Saturday, February 28, 2009

Brutal, but fun (sort of)

So I have just a few minutes in between games and I thought I'd post a quick update.

This morning I dropped my daughter off for her games and then headed over to meet the cycle team for our nutrition clinic and our ride in the brutal 20+ mph winds. The winds were really bad, but lots of riders were willing to ride, so off we went.

When it started, I was in the first group. Luckily there were several guys in the group that I could tuck in behind, because it was BRUTAL. On the way out (heading straight into the north wind) we were going between 7 & maybe 11 mph. And that was pushing it. We had hoped to go farther, but after about an hour of stuggling in the wind, everyone decided to turn around and head back.

And that was the fun part. On one of the downhills, I was flying and reached 42.4 mph! Wahoo!!! That was fun. And there were parts where I was doing 25-30mph and didn't even feel like I was working at all. It only took us about 30 minutes to get back.

On the soccer front - My daughter's team lost all four games, but the one goal they did score was made by Madison!!! And, because there were only 4 teams in her division, they've qualified for nationals. Ha! They want to stay together and maybe even practice (imagine that) and play together some more. Should be interesting.

My son's team won 6-0. Their next game is at 6:30 and then we go straight from there to the Aztex game. And you can bet I'll be bundled up. The wind still hasn't died down.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Playing Catch Up

Gee, I didn't realize it had been so long since I last updated. I kept having things in my head to write about, but no time. So, let's see if I can get things caught up.

The weather here lately has been great during the week - highs in the 70s or 80s, but then it turns cold again during the weekend. But, I've taken advantage of the weather.

The Wednesday after the Austin Half, I rode outside for an hour. My neighborhood has some decent hills and lots of stops, so I only managed 14.32 miles, but right now it's all about getting time on the bike. Toward the end of the ride something seemed off, but nothing that I could see.

Thursday I went outside for a 3.5 mile run. The weather was perfect.

Friday was another bike ride. Only when I went out to get on my bike and checked my tires, my rear tire was FLAT! Ugghhh. I don't like flats to begin with, but the rear tire is always harder to change in my opinion. But I was determined to enjoy the nice weather so I began changing the tire. It took a while, but I did it. Because I had lost daylight due to changing the tire, I only managed to get in an 8 mile ride.

Saturday our TNT team met with the run, tri and hike teams for the honored hero mile. This is where we run, walk, or ride a silent mile in honor of all of those who have battled or are still battling leukemia or lymphoma. It can be a very emotional mile and it was this time for me. There are just too many people out there having to fight a battle that no one should have to fight.

After the honored hero mile, the cycle team went to a mostly empty parking lot to do a cornering clinic. The coach broke off the alumni from the beginners and told us to practice our cornering skills. What it turned into was a fast paced follow the leader through the parking lot - dodging cars, potholes and speed bumps. It was actually quite fun. Until the cold front blew through bringing with it cold wind and rain. Rain is not ok when you are doing a corning clinic. So that ended fairly quickly. The coach asked if anyone wanted to go out for a ride, but he didn't have too many takers. Being the cold natured person I am, I opted to head home and hit the treadmill for a 4 mile run. Then I showered and headed out to my son's soccer game.

Sunday after church I managed to get in a 15 mile bike ride. Monday was a TNT "cash bash" night, so no workout. Tuesday I was back to running (4 miles) and then Wednesday back on the bike for 11.77 miles.

Then yesterday I was excited. I had the time to get in an hour run and the weather was gorgeous! I headed out and the first few steps were sluggish. I felt "off" and my legs felt heavy. Not good. I made it 3 miles and didn't feel like I could go any more. I walked for a minute to see if that would help. Then I ran some more, walked some more, ran some more ... until I got to 4 miles. And then I walked home. I was disappointed because I was hoping to get in 6 miles. But, some days you have it and some days you don't. Thursday, I didn't have it.

Tonight we had to go shopping for a dress for my daughter. My husband's cousin's son (did you follow that?) is getting married next weekend and my daughter is in the house party. Because our church is so casual, the kids really don't have "dressy" clothes. So we went to buy a dress. Luckily we found one, because I don't know when else we were going to have time to shop. I'll have to post a picture after the wedding. It makes her look really grown up.

This weekend doesn't get any better. Saturday morning I have a 3 hour bike ride with the team. It will be nice to get out on some open roads and not have to be starting and stopping all the time. And it will be nice to be in a pace group because we are suppose to have winds up to 20 mph tomorrow. The ride out won't be any fun at all. The ride back might not be so bad. I just hope I'm in a group with lots of big guys who can block the wind for me :)

And, both of the kids are in soccer tournaments this weekend. Several of the boys on my son's team have older sisters and they all decided they were tired of being on the sidelines watching - they want to play! So, they are in a 3v3 tournament in one part of town while my son plays in a tournament in another part of town. Madison's games are from 9:00 to 1:00. Dalton plays at 9:00 and then doesn't play again until 6:30. I'm not happy about that, because.......

