Friday, December 28, 2012

Runner. I am a Runner.

Two thousand twelve was The Year of the Run and, for the most part, it went really well.  It inspired me to push through the days I didn't want to run and complete the races that I wanted to quit.  It also helped me to complain less about the act of running, less not stopped completely.  I can honestly say that I no longer hate it - sometimes I even enjoy it.  But I didn't run as much, as far or as fast as I had hoped so next year is time to kick things up. That brings me to 2013 - which I am deeming "The Year of I AM A RUNNER".  From this day forward, I'm going to say, "I'm a runner" without missing a beat (at least I'm going to try really hard).  When someone asks me if I run I often stutter, stall, try to change the subject or say one of the following:

  • not really;
  • I'm so slow, I might as well walk;
  • I only run bc it's part of a triathlon;
  • I hate running - it seems like a waste of my time;
  • No - I'm not a runner at all.


With the new year coming, I'm going to set bigger, tougher goals for myself.  To kick off the year on the right foot I've joined a few Challenges.

I've also set up my triathlon/run schedule for the year and it's looking fun, fun, fun with lots of work to do to accomplish.  Now only 3 days until January 1st...bring it on.

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Facebook Effect

This past month I've heard these things said to me:

  • "that was before you were an athlete";
  • "you're a marathoner, right?";
  • "how do you fit in working out every single day?";
  • "I wish I could workout as much as you do";


I attribute all of these comments to something I'm calling, "The Facebook Effect".  It's sort of like having a PR person for your personal life but instead of paying someone, it's just me talking about me (what else is there to talk about anyway?).  I find it really funny bc none of those statements are true - I've never said they were but people assume things bc I am constantly posting things on Facebook and on this blog about races.  The truth is that I only write about them bc I could not be more shocked at myself for doing any of them.  I talk about them bc I just can't believe it's actually me, actually doing them.

Never have I been an athlete, athletic, in shape or cared about any of those things.  I've always longed to be skinny, like my friends (I tend to only have really skinny, really pretty friends for some really dumb reason - I'm looking for some fat, ugly friends if you know of any I can interview).  Just to back up a bit - I played field hockey from 7th - 12th grade but after 9th grade I was basically just-on-the-team.  The younger girls were 100 times better than I could ever be and since I've always believed in, "I'd rather quit than fail" theory on life - I just quit trying and let them take over.  I sat on the bench for most of my field hockey career and was fine with that.  I didn't fight for a spot, didn't work hard, didn't work at all.  I liked the uniform (cutest plaid kilt - what's not to like?), liked hanging out with my friends with on the team and it got me an extra study hall for the entire semester (some really dumb rule that if you played a sport, you were given an extra study hall in place of gym).  But an athlete - NEVER.  Someone that tried to be better - NEVER.  A runner - NOT IN A BILLION YEARS.  Flash forward to now and I really do try.  I have a lot more downs than ups, I'm extremely hard on myself bc I know I could try harder, give more and get faster but life gets in the way and sometimes you have to go on a field trip and skip a workout.  And to be really honest, sometimes I need a manicure and it's between a run and a manicure - the hand massage wins every time.  

I truly love watching my kids love something athletic and getting better and better at it with each try.

This is my darling 10 year old that kicked my butt in this weekend's 5k - his pace 8:55/mile, my pace 10:17/mile.


No matter how many times I try to tell people the truth they think I'm being humble - I assure you, I'm not.  I can say I'm a TRIATHLETE, perhaps even a RUNNER.  But I can say that I try really hard.  I love triathlon, I love racing, I do not love the training, I love the gear, the magazines, I love talking about it, writing about it and meeting other people with the same love of the sport.  But be sured - I'm not good, I'm not fast, I don't ever podium.  I do all I can do not come in DFL (dead fucking last).  However, bc of Facebook and Blogger I get to paint myself in any light I wish and since my dream is to be an All-Star Triathlete that's the what I paint myself to be.  It's a nice life and it's great to write whatever I want about myself.  So keep assuming I'm a rockstar - it's great for my ego.

This is how I wish to think of myself while I'm racing!



Monday, October 15, 2012

The Cupcake Classic & Hamilton 5K

Making them run a 5k brings me great joy!

