Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Weekend Report

I'm so slow at getting race reports together! I'll say that I was pondering the whole experience (when really I was just ignoring the blog). 

But I'll start with the beginning of the weekend. Both sisters came in town with their families, and from the moment I arrived until we went to sleep Friday night, Jackson didn't stop talking long enough to take a breath. This is good for his endurance training. And mine! I realized that I spend lots of days before races playing freeze tag (see LR Half RR) and various other games (which include riding a tricycle scooter-like off-road in the nearby park) with him and Emily. We do have a good time.

Saturday was hair cut and shower day, where I got loads of kitchen and bath goods. Damie has a good report of those activities, along with a picture of my Peeps. I mean my peeps. The day went by entirely too fast, and next thing I knew it was race day and we were in Oxford for the Rebel Man Sprint Tri.

I did this race 3 years ago, and probably haven't done anything even close to this short since then. Matt Fitzgerald has warned me about becoming a One Speed Triathlete, so I'm determined to avoid this fate. It's time for short stuff again.

Los Locos had an awesome showing (we all got hardware, the women swept the top 4 spots, men plus Maggi got 4 of the top 5, and it was fun to see everyone out there). 

So here's the rundown. 

I forgot how violent swims, even in a pool, can be. I'm not all that into swimming right now, due to the move, new pool, no master's (at a reasonable hour, at least), etc. But when i start back, it's going to involve this type of training:

Um, please note that my 2:57 time for T1 includes not only the putting on of socks, too-tight arm warmers, and a tri top, as well as the usual shoes, glasses, helmet, but ALSO the "run" to the transition area. Inside the pool building we were reminded several times to walk! instead of run. It's a race people!! So I did my best speed walk. 

I was totally happy with my bike time. I've ridden the tri bike about 3 times since October, so I have no issues there. I think Kona did something good for me too: I didn't notice the crosswinds that Damie and Laura talked about during the bike. It's either by comparison to the winds on the Queen K, or it's the extra weight I've put on since then keeping me from blowing around. :)

T2: SO MUCH EASIER! It's still hard to do anything with urgency when you're used to doing a full change of clothes and sitting down for a drink and an iced towel around your neck in a shaded tent...

Run: I was surprised to find my average pace was slightly below 7:00/mile. If I'd guessed what I was doing out there, I would've thought 8:56 was much closer to my pace than 6:56. Honestly! So the new movement is toward a faster cadence on the run, right? I kept reminding myself to increase stride length and slow down the cadence of my frozen legs. I think it actually helped. That or the downhills. 

-I need to remember to do things like start my watch when the race starts. I did that after the swim, but never looked at it again. It was under the tight arm warmer. 
-I'm looking forward to the speedsuits we're getting for this season. I decided I need to cover my thighs. If not for warmth, to keep the glare out of others' eyes. 
-Must find the profile bottle attachment so that I actually drink on the bike. 
-Next race I'm not going to drink a liter of orange Gatorade 5 mins before the start. Blech.
-Jeremy and I both got debilitating side stitches during the run. I blame our "coach." (me) 
-And most importantly, Jeremy BEAT ME IN THE SWIM! I knew it would happen soon, just didn't know it would be this soon. :)

Next up is a beach trip TOMORROW!! which will be a good course review for Gulf Coast in May. Not that I haven't done that race eight times, and IMFL another 5... I'm pretty familiar with the run loop. I'll take whatever excuse I can to go to PCB for a long training weekend!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

the good

This week has gone by so much faster!I'm getting used to my 4:40 wake up call 3 times a week, and I've started doing some training of clients. 

I went back to Memphis last weekend for just over 24 hours, and filled that time with my bachelorette party, which you can read more about here and here. Laura and Damie did such a good job of entertaining (and keeping me out super late) and documenting one of my last single weekends . I also got to see Kellie and her adorable 2-year-old daughter who I'd never met! It's been that long.

Unfortunately Nancy couldn't make it back to town, but I'm very excited to report that she has started her own blog to keep us all updated on her adventures while in east Tennessee. 