Saturday night we have tickets to the Austin Aztex vs. New England Revolution exhibition soccer game at 7:30. The Austin Aztex are the new professional soccer team here in town. They are playing 3 exhibition games against MLS teams. We can make two of them and the second one is against the Columbus Crew, which is the team we saw last summer when we went to Ohio for vacation. We ended up with season tickets, so it should be a fun summer of soccer. But, we'll have to go straight from my son's game tomorrow to the Aztex game.

Then Sunday morning my son has two more games - one at 8am and one at 12:30. I hate wasting time and not working out, so I asked if any of my teammates would want to meet me for a 2 hour ride between games and I had a couple of takers. The only problem is it's suppose to be in the 30s Sunday morning. I just hope there is no wind.

I joked today at work that I'd be glad when Monday got here so I could have a break! Does it ever slow down?????

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Austin Half Marathon

Well, after the warmer weather last week, a "cold" front blew through Friday night and the colder weather hung around for the Austin Half Marathon on Sunday.

Saturday morning I headed out to meet up with my cycling team. I was going to do a small warmup lap and then do the scheduled time trial. Plans changed after I got there, however. It was cold and windy and the warmup lap was the same route as the time trial (an 8-9 mile loop). After riding that first loop and being miserable from the cold, I told myself that if I did the time trial, I would push myself too hard and my legs wouldn't be rested for my half marathon Sunday morning. So, I just did the warmup lap and put my bike up.

That was probably a wise decision because I forgot just how hilly the half marathon course was.

Sunday morning I woke up at 4am, got dressed and ate my standard race day breakfast of oatmeal. I grabbed all my gear and left the house around 5. I met a friend of mine at the local HEB and we headed downtown to find a parking spot. Got a great spot and sat in the warm car for a little while. Around 6:15 we headed toward the race start and stopped at the Radisson to head inside for the bathrooms. Met up with some TNT folks and then walked to the start line.

Because I'm still trying to break 2 hours, I seeded myself between the 4hr and 4:15 marathon pace groups. I figured if I could stay between them, I might be able to kick it in at the end and meet my goal. Boy was I fooled.

The race got started a little late (not sure why) and was very crowded for the first 3-4 miles. I tried to stay on the outside to the right so that if I needed to pass I could do so on the sidewalk. I hit the first mile at 9:45. I'm thinking this is good. It's a little slow for hitting the 2 hour mark, but with the crowds, it's good. And I never want to go out too fast. Mile 2 was 9:32. Ok, I'm getting in my groove. Then I saw some friends who cheered for me. That always makes me feel good.

Mile 3: 9:36
Mile 4: 9:25

Somewhere along in here, I hear someone ask if the whole course is uphill. So far we've had gradual inclines, but the big hills are yet to come. We turn to head back to town and finally get a bit of a downhill.

Mile 5: 9:08

As we get closer to town, there is a much bigger crowd. It must have been so big that I missed mile 6.

Mile 6 & 7: 18:42

We are starting to see more hills now and I have my first 10 minute mile. Ugghh.

Mile 8: 10:00
Mile 9: 9:54
Mile 10: 9:59

Just before the half and full marathon routes split, we climbed another hill and at the top of the hill were more friends cheering me on. They really know how to help keep you going.

Mile 11: 10:02

And now we come to the biggest hill of the course. One of those where you are running, but could probably walk the same speed. As a matter of principal, I kept running.

Mile 12: 10:09

Another short uphill before turning toward the capitol and down toward the finish line.

Mile 13: 10:06

Then you start seeing signs. 800 meters. 400 meters. I kicked in what little I had left and finished the last .1 in 1:10.

Total official time was 2:07:30. Not even close to breaking the 2 hour mark, but on a course this hilly, I'm perfectly fine with it. My average pace was 9:45, so I'm happy.

Overall it was a great race. I'll probably do the half or full marathon every year if the date works out.

I took Monday off to rest my legs and get some things done that have been neglected - like getting Tank in to see our vet. They said he looks good.

Today it was dreary and misty here, so I put my bike on the trainer and rode for 45 minutes. Nothing hard, just a light, easy spin. I'll still be running, but it's time to shift the focus over to cycling for a few months.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Great Day For A Bike Ride

The past couple of days have given me some perfect weather for working out. After getting some rain here this week (and we haven't seen rain in forever), Tuesday afternoon and today were PERFECT for getting in workouts. The temps were in the mid 70s and the sun was out. What more could you ask for? Tuesday I ran, today I biked. Since I'm on limited time after I get home and before I have to take my daughter to work, I only got in 11.79 miles in 50:49 minutes (you don't get very fast when riding in the neighborhood and having to stop at all the stop signs). The important thing is that I got some bike time in. I can get more in once daylight savings happens. Besides, I have a half marathon this weekend, so I shouldn't do too much this week anyway.

The cycling season with Team in Training is off to a great start. We have somewhere between 40 and 50 cyclists. Some are doing a local event in May, but most are doing the America's Most Beautiful Ride in Tahoe. This past weekend was time to get the new riders use to their bikes and to get the intermediate riders use to riding in a pace line. The advanced riders took off for a ride. I hung around with the intermediate group and then did a couple of laps on the "autobahn" or South Mopac (which ever you want to call it). I ended up with about 25 miles. It's going to be a fun season.