Friday, September 21, 2012
It's taken longer than expected to get this down, but here goes!
I can't believe I'm actually a triathlete. I remember I dated a triathlete in college and I thought, while it was super cool to date one, why on EARTH would someone want to do that? Three sports? One right after the other? Yeah, I'll pass. And now...well, now I love it!!
It was a beautiful morning. We were lucky with weather - well, I wish it had been colder...that way it would have been cooler for the run, but anyway - and our triathlon group got super lucky and our reserved bike rack was the first one next to the transition exit, so we knew we'd have a quick jump out of transition. We all got our stuff together, and then lined up for the start of our waves. Mine was the last one, since I was racing in the Athena group, so I had a little while to wait...which was fine. :)
(waiting for my wave...saying hi to my family)
I wasn't horribly nervous about the swim. I'm a decently strong swimmer, and I had my coach/trainer/dearest friend in my wave with me, so I figured if I could keep her in my sight then I'd be good. Of course, the closer our wave got...the more nerves kicked in.
(And we're off!)
The swim went really well. I felt strong and didn't get too freaked out by people bumping into me or the one lady who tried to backstroke over me. (Sorry for kicking you ma'am...but my fight or flight instinct kicked in, and well...it was fight.) I stayed with my coach the whole way. She was on my breathing side, so I just kept an eye on her bright pink sports bra when I breathed and let her deal with sighting for the most part. We actually caught the wave that started before us, and were out of the water in 18 minutes. My legs were a bit like jello coming out of the water and in the run to transition, which I didn't expect, but I just kept going. I'll train for that part a little better next time, and try to toughen my feet up a little for the run over the rocks, because that sucked! lol!
Thank goodess for whichever of the girls brought this little cooler...there was no way I could have stood up and put my shoes on at the same time. Transition took about 3-ish minutes, which I'd like to shorten in the future, but I think it was pretty decent for my first time. I didn't dally or waste time....just kept plugging along. It was really nice to be so close to the exit of transition so I didn't have to run with the bike very far. I did almost get crashed into by another lady who didn't quite have control of her bike right after she mounted it, so that was a little heart-attack causing, but fortunately she got it under control right at the last second. Phew!
My husband and I had driven the bike course beforehand, and I'm really glad we did so I knew what to expect on the bike. It was an out-and-back with rolling hills on a two lane highway, so we dealt with some traffic. I'm glad I did some rides out on our main roads instead of just on the trail, because I think I'd have been spooked with semis passing me if I hadn't. One poor girl got spooked by a semi (which was actually being really cool, giving us a wide berth) and she actually fell and broke the chain on her bike. I felt really bad for her.
The bike itself was kind of a blur...I know I passed a bunch of people, even on hills, which was pretty cool, and a few people passed me - but they weren't in my division, so I didn't care too much. The most exciting part of the bike was in the last two miles. I was cruising the last downhill when all of a sudden I felt a sharp stabbing pain in my abdomen. I looked down to see that I'd hit a bee and it had stung me....while going 35 mph. Holy crap that hurt!! The bee either disintegrated or bounced right off me, because just the stinger was sticking in my shirt, and while I was trying to figure out how badly I'd been stung (I'm mildly allergic - but have never been stung while exercising, so I was nervous) I ended up almost crashing on the shoulder. I pulled myself back together just in time though and got back on the road. The rest of the ride was pretty uneventful after that, and I finished the 20 mile bike in 1:16.
Transition took about another 3 minutes and then I was out on the run. The run actually almost did me in. I was NOT expecting the course to be as hilly as it was, nor did I expect there to be absolutely no shade on the course. It was a warm day and we were out on dirt trails and fire roads, so it was dry and sticky. I was pouring water on me at every aid station, of which there were three. The run just sucked. I need to prep better with heat training and more hills next year. My hopes for a 40-45 minute 4 miles were quickly dashed, but I felt better toward the end - or just had the intense, burning desire to be DONE - and ended up finishing the 4 miles in I think 50 minutes? Honestly there were moments on that run where I just wanted to stop and quit, so I'll take whatever finish time I could get.
