Sunday, September 14, 2014

Maine, Vermont, A 100 Miler

  • I'm tracking Emily running a 100 mile race and it's exhausting.  I'm sure she's tired too but mothers don't sleep when their offspring are alone in the dark woods running up and down mountains.  She is now at Mile 80 and being paced by a good friend. More to come on this.
Here's my FB status from yesterday to tell you a little more about the race.
I'll be thinking of Emily Halnon all day today, through tonight and into tomorrow as she runs her first 100 miler, Pine to Palm in Oregon. Not only does she decide to run a 100 miler she chooses a difficult one with 20,000 feet of climbs including 3 "epic" climbs of over 7000 feet. She has 34 hours to complete this race which is her goal. I hope she enjoys the journey. I'll be glad when she reaches the end!
This is Em during a 100 mile relay.  Now she's doing it all.

  • No race this weekend so a bit more about Maine.  I love Maine.  No secret!  Last Saturday after the race we went to the beach and sat and watched people, the ocean, read, all that good stuff. Bliss. 
Yeah, I'm in my happy place.

  • Then we drove to Nubble Lighthouse and took pictures even though I have several hundred at this point.  Then it was time to eat. What to get?  I got lobster macaroni and cheese.  My friends didn't finish theirs but I had no problem.

    We each had a couple of beers.  I forget what I got  first but then I got Shipyard Pumpkin Ale.  They put it in a Miller glass and put my friend's beer in a Pumpkinale glass. Well, that wasn't right so I got the beer switched around and all was right with the world.

    This is from my house, how it should be done.

    Sunday we got up early and a bike ride was on tap. First there was a catastrophe.  You know when you hear a bump and look in your rearview mirror and there are no bikes where there should be bikes that all is not right with the world.  I can feel some of you shuddering now (Kate). I pulled over and the bike rack had gone down (because someone hadn't clicked it shut) and the bikes had bounced on the road a couple of times while still on the rack.  I couldn't stop exclaiming over how stupid I was.  My friend kept saying it was okay. If you are going to do something to someone's bike or whatever, she is the person to be with. She stayed calm  and kept saying it all could be fixed.  Well, my bike was fine but hers appeared not to be.  She could ride it though we could see things that were bent.  We could quickly see it was not as bad as it first appeared.  (It has been in the shop now since it's trauma.  I couldn't talk about this until I knew it was okay.  It just needed a part straightened out and is fine.  Phew!) So we rode to Ogunquit Beach from Maine and I easily knew those would be the best two hours of my month even though the month had just begun.  Bliss Bliss Bliss.  And more bliss.  And then some more.  
    When I first got to the Nubble.

    I love this library.
    Oh my.  Bliss.

    Back in Vermont I have given myself two weeks off swimming now that I have no tris. I went back to the gym this week for my runs and they were quite good. I did a long run of 6 miles at home yesterday.  Yup, that's my long run these days.  I also have started strength and stretch exercises and a class. Badly needed.   I did my class in the middle of my run the other day and I was shaky when I finished the run. I badly need to do this and I'll let you know that I am.  There I said it. I am going to stretch and strengthen twice a week.
    Vermont is pretty sweet too.

    I got two short bike rides in after work, both quite nice. I hope to go longer today but I am waiting for it to warm up. Friday's ride was quite cold and yesterday's run was Arctic! 

     Back to tracking Emily.

    Okay many hours was exhausting tracking her and there were times I was worried. But she came through in 28:10:35. She was the 8th woman. Go Emily! She was incredible in her first 100. I say first because I am a realist.  What a rock star she is.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Pumpkinman Triathlon Race Report

