Sunday, September 30, 2007

Last Dance

My folks agreed to take the girls, Doug and I signed up for the race and were looking forward to a good date night last night before the race this morning. We had a family birthday party in the afternoon and my folks were late leaving from it. So, we didn't hit the road sans kids until after 7pm. Probably I shouldn't have had the margarita and enchiladas for dinner. We skipped dessert because it was race eve. On the way home we stopped at Target to get a new trashcan (because I broke the old one) and some liquid bandage for Doug. He cut his thumb clear through his thumbnail while making lunch yesterday and was worried about getting lake water in it. We got to bed at about 10pm. I got up about an hour later and set my phone to wake me at 4:30. Annie kept scratching, whining and waking us up during the night. Sigh.

We got on the road only a little late (5:40) this morning and arrived at the lake at about 6:30. My tummy was acting up and I got to the ladies' room not a moment too early. Little did I know that my nervous tummy would be the least of my worries.

I ate my immodium and munched some sports beans while setting up my area. I met a nice man who won an award in his age group. I didn't catch his name and I'm sure he thought I was an idiot. When he asked how the race went while we were in the t-shirt line after the finish, I just stared blankly at him. "OK, I guess?" I had no idea. The race was just crazy.

The swim was a triangular course running counter-clockwise from the beach (buoys on the left), east into the sun and then back to the beach. Dee Dee warned me that the lake had a spongy, muddy bottom and dropped off fast as you left the beach. Good to know. We found out later that the swim was around 500 yards (instead of 400) because they had a hard time securing the buoys in the deep water. Anyway, I secured my Garmin in a baggie beneath my hat and practiced turning it on while bonding with the other ladies in my wave. Wave 1 (Doug's wave) went off. Before the first buoy, one guy (a very fit-looking guy) returned to the beach. Hmm, his googles must have broken, we thought. This might have been Wes before he gave it another go. Wave 2 went off. We saw two guys clinging to one of the canoes, but blissfully unaware, we worried about our placement for the start. One woman said to breathe to the left to avoid the waves. This flew right over my head. I can (mostly) do either side, no problem. The waves comment didn't register at all. Then we started. The breeze that was gentle on the beach turned ugly. The women who were near me and I exclaimed at each other in amazement. Holy shit - there are waves in the lake. Big ones. Are there always waves in the lake - I can' remember ever seeing them before. As I motored along with my side-stroke recovery stroke, I heard one woman proclaim that she was going to do breast-stroke. OK, I thought, because I'm trashing my legs with all of this kicking. After what seemed like an eternity of flailing, we got to the first buoy and turned into the sun and the waves. I worried about Doug but comforted myself with the thought that (1) he was wearing his wetsuit, and (2) his stroke may not be pretty, but he can tough it out fine in recovery mode. I worried about Wes because he didn't have his wetsuit. I tried to do freestyle, but couldn't see and kept breathing the waves. Side-stroke was too taxing on my legs, so I settled into the breaststroke. Wes said there were 1-2 foot swells, but I estimated 2-3 feet during the swim. When I was in the troughs, I couldn't see the sun. I am a drama queen, though. Anway, it seemed like that long leg before the last buoy would never end. After the turn and midway through the final leg, I resigned myself to a crappy time. "Just think of it as another workout," Doug always tells me, so I abandoned hopes of kicking ass and just tried to get to the finish. The waves were at my back, so I finally did freestyle. I couldn't see where I was going and the guys in the rescue canoe hailed me and pointed me back towards the flags because I was way off course. They keep the canoes on the outer edge of the swimmers but I must have missed them because I swam way wide of the buoys and the canoes.

I found out later that Doug had to hail two canoes during his swim because the guy in front of him was in bad trouble. The people in the first canoe were idiots and weren't trying to help - just yelling at the guy, but the second canoe was able to pick him up.

