Monday, November 7, 2011

Savannah Marsthon

Official time 4:29:03. Dedicated to my Mother and TNT. Thanks to all the friends and family that supported us. My mother was a great inspiration through her chemo. She remained positive and determined and is doing well. Until the day I left for Savannah and she fell and sprained her ankle. Thanks again to my friends Dawn and Howard for taking charge getting her and my father taken care of.
The Rock and roll people do a great job putting on a marathon. Very well organized from the shuttles to the portalets. The course was ok. Not too scenic but open so you did not have to weave. The people were very friendly and welcoming. A good race to do but not repeat. I did not get involved with the TNT events other then to raise my money. There were not others in my town and there was no coaching support. That was ok because I didn't want a beginner plan. I was supported by my friends and family and that was quite enough.
I didnt really have any major regrets in then race. I had a few down spots which responded to nutrition. No GI issues which is key. I must say being vegan was more ofna benefitnthen hindrance in the GI department. I am no more sore and felt better after being vegan.
I faded at the end again. No walking but just slowed down despite trying to maintain my pace. I think I need more tempo runs of longer duration tonhold the pace. Sugar cubes was my new secret weapon during the last 10k. Just enough sugar to the brain to keep then fight
I was quite proud that my daughter Addie ran the half despite a toe fracture 6 weeks ago. I love that she has developed a similar passion for running. And then Joules, Carol and Tom. What great running buddies. They are both gear inspirations.
Now I will turn my focus to the Las Vegas marathon in December.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

St. Anthony's Olympic Triathlon

I did it. 2:42:47 for 1000M swim, 24mile bike, and 10K run.
I worried all week about the swim. I heard it had been cancelled in the past due to wind. I had a poor swim at Ft Desoto which was half of what I was going to swim at St Anthony's. I went up the day before for check in and to volunteer at the TNT tent. I also signed up for the Inspiration Dinner with TNT. I went early and drove most of the bike course and then got lost. But I saw the part that was supposed to be the technical part with the speed humps. Not too bad I thought. I then went to the expo. Triathlon expos are different from marathon expos. First they are outside. I think triathletes like to sweat more. Triathlons are in the summer with hot runs. Marathons you worry more about freezing before the start. The crowd seems younger and more muscular. Marathoners are on average skinny without much muscle. Think underfed and laid back. Triathletes look at their competition. Size them up and down and up and down. You have lots to do.
After I was all checked in I joined the peeps at TNT. Very nice. There were 375 TNT peeps signed up from chapters all over the USA. All very happy to be there and ready to go. Alumni from previous TNT events also stopped by to share stories. I felt humbled and proud to be a part of such an organization. After my time there I met up with Karl from TRifit for a beer and some small talk. He is an experienced triathlete so any insight was welcome. I then went to the inspiration dinner. I was a little apprehensive. I was afraid of hearing too many stories of gallant battles fought and lost. That didn't happen. It was positive and truly inspirational. Participants would had beat Leukemia and Lymphoma and stories of dedicated people raising money for the society. I was knocked off my chair by the keynote speaker: Mama. An eighty years young mother of 7 who took up the 10K part of the relay 5 years ago and raised 80K for TNT mainly by knocking on doors.
Oh yeah the race. When I arrived at the transition area Sunday at 5:15am it was extremely windy. Gusty. White caps in the harbor. They direct made an announcement that the swim had been moved more along the shore line and shortened to 1000M. I felt much better. After getting set up I made my way to the swim start to see the pros go off. There were 32 waves total and I was in 19. I took a quick warm up swim which proved to be helpful. The water was not too cold and the wind was starting to settle a bit. My swim was steady. Better than Ft Desoto. There was a lot of bumping but I didn't seem to get rattled by it. I kept a pretty good rhythm even though my form was not as good as it could have been mainly due to the crowding. I stopped only to adjust my goggles after getting them knocked out of place by a young guy speeding through our wave. After exiting the water we had to run on the sidewalk about a half mile. That was enough for me to get blisters on the pads of my toes.
My bike was near the swim in so in was easy to find in the crowded transition area but that meant a long run to the bike out. The bike was great. I have decided I really like the bike and like to go fast. Fast as I can. I did hold back for the first half not knowing how I would feel as I went along. It was still windy so it was hard to drink. I actually lost my back bottle going over a bump. There were speed bumps around a golf course road that were a little scary since you caught some air but not enough to clear them. The course was technical but not scary.
When I got off the bike it took me longer to get my running legs then I thought. I took a gel but new my hydration was not great. I took Gatorade at all the stations plus had an 8oz hand bottle of infinit . The run course was very scenic with a lot of crowd support. The finish was in the park. There was a good finishers medal, cold towel, and drinks. Food was OK. The free cold beer tasted the best. All in all it was a good event. I look forward to doing it again. Go Team!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Escape from Fort Desoto

