Sunday, December 18, 2011

Back on the run

After taking a little more time off due to injury and illness, I did my first jog/walk in a while yesterday.  I had to back it off a bit, but I went a lot further than I ever thought I would go for a backed off run.  2.5 miles.  It took me a little longer than I had wanted, but considering that I am still not back to 100% breathing and my sinuses are still a little smashed, it was pretty good. 

I took my training partner with me and he did quite well. He wears out a lot quicker than he used to, but considering that he is 11 years old. He's a great little dog, but I wouldn't take him any further than that because he is an old man. I took a picture of him on the way home and you could tell how worn out he was.
.  The good news was that I didn't have any issue with my leg/shin and once I got back in the groove again, I was fine.  I just had to get back in the groove again.  I am hoping to get back to three runs next week and enjoy my time.  I even woke up this morning with very little soreness.  Not bad after several weeks with no running.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Princess Half training and another week off

Well, I had to take another week off due to my right shin and then additionally a raging Sinus infection.  I head to the doctor tomorrow to take care of it.   I hope to be back to training tuesday. 

I have been stressing myself a little about missing training and also the pacing issue with my jog/walk strategy for the race.  Let me give you three words that describe my run pace.. I AM SLOW!!!  With 6 knee surgeries to my credit and plenty of softball injuries to my legs and ankles... I am just don't move well.  I decided to take a look at the slowest times from last year's Princess Half Marathon.  I am figuring that at WORST it will take me 3 hours and 30 minutes to finish the 13.1 miles.  The slowest time recorded on the site was 4 hours 12 minutes.  That will give me hopefully a 45 minute cushion with which to work. 

The only true goal I have for the half marathon is to finish.  I honestly think that I have been over-thinking all of this, but that is my nature.  I just need to keep training and do what I need to do each week.  If I do that, I will be just fine come February 26, 2012.  I feel better and I just had to share that with everyone.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Off Week

I now know why people build rest weeks into training.  This became a rest week due to injury.  I was having issues with my shins and finally figured out that it may be due to my shoes.  After a couple of days with rest I went to a new (old) store to be fit for a new pair of running shoes and started from ground zero.  I did take my shoes that I had been running in, but I told the guy that I was working with that I wanted to go in with zero bias.  I wanted him to take me through the same steps he would take everyone else through. 

The first step was to look  at my arches and how my feet make contact with the ground while I am barefoot.  The  next step was to look at my stride in a zero stability shoe and she if I was pronating while running.  The used a video camera and measuring tools to measure the amount of pronation during my stride. 

Technically, I was in the best stability shoe that Mizuno made, but it wasn't I guess what I needed.  I have switched back to my original running shoe, the Asics Kayano.  I have always been an Asics girl and the switch to Mizuno was odd. I am hoping some of the other underlying issues I was having as well will cease.  I was having issues with blistering on the balls of my feet which I had never had in my Asics. 

I plan on cycling tomorrow if I can get my stomach feeling any better.  I am feeling a little under the weather today and hoping it's not a big stomach bug that has been going around.  I am chilling today and hoping to ride tomorrow.  The ride will  be in place of my long run.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Turkey Trot and Training

Well, at least I went into the Turkey Trot on thursday with the proper mindset.  It was a training run and nothing else.  Because if I was going for a time result... it would have sucked.  It was a horrid jog/walk anyway, but if I had my mind set on a specific time, it would have been even worse.  I was disappointed enough in how it went as a training run.  It was my furthest run ever... IN MY LIFE!!  It was an 8k or 5 miles.  The first 3 to 3.5 miles went as planned, maybe a little faster than planned and that is where the downfall began.  I must have been doing well because a guy running near me was using me as his pacer.  He was trying to keep pace with me.  I was just trying to do my own thing and here is this guy using me as his rabbit.  I guess it made me feel good, especially when my left calf seized up and all I could do was walk.  The only thing I can figure is that my calf got too tight before the run started and then through the hills it continued to tighten and then the last hill it wratcheted to the final point that my foot went numb and I couldn't run again until it released.

What made it worse was that I was passed by the blue-light escort within the last mile.  Fortunately, I am just so determined that I finished even though I walked the last part of the "race."  I am not one to quit unless someone pulls me off.. I am a little dogged in my determination. 

The Stick is the best thing known to runners and cyclists alike.  I bought mine several years ago when I was doing a lot of training for the MS 150.  My legs would get tight with all the miles I was doing on the bike.  I am also using another product.

CEP Compression Products are another product I am using.  I am using both sleeves and socks.  I prefer the sleeves, but the socks have a graduated compression which my legs seem to respond to.  Even better is that I can wear them for flights or travel because I bought the medical grade compression.  So for someone like me that has clotting issues normally, my compression socks for training can double as a life-saving device. 

Road ID I never run, cycle or train anywhere without this product.  It even doubles as a medical alert for me.  I have the interactive so heaven forbid I have a seizure somewhere and I am unresponsive or get hit by a car or fall doing something silly.  At least I have my id on me and all my medical information is available right there. 

These are some of my favorites and I will post more favorites as I go.

As far as more training.  I also did a brief training run this evening for 30 minutes and 1.54 miles.   This puts my total training mileage for 2011 at 43.81 miles on the run.  For me, it is a personal best and every mile from there is increasing that personal best.  I stand a good chance of getting past 75 miles by the end of the year if I keep it up.  I'm going to start my countdown here, so the race is February 26, 2012.  We are under 90 days or right at.  Let's go.  I am one month into training and it is finally starting to feel good.  Some days feel not so good, but not bad. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

More training and an upcoming 5 miler

More training!!!  4.2 miles sunday evening, travel day on monday and tuesday.  I was able to get a training run in yesterday before heading to my cousin's graduation from infantry school.  I got in an easy 1.3 miles and then upstairs to shower and changed.  I am planning to pick up a couple books and learn from a couple people about the changes I need to make dietetically.  I am surprised that I am close to being able to run half of my half marathon distance at my 1:1 jog/walk ratio and I am quite happy with that.  It's been a struggle early, but as long as I stay with my training, it will continue to improve and I will get stronger.  Off to cook thanksgiving and I will do my best to run early in the 5 miler and then be able to eat a decent, but not too big turkey dinner.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Princess Half, here I come

Well, I've begun my training for my next big thing. 

I am registered for the Princess half marathon on February 26, 2012.  My first big event in 2012.  I saw the medal last year during the Royal Famil 5k and just had to have it.  SERIOUSLY, this thing is some major bling.  It will be my first MAJOR bling that I'll be able to rock.  I just finished week two with just under 4 miles for the week.  For me, the non-runner, that's a good week.  I'm still working on this whole running thing. 

I have an 8k planned for Thanksgiving day which to be honest, I am mildly concerned about.  I had to flip two weeks on my training plan.  Thanksgiving week was supposed to be a short week, but I've wanted to do the Turkey Trot for several years and I mis-read my training plan and registered.  Oh well.  Can't change it now.  I'll just go do it and have fun with it.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Here we go

Well, after a lot of rehab and several hundred miles of cycling, cycling season is OVER!!
I didn't do my usual end of season triathlon as I got closed out this year. My friend ran it this year and did quite well. Once I finished Bike MS, the bike was put away for a while and I have already headed into half-marathon training. I am seriously hoping the knees can hold up to a four month training plan, but I am also planning to cross-train and use my bike to help me limit the stress on the knees. February 26 is the date.
This year my sister has said she is going to run with me. I hope she is already training. The one thing I have already told her, I have given her nearly 5 months to prepare for this. I am not staying with her. I stayed with her during a 5k at the end of May and by the end my calves and quads were killing me from not doing my normal race strategy, I walked a very hilly course for a long time. I kept my promise to my sister that I would help her finish her first 5k and I did. But the half is a bucket list item and I plan to train and be NOWHERE NEAR the cutoff mark. They aren't going to have the chance to pull me off the course unless it involves an ambulance.
The official training plan begins Halloween weekend and I am doing some maintenance work prior to that. I have been working on a 5k plan to get my fitness or maintain my bike fitness in between. I've been doing well maintaining my training plan to this point and have actually run more this year than any previous year (unless you count middle school.) SERIOUSLY!!
I have crossed the 26 mile mark this year and it will only go up from here. Please, keep me in your prayers, my knees and I need it desperately.
Thank you so much everyone and please click follow to keep up with the updates. I'll be posting my training plan shortly and you all can help keep me honest. If anyone wants to join me on a training jog/walk, let me know. I would enjoy the company. Especially as it gets colder.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Rehab update

Well, the first pt session went as well as could be expected. Actually, maybe better.

