and stretching. I glanced at the water once but looked away and tried to just remind myself I was not trying to win anything just finish. As I was walking around a camera man came up and asked if he could have an interview. I thought he was joking at first why in the world would he want to interview me. But he was being serious so I stood there and answered his questions. Once he learned this was my first Triathlon he went insane with questions and kept commenting on how “hard” (his words not mine) this course was. Seriously that is not the best thing to hear when your trying not to be nervous. After all that was done it was time to get into my wetsuit and head down to… the dang water. Here we go!

Swim: 44:21
The part I was the most nervous about. I just wanted to get it over with. So as we are standing there waiting on the instructions there was a lady standing next to me who taped me on the arm and said “do we have to swim to both of those yellow things?”. I was looking at her and realized she had just said “both” I was sort of confused because I had only seen one but I looked at where she was pointing and there it was another yellow marker off to the left of the one I had seen. CRAP. I turned around and located Mathew in the crowd I think he saw the fear in my eyes because the next thing I know he was at my side. I pointed at the marker and said I think I have to swim to both of those things… Twice. He said yeah but there is no need to worry you have this gave me a hug a good luck and walked away. To late to worry now I just have to do it however I can find the way to do it. Honestly, I am sort of glad I did not know till seconds from the start I think had I seen it much sooner I would have checked myself in for a mental evaluation. The buzzer went off and we hit the water. I got hit a few times I hit a few people I think that is just par for the course. It seemed like it took me forever to settle down. When I finally felt like I was settling down we had to exit the water, run around a flag, and get back into the water for lap #2. I was still worn out from lap #1 but I got back in for lap #2 which hyped me up again and I found myself trying to settle down once again. I don’t know what else to say about the swim other than I have got to get stronger at swimming. Surprisingly I was not last out of the water. I was SOOOO happy to be done with that part! As can be seen by the smile on my face! I did a whole combination of swimming techniques some of which were made up on the spot but all I cared about was moving and not drowning.

T1: 2:42
I had gotten my wetsuit almost all off before getting to my bike but I had to sit down and pull the rest of it off. I had to almost crawl under my bike to get my bike shoes because they had gotten hit, moved, or something by #22. I doubt he meant to we were just that close. My family was standing there talking with me about the swim as I was putting my shoes on. That helped calm me down a little. I told them I would see them in a few and started to head out. Well me and my brilliance ran all the way to the run exit until I realized my family was yelling at me that I was going the wrong way. Yep, remember when I said I was right by the bike exit well I screwed that one up. I went to the opposite end had to turn around and go back to the other end. Sigh, I could not help but laugh at this mistake! Live and learn.


Bike: 1:41:41
That was a tough 25 mile ride. Lots of hills but wonderful views. I was hoping for a time in the area of 1:15 but once I saw the amount of hills I knew that was not going to happen. There was an officer at each intersection during the whole ride to stop traffic for us. I made sure I said thanks to each one of my Brothers and Sisters in Blue not that they knew I was one of them I was just very thankful I did not have to stop. There were lots of turns that were at the very bottom of hills which meant I had to slow down before the turn only to be faced with an instant uphill clime. Due to this I was forced to use my front gears which I have never needed before. Well I must say I found my bikes flaw. When I tried to switch the front gears it was a mess I had to spend time trying to get the gears back in the right place which meant my legs were working on double time. I had discovered this flaw while on a ride the day before with Mathew in the hills. He worked on them as much as he could but said ultimately it was due to the low end of the bike. I see a new bike in the very near future. I was trying to save as much of my legs as possible because of the six mile run I still had facing me but my legs were already beginning to burn esp in my thighs. I passed a few people on the bike leg and was passed by one guy who came out of nowhere (Kevin you will meet him later on). I was impressed at how fast he seemed to be going. I had only taken one water bottle with me and I had finished it just before I turned into the camp grounds. I used one Gu as soon as I got on the bike which gave me the rush I was hoping for and lasted the entire ride.


T2: 1:13
I ran into the transition area and attempted to lift my bike into place. My bike is very light but for some reason at this point it felt like it weighed 50 pounds. I started laughing because I had to use both arms to pick it up and place it on the bar. Maybe I was delusional I don’t know. I had noticed that the sun was out in full it had to be near 90 at this point because it was HOT out. I grabbed my race belt, garmin, running hat,  and switched into my running shoes. Mathew and my mom where there cheering me on. I took off once again.


