Monday, December 2, 2013

Well hello there dusty old blog

Has it been this long since I've written here, or even visited my site.  Well I guess it has.  Wow!  Here I am now and let's get this thing going.

2013 has been a good year for me racing.  I got back into pretty okay triathlon shape and did 8 triathlons.  I did a few running races too.  I did a handful of sprints and 3 olympic distance triathlons.  At the beginning of the season I was quite nervous and anxious about the oly distance.  Now after completing a few oly's I can say I really enjoy it.  I like that the swim is longer, the bike too.  And, the run is not too bad.  Before 2013 I had just done 2 olympic distance events, one in 2003 (my first year in triathlon!!) and one in 2009.  I ended the season with 2 olympics and had fun and did well.

October was almost a full month off of training.  November has been pretty good, a few hit or miss training sessions and kids were sick and I wasn't feeling well.  So, December turns a new page and we're back in the game.

I did a turkey trot much like I have for the better part of the last 23 years.  My first turkey trot was with my brother in 1990!  With that brought a love of running and doing races.

So this Thanksgiving I did my town's local 5k.  For many years I would go to Dallas for the big turkey trot, and I will go back again someday.  Just the last couple of years I haven't made it down there and opted to stay close to home.  It's awfully convenient.  It's a lot fun to be around neighbors and the community here.  I wasn't quite sure what to expect going in to this race.  As I mentioned earlier, my kids hadn't been feeling especially well and I had some odd symptoms and general not feeling myself going in too.  There were several zeroes on my training log before the race, so I just didn't quite know where I would stand.  The night before the race though I had a 27:50 pop in my head and I sat at the computer to check out the pace calculator and see where the mile splits (8:57) needed to be.  Hmmm… I thought.  And, with that I went to bed.

The next morning we got up and as I opened the back door to feed the dogs a whoosh of freezing cold air hit me.  Oh lordy.  It was much colder than I thought it was going to be.  Okay.  Onwards and off I went to the race site to get my race # and all the pre-race stuff.  Brrrrr…. my car thermometer read 29*. For Texas that is just downright cold.  I had on shorts and some fleece pants over and a thermal running top.  And hat and gloves.  I was feeling quite chilly.  I went and got my number and went back to the car.  I sat there for a while and about 20 minutes before the start I decided I needed to do a warm up.  It was much too cold out to just get at the line and go when the horn sounded.  Sure way to pull a muscle or something.  I ran for a little while and did some strides, butt kicks, high knees.  Ran the finish hill a few times just up and back easily.  Nothing major.  I guess with the pre-race nerves/jitters or whatever, I just don't ever feel great in my warm ups.  My legs feel heavy, breathing doesn't seem totally normal, I just feel off.  I went back to the car, again, and took off the pants and ran in my shorts.  I really thought about this, but am I so glad I wore shorts.  It was great to run in the shorts.  I definitely would have overheated had I had any more clothes on than I did.

The horn sounded and we were off!  The start is a slight downhill until you make a left hand turn about 1/4 mile in.  I had to dodge a few people in front of me, but after the left hand turn I seemed to find a little bit of space.  Then a slight uphill and another left hand turn.  At that point I looked down at my garmin and it said current pace was 9:15.  Hmmm… okay.  It felt a little harder than that, but I think it was the turn that was slowing me and a little traffic jam.  No worries.  Upcoming was a nice long downhill.  I tried to just let my legs go and lean down in to the hill.  At the bottom of the hill there was a right hand turn and then it was a good 150 yards uphill.  At the top of the hill was the 1 mile marker.  I actually have run this hill a few times in training, so I knew I could get up it well.  It seemed over very quickly.  I looked at my watch at the mile 1 marker and my garmin said 8:30, but only .96 miles in.  A few moments later my watch beeped for 1 mile and it said 8:55.  Okay.  We can do this!!  My goal then became to keep the mile splits under 9 minutes and go after that 27:50 I envisioned the night before.  I knew then at that mile 1 marker that I was going to do well this day.

The second mile felt good.  I was pushing, but under control.  I would actually say this was my favorite mile.  I was passing some people and just moving well.  The mile was somewhat flat, a little false flat for a short section, and the mile 2 marker was again in the middle of hill this time.  I got to the marker and my watch beeped 8:57.  Yes!!  Good!!  I really maintained a good, controlled effort up the gradual incline.  Then, there was another moderate downhill.  I needed that for a short breather for a second. :)  A little bit later I looked at my watch and recall it saying that I was at 2.4 miles in.  Not much further to go.  I was feeling glad there that the race was nearing over.  A minute later I saw that I was at 2.6 miles and just a half mile to go.  A short, but rather steep hill appeared and this was my weakest moment of the race.  I took small steps going up, but just didn't have a lot of umph to those steps.  I was very slow in going up, hardly faster than a walk.  Luckily that part was over quickly and then we had a nice, gradual downhill for a ways.  Lastly a right turn and you could see the finish line!  It was on that same hill that we started on, but we had to go up this time!  Darn!  Mile 3 was right there and I went through 3 miles in 9:01.  Almost at my goal to keep the mile splits under 9.  Like I said, my weak point in the race was that hill and had I gone just a little faster I would have been under 9.  The last tenth was at 7:58 pace!  Go me!! :)   As the finish line approached I saw a girl starting to sprint up on my right side.  I stepped up my pace as best I could and I held her off!  yes!  That was fun!!!  I came across the mat and immediately put my hands on my knees.  I felt that one big time.  My max HR was 187 during the race!  That was the highest I've ever seen my run HR.

