Monday, April 25, 2011

Pushup Challenge

In my insanity restlessness of tapering I decided it would be fun to start the One Hundred Push up Challenge.

Why, you ask?   Why not!                                          

And now I challenge you to do it with me!

The beauty of it is that it doesn't matter where you start - the end goal is the same and the program claims it will get you there. It is also a very low time commitment. And doesn't require any equipment.

Here's what you need: yourself, 3 days a week, 10 minutes each of those days.

I've only done 2 days worth (tomorrow will be day 3). You start with 5 sets and rest 60-120 seconds in between sets. It's been a little easier than I anticipated so far.
Take the challenge if you dare and let me know how it goes!                                                                                                                                                                          

I am also now taking recommendations for my next triathlon and fall marathon!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Storms & Race week
Lightening, thunder, rain and wind kept me up most of the night before my last (short) long run. In reality it was the dog that kept me up, but it was because of the storm. She is a hunting dog that is terrified of loud noises. Not really the greatest combo. She cries the whole time it storms. It started storming sometime around 1 a.m. and the worst hit around 2. They were long, bad, very loud storms. Unfortunately it was the third middle-of-the-night storm this week. Good thing she is cute.

Needless to say I was exhausted when it came time to run. I opted for a shorter run than I planned since the miles are really irrelevant at this point. I am either trained or not. It is like studying for a test 30 seconds before you take it. I decided that being so tired I had a higher risk of injury or just having a bad run and it wasn't worth it to me just one week before race day. I went for 8 miles instead of the 10-12 I had planned on.

I felt good and strong, but exhausted at the same time. It was a strange feeling. Not tired at all from the run, but my body was definitely ready to be finished after 8 miles.

I had the realization earlier this week that I really have not had any bad training runs. The worst was the last couple of miles of my 18.  For only 2-3 miles of such a long run to be bad though is actually pretty good I think. I really hope this isn't setting me up for a bad run on race day.

Marc had gotten up very insanely early to go turkey hunting that morning. I was very surprised to have a text message from him when I got back to my car. I called him and he asked if I wanted to meet for brunch. Yesss! I love breakfast food. Especially after running. We had a nice surprise post-run post-hunting brunch date. Made my day.

I can't believe the marathon is this weekend. I kept thinking during my run that this time next week Jen and I will be in Louisville logging another 26.2.  Wow. I hope marathon #6 is a solid, injury free race with a good friend.

And next week I get to start keep on training for #7. I hope it's lucky.

p.s. Happy race week to everyone doing marathons/half marathons this weekend!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The stuff dreams are made of

New best buds.
With the help of a good friend of mine, Erin Hamilton, I made the trek to Springfield, OH on Thursday to participate in Dean Karnazes' run across America. In one word it was amazing.

I was able to run with Dean for almost the whole 5K. I was shocked by this and it made it completely worth the almost 3 hour round trip adventure.

It's the first time I've ever run with a camera, but I am so happy that I did. Erin was able to see us along the way and meet us at the finish (it was a point to point 5K). She also took some great pictures!  Dean was so friendly and down to earth. It was quite the experience.  

No human has calves like this. Insane!
Although I am sure Dean will continue to do crazy things like this, it might have been a once in a lifetime opportunity for me.

It was so much fun and I'm glad I got to share the experience with such a great friend!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Lists from the Tri

I love lists...and I know some of you out there do too! So here are my lists from my first triathlon...

Traumatic Events on race day
1. Running over a huge worm during the bike. I felt so bad and prayed for it for the next mile or so. I still feel guilty when I think about it.
2. My car almost spinning out on my way to Kelly's before the triathlon due to water from the insane amount of rain that fell overnight.
3. Feeling the rain start as soon as I got on my bike.

Funny things I saw/heard at the race
1. Bald guy with his number written directly on his head since he didn't need a swim cap.
2. Maureen needing help putting her bike helmet on in the transition area because she didn't know the front from the back - resulted in 8 minute transition time and pictures with the guy that was nice of enough to help her.
3. MU student cheering for Kelly (who was wearing a Thanksgiving day race shirt) during the run yelling "I love mashed potatoes". That's my kind of girl!