Sunday was the 4th Annual Hamilton 5k to raise funds for a local elementary school.  The weather was perfect for a run, cloudy and in the 50s.  I've never done this race because, as I've said before, I used to refuse to do local races for fear my local friends, neighbors would find out that I was a fraud.  But I have finally let that go and it turns out to have been a pretty great idea.  My sister decided to join us for the run with my 2 sons Dylan (10) & Maddox (9) along with our favorite friends Jack & Joel.  The amazing, Nicole Redmond, "volunteered" to keep Charlotte for the race so no one had to "deal" with her while we were running.  Running with Wendy was awesome (just don't tell her, I'll never admit it).  She asked what my PR was and what my goal was - my goal was to run a 5k under 30:00.  My last one I came close at 30:59 but knew I could have done better had I not stayed with Dylan at the beginning which slowed me down.  That's right - I just blamed my 10 year old son for slowing me down - I'll use any excuse I can get my hands on.  Telling Wendy my goal was either the best idea or the worst (hindsight is always 20/20).  We were cruising along - too fast for me but it wasn't unbearable.  She's way faster than me and I told her to go ahead but she insisted on staying with me as she had no goal for this race.  At the mile 2 water station I was hurting and dying of thirst.  I said, "I need to stop for water".  NO WAY - you are NOT stopping bc then you won't PR this race.  Again, not sure telling her was a good idea at the time.  But I listened knowing that at the end I'd be happy I did.  It was "only" one mile left but a long mile at that.  We got to 2.5 miles and she says, "OK now we're going to kick it" - sadly sister sledge, I AM kicking it.  I was giving it all I had - if it had been up to me I'd still be at the Mile 2 water station.  Then I turned into the parking lot and saw the clock 28:15 and I knew I had no only beat my goal time but crushed it by over a minute.  Then I kicked up as fast as I could for an official finish time of 28:51.  I was over the moon but hurting badly. 


Throughout the entire race we were waiting to see the boys on the side of the road crying, breathing heavy, crawling etc but we never saw them until the end.  They also killed it.  Not only did they kill their own PR times but they beat me by a lot - they are usually my excuse to go slow.  Dylan told me that excuse was now out the window - don't you just love kids?  They are so great.

The Boys!
We are all experiencing some leg pain today.  Yesterday the boys were pretty much wiped out since after the 5k they both had a football game to play, which nearly caused them to be punished until the end of time but once we got to the game they were fine (that's a story for a parenting blog that is too boring to even explain).
  
Wendy, Deihdra, Dylan, Jack, Maddox, Joel




This 5k coincides with the Virtual Cupcake Classic and I was able 
to wear this awesome shirt to the race.  You are supposed to eat cupcakes after the race but we were in such a whirlwind after that we never got to it.  We made up for it today - after school the 3 of us enjoyed these amazing red velvet cupcakes in honor of our awesome day yesterday.  



Let them eat CUPCAKES!
Let them eat CUPCAKES!
Thank you greatly to my beloved sister, Wendy, for pushing me beyond my comfort level.  To Nicole for housing Charlotte even after the race, Liat for being the best "holder of shit" there is.  To Holly for putting on a great event for me to PR.  To Run with Jess for the best tshirt which offered up many great comments.  And for my boys - nothing makes me happier than seeing my kids enjoy sport and working hard to achieve their goals (even when I told them their goals were insane - they proved me wrong).


                Dylan Miller-JonesM10Glen Rock 27:10.148:45

            Maddox Miller-JonesM9Glen Rock 28:18.259:07
                        Deihdra MillerF38Glen Rock 28:51.689:18









Tuesday, September 11, 2012

There is a first for everything.



Thanksgiving is the best meal.  I wait all year for it. It's the greatest holiday - the festivities, family and  food but none of the pressure of the ever dreaded Christmas.  When I found out the Pumpkinman Triathlon offered a post race meal of Thanksgiving - I was IN!  To be honest the real reason for racing was that they were hosting this year's AquaBike NorthEast Regional Championship.  My beloved Non-Lesbian Life Partner, Kevin, works very hard with USAT on their AquaBike Task Force (yes, that is actually a thing and I make fun of him often for it but he's still on the task force).  Because of the work he does with this group we try hard to support AquaBike events in order to bring attention to them as a "real" & growing sport.  After we registered for the race, THEN I found out about the Thanksgiving meal and was not at all upset about the 6 hour drive to Maine.

GREATEST post race meal EVER, EVER EVER!


I was registered for the sprint race on Saturday.  The drive up wasn't pretty - turns out Romney and my other boyfriend, I mean Obama, were both in New Hampshire making the drive there difficult.  I say this as if it really afftected me - I was sound asleep for 90% of this drive but Kevin told me the traffic was awful.  Packet pick up was easy it was at the race location and the volunteers were kind and helpful.  This race is in a very small town in Maine and the whole town is behind this race - the location was beautiful, the lake was the PERFECT location for a triathlon.  The swag was really nice, even the stickers were nice!  Back to the hotel, bag packed ready for the morning.


Saturday morning I woke up with the worst headache of perhaps my entire life.  I get headaches but not terrible and not debilitating but this one was unlike any I've had before.  I had to turn off the lights, Kevin got me Tylenol, it hurt to brush my hair, move my head and even breath.  I just needed 10 minutes to close my eyes and I thought I could rally.  I was not willing to not race.  Told Kevin to wake me up in 10 minutes.  I woke up 4 hours later and did DNS the race.  For the first time since my very first triathlon 3 years ago, I've never DNS, DNF or DFL - I've come in very close to DFL but still managed to never be last.  The rest of the day I didn't move much bc I was still in a lot of pain but it got better - my ego however was very, very bruised.  Until I got some very wise words, "CRYING?  You are crying over a triathlon? Go have a beer".  Thank you Laura Cozik  for putting things into perspective!


