Tri Diva Reunion Event? Hell, yeah!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Official Ride Results!

You can click on the results to see it larger.

So remember how I was beating myself up? After receiving the ride results today, it is clear I definitely was not the only one having a hard time! There is no way that out of nearly 500 riders, that I finshed as well as I did.

Just some confirmation that this course was challenging for everyone. :)

All in all a great experience (except for the road conditions of the course -- still hated that). Should have the official race pictures next week!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Flipping Out!

HAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I learned how to do flip turns today!

Yes... probably something I should have learned a long time ago... but today was actually the first time it really came up in the training session with Olga. She said, "Can you do flip turns?" I said, "No." She said, "I'll teach you today!" I said, "Ok."

It started with jumping with my knees coming up to my chest. Next was a somersault in the water. Next was somersault with a twist. Next was take a few strokes, somersault, twist and kick out and try to touch the wall. Next was get closer, try again until you make contact with your feet on the wall to push off. Next was contact and going sideways instead of forward. HAHA. Next was my first successful flip turn. And now, after just the one lesson it feels so natural. I LOVE FLIP TURNS!

I am cold though. They had the pool at like 87° but it still felt relatively chilly. And now that I'm sitting at home happily pinching myself because I can't believe I learned flip turns so fast, I'm realizing I'm quite cold.

FLIP TURNS! *doing a little flip turn jig* I feel like I'm really getting somewhere with this!

Go in peace and love... I LOVE FLIPS TURNS! I honestly feel like this might be one of the biggest boosts to my training ever. There is so much more power in flip turn. Now if I could get my breathing worked out.

Monday, October 27, 2008

LiveSTRONG Ride Race Report

Last night I sat down to the computer and started writing a blog entry that pretty much found more failure on my behalf than success this weekend. The things I said about myself I would never have said to a friend. On the ride home, after talking about the weekend, several things occurred to me.

This weekend is not about me and my accomplishments. I mean, it is to some degree, but that's the least of it in the big picture. The weekend was about everyone challenging themselves by doing what others cannot, while raising money and awareness for Cancer... all kinds of Cancer.

Darren reminded me of what one of the announcers said, "This weekend is about giving YOUR 100%" And that 1 person's 100% might not be the same as someone else, so there is no reason to feel badly about what I did or did not accomplish.

I did the 5K at a 12.2 pace -- that's phenominal for me. The ride, well, that was a different story. I registered for the 65 miles and decided to do the 45 mile ride and it turned into 30 miles.

I started the ride and was quickly separated from my friends once we hit the hills. 2 of them were new to biking and through no fault of their own, they were going to be slower just because they were on mountain bikes. I felt badly, but there was little I could do except sit on the roadside and wait. I took liberty meeting some of the folks who were on the roadside cheering everyone on to show appreciation (and to give my friends a chance to catch-up). The cheerleaders along the course are so inspiring... just when you think you have nothing left, they just talk you through it. We had cattle ranchers, cowbells, marching bands and just good ol' fashion lawnchair observers watching us do our thing.

The ride started out fun, but I knew immediately the 5K took a ton out of my legs. I didn't want to admit it. I thought that if I just kept spinning I would get my legs back.

The course was immediately challenging. Keep in mind (I didn't know this before I started) these are the same roads Lance rides on routinely. The climbs were steep and the downhills were freakin' scary -- even with a head-wind, imagine 30+ mph, downhill, on a bike! I passed up the first rest-stop at just 4 miles in (it was BUSY!) and went on to the 2nd.

Things quickly went downhill (no pun intended). I got 2 flat tires before the 10 mile mark. Ugh! I changed one, then a mile up the road got another (the tube was bad). Had 1 tube left... if it went I would get a DNF, as the SAG wagon didn't stock tubes with the extra-long valve.

I got back on the bike and my legs and hips were just tired. No burning no anything, just tired... like I had no juice. I had to get off my bike several times to make it to the top of a couple climbs. I even called my friend Courtney for some inspirational speech on my cell phone -- or to at least let someone know that if I didn't return to send out the search parties. Seriously, at one point we were joking as the raven's were circling over our heads. LOL I was feeling pretty badly physically and was beating myself up pretty good mentally. I just couldn't understand why I didn't have it in me... I mean, I did the MS150... never had to dismount my bike once! I thought about all the things I had managed to do, but couldn't see why this was such a problem -- I thought, "It's just another challenge."

I got to the second rest stop and I took a long break, ate and hydrated. Went potty and checked out the map. At just 15 miles in, the thought of SAGging back crossed my mind briefly as my hips and legs were killing me. I realized that people were cutting their distance down by re-entering the ride at a different spot.

