Sunday, December 26, 2010

We're back!

Well, I have carbo-loaded enough to get me through 20 Ironmans.  I have just loved these past few months to relax, no pressure to wake up before 7 to get a swimbikerun in and just plain enjoy life!  I do have to say though that when you go from training for hours a day to an easy 45 minute run it just makes you feel like such a slacker.  You know what I mean...right?   All the articles that I read about off-season training say to "mix it up, try something new."  So I have tried eggnog with sprite, pizza for 4 days straight and who can consume the most Hershey kisses contest.  Oh, wait.  I think they mean try something different with training.  I really wanted to get into yoga and weight lifting but man I just can't seem to get myself to enjoy those things.  I would much rather be swimbikerunning.  I did try pilates and was sore for a week!  Which in turn I was unable to do the other things that I really enjoy.  Boring me!

With the new year upon us I get so giddy.  I love to set new goals, plan out my race season and make resolutions to stop spending/eating/drinking etc.  I almost like it more than Christmas....almost.  I have updated our race season plan and while Justin with be doing St. George Ironman in May I have decided to take a different route.  This fall I went mountain biking with some girlfriends and had a complete blast.  My bike is over a decade old and has seen many miles and weighs as much as my dog Charley (105 pounds) so it is time to put her to rest and get a new one.  I can still climb fairly well but the decent feels like a massage chair gone awry.  I feel like my brain is going to be shaken out of my skull!  I need better shocks, gadgets, seat, tires and pretty much a whole new ride.  With that in mind; what better way to break it in than by doing an Xterra triathlon?  It is time to get off the road and onto the dirt; biking and running.    Sure I will still compete in a few road triathlons but my biggie next year will be Xterra in September.  I soooo wanted to do an Ironman triathlon but seeing the amount of time Justin has put into training already has me a bit concerned as to how I would be able to fit it in.  My new plan would be to do an Ironman 2012.  That's when i will be done with graduate school and my kids will be a bit older. 

Training for an Ironman should be at a time where you can give it your all.  It's a huge commitment and I just don't want to do it half-assed.  I also don't want to take away from school and my small kids.  I feel like I'm making excuses but my friend Jodee has taught me how to say "no" to things and helped me realize that you can have it all, just not all at once.  So I am pacing myself and enjoying the journey.

Happy New Year!

Thanksgiving in California with Jenn.  Double rainbow!

Sandman

Charley

Kids playing in the snow

New goal!
Michelle

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Marathon Mania and that's a wrap!




I feel so guilty that I haven't blogged!  I mean what have I been doing besides eating ice cream and watching Modern Family?  We are enjoying some serious recovery time.  Sleeping in, staying up late and relaxin' with the family is what we have been about these past two weeks.  We had a crazy stretch of three marathons in three weeks.  Justin did the Top of Utah and I followed that up with SoJo and then the next week was St. George marathon.  It was nice to cash in some fitness chips before the racing season officially ended.

Recap of SoJo:  Well it turned out to be a lovely day for a race.  They had a late start and I knew right away that it was going to warm up.  By mile 2 I was pulling off clothes.  The course had a nice, slight downhill at the start for about 6 miles then after the half separated from the full it flattened out.  The half-marathoners continued their decent to the finish while the marathoners headed out towards the Oquirrh mountains along 11800 south.  I was so lonely!  I found out later that they only had 100 people register for the marathon.  One bystander even shouted; "You are in second place!"  What the... me?  No way was I or ever had I been a contender in a marathon.  I found out later (after I had been passed by 3 women) that the bystander was lying because he saw me again and shouted; "You're in second place!"  He must have been trying to motivate me to go faster.  Weird way of doing it though.   All I have to say is that marathons are HARD!  I don't know what I was thinking.  I compare it to labor.  You honestly forget how how much they hurt until it's show-time.  I ended up walking at mile 23 and seriously considered dropping out.  I was getting that intense thirst again (read Boise) and I just didn't think I'd make it.  Justin was great and when I saw him and heard his words of encouragement I somehow was able to keep moving.  He told me to walk a minute and then run a minute.  I did this once I hit the parkway trail and it took me to the finish line in 4.16!  I was so glad to be done.  I have never got a massage after a race before and with no line I enjoyed one.  It was a beautiful day and getting warmer by the minute.  The best thing about this race was the prize.  I finished first in my age group which gave me FREE entry into next years SoJo marathon.  Maybe next year I'll train for it......



Mile 12 feeling good.  I'm making the #7 for how many marathons I've run.

Coming into the finish!  At last.
 Here's Justin!