Range of motion for flexion was 105 degrees. Expected range of motion at one week postop is expected at 90 degrees. I was only 1.5 days postop. I had already ditched the crutches, walking without a limp and doing really well.

Modified pt, leg lifts, quads, calf stretches and hamstring stretches.

Saturday was a busy day and I was up A LOT!!! I took today (sunday) easy, stayed off the leg a fair amount to try to keep the swelling down. It looks pretty good and I am hoping the improvement continues.

I am hoping to just do easy laps on my hybrid bike tomorrow night at the church. Nice flat and easy laps around the church parking lot. One of my riding buddies has said he would ride with me, which is awesome. I miss my team and my friends. I can't wait to get back on the bike, but I also need to do it within reason. I don't want to have to need another surgery within 18 months again.

Still hoping to start training in time to get a full half-marathon training plan in, but we'll see.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Well, crap

I hadn't posted in a while and for good reason.
I had been dealing with a knee injury and all things considered, (two significant surgeries last year) it wasn't something I really wanted to face. Add to that the sweltering heat here in the southeast and I hadn't been doing much training.
Shortly after July 4, I registered for the Princess half-marathon at Disney World in February. '
I hadn't ridden in about 10 days and for a while, my rides had been quite uncomfortable. My left knee would scream with every downstroke of my pedal. I hadn't felt that in so long and I was just hoping it was positioning of my cleat, changed that, didn't work. Bought new pedals to give my knees a little more "float" so my feet weren't quite so locked into a certain position hoping that would help. NOPE!! Finally, I went out on the 16th attempting a long ride before my mission trip and 1/2 mile in, I knew something was really wrong with my knee. I turned around after 2 miles. Returned to the start and all I really wanted to do was throw my bike. Not that it would really solve anything, but it just might make me feel better... at least until I realized the damage to my bike.
I had my mom contact my orthopedist while I was on my mission trip and get me an appointment. That appointment was yesterday. All the x-rays looked great. The only problem is, it didn't feel so great. I had a catch that was quite painful and even despite bracing for several weeks as a precaution, I hadn't seen any improvement. So, decision was made yesterday to take care of the knee quickly to prevent any further damage and possibly future injury that would be worse than what was currently going on.
I had surgery this afternoon to cleanup the knee cap and the damage that has happened since the surgery last year. The good news is, there wasn't any damage we weren't expecting. I start rehab on friday and hope to be back on the bike in the next two weeks. I'll have to take it easy, but fortunately I have a good cycling base already in place.
Additionally, the half-marathon training plan hasn't started yet, but my therapist should be able to get me to a point where I can train from the end of the rehab and into the training plan.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Good week

I had a great week this week, between Saturday and Monday I rode approximately 50 miles.

That is a great week. I haven't ridden since monday due to work, but I am working a ride tomorrow and hope to get a brief run in tomorrow night. I hope to get a brief ride in sometime sunday, but I am unsure of the time due to family obligations.

Additionally, I have Father's Day plans that I can't fully discuss as my blog posts to facebook and hubby could read it. Our daughter has come up with an excellent plan and I won't ruin it.

So, I hope everyone has a great weekend and Happy Father's Day to my dad and hubby.

Monday, June 13, 2011

A little inspiration in return

I have had several people tell me recently that I have inspired them to start running or cycling.


I never really saw myself as inspirational and to hear that from people I haven't met personally, but I know them through online contacts. Some of them I have known or spoken to for over 10 years.

Most of what I do running or cycling is to stay healthy, lose a little weight and stay strong. Avoid some of those nasty little buggers that start becoming an issue as I approach age 40.

Unfortunately, this weekend, my knees decided that I needed a break. I rode 30 miles on saturday and my left knee, which is the one that took the longest to recover after surgery last year, flared up pretty bad during the ride. Yesterday it was a little worse. Today isn't so bad, but I am also planning on heading to a cycling shop to get my bike refit.

Evidently from what I have heard, when you start doing more running, your body adjusts and now my body and muscles don't fit my bike as it was. It needs to be adjusted. So that is the plan for today. I need to call the bike shop and get it set up. I may hop on the bike briefly this morning and see if anything has changed, but I also plan to get this done either way.

I can't and I won't destroy my knees again. Thanks to my friends for the inspiration in return. It means a lot.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Delayed Post

Sorry for the delay y'all. In my best southernese.

I was on vacation and then life immediately ramped right back up. While on vacation, I ran a 5k with a friend and despite spending 8 hours in the car the day before was only 5 seconds off my previous best with a time of 42:44. Wow. The little bit of running I have been doin has been helping. Now I am doing more run training I might drop that time even more.

I did one more run while I was in Mason, Ohio following a night at a baseball game and while it was only 1.6 miles, it felt good to be out. The next day hubby and I went for a 3.25 mile walk.

We left to come home on June 3 and I had another 5k planned on June 4, my anniversary. The plan for that one after another day in the car was to stay with my sister who was doing her first 5k and had been fighting bronchitis for close to two weeks. She had two goals going in and they were to finish in under 60 minutes and also to beat me. I would do anything I could to give her the first one, but with as competitive as we both are, she was going to have to work for the second. In the end, I had stayed with her for just shy of the three mile mark and there was one last hill and for me, the best way to get it was to jog up it, so I did. Unfortunately, when I jogged up the hill, she couldn't and that was where the separation happened and I ended up beating her to the line by 27 seconds. Time wasn't the goal so I will not post her time or mine, what was important was that we finished the full distance.

I have taken the week off since the 5k to recover from the busy week, vacation and travel and starting saturday I will be back in the saddle.

I tried several times to post while in Ohio, but for some reason, my iPhone wouldn't allow me to post, which I have blogged from several times. Have fun y'all and never forget that you never know until you tri!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ramblin' Rose Raleigh

Second Triathlon of the year finished on Sunday. I really enjoyed it and actually had my best race ever.

I actually cut 14 minutes off of my previous best time across the same distance and an easier course. The course from sunday was definitely tougher than the Chapel Hill course and hills and climbing on the bike had me wanting to curse... A LOT!!!

I am very pleased with my performance in the race and with overall effort mentally and physically. I still need to do more run training, but I set three personal bests in the swim, bike and run. Now for the official race report.

The early wakeup call is the part I hate most about doing triathlons I am a girl who really likes to sleep. Especially sleep in to about 9am. I was up at 5am and out the door by 5:30 to meet my friend and combine our gear into her van and head to the race site.

We got to the race site around 6:45 am and picked up her packet and both of us got body marked. We headed to transition and set our stuff up in our areas. After that I headed towards the pool to warm up. Unfortunately, I jumped in the pool with my post race shorts on over my race shorts. Whoopsy. Once I was finished with my warm up I took them back out to my transition spot and hung them over the end and I then jogged a little for some additional warmup. After that, I headed over to the post-race area to grab a little food to gnosh on as I had not eaten anything at that point.

Pre-race ceremonies and then into the pool area. I really enjoyed it. They were running a dual swim and we were allowed to run and jump into the pool. Some people were walking up and sliding into the pool while others, (me included) were full on kamikaze run and jump into the pool. I finished the swim in 5:30 for 225 yards. Additionally, the pool time includes my ladder exit and my run to the pool exit, about 30-35 yards.

Transition was a comedy of errors, but my times were still pretty quick. I was so quick getting my socks and cycling shoes on as I put my helmet and glasses on. Somehow my bike had been knocked askew before I came in and only brake grip was hanging, which meant I had to tweak my bars to get my bike off the rack. I finally unracked my bike and took off running and realized that my cleats didn't sound right, then I realized that I had failed to removed my cleat covers that I had put on saturday after my charity ride to walk back to the van through the vineyard. I knew I was going to lose at the mount line outside of transition and was not happy about it but there wasn't anything I could do about it at that point but gripe about my stupidity.

I also didn't have a pocket to put the covers in and didn't want to be penalized for abandoned equipment so I put them down the back of my tri shorts, hopped on my bike and away I went. Transition 1 time was 2:23

The bike leg was BRUTAL to say the least. I knew when I topped out at 32 mph on the first downhill that the way back in was going to be grueling. I was trying to make up some of the time I lost because of being a doofus with the cleat covers and I knew I would pay the price for that on the run and I already stink on the run anyway, but I had to be aggressive on the bike but not kill the legs. I was cornering on rails and taking some very aggressive paths around those corners. It was by far the most aggressive I have ever been on the bike in a race and some friends of mine that I ride with on mondays have commented since the race about how aggressive I was on the bike. I took the 9 mile bike leg in 37:24 and that is saying something considering the difficulty of the bike leg.

