Monday, July 28, 2008

Never met him, but I miss him

I originally started this blog for my own personal reference regarding mostly racing and training, and kept it hidden (not purposefully), for about a year from other readers. However I know some of you have discovered my blog and check in every once in a while...THANK YOU.

So if you are checking today...

Below is a link to Randy Pausch who I discovered about a year ago. He completely inspired me and motivated me to live my life to "my best" with 1 lecture. Please take the time to click on this link and watch. He died this past Friday at his home in West Virginia and will be soarly missed. I hope this inspires you and you can take away what is most important for your life.....

Thanks again.

"If you lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself," Pausch said. "The dreams will come to you."

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Missing in Action

I am as usual too busy to blog so I will highlight my last 2-1/2 weeks.

And this picture has nothing to do with my update, but it is too funny not to post!

  • 4th of July my dog Bailey turned 6 and he ran his first 5k ever with me. We have run together since he was a pup, but never in an official race. We managed a 3rd in AG and finished in 25:07 with 2 stops to rehydrate. I was so proud of him as we normally train at 9:00/mile and he never gave up (he did poop out with about a 200 meters to go).

  • Same day my little brother is officially kicked out of the military due to the injury to his knee during a live fire drill so he will never be returning to Iraq. I can't explain what a relief it is and how it still brings me to tears to think about it.

  • A terrible awful cannot explain the rauchiness of the smell came about downstairs in our laundry room about 2 weeks ago. Long story short (as I may vomit just to think about it), a nasty, filthy rat had crawled in our dryer duct and died! There was maggots and lint everywhere...eewww...ralph! Thank goodness for my roommate Twizzle who bravely cleaned it up while I stood dry heaving and holding the bag. Needless to say we replaced the duct and the stench is gone.

  • Last Wednesday the walrus and I took Austin, his son to the Maple Leaf track meet to run the 50m, 100m, 200m, 400m. We also saw KP and his twins, who just like there daddy are fast. I got some great pictures and Austin managed a 2nd in the 400m at 1:40. He is only 8! I am so proud of him. We stopped at DQ on the way home to get him ice cream, but I had to get in my run, so while the boys ate ice cream I ran home for about 5 miles and got no ice cream...booo!!!

  • The HIM is looming like a dark cloud. The nerves have begun to accumulate. I had a really fun brick last Sunday cycling with Daisy and MN. Started out wet, but got nice and hot just in time to run (of course). Daisy mentioned how quite a few jokes could be told starting with "A brunette, blonde and a red-head go cycling...." There was also some water fighting with rear wheels going on. We managed to stop for a bathroom break and to refuel quick a little over half way through the ride and Daisy and I managed to pack sand in our cycling shoes preventing us from clipping in for a few minutes until we conceded to pull over and bang the sh#t out of them. Picked up TZ for a few miles and rode the windiest stretch of headwind ever out near Fairport.

  • Monday night the Walrus and I decided both our legs were just hammered from the week before so we went down to Wildwood to swim with B-bop (my single roommate ladies). The boys, of course wanted to swim outside the breakwall. I had originally planned on going sans wetsuit, but it was way too choppy. We donned our suits and as soon as we passed the breakwall .... it was insane! Chop coming from all directions. The walrus described it as being in a wash machine. I could see both the boys pulling ahead of me and I felt so uncomfortable I even panicked a little. I thought..."this is how people drown...isn't it?" I immediately silenced the voice in my head and began swimming after them. I was not to be stopped. If they could do it, so could I. B-bop was having a little trouble at first keeping the water out of his goggles so I caught up to him, but that only lasted until he replaced his goggles and began swimming away again. It was rough and the longer I swam the more adapted I became to the random chop,but at the same time just couldn't find a comfortable rythm. I was getting tired and working way too hard to try to close the ever widening gap on the boys. Lucky for me they would stop and wait every 50 or so meters. I felt bad and offered to cut in, but they would have none of it. I had made it this far and if I could keep swimming, they would keep waiting. Onward I went and 15 minutes later with a few stops in between we reached the end (.25 miles). Yes, it was that choppy. I told the guys I would swim back on the inside so as not to slow them up, but when I made it inside the breakwall there was trash and dead fish floating everywhere and I freaked out. I began hyperventilating and splashing around trying to get out of the water as quickly as possible. I was so grossed out I thought I might hurl. There was a guy sitting on the rocks looking at me funny. He probably thought "girl you swam through all that chop outside the wall and now you are drowning?" As I ran out of the water and explained to him how all the debris in the water was freaking me out. He laughed and said we were crazy for swimming outside the walls. He then asked if we were in the Olympics. I smiled said no and re-entered the water on the clean side. I swam easy all the way back through the smoothest water ever (or so it seemed) in 9:00 minutes. We decided to call it a day after that.

