Tuesday, July 31, 2012

IM Louisville ~ Course Previews

So over the weekend I drove close to 1200 miles round trip. Why? Well to go stalk the Louisville courses of course.
I was really nervous on Thursday night before leaving thinking I would forget something, then I was even more nervous on Friday night before meeting up with the IAMTRI training group. I don't know why I was so nervous, but it almost felt like race day.
First before I go into the course details, I will say that IAMTRI put on a great training weekend! It was only $20 bucks to swim, bike, and run over two days. I think this is a great deal! They were well organized and had aided stations along the bike and run courses. I am so thankful for all the volunteers through out the day to make this training weekend possible.
Louisville Swim:
8:00am swim start - we walked down from the yellow parking lot, down to Louisville's swim start. 

We were not swimming the entire course, but just part of the course that runs along the small island, then we turned around.  Just like race day we jumped off the dock about 10-15 seconds apart. The water itself, did not feel overly warm to me and it actually felt nice. Also, the water did not seem dirty and there was no weird floaty things in it. As for current, I felt none and there was no chop at all. I was happy when I finished the swim and hope this is how it feels in 4 weeks!

Louisville Bike Course:
One word: LOVE. Yes, I love the bike course and couldn't be happier that I am doing this course for my first ironman.

* The first 10 miles or so along River Road are very flat, which will be a great start on the bike. Although along this section the pavement is a little uneven and there is a lot of potholes. This was not an issue for the training weekend, but it may be when the course is more crowded. There is also railroad tracks that you have to go over which are a little scary. I rode very slow over them, and plan to do the same thing during race day.
* Once off River and onto US-42 you have some hills, but nothing too serious. I don't ever remembering thinking, OMG, this sucks, because it didn't. Although there was wind. Not sure if this is normal?
* There is a 10 mile stick that you go on which is filled with hills. You go flying down them, then pedal slowly going back up them. But once again, the hills aren't that bad and this is coming from someone who sucks at hills. I just put Boomer into the small ring and pedaled slowly and made it to the top without killing myself.
* Once finished with the stick you go back onto US-42 and then turn onto Hwy 393 to start the LaGrange Loop (two loops). The first half of the loop has a gradual incline. At times during this section I would look at my garmin and wonder why I was only going 11mph. False flats get me every time. This may be my least favorite part of the course. Well along with the dead skunk in the middle of the road. There is one little hill in this loop that I had to get out of my saddle for. It's the only time I had to get out of my saddle. It is a short, but steep little hill. There are also a couple unexpected turns which take place right after a decent, so you just have to be ready to make the turns and change gears quickly to climb back up the hills you turn onto.
*After finishing the second loop you head back into the city. It is a net down hill. Although, I didn't feel like I was going downhill all that much, but my garmin told me I was def. picking up speed which was nice.
The last few miles are back on River Road which is flat :)

*Overall the course is great with a total elevation gain of 3100 feet. Although the locals not so much. We were flicked off a few times, yelled at the go home, and yelled at the get the f' off the road. Lovely.
Louisville Run Course:   
Ok, well I actually didn't do the run course. The group was meeting at 8:30 and I wanted to start earlier since we had a 10.5 hour drive home. Instead we started our run at 6:30 and ran along the Ohio River front and then ran some parts of the city. It was when I saw some chickens cross the road that I turned around and headed back to the hotel. I covered 12 miles and would image much of the run course will be the same: FLAT. yes, no hills!
I am now no longer nervous for the race and am so glad I made the trip out to Louisville. It was well worth the long drive and I had a great training weekend. 4 more weeks until I get to cross the finish line here! 

I am getting so excited! I can't wait to here the words "You are an Ironman" 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Road Trip

Yesterday was a big workout fail :( I got a bad headache at work, so opted to go home and nap to see if it would go away. After sleeping for an hour an half and only waking up from a knock on my door, I still had a headache. I was suppose to swim and run after work, but did neither. I guess sometimes that just happens.
Anyhow, even though I had a less than stellar day yesterday, I am excited for the weekend! I am taking off work tomorrow to go on a little recon mission down in Louisville!!! Its a long drive between 10 - 10.5 hours but I think it will be well worth it for peace of mind.
I will be joining a training group put on through iamtri. They offer a swim in the Ohio river and a chance to bike the entire IMKY course on Saturday. On Sunday you have the option to run either 9 miles or 13 miles of the run course. I think having a chance to preview the courses will really make me feel less nervous come race day. Plus who doesn't like a road trip?
I hope everyone has a great weekend and I can't to tell you guys how much I loved the course (I hope).
Happy Thurs All :) 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Weekend Recap ~ Rain