I consider myself quite fortunate to have not been penalized for a dismount line penalty. I literally stood my bike on it's front tire just shy of the dismount line. I popped my right foot out of my shoe, leaving both shoes on the bike and ran into transition in my socks. I grabbed my running shoes, slipped them on, popped my helmet off, grabbed my visor, put it on and grabbed my race number and put it on as I ran out of transition. I jogged the first minute out of transition and actually settled into my 1:1 jog/walk rhythm. Transition 2 time was 1:48

Run leg was 2 miles and it wasn't the toughest run course I've ever had, but it also wasn't White Lake. Combos of uphill and downhill. the only thing I would change of the course would be the lack of water heading out on the run. I think it was just about 3/4 mile in for the water. That is usually why I carry my own and I regret not doing so again. Well, I made the 1 mile turn around at 14:10 and was disappointed that I was in jeopardy of going over 30 minutes on the run again and I seriously didn't want to do that again. As I came around the turn around, I saw the it was nearly completely downhill to the water station and I needed to use that to my advantage and make up some time. I did!! I finished the second mile in 11 minutes.

I actually finished strong in a race for the first time ever where I picked up the pace and pushed hard through the finish line.

Run time was 25:38 and my overall race time was 1:12:41

I am very happy with my race and even happier that after I finished I was able to head back into transition, meet my friend as she came off the bike and paced her out of transition and onto the run. I then headed to the water station and waited for her to get there the first time and the second time. After that, I headed to the finish line to get a picture of her finishing her first triathlon.

It was a great day for both of us and we had a blast.

We are looking at a new race next month called Three Little Pigs in Smithfield, NC. I'll let you know.

I have laid out my training plan for the Princess Half Marathon in February next year at Epcot. This is my next MAJOR CHALLENGE!!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

I Made It!! White Lake Swim Race Report

Okay, so the open water swim was definitely a bugger.

so for a full report, here goes.

Woke up this morning around 5:15 no alarm or anything else. I just woke up, maybe it was all the birds chirping around outside the tent. I slept well. I headed to the bathroom and laid back down for another 15 minutes and then started getting ready. No need for the finite details, but body glide in all the appropriate areas that could possibly rub (missed one) and grabbed the transition bag, helmet and bike shoes and off I went. I rode to the race start which was only a mile away. It was a nice casual warm up before the race. I pulled in to the race site after about 10 minutes and went straight to my rack to unpack. I had everything ready to go and went to meet my friend who drove down to kayak the swim. It was very nice to see her.

One thing I hate about race mornings is that the closer I get to start time, the more my body revolts. I've learned that a single imodium tablet stops that before it gets too bad and I can function. After two stops to plastic potty land, I got the wetsuit on, headed down to the water and in I went.

After the fiasco of 2008, I was concerned about not being able to breathe on the swim. The wetsuit definitely helped a lot. Once I was in, I pulled on the neck of the wetsuit to allow some water in and allow it to warm up. I didn't have to pee, so no pee in the wetsuit. (for my facebook friends reading that, there are two kinds of triathletes, those that do and those that lie about it. Same goes for scuba divers. It also warms you up a bit in the cold water. ) I know, I know, it sounds gross, but you do what you gotta do. So, I am in the water a good 20 minutes and warming up and finally line up with the group. I had a plan, I tried to stick with the plan, but between the mass start, getting hit, getting kicked and kicking too much, stopping and starting and stopping and starting, I lost my rhythm and then couldn't breathe. My wetsuit was doing a two-step on my breathing process. It was pulling down on my shoulders and up on my crotch so I was unable to breathe the way I normally do when swimming and add that to everything else, I made it to the 100 meter buoy and grabbed a kayak (my friend's.) I knew what I had to do. I had to slow down, catch my breath, close my eyes for a second and then start again. After catching my breath I got going again and I have to thank the woman who first worked with me on tri swimming. Her voice popped into my head as I was having trouble coming around the first turn buoy. So I flipped over onto my back, started kicking and caught my breath again. Rolled over and back to swimming. I continued that alternate until I got finished. It felt like I was in the water for over an hour, but now that I know my time, it just felt like forever. Total time for the swim was 26:17.

I got out of the water and began the long run (jog) down the pier, toward transition and was quite disconcerted with the whole swim and I'm sure when I see the pictures my husband took, they will show just how ticked off I was. I could see it just from the mini-display on the camera, let alone once it is full-size. All of a sudden though, at the end of the pier, I see my daughter and then I hear the words, I've couldn't hear for the 26 minutes I had been in the water. "GO MOMMY!!" All was right in the world and I was ready to tackle the rest of the race. Up the path into transition, pull the wetsuit off, socks and cycling shoes on, helmet and sunglasses on. Grab the bike and away I went. I ran out of the transition area, climbed on the bike and rode away for 14 miles.

For 14 miles, I rode. Two laps around White Lake from start to finish is 7 miles. Two laps around is the bike course. My plan was to go out steady on the first lap and build from that into the second lap. I realized halfway into the first lap that I was already at full bike pace and if I pushed any harder, I wouldn't have anything left for the run leg. I kept my speed and cadence steady, passing several other racers on the course. On the first lap I saw an ambulance where a racer had crashed earlier. On my second lap the ambulance and the racer were both gone. I later saw him at the finish and asked how he was. He said he was okay, but the er believed he had separated his shoulder, so of course his day was done on the bike. I had one little problem on the bike with my left cleat, it wouldn't stay clipped in. It would pop out at weird and different times, but for the most part, I was just in a zone and my effort was consistent and level. I don't remember my breathing ever getting out of control which means that I was at a good pace throughout. Total time for the bike was 52:03

Into transition at a good pace, I had to alter my strategy a little bit due to the issue with my cleats. I was going to leave the shoes on the bike, but couldn't. If I did and they fell off then I could get a penalty for abandoned equipment. So I left the shoes on, but loosened them heading into dismount and they were off, and shoes on fairly quickly, grabbed my race belt and hydration and away I went.

I headed out of transition on the run and I hear my friend, my daughter and husband cheering and it was the best sound to hear. I loved it. My daughter gave me a high five and I was off and running. I kept with my normal race strategy of walk and jog. As I was going out on the run, I was the 1 mile sign and I think it must have been short because my watch was reading around 9 minutes. WHAT!!! You've got to be kidding me. There is no way. I still think it was short, but still. If it was accurate. That was an insane first mile for me. I ended up bonking near the turnaround and made it back in 44:44 on the run.

My goal for the whole race was to finish in under 2 hours worst 2:15. I knew with my swim time that under 2 hours was out of the question, but when I finished and the results were posted, I came in with 2 hrs 8 min 20 seconds. I was so happy.

My best 5k time ever was 42:36 and that was a stand alone 5k. This was my best 5k in a triathlon. My bike average was also the best ever in a stand alone ride or triathlon. I am so happy with the race. Thank you all for your support and I'll post more as I am continuing to train for two upcoming 5k races.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Four days to go

Okay, only four days to go until race day. The nerves are starting to get to me a little bit, but there is nothing I can do about my preparation at this point. Essentially, it's more excitement than anything else. I am more excited than nervous, but I will admit I am a tad nervous. This is my first open water swim and I now have a little more information about what my start time is.

I will be in wave 7, women 35-39 and Athenas. We will be starting at 8:32 am and wearing sky blue swim caps to identify our swim wave. As soon as I have the link for the live tracking I will post it. Many of my friends and family have been asking for the link so they can track the race since they cannot make it to the race. Now for the goals

My very first race I ever did, I laid out some pretty lofty goals and hated every minute of the race from the first push off the wall. I had an asthma attack due to the water temperature and my day was shot from there. I was mentally done 25 yds into the swim. The rest of the race was horrid. The bike was terrible, I thought I had a flat, I could never recover my breathing after that and could never find my energy level. The run, OMG, While I wasn't DFL, I finished 194/197. So, back of the pack. I had a horrible race and learned from that to not expect a podium finish and not set my goals higher than the paces I know I can put out on a consistent basis. So, here are my goals

Swim Goal
750 yards 17:00 with a stretch goal of 15:30. I know I can swim 2:00/100 yards, but what will happen race day, with a wetsuit in the open water and drafting. If I can come out of the water in under 17:00 I'll be ecstatic.

Transition 1
I don't know the distance from swim exit to transition, but 2:30 is reasonable. I am hoping for a quick out of the wetsuit and with prior experience in races... I hope I can pull it off. The top half from the spring last year in Athena in T1 was average of 2:15.

