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Journey To the Finish Line

PR's, 4 children, hopes and dreams; I'm always running after something

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PR

Cooper River Bridge Run Recap

I’m allowed to use the life has been crazy busy excuse, right? Because it has. And I’ve either not had enough time or just not felt like writing much, so this recap comes a solid two weeks after the fact.

Better late than never?

I’ve run/raced the Bridge Run two times before. It was the final run on the old bridge and the first run on the new, so 2005 ( I ran a 50:44 and there were 18k runners) and 2006 (I ran a 52:52 and there were 33k runners) It was a long time ago and I was much younger then. Actually, that first bridge run was my first official race, even though I had been running recreationally since 2001.

The logistics of this run have always been a nightmare for me. The last time I ran it I got up at the crack of dawn to drive to Mt Pleasant, waited in line to get on a shuttle, ran it, couldn’t find my friends, sat in a shuttle again to get back to Mt Pleasant and then had to walk my to my friends apartment solo. Not that much fun. Nearly every year people ask me if I’m running the bridge, and until this year I’ve said no. There are simply too. many. people.

So fast forward to 2017. It is the 40th anniversary of the event, so guess what? There is a finishers medal. Did you say medal? Sign me up!

Yes, I signed up because there was a medal.

Don’t judge.

This year, I also happen to have friends that have the logistics of the race down to a T. It still involved getting up at the crack of dawn. I honestly think I wasn’t up much earlier than this for the Ironman, if that tells you anything. I rolled out of bed, made some coffee, and hopped into Tammie’s car when they pulled up at 5:02 (3 minutes early). From there we drove to Kelly’s house, where we hopped into her car and drove to West Ashley to her parents. There, we crammed into their car and they drove us about a half mile from the start. Then, we waited. And waited. And waited. The sun came up. We still waited. We peed. We waited. We peed again. And THEN, we waited some more.

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The last 10k I ran was in early 2012, before we started doing fertility treatments. The 10k used to be my favorite race distance but I’d gotten away from them and started running more half and full marathons. Considering I’d made great strides in my half marathon time, I’d hoped I’d PR, but with minimal hill training, who knew. My pace for my fastest 10k (in 2011) was a 7:37, so I just hoped to run faster than that.

My race strategy was based on a lot of estimation and hope. I planned to run the first 1.5 miles 10-15 seconds faster than my average goal pace (maybe 7:30?), because I knew I’d lose speed going up the bridge. I’d hoped I’d gain some on the way down and then try to stay steady towards the end.

It turns out this was a good, solid plan. Even starting pretty close to the front I did some people dodging the first half mile or so, but hit mile 1 in 7:18. I tried to keep that pace until we hit the bottom of the bridge. Half of mile 2 was flat and half uphill, so I averaged 7:35.  Almost all of mile 3 was an incline. A steep and torturous incline.  Like I why in the world did I sign up for this type incline. At one point I was only averaging an 8:45, but gained some speed back on the way down and hit mile 3 at 8:00.  Mile 4 felt surprisingly easy and steady (though it was totally downhill) and I hit that one at 7:00. The rest of the race was flat, and it was starting to get warm, so the last two miles were a bit of a suffer fest, but I was happy with the averages at 7:21 and 7:28. I had very little left for the last .2 but got a little faster (7:13).

I crossed the finish line with an official time of 46:33, about a 45 second PR, and celebrated with the yummiest muffin (cinnamon bun flavored) that I think I’ve ever eaten while chatting with friends and stalking official results.

I just wish I had gotten more than one picture. And maybe a picture of that muffin. *drools*

Finish Time: 46:33

Overall:  990/32,532

Gender: 159/19,381

Age: 27/2,406 (they put me in the 35-39 age group)

This run makes my 3rd PR in a MONTH! Now, time to rest a bit!

 

I Have A Need for Speed (3/20-4/2)

And yet again I get behind and do a combo post. I guess some weeks I should just be happy I manage to post anything.

Week of March 20

Monday – swim. 1800 meters – still slow. While I don’t look forward to waking up at 4:30 am to join masters swim, I could REALLY use the help on my form.

