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Journey To the Finish Line

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

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triathlon

Training for Life, Motherf*cker (4/24-5/7)

April 24-April 30

Monday – treadmill tempo/yoga. 1 WU/3@7:23/1CD. Bryan had to leave for work earlier than usual so I drug the twins upstairs with the promise of some IPAD time to get my tempo run in. Miles walked on the treadmill after, and then we all hung out while I stretched 🙂

Tuesday – swim/ride. 2525m swim/9.6 mile ride. Starting to finally get used to getting up at 4:30am….kinda. My last kiddo of the day canceled so I hopped on my bike for 30 min after work and tried not to get hit by any cars. I’m kidding. I wasn’t close to getting hit. 

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Wednesday speedwork. 3x 1 mile repeats with WU and CD – 6 miles total. My computer still wants to autocorrect this to spadework. One day I might just leave the correction. It was a very warm evening and we got kicked off the track because of a soccer game, so I ran on the trail. I made the mistake of trying to run at 50-60 degree pace in 80+ degrees and completely bombed the last repeat (7:01, 6:57 7:31), which just goes to show you that if someone sends you  an email with suggested pace changes due to temperature, you should probably actually follow it. 

Thursday swim – 2500 meters. Still really early in the morning. Still torturous. 

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Friday long run. 9 miles@ 8:49/mile. It was already 75 degrees when I started. Ugh I am so not ready for summer. 

Saturday long ride/run. 25.36 miles @ 19.9mph/3 miles (2@ 8:20, 1@9:06). My legs could still feel the effects from the previous days long run. Even though the pace wasn’t fast the heat makes the long runs feel that much more tiring. So, it took me a bit to warm up and get them going, but I stayed with a smaller group even pulling a couple times without hearing too many sighs (not that I could have heard them anyway). Afterwards, I ran an “easy” 2 miles with John which turned out to be more like tempo pace for me given the temps, and then one actual easy mile, so I could round out April with an even 100 miles. 

Sunday rest day

May 1 – May 7

So I’ve decided that to avoid burnout (and injury) over the summer I’m going to train 3 weeks with a focus on speed at 7-8 hours per week followed by one cut back week doing whatever the hell I want. So welcome to week “whatever the hell I want”

Monday easy stroller run 5 miles @ 9:25/mile. Apparently so many runs I’ve had to stop and pee with the kids that Miles frequently asks me if I need to go. Today he didn’t, but I did need to stop….and then miraculously Abby did and so did he. Go figure. 

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Tuesday – swim/trainer ride. 2625 meters/30 minutes trainer. I actually got to swim on time this morning, but still didn’t come close to finishing the work out in its entirety. In fact, I picked the WRONG lane, and was lapped frequently. #guppy.  On the plus side, this was the first post swim work day that didn’t feel 80 thousand hours long. The bike was nothing to write home about, just trying to get some time in because I knew I wouldn’t be riding much more (ahem – at all) this week. Afterwards, the twins and I went for a walk, where Abby insisted her skirt wasn’t too big.

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It’s not too big-uh!

Wednesday speed. 6 x 400m with WU/CD. 5.25 miles total. I drug my poor unsuspecting neighbor out with me and now she won’t talk to me anymore. Kidding. But she may never run with me again. My splits were faster than they should have been because my quads were sore for 3 days, but I hit one split at a sub 6 (5:57)!

Thursday row. 4100 ish meters/25 minutes. Yeah, you read that right. I used a rowing machine. So I drove from Charleston to Virginia with a friend and flew home Thursday morning. They happened to have a rowing machine in their spare room so I jumped on at 4:30 am (which, insanely, doesn’t seem all that bad anymore) to get a quick easy workout in. 

Friday – rest day

Saturday 10k race plus short cool down. Definitely not my best thanks to some asthma and side cramp issues but it was still a fun race and I had a blast (recap to come).

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Sunday easy stroller run. 3 miles @ 9:25/mile. This run included bribery because my kids are now old enough that they want to run and walk themselves more than they want to be pushed. I’m wondering if my stroller days are numbered. 

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Training For Life, Motherf*cker (4/17-4/23)

Last post I wrote about how I wasn’t really training for anything, and Amy said she heard somewhere that if you’re not training for a specific race you’re “training for life”. That sounds better than “training for nothing” so we are going with that.