Bike Goal
I have laid out my plan for the bike leg which is a two laps of 7 miles with two turns. On a dry course, I plan to be pretty aggressive and carry as much speed as possible through my turns and use my training to get any advantage I can going into the run. I plan to start with a reasonable pace out of transition and get warm and ramp it up the further I go, with the cautionary tale that I still have one event left. Fortunately, I have actually done some bricks this year, so I know how to come off the bike and transition into the run. Goal is 47 minutes and the stretch goal is 44 minutes.

Transition 2
This is typically the quicker of my two transitions as I am already in everything except my running shoes. I typically put my run number before the bike leg as to save a little time in T2. Out the gate and off on the run.

Run goal
Run is of course the weakest of the three disciplines for me. I have been getting stronger on the run(jog/walk) and I am happy with that, but I am still slow. If I can maintain my pace I am hoping for a 45 minute run leg with a stretch goal of 42 minutes. Considering the whole course is flat and fast, I may be able to hit at least one of my stretch goals but we'll see.

I don't have a goal of top 3, I learned the first time about that one. I do have a goal to finish. I do have a goal to have fun and enjoy every minute of this race. I have a goal to find my family everytime I am near transition and hear my daughter yell, "Go Mommy Go!!" I have a goal to airplane across the finish line and have fun doing it.

One last goal.. I am hoping for under 2 hours. I think I can do this, but with my times it will be close. we'll see what happens, but as long as I finish the time doesn't matter.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The countdown begins

Well, today was 7 days to the race.

I laid a lot out yesterday in my last big training session before the taper begins. I rode a good 30 mile ride yesterday in a touch under 2 hours. Actual on the road, ride time was 1 hour 58 minutes. The profile and route were a great challenge for me in the last week before the race.

I am looking forward to the race next weekend and the taper is officially on.

I am looking forward to kayaking the swim for the half on saturday. After that, a gentle swim and a slow lap around the bike course to stay loose. I seem to do better with a good ride the day before the race. It helps me get the legs going after the taper week. The swim will give me an OWS practice with the wetsuit and in the lake.

My concerns at this point are abating and I am now looking forward to the race. Hubby and I are camping with the little one saturday night and they are looking forward to the live tracking.

I haven't officially set my race goals yet. I plan to do that tuesday or wednesday and post them. Y'all have a great week.

Hoping to get through my work week by wednesday and just chill out before race. I am ready.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

more milestones and a brick.

By saturday I'll pass 150 miles cycled. That is almost halfway to my mileage I rode last year and a good chunk of the way towards my max mileage for a summer. My mileage typically tops out around 400-500 miles each summer. I may actually blow that number out of the water this year. I can't remember the last time I felt this good.

My run numbers are well beyond anything I've put in previously. I have gone 11.75 miles on the jog/walk. That is far and away my best YEAR (since sometime around like middle school.)

My swimming is coming along. Considering that I was a sprinter in high school, converting completely to distance has been a chore and I guess I have made the conversion. I can hop in the pool and warm up and drop a half mile swim without really thinking about it. Did I really just type that. WOW!! When I first started this triathlon journey in 2008, I couldn't swim further than 50 yards without being totally gassed and winded. I've since learned how to do so many things and do them and keep going.

Now for a huge celebration for me. I have always hated to run (since I came back to running) it typically takes me 2 days to recover from any jog/walk/run because my calves hurt and it killed me to walk for several days after any race or training. Lately, I've been training and getting back out the next day and not hurting. Walking just fine. To help myself with that, I've recently added calf sleeves. It has helped even more. I wore them last night during my brick.

So my brick. I broke out the aero bars last night. I wanted to try them out, haven't had them on in 2 years and with the race in just nine days I needed to see if I was more comfortable in the aero bars or the drops. I don't know how hard the wind was blowing last night, but I tried both and was far more comfortable in the drops. I can't predict the weather going into the race and that includes the wind. I have to be sure that I am race ready going in. For the brick, I went out hard and fast... too hard and too fast. But it was good to do that and find my race pace. I need to go out around 12-13 mph and just keep ramping up the effort level. The good news is that even with the effort level I was putting out last night, against the wind, my calves didn't cramp on the bike and they normally do. During my last tri, I was 6 miles in and had to back off my pace because I was cramping out. It sucked, but I also knew I was laying it all out there. I was laying it all out last night and didn't twinge until I hit the jog part of the brick. I also hydrated too much on the bike, but I was fighting something fierce against the wind and pulling hard, so once again, learn from last night and use it in the race.

okay, so the countdown begins. race is in 9 days. At this point, if I'm not ready, I'm toast. I know I haven't been able to swim like I want to. I also know that individually I can go out and do all three events. There is not a doubt in my mind that I can go out and do all three events at once. I don't go out to compete for a podium position, I go out for me. I am out there to be healthy, and to be a role model for my little girl.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Fun times

Yesterday (saturday) I was able to kayak and see my first open water swim from a fish eye view (hehehe.) I was in my kayak paddling along the course as a support person. This was something I had looked to do as a way to ease my discomfort at doing my first open water swim in two weeks and having never done one in a race. I've done swims in Jordan Lake, in the ocean and several other lakes, with and without goggles, but never with several hundred of my closest friends trying to hit, kick elbow and drown me all at once. I've done enough reading about open water swims in the last several years to know that I wanted a couple races under my belt before even attempting one.

For those of you who aren't aware, what happens at the front end of an open water swim is often called "the human washing machine." I won't use the phrase that my dad would as I like to keep the blog with a pg rating, so we'll go with an adaptation. It's all elbows and ankles. The swim waves I saw yesterday they started five swimmers at a time with a 15 second gap between swimmers. It still turned the perfectly calm lake into a choppy body of water.

The early swimmers went as I expected they would, the only way I expected any issues in the early waves was if someone had seeded themselves too high. It didn't appear to happen. The first swimmer was out in just over 9 minutes. That's pretty fast for a 750 yard swim. It was a clockwise swim, out to a buoy, right to the next buoy, right and into the ramp and up into transition.

The first 10-20 minutes was as expected... a couple people seemed to get winded from going out too quickly, they rolled over to their back to recover, caught their breath and off they went. About halfway through the swim, I heard my first call for help. It was near another kayaker, but shortly after that I had a swimmer hanging off the front of my kayak. Seeing as this was the first time I had supported a swim, I was briefed before the event to direct the swimmer to either the front or back of the kayak, but not the cockpit as it would flip me into the water. Everyone was great. I had the same guy on my kayak several times, we also had several small buoys in the kayak and we were able to hand those out as well. I ended up following a single swimmer towards the end. I picked this gentleman up at the first buoy. The poor man looked up at me as he rounded the buoy and says, "I hate swimming, I thought this was supposed to be fun." No goggles, he was winded and his poor eyes were red. He was my second hanger on of the swim and I remained with him until he finished and I was happy to see him finish. He passed 4 people in the last 200 yards and after all the kayaks were out of the water, we (my friend and I) were invited to join the kayak team for more tri's later this summer.

After that, we headed up to watch some transitions and catch a little of the race and met up with another volunteer who happened to be a triathlon coach. The gentleman was great. Most coaches wouldn't tell you anything if you weren't paying them, yet this man asked me what race I was doing and then proceeded to ask what my concerns were and then alleviated every single one of them.

I have never done an open water swim before and that is one of my concerns. The good news is that White Lake is crystal clear (spring fed) and beautiful. It is my understanding that the max depth is 10 feet and from the time you hit the water you'll be able to see where the buoy is without doing spotting. Just look for the anchor line attached to the bottom. Another concern is the previously mentioned "washing machine effect" in the start. This gentleman advised me to start at the outside left of the wave and then work my way in towards the buoy. I may swim an additional 10-20 yards, but by the time I get there, it will be thinned out and I likely won't get hit or kicked. That was one of the things I saw yesterday. There was a guy halfway through his swim, basically quit swimming and looked around and then looked at me. When I asked if he was okay, he said, "Yeah, just tired of getting hit and kicked." I was sitting in my kayak and thinking, "HELLO, you are doing an open water swim, you've gotta expect to get hit or kicked or swam over during a swim."

Today was going to be a training day with a brick, but a migraine derailed that plan. I spent my afternoon sleeping off my migraine meds and yet it is still hanging around. Hopefully it will be gone when I wake up in the morning. y'all have fun... tomorrow is a double work day and tuesday is the second day of changeover from Easter to Mother's Day. The blessing and curse of working for a greeting card company. Unfortunately there is only two weeks between Easter and Mother's day which means I have two days to change over 8 stores from Easter to Mother's day. Holy Schnikes.

Remember, you never know until you tri.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Good week going so far.

