Sunday, June 21, 2015

First Triathlon of the Season

It's done. It was fun now that I'm looking back on it but I was disappointed with my times.  They were all slow.  No results out yet but when I studied glanced at the results board everything was slow.  I was most disappointed in my bike as it felt good. Oh well. I felt like I put a lot of effort into everything and that is good.

My swim was a debacle.  My goggles fogged up and I was swimming blind particularly once I turned around and was going into the sun. I had to keep lifting them up and I always found myself off course. I am slow enough without swimming extra distance.  I finally put them on my cap and just dealt with having none on.  But it took longer than forever.  The good part is I am fairly comfortable in this lake and knew  basically the course.  Then I ran out and took off my wet suit only to rip it.  Yikes. How much of a disaster is that?  Do people swim with ripped wet suits? I plan to.
I am at the back of this crowd feeling 
very nervous.

I made it. I actually like this pic that
my friend took.

This is early and they have just put out the first buoy.

Transitions.  Yeah, I need some practice there.

The bike felt good. I passed a decent number of people. This was a small race. I took longer than usual but it was fun for sure.  But still disappointed with time.

My happy place.

The run. All my runs are slow these days.  It could have been worse, it could have been better.  I like this run. It's in the shade and not too hilly but near the end you enter the park on a downhill.  I have to say I can't wait to do another one. This left me hungry to do better. This tri is repeated 3 times in the summer. I will be away for the July one but hope to do the August one as long as I am here. I am going to start scouring the internet to find a new tri too.  I have conflicts with the ones I usually do so am looking for a good July one.  
Who doesn't want a pint glass that says 
triathlon champion?

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Rye by the Sea Duathlon

I did this race last year and loved it.  In spite of that I wasn't overly excited as it approached this year. As soon as I was on my bike for the second leg, I regretted not having that sweet feeling of fun anticipation.  WHAT A FREAKIN FUN RACE!

You run for 5k, bike for 17+ and run again for 5K. What saves the 5K is that when you repeat it you do it in the other direction and that really does lend a new route feel to it. There is the road, trails through the woods and kind of a combo of the two for the three miles.

The weather was cool and therefore perfect. I came out of the run in 135th place and there were just 148 of us out there.  Yep, that's not a whole lot of people behind me.  I have been slow lately and doing this with a 10 anywhere in the pace was fine with me.  I did it in 31:45 with a 10:35 pace.  Then it was onto the bike.

OMG!  It was so much fun. I had a zen experience as I was just going along the road through the neighborhoods thinking I was put on this Earth to race my bike!  Some woman told me I was looking strong and I grinned from ear to ear and thanked her.  She grinned right back at me. I was feeling great and loving all the spectators and other races.  I thanked every policeman directing traffic.  I was having so much fun.

Then I got to the marshes and the ocean!  Now I could really hardly stand it. As I passed one woman I exclaimed over the delightful ocean smell. She laughed and said yeah it was great but she probably lives there and was amused at my eagerness.  Speaking of passing, I passed lots of people. I guess that is the advantage of being so far back in the run.  I counted, I always do, it motivates me to keep passing.  I passed 27 people, 1 passed me but I passed him back on the run.  A good amount of this run was RIGHT ALONG THE OCEAN!  A lot of it was where I ran the half marathon a few weeks ago.  Then I was back ready to run again.

My time was slightly under an hour with a speed of 17.7 mph. That is lightning fast in my world. I had worked hard on the bike to keep pushing it and it paid off.  I was 84th on the bike, a huge difference from the run.

Then I had my last run.  It felt slow but it was fine. I ended up doing it in 31:46 just 1 second slower than the first time.  I was in 122nd place for this leg. I guess some people slowed down.

Overall I was 112 out of the 148, nothing spectacular at all but I was so happy with how the bike moved me up.  I won my age group. Okay, I was the only one but I was out there doing it. I am taking it!

My overall time was 2:05:57 which was exactly 1 minute slower than last year. I expected more of a difference with my slowness and I was not trained as well as I have been missing workouts resting my knee.

The fun didn't stop there. My friend went with me to the beach where we relaxed and read.  Heaven.  Heaven.  Heaven.  The temperature was perfect, not too hot or too cold.  Then we went to the Nubble where two weddings were happening!  This was followed by a lobster roll and a teensy bit of shopping.

I was exhausted today but what fun it was!!!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Why Am I Not Upset at My PW at Vermont City Marathon?

Last weekend I ran the VCM 2 person relay. I have run this race many times, both the full marathon and the 2 person relay.  I believe this was my 33rd half.  And this time my time was the slowest it has ever been for a half.  But I wasn't particularly upset or really upset at all.

Coming into the finish.