So after much argument with myself, I decided I would do the same -- at least I wouldn't be SAGging, and 30 miles in these hills was still a huge challenge. By the time I allowed myself to take the shortcut they were packing up the rest-stop -- that's how far behind I was. As I headed up the road I came across my friends. They were plodding along trying to make it to the stop to get some food and hydration. I stopped them and told them they were packing up, but a SAG wagon came by and gave them some food and drink. I told them my plan, and they were for it too. They were giving it their 100% -- we all were. It was just hard!

We re-entered the ride, and thankfully had tail-winds. I needed every bit of help. The chip-gravel, bumpy roads were causing my elbows to ache. Everytime I rode over a set of cattle grates I prayed I wouldn't wipe out. Cattle grates are almost like shallow ditches with pipes spaced out across them to keep the cattle from going up the road. They're hard on the bike. In fact, I think that's how I got my first pinch flat.

I can say this though... I was ahead of Lance on the course! That is until he passed me! LOL He was doing the 90 mile route. I had hit about 23 miles and a cop car came up behind me. The SWOOOOSH, like a swarm of bees, Lance and his guys zipped past me. Then, a couple minutes later, the group of guys that he dropped s. It was kind of wild to know that I just rode next to Lance, even if it was for a nano second. LOL

Word on the course was that some woman beat Lance's time by 5 minutes... evidently she hangs out at Mellow Johnny's, Lance's bike shop in Austin. Don't know if it's true, but that was the word.

The last coule miles were a welcomed change from the chip-gravel country roads. We were on the regular pavement and with no hills and a tailwind I was actually going 23 mph!

I crossed the Finish and felt a little defeated. But I'm not going to focus on that. Because having done the 5K the day before and riding the following day is something new for me and my body. Just because I can ride 2 days back-to-back, doesn't mean I can just waltz in and over-achieve.

I have every reason to feel good. I did give this MY 100%, and I do.


Saturday, October 25, 2008


Forgot my jacket...

Forgot my water bottles...

Probably would have forgotten my head if it weren't attached to my shoulders!

It was beautiful weather here in Austin. I really like this city. I don't know what it is, but there is such a laid-back feeling about it. Even the downtown hustle and bustle is low-key. This morning it looked like cyclists and runners run everything in this town. LOL

It was nice and cool, not too cold. By the time we made it to the Start area Starbucks had opened just in time (pure joy!) for both potty and coffee! I had a part of a banana muffin, part of a banana and about a 1/2 cup of yogurt fruit and granola, compliments of the Texas Culinary Institute.

Lance was not present at the festivities, but Evan Handler, from Sex and the City, was there in his place. I didn't know he was a Leukemia survivor.

It started and I heard my Daughter, "Go Mommy, go! go Mommy, go!" I makes me smile that she loves to cheer me on! She said it's Okay if I don't win, because I'll have more fun than all the other Mommies. :)

Anyway, I worked most of the run in 5 minute intervals, running 3 to 4 minutes of each interval (where I could). Although I think San Francisco lost a couple hills to Austin's downtown area, but I trekked up those hills like I meant it. On my "rests" I couldn't get my heart rate lower than 154 (that I saw anyway) after the first mile. Most of the time my heart rate was around 165 to 170!

I started my heart rate monitor as I crossed the start, and in the end I finished in an unofficial 38 minutes - that's a 12.2 minute pace. That was waaaaay better than I ever would have expected. I did have a timing chip, so I'll get the official results soon.

I grabbed a LiveStrong Pompom from a volunteer for my biggest cheerleaders who greeted me at the Finish.

We headed to iHop and talked about how Cassie and Daddy would start practicing with Mommy and we can all run a 5K together! Incidentally, there were a bunch of little ones there... not much older than Cass!

We stopped at the LiveSTRONG Village where Mommy scored another free water bottle (water bottle problem solved), Cassie scored a free tot-sized LiveSTRONG tee (probably because she's too cute! I can say that, I'm here Mom). We had silly magazine cover pictures taken in an effort to win a Nissan Maxima or a Trek bike or some other prizes. Last, I bought an awesome LiveSTRONG jacket .

More later, including pictures -- can't upload this super-duper memory card to the laptop. We're headed out to the Austin State Fair.

Tomorrow, the LiveStrong Ride. :)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

2009 MS150

I can't believe it. I did it. I signed up for the MS150 Houston to Austin again.

Registration for the event opened at 10:15 yesterday and by 1:52 pm it was over 80% full. 13,000 slots goes pretty fast!