Checking in again.

Went to the doctor today for a medicine check and of course, had to step on the scale. (WOOHOO!!!) Yes, you read that right, I had a woohoo for stepping on the scale. I've been STUCK at 173 lbs for the longest time and couldn't bust through it. I've tried different things and even though I've seen the changes in other ways, it's still frustrating to not see the reward on the scale. Today at the doctor's office, I got a little reward. 171 lbs!!! I am thisclose to seeing the 160's for the first time this century.

I can't remember the last time I was in the 160's.

Another bonus for the day is that I tried on tri shorts today. Women's tri gear has NEVER fit me. I've had to wear men's gear (which sucked) because I wanted something cute. I'm not the stereotypical girlie-girl, but I occasionally want something cute to wear, not something butch or masculine. So when I show up at a race wearing what the boys are wearing because the women's gear won't fit over the girls or the belly, that sucks. I don't want to be a priss, but I want to look like a woman. I've long been thought of as something I'm not based on the sports I've played and the activities I've done. For once, I want to look like a woman despite being a little thicker and stronger than the average bear. I earned my muscles and want to show them off. Today I tried on a pair of women's tri shorts (size L) and THEY FIT PERFECTLY!!! hooray. More tears in the dressing room. It's nice to see my hard work pay off and see my body looking the way I want it to look.

Last night I rode my bike with the team and past the 100 mile mark for the year. I am currently at 105.39 miles on the bike in 2011.

Today I jogged 1.58 miles this morning after getting little one onto the bus for school. That puts my run totals for 2011 at 9.19 miles.

My swim distance is woefully behind where is should be at this point, especially with a race in 2.5 weeks. It's the one discipline I am comfortable with, but also am hesitant with. I don't have a gym membership, and the pool I have a membership at is 40 minutes away and not near anything else I do. Additionally, work has picked up dramatically and trying to fit a swim in with everything else, it just isn't happening. In 2011, I have swum I measly 2550 yds. My swim for my race is 750 yds. I hope to be in the pool on tomorrow and friday though.

So, now to update.

2010 totals.

BIKE: 24h 24m 40s - 313.55 miles
RUN: 1h 30m 18s - 5.08 miles
SWIM: 1h 13m 41s - 600 yds

2011 totals to date

BIKE: 6h 26m 6s - 105.39 miles
RUN: 2h 20m 12s - 9.19 miles
SWIM: 1h 30m - 2550 yds

As you can see I have already surpassed my totals for swim and run from last year and won't take too long to surpass the bike total this year either. That makes me very happy. I'll keep you updated. The goal from here on out is to update the totals at the end of each month. Keep on truckin'

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Okay, the picture on the left was taken last night, and the picture on the right was taken only two months ago. Can you believe the difference. I sure can't. People had been commenting lately that my face had slimmed down recently. I look in the mirror everyday and hadn't noticed a change. I went fishing last night with my daughter and caught a fish and my husband used my camera and took a picture. As we were eating dinner at a restaurant, I pulled my phone out and looked at the picture and almost fell over with how slimmed down my face was. I was talking on fb with a friend of mine and he sent me the link to the other picture. 2 month ago, February 6, was when that picture was taken. Since then I have found my health again and I am finally feeling better. People I haven't seen since September have noticed. I am amazed at how well my body is doing with the changes I've made. I am training, but with my work schedule, it is kind of hard to fit it in. This week I am working close to 40 hours, plus a doctor's appointment for my daughter, a bike meeting and more. Last week, I swam over 1000 yds and rode about 11 miles. I plan to do some training this weekend. I got to get it when I can. I wish I was able to train more, but work comes first. Stay tuned, who knows, I may make my goal weight by September... that would be AWESOME!!!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Momentous days

I've been noticing changes lately now that I've been feeling better and working out more. My pants have continued to get looser and looser and pulling my belts tighter and tighter to keep the pants up.

I decided to finally, slowly build my new wardrobe. I went to try on some new pants and grabbed a 14, I had been wearing a 16 for quite a while and that's what has been falling off, so go down a size and try it on. I put the 14's on and nearly bawled. THEY WERE TOO BIG!!! The 12's were a touch too small and wanting to roll at the waistband so I went ahead and bought the 14's, but it looks like I will be back to 12's from here on out for a while.

Last year I barely surpassed 300 miles on my bicycle for the summer. This year, I am already 11 miles away from 100. I will pass that milestone by friday. It will be my earliest crossing off the 100 mile mark in my 6 years of cycling. I am so excited for this year and this is going to be an amazing year. Keep up with me if you can. I can barely keep up with myself.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I promised a while back that when I was comfortable with my diagnosis that I would post more info here. So here goes.

A little over a month ago, I finally figured out why I was having the issues that I was having. While I was very happy to hear that it was not MS, the answer to me was almost more scary. First of all, let me say that in the process of all this I had to switch neurologists. I felt that my previous doctor was discounting most of my symptoms and my physician's referral due to my mom's MS. I did not self-refer to the neuro thinking I had MS. I honestly thought I was still suffering from the lingering effects of the heat exhaustion I experienced during the mission trip or something else like Chronic Fatigue. Lab test after lab test, needle after needle, explaining the symptoms, the constant companion of the fatigue and dizziness and waking up tired.

The doctor wanted me to try Ambien. I waited until a time we were out of town and I didn't really have anywhere to be in the morning, which coincided with a trip to Ohio to pick up Mae-Lei after a week with my in-laws during track-out. We had a couple days and with other people there, I was able to rely on them to help me out in the morning if she woke up before I did. She definitely woke up before I did. I was sleeping until 10 am on half a tablet of Ambien. Yikes!!! That's a bit much. I was now feeling rested in the morning, but still needed a nap by mid-afternoon. That meant I still wasn't getting the right kind of sleep, even with the ambien.

So, when nothing else was working, my doctor wanted me to see the neurologist to go down the MS path. Not really the words I wanted to hear. His words were, "I believe you have early MS, it's not a definitive diagnosis, but it's the best I have at this point." I called the neurologist that I had seen for my migraines and set up an appointment. Of course, the wait to be seen, even by the PA is a month or more. I get to the day of the appointment with the PA and finally get called back and am greeted by the PA and asked what brings me in. Mind you, I am not even in a room at this point, we are walking back to a room. I explain to her that my Dr. referred me to be seen for possible early MS. As we enter the room, her attitude surfaces, and I hear the words, "first of all, let me tell you, you don't have MS." GREAT!!! Now, do the right things and figure out what is wrong with me.

She then goes on to explain that she understands that I am overly sensitive to the symptoms because of mom's MS and that just because mom has MS and I have overlapping symptoms, it doesn't mean I have MS. Once again, GREAT!!! Just figure out what is wrong!! She is pretty much blowing me off and disregarding everything I am telling her, like it is MS or nothing. No other possible neuroligical condition is possible. She sends me for even more labs for vitamin d deficiency and thyroid. If not better in 6 months, she'll see me again.

At this point, I am beyond royally pissed. She's essentially called me a hypochondriac, looking for a diagnosis that just isn't there. She ignored my doctor's referral and sent me back. After speaking with him, we decided to do just that... bide our time, manage symptoms and wait it out. During that time, I came to the conclusion that I would change docs. Either within the practice or whole new practice. I finally decided to see another doctor that was highly recommended within the practice and scheduled to see him at the end of January.

When I met with him, it was such a polar opposite to my previous experience. He actually talked to me, sat and listened to what I was experiencing and realized that I wasn't making this stuff up and that I was truly scared. We scheduled an MRI and an EEG and had both completed in fairly short order. I heard back within 24 hours that my MRI was completely normally, which essentially ruled out MS officially. YAY!!! But now what.. What is going?? EEG was 10 days later and I had to be sleep deprived which meant a late night and an early morning, no caffeine or anything else that could keep me awake. I went in, did all the fun parts of the EEG, then went home and went to bed. They advised that it would take about 10 days to 2 weeks to get the results and I was okay with that and scheduled my followup for 3 weeks later. I never received a call back on my MRI results. I should have known then.

The day of my followup comes and I get there of course early as usual. I discuss the continued issues and ask about the results of the EEG as I hadn't received a call on that and he didn't have a copy of them in my chart. He stepped out of the room, made a call and came back a few minutes later. When he came back in, he said that while there was nothing "major" on the EEG, there appeared to be some "minor" activity that was a little concerning. He then asked if I had ever had seizures previously. I was like... "HUH???" I have never had seizures before in my life.

