Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Du @ the Dam

I'm ready to ride!
The last time I did a multisport race was 2 Summers ago at this exact race when I was pregnant. Since that race I’ve probably been on my bike (off the trainer) twice, this could be interesting! My goal is to beat my times from the race 2 years ago. Saturday morning I was getting packed for the race and realized I forgot how to plan for biking and anything other then running. This is so much more difficult then just running! Luckily the race is close to home so I had extra time to get everything together. I’m now starting to realize that due to the later race start and my 5:30am breakfast I’m going to be starving before the race starts, I grab a Lara Bar for the car ride and we’re off.

We get there with over 1 hour to spare, grab race packets and get bikes in transition with nearly 1 hour until race time. New this year was a Wave start with men starting 3 minutes before women, I make it my goal to catch as many men as I can, including Matt, during the run. Time to line up and a scope out the competition, recognizing a few women and also wondering why some are lined up in the front. One girl clearly didn’t belong in front and even stated this herself but remained in front.

Run 1: Distance 3.2 miles
The course is through a regional park on paved trails and dirt paths both uphill and downhill. I start out hoping to keep a 7min pace and with the lead women. By ½ mile 2 women are long gone, no way I can reach them, oh well. ¾ mile in I catch the first man, nice! By Mile 1 I’m passing the men pretty easily and just before Mile 2 I see Matt right as I had expected. The course was advertised as 3 miles, but I realize there’s more distance left, keep pushing it’s got to be close, maybe it was changed to a 5K. 5K came and went and I finally see the playground next to the transition. 3.2 miles done 22:31 (7min pace) 3rd woman.

I quickly grabbed my helmet, sunglasses and changed shoes and tried to grab a quick drink as I pushed my bike out. 1:00 could be better

Bike: Distance 14 miles
Time to get my confidence on my bike back. In the past the bike course was an out and back on a narrow park path, luckily this year it was changed to be on the roads. I start out slow not wanting to crash but at the same time trying not to be passed by too many people. Soon my confidence was coming back and I was speeding up and decreasing my breaking on curves, I was actually passing people! I look down at my pace and I’m now up to 18.5 mph, nice! I’m expecting Matt to catch me on the bike, on one of the out and back segments I see him about 1 mile behind me. Still feeling good with a few miles left, I look down at my computer and in the process send it flying, quick decision do I stop and try to get it without causing a crash or say forget it and keep going? Since it was cheap and I wanted a new one I went with the second choice. Soon we’re back in the park on paths with a lot of curves and sharp turns, time to slow down especially considering the guy in front of me just ran off the path and crashed into the weeds. Finally the end, I survived my first real bike in 2 years. 14miles 47:32 (17.7mph) 14th woman, yep this needs work.

Off my bike and into transition, I forgot how hard it was to walk after biking! Quick helmet off, hat on and change shoes. Quick drink on the way out and time to run again. 0:57 a little better, but needs work.

Run 2: Distance 3.2 miles
Wow I forgot how hard the second run was! Am I really moving? This is the same course so I know what to expect, keep moving forward and see who I can pass. Mile 1 and passing a woman, nice! I now see someone about 20 feet in front of me but just can’t catch her, finally I get there and pass. I still feel like I’m barely moving, but I see the opening of the trees and know there’s less then 1 mile to go. Keep going, can I pass anyone else? There’s the finishline! 3.2 miles done again 24:25 (7:35 pace yikes need to work on this) 5th woman.
Overall: 1:36:25 1st place age group finish and 9th woman
I head over to look at the results and I guess I haven’t finished yet but Matt has, what? I look again and sure enough listed at my time is my husband. Did we mix up our chips? No I have the right number. Not unexpected for this race, the RD is well organized but the courses are often different distances then advertised and he’ll start late to let people get ready, but they’re cheap and have good post-race food so why not. Matt finishes and we get the results fixed, I was originally told just leave it and we can just know the “real” results, uh no I want my recognition!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Back on the bike

I am registered for a duathlon on Saturday and the last time I wrote my bike outside was probably this same duathlon 2 years ago. I have a tendency to fall so as my belly grew during my pregnancy I stuck with the safety of the trainer and then last Summer running with an infant was much easier so biking too low priority. This past Winter I finally got consistent on the trainer, but the cold Spring made getting outside easy to push off since I am not a cold weather biker.