Awkward Moments
1. Not being sure where to dismount the bike. There was a clear point to mount...not so clear where to dismount.
2. Trying to pass someone a little larger than myself during the swim but feeling like I wasn't going forward at all after every one of their pulls.
3. The announcer saying over the speaker that the last person to finish was making them stay out in the not-so-lovely weather for so long.

Awesome Moments
1. Crossing the finish line - anti-climatic, yes, still awesome though.
2. Not crashing on the bike despite the rain, wet roads and extremely hilly course.

3. Remembering to take my helmet off before starting the run.

Only 11 more days until the Derby Marathon. It doesn't feel like it is so close. I already have the itch to start training again for another race. It must be the result of the combination of tapering and a new addiction to triathlons!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Results Are In!

So, I didn't come in first...but I also didn't come in last!

I have to admit, I didn't feel super accomplished until I saw actual results this morning. I was stalking the results page all day yesterday in anxious anticipation.

I am pretty proud of my 5K time! Not so bad after swimming and biking first!

By the way, they do age as of 12/31/2011. Not sure why, but it's kind of weird seeing me a year older!

I didn't realize the formatting was so messed up, so here is a rundown of the stats below:
8th in my age group, 348th overall (out of 650ish), bib # 550, 11th in my age group in the swim, swim time 12:43, Transition 1 time 4:02, 8th in the bike in my age group, bike time 57:08, Transition 2 time 3:36, 4th in the run in my age group (runners 1, 2 & 3 came in those respective places overall in my age group), run time 24:52, total time 1:42:23.'
Bethany Crosby

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Surprisingly, I slept fairly well last night. I climbed in bed at 10 and read for a little while, then didn't wake up again until 2:30. I looked at the time, then rain. Ok, go back to sleep. It's going to be fine.

When my alarm went off at 3:40, it was pouring buckets and buckets and buckets of rain. Ok, we're heading west, the rain is getting out of the way now. The race doesn't start until 7, I wont get in the pool until closer to 8. It's going to be fine.
I head over to Kelly's at 4:25, a few minutes later than hoped. On the way I hit some standing water on the road and my car almost spins out. Wow, that woke me up!
Kelly had the bikes already loaded on the bike rack when I arrived. I threw my bag(s) in the car and we were off! Wow, looks like we are really doing this. Really?

There is hardly anyone on campus when we arrive. We unload our bikes and head over to the transition area. We make (what turns out to be) the very smart decision to leave our clothes and shoes in the plastic bags we brought. The rain has stopped and the race officials are saying there is a window of time with no rain and hopefully we should get the race in during that window. We put our dry clothes in a locker - one of the benefits of the pool swim - and go wait in the bleachers. This is awkward waiting around in your bathing suit time. We found our friends and met some new ones so that helped to pass the time, they also gave us some last minute tips and assurances.
The typical thank you speech, pre race meeting and national anthem have now taken place. It's time to get started!
They call the athletes down to the pool deck in waves of 50 and a new athlete enters the water every 3 seconds or so. Everyone cheers when the first guy enters the water, and then again as he exits. I'm getting excited, but nervous. All of the athletes so far have been very fast swimmers! As we keep watching all of the athletes, I finally start seeing some people who are slower, struggling, doing breast stroke, and back stroke. I feel better, it's going to be ok.

We are called down and the line seems to move very quickly. All of the sudden we are up! I jump in the water and go! I freak out a little bit at the depth of the pool. The swim is serpentine, so up one lane, under the lane line, then back down the next lane. The lanes are nice and wide which makes passing fairly easy. The water felt very smooth. But it's so deep. After the first lane I switch to breast stroke for the second, then decide to alternate strokes with every lane. This works well for a while, then I switch to half freestyle half breast stroke on what should be my freestyle lanes. The next thing I know, I only have one more lane left! Wow, that actually went fast.