So, lets talk about my weekend ...
On Saturday myself, Jason, and Rachel had a grand scheme to ride part of the civil war century out in Thurmont Md. This is about an hour and half drive from DC, but well worth it for hills to ride on! We had to leave early, like 4:45 in the morning early from our place. The city was dark and empty and we picked up Rachel a little after 5 and were on our way.
As we drove, a light rain started to come down. Now the bright person that I am, I never bothered to even check the weather forecast for the day. I mean come on, it's suppose to be sunny since I want to ride my bike. The light rain turned into heaver rain, but we continued on our journey in hopes that it would be clear by the time we got there. I mean the weather only said 30% chance of rain. Once we got there, it wasn't raining!! We got our bikes ready and... yep it started raining again. We sat in the car for about 10 minutes and the rain didn't stop, so we just drove home. My thoughts: What a big waste of time. I could have sleep in. I have been up for 3 hours and haven't even worked out. But who doesn't like hanging out at 5 in the morning :)
But, the day wasn't a complete waste! Once we got back into the city, we threw our bikes in the back of our car and went for a run. Rachel and Jason had a 10 mile run, so I ran the first 10 miles with them at a nice talk able pace. It was raining on and off and my feet were def a little wet. After they finished their run, I ate a honey stinger waffle and refilled my water bottle at my car. Jason jumped in the car to drive home, while I was going to just run home since I had another 10 the run. I picked up the pace once running on my own and keep around a 8:30-9 minute pace for the last 10. I really felt good until about mile 17 when my legs really started to hurt. I thought about the cop from a couple weeks ago telling me to: "suck it up, you only have 3 miles left". So suck it up I did. I finished the 20 miles remembering why I haven't ran a marathon in 7 years. Running that far sucks. I am not complaining, but sorry I just like the half marathon distance better.
Once home I crashed and took so many naps throughout the day!
Take two on riding bikes! Even though we wanted to escape the normal Poolesville route, no one felt like driving anywhere, so Poolesville it was. I met up with some of favorite riding buddies and we were ready to ride. However the ride was not ready for us and it turned into the ride from hell....
1. Poor Rachel fell at the beginning of the ride
2. It started to lightly rain and the decedents downhill were scarey
3. Rachel set a new PR for number of flats: a total of 3!
4. We figured something was up with Rach's tire, so me and Jason took off from the T to ride back to our car to then pick up Rachel
5. Jason gets a flat on the ride to the car, but has no spare tube or CO2
6. I ride the rest of the way to my car by myself as fast as I can
7. Karen and friends fixed Rs flat and fixed Js flat :)
8. I didn't have to pick anyone up and did a 30 minute brick run while waiting for the others to get back.
9. We went to lunch at Jetti's (this was the best part)
10. 3 hours of ride time, but outside for 5 hours, ouch!
On a side note: I held strong and did not sign up for IMLP yesterday. I really really was tempted, and filled out the form, but just couldn't hit register. Looks like I will be training to be the best IM sherpa I can be :) 
Happy Tues all :) 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Another Training Week in the Bag

Week #19 bites the dust. Which means I only have 5 more weeks of training until race day! I can't believe it is so close. I remember looking at my spreadsheet back in January and thinking all these 100 mile rides and long runs looked so far away. But here we are now and most of the long hard workouts are done! I basically have one more hard week, this week, then all my mileage gets shorter.

Anyhow, here's how last week, recovery week, went...

Monday: Rest Day with a 4 mile bike commute

Bike am ~ 26.3 miles ~ Went to Haines in the morning and met up with Victoria and Karen. We did some interval work and held around 22mph.

Run am ~ 2.3 miles ~ Felt great on this brick run and actually had an 8:45 pace. Something I haven't been seeing very much these days.

Swim pm ~ 3000 meters ~ Wasn't feeling good in the morning so moved my swim till after work which made my evening a little crazy. Had an ok workout, but just felt like I was struggling in the water.

Run pm ~ 5.35 miles ~ Right from Wilson I jumped on the metro and rode over to W&L for track practice. I was hungry during my swim and was scared I would get in trouble if I ate on the metro so I wolfed down a bagel on my walk from the metro to the track. Mistake. I felt like crap on the track and light headed. Big nutrition fail. Managed to do:

Mile w/u & c/d. Then 3x (800 at T, 400 easy, 400fast)
800s ~ 3:22, 3:25, 3:26
400s ~ 1:40 something I think

I was suppose to do another set, but bailed for fear I might pass out
Bike am ~ 25 miles ~ More Haines Point action with my besties. We had a nice ride at a steady paced that allowed us to talk. Well, there was no talking on the windy side.