Tuesday – running snacks. 5 miles @ 8:51/mile. The twins ran a little afterwards, but Miles was cold because he insisted on not wearing a jacket.Sometimes moms ARE right, buddy.

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Wednesday – speed. 4.81 miles @ 8:26/ mile including 6 x 400 intervals. I did this one in the morning and I can’t remember why, but whatever. I wanted a little speed before the 5k but didn’t want to overdo it, so I did 6 intervals with 1 min rest between, ranging from 6:10-6:36. It was a bigger range than I had hoped but I started out more slowly, and had some incline every other interval since I wasn’t on a track.

Thursday running snacks/yoga. 3 miles @ 9:22/mile followed by some stretching so I hopefully don’t make my PSOAS angry.

Friday rest

Saturday long run/race. 8.1 miles including the Turtle 5k race, where I FINALLY hit my long awaited 21:xx. I ran one mile before to warm up and did a long 4 mile cool down.

Sunday ride. 13.23 miles at 17.5 MPH.  I had planned to do an hour but it was a chilly morning and I didn’t put on socks, so I cut it shorter. My toes were going numb.

Week of March 27

Monday – easy run. 6 miles @ 8:37/mile. Trying to both recover from Saturday’s 5k and prep for the upcoming Bridge run, I took it easy. I also took the day off and took the twins to the zoo with my friend Virginia and her daughter, Stella.

Tuesday ride. 16.2 miles @ 18.3 MPH I got a mile from my house on this ride before realizing I had left without my helmet. So I had to turn around and go back. Apparently I left my brain at home too.

Wednesday hills 6 miles @ 8:40 including 4 hills. I wasn’t sure how much prep 4 hills was going to be 3 days before the Bridge Run, but I figured a little couldn’t hurt. The rest of the run was done at an easy pace. Melissa and I were gone longer so we missed the group picture.

Thursday cross. 30 minutes elliptical and 20 minutes weights.

Friday rest

Saturday run 6.24 miles at the Cooper River Bridge Run. Recap coming!

Sunday running snacks/yoga. 2 miles @9:15 pace and yoga for runners.

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Ignore the garage

Turtle 5k Race Recap

Slow and steady wins the race is the lesson behind the well known story of the Tortise and the Hare.

The Turtle 5k supports Meals on Wheels and is in honor of Lena Cox, a long time volunteer. She was nicknamed the turtle because she believed very much in the perseverance lesson involved in the story. Interestingly, it turns out that I know Lena’s daughter, though mostly in passing. Her family also attends the church we attend. Not only that, but she has twins so of course that is something I pay attention to.

Like the previous years, the race is an easy out and back on a local bike/running trail, with the awards at a church within walking distance (literally down the street). While speaking to Arden (Lena’s daughter) prior to the race I learned that there is not a single runner involved in the organization of this race, which I find particularly impressive because it really is very well run for a small local race.

Too cheap to pay the transaction fee involved in registering online, I showed up an hour before race start to register in person and hung out talking to a couple other runners while waiting to warm up. Melissa showed up about a half hour before race time. Her plan was to run this race as part of a tempo workout. She had offered to pace me but since I really never accepted or denied it I was a little surprised to find out this was still her plan.

Before the Charlie Post 5k, which brought my 5k PR from a 22:17 to a 22:12, my PR was OLD. Like pre infertility old. I hadn’t really trained for it but ran a 5k a few weeks after a marathon and ran it without really knowing much about pace. Ever since then, I have been after this elusive 21:xx 5k time. Of course I had to take quite a bit of time off from running during the IVF and subsequent twin pregnancy, but this is a goal I have seriously been chasing for over 5 years.

In January, after a surprisingly successful 2 mile speed work time, I started out too fast for my ability at Charlie Post. I ran mile 1 in 7:03 and mile 2 in 7:01, and then died a slow death during mile 3 with a 7:16 (though wind didn’t help) for a 7:06 average. It was enough for a 5 second PR, but obviously not the 21:xx I had hoped for.