My last tri of the season was a ton of fun.
On the way to the start

I will admit that I was very worried before it began.  I knew it was weedy and the pond had some scum on the top.  I found myself doing lots of deep breathing, bending over so I wouldn't throw up and humming.  Yeah, I'm that person you want to be standing next to at the start.  I was quite worried I was going to lose my cool again but once it started I was truly fine.  I did encounter weeds of course but was able to handle it. I was in the 4th of 8 waves so I had people around me the whole time which I like.  My goal was to only get passed by people in the wave right behind me and that happened.  I did pass a few and I felt like my time was great. It was 12 something compared to 15 or 16.  I did a great job of swimming in a straight line. I questioned my route because so many people were way out but I was fine.  I did the breast stroke because that seems to keep me calm these days.
Last year I did the swim in 12:23. This year 12:38 but that's close enough.  I was worried I'd be way up. I am not sure why I am faster here.  I was 402/476 in the swim. How many people would be happy with that? But I beat 74 people. In my world that is good.

The race gave a wet suit to the person in the exact middle. I thought that was a great way to give it.  Many people were joking it needed to go to the slowest swimmer.

Before the tri - checking out the pond

Walking up the hill.....

Once done I had to do the hill climb.  They give a prize for this too. No chance whatsoever!  I did it in 2:11. I think the winner did it in 47 seconds. I cannot imagine. I was very slow!  
The hill climb - awful!

When I got to the top my bike was right there. IMO I had the best bike spot in the place.  I could find it. It was on the end of the rack when you ran in. I had a fence to put stuff near if I wanted.  Yeah, I had to run through transition with my bike but on the run I was right there.  Loved it. Between the hill climb and first transition that part was about 30 seconds faster this year. I did well in transitions.

Bike racks at this race have lots of room. There are numbers for exactly where you put your bike.
Happy happy!

On my way back in.

Then it's bike time and I start out with a smile on my face!  Love it. It was a bit crowded at first and the whole time there are bikers around you.  Fast athletes were in the later waves so I had many passing me but I also passed a decent amount of bikers. (31)  It isn't an overly hilly course although you have to pay attention to pot holes.  I was slightly faster than last year - 52:43 to 52:16.  I had hoped to improve it more but oh well.  I was 277 out of 476.  So I beat almost 200 there.  My pace was 16+.  

I did well in T2.  2:05 last year. 1:32 this year.

It was hot. Really hot.  Like 88 degrees. And very very very humid.  It was hard to run to say the least.
On the run - heading out.

I did it but it wasn't pretty.  I kept thinking I needed to pick up the pace but didn't seem able to.  I was 3 seconds slower than last year overall so I wish I had found it but........  I was so happy to finish.  That was a long 3 miles.  My time went from 28:00 to 29:20.  I was 288/476 which is actually closer to my bike than usual. A lot of people had trouble on the run!  

My happiest statistic is that of all women there I was 111/233 overall which is top half. I say a big woot woot to that.
On the podium - such fun.

I was 1/3 in my age group. I wish there had been more of us but I'll take it. It was fun to be on top of the podium.  
Drinking the pumpkinman ale - love it!

My overall time was 1:40:14 compared to 1:40:11 last year.  I think that's good with the change in the weather.  I was 299/476 total.  

Hate to see these ending for the season.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Circle Tri

There are so many things I liked about this race.

#1 is my shiny new PR!  Yay!  I did better on the bike and T1 and it made a minute and a half difference.  I was slower in the swim, better than last year on the run but not as good as the first year I did it and slightly slower on T2.  But overall - victory!  They don't give age group awards here but I would have been third at best out of not many.  The woman who came in first in my age group was FAST!

Let's start with the swim.  It was so peaceful this morning.  Finally it got started. Waiting for the start just increases my nervousness.  There were people doing one for the first time and I suspect they were more nervous!  The swim went okay. I started out too fast and made myself slow down as that whole breathing too fast thing isn't comfortable in the water.  Apparently one guy had to get in the canoe in the heat before mine. I didn't see it thank goodness. One guy I was talking to after told me it made him feel good as it all went just the way they said it would in the pre race meeting if someone was in trouble.  Good to know.  I thought the course looked long and I do think I'm getting better about knowing the distance.  But it was the same for all.  I passed some people in this race. Really!  Of course MANY passed me. I was in wave 7 out of 10 and waves are random so faster swimmers can be after you for sure.  I did the breast stroke mostly. I can see better, I like my breathing better, I can't see weeds.  It was a little weedy but I told myself to get over it, it wasn't terrible.  Plus I have a song I sing to get my mind off the weeds.  So my time was 13:05 which includes a run to transition.  Last year it was 12:27.  Oh well.  I was 147/189.  Hey, that's quite a few people I beat. 

