Wednesday, April 24, 2013

1 crazy week ending with the jackpot!

This was a taper week like none other. I'm sure it will never be repeated. Nor do I want it to.

Its one for record books on how NOT to go into your first big race of the season with the goal of qualifying for Vegas. A lot was on the line with this race (yes put on my shoulders ALL  by me).  My taper was awful, my race very average, but I managed to get what I went for, a spot to Vegas, and a lesson learned...don't give up even when its ugly

I opted to skip the upcoming  trip to St. Croix with AZ  (even though I loved that race) because now that I work full time,  I am trying to spread out days of work.   I want to   have a few extra days in Vegas and Kona and do summer training trip. Plus  I just spent time in Tuscon and San Diego. The people I work think I'm crazy for sure.   NOLA can be done on a quick trip.  Just ask my coach, Scott! and I managed this race without missing any time off work. The pressure was on  though because damn it I got up at 4:20 in the morning to meet people to swim,  or drug myself to the basement in the dark to run on the treadmill or do intervals on the trainer, and I didn't want that to go to waste!  Plus there is a lot of relief getting the spot early and being able to pick and choose what I do all summer.

My taper week started off with watching the Boston marathon at work, in awe of how awesome the women's race was to only find out at lunch time of the horror that was unfolding. And yes, the first I heard of the news came from none other than Joe Lotus from facebook.  I knew a lot of people there and thankfully they were all ok. But I found myself in tears, hearing that people actually died, and lost limbs, and one of the people killed was an 8 year old boy waiting for his Dad to cross the line. Jack is 9. It just hit too close to home.

Meanwhile it started raining and never stopped. AZ and I woke up to thunder and pouring rain at 1 in the morning.  It just kept on raining. It was rain on top of more rain and we couldn't sleep.  On a whim he checked the basement, and it was a bad dream come true.  The sump pump had quit and there was water sloshing around on the carpet in our newly finished basement complete with new furntiture and theater system. We were up all night getting it fixed so it wouldn't do more damage. I went to work exhausted, missed whatever workout I was supposed to do. In fact all my workouts that week went awful because I was so tired and stressed.  AZ insisted I still go race went into contractor mode and got the basement under control. So I worked 1/2 day Friday, boarded the plane and arrived in NOLA with just enough time to get my packet and see that suspect #2 had been caught!
Secret Service style

For the rest of the weekend, I  was in princess mode, because my bike was being shuttled down by Scott who drove,  and my friend DL and I were being chauffered around by our friend Dan who was also racing. He scored a blacked out secret service style  suburban  at the rental agency with only 4 miles on it so were riding in style! Friday night we took a walk down Bourban street after dinner. A sober view is  much different I'm sure  than if you've had a few hurricanes. After such a stressful week it was fun to just watch and laugh at  crazy drunk people.

Bourban St.

I woke up Sunday excited to race. Its been really since Kansas last year since I raced a triathlon thanks to the ugly injury. Going into this race I had been working hard on my swimming which has been horrific that past few years mainly due to just not getting in the water enough. I can and have done better swimming when I put the time in. So I  have worked hard to try to  get some of it back.  I have been swimming with Kelly Perry 2-3 days a week. She smokes me. Bad.  But keeps me honest, and is always there early which works for me. I also have been working hard on my running coming back from being hurt and I have had some great workouts and have been  running as well as I ever have. So was so excited to test it out in NOLA. 2 years ago there I ran 1:37,  and my goal Sunday was to beat that because I have been running better than I was then.  Its so funny how things can wind up in a race though.
finish line seemed to take forever

