ACORALSEA's SparkPeople Blog ACORALSEA's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community BP MS 150 and the ER The BP MS150 is one of the major charity cycling events in the country, and Texas hosts one of the largest. It's roughly 170 miles from Houston to Austin in 2 days, and, this year, there were some 14K riders scheduled. The vast majority camp overnight somewhere around the Houston area near the starting line, then around La Grange for the second day start. I've been wanting to do this ride for years and finally decided to take time off from off-season running and my triathlon season to train ... Mon, 20 Apr 2015 08:13:06 EST Marathon #8 done I've started 11, completed 8 marathons (2 became HMs due to injury or sick on route, 1 DNF due to heat exhaustion), and completed well over 20 HMs. <BR> <BR> This last marathon was as tough as I expected, with temps in the 50's and 92% humidity. Even the Elites were having a tough time (have you heard about the Elite African runner who literally crawled to the finish line?). It took just a bit longer than planned - I did take a short bio break, then helped keep some struggling runners and wa... Wed, 18 Feb 2015 14:27:41 EST Return to the marathon after 4 years The last full marathon I completed was in 2010. Since then, I attempted another, but, collapsed from heat exhaustion at mile 10 - it was in the 40'sF with 99% humidity and my body shut down. Not fun. <BR> <BR> A friend said she was going to train for another marathon after a few years hiatus, and I said I'd train with her. Because we are on opposite sides of the city, we trained separately. I've been a Coach with USAFit for over 10 years, now, so it was fairly easy for me. I say "fairly," be... Sat, 14 Feb 2015 09:01:28 EST Happy Valentine's Day <em>26</em> <em>214</em> <em>26</em> Sat, 14 Feb 2015 08:44:59 EST Life's too short, enjoy it Ever since I started a new job in August, my schedule has become tighter, busier, sometimes insane. It takes me up to 2X longer to commute than to my former job, costs 2X as much in gas, plus tolls if I take the tollway, for less than 50% of what our previous household income was before my DH was forced to retire (the company's new phrase for laying off the 65 yo crowd), and paying 100% of my health benefits. <BR> <BR> 4:30a - iPad sings the alarm to me, time to "wake up" the body <BR> 5:00 ... Fri, 12 Dec 2014 06:25:22 EST Making progress, one step at a time Well, I haven't completely given up, yet. I'm still training for what will likely be my last marathon, and making a bit of progress every long run. I've finally been able to run a mile without stopping. <BR> <BR> Yesterday, I ran 4 miles from my house to the trail and up to meet my team for our 6mi run. I added a .5mi loop, then finished the morning with 1.5 miles back toward the house, meeting my daughter at what we call "The Duck Pond." 12 miles total, but, those last 1.5 were hard - my kn... Sun, 9 Nov 2014 11:23:04 EST The long walk... Since February, after switching to a different make of running shoe, I've been fighting plantar fasciitis. Not a good thing for a runner/endurance athlete! Not that I'm at all talented as an athlete, but, I do have trophies, rankings, a feature article in USATF National Masters, and a wall of medals for all my efforts. So, I'd guess you can say I've done as well as I could. <BR> <BR> This weekend, my daughter and I did the Plano Balloon Festival Half Marathon (HM), which promised to be a lot... Mon, 22 Sep 2014 16:24:58 EST time flies June: quit my job, but, hubby won't let me retire <BR> <BR> July: my 4yo grandson spent the month - he learned to swim, ride a bike, how to color, play with clay; started a wellness program <BR> <BR> Aug: went on Fed gov't contract, lower pay, longer commute, no benefits, but pays the bills, they want me long term; the commute will be my undoing <BR> <BR> Sep: running season started and am coaching again, half marathon in 2 weeks; played Candy Crush for the first time (it's addictive) and ... Wed, 10 Sep 2014 21:14:19 EST Life's a beach... and sometimes you just need to share it with someone. Tue, 19 Aug 2014 03:23:22 EST 5.16 mi on the trail felt pretty good The Plano Balloon Festival HM is on Sep 21 and I need my feet ready! As I've only been able to walk just a few days