Not so sure of this thing on my head!

Ready to go!
Since early May my goal has been to bike to work on the weekends, but rain has kept that from happening. Then the past few weeks I've been telling Matt we needed to get out and once again there was rain. Finally last night I put on my bike pants, yes pants in June, and decided I'd brave the winds and temps of 50. After 3 days in a row on the trainer it would be nice to get outside, but I was still nervous. I really only needed this ride to remind myself how to clip in/out of my pedals since I have a history of falling and breaking things on my bike.

We got Ophelia in her helmet and the Burley ready to go and we were off. Withing minutes my confidence was returning. I successfully rode my bike outside for 45 minutes without crashing. Even better I was accompanied by Matt and giggling toddler, she loved it!  Now we can actually get in some biking this Summer.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Separation Anxiety

Yep, we've hit this developmental stage, yuck! In a way we've lucked out because my mom is the primary babysitter so that transition was easy but no one else has watched Ophelia for extended periods of time which we are now paying for.

This all started last week at the gym, we got to the childcare center and as I tried to leave I had a toddler attached to my legs repeating "mama". I managed to get out and she did fine until the last few minutes when all the babies started crying so she joined the chorus just in time for me to return. Yesterday we had a repeat performance of the drop off scenario at the gym and when I returned I found her sitting on a staff woman's lap with tears. This doesn't make for a nice workout knowing your child is cursing you out in her toddler way when you leave. Today I meet with my trainer so hoping for a better drop off.

Earlier this week I made the mistake of coming home during a work day to grab a change of clothes and head out to help teach bike safety and injury prevention to 10 and 11 year olds. Ophelia was eating lunch when I got home and as soon as she saw me signed "milk". Yes I am still breastfeeding her a few times a day and this is the first thing she wants when she sees me in the morning, after work or when she's fussy. I told her she had to drink the milk in her cup, which she refused. She gave me a hug and had a death grip around my neck. I finally left figuring I was okay since my mom was there. Wrong on that. Nap time was awful, lots of crying and screaming "mama back".

This seems worse on my first day home after working a few in a row,but I have to work and things will only be worse in Fall when I'm working and completing clinical hours. I'm not going to stop using the gym childcare, I need my workouts for stress relief! If we don't figure something out soon this could be a long weekend when I travel to California next month with my team.

Parents out there any advice to get through this and make it easier on everyone?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Minneapolis Marathon

So far this year I've been wondering if we were ever getting Spring or Summer, with snow and many 40 degree days in May I wasn't so sure. Of course our first 90 degree day came on Friday just in time to run a marathon. As I posted yesterday I was really wondering if I was running a marathon since it just didn't feel like it. This feeling continued race morning.

I went into this race without any expectations, 2 small glasses of wine Saturday night an upset stomach and even more GI issues on Sunday morning all made me wonder why I was even attempting. I lined up near the 3:30 pacer and started with a comfortable pace trying not to pay attention to my watch. From the start I just wasn't feeling it and even considered cutting off at the half marathon turn around.

Some how I was managing to run a pretty even pace around 7:30 miles and by Mile 7 was with the 3:20 pacer who was running 7:20s despite his sign saying 7:38/mile. Oh well take advantage of the cooler start and shad and bank some time for later when the heat kicks in even worse. Around Mile 9 the half marathon split off,my legs were sore and I wasn't racing well so I considered only running the half but the split came and went and I continued on with the 3:20 pacer for another few miles. 13.1 miles done at just under 1:40, keep this up and I'll have a huge PR! 

My energy and motivation returned as the course headed into a state park for Miles 14-18. Miles 14-16 were mostly flat with some downhill and shaded! Then came the dirt trail where I nearly ended my race as I hit a stick that rolled under my foot, luckily I caught myself but that could have been bad. Mile18 was awful, I think this is the steepest hill I've even ran during a race! Luckily I got to the top of the hill, turned the corner and there was my cheering section and just past them my team's water stop. I also had someone yelled to me that I was 5th or 6th woman, what?! Okay keep going, I can do this, top10 finish here I come.

