Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Wednesdays Are Brutal

This morning when I woke up it was raining. Surprise, surprise. I wasn't sure whether I'd be able to get my bike ride in this afternoon or not, but I loaded my bike in the car anyway. Thinking that I probably wouldn't get to ride, I didn't take a gatorade or power bar. This would turn out to be a bad decision.

The rain let up this morning and the day stayed overcast, so I figured I would be ok with just my water. I headed to the veloway and rode 6 loops for a total of 19.24 miles. And I was dying again. The humidity kills me. I knew I needed to get some food in me before track practice so I stopped and grabbed some food and some more drink.

I got to track practice early, but I was glad. I took my yoga mat out to the pad where we do our core work, laid it out and then laid down and rested until the rest of the group got there. We had a small group tonight. Probably because everyone figured it would rain.

Tonight's track practice was a one mile time trial. We did a mile for warm-up, did our drills, stretched, and then did our time trial. We were suppose to go as fast as we could for that mile. Then our coach will plug in the number and tell us what our pace should be for the various other runs and drills we do. Last year when we did the time trial we did a 2 mile time trial. My time was 16:10 (so 8:05 per mile). Tonight my time was 8:34. On a full stomach and in brutal humidity, I'll take that any day. I'm still hoping at some point to get at least one mile with a 7 in front. Maybe this winter when the temps are lower.

Anyway, I'm beat now.

And you'll never believe it, but the rain just started again.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I Feel Like I'm Living In Seattle

Seriously. We've gotten more rain so far this year than we got ALL of last year. The rain just keeps coming. And it's overcast when it's not raining. The good part of that is that the temperatures have been in the 80s vs. the normal high 90s this time of year. The bad news is that it is causing me to have to alter my training schedule to fit the weather.

Monday I did my normal routine, but with a shorter swim and a treadmill run instead of hills. 1,500 meters in the pool and a 4 mile run.

Today it rained in the morning but this afternoon it was clear. I have a board meeting tonight so I would miss yoga anyway. I would normally get in a quick run, but because it wasn't raining I decided to head out for a bike ride. I think it is suppose to rain again tomorrow, so I'm not sure I'll get in tomorrow's bike ride, but if I do, that will be all the better.

One of these days it will feel like our true summer around here. And when that happens I'll be wishing for rain. Stay dry friends.

p.s. it just started raining again. Uggghhhh.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Lake Pflugerville Triathlon Race Report

This morning was the first Lake Pflugerville Triathlon. The race limit was 350, but looking at the results, only 311 people completed the triathlon. The race was a 500 meter swim, a 13.2 mile bike, and a 3 mile run. Here's the short and long summary.

Race time: 1:33:00 (that's the second time I've gotten an even race time in a triathlon)
Rank: 9th out of 21 in my age; 187 out of 311 overall

Swim time: 12:20 (9th in age group)
T1: 1:57
Bike time: 50:11 (11th in age group) / 15.8 mph average
T2: 1:50
Run time: 26:39 (9th in age group) / 8:53 pace

And here's the long version.

I woke up at 4:45 this morning. I had everything packed, so I just needed to get dressed, eat breakfast and load my bike before heading out. I had my standard pre-race breakfast of oatmeal and left the house around 5:30. The race site isn't too far from my house, so I figured I'd be a little early, but I didn't know if any roads would be closed or not. I think I said it in my Danskin report, but I'd rather get there, lay everything out and stand around for a while than be rushed.

I was early, but there were several other people already there as well. They went ahead and let us in transition. Sweet! I was able to get an end spot pretty much right in the middle. I was very happy with my spot. I got everything laid out, hit the port-o-potty, and then went to get my chip. I also checked out the area between the swim exit and the transition area. The path around the lake is a crushed granite path and from the swim exit to the transition area we would be on it for a while. I have pretty tough feet, but this stuff hurt. I decided I would stash my $2 flip flops at the exit by a tree and hope they were there when I got out.

The transition area closed around 7:15 and we all headed to the swim start to get in our waves. The waves were done in a strange order in my opinion. I can't remember the exact age cutoffs, but it was something like the following. The 40 and older men went first followed by the 40 and older women. This was followed by the women's waves starting from youngest up to the 35-39 age group. Then the youngest men went followed by the next oldest, etc. I was wave 5. The last wave of the women. This meant that the young males were right behind me. Oh boy.