Sunday was much better - no headache, tornadoes had moved out and it was Kevin's turn to race.  And race he did - he killed it!  Came in 2nd place male and crushed his expectations.  The weather was unreal - the perfect day to race: overcast, no sun, cool air - perfection!  Once Kevin finished (did I mention he was 2nd?) and we were all so excited it was on to the Thanksgiving meal - it was AMAZING!  The whole atmosphere of the race is exciting - I just wish it was closer or we'd go every year.

Second Place!


Moving past my first (and I hope last) DNS and now that the triathlon season is pretty much over - I'm moving back to the Year of the Run and am going to work my butt off getting my run times faster and faster - bring it!

Monday, August 20, 2012

US Army

Sunday was the West Point Triathlon - I wanted to do it but never got around to registering and then as it approached I knew I had not trained enough to swim a full 800 meters.  The week before I convinced Kevin to do a relay with me - he could swim/bike and I could "run".  The last time I ran one single step was July 19th with Team Lipstick and it was for 1.4 miles when I couldn't really breath at the end of that 1.4 miles.  It wasn't pretty to say the least.  Going into yesterday's race I was nervous about even being able to complete the 5k but had finally made peace with the fact that I would just have fun and be happy with a 14:00/mile.  I figured the absolute worst case scenario was that it would take me 45 minutes and I'd have to be able to live with that pace - if you can even call that a pace!

We left for the race early - it should have taken less than an hour from our house but clearly I didn't read the Athlete Guide in its entirety bc I followed the map to "The Post".  For those not in the know, like me, that means where the actual Army is - at least that's what I think it means.  I really have no clue.  All I know is a large man, holding a large rifle told me they didn't hold triathlons "On Post".  So off we went to find the actual race.  Walking from the parking lot to transition is quite a hike and those that got there after us had to hike even further and the hills are nothing to sneeze at!  Note to self: get there early next year, do packet pick up on Saturday and go to the actual race location the first time!

Once we made it packet pick up it went smoothly.  There were a ton of great volunteers moving things along and there were a lot of racers making a great morning buzz.  The greatest part of this day was the weather - it's not often that it's "chilly" on race morning but Sunday was the most beautiful day ever - I think it was my very first race without sunblock!  The weather stayed cool for the entire race, there was the perfect amount of cloud cover with perfect temps!  The only "issue" was this:





I put issue in quotes bc I wasn't swimming anyway so wetsuit or no wetsuit made no difference to me!  Kevin is an amazingly fast, competent swimmer and he's happy either way.  It worked in my favor bc that makes his T1 a bit faster (although something we REALLY need to work on - his speed on the bike makes up for the amount of time it takes him to put on socks).

He was out of the swim when I expected him to be there.  Then out on the bike we had discussed him taking 50 minutes.  I was waiting in the runners holding pen with my new "friends" - who knew that's where all the fun was?!  We had a grand old time trying to figure out who was racing in the co-ed relay category to see who we needed to run past on the course.  Kevin was back in :37 - lightning fast!  Gave me a great lead.  I was all pumped out on my run and within the first 6 minutes I saw 2 other relay runners sprint past me - damn speedy runners.  I didn't let it bother me at all as I knew there was no way I'd ever beat them but it was fun for the first 6 minutes to imagine myself on the podium!  The run ended up being quite great for me - it was the least flat course I've ever been on.  It was either going up steep or coming down steep - never a flat surface, never.  Since this race was held at West Point there were a lot of military racers and many of them were racing while holding a very large American flag.  I had trouble holding the Dixie cup of water let alone a giant flag on an even larger pole so I figured I really couldn't complain or at least not out loud!  I also knew that 95% of the people running had done the first 2 legs of this race where I was just running - they were way more tired than I.  I only walked twice for less than 10 seconds each time to get some water but ran the entire race which is a huge accomplishment for me especially after not running for so long.  Crossed the finish line in :31:42 which puts me at a 10:12/pace - lightning fast for me!  I was so excited - over the moon and put me in the right frame of mind for my next tri on Sunday - SheRox NJ.  Now I just need to get some swim training in this week and I'll feel much better.  Thankfully SheRox is only a .25 mile swim which I'm hoping I can complete without being DFL (yes, that actually means Dead Fu**ing Last).

My beloved coach, Justin, always says, "you can do any race at any distance.  It's just a matter of how you recover".  Well I learned that lesson AGAIN the hard way today.  I was feeling all kinds of invincible yesterday thinking I could run a solid 10:00/mile without really training and then I woke up this morning.  My legs are KILLING me as if I ran a marathon or at the very least a 10k.  Running a 5k should not cause me this amount of pain.  As much as it hurts to say, here it goes: JUSTIN, YOU ARE RIGHT.  YOU ARE ALWAYS RIGHT.  EVERY ATHLETE MUST TRAIN FOR EVERY DISTANCE IN ORDER TO PROPERLY RECOVER.  Blah, blah, blah.  This is what I wore to my son's appointment this morning under my jeans desperate for any help.