I did it in 1:26 and change. Left the house at 3:45am yuck. I needed to pick up my packet and figured the parking may be an issue with over 1500 participants. All week I dreaded getting in the cold water. If it were wetsuit legal that would eliminate that problem but create the new problem of escape from the wetsuit transition time. Crossing over the sky way bridge the water looked calm. Great because there had been mention of choppy seas. When I pulled into the main drive of the park, there was a huge flag pole with the Old Glory waving fiercely. Um. I arrived at 5:10 am and got a great spot across from the transition area. Perfect. I got my packet and took my gear to the transition area and set up. They announced the water was 74F and wetsuit legal. 74F you bet I was going to wear my wetsuit.
About 6:45 we walked down to the beach. It was still dark but I could see the water exit which seemed to be way out in some sort of lagoon. We walked the half mile down the beautiful white sand beach to the swim start. I got in for a warm up swim not too bad. Triathlons are much more competitive then marathons. You catch people looking at your swim cap color and leg number. If they are the same they check you out. I am still interested in doing my best and don't really care much about the competition other then how to judge myself.
The OVER 40 women group was the third wave. Off we went thrashing about. I noticed pretty quick I was getting pounded by waves that I had not noticed warming up. I ignorantly thought at first it was off a boat. Nope. 4-5 ft chop. Then I learned breathing to the right was a good way to get a drink of salt water. My breathing became erratic and I had no rhythm I started to breathe to the left but I was catching waves and plopping over them like an old wooden canoe. I stopped and looked around every now and then. I was still with the pink caps but not making good time. I finally got a little rhythm right before the last buoy. I definitely need to get out of the early flow and get a rhythm next time. We had to run through the lagoon to get back to the beach. Nice muddy water.
I got my chip Velcro stuck in my wetsuit making transition a little longer. Doesn't take long to kill 4 minutes.
Off on the bike. Felt great. My new Trek is embarrassingly sweat. Too good for me. Oh well I enjoyed it. I passed lot of people. I am proud to report a bike split of 27:54 for 10 miles. It was pretty windy so I was a little caution and only took fluids twice. I was having too much fun passing people. On your left, it is me the slow swimmer.
The run was down a bike path to the Fort. In years past the route climbed the fort. I was waiting but we just went around. They were doing construction. Good enough. Was not that excited about climbing stairs at that point. The return was on a sandy trail that was tough footing in places. The run was 3.4 miles and finished in the parking lot near transition.
It was a very organized event. They had lots to drink and eat and the park was beautiful. I will definitely do this race again. But I need more swimming experience.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Tune up for 2 triathlons

Did a 10K run at the Venice Sharktooth 10K with the Joules then joined Trifit and Susan from Team in Training for an open water swim. The run course was great. I could have been a little more hydrated I guess but overall felt good and finished with a time of 54:29. I tried out my wetsuit for the second time. I think I sweat a liter of fluid before I hit the water. We swam about 1300M or so.
Today did a bike ride with Team in Training. We did 4 mile intervals. Feeling more comfortable on the Tri bike. Ready for the sprint tri next weekend. Still a little nevous about the Olympic at St. Athony's in two weeks. More fearful of the crowds.
It never ceases to amaze me how people come into our lives at the right times. Again I am very thankful for my old friends and my new friends.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Something good comes out of everything

Since my mom has been diagnosed with lymphoma many changes have happened. The first of course is dealing with the unknown. How will she and my father deal with the diagnosis. How will she react to chemo. How will her body respond. Being a physician I know the possibilities but not the future. The big focus has been on things we can do. Focus on good nutrition. Take some of her daily stress away. Laugh.
I have been amazed at the outpouring of well wishes from friends and family not heard from for some time. Little gifts to brighten her day and cards have meant so much. Good days are now cherished and reflected upon. Since joining team in training I have witnessed unbelievable generosity. I have met new friends offering unconditional support with my old friends still right by my side.
This weekend I rode 35 miles with Team in training and ran 11 with the Joules. I also took mom to the beach to watch me squeeze in and out of my wetsuit for it's maiden voyage in the ocean. What a great weekend in the face of adversity. The name Joule was originally meant to reflect the energy unit. I must say it has grown to reflect my friends kindness in that they are two of the finest jewels I know.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Publix Georgia Marathon

