Monday, June 25, 2012

Rock n Roll Half

This race was a roller coaster from the beginning.  It all started here.  From January to March, my training was better than expected.  I hit a snag in March.  I had a stress fracture.  March to May I didn't run.  I started back up in May and felt pretty good.  About 3 weeks before the race I fell off my bike.  This may or may not have been when I pulled a calf muscle.  I guess when and how it happened doesn't really matter, it happened.

Last Wednesday, 3 days before the race, I went for a run.  I made it half a mile before my calf started hurting.  I stopped and called my chiropractor and begged for an appointment that afternoon.  Thankfully she saw me, and after 10 painful minutes, I felt better.  

Thursday my sister and brother-in-law came in from Baltimore.  It was great to see them!!  Friday, Kelly and I headed into the city to get our packets at the expo.  The 20ish mile drive took over 90 minutes.  It SUCKED!!!  We finally got our packet and picked up some goodies at the expo.   I had a guy from KT Tape, tape up my calf.  He was clearly tired of doing it.  I looked back at one point had he was texting while taping me.  Needless to say, the tape lasted about an hour.  

We had a fabulous pre-race meal at Palace Kitchen.  Kelly and I both had the pan seared cod with spinach and peas.  It was ridiculously good.  I wish I had some now.

We woke up around 5 and were so happy it wasn't raining.  We got ready and walked to the start.  It was a nice warm up.

Here we are at the start.

It was downhill from here.  The first half mile was ok.  By mile 1 I was in pain.  It was deflating to know I wasn't going to do well and worse, the next 12.1 miles were going to hurt.  I did the best I could the next couple miles.  Kelly was kind enough to stay with me.  By mile 5, I was ready to quit.   The only reason I didn't was because I didn't know how.  Would I just walk the five miles back to the start?  I couldn't figure out what to do, so I kept going.  At mile 7 I stopped at a medical tent.  The doctor gave me a painful calf massage and some ridiculously strong Gatorade.  I felt a little better so I decided to keep going.

The "little better" feeling lasted until I started running.  I forced myself to keep going, although I debated if I was doing more harm than good.  Was finishing this race important enough to risk doing actual damage?  Was I doing actual damage?  I'm still not sure.   The race might not have been that important but I don't like to quit.  I didn't want to go home knowing I didn't finish what I started.  I didn't want to tell Pnut I quit because it hurt.  

So, I finished.  It was incredibly slow and I was close to tears a couple times.  Not just because of the pain, because this was not the race I wanted to have.  I was so angry that an injury was messing things up.  I felt like I had a good race in me.  It was really disappointing that it wasn't working out.

I'm still upset about it.  I've had my share of bad races and I know I'll get over this one.  I have no other races planned this year.  As much as I'd like to get back out there, to put this one behind me, I'm going to let my body heal.  I'm going to make sure I'm 100% before I race again.  

On the bright side...the medal is pretty cool.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Recently I've been thinking about traditions.  I think it's summer time.  I see Facebook posts about things like spending the day at the pool and going to the beach.  It makes me think about summer traditions.

Growing up, my family always went to Florida on vacations.  We lived in Georgia and my grandparents lived in Florida.  My mom and aunts would pile all the kids into cars, early in the morning, and we'd make the 8 hour drive.  I don't really remember the drives.  I do remember spending days at the Bath Club.  I thought it was the fanciest place around.  They had a beach, a pool AND a restaurant were you could sit outside AND they put fruit in your drinks.  Fancy.

When I got older, we moved to Maryland.  In Maryland, vacation means "goin down the ocean".  It's not to the ocean or to the beach, it's down the ocean.  Brian and I thought we would have this tradition.  We went last year. It was a lot of fun.

I was also planning on joining a pool.  I thought the kids and I would spend our summer days at the pool.

Then we moved.

Today in Seattle it was raining with a high of 57. Raining and 57 is not beach or pool weather.  I've been told summer doesn't start until July 5th.  That's only 3 weeks away.  The average temperatures in July and August are around 75.  Even September is pretty nice.  But what do we do?  What will our summer traditions be?

We do have a neighborhood pool.  I'm in no way convinced that pool will ever be warm enough for the kids to play in.  We have a beach down the street, but the water in the Sound will never be warm enough to play in, and beaches around here aren't like beaches on the east coast.  They are rocky and small.

