Monday, October 31, 2011

Last Tri of 2011

I raced in the Mesa tri on Sunday.  I hadn't planned on doing this triathlon, but a couple of things convinced me to do it.  First, I needed to do some kind of training to recover from Soma and train for the Women's Half Marathon next weekend.  I didn't want to do a long run, so a short tri seemed like a good compromise.  Second, I realized that it was probably the last tri I was going to be able to do in 2011.  The last reason is kind of silly.  The race is hosted by Tri-Family Racing.  The race group hosted a number of the triathlons I did this year and they have a championship series.  As of last week, I was the overall leader for the Athenas, but one of the stipulations for the series championship is to score points in one of the last 2 races of the series.  So, I needed to place in this race (or the Thanksgiving race) to officially take the series. 

The race went well.  I felt good and I placed 2nd in my group, which was good enough to qualify me for the overall series.  I was happy to see fellow Ironmom Annette at the race.  She did awesome too!!!  I'm looking forward to the Women's Half Marathon next weekend.  Updates will follow!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Introducing Another Ironmom for IMAZ 2012! Melinda!

Kate and Melinda before IMAZ 2010 practice swim

Hey ladies - I wanted to introduce you to another Ironmom.  This is Melinda!  Like all of the other Ironmom's, I tower over her too!  She and I randomly found eachother during Ironman 2010.  We were both first timers and we were both SCARED!  I first happened upon Melinda on the Beginner triathlete website.  I found her posts interesting b/c she sounded as nervous as I was.  Then, I had another friend come to AZ from the same website to do a practice ride and we ran into her.  We introduced ourselves and I asked her if she was the person I read on the website.  It was her!  We became instant IMAZ buddies.  Both of us were scared to we would not finish the swim so we met up the day before the race for the practice swim.  It was so nice to have another friendly face at the event.  We also met up on the race morning to keep eachother company.  She didn't have any friends doing the race so we just hung out and made our way to swim start together.  We lost eachother in the water but by then it didn't matter as much.  we just had to do it!  I made it out of the water and saw her husband and he let me know she made it out too.  I didn't see her again until the last loop of the bike.  She was doing great!  We both finished.  She did VERY well!  We have been in contact and she will be coming out to volunteer and then register for Ironman 2012.  It will be so nice to have a large group of friendly faces to train with!  I am linking to Melinda's blog too so you can see how her training is going.  Go Mom's Go!!

A new wrinkle in my Ironman Registration

As you all know, I've had this Ironman on my mind for some time.  I had the Ironman 2012 volunteer sign up date on my calendar so I could be one of the first ones to sign up.  Since I was early I had my pick of volunteer assignments and was ready to go.  Everything was going according to plan. 

What I didn't factor into the mix was a new job!  I have a great new opportunity BUT guess what my start date is?!  Ironman Registration day!  11/21!!  UGH!  I have to be to work at 7:30 right when registration starts.  WHY?!  WHY?!!  Darn my luck! 

I briefly (only briefly) considered seeing if I could change my start date or time until after I registered but realized I was being CRAZY!  I now have a back up plan. 

BACK UP PLAN:  I will have to take my personal laptop to work and be ready to go once it opens up.  Hopefully I can time it just right!  I can see it now.  "Sorry, I know this orientation is very important but the Ironman is a priority!  I must excuse myself now."  Hmmm.  Bathroom break?  Lunch break?  I'll have to get the timing down just right. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Ironman Wisconsin 2012 - My friend Debb's blog

So I posted earlier about my friend Debb and her battle with Ironman Wisconsin.  She has signed up again and the 3rd time WILL be a charm.  She started a blog to document her journey.  Here is the link if you want to follow her training for IMOO and weight loss.  I think this will be a great year for all of our training!  Go Debb Go!!

Tri and Tri Again

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Soma Tri 70.3!

Today, I completed the Soma 1/2 Iron Distance Tri. While I feel like I was under-trained for it, I am still calling it a success.  I had a few goals for this tri:
1.) Finish
2.) Have a calm swim
3.) Have a consistent bike
4.) Don't die on the run

I would say that I mostly accomplished each of those goals.  I was really worried that I would not finish before they closed the course.  Turns out, that was not too much of a problem. 

The swim went well.  I am not a fan of open water swimming or swimming in a wetsuit.  Since the water temp was 73 degrees, I opted not to wear the wetsuit.  This turned out to be just fine.  One of the other things I dislike about open water swimming is that it's hard to see and I don't like getting bumped by people.  I feel like swimming is such a calm and solitary activity--open water swimming is the complete antithesis of that!!  People push and kick and don't spot and swim into your "lane."  My goal was to keep calm and not get to worked up during the swim.  I was pretty successful at that.  I didn't feel like I really hit my stroke until about 3/4 of a mile in--which is a little late in a 1.2 mile swim!  Otherwise, I just kept steady and calm and it went alright. 

