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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Getting Ready!

It's Wednesday, which means 4 days until I jump off the boat into the Bay and finish the Kemah Triathlon.  I've done this race 2 years already, but always as part of a relay team (bike, then swim).  The swim is always a little nerve racking because it's a fast-paced, jump-yo-azz-off-the-boat-double-quick time trial start.

While I"m trying to get my race week mojo on, I come across another of my favorites, Jeff at Dangle the Carrot, he's racing too.  He pointed out that he and some buddies caught some black-tipped sharks out where they plan to dump us off to swim back to shore.  Oiy!  Makes my stomach turn just a little.  I don't generally freak out, but this race's swim gets me all kinds of squirmy -- never mind adding the part of me being human "shark bait".  LOL

I've been having a recurring nightmare that someone will jump in on top of me, not seeing that I've plunged 2,000 leagues under the sea before I surface again!  Check out this video from the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon -- our swim start for Kemah is modeled closely after this, according to the RD.

.... after the Anthem, it's like an endless train of clowns exiting a VW bug!



Last night was track and it was okay.  I was supposed to to (3) 1 mile repeats at Olympic effort -- but for whatever reason when I'm at track, I always run faster.  I'm good when it's just me and the track, but when others start running there too, I just start speeding up -- not to be mistaken with running fast.  LOL  Just fast-ER than I normally do. 

After track I did some good stretching and worked my way down to a full a full squat -- that means I bent my knee more than 90 degrees for the first time after the fall. Yay!!!  I'm going for another treatment from my super hero Chiro on Friday and I should be good to go. 

I'm slowly getting myself excited for Sunday.  I don't know if it's because the training volume for this races is lower than the volume I've done for the last 2 years, training for three 70.3 races back-to-back, but I feel like I've omitted parts of training.  Days here and there, yes, but pretty consistent overall.

Makes no matter now.  Right?

I'm going to take in a 30 minute run at lunch, and massage tonight. :)

Brick tomorrow, swim and very light weight session on Friday, and finally, a quick bike check and short run on Saturday will take me to Sunday, race day... first of  the season for me. 

Oh, and if you have a moment, visit one of my favorites, Jenn.  She just got a pretty, sparkly, new Bike!  She's so excited and has waited a long time.  All the stars aligned and her dream came true!   


Monday, April 23, 2012

Hmph!

"Nothing good comes of dressing like a girl.  Ever."

That was my quote of the week, for last week.

See, I made what seems like a weekly trip to the Sports store, because me, Cassie or Hubs needs something.  On Masters days I like to wear dresses... not because it's cute, but because it's easy and efficient.  I have to be in and out as fast as I can to maintain the working-mommy-triatlete schedule.  Getting the ready the night before has to be just as quick. It's much easier to grab a dress and shoes than it is to put together separates... especially when, at any given moment, there are multiple clean loads of laundry throughout the house.  There.  Justified.  :)

Aaaaanyway.

I'm walking in my heels and "Whooops!" Stupid cute shoes!! My heel just slips on the old school linoleum floor, I lost my footing and went down flat on my other knee.  I did break my fall slightly, with my elbow, but the knee took most of the fall.

I fall and everyone is looking... "Well, you know what they say... the bigger they are..."

I collect myself and knew my knee didn't feel right, but quickly diverted my attention to my new sunglasses to make sure I didn't break them.  No worries.  They're fine.  Thank goodness!  "Hmmm.?" I thought.  "It's kinda hard to walk; it will be fine just need to walk a little."

I'm left the store, positive nothing was hurt more more than my pride.

 Nope.

I got back to the office and realize I can't bend my knee 90 degrees without excruciating pain -- like a 7.5 on a scale of 1-10.  So I did what anyone would do, texted my Chiro -- because she's cool like that.  :)

Next?  Called Hubs... voice mail.  No surprise. :)

So, I text my coach.  "Gotta be careful... this isn't your "A' race." I thought, "Crap.  He's right."  Boo.  I might not be racing.

I took my Daughter to swim team and another friend and Chiro has a practice right in the same place as swim practice.  I decided since I had yet to see my regular Chiro, I'd stop in just to get peace of mind.  I wanted to make sure nothing is hurt too badly, you know?

Turns out I have a bone bruise on my knee.

So Dr. C. explained it all to me and I slept easier. I will live.  I will recover, but it takes a little time.  Dr. C gave me a couple adjustments, got some flexibility back (without pain) and I walked out feeling better than when I walked in.  :)

That night I talked to my regular Chrio and she said from what it sounded like, she concurred.  I went in the next day to see Doc Thea for further treatment and it was already feeling a gazillion times better.  It wasn't a bad one.  Thank goodness!!

I took a couple days off of training and hit it again this weekend.  Ran a bit and had a good bike.  Had some pain at the top of each revolution with the bike, but I stuck it out and after it warmed up, it was seemingly  better (tolerable).

