Sunday, December 27, 2009

Quick update

My boyfriend is off being the man and finding some food, so I only have a few minutes to update...

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! We got about 6 inches of snow and some sleet on Christmas Eve, which pretty much shut down the state of Oklahoma. Travel plans for most were thrown out the door! It was nice to have a white Christmas for once, though.

I think I mentioned that I got my cycling shoes a little early. I finally got to try them out on Saturday with my brand trainer! My parents bought me the Outback Magnetic. I really like it, you know, after the one time using it. (There were some tire shavings left on the trainer...should I be concerned or is that what generally happens on the road and I just don't know it?) I road for 60 minutes. I liked the freedom of not wearing a helmet or worrying about handlebars, but I missed the wind hitting my face. I will be a great way to help train during the winter, though, so I'm stoked. Plus...I LOVE my shoes.

I also got some long-sleeved workout gear for when I do go outdoors this winter. Along with some Christmas staples (pjs, underwear, socks, a calendar, etc.) I'm excited to get home and put everything away, but I stopped a Nick's to get some much needed cuddle time. I didn't get to see him during the holiday at all really!

I've come up with my New Year Resolutions, but I will post those in the next few food is almost here!

What'd Santa bring you?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My apologies

I haven't been blogging as much. For that, I apologize. With students leaving and sporting events being over, I've spent 40 hours a week for three weeks at my desk on my computer. I never realized how much I LOVED having games to go to, both take up time and get me away from the computer! For that reason, coming home and getting on the computer has been less than ideal. I've been neglecting facebook too!

I've been working out about three days a week. Holiday shopping and stuff has gotten in the way, but it's the season, and I'm not going to fight it. I'm enjoying time at the gym. I have been doing a lot of cardio and a lot of weights, but no biking or swimming. I don't run much, but holy cow, it's sad when I do! Like today, for instance, I tried to run for 40 minutes. I did it at a 2.0 incline and tried to run 5.5 mph. I stopped and walked a bunch. (Same thing happened about a week ago.)  I'm not sure if it's because I'm trying to do it at the incline or the speed without the automatic option to reduce speed, or if it's that my Tulsa Run days are long gone...Anyway, I'm keeping with it. Not sure why it's like that, but I'm not going to stress out too much. It will come back soon. After the holidays, I'm going to "hit it hard," some might say, with a full training plan.

Exciting news! Since Santa is soooo busy with kids the week of Christmas, he entrusted my parents and we got cycling shoes!!! I only got to ride around the block, but I can't wait to try them out on a long ride! Anyway, they are really nice in that they are raised near the heals and the toes kind of like cleats, so you can walk on them like normal shoes. They are comfy...and I can't wait to go back to Tulsa to ride more!!!

That's it for today. Later!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Since last time I've...

...Been much better about keeping up with my dishes and bills. Yay!

...Been fairly responsible about eating well (besides eating way too many mini-candy bars, but they're portioned now, so I should be able to control it better). All week last week, I really wanted to grab some fast food, but I knew I'd be getting pizza on Friday at work and would eat out with my parents on Sunday, so I said NO!

...Worked out a good amount. I did avoid getting back out in the cold Thursday to go the pool. My office is freezing. My cars heater doesn't work. It's cold outside. Basically, I got warm for the first time that night after 6 p.m., so I wasn't interested in going back out in the freezing weather to get wet. I did pilates instead.

..Not run. I planned to do it yesterday, but I was feeling a little sick in the morning before my parents got into town, so I decided to rest. Today, I was going to, but I hadn't eaten since 10 a.m. when I had a big breakfast with my parents, so at 5, it wasn't hard to convinence myself it would be best to come home and make AMAZING spegetti, and do pilates later. My pilates video is basically 40 minutes of mat work. It's actually pretty good for lean muscle work, which is kind of my focus this winter, so its a good fall back.

...Fairly officially signed up to run a marathon relay in April. Someone at my Dad's work was interested, so my parents are I decided to be part of her relay team. I'm running a 10k section. I'm pretty excited about participating. It's the Oklahoma Memorial Marathon, which is every year near the anniversary of the Oklahoma City Bombing in 1995. It's expensive for a 10k, but should be a lot of fun to participate in.

...Talked to my parents, who apparently had a conversation with Santa Claus, about clips and bike shoes. I guess Santa was overwhelmed by the options, so my parents were supposed to talk to me about what I wanted. My parents cycle a lot (and far) but they aren't what you would consider "hard core," and they are just as clueless as I am about these things. Advice? What kind of clips should I get? What about shoes? What's best? We (I mean, Santa) are working with a budget of $100-$150. What would you suggest? Anything is helpful!

Monday, November 30, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Good evening, night-ish.

I'll be honest. I haven't been particularly diligent about working out. I've been making it when I can, when I'm itching to work out or something. A couple times a week probably. I went on my very first business trip the weekend before Thanksgiving, and then when I was in Tulsa, I had people I wanted to see. Working out/training wasn't high on my priority list. I'm OK with that. I don't regret any of the decisions I made. I've learned that a few weeks off isn't going to hurt me all that bad, so there's no reason to stress about it. Other things are more important sometimes.

On a side note, I thought for sure I was gaining weight due to the decrease in exercise, but my jeans are actually looser. Then I got on the scale, and I think I've lost a few pounds, somehow. I'm not complaining by any means (too many women would murder me if I was).

Back to the main blog. I went to work out today. One hour of cardio - It was amazing! My legs actually felt relaxed after. Like they were back to where they liked to be. Sometimes it's good to have a good sweat. Looking forward to it tomorrow, too! I'm wanting to get back on track in the next few weeks. I know it's crazy for people around the holidays, but my work is calming down for a few weeks, then I have two weeks off. January and February will be CRAZY, so I do want to focus on working out and enjoying it while I can. Of course, holiday shoppings, cards, decorations, etc., are always high on the priority list!

I love this time of year!

Sunday, November 15, 2009


(I couldn't think of a clever title. Sorry.)

On Friday after work, I was planning to try out my gym at work. I've been really hesitant to work out there. I'm not sure why. My guesses are: 1) I'm just scared to do something new (but I've pretty much gotten over that), 2) I'm not wanting to mix my work life with my training-personal life (some of the coaches have offices right across the hall), 3) I'm bothered with the idea of working out with students - many of whom I'll know on a work basis, or finally 4) The buff intimidating looking guys who always starred when I tried to look in. Either way, it's kept me away. I decided I needed to suck it up and try...and if it didn't work out, it didn't work out. was one room, free weights and more of those big, buff guys. No treadmills, no cardio, no females. Not gonna work.

So, I'm in the market for a gym. There's a nice, small, 24-hour place on my way home from work, but they want me to sign a 12-month contract...and once summer hits, I won't need a gym. I'm not interested in a contract at all. We'll see what else I can's a small town.

I ran today. It was good to get back on the pavement and run. It was the perfect day to run, too...mid-50s, overcast, no wind, theatening to rain the whole time but never did...just perfect. I wasn't sure how my legs would hold up. As soon as I started running, it started hurting, but I had decided to go for 5 minutes to get into the pace before judging how it felt. The pain soon went away...and I was off! I ran for 30 minutes. My pace was was tough after a two-week break! But my legs held up and haven't bothered me the rest of the night. I think I'm going to just run once a week for the next month as to not wear my legs out before I really start training. Also, I'll get new shoes.

So that's the story. Need a gym, but I can run again without pain!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming

What do we do? We swim, swim.

It's been almost two months. But I went swimming today. (Don't you like how I chose the coldest day in weeks?) It was a new pool - the school's pool. I decided to try it out. I walk in and there are three people. One huge pool with that ugly black line...but nothing dividing lanes. Just a giant watery space. The other swimmers were just standing around talking, like friends do at a pool party. Fine, I'll make do. My plan was to do two sets of 400m. (I'm guessing its a 25m pool...but the enthralled student at the door didn't know.)

The minute I started the front stroke, I smiled. I was swimming! I do love swimming! I did get tired easily -- which I expected -- and my arms also tired quickly -- 15 minutes of pilates yesterday had me a little sore today! The first 400m went fine, really, but when I started the second, I began have MAJOR goggle issues. I literally couldn't do two strokes before my eyes would be full of water. It was so frustrating. No matter what I did with my goggles, it didn't help. It wouldn't fuse to my face and even when it does, it's never all that secure...and I have good goggles...just an oddly-shaped, tiny head. I finally got so frustrated, I threw them to the side in the middle of the pool. I went the final 300m without goggles, which kind of sucked.  As opposed to the first 400m, I felt like a fish out of water. I suppose I did get to practice my direction when I can't see (crucial to open water swims in the lakes of Oklahoma)...

One interesting thing about the pool is that about halfway through, it gets really deep. It's actually a little creepy to be swimming along and all of a sudden, that black line you know and love so well from the hours of starring contests begins to drift farther and farther away. Takes a minute to get settled with what's happening. Plus, there's that minute of panic (strong word, but I can't think of another) when you realize you don't have the comfort of knowing you can stand up anytime you choose (not that you'll have to or that you're far from the wall). Perhaps thats another bonus -- makes it more race-day like.

Anyway, the swim was great. I'm taking tomorrow off. A Monday night basketball game threw off my schedule before it could begin. Hopefully get more done this weekend.