 BUT my transition was awesome. It was 2:35.  Last year it was 3:27. The year before 4:27.  Lots of improvement there.

Then it is my happy time because I am on the bike. This course is 12 miles and takes me about the same as the 14 mile one near my home. It is HILLY!  I heard some guys talking ahead of time about how hilly it is and they were surprised it was pushed for beginners.  I lose some time on the downhills as I am not brave particularly when I don't know what is around the corner.  There are two major hills and lots of more minor ones.  I passed 24 people, you know how I like to count.  I was 112/189.  My time was 49:33.  Last year this was 51:01. The year before 52:19.  Oh yeah! My pace was 14.5.

T2 seemed fast but my time was 1:43 to last year's time of 1:21. Oh well.

Then it was time to run and I felt surprisingly good.  My first mile was 9:30. I did slow down after that but it was better than I have been doing. I was 26:18 for 2.7 miles.  I was 134/189.  This was better than last year at 26:29 but not as good as my first year.  My pace was 9:45.

Overall I was 1:33:14.  Last year I was 1:34:45 and my first year 1:36:21. I love improving!  I was 122/189 overall.  Yay!  I am thrilled.

I hung around some after and ate blueberry pancakes and home fries.  Then I was leaving but I watched the cutest little kids first running in from the water to ride bikes.  They were seriously little and seriously brave. There were also some older women and at first I was confused.  But there are three races and you can choose anyone of them, no matter your age. You can do a really short race which would usually be offered only to kids.  The women looked so excited!

Then I went to Dunkin Donuts, race kit on, medal on, number still on.  There was an older woman there and a school age girl.  The woman thanked me profusely for doing the race.  It is for girls who don't have opportunities to go to camp, do this mentorship program this lady was involved with and other stuff.  This woman said she had been meeting with her mentee for years but this was the first time they had watched the race. I was already sold on this race but the appreciation of this lady made me think I need to come every year. This year I had some hesitation but I  won't next year.

The day before the race I walked around Plymouth where I got my undergraduate degree. I was so happy to be walking around with those wonderful memories on such a great day.  Here are just a couple of pictures I took of that.

*****I hit 500 miles on my bike for August! This is definitely a high for me. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Zoe's Race

How is my foot?  So so. But I ran a 5K today.  Stubbing a toe!  Who knew what problems it could cause?

The race I did today is Zoe's Race. My son helps put it on and it's an awesome race.  The funds are used to make homes more handicapped accessible for families.  There are lots of kids being pushed in wheelchairs.  The looks on their faces as they crossed the finish line is priceless!

Plus my husband, son and I all do it.  My husband was very unhappy with his New Year's race time. Well he lessened it today by more than 3 minutes! And he never runs!  Jameson also liked his time a lot although he hasn't been running either.  Me - who has been running except for this last week - didn't like my time so much.  It ended up being a flat 10 minute a mile pace.  Oh well.  It was a beautiful day. I was running and racing.  My husband and son were there.  People were happy.  Life was good!  I was second in my age group - no prize though.

The food and prizes for this race are incredible.  I didn't win a random prize but they were great.  They do have trouble getting people to do this race that don't do it every year. I am not sure why!

While I was running someone ran by me and said hey Age Groups. Well in the short time we were passing I thought:
Does she know I won my age group last year?
Am I winning my age group this year?
How would she know, am I the only old lady she has met?

She high fived me and moved on.  I don't feel I was very friendly as I was so puzzled.  But I finally realized she meant my blog.  That doesn't happen to me often so I had no clue.  But if she is reading this, I am sorry I wasn't more friendly, I was just so mystified and truthfully out of breath!