Maureen and I get out of the pool next to each other and run outside to the transition area. Maureen shrieks at we get outside and the cold wind blows on our wet bathing suited bodies. I was laughing and running as fast as I could barefoot on the asphalt to my bike.  Kelly is at the transition area already, her bike is on the rack right behind me. My plastic bags and  towel are wet.  I throw my swim cap and goggles down, pull on my tri shorts, put on a shirt and jacket, wipe my feet real quick, put on my socks and cycling shoes, put on my helmet, unrack my bike and take off running towards the transition exit. When I get to the mount line, I jump on my bike and I'm off!

This is when it starts raining. And it doesn't stop.

The bike course was hilly and the wind was strong - I think 18-20 mph. Most of the passing I did on the bike course occurred on the up hills, which made me happy and increased my confidence. I tried to slow it down a little bit on the down hills since the roads were so wet and making me nervous. I finally got over that and just went for it. Wow, what a feeling! The course was well marked and the volunteers and cops were very nice. One of the hills was so hard I was afraid I was going to start going backwards. I pushed through it and made it to the top. My mantra was "dig deep" during the bike. Towards the end of the bike I felt very proud. I had faced a few of my big fears on the bike: rain, wet roads, and big hills.

I was so happy as I entered the transition area to start the run. This should be easy, right?  I quickly changed my shoes and put dry socks on, thankfully remembered to take my helmet off and put on my hat...and off I go! The run was through campus, an out and back course. It would had been pretty if it had been sunny and not raining! It took about a mile for my legs to feel somewhat normal. At first my stride was so short I felt like I was shuffling. I had to force myself to elongate my stride and just hope I wouldn't fall. I felt pretty good, although I was having trouble breathing at first. I passed several people. Ran in to Maureen, Kelly and Paul each at different points. It was nice to see friendly faces finally! I could finally see the inflatable finish line and ran as fast as I could. I crossed the finish. I had just completed my first triathlon!

I have to admit, the finish line was a little anti-climatic. There weren't many people around it and there was just a table with the medals on it, no one hanging one around your neck like they do after a marathon. I found Kelly and then we found Paul and Maureen and headed to the athlete's village for some refueling. It was so cold and wet out that we went right back to the locker room and put on warm dry clothes before heading out to pack up our transition stuff and load the bikes on the car.

I came home to a beautiful flower arrangement left at my door from my parents, sister and brother-in-law! What a nice surprise!

I took a nice long nap this afternoon and now it's time to go celebrate with some friends with some amazing pizza!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Prep Time!

Last night I started gathering all of my things for the tri tomorrow. It's been difficult with the ever-changing forecast to decide what type of clothes to bring. Thankfully the forecast has been changing for the better!
And then I gathered some more things...

Still not done...but that's the end of the pictures for now.

Tonight I went to packet pick-up for the race. It was good to see the transition area with the arrows all mapped out. It was not so good to see the absolutely ginormous pool. I took a picture of it, but it did not turn out so well. It looks like the ocean. 
Seriously, it is twice as long and wide as the pool I am used to, so it was quite a shock. But I know I can do this. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.

Since I've never done this before, as long as I don't DQ or DNF it is a PR for me. And there is no failure as long as I try.

My alarm is set for 3:45 a.m. - so that's all for now! Good night!

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Swimming did not go so smoothly last night. At least not for the first third to half of the practice.

I've been worked up all week about the weather, what to wear, what to pack, what if I get a flat tire. I think it all showed in my swimming last night. I wasn't breathing correctly - mainly not exhaling under water most of the time. That makes it pretty difficult. And very tiring. And of course it throws off your whole form. Sigh.

I kept asking myself why I thought I could do this. What made me think I could do a triathlon? I'm pretty sure that wasn't the best method to calm myself down. I was able to get my breathing under control during the drills. I did a few different ones than the rest of the team to work on this and Julie was very helpful - and more importantly patient. Towards the end of practice I was doing ok.

