Saturday, June 29, 2013

Goals for My First Tri of the Season or My Debut as a 60 Year Old Racer

I hemmed and hawed and finally signed up for this tri I'm doing tomorrow. Last year I was desperate to  do it and couldn't so it made no sense to not do it now. But as usual I am scared about the swim and nervous in a way I do not get for running races.  Having said that here are my goals:

Have fun and enjoy the whole experience. (Well survive the swimming and enjoy the rest is more realistic.)

My A goal would be to better my time from last year.  To do that I would need to do the following and have decent transitions.
I just looked up my time last year and it was 1:40:58.  Yikes. I am going to be negative and say I don't think I can do that but I will try.  

Do the free style as much as possible.  Last year I swam in 14:31. I would be thrilled beyond belief to equal this again but very nervous this won't happen.
This is from this race last year and I know exactly what I was doing.
I am looking at the buoys completely scared sh##less about the
distance I am going to have to swim. 

Ride at a pace of 16 mph.  Last year I did it in 51:09.  Not sure what the pace was.  My practice ride the other day was 53 so I am hopeful I can match this. I will really push it on the bike.

Run under 30 minutes.  Last year was 29:55.  Again, not sure I can do this.  My running speed per se is just not there but I am going to give it a good try.  

T1 last year was 3:34 and T2 was 1:45.  Still very inexperienced at these.  The wet suit costs me time but I really need it.

Last year this was my second tri of the year.  Now it will be my first. As I write this I am getting more excited. I love competing against myself so I'll see what I can do.

I won an age group award last year but never dreamed I did so did not wait around.  This year because of the way the tri world works I am already in a new age group even though I have not officially turned 60. But this is my debut as a 60 year old racer so Woot Woot!  Who know how many 60 plus women will be in this race? I just looked up last year's results. There were a few women over 60 and there was even a 70 year old.  There were some very fast older women although most were in the 55-59 age group.  

So times:
A goal: 1:39:59
B goal: 1:45:00
C goal 1:55:00

As  you can see I don't have the confidence I should but I will try to find it somewhere today!  It's a good thing I signed up for this because it is my only June race. How did that happen? One benefit of blogging is making myself think about this and my goals and building up the excitement I need.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Three Quick Things Thursday

1. Rain rain rain rain. That's all it is doing these days in Vermont. When I woke up Thursday morning it wasn't raining so I jumped on my bike and took a relaxing morning ride before I was needed elsewhere.  I didn't hurry.  I just appreciated the ride, the temps, the sun and the scenery.  Bliss.

2. This was posted on Facebook.  I love it!  It's perfect and I like to think at least partially fits me.  I have people telling me all the time they wouldn't ride their bike in the road or run where I do or whatever..... Yes, you can live life as safely as possible but is it a life worth living?  I am not doing crazy things but I do need to step outside the lines to find my happiness.  I have loved the road my fitness journey takes me on, which definitely takes me outside of my comfort zone at times.

3.  I read a book today.  The whole book.  One of the many reasons I love summer!  I know at least a couple of you are wondering what the book was. It's the new book by Elin Hildebrand, Beautiful Day.  
I enjoyed it a ton.  And I just finished the new book by Nora Roberts.  Perfect summer reading.  I can hardly wait to pick out my next book.  

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Nuts or Dedicated

Mascoma Man 2012 - my favorite 
part of any tri (see the splint - I won't
have that this year!)

Today I had  a tri workout on tap. The weather forecasts are the same for days.  Okay mornings followed by thunderstorms and torrential downpours in the afternoon.  There are daily flash flood warnings and it is only getting worse.  Selfishly it also affects me as an athlete.  When do I manage to train?  I didn't do my tri workout yesterday as planned because a friend wanted to join me and thought Wednesday would work better for her.

 So I changed my plans yesterday morning and ran the 10 mile run from hell.  I drank 3 water bottles and never had to pee!  It was beyond humid.  I came back to the house which I don't usually do to apply more sunscreen and refill my water bottle. I rarely carry water but thankfully the brain cells were working and I took one.  I had thought about doing the 3ish mile loop past my house a few times but was afraid I would quit so I took my usual route and went as far as I needed before heading back home. It was slow and it wasn't pretty but the ten mile run got done.  I was wondering why in the world I registered for a half marathon in July but Christa reminded me it was in Maine!  Plus ocean views for most of the course, a fun medal and a good beer sponsor.  Back to today.