Michelle is totally right, relaxing has been the word for the past two weeks now.  I hate it, but just can't bring myself to get up at 5:00 AM to hit the road/pool yet.  I'm in a training funk for sure!  I also know how important it is to give the body a break, so I've haven't been too hard on myself yet.  The good news is my body is totally healthy and I'm feeling great.  Such a change from last year when I was battling that annoying stress fracture.  Life is good right now!

As for the St. George Marathon recap...

Having met my goal for the year at the Top of Utah Marathon, I went into St. George with a complete sense of peace.  No pressure...I could just run for fun and enjoy the beautiful scenery.  That being said, I still had set a challenge of going sub-3:00, just because I think it would be way cool.  St. George is also known as a fast marathon (is that even possible?) so I thought maybe I'd have a good chance if everything went well. 

One of our friends (Brittany) was also running the race, so it was cool to have someone to hang with on the bus ride and at the start line as we waited around for the race to begin.  Congrats to Brittany by the way, she had come very close to qualifying for Boston a couple of times, and I knew St. George was going to be a good day for her.  She ended up running 3:31, and gave herself 9 minutes cushion on the 3:40 BQ requirement.  Very cool!

Me and Brittany the Grande Slammer!
When we woke up the morning of the race, something just didn't feel right.  I know we're in St. George an all, but it's still the desert...shouldn't it cool down a little?  Apparently not, cause it felt like it was 80 degrees.  Having done the same race last year I should have known it was going to be rough, but I guess the pre-race euphoria had already set in because I didn't think twice about it at that moment.  As we got to the start line, I was again surprised at how warm it was.  In 2009, I remember everybody huddled around fires in huge packs just trying to catch a little of the heat.  This year; however, they hadn't even lit the fires yet, and I really didn't think we needed them.  Other than a little wind, it was very comfortable.  Yet another missed sign that I was in for a long day!

As we prepared for the start I saw all these people sneaking into the "Elite Runners" area.  Wondering how that was possible I asked the guy at the gate how you got in...he looked at my number and said, "You're in."  I laughed, cause I've never been mistaken for an elite runner, but I guess you put a "estimated finish time" on your application and that's how they determine your number.  If your number is low enough, you're free to join the "Elite Runners" area.  Just a tip for any future St. George racers...go low (at least on your estimated time).  I'm telling you what though, it was awesome to get to start at the front.  With no massive crowds to fight through, you could really settle into a good pace early on.

I decided again to run without a watch, and really just enjoy the run.  I really like this approach as it feels more like a Triathlon where you just listen to your body and go with the pace you are naturally comfortable with.  I've always had a hard time sticking to a specific pace chart, so sometimes it's just better if I don't know.  It helps psychologically for me to have that unknown as well.  I think I force myself to push a little harder that way. 

As I ran through the first 5 or 6 miles, the temperature was really great.  I did notice though that I was sweating more than normal so I really focused on taking in Gatorade at every aid station.  The huge Veyo climb comes at about mile 7 or 8, and I really tried to hold back and not try to push too hard.  As I crested the hill I felt really good and thought hell yeah, it's all downhill from here.  Went around a corner and saw what seemed to be another hill.  Okay, don't remember this from last year, but what the hey, I'll push through this one too and then I'll be on my way!  When I get to the top I glance ahead...WHAT THE?...another da$* hill.  Boy, my memory really has failed me.  I don't remember this much climbing at all.  Oh well, nothing else to do but keep going.  What goes up, must come down, right (and hopefully faster too)?  At this point, we're nearing the halfway point and I'm thinking to myself, I swear there was quite a bit of downhill at this race.  Almost halfway in and I'm yet to see it!  Have to admit, I was a bit discouraged. 

As I rolled through the halfway point I noticed that my time was 1:29.  I felt really good about that considering the climbing, and was still on pace to go sub-3.  My mood perked up and I found a little extra strength in the legs to push the pace a bit.  I knew the downhill section was coming and I was determined to find it. 

The downhill finally came around 15 miles, and at that time I started to notice a little irritation in my stomach.  I've had this feeling a couple of times before (Utah Half), and really thought I could push through it.  By mile 18 though, it was really starting to cause some distress, and my pace slowed quite a bit.  Some nasty thoughts started creeping into my mind at this point...I even contemplated the thought of stopping at a Porta Potty.  Yikes!  No way was I going to do that, I can't stand those things!  I'm just going to push through this, only 8 miles to go.  Crap (almost literally), 8 miles to go still.  How am I going to do this?