Monday – tempo run/ride. 1 easy/6 @ 7:35/1 easy.  8 total. The speedier runs in combination with the biking and swimming are a little easier but overall my legs still feel tired much of the time. I hit the paces but not without a few rest breaks, even with a temp below 60. 30 minute trainer ride/6 miles I needed to get my bike to the shop for a cleaning and to see if I needed new tires so I hopped on the trainer after the run so I’d at least get the 2 rides in. I’m not even going to share how slow I was going

Tuesday swim. 2500 meters. The swimming will get easier, right? RIGHT?

Wednesday speed. 6.25 miles with 5×1000 between 6:25-6:33. This run went surprisingly well. It was warm, but not TOO warm (around 75).

Thursday swim. 2800 meters. At some point I’m going to get used to getting up at 4:30 am right? RIGHT? I mean I’m not even trying to be an Ironman right now. I must be nuts.

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Friday long tempo. 8 miles @ 8:09.  The goal was 7:50 so that tells you how this run went. I did the first mile easy and then tried to pick up the pace, which went ok for 3 miles and then I was done. I tried one easy mile and the picked up the pace again, but my pace was 10 seconds off of goal so I ran the last two at my future goal marathon pace (8:15) and called it a day.

Saturday rest day

Sunday ride/run brick 25 miles @ 18.9 MPH. There was a larger group at this ride and I took it easy for most of it, but pulled for a couple segments at between 20-21mph to get a little speed in. 1.13 miles @ 8:35/mi. 

 

I’m Training for Nothing (4/10-4/16)

I’m not really training for anything, and it feels kinda weird. I still have a 10k in early May in mind, but it’s really going to depend on how warm it is. I guess I am “training” for the Charleston Sprint series?

I started swimming with the YMCA Masters group last week (I skipped the recap) but only swam once because of weather, so this week was the first week of getting up at 430 am both Tuesday and Thursday. Ya’ll, I am a morning person, but 430 is EARLY. 430 is still night time.

So what I’m planning through the summer is to keep up my tempo/speed/long runs probably 3 weeks out of the month and then do one easy week. I’m going to swim twice a week and ride twice a week. My focus will be mostly on running and swimming so my bike is going to take a backseat this season. But really, other than Kiawah my races are only 12 miles. This week was tough because I’m trying to add a good amount of swimming (2500m or more) twice a week in addition to riding AND my speedier run workouts.

Monday – tempo. 6 miles. 1.25 easy/3 @ 7:23/1.75 easy. This went fairly well, though I warmed up a bit longer than a mile so it threw my pace off for the faster part. I took one rest break and ran a 7:21, 7:17, 7:18.

Tuesday swim/strength 2500m swim/15 min leg workout. There was a big focus on kicking for the swim workout but I figured since I was wearing fins I didn’t need to worry too much. Then I got home and decided a 15 min leg workout was necessary, which I paid for dearly later.

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Wednesday  speed (ish). 6 miles with 4 x1200 and 400 recovery. I woke up and my quads were a little sore, which is never a good sign. I felt ok during my warm up, but once I started my 1200’s I knew I was going to be throwing my pace goals out the window. I was shooting to run them in a 6:42. I ran the first in 6:44 (not bad) and the second in 6:41, but thats only because I literally stopped and rested halfway through. The third was a 6:58 and the fourth a 7:10 – slower than my last 5k average page. My legs were just totally trashed.

Thursday swim. 2500 meters. 4:30 comes really really early. My legs were still tired. I felt them all day.

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Friday long. 9 miles progressive. 8:00 average. I woke up Friday and my legs were still tired, but at least no longer sore. My goal for the day was supposed to be 8 @ 7:50 but after Wednesday I decided to start easy and see how it went. The last thing I want to do is end up injured. So I started at a 8:35, ran the second and 8:20, and decided to try an easier progression. 8:35, 8:20, 8:12, 8:00, 8:01, 8:00, 7:49, 7:35, 7:23.

Saturday ride/run 25 mile ride @ 17.6 MPH/1.7 miles @ 8:56/mile I joined Tammie on her long ride, which was my first of the season. I’ve hardly been on the bike at all this year, honestly, and it was nice to get a good easy long ride in.

I took zero pictures this week, so if you’re still reading I’m impressed.

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

I Have A Need for Speed (3/6-3/19)

I got behind again so its time for another combo post, but I haven’t done much exciting or much “formal” training since the Myrtle Beach Half.

