Journey To the Finish Line

PR's, toddlers, hopes and dreams; I'm always running after something

I Want To Be an Ironman – Week 5

So, according to this Zone 2 theory, all of these training runs and rides (my HR monitor doesn’t work in the pool) are supposed to teach your body to burn more fat than sugar during your workouts, which is important for your endurance (so you don’t “bonk” as they say). Although your paces start out lower, eventually they are supposed to return to what you consider “your pace” and hopefully even faster. Many things can affect your heart rate for the day, including temperature, humidity, stress, fatigue etc. So far I’ve had a run average 8:50 (solo in cool temps) all the way 10:15 (humid, warm, pushing stroller). Although I don’t expect to see much improvement until fall because increasing temps tend to just slow me down, I’m still interested to keep track as I go.

Monday – Run/Swim.   Run – 9:03/mile. Average HR: 144 Temp: 52 degrees. 30 minute run early morning with Chance. This was one of those runs where I finally felt warmed up 22 minutes in, so that was fun. Swim at lunch – 1800 meters with a combinations of laps and drills. This time we focused on stroke count. At the end I did 500 meters straight in 11:40, which is 30 seconds faster than the last time I did this, but I’ve also been working on kicking further away from the wall before I start my stroke so I am unsure if I’m actually getting faster.

Tuesday – Bike/Run brick. 60 minutes on bike = 16.24 miles. Average 17.2 MPH Average HR 146. Temperature 54 degrees. 30 minute run = 3.35 miles. Average 8:58/mile. Average HR 150. Temperature 59 degrees. It felt warmer than 59 degrees.

Wednesday – Swim/Run. Eaaaaarly morning swim. 1800 meters –  mostly laps and some drills. One set of 8 x50 said 1:00, which I took to mean aim to finish in 1:00. Then 4×100 in 1:45-2:00, and I assumed the same. This meant I was hauling ass to try to finish within the goal time, and as it turns out the goal was more consistency between laps than speed. I ended up doing 6×50 fast and 2 easy, and 2×100 fast and 200 easy. I did hit between 57-59 seconds on the 50’s and hit 2:00 once on the 100’s. Speed work for the run, but since we are doing Zone 2 this meant many easy laps around the track. 45 minutes = 5 miles. Temp 81 degrees. 9:00/mile average. Heart rate and average off a little because I did one lap of speed.  Screenshot_20160501-161236

Thursday – ride/run brick. 28 minute ride (ended early because of a thunderstorm) = 8.41 miles. Average HR 145. Average speed 18.1 MPH. Temp 84. Quick transition to 15 minute run = 1.69 miles. Average HR 148. Speed 8:54/mi Temp 84, but raining, so it felt cooler.

Friday – rest day


Saturday – long run. 60 minute run on the trail with a couple tri friends and the twins. It was HUMID. Spent some of this run in Zone 1, but didn’t care, because it was HUMID. Did I mention it was humid? 5.79 miles. 10:12/mi Average HR 148. Temp: 66 degrees (but it felt like 85, because it was….are you ready? HUMID)

Sunday – long ride. 90 minute ride. 26.43 miles. Average speed 17.6 MPH. Average HR 138. Temp: 72

Total Time: 7 hours 56 minutes, plus 15 minutes of weights.

Training Thoughts: I’ve been surprised to find that I’m not as fatigued workout to workout as I expected. My highest training week for the Olympic last year was 9 hours, and I just remember feeling tired. BUT, I was always PUSHING and made the majority of my workouts high effort. I’m also surprised to find I’m not as anxious to add more speed, but maybe thats because the hours just keep increasing.


5 weeks down….only 25 to go.

I Want To Be an Ironman – Week 4

I’m sure nothing excites my friends more than reading my lame weekly workout blogs, but I like having them to refer back to, especially with a goal as big as this one.

As I mentioned before, I’m using a plan from the book “Be Iron Fit”. The goal here is to follow the Intermediate plan as closely as possible, but at the very least hit the hours given in the Just Finish. The plan in its entirety is 30 weeks so I jumped in a little late. The first 10 weeks is the Base Phase, which is basically what it sounds like – building a base. The base in the  Just Finish plan is so minimal though, especially in the first 7-8 weeks, that I’ve pretty much been following the Intermediate anyway. We will see as time goes on how this plays out.