Also, I'd like to add, I'm doing OK so far with eating better. I went grocery shopping and I LOVE having food in the house. I'm trying to make wise decisions. Nick says he's on board too, so we can motivate and encourage each other. I hope we can stick it out!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Welcome to the off season

Hey folks!

I've been taking it easy this week, letting my body get rested and back to "normal." Finally, I decided enough was enough, and I went for a long walk today. The pool wasn't open yet when I was on campus and it was windy, so I went with walk instead of swim or bike. Running is still not an option. It's funny that now whenever I walk, I often get the urge to jog. Crazy, huh? Anyway, I decided to try it out, basically just to test where my legs are. Still not close. I'm going to give it a few more weeks before I decided I really need to get back to running. Because of how little I ran before my 15k, and the fact that I ran the whole thing, I'm not too worried about losing my running endurance. My knees were hurting by the end of my 1-hour walk, so I think it still needs more time before we throw high impact exercise on them.

During the walk, I made up a tentative schedule for my workouts here in the off season. I really want to do some resistance training and work on my speed. With those goals in mind, I came up with:

Sun: Running (walking or ellipical for now), abs
Mon: Swimming
Tues: 20-30 minutes cardio, 30-40 minutes weights/resistance, abs
Wed: Rest
Thurs: 40-45 minutes cardio, 20 minutes weights/resistance, abs
Fri: Speed training of some sort (most likely in running, but it may vary)
Sat: Rest (maybe do something like light walk or bike or tennis, etc.)

I didn't put any biking in there because it's so hard to get out in the winter to bike. Basically, any beautiful day I can get, I'll get out there on my bike. Also, I haven't done a lot of exploring of the school gym, but it might have a bike machine that will work, so I might add it in. Basketball season starts Monday, so I'll have to see how that will affect things. Most of the games are evening games, which could prove difficult. May have to change some things around or just not have set days to exercise and rest and instead change it each week. We'll see...and I'll keep you posted!

I also want to concentrate on eating better. I eat proper portions, but I don't eat well. I don't get enough balance. I'm eating too much fast food. I've not been getting hungry at dinner so I skip meals. And I never want to spend time cooking, even though I actually enjoy it. I "can't make it" grocery shopping, so I don't have anything, which leads to the fast food problem. I really want to change my habits NOW, instead of later. Things get harder the longer you do them, right? Today, I cooked. Chicken and mashed potatoes. I need to go grocery shopping...planning on that Tuesday. I need to eat more fruit and vegetables, for sure. Less snacking -- If I'm not hungry for dinner, maybe I should skip the snack instead?

I'm also trying to be more productive and clean around the apartment! Wish me luck!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Tulsa Run race report!

"You did it! You did it! You said that you would do it, and indeed you did. I thought that you would rue it; I doubted you'd do it. But now I must admit it that succeed you did. You should get a medal Or be even made a knight." -- "It was nothing. Really nothing" (You Did It! - My Fair Lady)

9.3 miles...15K...Check!

Can you believe it? I ran the WHOLE thing! My official time was 1:58:24! Three goals completed -- including the two I really wanted to hit! Wooo!!!

It was a great race, too. Literally thousands of people turn out every year to participate in the race. It was the 32nd one! The first 5k was all hills, and you could look ahead of you and see thousands of runners and look behind you and see thousands of runners. It was cool. Not only that, but hundreds of people turn out to watch and cheer on the runners during the entire race, which as you know, can be extremely helpful. And not only that, but every few miles, there would be a band playing live music, not always great music, but they were there! Pretty big deal in Tulsa, anyway.

As I said, the first three miles were hilly. I ran about 2k with my sister and her running buddy, but then I decided to slow down, catch my breath and work at my pace. I still had 13 more k to go...and let's face it, I'd only ever run 5 miles before, so I certainly needed to pace myself! My parents, boyfriend, brother-in-law and niece were waiting for me (and Jamie before me) between the 5th and 6th kilometer to take pictures and cheer me on.

There I am! Even though it was hilly, the first three miles went by really fast for me. Right after this picture was taken, we went down this off ramp and onto Riverside Drive, where we went 2.5 miles down and back before the finish. There were already people heading about 13k into the race.

I spent most of the next 2.5 miles looking for my sister because I knew I'd pass her after she turned around. What was nice about that is that I could spend my time looking at the costumes (a number of people showed up in them, given that it was Halloween and all), so that entertained me fairly well. I ended up seeing her and cheering her on close to the turn around. She was about a kilometer a head of me. I was surprised at how little I had to work to entertain myself during the race. Another good thing about it.

After the turn around, I knew I was halfway done...and pretty sure I'd be able to FINISH...running the whole thing and everything! At about 12k, I started to get dizzy and light headed. I didn't want to start walking just a few miles from the finish, so I concentrated on my breathing until I felt better. Then, of course, there was a huge hill. It starts off fairly short, but incredibly steep, levels off briefly, and then is long, but less steep. Cool. People were there saying, "Last hill. Almost there. It's all down hill from here!" Somewhat encouraging, but then again, they hadn't just run eight miles.

My crew was probably a few hundred yards before the finish line. It was crowded -- Did I mention the thousands of participants? -- so I saw them, they grabbed shots and cheered my on...and I started kicking it...a little too soon! I had to slow down a bit, but really kicked it up a notch (passing a person and tying another) in the last 20 yards or so! I had run the entire race!

After seeing me, Nick ran up to grab this picture of me crossing the finish line at 1:59:27 - my clock time.

I realized how far I'd training for my triathlons had not just helped prepare me for that race, but helped prepare me to do any physical challenge. I wasn't prepared for this race, but I could do because I truly am an endurance athlete...and I am a runner :-)

Jamie finished about 15 minutes before I did! She did awesome!!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

The night before...

Tulsa Run is tomorrow! For some reason, it just doesn't seem like it's tomorrow...Maybe that's a good thing, or maybe not?

I'm hoping my legs hold up. I'm not sure I'll do great...I'm hoping I can just make it a fun, long workout. Might feel different tomorrow!

- Finish in 2:15...I sure hope so!
- Finish in less than 2 hours (This is my main goal!)
- Finish in less than 1:45. That'd be cool.
- BONUS: Run the whole thing! That would be beyond awesome!

Wish me luck! Here goes nothing!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

T-minus 3 days

I went running today. My plan was to go two miles, in order to taper AND preserve my legs. Once I got out there, it felt great to run, but my legs started hurting early on. It actually subsided some after five minutes or so, but the back of my left knee in particular continued to hurt. I ended up running 1.56 miles -- almost exactly one-sixth of the run -- instead. I figured it was better to rest my leg. Immediately, I put some ice packs on the painful spots and took some drugs. Feels better right now...but it might be a long Saturday!!!

Wish me luck!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Two wheels

Because my legs are still angry -- Dad says its fatigue -- I went biking today.

Holy cow. Biking is fun.

The minute I got on, I smiled. I'd forgotten how fun it can be. I haven't been on the bike since my triathlon, which was more than a month ago! It was kind of chilly and a bit windy, so I had to bundle up, but it was good. Really good.

After a few miles, I came to a T in the road. I looked to my right. Flat for about a quarter mile, followed by a steep hill. "I wonder if I can make it up that?" I thought, as I often do when I see hills on a road. I looked to my left. Flat for as far as I could see. Probably about a mile. Back to the right. Smile. "Let's see." Off I go, trying to get some speed to make it up the hill. As I got closer, it seemed less daunting, actually, but by the time I got up it, I realized it really was quite a hill. Huffing and puffing all the way. Of course, then I decided to hit a few other rolling hills along the same perhaps I didn't learn my lesson. After a mile or so of hills, I ended up going the other way, too, just to see where it led.

I was exploring my new town today. :-)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Training pains

Tulsa Run is just days away now!  I went for a long run Friday after work. I decided to run for 1 hour and see how far I could make it. My goal for the 15k is to do it in less than two hours, and I wanted to see how attainable that was. Unfortunately, for the last month or so, I've been having some leg pains when I run. My pseudo shin splints from this summer are back, as well as pain all up and down my right leg. (Front of the knee down and back of the knee up...stellar.) So, about minute two of my run, the pain starts. And continued to worsen for 58 minutes. I did manage to push myself through it, however, to finish my run. I went 4.93 miles. If I keep my pace, I'll make it in just less than the two-hour mark. After I finished, I thought I could walk, and my legs would feel better. Nope. Just as bad. Lesson? Just keep running.

I decided to take Saturday and Sunday off, and start with a light run Monday, but because I've been having pains off and on in my legs since then, I'm not thinking that's not even a good idea. This is really hard for me because I always feel like I need push it the week before a race. Anyway, now I plan to bike tomorrow, and hopefully do a two-miler Wednesday and rest before race day on Saturday...we'll see how my legs hold up!

I'm starting to get excited about the race. Who knew?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Long belated 5k report, etc.

I realized since I focused on reflection and my support system, I never got a chance to write up a short race report after the River Rush Run a few weeks back! How about now?

It was the first race, maybe ever, that my whole family did together. Here we are before the race, with my darling niece in the middle. My goal was to come in my quickest time ever. My parents hadn't run since December really, so they were just hoping to run it. Jamie is training to run the Tulsa Run 15k with there you have it.