Overall, West Point is a GREAT race!  I truly enjoyed the venue, the people, the after food (ice pops might be the greatest post race treat EVER!).  There was some issues with wetsuits vs. non-wetsuits results/awards but since we came in 10th out of 23 that wasn't an issue we had to deal with so I wasn't paying all that much attention to that particular detail.  There is just nothing better than perfect weather, low expectations followed by great results to top of a great day of racing!  Another race we will certainly register for again next year.

Six short days to SheRox NJ!  I love an all-women's race =)


Sunday, June 17, 2012

U.R. MY I.M.




Since I first entered into the multisport world I've always vowed to never, ever do a local race.  I never want people I know watching me race.  When I tell people that I do triathlon they are always impressed so I try to keep that mirage going.  Because if they actually saw me racing, they'd know I wasn't all that impressive. The no-local-race rule was broken this weekend at the extremely local Wyckoff Triathlon.  Everyone talks about this race all year but I've always been able to avoid it altogether.  The opportunity came up just last week to get into the race so I jumped at the chance, oddly enough.


I've been working hard to let go of my extremely high expectations.  I'm always disappointed when I don't come in first - let's be real here, I'm pretty much never going to come in first place unless I train hard all day everyday.  That means no bagels, no Starbucks, no lunch, no naps, no parent/teacher conferences, no fun, no life - coming in 1st is not worth giving those things up and I need to remember to just have fun (not to mention I'm pretty sure I don't have the DNA make up to be a world champ)!  This was my first race of just trying to have fun and it went well.  I had a really good time, I watched everyone that I know from my town fly past me and wasn't ready to quit.  My time is my time, my race is my race and I need to just enjoy the race, enjoy being active and continue to improve.  This race had a 5 mile run - not a freaking 5k which is what is should be - and I was really worried about the run but really tried to let go of that fear. 

A few days before the race, Kevin left me this note and at the bottom it said, "you are my ironman" and I wrote that on my wrist the morning of the race.  I used that to get me through the run - I never gave up, I hardly walked and averaged an 11:11/mile which is about a minute faster than I was expecting (and for those following this blog that is pretty impressive for me!).




Along with just enjoying the race, I made a few rookie mistakes.  Many triathletes will find a small, local race to do at the beginning of the season to work out all of the kinks.  This was my THIRD race of the season yet still mistakes were made - you know "People plan, God laughs":
-got out of the water and realized I had no socks so I rode without sock (I left them in the car).  Not a terribly big deal but only bc Kevin was there and I knew he could get me socks for the run (of course they were in transition when I got back to run!);
-went to put on my helmet and my hair tie snapped - snapped right in my hands so I had nothing to do with my hair (which if you know me is a  NIGHTMARE!).  I am never without at least 4 hair ties around my wrist at any given time, except this one time;
-then my helmet didn't fit, wouldn't stay on and was all over the place - I have no idea what happened as I had just wore the damn helmet a few days before for 6 freaking hours!  Had I fallen on the bike - I'd be brain dead as this helmet was serving me no purpose - take a look (notice the hair and helmet - a hot mess!):



This race ended up being so much fun!

  • I got to race with Jenni;
  • My sweet first born son got up at 4am to watch me race;
  • Kevin wasn't racing which means he gets to be my full-time sherpa (which is awesome!);
  • I did better than expected and had fun on all 3 legs of the race;
  • And most importantly, I wasn't disappointed at the end - I was happy!
The only real downside was the finishers medal - very, very lame.



I am going to put myself in the lottery next year to get into this race again - I think this will be a good staple race to do every year to see if I can keep improving with each passing year. 

Bring on I Love The Tavern Tri coming this Sunday...

Monday, June 4, 2012

Rain, Hill, Family & a Great time!

Dianne & I were Team Kennedy!

Rev3 Quassy has come and gone - my new favorite thing about triathlon just might be the relay and/or the AquaBike.  What an amazing concept - skipping the part that sucks and hurts the most!  But since this IS the Year of the Run I'm not giving up on running altogether, at least not yet.  Saturday's race was a one time event in order to race with Dianne.  Out of the kindness of my heart, I "allowed" her to do my run portion so she could be a part of the day (that's my story and I'm sticking to it!) because I'm a really kind sister-in-law.

Stephen, Kathy, Dianne & Deihdra
We arrived on Friday for packet pick up and bike drop off - it hadn't started raining quite yet but the skies opened up over night.  The drive to the race Saturday morning was something out of a movie - it was raining so hard you almost couldn't believe it.  I was fairly certain they'd call off the swim bc there was no way lifeguards could see any swimmers in the water, it was that kind of torrential rain.  But no such luck - we got to the race and the rain slowed a bit, safe enough to swim.  While the swim was safe, it was not easy at all.  The crazy hard rain and wind made a usually calm and lovely lake into one with quite a strong current.  Said current was not going in the direction I wanted it to go!  My predicted swim time was 40 minutes.  It was hard and long but I got to the 2nd turn around buoy in 20 minutes and I was psyched that I was going to crush my PR time.  Then the current set in and it took me a full 20 minutes to go the last 1/3 of the swim.  Twice I looked up and was facing the wrong way - a few other times I looked up and didn't have a clue which way I was facing!  It was a big confusing and the turn around buoys just weren't big or bright enough to see very well.  I was excited that the rain had stopped - funny thing is that while swimming I guess you think it's no longer raining...not so.  I would have quit the swim and DNF'd but there is no way out of a lake other than to swim out so I kept on going.  There were many times that I could swear I was not moving one inch in any direction but eventually I did make it to the shore.  I finished in 41 minutes - piss me off.  Once out of the water I saw my sister Kathy 2 steps in front of me - she was also pissed at the strong currents and difficulty of the swim.  We both said that we had leg cramps from kicking so hard to try to just finish.  I pretty much never kick in the swim (no coaches comments here - I just don't kick I need all the legs I can get for the rest of the race) but this swim I had no choice but to kick as hard as I could.  I also knew I was not running in this race.