He then goes on to tell me that person who have migraines have a higher incidence of seizures. Evidently, I have begun having seizures at some point in the last 18 months to 2 yrs. I am now back on the same medication that I was on previously for my migraines when I was having major migraine issues a number of years ago. It is interesting to say the least. The good news is that my seizures are not the typical tonic/clonic seizures, but what are called a focal or partial seizure. That is what has made it harder to diagnose. I am awake, aware and conscious the whole time. I get light-headed or dizzy, muscle weakness or a tingly hand, but nothing like the seizures you see on tv or in movies.

Now for the fun part. I am still allowed to cycle, run, swim, drive and do everything else I enjoy. I debated a long time about posting this and letting people know what has been going on. But I realized that I post for me, but there may be someone out there who is going through what I have been going through and questioning if they can keep doing what they love. I am cycling as strong as I was two years ago. I am running and swimming. I am climbing hills and riding strong.

I never knew when I started this blog or titled it what I did how prophetic the title would be. You truly never know until you try. I keep trying and I keep finding out how strong I am and how much stronger I can be. So, no matter what challenges life throws at you, just keep trying.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

It Clicked!!

Today, following my workout I was so very pleased with the progress I've made in just a week. But the amazing thing is, something clicked today.

I have worked out for years, trained for years, raced for a couple years, competed at different levels for years. It never clicked until today.

You can have the best personal trainer, the best nutritionist, the best personal chef, the best everything in the world. But until you figure out what works for you, what trips your trigger and makes you happy and makes you happy, it won't work for you. Find it and own it. I think I have found mine.


Boxing is fun, it is hard work, it makes me sweat and it makes me strong. I was doing things today in my workout that I couldn't do two weeks ago, let alone last week. I have babied my knees after surgery and that is done. I was doing lunges and squats today, up downs, burpees, commando pushups and more.

The amazing thing is, I did my first boxing class 1 week ago and could only do 3 commando pushups. At the end of class today, we were challenged with 30 seconds, do as many commando pushups as you can and remember that and do more next time. 1 week and I saw that much improvement... ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!! Holy Cow!! I so love these classes!!!

Now, lets's see if I can bust through this plateau and maybe actually hit my goal weight!!! Let's see what happens.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Boxing aftermath and Wowsers

Okay, so I have recently taken up boxing in the last couple of weeks during a trial period at a gym near several of the stores I work at. I went in a couple of weeks ago to get a trial pass and unfortunately due to my crazy schedule and the travel for the shuttle launch, I was unable to make it in until a day before it was due to expire. They extended the pass for me for an additional two weeks. How cool was that. Not many gyms will do that for you. If you don't take advantage of it, too bad.

The manager rocks and actually has some ties to the fight game. She is actually related to an MMA fighter and does train at the gym as well. She also admits that she doesn't know it all and I enjoy talking with her.

I have been told that the soreness isn't so bad the day after the workout, but second day is worse. I haven't experienced that at this point, but at this point, I am already seeing a difference in my strength though.

My sister asked me to go workout with her tonight. Her trainer invited me to workout with him and do the same workout with her. Part of the workout was abdominal work and I would honestly say that two weeks ago, I probably wouldn't have been able to rock it out like I did tonight without the previous two workouts at LA Boxing last week. I worked my abs so hard last week that this week, these exercises today were much easier.

Not only do you work your abs during warmup, you work them during the workout and you work them out at the end when you are exhausted from the workout and just want to curl up in the fetal position and go to sleep. I intend to continue the ab portions at home and although I can't join LA Boxing due to our current financial obligations, I hope to eventually join. I plan to work hard here at home until the time I can join LA Boxing and allow them to kick my butt.

thanks to Megan, Nasser and Mike for being a part of this journey and giving me a new fire and passion to hopefully get me over this hump. Y'all rock. I'll be back.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

What a workout

I don't know that I have ever burned that many calories in ONE hour.

I have a 2 week VIP pass to LA Boxing. I chose to do a boxing class today and see what I thought. I was amazed at how quickly I started sweating within 5 minutes and I was soaked. I thought boxing might be a good upper body workout, but I was wrong. It is a good full body workout with cardio and core worked in at the same time. Holy Canoli.

I figure that most likely I will not be able to move well tomorrow. My arms are jello, my abs are sore, my legs are sore. The good news is that I really enjoyed the workout and would love to go back for more. Going to talk to the hubby tonight and see what he says about the membership.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Beauty and the Beast Royal Family 5k

After a very busy weekend I am finally able to update following this "race"!! This wasn't truly a race. In all reality, it was a fun run. The 5k was not given a timing chip so once we started, we went until we finished, without any age group finish or awards.

The 5k was definitely not the main reason for the trip but it was definitely a great add-on to the trip. It wasn't an accurate gauge of where my training is for White Lake on Mother's day either. The field was so packed that my plan went out the window very quickly. I knew going in that I was going to have fun with it and whatever time came out of it, I was going to be happy with due to the health issues and new meds that I was still acclimating my body to, but it was something fun for me and also something that was healthy and would impact anyone else on the trip and be a good influence for the kids as well.

Friday night was the packet pickup and Fit for a Princess expo at the Josten's Center at Walt Disney World Resort. The traffic wasn't too bad for the expo, but it started at 10 am and went until 7 pm. I arrived around 4 pm and had planned to go in, get my stuff and leave. When I got there and realized the full scope of the event, I realized I needed to take in the full experience and decided to stay and walk through the expo.

Jeff Galloway was there doing a presentation when I arrived. I was more interested in walking around and seeing the various products that were being offered by the different vendors. There were some pretty cool ones and I actually bought one or two. I also bought a head band to wear to keep the shorter parts of my hair out of my face while running. It bothers me to have to mess with my hair while I am running. The unfortunate part is that it was branded with the half marathon logo. There was no 5k merchandise. I guess the good thing is, the head band was SO SPARKLY that you can read the half marathon logo. The second product I bought was Yurbuds. If you run or exercise with iPod headphones, you know they like to fall out of your ears while jogging or moving around too much. I fight them while working, working out or jogging. They had a group sizing athletes and letting you try a pair during the expo and despite the price, I bought a pair, used them during the 5k and I am SOLD!!!! I never once worried about my buds, could hear the people around me AND could hear the people cheering around me. Pretty cool. Also, I could turn the volume down and still hear my music.

I contemplated replacing my polar HRM while at the expo, but decided against it at this point. I still have my REI dividend coming soon and I am hoping to use part of that to get my new garmin HRM with GPS integrated. We'll see, I'm still looking at all my options.

Now, to the race. I got up early for the race as we all had to be there by 6:15 am. Not entirely possible with the shear amount of traffic into Epcot that morning. My mom dropped me off and had planned to head back to the hotel and geet the rest of the family and return, but when she saw the amount of traffic, we both decided that it would be better to let the kids sleep and I'd catch the monorail back to the Polynesian and then walk from the Poly to Shades of Green. It's a short walk. My mom was concerned about me being tired after the 5k and then walking back to the hotel, but I figured that if I could do a 5k, I could walk the 1 mile max back to the hotel.

During the 45 minute lead up to the run, I was walking around and seeing some of the costumes and shirts and different outfits people were wearing for the 5k. Some were hysterical, some were funny, some were scary, some were sweet, some were just right. I saw for women in ball gowns, I saw a guy dressed as Snow White, I saw an older couple and he had a shirt that said, It's my 50th birthday and my wife is making me do THIS!!, but on the back it said I married MY princess!! aaaaawwww!!! One woman dressed up as Chatsworth, the clock from Beauty and the Beast. One couple were in black shirts, red tutu's black shorts and socks with their running shoes. It was all too much.

We were all dancing up to the Star Spangled Banner. After that, rather than the typical on your mark, get set, go, we were set on our way BE! OUR! GUEST!!!! I can't believe the number of people that were doing the 5k. I never did hear a final tally on the numbers, but it really didn't open up until around the 1 mile mark. I had gone into it with the plan to jog until I got my heart rate up and then walk 1 minute, jog 1 minute and keep going until the end. I haven't been doing much training, but I've been on the bike and figured that fitness could carry me through and it did. The funny thing is, once I got it through my thick head that this was a fun run and I needed to just have fun, I did. The 1 mile mark was still outside of Epcot, at the guard shack backstage. We then entered backstage behind test track. turned left and around toward Mexico. As we entered Mexico, we were greeted with WELCOME TO MEXICO!!! I returned with WHERE'S MY TEQUILA!?!?!?!? Hehehehehe. Had to have a little fun with it. Right after Mexico is China and our first "Princess." I use apostrophes for that one because in the Disney pantheon of princesses, Mulan is not technically a princess. As far as our kids are concerned, she is. I didn't think to open up the camera on my iphone and get a picture. I stopped, said hello for me and the girls and headed on. I kept jogging past Snow White and Dopey and a couple of other, but stopped in America to get a picture with Pocahontas. I waited for a period of time for that picture. It was worth it and I had fun talking with the ladies around me. After the picture, I took off again, stopping at the top of a bridge to take a beautiful sunrise picture, then took off once again. One more picture in front of Spaceship Earth with me in front and then off to the finish. Final time was 53:00 flat. My time at the 5k in January was 44:00 plus, but about half of the race was uphill. I know the 5k at my tri will be flat.