  • Same night we hit up the Tavern Company and picked up other roommate, Twizzle and watched her drink (2) 16-oz chocolate milks. Now, that may mean nothing, but the second one she sucked through a cocktail straw in 52 seconds thanks to the "Walrus timing system." I do think however that had the walrus not made mention of her sucking talents and refered to the possiblity of "sucking a golf ball through a garden hose," she would have finished sooner. Her eyes got really big and she made a very strange sound in her throat before all was said and done. I was trying to scold everyone for being so immature at dinner, but we all ended up laughing. Ahh, I love Monday nights with the roommates and the walrus...good times.

  • This past Tuesday after work I hit the track around midnight with the Bails. I managed a 2 mile warm-up and then 6x400 with one lap recoveries, followed by a half mile cool-down before heading home. It was nice and cool. I would have liked to have done a few more as I was feeling good and it was my first speed workout this year, but Bailey who was NOT on a leash of any kind and free to run around and explore took it upon himself to run every darned lap with me. I even put out water before the workout for him, but he is so stubborn. Tongue hanging and heavy breathing (and no I am not referring to myself) I called it a night. I wasn't sure where I needed to run but I figured in the 1:40's would be good. It was dark though and I couldn't check my watch, so I had to run by perceived exertion (P.E.) and what do ya know, I hit everyone except the first (1:51) right in the 1:40's getting a tad faster each time. I am hoping this is a sign I will be running sub-7:30's in stand alone 5k-10k now. I also saw the fallen police officer's shrine on Glenwood. It was right on Corbett's farm property. I stopped my truck for a minute to say a little prayer for the officer's family. I grew up in Twinsburg and to think some dumb motherf#cker shot him just pisses me off to no end. It wouldn't shock me if the shooter was killed before trial and that would be justice!

  • Last night I was supposed to do a long ride, but the kids really wanted to see me so I opted to hit a recovery trail run with a group at North Chagrin as I was on a time crunch. I arrived early to hit a quick warm-up and confirm my legs were available for use. I did not want to embarass myself by lagging behind and making the group wait on me, not to mention the heavy hitter e-speed would be putting in an appearance. I was good to go and met up with a group of 5 and we headed out for about an hour. I managed to stay with the group and chat with e-speed for most of the way. She was "trying" to taper for the Buckeye 50k, but she made mention of how her legs just don't understand what days off are and she finds tapering is just another thing to drive you crazy the week before a race. I have to concur. We hit Squire's Castle around 50 minutes and from that point on I knew one way or another there would be a nasty climb coming. The one I am used to usually causes my heart rate to sky rocket, but we turned off and did a hill that had 4 or 5 tiers which I liked much better. E-speed and SY took off up the hill like rockets. I just pushed forward nice and easy, but the hills were steep and my breathing became labored. I was okay though. It was nothing like Devil's Hill at Mountaineer. I could hear someone coming behind me. It was one of the guys in our group. We reached the final summit pretty much together, behind e-speed and SY. We turned to see AY, SY's wife coming up the last tier too. E-speed and SY felt it proper runner etiquette to go back down and check on the remainder of the group. The 3 of us thought it proper etiquette was to wait at the top :) We regrouped and took the non-scenic route back to the park entrance for exactly one hour of running. It was great. I always hated running in groups because I always struggled. I would run as hard as I could to keep up and the group still had to wait on me. It became so frustrating I trained alone for the entire year last year. I know there were certain people in the group last night that would hand me my arse in a race anyday, but it was nice to run with them even if only for a training run.

  • My career is non-existant. I graduated with honors in my undergrad. I have 3 classes left to complete my master's, again with honors and no one will hire me because I don't have 2-3 years experience and ACSM certification, which is $400+ dollars. I thought about getting a different degree, but I am tired of school. I thought about going back to the company I used to work for that wrongfully laid me off because they want me back, but none of that seems right. So here it is, I am finishing my master's, called a local hospital, explained I had a degree and some work experience in cardiac rehab and voila they gave me a job working for FREE. The plan is to get more experience, get my ACSM certification as you need 600 hours of clinical work and I have about 300 hours and then get a job anywhere. This means next summer I may be leaving my walrus and friends in search of my career. I have hinted at this, but it is time to sh$t or get off the pot.

And here I am now, sitting in the air conditioning finishing this up before starting my workout and hitting the lake and then off to work. Blah!!

