Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Night (not) at the Track

Since we did our 8 mile tempo run Monday, tonight's plan was a track work out. However, the sports teams had other ideas...

We improvised and did a fast five mile route instead. The 90 degree heat and faster pace made the run feel harder than the 8 miles on Monday. The last half mile was 6:45 pace. It felt great to be pushed to finish so strong.

And dinner was all ready to eat when I got home! But I still waited another 1.5 hours until Marc got home.  I love my crock pot!

Mixin' It Up

**This was a scheduled post for Tuesday afternoon, but it didn't post! Sorry.**

Monday night Ben and I ran - this is a little change in our normal schedule this week! And to really mix it all up we tried out a new route!

I gave Ben the option of an 8 mile tempo run or a track work out and he picked the tempo run. I'm not sure if he knows we're still doing the track work out later this week!

I felt great the entire run and could have done more. We averaged 8:30 per mile but that includes our 9:30 warm up mile, probably more in the 8:20ish range.

I'm anxious to see how the track work out goes this week since I struggled with it last week.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

95% strong

Saturday morning started as a perfect day for a long run - nice and cool (and free from flipping SUVs)!
18.5 miles was the target. For some reason anything over 18 always seems so much longer and harder. I felt great at first, although I thought we might be going a little too fast as we did the first 8 miles with people that were only doing 8 miles. At mile 16.5 I started to struggle, but pushed through it. Then at mile 17.5 my stomach revolted. It had had enough. I managed to run another half mile, but then, I am ashamed to admit, I ended up walking in the last half mile. I tried to run after walking just a few steps, but my stomach had other ideas. I felt fine walking, but the sloshing around caused by running was too much.

Maureen met as I walked the last quarter mile in with a cup of cold water and reminded me that I did 17.5 strong miles and to not be disappointed. Easier said than done, but it was a nice remider not to let one mile get me down. After all 95% of my miles Saturday morning were strong - why not celebrate that?!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thankful Thursday

1. The Girls on the Run season is right around the corner! I had my coaches meeting last night and can't wait to work with these awesome women and meet our team of girls in a few weeks!

2. Family. Regardless of what is going on we love and support each other. Sunday I get to see The Help with mom, Jen and my Aunt Nan!

3. Yogurt. Not Dannon or Yoplait, but Yagoot and Orange Leaf. Yum. Two yogurt (dinner) dates two weeks in a row with my good friend Sarah. That's good stuff.
Raspberry and Brownie Batter yogurt with strawberries and crushed oreos.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What I learned

I learned a lot during the Pedal to the Point MS 150. So I thought I would share some of my  new-found wisdom and observations.

Looking awesome soaking wet with a shower cap on.
 1. Shower caps not only keep your head dry in the shower...but during storms on your bike as well.

2. Starting and stopping repeatedly on a long bike ride is HARD. Especially on your bum.

3. Cycling with a team/group can help the miles fly by, keeping you going when it gets tough (or rains for 50 miles).

4. There is also something to be said to be alone on the rolling hills surrounded by farm land and hay bales.

5. I am tough. Ha! At least mentally. On Saturday night I had really doubted my ability to finish on Sunday. But I did. A positive attitude can make all the difference in the world.

6. Chamois Butt'r is awesome. It should also come with a warning on how it feels when you put it on, especially when you are putting it on half asleep at 5:30 a.m. It was a little awkward when two guys working at the bike shop felt the need to explain to me how to use it when I bought it.

7. I look better after biking 75 miles than after running 26.2. I asked Marc. He said I look awful after running a marathon. Then he laughed. He did redeem himself by saying I look awful in a good way.


I finally finished this book last night. It was gifted to me by very good friends almost a year ago. I enjoyed the book so much, but didn't want to finish it too quickly. I read it in small pieces to savor the inspiring story as long as possible. I loved having a book to read when I felt my training was too hard, I didn't want to work out, or felt like becoming a triathlete wasn't for me.

When Jason Lester was twelve years old he was hit by a car while riding his bike. He lost the use of his right arm due to the accident. He overcame the odds and has now completed over 70 triathlons, biathlons, marathons, Ironmans and Ultramans.


I didn't even know these existed until I started reading this book. An ultraman is a 6.2 mile swim, 261.4 mile bike, and 52.4 mile run. What??!!!