Monday – swim. 2000 meters. A girl I met at the pool and I have been starting to meet here on Mondays to do a swim workout together. She is faster than me but trying to keep up with her has helped me get a little faster. Plus, she comes with workouts and ideas from a swim camp she is attending. Since it is on Thursday nights and Bryan works, she is nice enough to pass along the info. This week we focused on head position form wise, and did an all out 100 meter “sprint”, which for me took just under 2 minutes.

Tuesday– ride. 60 minutes in Zone 2, which translated to about 16.7 miles. I also did 15 minutes of weights. I’m really trying to keep some strength in as part of my workouts.

Wednesday– brick. Swim 1550 meters in the morning and run about 45 minutes (4.6 miles) in the evening. I’ve started to join the YMCA tri team for the morning swim in the wee hours (5am), though I aim to get there more about 5:30. The evening workout was the Fleet Feet group run, with an average pace at 9:18.

Thursday – brick. Trainer ride for 30 minutes (6.2ish miles) in Zone 2 followed by a 30 minute run (a little over 3 miles) in Zone 2 also. I’m hellishly slow on a trainer, and took the twins with me for the run, which slowed my pace down some (average 9:38)

Friday – rest day

Saturday– group long ride. 1 hour 30 minutes in Zone 2 (you’ll see this as a pattern) which translated to a little under 25 miles. I stepped in some mud walking to use the bathroom in my bike shoes and it took me almost a mile to get clipped in, so I got way behind the group. I spent 15 minutes way above Zone 2 trying to catch up before I just hung out by myself for awhile, finally meeting up with part of them about halfway through.

Sunday – long run. 1 hour in Zone 2 with the stroller. Luckily this time I had some company who was willing to help me push when my heart rate started getting too high, so our pace stayed around 9:22.

Total Training Time:  7 hours 15 minutes (including the weights)

Training Thoughts: I still can’t believe I signed up for an Ironman (and my family can’t either). So far, the plan is manageable, but it is also very early. The Zone 2 training is nice because all of the workouts feel easy compared to marathon training or even Triathlon training last year where I pushed myself almost every workout. It is a nice “break” after all the pace (speed) specific workouts for both marathons. I think this is what is going to make this more manageable….at least I hope so. Also, This post is horribly boring without pictures. More for next week.

I Want To Be an Ironman

A couple of weeks ago, I was on a bike trainer hating life.

To clarify – I was hating that 20 minutes of life as I was pedaling away trying to get my heart rate as high as possible. Tammie, my marathon training buddy and I tortured ourselves in the garage of a fellow triathlete  (also Tami) attempting to figure out our heart rate training zones. Now that triathlon season is starting, there has been lots of talk amongst the members of our Tri group about heart rate zone training. Many of the group are tackling the full Ironman in October, and while I wasn’t sure I was going to use it myself for the Half, I figured it would still be interesting to know.


Briefly, the plan involves doing just about all training in heart rate zone 2, or your aerobic zone (Zone 1 being the easiest and Zone 5 being close to max). This zone is supposed to be the zone where you can “hang out” the longest, an important factor when you consider many  Ironman participants take 12+ hours to finish. 

So I’m pedaling and Tammie/Tami are using what encouragement they can to help me keep the pace up, and Tami asks me if I ever thought I’d be doing something like this a couple of years ago. My ability to talk silenced by my heavy breathing, I shook my head. Although I was well versed in the meanings of the numbers 13.1 and 26.2, I barely knew what 70.3 or 140.6 even meant (70.3 is the Half Iron distance, 140.6 is the full) a couple of years ago. The concept of triathlon was still new – I thought an Ironman was downright crazy. Even as I registered for the Half a few months ago, I shook my head at the group going after the full, though this time more in awe than insanity.

I said the same thing about a marathon once.

Discussion about training plans has been circling for several weeks already. Most Ironman plans are at least 30 weeks long. 7 months. SEVEN. MONTHS. Many plans peak at somewhere between 15-18 hours of training for the week. A part time jobs’ worth of hours.  The Half distance, though certainly not a walk in the park, was something I figured would be easier for me to manage. After training for something for almost a year, I was going to take it easy before starting to follow a plan in early July.

After our test was over we sat on Tami’s porch with a beer. Tami has completed 5, yes FIVE, full Ironman’s and Tammie was interested in picking her brain on training. While she asked questions, I flipped through the book containing the plans for the full race, and before I knew it I was mentally calculating how I could complete the training hours  in the least involved plan.