I was molasses in transition - always am. I did put a shirt on, though, so that I didn't freeze. I exited the transition area to start the bike straight uphill. I realized about a mile into the bike that I had never turned on Garmin. Oops. Turned it on finally at the 2 mile mark and had my Cliff gel at mile 3. Mental note, make sure that I don't leave the timing chip under my sock ever again. Ouch. The hills out of the park just never ended. I thought there would be more downhill on the second half of the course, but no, it was just as hard. I saw Doug just before the turn. He was in a group that was just after the super-fast leaders. He looked good. I yelled to a woman who I thought was Dee Dee. She looked good too. After my gel, I drank a few more hits of Heed drink and water. Nothing helped. I was sucking. I tried to gain as much speed as possible on the downhills to make it back up the other sides. On the way back into the park, I played cat and mouse with a guy who was 64; he kicked my ass. The last person I passed was a woman in an orange tri-suit who I only chased because she was in my age group. I totally would have given up on her otherwise.

Back into transition, I racked my bike, shucked the shirt and left with my race belt and visor in my hand. I left transition to return back uphill for the run. Chuh, chuh, chuh. It was just as hilly as the bike. I tried to shout encouragement to the other racers because this was a much more positive race than the one in Cordele. It was all "go girl!" and "looking good!" and "you can do it!" I love that about triathlon. I told one dude (blue and aqua tri suit) "we can do it, let's go as we went up a hill." Little did he know that I really was muttering "I think I can, I think I can" as I passed him. A couple of studs in tri-club suits passed me but no women and I made decent time. I passed that darn orange tri-suit woman only to realize that she was a man. Oops. Still, a rabbit is a rabbit, just the same. Garmin says my first two miles were in the 7:30 min/mile range, which is great. After mile 2, I sped up to bring it home. I reeled in the woman with the long red hair (winner of the 25-29 age group) and sprinted in. Doug cheered me in from the bike area. It was nice to be done.

Whoo, this race was exponentially harder than any other I've done (in my limited experience)! Doug agreed so it wasn't just me having a bad day. I finished the swim in approx 12 mins and the total in 1 hr 25 mins and won second in my age group! The official scores were posted onsite and said that my run was 21:XX and a 6:XX per mile pace which would be a PR for a 5K. I'll update with official numbers when they appear. Unfortunately, we think the run was short so I wasn't quite that fast, but still. Hardware. Can you believe it? Just wait until next year!

Edited to add:

Official results: 12:19 swim (4 in AG/15 in women); 2:11 in T1; 47:24 bike (3 in AG/12 women, 16.5 mph); 1:37 in T2; 21:37 run at 6:59 min/mile pace (2 in AG/4 women) for a total of 1:25:05.35 (2 in AG/6th woman). I've also posted a report on Beginner Triathlete in the "Race Logs" section. For those of you who do triathlons, the format of these reports (whether you choose to make them public or not) is really helpful to identify your strong areas and where you could do better.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Last Race Tomorrow

Doug and I are racing in the 2 Bridges Sprint tomorrow. It is our last race of the season because the Emerald Pointe race filled up (and we are ridiculously busy this month).

Because I was up until midnight on Wednesday reading my book and then until 11pm on Thursday paying the bills, I took Friday off instead of swimming. Then today, I slept in until 7am! LAZY! We've gone to the soccer game and are preparing for the birthday party this afternoon. I'm getting my ducks in a row for Dagny's party next week. Whew!

This week's workouts:

Sun: 9.19 mile long run at 9:48 pace. I was ready to be done after 7 miles, despite my good book on the i-pod. Good thing I'm skipping the long run next week.

Mon: 4.06 mile run at 9:19 pace. It was hot, damn hot, on Monday but I finished and thought I would be able to bike after fixing my flat tire. No dice. Tire repair took a LONG time and Doug did a mega-brick so he was late coming home and I ran out of time for biking.

