Monday, June 25, 2007

Last Thursday, we went to spin class and then I went to swim class while Dustin was doing his research job. Christine wasn't there, so I just did my own thing for an hour in the pool and I really did some sprints and pushed myself really hard. I swam a 50 in 45 seconds, so that's a lot better than I used to be (over a minute when I would try hard). Not that I really need to work on sprints, since we'll be swimming 2.4 miles for the race!

Friday, we were off and went to the Team in Training Pasta Party at Anheiser Busch Brewery which was really cool. All of our teammates, including those from Gainesville and Tallahassee were there and we met them, enjoyed some pasta and got inspired by a speaker who was in remission from Hodgkin's Lymphoma. We were ready to do the sprint and see many of our teammates who had never done a triathlon before, and some who had never swam in the ocean before!

On Saturday, we got to the race site about 6:15 AM for the 7:30 race. We were wearing our wristbands that said "Maw Maw" and kept her in our thoughts all day. There were many team in training tri suited athletes and their spectators, so the energy was high! It was fun standing at the starting line waiting to sprint into the ocean, because I was with some of the new girls and then some who got hooked on triathlons like we did last year. It was this exact race a year ago when we were the new ones just getting into the sport. It was perfect weather at the start with hardly any waves!

To make a long story short, Dustin and I both felt good and had our PRs (personal records) for this distance. Dustin did the 1/4 mile swim, 10 mile bike, and 3 mile run in 1:01:22 and I did it in 1:05:22. I have to say the most fun part of the day was cheering on all the fellow teammates, especially the ones who were completing a triathlon for the first time. I think I burned more calories (and definitely felt more light headed) from cheering rather than competing. I just love the team concept and for it to be for such a great cause is just awesome! Tina and Annee gave us our Team in Training medals and we packed our bikes and everything up. We almost forgot to stop by the awards to see if we won anything! I did end up getting third in my age group and many other TNTers got medals too, so it was a successful day! Then, we headed to the Victory Party at one of the Pavillions at the park and mingled with our teammates. We met some new friends, Nate and Naf who are from Gainesville and ended up hanging out on the beach with them afterwards, so that was fun! Everyone is always so hyped after doing a race; I know I am anyway, I just can't stop talking and bouncing off the walls!

That night, we went to a TNT fundraiser for the new tri team at Emily's. It was a Toga Party! It was fun, but we were tired and had to get up at 5 the next morning to train, so we weren't able to stay too long.

Sunday, we did wake up at 5 AM and then headed to the beach for our 60 mile ride down to St. Augustine and back. We both felt good on the ride and averaged 17.3 mph for the whole thing. When we got back to the car, it was a little after 11 AM, so it was HOT! We immediately ran 6 miles around a 9 minute mile pace. Dustin experimented a different way with his nutrition this time and it seemed to work. He had tons of energy, where as I was running low. I was starting to get stomach cramps toward the end, but Dustin never got them. I am so happy that he figured it out (at least for now). I did the same mix of all of my nutrition as I did in the half ironman. I'm hoping that will continue to work, but we will see when we get into the "long" distances.

Now, here comes the bad part; I have a shoulder injury. I'm not sure what it is but it started last Thursday after my swim and it is still bothering me. It didn't bother me in the sprint, but it bothered me Sunday and on Monday, I couldn't swim, bike, or run it hurt so bad. Today is better, but all I did was go to get my bike refitted because I am too extended in my aerobars. So, we will see if that helps it a bit. We are hoping to run tomorrow, but when I swing my arms, it hurts my shoulder. It's weird, because I have never had anything wrong with my arms before; it's always been lower extremity injuries; maybe my upper body is trying to catch up! It really sucks to be injured though; it's depressing, but it usually revives me in the end, because I realize how thankful I should be when I am not injured!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Well, that bike ride in Clermont was the hardest thing I've ever done. It was actually harder than the half ironman, partially because of the heat. We didn't get started until after 9 AM and it was already hot. It got up to 96 degrees and there were NO clouds in the sky and no shade! We ended up doing 67 miles on and around a 12 mile hilly loop. We did the infamous "Sugarloaf" hill twice, which was the hardest, but also many other significant hills in between. We were going 4 mph on the way up and 42 mph on the way down the big hill. We were low on energy after 40 miles, but still managed to do 27 more, so that's pretty darn good and I am proud of us! Towards the end, after going up and down so many hills, we decided we needed to finish on some flats, but what is funny is that we couldn't find any! We drove all this way to find hills and then we couldn't find any flats! It was a bit ironic.

