Saturday, May 22, 2010

No swim, rain, tough chicks, inspiring women and 48 seconds!

Well what can I say? Women of Steel race today was a blast. Triathlon, like life, throws you things that you didn't plan for. Whether they be good or bad you realize that the only control you have is how you react to them. I am an optimist to start so that has boded me well throughout my life. As we were driving home last night (after picking up our race packets) a big, dark cloud covered the valley; I said to my friend Cindy, "well maybe it will rain all night and be fine in the morning." Cindy gave me that look like "Are you crazy?!" Even this morning when I woke up to a drizzle I thought "maybe down in American Fork it will be warm and sunny." It wasn't of course and there was even snow in the mountains! Not good for race morning. What ever shall we do? Remember like life triathlon tests you and sees if you truly are a Woman of Steel!
They cancelled the swim for fear of hypothermia. I was bummed but we didn't need women athletes ending up in the ambulance so good call on the race directors part. Instead we would do a run, bike, run. Okay so dualthlon style! I like to run so maybe this will be advantageous for me. Lets give it a tri.. or dual. We started out in waves of 100 up to 800 (8 waves), we ran 1 mile, biked 12.75 and then ran again for the 5k. I toed the line in the second wave and gave it my best. I sprinted! I was the first one out in my pack of 100 (uncharted territory). This felt weird. I'm ok at running but there are some smokin' fast women; where were they? I immediately caught up to the first wave and passed most of them. I could feel their eyes on me like "what is she doing?, Who is this chick? She's gonna pay for it later." maybe.....but its a race, right?

I got back into T1 in 7.20. Found my shoes, helmet, and bike and then back out for the 2 loops.I could see a few women with bikes exiting but wasn't sure how many there were. The bike felt good. I made sure I was uncomfortable the entire time (thanks Just for the advice). Two hills to those are tough #$%^*! I stayed around 19 mph average. Not to bad. I so desperately wanted to beat last races and last years bike split. My mantra; sub 40, sub 40, sub 40. Then this sweet thing passed me! She was so nice too I wanted to curse her but she was just so awesome so I said "good pace babe!" Tip: when your mad/jealous/frustrated at someone send some love their way. Maybe I could get her on the run...

After my final loop another Betty tries to pass me on her fancy bike. I held strong though and made it into T2 ( mantra worked) then out onto the course for run#2 this time a 5k. My feet were frozen and I was a little wobbly like I didn't have control over my lower body. I always feel like this for the first mile. Where r u running legs???

I was told I was 3rd and about 90 seconds back. Where was that sweetheart that passed me on the bike and what was that dreaded sound coming from behind me? Oh no! I can't get passed again! I said out loud (kind of like in City of Angels when the patient can't see the ghost) "I can't see you but I know your there." I NEVER look behind me no matter what. At mile 2 she matched me stride for stride and at the turn she pulled ahead. "Go for it babes and nice pace!" So much for a podium finish but I'll be happy with fourth and even more happy being able to do this crazy sport with amazing, inspiring women! Finish the run in 21.25 and 48 seconds from third place overall.
I love this race. My favorite part is cheering for all the other women who have overcome God-knows-what to be out here triing. They are the true inspiration to women everywhere. I loved seeing all the dudes on the sidelines for a change. Cheering wives, mothers, and daughters. To my little fan club I am those things. Thank you mom, Just, Abb's and TyTy you are my reason for being.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Triathlon Fun to the Second Power

What to do when your significant other shares the same love for triathlon as you do?

You don't have to quit your job or sell your kids to make time for triathlon training and racing. You may be tempted to when your spouse hogs all of the "free" time (aka early morning/late evenings) used to train while you; care for the kids, work, go to school, keep up on chores, bills etc. There is a better way. You can have your Gatorade and drink it too.

We had our first fight. It wasn't about in-laws, money or who forgot to put laundry soap on the grocery list. Instead it was who about who was going to train on a certain day for a certain time. I remember my husband telling me awhile back that I should "get a hobby." Well honey I not only got one hobby I got three. Shortly after that he decided that he wanted to join me in this crazy tri-lifestyle. That's when we decided to seek mediation.