After the national anthem, the swim started. Each wave went off in 3 minute intervals. We started next to a pier and tread water until they told us to go. I started on the front right. When we took off, I had a straight shot toward the first buoy. I managed to keep my line pretty well today. I wanted to try to push it a little more than I did in Danskin, but not too much. About halfway through, I started catching up with the slower swimmers from the wave in front of me. That always makes me feel good. I knew there were several in my wave that were in front of me, but I felt I was in a good spot. About 3/4 of the way in as I was approaching a slower swimmer from the wave in front of me, I got kicked. In the face. This is not an unusual occurance in a triathlon, but it happened because she was doing the breast stroke. Ugghh. And it was in my face. My goggles didn't come off, but they did come loose and fill up with water. I had to stop for a few seconds to empty them and get them back on. The joys of triathlons!

There were several volunteers in the water helping to pull you out of the lovely mud and onto dry ground. I ran up the swim exit area, found my flip-flops right where I left them, ran barefoot until I reached the granite path, put my flip flops on and ran into transition. It's not exactly easy to run in flip flops (especially with wet fee), but it was better than running on that crushed granite. I'm glad I did that.

In transition I kicked my flip flops off, put on my socks and bike shoes, put on my sunglasses and helmet and took off. Once I passed the mount line I got on my bike. I had a little bit of trouble getting my right foot to clip in today but it didn't cost me much time. Off I went.

The bike course for this triathlon is a little deceptive. If you were to drive the course, you would think it was fairly flat. This is not the case. There are lots of rolling hills. Not big hills, but long steady inclines. The good news is that there weren't any extremely difficult climbs. The bad news is there weren't any steep declines on which to build up a lot of speed. In the Danskin race two weeks ago my speed ranged from around 6 mph to 33 mph. Today it ranged from about 13 mph to 25 mph. In Danskin, you can rest your legs on the huge declines. Today, my feet were spinning the whole way. I'm a little disappointed in my bike time and the fact that I only averaged 15.8 mph. I did get passed by several of the speedy men in the waves behind me. They make it look so easy. I need to get out on those country roads more often!

I came back in from the bike, took off my helmet and bike shoes and quickly got my shoes on for the run. I grabbed my gatorade and race belt and took off. To be honest, I wasn't looking forward to the run course. We ran on the crushed granite path that surrounds the lake. I've run it many times on weekends or evenings. But the reason I wasn't looking forward to it is because it is boring. And you can see exactly how far you have to go the whole time you are running. And there are no trees. Luckily the weather was overcast so it wasn't too bad, but on a hot sunny day it is brutal out there. But it is almost as flat as they come, so that was good. They did have two water stops out on the run course. At the first one, I grabbed a cup of water and promptly poured it over my head. I skipped the second one. I'm not the fastest runner, but I did pass two women in my age group, so I was happy about that. And I had a little bit of kick left in me at the end for the finish.

Overall, it was a great race. I think it's a great location for a triathlon and I think it will be one that grows in future years if they can figure out how to make a bigger transition area. The city is planning to put a "beach" in on the other side of the lake and I heard someone from the parks and rec department say that when the "beach" is in, that will be where the swim start is. That should make for a softer run into transition.

I don't have any more races on the schedule right now until October when I have my two big ones. I know that I really need to work on the bike between now and then. I think biking on Wednesdays at the Veloway will help, but I've also got a very experienced cyclist from church who said he would go with me for some long rides on the weekends. You can bet we'll be hitting those country roads.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Heat vs. Rain

It's either one or the other it seems. It's either extremely hot with a heat index over 100 degrees, or it's pouring down rain.

Tuesday was my somewhat easy day. Tuesday is yoga day. Ahhhh. Yoga keeps me stretched out and relaxed. And my family reminds me all the time that I need to go to yoga. My daughter told me I couldn't go to Six Flags with her and our youth group from church on Tuesday. The real reason is that she wanted to experience some independence now that she is in youth group, but she told me that it was best if I stayed home and went to yoga. Who am I to argue? When I got home, I hopped on the treadmill for an easy 3 mile run.

After a heat index of over 100 yesterday I was kind of dreading my workouts today. On the schedule was a 75 minute bike ride and the track workout with Team in Training. At 4:00 this morning our weather radio went off - we were under a severe thunderstorm watch. When I got up, the sky looked dark but it wasn't raining. I loaded my bike on the car anyway. When I got to work I decided to put it inside my car rather than leave it on the bike rack. I'm glad I did. The rain came down. And it kept coming. But by the afternoon, it had cleared off so I decided to stick with my plan and head to the veloway. I was a little concerned because someone said that when it rains a lot the veloway floods. But as I was taking my bike out of the car I saw a cyclist go by and I knew I could make it. So I set off for a 75 minute ride.

