Monday, October 29, 2012

S. I. X.

I am so nervous.  I could stop this blog update right here if I really wanted to.   

OilMan is this coming Sunday and while I’m super excited and ready for this race.  I am nervous (but in a good way).  I think it’s hard not to feel a little pressure when you race.  Especially when you’re racing a distance and a race you’ve done before.  I’ve raced OilMan twice before and my times were 7:31 & 7:35.  Last year I really thought I would PR but I just didn’t get it done on the run.  My swim was slower too but had my run been what it should’ve been, it wouldn’t have mattered.  I am trying so hard not to put time pressure on myself but I don’t know if that’s realistic.  I mean, you spend months training and hours & hours on your bike or in the pool or in your running shoes.  You know what you can do.  You know what kind of pace you’re able to maintain.  So of course, you put that to paper to see where you think you might be on race day.  

Ana always tells me to stop worrying about a time and just execute.  So that’s what I’m going to try to do from today forward.  I’m going to think about how to best execute my race whenever I have a free moment.  Yes, I have a time in my head that I want to break and I’m going to be reaching for something faster than that.  I can only control a small number of things on race day and the execution of MY race is the most important thing I control so it’s time to own it and to do what I know I can do.  If I execute, I will have the best possible race on Sunday regardless of everything else around me.  And if I’m lucky, that just might result in a finish time that begins with a 6. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Is it really the end of October???

Happy end of October everyone.  I can’t believe the year is coming to a close.  I’ve mentioned before that there are a few babies due in my world before the year ends….Kiri is having her 2nd little boy and Heather will be welcoming her 2nd baby (gender TBD). 

I’m thrilled to report that I hit my 1st weight loss goal last week. In 7.5 weeks I dropped 18lbs!!  I am now down a grand total of 26lbs and sooooo happy.  I go back for my next check-in on the 29th and will get my next 4 weeks of meal plans before hitting the maintenance phase for a few months.  

Thanks for carrying me another 14 miles legs!
Training this past weekend was awesome.  Keith & I ventured out for 67 miles on our bikes and enjoyed the fabulous weather and challenging rollers we encountered.  We spent a portion of the ride on the OilMan course and felt we did pretty darn well.   On Saturday we have our last long ride prior to the race and we’ll one again venture up to Montgomery so we can tackle the back part of the race course.  On Sunday I had a 14 mile run to do and was actually looking forward to it all week.  Once again, I left my place and decided to run to the front of The Woodlands where Keith would pick me up.  My Garmin died 3 miles into the run which really sucked but I had an extra watch on so I was good.  For those of you familiar w/ The Woodlands, I live near the Starbucks in the back (by Wal-Mart) so I ran up Terramont to Branch Crossing, over to Sterling Ridge and then on to Lake Woodlands.  From there, I turned off on the Ironman Texas run course.  When I made it to South Shore Park, I stopped to refill all my bottles (the news reported 96% humidity) as I was parched.  I looked out at the water and got so excited knowing I would be swimming in that nasty mess in just 7 months!  I continued on my run and felt awesome!!  I ran into Market Street and picked up Hannah who was running my last mile with me.  While we ran, Keith & Emily enjoyed their coffee and worked on a project Emily had.  Hannah & I had a quick loop around the Waterway area and then headed back into Market Street.  I don’t know why she wouldn’t want to run the whole 14 with me!!!  

My lower back had been giving me some issues on & off the past few weeks.  I decided I needed to go get a massage before it got any worse.  While I knew I would benefit from a deep tissue massage, I also knew that there was probably no way I could handle that kind of pain.  Before going in, I would have to stretch a solid 20 minutes before I could even touch my toes.  I’m happy to report, I’m touching my toes again!  It turned out that while my lower back was in fact tight, the real culprits were my glutes.  I have a sizeable bruise on one of my butt cheeks right now thanks to the man-handling my backside required.  Needless to say, I don’t plan on letting it get this bad again.  Hey, I was just happy there were muscles underneath that big ‘ole bootie!!

That’s all I have for you.  I’m starting to taper this week so am expecting a little bit of madness to set in.   You know when you refer to your long run as “only” 6 miles, you are brainwashed. 

Have a great, great week ahead!

