Thursday, June 24, 2010

i'm just big boned!

Last week I went to my Little Rock hairstylist who used to be a personal trainer. This guy is in great shape and does some running and mountain biking along with weight training. We always talk about what we're doing in our workouts, what I'm training for, etc. When I told him I wasn't training for long distance, he said, "yeah, you're not looking as lean as usual." Now I know this is true; this year, since I'm not doing an Ironman, I haven't lost my usual 2-3 pounds from long training. Which is not a problem for me or my pants' buttons. But it can be hard to hear from outside my own head. I happened to be wearing shorts, and when I stood up to leave, he was amazed at the size of my quads and asked, "you're really not lifting weights?" This made me feel better. I think.

Then this past weekend, while visiting my aunt, we went to visit one of her friends who has known me for over 25 years. She is from another culture and generation (she's 92), and gave me what she thought was a great compliment. She said, "You're getting fat! You're looking like a woman finally!" 

It's officially diet time. :)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Weekend Bounty

Last weekend was the final weekend of spring, so I celebrated with some typical summer activities. Friday night was the first stop of my stage race; it was the 5 Star City 5K. My true goal in this race is to defend my title. Not just for the title, but for the cash prize that comes with it. When some friends asked how fast I was going to run, I just said, "we'll see..." while in my head I was thinking, 'just fast enough for prize money!' 

Unlike past years, it was an uneventful, steady race. There were no ipodded teenagers to play rabbit, and most importantly, no bathroom break along the course. I coerced the husband to ride around on his bike and report my position in return for a cut of the dough, but I learned that craning my neck after each turn and scoping the competition for myself worked just fine. My first two miles were steady, and I slowed a bit for the third. I'm assuming it's 3 miles at most since I've always run faster than I'm in shape for there. OH! And I won by almost 3 minutes. I really should've slowed down more...

We ate our prerace dinner in the buffet line, which boasted lots of fried food, cake, cheese, and a couple of vegetables. Yum! Since Jeremy and I had to get down to Sardis and settle in before Dragonfly in the morning, I tackily asked if I could go ahead and get my award. Most of the race organizers have known me since I was born, or at least known my aunt for 50 years, so they very graciously handed me my very large, very purple trophy. I had a moment of panic when they forgot to give me the cash, but moments later they came through with the envelope. We headed south with full bellies and a couple of pounds lighter from the heat.

There was a little accident getting the trophy out of the car. But I feel this is a much more accurate depiction of how my legs felt during the triathlon Saturday anyway.

Dragonfly began almost exactly 13 hours later for me. This is my home lake; I have spent more hours skiing in that lake than I can count. Although there have been moments of panic in the Upper Lake, in general I'm pretty comfortable that in all the years of skiing on the Lower Lake, if there are 100lb catfish, one would've eaten me by now. I was calm during the swim. Not fast by any means, but calm. Hmmmm, could I be too relaxed about this? As it turns out, I was. Getting on the bike, the quads reminded me that I had indeed run a 5k a few hours before, and within 4-5 miles, I just didn't care to race anymore. In fact, I wasn't even excited to be riding. Eighteen miles seemed to go on forever, and this is coming from someone who loves long course. I was already feeling a little warm, and my temperature continued to climb.

Hopping off the bike and into T2 (and it seems I won OA there again!), I was yelling "on your right!" to a guy swerving in front of me, so yelled it to another for good measure, only to realize that this one was my husband. At this point I didn't know he'd had TWO flats, but knew something was wrong. He was too frustrated to bother running, so just hung around to cheer. I don't blame him.

I plodded along the road for a while, overheating to the point of almost sickness, and waving at my fans (parents, aunt and cousins). Into the trail at mile 1.5 was a relief from the sun, but started the uphill section, of which I walked a good portion. When MC and B came by me running up the long hill, I decided to stay with MC just for the company. Any competitive energy I'd ever had was completely missing. I knew MC hates trails, and she picked it up by a couple of mins/mi on that last road stretch, leaving me in the dust. I was just glad to be finished. Finished with my race requirements for the season, finished with the humidity (for a while), and a bit richer $$ after the weekend.

Now on to the good part. We spent the afternoon on the lake skiing, tubing, and remembering all those muscles we hadn't used in too long. For me it was a skiing success, but a boat driving failure. My timing for my mom's tricky slalom maneuver was off, but I was on a borrowed boat. I need practice.

Jeremy and I spent the night with my aunt and woke Sunday to a nice hot morning that we filled with vegetable picking and shopping. First we went to the blueberry farm, where we got some fresh corn and green beans (I'm already fully stocked with blueberries), then we headed to my aunt's farm. There we found squash and black eyed peas that needed to be picked. Here is my beautiful squash bounty. We've already eaten the small ones; I'm planning to stuff the larger ones. I've shelled the peas and will be eating those with some of Ethelyn's ripe tomatoes soon.


This weekend I remembered all the other things I love to do that don't involve swimming, cycling, and running. Not only is there skiing and water sports (where will I find that in southern NM??), but also spending time out in the garden with the animals. I'm planning my garden for later this summer; it'll be the first time I've had my own yard! 