So today I needed to do that tri workout I didn't do yesterday.  Problem was it was raining right from the get go.  I searched all the weather apps I could trying to find one that I liked.  Some just said rain - I can deal with that while others had the old lightning bolt throughout the day.  I texted my husband and he said go down and see how it was.  It is likely to be raining during the tri on Sunday so it made sense to me to practice in the rain.  My friend had emailed me and said she wasn't up for the rain so it was just me.  I drove to the lake thinking I would be alone there but there were a gazillion girl scouts as well as others.  It rained most of the way down but wasn't raining when I got there.

The swim: it did not rain during this, the one it mattered the least.  I wore my tri outfit under the wet suit which I would continue to wear on the bike and run.  I swam for about 20 minutes and still feel quite anxious about the swim but if I want to do the rest of the tri I have to get through it.

I transitioned to the bike and then went and used the bathroom before I left. I wouldn't do this race day but decided why be uncomfortable for the next several minutes.  My transition was very long even without the bathroom break but I wasn't going to run up the beach and go crazy.

The bike:  yes, it began to rain as soon as I started biking. At first it was very gentle but then it really started coming down - steady, not a downpour.  I tried to constantly remind myself I was trying to better my time and did fairly well.  One hill in particular is a killer.  It is a 14 mile loop that I mentally divide into 5 parts.  I was going to be really disappointed when I stopped if I hadn't improved my time from the week before as I had worked at it.  It was better by 1.2 m.p.h.  Yes! I think the actual race will help even a bit more.

I transitioned quicker to running. I started out and it was only drizzling which pretty much is what it did the whole time.  I still managed to get very wet.  Again, my first mile was quite slow with each following mile improving.  This improved a couple of minutes from the week before and again I am hoping race day improves even more. Plus I won't have done 10 miles in the heat the day before.

I think I did a good job of simulating my race and effort as I am TIRED!  On the way home the skies opened up and it poured. Enough that I pulled over and waited for a bit.  I couldn't have ridden my bike in that so I am lucky the weather cooperated.  Rain, not too much, and no thunder.  I'll take it.  It's that or never get out for a workout.

What do you do if the weather is less than optimal?  What does it take for you to not go outside?  Do you sometimes push it when you shouldn't in less than ideal/unsafe weather?

Sunday, June 23, 2013

My First Century Ride

I put the word first in the title because I can totally imagine doing another one!  Overall it was a great experience.  If it wasn't for the weather and my hand hurting it would all be good.

Random thoughts are the best I can do.

  • It was nowhere near as painful as I expected it to be in the second half.  I thought I would be ready to quit after 60 but I never felt like I just couldn't keep going.
  • It's fun to do an organized ride where it is all planned out for you.  I think the fact that others were out there too contributed to the "I'm not going to cut this short attitude."
  • I rode this one alone and would like to do a century where I rode with someone.
  • I had friends there but they were faster or doing a different length.
  • I took nowhere near as many pictures as I thought I would.  I thought maybe I'd take one picture each ten miles but didn't want to stop every ten.
  • I love riding in the Islands but did not love all the hills on the other side of the lake at the end.
  • Love love love having aid stations where people make sandwiches for you among other things. Peanut butter and jelly.  YES PLEASE!
  • I was glad it was cloudy as it was cooler but unfortunately it was cloudy because it was going to dump on us.
  • Note to self: if rain is in the forecast bring dry clothes to put on afterwards. Duh.
  • I'm not one to stop short on a goal I have made.
  • Going to a party after where everyone thinks you are a rock star is quite fun. It was not a party for me, it was for my BIL who is visiting from FL.
  • If you're going to be out there for 7 hours pick a scenic route.
  • It's very easy to start out too fast in a ride that is not a race and try to keep up with the faster bikers.
  • I loved my 14 mile pace which I checked as that is the distance in my sprint.
  • I was pleased with my pace overall. It was 14.5 for 100 miles and in my world that is great.
  • My left hand was killing me.  It has happened on the other longer rides I have done too. I can't get it comfortable even with lots of changing of positions. I don't know if it is left over from the broken wrist or just a repetitive stress thing. The other hand was fine even though it was in the same position.
  • It is hard to shift when your hand hurts and I found myself avoiding it. This made the last miles slower.
  • It is also hard to brake hard when your hand hurts but a couple of steep hills that ended at stop signs made this necessary.  My brakes weren't liking the whole downpour thing so this was interesting.
  • I hit a small pothole and lost my second water bottle. I stopped and looked but could not find it and I was not going to go on my hands and knees looking through the tall grass.
  • It may have poured but it did not thunder and lightning which was in the forecast.  That was a huge worry for me.
  • I was ravenous all night last night.  On my way home I stopped   at McDonalds  (don't judge) as it was exactly what I wanted.  I got a quarter pounder, french fries and a shake!!  It was glorious.
  • I kept eating at the party we went too.  Man, was I hungry!
  • Today even though I would have said I felt just fine I have done nothing and had no energy.  I finally got myself to Burlington to leave off my camera which I won't have for two weeks!  I am not happy about that. My phone doesn't take good pictures either.
  • And I just signed up for the triathlon I've been thinking about next weekend.