PS. - I am also really disappointed, once again tour riders are testing positive for drugs, specifically my boy Ricco. DUMBASSES DRUGS ARE ILLEGAL!!!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Space Mother Trucker

F$CKIN' Spacing

F*CKIN' Spacing

Good luck reading the Oly post....:(

Spirit of Morgantown

I suppose I should get this done before I completely forget every detail. First and foremost...It was completely frickin' awesome! No really, it was phenomenal.
We stayed at the host hotel which turned out to be a fantastic idea as we were required to check our bicycles into transition overnight and we were able to run back after the event to take showers with a late checkout and then head back down to watch the HIM competitors finish up.
Anyway, back to the main event.
The pros HIM started sans wetsuit around 7:30am. I started at 8:09 or so. I had managed to get everything ready in transition and head back to get my wetsuit and still make it to the start of the pro races plenty early. The swim start is in the Monongahela River and you have to walk down 3 levels of ramps just to get to the docks. The dam was supposed to be shut but with all the rain there was no choice but to leave it open. We of course would have a swim straight into the current. The first pros were out of the water in about 24 minutes, so we new it was going to be a slow swim. I was my usual nervous self when I got down to the docks. I was standing with some fellow CTC chicks waiting for the signal to get into the water. It came all to soon and I jumped in and WHOOO!! It was a wakeup! The water was over my head and definitely not clear. All the women in the oly wave started together so there were quite a few. I was in the middle bobbing around.
They counted us down and started us off with a very loud siren. My heart rate raced in anticipation and off I went. It was a complete cluster. Women were swimming everywhere. The really good swimmers began to pull ahead immediately with those who start out too hard, so basically everybody. Some of the newbies were swimming crooked and others were doing a mixture of strokes to get through the water. I had intended to go out very easy on the swim as this was my first oly and I did not want to blow up coming out of the water. I swam a few strokes and had to sight to navigate around other women quite often for the first few minutes. There were lots of elbows and feet. I seem to be much better at seeing where I am going than most (could be because I am so slow in the water), but I did manage to keep my goggles on and avoid any contact to my face. There were a few people that swam on top of me though thinking I was a dolphin, but I managed to pull myself out of their reach. The swim starts by going down stream and making a left turn around a buoy within the first hundred meteres then across the river and another right turn to begin the LONG swim back up the river toward the flowing dam. Once I made the turn to swim upstream it thinned out and I slowly began working my way past those weaker swimmers who had gone out too hard. I spent a large amount of time trying to focus on my form and relax in the water. It got to the point where I was pretty much alone in the water as I was not fast enough to catch the fast women, but too fast to be with the other women. I began to catch men from the prior waves at this point too. These guys were really struggling side stroking, doggy paddling, whatever they could do just to keep afloat. After what seemed like forever I made the turn to cross back over the river and then another turn to cross back down for the home stretch. I was feeling good. I could tell my swim was slow as my shoulders were starting to tighten. I saw the docks ahead and was relieved to know it was "1 down, 2 to go." Now, there were people on the docks to pull us out, but when I got there they just looked at me. I asked if I could touch and pushed myself under in hopes I would get a boost from the ground to push myself up and on the dock, but no such luck it was over my head. I would have to hope my arms were strong enough to lift me out. I pushed with everything I had and what do you know....I did it. I rolled on the dock and popped up running up the 3 ramps and then about 50 meters down a blacktop path to transition. I knew my time would be long in T1 due to the long ass run. Swim time was 34:20. I had wanted to go out easy, but not that easy. Alas, everyone's times I found out were way off by 2-5 minutes that day with the dam being open.
Transition was smooth. The walrus had tried to get me to ditch the cycling gloves, but I love the padding and my hands get bruised and numb on long rides so wanting to be comfortable I put them on. I was not hoping for some super stellar performace. Today was a tune-up for GCT and to get a list of do's and dont's for long course. Out of T1 and on my bike I grabbed a drink at the aid station, but pitched it fairly soon as I did not know if there were drop zone penalties.