Out we went. I started strong and fast, which was my goal. I "pace" myself too much, so I wanted to push fast. Jamie caught up early on and we ran together for a good mile and a half or two miles. She did a great job of really pushing me. She kept saying "see those walking guys, let's pass them!" and I'd push as hard as I could. Finally, when she saw our 52-year-old Mom slowing down in front of us, she decided to pass her, and I just couldn't keep up. I really appreciate her being there to coach me along, but I'm glad she was able to get up there...and PASS my mom!

The results? Dad ran almost the whole thing and came in first of us. Jamie followed, with mom on her heels just 20 seconds or so behind her. I came in at...32:30! That's an entire minute off of my fastest clocked time...and 2.5 minutes faster than my fastest official 5k race! I think we all felt like puking after...but we ALL did it! Woohoo!

Mom is already talking about us doing the race together every year. It was the River Rush's first race, but they plan to do it each year, and Mom wants it to be a family thing. I think that'd be fun. It's a nice course along the river and a beautiful park area. We'll see...

Training is going all right. It's getting challenging with the sun setting earlier and earlier each day, but I'm getting base runs in. I went out in the rain today. It was a light rain, but soggy. For so long I'd pass people running in the rain and I'd be jealous, thinking "that must be nice." Finally got my chance to get out there! It was nice to know I was working out...and it actually gives you a chance to enjoy the rain, instead of being forced inside during it. And I must say this...I love hearing the sound of my feet hit the pavement. It was a quiet night (no musica because it was raining), and there were times when all I heard way my rythmic breathing and my feet pitter pattering on the pavement. It was a great feeling.

10 days until the 15k!!!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Let's give them a hand

After re-reading my post from a few days ago, I noticed something. I gave triathlon a lot of props for my survival of the last year...and that is totally due. But I don't feel like I talked about the other saving grace: My awesome, amazing, wonderful supportive cast of fans. So I will dedicate this post to them.

First off, my parents. They supported me through the entire triathlon experience, showering me with gifts to help my performance during major gift-giving holidays. They gave me advice and pushed me through the tough times. They were there to watch my first and third triathlon experiences, cheering me on and photographing the race. They were there for a good talk, and always ready with a glass of wine. I want to thank you so much for all the support, love and awesome presents!

My sister. She was there to listen about my awful work experiences, something she knew all too well, and offered advice on handling the situations. She pushed me to do the Tulsa Run, giving me a fitness/race goal outside triathlon. I thank her for all that awesomeness. Also, she brings along my beautiful niece, who just with one smile can show that everything is good.

My BFF, Kayle. Her constant support, even when it was challenging for her, gave me motivation. Unfortunately, she's experienced health struggles in the past six months or so, but it gave me momentum. This tri season, I was competing for two. In fact, while I was running today, I decided I would race next season for the CF Foundation, since she had finally decided to embrace it and raise money for the cause. I'll take it up, and she can join me as soon as she can. Additionally, she was there for love, support and a good laugh anytime I needed it. I love you guapa. Thank you so much!

Darla and Justin, who would listen to my work complaints and understand like no one else could, since they were (and are) in the same boat. Having them as a soundboard helped alleviate some of the "listening" from my boyfriend and others. They made me dinner often and ran with me at times, helping push to get me out there running on days I just didn't want to go. Much thanks for all you did for me during my time in Stillwater! I hope we'll stay friends, even after you get an amazing job out of state and have to leave!!!

My awesome fellow bloggers. Thank you for your support and understanding. Your comments helped me stay motivated, adjust my thinking and gave me accountability for my races. And thank you for reading. Thank you for your source of inspiration, too!

And finally, last but most definitely not least, Nick. I love you so much! You got the brunt (other than me) of everything I experienced. You stuck by me through that and you never let our long distance relationship affect us. I know I haven't been the most fun, happy person, but you helped me more than you can imagine. You were there to say "stop thinking about work," offer (semi-jokingly) to do illegal things to the people causing me grief, and to support me when I couldn't do it myself. You are amazing. I can not thank you enough. You believed in me during the whole triathlon experience. You gave me motivation and confidence to get the job I have now, even when I didn't feel qualified. Thanks.

And countless others! You are all amazing. I hope I can be that support for you now or anytime in the future!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


I've had this post in my head for a while. I think it's time:

I have come to realize that my last so-many posts have been rather negative, which is honestly not the impression I was hoping to give off. It hasn't been an adequate cross-section of my journey. Or has it?

Without going into a lot of detail, I've been struggling. This last year has not been what I had expected or hoped my first year out of college would be. Since last October, it seems like it's gotten progressively worse. My awful work situation really affected EVERY other part of my life, and everyone in it. I think that's what affected my training and how I looked at life and expressed myself. I have so much respect and thanks for everyone close to me who stuck by me through my struggle. It didn't just take a toll on me. Thank you for being my rock. But I think I've gotten my life back on track, thankfully. I got a new job, new apartment, new excitement for what I do. But for you praying folk out there, please pray for those I left behind...they need it.

I was surprised to find out I was a downer about my training to. To be very honest, I'm pretty sure that triathlon was the one thing that kept my sanity. I think it was so important that it was part of this last year. I can't imagine where I would be without it. I credit my ability to bounce back (so far) to having done triathlon. It was my one constant, a greater goal, something to take up my time in the evenings after I moved away from my boyfriend and from my best friend, and most importantly, it gave me extra confidence when, frankly, there were people trying to be out every last shred of confidence I had. Thank you triathlon.

I'm so thankful I decided to take up the sport. Even without the stressors in my life in the past year, it has done so much for me. It's given me confidence to jump in and try something I'm pretty sure I'll be bad at. I never would have joined my company softball league before triathlon...and it was one of the most fun things I've done. I'm not afraid to try something new, even if I might fail. Without triathlon turning me into a psuedo-jock, I never would have looked at the job I have now in sports information, which I love so far. And phyically, it's put me in a phsyical state I didn't expect I'd be in. I feel strong. I have visible muscles, but not in a manly-muscly way. It's just done so much for me.

Overall, triathlon has been such an amazing experience for me. It won't be going away anytime soon. And I want everyone out there to know that I love the sport -- even the running aspect! I'm changing the way I think about things, the way I express things, and I'm hoping my posts follow.

Now I ask you, what has triathlon done for you?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Excuses, excuses: October edition

I didn't run Wednesday or Thursday. Wednesday was originally an off day, but I had decided I should probably run TWR, then take Friday off before the race Saturday. But then I forgot that Wednesday wasn't just an alternative cross training day, until later that night after it'd gotten dark. Oops.

And today...I said I'd run today, even if it was gloomy and raining. No matter what! Well, rain doesn't quite describe what was falling between 5:30 (when I got off work) and 7 p.m. (when it got dark). This is where I would be entering pictures of all the rain, but I've since realized I hadn't hooked up my printer (where I transfer pictures from) to my computer, and I don't feel like doing it now either. It was bad. And there was some lightning (Laura would be so proud!!!), so I didn't run. I still don't have a gym situation set up yet. Boo urns. And Boo hiss.

It's dark until about 7 a.m., which won't give me enough time in the morning. Tomorrow after work I've driving to Tulsa. I'll race Saturday, so I'm for sure running then!

On a complete separate but yummier note, Halloween candy might be the death of me.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I ran! I ran so far away!

OK, actually not far at all. About 3.25 miles, in 40:30.

Fairly slow. I battled with intense wind and the struggles that can only be felt after not running or doing anything physical in a week. I could tell from the very get-go it was going to be a tough run. I pushed through, mostly. My knees have been bothering me earlier and earlier in my runs lately. Any advice on that?

I'm hoping once I start pushing myself again, I'll bounce back quickly over the next few weeks and be ready for my 15k on Halloween! Eek!

I also, by the way, have a sort-of impromptu 5k on Saturday with the fam (Mom, Dad and sister). It should be fun. I'm hoping to hit my fastest time...but I've got to get back to it quickly to hope to do that.

I start my new job tomorrow. This job will be challenging. It's going to demand a lot from me, not to mention a fairly strong learning curve. But I'm excited for the new challenge and all I will be able to learn there. I can't believe I'm already I've got to go study up on Drover sports! Wish me luck!!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Quick update

Well folks, it's been a while, so I figured I should update.

Things haven't been so great. Basically, one last, but really stressful thing happened during my last week at work. That, along with endless packing and hanging out with Stillwater friends, killed my motivation to run. Darla and I ran 3.5 miles last Monday, but since then, zlitch.

I moved Saturday. Started bright and early and we were done and unloaded in Chickasha by about 2 p.m.! Woot! Anyway, Darla and Justin spent the night and part of Sunday with us, which was so much fun. When they left Sunday, Nick and I took a three hour nap, and then I drove him to Norman. I spent half the day there with him today before coming back here. I'd planned to run this morning because I thought I'd wake up early and have time while he was at work...but my body had other plans.

I spent a great deal of time this evening fighting with my computer and new wireless software, and making my boyfriend on the phone wonder yet again why he loved me, as tears streamed down my face in frustration. I don't get along with my computer at times. A few hours later, I have a working wireless internet connection! And then I STARTED unpacking.

