Monday, October 26, 2009

6:06!!!! i did it!!!!!!!!!!


What to say…what to say?

I came…I saw…I went…I suffered…I conquered!!!

My first 70.3 race…I am not even going to lie and say I wasn’t nervous! I mean, 70.3 miles…that’s a LONG way. Seriously. I felt a nervous energy that rivaled my first marathon…”what if my bike breaks down?” “what if I get sick?” “what if I get cramps that don’t go away?”…man I was so scared!!!

I so have to thank sooo many people for helping me keep it together immediately before, during and after and even to just really help me get to the actual start line. Don’t worry, I will thank ya’ll later…let me run down the deets of the race before I forget and get all emotional and sappy…

I actually slept well the night before. The morning of…didn’t go so great. Ended up getting there wayyyy too late. Literally 10 minutes before transition closed. Panicked to find my water bottles, to find out they were left in the car. Ahhh! Beginner’s luck! It all worked out though thanks to amazing boys who really love you, and was even able to find a pump at the last minute from a nice gal near me in transition. And on that note: after my experience with Longhorn yesterday, I learned that triathletes have to be the NICEST people I have ever meet. I always had my doubts for some reason, maybe due to our stoic game faces or type A personalities…but endurance athletes FREAKIN ROCK!

My parents and Kiki sent me off into the water, and I was shaking like a leaf with small tears in my eyes. T3 Rob gave me a hug (THANK YOU!) and a nice girl chatted with me until we got lined up. Nerves fully went away the second I hit the water. I let it all seriously fall away…who gets nervous anyhow after that much preparation for one race? I mean, I am talking about 10 months of training here…that is a LONG time. Even for a full Ironman…anyhow, did my thing. Swam pretty conservative, and didn’t get banged around too much. It’s amazing when you swim with triathletes that do big race thing A LOT…everyone gives you your space. If someone swam into me, they immediately got out of the way, really cool and unusual. Or maybe I was just THAT slow. :P

It was a slow swim but hey, I finished, I felt great and I didn’t cramp or feel bad or anything strange. I actually swam with mostly good technique. Thanks, Coaches!

On to T1. I was worried about the wetsuit strippers. One of my teammates had said ‘get a guy to do it’ and that’s all I could think. Just then Coach Mo comes up and says “I got it!” and grabs the tear strip on my wetsuit. I was sooo happy to see him and have him help me undress halfway, you have no idea. I searched for the first available guy and let him do his magic. It was soo awesome getting help! In and out of T1…just as planned. That ground in T1 sucked though, I cut my foot on something while running to my rack. Coach said 4 minutes was a good T1, and I did 3:59 (see, I got it, yo!!!)

Onto the bike. It was chilly the first 20 miles or so. I had arm warmers and toe covers and gloves due to the good advice of Mo, my buddy Rob and common sense. I actually put the arm warmers on before the swim, under the wetsuit, and that worked great. They were dry within 5 minutes. I think I was completely dry by mile 30, just in time to reapply Chamois Butter and the sun was coming out, which was nice. Riding the course ahead of time was sooo incredibly smart, and I felt I had a very small advantage to some of the other athletes, at least mentally. Don’t get me wrong, I was SLOWWWWWWWWWWW. I got passed my everyone. I think I passed 3 people the whole time. Ahh..well. Pick your battles…I knew I would get them on the run anyhow…

I ate A LOT on the bike (all my food, plus a Power gel…note to self: bring more of MY gels next time!!!!) I was so hungry it was insane. And thirsty. I drank 3 full bottles of water/gatorade, I think. I think for next year, I will experiment more with drinking Accerlerade or another caloric replacement on the bike. Although I had ‘enough’ while riding, I probably could have had more. I needed 250 calories an hour while riding, and I think I only took in about 100. Ohhh…yeah not good. However, that is how I TRAINED and I didn’t want to change things. And even though I was slow, I actually felt FINE until the very last 5 miles. Then, I was READY to be done!

Two quick notes: my heart goes out to those who flatted, crashed or did not finish the bike portion, and there were a few of each. I heard no less than 3 different ambulances rushing to the course. I saw one guy OUT laying on the ground around mile 12 I think? It made me so sad and depressed. Hope you all are okay and know you will get another chance to finish…another thing that I need to remember is the one salt tab every 30 minutes, which thanks to Texas Iron Sarah, I adhered to very strictly. And yes, ask all the guys who cramped later, it DOES make a difference-I swear by it! I had no cramps at all. After 2 marathons of feeling like @#(*, I learned the importance of taking in additional sodium while endurance racing!