Walk am ~ 2 miles ~ Nice walk into work for a change.

Swim pm ~ 3200 meters ~ Back on the metro I went up to Wilson since it was raining and Haines out door pool was most likely closed. Struggled again in the water and just felt so slow. Every time I looked at the clock I was like is this workout almost over yet. ugh.

Sat and Sun ~ The Epic adventure weekend! Without going into a lot of detail as I'll do a write up tomorrow, I will just say my weekend was interesting. Saturday we were fools and got up at 4am to ride in the car for 3 hours to do nothing. Stupid rain. But on the bright side, I completed my longest run of the training cycle. 20 miles. Sunday we biked for 3 hours (around 50 miles), but were out on the road for 5 hours. ha. Afterwards I did a 3 mile brick run on super sore tired legs from Saturday's run.

Happy Monday All and I hope everyone had a nice weekend :)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Random Friday

1. I now "sleep in" on the week days and get up at ungodly hours on the weekends.
2. I have actually been feeling lazy lately, if I am even allowed to say that.
3. I walked into my office this morning and it smelled like popcorn. yum.
4. Sunday is my last super long run - 20 miles - then it's all downhill until race day.
5. Bento Boxes can be used to store more than just snacks and CO2 cartridges.
6. We finally bought tickets from CA back to DC. Guess I won't be stuck out there now
7. I really want to do a race the weekend on 9/29 or 30th. I don't know why? Looking at a Half IM or a relay maybe.
8. I know I am going to have post -IM depression
9. I am volunteering at the Nation's tri as a body marker! It will be fun.
10. I bought my favorite beer, lambic framboise, and it's sitting in my frig waiting for me after IM.
11. Which brings me to: I haven't drank any alcohol since Feb and I haven't really missed it.
12. I'm excited for next weekend! Recon Mission!!!
13. For some reason I hate lunch foods now and it's such a pain for me to eat lunch because nothing ever sounds good or tastes good
14. Love having a milkshake after a long workout - hope there is a Chick-fil-a on the way home from our hill ride tomorrow.
15. Boomer is getting a little make-over with some pink handle bar tape :)
Happy Friday all and good luck to those racing this weekend :)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Wordless Thurs.

Two of my favorite things:

1. Ice Cream

2. Naps

And yes, I'm a crazy cat lady...

Happy Thurs All :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

100 Miles to Nowhere...

So, I'm going to back track a little and talk about last Friday.

I took the day off work to fit in my training before the weekend hit. I was a little nervous about riding 100 miles by myself and more nervous about rush hour traffic that I might encounter leaving the city. To ensure I hit as little traffic as possible, I started my ride at 6am. I was pleasantly surprised that there wasn't much traffic on Rock Creek or McAurther blvd. I actually think there was less traffic on these roads then when I ride on Saturday mornings.

By the time I made it to the BP gas station in Potomac, MD (which is only 20 miles) I was already bonking bad. I guess eating only one egg and a granola bar just wasn't enough food before I left. Plus the skies were super dark and I had been getting lightly rained on for the last hour or so. I made the executive decision to stop and get some food - read a snickers bar- and wolf it down in the parking lot while I called Jason about the weather forecast. As much as I wanted to turn around and go back home because I wasn't feeling it, I couldn't let myself. For one thing I only had 80 miles left, for another I don't like quitting the middle of a workout.

So I rode on and by the time I made it 10 more miles down the road, it had stopped raining and I was feeling great. I was so happy with my decision not to be a baby. I continued to ride to Poolesville and tacked on an extra little loop here and there to get in all my miles. I stopped at the famous gas station around mile 55 and used it as a practice special needs stop. I went to the bathroom, ate a PB&J sandwich and drank some sips of a coke which in all was probably only a 5 minute stop.  Not too bad. While on my way back to the city I picked up a cycling buddy for about 5 miles. He was actually the only other cyclist I saw out all day. I would have loved to ride with him longer, but yeah I'm a slow poke and well he was fast. I continued on my way as I made up songs and sang them to myself. Hey, it gets boring out there by yourself and I had to think of something to keep myself occupied.

I still felt great once I made it back to Potomac and couldn't believe how much fun I was having. I have never rode this long by myself, but it really wasn't bad at all and I think it was great training for IM since I have to do that on my own anyhow. If I had it my way, I would take off work every Friday to ride. I really really loved it.