I changed my pacing strategy for Catch the Leprechaun, hoping to stay at a steady 7:05 or so pace. Again, the first two miles went as planned with a 7:04 and 7:05, but I died again at mile 3 (though again wind didn’t help) with a 7:12 for another 7:06 average, but a longer overall time becuase my watch measured the course at 3.15

For Turtle, I planned to start slower than my goal and gradually work my way faster – a 7:08, 7:06, 7:04ish. I told this to Melissa before the start and then we were off.

Mile 1 – 7:07

No matter how hard I try I simply cannot seem to keep myself from jolting out of the gate too quickly. Once my watch caught up with my pace I was going a 6:45 so I had to slow down. We ran a short but steep up and downhill twice which I knew I’d be cursing on the way back, but overall I felt not too out of breath so I was hopeful. I stayed slightly ahead of Melissa for this mile.

Mile 2 7:05

I started to feel it about halfway through this mile and had to work to pick up my speed towards the end. I was slightly ahead again until a little after the turn around where I started to lag slighty behind. I could tell she was saying something to me but I had my music on so I had no idea what it was. Hopefully it was something encouraging. Mostly I was just annoyed she had enough breath to speak. 🙂

Mile 3: 7:07

Ya’ll. If I had the energy to curse the short but steep up and downhill we had to do again, I would have used more swear words than are currently in the English language. It was in this mile that I was very thankful Melissa was pacing me because with no other female in sight if I had been alone I’m not sure I would have kept pushing to go faster. In fact, at one point I wanted to swear at her for nicely motioning me to go faster because I WAS GOING AS FAST AS I COULD DAMNIT. Luckily if I had tried to talk I probably would have collapsed so I just yelled it in my head instead. I stopped looking at my watch once we hit about 2.5 miles  because literally all my concentration was going towards trying to not fall too far behind her die.

The Home Stretch (last .1) – 6:23

So, just before my heard my watch beep for mile 3 I could see the finish clock, and it read 21:15. Somehow, even though I had literally felt my body start to shut down, that visual was what I needed to speed up for that last tenth of a mile. I kept my eyes on that clock THE WHOLE TIME just trying as hard as I could to get there before it reached 22:00. It almost felt like slow motion.

I had the wherewithall to stop my watch after I finished but I spent a solid minute crouched over trying to catch my breath. Melissa is is asking me what my time was and I am like dunno….can’t….breathe…..trying….not….to.. vomit but I lifted my wrist to see that it said 21:57. Not only that, but for a perfect 3.10 distance. I can speak more than one word at this point but am still mostly just trying to get some more oxygen to my brain so it still hadn’t really sunk in.

But then suddenly it did.

I had done it. Finally. FINALLY.20170325_094132

I ran a long cool down and made it back just in time for awards. Melissa of course won female overall (I mean if she had really seriously raced it she would have beat me by more than 2 minutes) but I came in second which won me a 15$ gift card to Fleet Feet and Road ID.

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After the awards we passed by the medal table and I stopped to look for my official time, which  I was pleasantly surprised to read was actually a 21:54!

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yes, I needed picture proof of this

I spent the rest of the day floating on a happy PR cloud. So it turns out a little slower may, in fact, win the race. Or at least get the PR. Also, THANK YOU SO MUCH MELISSA!

Results

Time21:54

Overall7/106

Gender: 2/73

Myrtle Beach Half Recap

There is something about taper week that just makes my body shut down.

Last year, a mere day before the Myrtle Beach Marathon, I woke up feeling tired, icky, and run down. Luckily, I was able to go home early and rest before we left, and rest in the car, and by the evening I felt better. I PR’ed the marathon distance the next day.

Not to be outdone, I woke up the Tuesday before the half feeling tired, icky, and congested.  Wednesday I felt slightly better, but had no voice. Thursday I felt better than Wednesday. By Friday, the day I hoped and expected to feel even better,  I battled a cough and felt tired and icky again. I took meds all week and rested as much as possible. No cancelations Friday so I couldn’t go home early, and to make matters worse, Bryan had taken a pain pill (he is still dealing with shoulder surgery recovery) and couldn’t drive. So, no resting in the car.