We sat down one night with a pen, paper, calender and a list of races that we would like to do this season. Then we broke the list of races down to one's that would be "A" races, "B" and so forth. We picked those which would require loads of training, money and babysitters. After much debate, consultation and reflective listening we had a plan in writing and on the calender. We toasted our protein shakes and our marriage was saved!

Its hard to explain to people who don't quite get our weird addiction to our sport. How do you explain to people that our date nights include dropping the kids off at grandmas and hitting the sack at 9:00. Or how about he couple who spends their anniversaries river rafting, surfing, completing marathons in far away lands and biking centuries. How romantic are we? We have shared many firsts together; 5k, marathon, triathlons, 70.3 and now we have have hopes of Boston qualifying and completing our first Ironman. However, these big aspirations will not happen unless we are on the same stroke length

Here are a few tips on keeping both you and your S.O. happy, fit and ready to race.

1. PLAN- Its easy for Type A personalities (like most triathletes are) to make a plan. You really have to map out every little detail of when, where and what workout you'll be doing. For us it was deciding when we would swim. Since we don't have a pool at our house we knew this workout would require away time. This lead me into...

2. OPTIONS- Since we started training for races that include two-a-days it was imperative that we had options to train at home while the other trained away. We have a bike trainer, treadmill, weight set, and yoga videos at home. This gave one of us the option of going for a "real" bike ride while the other got to watch Sesame Street with the kiddos while on the trainer.

3. PICK DIFFERENT RACES- Grandma and grandpa have a life too. They love our kids but may not want to spend every single Saturday watching them. So we started to stagger our races so one of us would be a spectator and parent while the other raced. I thought I'd have a difficult time being a spectator but I soon realized that watching a triathlon can be a part of training. I learned so much about the sport and was able to watch and cheer for everyone; from the first place male finisher to the first timer. You can also get inside scoop from other spectators as to "whose who" amongst the field of the super-fasts.

4. BE MULTI-TASKED-Asking a triathlete to be multi tasked is like asking a kid to be excited for Christmas. But why not put the kids in the bike trailer and head to the track? They can play in the long-jump pit while you run repeats! How is that for multi-tasking? Or, push the jog stroller up a hill while your child shouts "go mommy go!" Not only does your kid have fun but you get a killer strength building workout.

5. MAKE IT A TRIP- For my 30Th birthday I ran the Catalina Marathon with my husband and then spent the rest of the weekend with my sister and her fiance'. We went golfing, sight seeing and ate until we couldn't breathe! We've also done family trips where after a race we spend time with the kids hiking, swimming and playing at the park. This way the whole family gets a fun trip and you don't spend the time thinking about workouts your going to miss.

6. BALANCE- As obsessed as we are about training and racing we know how to keep our lives balanced. We would never miss a soccer game, dance recital or birthday to satisfy our cardio needs. There are also other things to talk about than tri-bikes, gear and nutrition. We have to put the new Triathlete/Runner magazine down and pick up Dr. Seuss sometimes.

By finding the right balance will make you a better athlete, friend and parent. It will keep you grounded, humble and eager to give it your all in everything you do. Isn't that what life's all about?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A little therapy...

Aghhhh! Its been one of those weeks. Things just weren't going right and I needed something. I thought about drugs, drinking, and decided to run away. Literally I ran and ran and ran and up, up, up I went. I've been meaning to do some hill work but just needed a bad mood and a little anger to get me there. I did it and man I feel much better. I didn't take the garmin. It was me and the road. I was surrounded by my beautiful city. The mountains looked spectacular! Once I reached the top of the 1.5 mile hill I could overlook the entire valley. What a sight! I a had made it. Running like life is hard yet rewarding, humbling yet exhilarating. Sometimes you feel like your not going to make it, not going to finish or persevere but then your there and you made and and your ok. You did it and now you feel alive, inspired and renewed all over again.

No need for drugs (unless you consider running a drug),