March 6-12

Monday – cross. 45 minutes yoga. Only minimally sore (yay!) but still tired from the race.

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45 min of yoga and this is what happens in my family room

Tuesday easy run. 4.75 stroller miles @9:41 average. One advantage of not following a training plan is more runs with the twins, who now spend a good deal of the run asking for their turn.

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Wednesday easy-ish run. 6 miles @8:24 average. Some of the track group met to run some hills but I decided against it and ran the trail. It was a warm day, but I was pleasantly surprised that my pace didn’t feel awful, which gives me (some) hope about this summer.

Thursday cross. 30 minutes elliptical/25 minutes strength

Friday rest

Saturday long run 9 miles mostly easy with 2 5k miles for an 8:06 average. I had considered running the Shamrock Shuffle but decided I probably wouldn’t be sufficiently recovered, and I was right. The two 5k miles felt much more difficult than I’d anticipated.

Sunday cross. 55 minutes yoga. Still attempting to stretch out all my tight muscles.

 

March 13-19

Monday easy. 6 miles @8:19/mi The first part of this run was difficult thanks to my asthma acting up but a 2nd puff of my inhaler did the trick and then it was smooth sailing 🙂

Tuesday cross. 50 minutes yoga My hip started feeling achy sometime Monday night (yay), so I hoped some extra stretching would help.

Wednesday speed/easy. 5.5 miles total. Ran the Catch the Leprechaun 5k, and of course a warm up and cool down. 3.15 miles @ 7:06 pace, and the rest easy.

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Thursday cross 30 minutes elliptical, 20 minutes strength. 

Friday rest

Saturday long progression. 10 miles @ 8:05. I was unsure on how to go about this run, and wise man told me to run a progression if I felt like my body could handle it. I went out with a possible plan to start at 8:50, knocking 10 seconds off per mile for 10 miles, which would end at a 7:20. The first couple miles felt great so I went for it, hitting my paces in 8:47, 8:41, 8:29, 8:21, 8:09, 8:00, 7:50, 7:41, 7:31, 7:20. I actually really enjoyed that the first few miles were pretty easy but that it packed a challenge at the end and I’ll definitely be doing more runs like this in the future.

Sunday ride. 12.5 mile ride/16.5 mph. I thought maybe I should get back on my bike since it had been almost a month. Unfortunately I picked a VERY windy day.

Running “season”, for me, is rapidly reaching an end, and I really need to get in the pool and on the bike more. I have one more 5k race and 10k race (well, I’m using race loosely here as its the bridge run and I have no PR expectations) on the calendar and then its time to start trying to not drown and not get run over.

2016 Recap

 A recap of 2016. (Click the links to see a recap of 2011,  2012 , 20132014 and 2015 )
2016 was actually a great, busy and productive year for me. Honestly, I’m looking forward to slowing down a bit in 2017.
1. What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before?
  • Finished an Ironman distance triathlon
  • Received an ACE award from my professional organization (after you earn 70 hours of continuing education over a consecutive 3 year period)
  • Won an age group award for the James Island Sprint Triathlon Series
  • Cleaned my house 15,000 times a day
  • Heard the word “mommy” 50  million times a day
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
2016

 

  • Finish a Half Ironman (bonus: this is also a bucket list item!) – Joke’s on me – I finished a full! 
  • Find something to invest some money in (stock, gold whatever) – nope
  • Start attending church more regularly ( or at all, really ) we did, finally!
  • Run a 5k in under 22 minutes nope, though this got trumped by resolution number one
  • Volunteer somewhere a few times this year bah – nope

2017

  • Get more involved in church
  • Run a 5k in under 22 minutes
  • PR a half marathon
  • Focus more on family
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
  • I’m in my 30’s, so yes
4. Did anyone close to you die?
  • Thankfully, no
5. What countries did you visit?
  • Still zero
6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?
  • The ability to take a deep breath before I get frustrated
7. What dates from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
  • January – Ran the Disney Marathon with (though I use the word with loosely) a childhood friend, and PR my marathon time
  • March – Ran the Myrtle Beach Marathon and PR my marathon time again! Tammie qualifies for Boston with plenty of time to spare!

 

  • March – run my first team relay, and also happened to be the first time I get (and run with) bronchitis

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  • May – twins turn THREE!

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  • September – South Carolina gets hit with Hurricane Matthew, which, thankfully, is much milder than originally predicted. We sat the storm out. We lost power for a few hours, but luckily sustained no other major damage.

