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First Outdoor Ride of the Year

Well, I sort of have a general biking rule that says I don't go out unless the thermometer reads 50 degrees. Running is a different story. Any temp is fair game, but since I don't have a lot of fancy bike gear (like gloves and ear protection for under my helmet, I reserve the right to refuse to ride outdoors.

Saturday was the long run of the week - a recovery, so only 11 miles. Yesterday the sun was shining, and the thermometer hit 51, a real heat wave around here, and a little seed was planted in my brain that said I should go out and test the roads. When my brother Matt called and asked if I wanted to ride, it sealed the deal.

Now Matt's a pretty solid guy. I like riding on flat roads with him because he's 5'10" and 220 pounds of solid muscle. He provides a great draft, and when he first started biking at the end of last summer, I could for the most part keep up with him. This year, I'm really going to have to work to keep up. Our conversations yesterday went something like this.

Matt: "So, um, yeah...I've just been setting my trainer on the highest resistance it will go this winter and just pushing as hard as I can."

Pharmie: "Wow, that's pretty good."

Internal Pharmie: Oh, sheesh, well, I've been to 1-2 spinning classes per week and have hopped on the trainer a couple of times... This could be interesting.

The plan was to go out for an hour or so just to enjoy the weather and get in a nice ride. A few miles into it, I knew it would be a little more than an easy Sunday on the bike. I was pushing HARD and still struggling to keep up.

Matt: "Hey, how ya feeling?"

Pharmie: "Oh, all right I guess. I think my legs are a little sore from the 11 miler yesterday."

Internal Phamie: Why does everyone get so much better than me? I used to be able to run with Steve, now he's winning 5Ks. Now Matt's blowing me out of the water.

The "out" portion of the trail is 3/4 uphill. It's one of those deceiving rides where you can't tell that you're going uphill until you turn around. We were also in a 10-15 MPH headwind. My speedometer wasn't working all day, so I had to ask Matt what our speed was.

Pharmie: "Hey, how fast are we going?"

Matt: "Oh, looks like just over 18."

Pharmie: "Well, that's not too bad!"

Internal Pharmie: No wonder I'm feeling like I'm going to die! Uphill? Against the wind? Sore legs from the run yesterday, and we're going 18 freaking miles per hour?

Matt: "So, um, do you feel like we're working here? 'Cause I gotta be honest with you. I'm not even really breaking a sweat."

Pharmie: "Oh."

Internal Pharmie: Uh Oh.

He waited for me at a couple of intersections, but for the most part, I just kept sucking wind and keeping up. We turned around somewhere between 11 and 12 miles in. The tailwind downhill return home was very welcome, and he either let up a little or there really was a huge difference between the out and back.

Matt: "Hey, my legs are finally starting to warm up. The beer and Jägermeister are finally working their way out of my system. Man my friends and I had fun last night. I think I was still a little drunk when I woke up this morning."

Pharmie: "Glad you're feeling better!"

Internal Pharmie: Holy crap! That ride out was your legs feeling BAD?!?!

Over all, it was a little chilly, but it was so fun to be riding outdoors again. I was covered in mud splatters by the time I got home, and it made me feel like a little kid. I have no idea how much of the ride yesterday was my legs being tired from the run the day before, how much was just lack of training over the winter, and how much was the fact that I was on my old bike instead of my new one. Since I am looking to build up my speed and endurance this year, though, I really do want to be able to keep up with Matt and Steve. I don't want to have to ride all by myself this summer, especially since there's no Ironman in my future, and I don't need to train myself to be lonely out there!
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7 Things About Me

I was dually tagged by Runbubbarun and XT4 to list 7 things about me. So, without further ado, here it goes:

1. I'm a two-time Ironman, but I've actually done very few triathlons. In total, I have completed a duathlon, 2 olys, 2 half-iron distance, and my two Ironmans at IMMOO. I started doing tris 5 years ago when I was in grad school and married to another grad student (read: flat broke). In residency, my every other weekend work schedule wasn't very conducive to racing and even training for that matter. This summer will be the first summer where I may actually be able to afford to race, but I still work every 3rd weekend, so we'll see.

2. My only B in high school was in Phy-Ed. I'm still a little bitter about that 9 years later.

3. I've never lived alone. I moved from my parents' house where there were 7 of us to the dorms in college with a roommate to my college house where there were 6 of us girls. Then I married Steve. I really don't mind being alone, but I find a lot of comfort in being around other people.

4. I always knew I would run a marathon. When I took up running in 10th grade, running a marathon became on of my "things to do before I die." I just didn't know it would happen so fast. I finished my first one the day after my 20th birthday.

