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 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 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 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-


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

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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