Needless to say, at mile 20 I had to succumb to the pressure.  I snuck into the Porta Potty (not a second too soon), and realized my sub-3 hour goal had gone down the toilet.  (Sorry, I had to.)  With 6 miles left to go, I just decided to slow it way down and take the unnecessary pressure off myself and just try to finish the race respectably.  I'll admit, I did more walking those last few miles than I would have liked, but I really just didn't have it in me to keep pushing.  With the heat, stomach issues, and limited recovery time from the Top of Utah marathon, it was the smart thing to do.  In retrospect I'm really glad I did that. 

I managed to limp my way across the finish line in 3:13, and was really happy with that time.  Not a BQ, but still a great marathon time, and I came out relatively unscathed. 

The kids enjoying cotton candy and snow cones

Coming down the last stretch...
All in all, it was a great season.  Michelle and I were able to do a ton of races and accomplish a lot of goals.  We saw many cool places, met and spent time with some amazing people.  We couldn't have done it without the support of our family and friends and we thank you deeply for everything. 


Fan #1

and Fan #2

We've got Ironman on the brain these days, only 204 days to IMSG.  Base build start soon.  Oh yeah, maybe I'll blog about my "real" Ironman from last weekend if I get a chance!  Mental preparation shouldn't be underestimated...LOL!

Until next time...Tri Hard!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Top of Utah - September 18th, 2010






Gettin "inked up" the night before

I can see the clock....

Boy have we come a long way.  Back in 2003, Michelle and I decided to run a marathon.  A grandiose idea at the time, but one that would change the direction of our lives.  I remember thinking at the time how crazy this idea was, and as we trudged along to a 4:52 finish wanting nothing more than to be done so I could throw my shoes (and cotton tee shirt) away and never run again.   Little did I know at the time, I would come back to this race, 7 years and 10 marathons later to accomplish what I never thought possible.

As the weeks led up to the marathon, I was quite unsure how things would turn out.  My last marathon (Salt Lake) this spring had been extremely disappointing.  With Boston on my mind, I went out way too fast and bonked at about mile 20!  Even with 10 marathons under my belt, I'm still as stubborn as a donkey when it comes to pacing and nutrition.  Michelle's always told me I'm a poor planner...well Salt Lake was validation for her!  That being said, I decided earlier in the week to write up a nutrition plan, and try to follow it the best I could.  Now that Michelle has picked herself up from the floor...I'm happy to say that I finally made a plan and stuck to it!  Yippee!

I also made a unique decision not to wear a watch during the race.  Too often I find myself watching my pace, pushing too hard early in the run, and ultimately losing focus on the prize at the end.  If Triathlon has taught me anything, it is to go all out and worry about the time later!  I also, wanted to run for the fun of it...no pressure, no problem.  Yes, I still ran a bit too hard in the beginning, but the unknown of pace and actual time kept me pushing all the way to the end. 

I really think the combination of nutrition and running with a sense of peace, rather than pace really worked out in the end.  The course was beautiful, the many colors of fall in the canyon made the first 14 miles go by faster than I could have imagined.  I even saw a huge bull moose on the course...seems to be our family theme animal this year!  It was an awesome sight.  Also loved seeing Michelle on her bike and the kids in the bike trailer at mile 20.  It was a huge lift when they pulled over and cheered their little heads off!  Made me so happy!  Thanks for the support...love you guys so much.

When Michelle proposed the idea of starting a blog, the concept was around us qualifying for Boston as a couple, and finishing an Ironman together.  She's the prepared one, and I'm here because of my damn good looks!  Unfortunately, looks aren't everything, or so I've heard.  I'm happy to report that I crossed the finish line in 53rd place with a time of 3:08!  I held up my end of the bargain this time and joined Michelle as a Boston Qualifier!  I knew I had it in me, just had a hard time making it a reality.  Thanks for the patience babes!

So one major goal accomplished, and on to the next.  2011 is the year of the Ironman!  Oh wait, forgot, I still have St. George Marathon this coming Saturday.  Whose idea was it to sign up for two marathons in three weeks?  Oh yeah, that guy who 7 years ago thought he'd never run another marathon as long as he lived! 


The family celebrating after the race

Tri (and run) hard!

  

Friday, September 24, 2010

How Triathlon Can Save You Money$


This is the cover of the issue my article was in.
 "Please listen to the music while your party is reached...."  this is how I feel about this blog.  As I wait for Justin's recap on his AWESOME performance at the Top of Utah Marathon this past Saturday I am forced to do a quick blog on triathlon.  I wrote an article a while back for  Rocky Mountain Running and Triathlon.   I then wrote another article that I was hoping would make it into their publication but it didn't so I've included it here...


