Thursday, September 15, 2011

Long Run Re-Cap

So here’s a re-cap of my long runs in recent weeks…I figure it would take too long to update you on every little workout that occurred over the past month!

August 13 - 12-miler –
This was a typical summer morning in Houston – you know, 80 degrees with a “feels like” temp of 90 at 5 am. To make matters worse, I had a bit of a sinus infection and had taken a Zyrtec the night before. This is the 1st time I’d ever taken Zyrtec. The group I am running with was only scheduled for 7 miles, so I ran a 5-mile out and back before meeting up with them.

By the time I finished the 5-miler, I felt a bit spacey. I wasn’t sure if it was the heat or the Zyrtec. I debated about whether I should stop or go ahead with the next 7 miles. After grabbing some water and a Gu, I decided to keep going.

This was the most difficult 12-miler ever. I was okay for the 1st few miles, but after that, I walked way too much. I was fortunate enough to run into a couple of people from the group doing 4/1s, so I stayed with them the rest of the way. Just barely. My pace was a very pathetic 12:01. Ugh.

August 20 – 14-miler –
Somehow I lucked out on this run – the temps were hovering around 77 and the humidity wasn’t quite as bad as usual. I was worried about whether or not I could finish 14 miles after that disaster of 12-miler the week before. This week, the kiddos were attending a birthday party at 9:30 am (CRAZY!), so I ended up running in my neighborhood to save time.

I ran the 1st 7 miles in one big loop around my neighborhood going in and out of the different sections. I stopped at my house, where I put a cooler in the driveway with cold water, Gatorade, endurolytes, etc. Trust me, with a 3 year old and a 6 year old, I didn’t want to go into the house…then, I might never make it back out!

My 2nd 7 miles were pretty non-eventful. I think mentally, I felt strong until about mile 13 when I was just ready for the run to be over. My pace wasn’t great, but much better than the previous week at 11:45.

September 3 – 16-miler
Once again, we had too much to on the agenda for Saturday, so I ran in my neighborhood again. The previous week was a cut-back week, so I was well rested and ready for 16-miles. I lucked out again with the weather – it was slightly cooler, the humidity was low and it was windy. Normally, I don’t like a headwind, but it felt great every time I turned a corner and was hit by the wind.

The original plan was to come back to my house at 6-miles, 12-miles and then finish with the final 4-miles…for some reason, it’s easier for me to head out on that last stretch knowing I have fewer miles that the previous two loops. But, it was cooler and I didn’t drink as much as usual, so I managed 8 miles for my 1st loop. At home, Ire-filled my hand-held bottle at my house and headed out again. It was getting a bit warmer since the sun was now up and I ran out of water on my 2nd loop…luckily, I was only a mile away from a water fountain where I could re-fill my bottle.

My legs did start to feel fatigued toward the end of the run, but overall I felt really good! And much to my surprise, my pace was better than the previous 2 long runs – 11:28. It’s amazing what a little cooler weather will do. Once I stopped running, I really felt it in my legs! I ended up having a big glass of ice cold chocolate milk and had an ice bath. I made sure to stay active the rest of the day so that I didn’t have time for everything to stiffen up…this is easy to do with my two small kids!

Last weekend was another cut-back week, so only 10 miles on the schedule – the weather was a good 10-degrees cooler and it felt great. My pace was a sub-11 minute pace (just barely). And, I was able to run with my regular running group, which was a nice change. In fact, I met a woman who lives near me and who is crazy enough to get up at stupid thirty and run with me! We ran together at stupid-thirty this morning.

This weekend I have 18-miles to look forward to (NOT)! The warmer temps and humidity are back in full force, so it’s going to be interesting. Gotta remember to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!!!

So what are you doing this weekend? What mileage are you running? Tell me!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Bridgeland Tri Race Report (finally!)

Sorry, I’ve been a loser and have not posted in over a month! What can I say, except that life happens. Sometimes trying to juggle a busy job, hubby, kids, household stuff and training gets crazier than I really like. It’s times like that when I question my sanity and my ability of doing of these things well. When things get crazy, I don't always feel like blogging for whatever reason...

And now for the fun stuff – the Bridgeland Tri race report!

The hubby and I decided we’d leave the house a little before 5 am, since it takes at least 40 minutes to get to the race location. Typically, I wouldn’t leave quite so early, but since this was the hubby’s 1st tri, I decided to do whatever I could to make the morning as stress-free as possible for him. We arrived and parked with no problem and made our way over to transition. Later, I heard that traffic had gotten really backed up which may or may not have contributed to the race starting about 10 minutes late, so I was really glad we decided to arrive early.