Anyhow, my last 20 miles were going great until I hit Dupont. Then I was stuck in stop and go traffic for the next 5 miles or so. I hated every minute of it and it was a lot of minutes. It took me so long to get home from here going 10pmh and hitting every light. I almost got doored on Q street and had angry drivers honking at me on Mass Ave. I was not a happy camper by the time I made it home. I wish there was some way I could make it back to my house and by-pass all that stupid city riding.

Once home - about 6 hours and 15 minutes later - I changed into my running shoes and went out the door for a 5 mile run. The sun was tucked behind clouds all day, but of course started shining bright by the time I started running. I ran past the ball park and saw people eating lemon ices. I was hot and hungry and wanted to snatch the frozen treats out of their hands. I was actually tempted to just stop running and get one for myself, but I didn't. I finished my 5 miles strong and ran right into the little store by my house and got a coke and chocolate milk. Yum.

It was a long and hard training day by myself, but I really felt great the entire time and seriously enjoyed myself. I can only hope I feel this good on race day. Besides not eating enough in the morning before I started, I pretty much nailed my nutrition. I ate a total of 4 honey stinger chew packs, 1 snickers bar, and 1 PB&J. In addition to re-filling my aero bottle 3 times (with Gu Brew tablets) and sipping water from may cage bottle. I have also been using Salt Stick tablets, but since this day was overcast most of the time, I decided not to take them and I felt fine. However, I know these will be my best friends at Louisville. On the run, I didn't have any stomach issues, but felt myself getting hungry as I was finishing up at mile 5. My stomach is super weird when I run, so I'm just going to play it by ear on race day and eat what I feel like at the aid stations. Smart? maybe, maybe not? But I'll guess I'll see.

Sorry for rambling so much.

Happy Wednesday All :)

Monday, July 16, 2012

MD Swim For Life - Race Report

Over the weekend I did Maryland's swim for life held in Chestertown MD.

It was about a 75 mile drive from DC over the Bay Bridge. We left our house around 6:20 and made it to the race site with plenty of time to check in and relax. It was a pretty nice set-up and they had some light breakfast items set up for us that included fruit, bagels, cliff bars, and granola bars, along with coffee. It was perfect because I was hungry when I got there so snacking on a bagel really made my day.

The first wave - the crazy people swimming 5 miles - was suppose to start t 9am, but the skies were looking very dark and we all herd thunder. The race director made the call to delay the start for an hour and see how to weather was behaving then. So for the next hour we all hung out at a little boat bar that had a nice cover over it. It was almost like we were on vacation hanging out with friends on the beach. I got hungry again and ate a granola bar and went to the bathroom again for like the 1 millionth time.

At around 10am the sun started coming out and we were finally ready to swim! Those who were swimming the 5 miles though had to swim only 4 miles due to time limits in the water. There was 5 waves of swimmers, starting 5 minutes apart. I started in the 4 wave - the 2 mile swim wave. Looking back on it I probably should have swam 3 miles, but oh well, too late now. Anyhow, once we entered the water we took a group shot and before I knew it I was swimming.

To my surprise the water was salty and the temp felt nice at around 78. Anyhow, my swim started off alright and I didn't have any issues sighting the first buoy. However, I felt like there just wasn't enough buoys. They were spaced apart every half of mile. After I reached the first one I had no clue where the second buoy was at. I stopped a couple times to tread water and see where the heck I was at. Also because I am so slow there was no other swimmers around me, so I felt really lost out there. It was between these buoys that the tide was coming in and made the water really choppy. I was swimming, but didn't feel like I was moving forward. Also with every stroke I could feel my neck hurting and getting chaffed. I pretty much ignored this and kept swimming. After hitting the second buoy, my turn around point, I was lost again. I knew what general direction I had to swim back, but once again couldn't see the buoy. It was more than a little frustrating. Swimming through more chop I made it back to the first buoy and knew I was home free with a half mile left to go. My arms felt fine, but my hip flexors were hurting which was weird. Anyhow, I spotted the boat dock as I made my way back to shore. As I got closer my hand actually hit the ground as the water was pretty shallow and I felt like I had to swim with a weird stroke the rest of the way to prevent my hands from hitting the sand. I was happy to be done and ran my way up to the finish line.

Finish time: 1:11 - not fast at all, but I know I could have swam another .4 miles so that makes me happy.

Once finished Jason started laughing at me right away. I guess I crossed the finish line with dirt all over my face. I didn't realize it while swimming, but I guess the water was pretty muddy. Also my neck was extremely chaffed when I was finished. I have no clue why this would happen when I wasn't wearing a wetsuit?

The venue it self was super nice and there were showers on site that we could use and change out of our dirty swim suits or in my case my tri-kit. I wanted to test out how it felt in the water without a wetsuit on. So, after I showered and changed the good part came. Food. They had a great spread and everything was so yummy.