My mistake was saying it out loud.

They look like innocent enough friends…

I thought on this quite a bit the next few days. Mentally planning workouts. Looking at reviews on this particular plan  (the hours compared to most are on the low end  but I’m just looking to finish and still be able to be home). Asking questions. Discussing the idea with Bryan. Working around his work, my work and the daycare schedule. That few minutes (and some not so subtle hints from the other two) started changing my entire frame of mind and suddenly what I thought was completely nuts a couple weeks before something I was not only contemplating but actively planning.

A month or so ago I set a countdown on my Garmin watch to my Half Ironman race.

Today, I made a *slight* change

It cuts off a little – you get the point




Where’s Our Bikes? (Part 2)

So, I know you are all are on the edges of your seats waiting to find out if we found our bikes, right?

Well, you have to wait.

Just after midnight I started my middle of the night leg. When we were choosing legs a few weeks prior to the race I was excited that my shortest leg was in the middle of the night because I figured I’d be the most tired (I was wrong, but more on that later). I was happy to learn that it had cooled down substantially from the afternoon, and thought I might be able to go a bit faster. Honestly, I expected the run to be dark and scary, but it was really quite peaceful. Don’t get me wrong, it was DARK, and it happened that my team started with very few other runners so I literally only saw 3 other people in that 4 miles, but it wasn’t as creepy as I expected. Still, I found myself picking up the pace anyway- so much for taking it easy.

After I reached the next exchange and rested a bit, I realized that I was pretty exhausted. By midnight I’ve usually been asleep for at least 2 hours, and I had probably pushed myself a little too hard (yeah, yeah), so it took me longer to recover and get going again after this one. I rested in the van for quite awhile before taking a potty break on the side of the road, where I was happy to have not yet changed because I peed on myself. Hey, it was really dark, ok. And yes, ew.

We didn’t get many pictures at night, because it was night.


I was actually pretty useless for most of the rest of the legs to be honest, and finally fell asleep for a bit between the second to last and last leg our van did. I woke up before the final runner feeling much more refreshed, so I took a turn navigating and even got to use the megaphone.

So, its 4:30 in the morning, half the van is either sleeping/resting or trying to, and I’m in charge of the megaphone. This particular leg was much longer and creepier than mine, but was at least a little more populated. So, the creative genius that I am, started telling puns and one liner jokes through the megaphone as runners went by.




Thank goodness it was dark so I couldn’t see all the eye rolls. But I was delirious so I of course I was also hilarious.

Our final runner finally made it to the last exchange and we all piled into the van and headed to wait for our final legs. We made a MUCH needed stop at Starbucks and sat in the parking lot of a local school while we made another attempt to sleep. This time I think I slept about an hour and even after changing and potty breaks, still had about 2 hours to kill. Unfortunately, I was also beginning to feel dizzy and slightly nauseous. My final leg was 8.6 miles and this wasn’t going to help.

We all sat in the van awhile and annoyed a few more people with the megaphone. One guy in particular was wearing camo shorts and a high vis shirt which we all just thought was hysterical. So naturally one of us decided it would be funny to yell through the megaphone.


No autographs, please.

At that point our team captain suggested we walk around. Still feeling slightly sick, this didn’t please me much but I understood the logic so I joined everyone else. Yes, we brought the megaphone. As luck would have it, the porta potties were really close to the next exchange, so we spent the next 30 or so minutes blasting the siren on the megaphone, forming power bridges and slapping the butts of the runners who were fortunate enough to be exchanging while we were standing there.

Don’t be jealous.

Around 10:30 we got word that the final runner from van 1 would be approaching soon.


I still wasn’t feeling any better and our captain had offered to take part of my leg if I wasn’t feeling well, which I was grateful for. The bracelet was passed and I was off, siren/butt slap and all.

Much of my final leg was down down a busy street in Mt Pleasant and over the IOP connector, so I only saw the van a couple of times. Luckily, once I got running I felt much better and was able to complete the whole thing. I wasn’t a huge fan of the uphill connector part but the rest was relatively flat.


My team posed while they waited.