all month, I've only been doing 2-3 miles on my weekday routes, swimming on weekends. So, this morning, I decided to see how my foot would do, and didn't wear my custom orthotics for my running shoes. <BR> <BR> Start 8:38a 76F 96% humidity (yikes) cloudy <BR> Finish 10:04a (1h24m) <BR> 5.16 mis walk only <BR> pace 16.67M (slow, but steady) <BR> <BR> All things considered, not ... Sat, 2 Aug 2014 17:31:00 EST What a July this has been! Since July 3, I've had our 4yo Grandson in my charge. He returned home with his father today, and My Darling Groom and I are feeling the emptiness in our home, We had so much fun: watching the 4th of July fireworks, teaching him how to swim, working on his basic academic skills, building sand castles on the beach at the lake. He learned how to play with our new little rescued Chihuahua, and how to color (he had totally refused to try, before). <BR> <BR> Meanwhile, I was hoping to enjoy a lon... Thu, 31 Jul 2014 16:17:39 EST Plant this fasciitis in the ground, already! Since April, I've been fighting plantar fasciitis. I finally had to break down and get a cortisone shot, then had new custom orthotics made for my running shoes. I also spent a few weeks in a boot cast. For the past week or so, however, my heel flared up again - auggh! <BR> <BR> This morning, I headed out for my usual weekday 2-mile run route, electing to walk it. Less than 5 mins in, I decided that perhaps I should just shoot for 20 mins. <BR> <BR> 10 mins in, I decided I should cut it sho... Mon, 23 Jun 2014 09:36:05 EST My daughter's first Triathlon was yesterday and so much fun! It could be called a super sprint, as the distances for all 3 disciplines are shorter than a standard sprint, and great for first-timers, rookies building experience, or advanced triathletes using it for training or conditioning. <BR> <BR> My daughter and I had planned to do her first Tri together. However, the prior 2 planned events had been rained out, and I am currently recovering from an injury that has kept me out of my tri season to date. So, our focus wa... Mon, 9 Jun 2014 12:30:50 EST 36 years + 2 Yesterday, My Darling Groom and I celebrated our 36th Anniversary, and we've been together 38. We married a little later than our friends, lasted longer than our friends, even lived longer than some of our friends (somewhat depressing). <BR> <BR> What has kept us together: <BR> his sense of humor <BR> my stubbornness <BR> we're best friends <BR> he's the love of my life <BR> he says I'm the love of his life <BR> he's my rock <BR> <BR> mostly, his sense of humor; he makes me laugh, even whe... Wed, 4 Jun 2014 07:45:14 EST Stuff happens, and then you move on... I didn't think I had been away THIS long, but, looks like I have! Finishing out 2013 was no fun: <BR> <BR> - my Director was making my job miserable and I wanted out <BR> - my Darling Groom was diagnosed with skin cancer AND emphysema (it gets worse...) <BR> - my head injury from the August tri was just not getting better as quickly as expected <BR> <BR> 2014 has not been much better: <BR> <BR> - my hubby is doing reasonably well, all things considered (but still smoking!) <BR> - I asked t... Mon, 2 Jun 2014 15:14:00 EST Tri hard, run faster November, already, time flies when you're either too busy or getting old! <BR> <BR> After the planned last Tri of my season got rained out, I registered at the last minute for another one a week later. It was very short: 150yd indoor swim, 5.5 miles on the bike (5 loops around the campus), 2.25 miles run (2x1 mi loop around campus + 1 loop around the track) with a stadium finish. <BR> <BR> Well…the bike route was very challenging - hard hills and speed bumps. My avg speed was only 9mph (ack... Sat, 2 Nov 2013 00:48:03 EST Anniversary of 9/11 12 years later and we should not forget the horrible loss of lives from foreign terrorist attacks against this country that shook us and the world into a new, dreadful reality. My Darling Groom was saved by a twist of fate that diverted him and his team from the Twin Towers that fateful morning. <BR> <BR> Although we've rebuilt on Ground Zero and constructed memorials, we still feel pain and anguish. I am thankful for our friends who served to fight back and protect us, and who returned, and... Wed, 11 Sep 2013 07:22:14 EST Struggled