I think I will def do this swim again next year as I pretty much loved everything about it. And of course I had the best race support :)

Happy Monday All :)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Weekend Plans

Like many people I am really going to be pressed for time this weekend and there wasn't a chance in hell I would be able to fit in all my workouts.
So like any normal person, I am taking the day off work tomorrow so I can fit in my 7 hour brick workout before the weekend hits. I would actually love to be taking the day off to sleep in and just relax. But as luck has it, I will be out the door by 6am to ride my bike. Fun. If for some reason you feel like taking off of work and joining me, I would love the company. Although I think this will be a good day for me to just ride on my own and really test out my race nutrition, etc. The only part about tomorrow I really am not looking forward to is riding out of the city. I really hope not to get stuck in a lot of rush hour traffic.
Why do I have to take tomorrow off anyhow?
Well, Saturday morning I will be driving off to Maryland's Eastern Shore to do the Maryland Swim for life open water race. As I complained about yesterday, I am not a great swimmer and this is a great chance to make myself feel a little better in open water. They had several different options, but I will be swimming the 2 mile option. Maybe I should have done the 3 miles, but I think 2 miles will give me a good feel of what the 2.4 distance is all about. My goal - not get stung by jelly fish (if there is any) and well feel good when I finish.
Sunday, I will be doing something I never do.... I will be Jason's race Sherpa!!! It will feel weird to have a camera around my neck instead of a race number around my waste. But, I am excited to support him as he races in his Duathlon (run 2- bike26 - run 4).   
Happy Thurs All and I hope everyone has a great weekend :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Swimming .... this is not my strong point, although I enjoy it. Maybe I need to do more speed work, maybe I need to push myself harder. Either way I just know I need to somehow become faster. I could keep rambling, but hey I don't want this to turn into Sarah complain and wish she could magically become a better swimmer day.

So, anyhow I just realized that all three of my swim days are done at different pools. Which I think is pretty fun and is nice way to keep the scenery fresh. Ok well, I don't know if there is scenery in a pool, but all three pools are different lengths.

Pool #1 ~ Fairland Sports Complex, Laurel MD (25 meters)

This is actually my favorite pool. It is a 50 meter x 25 meter pool that is configured in 25 meter lanes. This really gives you a lot of lanes to swim in! So, the great thing about this pool is I always have a lane to myself!! Maybe it's because I swim here at 3:30 before coaching on Monday's and everyone else is still at work? My only complaint is the chlorine content is pretty high and I can still smell it on myself the next day.

Pool #2 ~ Eastern Market Pool, DC (25 yards)

This was once my beloved pool but they have crazy lane hours during the summer. I only swim here on Wednesday mornings now. And the mornings are busy! I think we had 6 people in a lane this morning. But the big plus about this pool is it's only about 5 blocks from my house. Come fall, I'm sure I will be spending most of my time here again.

Pool #3 ~ East Potomac Park's Pool, Haines Point DC (50 meters)

I am usually swimming here on Friday after work or Sunday afternoons. It's a great option for an outdoor pool and it's nice to swim long course once a week. Although it has some floating things in it which is kind of gross. Plus I have to ride my tank of a commuter bike to get down there which takes me forever!

And the greatest thing about all these pools... they are free for me to use :)

What's your favorite pool? Or do you swim at a bunch of different pools?

Happy Wed :)

Monday, July 9, 2012

General Smallwood Race Report

In case you missed it this weekend it was 105 degrees out on Saturday. And a bunch of us in the DC Tri Club battled the heat to win the Mid-Atlantic Club Championships at General Smallwood!

But let me back up a little and tell you how my race went.

We got to the race site in Indian Head Maryland with plenty of time to spare. SetUp Events had everything well organized and I had my transition area set up in now time. Before I knew it we were all walking down to the water to get ready for the swim. 

I was feeling pretty good and was excited to get into the water. Although I was not sure how 88 degree water would feel? My first guess was warm! As my age group walked out on the pier, we chit-chatted and wished each other good luck.

The Swim - 38 slow minutes
My Plan was not to panic at the start of the swim, but that didn't happen. Legs, arms, water all of the place and my heart rate was through the roof. I tried to relax but I kept on getting kicked. I couldn't seem to find any open water at all. 