About 2:00 Friday afternoon I began mentally preparing myself to not “race” this race. I knew that as long as I didn’t wake up feeling worse the next morning I’d be able to run it but a PR was out of the question. I tried to focus on the fact that I was not injured (as two of my friends were) or so sick I couldn’t run at all (as another friend was), but of course I was still bummed.

I got home from work around 4 and Bryan and  I left around 4:30. My parents had agreed to take the kids for THE WHOLE WEEKEND, so I figured even if my run didn’t go as  planned, we still had that. It was a pretty uneventful ride out. We stopped at my favorite place ever for dinner (Chick-Fil-A) and arrived at packet pick up at around 7:15. Bryan waited in the car so I didn’t get the traditional pic holding my bib (though I guess I could have asked someone to do it for me) but I did get a couple fun items at the expo.

 

We got to the hotel around 8:30 and the rest of the evening was spent prepping (including meds) and resting.

That night, like every night before a race, I slept like crap. I swear I woke up every 30 minutes. More importantly though, I woke up feeling better! I got dressed, drank some coffee and hitched a ride to the start with a fellow speed work friend (Bronwen), looking to PR her marathon time.  Race morning was CHILLY (yes!) and we arrived at the start around 6am. We stood outside freezing for a few minutes while I ate my Clif bar and then we did a quick and easy warm up. I tried to get in touch with the rest of the group to meet them at the start, but never could find them, so I took a solo start photo.

We had quite big group racing this weekend, each with his/her own goals. John was aiming to BQ, Bronwen to finish in 3:30, Melissa to run the half in under 1:33 (sheesh). Amy had originally planned to aim for a 1:35 PR as well, but was sadly out due to injury. My goals were as follows:

Stretch goal: 1:42:30 (7:49 average – I liked the even finishing number)

A goal: 1:42:36 (7:50 average)

B goal: sub 1:44:48 (anything under 8:00 average)

C goal: finish and don’t die (always a good goal)

At 6:30 the gun went off and the race began.

Miles 1-3 (7:49, 7:49, 7:50)

I felt great the first mile, but typically do during the first mile of any run or race, until my heart rate catches up with me if I happen to be going too quickly. I actually got stuck behind some slower runners despite starting pretty close to the line, so started out at about an 8:30 and had to catch up. I saw Melissa ahead of me doing some of her own runner dodging, but kept myself from calling her because 1. it would be distracting and 2. I knew if I was going to do this I needed all my energy. She quickly disappeared from sight.Thankfully I completed mile 1 and still felt great into mile 2 and 3. I actually had to make myself slow down. I did stop for some gatorade at mile 2.

Miles 4-6 (7:52, 7:51, 7:55)

Slightly slower these three miles but this was partly due to the water stop at mile 4, and the part where I took my ear warmer off and dropped my sunglasses. I had to run backwards to get them, so I was pretty impressed that my 4th mile wasn’t slower between the two stops. Somewhere into mile 6 I started to feel a little wheezy ( I took one puff before the race which is usually enough but when I’m congested I need it more often) so I also lost time there at the water stop digging for my inhaler and my preventative ibproufen (that I only use during races to fend off soreness).

Miles 7-9 (7:41, 7:43, 7:52)

I pulled my headphones out for the second half of the race but was happy to realize I hadn’t really struggled without them. It gave me a boost of energy and  a couple faster miles, and I felt surprisingly strong. I saw John briefly, as he passed me. Mile 8 even included a water stop. Somewhere between 8 and 9 I passed Melissa, so I knew something was wrong, but I knew talking would wind me so I squeezed her shoulder as I went by. Mile 9 we made our way onto Ocean Blvd, and here is where I began to feel the wind. And actually, it wasn’t the wind that was so bad, but this pathetically slight but gradual incline through most of mile 9.

Miles 10-13.1 (7:50, 7:52, 7:53, 7:45, 7:02 last .1)

Y’all. That stupid wind and pathetic incline KILLED ME here. My paces weren’t far off my overall goal but considering where I was at mile 7 and 8 I could feel the difference. The last 3 miles took so much more effort. I thought I’d get a reprieve when we turned off Ocean Blvd but I was immediately greeted with a more legit hill. FFS. I skipped the last two water stops because I was nearing the point of feeling like stopping would just make it that much harder to get going again. I felt seriously ridiculous that the tiny inclines affected me that much, but all things considered, I was still very close to goal pace. The final mile was nothing but grit and determination. Seriously.