through swim workout I woke up in the dark of early morning and pulled on the running clothes I set out in my bathroom. However, one step outside into heavy humidity made me change my mind and text my Coach that I'll be heading to the pool, instead. <BR> <BR> She started me off on my usual 500m warmup. But, my legs felt like lead, my breathing was way off rhythm, and I kept stopping to catch my breath every 100m. Not at all normal for me. <BR> <BR> We then got into drills. Again, between struggling with my brea... Wed, 11 Sep 2013 07:07:58 EST Some people! Some people in this world are so miserable that they just don't know how to be any other way, and that's terribly sad. Worse, why do I attract such miserable people? <BR> <BR> I admit that I've never been a bubbly, cheerleader type, and I think that's perfectly okay. We're all different. But, one thing I've always tried to do is listen first, talk second - that's how to keep an open mind, be open to learning something new and from someone else. Plus, I've always been ready to offer support t... Tue, 3 Sep 2013 20:54:40 EST Newest achievement: RRCA Certified Race Director Another goal met, another step toward my dream retirement "job." <BR> <BR> Next related goals: <BR> - get a chapter of the Lupus Foundation started in my community <BR> - begin planning my first directed (short) race <BR> - incorporate (choosing a corporate name is hard) <BR> <BR> UPDATE 8/26/13 <BR> My company has agreed to organizing a kid's 1-mile fun run to be held during our first annual company picnic in November - <BR> <em>244</em> Mon, 26 Aug 2013 07:11:34 EST Obladee, Obladah... Life goes on... Fri, 16 Aug 2013 07:29:10 EST Finished USAT Age Group National Championships No matter how much you train or prepare, stuff happens! It was not going to be a great race for me, my only goal could be just to finish - and I did. <BR> <BR> 2 weeks out - threw my back out, got Chiropractic treatment, eased up training <BR> 1 week out - threw my back out, again, no running, only spin bike, stair stepper <BR> 1 day out - caught a cold, didn't want to take any chances on the practice swim; back still not 100% <BR> <BR> Event day - <BR> Swim - had breathing trouble, took 3... Sun, 11 Aug 2013 08:11:44 EST 2Days 'til another major journey... Wednesday morning, I board a train heading to Chicago, then Milwaukee for the USAT Age Group National Championships. My daughter is traveling with me for this adventure and to support me on another journey. <BR> <BR> The only constraint is that I pulled my back out 2 weeks ago, and re-injured it yesterday! So, with only 2 days until we leave, there isn't time to make up for any training lost this weekend. I am in taper mode, anyway, but, still need to keep the body prepped. <BR> <BR> I'm ho... Mon, 5 Aug 2013 07:05:57 EST Horrible at using trackers How many times have you read or been told that using trackers helps you with weight loss goals? I won't dispute this; I'm admitting that I'm absolutely horrible at doing this! <BR> <BR> There was actually a period of time when I had to go on a weight GAIN regimen! However, once I hit my late 40's, that seemed to backfire, and I started showing my genetic heritage from one side of the family - and it wasn't the skinny side! Now in my 60's, I keep hoping that all this work I put my body throug... Sun, 28 Jul 2013 09:51:45 EST I remember when... a 1000m swim workout felt hard <BR> running a full mile straight felt impossible (sometimes still does) <BR> getting on a bike was far too scary (sometimes still is) <BR> 20 minutes on the treadmill was difficult (I still hate the treadmill) <BR> I couldn't hold a plank position for longer than 20 secs <BR> I couldn't breathe bilaterally doing laps in the pool <BR> I couldn't imagine going further than a 5K <BR> I couldn't imagine doing what I now do <BR> <BR> Once you start challenging your... Wed, 24 Jul 2013 21:44:49 EST TDF over, now what... What a great Tour de France for the 100e edition. The new up and coming cyclists made it an exciting challenge to the remaining of the "regular" contenders from the past years. <BR> <BR> Our LifeTime Fitness team participated in a TDF challenge sponsored by a local bike shop, the goal to accumulate the most individual and team miles over the 21 stages. One fellow racked