I promise I'll run tomorrow.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Post-race plans

Some of you guys have been asking me what my plans are for the off-season. Well, for me, the off-season isn't here yet! I'm planning on racing the Tulsa Run with my sister (and maybe my friend) in October. It's a 15k, and the longest I've ever run solid is 5 miles, so we've got a long way to go in five short weeks!

This week, I've taken off and not worried about it too much. On Thursday, Darla, Justin and I went for a three-mile run, which was a nice run. I think we're planning on running again today, but I'm not sure how far. Darla is considering doing to Tulsa Run, too. As some of you may know, I'm moving...again. I've accepted a job about two hours from here (but closer to Nick!), and I'm really excited about the job. Not so excited about packing everything again! Anyway, I've started the packing process, and I plan to move next week. I'm not sure how much running I'll get in next week because I'll have packing, finishing everything at work, and I've already made plans for half the nights of next week to do things uniquely in town. Basically, this is one of those times that life will have to take precedence over training.

When I do get settled and finally ready to train for real (I will run next week, but it might not be as consistent), I plan on doing it four days a week. Two tempo days, one long run (which will increase each week) and one day of sprints/speed training. I also want to get one day of cross training in as well. I'm thinking something along these lines:
M - Tempo (also increases from three to five, maybe?)
T - Long run
W - Rest
R - Tempo
Weekend: One sprint/speed and one cross training

It's so hard for me to be consistent on the weekends (between traveling to see Nick, him coming to me and us going to Tulsa, it's hard), so getting one of each in at some point in time seems best.

What do you think of the plan? Solid? Needs work?

I'm not worried about the amount of time it will take me because basically, I know I can be out there for 4.5 hours (proved that the other day!), and I know it won't take me that long. I'd like to be able to run the whole thing, but I don't know that I will be able to. That's OK. I can always tackle it again in the future if I want to. During the last year in training for triathlons, I've come to realize some of my expectations for myself are not always fair. Coming from a non-running background, it took me a long time to get where I am, and progress isn't always as fast as I'd like it (or even expect it) to be. And, it's not always as fast as it is for other people. I'm me. If I can run it, fabulous, if I walk some, that's great to. I never imagined I'd be able to or want to run the Tulsa Run ever. The fact that I'm confident I'll get it done, one way or another, is amazing.

The pressure is on, however, because I'll be running it with my older sister. Everyone in my family says I'll do it faster because of my endurance, but being the older sister, she might strain herself to beat me. I'm not sure she's ever lost to me, and I can't imagine she'll like it much if it happens...basic sibling stuff.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Redman race report!

OK. Here you go...

We started off Sunday morning early...about 4:30-ish. I grabbed some oatmeal and mixed Carnation Instant Breakfast with some of my whey powder and we were off. It's about a 45 minute drive to the lake. We got out, grabbed the stuff and found the transition area. We had to have everything set up by 7 a.m., even though they weren't going to start Olympic waves until 9. Here Nick and I are...bright and early!

After some preparation, I was done and ready to watch Kayle's boyfriend start his very first triathlon! Woo! (He did awesome, by the way, and is totally hooked.) Because the lake rose one-foot overnight, they had to re-adjust the markers in the water because they floated around everywhere. The Sprint-ers started late because of it. Just after Tim left, my parents arrived to see me race!I was doing fine and not thinking about the race at all, until about 8:45, when they said we could get into the water for pre-race swim. I figured I should go and walked over to Nick and Kayle, who were waiting to watch Tim come in from the bike leg, and all of a sudden I got this wave of nausea and I was so freaked out! I tried to fight tears when I told Nick I was going out and might throw up, but I didn't do a very good job. I was so scared. Mom and Dad hugged me and told me I would do great, and I left. Standing in the shoot, I was so nervous. What had I gotten myself into? (This is me trying to figure out where we are supposed to swim.)
Swim: The swim was awful! It was two loops and the first quarter was incredibly shallow. Some people walked. Every time I would look up to see if I was headed in the right direction, I wasn't. I finally got to the first turn around and all of a sudden, it became choppy and I kept swallowing water. I couldn't backstroke there and it was hard to freestyle. I struggled through that part and then, I got to do it all over again. By the second choppy part, the kayaks started watching me closely. I coughed and swallowed water. One guy yelled, "You OK?" I gave him a thumbs up to let him know I wasn't going to drown. The longest open water swim I'd ever done was 500m, and this was 1500. Rough. I finally made it to the shore!

Time: 45:57. Slow, but I knew it hadn't gone well.

T1: Nothing interesting to report. I got in and did my thing and got back out. It took a little longer than last time (but not as long as the first) because my feet were muddy and I tried to get into gloves as well.

Time: 3:05.

Bike: It was 28 miles. In four loops. Well, basically, people only passed me. I never passed anyone. I dealt with some wind and a little uphill stuff, but it was mostly flat. It was a nice course with some along the lake and some on a street. I had two Hammer gels during the bike. Mom and Dad kept walking along the bike course and I saw them like six times during the ride. People started finishing as I was on my second lap, which was a little sad, but not as bad as after my third. I get up there and the lady's like "You finishing?" because I was in the lane to continue on and I had to tell her, "No. I have one more lap!" But anyway, it wasn't really bad. I thought I was last, but Mom and Dad said a few people came in after I did.

Bike: 2:08:29. Even if I came in last, I was still 22 minutes faster than I had expected I would be on the bike, so hell ya! It was a good, fast bike for me, but my legs were tired and my neck and crotch were pretty much numb.

T2: Well, it was a little disappointing that when I was coming in from the bike, there were racers done and packing up the transition. Olympic racers. They were all very supportive, though. I had a ton of emotions going through my head at this point. I was disappointed for being last (I thought I was), mad at myself for being disappointed, so thankful of the people who were cheering me on, scared about the six miles up ahead, exhausted, etc. and I again tried to fight tears. My breathing was ridiculous and I was wheezing as I came out of the transition and into the run. I wanted to keep running but I wanted to stop. I made it out of transition before I decided to stop. It was a good idea because I calmed myself down, calmed my breathing and I was able to get back on track.

T2: 1:15...yes, all that happened in just more than a minute.

Run: Once I'd calmed my breathing, I could get to the run and do it. I ran more than a mile probably before I decided to stop and walk a bit. It was an out and back twice. Other racers kept cheering me on as if it was my last lap...and I'd only started! It was getting really hot out, too. But I kept going, off and on. I grabbed water when I could, but I was hestitant to drink too much. I ran by where my car was parked and saw Nick sleeping in the truck. I decided I'd wake him on my second lap if I needed to. On the way back, he was getting out of the truck and I talked to him for a minute while I ran. I actually passed someone, too! Then I saw my parents, and they took photos. I went and turned around and came back for more photos. By the time I got to the out again, I poured some water over my head and someone asked if I was alright. Just hot because you didn't save any sponges for me, but thanks. I'd say I ran maybe 4.5 miles and walked the rest. Passed a few people, too! The one thing that kept me going to whole time was waiting to hear the announcer say "And here's Jessica Jackson from Stillwater, Oklahoma, finishing her first Olympic triathlon!" So I kept pushing.

Run: 1:26:26. That's a great time. I'm happy with it because...

It brings me in at 4:25:12! Beat my goal time by five minutes! The end was awesome. Only a few people remained to cheer me on, but they all did. Since we had our names on our numbers, they said my name and I was so happy! The annoucer said my name, but without the last part. I didn't even care! I finished!!!

Then I sat. I stiffened up in the first 15 minutes, but it really hasn't been bad since then.

I'm an Olympic triathlete! (And guess what? I didn't come in last! Only sixth from last, but I honestly don't care!) I set out to do this thing and I did. I finally finished a New Year's Resolution. It was just fantastic, even if my post didn't make it out to be...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

1500 meters, 28 miles and 10 kilometers later...

I defied gravity. I did it! I completed an Olympic-distance triathlon! Official time: 4:25:12! Race report tomorrow or Tuesday. I just want to sleep!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Twas the night before the race...

Am I ready? Will I be fast and strong? Or will I struggle throughout the whole thing? Am I ready?

At this point, my friends, I'm afraid it doesn't matter. The race is in less than 12 hours.

I wanted to bike Thursday, with a short run after, but I was feeling sick and was exhausted all day, and I found out that my boyfriend -- whom I'd seen and kissed just two days before -- was throwing up, so I decided to nap after work to protect myself. I couldn't get sick with days until the tri! We'll see if I made the right decision.

I volunteered at the Iron and half Iron distances today. It was great to be able to cheer on the athletes and help them during the run. I was at the special needs "tent," and helped runners get dry clothes, shoes and food out of their bags to help with their racing. Everyone was really appreciative of us being out there, but I was just amazed at them. It's just awesome, really. Kudos to all today's racers! I did stand for about three hours in the sun, and I was out for another hour or so sitting, so I'm a little concerned about wearing myself out a little pre-race. I did get to see a little of the course (beautiful, by the way), and I got totally excited about the whole thing. Pretty great packet, too...

Well, I'm about go to bed. Planning on getting up sometime in the 4 a.m. hour tomorrow. Even though my wave doesn't start until 9! Lame.

1) Finish the race. Hopefully with a smile.
2) Total time in under 4:30.
3) Total time in under 4:15.
4) Sub 1:20 on the run. I think that will be the most challenging, perhaps, but would just be amazing!