On the bike, I wanted to keep a consistent pace.  I did this pretty well.  I believe my pace was just under 16 mph.  This is great because it's even faster than the pace I want to keep for Ironman 2012.  I slowed a bit on the last lap (there were 3 laps to the bike), but overall, I felt good and even throughout the ride.  My only concern was that my back and neck were pretty sore after the ride, but I think I will keep working on my positioning and tweak my bike's set up and this should be manageable.  I have to say that my new tri bike is awesome.  There is no way I'd be riding this well on my old bike--here's to good equipment!

The run, well, it was really more of a walk.  I knew that I was not well prepared for the run.  I just haven't trained distance like I should be.  Also, it was HOT.  The temperature at the finish was 95 degrees.  The run was entirely in sun and it was MISERABLE.  I would have felt worse about walking as much as I did, except that most people were walking at that point.  It was just too hot.

The other thing that didn't go as well with the tri as I would have liked was that I wasn't feeling 100%, which meant I had some tummy business to sort out before I left home in the morning, which meant that I left later than I wanted (and encountered a car accident that closed the road I took to get to the race), which resulted in my getting into transition as they announced that transition would close in ONE minute.  I didn't have transition set up real well, so I didn't have everything in my bike pouch that I would have liked (like chapstick!!).  It's also a bit unnerving to be running that late for race start...

I learned a lot from this tri.  One, I can do it.  While I would have been miserable even attempting a full Ironman at this point, I believe I will finish when I do.  Two, I need to train.  I can't help but think about how much better this race could have gone had I felt 100% and if I had really trained to a level where I was confident about each event.  It makes me excited to work on my training for 2012. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


I am just 4 days away from the Soma 70.3 (Swim=1.2 miles, Bike=56 miles, Run=13.1 miles) and I have to say I am freaking out.  I have looked at all the cutoff times and have tried to be rational (even if I take the full time on the swim and the bike--I'd still have 3.5 hours to walk the 13.1 miles), so I think I can do this.  This doesn't mean that I am feeling like I am ready.  Another issue that had hindered me in the past--heat--is likely to be an issue.  Though it will be cooler than it was last week, the high is still likely to be in the 90's and I am likely to be running while it is the hottest part of the day.  All in all, this will be a test of my endurance and my mental fortitude, but I think I need it to know that I can do the BIG race in 2012.

On a different note, I completed the Seville Maxi tri on Sunday and it felt pretty good.  I raced on a similar course at Seville in May.  Compared to this spring, I shaved 27 seconds off my swim, over 2 minutes off my bike, and only added 5 minutes on the run--even though it was .8 miles longer than the spring course.  I also edged out the woman who took first (for the Athenas) in May by 10 seconds.  My husband, Adam, was a good sport and completed the tri too.  It was his first race and he rode a mountain bike, so I think he gets an A for effort and for being a great sport.  I think he's ready to do another one...once he gets a better bike. 

I am sure there will be more Soma updates coming soon!!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Upcoming Races

Wow, it's hard to believe that it's already the middle of October!  That means that the 1/2 Iron distance triathlon is just a little over a week away.  I would be lying if I didn't say that I was a little (a lot) nervous for it.  It will be my longest tri and a good indicator for how much training I will need to be ready for the Ironman in 2012.  Since I enjoyed a little vacation this past weekend, I decided to add a short tri this weekend to get me back on track.  I am also doing a trail run with some friends on Saturday--I need to get some distance in to get prepared.

Here are the races I am looking forward to in the next couple of months--
Sunday, Oct. 16-Seville Maxi Tri (300 yd, 15.4 mi, 2.8 mi)
Sunday, Oct. 23-Soma Tri (1.2 mi, 56 mi, 13.1 mi)
Sunday, Nov. 6-Women's 1/2 Marathon (13.1 mi)
Sunday, Dec. 4-Rock n Roll Vegas 1/2 Marathon (13.1 mi)
Saturday, Jan. 14-Rock n Roll AZ Full Marathon (26.2 mi)

I have convinced Adam to give a tri a try--he's joining me this weekend for the Seville Tri.  He's also signed up for the full marathon in January...we'll see if he gets trained for that.  And, my friend, Danie, is making the trip from MN to AZ to run the WHM in November!!  She has been a rockstar with her running lately, so I fully expect her to kick my butt on the 6th.  :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tour de Scottsdale - part 2 - DNF

Kate and Kim Looking Good at the Half Way Mark!  
Did you all read Kim's post?  She did a great job detailing the ride.  It was BEAUTIFUL but it seemed like most of the ride was uphill.  I was very proud of our performance considering we did not do many long training rides.  Last year I tackled this ride with Lance, Jake, Eric, Geoffry, and Ron and we all did really well.  BUT we put in a ton of riding time.  They guys were all riding with me as I trained for Ironman.  By the time Tour of Scottsdale rolled around we had done several rides over 50 miles.  Compare that training to this year . . . Kim and I didn't do one ride over 50 miles.  Maybe not even over 40 miles.  I knew I wasn't trained but we had already signed up and spent the money.  Why not try?   