Wow the hills! I knew the area around the CNN tower and Emory University was hilly and I looked at the topography map of the marathon but wow. 26.2 miles of up and down. Up and down. At about mile 6 I figured out the theme. Up and down. Beautiful course by parks, Emory University, Georgia Tech, and St Agnes. Extremely well organized and supported. Lots of cheering at all aide stations. Great weather at 55 and cloudy. Addie ran the half and Tom, Carol, and I ran the full. We stayed at the Embassy Suites which was right outside the start. Perfect. It was so nice running another half with Addie two weeks in a row. Pretty pround of the college freshman sucking it up and doing two halves in two weeks. I ran a good 20 miles then started to have left hip/leg cramps in the last twenty. I was forced to walk DOWN the hills and could run up. How crazy. Frustrated that I could not make time on the downhills. My hydration and nutrution was good. My hips just could not handle the hills. Not bad. 4:44 finish. Not my worst by far. I enjoyed the whole thing. We met the Team in Training Atlanta chapter that Addie plans to join this summer.
Mom started chemotherapy this week and so far so good. Her attitude is wonderful.
We brought her back a Team in Training hat. Funny that favorite colors are green and purple. It all works. Now will turn my focus to tri training with a surge towards Grandmas in June if all is good at home.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Be fearless in the face of your fears

My new mantra. It is working so far. Did a PR at New Orleans that was unexpected. Many events scheduled. Making plans without worries. Then my mother has back pain. Nothing out of the ordinary for a 77 yo women that is very active. Then it got worse. Trip to ER. MRI abnormal. CT scan shows diffusely enlarged lymph nodes. Biopsy a few hours later. Non Hodgkin's lymphoma stage III. Frozen. Get a grip. Line up the team. I am so fortunate to have so many resources at my disposal. So many friends. All lining up to help. Suddenly, I have learned to slow and take one moment at a time. Nothing for granted.
Atlanta marathon on for this Sunday then Mom starts chemo Monday. My race will be over and hers will be starting. I will be her support crew. My race means nothing. Hers everything. I joined Team in Training yesterday to honor her race. I will raise funds for them for her and all of those less fortunate. My hope is that she can be at the finish at the Savannah marathon in the fall healthy. I will still help the wounded warriors but I must honor support her race and help fight her fight.
So we will take one day at a time and help each other and fight the fight and appreciate what each day has to offer. I will be linking my team in training web site and updating as we go along.

Monday, February 14, 2011

PB when you least expect it

Two marathons completed so far this year. Miami and Mardi Gras. I have been running less and cross training more so I really have not developed the confidence that I have enough to finish a marathon strong. My running sessions have been more specific with intervals once a week, a tempo run and a longer run. The longer runs have been to time and not to distance and I have not run longer then 17 miles. Most runs 14 or 15 miles. They have had tempo miles in them however. I have run 45 minutes at 9:30 pace multiple times. My best marathon pace was 10:35 min miles. I have determined my anaerobic threshold is high 150s to 160s so I tried to run Miami avoiding then160s til the end. In that marathon I had a bonk zone miles 21,22, and 23 then came back and finished strong. I didn't think it was hydration but more low sugar. I have had trouble tolerating the gels late and have fear given the Marine corps experience of 2004.
After 12 marathons, I have learned to avoid dairy the night before. I believably the power off endurlyes to stave off muscle cramps and fatigue. I have not been happy with my pre race breakfast. I am convinced it needs to be twe hours before the marathon starts. This marathon I had coffee maker oatmeal: one packet of oatmeal in a glass and run water through the coffee pot with a packet of sugar. I also had a small cup of coffee and a mini cliff bar. I sipped on a bottle of heed til about an hour before the race.
The temperature was 39f. A little cold for me. I had on thin tights and a 2x compression top with my TeamHope race shirt on top. Still running with the Brooks Launch and injingi toe socks. Learning what mental plan works best for me. Justnlike everything else in my life. Little chunks at a time. No big loads. First 10k then get to half marathon. First 6 miles sports drink then start the gels every three to four miles. Take them with water bits at a time. Sports drink on other stops to thirst. I took endurlytes every half hour after the first hour. I then look to get to mile 20. First to 15 and 17. That is the first spot I can get into trouble. I felt good at Mardi Gras. I substituted a bag of sports beans at 17 to brak it up. I dont need water with them. The next goal is 20 miles just an hour to go. Then just one at a time. I took a mini bag of skittles at 24 miles. Rocket fuel for last two miles. I try to push mile 25 and 26 and enjoy the crowds. It worked for Mardi Gras this time for an all time PB 4:26:48.
Looking at spits only a couple of pace dips so there is a little wiggle room. I still have hopes for the sub four before the big slide. Next up Sarasota half then Atlanta marathon. Must do hill work.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Plans for the new year

January 2 and I am registered for four marathons. Miami, Mardi Gras, Atlanta and Grandmas. So much for the specific training for times. It looks more like a survival plan. Peer pressure has definitely got the better of me. I think team Joule needs help.
I will begin to fund raise for wounded warriors and plan to run each event for that particular charity. I also plan to keep cross training to transition into triathlons. Sprint distance in the spring and then a 70.3 in August perhaps. Certainly it will be an odd way to base train for triathlons but you need to start somewhere.
Starting tomorrow back to training diet which is mostly vegetarian. Breakfast and lunch vegan then dinner varies. I have found dairy is not my friend so it is easy to avoid.
Happy New Year to all !