I'm going to give it a go this weekend; even though it might not be a perfect race and I might not be 100% -- I'll do what I can and just see how it goes and have some fun.

It's the first race of the season for me.  Yay!


Friday, April 20, 2012

Race Report: Houston Kids Triathlon

Of course I didn't do this race, but my Cassie (aka Cassinator) did... and boy did she have a blast.  So here's her race weekend through her Momma's eyes. :)

I was a bit worried leading up to the race.  She had "Camporee", an all day, outside event with her Daisy Girl Scout troop on Saturday.  I knew she was going to be spent!  We made a deal though... we would go, but leave by 2pm, so she could get some rest and I could go get her packet. It was a deal.

Until 2pm.  LOL

Evidently it was not a "pinky promise."

There were still some Camporee festivities to be experienced, so I let her stay while I went to pick-up the packet.  This turned out to be pretty good in the end.

I got to the race site at University of Houston, and holy triathlon!  It looked like a 70.3 race is going to happen there, not a kids race!  I mean, I know they kept saying 800+ kids, but the reality of it didn't occur to me -- despite the fact that I've done races with more than 1,000 athletes!

I decided promptly I would sign up to volunteer.  They were going to need it -- each of these tiny athletes would bring with them an entourage of parents, grandparents and siblings.  It was going to be h-e-l-l... and it was making Mommy (me) just a little nervous!

We get home and get her gear together.  She's cool as a cucumber... I'm the one stressing.  Who's racing tomorrow?  Who?  With the way I was acting, not sleeping, you'd of bet the farm it was me!

Doing her "Race Visualization" or waiting for transition to open. 
Rise and shine at 4am. It's early, but she's so excited to go.  I'm excited, but can't relax until I get there and get her into transition.  Of course parents aren't allowed, but this is where volunteering helps (Shhhhh!)   We get her in and my work starts... for 2 hours I'm body marking athletes, listening to disgruntled parents, answering questions and directing traffic.  It was madness.  Madness so long it went down the street and wrapped around the building.

Cassie and some of her NextGen Team


Just look at the size of that transition area!
Kiddo race or 70.3... really!?!



What a ham!  She's ready to roll!!

Eventually, everyone made it in, however the race would start an hour late.  The kids just rolled with it (unlike adult athletes!) Nothing but smiles in transition... that is until we hit the pool deck.

I hit the deck and started helping with getting the 7/8 year olds lined up.  I came across two 8 year olds who were so frightened.  It broke my heart! I tried to give them a pep talk, but they weren't having it.  Meanwhile, my kiddo, really didn't want much to do with me!  She gave me a fist-bump and a look like,"Mom, go... I'm fine!"   Okay... I'll go help another kid.  LOL  Seriously that natatorium was so large, I couldn't believe more kiddos were freaking out!

What was cool was her NextGen Coach was helping to run the swim, so when she got up on Deck she had a familiar face.  Now the kids are told they have to enter the water feet first.  What does my kid do?

A cannonball.

Yes, she did.  It was awesome!

Hubs got a pic of it mid-flight. 

Her 100m swim is consistent and steady and she even passes some kiddos!  Every time she lifts her head to breathe, she's smiling -- that's the best part.

She finishes her swim and sprint over to transition, just in time to see her out on the 3 mile bike. 
Cassie and her Electra "Hawaii" ready to zoom!

She left on the bike and started helping in transition.  The kids could barely lift their bikes to hang them back up on the racks!

In no time, and long before I expected, Cassie came back!  She was all smiles and told me, "The bike is my favorite Momma!"  She grabbed her visor, ditched the bike and headed out.  I sprinted over to the finish line up and hill and block away as she started her 1/2 mile run.

No slackin'... giving it her all!
I was there for a couple minutes when I saw her make the final turn.  She looked a little upset, but I could still see a faint smile.  My girl was working it!  She did it!  She crossed the finish with a good, solid effort.  She was so proud!

They gave her a place to sit to collect herself.  I asked if she was okay because she looked like she was going to cry.  She said, "I saw the finish and started running faster too soon.  I didn't know if I could keep running.  I didn't want to walk in front of everyone."  OMG -- too funny.   She kept running.

She's done a few races now...  The other two not more than 100 athletes, so I asked her, "Cassie, of the 3 races you've done, which one is your favorite?"

"The big one.  This one."

That's my future Ironman. :)

Daddy and Cassie

Post race chillin' with Momma

Friday, April 13, 2012

Taking Shape

Things are taking shape.. and shape for the better!