Kim and I were very good riding partners.  When one of us would get tired the other would push ahead and keep us moving.  It worked really well.  If one of us got ahead the other would catch up quickly.  I also think we did a pretty good job with our nutrition. 

After the picture was taken above, you could really see people starting to fade.  We were doing pretty good then a huge hill on Shea kicked my rear end.  It was brutal!  It also got really hot.  Around this time I told Kim that she should keep on moving regardless of what I did.  I didn't want to hold her back.  We ended up staying together until the 7 mile mark.   

By the time we got to the last 7 miles, I knew it was all uphill and I was spent.  I was going to stop at an aid station but I thought I'd keep trying.  I made it another 3 miles and was officially pooped.  I made it another mile and I finally got to the point of where our cars were parked.  I could keep going OR jump in the car and leave. 

It was a tough decision but I decided to pull the plug.  (1)  It was HOT!  (2)  The last few miles were all up Hill.  (3)  I was feeling a pain in my Hip.  (4)  I knew if I went up the last few miles I'd have to turn around and come back to the car.  (5)  I was wiped OUT! 

When it was all said and done, I am still comfortable with my decision.  I still rode 66 miles of an extremely tough bike route.  I had an excellent work out.  That is good enough.  I'm also very proud of Kim for finishing her longest ride.  I would say we have a strong start to Ironman 2012.   Can't wait to tackle another race with the other Ironmoms!   

Kate after her DNF (Did Not Finish)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Tour de Scottsdale

Kim and Kate at Race Start
Kim with the finsher's medal

So, a couple of weeks ago Kate asked if I'd like to join her on the 70 mile Tour de Scottsdale ride. She and her husband had planned to do it, but he decided against it for a variety of reasons. Of course, I said yes! Never mind that my longest ride (ever) prior to this was approximately 56 miles, that I hadn't been training for a long ride (in the last few months I've only done relatively short--25-30 mile--training rides) and that it was a hilly course.

The ride started out with some low grade climbing--nothing too steep, but a long climb. Kate and I tried to make sure we hydrated and ate regularly to preserve our strength. We made it through the first 1/2 of the ride in pretty good shape. It was nice to finish out the first half riding down a very long (nearly 10 miles) hill.

Then, things started to get a little bit more tough. It started to get warm, hot really. The worst part about riding in the heat is that there's little relief from it. The sun beats down from above and the road radiates heat from below. The next 20 miles included lots of rolling hills and then a huge killer hill as we left Fountain Hills. It was at least a full mile of climbing approximately 52 miles into the ride. It took out a number of cyclists--you could see a growing number stopping and walking their bikes or cutting out at the aid stations. Kate and I powered through it, but we could feel ourselves fading.

The rest of the ride was a test of my mental toughness. I really didn't think I could manage another hill, but I was not going to get off that easy. At the 62 mile aid station, Kate and I talked about stopping--especially if we came upon the school where our vehicles were parked. I pushed off from the stop only to find myself climbing another low grade hill--a long and painful uphill ride (I was close to tears at this point--thinking, why was I doing this again?). For the first time in the ride, I switch from my big front gear to my little one just so I could keep moving. We finally got a little downhill relief. There was one last aid station around 65 miles. Imagine my disappointment hearing the volunteers yelling, "hydrate for the hill!!" I really didn't think I could take another hill, but I still hadn't gotten to my car and there were only a few miles left.

The hill was another painful climb. At the top was the parking lot where we had parked. I debated about finishing or calling it good at that point. I was just too close to check out, and I had just climbed the last hill of the ride. I continued to the finish where I was very happy to be done with the official ride. However, there was more riding to be done. The parking lot was about 2 miles away, so I (very reluctantly) climbed back on my bike and headed to the truck. The air conditioning felt so good!!! I hurried home to shower and head out to see West Side Story at Gammage with Adam. It was nice sitting in a cold and dark auditorium.

After the show, we helped set up for a Diversity Pipeline event at the law school and then caught dinner (I was starving!!). Finally, I ended the evening with a nice, warm bath using the new Dr. Teal's epsom salts that I won from the very awesome Mary Sailors (who ran a killer TC Marathon yesterday as I was riding around Scottsdale) at Fit This, Girl!. The salts were very relaxing and after a quick electric pulse massage on my sore neck, back, and feet; I fell asleep for a much needed night's rest.