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?