Run: 1:08:30

I am very thankful for the bricks I had done during my training because that feeling of running right after a ride is insane. It took me a moment to get into my stride as soon as I found it I instantly knew the run was not going to go as I had planed. I had not gotten a mile into the run before my left thigh went into fits of cramps. I had to stop mid stride and try to stretch it out. A guy, Kevin (The fast bike guy), came up and stopped to check on me. I told him I was okay just had a cramp and for him to keep going. He told me that if it was okay by me he would walk with me for a little while because he was not feeling so well after drinking so much lake water =). I started walking and after about 200 feet I felt like I could start running again so we started running. I was doing fine for a little while till my thigh began cramping again. So for the rest of the run part I had to do a run walk ratio depending on when I had a cramp. I was passing people and I almost cried each time I had to stop and walk out another fit of cramps. I can’t recall a race in which I have ever waked. Running is my thing and I was counting on that to finish the race strong. Of all the races I have done this was by far the most difficult hill race ever. I would find it extremely challenging just as a 10K alone. I got to the 5 mile marker and told myself I was not going to stop anymore for any reason until I crossed the finish line. I saw another runner a little bit in front of me and I set my sights on their back and took off. As I rounded the corner and the finish line came into view my dad, also a runner and wonderful supporter, was there telling me I was almost done he ran right beside me making sure not to touch me. I was in intense pain my left thigh was in knots and I had acquired a new cramp on the back of my right thigh. I know my stride had to look funny.. My dad, family, people I don’t know went wild yelling at me to keep going. So that is what I did I kept going till I crossed the line.

Overall Time: 3:38:25

I had such a mix of emotions after crossing the line. My family was all there giving me hugs, water, and congratulating me. Mathew greeted me with the biggest smile, a dozen yellow roses, and a necklaces that is a triangle that says TRI in the middle. Seriously, I love that guy to death!  My mind was just numb I don’t think I could comprehend that I had just finished something I had once only dreamed about. A finishers medal was placed around my neck and I remember thinking of all the medals I have acquired over the years this one felt truly earned. I felt like everyone was probably ready to go back to the house and get some lunch since they had been there watching me all day but my cousin Amy kept saying “no we can’t leave till after the awards ceremony”. I kept saying there was no need to stay since I just wanted to finish and was not going to be getting any awards. She insisted so we hung out for a while. We made our way to the tent for the awards ceremony and cheered for those that were getting awards. Then they got to the female age group 25-29 and I was talking with Mathew about something when I heard 2nd place goes to Summer Bailey. My first thought was wow that’s odd there are two Summer Baileys… Then it hit me they were calling me. My family went wild and began pushing me forward. I was in shock. The lady who I had met at the swim (the one who pointed out the second marker) came over and hugged my neck telling me how impressed she was with me. She was also doing her first Tri and I had informed her it was my first time as well back at the water. As I was walking away I could hear others saying can you believe that was her first Triathlon.

If I was not in shock already I received an email Monday form the race directors stating there had been an issue with my time chip and after a recalculation I had not come in 2nd place in my AG but 1st WHAT… So they are sending me a gold medal in the mail.
Its been a couple of days since the race and my mind has yet to comprehend what I just did. All I know is that I want to do it again. I want to be faster, better, stronger for the next time. For all of you that wished me luck before the race Thank you. I could not have done it without you! Now to figure out what to do next.

Justice In Motion

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I have mentioned before that I love to run in local 5ks that are for a good cause. Well tomorrow morning I will be running in the Justice in Motion 5K here in Valdosta. This race holds a close place in my heart because it’s put on by the local women’s rape crisis center – The Haven. The race is a kick off for Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Therefore, I have decided to run the race not for me so no 1st place finishes, no PR’s, no competition should be expected. I will run the race for the faces I often times find haunting my dreams. The faces of the women, children, and men I have come in contact with due to some form of verbal, physical, or sexual abuse. I have decided that I will focus on one name, face, and story for every minute I run. I will give thanks that they, the victim, had the courage to call for help. And I will give thanks that I was able to provide some form or relief if even for just a moment. So if you see a tear as I am running down the street it’s not that running is painful it’s the images and stories of evil that reside in my memory that bring with them a sadness that is unavoidable.

Training weeks 1-3

I have realized I am not the best at blogging. Finding the time to actually sit down and write about my training is hard to find. I had a run on this mornings agenda but its raining outside soooo here I am sitting at my computer looking out the window wishing the rain would stop so I could go for a run. At least I can update my blog!!

Today is the first day of my first Tri training week #4 (of 12). It makes me a bit nervous how fast theses weeks are going by. I keep reminding myself I will do fine I still have time to push harder. A fast recap of the last 3 weeks I guess is due.