After the connector I made a right and it was a straight shot a couple of miles to the finish. The problem was, there were NO signs (the course was otherwise REALLY well marked) and after a mile and a half or so I started to panic a little, worrying I had missed a turn somewhere. I was just about to pull out my phone and attempt a call while running when I caught another runner up ahead out of the corner of my eye. Praying it wasn’t just a dude out for a jog I kept going, and after another quarter mile or so I saw the exchange. Turns out, IOP doesn’t allow the signs, which I hadn’t realized. Thanks for the unnecessary panic, IOP.

I slapped the bracelet on the next runner, and I was done! I had survived running on no sleep intact and I was very happy about this. I was a little sore, exhausted, and relieved to be finished. The rest of the race ran through Sullivans Island, over the Ravenel Bridge, through part of downtown and back over the bridge where we finished at Patriots Point. We met up with the first van after sending our final runner off to wait for her at the finish. I thought that our final runner was the one who crossed the finish line, but it turns out each team waits for their final runner a little short of the finish line and everyone crosses together.

Our official finish time was 32 hours, 43 minutes and 10 seconds, for an average pace of 9:33.


Earlier that morning, while we were killing time, a veteran Palmetto runner took a video and asked each of us what we learned over the course of the race. I had commented that bronchitis wasn’t necessarily incompatible with running, trying to be funny. Crossing the finish line as a group, though, I realized that this race takes a great deal of perseverance, hard work, humor, and teamwork. Yes, it also takes a level of humor and insanity, but you also form a bond that’s difficult to find.

It’s been a week and I’m sure you’re wondering: would I do it again?

At first, I said I’d join a team if they were looking for someone but don’t know that I’d actively seek to participate again. After a few days of recovery, I’d say without a doubt absolutely I’d do it again. I’ve run in many races over the years but nothing had an experience quite like this one.


Since you hung in this long, I figured I should mention – yes, we did find our bikes.

They were in the house, right where we left them.


Where’s Our Bikes? (Part 1)

This past weekend I participated in a race unlike any other I’d ever run in before.

The Palmetto 200 is a race that began seven years ago, starting in Columbia, South Carolina and ending in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina. (Yes, you read that right.) What makes this race different is that it is a team relay. Each team consists of either 6 or 12 people. 36 “legs” comprise the entire 205 miles, with each leg split between the team members. A “full team” is 12 people, each person running 3 legs. An “ultra” team is 6 people, each person running 6 legs. A “full” team member might run anywhere from 14-21 miles total, an “ultra” team member would about double that. The race begins at 5:30 Friday morning and runs straight through until Saturday afternoon. No one gets much sleep.

What you do get is quite an adventure, LOTS of pictures, and many hilarious comments spoken through a megaphone.



Our team consisted of a group of female triathletes. After some thought, a few funny (and a few inappropriate) suggestions, we decided our team name was going to be “Tri-ing to find our bikes.” To give you an idea of whats involved in this 36-48 hour event, here is a (non complete) list of things that were thrown into 2 15 passenger vans:

Decorations, a megaphone, shoes, socks, changes of clothes, snacks, blankets, pillows, hats, reflective vests, headlamps, Powerade, water, paper towels, wipes, ziplock bags, fuel belts, electrolyte water, phones, chargers, towels.

And that’s just the beginning.


The plan was for the group to meet at a local bank that evening, load up the vans and drive to Columbia where we’d stay at a hotel as a group before heading to the start. Unfortunately, I woke up Thursday morning after fighting a head cold and cough for a few days feeling less than stellar. I took my temperature – it was 99.1. I took it again and it was 98.8. I took it about 15 times over the course of the next several hours and got a reading anywhere from 98.6 – 99.3. I *felt* icky though, so I wouldn’t have been surprised if I had a low grade fever. I drove to work that morning crying because I was so bummed that it was looking like I’d have to miss the race. After talking with a few teammates, I decided to spend the night at home. Fortunately, my leg of the race wasn’t scheduled to start until lunchtime, and my parents agreed to drive me to the start spot if I was feeling better in the morning. I took a couple ibuprofen and went to bed early, hoping I’d wake up fever free. I went ahead and scheduled a doc appt for first thing Friday morning, figuring I’d ask for some steroids to kick the cough and phlegm I’d been dealing with for a few days.


I woke feeling better (phew!) – not 100% but well enough and without a fever. While the rest of the group headed to the start, I drove myself to the doctors office, where I found out it wasn’t my asthma acting up, I actually had bronchitis. The doc thinks that the insane amount of pollen coupled with my congestion from my head cold ended up not clearing from my lungs, causing an infection.