Here we are hanging out in transition

Once we both set up our spots in transition, we chatted with a couple of people we knew and headed over to the swim start. It was way early, but we both wanted to get in the water for a short practice swim. The swim start is about a ¼ mile from transition and the swim is point to point, so you end up right at the transition area. About the time we were about to go into the water, a race official told us that there would be no practice swimming. We were bummed, especially since we saw people in the water already. I ran into tri pal, Merry, and she walked over to the side and waded in. While I was standing there trying to decide if I wanted to be a rebel with her, the race official walked away and several people started to enter the water. We said, “Screw it!”, and joined the other swimmers. Such rebels we are!

This is the lake where we looks harmless. right?

Next, it was time to stand in the porta potty line. The Hubby was in one of the earlier waves, but my wave didn’t start until 45 minutes after the 1st wave, so I thought that I better take care of business. J After that, I ran into some of my peeps – Jennifer (my weekend biking friend), Kay (my Katy FLATland friend) and a few others. Kay and I were in the same wave and before we knew it, someone was telling us to line up. We were so busy chatting it up with people, that we didn’t even realize that it was almost our turn!

The Swim. I am super pleased to say that this is the 1st time I didn’t freak out during the swim. I think it’s safe to say that I have finally overcome my open water swimming issues. FINALLY. I took off and despite being kicked and pushed and me kicking and pushing others, I just swam! Can I get a WHOOT? About 250 m into the swim, I heard someone saying, “help, help” to my right. After a moment, I realize that I know that voice! It was one of my running peeps and she was having a rough swim. I noticed a kayak to my left, so I shouted “Kayak!!!!” as loud as I could. I asked my peep if she was okay, to which she replied “NO!”. Once I saw that the kayak was almost to her, I headed off on my swim again. Again, I was calm. No freakouts! Before I knew it, I was turning to head to the shore. I couldn’t believe it – I was almost done! This was not a fast swim, but it was my most comfortable swim during a race ever. I loved it!

The bike. Next, I ran to my bike, which was conveniently close to the swim exit, but not so convenient to the run out. I thought I was hurrying, but my T1 time doesn’t reflect that at all, lol. I headed out on the bike, mounted and off I went. The bike was basically an out and back, ride past the start/finish, and then out and back the other direction. The 1st out had a bit of a wind, but not too bad. The way back was awesome – there was a bit of a tailwind and my average pace was consistently around 20 – 21 mph. For me this is great! I was playing leap frog with a couple of women most of the time, and we were passing lots of people. Of course, I got passed as well, but everyone who passed me had a pretty cool looking tri bike and looked very serious about what they were doing. After I passed the bike in/out, I did something pretty dumb – I dropped my water bottle as I was trying to put it back in the holder, doh! And, it was my favorite pink, insulated bottle from Tri-Girl, Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr! Finally, it was time to turn and head back to transition. It was windier at this point, but I only had about 2 more miles, so I tried to stay strong.

Back in transition. I think I did pretty well in T2, but for some reason the timing chip didn’t register. I was pretty winded heading into my run. I looked down at my Garmin and saw that I had started out at a 9:02 pace…yeah, better slow down cause I don’t run that fast! And slow down I did. I think I wasn’t exactly in the best frame of mind for running. The heat was making me grumpy. I walked through the 1st water stop, then walked again on the 2nd one. Then I walked again sometime before I hit the 3 mile marker. Seriously? I know I didn’t need those walk breaks…in retrospect I know I was just being a wuss. I think that extra half mile (since most races end with a 5k) was playing with me mentally. But finally I was rounding the corner and could see the finish, so I tried to pick up the pace a bit and sprint it in.

My finish time –
I knew I wouldn’t have the same run pace as CB&I after being out for so long, so my goal was to finish in under 1:40. I beat that, so I am pleased, but like so many of us who do this, I know there are areas that I could have done better (i.e. the run!). But, I swam the 500 1 minute faster than CB&I and I had my best bike pace ever! So yes, I am very happy about that!
And, I am super proud of the hubby. He did awesome!

Here we are after the race with our awesome bling!

Bridgeland also had an amazing post race party with plenty of food and beer. They even had troughs full of ice cold water to sit in and ease the achy muscles. And the medal? A-W-E-S-O-M-E!!!

Cool medal, huh???

I highly recommend this race and any other races from OnUrLeft productions. They are well organized and 1st class all the way!

More updates on what's been happening for the past month are coming soon! (I promise!)