T2, I was slow but it was great to be off the bike. The legs didn’t want to move it seemed, as expected. I sat down, changed shoes AND socks (HIGHLY recommended with the new socks…but remember to Body Glide your feet first…I forgot and it bothered me later, ouch to new blisters…!) My parents were there for me again cheering loudly…so incredible to have that support!

AND THE RUN! I knew it was my time to shine. I just went on my way, passing people left and right. Fast people, slow people, walking people…I seriously think 6 people passed me the entire run. 2 ladies (man, they were awesome and awe-inspiring to me!) and 4 men (and I think they were all relay guys, so they don’t count, right?!) anyhow, I felt great for about 10 miles. Took in a gel I had, drank at every stop. Ate the icees, had a flat coke. Took salt tablets. Put ice on my head, took the sponges…Ironically, I am not going to lie and say I was running with great form at any point during the half marathon. I think I looked like crap. Just put one foot in front of the other…keep going is what I told myself. I felt SLOW for as good as I felt mentally.

Mile 10 comes and I knew…”THIS IS WHERE THE MEN GET SEPERATED FROM THE BOYS…!” It was the last loop and was a serious death march. So many people in pain, so many people walking. On the hills, I saw more people walking than running. I think 2-4 people were running per hill, It was really sad. I cheered as loud as I could for my teammates and even others that look like they needed *something.* I see Coach Logan for the final time (and mumble “I feel horrible, I am so glad I don’t have to see you again!”) and head back home. That last mile was an amazing feeling that only endurance athletes or women that have given birth (haha) will understand. In pain like you wouldn’t believe, everything hurt, but yet, keeping it in perspective by remembering “…Hey I’m gonna do an Ironman in a few years…so this is NOTHING!”) My feet felt like they were barely moving. I was hot, thirsty, excited and tired, all at the same time.

I picked up the pace, heard the crowds and knew “THIS WAS IT!” I saw Kiki and Ginny and suddenly felt like I was just starting the beginning of the half all over again…spring in my step and huge smile on my face! I couldn’t believe I was going to finish! I round the corners, head inside. There was the finish line! The finish line!!! I left the guy in front of me have some space to cross first and make sure no one is sneaking up behind me to cut me off for the photo:) I throw my arms up (well, at least one of them, for some reason I felt I had to look at my watch!) and knew…I not only FINISHED but I think I finished at 6:05, which is an incredible first half time!

I don’t remember anything after that, other than pausing to catch my breath and feeling tears well up in my eyes. I did IT! I DID IT! Nothing is gonna stop me! My parents and loved ones congratulated me and I felt elation that I haven’t felt in a long while. All the training paid off. I just got to celebrate 10 months of hard, grueling training…missed partying on the weekends, no sleeping in, barely having enough energy to stay awake until 10pm on some nights. Yeah, most single 20-something girls don’t want to be ME! (add to the fact I am in a punk rock band…hmmm, how did I ever manage?!)

The many thanks: first all, the COACHES of the T3 family!!! Coach Mo from the first day I met you in swim clinic and I knew there was a connection there of some sorts. Me-being stubborn and naïve (and yeah, I still am, and that won’t change, sorry). You, being there with great support, advice, drunk texts I sent you at midnight that you said you didn’t get?! You being the best role model I could have in the triathlon world with your passion and love of the sport and of people just in general. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Coach Chrissie for being such a positive and beautiful person in my life. I remember my first real T3 swim workout I did and being so nervous, but you threw me to the sharks (haha) and I didn’t drown. Coach Suzanne for being my main swim coach this year and always keeping me positive through all those really long days where I had to literally throw myself in the pool to go swim. Ahhh. Good times. Coach Amanda too-I want you to coach me more! Coach Logan for cleaning my bike and being a good sport cheering for me on the run course at Longhorn! You will see more of me on the bike, don’t you worry.