I think this race qualifies for coolest race bib ever and favorite medal ever. Have fun with the pics, I had fun running.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Well, it has been decided that we are heading to Florida to see one of the final shuttle launches this week and I was looking around the disney site and noticed that the Princess Half-Marathon was part of the weekend we would be there. I also noticed that they had a 5k the day before the marathon.

The Beauty and the Beast 5k at Epcot will be run on February 26, (my sister's b-day) and I signed up. I believe I actually claimed the final spot. I noticed that the race was 99% full when I registered and when I returned to the info page it had updated to read sold out. The course is a relatively flat course aside from the parts I don't know from being "backstage" portions of Epcot. I am excited for this one because it is a travel race, we are already there and my nephew, niece, mom and dad will all be there. My parents will see me finish my first race since high school!!! COOL!!!!! My daughter is already packed for the trip and has included 2 cowbells for cheering and her running shoes as she wants to run the last 100 yards with me and has already told me so.

If you know me really well, fashion has never been a priority for me and likely never will be. I am a jeans and comfy shirt kind of girl, but for this race, it will be different. I am wearing a PINK running skirt by skirt sports. I received this skirt a couple years ago for volunteering at the skirt chaser 5k here in Raleigh.

now a brief health update. I finally have an answer on the health front and am not comfortable at this time sharing the diagnosis. I will say this, it is tied to my migraines, but it is an additional piece. I have already started medication and I am feeling better every day, but it is also something that is need to know and when I am more comfortable with this information myself, I may share. Until that time, know this, I do not have MS or a brain tumor, I have not had a stroke and what I do have can be treated and is being treated by taking a single medication. I thank you all for your thoughts and prayers as they are truly the only way I have made it through the last 9 months. They have been trying, but to have an answer despite it being one I am still absorbing, is truly a prayer answered. Thank you all.

Monday, February 14, 2011

2nd Ride of 2011

Great route for yesterday's ride.

I rode yesterday and the question was, should I?? I worked 11 hours on saturday and got up sunday morning and had one more hour to work. By the time 2pm rolled around, I was exhausted and completely lacked any form of energy.

At 12 miles in, I wanted to stop and call my mom to bring my van and come pick me up out on the road. I wanted to quit riding so many times, but I didn't. That is one thing I learned the first year I started cycling. If I quit, then I'll be mad at myself and beat myself up for not pushing through it.

So final ride total after riding back to mom's to pick up my van, was 22.72 miles with an average speed of 13.00 mph. Max speed of 29.8 mph which I know was on a descent because I hit full tuck and was doing my best to maximize speed on the down to stay in contact with my group on the up.

In last 8 days I have ridden 45 miles and have felt great afterwards. Last year I rode about 315 miles last year, which was pretty respectable considering 2 knee surgeries last year. I have a fairly high goal for mileage ridden this year, but I am keeping that goal to myself and I am getting there quicker than I ever thought possible. Let's hope I keep going forward!!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

First ride of 2011

On sunday, I did my first ride of 2011. In the process of doing this ride, I set several new personal "records."

This is the earliest ride I have ever done. My previous earliest ride was in late February 2 years ago. Also it was in Savannah, GA, a little further south and a tad bit warmer.

This was also the furthest ride I have done for my first ride of the season. At around 20 miles, that doubles my furthest ride for the first ride of the year.

Fastest ride - Typically my first ride of the year is a slow ride to acclimate to being back on the bike and on the road.

I truly enjoyed the ride. I had a great ride buddy and despite the minor detour, the route was great. I am hoping to ride again this coming sunday. Unfortunately, my picture won't upload, but we'll try again later.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

NHL All Star 5k

Hello all,
I am hoping that I am back on the right track. I was able to do a 5k this morning with a bare minimum of training. Not that I would recommend that, but I was able to do it. I haven't been much of a runner since early in high school and my goal for today was to be faster than my last 5k three years ago. Fortunately for me, I did it.

Today's 5k was the All Star 5k at the RBC Center. The race was part of the NHL All Star game festivities. My training has been rather sporadic due to sinus issues and other health issues, but after swimming earlier this week, I knew my cardio level was still in a good range. My goal was to jog 1 minute, walk 1 minute. I was hoping for a sub-45 minute race time and couldn't bury myself to get that. I have to work tonight at the Skills Competition.

Start time was at 9am and I am far from an early riser anymore and having to get hubby and squirt going at the same time made for an interesting morning pre-race.

We arrived at the RBC Center at about 8:30, picked up my timing chip and got it on my shoe. I was headed to the start and had to pull a u-turn back to the restrooms before the start. I made it out to the start about 2 minutes prior to the gun.

I was able to stretch a bit and get loosened up. I was about a minute behind the gun crossing the start line. I started jogging early, which is a departure from the way I would normally start a 5k. I jogged until I was winded and then settled into my walk/jog rhythm. I don't know how close to the 1 minute times I was as I had forgotten my watch on the coffee table this morning. So, I did the best I could managing my energy and my breath. The temperature improved considerably during the race... I was a little hesitant when I saw 26 degrees on the van's display this morning.

The course had more uphill than I thought, but I still managed it well. From the start, it was downhill until around .7 mile and then uphill until past the 2 mile mark. The last mile was a combo of downhill to a turn, level to downhill a good ways and then back up a good ways with two more turns and downhill into the finish.

I saw the clock as I was heading into the finish, the official clock from the gun read 44:00 and counting. I was bound and determined for my gun time and chip time to both be under 45 minutes. I did it. I'll even post a pic of my two times.

Monday, January 24, 2011

What a workout

I downloaded a swim workout today for Sandra and I. Sandra has been swimming a little more than I have since November, but fortunately, my cardio base isn't too bad. I was able to jump in with her and keep pace.

Together, we swam 1300 yards today and by tonight, OMG, was I feeling it. My shoulder and arms were tight and sore!! I have altered my swim stroke and kick since high school. Swimming sprints in high school led to me killing my legs in what would be the first event of the triathlon and nothing in the tank for the final two legs of the race.

Tomorrow is a long work day and hopefully a home workout and some time on the trainer on the bik in the living room.

Saturday, I will run (yeah, right) my first 5k in 3 yrs. I have done them as part of several tris, but no official 5k since the Run the Quay in 2008. I am excited and a bit nervous for my first race in 2 years. I have not done a tri or 5k in 2 yrs. Last year was recovering from both knee surgeries and I finally feel somewhat back to "normal."

Wish me luck.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

How did I get here???

Well, I've told you everything else, why not how I got started!!!

A few years ago, I was at the gym swimming with my mom. There was a poster for a triathlon called Ramblin' Rose Women's Only Triathlon. My mom made a comment that I should give it a try. I already had the cycling and had been swimmer in high school. I was a runner in middle school, but gave that up after a knee injury in my freshman year during an indoor track meet. I had always had issues with my knees, but I believe that is where the issues started with my knees. I figured, I could probably get through it with minimal training, and decided to sign up. Unfortunately, I was too late, registration had closed. I missed it again the following year. Shortly after missing it for the second time, my gym was offering a triathlon training group with training specific to triathlon and classes. I signed up.

I spent the winter with this group training, changing how I ate, working out for hours at a time. In February, I registered for my first triathlon, Excellence Triathlon in Clemmons, NC. The swim and run were encompassed within Tanglewood and the bike started and finished in Tanglewood. Having already made several trips to Clemmons and Tanglewood to visit a friend who lives in Clemmons, I figured where else would I rather spend my Mother's Day than with my husband and daughter and racing.

More training leading up to the race including more issues with my knee. Despite the issues with the knee and having to go back to walking and work back to walk/jog I was still ready to race. Throughout my training I would go back and evaluate where my practice times stood in comparison to times from the previous year in my race group. Looking at the times from the previous year and then averaging out my typical swim times, average bike speed and usual 5k times, I figured I could actually podium in my first race.