up over 300 miles the first couple of days! Well, I may be the one with the least number of miles, but, I'm also the one wh... Mon, 22 Jul 2013 07:52:12 EST 4 weeks 'til USAT National Championships I know, I've been away a long time. A lot has been going on, both personally, at work, and with my training. There are only 4 more weeks until the USA Triathlon National Championships, and I'm feeling very anxious. My last competitive Sprint distance would not have qualified; then again, it was ridiculously hot! I was 8 mins slower than predicted on the swim; 10 mins slower on the bike; mostly walked the run, plus stopped several times to ice down. T1 took 7 mins, 3 of which were on the long ... Thu, 18 Jul 2013 00:11:10 EST Nothing to fear but fear itself...why am I afraid? It's 3am. From 9am to 9pm, I'll be in meetings, one right after the other plus a meetup after work. I can't sleep... <BR> <BR> In 4 weeks is a Sprint Triathlon that I've done before. But, since the series of crashes last year, I've suffered anxiety just standing next to my bike. Yes, I have been on it, just not as often as I used to...I'm afraid of it. <BR> <BR> The Sprint is easy enough, in spite of the summer heat here in Central Texas. Silly me to harbor such silly fear...but, it's very ... Tue, 23 Apr 2013 04:37:13 EST Qualified for USA Triathlon Age Group Olympic Distance Nationals Who would have thought! <BR> <BR> Such a shocking surprise I found on my USAT member page, then found the email with my VIP registration link, to the Nationals - this old lady, LOL! <BR> <BR> So, yes, I'm registered and making travel arrangements to Milwaukee, WI, the host city. Who knows when I'll ever qualify again. <BR> <BR> This is going to be an adventure... Sat, 20 Apr 2013 18:59:12 EST No whining! The following is the speech my daughter delivered to our training team's pre-race pasta dinner the Friday before the Austin 26.2013/2013.1 (Marathon/Half Marathon). I wasn't there because I was on a date with my hubby (who's usually traveling so Thurs, Valentine's Day, had to be delayed): <BR> <BR> It Began with a 5K for Clay… <BR> <BR> Once upon a time, a tiny blonde woman ran across the road in front of our car. Some months later, she was waiting at a traffic light on Chisholm Trail Rd, i... Sat, 23 Feb 2013 19:43:59 EST On being brave My Master Prof in University used to say, "Be brave." I was the only female, at the time, in his advanced studies program, one of a very few women in the Graduate Studies program, and the only woman in his Foreign Studies program traveling to the Middle East. It took being brave and fearless to do this. <BR> <BR> When as a kid on vacation with my family at a ranch in California, I clung to a runaway cow pony that took a turn toward the highway before coming back around and charging toward t... Wed, 23 Jan 2013 06:20:05 EST My daughter finally beat me to the finish line :) Some of you know that my daughter (28) has been my Assistant Coach in the Marathon/Half Marathon training program that we've participated in for the past several years. I took her through her first half marathon, then her first marathon, and we've done the Austin Distance Challenge, among countless other distance races, together, including repeats of 26.2 and 13.1. <BR> <BR> On 1.13.13 we did 13.1 at the 3M HM. She has been improving her pace and the distance that she can run straight throug... Thu, 17 Jan 2013 06:31:27 EST 2 weeks to marathon No, not my first; this next one makes #7 (or 8?), but may very well be my last. However, my daughter reminded me that, like the character "Monk," I have certain special numbers (his was 10, mine is 12) - things must be in sets of 12. Therefore, I won't be happy until I get to #12 - according to her. <BR> <BR> However, this has not been my best year for training for anything, it has been my absolute worst. A series of bike crashes and problems with my feet have made training a bit difficult, ... Tue, 27 Nov 2012 04:48:24 EST 20-miler done, marathon 3 weeks away Slow going, a little over 4 hrs, but, got it done. My pace was terrible; then again, my schedule said to do a 4hr duration run/walk at level of effort 1. That's just what I did. <BR> <BR> Heaven help me on my marathon on 12/09. I'll finish it, just a matter of how well...and, I think it may be the