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  • October -Finish Ironman North Carolina, though in a bit of a different way. The hurricane forced closure of half the bike course, turning my swim, bike, run into a swim, bike, run, bike.

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8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
  • Ironman. Definitely Ironman.
9. What was your biggest failure?
  • Frustration, just too much unnecessary frustration
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
  • NO! WOO HOO!
11. What was the best thing you bought?
  • New king size bedroom set
12. Where did most of your money go?
  • House stuff, surprisingly. We had to replace the A/C unit, re paved the patio and replaced our bedroom set.
13. What did you get really excited about?

  • Hitting new PR’s and milestones in training
  • Becoming CKTP certified
  • Our pending vacation in January! A real, non race related one!
14. What song will always remind you of 2015?
  • Rise – Katy Perry
15. Compared to this time last year, are you:

  • – happier or sadder? happier!
  • – thinner or fatter?  about the same
  • – richer or poorer? poorer, but thats ok.
16. What do you wish you’d done more of?
  • Really nothing aside from maybe spend more time with family. That is my focus for 2017. There was a LOT of focus on me this year.
17. What do you wish you’d done less of?
  • get frustrated over unimportant stuff
  • cared so much about a clean house
18. How did you spend Christmas?
  • At home. We opened a few presents at home and then had another at my sisters house. We also had Christmas dinner there. Christmas was cool this year because he twins are finally old enough to understand Santa and presents.
19. What was your favorite TV program?
  • This Is US
  • Sister Wives (yes, still)
  • Gilmore Girls!
20. What were your favorite books of the year?
 I didn’t read much this year either, but I enjoyed Jodi Picoult’s new book and am recently re-reading some of the Left Behind series
21. What was your favorite music from this year?

  • Rise – Katy Perry
  • The Weeknd – Starboy
  • Twenty One Pilots – Heathens
  • Stand By You – Rachel Platten
22. What were your favorite films of the year
I think I honestly watched ONE movie that I hadn’t already seen.
23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
  • I turned 34. My birthday fell on a Friday this year, so I did a 4 hour training ride and then hosted a birthday/tri party at our neighborhood pool
24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
  • I don’t think anything would have brought satisfaction that I’d consider immeasurable.
25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?

  • Scrub pants, t shirts and workout clothes.
26. What kept you sane?

  • Exercise!
  • Getting good consistent sleep!
  • Plexus
27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016.
  • You can always do more than you think you can do

My Year in Running (and Triathlon) – 2016

Yeah, so it has been a long time since I’ve published a blog, and the vast majority of them this year were sparse, and fitness related. Part of me wonders if maybe the time has come to end the blog, but regardless I want to post my summaries of the year (fitness and not fitness) because it has been nice to read back on them.

1. My main goal for this 2016 was: to finish a Half Ironman, turned into a full Ironman, thanks to some pushy encouraging friends and a beer.

2. My Running Shoes: Mizuno Wave Inspire, changed to Wave Rider and the On Cloud by December

3. Favorite running gear item of 2016: Still the Garmin

4. Playlist screenshot: Too lazy for a screenshot- so here are my top 10 most played songs (usually while running)

  • The Weekend – Starboy
  • Twenty One Pilots – Heathens
  • Macklemore – Dance Off
  • Cutting Crew – I Just Died in Your Arms Tonight
  • Unspoken – Higher
  • Rasmus – In the Shadows
  • Katy Perry – Rise
  • Genesis – Land of Confusion
  • Marilyn Manson – Personal Jesus
  • Rachel Platten – Stand by You

5. Number of races- Break it down:
5k – 1 standalone (Nexton Cocoa Cup)
10k – 0
Half – 1 (Sweet Tea Half Marathon)
Marathon – 2 (Disney and Myrtle Beach Marathon)
Triathlons – 6 ( 3 James Island Sprints, 1 unofficial olympic and one Ironman)

 

6. Most difficult race & why: The Ironman, because it’s an Ironman.

7. Favorite fun run: none this year

8. Favorite course: eh, no favorites.

9. Race I want to run again: Nexton and Sweet Tea (no, not the Ironman, at least not anytime soon)

10. Best bling/shirt from a race: Beach to Battleship pajama pants!

11. PR/PB: Marathon – 3:45:08, Sprint Tri – 1:15:55, Ironman – 13:30 ish (the recap explains the “ish”)

12. Longest run: 26.2 miles

13. Out of state runs: Ironman race in Wilmington, NC

14. Total miles 

  • Run: 1, 184 (could finish around 1200)
  • Bike: 2, 555
  • Swim: 107

Just for fun (though not sure how accurate this is), Garmin says I’ve burned 207,000 calories. I’ve traveled 3,851 miles between everything, and spent over 430 hours training!