Tues: 1,900 yard swim. 2oo w/u, 3 x 500, 200 c/d. This was not hard but if I'm going to go longer than 2,000 yards pre-breakfast, I'm going to have to fuel because I was LOOPY at the end.

Wed: 31.54 mile bike at 15.1 mph avg pace. Doug suggested that I ride up to the bike store to pick up my race packet, so I rode a scenic tour of Roswell before going up to the Roswell Bikes. This was my longest bike ever. I did have a break while going into the bike store, but I didn't count that time. The backpack was not a problem and I didn't even remember it was there - that weightless, even with a thing of wipes in it. I forgot my gel, so I bought a fresh one while I was at the store and refilled my water. : ) Note to all, they have repaved in Waverly Hall and thus the road markings are erased - I got lost, so I saw many cul-de-sacs in there.

Thurs: 4.14 miles in the hood at 9.12 pace. Same run as on Monday, just reversed. Not exciting but I got some miles done.

Fri and Sat: Taper or lazy, you tell me.

Totals: 1,900 yards swimming, 31.54 miles biking, 18.39 miles running. Not as far as I'd planned for the week, but not so bad either. Next week I'll get to 20 miles running. Cross your fingers.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Merchandising

Here are Annika and cousin Sarah Anne at the soccer pictures last weekend. Dagny and Sarah Anne really were smiling - I just didn't catch it.

Below are photos of the girls playing in the super-cool playground at the Baytowne Wharf section of the Sandestin resort in Florida. This playground rocks so we go to theBaytowne Wharf for dinner every time we go to the beach. There is a video too, but I can't get my computer to read it.

The merchandising is that Annika has just started to notice characters on various items at the store and tell us that she wants them. Sargento has "Shrek" string cheese, for example. I don't mind buying the stuff that I would ordinarily buy if it has a character on it (so long as there is no premium for the character) but I think some stuff is garbage. Dora cereal, for example, is a star that looks suspiciously similar to King Vitamin cereal. It's not horrible cereal, but wow - way to capitalize on Dora. Thank goodness these fall into the "vacation cereal" realm and therefore I don't have the buy them. And, the commercials! Annika wants to buy cereal straws so that she can "sip and then crunch." And just now, she told me that there is a Blues Clues movie about Little Red Riding Hood. It's "exclusively at Target." "You have to get it now." Scary.
In other news, I've learned to change a tire on my bike. As those who are close to me know, I am the master of changing car tires (stupid low-profile tires made sure of that!), but had never done a bike tire. Then, on Monday, I got to learn how instead of doing my fun bike ride. I tried to watch the video on the BT board, but it wouldn't download, so I found this guy on You Tube. He's the vulcan bike wizard. Very cool. After I exploded the first tire (scaring the crap out of the painters next door) and made the "I have a stupid tire question" call to the bike store, I put foot powder on the tube and that helped a lot. Now my tire won't have athlete's foot either.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Conditioning

Yesterday was Annika's first soccer game. She took a SportsTyke class a few years back in which they learned different sports skills (including soccer) and has been to one actual soccer practice, but this was her first concrete playing experience.


She was awesome. She chased the ball all OVER the place and even got to kick it several times. Whew! She was whipped. The league plays four 15-minute quarters and by halftime, Annika was tired. We will have to work on building her endurance so that she can do a warm-up and game without falling out. On some of the internet places I frequent, there have been threads by other parents about how ridiculous it is to have gatorade and snack for a game that lasts only an hour. Um, I think that might be wrong. If Annika is as tired and hot every game, I'll be glad to bring her snacks and beverages. But yes - we will start some easy conditioning today. Maybe one lap around the yard or up the neighbors' street, but only if she feels like it. She's very excited about the idea, though, so that is a good sign.


The best part, though, is that Annika didn't cry during the game AT ALL. This is huge.



For me:


Sun: 3.45 mile run at 8:44 pace. I had 30 mins before Doug left for golf so I ran for 30 mins. It was so easy that I forgot to turn my i-pod on until almost home.