last full one for me. <BR> <BR> Then again, that's what I said last year... Mon, 19 Nov 2012 17:58:37 EST Finally able to tackle hills, again... It has taken a few weeks, but, my knee is finally able to take a hill - and what a monster hill we train on! It's so steep that you can't see the bottom from the top - yikes! <BR> <BR> Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation (RICE) plus exercising discipline (meaning, not doing anything stupidly stubborn) helped the healing process, as well as changing the type of inserts I was wearing in my running shoes. Working for the largest company in the orthotics and prosthetics industry also helps, as ... Thu, 18 Oct 2012 05:04:55 EST The ankle bone is connected to the knee bone... What started out to be an easy level of effort 10-mile walk/run on the local trail turned out to be an ankle turner, but, I didn't know that until the next day. It started out fairly well, and I had to keep reminding myself that it was a duration training walk/run, meaning, it didn't matter how far I went, only how much time I spent on the route. So, I headed out from my house toward the trail on a lovely morning for a 2-hour tour. <BR> <BR> I hit mile 5 in just over 1 hour, mostly walking a... Wed, 26 Sep 2012 06:42:38 EST Made the USATF National Masters News Finally created a soft copy of my interview in the USA Track & Field National Masters News Phidippides Spotlight, Feb 2012: <BR> <link><BR>ppidesfeb2012.pdf </link> <BR> <BR> Enjoy <BR> <em>41</em> Sun, 23 Sep 2012 16:06:26 EST 1st Place AG in Super Sprint Tri Last Sunday, I did a little Super Sprint, #2 in a series of 3, with a running buddy who was doing it as her very first Triathlon. It consisted of a 300m swim, 11 mile bike ride, and ended with a 5K run. <BR> <BR> Well, that swim was a snake swim in the pool, which was an experience. I practiced for it,but, it was still weird. Fortunately, because we were started according to our stated 200m pace, I had padded it by an extra 2 minutes to allow for having to duck under the lane rope several ti... Thu, 9 Aug 2012 07:26:50 EST Half as fast as an Olympian LOL I love watching the Olympics, as, I'll bet, so do most of you. However, this mere mortal is more than acutely aware that I would never have been on the world's biggest stage, as I never had any athletic ability (contrary to what my daughter chooses to believe about me). My goal as a late adult onset athlete is simply to finish as best I can. <BR> <BR> So, when the Games began, I was watching one of my favorite events, swimming. During the women's 100m, looking at the finish times, I started ... Sat, 4 Aug 2012 06:33:02 EST Beat the fear of my bike! After letting the bike beat me on Saturday, I got up early and took back control. 10 miles of hill repeats over about 40 minutes were brutal on my legs, but, it's really what I needed to do to get that silly fear out of my head. Followed by 2 miles of breaking in my new Tri running shoes, my legs weren't happy. Nonetheless, I counted this as a short brick, and it was better than shying away from that first pedal stroke that eluded me on Saturday. <BR> <BR> We're back in the saddle, again, <B... Mon, 23 Jul 2012 22:08:34 EST Afraid of my bike... Preface <BR> <BR> Over the final few weeks leading up to a half ironman that I had trained so hard for, I suffered a series of bike crashes. The last one was the weekend prior to the event, and it was not pretty. A couple of my training buddies and a handful of medical personnel at the site of the crash told me that there was no way I'd be doing the event. Nonetheless, I went, dropped my entry down to a shorter distance, and off I started. <BR> <BR> The Tri was a complete disaster, ending i... Sat, 21 Jul 2012 10:43:34 EST Out of bed 6:45am, slept in! Ordinarily, I'm out of bed by 4:30, letting my body wake up, and will either be at the gym or getting ready for work. As I'm taking this month off from any training, essentially, I'm trying to get rested before picking up my schedule, again. <BR> <BR> Sometimes, that's just what you need to do. Sat, 9 Jun 2012 18:33:48 EST Not my year, but rebuilding... There's a bit of competitive edge in me that keeps me going. There's also a part of me that I've not known before, the one who knows when to quit. <BR> <BR> You