10 Ways triathlon can save you money.


I was sick to my stomach, I couldn’t eat, my head was spinning….what have I done. You probably think this is how you feel before, during or after a race but it was the feeling I had as we left the bike store thousands of dollars later. We could have taken a 3 month trip to Fiji for what we spent that first year in triathlon. I’ve been trying to justify the expense since that dreadful day so I came up with 10 ways that triathlon is actually saving me money!

#1 All the time that we will spend training for races we will have no time to hit the mall, go out for dinner, or grab a movie.

#2 Speaking of movies… there will be no need for cable, direct TV, or Sunday NFL ticket because by the time we actually sit down after your long day of training we would be lucky to stay awake through the first commercial.

#3 Sell the car! We have a bike and two legs. Commute to work, drop the kids off at school in the bike trailer, or stop at the grocery store for more bananas. This saves the cost of gas, auto insurance, and expensive car maintenance.
#4 With all the tech shirts we’ve accumulated there will be no need for a new wardrobe each year! These shirts are original, authentic and the supply is limited. Our friends will all want one and we may even start a trend.
#5 Speaking of trends… ladies I’ve set a new one. I said a tearful goodbye to my hairstylist, manicure and pedicurist. I have no need to cover my roots (I didn’t have any anyways right?), or get my nails done because my hair is always in a swim cap, bike helmet or running cap. As for the nails you will be changing flats and getting greasy putting your chain back on so no need for a weekly fill!

#6 With all the conversations you’ll start by sporting around all of your race shirts you’ll gain new friends and potential sponsors! Nike, Cervelo and Zoot will be at your door in no time.

#7 Vacations?! No more vacations mean more money in your pocket. You’ll become so overzealous before the season starts that you’ll sign up for a race every weekend. No need to take the kids to Disneyland, Hawaii or local amusement park! Don’t worry everyone will understand….you have a race on Saturday!

#8 With all the added health benefits of being a triathlete now you will never get sick. This means fewer trips to the doctor (can you say “no $20 co-pay!), no need for medicines, vaporizers or tissues!

#9 Home Depot and Lowes you are not getting any of my money this summer! We won’t have the time or energy to tackle the house or yard projects. This means money saved! Again!

 and finally….

#10 With all the goodie bags and after race awards that you’ll accumulate consider your holiday shopping complete! Grandma has always wanted a snazzy headband, grandpa a power tri visor and hammer gels make great stalking stuffers.

Are you fooled yet? In all reality triathlon is a luxury sport. Who am I kidding to think that I’m saving money? It would be a whole lot cheaper to buy season passes to Deer Valley and eat at a five-star restaurant (wearing my designer jeans) everyday!

The truth is, I love this sport and can’t imagine my life without it. You just can’t put a price on all of the great experiences you’ll have swimming in a pristine lake, biking through complete gorgeousness and running in total blissful scenery. That’s priceless!

Keep tri-ing.

Michelle

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Monday, September 13, 2010

Lo-to-Ja!

Christina and I at the finish!

I seriously had a bit of doubt that I could ride my bike from sun up to sun down.  I did it...well I should say WE did it.  You cannot go this race alone.  You have to work the draft or you will burn out fast.  Where shall I start?  We got to Logan in just enough time to pick up our packets and get our legs stamped. 

LotoJa stamp

They stamp it with the LotoJa cyclist.  This year it was blue (I heard last year it was black).  We grabbed some dinner at Cafe Rio and headed to the hotel to get our stuff in order.  When I say "stuff" what I should say is food.  Food in the form of granola bars, shot blocks, sports beans, power bars, perpetuum, chicken stock (more on that later) EFS, advil, bananas and agave nectar.  Seriously, I had about 20 pounds of food that I was supposed to ingest over 12 hours?  How was this possible?  I had it meticulously planned.  I would consume 75 grams of carbs per hour and 500 mg of sodium (bawk, bawk).  I had made a list of what I would need at each stage of the race.  Justin was kind enough to be my support for this all day affair.  He had my "nutrition plan" in a little notebook I had prepared for him.  It's crazy how much prep time you have to put into a race of this length.  Earlier in the week while at the store I was shopping for some power bars and I would check for carb content.  You see, most people who count carbs don't like to have too many in their diet and restrict their intake.  Not a weirdo like me!  If it didn't have at least 25 grams of carbs it was NOT coming home with me.