Monday, October 15, 2012


So I’m happy to report that 10 for Texas was a success!  The conditions were definitely warmer & more humid than last year.  I sweat a lot when I run normally but by mile 1, I had a shinier glow than normal.  I did make the very same mistake I made last year which was I went out too fast.  I think this is something most people tend to do because you get caught up w/ what the crowd is doing.  And of course, I kept telling myself I felt great and I could maintain it.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t a speed I could maintain over 10 miles (at least not yet) and so I had to dial it back a bit.  Either way, I was approaching mile 5 a little faster than planned but that’s ok.  I rounded the turn at Cochrans Crossing and loved seeing the spectators cheering away!  As I got ready to make my turn on to Lake Woodlands and head back to the finish line, I saw Keith sporting his ORR shirt.  Yay, my cheer squad was here.  He knew I was on the pace I had hoped to be and told me to keep it up.  I felt great for about 400 more yards and then as I hit mile 6, I just started to struggle.  My nutrition was good (I was taking water & sports drink every 2 miles), my training was good and mentally I was good.  My best guess is that it was a combination of going out too fast and the humid temps.  I was definitely feeling a lot of heat in my face/head if that makes sense.  At mile 6 I took 3 cups of water and 1 cup of Gatorade.  2 cups of water went on my head and the other in my body.  By mile 7, I was feeling much better and knew it was time to kick it into gear.  But dang, it was hot!!  I kept thinking about how my coach told me to race so hard I vomit. At one point, I really thought I might but then I thought about the camera at the finish line and I didn’t want a puke crusted face.  When I hit mile 9, I did my very best to speed up.  I was getting ready to turn into Market Street and I was fading a bit.  One last push of the gas pedal and I could stop.  I straightened up, raised my head and just pumped my arms until they couldn’t pump any more.  3-2-1 DONE!!  When I stopped, I thought I was going to pass out.  The tunnel vision started and I was looking for Keith to break my fall.  I knew to keep walking and that seemed to help.  Cold water never tasted so damn good.

I was so happy with the race.  I felt like I raced smart once I corrected the issue of going out too fast.  I hung in there when I felt terrible and I pushed at the end until I couldn’t push another step.  No time to sit around and bask in the glory of a race done well though….it’s time to get back to training.  This week is another crazy busy week.  I am already looking forward to my weekend training though!  Keith & I have a 4hr ride on Saturday and we’re both super excited.  And then lucky girl that I am, 14 miles by foot will be my Sunday morning activity. 

As of today, I’m 1lb shy of my 12 week goal (and I still have 5 weeks to go).  Needless to say, I’m super pumped with the progress I’ve made.  As of this morning, I’ve dropped 17lbs since starting with Chase and 24lbs in total.  It’s funny because you realize when you’re losing weight b/c of how your clothes fit but since you see yourself in the mirror every day, you don’t really notice the difference.  And honestly, it’s only been the past couple of weeks that folks have commented at all.  When I saw the pictures Keith took at the race though, I was in shock and almost cried.  I couldn’t believe how different I looked. I told him more than once that it looks like a different person. In the past, I always told him that he captured the most unflattering moments in all my races but it’s time to face the fact that the pictures looked bad because I didn’t look great.  Period. 

The best before/after picture I could find.  Same shirt worn 7 months apart.  Yikes!!!!!
I am so excited for the next few weeks.  I am not even thinking about a time goal for OilMan (ugh, ok, that's a lie....sorry Ana!).  All I’m doing is visualizing the race piece by piece and thinking about what I need to do in each event to have a successful and fun day.  I am SO excited!!!

She's alive!!!!!

Post previously written. :)

It’s been a couple weeks….so sorry!!  First thing first though.  I did not race at the Houston Oly.  The bike was cancelled due to wet conditions and I decided I’d rather get my workouts in at home instead of driving 40 minutes each way.  I was bummed I wouldn’t get my chance to try for a PR but at the end of the day, it wasn’t the end of the world. 

The past few months have been a whirlwind.  I feel like I’m always busy but life seems to just get busier all the time.  I have done a much better job learning to say no to things which is something I’ve never been good at.  In the past, I would try to do everything and be everywhere regardless of how stressed it made me.  Before IMTX in 2011, I was driving myself crazy with how much I was taking on.  After that, I decided things needed to change.  Just in time too since IMTX training will kick in after the New Year! 

