Sunday, May 31, 2009

Mile Markers

Sometimes when I do race or workout the mile markers can just fly by. Before you know it the next one is there and they are just ticking away. Of course when things are feeling good, and everything is in check things can click and the miles will fly by. This happened at Memphis on the bike and run for me. I couldn't believe it when I was already rounding the corner to transition, and on the run mile 3 came before I knew it. I did fade over the last 1.5 miles and that section seemed like 3 miles.

There are times though, when the opposite happens. Those miles markers.....where are they? Surely they must be off, or maybe the course isn't marked? Why is it taking so long. The very next week I did the Fox Trot 5k. Just a 5k! and because my legs were flat and not cooperating while my mind and will was trying to make myself go and go fast...those mile markers seemed a million miles apart because my feet felt like they were stuck to the pavement. Even in just a little 5k!

Mile markers can be other milestones in the sport like:

finishing your first triathlon ever, or
finishing your first Ironman ever,
getting your first real racing bike,
breaking 10 hrs in an Iroman
changing your own flat tire
qualifying for worlds
breaking a 5 min mile (hooray to Adam, he did this on the track this week)
actually completing every workout on the schedule
overcoming an injury

Sometimes it seems like it may take for ever to get to that mile marker, but patience and perseverance will get you there. must do the work, believe, keep going after it even when it hurts, or your feet are stuck to the pavement. These things don't come easy. No magic workout, no magic techy training device, wonder shoe, will get you to that marker. Just patience, work and perseverance. Simply, nothing comes easy. If it does...pick something bigger to shoot for!

This week Jack turned 6 and graduated from kindergarten. That was a big mile marker for me (him too of course). Little does he know he is entering real school with more homework, tests, grades etc. fewer parties. There are times when he was 2 and testing my patience it never seemed he would get potty trained or be able to tie his shoes. Other times, I can't believe he is 6, and going on to first grade. No more little school with a door code, locked doors and mom walking you all the way in all nice and safe. Now he tells me, (mom...I can do it myself) We've made it through getting potty trained, tieing our own shoes, dressing ourselves, counting to 100 and many more. But,, there are more to come...learning to drive (yikes) this mile marker can take its time!

I have to say awesome job to a couple clients who completed Triple T. Di and her teammate did awesome finished and had tons of fun a long the way. And, TK, I am so happy for overcame a lot to get through the 3 races and finished smiling!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Elvis Sighting

I saw Elvis this past weekend, but only briefly. I had wanted to get my picture with him this year but, didn't have my camera with me when I spotted him post race. I couldn't find him pre- race.....probably because it was too cold that early in the morning. Sunday morning Memphis had a front come through that brought big wind and temps I have never seen there for Memphis in May. Unusual. (I'm sure its the global warming)

I had no intentions of doing Memphis in May this year, with my mission to keep things simple and local this year a 9 hr drive 1 way to a big competitive race in May wasn't in the plans. I had actually signed up to do Galena. But Adam's travel partners bailed on him and he really wanted to do this race so I went. Its been a while since just the 2 of us have gone to a race together without clients, or others along. Also I have to admit the warmer temps were calling.

Friday we drove through more rain than seemed imaginable, and a few hrs later after crossing that line somewhere in mid to southern Illinois it went from 55 deg to 80 in a few miles! Nice. :) Now the trip is worth it!!!

I think this is the most relaxed, least nervous for a race I have ever been. Mostly because I hadn't planned on doing it....there fore really had no expectations all, and in my mind feel I haven't been training enough really have any pressure to really go for it. But too my suprise, I felt really strong, and ended having a great race.