Back to the race... We woke up at 5:20, got ready, tried to eat until we were stuffed and then headed to the starting line.  My wave of CAT 1,2,3 and 4 women went off at 6:58.  It was a chilly start.  We rode 30 miles into Preston Idaho.  It was mostly flat and these girls were setting the pace around 22-23.  I hung on the back and turned on a podcast.  I just love drafting.  Into Preston I took my jacket off, got a refuel (150 carbs and two new bottle of sports drink) and I was off for the first of 3 climbs.  The first climb was very scenic but I was just not ready for it.  I missed my friend who was supposed to ride with me.  I was feeling lonely and discouraged.  When I got to the neutral feed zone at the top I decided to wait for Christina. Even though i lost 15 minutes by waiting it was so worth it.  We were together!  We could now continue on with our plan and life was good again.  We rode into Montpelier Idaho and saw our guys at the third feed zone.  I was feeling great and ready and fueled.  Onto Afton Wyoming baby!  Ohhh wait... another climb!  The second one of the day.  It reminded me of the backside of suncrest and wasn't extremely steep but we were working.  What goes up....must come down.  We cruised down the other side and enjoyed a bit of relief before heading towards our final climb.  Queen of the Mountain!  This climb was like the front side of Suncrest and only 3 miles. Christina and I met up with several groups and continued to work our drafting skills.  While we were not crowned Queen of the mountain I settled for princess.  It was steep and without Eminem singing sweet melodies in my ear I wouldn't have made it.


Afton "picnic" stop.

We flew into Afton and I was feeling great...and hungry!  We pulled into the feed zone #2 and our men were not there.  What the?  Where are they?  Who are those guys under that shaded tree enjoying a picnic?....JUSTIN!  They ran over so fast.  They "claimed" that they had just arrived themselves.  He said they got a hamburger and I said "what?  a burger?"  So my sweetie let me eat half of it.  i was starving!  Usually I rarely eat during races so this was way out of character for me.  I so want to do a long distance race and not bonk, puke, pass out, forget my name,  etc. that my goal was to get it right this time.  I did.  I ate, drank, ate, gel, pretzels, and banana.  I put in my order for a "Cafe latte" (perpetuum flavor) at the next stop in Alpine.  We were off again.  125 miles down and 34 to the next stop.

Check out our drafting skills leaving Afton.....

video

Once into Alpine I was still feeling surprisingly good.  I was excited that the finish was coming and the next time I saw Justin it would be at the finish.  For this stop I grabbed my latte, 2 advils and chugged down some chicken stock.  I think I made a few spectators gag as they watched me drink straight out of the box.  Kind of gross, I know but a girls gotta have her sodium!

This next part of the race was through a canyon with the beautiful snake river at our side. Stunning!  i saw a few boats full of people who were rafting down the river and having a blast.  it reminded me of our second year anniversary when we stayed in Jackson Hole at a bed and breakfast.  We did the river raft (2 months prego at the time)  and a few hikes (saw a moose of course).  I was lost in my thoughts of gorgeous mother nature and how happy I was with my life.  Its been a fun year.  Busier than ever but so enjoyable.  I could not stop thinking about my kids and how I wanted to bring them up here and do the river raft.  They are still a little small fro it but one day they'll be ready.  i also thought about the three things that I wish for them as they grow.  They are; 1-Be happy. 2- Be kind and 3- Be adventurous!  I want them to get everything they can out of life.  Not material things but experiences, new people and adventures.  This is my wish.

Coming into the finshers shoot

Kiddos at Oktoberfest!  Happy, kind and adventurous.

We had 36 miles to go and I told Christina "remember our ride last Saturday?  That's all we have left.  Lets just pretend we are out for a 36 mile ride with fresh legs."  We came out of the canyon and along the main drag and then we took a side road through the country.  10 miles to go!  We could see the Tetons in the distance and soon the sun would be behind them.  My body was feeling good but my mind was ready to be done.  I got a little weak these final miles but Christina and Karen pulled me in.  We finished 12.10!  It was still light out and I have never been so delighted to finish such a long event.  It was a great day.  So much more enjoyable than I had expected.  We celebrated with a burger the size of my head!  So happy to have done this, happy to be done and ready for a slight break before my next adventure.....

The next day.  Me and my man in downtown Jackson Hole

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Outta my way!


Move over Michelle, it’s my turn to blab…I mean blog for a minute. Admittedly, I haven’t been the best at posting my race experiences, but as my tri season came to a close this past weekend I thought I’d get back into the swing of things. Who has time to blog when they’re out there training 40 hours a week anyway? Seriously people, more training and less blogging! (Michelle’s going to beat me for saying that).

I’ve had a blast this season, and learned a lot! Swimming for one was a good start! You Race Directors can all rest easy now...I can assure you, no animals were harmed in my swimming in these triathlons. I also learned that running on a seriously upset stomach is much less fun than anticipated. I don’t recommend it. I also don’t recommend chaffing, especially in the nether regions, but that’s a different story for a different time.

All in all it was a great second season, and definitely one to build upon.