Wish me luck!!! Look for a race report...probably Monday?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

T minus 5 days - Freakout can begin

So, I just found out her waves for the Olympic distance triathlon is going to start at 9 a.m. -- two hours after originally posted. They had both waves starting roughly at 7 a.m., so I figured I'd be in the water by 8 at the latest! What's worse? I still have to have my bike racked by 7 a.m. That's going to suck

So now, I'm freaking out that I won't finish in time! If I leave at "9," which means more like 9:30 a.m., it's going to be pushing it to get me in by the time they start tearing down. I'm literally thinking it will be between 4.5 and 5 hours for me to do this, which is 2 p.m. or 2:30 p.m., right? Tear down starts at 2:30! Ack. What if something happens and I'm even slower. Not only that, but it will be getting really...really...really hot by then!

Why on Earth would you have the sprint distance start first? It makes no sense!!! They will finish, and then have to wait for me to get my slow ass in from the bike before they can leave. And we have to be there 3 hours early, but not be racing yet. Get the longest ones started and then the sprints go and end then the Olympic ends. Then no one will have quit because they aren't fast enough. Does this make sense to anyone else? I'm totally freaking out.

I guess it was about time.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Speedy Gonzalez

On Friday, I took a four hour lunch because I was covering a Sept. 11 ceremony that evening. During it, I did a motified, shorter version of the brick I outlined before. I went biking for eight miles, two mile run, bike for five and a little bit more running after. Took me about two hours. Guess it will have to do.

Saturday I worked and walked a good amount with that and then drove to Norman in the rain. Nothing too terribly blog-worthy, except that I ate like crap all day and consequently felt like crap. Funny how that works, huh?

Yesterday was the first day of my "weekend," so it was mostly a chill day with the boyfriend. Nothing to report. Took a rest day since I'm tapering and all.

Today, however, I woke up and went running. I decided to go three miles as a tapering distance, but since it was "only" three miles, I decided to go fast. See if I could beat my fastest run and keep a decent pace for the three miles. Guess what? I did it in 33:30! (My fastest run, if you remember, was my first in just more than 35 minutes.) I got tired after the first half mile or so at that pace, so I slowed a bit and kept getting bursts and then slowing down. Finally, with about a mile to go, I told myself I could go fast for one mile because I didn't need to leave any energy left. I sped up and really rocked it. That was probably my fastest mile yet. It felt good...and I have to say, three miles fast is more fun that five miles slow.

So even six days out of a monster (to me) triathlon, I can still have mini victories. I've had a lot of running victories lately, and that's just happy. I don't think you ever feel ready for a race, and I'm honestly not where I wanted to be in my training with only days before the tri, but I will be able to do it. I will be able to finish. And that, my friends, is all that matters.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

T minus 10 days

Eeek! Almost here!

I didn't do as much as I hoped or expected last weekend, but I was in Dallas watching my beloved OU shoot itself in the foot. Saturday morning Jamie and I took a short 20 minute run through a boxy house neighborhood and then Monday...guess what? I ran five miles. Straight. The last 1.5 or so was really tough, but other than that, it was fairly strong. As soon as I walked in, I felt a wave of nausea as my mom asked how the run went. Answer: "It sucked. I might throw up." I then went and sat down, downed water like it was tequila shot and sat for about five minutes before speaking again. Then I told Mom and Dad how long I went and they both seemed very impressed. That was good.

Rain has been interfering. Its canceled two softball games this week, which has screwed up my workout schedule a bit. My plan is to get one tough, long brick ([9 mile + 2 mile] x 3) in this week and then taper off next week. Even if others fell through (I had to do some adjusting), I had to do that, right? I was supposed to do it today, but when Tuesday's softball was pushed to Thursday, I decided I could do it Friday and rest today. Rain today wasn't a big deal because I would still get the brick tomorrow...until I realized I had to cover an event at 4:40 p.m. (I'm supposed to get off at 4 p.m.) and then I have to write the story. I won't be able to get off until 6 p.m., at the earliest! That gives me barely two hours to train, if I start immediately without going home to get my bike or anything. I start work at 7 a.m., so doing anything before isn't an option. I will have to take a couple hours extra at lunch, but it still won't be enough to do it then or anything. The gym is only open until 9 p.m., and doesn't have a bike. So I'm SOL, right? I wasn't comfortable riding in the rain we had today, so I wasn't really able to do it today either, even though the game was canceled. I don't expect to have time Saturday either...and beyond that is getting too close to the tri to be a good idea. Boo! Any suggestions?

Monday, August 31, 2009


Perhaps I can do this.

Saturday, I decided to do a fairly long brick workout. It actually took longer than I really expected it to. I biked 8 miles, ran 2k, biked 8 miles, ran 2k, biked 5 miles, attempted sprints. The sprints were attempted. I drank a lot of water during the last bike portion and because of that I got a really bad stitch about 3/4 through my second sprint (about 50 yards probably)...then again about halfway through my third. I literally doubled over it hurt so bad. The whole thing took me just under 3 hours. Here's where I feel like I can do it. The next day, I didn't feel anything. I mean, I slept a lot that night/next morning, but it wasn't until I was halfway through my day before I realized that I wasn't sore! Whenever I'd tighten my quads and release, I could tell they were a little tired. I'm expecting my tri to take 5 hours...and if I can get through 3 hours without really being sore...there's hope yet! Nick and I were even able to play a pretty good game of tennis Sunday night.

And today! I ran. (Drumroll please!) I ran 4 and a half miles. Straight. In an hour. Heck yes! I'm so proud of myself! Just a few months ago, I was sure I'd never even be able to consistently run three miles. That was such a hard platform, but I totally blew it out of the water! I'm not sure if it was the beautiful weather or just a really good run, but I felt awesome! Beside knee and ankle issues. But that's beside the point. :) That's all I got. A :).

I'm attempting 5 miles on my birthday (Friday)!

Plan for the week:
Tuesday: Swim and bike (attempting 1500m swim and 18 mile bike, but I'll be racing the clock/sun, so I may have to cut these down).
Wednesday: I was going to swim and bike again, but something came up that I have to do Wednesday, so I'm almost positive I won't have time to workout. Yes, this is more important than tri training. Hope to have more info soon!
Thursday: Double header in softball!
Friday, Sept. 4, Jessica's 24th birthday: 5 mile run! - then drive to Dallas because...
Saturday: Watch OU beat down on BYU! FOOTBALL SEASON IS HERE!
Sunday: Run 5 miles
Monday: Bike 30 miles

On a side note: I've become a big fan of the Hammer Gels. I'm not in love with all the tastes, but about 15 minutes after taking one, I start to feel good and strong. And it sustains me. I don't get extra hungry, which helps the workout feel better. I approve.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

And the bike...

Yesterday, I decided to tackle the 28-miler on the bike again. I was looking forward to it, kind of at least. I figured I'd get really bored with no one to talk to...

First off, I started on county roads. I have two options in Stillwater for biking: County roads or city roads. The longest trail here is 3 miles. Not so good for long bike rides. City roads have cars and crazy people. County roads a bumpy. I swear they found a pothole and filled it with four times too much asphalt every sixteenth of a mile! So by the first five or six miles, my hands hurt from all the bumping...and guess what? My neck/shoulder area was already seizing up. Cool. This was going to be fun! After going around the aforementioned 3-mile trail once, I headed north along a "highway." It's officially a highway, but there it's just two lanes and probably about 50 mph. It had been recommended by the biking group here in Payne County. It was great. My new favorite place to ride (it's about seven miles from my apartment). Except for roadkill. Lots. But the shoulders are really wide and it's almost like I have my own lane. And it's not bumpy and crappy either. A few hills. Nice ride. About mile 19 or so, I took a break to rest my neck and "eat" some gel. I'm still experimenting with gels. Kayle said the Hammer were the best consistancy and after trying one, I bought two variety packs. I had the orange last night. I would recommend it. Tasty really, but after almost 20 miles of riding, what isn't? I accidently spilled so, though, and got my legs, hands and water bottle sticky. Oops... I rested for just three minutes before getting back in the saddle.

The rest of the ride was also fairly uneventful. Except my neck, which spazed out on me every two minutes. Toward the end of the ride (about 25 miles in), the skin on my neck was actually numb to the touch, I'm guessing from the nerves just being pissed off. It got me a little worried. Since I'm not really used to the you think I should get it checked out and maybe get the bars raised a bit? Kayle's aren't as low as mine. As soon as I got home, I stuck a heating pack on my shoulders and it stayed for two hours until I went to bed. At that time, it was still seizing and hurting really bad...I could barely move my neck! I put one of those adhesive shoulder packs on overnight and it felt a lot better when I woke up. Still tight, but not seizing. It's mad now that I'm on the computer again, though.

Total bike time: 2:30
Three weeks ago: 2:45

I cut off 15 minutes, which I was really pleased with! I even had to stop for red lights some! Nick still thinks I need to speed up, but I'm happy with cutting 30 seconds off each mile! I included my break time too, because if I have to stop and rest my neck during the tri, guess what? They aren't stopping time for me!