Dustin apparently still hasn't figured out his nutrition because he puked afterwards! I was a little worried about him towards the end of the bike because he wasn't feeling well, he could have been dehydrated, overheated, etc. We saw a lot of cyclists out there which was cool and we found the house at the top of sugarloaf that has coolers of ice cold water at the end of his driveway for everyone (that was helpful). Please look at the pictures on the other link of the hills so you can get an idea of what we were up against (I hope the pictures do it justice).

We also saw a lot of motorcycles. Three of them came around a curve and one of them didn't quite make the turn, went off the road, him and his bike started cartwheeling for about 150 feet, he flew about 10 feet up in the air, landed in a tree/bush and just missed a barbed wire fence. This all happened about 50 yards in front of us, so we raced up there to see if he was ok. Luckily he was conscious and not severely injured. It looked as though he had a fractured wrist and who knows if he had any internal injuries. Within a minute or so a guy in a car stopped and we had him call 911. We stuck around until the ambulance got there, then decided there was nothing else we could do so we continued on with our ride, after telling the police what happened. Hope he's ok, but boy, was that traumatic to see happen right in front of you. Then, we had to keep doing that loop over and over again and the scene kept running through my head. I even stopped to tighten my helmet after seeing that!

Despite it being very hard, we can't wait to go back. We will have to make multiple trips down there to prep for Wisconsin, hopefully every 3-4 weeks, we will endure the five hours in the car to get to hills!