I don't want to sounds like I'm down on summers in Seattle.  From what I remember, summers here are awesome.  All I'm saying is things will be different.  Our family traditions will be different, but I want to make sure we have them.  I want Pnut and Little Dude to grow up saying "We always did....".  Traditions are important.

So do I wait for the years to go by and see what traditions develop, or do I decide what the traditions will be and start them?

I just thought this was funny.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Race Decisions and a Great Weekend

My decision has been made.  I will not be racing Lake Stevens 70.3 next month.  Sadly, it's not because I don't think I can do it.

The sport of triathlon is expensive.  Equipment is expensive and races are expensive, especially Ironman branded races.  Lake Stevens is $275.  I know, crazy.  Coincidentally, the fork I have to replace on my bike is $280.  This was an unexpected expense.  I can't justify spending over $550 this month for my hobby.

On a happier note, I had an awesome weekend of training.  I ran 10 miles on Saturday and biked 45 miles on Sunday.  I even got to ride with a friend!  If you've been keeping up with my blog, you'll know I've been longing for a training buddy since I moved.  It was so nice to have company. Thank you Erika!

I did have a silly fall on my bike ride.  My first ever fall on my road bike.  I was stopped at a traffic circle and couldn't decide if I should go or not.  By the time I decided not to go, I couldn't get unclipped.  I had a slow motion fall onto my right side.  It seriously took me like 20 minutes to fall.  I kept thinking I was going to recover. This was around mile 42. My legs were so tired.  I think if it was earlier in the ride, I could have recovered.  I ended up with a scraped knee, sore shoulder and a bruise where my handlebars pushed into my leg. There were a group of riders standing off to the side. I'm guessing they got a good laugh.

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Pnut's "Race"

Pnut did her first triathlon this weekend.  Watching her cross the finish line was one of the proudest moments of my life.  Not because she won, she didn't.  Not because she was doing a sport that I love.    I was proud that she started and proud that she finished.

Pnut was terrified at the start.  I thought didn't think she was going to do it.  
This wonderful volunteer was trying to get her in the water.
It was a splash and dash, so she just had to run through the water.  Unfortunately it was cold and really rocky.  Most kids were wearing water shoes.  Somehow we got her in.
Another wonderful volunteer.  He walked with her the entire way.
Finally she got out and climbed on her bike.  After having Brian wash off her feet :)

I'd like to say she raced through the bike, but she didn't. She took her own sweet time.  We talked and she waved to everyone cheering for her. She showed no sense of urgency.  About half way through some of the volunteers started to radio back to someone that we were the last ones out there.  I could see on Pnut's face that she was unsettled by this.  I tried to explain that what was important was that she was doing it and having fun.  She seemed ok with it but I know she was a little upset.

When we got back to transition they were taking the fences down.  All the other "competitors" were finished.  I asked a volunteer where the run started and he looked at me like I was crazy.  He said something like "Well, they went out that way."  Kind of like, the race is over, why are you still here? I almost asked Penelope if she wanted to stop.  I'm so glad I didn't.  

We did the run. She was exhausted and cold, but she did it!!!

I hope Pnut remembers how she felt crossing the finish line.  I hope she remembers how proud she was. I hope she remembers to always be brave!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Issaquah Sprint Race Report

The first race of the season is out of the way.  It was not without its hiccups.  I brought WAY too much stuff.  Thankfully transition wasn't too crowded and no one seemed to mind.   Well, I was the only girl at my rack so maybe they guys minded, but they didn't say anything.  I had a goal of finishing in 1:45.00.  I had a super secret goal (I'm not the only one to have a goal and a super secret goal, am I?) of finishing under 1:30.00.  I didn't really think this was possible.

Pre race
I woke up at 4:30. Took a shower, had some coffee and a protein shake.  I also paid some bills.  Not sure why, but I felt like it needed to be 5am....race day.  Got dressed, put my bike on the car and took off.  Only 10 minutes later than planned.
I found Erika a few minutes after I got there.  Her bike was racked across the aisle from mine.  We figured out where bike out/bike in and run out/run in were, and headed down to the beach.  Erika went in the first wave.  She is braver (and faster) than me.  So I cheered her on and waited for my wave to start.