see, I'm not one to quit. I've pushed through fractured feet, screaming lower back pain, heat exhaustion and dehydration to make it to the finish line, and all I ever wanted to do was finish. People have called me "tough." Maybe I am. <BR> <BR> But, the Tri is getting the best of me, this year. My Half Ironman goal was crushed by a ... Fri, 1 Jun 2012 05:33:17 EST A glutton for punishment I promised myself 4 months off, no events between now and September. So, I registered for the CapTex Tri Sprint. <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Why? <BR> <BR> Because I had such a disastrous Tri last weekend. I've done the CapTex Sprint before, it was my first in 2010. This is about redeeming my tri season and starting over. This is about being disappointed in myself and wanting to face my own demons. <BR> <BR> My Darling Groom just wants me to make sure I am good to go physi... Tue, 1 May 2012 03:26:23 EST The Fates were right, this was not to be my day to Tri I've trained for the swim and run; the bike was my biggest concern. Then, there is always the weather... <BR> <BR> The water temp yesterday was at 76, still wetsuit legal. Known concerns on the bike route, like cattle guards, were somewhat resolved - the first one would be covered with plywood, as it was to be on the run route; the next two would be left open (yikes!). The route had also been changed a bit; but, there was still one short stretch across a main highway that would become treach... Sat, 28 Apr 2012 16:59:56 EST 3 days...not the half ironman I had in mind In 3 days, I will do another Triathlon. My goal was a Half Ironman; but, the Fates had something else in mind. After 6 crashes in as many weeks, my most recent just last weekend during my longest bike ride to date, I had to make the decision to drop down to the Olympic distance. My knee has suffered too much trauma and the challenging HIM bike route might get the best of me. <BR> <BR> Olympic (International) Distance <BR> <BR> 1500m swim (no problem) <BR> 25 mile bike (I'll live) <BR> 10K r... Wed, 25 Apr 2012 21:46:19 EST My "angel" comes to the rescue, again... What started out a promising day for a long-ish ride around 40 miles ended up an adventure. Somehow, it was destined to be that way. <BR> <BR> Four of us met at a local park from where we could safely approach a great road for riding a bike. The route is slightly challenging with rolling hills, but the road is new and lightly traveled and takes you through beautiful pastoral countryside. Overcast skies with a 20% chance of rain are pretty good conditions; however, strong winds were predicted... Sat, 14 Apr 2012 20:59:30 EST Bike is back in business After falling off my bike a 3rd time, and this during what was supposed to be a long training ride, I took it into the shop. Lo and behold, it wasn't my pedals, it wasn't user error, there were definite mechanical problems. I was promised a pro tune-up and replacement parts, although a particular part needed to be ordered, as they don't sell my particular brand of bike (there's only 1 dealer in our area and he has exclusive rights, a former pro cyclist who's very cool). Well, had I been able... Sat, 7 Apr 2012 01:53:10 EST CAP10K 2012 with my Mom In spite of a disastrous long ride on Saturday, when my chain slipped 3X and I finally fell off into the shoulder, I walked with my Mom on the Cap10K. At 83, she can still walk the distance, but I wanted to make sure someone was with her. So, I went as an untimed walker and we had a lovely stroll around the city on a beautiful sunny morning. <BR> <BR> My sister and a baseball mom friend of hers, who knows Mom, joined us as bandit participants just past mile 1 and walked the rest of the way w... Sun, 25 Mar 2012 23:34:24 EST Two falls don't make a right... ...that just sounded cool In my head, haha! <BR> <BR> My bike is teaching me more than I ever imagined, and, in spite of the tumbles and scrapes, it's all for the best. Two times tumbling because I couldn't clip out fast enough has led me to learn about maintaining the pedals. <BR> <BR> My swim is teaching me the importance of consistency. A consistent stroke means consistent breathing cadence, means greater efficiency, means better performance. <BR> <BR> All this can be translated to less... Thu, 22 Mar 2012 20:41:34 EST