15. Favorite motivational/inspirational quote of 2016: To accomplish something extraordinary, one must have an extraordinary dream. A goal so high, a journey so demanding, that its achievement to most seems impossible. IRONMAN is a statement of excellence, passion, commitment. It is a test of physical toughness and mental strength. IRONMAN is about persevering, enduring and being a part of something larger than ourselves. It shows the heights that can be achieved when we push beyond our boundaries and go the distance to earn the title… IRONMAN!

16. Lessons I’ve learned: You can make time for anything if you want it badly enough.

17. Injuries I battled and overcame: NONE this year! WOO HOO!

18. 3-5 Most inspiring people: List their blog, twitter or instagram-wherever you follow them:

As lame as this sounds, I can’t pick just 3 people this year. I was inspired by everyone training for the Ironman with me.

19. Favorite place on social media to connect with runners: Facebook

20. 2 goals for next year: 1. PR the Half Marathon 2. PR the 5k (I’m good with some shorter races for awhile!)

I Want To Be an Ironman – Race Weekend Part 1

Dang. 6 and a half months of training, tracking, falling asleep at 8:30 and eating all the food on the planet, and race weekend is here.

Thursday 

Admittedly, even 48 hours after the news that the bike was shortened pretty drastically (from 112 miles to 50 miles due to residual flooding issues), I was still bummed. A few people in the IMNC Beach to Battleship Facebook group had talked about the possibility of additional post race road or trainer miles , and I was glad there was still an option, even though it wasn’t the same. I woke up and posted an update on Facebook about my plan to swim, bike, run and bike again, saying that it would make a good story to others and for the twins later on about handling change and thinking outside the box. I did this partly to get myself motivated by this idea, and packed my trainer among my things. I managed to shove all my stuff into two bags and felt pretty accomplished about that.

Tami picked me up around 8am and we began the drive towards Wilmington, where I talked a bit more about my disappointment in the race changes (even though I understood why they happened). Luckily, Tami was very understanding about the whole thing and assured me that if the full distance was what I wanted, she would do whatever she could to help make sure that happened, because Tami is awesome. A few days prior, she had taken a super obnoxious picture of me with my swim cap and googles on, sticking my tongue out and blown it up to make a giant head on a stick, posting pictures about its preparations.

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“Power T can’t stop taking selfies”

At one point I started to ask why she couldn’t use a normal picture, until I realized it was normal.

We arrived around noon after a lunch stop and “checked in” to our “hotel”. We actually stayed at an old giant victorian house called the McEachern House . Click the link to see some pictures – it was amazing. We headed to the grocery store and then met her other New York friends staying with us (Kelly, Linda and Tina – Tracy and Rie from Summerville joined us later) before we headed to the Athlete Village to check in and attend the athlete meeting about bus times, transition and race day information.

Each half participant received a drawstring bag and each full participant received a bag like the one pictured on the right. I was told this was a ” dry bag” and I could use it for Kayaking – because I do so much kayaking. 🙂

It was here that we learned that the bike course had been extended to 56 miles – allowing the half distance racers the full race and the full distance racers an extra 6 miles. Hey, I’ll take it. It was also here that I learned that the CEO of Base Salts, Matt Miller, had set up an after race trainer ride complete with music and hydration in the parking lot of a TV station that overlooked the finish line, so there was a way to finish the last 56 miles for those who wanted to. I had still been hoping for some road miles, but this was definitely better than nothing.

After the meeting the rest of the group met up and headed down to the dock for ….well, I forgot what it was called, but there was free food, and I was hungry.

The evening ended with a walk back to the house (only a half mile from the packet pick up) and spent it with the ladies on the giant porch, including a yummy dinner (yes I had just eaten 2 hours before) – a nice relaxing night I needed a great deal after the last 6.5 months.