It's time for a little break from the routine. My body is tired, my mind is tired, and my competitive streak is missing. Maybe I'll find it out west.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

My double

I missed the back to back Memphis in May races this year due to being out of the country :), so I have planned MY double for this weekend. I will do a 5k that I do every year at 7pm Friday, followed by Dragonfly Triathlon approximately 13 hours later. 

This week I spent with my sisters, niece, and nephews, tapering by running a couple of times and doing some alternative training. Wii boxing was a favorite. Still can't figure out how to beat the 4-year-old and/or not have aching arms the next day. My aching arms could also be due to holding my 22 pound, 5-mo-old nephew.

Among non-Wii injuries sustained this weekend, topping the list is the possible broken toe from kicking a heavy table in the dark. Should be fun running off-road! The bike and swim stuff came along for the trip but never left the garage except when the kids and I rode up and down the sidewalk. We'll see if good taper = good raceS.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Where everybody knows your name

It's just like that Cheers theme song. You walk into the bar, Craig has your beer ready for you before you even reach the counter, and you immediately recognize a dozen more faces. Or you pull up to the morning group ride of 50, and know at least half of them well, another dozen are familiar. You go in the running shoe store and Feb already knows what you're buying and has it out before you've finished chatting with one of the old school runners who you've known since you worked there 14 years ago. At track you seed yourself on the first 800 behind Frances, who will run these repeats approximately 6 seconds faster than you will. On the nights of the old Tuesday ride, you'd know exactly where people would start dropping, and where you'd catch up to the guy who always puked. Spotting a runner on the street, you could recognize the gait and know who it was from a half mile away. If a cyclist, you'd know their bike. 

I had a bout of homesickness this week. I think I even miss North, North, North, North Memphis, the best way to good riding from my old place.

But a change of scenery is coming soon. New Mexico in less than a month!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Heatwave Triathlon

I had prepared well and gone through the whole race in my head over and over again. I had the plan memorized -- each step and how it should be perfectly executed. In the final 10 minutes before it was to begin, it consumed my thoughts. Finally it was go time. My feet were already riding on top of my shoes, which were still clipped into the bike. As I flew toward the dismount line, my right leg swung over the saddle, paused behind my left pedal, and touched down running just as my bike slowed to the ideal run speed for the race, T2. I got lucky in the rack placement this year; mine was second in from the dismount line. I was too late to get spot #1, but instead took #4 from the aisle, near side. Spotting my bright pink transition bag, I kept running, the man in front of me getting out of my way just in time to avoid being trampled. In four easy steps I'd be out of transition, and hopefully victorious. In slow motion I racked the bike, put on my flats, took off my helmet, grabbed my race belt and visor, and was running out the far end of transition. My friend Jon was leaving at the same time, and I passed him just as I reached the finish line, where I could slow for the 10k. 

Afterwards, we cheered for award winners, ate some lunch, and waited for results. I wouldn't see that I had taken FIRST OVERALL until I was home at the computer. For some reason, they didn't put transition splits on the posted paper results at the race site. But then I found it. Six seconds. That was my time. No one, male or female, age group or pro, had beaten my T2 time. Green box for me!

It sunk in later that six seconds might be a little quick for a transition, even with my speed and efficiency. After a reenactment in the living room with Laura's verbal timing, we realized that the actual times may be off. But they seemed to be off for everyone, with a couple of men coming in at 8 seconds. And there was the one strange absence of a time for one guy's result. So after some consideration, we made the decision that I was still the winner. Goal accomplished!
Oh, so the other two hours, eight minutes, and twenty-two seconds? It was alright. Except for the swim, which was horrendous. And the run: still not my running legs out there. The bike was okay; maybe I should've pushed harder.

I have many more thoughts about the swim; they're gathering themselves into coherence right now.

But for now, here's a picture of most of the Locos who came down. Notice my cute little tiny plate amongst the huge bowls? I only got it because my AG winner was penalized for drafting. It was a nice surprise though!

Post race with most of the team and the team-in-law (husband + sponsor).

Friday, June 4, 2010


Another race this weekend means another set of pre-race jitters... er, thoughts. I'm actually not that nervous, mostly because I'm not that into it. Is that ok to say before a race? I'm not sure normal people admit that. Maybe I'll come around before Saturday at 7 am, when Heatwave starts. Last year's race was a little less than ideal for me, so hopefully it's only up from there.
This week's thoughts include:

-I'm hoping miniature Hershey almond bars + miniature Heath bars are good race fuel. That's mostly what I've eaten this week. Thanks, husband.
-I wonder if the "Temp: 90F, Feels Like: 102F" weather from St. Lucia almost 2 weeks ago will still have me acclimated. 
-My legs are feeling good. At least at 8 min pace. Let's just try not to run any faster than that.
-No way we'll wear wetsuits this year.
-Darn it, because I forgot to swim for almost 3 weeks. 
-It's swim cramming week!
-Being THIS familiar with the course: will it help or hurt? I know every hill, turn, and crack in the run course.
-Can we please have a short course this year? Pretty please?
-Didn't I used to like long course racing?
-It's really time to get that creak in my bike checked out. I'm making excuses for myself already.
-I have a brand new race outfit! Why do guys always laugh when I call it an "outfit"? It's all coordinated and everything...
-Not going to even think about the alligators, not going to think about the alligators....

Results to come. GOOD results to come, surely. :)