I was never so happy to see a finish line! My family and friends were waiting there for me, so I got a ton of hugs and then had to steal my finisher's medal back from my 6 year old, then we waited for the awards ceremony for the Athena division because my coach had finished second! I cheered when they called her name, and then was quite surprised to hear that with a finish time of 2:35 I had finished strong enough for 4th place! I absolutely couldn't believe it!! I very proudly went up to get my award, all endorphin rush and cheesy grin.
(My coach and I just after the ceremony.)
Afterward I grabbed some food and waited for the rest of our team to finish and then got my free post race massage, which was AMAZING! Gosh, those massages are totally worth it, because I didn't have any soreness the next day.
So now my award is up on my medal wall as another motivator for me to get up and run in the morning. I'm still surprised and so pleased I placed. It was such an adventure though, and I'm so glad I did it! Next year's goals include an olympic distance triathlon for sure....after that, we will see how it goes.
Thanks for listening sparkies!!
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Has it really been THAT long? Gosh, I swear it was just yesterday. Have faith, my sparkies, that I didn't give up and quit....I've still been running and exercising, I just haven't been on SP. Life got away from me I guess. That's all I can really think to say. The "doing" became more important than the "tracking" and time slipped away. Of course, the tracking is what keeps me accountable, and while I've still been working, I haven't seen nearly the progress I had whilst I was tracking, so here I am, yet again. So, where have I been since we talked last?
Well, I ran my half marathon! I was so happy. Running in Monterey was amazing, and I'm so glad to have chosen the Big Sur Half Marathon for my first big race.
The whole experience was amazing, and while I had hoped to have a better time, I was pleased with 2:40 for my first half marathon. Yes, I said first. I was bitten by the HM bug, and I've come to love the race and the distance.
While I was still recoving from "The Great Tripping Incident of 2011" I came to really enjoy cycling...at least in class at the gym, so when our Holiday Bonus came in the adoring Hubs and I bought new bikes!
Cycling is so much fun! We are very lucky to have some amazing expanses of bike trails here in Sacramento, so we take advantage of them weekly for rides together. This, and my already strong love of swimming gave me the flicker of an idea to try triathlons, and I'm excited to say that my first triathlon is in September. I can't believe it!
Food and eating are still my weak points...which is a large reason why I think I need that accountability of tracking and having my online support system with you to keep me going. I'm excited to be recommiting myself to the other half of this healthy lifestyle I've been building for myself, and I'm working hard to build a stronger nutritional foundation.
Here goes nothing!
Tuesday, September 06, 2011
I am, once again, a runner!
Two months was far, far too long. One month of struggling and pushing too hard to overcome "The Great Tripping Incident of 2011" and not really coming out of it, and then another month of no running whatsoever to finally, actually HEAL. The good news was that the Doc told me my knee was strong and there was no structural damage. YAY! So I took the time off he recommended. I hated it...hated every second, but I did it, and I'm so ridiculously glad I did.
I've been back to running for 4 weeks now, and things are feeling good. I'm turtle slow - apparently the injury and the month off managed to ruin the running base I'd built, so I feel like I'm starting from scratch, but it just feels wonderful to be hitting the road again.
To try to stay healthy (i.e. NOT increase my mileage too much, too soon) and to give me a goal, I signed up for a *gulp* half marathon. I'd been toying with the idea before the injury, and the run isn't until the middle of November, so I thought, why not? Yeah, we'll see how this goes...me and my brilliant ideas.
Training is actually going well though. Recovering from the injury and stepping back into my shoes is actually FORCING me to appreciate my long runs....I can't run them fast(er) and I'm not supposed to, so my long slow run is currently my best friend. (Don't ask me how I feel after my weekly 2 miler on Tuesday...THAT'S where my lack of speed frustration comes in)
ANYWAY, I'm always on the lookout for fun new places to run that aren't the hilliest locations known to man (hello people, I'm supposed to live in the VALLEY, not the FOOTHILLS) and this weekend I came across a fantastic little run on my 5 miler. It's called the Humbug-Willow Creek trail in Folsom CA, and even though it's a "trail" it's actually paved and is quite nice. On new routes, I always manage to get lost in my run - finding out where each twist and turn takes me - but yesterday's run brought a kind of peace I haven't felt since the long run that ended with "The Great Trip". While these photos are not mine (found from Google) they may give you a little idea of how much I fell in love with this trail...