Friday 

Friday morning, luckily, was pretty low key. I walked back to the convention center late morning to check out the Ironman store and bought a jacket, hoping I wasn’t cursing myself doing so before the race was over, but because the distance was shortened the full race stuff was 25% off and I got a good deal. Not wanting to spend too much time on my feet I walked back (ha) and started to get my race day bags together.

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Typically, full racers get 5 bags:

Morning clothes bag: where you put any clothes you want to keep that you are wearing race morning to stay warm. These are returned at the swim start.

T1 bag: where you put all of your bike supplies. Mine included clothes, shoes, helmet, chapstick, body glide, non perishable nutrition, socks, heart rate monitor, a peppermint patty (for the salt water taste), a couple TUMS (just in case), sunglasses, inhaler and arm sleeves.

T2 bag: run supplies. Mine included shoes, extra socks, another change of clothes (I’m not winning so I wanted to be comfortable), body glide, chapstick, race number and belt, nutrition, a couple ibproufen, tums, pepto chewables (just in case) and another inhaler.

Bike Special Needs: we did not get this bag since the bike was cut short, but in case I decided on the trainer ride I stopped for extra hydration and snacks and made my own special needs bag.

Run Special Needs:  This was a small bag for me. You don’t get these items back, so I included a couple ibuprofen, pepto, tums, extra socks (in case of blisters) and a small bag of potato chips.

We also get a bib and race number stickers to put on your bike and helmet.

Putting it all together is quite the feat.

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I was extra thankful to have Tami around, who has done FIVE of these, to throw in tidbits like put all your stuff in ziplock bags in case it rains, cut the corners of the bags so the water can drain, trim the bike numbers so they don’t chafe your legs, write your number on the bags in sharpie and tape over it in case the stickers get lost, oh and maybe clean your bike off.

Power T helped too.

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And I dressed fashionably to pin on my running bib number.

 

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what? I don’t run like this?

This is also about the point where I began obsessively checking the weather. Anyone living in the south knows this summer seems to be never ending, and the weather at this point had still been unseasonably warm. Luckily, a cold front was due to come in that night. What I didn’t realize was that cold fronts often bring wind with them. At the time (ha, million times) I checked the winds were predicted to be anywhere from 13-16 mph and while I knew wind on the bike would suck I began to seriously worry about choppy water on the swim.

I shouldn’t have checked.

Around 1:00, I walked back down to the convention center to drop off my running gear bag, and take a group picture. While we waited I checked the weather. No, it didn’t change.

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IMNC is apparently uncommon in its practice to have two separate transition areas. I’m told most Ironman branded races (or maybe most all) have run and bike transitions in the same area. In this case, the run transition was near the convention center and the bike transition was about 20 minutes away near the beach. After walking back to the house and eating lunch, the group packed our bikes and drove to the bike transition area. Tami and I both agreed on the ride over that the logistics of this race (and I have nothing to compare it to) were stressful, but it is what it is. The irony here is that every recommendation I’ve read says to try to stay off your feet as much as possible the day before, but between everything I ended up walking over 5 miles anyway. I checked the weather again. Still windy.

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Finally the bike is racked and ready and all bags were dropped off except for what I needed to take with me in the morning. At this point its about 4pm and I’m mentally exhausted, so when we stop at a grocery store I stay in the car and talk to Bryan about his and my parents travel plans (and check the weather – still windy) and we head back to the house to eat, have a drink and rest. The drink was much needed after all the stress of the logistics and worrying about the swim, and between that and some helpful advice on how to handle waves should there be any, I felt better. I still checked the weather though (windy).

Guess what else the weather predicted? A 20% chance of rain. Twenty percent. And guess what it did around 6:00 for about 90 minutes? Rained. On. All. Our. Stuff.

Because of course.

My dad was nice enough to pick up Tami’s bullhorn that she had left at home (and had come in oh so handy during the Palmetto 200) and they stopped over to drop it off around 8:00, so of course I had to use it.

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Tracy – what are you doing in the bathroom??

Around 8:30 we all headed upstairs to finalize things and hang out a bit before attempting to sleep. This meant taking ridiculous pictures.

 

We all went to bed around 9:30. I  called Bryan and then attempted to sleep – after I checked the weather (guess what? still windy) and set and re set my alarm a half dozen times. Because I might have set it wrong the first 5 times.  I never sleep well the night before races and this was no exception, in fact, this was probably the worst night of sleep prior to a race I’ve ever gotten. It’s also the longest distance, by far, that I’ve ever attempted and the longest I’ve spent training for a race, so I guess it was to be expected.