Well, that explains it.

Our start time was at 6am, so I missed the first 6 legs of the race, including the send off.


Luckily, my teammates kept me informed and sent me pictures while I sat in the docs office, and later while I rode in the back seat of my parents car.

While each runner in the van runs, the remainder of the team follows close by. You aren’t allowed to drive behind the runner for traffic reasons, but are allowed to pull a mile or so ahead and wait for your runner so you can offer food/water or encouragement. Usually about a mile or so before the exchange, the van pulls ahead so the next runner can get ready to go. The waiting runner “checks in” with the volunteers and continues once the first runner slaps the bracelet (yes! slap bracelets!) on his/her wrist.

The non running van does things like eat, sleep, and goof off.

I made it to my exchange point with about 45 minutes to spare. I was immediately greeted with the megaphone. THERESA POWERS – WE ARE NEXT TO THE CHURCH! I loaded my stuff into the van and got ready. My first leg was 8.2 miles through St. Matthews, with what I was told was a “monster hill”. I promised myself, for the sake of my lungs, that I would run easy so was thankful our team was running for run and not competing. It was also mid afternoon, sunny and 75 degrees, so that would have slowed me down anyway.


The newness and experience of it all made me completely forget that I had even felt sick the day before, though the interesting looks on my face in the exchange pictures might make it seem otherwise.

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I had absolutely no idea how I was going to feel running so I was good about taking it easy for the first couple miles.There were a few rolling hills but nothing too terrible, so I was able to pick the pace up a little for the next couple of miles. My van stopped to check on me a couple of times, and the entertainment was nothing short of hilarious. In fact, often I could HEAR them (megaphone) before I could see them, and by the time I approached it, everyone was out with the music blasting and dancing.

Or, they were forming a “power bridge”


Somewhere around Mile 3 I caught up and ran together with a girl, where we discussed what this monster hill might look like. Well, we knew it when we saw it, and its description was accurate. I looked it up later, and it was a nearly 200 foot hill. Determined to power through it, I put my head down (don’t look up!) and jogged upward. I made it to the top without stopping, only to discover that it wasn’t the top. So, I swore and walked for a bit. That hill took quite a lot of energy out of me, and that coupled with the heat and ZERO shade meant the last half of the run was slower than the first, but all things considered, I was happy with how it went.

It took awhile to cool down, but by about the halfway point of the next leg I was changed and joining in the festivities, offering water, cheers and power bridges. We danced to a variety of songs of all genres and offered some amazing dance moves such as The Q-Tip, The Macarena, and The Sprinkler:

As we drove from spot to spot, we made excellent use of the megaphone, announcing things like “great job spectating!” and asking “where’s our bikes? has anyone seen our bikes?” Twice a FedEx guy drove by so of course we had to tell him “nice package”.


Our vans’ group of legs ended at the Santee Park, where we met up with the first van once again. They had made awesome use of their free time.


After sending Van 1’s first runner off (and the cycle starts again), we set off in search of  food. We decided on a Shoney’s, where we waited FOREVER and this sucked because we were all hangry (hungry and angry for those who don’t know). It was getting dark by the time we left so we headed towards the next exchange where we would meet our first van and start again. This exchange was at a church in the middle of nowhere, so no one had any cell signal. We tried to sleep some, but were largely unsuccessful – at least those of us in the van were. Between the volunteers, other runners and vans, you couldn’t go more than a few seconds without hearing a shout, a horn, or some random guy yelling something like “I’m gonna eat all of your food!”. After threatening (just to those in the van with me) to punch him in the face, I gave up and went inside the church to grab some coffee. Since cell service sucked I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep even if I could since I was the next runner up and didn’t want to miss the exchange. This apparently happened to another team as a volunteer sprinted into the church asking for bib number 42, and I didn’t want to be “the girl who was peeing during her exchange”.

It was close to midnight when we got word that the final runner in van 1 was approaching, so I put on enough lights and reflective gear to scare a deer and waited for my middle of the night leg.

To Be Continued……

Redemption Race Recap

This recap took much longer than I expected to finish. I have just been tired.

In the past, I’ve finished marathons with the desire to stay far far away from another one for at least a year. While I wasn’t upset about my finish at Disney, I finished it feeling…..unsatisfied, because I knew that in better conditions I could have done better. Not even 24 hours after finishing, I was mentally working through how I could try again before the humidity sets in.