He is truly and inspiration (and probably a little bit crazy!). I have a hard enough time swimming with 2 good arms! His legs have to make up for his arm during the swim while most triathlete's legs are fairly fresh coming out of the swim. On the bike he has to stop to drink and refill his bottles since he can only use one arm. Then a miracle happens. I'm not going to tell you what it is though!

This book helps put things in perspective. When I'm having a hard time with a work out I try to think about Jason - his persistence, refusal to give up, and overcoming 20 broken bones to become an amazing elite endurance athlete.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tuesday on the Track

So once again I've decided to revamp my training schedule. Maybe third time is a charm?

Today we hit the track again. We put our track work outs on hiatus in the 100+ temps earlier this summer. Boy, could I tell I hadn't been on the track in a while!

We ran to the track, did 2 1200s and 4 800s. Our times were a little slower than our planned paces, but we were using the outside 4 lanes. I'll have to enlist the help of my mathematical genius friend Carter to help me figure out what our pace should be for each distance in the outer lanes.

At least we can check that one off the training plan!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Adrenaline Rush

This week I was able to get a couple of runs in despite having just cycled 154 miles last weekend.  On Tuesday my legs felt HEAVY, but I still managed to finish the run strong and in negative splits. By Wednesday my legs felt practically normal!  I can't believe the MS 150 was over almost exactly a week ago. In some ways it feels like yesterday and in other ways weeks ago.
Saturday morning I was finally able to rejoin my running group for a long run. I arrived early and was putting my Garmin on in the car in the parking lot when I heard what sounded like an explosion. I look up and see smoke and an SUV flip 3 times on Union Center. I grabbed my phone and bolted across the street. I dialed 9-1-1 as I ran and when I got across the street the passenger from the SUV was climbing through the windshield. The SUV had landed on it's top in the grass. A few other running group member had made it across the street as well. I talked to the driver of the SUV, made him sit down and helped to stop the bleeding on his head. One of the running group women was smart enough to grab a first aid kit on her way over so we had a few sets of gloves and lots of gauze. I talked to the driver's family member on the phone and was able to call them back again after the ambulance arrived and I knew what hospital he would be going to. It's still crazy to think about. I am still shocked he climbed out the window on his own. It appeared he only had cuts (2 big ones on his head and lots of smaller ones), he wasn't complaining about anything else hurting.

I didn't actually see the 2 cars collide (the other driver was fine), so once the ambulance was there, I had talked the guy's family member again and everything was under control, I headed back to Mojo for our run.

I wasn't sure how many miles to do, but ended up doing more than I had planned - just under 17 miles, but they flew by! I think it was a combination of running with a friend I hadn't seen in a long time and the adrenaline.  Surprisingly I feel great today. I really thought I would pay for it, but I guess all the cycling and all the shorter runs have paid off!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Oops, just realized this was in the drafts, I forgot to post it!

This week I am thankful for:

Getting to see 2 of my best friends from college this weekend.
Not getting a flat tire through all 154 miles of the MS 150.
Heated seats in the car.

Some people are always grumbling
because roses have thorns;
I am thankful
that thorns have roses.

Alphonse Karr

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Pedal to the Point - Day 2

Confession time. I have never been so uncertain about being able to finish something than I felt Saturday night and Sunday morning. The thought of sitting on my bike for another 75 miles was very daunting and made my bum hurt worse than it already did. Marc felt even more strongly about this than I did. I put a little extra Chamois Butt'r cream on my shorts hoping it would help the pain and not just with chafing...

We arrived at the start and once again dropped our bags  off to be delivered to us in Middleburg Heights and picked up our bikes where they had been locked up overnight in the tennis courts. The start on Sunday morning was much less orchestrated than Saturday. You could start anytime after 7 whenever you were ready.

My strategy for the day was to hang with the Spinners for the Cure team. I just wanted to finish and knew they would help the miles fly by. I was told to give myself 10 miles to warm up and eventually my bum would go numb.

The weather was chilly and overcast. I prayed the rain would hold off as long as possible.
I met this handsome fellow, Titus, before the rain

As long as possible ended up being around mile 108ish. It came down lightly at first. Then a complete downpour. We got drenched a couple of miles out from lunch. Lunch was inside which is good to get out of the rain...but inside an air conditioned building. I was freezing. Thankfully Chris had an extra jacket he gave me that warmed me up and I was able to wear it for the rest of the ride. Everyone was checking the radar at lunch and we waited until we knew it was letting up for a little bit. We were hoping to dodge the downpours.