Total combined hours: 4 hours 41 minutes
Three weeks ago: 4 hours 47 minutes

Despite my horrific run, I'm still coming in a little faster than I did three weeks ago. You've got to add transition times now. If you average my transition times of my two previous triathlons (you never know how big the transition area will be), and add they add about four minutes to my tri. Plus, of course, being tired will add time. I'm guessing I'll come in between 4:30 and 5 hours. Time isn't important to me in my race, it's just nice to know what to expect...and what to warn my family about!

My game plan:
- Rest today. I thought my legs would need it, but as it turns out, it's my neck/shoulders that do!
- Completely devote myself to my triathlon for two weeks. I can give up hours every evening after work for two weeks, right?
- After those two weeks, it's going to be just nine days before the tri...time to start tapering anyway.
- Abs/core work. I hate it, but I need it.
- Eat clean until the tri (except for something fried, on a stick, at the fair this weekend! - and of course, birthday cake)
- Keep telling myself I can do it and push out the negative thoughts!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I've seen better days

We're at T-4 weeks and counting. You know what that means? Time drills!

I started off with a six-mile run this time. Because I have my reality TV show (the final episode!) at 7 p.m., I had to go right after work, which means hot. "Feels like 101" to be exact. Awesome. I headed out to Boomer Lake to run it twice. I felt good the first few miles. As I'm heading out from mile two, I'm starting to hurt...and get really hot. I pushed myself to make it three miles before stopping...and actually got a few steps beyond that before having to stop. My first lap was 42:26, so you can tell how the heat was affecting me. I walked a little, tried to run again, but it didn't really work much. The good news is when I walk, I walk pretty fast and depressingly enough, sometimes feel like I speed up once I start to walk. I just couldn't wait to get to a water fountain to drink and dunk my head in! The second lap was awful! I felt sick and considered sitting in the shade for a bit. And then, as I decide to start running again, thinking I could stop soon to drink, I am propelled forward. I look down at where my right leg was and see a bike tire. Then I see grass. A bicyclist ran me over! I get up, take off my headphones and make sure the kid is OK. It was two boys who appeared to be 12 maybe? I'm guessing they were messing around, not paying attention, and all of a sudden one was in my back. I landed on my hand/side. My elbow is a bit scratched and bruised today, but my leg got the brunt of it. I've not an impressive bruise, but I'm not quite sure how it happened because it's on the front of my leg and he hit me in the back? Anyway, I didn't get mad or anything. Who could get mad at a 12 year old boy who is completely humiliated and apologizing profusely? Hopefully he learned a lesson, one he can carry on with when he starts to drive! Moving on, I got water and felt a little better for another half mile or so. I walked until I hit 5 miles, then I decided I was going to run the last mile no matter what. It was one of the most physically painful miles of my entire life! My knees felt like they would pop during each step. My back hurt. My muscles were rejecting me. But I ran it. That whole mile. Slowly. I pushed myself to prove that no matter what the conditions (heat, exhaustion, post-run over), I could push through and get it done.

Total six mile: 1:32:15
Three weeks ago: 1:23

So I got worse? Awesome. I was really disappointed yesterday. Not at myself. I did awesome. I pushed myself as far as I could. I responded well to the situation and a tough run. I never seriously considered stopping halfway through or turning around. I kept going forward. I was disappointed that the circumstances didn't prove to be a good run. I'm not meaning to make excuses about why my run was bad -- I could and should be better trained. But I manned up to the conditions as best I could and I am proud of that. You may not get ideal conditions in your races, what counts is how you respond to those. It could have been a better run, but it wasn't. Feels like 101 is no fun. I'm crossing my fingers that when the weather calms down, I'll speed up.

Then today, I decided to tackle the 1500m swim. My legs were tired and a little sore all day (although the more I moved them the happier they appeared to be). Swim sounded nice. I can do 1500m in the pool without significant problems. My arms were getting pretty tired and everything, but not dying. How was the 400m open-water race swim so challenging? I knew it would make it harder, but I'm just amazed by how much of a difference it all made. That's what makes me nervous for the swim portion of the Olympic. I need to practice it more. And keep myself calm. It was a fairly uneventful swim...

1500m swim: 38:40
Three weeks ago: 39

Didn't really improve much, but I'll take it.

Bike tomorrow. This should be interesting. My splits were worst on the bike in my last triathlon and not great in my first, but it's the distance I'm least scared of. I'm just a slow cyclist. I'm interested to see how I do tomorrow. Hopefully it will be a little cooler, but I'm not counting on it.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Defying gravity

Warning: If you don't like those posts about how someone turned lyrics of some song to fit them and it gave them all this inspiration, you probably won't like this post. Enjoy my next one instead. Otherwise:

So, I've spent a ton of time stressing and worrying about my upcoming triathlon (27 days!). I'm terrified. I won't lie. I'm in deep...

But. I'm not in over my head. And if I am, I'll find out. I'm crossing that finish line...or they are picking me up on the side of the road. This revelation came this weekend. First, on my way to Dallas to visit Kayle, I was talking to my mom, and I was saying how I really was in over my head and should have waited until last year. Trying to give me that option, she mentioned that I might be able to switch to a sprint (which would still be the longest tri I've done). My immediate response was "No, I'm doing it." Yes, I probably should have waited, but I didn't. Mom always taught me to follow through with my first commitment, even if something better or more desirable comes along. Well, Mom, that stuck. I'm doing it. The fact that it was so immediate in my head and rather inconceivable to switch gave me hope.

Secondly, on my way home, I was listening to the Wicked soundtrack I took from Kayle, I started listening to one of the songs...and I really felt it applied to me. It gave me inspiration. I'm defying gravity...or I will in September.

"I'm through accepting limits 'cause someone says they're so. Some things I cannot change, but 'til I try, I'll never know! ... I'm defying gravity and you can't pull me down!"
Fortunately, I have a very supportive cast (get it). I'm really the only person telling me I can't do it. I'm the one giving myself the limits. Saying I can't do this. Everyone else is telling me I can, actually. I say, 'I'm nonathletic and will be competing against really serious athletes here.' But I have to try. As Kayle said before our 33-mile bike ride: "If you're not in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?"

Then later in the song:
"To those who'd ground me, take a message back from me. Tell them how I am defying gravity. I'm flying high, defying gravity!"
This part may make me sound a little crazy because I have to talk about talking to myself. One part of me is saying "No, silly, you can't do this. Stick to the sprints." Well, I need to send the message from the other half of my brain, telling it, "Hey, we're doing this. Something amazing. Something unbelievable. Believe it. We're doing it."

This post sounded (slightly) less cheesy in my head yesterday. Either way, I've found my pre-race pep song.

I'm defying gravity!

And for your viewing pleasure:

Sunday, August 23, 2009


The Redman will be over four weeks from today. I will be able to breathe a sigh of relief. Extensive sighing, however, may be too exhausting. We'll see.

I've got a great post in my head for you guys, but I had a long, tiring weekend, and I have to be at work before 7 a.m. tomorrow, which means I need to get my butt in bed! I've been home for less than a hour, so I'm not real keen on the idea, but my eyelids are heavy, so I should be able to make it work. Check back Monday evening for my post!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Hillapalooza Triathlon - Race report!

Numero dos? Check!

From the beginning: Nick and I woke up about 4:15 this morning...way earlier than makes either of us very happy. I had some cereal and made a protein fruit smoothie and we were off! The tri was about 45 minutes from where I live, so it took us a bit to get there, and then we had traffic getting into the park. We made out way over to the transition area, I got marked, and I started unpacking. The whole tri was fairly disorganized, but much smaller than the one I did first, so I was able to unpack and get back out to hang out with Nick. I wasn't really nervous...maybe that was a bad thing. This is how I look when I have to wake up before the sun...hours before the sun:

Ready to go! As I said, the whole thing was disorganized, so the race started a good 15-20 minutes late, but finally, we were off! I'm somewhere in there among the yellow caps...
The swim was very humbling. I thought surely it would be no problem. I'd been training at more than 1000m, so what's 400 anyway? Boy, I struggled. I felt out of breath the whole time and I couldn't really control it. My stroke was good, except when I was hitting or kicking or being hit or kicked by other competitiors. I thought I'd struggled more, but as it turns out, I actually did quite well in the swim. I came out 38 of 89 women! I guess swim is still my strongest! When I got out, I heard some guy say we were at 9:30 minutes, but the time to get to transition doesn't necessarily reflect that.
Swim: 400m, 10:26

Out of the water I go! A smile on my face, theoretically ready to take all those hills! We had to run up the beach and into the transition area. My bike was right at the bike entrance/exit, but on the other end of the swim entrance/run exit. T1 went fairly smoothly. I just had to put on my socks, shoes, shirt and helmet...My goal was to cut down some time on transitions. (Just a reminder, T1 in the King Tut was 5:32...)
T1: 1:53 - Hell ya!