After the food that I ate and ate and ate I went on a great bike ride on the bike path and causeway. It was truly a wonderful day.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Why Is It So Hard Not To Run?

It's no secret that biking is my activity of choice. So why is it so hard to stop running when I know it would be the smart thing to do.  More than a week ago, in fact the night before my last tri, I stubbed my toe badly.  I immediately stopped and iced it because this toe was broken once and it seems to get injured easily.  It didn't give me much problem in the tri the next day, in fact I could pretty much ignored it.

But as I ran last week there were days I wondered if I should be running and one day when I KNEW I shouldn't be but I still did.  I am not good about listening to my body. My foot was telling me it hurt but I didn't listen.  But it still seemed to be getting better. But the other night I caught my toe on something and it yanked it a little bit and seemed to pull it all out of shape again. It is ALWAYS bigger, it never recovered from it's first injury.  But it usually doesn't hurt.  I'm okay to bike and swim.

So finally - just this morning - I said enough pain!  I am not going to run for a few days.  Although I found myself thinking it felt better in the middle of the day, surely I could run a bit. But I have not.  I won't even think about it until Wednesday and should go longer.

How are you about missing workouts? Do you worry you will lose it all?  Do you try to make them up later?  It is much easier to know what you should do than to actually do it, I find.

On the biking front, I had a great birthday ride. I rode 62 miles. I guess 61 for my age and one to grow on.  I rode all through the islands, into New York and down through New York, back to Vermont.

Saturday I did a ride I like a lot.  On the way back I got a flat.  I am ashamed to admit that as much as I ride and as far as I ride I CANNOT CHANGE A FLAT.  I am even more ashamed to admit that I had no tube or tools with me. I am even more ashamed to admit that I rode 13 miles on a flat tire.  I knew better.  But I am delighted to say that the tire and rim were completely fine!

I am again ashamed to tell you I rode today and forgot my new tools and tube at home.  They are now in the car ready for my next ride.  But it was a beautiful ride on my last official day of summer.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

It's Over or Vt. Sun Tri Report

Phew!  I was quite worried about this in spite of saying I was ready.

Thanks everyone for the messages of support on my last post!

As I was packing last nightI smashed the toe I have injured several times and knew it would be sore today. One more small thing to worry about. I immediately stopped and iced it so it was okay but I did notice it.
They put those buoys so far away.

There was a sprint and an Olympic tri today and they were well attended so there was a lot going on.  I must admit I like it when there are races of different distances.  There is more to watch and I can look at THEIR swim course and think, "Okay, at least my course is much shorter than that one."  But always always this course looks so long to me.  I was in the last wave and before I knew it we were off.  I seemed to be doing okay.  There were a lot of buoys and I just concentrated on getting to the next one.  There were people around me - yay - and people behind me - yay!  (Not to be mean to them but you get it.)  I still am not able to do much free style even though the breathing feels better. So I did some but I mostly did breast stroke.  If I found myself getting nervous about my breathing I had a song I would sing (in my head of course) and once I counted strokes for awhile.  Both helped.  I never had to get on my back or had that complete panic feeling. A huge win. When I came out I looked at my watch and it was right on what I typically swim this race in so I was thrilled.

I was 134/157.  Not DFL at all.  

Transition 1 was quicker than usual.  I am never fast here but there were improvements!
This is afterwards.  It was tricky finding my bike.
It was crowded but if you come out of the swim
late, not so bad.  Look at me finding the 
positives to that slow swim.