Getting going after lunch was  hard. For a split second I had thought about quitting as I sat at lunch shivering, but I knew I wouldn't forgive myself. One of the hardest things was that I hadn't seen Marc since we started. I was worried he was mad, had stopped, got a flat, was caught in more rain than we were, etc. Right as I got back on my bike after lunch Melissa came up and told me that Marc was with her husband Jason and they were riding with a team of about 40 cyclists and doing well. They had arrived at lunch about 40 minutes before us and he had told her to tell me that he loved me, was proud of me and that he was going to sleep while I drove home. Relief swept over my body and I knew I could finish at that point.
Andrea gave me a shower cap she had from the hotel the night before to put over my helmet. Brilliant! This kept the rain from going down the vents and dripping down my neck and face. And I'm sure I looked even prettier, ha!

I stayed positive and thought about all of the runs I had done in the rain - and knew they had helped me mentally to prepare for this. The rain stopped and we almost dried out and got a little warm...then it started again. At the second to last rest stop we decided to skip the last rest stop (there were 3 after lunch I believe) and just head straight for the finish. At some point with 10-12 miles left I ended up on my own. When my odometer hit 152 then 153...I started getting mad that they were making me do extra miles. Finally after it hit 154 I could see the finish! Our SAG crew and riders who had already finished were huddled under a tent and umbrellas cheering me in. I was so happy to see everyone - including Marc waiting for me!

Marc had already put me on the list for a massage! There was a wonderful meal of grilled chicken, baked potatoes, salad, and corn. That might have been the best baked potato ever.

After eating, a massage and chatting with everyone a little more we headed back to Cincinnati. Marc even drove some of the way! We stopped a few times on the way to stretch our legs (and get a coffee - I still wasn't warm!) The heated seats in the car became my favorite invention ever.

We finally arrived home around 10:15, unloaded the car, got our wet stuff in the laundry, showered and finally headed to bed. What a loooong day. It was well worth it though!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Pedal to the Point - Day 1

We woke up at 5:00 a.m. Nerves and sleeping in a different bed kept me up some, but overall I slept fairly well.  We were checking out of the hotel and loading up the car before 6 - a little behind but mostly on time. We were lucky enough to get an orange parking pass from Andrea so we could park right in the parking lot of the Polaris Career Center where the ride starts instead of a mile or so away in the lot we were originally assigned. After dropping off our bags to be transported to Sandusky we met up with the rest of the team for our team photograph.

Since Spinners for the Cure was the #5 fundraising team last year, they announced our name and supposedly we got to start a little ahead of everyone else. It seemed a little chaotic and I was very nervous about starting with so many cyclists. They let a group of riders go then wait a minute, then some more, etc. It ended up not being quite as scary as I thought it might be.

The weather was chilly in the morning, but not too cold.

We hit the first rest area before I knew it. There were rest areas every 8-14 miles. Marc and I ended up pulling ahead of the majority of the team that was riding together. We all met up at lunch (the 3rd rest area) and enjoyed sandwiches, little debbies, a million types of salad, chips and fruit outside under a tree. We were just under halfway at this point.

Getting back on the bike started to get a little hard at this point. I think it was a combination of stopping for a little longer and the mileage. It had started to warm up before lunch (we ate around 10:15 a.m.) and kept getting hotter.
One of my favorite signs along the way!

Marc and I continued to stop at every rest area until the finish. Most stops were pretty short - eat some fruit, refill water and gatorade bottles, stretch.

Getting going again kept getting a little tougher. It would take me a few miles to get situated in my saddle and not have all my weight on my legs in my pedals. My legs were tired at this point and putting all my weight on them was really wearing them out.

Marc and I crossed the "finish line" together. It felt great to be off the bike, but even better to have accomplished 75 miles. Then I remembered I had to do it all again...the very next day!

My friend Cindy was waiting for us along with some other team members at the finish line. Everyone gave out high fives and hugs. Marc and I got massages, then headed back to the finish line to cheer in the rest of the team. A few members of the team did the extra 25 miles to make it a Century on day 1.

Once everyone had finished Cindy drove Marc and I to her place, we showered, washed our cycling clothes and went to dinner. It was great to have some time with Cindy and it was so nice of her to allow us to stay at her place. After dinner we went to the hotel to hang out with the team. We were so tired we didn't last long. It was another early night in preparation for another early morning!

Pre MS 150

The 24 hours prior to leaving for the MS 150 Pedal to the Point were quite busy! 