At the first yellow turn point I actually got dunked as someone swam over top of me. Fun. Finally at the turn around point I started to feel ok, but I felt that I had been swimming forever. I thought 1500 meters should feel easier than this especially since I have to swim so much farther in 7 weeks. Although someone said it was closer to 1900 meters. As we approached the shore seaweed started getting tangled around my arms and neck. It was so nasty and I really just wanted to get out of the water. When I finally made it to the boat ramp, I looked like the Swamp Thing with seaweed still dangling off of me! Plus oh yeah I tripped over a mat they had on the ground.

My rack was the second closest to run in. I put my socks and shoes on, fired up my garmin edge and was running out with my Boomer. I basically had the whole length of transition to run with boomer which sucked.

The Bike - 25 miles - 1:20 - 18.7mph
Umm, nothing to special here besides my legs felt like death the entire ride. I rode slower for the first 5 miles trying to get my heart rate down. Holli passed my within the first couple of miles and we wished each other good luck on the rest of the race. After that I didn't see a whole lot of other females out there. I figured I must have had the slowest swim ever! As I continued to ride my right hip flexor was killing me with every pedal stroke. I wanted nothing more in the world than to get off Boomer. Although this was the best leg of my race. I did ok with dealing with the heat here and drank my entire aero bottle filled with Gu Brew, along with half of the bottle on my cage. I also took in two salt tablets and ate a pack of honey sticker chews. As I rolled back into the park and passed the run course, I saw everyone running/shuffling and was scared!

Once again a long run back to my rack. But really nothing to exciting here besides that I forgot to put on more chapstick

The Run - 6.2 miles - 1:08
Here is were I threw in the towel mentally. I was actually feeling ok for the first half of mile. I saw Cat around here and gave her a smile.From here, you run up a big hill then do an out and back on the side of the road with no shade and more hills. I actually ran the first mile then after that I started walking, A LOT. I no longer cared what my time was and just wanted to survive the run and not end up in the ambulance from over heating. The sad thing is my legs felt fine, I could have ran, but I choose to walk a ton instead. I would run then walk, with my walk breaks being longer than my run. At the aid stations I drank a water and poured a water over my head. When we finally turned off the main road around mile 5 the course got better. We ran through a nice shaded camp ground with no hills. I decided to suck it up and actually run the last mile. I was doing around a 9:20 pace which felt like I was sprinting, ha. I was happy to come across the covered bridge and find my teammates cheering as I approached the finish line. Thank goodness I survived and didn't die in the heat!

Total Time: Blah I'm even going to write it down because it sucks, but hey on the bright side I finished.

Rachel and Jason were at the finish line waiting for me and Rachel handed my a nice cold towel. I sat in the chairs near the finish line for awhile before moving over the ice bath and misting tent area.

OMG, this felt so good and I continued to wet my towel and put it on my head to cool off. After awhile we headed over to the DC Tri tent to hang out with our other teammates and talk about how we survived General Smallwood.

For those who were out in the extreme heat this weekend I hope you were safe and great job to everyone who raced this weekend. 

Happy Monday All :)

Friday, July 6, 2012

General Smallwood Goals...

So tomorrow I'm racing a little race, General Smallwood (Olympic distance) in Indian Head Maryland. The only problem is the weather is suppose to be 105 tomorrow or something stupid like that and the water temp was 87 as of yesterday. So basically I, along with the rest of the crazies will be racing in a sauna.
But on the up note, this could be perfect heat training for Louisville. Because lets face it, it will probably be this hot on race day and I believe this is how hot the water usually is.  So bring it on heat!
Ok, enough about the weather, we all know it sucks out there. Lets talk goals for this race.
My Main Goals: have fun, be smart, and survive the heat!
The Swim:
I actually can't remember what my swim time was from my last oly distance race? Hmm... Anyhow, I guess my goal here is not to panic when the horn goes off. I always seems to get my panties in a bunch at the swim start. So I just want to be relaxed the whole time and enjoy myself. This will be the coolest part of my day, maybe? I hope to be done in about 30 minutes
The Bike:
Once again, I'm not really worried about time here but would like to keep it around 18mph. I rode the course a couple weeks ago and it has some nice rolling hills and some shade. I will start taking in salt tabs and make sure I drink my entire aero bottle and maybe the bottle on cage for good measures. I really, really don't want to get dehydrated.
The Run:
We all know this is were the fun begins. I am not a big fan of the course as it's the same as the Waterman's course that I ran. It's an out and back on a road with hills and no shade. I have a feeling this will be a sufferfest and I will try my best to stay positive. If I run slow, I run slow. If I walk, I walk. Either way I just want to make it to the finish line with a smile on my face :) I will also be carrying my water bottle with me so I have access to water whenever I need it. 
Happy Friday All! Good Luck to everyone racing this weekend and be smart out there in this heat wave that is never ending. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Recap ~ July 4th

I hope everyone had a great 4th of July.