    Here I am before the race well rested and raring to go.

    These two pictures are on the East Shore where I have taken many pictures,
    It is my favorite part for sure.

    I always like the look of these round bales scattered 
    through a field.

    Now I'm on the West Shore heading toward Alburg.
    I'm not yet halfway.

    I think this is around 80ish miles.  It is the first of the hills.
    You are looking back at St. Albans Bay I believe. It is worth
    the stop to look and take a picture, nothing to do
    with needing to rest.

    All four of the above pictures are from the same spot.

    Loved these yellow arrows which showed me the way, let 
    me know I wasn't lost, let me not think.  Right
    after I took this it started pouring.

    Just looking back at a hill I had just come up.

    Back at the beach where it started and it is continuing
    to pour.

    The shirt!

Saturday, June 22, 2013


I did it! My first Century!   
Post later!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

TTT - I Didn't Want to Do It (2)

1.  Yesterday I did a short ride where I had no pizzazz whatsoever! It could be because I ran 9 miles in the morning first. I didn't think it took it out of me but I guess it did. It was a decent run - cold temps, pretty sights and no GI problems!  It was slow but I'll take it.  Then I went to the dentist and spent a lot of money before I rode.  Maybe the shock of the bill took all my get up and go away.  All dental insurance is long gone so it's on me.  But I did get a great picture of the beautiful ride I was on. It is a ride I repeat often the beauty of yesterday left me no doubt of why I do.

2. I had some pizzazz back today but it took me forever to get going. I almost always get out in the morning to exercise when it is my choice but today I found lots to do first. Truthfully it was rather cold out and I was also waiting for it to warm up. By the time I got to the lake it was close to 2 and the beach was more crowded than when I am usually there. It took a lot of nerve for me to put on my wetsuit and enter the water. I felt foolish in a wetsuit and cap and goggles like I am some super swimmer when it is the complete opposite.  First I wasn't positive I would be able to get it on. When I got it half way I thought that was it but I managed to finish the job. I headed for the water as all the kids around stared at me and who was to blame them?  Brrr. The water was cold and the wet suit wasn't just for my confidence.  I swam back and forth a couple of times.  Truthfully I could have gotten out after 5 minutes and felt I had done a good job. I forgot my watch so I don't know how long I swam but decided it was a fine amount and headed out. Some kid went, "Wow, have you been way out?"  I told him no, I had been quite close by.  Then I changed and got ready to ride my bike. I did swim, bike, run but I did not practice transitions. I took my time between things and as I just said, even changed.  It took me  a little bit of time to get into the "racing mode" but I did and enjoyed the whole ride.  While not fantastic, my pace was better than it has been this year so I'll take it. Then I had a snack, went to the bathroom and changed my shoes to get ready to run.  Even though I had given myself some time I still felt like my legs were very heavy.  My first mile was quite slow but I picked up the pace a fair amount on the next two.  The first "half" was farther than the second half so I don't know how accurate the pace was. I did think I was going farther than the real amount but it felt good to pick up the pace and give it a good try following the swim and the bike.  I am still trying to decide if I am signing up for a tri the next weekend. Today made me think I probably will.  

3.  This weekend is getting closer and my attempt at a century. I am a bit worried about the weather as afternoon thunderstorms are predicted.  Other than that the day sounds quite good. But will I do it?  Time will tell.  

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Girls' Weekend Continued

My first running morning in Connecticut I more or less wound through neighborhoods trying to get to 4 miles. After a bit I went out onto a more main road to try to get there and lo and behold first I found this.....
.....and then this.....

That's the first (and probably last) time I ever found money on a run!  Great fun.  I went the same way the next day but no such luck again.

We also went on a bike ride on one of the rails to trails around there. It was fine but not something I would pick a lot.  I like water by my rails to trails.  I did love getting on my bike and ended up doing about 20 miles. It was incredibly flat which was a bit of a treat.  It wasn't crowded because we went early although it got quite crowded by the end. 