(I'm the one in the helmet.) On to the bike. Wow. It was tough. Very hilly. Windy. It was either 11 or 10 miles, depending on which portion of the Web site you look at. The first few miles were hilly and tough, but then we turned into the wind...and the hills got worse! There were some hills where I was literally in the lowest gear possible and I was just halfway up the hill! I was just hoping not to start rolling backward! I made it up all the hills without having to walk (and I did see some having to do that). Basically, I couldn't wait to turn around...just because I knew we'd be mostly downhill, with the wind at our backs, and I couldn't wait. Those three or so miles were fabulous! Then we headed back east and tackled a pretty big hill. Obviously, my legs are tired and all by now. I decided to grab a drink of water, even though I was only halfway up the hill, which was probably a bad idea anyway. When I was trying to put the bottle back, I fumbled and it fell. I stopped and tired to grab it while holding onto my bike, but that didn't work. This was my "good" water bottle, and I didn't want to lose it. The hill started taking control and it started to roll, so I dropped by bike to get it, bending the handle bars in the process. The part that sticks out where the brakes are, it's turned inward a bit. I got back on, finished the hill and made sure my gears and brakes worked just fine. They do, and I'm hoping it will be an inexpensive fix. Maybe next time, I should put my bike in front of my "good" water bottle. The rest of the bike wasn't too bad, except we were combined in one lane with runners coming in both directions, so it was a tight fit!

It turns out that I struggled on the bike even more than I thought. I came in 85 of 89, which really just shows me that I have a new activity to focus on...
Bike: 10.5 miles, 58:03

It's not a great picture of the bike, but Nick said I went by too fast. Moving on, my T2 was awesome. I pushed my bike up quickly (it was right there!), changed hats (helmet to Bob Stoops visor) and out I went. At 34 seconds, I was the second fastest of all the girls!
T2: 0:34

Then the run. The first half mile or so my legs were completely useless. I didn't really do any bricks leading up to the tri, and my legs showed it. I struggled, but I didn't want to walk. By the time we got to the bottom of the hill, though, I was feeling pretty good...of course, we had to then go UP the hill. My run was about like it always is. Slow and steady. During the triathlon, I felt much more balanced than I did in my first. I was starting to feel really hungry and a little sick at the top of the hill, ie, the turn around, and I wanted some gatorade. I was about to take water from the nice volunteer when another yelled she had gatorade. I said, 'I'd rather have gatorade,' and the nice volunteer warned me it wasn't very good. I grabbed it anyway. I think it was vitamin water stuff...and it wasn't very good. I did walk for a few steps when consuming my ade, but I don't really think that counts considering I haven't mastered the "running while drinking" thing yet. As I passed nice volunteer, I told her she was right and she offered me some water again, but I told her I'd be fine. As I got closer to the end of the run, I realized how bad of an idea that gatorade crap was. I had a bad taste in my mouth and my stomach started to feel nauseated. I kept running, until finally, the finish was in sight! This time, I didn't have my mom there to tell me if I was close to my goal time, and my kick wasn't particularly strong, but I finished! Another triathlon down!
Run: 2 miles, 24:55
Total: 1:35:53, just over my goal time.

It felt fast. I remember thinking at the end of the run that, although I knew it wasn't true, I felt like it had only been about 45 minutes or so. Guess I enjoy it, huh? Post race was a mess, too. The glasses for beer and the water were near the finish, the keg was by the portapotties and the food and pop was way over past the massage place...? It was windy, and chips and paper plates just didn't work. They were serving hot dogs, and I just wasn't interested. I had a little fruit, although they were almost out when I got in (Olympics hadn't started to come in yet!). I did grab some beer, mostly because I've heard about triathlons with beer and I wanted to partake, and I wanted one of the glasses! I only made myself half a glass anyway. It was before 10 a.m.

Overall, I'd say the experience was enjoyable. It wasn't as exciting as my first. I don't know if it's because it wasn't my first, because I didn't have a friend competing with me or because it wasn't the race I had my eyes set on and working toward...but either way, I still enjoyed it. Nice little race, killer hills.

I beat my goal of running the whole thing and my bonus of speeding up my transition times. I was close to my second goal (1:35:00), and I'll take that!

Special thanks to Nicholas, for the photos and for the support! Love you babe!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Just a few days...

Thanks for the advice and setting me straight. I need to prioritize my triathlon when I can, but realize I sometimes prioritize sleep, my boyfriend, work and my health instead, which is probably a good thing.

This is probably my last post before my tri on Sunday, again, because I don't have the Internet at home right now. Hopefully, my fabulous guy will work on that while I'm at work on Saturday...? I got a chance to run a little after my post Tuesday. I went home and took an amazing nap which seemed to remedy all my problems, so I ran two miles. 23 minutes, which is pretty good for me. I'm planning on hitting the pool right after this before playing softball tonight and then rest Friday and Saturday.

I have other things I want to write about, but I need to hurry to get a swim in and get home and changed before softball, so I can't stay. I wanted to leave with some preliminary goals:
1) Finish, running the whole time. (I didn't push myself as hard as I could have in my first because I didn't know what to expect or how much energy I would need to finish, so I want to be able to do that this time now that I know.)
2) Finish in less than 1:35:00.
3) Finish in less than 1:25:00.
Bonus: Cut off time in my transition. I don't care how much. Just shave some time.

Two will be tough, but doable, I think, if I'm racing my best. Three will be really hard, so that's why it's there. I get you a race report hopefully Monday, or Sunday if Nick fixes my computer! After a nap, of course.

Happy training!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

It just isn't in the cards

Wow. Have I been struggling.

I was bad for about a week, then I got back on top of it all...then last week came...and this week. Ugh.

I took a break on Monday after my Olympic weekend (each distance for three days straight). Tuesday, I went to Edmond to see Kayle before she went off and moved to Texas! We went on a ride, which totally kicked my booty! Edmond is hilly. We road about 16 miles, many of which were uphill and my legs were still tired from the weekend before. It sucked, but it was really good to ride with Kayle. The following day was mine and Nick's four year anniversary. Amazing! We had a busy day, including Frontier City, The Hangover and dinner at Zio's, but not triathlon training. I was hoping to get out riding Thursday morning, but a storm kept us in bed. We did get out to play some tennis, but neither could muster a lot of energy. Friday, I went to Tulsa, Saturday to the play...neither day really making the time to work out.

I had it all planned out though. Sunday would be a big long brick to help prepare me for my tri on Sunday (400m, 11 miles, 2 miles), Monday I would rock it with a fast, hard swim, biking Tuesday, rest day to pick up my packet in OKC Wednesday, run Thursday, rest Friday and Saturday. just isn't in the cards.

Again, I wanted to get up Sunday morning to brick before it got too hot, but I had a really bad nights sleep, so I couldn't will myself to. I decided to go in the evening instead. I got all ready to go at 6 p.m., grabbed my bike and headed downstairs. When I got down, I realized I needed my bike lock to be able to let my bike out of my site, so I started to run back upstairs with my apartment key in hand...briefly. It fell between the cracks in the stairs into a pile of bushes and plants. Great. I expected to find it quickly, but it took me 45 minutes! I was about to call maintenance and I'd given up hope when I found it! (I had helpful neighbors, too!) At this point, I'm an hour later, still racing against daylight, and I'm tired from crouching in the bushes, so I head back inside. I'd just been locked out, so I didn't want to risk it happening again! Figured I could make up for it.

Well...yesterday we had big thunderstorm that knocked a bunch of limbs into a bunch of powerlines and much of the town was without power. I had power, but the gym (I don't think) did, and the pool would not have been open because of all the lightning anyway. It let up for a bit later, but I had already invited a few powerless friends over for some hot food. By the time they left, it was dark. Because I couldn't stay late and work yesterday (power was out), I got to work at 6 a.m. I don't get to work that early. I don't like it. When I wake up when it's still dark, I frequently get nauesated. Today was no execption. Oh, and I've had a headache since 9 p.m. yesterday. So now, utterly exhausted after a long day at work and my week thus far, headache abound, I'm not too eager to get in the pool, on my bike or in my shoes. I need to so bad though!

I'm worried I'm not going to do well in this tri. I'm not prepared. I can do the distances, but I haven't been training much the past month or so, and it'll be after a six day work week (this is only day 2!!!) I'm pretty bummed about it. I'd like to rock it. I really wanted to do one triathlon powerfully this season. The Olympic will of course be a struggle because it's long, so this was supposed to be fun and fast.

I know I've made a lot of excuses. Basically, I haven't made the time to do this, and things haven't fallen well for me. I want my headache gone and my racing fast!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Getting there

At T-8 weeks, I was supposed to do test my strength and time at each of the three distances separately, and then repeat at T-4 weeks. I kept thinking it was last weekend that was 8 weeks, but I realized halfway through last week that I was wrong. I'm now at less than 7 weeks!!! So, beginning Friday, I tested myself. I'm actually quite happy with my results, not time really, but doing it!

They are as follows:
1500m swim - 39
28 mile bike - 2:45
6.2 mile run - 1:23
Total time: 4 hour and 47 minutes

My test times at four weeks will help me decide my goal and expected times, but I'm thinking 4:45 is about where I will be. Yes, I'll improve in 7 weeks, but also, I will have to add in transition time and lose time for adding all three together and being more tired. Not what I had hoped, but I'm good with it.

Swim: About 800m into it, my face started hurting. Does this happen to anyone else? It feels like there is a lot of pressure on it. I don't know if my face gets tired of breathing air out of my nose under water or if the goggles are somehow putting pressure on my cheeks, but it hurts. I had to turn over and do back stroke for about 75m. That, in addition to lifting up my goggles for that time, helped and I was able to finish. It happened when I'd tried a 1000m, too. Any ideas? Other than that, it was good swim. A little slow, but good.