5. I asked Steve out nearly 11 years ago. We've been married for nearly 5 years now. He's my best friend.

6. Most people have no idea what I actually do. I am a pharmacist but do not work behind a counter at a retail pharmacy. I work on the floor in a hospital. I have between 30 and 60 patients a day. Each day, I look at every one of my patients' profiles. I make sure hat each drug they are on is appropriate for their age, weight, kidney and liver function, condition, and allergies. I look back at the medications they were taking at home and help the doctors decide when it's appropriate to restart them. I help the physicians make sure we're not forgetting to add any medications or to discontinue medications when they're no longer needed. I check for drug interactions in patients' profiles, I monitor drug levels, and I look at labs each day, including cultures, to help the physicians determine the best possible therapy for each patient. A lot changes in 24 hours in a sick patient, so I do it every day for each of my patients. I leave when my work is done, not when the clock reads a certain time. It challenges me every day, but I love it.

7. Diamonds are supposed to be a girl's best friend, but I prefer athletic gear!

I think this one has been going around the blogosphere for a while, so if you haven't been tagged yet, you're it!
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Race Me, I'm Irish!

I really am 1/4 Irish, so the title is at least partially true, but I use the word race rather loosely. I really think I've forgotten how a little bit, and that's what this year is for - to relearn it.

Sunday was the “Saint Patrick’s Day Human Race” 8K, the first 8K race I've run in 7 years. It was a rather interesting start because the race was only 3/4 of a mile from our house. Steve had pre-registered us, so we left the house just about 12 minutes before the gun was scheduled to go off. We snapped this picture right before we left.

I know any warm weather readers out there are shuddering at the thought of shorts when it's 32 degrees outside (and at the sight of our pale, pale legs), but in Minnesota at the end of winter, that's a heat wave. In fact, after our jaunt to the start of the race, I put my number on my shorts anticipating possibly needing to shed the long sleeves. Two miles into the race, I was in shorts and a short sleeved shirt, and that's how I ran. Even then I was sweating like I was on some beach in Mexico!

My splits were all over the place. I had my ideal goal time of 40 minutes, which I had no idea if I could really do, my decent run goal of 42:30, and my last resort goal of 45 minutes.

Mile 1: I went out at what I thought was a pace between 8 and 8:30 and felt OK. When I hit the lap button, it read 8:18. Not too bad for where I was hoping to be.

Mile 2: Just trying to keep the pace and assessing whether I would be able to hold it for another 3 miles. This is also where I went for the short sleeves and blinded everyone around me. Pace: 8:22 Still doing OK.

Mile 3: They had us go around a little loop before heading back. I contemplated whether I really needed to stop for water, but I ended up doing it. I also had to stop dead in my tracks when a volunteer stepped right in front of me. Time: 8:43 - not great, but expected.

Mile 4: I have no idea what happened here. I thought I was pushing it, but the clock read otherwise: 8:42.

Mile 5: I started kicking it with a mile left. "Just like training, just like intervals," I kept telling myself. One after one I was passing people. I heard Steve cheering for me at the finish line, "Go Sarah, way to go Sarah!" Somehow It did not surprise me that he had managed to hijack the microphone. I hit my watch one last time: 7:24.

Something tells me I probably should have run the first 4 miles a little faster, but it's all part of racing again. Total time was 41:28, right between goals 1 and 2. Place was 545 out of 1033, so I didn't quite make the top half. There was some really tough competition there though, so I don't feel to bad about it. I had a great time and hope to do it again next year!
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Does This Workout Make My Butt Look Big?

So, first, an update: the past month has looked something like this: work, family time, squeeze in a workout, repeat. Work is still crazy. The hospital is busting at the seams with no end in sight. But alas, wrestling season is over, our new nephew has officially been dedicated at church, birthdays have been celebrated, and a good time was had by all. Well, almost all.

Our wrestling team didn't make it past the Goliath that is JCC, and neither did any other team in our class for that matter. After winning our section, they creamed everyone at the state meet. My little brother Mike won the section meet in his weight class (215), and I am so proud of him. He lost in the first round at state, though, in a match he should have easily had. It just wasn't his day. Seeing his face after that match was heartbreaking. On the flip side, his buddy Jake won the gold at state for the 140 pounders, and it was so much fun to see him and a lot of other kids we've watched over the years finish out their high school careers on the mat. I'm slowly getting over the withdrawl.

Marathon training started last week, which reminds me, I should probably get to those 1200s I'm scheduled to do tonight. We found a 3 day a week running program called the FIRST program. It'll be a good one for me for several reasons. It'll make me get more out of my runs, which admittedly I've not been doing the past few years. It will hopefully make me faster, and it leaves plenty of room for tri training. One run per week is intervals, one is tempo, and the long run is supposed to be at a pretty good clip too. No fluffy runs. The past few years have been really busy with a wedding, rotations, residency, and Ironman(s). My runs were spent getting in miles of any quality. Hopefully that will be changing this year.

I took my measurements before I started back to base training this year. Two months later, I've lost an inch in my waist and gained nearly an inch in the hips (read: booty). I guess the extra speedwork combined with the spinning workouts at the Y are shifting the proportions around a little!

We're finally warming up! Thirties to fifties this week, and the shorts are back out. YAHOOOOOO!!