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.