As for the Utah Half (70.3) this past Saturday…I really didn’t know what to expect. I haven’t really had much interest in putting time in on the bike. Not sure what it is, but it seems to be running in the family these days…go Michelle, I know you will rock LOTOJA. My run has been okay, but not great. My swim…well it is what it is, an area for major improvement this offseason. That being said, I just really didn’t have a feel about how this race would go for me. I wasn’t nervous, or overly anxious either, which is somewhat out of the ordinary. Bottom line I had no clue how Saturday would turnout.

On to the recap…
Looking my coolest...NOT!


The Swim

The water was absolutely perfect. Total glass…I was actually really surprised to see Michelle as I exited the water. I was certain she’d have met some ski bums and been cutting it up out on the slalom, but thankfully she was there cheering myself as well as everybody else on. Ironically, I now know why she was the head cheerleader back in high school! Thanks dear…it’s really great to have you out there leading the cheers! Back to the swim…nothing too eventful, the washing machine feeling is slowly becoming less and less intimidating, and I actually like mixing it up with the boys in the front, even if it is only for a few seconds. I’ve really improved in that area a TON since last year. Anyway, the typical elbow to the face, foot to the face, etc. Nothing too crazy, except maybe the taste of gasoline from the Ranger boat….yikes. No worries, couldn’t be any worse that the water in Utah Lake itself, could it? The course did feel a little long, and it seems like everybody’s time validates that. I came in just after 40 minutes, which is about 4-5 minutes slower than I had hoped. Time to kick it in on the bike…

T1

Not bad…wetsuit came off just fine, I was a little confused by the g-string tri shorts I somehow managed to wear without my knowledge. Oh wait…silly me, my shorts had just decided to impersonate something you’d find in the Victoria Secret catalogue I guess. Nice timing for that…oh well, maybe someone got a good chuckle out of it. I know I did! Not a bad time (1:50ish), considering my transition area was on the far end from the bike out. Really need to consider sacrificing the extra 30 minutes of sleep so I can get a good transition spot. Mental note for next year!

Bike

Being a pretty flat course, I really wanted to push it on the bike. My goal was 2:30, which is roughly 22 MPH. It was a stretch, considering I’m not riding a TT bike, and haven’t been putting a ton of miles in, but I really thought I could push it today. The wind cooperated for the most part, a few miles where it was tough, but I managed to push it pretty hard for most of the ride. Other than stopping at three stoplights due to some road construction, I felt pretty good about it. Came in just over my goal, but I’m totally stoked with my 2:32 split. My favorite part of the bike was my nutrition. In the other two 70.3’s, my nutrition on the bike has been terrible…I’ve literally limped into T2 on empty and had to get some calories immediately before I could get moving. This time I had plenty energy and came into T2 strong…or so I thought.

T2

Smokin…nothing else needed here. Third fastest out of the whole field (0.56 sec). To be honest, I don’t even remember T2…it was just so dang fast it must have blown my mind.

Run

I’m really not too sure what to say about the run. Coming off the bike I felt great. By mile 1 though, I felt awful. My stomach was not happy at all and was letting me know it. I managed to get some coke and a little food down just before mile 2, but by mile 4 I just wasn’t feeling it and had to completely stop and walk for a minute. I was having my own little Michelle-Boise moment, and I couldn’t understand why. Nutrition on the bike was great, what happened? I really wish I knew, but I haven’t a clue. Anyway, I told myself enough of this, and I forced myself to jog to the next aid station. A little more walking here and there and finally, at about mile 6 things started to turn. I must have done the first 6 miles in about an hour, because I was getting passed like crazy. It was not going to be a great run split, but at that point I knew I would finish. Michelle was a huge help on the run, and I think the second half of the run was one of the more memorable I’ve had. I went from feeling like garbage, to running pretty hard. Yes, I was sore, and not 100%, but who is 65 miles into a race? I’ve always heard of this strange “negative split” concept, but my egocentric self could never come to grips with what it meant…until now. My first true negative split! I’m kidding of course, but I truly had such an enjoyable second half of the race, and I owe a ton of it to Michelle. She had somehow managed to befriend about 20 people on the course, and somehow over the multiple times I passed them, they remembered my name and cheered really loudly for me. I felt like Tom Brady out there…by the way, GO PATS! Anyway, Thanks Michelle, you really are the best.


Coming into the finishers shoot- 4.56!

Afterward

I always love to chill after a race and just chat with the other athletes. Loved having my parents there to watch, thanks Mom and Dad for coming! Chatted with some cool people, and hope to stay in touch throughout the winter and next season. Final time was 4 hours 56 minutes. Scary, but 11th place (including overall winners) in my age group…19th place overall. The 30-34 age group is just so competitive, but I love it. Great job to all the racers out there, and major thanks to RaceTri for putting on a spectacular event.
Mom and Dad

Until next time…Tri Hard!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Can you train for a marathon in 6 weeks?