Then I get home and Marc is looking at me funny and he says "what's on your head?". idea. A giant knot. Not a clue how I hit my head, but it seems to be a little smaller today at least! It's so frustrating to me that I can run 22 miles - 3 hours and 30 minutes - and not have any issues and actually feel pretty freaking good, but swimming for just an hour is SO hard for me. I just have to remember that just like in running, there will be good swimming days and bad swimming days. Without the bad ones, we can't fully appreciate the good ones.

My partner in crime found out last night that she broke her tail bone which will take 6-8 weeks to heal. The good news is the doctor didn't really give her any restrictions and said the more she does the quicker it might heal. Knowing her, she wouldn't have listened if he told her to do nothing for that long anyway!

My swimming coach is racing in NOLA this weekend. Unfortunately she tore scar tissue in her hamstring Tuesday night. I can't imagine the disappointment and frustration she must feel - to train so much and so hard for 70.3 miles and then not know if you'll be able to race. The good thing is her "A" race is in July in Muncie - enough time to heal and be strong if she needs to pull out of NOLA. My thoughts and prayers will definitely be with her (and all the other Ironmen and women) racing this weekend.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

With a little help from my friends...

Sometimes out of the blue I am reminded just how amazing my friends are. 

Today was one of those days. 

JennyJ is my German friend who currently lives in Cambridge. She is amazing. Ridiculously intelligent, great sense of humor, gorgeous inside and out...the list could go on forever. I can't even remember the last time I saw her, but I know it's been years. Way too many years. 

But it feels like yesterday. 

A few weeks ago she sent me an email that was very timely. I was struggling with my training. Feeling like I wasn't doing enough of anything - swimming, biking, running, cleaning, cooking, yoga. She told me she was impressed with how much I do. It made me think that just maybe I was being too hard on myself. This wasn't the first pep talk she's given me over the years. I'll never forget another one - we were 21 at the time - that really changed how I look at and feel about myself.

And today she brought tears to my eyes with this.

Jen, you will rock that half marathon! And I'm pretty sure you'll look amazing too!

I have a lot of other amazing friends too. So thank you to everyone who has offered to come out on Saturday to cheer me on. I really appreciate it. It's early. It's far. It's going to be not-so-great weather. It really is the thought that counts and it means a lot to me that you asked about spectating. Hopefully there will be more that are more convenient or at least better weather!


The marathon taper has begun and this week I'm also "tapering" for the triathlon on Saturday.

I already feel a little restless. I haven't really planned my workouts like I normally do. My hardest work out this week will be my Master's practice - I need all the technique practice I can squeeze in before Saturday morning. My long run should be 14-16 miles this weekend. Mr. Mojo assured me no more than 10 on Sunday will suffice. I guess the tri counts for something!

I keep thinking a camel hump should be forming on my back with all the water I am drinking. I'm determined to figure out my foot cramping issue.

I already have celebration plans in the making for Saturday night with Marc and some friends, so let's hope there is something to celebrate!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Yoga...does a body good

On this dreary rainy day I decided to give my body a nice looooong stretch.

I tried a new yoga class today and it was just what my quads and hamis needed!

My body feels back to normal now. I felt good Sunday, but was a little sore this morning after riding yesterday too.

It's amazing what some reclining hero pose, frog pose and a million and a half hand to foot poses can do to restore your body.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Today was the most gorgeous day we have had so far this spring. Breezy and 85 degrees (maybe a little warmer). 

The first part of the day we spent at Wags park with Sid, Floyd, Blake and Sarah. Today is Floyd's 2nd birthday so it was quite the party for him! They had a great time and we got to enjoy being outside soaking in some rays. Perfect!

Then Marc and I met Kelly and Marvin for a bike ride. It was my first ride on the roads, so I really appreciated Marvin and Kelly's expertise. They were great and very helpful. 

The route had some rolling hills, but nothing too challenging. It was the wind that got us. The wind ranged from 16-22 mph. This made me very nervous on my bike, I was convinced I was going to get blown over. A nice strong headwind greeted us on Butler Warren for a few miles towards the end, I started to struggle, but kept pushing on.  We survived! I was pretty happy with our ride. It was a little shorter than I was hoping, but I think the wind made up for that. We ended up at just a little over 16 miles. Not too shabby after running for 22 miles yesterday.