I crossed the finish clock almost exactly at 1:42:36, BUT, my official time was 1:42:17!!

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After finishing I collected my medal and tried not to puke. Then I found Amy, who had graciously come along as the Pit Crew even though she was injured. We chatted for awhile while following the rest of the group, mostly waiting for Melissa. Once we had confirmation she made it across we set out looking for her, and luckily she was well taken care of thanks to Wise Man and his wife. She had also been sick the week before, and thought she was feeling better but her body revolted. I hitched a ride back to my hotel with Amy (thanks Amy!), where I rested until mid afternoon, enjoying the nice beach view from the window. I asked Bryan to take a picture of me with medal and he tried to get all creative, telling me to sit on the ledge and look out the window. This picture is literally catching me asking him “why?!”, but turned out really cute.

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We spent the rest of the day walking around Broadway on the Beach, stopping in almost all the restaurants, deciding we didn’t want to eat there, and ended up at Applebees of all places.

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After all the crazy maybe illness/maybe allergies drama, I’m convinced this race ended up such a success because of all the rest I was forced to take. I ran less than 8 miles and swam once the whole week before, taking 3 full rest days. So I now have this documented so I can remind myself next time: MORE REST! REST REST REST!

Final Results

Chip Time: 1:42:17

Overall: 177/2511

Gender: 46/1509

Age: 12/167

I Have A Need for Speed (2/27-3/5)

This week could also be named “The Workout Week That Wasn’t”, and not just because it happened to be race week.

Monday cross – swim 1600 meters. Good news for this swim – my warm up swim speed is about back to normal! I’ve spent the last couple swims really focusing on drills, and hope to really get some good technique down by joining Masters Swim at the YMCA this Spring.

Tuesday – short tempo. 4 miles with 2x 1/2 mile @ 10k pace and 2x 1/2 mile at 5k pace with 400m recovery. This workout felt difficult for a couple reasons. One, it was 65 degrees  and humid when I started it and two, I wasn’t feeling 100%. I woke up feeling congested and worn out, but hoped it was just leftover congestion from the pool water the day before (something in that pool irritates my sinuses). I got it done, though, so yay for that.

Wednesday rest. I woke up with no voice, and still felt worn down. I had planned to do an easy run at speed work but decided to take an extra rest day instead, hoping I’d recover enough for the race.

Thursday easy run. 2.75 miles @ 8:22/mile. I woke up still without a voice but not feeling as fatigued, so I did a short easy run.

Friday rest. Friday I started coughing and the fatigue came back. At some point that afternoon I resigned myself to the fact that I probably was not going to PR this race, but tried to stay positive that I was not injured and not so ill that I couldn’t run at all.

Saturday race day 13.1 miles, if you want to know my pace you’ll have to read my upcoming recap, or have followed me on Facebook already 🙂. Bryan and I enjoyed a kid free weekend though.

Sunday rest.

We finished the plank challenge, and have moved into a squat and pushup challenge, which brings with it a whole new set of fun picture ideas. 🙂

 

Stay tuned for the race recap!

I Have A Need for Speed (2/13-2/19)

This week was a bit rougher, training wise. My stomach was feeling “off” for lack of a better word, on and off the whole second half of the week. Luckily it never turned into anything. Bryan also had shoulder surgery Monday, so there has been a lot of extra house duties for me recently. Also, I’m tired.

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Monday cross. 2000 meter swim. I focused a LOT on technique and drills this time, following a suggested workout from a website I found posted on Facebook. The theory here is you have to go slower in order to go faster, and I can tell you without a doubt I have zero issue with the slower part.