My husband is a saint for putting up with the constant training.

Anyway, I managed to finish training take 2 without injury or illness, and then 48 hours before the race, I started to feel sick. Tired. Lightheaded. A little nauseous. I took an ibuprofen and hoped, waking up Friday morning feeling slightly better (at least not worse!). I lucked out with a few cancelations at work and was able to leave early and plant my butt on the couch for a couple hours, and (THANKFULLY) by the time my ride came I felt considerably better.

Tammie, who originally thought she might be making the trip up and running solo, found herself carting 3 of her closest Tri friends with her. Kelly and Dena had signed up for the half, and Tammie and I were both searching for our own redemption. Although she had BQ’ed at her marathon in December, given the time cut off needed in the most recent race, she wanted to switch her qualifier from a “maybe” to a “definitely”.

We left around 3:30 and spent an hour in Summerville traffic (fun), finally arriving at Myrtle and the expo around 6:30. Packet pick up was simple – give your bib number, get your bib. Rules hadn’t changed from last year, you could still pick up a friends packet with the need for a secret password – something I’m still amazed by. We walked around for a bit and I bought some much needed Body Glide and a pair of sunglasses. On the way to the hotel, we stopped for dinner at TBonz, where I happily gorged myself on carbs. (Mmmm, carbs). From there, we headed to the hotel, got our million things ready for the morning and went to sleep.

I don’t normally sleep well the night before a race, and this night was no exception. Considering I was in an unfamiliar bed and racing in the morning, I slept pretty well. My alarm went off around 4:30 and I jumped in the shower (it helps wake me up), ate and got dressed.

The four of us loaded the shuttle at 5:30 to head to the race start, which was right outside the Pelicans ballfield. We made a few trips to the bathroom and huddled together to try to stay warm.


Perfect race weather isn’t always perfect standing around weather. There, we met an older gentleman dressed as a penguin. Apparently he does this for many races.


We headed towards the race start at about 6:15, and it was here some excitement finally started to kick in. We situated ourselves near the 3:45 pace flag and waited.

Even though the conditions of Disney weren’t optimal, it was still a good learning experience. Typically, I like to try to start races a bit slower and finish faster, but the marathon is a whole different ballgame for me I nixed that idea and decided I had one goal: STEADY.

The race was well manned, with water stops every 2 miles, planned GU stops at 16 and 22, and then water every mile from 22 on. We hit one snag early on though – the mile marker at mile 1  was a tenth of a mile too soon. In fact, every mile up until where I stopped caring, so probably mile 18 or so, was at least a little short.

The first 10k was down a side street to 17 and then to the airport. Not super scenic, but I’m often concentrating too much during races to care anyway. We passed the first water stop and did a quick walk through of the second two, finishing the first 10k at an 8:34 average. Around mile 8 is where the “fun” started. The scenery became considerably nicer, but with it came a freakishly annoying coastal headwind that lasted FOREVER (around 11 miles). We pressed on, though, stopping at mile 12 for a potty break (Tammie) and a stretch break (me), where we lost about 55 seconds, but still finished the half at 1:52:53.

Fuel wise, I had two applesauces with me, and had planned to walk through most water stops and use the Gu stops at 16 and 22. By the time we reached 16 I was starting to get tired from trying to keep pace fighting the wind, and was really looking forward to that Gu, but I COULDN’T FIND THEM! I saw bananas and oranges, but no Gu, and by the time I realized that I missed them (or they weren’t there, I’m not really sure which) it was too late to go back to get anything.

I’m pretty sure I cursed the wind all the way through miles 16-19, where we FINALLY turned and headed a different direction. At the third checkpoint we were slightly behind pace (8:37) and I was starting to feel the effects of missing the Gu 3 miles before. Tammie was nice enough to give me a couple chews she was carrying with her, which helped a little, but I was still struggling. I was keeping pace, but what had started out as an easier conversational pace turned into a pace I really had to concentrate to keep. Not only that, but the “fast flat” course forgot to mention a  couple of steady inclines late in race (which I had obviously blocked out from the year before). I pulled out the music, which helped some. I was REALLY happy to see Mile 22 where someone was actually passing out the Gu. I’ve never been happier to see a packet full of carbs and sugar in my life.