Mile 20 and I think someone cranked the heat up, yuck! The shade is gone and there are more hills, why did I decide to run a marathon that's mainly an out and back on my least favorite road to run in the cities? Finally there are sprinklers at the next few water stops, I consider just taking a break and hanging out for awhile, no keep going. Mile 21 and here comes the 3:30 pacer behind me, okay keep him in sight. Mile 22 and now my legs/pelvis aren't happy all I'm thinking about is those unlucky women who end up with pelvic stress fractures, got to love the thoughts that occur during 3+ hours of brutal running. Mile 25 and another nasty hill, come on enough of this. Finally I can hear the finish area, by now I know I can't PR but Top 10 might still be in reach. There it is the wonderful finish line! 3:33:59 (My 3rd best marathon). Even better 2nd place AG finish and 7th woman! I did it Top 10. 

I'm happy with the race considering the conditions and course and being 6 weeks from a great race at Boston. Now time to focus a little more on biking for the duathlon in 3 weeks and get back to work with my trainer.        

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Am I really running a marathon tomorrow?

I was just asking myself that question earlier today. The answer is yes, but I honestly don't feel like I am. It's not that I don't feel prepared, I just am lacking that pre-marathon feeling that any runner knows. Originally I had this as my goal race since so many things went wrong prior to Boston, but now after a PR at Boston I wonder if I am fully ready to push for a PR tomorrow. Most days my body feels recovered, but others I wonder what I was thinking registering for this race.

This weekend is just busy so I don't have the time to sit around and focus on the race and tonight I even have plans to go a good friend's wine party fundraiser where I can't help but have a glass of wine (or two). I think it also isn't helping that it is almost 4pm and I have yet to pick up my race packet. I tried this morning after running an easy 5 miles with my team but was unsuccessful. I drove around for 20 minutes and couldn't find parking unless I paid $10. Not a problem for a race expo but this is only packet pick up and nothing else, guess I'll be heading back after dinner.

Who knows what the morning will bring, forcasted high of low 80s and a hilly, sunny course. Just planning to have a good race and have fun. The race does a Facebook tracker with status updates, so hopefully I'll be proud of the times at least.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Finally June and Summer

May just seemed to fly by, of course my month off from school had to be the fastest month, I could have used a little more time before I had to get back to study mode. Along with June came the nicer weather too, now I really lack the motivation to sit inside and study. May brought strange weather, one day outside in jackets and snow and the next shorts and nearly 90, then the weekends full of tornado warnings, hail and rain. We just need some nice sun and warmth. May did bring another taper and once again my inability to taper well. 
May Highlights
-Half marathon PR
-Running 213 miles (29hours 44min)
-Biking 2.5 hours (not too good especially when I have a duathlon coming up)
-Weights 2x week
-Back out running with the BOB
-Better at stretching after a run,maybe 75-80% of the time now

May Lows
-Chose sleep over morning workouts, I think I only managed 1 this month
-Still feeling the fatigue and abdominal pain of whatever is going on. Had more testing done and still no answers. I think I'm moving beyond conventional medicine (which is hard for me) to see a naturopath.
-Another semester starting with 2 Summer classes, yikes I haven't had this much for awhile.
-I learned I'm not good a raising fish, it took less then 1 week for 1 of the 3 to die. At least Ophelia is too young to realize there are fewer fish. 
-A toddler who has forgotten how to sleep at night. She goes to bed easily but then starts fussing and is awake until 10pm some nights.

June Goals/Plans
-Run a good marathon this weekend, PR if all falls into place
-PR at duathlon
-Bike more at least 2x week and bike to work on weekends
-Strength train 2-3x week, after Mpls I'll be working with my trainer again
-Plan more activities when I am home with Ophelia. She starts gymnastics the end of this month, but she gets bored at home and I get frustrated.
-Figure out my grad project (deadline for proposal is mid July)
-And once again; find an answer to to what is wrong with me since I'm starting to think I'm imagining it all and the next referral I'llget with be to a psychiatrist.

I started a calorie burn challenge through my gym and work last week. The goal is to burn 25,000 calories above BMR over 12 weeks and the top 3 people get iPods, Polar watches, etc. Why not? There are only 50 people in the challenge and as of yesterday I'm in 2nd place, very good considering I've been tapering. The only person ahead of me is a friend training for IM Madison,I have a feeling I'm going to have a hard time catching her.