Week one and two I was introduced to the art of swimming formal laps and I failed miserably. The pool just makes me feel so out of place. I know “how” to swim but I have not done formal swimming in years upon years. I have two swimming sessions planed out per training week and thus far I have left the pool feeling weak and defeated. Ugh I hate that feeling. On the bright side my blogger buddy KC sent me a copy of a blog she had done when she first began her swimming and was going through similar feelings. This helped to lift my spirits and I find myself eager to get back into the water and try the things she used to help her.
I was able to take part in the Gate River 15K during week 2. I was very happy I was allowed time off work to take part in this race. The first time I ever ran more than a 5K was in the Gate River 15K in 2010 so this was my second year in the event that sparked my desire to run for distance. In 2010 I ran the race in 1:55 and this year I got it in 1:26. So needless to say I was very excited at my progress! A new 15K PR that I can’t wait to break in 2012 =)
Week three was just not a good week at all. I missed both swimming sessions due to work related issues. I did however get to do more running, cycling, and even a brick day.  I did another bike ride during this week with my Hubby. It was one put on in Dublin, Ga for St.Pats day. A 25 mile ride, though the county. Let me tell you it was ROUGH! Nothing but up and down hills, large nasty hills. I know I needed the extra hill work but it felt like the longest 25 miles ever! It was just one of those weeks where everything was hit or miss.
 
Since last week was so disappointing in the amount of training I actually got to do I plan on making sure this week goes smoother. It does not help much that it is raining outside today, I have to be out of town one day, and I have court one day. Sigh I will MAKE it happen!
I will try try try to do better about updating everyone as the date gets closer and closer. I do have a “special” race I am doing this Saturday and I plan on doing a write up on it because it has a special meaning to me.. Stay tuned. Happy training!

A new Plan and The Azalea Century Bike Ride – 28 Miles of road.

I’m a Runner. However, I am always looking for new ways to challenge myself. SOOOOO I have been following the training plans of two fellow bloggers, KC and Heidi, and let me tell you these two women ROCK when it comes to endurance! (I hope you two don’t mind me calling you out) But seriously just reading what all they do wears me out and I’m not even doing it. They are BOTH triathletes and reading their training journey has inspired me. So here we go about a month ago I sold my motorcycle aka, my baby, and bought myself a beginners tri bike in the hopes of completing my first Olympic distance Tri on May 21 2011. I decided to buy a brand new lower end bike, Gavin Tri Bike, rather than pay a ton for a used higher end bike just till I figure out if this is for me. The only form of exercise my husband actually enjoys is cycling so I was also happy that getting a bike would allow us to exercise some together. He was planning on doing the Azalea Century Bike Ride on March 5th so I figured I could also attempt my first 28 mile ride for the same event with him. I had about a month to get acquainted with riding. Most of my rides were done on a trainer in my garage due to weather and when I say most I mean all my rides other then one which Matt and I rode 21 miles the Sunday morning a week before the organized ride. I learned then that I am having some issues learning the clip in shoe to peddle thing and have a nasty blue and purple bruise on my lower left leg to prove it…not that big a deal but I could not wear my backup weapon to work for a week. Good thing is I did not need it anyway =)
Saturday March 5th started off cold and windy and did not get much better. The ride started at 8am sharp and I was freezing but once we got started I did not even notice it was cold out. It was not what I would call a flat course at all the hills just about killed me towards the end. However, I learned that riding in such extreme winds, just like running, sucks! We did the full 28 miles side by side in 1 hour and 43 mins. I don’t know if this is a good time or not since cycling is new to me but I will say it was a challenge on my body and just completing it felt great! Funny thing is when we went to pick up our swagger bag, pre ride, Matt took out his race number and had this evil large grin on his face so I took mine out and realized he was #1 and I had #2. We spent a large part of the ride teasing each other on this, what I like to call unacceptable mistake, random number selection. ( I think he paid the race director to do this on purpose). Regardless of our numbers the ride was beautiful and I am glad I got to ride next to my best friend and wonderful husband!

March 7th 2011 marks the first day, of a 12 week self made schedule, of triathlon training. Before I could start my training I had to go to the YMCA and make sure my membership went through since I paid for it online through my insurance company. I packed up all my gear and drove to the Y about 8 am a bit nervous about today’s swimming session. Don’t get me wrong I know how to swim but I have not done any formal swimming since I was about 8 (20 years ago). I was hoping the proper form and technique would still be a resident in my brain somewhere. Anyway, there was some issue with the Y not knowing what they needed to do since the plan I had signed up for was new. So needless to say the pool closed while I was waiting on the staff to figure out what forms I needed to fill out and such. But being an officer I have learned to  Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome in most situations. So I drove back home and started cleaning up my house till 11 then drove back to the Y in order to get in the pool at 11:30. The staff had contacted my insurance company during this time and had figured out all the forms I needed to fill out for them so that is now taken care of THANKFULLY! Time for my first swim. The plan was to not drink all the pool water and drown swim 10×50 meters (20 laps) with a 10 second break between each 50 meters. I had decided on using the freestyle stroke prior to my arrival since I felt like it would be the most efficient. I swam the first 50meters (down and back) and felt like I was out of shape. My arms felt like 50 pound weights and rotating them was more difficult than I had thought. So I had my second Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome for the morning. I decided I would do the Freestyle stoke down and then do the Breaststroke back. That seemed to be a little better. I have a long way to go in terms of swimming and the plan I made has me in the pool twice a week which I may end up increasing if I feel the need. But day one is done. Here is what the rest of my week looks like in terms of training. Stay tuned I’m sure there will be plenty of lessons learned on my part. Today’s lesson don’t underestimate the swimming portion. Oh and any advice you want to give me is welcomed! Till next time Happy Training. 