As evidenced by "creek" in the title, you wind around, next to, and over an awesome little creek and marsh through pretty much the whole run. This is one of the fantastic bridges you can run/bike/walk over on your path.
You weave over and around a pretty awesome abandoned railroad, and even though you're close to the main road in several places, you don't feel like you're in the middle of a growing city.
Getting lost in scenery like this is one of the things I love best about running!
A bonus to an awesome run location? I ran my whole five miles without ONE walking break...major bonus!
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Not running sucks.
It wasn’t until I couldn’t run that I realized just what running has brought to my life – both mentally and physically. I’ve been super stressed…work is insane; husband lost his job, son is starting kindergarten, money concerns, yeah…ALL of it has been fun rolling around in my head. And what has been the loudest thought beating a pulse through my brain? “I need to run.”
I NEED to run? When did running go from a “have to” to a “need/want to”? When did running become my escape? When did it become the way I cope with everything? I can’t tell you when it changed…or even how. I just know that somehow running clears all the cobwebs and lays all the issues out before me, like nothing else can. When I run, everything is so clear. When I run, the problems are like the hills I’m running – I can address them, attack them and conquer them, leaving them behind me.
But what happens when the problem is that I can't run? As you may know, I injured my knee/lower leg in some freak tripping incident in the last quarter mile of my 5 mile run two Sundays ago. It didn't hurt immediately - I actually finished my run - but by day's end I was limping and the knee was weak. Do I know what's wrong? No. Yeah, I should go to a doctor....sadly, due to the aforementioned hubby's lack of a job I can't really afford an MRI and all that good stuff right now. It's not swollen - never has been - nor has it bruised. I can walk fine now (spent three days limping like I've never limped before), I can swim, cycle, use the Arc or Eliptical....but no running.
I'm whining...I KNOW I'm whining. I can exercise just fine, I can keep going, so why the hell amd I whining? Because the only thing I want to do is run.
I know I need to heal...I have no idea what needs healing, but I know healing must take place. I'm whining because I feel like I'm watching all my miles of progress slip away while I sit here with ice on my leg. ARGH! I'm frustrated! If I'd done this to myself through overtraining, too many miles or something related to me pushing too hard, it would somehow be easier to take, but the fact that I derailed myself with about an inch and a half of curb and not picking up my foot far enough....well, that's almost insulting.
I'm trying to not spiral into emotional eating or letting the rest of the life stress get the best of me. I'm trying to keep on track and just work through the healing, but I can feel The Road and The Run calling my name. This is what I see, every time I close my eyes, and I want it back....
Thanks for listening to me cry...it's been a tough week and a half. I needed to try to get it all out of my head and this was the best way I could think of.
Sunday, June 05, 2011
It's May Progress Report Time!!
You'll notice I had to change the way I post the pics...unfortunately they're not cooperating with the monthly side-by-side anymore, so you'll see each month together. I'll have to figure out another way to post them to be side-by-side, but for now, here goes. :) Most recent are at the bottom:
Initial Photos - October 2008 - 206 lbs
January 2011 Photos - 186 lbs
February 2011 Photos - 180.8 lbs
March 2011 Photos - 176.6 lbs
April 2011 Photos - 171.6 lbs
May 2011 Photos - 169.8 lbs
I've lost a few more inches overall from last month to this month, but other than that I can't really *see* a difference between the two. Here's a side by side...April is on top, May is on the bottom.
I need to get back to strength training. NEED to. I just need to set a goal, work it back into my schedule and stick with it. I'm 5 weeks away from Kauai, and I can't say I'm bikini-confident yet. (Except, of course, for these lovely progress photos. lol)
Running feels great! I shaved another 21 seconds off my 5K PR in today's race...came in at 31:14. I still want to get under 30, but that'll be a goal I just keep chipping away at. I'll post a Race Report tomorrow about the race, and my running in general.
Have a great night sparkers!
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