This week in training is TAPER week, or really not so much, since I've not been training much to begin with. First race of the season is Sunday in Oxford. This will be J's first race in about 18 months, and I'm expecting big things (just not a victory over me). 

The tri season is here!

Friday, March 19, 2010


The move to Jackson started off great last weekend. I officially met Amanda and Alisha, and we rode with a group on the Natchez Trace Saturday morning. It was beautiful. Then Megan came to visit that afternoon. We picked up my wedding dress, and it's not too small, it zipped! We ate some good food and did a little shopping too. 

Monday morning was a work day. That's right, not even one day of vacation before new employment. I accepted a job helping out with a women's boot camp class that was set to meet at 5:30 am. I was to be there at 5. Being the first weekday after daylight savings, I hadn't set my car clock ahead an hour, so it read 3:53 on my way to work. I think just the sight of that clock made my eyelids 10 pounds heavier. I underdressed for observing an outdoor class in 50F weather, and came home afterward, teeth chattering and shaking. I thought that was a good enough excuse to get back in bed for a couple of hours. This was pretty much the routine for Wednesday and Friday mornings too, except that I changed that car clock. And dressed in 8 extra layers. It made a difference.

I started getting a little training in on Tuesday with a run on the yet unpaved pedestrian path that goes along the Trace. It's perfectly packed dirt, and mostly away from traffic, except for the backhoes and bulldozers that I had to dodge amid curious looks from the dozen workers that seemed to be on break. 

Wednesday was supposed to be warmer so I was ready for a bike ride. This would be my second ride in about 6 months on the Seduza, on which I will be racing next weekend. It's about time! (As a side note, I know road bikes are "more comfortable" than tri bikes, but I have to say that I'm SO comfortable on my QR.) So, thanks to mapmyride.com, I found a 26ish mile route that took me a little west of Ridgeland. This is my first time in years to have something other than a standard 40 hour a week, 9-6ish job (or something like that, depending on the day). Instead it's a couple hours early in the morning, then a few more hours between 2 and 8. Unfortunately, that eliminates the option of having training partners, including Jeremy. I'm working on this situation, but being the new girl, I'm seeing where things go first. 

Off on my solo ride, I found great spring weather with gorgeous flowering trees, some rolling hills, and nice rough roads. I felt right at home. I could've easily been out near Drummonds or Oakland (somewhere that I'm slightly lost). Until I got to the Spanish moss. I love Spanish moss, and it's something we don't have up "north" in Memphis, but it was all over Mobile, where I was born. I think that's why I like it so much. But yeah, I know, it is not good for the trees. 

While I was sightseeing, the traffic wasn't too bad out there, but there was a near head-on collision when a truck passed me on a blind hill. Nobody was going very fast, and thankfully the truck didn't pull back over on me. It seems to me that any transgressions against cyclists (me) occur because the drivers are genuinely ignorant, rather than malicious. I do prefer that, but wish somehow they could learn.

I had such a nice ride Wednesday that I decided to do it again on Thursday. Same loop, same direction. But the ipod was on a different part of the playlist, so it was like a whole new ride.  The crazy clunking in my bottom bracket? pedal? I didn't notice as much Thursday. I figured this was due to the volume of music. Maybe I should turn that down...

I tried to get in a couple of intervals on the bike, and then realized that I'd demonstrated a few too many lunges and jump squats during the week. This boot camp could be as good for my training as it could be bad for my sleeping habits! It'll help me keep that boo-tay that all the women used to ask me about (they asked how I kept it big, no kidding).

Finally today, Jeremy got off work early and wanted to go for a ride WITH ME! I had a riding buddy! I selected another route off mapmyride.com, which added on another 15 miles or so, another few lakes, more moss, and a couple of barking, loose dogs. I hadn't even missed the dogs until these came along. Luckily one was the size of a speed bump, and the big one was pretty friendly.   