I fully took advantage of my day off and switched my long run scheduled for the weekend to Wednesday. I woke up bright and early at 5:15am and was out the door running in no time. I ran around 6 miles to the Zoo to meet up with Karen and Rachel for some of the miles. We did a nice loop through the Zoo then headed onto Rock Creak. Meeting others to run with always gives me something to look forward to on my run and also makes the time pass so much faster. We parted ways around mile 10 and that's basically where things started to go down hill for me. Well actually they didn't start to go down hill until mile 13. I just felt like it was a big struggle after that. I slowly made my way down the National Mall and took advantage of being out early and seeing all the 4th decorations.

I did give Jason a quick ring and asked him if he wouldn't mind running the last two miles with me. So by the time I made it back to my house, he was ready to run and we finished up the last two miles together. I was happy to get through 17 fun, not so fun, miles and even though my pace suffered a little, I'll take it.

After my run the rest of my day was shot. I was so tired. I took not one but two naps. Kiwi was happy to join me for both :)

Then it was onto our Block Party. It's pretty awesome. Hot dogs, hamburgers, Italian ices (I had 3), games, pool, and fun. You almost forgot that you are in the middle of the city. I couldn't think of a better spot to spend the Holiday.

Happy Thurs All :)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Total 200 - Report

Total 200... oh where to begin? 

The ride started at 6am down in Anacostia Park. So, we woke up around 4:30 and left our house to ride there around 5:15am. Yes ride there.It's close to our house, maybe 1.5 - 2 miles. We got there in plenty of time to check in and meet up with Holli, Adam and other DC Tri-ers who were also riding. And before we knew it everyone was at the start line and we were ready to roll. 

To the first rest stop - around mile 22
We left Anacostia and made our way back over Penn Ave's bridge and did a lap around the Capitol. It was pretty cool to see 500 cyclists take over the streets of DC. Then we made our way back over the bridge and into Maryland. The first few miles were pretty uneventful. Until my little glass sweeper (M) got a flat at mile 10. I swear I can't take Jason anywhere without him getting a flat. As he started changing the tire, the road side crew stopped and helped him. We were back on the road in no time, but there wasn't a single cyclist around by the time we starting rolling so we were on our own. This stretch takes you along MD's route 4. It's a busy road with cars going 60-70mph. Debris from the storm was all over the shoulder and being on a road that busy was not my favorite. I felt like I was going to die especially when we had to ride past the off ramps. I literally started crying because I was so scared. I wanted to turn around more than anything in the world and go home. But I figured all the roads couldn't be this bad? It was also suppose to be a record high for the day and a heat advisory was out. I wanted to be smart about this ride and stop at every rest stop to refill my water bottles. 

To next rest stop - mile 50
As planned I had two new bottles filled. One with electrolytes and one with just water. I was also taking a salt tab every hour to make sure I wouldn't become dehydrated. The roads def. got better for miles 25-50, but the shoulders of the roads still had down trees, power lines, and branches all over the place. At one point we rode over live power lines because they stretched across the entire road. Smart. Also, all the stop lights were out which made going through them a little scary. I was feeling good through these miles and honestly don't remember much besides thinking the rest stop was taking forever to get to because I had to go to the bathroom so bad. Once we made it to the rest stop I refilled my bottles again and had my first coke of the day along with some oero cookies. Also re-applied sun screen.

To next rest stop - mile 80
This stretch was along a road were they were doing roadwork along the shoulders and the pavement was all torn up. Which meant either riding and having your teeth fall out or riding on the road and getting honked at by cars. It was also getting very hot by this point of the day and I actually ran out of water in my aero bottle and was halfway through my bottle on my cage. Luckily total 200 brought in an emergency stop at mile 70 which was a back of a van that had water and Gatorade along with goldfish. This was so nice and I filled my bottles back up. Unfortunately with the bumpy pavement most of my aero bottle just came right back on me. It was also along this point that we met up with Sarah. She had gone the wrong way and had gotten a flat so we rode the rest of the way together until the rest stop.

* Lunch Stop
Mile 80 was the lunch rest stop and I may have not needed as long of a break as Jason did, but of course I stayed there with him. We took our time, ate a PB&J sandwich, had another coke and rested for a half hour. The shade felt great.

To Next rest stop - mile 99
More miles and some hills. Actually the hills weren't too bad on this ride at all. 4,206 feet of climbing over 125 miles. My legs were feeling great and I was happy and singing to Jason as we rode. He always gets upset that I start getting my legs around mile 50 and feel good the longer we ride. I kindof wanted to skip the last rest stop, but knew it wouldn't be smart not to get more water. Oh also I found out I hate Heed. That stuff is nasty. Anyhow, at this rest stop they had candy! Swedish fish! my favorite! 