Per the race results, I was 7th out of 42 in my age group (30-39) and my chip time was 27:23.  I ran this same race last Thanksgiving and my time was 33:27.  So I ran 6 minutes faster in just one year's time!  Wow!!  What a great improvement!!  I'm proud of this run for so many reasons.  And, best of all, I had fun!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy 2013!!!

Well hello there!  Long time, no see.

As with the turn of a new year, it's easy to start afresh and so I'm hopeful to try and do that here and keep my blog more up to date.  I read so many other's blogs, it's only right for me to share my own path here.

Since I last wrote, things have been moving along quite busily.  Life is hectic, just as it probably is for everyone else out there.  Things get done, and some not done too, and next thing you know it's the end of a week, end of a month or now the end of a year, and obviously now the beginning of a new year!
Our family had a wonderful time celebrating the Christmas holiday as it was Mason's very first Christmas and Audrey is full on in to Santa and all of the wonders of this great holiday season. 

Mason will celebrate his first birthday the day after tomorrow!!  Amazing that a year has gone by already!  Yet, it feels like he's been with us for so much longer than one year.  Funny how time is like that.

I'm back in to a training program and reunited with my coach Jennifer Harrison! yay!!!!  I started back with her as of October 1 and things are coming along.  I've had a few minor setbacks, but generally all things are moving forward and that's great.  I've really enjoyed having structure and a schedule to look on and hold me accountable and keep me on a forward path.

In really fun and exciting news, I'm going to go off to my first triathlon camp in April.  Coach Jen puts on a camp for her athletes in Tuscon, Arizona for a long weekend and I'm signed up!

So, best get in good shape to get ready for the camp!  It's only 3 months away!  Off for a run now... late night, but kids are in bed and headlamp is ready to go. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Motivation from deep within

It is so beyond awesome to have finally found inside that deep desire and motivation to change.  And, it's always great to have a little success early on to make the process of getting started a little easier.  I gained about 35 pounds when I was pregnant with Mason.  I quickly saw about 20lbs of those come off very early after he was born.  It was great!  He was nursing like a champ and so I thought that the rest would melt off pretty quickly, and then boom!, I hit a major stall.  We were all sick for about a month and the wheels sort of fell off around then with the eating habits.  I was enjoying far too many cookies and some kind of dessert practically after every meal.  5 pounds found there way back on and I've been hanging in that same weight range for the last 3-4 months.  Ugh!
During our recent trip to Colorado, I decided enough is enough and let's get the ball rolling here with being overweight.  I've lost about 4 pounds so far and it's a good start.  Someone I read, Dan Malinski from , posted this recently on facebook.

I love this!  I don't like the girl I see in the mirror.  It's not who I am.  I feel like I'm wearing a fat suit or something.  I'm ready to unzip out of the fat and reveal the real me.  I have some goals again and am so excited that the journey is beginning.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Hello blogworld, long time, no talk

Well, not long after that last post of mine, dated sometime in April 2011, I found out I was pregnant!!  woo hooo!  We weren't really trying all that hard, but we weren't preventing.  The plan was that after Ironman in 2010 we would try to add a second child to our family.  So, with that, we were pregnant and expecting baby #2.  We are so, so lucky in that we haven't had much trouble getting pregnant or ever staying pregnant.  I've had 2 pregnancies and have 2 babies to show for them.  Our baby #2 was born January 3, 2012 and is a bubbly, bouncing, sweet little boy.  His name is Mason.  He's now 5, almost 5.5, months old and is doing awesome!

Since having Mason, I've been trying to find the time to get back in shape.  I've had a few starts, and then something comes up.  I was sick for nearly a month in February and then it just started to seem so so hard to get back in to the swing of things.  But, slowly but surely we're coming around and life is seeming to settle a wee bit.  It's still a big (HUGE!) juggling act that I'm far from perfect at, but am trying to just do even a little bit at a time.  So, stick around and stay with me here while I try to blog more often (I promise!) and get this post baby #2 body to transform.  And, who knows, maybe an Ironman #2 will show up on the books in the next few years (cough cough*2015*cough cough).