Mon: 200 yard aborted swim. Too much wind = too much current for me.


Tues: 8.47 mile run at 10:30 pace. Listened to my Audible book and forgot about pace. Pace schmace.


Wed: rest day after the long run


Thurs: 4.01 miles at 8:12 pace. Was trying to go faster on this run to get into a tempo run groove.


Fri: 1,400 yard swim in the cold cold water. 200 W/U, 2 x 500, 200 C/D. Not my best swim but not bad either.

Sat: 23.68 mile bike at 15.4 pace. Top speed was over 37 mph as I zipped down Magnolia Street to turn right onto North Coleman. I would have been even faster there, but I accidentally hit a bump and caught air and then a car honked at me so I had to turn quickly into the new subdivision to calm down before continuing. I saw the bump before I hit it, so was able to get out of the tuck and take the shock with my legs, but it was shocking - and really fun at the same time.

Totals: 1,600 yards swimming, 23.68 miles biking, 15.93 miles running. Not bad for a vacation week except I thought that the running total would have been higher. This week, I'll be casting about for a new swim solution and investigating seniors swim clubs for my Grammy who moves in with my parents in two weeks.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Do It Myself




Here are some photos from our trip - Doug's dueling computer and of the beach. Why, you say, are they no pictures of the lovely children? Because we are idiots and kept forgetting our camera. I have some from the phone, but they take 3-4 days to migrate from there to my email where I can upload into the computer. Technology is still beating me.


Dagny learned to "swim" with numerous floatation devices this week. She now loves the floating suit and the arm floats and won't let us help her swim anymore. She says "do it mySELF" and wriggles from our grasp. Annika is a full-fledged swimmer now and refuses to consider any floatation devices. Even in the ocean. Pshew - that can be scary!


Last week's training, as it may be:


Sun: 15.54 mile bike at 15.3 mph, 3.13 mile run in my neighborhood at 8:57 pace.

Mon: 28-ish mike bike with Nat wherein I was almost run over by that Cadillac man. Jerk. Nat is still kicking my bottom.

Tues: nothing - overslept
Wed: 1400 yard swim in lightning fast time because I was late, again.
Thurs: nada - travel day
Fri: 4.9 miles at 8:19 min/mile pace. I meant to do only 4 miles but couldn't find the exit to the park and kept running until I found it.
Sat: 600 yard swim in the ocean as previously posted. Hard.
Totals: 2,000 yards swimming, 43.54 miles biking, 8.03 miles running. The schedule was off this week because of the travel and the moving of the long run to Sunday, which slipped to Monday because of golf and oversleeping again.






Saturday, September 15, 2007

New Respect

Since I ran yesterday, I decided to swim today. More on my new tri-colored glasses later.

Today, however, I have new-found respect for Ironmen (male or female). Jason is the only real live Ironman I know, so he will have to bathe in the sparkly, shiny, glory alone. In case you missed my other post about it, here is the link to his race report again.

Anyway, I put Garmin in a baggie and wore it under my swim cap (pink, so Doug could see me from the porch) and sallied forth into the surf in my battered, semi-transparent workout suit. Counting the hat application and wade from the beach chair that held my stuff, I swam 0.6 miles in 20 minutes. In the pool, this would have taken me less than ten minutes at an easy pace - with plenty of energy to keep going.

I waded out from the beach and swam parallel to the surf in about 4-5 feet of water. I went three condos West and then back and two condos East (so I stayed in Doug's range of sight) before I had to quit because I was EXHAUSTED. The waves were not really a problem - so you bob up and down, big deal. The salt was also not an issue - it just tastes bad. It was actually really cool to see the crabs scuttling on the bottom and the silvery fish darting around. But breathing on the ocean side - was terrifying. The vastness of the water just looming out there, waiting to suck me out . . . whew. That part was scary. And the beach guy was not lying about the current. There is a yellow flag today even though the waves are dinky because of the current. On the way back from the journey east, I was taking 3-4 four strokes to go about a foot and my stroke had deteriorated to a flail. Then I saw a jellyfish and decided I was done.

