Sunday, June 29, 2008

Natalie takes One on the Toe...

The post after this one has my full, exciting, race report from Rochester.

Short version: Swim=45:53; T1=4:34; Bike: 1:44:09; T2= 1:34; Run=1:12 Total: 3:48:06. (I may dispute the swim time. My watch had me at 39:53 and there was a mixup with my swim cap being a different color from my wave. Don't know if my chip was attached to my actual wave or my chip...)

I've included some interesting photos: Including the one above of poor Nat's toe, that she stubbed after the race, after we got back home, as we were trying to reassemble her bike carrier and get it back on her car.

She basically tore the toe nail off and actually had to have her boyfriend drive her to Urgent Care tonight to have it removed....(yech).

Here is another blurry (thank heavens!) of it:
She is out of commission until a scab forms on the toe -- should be a couple of days at least.

Here is the "pre-toe incident" story: we got to Rochester about 5:30 pm on Saturday -- just in time to pick up our race packets. Got to the hotel, checked in, made two trips to the room with all our STUFF.

We were both amazed at how much stuff we needed to bring with us for one night at a hotel to take part in a little Olympic distance triathlon!

And the stuff didn't really include all the FOOD we brought:

Even with all that food available to us above, we wanted to have a a nice pasta dinner so we went to a restaurant called Victoria's. Quite yummy. Then back to the hotel, then to sleep.

We got up at 4:45 am and got ready to get to the race.

It was cold (60 degrees), cloudy, drizzly and windy (17 mph) when we went to get in the car. I know the exact wind temps because I looked them up on Google after the event. This was just the beginning for us!

We were not particularly psyched about doing the event in the cold and the rain. I'm sure if we weren't with each other, we would have turned the car around, gone back to the hotel and ordered room service...

By the time we got to the park, the weather had not improved at all. Now over 400 triathletes were contemplating joining us for room service.... (Note grey skies in the photo.)

Then, miracle of miracles, 20 minutes before the race started, the clouds parted -- the sun poked its head out and the temps came up.

"Windy"decided to keep "kicking around the streets of the city" though: by the time we were on bike course, winds were NW at 25 mph, gusting between 30 and 32 mph. YIKES!

Combine that with hills and it was one tough, but beautiful course. (see comments in Race Report below).

Suffice it to say we both finished the event. It was a challenging course, but very well organized and a lot of fun. We even got medals, which is always a nice touch.

We drove back to Minneapolis -- stopped at DQ for a little treat. (Gotta love the crunch cone...) and then home.

And then Nat stubbed her toe....


Brief race report: Info basically posted to the log I send to my coaches: 
Mixed bag of results at Rochester.
Good news: cut time off of my swim compared to last year's Lifetime Fitness tri. Last year, did the .9 swim in 50.50. This year at Rochester, my official time was 45:53. BUT, I am not entirely comfortable with that time. My watch, which I started when we started the swim, had me finish the swim in 39:53, so I'm not sure where the extra time came from. (Was not transition; more about that in a bit).

The swim was two laps in the lake. First lap was pretty disastrous. My goggles leaked and I was not smooth in my swimming stroke. Stopped alot.

Second lap was a confidence builder.

Got that dang seal to fit and then just swam. I really did not stop at a buoy or noodle line (well, I did once). Felt much better and was NOT last out of the water. Pretty dang close though.

T1 was 4:34. (Greg, Natalie told me that you are watching our transition times. While I know that 4:34 may seem like I took some time to eat some bon bons, I really didn't. My T1 time for LTF last year was 5:35, so I was a minute faster.... still can improve, however).

Bike was very disappointing, especially in light of how much work I've done on the bike. However, in my "defense": the course was incredibly hilly and it was very, very, very windy today. My chain also fell off TWICE, which added some time as I got of to track it back on the chain.

My MPH was a very disappointing 14.2 (last year at LTF, I averaged 15.6). LTF is much less hilly, so I'm hoping to improve on that on 7/12. I did manage to pass three people on the bike course. Quite a feat for a slow poke.

T2 was 1:34. Last year at LTF it was 1:56, so it was slight improvement there.

Run. I thought I was out on that run course for a million years.

Although my legs did not feel too terrible at the start of the race, I did not have a lot of mental steam working for me. I had several long conversations with my self: "What hurts?" Nothing. "Why aren't you running better?" Because. "Because why?" No real reason in particular.

I did have a "horse moment" when I turned a corner and found myself at the bottom of a big hill. I just stopped. I had had enough hills on the dang bike.

I was very surprised to see my time. Honestly, I thought it was going to be a pathetic 1:20 or more. Although 1:12 is a big drop from last year's LTF (1:02), it really was much better than I thought.

All in all, my time was 3:48:06. Last year LTF: 3:40:09. I was second in my age group. (There were only two, so this is not that big of a deal, but will score points with my sedentary co-workers...)

I think if I can keep my swim up; get my cadence up on the bike and not drop a chain (twice) and get my head in the game for the run, I should be able to improve before 2008 LTF on 7/12.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

"Those girls can swing!"

Quick post before I leave for Rochester to do the Rochestfest Tri tomorrow.  Nat and I are doing the event together to help us get ready for our 1/2 iron distance event in August.  