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Starting fresh

Well, I just did something I haven't done in almost 6 months - I downloaded all my data from my polar heart rate monitor and deleted all the workouts. All of them. This includes the Ironman!!!! I almost wanted to go through and delete all of them except that one, but I didn't for a few reasons. First, I didn't really want to go through that painstaking process to delete every other one (at least 100+) except the ironman. And, two, with that big bar graph for the 15+ hours it took me to do the Ironman, I was a little tired of even 2-3 hour workouts looking so measly next to that 15 hour one. Even 30-45 minute runs were rather sad looking and almost not even visible on that bar graph. It's almost time for a new heart rate monitor actually. My watch is about to break off the front part of the strap and once that happens then it's over. There is no replacement for just the watch band itself. It's all kind of connected (I have the RS400 model). I suppose I will wait until it's either broken off or if it hasn't happened by Christmas then ask Santa for one. :) I do need to get a new battery for the strap though. It's giving me some odd readings, even on the weekend ride my HR was reading 181, 184, even 199 was showing up as the high reading. Um, nope. 171 is the highest I've ever seen my HR on the bike, so I know 180s was just not going to happen. And, I wasn't working hard. The battery is probably nearing replacement, which is a total pain on these polar models because a simple coin cannot turn the battery cover. We live close enough to drive to an official Polar authorized repair location, but it's still a good 50 minute drive or so, one way. I know people say to take it to a jeweler, but I know our jeweler doesn't do this kind of repair and so walking in to just plain ol regular jeweler that I know nothing about seems odd. Anyway, maybe all this will be justification to get a new watch sooner than later. :)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

What's going on

Well, it's been a doozy of a week this past week. My beloved labrador retriever, Cassie, passed away last Friday. She's been fighting cancer since we found it last August and it spread pretty massively and she began exhibiting some bad symptoms on Wed evening/Thursday morning last week. I took her in to the vet on Friday morning and as I had suspected, the cancer was quite widespread and had overtaken her chest cavity where it was becoming quite increasingly difficult for her to breathe. We brought her home for a while, captured some memories with her on film, and waited for the grandparents to come watch Audrey for us. We couldn't let Audrey watch her dog die. Audrey is only 2.5 years old and she just wouldn't understand. She knows her Didi is gone and isn't coming home (outside of the box that her cremated remains are in), but she definitely just didn't need to watch her die.

So, that's been what's happening here. I'm sad. No question about it. It is getting easier now though, even though it's just been a few days.

I'm glad I decided not to do a spring half ironman as my training has been for shit these last few weeks. I'm just letting up a little bit after the "year of the ironman" that I coined for 2010. I decided to just have some fun this year and do some sprints and maybe even going to try my hand at a duathlon next weekend here. ha! That'll be interesting. I've actually never done a duathlon, outside of doing a few in training sessions which are super duper fun! I'm looking forward to it. It's a shorty one with 2mi run, 15 mi bike, 2mi run.

This weekend is going to be some fun as we are headed up to CO for some R&R a little bit and hitting the slopes. They've been getting some great snow up in the mountains it sounds like and so we're going to have a fun day hopefully. It's been 4 years since I've been - pregnancy, newborn year, etc. prevented me/us from going any sooner. I'm excited.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Hello 2011!!!

Man, I can't believe 2011 is already here and upon us! So cliche, but so true, it feels like the year went by way too fast.

2010 was a great year for me, and definitely a year I will coin as the year of the Ironman! I did my first Ironman! I finished, had fun and met my goals of finishing happy, healthy and with a smile on my face! There's nothing else that I could ask for from my first Ironman experience. Would I like to go faster? ABSOLUTELY! That is something that I will shoot for in the next one. I don't have any races on my 2011 schedule since we are hoping to expand our family to 4.

Audrey is 2.5 and is at a good age, we think, for us to add a little brother or sister to the family. I'm not pregnant yet, but we're hopeful to be blessed with another pregnancy soon.

It's been somewhat challenging seeing some races that I'd love to do this spring, or even having another Ironman on the schedule (seriously pondered AZ or doing FL again). It's difficult going from a pretty singular focus on one really big race, to not having many goals or no race goals really, for 2011. It's kind of left me feeling a bit of a void in my life, but I have found here recently that I can still work out and get some of those same feel good feelings even with no race on the horizon.

I did learn after Ironman Florida how much I love to race. I love to be out there on the course, be it a running event or an Ironman or triathlon, and participating. Late on the run in the IM it was so wonderful to be out there with other athletes, walking and some running, and talking with them. Where they're from, how old they are, etc. I don't know. Everyone felt like family to me. We were all kindred spirits out there. I felt that same feeling even the next morning standing in line for the finisher gear and talking amongst others around me in line. Anyway... I love to race and long for the time when I can attempt my 2nd Ironman. I'm not sure when that will be yet, but luckily IM is not going anywhere and I am sure that my love for the sport and love to be out there will find me back.