Thursday, June 28, 2012

Run to Hear 5K Race Report

I went out to do this race with one purpose.  To see how fast I could run 5k.

I chose this race based on its cause.  My father has been partially deaf his entire life, so this is close to my heart.  But these kids just amaze me.  I expect most teenagers to be sitting on the couch this summer and enjoying their freedom from school.  These kids are raising money to make a difference to other kids.  Their maturity and heart just amazed me.

The morning was warmer than I would have preferred, but the course was flat, winding a bit around a small lake in the Pflugerville, Texas area.  It's a popular area for triathlon and other running events, so I was pretty confident that it would be a good race.

I got up early, got my coffee and pop tart and headed out.  I was there early, and registered, and I got a chance to talk to some of the kids and adults behind the event.  They are really pretty amazing.  You can read about them here.  I passed a table that lets you adopt some ducks, and adopted a few.  See, they put your number on the bottom of the ducks, throw them in the water, and the first one to the finish line wins.  However, I'm not interested in winning.  What I am interested in is bringing two cute little duckies to my kids!

After registering, I went over, put on my running shoes and got ready to run.  We lined up at the starting line and Ready, Set, GO!!!  The course was flat, fast and beautiful, and all too soon, it was over.  My new 5k PR was set.

Official results were 20:07.  Third overall person, first overall female.  Pretty good race.  But sitting, talking with others after the race was so much fun.  What a great group of people!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Living in a Dream

This season has taken on a very surreal quality.  Some days I have a hard time believing that the things that have happened since January are even real.

And to be honest, I was glad to return to anonymity when February's marathon was over.  I'm not used to the attention, and found it was much more fun to be a "crazy" athlete that was trying to be fast.

So a few days ago, when my phone started blowing up with text messages and emails from friends all over the state of Texas about a picture in the paper (I don't get the paper, btw) my first reaction was *facepalm*  "Uh oh, what now?"  It took two days to actually track down what was going on.  It turns out that a friend that I'd had growing up had submitted the story of me running the marathon to Ripley's Believe it or Not.  And Ripley's had drawn a cartoon about me.  This cartoon has been published all over the USA! 

So, I'm honored to be in Ripley's, next to a gigantic tarantula and the reason why our blood looks blue under the skin even though it's red.  Oh, and just in case you missed the cartoon, here it is in all it's glory.  Believe It or Not!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Apex Endurance

I am thrilled to announce that Apex Endurance is officially a sponsor!

Leading up to Ironman Texas, I trained myself based on a free basic plan I found on the internet.  I have no knowledge of how to train, I just went out there and logged the time and the miles.  I'm not knocking the method - it worked rather well for me, as it does for countless others.  But I know nothing about training zones, tempo runs, swimming drills, how to use my power numbers the right way, or how to raise my cycling cadence from the low it is now.

Jeff's already started to reshape the way I see training, and as a result, I've learned so much.  The next few months should prove interesting, exciting and successful based on what I've learned and what I be doing in training.

I've stalked the athlinks results of a friend of mine who is coached by Apex, and WOW.  She really rocks the races that she does.  She frequently reached the podium last season and this season.

Are you looking for a coach?  Apex is based out of Houston, and I'm in Central Texas, so distance isn't really an issue.  Jeff uses TrainingPeaks to organize and set up the training.  And it's so easy to understand what you need to do for each training session, once you find your way around TrainingPeaks.  Need motivation to keep going?  Here it is - you'll get personalized training based on what you're capable of and what your goals are.

What's next for YOU?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I'm getting OOOOLLLLLLDDDD!!!!!

I'm sitting here in a chair, leaning up against a heating pad.  I didn't do something glorious and graceful to hurt my neck/back.  No bicycle wreck.  No overworked muscles.  Nothing to be particularly proud of.

I slept wrong.

That's it.  I slept wrong somehow.  Nothing spectacular.  No great story.  I just woke up, and it hurt.  My ride yesterday morning was an adventure to say the least, because I couldn't turn my head to the left.