Later we drove to Poughkeepsie for a walk on the world's largest elevated pedestrian bridge. It was very cool and very wide.  It's been there since 2009 and was very smooth so people pushing wheelchairs had no problems on it.  You could see the Mid Hudson Bridge from it which I assume is half way between Albany and New York City.  The Hudson was wide here although according to all the historical markers on the bridge it is much wider in some other spots. I loved all the history it told. This would be a great place to bring a class. You could do  a scavenger hunt for information but the kids could run and move!  It would also be a great place to ride and run as part of your route.

There was the 8 Bridges Swim Race going on and this swimmer had swum 19 miles I believe. Each day the swimmer swims from one bridge to the next and the legs vary from 13 to 19 miles.  The water is somewhat disgusting looking and certainly nothing  I felt like  getting into for a short swim to say nothing about 19 miles.  And I can't even begin to imagine how long it would take me to swim 19 miles if I were even able to do it.

The next day I had one more run before heading home and was rather giddy at the school busses picking up students when I was on summer vacation!!!

Monday, June 17, 2013

New York City

I go visit my college friend every year and it always includes a day in the Big Apple.  Sometimes other friends come too but this year it was just the two of us.  She wanted to do the wax museum. We also debated doing the Highline and Governor's Island or MOMA. It was a gorgeous day with perfect temperatures and sunny skies so two inside things were not to be.  We only had time to do two without rushing so Governor's Island won out.  We had been there before and were a little disappointed to have so much of the island cut off but the perfect temps and stunning views didn't leave much room for sulking over it.  There was a roaring twenties party so people watching was excellent too. I didn't know so many people had clothes from that era or the means to them.  Let me start with some pictures from the wax museum. I have always looked at this in DC but never went and it was more fun with a friend. You need someone with you to take the goofy pictures.

I'm a Today show particularly of Al Roker so I had to get in this shot.  

This is my favorite shot.  Jesse and I are such equal runners, right?  

Even though I don't play golf my parents did and I attended many tournaments.  I always was a real fan of Arnold Palmer.  I have to say though I look like I'm batting, not swinging a club.  

Steven Spielberg was definitely the most realistic statue there, right to the wrinkles in his pants.  
But there was no Ryan Gosling. What's up with that?

Then we went to lunch at Pigalls I think. We have eaten there before and it is excellent.  I had the above and my friend had the same thing below with eggs.  

Then we took the free ferry to Governor's Island.  Just being on the water was wonderful.  We rented bikes on the island and rode around some.  I have to say not having front brakes threw me.  I also had a hard time not being able to put my pedal where I wanted it to start off. The seat wiggled and I guess basically the bike was crap.  But you couldn't beat the views or the day for sure.

You know how I love to prop my bike for pictures.  Well it wasn't mine but this works.

I'm in the pink.

I always have a fun time in NYC and I did once again.  I want to visit Roosevelt Island  on another visit. Has anyone been there and have thoughts about it?

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Three Things Thursday

1. School is out!  But before it ended I got some very sweet cards from students.  One student made me this picture and was very excited to see me open it. I don't think my reaction disappointed her as I was so pleased with the picture and the time and thought she put into it.  I love it when my students show that they know me beyond the teacher they see from 8 to 3.

2. Today, the first full day of school being out I took a bike ride. What a surprise!  Cathy and I went on a ride she had been on but not me.  I must say though that  I was the one who seemed to know where to go.  She'll be the first to admit that her sense of direction is lacking. Once again I was on some roads that I don't know even though they are not far from me.  One place in particular was so captivating.  It was the beach by the covered bridge. When we got to our original destination we extended it and I took Cathy on a new route to her which included stopping to see Mr. AJH at work.  He showed us around the million dollar plus home he has been working on for the past 9 months.  The views of the lake were astounding. I would love to stand in that kitchen and do dishes. I would like even more to curl up in one of many places and just stare at the lake or settle in with a good book.  We stopped for a quick snack at Shelburne Museum and were delighted to see school buses on a field trip that had nothing to do with us! The last part of the bike ride I will change when I do the route on my own. Too much of it was on a main road and it is easier to ride on but has way too much traffic and just isn't nice.  But I will be back to do this route again. Today we ended up riding 50 miles.

3. I always have thought I needed to do all my workouts because once I started not to it would all go to hell in a hand basket.  That may be true.  Last week I skipped my run.  This morning I skipped my swim. I set the snooze button several times until I finally decided I just wasn't going to do it.  It's not like I was a slouch, I did ride my bike 50 miles but it looks like I am only going to get in one swim this week. I could go tomorrow but I am going to get my run in as planned. At least I THINK I am.