1.  It is an outstanding race and I just plain had fun.  Yes, for me it's a local race but I think it can be fun no matter what. The crowd support is unreal throughout most of the race. The city comes out to support you.  People in the neighborhoods you run through provide water, food, watermelon, FREEZER POPS and more.  They have bands, signs and just plain hoot and holler to cheer you on.  The crowds line the start and Church Street. The finish area is packed. I can't say enough about the feeling in the city when this race is going on.
Darlene and I meeting Deena Kastor at the Expo!

2.  I had done a half the week before and felt quite good about my time. It was unrealistic to expect to do it again. I didn't run at all (or bike or swim) at all during the week.  My knee is not all recovered and I wanted it to be an easier week.  It is hard to run and not race but I did my best.
The morning of the race...... at Battery Park.

3. I am slow these days. Truthfully slow.  Perhaps when I am all recovered I will put in some harder training but for now it's how it is.
Darlene did the first half and is on her way.

4. As mentioned my knee isn't what it could be.
I waited at Oakledge Park for the Darlene.

5. Any day you race (pretty much) is a good day.  I try really hard to be happy about each race I do. I love racing and I try to find the good parts of the races I do. I think I do a fairly good job at this.
Yep, it's a pretty one.

6. There were so many people running this race to be celebrated.  I saw a woman with a prosthetic. I saw mentally challenged racers.  I saw an older woman being wildly cheered by her daughters.  There are people who do the 5 person relay with shorter legs who ordinarily wouldn't be involved in a marathon.  The cyclists/wheelchair athletes are highly celebrated on a hard course.  Quite simply so many people are so happy.
Coming into the finish at the Waterfront.

7. The course is beautiful. The bike path is one of my happy places and here I was racing on it.

8. Maybe I'll see one of you here next year.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Wallis Sands Half Marathon

I better do this post before my next race. Did I really use to post a few times a week?

I have another half this weekend through poor and ignorant planning. My knee is kind of sore so I am doing nothing and will take it really slow this weekend with no expectations this weekend. None!

But last weekend I was hoping to do better than my half in March. I did by almost a minute faster per mile.
Inside the lighthouse.

Portsmouth Headlight

This half was in Rye Beach and I did it last year.  I stayed in Hampton Beach which is not where I usually stay.  It was nice to be on the beach but I do like York, Maine better.  When my friend and I got there it was raining. We did some shopping in Kittery which was a huge score. I have a worn a new skirt every day this week. I wish I had gotten more as they are comfortable, cute and cheap.  Then we went to see Portsmouth Headlight and I went to the top.  I love lighthouses so this was a big score.  Then it was to the hotel to check in.  
Biking on Hampton Beach

Next I rode up the coast!  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  I rode to the race site.  Then it was out for my first lobster roll of the weekend.  
A small part of the bike path

Coming into the finish

At the finish

Then it was time to race on Sunday.  It was very foggy when we started out.  But within an hour it was sunny and warm. I was a little overdressed but not too bad.  I stayed around some people but passed others.  I was feeling good, not as fast as I used to be but way faster than my training runs were. I kept a reasonably steady pace. I walked a minute every mile which worked great.  I missed the mile marker for mile 9 so all of a sudden I was at 10 with only 3 left to go.  

The first few miles were along the ocean and then it veered inland past the marshes and into the village. The last few were back through the marshes, then along a bike path and finally along the ocean again.  I loved the bike path. Everything was in bloom and so pretty.  I tried to appreciate the scenery and not think about being tired. Truthfully, I was feeling great and not that tired so it wasn't hard.  
Approaching the finish

My stats weren't great  but okay.  I did not win an age group award. I was 5/8.  My other stats were so so but like I said, I was thrilled with my time and running.  I felt good and had a great time. What more could I ask for? 

Now this weekend I get to do it again but at a much slower pace.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Vacationing on the Cape.

I spent most of my April break biking and running on Cape Cod. It's not everyone's idea to exercise madly while on vacation but it's definitely mine. The rain held off for the most part but it was quite cold and we wore lots of clothes! But if that's what it takes to bike in a beautiful setting so be it.
My rides were from 60 to 17 miles with a total of 222 miles. Oddly enough I ran 22 miles. I am not sure what it is with all the 2s. To me this was a great vacation. It could have been warmer but the scenery made up for it.  Riding along or near the ocean is so sweet in my world. A lot of our rides were on bike trails that were not next to the ocean but we often ended up there.  The ocean, beaches, and lighthouses were everywhere!  
This is the bike trail we rode the most.

Some of the cranberry bogs.

Look at the bikes on top of this trellis. One
of my favorite sites on the Shining Sea
Bike Trail. Some of this trail
went right along the ocean.

The bike trail coming back from the Coast Guard Beach in Nauset.

At the Nauset Lighthouse.

One of my morning runs on the beach. 

We used this to get back up.