It's also the 25th anniversary for the event, so hopefully it will be one to remember. I'll be riding with Team Mission Control. :)

Training for the MS150 will be good for me, partnered with the training for the 2009 Danskin. I have to figure out a new workout schedule, but I definitely need to dedicate at least 1 day to the swimming pool.

The Cadence function on my bike computer is already proving to make a difference in my riding. It kind of opens my eyes to how I utilize my energy. Hopefully this will make me more efficient and make my training more productive.

Just a couple weeks until the LiveSTRONG 5K and ride. I'm looking forward to the event. I'm sure Lance will remember me from the raffle drawing in 2003. LOL

Happy training girls!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tri Mama?!?

I guess I'm officially in the off-season. :) I am 21 weeks pregnant with twin boys! I'm so excited about this new chapter in my life. While I'm obviously going to be taking a baby time-out, I am still 100% committed to the Danskin Austin in June. My due date is 2/22 and I look forward to returning to my training in a reasonable amount of time.

Looks like we'll have two more fans in the Tri Divas entourage next year!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Danskin Dreams

Danskin Austin is 8 months away, but the event is already taking up a nice chunk of real estate in my head. I plan to do at least one other sprint triathlon before Danskin in June, but I can't help but focus on the Austin event. I feel the purpose of this year's tri was simply to prove to myself that I could do it. I wasn't focused on individual discipline/transition times. I just wanted to cross the finish line without having my gimpy foot in a ziplock freezer bag. Mission accomplished.

For Danskin '09, I have a few elements I'd like to improve before Sally does her warm-up cheer...

Put in serious pool time: I made no secret of my aversion to swim training and while it didn't take me 2 days to finish the 1/2 mile swim, 29 minutes is nothing to truly celebrate. Austin *must* be different. I may always view the swim as the necessary evil in triathlon, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't improve on my weakest event. The Austin course has a turn and depending on who you talk to, this may/may not add a degree of difficulty. I actually appreciated the Chicagoland swim because it was straight across the lake. It was nice to be able to look up and see the finish (an integral part of the swim mind games I was playing LOL).

Transitions: Ok, I know this year's Danskin wasn't a time issue for us, but we spent a HUGE amount of time in the transition areas. Seriously, we did everything but pull out a grill and make paninis. My goal for Austin is to keep it short and sweet. The "team togetherness" element will be removed (we've all pretty much agreed that we'll be sappy before and after the race...the middle part? every woman for herself), so I'm going to treat T1/T2 like my tri idols do.

Bike: My best event and the chance to make up the most time. The Austin course is hilly and I plan to train accordingly. I did part of the Danskin route during Ride for the Roses and I remember a few crazy hills and one ridiculous downhill that has a sharp turn at the end. Umm...why?

Run: I *have* to change my mindset about running. It's no secret that I despise it. People tell me I'll love it once I really get into it. Doubtful. If I do end up becoming a runner by the time this is all over, I'll eat a running shoe. Seriously. It will be a hit on youtube. Anyway, it is pointless for me to work so hard improving my other times, only to finish by walking the 5K portion. Even a steady jog would be better than walking, eh?

Losing Poundage: The more I lose, the less I have to haul on the course. I'd also like to look better overall. Tri suits are unforgiving and I want less rolls in the bakery for '09. I'll even do a side-by-side comparison. If y'all don't see a major improvement between 2008/2009, you can let me have it, mmmkay? If I don't get serious about getting the rest of this weight off, it will be here forever. I'd also like to get my beloved D&B bag before it's officially out of style.

So, that's my focus right now. Boring entry for those not interested in training, but after the shock/excitement/chaos that's entered my life lately, I need something to encourage discipline/structure/sanity.

Have a great week!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

What's the Plan Stan?

Okay, 21 days until the LiveSTRONG. That's a 5K on Saturday and *cough* 62 miles on the bike Sunday. Yeah, I wussed. I changed from the 90+ to the 62. I just haven't been on the bike enough and that's just the flat-out truth.

The Bike Around the Bay was cancelled due to Ike. :( Kinda bummed about that, but there are other rides.

November 2nd is the Tour de Donut. Donuts at every rest-stop; as many as you can eat. For every one you consume, you get a 5 second finish credit. LOL You can finish before you even start if you eat enough!

November 19th is a new ride in Wallis, TX. The Independence Ride. Benefits civil servants who fight the "global war on terror". I think I'm going to do this one. :)

I would love to get to Dallas to roll with y'all for the Turkey ride, whateve that was. I'm thinking about how that could work out. Just don't know if my family will be here yet.