We both are doing the Olympic distance (.9 swim/24.something bike/6.2 run).  It will be Nat's first Oly -- my third.  

I'm also using Rochester to help me gauge how my training has been going.  I've been very diligent with my training plan over the last few weeks.  It's been very helpful working with Greg and Ben.  Most days, I'm biking in the morning (for a minimum of an hour) and then either running or swimming in the evenings (also minimum of an hour most days).  Of the three disciplines, my running is the most problematic.  I'm slower and it is much harder than last year.

I finally have my weight down in "reasonable land" -- that is the range of pounds where, when I get on the scale,  I am reasonably comfortable with the number.  I am very close to my WW lifetime goal number again, and within site of my weight last year at LTF.  

Yet, I'm running much slower.  

When I really look at it, last year I had been on that dang treadmill three times per week for three months before marathon training started.  (I was on a weight-loss/fitness program through my health club last year).   I had a much more solid base before training for Chicago/New York started.

This year, my running has been spotty.  I was pretty good when training for Fargo 1/2, but got lazy there too.  I can't blame everything  on my running club falling apart... my motivation really has to come from me.  

Anyway, I expect the run tomorrow to be fairly slow...

My swimming feels stronger -- thanks to longer workouts at the 50-meter pool in Richfield.  Coach Dave has put together some nice workouts for that venue and I think it has helped me with my water endurance.  

The swim tomorrow will be two loops in the lake.  We even have to get out of the lake after the first loop,  run 200 yards to the water entry point, and then do the second loop.  I've heard of that happening at some tri's but have never experienced it.  

I'm trying to use that as a psychological edge to get me through the swim:  "I only have to swim less than 1/2 a mile before I can get out for a small break".

(uh oh.... as I'm posting this, a big thunderstorm is blowing through.  Rochester is about 100 miles to our south -- maybe it isn't raining there and the roads will be dry...)

I'm excited and nervous about the event -- pretty much SOP for me...


The real reason I wanted to post today, though, was to give a "shout" to the LPGA.  Yes, the Ladies Professional Golf Association. 

The U.S. Women's Open is being held at a course located within a hop, skip and jump from our house.  

I picked up tickets to the event as a holiday present for Hubby and me.  Hubby had other plans, however:  his son just graduated from High School and turned 18 (woo woo), so the two of them went to some weird game convention in Ohio.

His loss!

I invited my friend LaVeta and we had a blast.  (LaVeta and I play golf on Friday nights with our husbands in a Couples League.)

I got a chance to see all of my favorite, rocking women players:  Lorena Ochoa, Annika Sorenstam, Paula Creamer, Kerri Web, and Christina Kim and Natalis Gulbis (Love the first five for their playing; love Christina for her sassiness; Natalie is Natalie).  Also got to see Michele Wie.  Although Wie is a good player, I've never warmed up to her.  I know I'm not alone.  

It was awesome.   

If only I could hit the ball like they do.....

Wonder how they could do competing in an Olympic triathlon?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Nice weather -- FINALLY!

After our cold and rain during April, May AND June, we finally have had some nice weather. Hurrah, hurrah.

I'm hoping that the sun and warmer temps will work some magic on the water temps in our lakes so open water swimming won't be so cold.

Although I shouldn't complain: Geekgirl is doing Couer d'Alene Ironman this weekend and the lake temps are in the 50s. BRRRRR. I wish her all the best of luck.

My training is going pretty well. I'm enjoying the variety and am feeling stronger with the bike and the swim.

Ran last night for 90 minutes. First "long run" in a long time. It actually felt pretty good. It was a beautiful night to run around the lakes. Lots of great people watching and nature watching.

Tonight's plan calls for a bike and a swim. It may rain, so I may have to take a "rain check". Ha ha.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Avoiding like the plague....

Yes, I know it has been an abnormally long time since I've posted any thing.

I've been avoiding my blog like the plague for two "very good" reasons.

1) I did my first outdoor tri on June 7th and had pretty pitiful results.
2) I have LifeTime and Pigman coming up and wanted to avoid looking at the countdown timers I've posted to help me manage the days before the events.

Yes, I' was heavily in to the "eyes-averting, if-I-can't-see-it, it-doesn't-exist, what-me worry?" methods of issues management.

But, like all good ostriches, I pulled my head out of the sand last week and got rolling on an official tri training plan -- with coaches and every thing!

They put me on a plan where I'm training six days a week, doing some "two a days". I actually like the training so far.

Of course, it's been one week.

But what a week it was!

I did three swim workouts (over 2200 meters); biked for over five hours (probably 75 miles or so); ran a couple of times, included a hill workout after a bike session.

This is more training activity put together than I've done in months. Yee ha.

It did come on the heels of a pretty lousy showing at the New Bri Tri on June 7th. I could blame it on cold lake water (65 degrees) or a hilly course or some other nonsense, but the truth is I was just not very prepared.

I did finish and I was not last of all participants, but I was pathetically slow in the swim; just marginally okay with the bike and much slower than last year in the run.

My next event is on June 29th in Rochester -- an Olympic distance event that I'm doing with my friend, Nat. It is one of our warm-up events before Pigman 1/2 iron distance, scheduled for August.

The only really good thing about having a lousy finish time for New Bri is that there is hopefully nowhere else to go but UP from there.

I just have to get the sand out of my mouth...