Run: I ran Saturday. I took a 6.2 mile course roughly the same as my dad used to run. At about 2k, I started getting really tired and had to stop running. I thought, 'Man, is this going to be a looooong run!' Well, I walked some, started running and my dad pulls up with cold water for me! How sweet is that? He promises to come back again, and I keep running. I ended up walking only 4 times, for a total of probably less than 1 mile! I ran 5 miles this weekend! I'd never run more than 3 really! I was amazed. I had to walk twice in the last 1.5 miles, which was a little disappointing, but it was good. I felt like a runner. I remember when my dad was training for his marathon, we'd often see him on that road when we were driving and we'd honk and wave. That's the image I've always had when I think "runner." So to run on that same path, and to do so well, made me feel amazing. I actually, probably for the first time, felt like a runner! If only I'd picked up a golf ball or two on the way home...

Bike: I actually biked Sunday after my run on Saturday, so my legs were already tired. I woke up with my inner thighs sore, so I knew it'd be rough. The course was mostly flat, with a few big hills...that I rocked, by the way. About the turn around point, I was feeling pretty tired, but I did pretty OK. I stayed in the lead (I went with my parents) for most of the ride. My dad often went back to get my mom, who has a tendecy to gawk. With a mile and half or so left, I really wanted to finish strong and quickly, so I told my dad I'd meet them at the cantina (yes, for drinks), and started off. It didn't take more than 20 seconds for my legs to tell me "hell no" and that I wouldn't really be going all that fast after all. I listened, somewhat, a finished about a minute before my parents. It was a good ride though. I told my legs they'd get a break today, but would soon have to combine them all. My hips, especially, are so today.

I'm pleased. I'm getting there.

Monday, July 20, 2009

You know you're a beginner triathlete when...

I love reading the "You know you're a triathlete when..." but honestly, they don't all refer to me because I don't have all the fancy gear and I've only done one triathlon. I'm a beginner. So in honor of that, I decided to make my own one, including everything I've felt.

You Know You're A Beginner Triathlete When...
10) You run out of sports bras and socks before anything else in your wardrobe.
9) You don't want new heels, you want new running shoes.
8) An hour-long game of softball or tennis isn't considered your workout for the day.
7) The accessories you're interested in purchasing include cycling gloves, a heart rate monitor and a sports bra.
6) You drive and actually notice hills on the road, always thinking how tough/fun each one would be to do on your bike.
5) Your mom tells you, six weeks out, that you're getting a new tri outfit for your birthday and you brag to anyone who will listen.
4) You don't covet your best friend's new car, you covet her new bike.
3) An evening of endless pool laps, an hour of reality TV and a short run actually sounds like an enjoyable one.
2) People ask you about your training or triathlons, you talk until they get bored and change the subject.
1) You can't imagine not doing triathlons, and you've only ever done one!

So there you have it. My list. How many relate to you?

Just an update:
Today, I decided to do some laps in the pool. I did:
- 150m warm up
- 300m tempo (took me 6 minutes, which is great time!)
- 700m base
- 300m tempo (7 minutes)
- 150m cool down
It was one of those days that you get in the pool and just know it will be a tough day.
Then, after some dinner and TV, I bought a watch (because I need something to time myself these days) and went on a short run. I wanted to go two miles, but I felt so sick after one that I stopped. I wanted to do a tempo, but my first mile was a disappointing 12:30 mile. And, I almost threw up. I'd eaten about an hour before, so I think that was it. And I really haven't felt well since...

Maybe I shouldn't have taken three days off in a row?

Friday, July 17, 2009

I ran Boomer!

I don't really have time to post because I want to leave to see my amazing boyfriend and one of my best friends in the whole world...who are both waiting for me in Norman as I type!

But, I wanted to share my most recent awesomeness with you. Last night, I ran Boomer. I ran the whole Boomer Lake. The whole 3-mile Boomer Lake course!

For those of you keeping track of my 5k attempts...I've only ever run a continuous three miles once. In December. I couldn't make it through the shoot before vomiting. It was lovely. I did it yesterday in about 35 minutes (same time as in December) with absolutely NO vomiting, or nausea of any kind, and my was one of my best kicks EVER! I felt great. It was absolutely amazing.

My friends left me in the dust as soon as we started (and I was plagued with an awful stitch the first mile or so), but I kept running! Justin also ran it for the first time, so victory there, too!

I ran Boomer!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


I've been feeling a little down the past few days, which has made it hard to get out and train. Plus, it's like 200 degrees here in Oklahoma.

It's mostly work stuff, something I don't particularly want to get into here on the blog. I know it will go away soon and that I need to stay positive and motivated through it all.

I'm trying.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Becoming a runner

Want to hear something amazing?



I had a GREAT run yesterday! It was fabulous. Me. I hardly believe it. I started off not wanting to run. It was late, and I was tired from hanging out with Kayle all day. Oh, and my head was pounding. Anyway, as I start, I'm dealing with my knees hurting, thinking, man, I really need to get new shoes, but that went away. I felt good when I hit one mile. Then 2k. Sometime after 2k, I thought, 'you know, I might be able to run this whole 5k,' while thinking in the back of my mind that it would probably get harder and I may not. I decided I could definitely go to 4k...and almost convinced myself it was silly to stop at 4k. I kept running, and of course, it got progressively harder. I was starting to feel tired and sick shortly after 3k and decided to make it to 4k. I did! I actually ran more than 4k before stopping! I haven't done that in a long time, and I certainly haven't done it that strong. I decided to walk a bit and then finish fast (not kicking it speed, but at a good tempo). I was able to do that, and finished feeling REALLY GOOD! I like running a bit speeder, but I can't sustain it. I actually got a runners high. Good stuff.

I think one of the reasons it was such a good run was the temperature. It was after 8 p.m. when I left and it was cool out. It was that perfect temperature where you can go out in shorts and a tee and feel perfectly comfortable. Plus, I got wind off the lake, so that was nice to cool me down as the run progressed. I'm actually hopeful I can someday actually be a 5k runner! Woot!

I also had a mini-victory in swim this week. I swam more than I'm used to. I swam two 400m, and then did four 50m sprints. On the first 400m, I just swam normal speed, but for the second (after a minute and a half break) I tried to beat my first time. I knocked a minute off! That's a ton! I've realized it takes me about 2 and a half minutes to swim 100m at a comfortable pace...then I decided to torture myself and look at Michael Phelps' numbers. 51 seconds. Yeah. Awesome.

But it's been a good

I also played our first softball game of the league. We got our asses handed to us. I hit twice but didn't make it on a base. Oh well. I feel like a jock now, by the way.

This post is a little scattered. Please forgive me.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Thursday adventure

I got to practice open water swimming this week! I haven't really (besides the river trip) done that, the tri in April! One thing that's great about the news business is that you know a lot about what's going on around town. Well, Thursday, I was informed that a nearby lake would have a free day all day. I turned to a co-worker and said, 'Hey, let's go!' It was one of those, if she's interested, it could be a lot of fun, but I'm just throwing it out there and she can grab or not. I didn't really think she was interested until she was about to leave and mentioned it. She said she'd be cool with me training and bit and her just splashing around. We went for it.

I grabbed my wetsuit, knowing I'd look like a dork out in it alone. We drove out there. I'd never been to that lake, and there were a lot of twists and turns on the drive and took a while to find actual WATER. Finally, we did. I put the suit on, and we jumped in. I decided to swim out to a far off marker and back. I can't imagine it was more than 300m, but I really don't know. It was a good swim. My suit was totally boyant and even swimming against the wind wasn't bad. I got out there, looked back and thought, 'Geez, that's far. Really far away.' I started back a couple strokes and stopped, getting a little freaked out because I was getting tired and it was far. I sat there treading water easily and realized I would be fine. It was so easy to tread water in the wetsuit, so I knew I could do it all day if I needed. That was all I needed. With the mini-freakout over, I swam back well. I didn't get freaked out about the vastness of the water (which I did in the tri and before), nor did I worry about not being able to see anything (Oklahoma lakes are gross) AND I swam in a fairly straight line. Pretty good stuff.

I'm going to make sure I get out on the open water a few more times before my September tri (and my August tri should help me practice racing), so I'll be better prepared. But overall, it felt good to swim in my wet suit in open water. Lovely.

Then, we tried to leave. After sitting around and talking, it was getting dark and time to head out. I was driving and figured we could make it back since we got there in the first place. We were a few miles north of the highway and a few miles west of town. Somehow, we turned or missed a turn and started heading straight west. Of course, I felt like I was heading south, or at least southwest. We ended up on a dirt road...I made a left turn, thinking I'd hit the highway, but instead we went on a bridge over the highway. Wait a minute, there IS no bridge on 51. I couldn't figure it out. We kept going...eventually we'd hit something we recognized, right? It was getting pretty dark, too. We then go under a bridge. I know I need to be turning left, but for miles, there is no left turn. Finally, we get on this paved street. Oh! There's a sign! We are in Orlando. A tiny town 20 miles WEST of Well, we drive through town and try to find 51. Finally, we stumble on it and continue the trek home, finally knowing where we are and how to get back. We're still not sure how this happened, but the 20 minute or so ride home took an hour. Good thing we like an adventure...right?