swim, bike, run, repeat.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Taylorsville Lake Half-Ironman Distance Tri

Let me honest from the start: while I was 3rd in my age group (30-34, USAT rules t20080517-TaylorsvilleLakeTri-11hat you race as the age you are on Dec 31 of the current year) there were only 4 people in it. I sounds more impressive when I leave the last part off, doesn't it?

But, I was 7th woman out of the water, 1st woman swimmer in my age group. This was even after I had a complete freak out in the water. I knew that open water swimming was different, but as I went to pass someone, I took a wave to the face and panicked.  The water was pretty cold, and I couldn't bring myself to put my face back in. I had to flip over onto my back and just kick for a bit. 20080517-TaylorsvilleLakeTri-14 I was able to flip back over, but it happened again, and this time I really thought I was going to have to stop the race. I even undid my wetsuit a few inches to get the pressure off my neck.

Rationally, I knew I wasn't going to drown. I used to be a lifeguard, I know how to swim, and I don't think I could have sunk if I tried, what, with wearing the rubber suit and all. But my brain was not up for reason. I manage to zip back up, flip back over, and star20080517-TaylorsvilleLakeTri-31t doing heads-up freestyle. I slowly worked my chin down into the water, then the rest of my face, and by the end of the first lap, I was swimming more or less normally, tho I only breathed to the right. It seems that my upper body is rather strong, because I started to pass a lot of people, and by the end of the swim, I didn't want to get out.

After I managed to escape from my wetsuit and pull my bike jersey on, I sprayed myself with sunblock (apparently not to well, tho, my tan lines are interesting) and got going on the bike. Being one of the early people out of the water makes for interesting times on the bik20080517-TaylorsvilleLakeTri-76e. I am not a fast cyclist, but I was out on the course with the fast people, at least for a little while, so that was cool. I did lose my yellow sponge thingy from my aerobottle, so I had to drink my Nuun pretty quickly, as it was splashing all over me, but at least I was drinking.

The bike course was hilly. Actually, that's an under20080517-TaylorsvilleLakeTri-79statement. It was just all hills. And, as I don't climb well, there was one hill where I looked down at my computer and it said I was going 3mph. It probably would have been faster to walk, but I was afraid that if I got off my bike, I wouldn't get back on. And at about mile 47 or so, I got to climb up 2 monster   grades that made me glad I still have 3 chain rings. And since the wind didn't stop - it was in my face the whole damn time - it was even more fun. At one point, Ben caught up with me on the course (when he took the above picture) and asked how I felt. The only thing I could think to say was: "My crotch hurts."

The run was an out and back that was repeated 3 times, and it was not flat. And, of course, the wind was getting even stronger. 20080517-TaylorsvilleLakeTri-94 Yay! I more or less walked the uphills and ran (or shuffled, however you want to look at it) the rest. I lost my hat on the third loop, but decided it was not worth the effort to chase it, and I20080517-TaylorsvilleLakeTri-120 finished in 6:46.

All in all, I'm really glad I did this race. Even though I spent the two days ahead of time just freaking the hell out over it (at one point, while setting up my transition area, I looked at Ben and said "I don't want to do this"), once the race started, I was okay. I have on Olympic distance race in a few weeks, the Muncie Endurathon in July, and maybe a sprint in early August just for the hell of it. And then, of course, IM Lou, but that goes without saying.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

A few random observations.

- Running during lunch makes for interesting afternoon hair.

- I can be too tired to eat.

- I now understand what it means to "sleep hard."

- Way too many people like to swim before dawn. (Last week, I got to Mary T and signed in at 5:05 AM and I was the 15th person on the list. 15th! And that didn't even include the swim teams.)

- I will put peanut butter on anything.

- And on a related note, if you were to cut me open, I'm probably at least half peanut butter.

- The dark circles around my eyes are partly from lack of sleep, partly from smeared mascara, and partly from my goggles.

- It is possible for my boobs to get even smaller.

- Sometimes 4:40 AM just doesn't happen.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

It's nice to be fast(ish) at something.

I will never claim to be a fast runner. Nor will I claim to be a fast cyclist. But, I will admit to being a (somewhat) fast swimmer. Not masters team, former collegiate (hi, Jennifer!) swimmer fast, but non-professional triathlete swimmer fast.

When I picked up swimming after the most recent hiatus, my 100 meter time was hanging out just a hair under 2 minutes. Last night, I had 10x100 meters on 15 seconds rest. I went out a little gung-ho and did the first in 1:35 (and I don't do flip turns. Flip turns and I have issues.). I realized that I probably wouldn't be able to keep that up, so I relaxed a little, but still managed to hit 1:40 on all the rest, give or take a second.

Now, I'm not a pretty swimmer. My limbs are stumpy (hell, my body is stumpy), and my kick is all but useless. But in the water, I can move. And the past few months, I've even started breathing on both sides, something I haven't done since I was nine. (Note: this was about the same time that I developed chronic ear infections, especially in my left ear. So, that ear and I made a deal - if I agreed not to turn that ear up towards the ceiling, it would agree not to cause my horrible, horrible pain. I considered it a fair trade. Now I wear earplugs.)

I must admit, it feels good to be fast at something. I will never be a super fast runner - I just don't have the drive to run that fast all the time. And on the bike, well, let's just say it's getting better, but I still have a long way to go. But put ae in the water, and well, I'll try not to kick you as I pass.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

I don't like Heart Rate training, i.e. I am really freakin' slow

Today I had a workout where after a nice little warm up, I was to run 3 miles with my heart rate staying between 147 and 153. Since my heart rate got there during the warm up, I decided to bump it up ten beats.

It didn't seem to help much.

This was the first workout that I *wanted* to run faster, harder - anything but the exaggerated slow slog I was doing. My pace was somewhere around a shameful 10:45 minute mile. Now, I'm by no means a speed demon, but I can always run a 10 minute mile, even while sick/in pain/recovering from food poisoning. Case in point: I decided that I wanted to run 10 minute miles in the Mini, and my overall pace was 9:59 (makes me wonder if I had picked say, 9:45s, would I have done it?), and I was not pushing it, even in Iroquois Park.

I understand that I need to do this type of training. I shouldn't go out and run every training run fast(er) just because I can - but today just seemed to go on forever. I did, however, wonder why the workout was allotted 60 minutes to warm up and run 3 miles. Are there people out there slower than this turtle?

This whole training for endurance thing is just taking some time to get used to. A few years ago, a 2hr (or once, just slightly under 2 hr) half-marathon was the norm. But, that was before I ever ran a full marathon. (I was also 6 pounds lighter, which I'm sure had something to do with it, too.) Since my runs were somewhere between 4 and 12 miles, I could run faster all the time. Once the runs started lasting what seemed like the whole damn morning, I had to slow down. My stumpy legs just can't keep going like that. I'm 5'3" with most of my height coming from my torso. I was not built for speed over long distances. My mother keeps telling me that I was not meant to be a runner. And she's probably right. At my first tri a few years ago, I looked around and exclaimed to my husband: "I've found my people! They look like me!" He laughed, but conceded that I had a point - while there were a few sticks, the majority of the athletes looked like they would be useful if you needed help moving something. It was just nice to be around people weighed more than one of my legs.


My people, before the Louisville Landsharks Tri 2005.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

And this was even after I did a swim and a run

Random guy at the gym, as he passed by me doing a chest press: "I like the way you work out. You work out hard."