Yeesh! Well, I'm not even going to try to explain where I've been for the last six weeks - everywhere and nowhere at the same time I guess... Steve and I are in the middle of doing another remodel on our house, our porch this time. It'll look awesome when it's done, but like all of our projects, it's bigger than what we anticipated when we started. My baby sister graduated from high school this past weekend, and I'm still trying to recover from the debauchery. It's hard to believe that most of the kids I babysat for once upon a time are now college kids. Somehow that just doesn't seem right. Steve and I and our family have also been racing, more so than we've ever done this time of year. The year started out with the Winter Carnival Half Marathon (which was shortened to 1/4 marathon because of the cold). Then we headed to New Orleans for the 70.3, followed by the MDRA Mud Run 4 miler, the Winter BeGone Duathlon, Cannon Falls Duathlon, and the Apple Duathlon, which was just two weeks ago. Oh yeah, and I have another 70.3 in two weeks. Gulp! I'm WAY behind here in case you hadn't noticed, so I'll make the race reports quick and dirty, much like I raced them.
Winter BeGone (4/26/09):
We did this one last year, when it was cold but sunny and otherwise beautiful. This year, it rained. It rained a lot. There was wind, lots and lots of wind, and the cold topped it all off. Steve and I had signed up for the long course, but the lightning right before the race that promised to return led the race directors to force us all to do the sprint. I was really grateful for the opportunity to be out of the rain as quickly as possible, even if it did mean doing my first sprint multisport event!
The first run: I went out hoping that I could hold nines. My brother Matt and I ran most of the run together, and I was really surprised that the 17:51 I posted was for 2.25 miles, not the 2 miles I thought it was. Off to a good start!
T1: Transition was small, but I struggled to get in all of my clothes: 2:38
The bike: This ranks in the top 5 most miserable bike rides of my life. The cold and rain were one thing, but the fact that we either had a headwind or a cross wind for all but about 3 miles of the bike made it no fun. 52:51 for a 13 mile bike. I had really hoped to improve on my average from last year, but I guess this was not the day!
The second run: My mentality had totally changed. I went from knowing that I had to do a 10K after the bike to knowing that I only had 2 miles to gut it out. I just tried to run as fast as I could. The out and back course made it super fun. I got to see Steve, my brother Matt, Borsch, and my sister Steph. I got a little choked up when I saw Steph. It was her first multisport race ever, and she was doing it in some of the worst race conditions possible. I surprised myself on the second run when I came in at 15:46. I'm not a sprinter, so this isn't bad for me!
Total: 1:30:41 Total place: 19/42 women
Cannon Falls Duathlon (5/2):
Another family event! This time Steve and I brought Steph, Matt, Borsch, and my aunt Jen. We had a perfect day, and this time around it was aunt Jen's first race. I should probably give you a quick background on why it was so special to have Jen racing with us. Jen was hit by a car when she was 2. She was read her last rights because the doctors didn't think she'd make it. After a 6 week hospital stay and countless surgeries, she grew up perfectly healthy. She works for the international division of a big name corporate retailer, traveling all over the place. You wouldn't even know anything had happened, save for a few scars and the fact that her left eye is permanently closed. Then, 3.5 years ago, doctors discovered a brain tumor sitting on her optic nerve that threatened her vision completely. It turned out to be benign, but in removing it, doctors had to destroy her pituitary gland. For those of you without a medical or science degree, this tiny gland controls nearly every hormone in your body - thyroid hormone, growth hormone, reproductive hormones, stress hormone, and a few other things. It has taken a couple of years to get all of those levels back to "normal," but she still has to work 10 times harder than anyone to keep her body and her weight from spiraling out of control. She works her butt off! When we signed up for our races this spring, we invited Jen to come along. She did several test runs at the distance before the big day and signed up!
The 1st Run: I figured that Matt and I had stuck together for the run the week before, so we ran together again. The run was BEAUTIFUL. We ran by waterfalls, near parks, and around town. We finished the 2 mile run in 15:40.
T1: 1:22 I learned from my mistakes the week before :)
The bike and T2 (I forgot to hit my watch): It was an out and back race. This one guy and I kept passing each other. He was in a tractor. I love biking through farm country! It makes me feel right at home. My split wasn't as fast as I had hoped, but it was great to be out there with my family - 51:02 for the 14 mile bike
The 2nd Run: I hit my splits in 8:23, 8:23, and 8:11 for a total of 24:57 for the 3 mile run. Again, this was just a beautiful course.
The finish: 1:33:10 - total place 60/131. When I was heading into the finish, I saw Steve and Jen heading out from T2. When I finished, I ran back onto the course to help get Jen to the finish line. She finished, and she wasn't last. She made both of her goals, and we are all super proud of her. I managed to take some hardware home from this race. I got third in 20-29 year old women. Bonus!
Apple Duathlon (5/23/09)
Last time I did this race, I was training for my first Ironman! Steve and I saw our friend Ann in transition, and since we were were in the same wave, we decided to run the first 5K together. She was hoping for 8s. I was hoping to hit under 25. I was back in to T1 in 24:37, for an average of 7:56/mile. Not bad considering Ann had dropped me at mile 2 :)
T1: 1:09, not too much excitement. I decided on the fly not to wear bike shorts and rough it in my tri shorts.
The Bike: I had no idea how I would feel on a 33K bike ride in just my tri shorts. I know people do Ironman distance bike rides in just tri shorts, but I've never been that adventurous. I've always thrown bike shorts on over the tri shorts in T1 and taken them off it T2. I was uncomfortable for the first 4 miles or so, but it went away quickly. I did drop my chain once. I'm not even sure how it happened, and since I wasn't going up a steep hill, I was worried that I broke it at first! I also made a wrong turn once, but the great volunteers steered me back in the right direction. I probably lost a minute or 2, but going out against the wind meant that we had a sweet tailwind. I came into T2 after 1:12:47 for an meager average of 16.9.
The Second Run: 27:19 for an average of 8:48. It wasn't fast, it wasn't pretty, but I made it in without barfing.
Total time: 2:06:47, several seconds faster than the last time I raced this course, even with a dropped chain, a wrong turn on the bike, and feeling like I was going to die on the first run. However, the competition was TOUGH, and my time was good enough for 10/11 in my age group. It's now a world du championship qualifying race, and I think it's just going to get tougher in the next few years. It's always a great race, though, and this year was no exception.
What's next? Well, like I mentioned, I have a 70.3 in less than 2 weeks. It's been a rough couple of weeks. I know I can do the distance, but my training has been lacking. Between house projects and a REALLY scary month at work (layoffs and restructuring), I've had a tough time getting in quality workouts. I've got a long run scheduled for tomorrow night. My last long run was horrible. I had a heavy heart, and it made running light a little tough. Two weeks after my 70.3 is WIBA, and as always, I'm pretty excited to fill the weekend with good friends and great workouts. It seems funny that I'm halfway through my year's races, but I promise to put the rest of the schedule up soon!
Riding Strong: Another Bike PR!
1 day ago