Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Friday, Dustin and I went for a 3 mile run just to loosen up our muscles, and we continued to pack all the essentials, which takes a really long time. My heart rate monitor got back from repair at the LAST minute on Saturday morning, before we packed up the car, so that relieved a lot of my stress.

Saturday, we packed my Murano to the max with all of our equipment, food, drinks, Jeff, Kendra, Dustin, myself, and oh yeah, don't forget to throw the bikes on the rack too! We drove a little over two hours and went straight to registration/expo and met Tim and his son, Carter there, and found Kendra's sister Paula and her friends Mandy, Brandon, and Chris (Mandy and Chris raced also). We got our bike helmet, bike frame, and shirt numbers, chips, got weighed, got our swim caps and our baggy of goodies, and then off to drop off our bikes for the night on the transition racks. I had a bad spot because it wasn't around anything noticable, so when you run into the transition area and there are 3000 bikes parked on the racks, it's hard to find. I had to count three back from the big tree and then towards the far end! We all walked down to the water and the temperature felt great, but it sure was windy! Time to go drive the 56 mile bike course.......a lot "hillier" than I thought, for Florida anyway with one big hill towards the middle of the course. Glad we did it, but it made me a little more nervous.

Then, Paula and her friends had a cabin at Fort Wilderness, so we went there and fixed spaghetti and garlic bread (Dustin did most of it) for the group. The cheerers had wine and beer, while we drank water, gatorade and milk. It was good and convenient, that's for sure. Then, off to check into our room at Shades of Green ( a military hotel about 2 miles away!). We prepared our race numbers on our shirts and layed everything out for the morning that we would need. Megan had to sleep on the pull out which she was too tall for (sorry Megan!).


Both Dustin and I coudln't get to sleep and didn't sleep well, so when the alarm went off at 4:15 AM, we didn't feel too rested, but we had to get up and get to the transition area before 6 AM when it closed. We repacked everything up, including Jeff, Kendra, and Megan and went to the parking lot to meet the bus that shuttles us over. It was completely dark with some random lights not shining in the right places in the transition area-making it hard to see what you were doing. Last minute bike check, aired up the tires, layed the towel out with the bike shoes, running shoes, hats, GU, snacks, heart rate chest strap, number strap, sunglasses, helmet, etc. Had to visually run through exactly what I would do on the transition from swim to bike and then later from bike to run. By the time Dustin and I got out of transition, it was after 6 AM, and we were some of the last people out. We went down by the water where we were body marked with our numbers, and then decided we needed a last minute bathroom break. The boys line was longer (finally!) so I told Dustin I would meet him down at the water. I applied my 60 SPF sunscreen, ate a last minute Gu, and drank some water. We met the supporters there too. I had to leave them earlier than Dustin did because my wave started at 6:55 AM and Dustin's didn't start until 7:15 (20 minute difference which was good because that would motivate him to try to catch me and me to try to run from him!). I put my neon green swim cap (Dustin's was PINK!), and got encouraging hugs from the supporters and a kiss from Dustin......


I get over to the beach about 1 minute before my start, perfect timing so I didn't get too nervous; saw Mandy and stood with her as we waited for the horn to blow. I shook my arms a bit, waved to the supporters, put the goggles on and all of a sudden we were starting! I entered the water slowly as planned and got my rhythm down quickly. The water temperature was perfect and the sun was coming up on my right side and cast a pinkish hue on the water. It was actually relaxing that I forgot to start my watch!!! So, I started it late (which I thought was about five minutes, but turned out to be two minutes late, so the WHOLE race, I didn't know what my real time was!) I've never been kicked and hit so much in a triathlon before; nothing that hurt, but constantly, I was right beside other swimmers, or other waves were overtaking us and coming up right on top of us. Instead of getting pissed off, I remembered Kendra talking about last year how she could feel the energy of the other waves, so I tried to keep that energy up in my stroke too! Rounding those buoys seems like an endless process, and I kept having to swim back to the left after sighting the buoys (I need to even out my stroke!) As I crept closer to shore, one other girl and myself fed off of eachother swimming inches away from eachother at the same exact speed and then I pulled away! I felt like I had a lot left and this was the only event I really had to work my arms, so I pushed it a little harder. I swam until my hand touched the bottom and then hopped up and ran out the water yelling "whooo hoooooo" at Tim, Dana, Kendra, Megan, and Jeff, giving high fives and smiling. One event down, two to go! 46 minutes and 22 seconds and Dustin swam it in 46 minutes and 41 seconds (we both felt really good, but he had a few problems with his goggles).