I'm still holding true to my Paleo eating and have 2 weeks to go to reach 3 months.  I'm down 18 lbs. as of today, but more importantly, but more than 2" off my waist and the same from my hips. Energy is still good -- when I get to bed timely, and I'm able to have good workouts. :)

I have been having some issues at work with an employee, and that's created some stress for me.  Cass-a-frass' new Daisy scout troop is busy-busy and some times I don't know if I'm coming or going  between trying to get her to all her events, training and  getting my domestic-ness on.  Sometimes at night, as much as I am tired and  know I need to go to bed, I just have to sit in front of the TV for a few minutes and decompress and do something that requires no thought or effort.  LOL

This weekend is her girl scout Camporee, which will be a first.  She also has her first triathlon of the season on Sunday.  The bike on this is 3x longer than the distance she's used to riding in a race.  Hopefully she has a ton of fun!  The following weekend is just as busy, which her very first swim meet! 

It's about 2 weeks now until Kemah, my first race of the season, and training is going well.  I had a great swim this morning left me feeling really confident, which was good, because I was starting to feel like I had not been swimming enough.  My bike is okay -- no stellar improvements there (which needs to change in the near future), but my running is about 2 minutes/mile faster than it was.  That's a huge improvement.  I'll sacrifice getting better on the bike (for now) if it means my running is better!

For this race there is an Athena 40+ category.  There are about 10 competitors in this category -- no names that I know.  I looked a few up on Athlinks, just to see where I stand.  If I have a great day, I might have a chance to place.  Personally, if I can finish under 3:30 or less, I would be elated -- placing or not.  That would give me a good baseline for training leading up to the Hyvee 5150 Nationals.  I still can't say that and not shake my head and laugh because I'm going.  It's going to be a rare opportunity; a great time.



 

Friday, April 06, 2012

Geeez! Give A Girl A Badge!!

Give a girl a badge and a job and she thinks shes a walking version of awesome.  :)
I was lucky enough land a v'teer position to "protect" the pros at Ironman Texas 70.3 Galveston!  In case you hadn't heard, dude, Lance Armstrong, was racing. 

The bike!

It was exciting and felt really lucky to get so close.  I admit I was a bit chicken to take photos.  The Ironman staff said it was fine to click a few, but keep it classy and professional.  At the last race he did all the transition volunteers left their posts and swarmed the pro racks.  Pretty uncool.  I really didn't take many photos... I never even took out my camera; just clicked a few with my phone.  The few I have aren't that good.  After they came back from the bike a took a few more, but that was it.

I got to transition right a 5am and got my assignment.  I was not surprised by the media, given Lance was racing, but I was surprised how often they would try to get in to the pro area.  I thought it kind of funny, since they have these zoom lenses that would make China look 10 ft. away, so I couldn't understand why they had to be INSIDE the pro transition area.  LOL

It was a great day.  I think Lance did awesome.  He suffered the start of some GI issues on the bike and pretty much cratered the last of the 3 lap run.  I can't imagine the enormous pressure he must be under to kill the bike portion of the race, and he was being stalked pretty closely.  I doubt he finished with the kind of lead he would have liked going into the run.  There's always another day to race, right?

He came out with the main pack on the swim -- he did a 1:13/100m pace -- not THEE leader, but still fast!  He left on the bike in 15th, and made his way back to the front in no time, averaging nearly 28 mph on the bike.  For the run, a 13.1 mile run, he averaged a 6:18 pace/mile.  How people are badmouthing this performance is simply beyond me.  The guy is 40 years old and just getting back... he gets time, just like every other age grouper to figure out what's going to work.  Nutrition is what gets you through a 70.3 or longer.  When he does figure it out, man!  One of my favorite "Lance Moments" was not when he was racing, but it was of his girls, cheering him on during T1, with homemade posters, just like kids would do for any other Dad out there.  It was really fun to see them so excited for him. 

One of my other favorite moments was watching Brandon, a P/C athlete who is bind, prep for their race.  One of my club friends said it best, P/C athletes are as "bad ass."  I can't imagine the burden Justin, his guide, carried this race.  No doubt guides have to be strong in their own right -- but to guide another?  That strength is unfathomable to me.  And how selfless!  I mean to put your own goals aside for that day, to help someone else see theirs through?  Now that would be amazing.  What I found so cool was, this Brandon's "guide" talked to him just like any other athlete.  When they came into T1, it was a challenge to get all the gear off and the bike stuff on.  You could see the guide patiently hurrying the P/C athlete.  Justin kept telling Brandon, "You're doing great but you need to speed it up."  This is, after all, a race, right?

Brandon, a blind P/C athlete (sitting) and Justin, his guide

Anyway, as the bike went on, several pros returned with flats and injuries. I found it interesting how they have to think about how this race can impact their next week of training.  For instance one guy stopped because his Achilles was "hot" -- he knew if he raced the entire distance it would put him out a week of training -- clearly this wasn't his "A" race.  Another guy flatted and support was too far off to "make finishing worth while."   One female pro fell off her bike and broke her arm -- she'll be out of training for sure.  It all kind of gives you a different perspective. 

Here's a few more pictures:

He sits (like me!) in transition!!

Off on the run!

Back from the bike

T2

On The Run!