When I do these rides, I'm not really going for speed at the moment. I'm just going for time on the bike. There are parts of the veloway where I go 20+ mph and there are spots where I go 7-10 mph. The good thing about today is that the rain this morning dropped the temperatures into the low 80s. Wahoo! And I enjoyed the scenery today. Things I saw during my ride: a bunny rabbit, a squirrel (which I though I was going to hit going up the biggest hill of the veloway), a deer, a cardinal and a roadrunner. I also have to laugh everytime I pass the sign that says "Caution: Snake Crossing". Good thing I didn't see a snake. I ended up going 19.88 miles. Not fast, but like I said, I wasn't going for speed today.

After the bike ride, I headed up to the track practice. We pushed the time back from 6:30 to 7:00 to hopefully help a little bit with the heat, so I still had some time before it started. Since tonight's game plan was hills and since I did hills Monday and had just gotten done with a 19.88 mile bike ride, I decided no hills for me tonight. I did about a mile and a half for a warm up and did a few straights and curves. I ended up going 3.33 miles on the track. When the group got there, I had them do a few laps for warmup, do drills and then we headed for the hills. They all did really well. After the cool down, I joined them for the core workout.

We'll see what tomorrow brings. Will it be the heat or rain?

Monday, June 18, 2007

Gotta Love Those Hills

Saturday morning I got up early to meet with the Team in Training group. We did our silent mile and then continued our run. We ran in a part of town that has some decent hills, so that was good practice for San Francisco. When we finished, my garmin said I had gone 7.93 miles. For some on the team, that is the furthest that they have ever run - so far anyway! Since I got my bike ride in Friday night, we spent the rest of the day shopping for my daughter to get ready for camp.

Sunday was Father's Day. We went to church and then went out to eat. About 3:30, we decided to go for a walk. My daughter wanted to ride her bike, so she rode while we walked. There is a new road going in behind our subdivision, so we walked on that to see how far it goes through. It was kind of nice. We even got some sprinkles.

Today it was back to the grindstone. I swam my 2,000 meters, came home, ate dinner, went to a meeting at church while my daughter was at volleyball practice, and then came home and ran 4 miles with 5 hill repeats thrown in. Like I said in the title, gotta love those hills. As much as I hate them, I am a firm believer in hill training. Especially if you will be running on a hilly course. It's the one thing I truly believe has helped me get faster.

But now I'm dead. It's bed time. Good night.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Squeezing It In and Getting It Done

Thursday's workout called for a 60 minute bike ride and a 3 mile run. My daughter plays volleyball with the church youth group on Thursday nights so I knew this wouldn't be done as a brick (run immediately after the bike ride). But then right before I left work I heard on the radio that the county just to the north of us was under a severe thunderstorm warning, and I wondered if I would be able to get any of the bike done.

As soon as I got home I turned on the news to see where the storm was, if we were going to get any of it and if so, when. It appeared the storm was to the north of us and would stay north. My husband was on his way home from work, so I got on my bike clothes and took off as soon as he got home. The sky was looking dark so I decided to stay close to home just in case. As I was riding the sky got darker and the wind started picking up. About 45 minutes into the ride, the wind got really strong and the temperature dropped to the upper 70s. I could have done without the wind, but the temperature felt great. It looked like we might get some rain so I headed home. I managed to get in 13.47 miles.

It still wasn't raining and we weren't sure about the volleyball game (they play outside) so we headed over to the church where the game was suppose to be. As soon as we got there we found out the game was cancelled. A small part of me was happy. We went straight back home and I hopped right on the treadmill for an easy 3 mile run. Not quite a brick, but close.