While I hate saying no and really do WANT to do it all, physically (and more importantly, mentally), I just can’t.  So now I miss a lot of things I’d love to be able to do and don’t get to see as many of my friends as often as I would like BUT I’m far less stressed and I’m even able to enjoy some down time every now and then.  

So on to training news!!  Since losing 22lbs (yes, I said 22) since June, I’m finding that my workouts improve every week and what might have been hard a few months ago is getting easier every day.  I’m still a few pounds away from my November goal but have a feeling I’ll be hitting that number in the next week or so.  I can’t wait. All but two pairs of my jeans are too big for me and it’s a great feeling.  Of course, having people make fun of your droopy drawers isn’t as fun but that’s ok.  Chase suggested I wait to lose about 10 more pounds before buying new stuff and frankly, I’d like to make sure I maintain before I restock my wardrobe.  I’m clearly at the point though that I’m going to need to buy a few things. 

Ok, I totally got off on a tangent there.  Back to training which as you now know, is going great!  This past weekend was a really big training weekend for me.  On Saturday I ran an awesome 12 miles.  Well, it ended awesome.  The first few were spent battling an upset tummy.  I’m not sure what’s going on as this has been somewhat of an issue the past few long runs and the only thing I can think of that is different is my sports drink.  That being said, that very same sports drink is what I use on long bike rides and it gives me no issues there.  I’m somewhat stumped.  The good news is that once I hit mile 7, the tummy was perfectly fine and I was able to drink the sports drink without wanting to vomit.  Yay! 

Thanks for carrying me 12 miles legs!

Yesterday Keith & I set off on our long ride, a supported ride out of Montgomery.  We knew a cool front was blowing in but had no idea the entire ride would be in the 50’s.  We also knew it would be windy but not THAT windy.  And finally, I knew there would be hills but did not know there would be Anderson hills.  As you might recall from my IM training, riding in & out of Anderson is quite the hill workout.  Given this stretch of road is not on the IMTX course, I don’t exactly seek out rides that go that direction.  Lucky for us, I had no idea this route went to Anderson or I may not have gone.  I have to say, as tough as that ride was, I felt pretty darn good post ride.  That’s not saying the day went off without a hitch.

Riders started taking off at 8am.  Keith & I hung back as there are always a number of inexperienced riders at these organized rides and I didn’t feel like starting anywhere near them and having a near collision.  We weren’t in a position to put ourselves up front b/c we were still putting things back in the car.  We hopped on our bikes and set off on our merry way.  At mile 3.23 Keith signaled he was pulling off the road because (you guessed it), he had a flat tire.  What the what???  Keith took his bike to the shop and got brand new tires.  How the heck is this possible?  Well, there was quite a bit of debris the first few miles of the ride and Keith picked up a huge nail.  That’s a bummer.  He got the tube changed, we put a patch over the hole in the tire as we knew this would now be a weak spot and set off.  I kid you not, 15 minutes later Keith is pulling over again because he has another flat.  This is the point where I dropped a few expletives.  I wasn’t mad at him, just couldn’t believe this was happening again.  With a half ironman just a few weeks away, we couldn’t afford to miss this ride.  Thankfully, Keith changed the flat and we were able to get back on the road with no further incidents.  We bypassed each rest stop until we hit Anderson.  After climbing those hills, our “treat” was going to be to get off our bikes and stretch.  We kept the stop to about 3 minutes…really quick and then finished off the ride.  We aren’t sure but we think this is the longest ride we’ve ever done together (I’ll have to go back to my blogs to verify).  At the very least, it’s the longest ride we’ve done together in a very long time. What a great ride!!!

What’s up for this week?  Well, more training (surprise, surprise).  I’m pretty sore today and would love to skip my workouts but I won’t.  Tomorrow night I have 400’s at the track and running 400’s is one of my favorite things to do so I’m looking forward to that a lot!  Also, 10 for Texas is this weekend.  Woo hoo!  I’ve been instructed to stop thinking about my time which is really hard to do!  The weather won’t be as cool as it was this weekend so I won’t benefit there.  I guess my plan will be to execute my race and have fun.  Keith and I will have a 3 hour ride this weekend and the plan is to drive out to Montgomery and get back out on the OilMan course again.  What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!!!