Then oh yeah, it was biking time! And I was behind many many people. I started passing right away.  One guy I passed told me I should feel great as he started swimming 4 minutes before me and here I was passing him on the bike.  It was actually 6 minutes before me, he was 31 and  in the first wave.  Way to make me feel good!  I had people to pass the whole course. Sometimes it isn't very crowded and there are just a few spots to pass people or it is half way before I catch up with people.  More beginners?  I counted - I passed 39 people.  You may laugh at my counting but it is very motivating to me. I can see them ahead and I know I can pass them.  This doesn't happen to me running or swimming so I love it.  One woman passed me back (I knew her too) but then I passed her again.  There is a long hill (where she passed me - I am not good on hills). When I came in I glanced at my time and was quite sure it was the fastest I have done the bike in the 5 times I have raced this.  (IT WAS!)  Yes, I broke 50 minutes which I hadn't done. When I've been practicing I've been over an hour.  Yikes!  Loved, loved the bike.
 I was 84/157. So close to being in top half! Very pleased with this.

Transition 2 was okay. I was trying to get my Garmin to work but just threw it in my bag. It wasn't worth the time although I do like the mile splits.

I could see by the well marked course that I was doing fine.  My run time was comparable to what it has been the other times I have done this. So much better than my slow walk/run two weeks ago.  I was so worried about a swim panic and having a sick feeling for the rest of the course and I am so grateful this didn't happen.  Some people passed me here, including my friend, but not 39 people so I made some ground on the bike for sure.
I was 104/157.  

I got second in my age but there were only 3.  I was 105/157 overall, similar to my run.

The woman who was first in my age group beat my by 7 minutes. But I was closer than usual to her.  I was barely behind her bike time and I used to be way behind.  My run was barely behind.  She is faster on transitions. And man she kills me on the swim.  I taught her daughter many years ago and do know her.  I beat the woman behind me in my age group by 20 minutes. Big gaps in this age group for sure!
Trying to set up a picture and the cat photo bombs again.

Overall I am happy and once again eager to do more tris.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

I'm Ready

What am I ready for? I am ready to get back in the water and do a tri again tomorrow.
So what has gotten me to this state?  Well, I never wanted to throw in the towel completely at least not for long.

I have been swimming 3 times since the debacle two weeks ago.  I first went back into the pool where I felt safe. I was a bit surprised that even that made me nervous at first but I kept at it and swam slowly but surely so to say.

Then I went to Lake Dunmore, my OWS spot, and went in the water, wetsuit and all.  I do this all the time but it felt different now. I must admit I swim alone so this time I stayed closer to shore and in the state park swimming boundaries which I had not been doing.  I swam slowly and just practiced being able to breathe.  I sang a little ditty in my head when I was nervous and just concentrated on being relaxed. No speed records were set.

I went back to Lake Dunmore  yesterday and did the same as above with a little more speed.  Although my breathing feels best when I do the free style, I always end up going the wrong way and don't do it for long.  I did mostly the breast stroke because I guess it feels better to me.  I did feel relaxed even when I saw a few weeds. I know when I swim tomorrow I will be out in the deeper, somewhat weedier part but I will be with a lot of people which makes it easier.  (As I am writing this I can feel my heart speeding up.  Okay, I still have work to do.)  BUT I can do it!!!

My running is feeling pretty good again, too.  Oddly, my bike which has always felt good is the most off in the speed department.  I am expecting a slower than usual time tomorrow and will be pleasantly surprised if that is not the case.  My brother is going to come watch I hope.  He has never been to a triathlon.  He tried to see me once at the marathon but there were so many people it didn't happen.

Oh yeah, I also practiced doing it all while having to pee. Seriously.  I seem to always need to go between each discipline here and have been. But yesterday, I didn't let myself go use the bathroom because I knew I wouldn't in the race.  I may be more worried about the pee factor than the swim factor tomorrow, who knows?

Oh yeah, one more thing. I did a little retail therapy. I bought my first ever triathlon suit. What is it called?  A kit?  So I can't quit now  because it cost a lot of money.

So there you have it.  I'm ready.  But if you're thinking of it and want to send some positive thoughts my way from 8:30 to 9:00 EST tomorrow, go for it!

One more thing.  I always say my goal for any race is to have fun and I do mean it. But tomorrow this is a more serious goal than usual because of my small worry that I may not because I so didn't last time. So my A goal = Have fun!