The long weekend bike rides will be done either Friday night, Saturday after my long run, or Sunday. I felt good today after work so I decided to go ahead and do the bike ride tonight. On the plan - a 2 hour bike ride. I decided that I would take it easy on the ride and not worry about how far I went. I just need to get the time in on the bike and know what it will feel like to be on it for that long or longer. Usually when I ride (or run) I push myself. And when I ride, I almost always ride with my hands in the "drops" or lower part of the handle bars so that I am in a more aerodynamic position. However, after a while, my lower back starts hurting. So tonight, I tried to stay in the "hoods" or upper part of the handle bars. I did a couple of long loops around my neighborhood and then I headed to the high school and crossed at the light to another neighborhood where I've found a decent loop without too many stops. I did this loop several times and then headed home. Total mileage - 25.07 miles. That's not even half of the distance I'll be doing on race day. I still have 31 more to go!

Tomorrow I'll run with Team in Training. I think we are scheduled to do 7 or 8 miles. The run tomorrow is also the Honored Hero run. The triathlon and cycle teams will be there with us and the first mile will be done in silence. At the end of the mile, the honored heroes will be there cheering for us. We'll continue our workout and then join them at the end for breakfast. Hailey and her family won't be able to make it, but Hailey will be with me in thoughts.

After the run in the morning I'm done with workouts until Monday. Sunday will be my off day which works out fine with it being Father's Day. If I don't update again before then, Happy Father's Day to all the father's out there.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

What Was I Thinking?

Yes, I know many of you have asked that anyway, but that's what I was thinking as I was doing today's workout. What was I thinking - signing up for two big events that take place in early fall. That means that as the temps rise my mileage and intensity increase. And the longest mileage will take place in the hotest month. Uggghhhh! I was dying today.

Let me back up first of all. After doing Danskin Sunday, I figured I'd at least swim on Monday. Swimming can be a great recovery workout and even thought I wasn't sore, swimming sounded good. I did an easy 2,000 meter swim with some drills thrown in. I took my own sweet time. When I got home, I ate dinner. Then when my son left for soccer practice, I took off for a 4 mile run with hill repeats. I've mentioned before that there is a great hill just around the corner from my house. I ran a mile route to get there and then ran up and down the hill four times. Then I ran easy until I hit four miles. At 7:30 at night, the heat wasn't too terrible.

Tuesday I was planning on doing yoga and then an easy 3 mile run. After yoga, I just didn't feel like running and decided to ditch the run. I justified it by saying that it was my day off after Danskin.

Today was a weird day. My husband was suppose to go to Dallas for business which meant my workout would have to be done around the kids. But at 5:00 this morning, the guy he was going to help in Dallas called and told him not to come. And that meant that I could go to track practice tonight with Team in Training. Since I live north and work way south, when I have track practice, I usually get my husband to get the kids and just stay south instead of fighting all the traffic. So this morning I gathered my biking and my running gear. I loaded my bike on my car and headed off.

After work I headed to the veloway. It's a nice loop a little over three miles and only traffic on wheels is allowed (bikes and roller bladers, but no foot traffic). I ended up doing 5 loops for 15.58 miles. And I about died when I got off my bike. I've said it before and I'll say it again - I don't do well in heat. I had taken water on the bike but the problem is that I had no ice at the office and so by the end of the ride, the water was hot. It didn't even feel good when I squirted it on my head. I grabbed the small gatorade bottle I had in the car and drank some of that and ate my Lara bar to get some energy back. Then I loaded up everything and headed to the track.

Once the team had gathered we did a few laps to warmup and then we did some drills (side-to-side, grapevine, butt kicks, high knees, backward running). And then it was time for the speed work. Tonight was straights and curves. What this means is that on the straight part of the track you run fast. Not an all out sprint, but fast enough that you cannot carry on a casual conversation. On the curves, you recover. We did 8 laps. On the first three, I was able to run fairly fast on the straights and jog the curves. The fourth lap did me in. I could still do a decent "sprint" on the straights, but I ended up walking the curves. Then we did a cool down and then came the fun stuff - core work. We did 3 sets of 15 of the following: push ups, crunches, toe touches (I don't remember what they are really called), and then 3 times we held the plank for 30 seconds. It seems like there was something else, but I can't remember right now. The heat must have gotten to me :)

By this time I was starving, so I made a pit stop at Taco Bell on my way home. A little protein from a bean burrito never hurt a runner did it? And when I got home I promptly added a coke to drink. I don't drink a lot of coke, but there's nothing that tastes better in my opinion after a long or hard workout in the heat than a nice cold coke. And I don't mean diet or caffeine free - I mean full leaded coke. I won't be able to get to sleep tonight, but that's another story. It hit the spot with dinner.