To the T3 family: those of you I trained with (Jane K and Jane B, Patti!, Becky, Landon, Sabrina, Rob, Maggie, Rhonda, Vickie (the best PT in town, as well!) Jennie, Eric (my swim “boyfriend”-you know I love ya, sweetie, thanks for making those months of summer fly by) and whomever else (sorry I am forgetting people, I am sure of it), but you all rule! And all of our volunteers yesterday!!!! Kelley for the pickle juice! To the Gazelle family, especially my Coach Gilbert, who I managed to convince in one year that triathlons are actually good for me. To the very sweet Desiree Flicker who inspires me daily with her determination, will and great advice and ‘gets’ why we love triathlon AND running so much. To my running partners Ginny (I love you always, girl), Gabby, Beth, Kenny (you are my best friend, Kenny, thank you for being for me every step of that way this year as I ventured into a new distance!) and the whole Tu/Th afternoon crew. I am ONLY faster on the run because of ya’ll.

To my actual family-my parents that were there for everything yesterday. To my love, Kiki and the fact you put up with my triathlon shenanigans for an entire year and I even got you to sip the triathlon koolaid and you completely LOVE it! I can’t wait to see you do your first 70.3 next year! You will love it! Or hate me. Or both, haha.

To everyone else that supported me throughout, whether reading this blog, riding/training with me randomly (Mercedes and crew), friends, etc. etc. etc. I can go on forever. And this isn’t like the Academy Awards, so I won’t. Besides, gotta save something for my Boston Qualifying write-up and post Ironman report :)

Love you all and thanks for being supportive. Now time to relax, party, and relish in the accomplishment!!!

PS: Holding your bladder for 6 hours is kind of painful…just sayin’.

The Stats:

51:32 1.2 mile swim (2:40/100 meters)
3:59 T1
3 hours 15 minutes 56m Bike (17.2 mph)
3:32 T2
1 hour 51 minutes 13.1m run (8:32/mile)

36 out of 67 in the 25-29 age group
(so long, my sweet, sweet 20’s!!!)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The countdown...

T-3 days til the big dance...

6 hours of pain and glory...

i can't wait to be a (half) ironman!!!!!!!!!

I'm so excited, nervous and anxious. The next time I post, I will have (hopefully) completed the race and have stories galore!

PS: halloween alleycat next week. dig it:

Sunday, October 18, 2009

47:00, a néw huge 10k pr!

Wow. More later!


All I had to say is I didn’t know I had a 47:00 in me. I figured…”sure, it sounds good, I’ll say I want to run a 47 but actually run a 48-something…” All of my workouts lately though have shown me otherwise that a 47-something was very possible. Factor in the great weather, a good vibe in the air, a fantastic course…not to mention my first road race since…the Jackrabbit 10k in May. Overall, this is one I want to do every year from here on out. 2 years in a row of PR’ing here makes me really look forward to it. Flat course with a lot of turns in the middle of nowhere (haha)…but I’ll take it!

Last challenge for the late-summer (although technically it’s fall now) is my last tri that is coming up this weekend!!! the Longhorn 70.3. Yes, my little web widget to the right says it already occurred, but that thing is wrong and I never figured out how to change it. Sure, I’m nervous. After all, I’ve pretty much been training for it non-stop since January. That’s 10 months of cycling training and 9 months of swim training. That’s a LOT. Have I made the improvements that I wanted to make this season? Maybe not, but my swimming AND cycling have gotten stronger, that much is for sure.

I’m most excited for that cool swim and hoping that the bike course isn’t too chilly. I’ll probably bring my arm warmers and hope my little knees stay warm. Of course I will wear gloves. Then finishing that bike with NO issues and going onwards to a strong half marathon!!! I really just want to finish, but anything from 6 hours to 6:30 (if all goes as planned!) would really make me happy…haven’t decided what food I want to pig out on yet after, although some REALLY REALLY good cheesy enchiladas and a couple of strong frozen margaritas on the patio somewhere here in town sounds AMAZING!

Come out and cheer for me if you are in town! This Sunday, Oct 25th at 8am at Decker Lake! I’ll post my race # once I get it! Wish me luck!!!

The Stats:

=47:00 (ave 7:34/mile)
7:43, 7:37, 7:42,
7:32, 7:48, 7:24, 1:12

4th out of in the 25-29 age group

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My favorite rites of passage on the bike.

Not sure where I got it from…but I love it! Enjoy…and feel free to add your own in the comments! I added my own after the stars at the bottom!

From the November issue: Falling in puppy love, graduating high school, the birth of your child–nothing compared with your first case of road rash and these 108 other momentous occasions in the life of a cyclist. Share your own cycling rites of passage in the comments section below.