Oh yeah, and today at lunchtime, Dustin and I met at the Riverside Y and swam 2500 meters straight in the pool and now we are heading out to go to a Suns Game (Triple A baseball); I got two free tickets for being a physical therapist and a free dinner too (they are trying to recruit, but I don't think I need a fifth job!)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Once again, life has caught up with me and the blog has gotten the back burner. First of all, my grandma is done with all her chemo and now she has to wait over a month for another scan to see if the tumors are gone, so it’s just a waiting game now. She is in good spirits and she did VERY well with chemo, especially for being 80 years old. I am proud of her, and I know that sounds weird coming from a grandaughter to a grandmother, but I am proud of her strength and positive attitude and I could only hope that I would have the same if I ever was diagnosed of cancer. You know that is one of the most widely feared things in the US—getting cancer.
So, we haven’t been doing our training calendar 100%. As I said before, life intervened and we had other things to do with the business and with fundraising. We got our Medicare number finally after 216 days of waiting, so now we will actually be able to bill for our services that we have rendered since October. We were also "spring cleaning" getting ready for a garage sale we had Saturday. We raised $460 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society so that was awesome. Amber and Stuart donated some items and helped keep us company, so that was really nice!
As for our training, last week after we ran our 10 awful miles on Wednesday. On Thursday, we went to spin and swim and swam 2250 meters. Friday, we were off, and Saturday we had our first sprint tri of the season, the BFAST in Ponte Vedra. We did really well and both set our new P Rs (personal record). Dustin did the .25 mile swim, 10.5 mile bike and 3.1 mile run in 1 hour and 3 minutes and won the military division. I did the sprint distance in 1 hour and 7 minutes and came in 3rd in my age group, 25-29. I missed 2nd place by 20 seconds, so I will be trying even harder next time! We both got ceramic mugs that said 1st and 3rd on them. Later that evening, Dustin drank beer out of his while I drank milk (cause I’m a good girl). When we returned home after the sprint, we were extremely tired from getting up at 4:45 for the race, we had also downed Sticky Fingers BBQ (Dustin had four pulled pork sandwiches and 4 wings), plus it was over 90 degrees out and humid, but we still (thanks to my coaxing) ran 5 more miles in the heat for a total of 8.1 miles that day. See, we love the sprints, but we can’t let them take away from our Ironman training. 1 hour of training is not going to help us for a possible 17 hour race.
Sunday, we talked Amber and Stuart into coming to the beach with us to meet the Hammerheads for an ocean swim around the buoys. We swam about 600 yards, and Amber and Stuart practiced going to the buoys and they did very well (we are trying to prep them to do their first sprint this summer). Dustin and I got out of the water and took a 40 mile bike ride on A1A (our schedule said 60, but neither of us felt well and I was proud that we stuck the 40 out!). When we came back, we went to the jazz concert at the seawalk pavillion and then went to Carabba’s for dinner.
Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, sad to say were wasted days because of rain, the threat of storms (although we should have still ran and biked), and our need to get a bunch of other junk done! Thursday, we decided to play catch up (although that is not recommended). We woke up early about 6 AM and ran 12 miles. It was beautiful weather, not too hot yet and it even sprinkled a refreshing rain on us a couple times. We did three four mile out and backs and we both felt pretty good. We came back to our house twice for gu, water, and gatorade. It does take discipline to leave the house again to go on another run when all you want to do is crawl back in bed, but we did it!
After working a full day, we also went to spin and swim (so basically we did a backwards triathlon). We swam about 2750 in the pool, which is over a mile and a half, but we both did well. Dustin says he’s proud of how I have improved my swimming (I’m not too far behind him in the pool), so that makes me feel really good!
Friday, we were off and needed it for our sore muscles from the day before. After work, we went to Micheal’s (one of the team leaders for TNT) for a BBQ "send off" party for our TNT event (which is the sprint next Saturday at Little Talbot Island). We had a good time with our team members and got our TNT tri suits which are just too cute. Saturday morning, we did our garage sale and baked in the sun, and then went to our neighbors’, Ben and Gina’s for their daughter, Isabelle’s 5th birthday Luau party and ate all kinds of lumpia and pancet (Phillipino food). That probably wasn’t a great idea because we had a 5K race at 8 PM called Run for the Pies! We convinced Amber and Stuart to do it with us and we all did well. Guys have to run it in under 20 minutes to get a pie and girls have to run under 24 minutes. Dustin missed the cut off by 30 seconds because of side cramps, so he was disappointed even though that is a very fast 5K time and he should be proud (and a PR no less!). I made the cut off by 30 seconds, but they ran out of pies just before me, so that really sucked! The whole reason I wanted to do the race and I didn’t even get the freakin pie! I don’t really know why I wanted a pie so bad, I don’t even really like pie, but I guess it was just the concept. I also had a PR for adulthood (cause I’m not sure what I used to run cross country races in). We got free beer at the end (I gave mine to Dustin and Stuart), and free pizza. We met other TNTers there and everyone did really well. It’s so nice to have active friends and be able to visit with them at races; it’s like a whole different "happy hour." We also can’t forget to tell you that Amber ended up beating Stuart in the race (which I was betting on). I think Amber got the bug to compete, so that’s awesome (I can tell there is a really competitive girl lurking inside her waiting to get out and beat us all). We didn’t get home until almost 11 PM and didn’t get to bed until almost 12, but we still managed to get up just after 5 AM this morning.
Why, you ask? Because we are driving over 2 hours to get to some hills to practice biking on something that might be comparable to Wisconsin hills. We are in the car with 116 miles left to go at 7:10 AM and we are planning on biking 70 miles today! Hopefully it will all go well. We have never biked this infamous 10 mile loop before and we are going by ourselves, but some of our Hammerhead team emailed us maps and links, so I think we have it all figured out. Hopefully we won’t get lost and we are hoping the hills won’t disappoint us (meaning, we actually hope that they are really big hills!)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The reason why I haven't been blogging is because we took a little dip in our training to recover from our race; it turned out to be longer than anticipated, but that's okay. I don't think we lost too much.