So, it's no big deal to train for and go 2.4 miles in the pool. But in the ocean . . . whole different world. Another woman swam while we played in the water with the girls this morning and she kicked my ass. Go red cap woman. I'll try again after my long run tomorrow, maybe on Monday.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Addicted?

Yesterday we drove to the beach, in the car, for seven hours. Doug drove (bless him) and I read him the triathlon magazines, parts of the Wall Street Journal and sewed buttons onto clothes that have languished in my bag since the last long car trip. We discussed how much mobile WiFi could have added to the car trip.



There was no running, biking or swimming yesterday. And I felt it. Last night when the kids were chasing each other screaming around the condo, I felt it. When we went to the beach bar restaurant and ate delicious french fries in the rain for dinner, I felt it. This morning, when the thunder and lightning were rolling in over the ocean, I felt it. Doug checked the weather and we sat in the dark and watched the clouds; as soon as the thunder cleared, I left. Whew. So much relief I nearly cried.



Jen and Rob arrived last night and we've been to the beach twice already today and anyone with little kids knows that is no small feat. So now Doug and I are dueling laptops on the porch with wine while Dagny sleeps and Annika "rests." For dinner, we will walk to The Back Porch and some hush puppies and margaritas. Vacation is good. Luckily Doug and I both forgot that it is our anniversary today - 11 years. It's nice that we are still on the same page.



Photos whenever my phone feels like sending them along.



Oh, and Miss Christa called to say that Annie has tapeworms.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Hooray, Drivers!

Yesterday, I rode my bike on the Bike Roswell route that goes near our house. It was an afternoon ride and this route is pretty hilly, so I was the only biker that I saw. Regardless, except for some dicey moments on the road with the 40 mph speed limit, drivers were calm and courteous throughout my ride. The speedy problems were because folks didn't want to wait for me to motor up the hill (though I was sprinting) so they crossed the double-yellow and menaced oncoming traffic instead.

In contrast, the drivers during my run were horrible. I ran in my own neighborhood and got buzzed more than three times in 3 miles. So close that I had to jump up on the grass. Assholes.

This week:

Sun: 16.86 mile bike at 14.7 mph and 3.17 mile run at 8:41 pace. The bike included the giant hill on Eves Road and the endless uphill on Lake Charles, so I'm very pleased with this ride.

Mon: 4.11 mile run in the 'hood at 8:58 pace. I set no speed goal here, so this was a good run.

Tues: 1,600 yard swim. I was going to only do two 400 yd sets, but it wasn't light yet so I added another.

Wed: 23 mile bike at (Nat says) 17mph pace. The first 2/3 was uphill and the last 1/3 we sprinted to get back in time for Dagny's pickup. A lovely ride. Good thing Nat suggested stopping for gu. No more long bikes through snack-time without extra gu - I was tapped out. Even with my electrolyte drink.

Thurs: Had planned to do the brick workout with the North Atlanta Multisport Club, but they had a meeting and I missed their run so I had pizza and beer instead.

Fri: 1,450 yard swim in 40 minutes (including changing clothes and drying off). I swam a 200 yard warm-up, 1,000 yards straight (to see if I could do it) and a 250 cool down. The extra 50 was in case I miscounted somewhere. Except for the lightheadedness caused by low fuel (it was pre-breakfast), this was a great swim. I enjoyed the pace and just going and going and going. The shoulder is better. It still aches, but only when I'm on the computer too long.