Tuesday tempo. 2 miles @ 7:50 (half pace), 3 min recovery, 2 miles @ 7:33 (10k pace), 3 min recovery, 2 miles @ 7:16 (5k pace). I changed things up from the book a bit and took a suggestion from the one we call the “wise man”. I remember wondering how on earth I was supposed to manage 2 5k pace miles (7:06) after 2 half and 2 10k. Because I couldn’t. I mean logically, my 5k pace is an all out effort for 3 miles. If I can run that pace after 4 speedier miles, I wasn’t running fast enough. Turns out I didn’t read the workout correctly. I was supposed to do ONE 5k mile or 2 half miles at 5k pace. So yeah.

Wednesday speed. kinda. 2 miles @ 7:05 (goal was 7), 2 miles at 7:46 (goal was 7:50), with 1 WU, 1 CD. This was the weekly pub run put on by the local Fleet Feet store. Wise man suggested I do both sets at half pace, but I wanted some speed also so figured I’d split the difference. I had a few issues here. First, my stomach wasn’t feeling great. Second, I was still tired from the workout the day before. Third, I did the two miles on the local trail which has inclines. Pathetically small ones, but when you’re doing speed work, they might as well be Mt Everest. Then, by the time we started the group run it was dark, so I ended up going faster in order to keep the lead runners in sight. Well, can’t win them all.

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I am in here somewhere

Thursday cross. 40 minutes trainer intervals, 10 minutes lower body. 

Friday REST

Saturday long. 12 miles. 2 easy, 8 @ 7:50, 2 easy. My watch had satellite issues AGAIN and skipped .15 miles somewhere into the first faster mile, and dipped over a minute in average lap pace somewhere in mile 9. I did it, but it wasn’t easy, and I’m not sure where I’m going to pull another 5 miles at that pace from. Thin air maybe. Here is hoping taper helps, because I’m pooped.

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Sunday cross/easy. 55 minutes yoga/2 easy stroller miles @ 9:02. I did rock a nice headstand.

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And I forgot to mention it last week, but still doing the plank challenge and attempting to take some creative pictures.

See Bryan waving on the left? He didn’t remember me taking it. 10 minutes later he asked me if I took his picture. HAHA

Bring on taper. I am ready.

Charleston Sprint Tri Recap (Race 2)

The second race of the sprint series traditionally falls on Father’s Day. Figuring Bryan would want to sleep in that morning, I hadn’t originally planned on racing. I thought I might get up with the twins and cheer, but when the weather showed a break in the heat and low temps predicted in the 60’s, I asked Bryan if he would be ok with me racing if I moved my long ride to a day that allowed him to sleep in on Saturday instead, and promised to come home shortly after I finished.

He told me to race and take my time. He is the best.

I was able to arrange my training schedule again to allow me a rest day before the race. I’m not sure this will be able to happen again this year, so I was in a “race” mentality.

The Swim

Distance: 600 yards

Fastest Time: 14:07

Swim waves are broken up into 10 year age groups and typically ours is pretty large. I didn’t count but I think there were less than a dozen of us this time, but that didn’t keep me from nearly running into at least 3 people. I sighted a lot more this race than last since I was afraid of going too wide, and I think this slowed my pace down. I still technically PR’ed the swim, but my pace per 100 yards was slower than last week.

Time: 14:02

Transition 1:

Fastest Time: 1:26

I was less anxious about transitions this time which I think helped. I did cut off a little time, but I’d still like to figure out how to do that thing where you start with your shoes clipped in the pedals already. I am afraid of falling.

Time: 1:15

The Bike

Distance: 12 miles

Fastest Time: 35:15

I crossed the transition line and had trouble clipping in. Some days I clip right in, others I flail around like a floppy uncoordinated fish and today was, unfortunately, one of those days. I also don’t start my watch until I’m ON the bike and pedaling so my actual bike time tends to be off. On the plus side, Thursday’s tips on turning proved to be very helpful and even though there was a nice headwind I still managed to average a faster speed than any other race. Unfortunately, since I spent so much time getting on and clipping in (25 seconds!), I didn’t officially PR the bike like I thought I had.