I was shivering at the start even standing in my wetsuit fully zipped waiting for my start. I didn't see the guy with the wetsuit wedgy..that I saw last year, but did see a few familiar faces. Once it was my turn to go, and in the water I finally warmed up. I had a bad start to the swim heading straight on into some choppy water, and starting in the later portion of the race, had a ton of people to swim through. 1/2 way through the swim I finally got the rhythm going, and remembered what it was like to swim in open water and in a wetsuit. A little late for a fast swim (maybe I should have warmed up in the water ....but then I would have to stand around in the cold wet). I came out of the swim, and was onto my bike quickly. I was definitely cold and it took a few minutes to get the blood to the legs. By the time I was out of the park and onto the roads I realized I feel great, and really started to pick it up and was passing tons of people. It was very windy, I have never seen it like this down there, but nothing new to us and the crazy wind we train in all the time. I figured since I felt good on the bike I would just ride as hard as I could since I really had no idea what would happen on the run anyway. Between a few group rides and my new bike which is incredible I was riding very strong. The only issue I had on the bike was getting caught behind some cars that were blocking the road. One lady was probably mad and wouldn't let me go around her through a narrow section of road. She was having road rage with cyclists. I tried to pass on the right...she'd veer right, I'd go left she'd move over....nice. Finally the road opened up, and I could get by. The bike seemed to go by fast. Another quick transition, and on to the run. I started off quickly, my legs came to me right away. I was trying some new racing flats....Brooks. They were awesome and made me feel fast right away. I ran strong for the first 3-4 miles, then faded. This is due to just not having enough strong running miles in me, but really I felt better than I had in a long time running off the bike.

I finished, saw Elvis briefly, chatted with friends Liz and Eric a little, and we loaded up right away to head home. We didn't stay to see results, and just wanted to get on the road. I was very satisfied and where ever I had finished I had to be happy with because I knew I did all I could with where I was in my season. In end I finished second in my age group by less than a minute. A nice bonus, to feeling good about how I raced.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


I'm definitely not your typical mom, but like it that way.

Multi-sport Mom, and coach

Ironmaiden mom-wife of super star Ironman

I am mom of Jack and step mom to Kaitlin

Here are some random thoughts on my life as a mom, which isn't typical but is always exciting, adventuresome, and never dull. All I hope is that I am helping create great memories, examples and lifestyle for our kids, like I had growing up.

I was telling a newly pregnant co-worker the other day that being a mom is the absolutely best, yet challenging jobs there is. It is true. All you want is for your kids to be healthy, happy, and safe, and you spend your days making sure all their needs are met, making all kinds of sacrafices for them so hopefully they will turn out all right. Just this friday, I spent a warm Friday afternoon perfect for riding out doors, at "kinderspa" hosted by Jack's kindergarten. I was treated with cucumbers to my eyes, finger nail painting and a massage by Jack. It was timeless, seeing him try to pamper me and interact with his friends at school. I wouldn't have had it any other way.

We spent Saturday watching t-ball, and then later a gymnastics presentation. This was one of our first weekends with multiple kid events, a true glimpse of things to come. It consumed a good chunk of time Saturday, not leaving a lot of time to be an elite athlete, but it was worth every minute seeing Jack hit the ball, and make plays to first, and Kaitlin balance on the beam on do a back walk over.

I just finished reading Dara Torres' book.....about being a mom, competitive athlete, and "older athlete". Sometimes when I go to the pool, I feel like Dara Torres, (ha -only not nearly as fast in the water) I swim the the MSM kids team, and drag up the rear of the lane that is often led by kids that are 14 years old. (41-14 yrs...don't even want to know. I think Im old enough to be their mom). They swim like rock stars, but in the locker room they are giddy, giggly, and talk about boys, make up, dances, etc. I'm out the door as fast as I can, back to being a mom. Even Dara wrestles with mom-guilt that comes with training tons, and being away from her daughter.

Moms make all kinds of sacrafices for their kids and family (like driving a mini van!) I have found myself taking fewer training and triathlon trips even in the dead of winter just to help keep things stable and sane at home. Maybe its a control thing, but even though at times I'd rather be getting the heck out of here once a month, it just creates disorder and leaves me feeling out of control. I've chosen just a few trips to paradise that are worth disorder. Hawaii is one, a benefit of being an Iron-maiden and helping support the Ironman for sure.