With all this biking I've been doing this past year I am missing my true love...running. I slipped on my shoes the other morning and ran 10 miles! I could have run forever. It was a perfect end-of-summer-cool morning. It was absolutely gorgeous; trees still in full bloom, flowers and of course tons of birds and deer. School buses were out and it reminded me of my long ago childhood. I remember riding my bike to school and feeling my body wake up and the power of it as I pedaled my old blue ten-speed to the schools overflowing bike rack. So I got a little nostalgic and inspired to find me a fall race. Well the race is a marathon so I should be a little more serious about this but I really just want to run long. My mom, sister-in-law and several friends are signed up for the SoJo half-marathon. I love half-marathons and if my 20 miler (in 2 weeks) is a little painful I will do the half instead but my ego says "go big or go home." My second reason for wanting to do a marathon is because of a thing called a "runners streak." This is a weird phenomena that runners create for themselves; like running every day no matter what, running a marathon in every state, or if your Dean Karnazas- running 30 marathons in 30 days. Pretty crazy and weird stuff we type A runners and athletes do to ourselves. I want a streak of my own. So here it is...an inaugural marathon which I can run every year and compare my times, become part of the 5-year, 10 year and 25 year club! YIKES 25 more years and I'll be 56! Hard to think that far ahead but I'll look back at this blog when I'm that age and say "my how time flies...now where are my dentures." Anyways, Justin has a marathon streak. He has run the Salt Lake Marathon every year since its inception. That would be 7 marathons on the same course. His times are as varied as the weather that time of year (April). They range from a 4.25 down to his PR of 3.13 set last year. It has been so fun seeing him over the years. I love to look at the old pictures of us. First there is one baby in tow then in 2007 baby on board. That is why I cannot share the same streak with him. Boo hoo! We do most everything else together as far as races go, so this is my chance to start something of my own. Still love ya babes. I know it won't be a PR this year and that's ok I just don't want a DNF. I'll give it my best as I can for only training 6 weeks and being one week post 206 mile bike race. Next year, however, it'll be time to rein in and focus. Then pressures on! This will also be my 7th marathon so there's a little luck in that.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Seeing stars and leaving infancy...






With the conclusion of the Herriman triathlon this past Saturday I leave my tri-newbie life behind and enter into toddler hood. My second year complete. I have learned a lot and still need much work in all areas of this crazy lifestyle. One thing remains the same though; I am still having a blast! I have met so many people who share this crazy passion and have been inspired by athletes of ALL abilities. I still have 2 other races I need to blog about but wanted to capture the Herriman triathlon experience while it is still fresh on my legs...er mind.
The weather was perfect! A little chilly in the morning but warming up by the minute. We set up T2 first and then headed up to the lake on our bikes with swim gear in tow. T2 was packed and we ended up in the furthest spot from the exit (not where you want to be). I guess getting there early would have been beneficial. We were in the sand which was a messy and new experience. Once we were set-up I realized that I forgot the swim cap! I went on a search to find one and ran into Brad Gilson (triathlete superstar) and he was kind enough to lend me his coveted Xterra one. I ended up getting another one from one of the race directors shortly after but thanks anyway Brad. What a nice guy. I told him that Justin and I had saved him a spot on the bike rack further down from his first rack position. He kindly declined, offered some swimming tips and was off to claim the #1 title.
My biggest decision was deciding on wearing a wetsuit or not. It was about a 60/40 split with most in wetsuits. I decided against mine which fared well for me and I did the swim with T1 time in 10.08. The bike course was all to familiar. I had been on the same course earlier this year for Daybreak Tri and Goldilocks ride. I was able to push it like crazy up the false flat to the top of U-111 and then fly down to 11800 south and back to T2 for the run. Bike 14 miles with T2 in 43.44 I was surprised that T2 didn't have many bikes (this rarely happens). It's generally full of fancy tri-bikes from the superstars and faster age groupers. My average-non-tri-bike felt a little out of place by herself but I assured her that she did a good job and would be back in 23.41 to take her to the truck. Onto the run! I felt like I was a steeplechaser or reverse Rocky Balboa descending down two flights of stairs before hitting the pavement. My legs felt great and I was happy and ready to push it. I saw the first place gal who passed me on the bike a little up ahead and I hoped that I could catch her. After 1.5 miles with nobody passing me I heard the dreaded fast steps behind me. No worries I'm sure it was a young male track star approaching.... ohhh no I took a look and saw superstar triathlete Leslie Howlett at my side! Where did she come from? Why was she not ahead of me? Did I beat her on the bike? the swim? nice thought for a second. It dawned on me later that she didn't start until 5 minutes after me. So she was able to beat everyone in her wave and now everyone in my wave! Amazing! I told her I would hang with her for as long as I could (which was about 10 seconds). She was just too fast for me. She told me afterwards that she kept "quick, fast steps." hummm maybe I'll change my stride? Finished the run in 23.41. which is 2 minutes slower than last years 5k'S! Gotta rein that in. Living on the bike this year has hurt my running... D#@& LotoJa! Anyways, I am happy with 1.17 finish which put me second female overall. Not a bad way to end my triathlon season. Can't wait for next year!