Even the pros have to deal with the rain!  Matty Reed


Once out of the water I realized it was still freaking raining but on to the bike I went.  I have ridden in the rain a few times and while not ideal, it doesn't scare me.  My coach constantly says, "Americans don't train in the rain that's why they aren't the best" or something like that.  I could just hear his accent in my head.  I rode this course a mere 2 weeks ago and it really didn't seem all that hard then.  I finished the preview ride in 1:50 - that ride was without police stopping traffic so I was hoping for a 1:40 finish.  Again, the rain makes the race an entirely different ball of wax.  This bike course is all hills - you are either going up or down.  You can never get into a rhythm, you are constantly changing gears and either climbing or descending.  Climbing in climbing no matter how you slice it but descending in blinding rain is not that much fun.  Going fast down hill is my favorite thing to do - makes the climbing all worthwhile but in this race it was nearly impossible.  I finally took off my glasses bc I couldn't see through them but then the rain was pelting me so hard I couldn't see anyway.  You had to sort of close your eyes and hope for the best.  Since I was in the very last swim wave I was alone on the bike course.  I passed about 5 people but other than that I was completely alone so that took out the scariest part of descending while with other people.  My max speed on the day was 38.8 which in hindsight is probably a bit too fast in those conditions!  I was able to finish the bike in 2:01 but I need to take about 3 minutes off bc some jackass guy asked for my CO2 shooter and it took him forever to use it and he made me wait to give it back to me - I should have either said NO I didn't have one or just thrown it at him while I was still moving.  Lesson learned.  The first 15 miles were awesome - I was alone on a closed road having a grand ole time but then I realized I had another 10 miles to go and it was hard, hard, hard.  Plus I was starving and couldn't even drink bc I couldn't' really take my hands off the handle bars to drink.  And the damn rain kept getting harder and heavier and hurting my body more.  If I had planned to run I'm fairly certain I would have DNF'd this race.  Kevin volunteered in transition for this race and there were at least 2 girls that came off the bike with hypothermia and had to quit right there.  I wasn't as cold as others but I did have nothing left in me to go on.




By the time I got back to T2 I had already mentally decided to tell Dianne she didn't have to run (I did say it out loud but she ignored me).  I felt so bad for her that I took so long and she'd have to be out there at the very end of the race all alone and soaking wet and freezing.  But I pulled it and she was excited to get going!  She finished in 1:03 a great 10k pace and was so excited!  We ran through the finish shoot together, got our medals and got what was the best post race food I've ever had!  I've said it before and I'll say it again - if you haven't done a Rev3 race you need to get to one ASAP!  It's the best organization out there - medals, tshirts, by far the most amazing transition!  But most of all they had the BEST volunteers ever!  I was at least moving on my bike - those volunteers stood out there in the pouring freezing rain for hours for nothing more than a free tshirt.  They were the best!


Another race...another medal...another victory!


As always I need to praise the best sherpa in Triathlon - sweet Kevin.  He saw many people come off the bike freezing so as soon as I came off the bike he took me to the car.  He had the heat blasted, dry towels and my dry clothes all waiting so I could heat up quickly.  I'm happy to let you hire him for your next race.... there is no one better in the Race Sherpa biz!


Next race - June 23rd - AquaBike National Championship...who's in??

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Mojo...is that you?

It could be a passing feeling but I do think, perhaps, that I got my MOJO back this past weekend.  Ever since Rev3 Knoxville, I've been on a downward triathlon spiral - it  hasn't been pretty.  My Training Peaks is empty, empty, empty.  I think over the past 2 weeks I've been on my bike twice, not one run, not once in the pool - pathetic.  The only reason I have not officially quit triathlon is bc I've already paid for Rev3 Quassy and am doing that race as a relay - that means someone else is counting on me (and mostly bc I already paid for the race and hotel room so I HAVE to go now!).

Sunday was the Quassy Preview ride - we all met in Quassy and rode the race course.  It was a beautiful day, bright sunshine with a great course.  Unlike Knoxville, these massive uphill climbs had many downhills as well which were awesome to fly down and make up some speed.  It's that sort of speed on a downhill to bring back all joy in sport.  Of course that day I did not swim before or have a run after but it was still a great ride and got my excited for my upcoming race.