I ran up the shoot and into transition to the screams of supporters taking pictures and videoing me take WAY too long to get on the bike. I just had to make sure I had everything and then right before the "mount" line, we had to drag our bikes through sand. I started to mount my bike before the yellow line and then had to get back off and then back on again past the yellow line! Silly me! Then, I was off for the 56 mile ride with the wind at my back for the first part, then into the "hills." I was going about 19 mph for the first part, then slowed down to 8 mph on the biggest hill. My bike computer screwed up, so I didn't know for sure what my average speed was. I was going to be really happy if I averaged 17.5 for the whole thing, and I actually averaged 18.0 for 3 hours and 7 minutes. Dustin never caught me on the bike, but did average 18.7 mph for 2 hours and 59 minutes and 56 seconds (barely beat his goal of under 3 hours). So, he was slowly making up ground on me from our 20 minute difference on our starts.

The nutrition part of the triathlon is the fourth part, which is primarily in the bike since it's the longest sport. We used perpetuem, sustained energy, endurolytes, gu, gatorade, water and uncrustables (little round PB and J sandwiches). What I did was set up a separate watch on my bike to beep every ten minutes. The first ten minutes I drank four pretty good gulps of my mixture of perpetuem (2.5 scoops) and sustained energy(1.5 scoops). Next ten was gatorade, next ten was water with three endurolyte pills, then repeated that process, with the next water going along with the uncrustable on the first hour, Gu on the second and third hours. This ended up working for me, but everyone is different. I think Dustin tried to injest too much and wasn't drinking enough water to digest, because when he got on the run, he had horrible stomach cramps which slowed him down immensely.

As, I made the transition from bike to run, there was a very important thing I did, I put on this silly foam shark hat so that our supporters could see us coming. You have no idea how many people yelled for me because of that hat, other people in the race who complimented me. It really did keep me going throughout the whole 13.1 miles. Dustin also wore one (due to my begging), which worked out well, because we would tell random people along the sides "hey, my husband is wearing a hat just like this, tell him I love him" and then the same people would tell me that he said he loved me back! See, the course was a three loop run course, so we would see the same spectators many times and it was a lot of fun. We also ran a lot in grassy fields, which I loved because it took me back to high school cross country. Tim ran with us for awhile and Jeff also ran with us, so that helped to keep our spirits up. There were aid stations every mile where we could get soaked wet sponges, gatorade, water, coke, pretzels, bananas, oranges, sports gels, etc. I was mainly getting just water and gatorade at first and then it started getting hotter. I was starting out at 8:30 miles, but slowed down. Towards the end, I was getting chills, so I was grabbing the salty pretzels, and gatorade, and tried to keep myself running in the last two miles. I never walked except while going through aid stations so I could drink and eat without making a mess! It was hard, don't get me wrong, but I had a lot of fun. It sucked to know that Dustin wasn't having a good run though, but I knew he was okay through Jeff and Tim telling me, so that was comforting! As I came closer to the finish line, I saw Susan Wallis, who is the president of our tri club and has done tons of full ironmans, and it was just awesome to see her. Then, I saw Jeff and Kendra, and Megan, and Dana snapping pictures and videoing! I finished the run in 2:01:34 which I really wanted under two hours, but hey, my total time was 6:03:05 so I was more than happy with that. I felt like I pushed my body to it's limits and didn't leave anything out on the course, so it was a wonderful feeling getting that medal around my neck. I met a lot of my small goals too, so that was good. Then, we waited for Dustin to come across the finish line. He came through with his cute shark hat on too and I met him at the finish line. He was pretty tired and wanted to sit down, but I didn't let him until he walked a bit first. He ended up getting his Blood pressure checked in the medical tent, but I think all he really needed was some electrolytes in his system and then he felt better. Jeff was all about checking the boards to see the postings of the times and came back to us (while we were stuffing our faces with free pizza) to give us the report. We both finished in 6:03 something, but one of us beat the other one by 22 seconds! 6 hours of working out and we finished that close to each other.............I actually beat Dustin, which wasn't expected at all. Most of you know how competitive I am so I took pride in that. Especially since Dustin beats me at every single thing we do, so it was payback time in a big way :) He took it very well, and I only rub it in every once in awhile! We had an awesome time and couldn't have done it without our supporters, thanks guys!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Yesterday, Jeff and Kendra got here! We picked them up from the airport with our boat in tow! It was so funny to pull that thing through the airport! Anyway, we went straight to the Arlington boat ramp and boated to downtown and ate at the River City Brewing Company for Kendra's birthday! Then, we boated north of Arlington and Dustin, Kendra, and Jeff skiied. I decided against it, knowing that I would end up getting hurt or something for this weekend.

Today, we took the ferry across and drove on the beach in Hugenot Park. We played some "yard" games on the beach and hung out, got in the ocean for just a bit. Then, tonight Dustin had a navy dinner to attend, but Jeff, Kendra, and I went to the Riverside Y for spin and swim. It was storming and the pool isn't grounded so lightning could hit us while we were swimming, so the pool was closed. Kendra and I did Bob's spin class while Jeff played basketball. Tomorrow, we are planning on running a few miles.