I still consider myself a "rookie" and can't wait to get a tri-bike and master the 70.3 distance (watch out Boise 2011). I may need a coach and some nutrition advice.

It was so fun seeing and talking to my new and old tri peeps at the conclusion of the race. Honestly, I wanted to finish fast so I could socialize with everyone. My true talent lies is my ability to "talk anyone and everyone's ear off!" Justin says I have the "gift of gab." I think that is why I love this sport. Most triathletes are socialites and love to talk, especially about triathlon. Not to bash cyclists (which is my current focus) but they seem to be a little uptight about racing. At the conclusion of biking events there is little celebrating. I saw my old college buddy Sue and her friend Michelle who this was their first tri. They did great and I told them they would be hooked. Leslie and Brad blew the field away! They are so inspiring, full of knowledge and nice to everyone. I met another superstar earlier this week at the pool. Mr. B.J. Christensen. He is a kind, polite and humble gentleman....ohh and he's also the ultimate fastest male in the state!

Someone was nice enough to do a video of the tri so I will post it here as well as my other pix.

Until next year triathlon-

Michelle

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ioRU8EfXUx4

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Listen to trinruncouples Playlist


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Races, places, moose and 8 weeks racing!

WOW! Summer has been so much fun. I never want it to end! I remember this past winter I was counting the days until summer and now they are in full swing. It has been cRaZy busy. Like my mother always told me growing up; "honey, your burning the candle at both ends!" I don't know how else to live. I have completely overwhelmed myself with work, school, kids activities, races, training and trying to have a date-night once in a while. With that my blogging has been slacking! I have a ton of stories and always an adventure that I would like to share. Where to start... Three weeks ago I raced in the Porcupine Hill Climb. This was a bike race to the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon. It is way scenic, I mean total eye candy the whole way. I love to climb and wanted to finish better than I did but CAt 1,2,3 women are amazing and they smoked it. I did place fifth in the CAT 4 women's group which was fine by me. I get 1 point for my UCA ranking. Yipee! The best thing about this day was after the race we went hiking up to Marys Lake with the kiddos and some friends (Christensen Clan) then we had tinfoil dinners after that. We also took a stroll around Silver Lake and finished the night off with Reese's Peanut Butter smores! I had two. They were delicious! On our way home that night we saw three moose. It just couldn't have been a better day. NEXT up! Draper days 5k. I love this fun, fast family event. Justin, mom, Brittany and I met at the park and ran our guts out on the hot morning. I have to remind myself that this year is a "bike" focus year because I was so disappointed with my 23 min. time. Last year I was 1.5 min faster and place 3rd in my age group. Why can't we have it all? Stansbury tri was the following Saturday I was so ready for it. I wanted to do a triathlon so bad after my bike and run races. I love putting it all together. This happened to be on the 24th of July also the day of my brother-in-laws wedding. How in the world I pulled this off I don't know. I had like 5 bags packed into my car as I headed out towards Wendover early that morning. One for triathlon gear, one for wedding clothes, cosmetics, baby wipes, and race packet stuff. The race was fabulous! Water was calm and warm with a slight sulfur smell...gross. Did it in 12.30 (12th out of the water). Not too shabby. Onto the bike which was flat and fast with many turns. Finish in 35.06 for 12 miles. Total lung buster- 5th on the bike and need I remind you I don't have a tri-bike! Finally the run out and back on flat, hot, black asphalt throughout a cute neighborhood. Tried to catch the fourth woman in front of me but couldn't she beat me by on 12 seconds. I was 23.45 which gave me a total time of 1.13, fifth woman overall and second in age group. After I left the real race began. How was I to get cleaned up and to a wedding in 1 hour?! Check out my before and after photos. I did it. Of course I didn't smell too great and a few people asked me what the numbers were for on the backs of my legs but other than that I had made it on time. Freakin' addict! Four more to go... Michelle
video