That was written last week and now we are a mere 3 days from my next race - again it's a relay, AMEN!  This week also opened the town pool which is outside and 50 meters - a joy to train in.  No more smelly indoor pools for the next 3 months.  Much less turning around and a better way to swim train as you get to actually stroke for a much longer time before turning around.

I'm hoping my excitement is here to stay and I will have an amazing race season this summer - bring on Rev3 Quassy!


This photo is from Knoxville and I was beyond miserable in this picture - usually I look for the photographer so I can look all sporty spice in my photos but I missed this guy as I was hoping heat stroke would finally take over.  This weekend it will be 68 degrees and raining which is almost perfect racing weather!


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

1 bad race + 1 long trip = 2 years



Tuesday was the 2nd anniversary of my very first blog post. I reread it. It was extremely uplifting and happy while Monday was filled with self doubt and the strong desire to quit.  I always imagined getting better and better as each new season begins but reality punched me hard in the face this weekend.  Sunday was my first race of the season - Rev3 Knoxville Olympic - it was a rough race for me.  Last year this race was my first OLY distance race and I was so nervous the whole drive down (all 12 hours) but this year I just knew I'd crush last year's time.  Not only was the race a billion times harder but I finished 6 minutes slower than last year.  I came in 2nd to last in my age group - to say this race was a monster failure would be an understatement.

I've now spent the past 2 days wallowing in my own self pity and trying to figure out how much I can get when I sell my bike.  I have more triathlon gear than Chris McCormack and was hopeful I could make some money on the deal.  But now that 2 days has gone by I'm starting to see how this race was not a metaphor for my life - or at least I'm trying really hard.

Today I went over the exact times comparing this year to last years race and it seems perhaps it wasn't as bad as I originally thought.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

  • Finished the swim 3:00 faster than last year;
  • Transition was 4:25 slower this year;
  • however, BIG however here, they moved T1 much farther away than last year;
  • 5:01 slower on the bike;
  • :38 slower on the run;
  • 20 degrees hotter than last year
  • Overall - it comes down to Transition!  I added 5:14 to this year's race and 4:25 of that was transition.
And just like that, I found those 5:14 minutes and it wasn't so bad.  The water felt like ice cubes and the run felt like being on the face of the sun.  I think those are just excuses that people make for a poor performance.  When all is said and done - you get out what you put in.  I did not put enough in - didn't train enough, long enough, hard enough.  I deserved every one of those extra minutes plus some.  As the saying goes "Train Fast, Race Fast" but since I train slow and not very seriously then that's how my races will always end up unless I change my ways.  Last week I tried to teach Maddox a lesson that he was not allowed to quit baseball just bc he struck out 3 times.  He needed to practice and work hard - quitting bc you aren't good is not an option.  Don't you just hate eating your own words??




On a high note, my sweet NLLP took 1st place (of course he trains so hard everyday - lesson learned).


24 days left until the next race but thankfully I will not be running in the next one - bring on the RELAY!



Monday, March 12, 2012

Bubonic Plague

Perhaps bronchitis + a sinus infection is not the bubonic plague but it certainly feels that way.  There are 6 days until the NYC Half Marathon - for those not paying attention it has been all consuming in my life.  It has been an enormously large goal that I signed up for - my very first 13.1.  One that makes me extremely uncomfortable to the point that I've been working so hard to prepare.  But as the saying goes, "People plan, God laughs".  Well then I guess I'm the punch line.  I've been so sick for the past 5 days and everyday I think it's going to get better but then it seems to get worse.  Today I decided it was time for a visit to a professional.  At my doctor's appointment I failed the breathing test, had to get a breathing treatment, a shot of steroids in my rear, a week's worth of steroids to take at home and a prescription for Zithromax.  And still I'm having trouble taking a really deep breath and my headache is unbearable.

Then the question of the hour: "Can I run my half marathon on Sunday?" to which he responded, "Will you lose your job if you don't run it?".  Well that answered that one - he said it was crazy to consider it even if I were feeling better by then bc I wouldn't be completely recovered and would cause further damage.

I could actually cry thinking about not doing it - I've been so excited about this race from the day I registered.  I've not wavered in my excitement or training and now this.  This is completely out of my control, nothing I can do, no distance I can run, nothing my beloved coach can do to fix this - just me and Mother Nature not getting along.  This has never happened to me before - I've never had to back out of a race for anything and this sucks.  Perhaps I'll be completely cured by tomorrow  - let's hope!





Friday, March 9, 2012

When Life Gives You Lemons...

More like when your long run turns out to suck so bad you wonder why on earth you continue on?  Monday was supposed to be my first 10 mile run ever.  Of course 2 out of 3 kids were home sick but I wrangled a babysitter so I could still make this happen.  It was a terrible run - I felt like crap, my times were beyond slow even for me, sitter called at mile 8 so I had to head home.  But while out on the run I stopped to take some photos - it really is a great feeling to run in the quiet of nature, no music, no other people, just me (and my iphone camera when something pretty popped up!).  The pictures don't do it justice but New Jersey really is beautiful.  Fresh air and quiet make it all seem worth while.