The new swim course was actually nicer than expected. ,A  little choppy and a super long wait if you were 40+ female (like 2 hours), but we swam!  It was a time trial start, I had no idea where I stood, because our group included anyone 40+.   Bonus= wetsuit strippers! By the time we actually started the bike the wind was crazy. No complaints from me. We bike in this all the time, but the long 30 miles straight into headwind made it very  tough!  I didn't feel good and knew I was under prepared some on the bike thanks to our horrible never ending winter. I think I rode outside a total of 3 x.  I wan't happy with how the bike felt and how slow the time was turning out to be. But I felt some relief when I got to transition, there hardly any bikes racked. I was able to run my first 2 miles at my goal pace but then it all fell apart. I was getting charley horses in my quads, then several miles later my calves,or arches. I had to walk a lot to get them under control, and ended up running slower than my easy run pace.  Even when I was falling apart no one passed me on the run other than 1 girl from the 25-29 age group, so it must have been ugly for everyone.  Not sure why,  other than the wind was extreme. It wasn't hot, actually perfect. 73 sunny degrees. For me I'm blaming lack of bike fitness and going out hard to race.  I finished 2nd in the AG, with 4th fastest swim (wow, me?)  and fastest bike in AG, and held on enough to get a spot to Vegas.  We barely made it to the airport in time to fly home. Sorry to those around us as we were still sweaty with race numbers. I was home at midnight  just in time to go to work the next day.

Every race teaches you something.  This race,  it was to keep pushing even when the plan is falling apart because you don't know what is happening around you. My run goal went up in smoke, but didn't give up even though I was way off pace. First race is done.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

California 70.3, SoCal....and a BOOK!!!!

The calendar says its spring, all the stores have super cute spring clothes out, but the end of March has still been winter like. My friends and I were whining while sitting in a local bowling alley with our kids during spring break while everyone else was away in sunny places. They really should have "shhhh'd" me though,  because at the end of the week I was able to escape the midwest and head to San Diego to watch Adam race IMCA 70.3, and spend a few extra days afterwards being part of a very cool project!

I landed mid day Friday, with enough time to hang out with AZ a bit and have an early dinner before race morning. I must say seeing him get ready to race was getting me pretty fired up for my first race in a few weeks. Early race morning I hooked up with a good friend who had mini Razor Scooters for he and I  to get us to the race start quickly  from our parking spot!  Yep we took the Razors for spin through the dark on our way to the start line! I have raced this and spectated Oceanside before and it has always been pretty chilly at the start, but this year it seemed perfect. As I was scoping out a great spot to see Adam come out of T1 I saw fellow midwest Wattie Karin Langer, and she immediately saw none other than Massi!  We knew we were in for a very special spectating experience having Massi in the mix! aka...#eurostar!


 Lots of Wattie teammates were also there cheering and racing.  During the bike Karin and I wandered around the pier with coffee, soaking up the sun,  and wondering why we stick around Chicago.

 I also checked out a few surfers.  The time flew and before we knew it pros were already coming in to start the run. We scored a great spot to watch the run on a downhill corner and cheered for everyone.

 It was awesome to see Adam having a great race and start to his season. He has been working extra- incredibly hard this winter.

I say it all the time……hard work, discipline = goals met. Just saying.
AZ on the run!

Of course a great race, being in southern California, and tons of friends around deserves a reason to celebrate. The post race party with Mules= fun

After AZ left to head back home, I went for an amazing run on a hilly wood chip trail. Finally a chance to run without all the layers. I was supposed to be putting in some race pace miles, but the hills slowed those miles down, but gave my legs a good workout. Race pace miles have to seem easier after that, and I actually felt sweat dripping off me. 

I had to be in another part of San Diego later that day for the start of the special project. So i spent the rest of the afternoon, checking out the beach, surf shops, and coffee shops.  I could get used to that sort of life, so different than the midwestern burbs of Chicago! (how many years left until the kids graduate from high school?)

I can't say very much about the special project I got to be a part of for a few days, but it involved me taking off work during the week,  photographers in the middle of the desert, a crazy schedule each day and hanging with some cool pros. We ate salads for dinner on the side of the road out in the desert with the sun going down, 
in bloom!

saw the the Octillio bush in bloom with the sun coming up and celebrated with delicious Mexican and Margaritas the final night. I had a 3:30 a.m. wake up call the next day to fly back home to real life.

And, if you've been following my blog you know March was going to be a busy month. Not kidding!  After about 2 years in the making our book is finally OUT!!! I practically cried when I got the email from Deb Hodgett who took an idea that came about with she, Carla Hastert and I were having a "girls night" sitting around the table at a pizza place while our kids played video games. (now thats a classy girls night !) I don't care if it only sells a few copies, we have a book in print!  "Tri -Mom: swimming, biking, and running through motherhood"  is out now on Amazon. Its full of funny stories about trying to train and race, while trying to still be a good mom. Check it out!!