Sat: 8.3 mile run at 9:27 pace. This was the long run I was supposed to have had last week. It was hot and I forgot my headphones, but I still had a lovely run. I ditched the shirt and ran in my jog-bra and NO CHAFING! Oddly, some women gave me dirty looks instead of saying "hi" when I met them on the trail. And, I LOVE the running skirt Doug gave me for my birthday. I plan my laundry so that it is clean for all long runs. : )

Totals: 3,050 yards swimming, 39.86 miles biking, 15.58 miles running. This was a good week for me. Doug ran the Peachtree City Triathlon and did awesome on his swim. He got another flat tire, though, and will be taking his bike for an inspection today - he changed his own tire the other two times, but the valve step keeps coming apart so we think it might be a mechanical issue. My bike, as adjusted by Doug, is working much better. I've not dropped the chain since Saturday - WOOO!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Fashion Show




Or, why my husband is fabulous. The first three photos are Dagny and Annika trying on the boxful of clothes that Doug bought on e-bay last week. Annika has grown a mile this summer and none of her pants fit any more. So, rather than engage in expensive mall visits, Doug found some good "lots" on e-bay. A "lot" is basically a box full of stuff that you bid on like any other e-bay purchase. Some sellers give you tons of info, some not so much. Some lots are REALLY good (this one was really good) and some, not so much.
Annika was thrilled with the box and tried on every item - it was hard to catch her because she was so fast. She has begun preschool at the new school in the highest style. Dagny could not be left out of the action, so you can see her modeling the dog shirt.


The third photo is Annika and cousin Sarah Anne at the pool on Monday. Sarah Anne won the giant magic wand in the hula hoop contest. Doug was the top male in the limbo contest, I might add.

Can anyone guess what kind of flower is shown in the last photo? Doug planted this in our garden (with the tomatoes) JUST FOR ME. OK, just for me and my Dad. I told you he was awesome.
And, last but not least - when I told him about the speeding ticket that I got today, he wasn't mad. I deserved the ticket, but man I wish the cops would watch for speeders on Wileo Road or Riverside Road where we like to ride bikes instead of near my house.
Yeah, and, Natalie rode bikes with me today on her "off day." She totally kicked my ass and then saved my ass by holding my bike/shoes/car keys/etc. while I ran into the preschool to pick Dagny up from her first day of school.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Good Looking Folks





So, here are some photos that Doug's Dad took of us at the GA Veterans Triathlon in Cordele. The first two are Doug going out on the run and coming up the hill from the swim. I think he's the one who has already removed his cap. Then, there are our girls with Grammy, who is a champ for bringing them to the race - please note Annika's tutu-riffic race attire. The last one is me running up the hill from the swim. Here is where you can view the "official" photos - Doug is bib #12 and I am #163. I couldn't link to the separate searches. Aren't we beautiful? HA!
In better news, Doug found this cool site that lists the results from a million races. It revealed that I was first of ALL WOMEN in the run. : ) The link is for our race results, but the site is called "Athlinks."
I've finally gotten my Garmin software and our accounting stuff to the new computer, so that leaves only the photos to move over. Maybe next week . . .
Last week:
Sun: 11.89 mile ride at 13.9 mph in the giant thunderstorm. Yes, the same storm in which a high school student on his bike was struck by lightning and killed. Next time I'll check the radar.
Mon: 4.33 miles at the park at 8:40 pace. I got to go to the park and listen to the parade of horribles on the local news on the way home, see above.
Tues: Nanny's car broke and I overslept. No swim, no run, no bike.
Wed: 13.19 mile bike at 14.1 pace. This was my first ride with "clipless pedals" and I only fell once. Luckily, the guy in the car behind me did not run me over and was not laughing so I could hear him. The pace includes the fall, dropping my chain, and the big hill on Eves Rd.
Thurs and Fri: See Tuesday.
Sat: 6.24 mie run at 10.01 pace. This was to be a longer run, but I overslept AGAIN and had only this amount of time to complete my work. Which was fine, because my knees were sore. The pace includes a trip to the potty - didn't stop the clock because I had to know where I was on the ETA.
Totals: 0 swimming, 25.08 miles biking, 13.75 miles running.