Thursday after work Ben and I ran. I can't even remember how far now, but I think it was 6. Nothing too crazy, but a nice somewhat quick pace. Then there were errands to run (Sidney refuses to pick up and pay for her own food!), laundry to finish and packing. 

In the middle of that I was lucky enough to have a surprise beer with Jen - my friend that ran Louisville with me! She was in town from Virginia and we were both able to sneak away long enough for a beer, catching up, and planning the next race!

After dropping Sid off at Grandma and Grandpa's Friday afternoon it was time to head home and get the car all packed up and ready to go! We were planning to hit packet pick up as soon as we got to town, check into the hotel, then go to dinner with the other Spinner for the Cure that were already in the Cleveland area.

We got back to the hotel, the bikes safely unloaded, then headed to meet 16 other cyclists for dinner. It was fun getting to know some of the team members I didn't already know before we started our ride. 

After dinner it was back to the hotel to get the bikes ready, our uniforms all set out and early to bed (10:30ish) for our 5:00 wake up time!

Day 1 recap coming soon!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thankful Thursday

I've decided to focus on some good things during this crazy time. I've had a lot of negative feelings about my work outs and not wanting to do them, so I wanted to make myself really think about all the good things I have to be thankful for. So today is the first (of what hopefully becomes weekly) Thankful Thursday (and since we're going with alliteration, there will be 3 things I'm thankful for!).
What I am thankful for this week:

Amazing friends that support me through thick and thin
A silly dog that makes me laugh (seriously, all I have to do is get her howling and I can't stop laughing)
My healthy legs that will transport me 150 miles all on their own this weekend

What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Another catch up

I must get better about blogging regularly and taking pictures. Since I decided not to do another tri I just haven't been as motivated to blog. I've been looking for some inspiration...and have found some...but I'm looking for more as well! The reasons I decided not to do another tri this season will come out in another post. For now, let's catch up on the last week.

Thursday night Ben and I had a great run.We have some good talks on runs and really push each other just the right amount. We were doing so well until the crazy heat wave, my vacation and the other stuff going on. I think we're back on track now. I had to re-work my training plan a little, but it feels like we're back on track.

Saturday morning I went to cheer on my friend Sara at the Lady Distance Classic. If you are in town this is a fabulous race. It's a women's only event and very inspiring. Sara was running the 10K and I was able to see her just before mile 3, right after mile 6 then at the finish. I was proud of myself for keeping the secret that I was going to go cheer her on! I think it's important for anyone who runs to also volunteer and cheer at races they aren't running. 

This week has been crazy attempting to get ready for the big bike race this weekend. We spent 1.5 hours at the bike shop last night and more time on the bikes once we got home and again tonight. I did meet my fundraising goal as of today! Thank you to everyone who donated. You are amazing!

I did sneak a morning run in today. It was nice and cool, my body didn't know what to think!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Rained Out

It rained on my parade this morning. Just when things were clicking and I was not only enjoying , but looking forward to morning swim practice, I woke up to storms! Actually, Sid woke me up because of the storms. Poor pup.

Catching up

This weekend was busy, busy, busy and lots of fun!

Saturday we had our company picnic at Kings Island. I was super excited for the water park, I might have gone once as a kid when it first opened, but I can't really remember. So, we'll say it was my first time at Boomerang Bay. I LOVE water slides. I had a blast with my sis, bro-in-law, Blake, Sarah and Marc. My favorite is pictured to the right. I laughed and screamed the whole time! I just had to not think about walking around barefoot where way too many people to think about also walked around barefoot. Ewwww. I am itching to go back and get my fill of water slides again!

Saturday evening I had T & B date night to dinner and the theater! We had a fabulous dinner at the Dilly Deli - bottle of wine and dessert too of course, then off to see Hairspray. It was a high school production at MND - one of T's former students played Velma Von Tussle. I thought they did a really great job!

Sunday morning I went for a swim - just under an hour. I practiced some drills, did laps, then did some more drills. I really enjoy being one of only a few people on the swim deck in the morning. Then we were off to another company picnic! We met up with Marc's whole family at the park for his company picnic. It was fun to spend time with the whole family and play with the kids.

Then Sunday late afternoon it was off for a long bike ride. In the first 3 miles we had seen 3 deer. I think we ended up seeing 8 total. And the twin fawns  that I saw here, I think we saw again! Marc tried to call for some turkeys, but none responded.

I can't believe the MS 150 is sooo close. Marc is now beating me in fundraising efforts, we can't have that can we?