One week left until I get to run through the opposite of quiet: TIMES SQUARE with 5,000 of my closet friends!



Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Mayor



My son had a school assignment recently about what would he do if he were Mayor of Glen Rock.  He came up with a few things that I don't really remember right now but I know what I'd like to do if I were Mayor: I'd put timing mats every mile in town with water stations filled with cheerleaders.  It seems I can only excel in running while wearing a timing chip. 


Let me explain:  Each week I run anywhere from 2-4 times and every time out I average around a 12:00/mile (it's closer to 13:00/mile but who's really counting!).  My legs always hurt, lungs huffing - it's always a struggle.  I have an enormously difficult time going anywhere over 5 miles - last week I did 6 and walked 4.5 of those miles.  It wasn't pretty but when I go to an organized race - I seem to be able to hold my own.  


Last weekend I ran in the NYRR GridIron 4 Miler in Central Park and this was my race:


110:35.51.0010:36
210:06.01.0010:06
310:57.81.0010:58
49:37.91.009:38


Avg Moving Pace: 10:15 min/mi


Throughout the entire race I felt great!  Kept pushing and pushing myself yet in training, on the street, everyday that doesn't seem to happen.  Soooo perhaps if everyday was race day I'd be able to keep a great run pace....think that's possible??





   
 

Friday, January 27, 2012

It seems longer than 13.1....







The new course map was recently posted for the NYC Half Marathon - I realize all half marathons are 13.1 miles but this course map seems WAY longer than that!  Take a look here: course map.  The issue I'm having is that if you wanted to get from Central Park to Wall Street on any given day it would take you forever - either by subway or a cab which might cost you $40 to go "that far".  But when you break it down - the island of Manhattan is just not that big (as my sister keeps pointing out).  I just go back to the days when I had an actual job and had to commute all day long on the subway - I worked in the World Trade Center and to get anywhere took at least 45 minutes by subway.  It seems impossible that it is really only about 6 miles to get to the southern most tip of Manhattan from the outside of Central Park.  But this is just all clutter in my head to keep me from the real issue: Shit, now I actually have to run 13.1 miles at one time???????  Why on earth did I sign up for such a thing?  Well just one more thing to be terrified of for the year and then I can get back on track for triathlon training and put this big, huge, frightening event behind me - one more medal to hang in the training room!!!


51 days and counting until I can say, "I'm a half-marathoner". Not that I'm counting.


And just in case you wanted to donate to The Fresh Air Fund - I'm soooo close to the goal!


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Two Men & a triathlete

My beloved (left) - Coach Extraordinaire (right)

They say It Takes A Village To Raise A Child - well it also takes a small village to make a non-athletic stay-at-home-mom into a triathlete and there are the two men that make it happen for me.  Meet my one and only, sweet as can be NonLesbianLifePartner, Kevin, and my world-class, amazing coach, Justin.  Without them I'm not sure where I'd be in life let alone in the crazy world of triathlon.

Kevin has been making my life more amazing for almost 5 years.  He brings light and joy to everyone that knows and meets him.  I always tell people he is an amazing human being - I think that sums him up. The greatest part of Kevin is that he makes you believe you can do anything.  He just sees the good in everyone and has made me realize things are possible for me.  Things I would have never once even considered let alone tried.  I used to be a firm, firm believer in "I'd rather quit than fail" philosophy in life.  He has made me see that even when you fail it's really a win.  Since meeting him I try many things I am terrified to do but I always give it my best try and so far they've all been amazing experiences.  I could go on and on and on about how great Kevin is but if you know him, you already know that and if you don't know him - you should.

Justin - well he writes my programs and all that coaching stuff that just about anyone could do that. It's the cheerleading/mental health part where he shines.  It's Justin's fun filled job to talk me off the ledge at least twice a week.  I usually call him with the intention of quitting. Yet, somehow, at the end every call I'm working on a race of a  longer distance than I originally started with!  Or I call him bc so-and-so told me that I needed to start running a 5:00/mile for 400 miles each week to train. I put myself in a panic and call him to "fix" my training plan.  He then once again, talks me off the ledge, calms me down and makes me see how all things are possible for me - all I need to do is believe that he knows what he's doing and most importantly BELIEVE IN MYSELF.

Every person needs these 2 egoless men to support them in their lives.  I hope you are all as lucky as me.  If not, you can at least hire Justin - sweet Kevin is not for sale, sorry.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Only ONCE...I promise!

As of December 31, 2011,  running was my least favorite thing to do but since I publicly announced that 2012 was the Year of the Run - I've had to rethink that feeling.  Now running is no longer my least favorite thing to do - at least that's what I keep telling myself over and over as I keep on running.  But to really prove to myself that I was committed to the Year of the Run, I registered for the NYC 13.1. As many of you know, it's nearly impossible to get into this damn race the "regular" way so I had to go an alternative route: charity entry.  That means I'm once again asking you for some cash - I know times are tough and you do not need to donate or even make an excuse.  I hate asking for money and I hate even more when people ask me for money but what can a girl-trying-to-be-a-runner do?