MS150 registration is open on October 15th. I believe I am going to move forward with it. This will be a challenge for me, doing it on my own. My secondary goal is to be more *social* and make friends... I just don't do that well in real life *sigh*

Already know the first ride in 2009 will be the Frost 50. April will be right around the corner and that's the MS150. I'll need every ride I can get.

Oh... and don't think I'm not thinking about the Danskin Austin. I'm there... like white on rice. :)

A Finisher's Towel?

I finished! I finished! I finished! I finished! I finished! I finished!

2 Hours, 27 minutes, 23 seconds.

I beat my goal! I beat my goal! I beat my goal! I beat my goal!

I was going in with a plan of 2 and a half hours and I beat it!

Play by play!

5:00 am Up to eat a peanut butter, banana and honey toasted sandwich. Wanted to make sure everything would digest before I got caught out in the middle of nowhere without a bathroom.

5:30 am Dressed, writing down directions to Claremore Rec Center. Loading my bike. Double checking my sock sitaution.

5:40 am. Leaving the house. STOP! Don't have my sunglasses. They're kind of hard to remember when it's pitch black outside.

5:42 am On the road again.

6:20-ish Arrive at Claremore Rec Center... put bike together, gather belongings, whimper in fear, head to check in and transition area setup.

Then I stood around for a long time. Had to pee... a lot. Fear pee. You know. Adreneline pee. A little chit chat, I recognized a few people I've done Running 101 with... mostly just pacing back and forth to keep from unracking my bike, taking my toys and going home.

7:30 am Time to line up numerically to get in the pool. It was a time trial, a person going in the pool every ten seconds. I was 112... and there were maybe 15 people set to jump in after me... they weren't slower, they just signed up later than I did.

I have no idea what time I went in the pool... I didn't have a watch... I didn't have my Garmin (not waterproof)... and I really missed it... but I think it would have messed with my head, honestly.

The swim was ... scary. I started out too fast and I could immediately feel it. It's so hard to slow yourself down when you've got people swimming on top of you though. People could pass but it was nerve jangling to say the least. The first lane was one way only, then all the middle lanes were up and back, the last lane was one way only and make your way around a corner to the walk out. I had a few people pass me and almost kick me in the face and I passed one person. I made it out of the pool.

Then it was about 100 yards to the transition area. I was a little fearful of this part... it was barefoot transition and I was terrified I would step on something. Before everything started, it hadn't been swept up all that great... but I didn't notice walking over anything on the way out... so either everyone else had stepped on it first, or it had been cleared.

Swim cap off, goggles off, dry feet off very quickly, sit down, socks on, shoes on, stand up, sunglasses on, helmet on, gloves on, walk the bike to the mounting area... and we're off on the bike.

I was led to believe (meaning I will be doing my own research from here on out thank you very much) that the bike portion was a big hill at the beginning, then flat out and back and a downhill finish. It was not that. And at this point... I was sucking air pretty bad... I didn't slow down enough in the swim to really catch a breath break (best swim time yet though!) and so I hit the first hill and started wanting to vomit. I hit the second hill... and horror of horrors, I was about to start going backwards. I stumbled off my bike and walked up the hill. I am not ashamed of it (or at least now I'm not)... I was freaking out... walking up a hill! Like not even a mile out of the bike gate! But I think walking that hill gave me a chance to get my breath back, calm down a little, take stock of how I was doing and just get on with it.

Then I hit the rolling hills on what was supposed to be (because someone told me and I didn't do my own research) a flat course. I can tell you now that the curses were flying out of my mouth. It was NOT ladylike. But I wonder sometimes if I am even ladylike... so who cares, the f-bombs were flying.

As I mentioned, I didn't have my Garmin (for one, I had semi-decided that it would take too much time to get it started in the transition area since I couldn't wear it in the pool... I hadn't thought about just turning it on and leaving it there ready to go, but all I was thinking about was that sometimes it takes some time to "locate the satellite"... I didn't want to wait. Oh and yeah, I forgot to even bring it with me)... so not knowing what the mileage was was kind of driving me crazy... but in another sense, not know how much further I had to go was ok too... I was terrified of more rolling hills... it did flatten out about mile 5 if my mental calculations are right... but coming back from the turnaround, I'd lost momentum... which made the flats coming back really hard too... and then I knew what I would be facing with the rolling hills too. Coming back... I almost called it quits. I'm serious. I almost just threw in the towel, said this is a crazy thing to do, I quit.

