Friday, May 30, 2014

Song for the Week

So, yea.

I took one of those silly quizzes on Facebook.  You know the ones I'm talking about....what dog are you...what country should you live in....what's your aura....which Greek god are you (I think I was Athena if you must know)...

Today's quiz was "What Should be Your Theme Song?"
Okay.  I'll bite.

Of course we can always find a way to apply these things to our own personal situations, but really....the situations I seem to have found myself in: this past year and a half to the past few months to, well hell...even this morning, and then what I have on tap for next weekend?  The result made me laugh.

And I thought,
"well, I need a song for the week, so why not."

"I'm criticized, but all your bullets ricochet. Shoot me down, but I get up...". You're main strength is your ability to keep going, even when the going gets tough. You may not always have luck on your side, but your determination and courage guarantee you success. Your 'can do' attitude is an inspiration to others! Now enjoy the song...
(here is the quiz if you'd like to partake)

I don't necessarily agree with everything in that paragraph, but I am definitely not known to have the best luck but I do keep going; and honestly, with that description I'd almost rather it be Billy Ocean's When The Going Gets Tough because I do love those movies and the video is SO MUCH more fun, but this song works too I guess....

(and there was a whole lotta 'buts' in that grammatically incorrect sentence...but that's just how I roll....)


You shout it out
But I can't hear a word you say
I'm talking loud not saying much
I'm criticized but all your bullets ricochet
You shoot me down, but I get up

I'm bulletproof, nothing to lose
Fire away, fire away
Ricochet, you take your aim
Fire away, fire away
You shoot me down but I won't fall
I am titanium
You shoot me down but I won't fall
I am titanium

Cut me down
But it's you who have further to fall
Ghost town, haunted love
Raise your voice, sticks and stones may break my bones
I'm talking loud not saying much

I'm bulletproof, nothing to lose
Fire away, fire away
Ricochet, you take your aim
Fire away, fire away
You shoot me down but I won't fall
I am titanium
You shoot me down but I won't fall
I am titanium

Stone-hard, machine gun
Firing at the ones who run
Stone-hard, this bulletproof glass

You shoot me down but I won't fall
I am titanium
You shoot me down but I won't fall
I am titanium
You shoot me down but I won't fall
I am titanium
You shoot me down but I won't fall
I am titanium

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Words for Wednesday

Persistence can change failure into extraordinary achievement.

- Marv Levy
former American and 
Canadian football coach

Yes, I'm lookin' at you, Mr. Open Water Swim.
You can kiss my big toe!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Adventures with Thelma: Episode 5

Time keeps on slippin' slippin' slippin' into the fu-ture.....

Damn skippy it does!

What a weekend, folks!  What. A. Weekend.
Action packed with swimming, biking, running, margarita drinking, pool side sunning, outside cooking, sherpa-ing and napping...

But since you read the title, I know that you're not interested in me going on about how fantastic my leisure time was (it was freaking fantastic by the way...) and are instead expecting a recap of an outing with Thelma; and Thelma would be devastated if I let down her fans.  So without further ado.....

I keep getting asked if I'm in taper mode.  There is a taper in marathon, but I'm beginning to wonder if there is such a thing in the triathlon universe.  The big day is just around the corner, and though I had one long training day, as I think about it, I did have 2 36-48 hour stretches where I didn't have to do anything. Coach Sarah gave me each disciplines' workout in a single day for me this week where mileage decreased slightly with a period of rest on either side.  Saturday was my swim bike run funday.  It was still a full day to say the least, starting at 7 with a 1 mile swim, followed by a 45 mile ride and then an 8 mile run in the sun and heat.  Good practice for what I'll encounter in the coming mean days.  (how in the hell did we go from weeks to simply days?  Time.  It's a crazy thing.)

We had a good group doing the multi-sport deal.  Great company, lots of laughs.  Where there is more people, the more opportunity for pictures, mishaps and blog-worthy moments.....

JH throwin' down the selfie skills!

OWS: Mission Complete

This is the area I call
The View.
No.  No tv cameras or scripts.
What this group did have were iPhones and
natural comedic tendencies

Me, messing up the best photo op ever.

Long rides are FUN!  See?  Everyone smiles :)


My first Snot Rocket!
execution = perfect
good range, no after burn...


And not pictured?  The two times I fell over at stop lights.  Hey, it takes talent and we know I'm full of it.....