Did I mention I needed to check for traffic to cross the road to turn left a few times?  Go ahead, picture it...  I swear the whole thing played out like a greek tragedy comedy.  I'd get a good few miles in, then I'd need to turn.  I'd try to look left, have to turn my head to check over my shoulder for traffic, and wind up turning my whole body, which would then wind up making me slow down, and drift off my line.  Then I'd repeat the whole process.  Finally after an hour, it was over.

So off to the chiropractor I go.  Only, getting there was as much of an adventure as my ride was, because I couldn't look over my shoulder to check my blind spot.  Which left me giggling for the whole drive, because I kept thinking of this commercial:

 Anyone passing me must have thought I was crazy.  So I get to the chiropractor's office.  Now I just want to say that this guy's been great.  He has walk in hours - which - if you're an athlete, you know that injuries really don't give you much of a warning.  And they don't exactly give you the best timing either.  This season alone, I've had: a sprained ankle ten days before a marathon, a bicycle wreck two weeks before a race resulting in a sprained shoulder and a bruised femur needing x-rays, and a pulled adductor that took three dang months to heal.  He managed to put up with my diva behavior for all of the injuries, keeping me on my feet and my bike through all of them.

The adjustment itself isn't the huge sigh of relief most people think it's going to be.  He adjusted me, and it went something like this: My. Neck. Freaking. Hurts. To. Turn. Left. And. Now. He's. Making. It. Go. Left. AFFHGIEHGIEH@!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fortunately I survived.  A little more ability to turn my head than before, but not immediately all better.  Which is why I'm on my heating pad today.  I'm getting old.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Best Pictures of Ironman Texas 2012 and Giveaway

I came across these images while I was looking for any pictures of myself in the "lost and found" section of the images from Ironman Texas.  Finisherpix did an outstanding job that day, and I only wish they were there for more of my events.  I'll be downloading my own images as soon as I finish going through the lost and found.  In the meantime, I'm presenting these to you, mostly without comment.  Why?  Because it's giveaway time again!!!!  I'm going to link these to my facebook page here and you can go over there and get involved.  There are two parts to the contest.

Here's the rules:
  1. We're going to pick our favorite picture.  The one with the most 'likes'  on 6/22 at noon is the winner!  
  2. Once we've done that, we're going to caption it. (Bwahahahahahahah!)  Go ahead and start captioning the pictures now if you want.  At noon on 6/27, the caption with the most likes will win the giveaway!!!
  3. NO CRUELTY.  The athletes below worked hard to get to this point, and the day pictured was hard.  If you are intentionally mean, your caption will be deleted and then you will be banned.
  4. If any athlete pictured below wishes me to remove the image, I will do it without question.
  5. I want to stress that the pictures were posted here because I love them.  They were probably some of the most lighthearted or truthful moments of the entire day, the athletes made those hard times look easy, and Finisherpix did an incredible job of capturing them on film.  Some of these pictures tell the best story of the day.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

What Now?

I remember hearing about the post ironman slump.

It was all about athletes hitting a near depression.  No goals to reach for, no training plan to stick to, worried about weight because their training was no longer out pacing their calorie intake. No more "I'm just going to take one day at a time because I can't think past today's workout."  And the post race feeling of not having a purpose is not limited to Ironman finishers.  It spans 5k finishers to Ironman finishers and includes people who were unable to finish their race.

Now it's two weeks past the Ironman, and I have to ask myself: Now what?

Today I'm going to start my training again. I've got enough races under my belt to know how to pace a race, and I'm comfortable saying that while I need to put in volume on all three sports, my best improvement can be made in cycling

I really enjoyed most of the ironman. I did reach the point during the race where I swore I'd never do it again. I think everyone does. Less than three days later, however, I was counting down the time until I can return to the Ironman. I plan to go back the year that my youngest goes to school, which should be after September of 2015.
So, I'm going to do some goal setting in the meantime.

My goals:
Qualify for the Boston Marathon
Sub 5 hour half ironman

And I'm not in a rush for these - I'll get there when I get there.

I've got some time to think and plan.  One thing for sure - I'm adding some functional weight training to my workouts.  But it's time to enjoy my training for the sole purpose of running.  Or cycling.  Or swimming.

There's a feeling of pure joy in training for me that I didn't feel as much during the weeks that had 15-20 hours of training.  It's time to chase that feeling again.

Anything is possible now...