06. Bonking so bad you don’t think you’ll be able to make it home.
07. Discovering how a convenience-store Coke can resurrect the dead.
09. When you hang out at the bike shop and no one expects you to buy anything.
19. You notice that someone else has the chain grease on his right calf.
20. You get stuck in your pedals and topple over at a stoplight.
22. Riding a bike through a big, congested city and feeling smarter than everyone else because you’re moving.
25. You fix up your old bike to get someone into the sport.
26. Wearing out your first set of tires.
27. You ride through a pothole, and it’s no big deal.
28. Getting hopelessly lost—deliberately.
29. You stop midride to give your only spare tube to a stranded cyclist.
30. You realize you’re driving your car as if it’s a bike—drafting, looking for holes, getting away from the squirrelly guy.
31. Fixing a busted chain.
34. The first time you crumple your race number.
37. Wondering how the biggest local hill would rank on the Tour de France climb classification.
39. You got dropped, you flatted, bonked, got turned around—and when you got home you said you had a great ride. <-my favorite one
42. Rolling through a stop sign—and knowing it was the right thing to do.
45. Rubbing wheels—and staying up.
48. Cleaning the cassette with your old toothbrush.
53. Telling someone which bike to buy.
56. Figuring out how to layer without overdressing.
58. Your first ride with a jersey instead of a T-shirt.
61. Though you’re not clear on exactly how to do it and unsure of the outcome, you manage to fix your first flat.
62. Walking home in your cleats.
64. Following a favorite pro racer—besides Lance Armstrong.
66. Wrapping your bar tape so the handlebar plug stays in and no bare bar shows at the tricky bend at the brake hood.
72. Crashing and immediately asking, "How’s my bike?"
76. Clacking into a rough tavern in cleats and spandex.
81. Explicating your training in exquisite detail on a blog, then realizing nobody cares.
84. Riding someplace you’ve always driven.
87. Waving at a cyclist coming the other way and being ignored.
88. Getting annoyed by an uninvited wheel sucker.
92. Surfing traffic on adrenaline and luck in one of the world’s 10 biggest cities.
97 . Passing someone whose bike costs twice as much as yours.
99. Dismissing what used to be your favorite cycling magazine because it keeps repeating topics.
106. Feeling superstrong, then turning around for the ride back and realizing you had a tailwind.
108. Being the person whose bike squeaks drive everyone nuts.

- Staring at a new bike. Wishing you could afford the latest carbon technology

- Not feeling embarrassed wearing cycling shorts
-Buying your first modern bike and no longer having bike envy.
Increasing your average speed by 1 mph
Wondering how early is too early to go riding
The strange feeling of using chamois cream for the first time.
-Ending up spending waaaay too much time at your local bike shop (and always end up getting out with something)
The first time you passed 30 miles per hour.
The first time you passed 40 miles per hour.
Your first track stand.
Your first bunny hop.
The first time you fixed someone else’s flat.
The feeling you have after your first race, even if you are last place.

The first time you put on a team kit and you fill with pride.

The first bike you ever build, even if you got helping building it.

Your first single-speed conversion.

Realizing you need to get rid of a bike to make room for a new one.

Your first real bike tattoo.

When you start naming all your bikes!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

wow, i will actually get to ride my bike 5 days in a row!

due to a nagging leg injury from January (if not older than that!!!) i haven't been riding as much as I would like, since maybe july. OHHH, it sucks. My bike performance certainly peaked. i went from a nice ave. 16-17 mph on short cruises to a slow and sluggish 15-16.

well, i'm trying to turn the tables. #1, my knee feels better finally. #2, i have a 'little race' called a half ironman coming up. #3 (and most important): i miss riding my steeds and a little pain isn't going to stop me from riding!!!

btw, off-season tri goal is to focus on cycling. one long ride a week followed by 2 hour-long spin classes. hey, yeah i know you might be giggling at the thought of doing spin class, but just 3 classes convinced me of the benefits. PLUS! i learned how to climb out of my seat!

anyhow, 15 miles yesterday on the tri bike, 15 miles tonight on the fixed gear for fun (bike-in to see the Goonies with my cool and awesome band!!!), 20 miles tomorrow on fixie for fun, 35 miles on the tri bike in the morning Saturday, 30 miles saturday PM for the alleycat, and 30 miles sunday for the OTHER alleycat...and anything else i can throw in for fun.

145 miles in 5 days...not a new record but at an average of 30 miles a day, this is where i need to be again.

see ya'll on the streets. be SAFE!