Monday: Swim; 10×50 Meters (20 laps)Done
Tuesday: Run; 4-6 miles
Wednesday: Weights, Bike 45 mins
Thursday: Weights, BRICK Bike 30mins – Run 5K
Friday: Swim: 4×100 Meters (16 laps) short rest then 6×50 Meters (12 laps)
Saturday: Gate River 15K (9.3 miles) in Jacksonville FL !!!
Sunday: Day off

Sweetheart 5k

I am so sorry for my posting delay. Here is a quick recap of the St. Johns Sweetheart 5K that was held on February 12th 2011 in Valdosta, Ga. I had taken 1st place the weekend before in the Pine Grove Run for your life 5K so I went into this one with the hope of busting my PR of 25:54. Mission accomplished I ran this 5K in 24:19. A new PR with the added benefit of getting 2nd in my age group. The course was mostly flat with very few hills. It was COLD outside which I can’t stand but I think it helped me with my time. There is not much to say about this race it was just one of your normal area weekend 5Ks, lots of fun! The plan was to run the following two Saturday area 5Ks but I was unable due to a very sore right Calf muscle so I decided to take some time off of running and focus on cycling since I had a 28 mile bike ride on March 5th. Stay tuned I want to set a new PR on my next 5k =)

Run for your Life 5K

The first Saturday in February marked the first of four 5K’s in the Valdosta area. I love this time of year when the races are starting to take up each of my Saturday mornings. Honestly, I really don’t mind at all as a matter of fact I live the rest of my week waiting on the next race. I enjoy these “fun runs” because many of them have a good charitable reason behind them. Take for example The Run for your Life 5K. The race was run in honor of Elizabeth Pitts a local child who lost her battle to cancer in July 2010. A portion of the money collected was donated to the Hugs of Hope Foundation which was founded by the Pitts family. The foundation supports families facing pediatric cancer by providing educational resources, emotional support, sibling/school support, and financial assistance for other families who find themselves in a similar situation. 

I look at the run as a privilege, an opportunity of giving back in a way. Elizabeth’s mother spoke to the runners, over 100, before the race and I was taken back at how focused she was on providing aid to other family’s that have or are facing the same thing her family went though. I don’t have children but I can’t imagine what it would be like to loose one to anything at such a young age. She talked about how no matter what Elizabeth always had a smile on her face. I thought of this many times during my run. I don’t know what it was about that particular statement but It was my focus for the whole 5k.

The race was held at the elementary school where Elizabeth attended. I did not know it till I got there but the course was mostly on dirt/mud. There was very little pavement running which is what I train on so it was a little different for me. It was cold and raining but just a few moments before the race stated it stopped raining and the sun starting to peak out from under the clouds. I tossed Matt my running jacket just in time and I am glad I did because by the end I was a puddle of sweat. I had even pealed my fleece lined arm warmers down to my wrist. I made one change in this race that I must admit I was slightly nervous about. When the race director started calling out “expected” finish times to line up I chose to get into the front which I NEVER do. I am not even sure what I was thinking but I took the steps and found myself up in the front. Well I must say it turned out better for me than I could have anticipated. The “slight” competitive edge came out in me and I mostly kept up with those that were in the front of the line with me. Like I said before I went to the run for the simple fact that I enjoy running and I enjoy running even more for a good cause but I ended up with a shock. I came in first for my age group 25-29 with a time of 25:56.

I came in 17th overall and there were over 100 runners. That in itself made me happy. I did not go expecting to win or even come close but I will admit it felt good to hear my name called out during the awards ceremony. I felt like I was back in High School all over again. I remember looking at Matt and saying ” I just got 1st in my age?”. He laughed at my state of shock. I was just not expecting it. Anyway I won a $65.00 gift certificate for a local salon and spa for highlights. Which works out well since I just had my hair cut off. A great race for a great reason with the added benefit of winning. Till next Saturday – Happy Running.