So here it is - my one and only time to ask you for a donation (unless you get this blog in a few different spots) - not only for my run but for my all-time, favorite charity on the planet:  The Fresh Air Fund.  My ghetto fabulous self went to sleep away camp for 3 weeks for the summer after 5th grade with just this amazing organization.  I'm sure you all know how great the Fresh Air Fund is so I won't go on and on but please click the link below to send some other lovely, underprivileged kids to camp AND help me on my journey to be a RUNNER!!

Won't you help send a girl (YES, that is me and I AM A GIRL!) to camp!!



Wednesday, January 11, 2012

70.3 done...well, almost.


Who knew a Virtual Race would light a fire under my rear end.  Last night when I looked at my spreadsheet, I realized I had to swim 1200 yards and bike 16 miles today in order to finish before the deadline.  It took quite a bit of juggling kids, the damn aquacize class (don't get me started on the amount of time and room the aquacize class takes up) but I did it!  I finished a 70.3 race....ok, well not really since I did it over the course of 11 days.  The good news is that since this is the Year of the Run - I went over in the run miles but 8.43 MILES!!!  I was completely shocked that on the last day I needed to swim and bike and I was thinking I'd have to run 12.1 miles on the last day.  Go me =)

I want to send out a huge birthday wish to Karen and an even bigger Thank You for pushing me to commit and complete something I said I would.  I was determined to make this happen and I am also determined to work my ass off this year to make my racing goals a reality.


      FINAL DISTANCES:
SWIM 2200yards
BIKE 56.00miles
RUN 21.53miles


Jenni bought me this hat and I vowed to never wear this hat until I completed a 70.3 race...do you think I can wear it now??


Saturday, January 7, 2012

NYRR Joe Kleinerman 10k

Wendy, my beloved sister in her NYC Marathon shirt!, at the start.

Today marked my very first 10K race ever and more importantly, the first 10k in the Year of the Run.  I've completed 2 other 10K distances but both were part of a triathlon and both were Ugly (with a capital U) -thank goodness for a new year.  I was beyond nervous about this race today - I hate running with people I know bc I'm just so slow.  I find it condescending when the people you started with are waiting for you at the finish line or God forbid, they come BACK to run with you.  I realize this is something I need to work on in therapy and that no one is judging me - just me judging me but that's a few years and many therapy sessions away from today.  Today was supposed to be a run with my sister (who did run), Pamela and Jenni but the last 2 had family obligations and had to back out at the last minute.  It went from a Girls Party 10k to just Wendy and me which took quite a bit of pressure off of me - albeit, self induced pressure.  I thought I would finish in 1:28 and was hoping beyond hope for a 1:15 finish.


We got to the park and I felt as ready as I could feel to run but still nervous.  I decided not to set my watch - I was originally going to run 6:00/walk 2:00.  Figured might as well just go and see what happens.  The first mile was way slow and mostly bc of the amount of people and not me.  The race was packed and it takes while to thin out to be able to actually move so I was pretty happy to go slow and walk up some of the first hills.  But then I got into my groove and sort of never got out of it.  That has NEVER happened to me.  My only complaint was that I forgot my gloves and while it was unseasonable warm in NYC today, it was still chilly enough that my hands were freezing the entire race.  On a sidenote: I own ONE, yes just one, shirt without thumbholes and I just happened to have picked that shirt to wear today.  Just my luck.  The course inside of Central Park is quite hilly but I didn't really notice.  I had no iPod and was alone the entire race.  I was able to listen to the gossip of those around me which might be one of my all time favorite things to do - got some tips on the course, heard about this one girls night out and a few other random things.  I walked very infrequently - mostly at the water stations and even when I walked it was never for that long.  I was never in any real pain and sort of felt like I could keep on going.  At the 4.5 mile mark, I saw Kevin and he jumped in to run with me for a mile.  It was so great to see him but for the first time ever in any race, I didn't need him or anyone.  I am normally desperately looking for someone I know to help get me to the finish line or say something inspirational - anything to help but today I was so fine on my own.  It's always great to see him but I didn't need it which was an amazing feeling!!!  Just kept trucking along on my run - he dropped off at mile 5.5 and then I kicked it up a notch.  I wanted to leave it all out there and give it every single thing I had left so I did except I made that decision a smidge too early!  Got to the 6 mile marker and thought I might not make the remaining .2 miles but just kept on going.  


Yours truly at the finish line!

I crossed the finish line and immediately stopped my watch - it said 1:08!  ONE HOUR & EIGHT MINUTES!  If I died right there I'd have died a happy person - I never thought I could run that "fast" - my Garmin put me at a 10:58/mile pace (the NYRR website has a slower pace so I'm going with my Garmin bc I can!).  What a great race, beautiful weather and a simply amazing way to kick off The Year of the Run - perhaps I could actually complete a 13.1....but for today I'm just going to bask in the glow of my speed =)


PS - please notice the negative splits - another HUGE first!