Monday, May 31, 2010

Where Did May Go?

"No one ever drowned in sweat." Author Unknown

I cannot believe today is the last day of May. It seems like the month has flown by. I do want to take time today, however, to thank the men and women who are in the military and who put their lives on the line to protect ours. Because of what you do, I can enjoy the freedom of choosing what I do.

And as most of you are aware, one of the things I have chosen to do this year is Ironman Florida. I have been following my training plan now for about a month and things are going well. I've had to shift days of some workouts due to kid schedules, but it seems to be working out.

The week after the fun run mentioned in my last post, I rode in the Real Ale Ride. I knew it would be a hilly ride as I have ridden many of those roads before, but I didn't realize how humid, hot, and windy it would be. And I didn't realize how much those hills would kick my rear. I have not trained on hills this year. Ironman Florida is flat, so why train on hills? Well, I don't need to train on them all the time, but I do need to ride more hills to make me stronger.

Within the first 10 miles of the ride, I was struggling. My quads were burning and I was dripping with sweat. I was ready for the first aid station to take a little break. Turns out that I was ready for EVERY aid station on the course. We'd go up a hill at 5mph and come down the other side at 35mph. And as the day went on, the wind picked up. And mentally, it beat me down.

Last year in April during a pay ride, I crashed. Turns out my front tire blew out, but it was a windy day and I still associate the crash with the wind. I don't mind wind on flat roads when I'm struggling to go 10mph, but 15-20mph winds when flying down a hill at 35mph messes with my mind. I went as far as I could but at 50 miles I had had enough. I used the SAG vehicle to get back to the start and called it a day. It was one of the hardest things I've had to do.

My run the day after this ride was a suffer fest. My son was confirmed at church that morning, so I delayed my run until the evening. And despite the fact that summer does not officially start until the end of June, the temps around here tell me otherwise. I am completely soaked after every workout done outside.

During the week, I moved my workouts up a day in anticipation of spending most of the Memorial Day weekend at a soccer tournament. We found out Wednesday, however, that the tournament was not going to happen for our boys. I stayed with the plan, though, and decided my body could use a break during the weekend.

So, on Friday I did my long ride. A 40 mile ride in 2 1/2 hours in the 90 degree temps. But, with proper nutrition, it really wasn't that bad. And it was done. I got up Saturday morning and got in my 1:15 run and 7.82 miles. Then the family headed out to the local lake for some relaxation.

While at the lake, I did try to relax, but I couldn't resist riding a lap around the lake on my newest toy. I have a tri bike and a road bike, but can't ride either of those on crushed granite trails or off road. We are going camping this summer so I figured I needed a mountain bike. Hey, one can never have too many bikes, right? Riding the mountain bike will take some getting use to for me. For starters, I have regular pedals on it (for now anyway) and it feels weird for my feet to not be attached to the bike. Then there is the whole issue of sitting up straighter than on the other bikes. That will take some getting use to as well. I think it will be fun to have, though, if I can enjoy it and not take it too seriously.

Sunday after church we headed up to the state park we will be camping at this summer. We wanted to check it out before we go to see what it was like. Each campsite has a picnic table and a fire ring, so that's good. But, we did get some ideas of things we need to get. We need a clothesline to hang between trees and dry the wet clothes. My daughter wants some noodles or floats for hanging out in the lake. We will need fans and LOTS of water to drink. It's a nice place and I'm getting excited about the trip. In fact, we came home and put up the small tent in the backyard. The kids were going to sleep in it last night, but decided their bed sounded more comfy.

This morning I slept in and then went for my run. Only an hour today. I got in 6.29miles, but the humidity messed with my breathing. And sweat dripped in my eyes. I was soaked again. This will be the norm the rest of the summer. For now I will relax, but this afternoon I will head out to the lake again to get my swim in. I'm meeting a friend who will be doing her first triathlon next weekend. I'm excited for her and have decided to volunteer at the tri so I will be there to cheer her on.

I hope you and your family enjoy the Memorial Day.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Hardware is NICE!

"Set your sights high, the higher the better. Expect the most wonderful things to happen, not in the future but right now. Realize that nothing is too good. Allow absolutely nothing to hamper you or hold you up in any way." Eileen Caddy

Ever since I started running (training on a regular basis and enterring races) in 2005, I have dreamed of placing in the top 3 of my age group. Today, that dream came true when I got 3rd place in the women 35-39 age group.

Most races around here have thousands of people in them. The top in my age group run 6 minute miles. I've gotten faster over the years, but I've never seen a "6" at the front of a mile time. My only chance is to run fast in some small races. So, a few years ago I started running in the local 5K which starts just a mile from my house. One year I came in 4th, just 20 seconds behind 3rd place. But today, luck was on my side.

I woke up this morning, went through my normal routine and then headed out about an hour before the race. Since the start is so close, I jogged to the start as a warmup. Once I got there, I got my chip, attached it to my shoe, and did some stretching. I hit the port-a-potty and got in line for the start.

As usual, when the gun goes off, I'm passed by a wave of people who sprint out of the gate. I've learned to ignore it and do my thing. I knew the course had some hills in the beginning, but hit mile one at a 7:50 pace. I knew that with the humidity this morning, I couldn't hold that pace, but I was going to give it my best shot.

I hit mile 2 with a split of 8:17 and told myself to hang on. I only had one more mile to go, but was drenched in sweat. There was a little boy about 8 running next to me and I figured if he could do it, so could I. the last mile and a half is either downhill or pretty flat, so I was happy when I hit the corner and started downhill. Then when I turned on the road to the finish, I was happy. I didn't know if I'd get a PR or not, but I just kept pushing. Mile 3 split was 8:17. The last .1 mile took 51 seconds.

And just like that, I was done in 25:13. It wasn't a PR and I wasn't sure it would be good enough, but I kept hoping. When they posted the initial results, I was 2nd, but I had started right up front so I knew that might change and it did. But I stayed at 3rd and got my first hardware ever. I was very happy.

The sad thing is that on my bithday next month I age up to a new age group. If I had already aged up, I would have gotten first place in that age group today. Bummer! How often do you wish you were older than you are?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Busy Times

"You will never find time for anything. If you want time you must make it." Charles Buxton

Some people think December is the busiest time of the year. For me, I feel like May can be just as busy if not busier. The end of the school year always brings lots of kid activities. And there are always graduation parties. This year is no exception.

Madison has started "summer" league volleyball and it's not even summer yet. These games pretty much take Wednesday evening as it's a drive to get there and back and she plays two games a night, usually an hour apart.

Thanks to the rain we had earlier this year, Dalton has twice as many soccer games in May, thanks to makeup games. This means games on both days of the weekend for a couple of weeks. Plus, he is being confirmed on the 23rd.

But never fear. Somewhere in there I am squeezing my training in. I've had to rearrange a couple of days to squeeze it in, but it's working. I'm making the time.