At this point Tammie was leading and I was beginning to trail slowly behind. We’d agreed to stick together until Mile 23, which was where she started to pull ahead. I was searching for my best running music in my iPod, because I needed all the help I could get. I wouldn’t say I ever “bonked” or officially hit a wall, but I was definitely feeling tightness in my hamstrings and overall fatigue. I managed to speed up a little, and ran Mile 23 in 8:25. I stopped to stretch a few seconds at 24, and finished that one on pace in 8:36. Finally I picked up a bit of a “second wind” the last mile and ran 26 in 8:17.

Most of the last .2 was through the finish chute, and I was thrilled to realize that those couple faster miles had moved my average time up from an 8:37 to an 8:35 – the goal I needed to finish in 3:45. I crossed the finish in 3:45:54 gun time, feeling like a rockstar. They say pictures are worth a thousand words, and these ones taken by my friends captured it well I think.

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Official Results:

Total Distance: 26.26 (much better than Disney’s 26.5!)

Gun Time: 3:45:54

Chip Time: 3:45:18

Overall Finish: 325/1421

Gender Finish: 79/597

Age Group Finish: 11/67

Average Pace: 8:35

Redemption race was a success with a nearly 10 minute PR from Disney, and 17 minute PR from this same race last year !!

Oh, and Tammie turned her maybe into a definitely with plenty of time to spare, finishing in 3:44:38 (her BQ goal time was 3:55)!


1 Week to Myrtle (Race Week)

I got behind on posting this and any other blogs (I haven’t even started the recap yet) because, frankly, I’m tired.

Excuses excuses right?

Anyway, here we go:

Monday: cross . Swim 1600 meters. So, I figured since I can swim a mile at 2:23/100m, I should be able to swim 400 meters at like 2:15/100m. Right? Wrong. In fact, not even close. It just goes to show you how days can be so different. I did one set at 2:20, another at 2:21, then took a break and did some drills. Then I did 200 at 2:20, so I didn’t even manage to get faster there, and then said screw it and took the last 200 easy.

Tuesdaytempo. Well kinda. It really meant 3 miles at goal race pace. It was a little warm by the time I got out there, but otherwise it went well.

Wednesday: speed. 12×400 with 6@ 6:36 and 6 recovery. I lowered the goal down to 7 and ended up somewhere in the middle. 6:42, 6:53, 7:00, 6:57, 6:57, 6:46. Even with the lesser amount of speed this pace felt hard, which will become significant in a bit….

Screen Shot 2016-03-08 at 11.33.16 AM
This one is the “Tamfi”

Thursday: rest day. It was a planned rest day anyway, but I woke up Thursday morning feeling slightly dizzy, light headed, and even a little nauseous. The stomach bug has been running rampant around lately and all I could think was “48 hours from race day and NOW I’m going to get sick??”. I took an ibproufen and that helped, otherwise I just hoped for some good healthy vibes. Luckily, it did not get any worse. What is it with the taper week that makes your body just start to shut down?

Friday : rest day. Felt slightly better when I woke up but still not wonderful. I lucked out with several cancelations and was able to go home  2 hours earlier than normal, where I made myself plant my butt on the couch. By the time Tammie came to pick me up, I was feeling quite a bit better. Thank goodness.

Saturday: RACE DAY! Redemption run was a success, and I think these pictures from the finish say enough (for now)


And, as if running a marathon wasn’t enough for the day, we also bought a new (to us) car that evening.

Sunday: um hello? Rest day. We skipped church (bad me) and watched a couple movies in the morning, then took the twins to the park where I semi-hobbled around.:)

Stay tuned for the recap!

2 Weeks To Myrtle

If you’ve been paying attention (because why wouldn’t you – these posts are SO interesting), you’ll notice I tweaked my title, because I finally registered for the race this week.

Monday – cross train. Swim 1600 meters. Nothing exciting here. I did a 400m warm up, 800 meter of various drills, and then a 400m cool down.

Tuesday – tempo. 2 miles easy, 3 miles @ 7:35, 1 mile easy. It was warmer for this run, which meant my sinuses were acting up, so it was a little rougher than I would have preferred. But, I got it done, and that’s all that matters.