It felt good to sweat a bit today and get my heart rate up and get my legs moving. I've been nervous the last few days for some reason. For one, I don't have my heart rate monitor back from Polar after a repair they made on it. They were sending it back last Friday, so I should have gotten it by now. I am going to be so pissed if I don't have it for the race. It helps me judge if I'm going to fast/hard, tells me my pace, and just helps me communicate with my body better! I know it sounds weird, but I feel naked training without it. I might wear Kendra's, but it doesn't have all the functions that mine does, so I really want mine.

I've started to pack, and it just seems like too much to think about. I can't imagine how it will be for the full Ironman and packing for our whole trip to Wisconsin! Anyway, we need to focus on this race THIS weekend and get through that first! We have a bunch of rewards for certain time goals and things set up. Most of the rewards involve food that we haven't been eating because of our healthy eating while training; like for instance Dairy Queen blizzards, taco pizza's and macarroni and cheese!

I'm sure it will go just fine. This might be my last entry before the race; we'll see. If you are reading this, think positive thoughts for us on Sunday at 6:20 AM for our 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run! We will be half ironpeople afterwards hopefully! Oh yeah, and wish this nervousness away too!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Last Wednesday, we ran 7 miles on Girvin, and then went to TNT swim practice and swam 1850 meters. Felt good on both.

Thursday, we had a business meeting, so we weren't able to fit in a workout. Friday was our day off and we probably should have done something, but we didn't.

Saturday, we met the TNT group at the beach and swam in the ocean at 7 AM! We got pointers from Roberta on how to enter and exit the water efficiently. We swam without wet suits this time, so it was a bit chilly. Then, we rode 25 miles. We then went home, did some yard work, took showers, and welcomed Elizabeth's family, the Boyers for a quick visit (they were vacationing in St. Augustine, just south of here). We were able to hang out with Elizabeth and John a bit longer, and took them on a tour of Hecksher Drive out towards all the islands before taking them to the airport for their flight back to San Diego!

Sunday, we ran 6 miles down Girvin pretty quickly and sweated a lot! It wasn't even sunny, but just humid (we also ran at noon time-similar to the time we will be running this weekend at the end of our race).

Monday, we swam 1500 meters at Ponte Vedra Y while it was raining, but we both felt pretty good.

Today, Tuesday, we just got done with a 16 mile bike on Wonderwood and into Hannah Park; it was pretty windy on the way there and pretty tough!

Tomorrow, Jeff and Kendra get here from Wisconsin! We are so excited! Then, our race is Sunday in Orlando and then we come back here. Kendra leaves Monday, Jeff-Tuesday, then Tony and Susan come in on Thursday! We are just gonna have such a fun May with all of our best friends visiting us! We can't wait! Oh yeah, and we can't wait for the race either!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Tuesday, I rode 16 miles with Megan and we did yoga afterwards. Then, we met up with Dave and Dustin and celebrated their end of finals by going to Cafe Carmon; my new favorite (but expensive) place in San Marco.

Wednesday, we went on an 11 mile run near Brooks Health off of Deerwood Pkwy, and down Southside. It was a pretty hot and tiring run, but we did it. Then, we went to the Hammerhead Tri Club meeting right afterwards at 7 PM and learned many more things about nutrition, etc.

Thursday, we missed spin class because of the stupid Mathews Bridge closure/switch of traffic patterns, but went to swim with Christine and took it easier than usual (1500 meters).

Friday, we were off and went to dinner with our neighbors, Amber and Stuart to celebrate her new job. She is now going to be teaching 1st grade right around the corner instead of 30+ minutes away. We went to the new restaurant, Cobblestones around the corner and it was good!

Saturday, we did a Hammer Jammer put on by the triathlon club. It's a practice triathlon where you just swim 15 minutes in the ocean, 45 minutes on the bike, and a 30 minute run. It was good though, because we were able to practice our transitions and get a few nerves out for our race in two weeks. Here is a list of things not to do while training for a triathlon:
1. Tear dead skin off the bottom of your foot to the point of pain.
2. Shift your weight the wrong way while getting off your bike and crash and hurt your knee.
3. Step in dog poop in your running shoes.
4. Forget one of your water bottles.
By the way, I was able to pull off all of the above in one morning. Despite all of these things, I still felt good after our workout. Then, we went to the Shrimp Festival in Fernadina and met Lisa and Dennis there and had a couple drinks for Cinco de Mayo and ate all kinds of shrimp-fried, boiled, shrimp pie, etc. Not exactly what you want to eat the day before a long workout. On top of that, add some ice cream, and then we had blueberry/strawberry pancakes for dinner. This was to keep with our themed weekend of doing irregular things that we don't normally do (however, we still had to train regularly).

Sunday, we got ourselves up early to bike 35 miles at the beach and then ran 10 miles right afterwards. We experimented more with our nutrition and with Perpetuem and Sustained Energy, Gu, and Gatorade and Endurolytes, and of course, water. It all went well with both of us and we felt good, hot, but tired.

Today, we decided we deserved a rest, so we cooked a good meal together; asian pork udon noodles which was really good!