The bike course started off by zipping through the city for a few miles and then leaves town. I was pedaling easy, refusing to look at my speedometer. I felt I needed to go out easy and keep control of my heart rate and breathing as best I could. I was able to still pass a few people here and there througout the first 5-7 miles though. I think only 1-2 guys passed me. They were on fancy TT bikes and like I said they were men. There was this young guy, about 24 or so riding a road bike that was working too hard IMO and we battled back and forth for a few miles as he would pump up the hills, but then I would easily pass him on the downhills and the straights. He was definitely a novice as he constantly hogged the road and when climbing was all over the place like a staggering drunk. There were a few times that a group of us would form and I would get nervous about getting slapped with a drafting penalty when this guy should without a doubt have gotten a "yeah your a novice, but too bad your still blocking!!!" The walrus passes with authority and hammers his bike, but I find that the constant up and down on a bike brings that cardiac drift way too soon for me, so I spent a lot of time between mile 7-13 sitting back and relaxing. Finally, some more difficult climbing started and I was able to shake him. I even managed to catch a few olympic distance women and men in the second half. I grabbed another drink at the turnaround and skipped the bananas not feeling confident enough to maintain a good speed and eat a banana at the same time. I did not find any of the climbs too bad and I only had to get out of my seat one time for about a minute. I was ecstatic my climbing up Fairmount and through the N. Chagrin/S. Chagrin area was paying dividends. I crested the hill and there were a few small rollers and then a big downhill. YAY!!! I moved down to my drops and got a nice little adrenaline rush. The rain was coming down though and the idea of crashing and busting up my grill flashed in my mind. I stayed on the drops though and at ~40 mph rode it out as cautiously as possible. I had to start slowing as the turns became blind and the fun was over. I started checking my speed at this point and forced myself to push until mile 20. I was getting excited because the end was near and I was still feeling great. The last 4 miles were however really, really bumpy and I saw a few water bottles that had been bounced off people's bikes. I felt like a jockey riding a horse the entire way back swerving left and right to avoid potholes. I was pumped when I got back to transition and entered just ahead of the 3-4 girls I had just passed on the bike.
I changed quickly and as I headed out I saw a woman running out the bike transition side for the run and yelling "where do I go?" I yelled, "this way" and began running out the other way. She did a U-turn and we went out together.
The run went 2 miles out on the blacktop path that ran along the river. I started slow as I had been practicing letting my legs get the feel for the run. I saw my teammate running back from her training run as her hubby was competing in the HIM and she turnaroud and ran with me for about a mile pumping me up and chatting about her run. I also saw the walrus coming back and as we passed the Subway KP's wife and twins came running out and were screaming and cheering for me. I waved and smiled. This was soooo much frick'n fun. After my teammate pulled off to go shower and change I continued on passed the first aid station and grabbed some HEED. I did in this time have a chick fly by me on the run and thought..."are you kidding me? She is going to blow hereself up! Just wait it out a little longer then you can go." I let her go. I saw the women coming back shortly and could see only a handful were running at a better pace than me. My plan was working. I was going to be able to run people down all the way to the finsih. Then at about mile 1.5 my shoe which was double knotted loosened up, but the double knot remained. Crap! I pulled off to the side of the road and fiddle with it for about a minute before getting it unkotted and retied. I got passed by 3 or 4 women too in that time. Aaaarrrggghh! I began running determined to run them all down and a few more. I was about 15 or 16 women back at this time. I wanted to try to break top 10. I was energized. I ran 3 women down in the next mile and was almost to mile 3 when my hamstring gave me a jingle..."Warning, I am still soar and pushing any further will result in severe pain and cramping." Shit, here we go with the damn hammy again. I maintained my pace. I went from running confidently and chasing down the competition to worrying if I was going to make it to the finish. I was still moving faster than the majority of people around me so I focused on one at a time ahead of me. I was still doing okay. The pain was subsiding, but I knew Devil's hill lie ahead. I decided to take a gel at mile 5 in hopes it would help me with the hill. I made the turn off the flat blacktop path and there ahead lay devil's hill, which consist's of 3 tiers each one steeper than the last with the final being over 18% grade. We had ridden the course on our bikes yesterday and it was S-T-E-E-P! The good news was we only had to climb 2 tiers. The bad news was there was a guy dressed as a devil standing at the bottom high-fiving sufferers, err I mean competitors. I ran up the first tier and passed the girl in pink that had flew by me in the beginning of the run. She was walking and she was walking slow. I told her to keep going and to pump her arms. I hit the second tier and was not moving very fast. My heart rate had sky rocketed. Screw this, I dropped to a walk. I pumped my arms and pushed up the hill. I caught another guy! Walking with a purpose, right e-speed?! I had recovered a little and began running as soon as I made the turn. There was another uphill, but this was nothing and I hit it with confidence. My leg was still holding and I was nearly done. I ran through rollers for the remainder of the race and could see a girl just up ahead. Ohh! I probably can't get her, but what the hell. I poured it on and I was gaining ground and then .... Damn! There was the finish. Another mile and I would have had her, but I was done. I smiled as I hit the final mat. I had done my first Oly, my hammy had held and I felt great.
Here are my splits...
Swim 34:20 (1500 meters)
T1 3:58
Bike 1:18:27 ~19.0 mph (24.85 miles)
T2 1:29
Run 55:50 ~8:31/mile (w/ a minute to tie da shoes) (6.55 miles)
Total Time 2:54:04
All I want to know is WHEN CAN I DO IT AGAIN...WHOOO HOOO!!!