There was also a buffalo sighting, a pee incident (no, I was not the involved party, and I'm just as thankful as you are that there are no photos) and a few near misses with angry drivers.

And the finale
Post-run/Proof of Life
The guy in the orange visor?
He's mean.....makes you run lots of hills....

And that's a wrap.

12 days.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Best Headline Ever

Police:  Ice cream truck driver assaulted with fudge bar

I wasn't planning on posting anything today, but this one was just too good not to share....
full story here for citation's sake.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Words for Wednesday

It's not just about a race.  It's about the training and what it can teach us.  It pushes us, it challenges us, it makes us stronger, and it teaches us that we are capable of so much more than we originally thought.

As my mom said....

The race is just the meatball on the spaghetti.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Song for the Week

It's been awhile, right?!

Songs haven't been hitting a (ahem...) chord with me lately. (BAHAHAHAHAHA...I just made myself happens....).

But last night I was driving to a new open water swimming (OWS) class.  By myself.  Nerves aplenty.  If you know me you know that I don't like doing new things by myself.  I get very very anxious.  Sweaty palms and all.  BUT, if you know me, you also know I have even MORE anxiety about this 1.2 mile swim I have to do in 19 days, complete with jellyfish.

And there is the dilemma.

Stranger Danger vs Jellyfish.....

So.  I'm driving to this new class.  Thinking about the lake.  Thinking about how well the OWS I went to this past Saturday and telling myself how much of an idiot I'm being for thinking about failing as much as I have been. I have been improving every time I jump in that lake, and this class was going to be no different.

And then this song came on and I be-bopped all the way there.  I'm not posting this because Tom Cochrane and I have the same hair style in this video, but rather for most of the lyrics that hit it home....

The road is rough, yes I know.  And you can knock me down, but I'll get back up.  And so help you if you kick my goggles off my face, I'm going to draft you for 1.2 miles and let you pull my ass in!  Why?  Because now I know how!

Watch out folks...I'm becoming a little shark in that water....

Life is a Highway
Tom Cochrane, Mad Mad World (1991)

Life's like a road that you travel on
When there's one day here and the next day gone
Sometimes you bend, sometimes you stand
Sometimes you turn your back to the wind

There's a world outside every darkened door
Where blues won't haunt you anymore
Where the brave are free and lovers soar
Come ride with me to the distant shore

We won't hesitate break down the garden gate
There's not much left today

Life is a highway
I want to ride it all night long
If you're going my way
I want to drive it all night long

Through all the cities and all these towns
It's in my blood and it's all around
I love you now like I loved you then
This is the road and these are the hands

From Mozambique to those Memphis nights
The Khyber Pass to Vancouver's lights
Knock me down get back up again
You're in my blood I'm not a lonely man

There's no load I can't hold
Road so rough this I know
I'll bee there when the light comes in
Tell 'em we're survivors

Life is a highway
I want to ride it all night long
If you're going my way
I want to drive it all night long

Life is a highway
I want to ride it all night long
If you're going my way
I want to drive it all night long

There was a distance between you and I
A misunderstanding once but now
We look it in the eye

There's no load, I can't hold
Road so rough this I know
I'll be there when the light comes in
Tell 'em we're survivors

Life is a highway
I want to ride it all night long
If you're going my way
I want to drive it all night long

Life is a highway, and I'm still truckin'!
19 days.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Monday Musings

  • I can pack some darn good lunches for work.
  • I want pancakes made like emoticons, preferably made for me and not by me.
  • I just need to chill the "eff" out!
  • Adding feta cheese to a dish can make a world of difference. Except on pancakes.  That would be BAD.
  • I am having jelly bean withdrawal symptoms.
  • I might be a little overwhelmed at the moment.
  • I can't wait until my class starts in July!
  • But, then again I'm enjoying a little free time....
  • My eyes are a weird blue-green color right now.
  • I have done at least 1 thing per week that is WELL out of my comfort zone for the past 5 weeks.
  • I am taking recommendations for books on Egyptology.
  • I think employers should implement nap time.
  • Open water swimming is a necessary evil.
  • I will sleep non-stop for 48 hours after this 70.3 is over.

20 days...