Then my chain slipped. And I really thought I was having a serious enough equipment malfunction to validate my thoughts about quitting. I once again stumbled off my bike (with a big hill right in front of me, GOD!), got down on my hands and knees to look at the chain, fumbled with it for what felt like an eternity, pulled this, pushed that, finally figured out how to get it slipped back into place (not broken, luckily!) ... stood there for a second contemplating waiting for the race official to call me in as a DNF... got on my bike, rode up the damn hill... and kept going. Over what felt like hill after hill after hill.

At one point, the race official (on a motorcylce) was riding right behind me (there was only one other biker behind me at this point, and I honestly thought she took herself out at the turnaround and that he was right behind me because I was very, dead, last.)... but he was the nicest guy... he kept saying you only have one more hill to make it up... I'm going to ride ahead and tell them you are on your way, speed it up on this downhill so you can make it up that last hill. You can do it!

And I did. I stumbled into the transition area again. Changed into my running shoes. Had to retie one of the shoes because it was falling off ... my hands were shaking at this point and I wasn't breathing very well again... and then I realized that my ass was broken. My right ass to be specific. It still hurts and I suspect tomorrow will be worse. So I kind of lumbered across the run start line.

Let me stop here and say something... those other people, other competitors, and all the event volunteers were just AWESOME! On the bike when I passed someone who had already turned... they were so nice! DOING GREAT! JUST UP AHEAD! AWESOME JOB! They were so supportive, I almost started bawling my fool head off. And the run was the same way. Everyone I passed was just so kind! You're doing great! Keep it up! It gets easier once you're up the hill!

Now onto the run. I had nothing left. I tried. I really, really tried. But I came to the physical point where all I could do was put one foot in front of the other walking. So I walked it. And there was a BIG hill to climb. And once again, I really wished I'd had my Garmin with me... because I just kept walking, and walking and walking... I really thought I'd missed the turnaround... I was this close to turning back around to see if I'd missed it somewhere, when I sighted the cone. I'm really glad I didn't turn around... I would have hated to get all the way through to the halfway point of the run and get disqualified because I got off the route.

The guy at the turnaround was also awesome. I still can't tell you how nice these people were and how encouraging and how wonderful they were. At this point I really thought I was the very last one and I was touched at how much encouraging energy they had left for the last participant. But they were awesome.

I turned around... and headed back. I tried to run a little, but I still just didn't have it. My legs were just too heavy. And strangely, I had NO cramps in my legs, but my ARMS (forearms) were starting to draw up. It was the weirdest sensation. That's when I passed the last girl who I thought had DNF'ed at the bike turnaround. I was so happy to see her! She was just as determined as me to finish! I whooped at her and she yelled for me. It was so awesome to see such determination on her face. I can only wish that other people were as proud of me as I was of her.

I rounded the next few corners... finish line in sight... still didn't run until I got to a place I knew I could sustain a run over the finish line... one of the volunteers came out to meet me, she said, RUN NOW! I'll pace you in! So I ran into the chute... Smiling the goofiest smile I've ever smiled as they took my picture coming over the finish line.... and then they gave me a finishers towel.

I'll admit, I was sad it wasn't a medal... but I got a towel... And I'm going to sleep with that towel tonight and don't think I'm in any way kind of kidding.

Go in peace and love... But for now, I'm going to lay down, take a nap and relish in the sense of accomplishment I had. I could have quit. I wanted to quit. But I didn't. I finished my first triathlon today. And I even beat my own goal in the process.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


I just looked at the race map for Sunday.

Hill. BIG hill. During the run. A hill that runs up and around a circular drive for one of the local universities... AND! It's out and back... meaning hill. BIG hill. Twice.

Oh well, ya know? I'm in it hill or no.

I finally did manage to make to make it back to the gym and do a mini tri with my trainer last night... full swim, transition to spin bike, transition to indoor track. I only biked about 20 minutes and ran about a mile... but the transitions are strange. Especially that one from biking to running. Oh well, it's all strange actually.

I had my shirt half on, half off, running through the gym in my socks, trying to pull my tech shirt over my wet bathing suit, dripping puddles of water as I went. Let me tell you, the looks you get... people think I'm being tortured to death.

A little old lady stopped me last week after watching me in the pool area... and she said "What on earth are you doing, darlin'? You're too old for the Olympics!"

I just laughed and said "I'm training for a triathlon."

"Oh, well, good luck with that!"

It was just funny... too old for the Olympics... I guess she didn't watch Dana Torres kicking butt and taking names... or any other of the countless athletes in their 30's also kicking butt and taking names.

I'm getting so excited. I'm pumped up. I can't wait to cross my first finish line.