It may be a tough summer, but come October, it will all be worth it.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Danskin Race Report

The Danskin Triathlon is a 1/2 mile swim, 12 mile bike, and 3.1 mile run. The quick report is that I finished about 6 minutes faster than I did last year. My official time was 1:37:52. That put me 295 overall out of 2601 and 64 out of 477 in my age group. The breakdown is as follows:
Swim: 20:16 / 447th place
T1: 2:20
Bike: 42:52 / 484th place / 18.1 mph average
T2: 1:28
Run: 30:54 / 603rd place / 9:58 minutes per mile pace
Total: 1:37:52

For the long report, keep reading.

Before going to bed last night around 9:30, I set the alarm for 4:00 a.m. When it went off this morning, I got up, got dressed and made my way into the kitchen for breakfast. Before any race, I always have maple and brown sugar instant oatmeal and this morning was no different. After I ate I was ready to go. I knew I would be a little early getting to the race site, but I'd rather be early than late any day.

I arrived at the race site around 5:15. I parked with no problems and headed for the shuttle bus line. Since it was so early, there wasn't much of a line. They weren't suppose to start the shuttles until 5:30, but they let us on and as soon as the but was full, we headed for transition. When we got there I made a quick pit stop (one of many) and then went inside transition to lay everything out. (Next time I need to remember a flashlight)

The transition area is always interesting. If you are one of the first to rack your bike the day before, you never know how many other bikes will end up squeezed in around yours or which way they will face. Some people rack their bikes by the seat and some by the handlebars, so that affects space, too. When I got to my bike, a few others had indeed squeezed in and it seems most were facing the same way as mine. This is not what you want as that means everyone sets up their transition space on the same side and things can get crowded. A couple of triathletes noticed the same thing when they got there and turned their bikes, but some didn't. My thought was just beat them out of the water and not have to be in transition at the same time.

Since I had gotten there early I had plenty of time to lay things out how I wanted them. And as soon as the bike support was ready I took my bike over to have my tires inflated. I had deflated them a little when I dropped off my bike yesterday because of the heat. Some people say heat doesn't affect the tubes in the tires, but I've been in transition when some have popped and it hasn't been because someone was over-inflating them. I'd rather be safe than sorry. Then I took another pit stop, got body marked and put anti-fog in my goggles.

When it was time I grabbed my goggles and swim cap and headed down to the swim start. I was in wave 11, so I had about a half hour from the first wave until my wave went off. Waiting wasn't too bad and it was kind of overcast, so it wasn't too hot. For a minute, I thought we were going to get some rain. I was ok with rain during the swim and/or the run, but not for the bike. The Danskin bike course is hilly with some sharp turns and wet streets would not be good for that. Luckily, the rain stayed away.

When it was time for my wave to head down to the water I tried to get close to the front. I'm not the fastest swimmer, but I'm not the slowest either. I've tried being in the back before, but I get kicked in the face too much as I pass other people. I ended up being in the second row which worked out well for me today. When we took off it was kind of crowded and I did get kicked and bumped, but that happens in a triathlon. I just tried to stay to the inside and keep swimming like I know how to swim. It worked for me today. I ended up passing some people in the wave in front of me which always makes me feel good. As I reached the end, I kept swimming until I could grab the hand of one of the swim volunteers and then I let him pull me out of the water. And as I took the next step, I slipped. Ooops.

When I got out of the water, I took the goggles and swim cap off and ran to the transition area. After swimming, it's not easy as the path is all uphill. Ugh.

I got to the transition area, wiped my feet quickly on my towel (evidently not good enough - I'll explain later), put my socks on, put my bike shoes on, put my sunglasses on, put my helmet on, sucked down a Cliff Shot Energy Gel, grabbed my bike and took off running to the mount line.

Once I was on my bike and going, I tried to get into a decent breathing pattern again. Coming from swimming and quickly into transition, I always seem to be huffing and puffing when I get on the bike. Luckily, the first part of the bike course is mostly flat or down hill with gently rolling hills. The big hills come later. Somewhat early in the course is also a big downhill, a sharp right turn, and a BIG uphill. If you don't know about it and aren't ready, it could spell trouble. Many people get off their bike and walk it up the hill. Knowing your gears is important. I was prepared and went into the hill in an easy gear, but it sure didn't feel easy. There were also a few bumpy, narrow spots this year due to construction so we had to slow down for those. Overall my speed ranged from 5mph to 33mph.