Besides, we had our awesome friends in town (first Jeff and Kendra and then Tony and Susan a few days later). We boated a lot (3 days in a row with Tony and Susan), ate out a LOT, even at Ruth's Chris for Susan's birthday, and spent a lot of time on the beach and had a few cocktails, so we took a needed break from training.

Last Tuesday, I did a 3.5 mile run and then Dustin and I did Yoga. Dustin had a sore throat and wasn't feeling like running.

We did do an ocean "swim" last Wed with TNT and Roberta helped us with entries and exits from the water. Then, we forgot our running shoes, so couldn't run with the group, but came home, and despite us wanting to lie on the couch and watch TV, we got our running shoes on and did 5 miles down Kernan.

On Thursday, we went to spin and swim and we were both very tired. Dustin had lifted arms two days before and I did leg presses right before spin. Not a good idea! We didn't get to sleep that night until after 1 AM and our plane left at 7 for Philly the next morning.

Tom took us on a whirlwind tour of Philly and we got some Philly Cheesesteaks. Then, my parents flew in and we drove to Tom's River, NJ where my Dad's Aunt Annie and Uncle Joe live. They were hilarious! We also went to my Dad's cousin's place, Kevin Kelly and Dustin enjoyed his kegorater. We drove around Union the next day where my Dad is from and met a random golf course guy who told us directions to see NY City without going into the city. It was beautiful...check out the pics on the link on our main page. We then rode to my Peaksgill, NY out in the middle of nowhere, but very beautiful but spooky ride, where the people at the motels were not very nice. There were no vacancies a few places, so we had to go out of our way to get a hotel in Fishgill, but it was a very nice Marriott Residence Inn. We then went to Aunt Lorraine's and Uncle Al's the next day and then drove to my Dad's cousin's, Beth, John, and Kaitlyn's house. Oh, who could forget the cat Oreo who stands on his hind legs! Beth, John, and Kaitlyn made us wonderful meals and icey drinks and desserts and also "forced" us to drink wine. We visited more with Aunt Lorraine and Uncle Al and shared pictures and memories about Nana (Aunt Lorraine's sister). It was such a good time, but very emotional at the same time. See Kaitlyn who is 11, calls Aunt Lorraine "Nana" and the relationship between those two reminded me so much of mine with my Nana. I just wish so much that she was still here. It's hard to think that she never knew our married life and didn't know us as the crazy triathletes that were are today either.

Speaking of Grandma's, Maw Maw is still doing well and keeping positive. She has her last chemo treatment this Thursday, so she's made it through that pretty well. We will have to see what is next.

Today was our first significant run since the race; we did 10 miles, depsite my sore throat and head cold. Dustin had side aches pretty much the whole time and I had digestion problems midway through our run up Girvin and into some of the shaded neighborhoods near Wonderwood. We averaged about a 9:15 mile running pace, but what I am really proud is that we didn't quit even though we wanted to; we just pushed through the extreme sweating and side aches, and finished our run, but I won't lie; it was not fun! We really needed the shade because it was about 95 degrees and we did our run at about 3:30. Not optimal time, but we had to go to the Hammerhead Triathlon meeting (Megan joined, Yeah!) and learn about getting faster on the bike. There was a lot of useful info there as usual, and just good to be with active club members who share our interests.

We have to keep our training up in the important weeks to come, so I will hopefully be better about updating this. Thanks to the very few of you who actually read this; email me to let me know that you do and give me suggestions about what you would like me to write more (or less) about! Have a good night!