I enjoyed my runs. The terrain was quite different than what I am used to.  I either ran along the road overlooking the ocean or on the beach.  Truthfully, the tide always seemed to be coming in no matter what the tide charts said and I wasn't totally comfortable with the small distance between the water and the dunes.  The dunes were steep with limited access to get up and down and I didn't want to be caught down there.  There was a lot of evidence of where houses used to be as the dunes have receded!  

My knee is doing quite well.  The chiropractor I am currently going to twice a week seems to be making a difference.  So far she has treated other things and hasn't even started on the knee itself yet but the neck bones connected to the............

I'm still slower than I can believe but I am very happy to be running. I still can't do my favorite breast stroke when swimming but biking is very possible and I can run quite well without repercussions.  It's not all better but it is so much closer.  When I can't run I miss it more than I would expect.

I have been doing lots of new routes with running which I love.  On the Cape of course. When I go to my chiro appts. I run after one of them in Middlebury. I've run around the college some and even on the track.  I throw the track into the middle and enjoy watching all that is going on.  I go in different directions out of town depending on how far I want to go. It will be even nicer now that the snow is gone. 

So that's my life now. I haven't been reading blogs and I apologize. I hope to get back to them this weekend.  

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Running Favorites

Darlene tagged me to write about my running favorites and I'm doing it right away so I don't forget.

1. Location: trail, road or indoors

I am definitely a road person although many of my roads are dirt.  Is that like a hybrid?  I like bike paths too but I'm not a trails in the woods runner.

2. Time of day: morning, noon or evening.  
I prefer morning but work and life interfere and it is often evening.
This was taken the other day and it was around 5 PM.

3. Weather: mild or hot?
I prefer mild although really I most prefer crisp cool fall days.  I would never never say hot.

4. Fuel: before, after or sometimes during.
I prefer after.  

5. Accessories: music, watch or more?  I love my music when I am on the treadmill. In fact it is a necessity. Generally outdoors I listen to podcasts when I run.  When I am near the ocean I listen to the ocean.  I like a watch if I am not running  on a route that I know the mileage of. I am rather anal about this.  I need my phone to take pictures. The other day my phone died in the middle of my run and I changed my route!  I wanted to wait until I could take pictures on the route I had planned. I am still stewing over the missed pictures of the route I did take!
I have been running after my chiro appts. (for my knee) 
and really enjoying the new places.  

6. Rewards: food, wine or?? 
That's a tough one. I have no regular reward.  There is certainly no place to get anything near my home.  The other day after my run I did go to a favorite place to get sandwiches for dinner and while there got a Monument Farms chocolate milk which is often a reward especially while biking.

This is after the same chiro appointment and it was
an easy run that was delightful.

7. Type of runs: long, intervals, hill repeats, tempo, progression or recovery/easy.

I am the easy run lover for sure.  I like long runs too but most of my runs are easy ones.

Feel free to do this or let me know in the comments some of your preferences.  

Today I am happy to say I am heading out for a bike ride. It is finally going to warm up.  Yesterday was freezing and I wore multiple layers while running and still froze!  

Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Sunday, March 29, 2015



Not running - ugh.  I haven't run since the NYC Half Marathon.  Although my knee didn't hurt during it, it hurt a lot after it and it was time to rest it.  I have been disappointed that 2 weeks off hasn't done more for it than it has.  Yesterday though I did walk/run a mile.  It felt okay the rest of the day and is feeling okay today.  I didn't have knee pain last night.  Generally sleeping is the worst time.  It feels okay today so maybe I am turning a corner.  I may try a short distance today.  I am seeing a chiropractor who told me to listen to my body.  How does it feel while I am using the knee and how does it feel after and the next day?  So I am trying to do that.  Ugh.

Swimming - I feel like swimming is going better. Some random guy at the pool helped me with my stroke and I can see a difference.  You would think I would be swimming more but I'm not.

Biking - My bike is tuned up and ready to go but the weather isn't cooperating.  I may get out there today  but maybe not.  Although I ride into the cold weather in the fall I want to begin in the spring with it being reasonable. When I do start it will be with my older bike as there is so much crap on the roads.

Signing up for races - I have two tris/dus I worry might fill up but I am hesitant on signing up for more while injured.  But maybe today I'll bite the bullet and do it.

Eating - As with swimming which I should be doing more you would think I would be doing less while not exercising much.  Nope.  Having a hard time with this one.

Reading - I'm doing lots of reading.  I finished a book a week or so ago that I loved.  It was The Art Forger by Barbara Shapiro.  I loved it. Right after I read it they did a piece on the art theft that the book is based on on NPR.  If you read it and like it let me know.

Listening - I'm listening to lots of podcasts as usual.  My new favorite one is Invisibilia.  I am dying for Serial to start up again.

Vacationing - I am not going to be going to Florida to ride to New Orleans. Flights are too expensive.  My friend that I was going with is going to Cape Cod instead.  I will probably go for part of the week to bike there.  I am hoping to be running too as running by the ocean is one of my favorite things in the world.