When I got to the dismount line, I quickly got off my bike and ran it in. I put it back on the rack, got my bike shoes off and my run shoes on, took off my helmet, grabbed my race belt and gatorade and took off running. The past two years when I've done Danskin it has been so hot that I have had to walk at least part of the run course. Plus, the run course is more of a cross country course which I'm not use to. I run on smooth pavement, not uneven grass. This year my goal was to run the whole thing. And I did. There were times my run wasn't very fast, but I kept my feet moving in a running motion. I think the gatorade helped. And at one point about halfway through, the volunteers had big waterguns and if you wanted to be squirted by them they would squirt you. It felt really good. But then there is the hill at the end. It's not a big hill by running standards, but after everything else you've already done, it seems like a killer hill. I was determined NOT to walk up it. So I just kept moving forward. I finally conquered it.

As I crossed the finish line, I was happy to see that I had beat my time from last year. There is still room for improvement, though. I think my swim time has gotten worse every year I've done Danskin. Not sure what's up with that. But my bike time and run time have improved. I'll take it.

Since we couldn't get back into transition for a while, I found the food and then headed to the finishing chute so I could cheer on anyone else who came through that I might know. There were several Team in Training folks who did the race, so I cheered for them, too. And it was also during this time that I noticed what felt like something in my shoe. That's always possible in a triathlon since you run barefoot from the swim back to transition and on this course since it was in the grass. I sat down took off my shoe and then my sock to see what may be in there. I'm not sure if there was something or if it happened when I slipped coming out of the swim, but my big toe has two nice cuts in it. Nothing too bad, but it looked pretty nasty with all the dirt in there, too. Not much I could do about it at the time, so I wiped it off with my sock and then put my sock and shoe back on.

When transition opened up I went to get my stuff and then found a spot at the end of the finisher's chute to watch for the ladies from my church. I wanted to see them come across the finish line and I was able to catch all three of them as they crossed. If any of you are reading this, know that I am SO proud of all of you. You are now officially TRIATHLETES! I hope you had fun.

Once they were across it was time to head home. This year I actually rode my bike back to the parking lot. The distance from the parking lot to the transition area is probably a mile or a little more and it can be a brutal walk back carrying all your stuff and trying to direct your bike. This year, I put my backpack on and rode. Much better.

I'm back home (obviously), I've showered and eaten, and I am heading for the couch for a nap.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Getting Ready for Danskin

True to my last post, I did not do any exercising yesterday or today. Ahh, the joys of getting ready for a race.

This morning, I was up early to meet the Team in Training group. Since I'm doing Danskin, I had volunteered to be the aid station today. My daughter went with me because she didn't want to go with my husband to my son's soccer tournament. The half marathoners were scheduled to do 3 miles and the full marathoners were to do 6 miles. While they were running, my daughter and I just hung out in the parking lot waiting for them to finish. It was quiet for a while, but then they started trickling in. The coach was hosting breakfast at her house today, but by the time the last person came in and we got there, almost everyone was leaving. And that was ok, because I needed to get my bike checked in for the Danskin triathlon tomorrow.

After leaving the coaches house, we drove straight to the Danskin race site. We went in, got my chip and bib number, got my shirt and goodie bag, and even tried to win a Trek bike (my key was not the winning key - darn!). Then we drove to the transition site and took my bike in for me to find my "spot". I guess different triathlons may do things differently, but the ones I have done have been the same. When you take your bike to the transition area, you don't have an assigned spot. You have to find your own. Some have assigned areas for certain numbers, but that's as specific as you get. I always like to be on the end if possible because it gives me a little more room. No such luck today. I've been lucky with Danskin in that my assigned row has always been in a great spot relative to the swim exit, the bike in/out, and the run start. But I had to be about 4 bikes from the main pathway today. It's still a great spot and having that spot always helps with transition times.

Here are a few pictures from the race site.

After leaving my bike, we headed to Chick-fil-A to grab a bite to eat. The reason we picked Chick-Fil-A is because today (at least in our area), they were donating proceeds from the sale of lemonade to an organization called Alex's Lemonade Stand. Alexandra "Alex" Scott was a young girl diagnosed with cancer. She wanted to donate money to hospitals to help other children like her who were diagnosed with cancer, so she set up a lemonade stand in her front yard. Alex lost her battle in 2004, but her parents continue her efforts. Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundaton for Childhood Cancer has now raised more than $6 million dollars for childhood cancer. For more information on this foundation, you can go to: And yes, my daughter and I both had lemonade.