Swim 440 yards
The swim was 440 yards.  Super short.  The water wasn't as cold as I expected.  Somewhere in the low/mid 60's.  I started in the front.  I had a good swim but 440 yards isn't really enough distance for the group to get spread out.  There were 3 or 4 of us who were swimming on top of each other the whole way.  I definitely kicked a couple people.  I hate doing that.  Always feel like I should stop and apologize.  I didn't, but I felt like I should.  Other than that, I had a good swim.  I came out of the water in 7:23.  My swim time was 8:47 because there was an insanely long run from the lake back to T1. I hate that.

Age Group rank 4/37

I was able to get my wetsuit off pretty quickly.  It usually takes me forever.  I was pretty slow here.  This is where the first race of the season cobwebs show.  My stuff was unorganized.  I couldn't figure out what to do first.  Couldn't decide if I should wear a jacket, or socks.  I ended up without a jacket (thankfully) and I wore socks. Totally forgot my sunglasses. Not that it was sunny, but it's nice to wear them to keep bugs out of your eyes.

Time 3:13
AG rank 22/37 (ouch)

Bike 15 miles
I was nervous going into the bike.  Worried about a crack in my frame and I had no idea what to expect on the course.  I was pleasantly surprised.  There were 2 little hills but it was mostly flat.  The hills weren't steep but they were kind of long.  Not bad.  I was really freaked out on the downhills, thinking my bike might spontaneously combust if I hit a bump.  It didn't, but I put on the brakes way more often than I should have.  This cost me some time.  There were a few spots that were really narrow and it was hard to pass people.  On that note, I got passed a ton on the bike.  I think the entire men 40-45 AG and 20-29 AG passed me.  AND a 14 year old.  That won hurt.  He looked like he was 5ft tall and weighed 90 pounds.  All in all, I was happy with my bike. I know that this is an area that needs work and there is an opportunity to gain a lot of time here.

Time 46:44
Pace 19.3 mph
AG rank 18/37

Pretty uneventful.  Had the same issues as in T1.  Just didn't have a good plan. Got my race number, put oh my running shoes and took off.

Time 1:20
AG rank 14/37

Run 5k
Talk about being unfamiliar with a course.  I had no idea the run was a trail run.  It was really dirt and grass, but I was expecting pavement.  I was not a fan.  It was wet and I'm not the most graceful runner.  I thought for sure I would fall or twist my ankle.  The trail was narrow at parts and people were running both ways.  Not easy to pass people without getting in someones way.  I stopped around mile 1 because I had something in my shoe.  I took off my shoe to get it out but nothing was in there.  When I got home and took my socks off, I found a leaf in there :).  That said, this was a really fast run for me.

Time 26:37 
Pace 8:35/mile
AG rank 15/37

There is definitely room for improvement but I'm really happy with my results.

Time 1:26.41
AG rank 13/37

Friday, June 1, 2012


Less than 24 hours until the Issaquah Triathlon. To say I'm unprepared would be an understatement. I haven't even seen the course.  I'm not even sure where the race is.  I haven't been training as much as I should.  It's a sprint so I'm sure I can finish the race.  Not sure it will be pretty.

I'm also a little worried about something called catastrophic failure on my bike.  It looks something like this.

Did I write about crashing my bike into the garage?  It was on my roof rack, I drove into the garage, the bike fell off the car.  I've been stressed out about a tiny, hidden, internal crack that could lead to the picture above.  I've had my bike checked out by 3 different shops.  No one could find anything wrong. I'm sure it's fine but it's going to be in the back of my mind while I'm riding. 

Also on my mind is the story of Kirsten Walker.  You can read about her here.  I know a bike crash is possible anytime you go out.  Needless to say this story, plus my imaginary (or so I hope) bike crack, has me a bit freaked out.

On a happier note, I get to race with fellow Tough Chik, Erika.  It is always fun to have someone to hang out with at a race.  Helps with the pre-race jitters.  

AND.....Pnut is (hopefully) going to do her first race.  It's a Splash and Dash.  She is excited about it.  I'm crossing my fingers she actually does it.