I think my favorite part of the ride was seeing the donkey and peacocks. Not something I'm used to seeing my little piece of suburbia!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Let the Taper Begin!

Lots of catching up to as I had a few technical difficulties this week...

Thursday was the perfect day for a not too fast, not too slow, not too long and not too short run to keep the legs moving and fresh for the big run this morning. It felt good and the weather was gorgeous. That night Marc and I had planned on going for bike ride, but the sky began to look rather ominous so we opted for our first game of tennis for 2011.
Justine and Joel's nugget
Friday's long run prep included hanging out with a very cute little nugget named Harper. She helped me relax and de-stress and stay off of my feet. And thankfully there wasn't any spit up, dirty diapers or much crying.

This morning was the dreaded 22 miler. It was perfect weather: overcast and low 50s - nice shorts and short sleeve running weather! It was a new course for us which was nice. A change in scenery is always welcome especially for such a long run. It was a great run even with the sprinkles that began with about 5 miles to go. I was pretty cold and wet by the time I finished, but I didn't even really notice while I was still running.

I feel pretty good about the upcoming marathon. Of course you never know what you will get on race day, but I've run in just about everything possible this training season, so bring it on!

Now that a picture has been uploaded, make sure to make your suggestion in the contest!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

First Master's Swim Take 2

Today was a rough day. Didn't sleep well last night and the day at work seemed to drag on. It was hard to concentrate.

All I wanted to do after work was take a nap.

I know, poor me, right? 

Aren't they adorable?
Sometimes the workouts you feel like doing the least are the ones you  need the most. Today was definitely one of those days.

It was gorgeous outside (still is even at 10:30 p.m). A nice long playtime at the park for Sid and her boyfriend Floyd helped me feel a little better and relax.  Then relaxing time was over.

My first Master's swim team practice finally occurred tonight. There were no mistakes about time this week! The people are amazing. So helpful, so kind and amazing swimmers (and a few beginners too!).

Our workout looked something like this:
Warm up 200 m freestyle
5 x 100 m drills (kick, side, one arm pull, count strokes, scissor) for 100 m each
7 x 100 m at different RPE - it all feels like a 10 to me.
Sight drills (200 m maybe, I didn't get this far so I'm not sure)
200 m cool down - easy, breast stroke or freestyle

I'm sure this isn't much to a seasoned swimmer, but attempting to pack this into an hour is hard! I didn't finish the entire work out, but I swam freestyle the whole time. No breast stroke for me except for the last 50 m cool down! The worse part was that I did have some foot cramps again - I must remember to increase my water intake on swim days.

The spa feels so good after hard work out. I just needed someone to bring me a cocktail while I soaked.

Time to start mentally preparing for 22 miles on Saturday. After I get through this it is taper time!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


BIG prizes are to be given away, so you're going to want to get in on this!

I've had my bike for about a month now and it is still nameless. Awww, poor bike.

So, please leave your suggestions. Like I said, BIG prizes will be awarded.

Isn't she pretty?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Goodnight, Weekend

It's been a fabulous weekend, I'm so sad it's almost over.

Marc and I took the road bikes out for a while on the trail. We were slightly crunched for time (cook out at Marc's parents!) so we didn't get too many miles in, only about 16. I had my first near crash, but thankfully I was able to unclip at the last second and saved myself. it did fluster me for the rest of the ride and took quite a while for my heart to work its way out of my stomach and back to my chest.

Looks like this week will be tricky with rain and the possibility of severe weather. I'll be attempting an early morning run tomorrow to beat the storms.
Now it's time to finish the cleaning and clip my coupons!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Happy Saturday!

Another 15.2 miles in the books. So what if I was planning to do17?

It's amazing how much shorter 15 feels than 20. 

There isn't really too much to say about this run. I feel good. Marc had a fabulous breakfast waiting when I got home. Life is good.

Weather looks like it may cooperate to get the road bikes out tomorrow, so this afternoon may be spend tweaking a few things on my bike and practicing in the living room again.