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Time: 35:07 (riding time)/35:32 (official)

Transition 2

Fastest Time: 48 seconds

I typically run one lap of the run with my tri top on and throw it at the Pit Crew for the second because I get too hot. This time, I thought I’d try taking it off during transition, and this proved to be an epic fail. My arm got stuck, and I spent an extra probably 20 or so seconds trying to get out of it. Next time I’ll stick with what worked before. I said to myself ” well this isn’t working” and some guy next to me said something like “it never does”. HAHA

Time: 1:13 (worst transition 2 ever)

The Run

Distance: 3.1 miles

Fastest Time: 24:00

The run felt hot (even without a shirt). I forgot to change my watch windows so I could watch my pace so I had to run it partly blind, only getting an update every mile. I’m not sure it would have mattered but I guess there is no way to know. I kept my phone with me and blasted some music again the last mile, probably annoying some others but hey it helps. I was able to keep an eye on overall time though and after mile 2 realized if I hurried (ha) I could slide in with a 1:15:xx finish time. I didn’t care if it was 1:15:59! Also, I got a freaking awesome race picture.

2016 Charleston Sprint Triathlon Series Race 2
Images from the second race on Fathers Day for the 2016 Charleston Sprint Triathlon Series at James Island County Park by Charleston County Parks and Recreation

Time: 23:54

Total

Fastest Time: 1:16:12

This Race: 1:15:55

Honestly, with all the transition snafu’s I’m surprised I pulled off a PR but I did, so yay! As least I know where I can easily knock off at least another 40 wasted seconds. Ha.

Overall: 12/72 females

Age Group: 2nd place

Swim: 42/72 

Bike: 7/72

Run: 13/72

I Want To Be An Ironman- Week 12

Monday: run/swim. 60 minute run with 1×5 min Z4/6.16 miles/73 degrees. I knew the twins would want to join me for my run in the morning, and I had a 5 minute interval scheduled. The thought of pushing them for 5 minutes of an interval didn’t seem fun so I took off early and did the first 20 min solo and pushed them for the rest. It looks like I averaged 7:40 ish for the interval portion, though it did take a solid 2-2.5 min to get my heart rate up where it needed to be. 62 minute swim/2500 meters. Since my swim buddy was unable to meet me this morning I decided I’d try a long continuous swim. I swam 2500 meters straight (my longest so far) at 2:28/100m. Slow, but it felt comfortable enough that I could have kept going, and that pace will get me to the end way before the cutoff so that’s all I care about.

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It’s on on the watch so it counts

Tuesday run  yoga/ride. I woke up in the morning and my left PSOAS was mysteriously sore – enough to cause discomfort just while walking. This was completely out of the blue, so I pulled out my yoga mat and followed a sequence specifically for the hip flexors (PSOAS) and felt well enough afterwards to do a workout. Figuring that running might irritate it more, I  opted to hop on the bike figuring I’d go 30 min and see how I felt. I had no issues during the ride itself, but it was still irritated after. I opted to skip the interval portion this time. 40 minutes yoga/60 minute ride/18.18  miles/18.1 MPH/HR 145/81 degrees

Wednesday – swim/run. 60 minute swim/2100 meters. It was a cruddy swim, I took a lot of breaks, and decided 2100 was enough for the day. 45 min run with 1x 5 min Z4/4.83 miles/9:19 pace/78 degrees. I opted for the treadmill on this one since I was getting out of work early so I could hang out with the family that evening. My third floor only cooled to 78 degrees since the treadmill was running so it was warmer than I would have liked but better than the 95 degrees it was outside.

Thursday – long ride. 130 min ride/34 miles (ish).  I cheated a bit and split this into two (and also changed the day). My morning ride was solo and the evening was with a group for a bike clinic lead by our sponsor bike store. The owner gave us some great advice on turning and this turned out to be very helpful for Sunday.

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Friday – swim. 60 minute swim/2500 yards. This swim felt hard too. I tried doing some intervals at a set pace, and managed to do ok, I just felt tired. The hours on the bike the day before, namely the ones while it was 96 degrees probably didn’t help.

Saturday – rest day

Sunday – James Island Sprint Triathlon. Recap to come. Spoiler: I got to add another mug to my collection, and a new time to put on my PR board. 🙂

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.

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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.

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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)!

WOO HOO!

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