I had some of those and another coke. I love coke and bike riding. It's like the two were made for eachother. 

To next stop - the finish line - mile 125
I was feeling good through the 112 split which I finished in just a little over 7 hours. Of course this was with rest stops, so hoping I feel this good on race day without so many stops. Although I have it in my head now that I need a coke at special needs. Now to just figure out how to keep it cold for that long? Anyhow, there was one big hill around mile 114 which killed me. It was a long steep hill or at least it felt that way. 

I really didn't enjoy any of the miles after that hill. We snaked our way back into the city through Anacosita and some pretty busy streets. It seemed to take forever and we stopped at lots of stoplights. At this point we were riding with a group that we picked up at lunch. My hands were hurting from not riding in aero enough and my inner thigh was chaffed from my saddle. I just wanted to be done with the ride. I was pretty happy when we came back into the park, but not before seeing a guy running on the trail in a speedo. that was fun. I guess Jason also got flashed by a nice lady in Anacostia as well. I missed that one.

Finish !!! 
Yippy I made it, I mean we made it! In just a little over 8 hours of total riding time. 

And it wasn't as bad as I thought. This is the longest I have ridden (128 miles) and the longest I think I ever want to ride in a single given day. I think it was great training for Louisville and yeah dare I say it was fun despite some tears, 100+ degree weather (my garmin had a high of 111), and trees all over the place. The volunteers were great and it was well organized. Some how they even got us ice at all the rest stops despite stores not being open due to no electricity. 

I also loved the medals/gears we got at the end. But I didn't love getting back on Boomer and riding home. 

Happy Tues All :)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Weekend Recap ~ More Biking/Running

This weekend was filled with lots of fun in the sun...100+ degree sun that is :) 
Jason and I woke up bright and early and were out the door to ride the Total 200 - well the 200k.

Without going into a lot of detail as I will write up a report on it for tomorrow, the ride was good. There was some tears, lots of sweat, down trees and power lines, cokes, and smiles for the most part. This is the longest I have ever ridden my bike (128 miles) and maybe the longest I will ever ride it in a single day. I was mostly happy that I felt good through the 112 split mark and also realized that I will not be finishing the Louisville bike course in under 7 hours. But, that's ok. As long as I finish.

Once we made it across the finish line, I had more coke and a water. We probably hung out at the finish line for a half hour or so before riding back home. 

In the future I will not ride to this event and will be driving there! Getting back on my bike was the last thing I wanted to do to get home. I also was suppose to do a 4 mile brick run, but felt like I took such a long break and the finish line that I skipped it once I made it back to my house. I know, slacker.

After we made it back home, I showered and started to fall asleep on my couch before I realized that I wanted bacon cheese fries more than anything in the world. From Outback. Now I never really leave the city to go out to eat but I really wanted these fries. So we drove to Arlington not even thinking that most of NOVA has no power from the storm. Once we made it in the parking lot the restaurant had a tent and a grill set up as they had no power. Duh. Stupid Me. 

But they still were making hamburgers and fries and those still tasted really good! Along with getting some fro-yo once back in the city :)

I normally run with the =PR= running group on Sunday and they meet at 6:30, but I wanted to get in some miles before we met up so I wouldn't be running in the 100+ degree weather for any longer than I had too. Let me tell you, I have never been so tired when my alarm went off at 5am. I literally had to pry myself out of bed. The last thing in the world I wanted to do was to run 15 miles. But I found myself getting dressed and eating a granola bar before leaving at 5:30. My legs hurt like no other for the first couple of miles. But, I got in a little under 7 miles before meeting up with the group. While running on my own, the thought meeting up with other people to run with kept me going. It was really something to look forward too. Once with other running buddies we ran on the Canal Path over in G-town. There were trees down all over the place and at some parts we had to crawl over them! 

Never the less, I felt good on this run for the most part and managed to keep at 9:30 pace despite slowing down and crawling over trees. I did call Jason with 4 miles to go though and asked him to please come pick me up from Georgetown. I really, really didn't want to take the metro home. And of course Jason came and picked me up because he is the best! Then I stuffed my face with not one, but two bagels and a whole made smoothie.

Afterwards I was tired and napped! It was great! I could not will myself in the pool, so instead treated myself to Lauriol Plaza and a pedicure.

I was asleep by 9 yesterday and got a great nights sleep. Lets go week #17. I'm ready for you!

Happy Monday All :)