Wednesday – speed work. 8×800 with 1:30 rest between each. Goal pace @ 6:46. It was warm again and I was unmotivated to start. Somewhere I found it though and ended up with some pretty even splits: 6:37, 6:35, 6:39, 6:39, 6:39, 6:39, 6:44, 6:46. I did do the last two slower on purpose, but truth was I was tired and I’m not sure if I could have done them faster if I tried.


Thursday – easy run. 4.5 miles @ 9:23 pace. Yeah, I was supposed to cross train, but I cheated. It was a nice cool morning and I had planned to run solo, but Bryan was running late so I asked the twins if they wanted to go to school with Bryan or run with mommy.

run with mommy!

Thursday was also the day our Palmetto 200 group had our meeting and the twins joined me there as well. Abby ate all the macaroni and cheese, and Miles stole my apple. They colored on a teammates info paper.


Friday – rest day

Saturday – long run. 10 miles @ 8:35. Goal was race pace, and we nailed it!

Sunday – active rest day. 50 minutes of yoga….with Miles.


Life With Twins – Two and Three Quarters

I check my Facebook every morning specifically for the post about my memories on that day over the past several years. Sometimes an old post will come up from my pregnancy or the first couple years of the twins’ lives and I like to read them again. It’s amazing how fast time has gone and what I’d forgotten.

In three months, these two will be THREE.

I just read over the last update to jolt my memory on what exactly I wrote about, and even in a short span of three months it’s amazing how much more the twins are like KIDS than toddlers.

We have conversations:

A grocery store trip with Miles:
Mommy, whats that? Chips
What’s that? Chips
What’s that? Chips
What’s that? Still chips
Oh, chips.
Mommy, what’s that? Chips

And so do they:

*Miles roars like a lion.*
Abby: that’s enough
Miles: stop it
Abby: no screaming
Miles: be quiet. 
It’s like I’m listening to myself, only in much cuter voices.

They really are smart. More often than not, they are using full, grammatically correct sentences. I’m talking plurals, possessives, verbs (past and present tense), adjectives, you name it. Yes, they still have bouts of meaningless babble, and that is what helps me hold onto their “baby-ness” just a little bit longer. They can both count to 20. Abby knows all upper and lowercase letters, along with some letter sounds. Miles knows all uppercase and a few lowercase. They sit at the big people table now. They drink out of regular (albeit plastic) cups. They watch movies (I’m pretty sure we’ve seen Inside Out about 50 times – no lie). They draw (scribbly) circles. They “make” pizza.

They’ve started eating a few vegetables again, but still prefer things like hot dogs (sigh) and macaroni and cheese. I make myself feel better by buying the organic kind. Organic junk. Mom of the year. Eggs, cereal, peanut butter, and of course sweets are also favorites. Abby LOVES ice cream.


They go to bed between 8-8:30 and wake up between 6-7, usually closer to 6. They still nap at daycare but not so much at home, unless they are in the car. If they don’t nap over a weekend we will put them to bed around 7, which usually works as long as we’ve been pretty busy all day. They still love to “go to school” but pitch a fit if they can’t “ride in the truck (SUV)”, for reasons that I don’t quite understand. We’ve visited McDonalds often lately to “play on the slide”.

Yes, they still throw tantrums:

It is 6:25am, and we have already had tantrums for the following reasons:
I won’t let them eat ranch flavored veggie straws for breakfast
Abby doesn’t want cereal
Abby doesn’t want peanut butter
Abby doesn’t want to be shut in the pantry
I yelled at Miles for shutting her in the pantry
We are out of eggs
Miles dropped his car
They want milk, like, yesterday
Nevermind, Abby doesn’t want milk

Where is my coffee?

No, they are still not potty trained. Ugh. Don’t even ask. #lazymom I *think* at least Miles is finally getting ready though, because several times he’s complained about being wet. (yet when I ask him if he wants to pee on the potty he screams NO PEE ON POTTY!!!!!)

I mean, they won’t go to kindergarten in diapers…..right?

It was a busy three months with Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays and a trip to Disney.

Picture summary:

  • We have family pictures taken

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  • My aunt visits and we explore downtown Summerville


  • We enjoy Christmas presents (though still didn’t quite get the concept)
  • Santa and Waffle House were pretty fun too
  • Yes, Abby still loves food


  • We ride (aka sit on rides) at the mall
  • Still making funny faces
  • Enjoying birthday parties
  • And staying up late
  • And finally, the best of all, DISNEY !

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