Nighty night (and to be continued).

 

 

I Want To Be an Ironman – Weeks 29/30

I got behind the last couple weeks.

WEEK 29

Monday run/ride – I moved my swim because I had a MUCH needed massage scheduled. 45 minute run/4.73 miles/9:33 average/54 degrees. I’m finally starting to see a *little* recovery and speed back, though still far from where I was. 60 minute ride/15.6 miles/15.6 MPH/62 degrees. This ride was slower because of debris from the hurricane and the fact that I was looking around to see what kind of damage my area had.

Tuesday swim. 60 minute swim/2500 meters. I drove to DJ before work this morning to get my swim in. I’m glad I didn’t have to do this much this season as its a pain in the butt. I as late to work.

Wednesday run/ride. 45 minute stroller run/4.57 miles/9:53 average/57 degrees. The twins and I rolled around an area behind us with lots of trees and power lines still down. One house had had a tree on top of it. 😦 45 minute trainer ride/9.53 miles/SLOW I stuck a movie on and hopped on the trainer once we got home. Not much exciting to report here.

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Thursday swim35 minute swim/1550 yards. I joined a small group for a last open water swim and practice with the wetsuit. The water was a bit choppy at first and I struggled. I almost quit twice. And I still suck at sighting far away – I ended a whole house to the right of where I was supposed to. But hey, its done.

Friday long run. 60 minute run/6.47 miles/9:22 average/57 degrees. FINALLY I was able to run a couple miles with an average under 9 (8:45, 8:53) and still stay in zone 2. I run/walked the rest as per my plan.

Saturday long brick. 2 hour ride/36.77 miles/18.1 MPH/64 degrees. 30 minute run/3.16 miles/9:30 average/70 degrees. The LAST LONG WORKOUT! The ride was fine but the run was hot and I bitched about that most of the way. Haha.

Sunday – rest day

Total Time: 8 hours 35 minutes

Distance Traveled: 83.04 miles

Training Thoughts: I honestly don’t remember. But probably something along the lines of HOORAY!!!!

 

WEEK 30

Monday run/ride. 45 minute run/4.8 miles/9:25 average/59 degrees. I took the dog with me for this one. My asthma was acting up and struggled for the first 1.5 miles. Stopped at home for an extra puff of my inhaler and continued on. 60 minute ride/17.1 miles/17.1 MPH/64 degrees. Usual route, nothing to report.

Tuesday swim. 45 minute swim/1750 meters. This ended up being quite the interesting day. I ran into traffic and then  a train trying to get the pool and my swim got cut short. Later that afternoon the official email came out from Ironman saying they had to REALLY shorten the bike course because of flood damage from the hurricane. I shouldn’t have been shocked in hindsight, but I was, because per a Facebook group I was a part of many had been told that if nothing else, there was a alternate route plan in place. Well, apparently not. The bike course was shortened 62 miles, leaving us full participants with a distance just over the normal half distance. I was crushed. Not mad, just really disappointed. I was thankful my kid I was seeing after I saw that email still has difficulty reading emotions, because I was a mess.

Wednesday ride/run quick change. 45 minute trainer ride/9.1 miles/12.1 MPH. 15 minute run/1.72 miles/8:44 average/63 degrees. Honestly the last thing I cared about was this workout, but I did it anyway. I basically said fuck it on the run and ran as hard as I wanted to for part of it.

Later that day, people began talk of possibly finding road to ride on for the last 56 miles or possibly setting up trainers for those who wanted to finish the whole distance. While this was certainly not what I hoped for, it was nice to know there was an option. I contacted Ironman about transferring to another race, but was told this wasn’t allowed.

Thursday run. 30 minute run/3.2 miles/9:37 average/62 degrees. Still not feeling very motivated but I woke up early and couldn’t go back to sleep so I took the dog for a run. I also headed up to NC with Tami today, and packed my trainer, just in case. I did learn today that there *was* apparently an alternate bike route plan, but the state nixed it.  Athlete check-in and briefing.

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Friday – rest day. Dropped off bike and run transition bags and racked my bike. We did learn today that they added another 6 miles to the bike route, making it 56 miles. Hey, I’ll take it.

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Saturday : race day.

Sunday: Ow.

Of course, a full race post is forthcoming, however I feel like its going to take some time for me to gather all the pictures others took to put a post together.

 

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