Two days prior to this race, the actual race itself was thrown into question. A tornado hit Clemmons, NC and inflicted a fair amount of damage in and around the area. The night before the race, we headed to the packet pickup and saw that the bike course had been changed due to storm damage and downed trees. Unfortunately, I had not driven or ridden the bike course an the area was unfamiliar. I knew I had a great downhill on the way out and a bad uphill on the way back in. No worries, I ride in Fuquay and surrounding areas.... I can climb a little. The best piece of advice I had been given in my training was not to bury myself on the bike because I still had one more event... the 5k.

Race day!!! Up at 4:30am to shower, get ready and mentally prepare for my first race and then load the van. We get to the race site, get my timing chip, set up my transition area and then opening ceremonies. As I look around, I notice that even for a pool swim, some of the other people racing have wetsuits of various sorts. Here I am in my tri-shorts and tri-top. No problem, I'll be okay. The closer to my start time, I start getting really nervous. I had already used my inhaler (activity-induced asthma) and left it on the table near the pool exit. 3 minutes before, I join the group around me in jumping into the deep end near the swim start. O M G!!!!

I come up gasping for air... the water is so cold my body won't acclimate and I can't breathe. Can't catch my breath. As I linger in the cold water waiting for my turn, my breathing calms down and I get hopeful that once I get going I'll be fine.





I put my face in the water and push off the wall and come up gasping again. Everytime I put my face in the water, I can't breathe!! OMG, what is this. This is my race and it sure as heck isn't going the way I planned. By the end of the first 25, I am breast stroking and hyperventilating. At 50 yds, I make it to the end of the pool where Mitch and Mae-Lei are watching, cheering and taking pictures. I look for them. They are my strength, my motivation and I contemplate quitting. While waiting for my start, I saw someone swim 100 yds and get out of the pool and quit. At 125 yds, all thoughts and previous expectations sink to the bottom of the pool. I am still breast stroking, hyperventilating and stopping every 25 yds to keep from passing out in the pool. At the end of the pool where Mitch and Mae were, I kept finding them every time I got to that end. Finally, last 25 yards and I am on to the bike. I made it... I didn't quit. I jump out of the pool and cap and goggles off, grab my inhaler and off to transition.

By the time I reach my bike, I am seeing spots from hyperventilating and not getting enough oxygen. I use my inhaler, put on my bike shoes, helmet and sunglasses and jog out of transition to get on the bike. The bike is mine, I am a fairly strong cyclist all things considered and figured I could make up some time on the bike. The downhill gets me off right and I keep going. The first hill I come to, I tackle the way I normally would and at that point, I realize that my only goal is to finish. My legs are toast from the asthma attack in the pool and I realize I just need to stay within rules and just use this race as a learning experience. I get to the turnaround and on the way back, I feel like I am actually recovering a little bit. I start playing leapfrog with another woman on the bike. I finally pass her and get away. I am feeling better. I crest a minor hill and start downhill and all of a sudden I hear a noise coming from my front wheel. It sounded like a major airleak coming from my front tire. I stop at the top of the next hill and investigate. Remember that tornado??? It sprayed leaves from the trees everywhere. Evidently, one decided to hop a ride to the transition area between the front fork and my tire, catching in the brake caliper. BTW, in the mean time, here comes my leap frog buddy and off she goes. Crap!! I remove the leave, remount my bike, having lost all momentum and good feeling and off I go to finish the bike leg. CRAP!!! Big hill upcoming. I tried to build as much steam as I can heading into the down hill ahead of the hill and carry as much of it as possible, back up. ....

That didn't work so well. I am 1/4 of the way up the hill and here comes this guy running beside me up the hill yelling at me to pedal and push and just keep going. I'm already in the wrong gear, can't catch my breath and LEAVE ME ALONE DUDE!!! I finally crest the hill at about 3 mph and turn, ever aware of the dismount line, I quit pedaling. Up ahead I see someone yelling, KEEP COMING, KEEP PEDALING!!! I finally coast into the dismount zone, off the bike and my legs are jello. Crap, this is why they call them bricks. My legs feel like lead and won't move. Everyone is cheering and yelling and encouraging me to GO!! I finally get back to my rack in transition, helmet off, cycling shoes off, sunglasses and hat on!! Out of transition and into the run (HAHAHA) more like casual stroll at this point. I go past the train and there is Mae-Lei and Mitch cheering me on. Mae is standing on the train yelling GO MOMMY GO!!! I needed that. Best energy jump ever. Still walking I give her a smile and a thumbs up. The picture looks like I am dying, but hey, 2 down, 1 to go.

The 5k. I had resolved to stay with a young girl ahead of me and try to match her walk pace. Next thing I know we are headed down a double-bump hill and I see everyone turning left onto a gravel trail. By this point, young girl is about 100 yards ahead of me. I am getting passed like I am standing still and really not caring. This is where I learned what a fraternity/sorority triathlon truly is. I am sure I looked close to death by the time I reached that shade covered trail. Other racers are encouraging me to just keep going!! Keep going #325 you are almost there. I hadn't even reached the turn-around yet and I am barely moving. I make it to the turn-around and head back, moving along and returning the favor to the racers behind me. By now, young girl is long gone and I just want to finish. I finally make the right off the trail and back up to the finish. Or should I say UP and Up and UP!!! That double bump hill was great on the way down, but it SUCKED on the way up. With less than a mile to go, I pass a sheriff assisting along the race route and ask him for his sidearm. I honestly wanted to shoot myself. My legs hurt, were cramping and I was done for. I was gonna crawl across the finish if I had to. I finally make the turn towards the finish and at seeing the crowd at the finish and hearing them cheering, it gave me one last surge of energy. I was able to jog the last 100 yards into the finish and was greeted by Mae-Lei and Mitch.

Final count, I finished 194th out of 197 racers. Last in my race group and swearing that it would be my first and last triathlon.

Well, so much for that. I raced another tri that year, finally making it into the Ramblin' Rose. I did pretty well and was happy with my time. The next year, I raced two more tri's, swearing to never race one of them again. The run course was MURDER!!

This year, I have planned on 3 races, the first one again on Mother's Day weekend. White Lake Sprint. My first open water swim. I learned from the first race to never have expectations at a race. Too many variables. My hopes for this year are to have fun and enjoy the process.

I hope you all have learned or taken something from this post. Triathlon isn't easy, but don't let that scare you. If you want to tri it... do it. If you need a training partner, e-mail me. I enjoy triathlon because it's a challenge and if an of you truly know me, you know I love a challenge. SO!!!!

Sign up, train, and race. I don't race to place, I race to finish and enjoy the camaraderie of my fellow racers and enjoy it greatly. Come race with me!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

New Year, New Goals

Hello all and Happy New Year!! Yeah, yeah, I know I am about 10 days behind the game here, but with my job doing greeting cards, I have spent a lot of time with taking down Christmas cards and putting up Valentine's cards. Yes, already time for Valentine's stuff going out.

So, now for the fun part of New Year. Each New Year, I set goals, no resolutions.

Going into last year, I wanted to lose some weight and get healthier. Boy did that one ever get accomplished. Last year, I lost 23 lbs and have managed to keep it off at this point as well.

My knees are on the mend. Following two knee surgeries, left knee in March, right knee in September, I am back on bike, the run and in the pool. I have to continue to do my exercises to keep the balance in my quads, which will reduce my pain level with the arthritis and kneecap tracking issues.

My goals for 2011

<> Sub 40 minute 5k time by the end of the year.

<> Ramblin' Rose Chapel Hill total time under 1:15:00 This will be a challenge, but I think I can do it.
2008 time 1:27:06
2009 time 1:24:20

<> White Lake Triathlon
a) Finish - This is important. THis is my first Tri with an Open Water Swim.
b) Finish time under 1:50:00

Okay, so the goals are out there. Just to give a little more info. My personal best 5k time was previously 47:43. This was in June 2008 at Run the Quay. I believe the sub 40 is possible, but we'll see how the first 5k goes on January 29.

White Lake Triathlon. I need more pool time. this is a 750 meter open water swim. No laps, no walls, no stopping. Heaven help me, I need to get busy. Keep an eye out both here and on facebook for training updates. I am looking forward to making my training time and race time.

2011 Schedule (so far)

All Star 5k - January 29, 2011 (registered)

White Lake Sprint Tri - May 8, 2011 (registered)

Ramblin' Rose Raleigh - May 22, 2011 (undecided)

Tri the Quay - August 14, 2011 (tentative)

Bike MS 2011 - September 9-11, 2011 (first century?)

Tour de Femme - October 8, 2011

Ramblin' Rose Chapel Hill - October 9, 2011 (not yet registered)

So that is what is planned so far, let's see what happens. Need to get registered soon for a couple of these.