After eating, we headed home and I relaxed while waiting for my son and husband to get home from the soccer tournament. Once they got home we went to eat dinner. I like to eat pasta the night before a big race so we headed for Italian food. We've just got home and I'm getting ready to pack my bag for tomorrow's race - goggles, anti-fog, swim cap, bike shoes, socks, helmet, sunglasses, running shoes, race belt with race number, water bottles, gatorade, etc. You get the picture. Packing for a triathlon requires much more than packing for a running race. For those, you just wear what you need for the race. I wear the same thing throughout the tri, but I have to change shoes for the bike and run and you can't forget the helmet. Anyway, after I'm packed, I'll watch some tv or read a magazine until I'm ready for bed. And that may be early because I need to be at the race site to catch the shuttle to the transition area by 5:30 a.m. I like to get there early and get everything laid out. Transition closes at 6:45 and the first swim wave goes off at 7:00. I think my swim wave goes off closer to 8:00. I'll be ready.

By the way, my son's soccer team won second place.

I'll post a race report some time tomorrow.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Hot, Hot, Hot!

It's not even officially summer yet, and it's heating up. Temps have been in the low 90's this week and it's only going to get worse.

Yesterday I finally got my swim in. I ended up running 4 miles first and then headed for the pool. After running the 4 miles, I wish I could have jumped straight in the pool, but since we don't have one in the back yard, I had to drive to the gym. The water felt good. Since I didn't know if the cough would come back or not, I decided to do an easy swim. I still swam the 2,000 meters I normally swim, I just swam slower. Right before bed, I started coughing some, but not near as bad as last week when I swam. Hopefully the Advair is working.

Today I knew I needed to get my workout in as soon as I got home. My son had soccer and my daughter had volleyball, plus I was meeting some people for dinner, so it was going to be a quick workout, too. Based on that, and since I haven't been on the bike in a while, I decided to go for a bike ride for as long as I could before I needed to get back home and shower. I ended up getting 9.45 miles in, but it was grueling. The high temperature today was 92 with a heat index of 99. And to top things off, there were 20-30 mile per hour gusts of wind. And as luck would have it, those winds came at me on the uphills. I felt like I was going so slow, and the sweat was just dripping off me. I just hope the temps don't warm up too fast on Sunday, and I hope the wind dies down before then. Otherwise, I may be toast!

Since Danskin is Sunday, I'll probably take tomorrow and Saturday off. Saturday for sure. If I do anything tomorrow, it may be an easy 3 mile run (either on the treadmill or late at night!). I'm as ready as I'm going to be for Sunday. I just hope the cough stays away and I'm able to push myself.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Finally An Update

Sorry to go so long between updates. Time flies when you're having fun, right?

So, after the cough came back Wednesday night after the swim I decided to go back to the doctor. I got in to see the doctor, but it wasn't my doctor. And I'm actually ok with that because she didn't just listen to me breath, listen to my symptoms and tell me it was allergies. She listened to what has been going on and checked a few other things. She thinks I may have exercise induced asthma caused by the cold water in the pool when I swim. She put me on Advair to see if that will help. The only problem is I haven't had time to get back to the pool to see if there is a difference. Maybe tomorrow.

Thursday night my daughter had her first volleyball game with the youth group at church. They didn't do so well, but had fun trying. Friday night was my brother's birthday, so we went out to eat with him. Saturday morning I ran 5 miles with my Team in Training group and did some things around the house. We ended up over at my brother's for a while because he is making something for me. By the time he was finished, it was time for dinner, so we went out to eat again and then one of my nieces spent the night with us. Sunday was church and youth group and then a big thunderstorm blew through.

I ended up not being able to swim yesterday because I had to do some things after work and then had a meeting at church, but I was able to get in 4 miles on the treadmill. I'm ready to get back outside for my runs. The only problem now is that it's getting so hot my runs will have to be later in the evening. That will work well on Mondays, but will be harder the rest of the week. Tonight was my favorite night - yoga night. The rest of the week will be a challenge. My daughter has a dentist appointment tomorrow and another volleyball game Thursday night.

The Danskin triathlon is Sunday, so my workouts this week aren't hard ones. I'm aid station for the group run Saturday morning with TNT and then I'll head off to check in for Danskin and leave my bike in transition for Sunday morning. I'll go into more details on that in another post.