Even though I am a mom, I still like to swim bike and run. I can still ride Colonial group ride, still like to try to go as fast as I can on the track, and still like to race. This year I have managed to find a balance that allows me to still do these things, yet be there as a mom the way I feel I should. So far it seems to be working because I'm having fun, getting in shape, but have gotten to see Jack catch his first fish, take swimming lessons, play t-ball, learn to read, learn 48/50 states at age 5! Any mom knows these things are worth the sacrafices.

Jack made a picture/ card of me. I hope my lips really aren't that big. Maybe only after riding into our viscious spring headwinds. At the bottom it says (in his writing and version of spelling) My Mom is speshl bcauos she helps me read. She allwos plas with me. I lov hr so much. She is the best mom evr.

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms trying to be the best mom ever!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Doing Peanut Butter

(the picture is bad these shoes were light blue, and socks were white)

Its May and time to start racing.

I have done some training this winter, nothing like years past, in fact I feel like a slacker a lot of the time compared to what I'm used to. But with May here the races are starting and its time to see what the indoor training and winter full of fun has left me. I had signed up for the TriZou Tri at the Univ. of Missouri (formally Race For Sight). I have done this race a bunch of times, in all kinds of formats, venues and weather conditions, and love it. It is always competitive and a great way to start the season. However, this is roughly a 6 hr drive that I was looking at doing solo, and wasn't loving the idea of that for a sprint tri. Adam is off on the islands racing St Croix (yooo Mahn!), and I am just getting waaaaaay to practical these days. I still wanted to race and was searching for some 5ks or 10ks and found the Peanut Butter Duathlon. Hmmm. Yumm. and sounds intriguing, best yet only 1 hr from home. The distances were roughly the same minus the swim, add a run and lots of fun!

The race was held at Rock Cut State Park in Rockford and was a 2 mile trail run, 14 mile bike and 2 mile trail run and was to benefit the Rockford area food pantry. With all the rain we've had daily, I knew it would be an interesting day. The sun finally came out and the day was beautiful. Perfect for racing. The race was small and VERY local/laid back, but I was just out for a good workout and and to test out my fitness and my NEW BIKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Scott and black. I feel so lucky. Thank you Adam thank you Rich and Anthony!!!!

I'm not much of a duathlete, and have only done 1 or 2 so it felt like a strange start but was glad not to be jumping in freezing cold water. After a good warm up, finally I was off and running. The run was on grassy trails.The first mile was relatively dry with a nice uphill. I was running strong but felt a bit sluggish, maybe it was the grass, but was surprised to see mile 1 at 6:22! The second mile was basically all through mud, and wet swamp that soaked your socks and splashed mud everywhere. My shoe just about came off at one point. I was laughing because this was truly fun. I felt like I was running through peanut butter! 2 miles of fun and I was caked in mud from shoes to shorts! Transition...oh yea a good time to practice. I haven't done this since last September, but I breezed through and was off on my new ride. The bike course is hilly and curvy, lots of potholes. It was fun doing loops around the park. I guess this is where they have Rockman Tri and much of the run is where we were riding. Ouch, it looks like a tough run for a 1/2 IM! The bike felt awesome. The position great, just a few tweaks to make. Another fast transition and 2 more miles of peanut butter. I had been leading for the women the whole time, but still didn't want to let up. The second run felt good. I was pretty much by myself in the woods I could see a guy in front I was trying to catch. I trying to go fast through mud is tough. The effort is there but you go now where. A little backwards, a little sideways, but this was really fun. In the end I finished first female, 13th overall. I even won some cash!!! What a nice surprise. What is it about local small races. Great prizes, and low entry fees (only 40$ for this) and an hour drive. Congrats also to Scott Iott, fellow Trainingbible athlete who won for the men.
For a small local race this was very well organized and a good start to the season.

Here's to race season.