It was awesome! It was sunny, I wore shorts and short sleeves, and it finally felt like spring. My tire didn't even flat until the last 3 miles before home, so I call that a good ride. Now I just have to get used to this different schedule, different city, and lots of alone time, while trying not to start talking to myself. At least I can pretend to be talking to the cats. I think I'll entertain myself with some crazy stuff, like riding my new bike course backwards or something.

This weekend it's back to Memphis for some bachelorette party fun with the girls, where I'll be anything but solo!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Bye Bye Memphis!

Can it really be my last day of work in Memphis already? I'll still be coming back, especially in the next 5 weeks, but I will officially be living in Jackson!   

This, by the way, is Flat Stanley, who came to visit me from Little Rock a few weeks ago. We did some fun tourist stops while he was here.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Who's the consistent one? (Little Rock Half Marathon Race Report)

It's me! Although I'd rather be accurate in my race predictions. Sunday was the running of the Little Rock Marathon, who boasts the world's largest marathon medal. No kidding, really. Yeah, so the half marathon, which I did, has a medal that is only about half the size (4"x4") of the full (7.75"x6"). Upon reading that my medal was so much smaller, I was really curious to see this hunk of metal. But it was too late. Maybe next year it'll be bigger. 

The short version of my race report is that I am very consistent on that course. I was 10 seconds slower than last year (yeah, SLOWER), but I'm not counting it as another PW, since it was within the same minute. 

In addition to my half marathon on Sunday, I also did various other races, even winning my age group in freeze tag multiple times. Daisy, the Sheltie, has mad zig zagging skills, so she managed to beat me a few times, but I totally overtook the 3 and 7 year old... at least for the first few minutes, until my lateral movement muscles fatigued. Seriously, I woke up sore Sunday morning from it. Or from carrying them both on my back at the same time all afternoon, one or the other. Not that these are my excuses for being slow. Two years ago I had an amazing bust on the roller skating rink two nights before the race and did just fine. 

Upon finding the online race results for the first time yesterday I almost cried when I realized I'd missed top 5 by 38 seconds, since in the past that meant I'd have been in the money. Fortunately for me, I suppose, they didn't offer money this year. I knew there was some explanation for why it was so slow. It was a very deep race, as I'd have moved up four places just being one minute faster. 

Besides starting way back in corral C (we registered late) and having to weave in and out, over and under, and onto the sidewalk for the first mile, it was a pretty uneventful race. I can't explain my suckiness, except that it all started after my 7:00 mile 4. Somehow at the same exertion level I ran a 7:40 for mile 5. If you see the elevation chart from last post, I suppose it was uphill, while 4 was downhill, but really? That's a big difference. 

This has to be the friendliest race I've done. I chatted with so many nice people along the way, including that high school kid who wore me out up that long hill in mile 8. I made him go ahead eventually, partly because I couldn't breathe and run that fast at the same time. Just after a woman had passed me around 10, a man whispered to me, "go get her!" I thought it was a good idea and passed her right back. She was probably doing the full.

 I'm really glad that race is over and I can resume my short and sweet training. I'm swearing off half marathons until I get to swim a mile and ride 56 beforehand.

Friday, March 5, 2010

It's Relative

I've learned a little trick for making the hills in upcoming races seem smaller. Check out the scary version of the Little Rock half marathon course:

And now the flat easy version. Whew, no problem!

You just have to expand the picture in the right direction. :)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

cross training

My days have been FULL of cross training of the packing boxes, carrying furniture, cleaning floors sort. It's pretty exciting to be finally moving down to Jackson... except that I still have to work all of next week. But at least my stuff is there, and hopefully none of it that I will need in the next 9 days. 

It's a good week to be slacking on my running since I have Half Marathon #2 on Sunday. While it may not seem like it, the Little Rock course has a lot less elevation gain than Birmingham does. 

It may NOT be a good time to be slacking on my swimming, but doing the drive from Germantown (is that another country?) to downtown at 5am has not suited me so well yet. There's always tomorrow. 

Next on the agenda is to tighten up the handlebars of the tri bike, finally take its Ironman number off, and get back on it. I have a triathlon in just over 3 weeks, even though it's still winter!