Friday, May 16, 2014

Jetton Sprint Triathlon 2014 Edition

It's a little hard to compare triathlons.  Distances vary, transition areas vary, distances to the transition areas vary....  You can estimate, you can guess, you can go by feel how you are improving.  But it's always nice to have the opportunity to compare apples to apples.

I had one summer of triathlon under my belt before I returned to where it all started.  Jetton Sprint Triathlon.  And it's here that I have the opportunity to do just that, compare apples to apples.

I had some concerns going into Jetton this past weekend.  Swim, knee, nutrition, anxiety.  Also, with my current training cycle getting ready for EagleMan, I felt like I had an opportunity to do well.  I didn't just want to finish it.  I wanted to "race" it.  I felt like I had the chance to get on people's radar, to become a name that people might want to watch for in the future.

'nuff of the blah blah blah
time to recap

Race morning.
shower, walk dogs, feed dogs and eat my English muffin with pb
double check bags
run upstairs to grab wetsuit
grab body glide
double check bags
run back upstairs to grab wetsuit
pump Thelma's tires
load car
double check bags
grab forgotten bike shoes
run back upstairs to grab race belt
fingers crossed I had everything because it was time to get on the road

Race site.
park in a field
ride from field to event area on weird pedals without clipping in
remember how to ride without being clipped in
try to remember how to get off without unclipping
check in, body marking and chip getting
set up transition area
10min jog to warm up (Hi Mr. van Voo!!!)
wiggle into the potato sack that is a wetsuit
quick dip in the lake
sing national anthem

Swim:  17:48 - 2:22/100m
(2013-23:36)  -5:12
This swim went much better than Belews in April.  Of course, this one was half the distance, but we won't concentrate on that part.
There were 4 swim waves and they had all the AG ladies start the day in the last wave (and in pink caps. ugh.). I was able to swim the majority of the course, practice my new sighting technique, sometimes successfully and sometimes not.  I was able to keep anxiety attacks under control, taking it nice and easy.  My goal was not time, but to have a swim I could feel good about and I think achieved that. I might have even passed some gents in green caps along the way.

2:05 (2013-6:02)  -3:57
I was able to jog my way up to transition this time.  I had a little trouble getting the potato sack off, but eventually broke free; threw on my bike shoes, shades and helmet and Thelma and I were out of the gate.

Bike:  46:04 - 16.18 mph
(2013-48:11)  -2:07
All things considered, I can't complain too much about my bike segment...but I'm going to anyway!  I WAS TICKED!!!  not even 3 miles in I felt that twinge in my knee.  I knew I could run on my knee, I simply had to find a way to make it through that bike.  So, to save the knee, I honestly had to pedal most sections of the course with my right leg, especially on the two major climbs.  Which relatively speaking aren't huge climbs, but caused owies nonetheless.  I was disappointed I couldn't give it my best effort and would have liked to see how I would have fared if I attacked the course like I wanted to.  There were times I was brave enough and comfortable enough to get into aero position, so that is the positive that I will take away from the bike segment.

T2:  1:34
(2013-2:05)  -0:31
Looking back, I lost a lot of time here messing with my watch.  I'm putting the face onto quick release band and fitting Thelma with a bar to put the watch face on, so next time I can simply pop it off the bike and onto my wrist without issue.  I also need to find the quick button to change the mode from bike to run.  I could have taken another 30 seconds off I think.

Run:  26:03 - 8:23/mile
(2013-29:37)  -3:34
If I could kill any segment of this triathlon, one would think it would be on the run, and that's what I was banking on.  This is the first time I actually paid attention to who was around me, actively looking at the calf markings to see the AGs of the women ahead of me.  To see who I needed to "pick off" and who I could let go.  I passed a few men and women on the run, and I got a passed though I'm pleased to say maybe only
once or twice.  As I was making a move to pass on the left, I heard a voice behind saying "coming up the middle."  This woman passed us at a good clip, so I tried to hang on her feet hoping she could pace me in.  Alas, I couldn't hold on and I had to let her go.  I'm slightly disappointed in the fact that this is the same pace I've been hitting in my interval training.  Come race day you'd think I'd dial it up 10 seconds or so, but all in all not a bad run for me.  All that fiddling with my watch and it still wasn't working so I basically ran blind the whole way, no idea how fast, how far or how far yet to go.  Finally I came up on a volunteer that said something that I didn't quite catch and I asked "am I here?"  He said "you are, now sprint it home!"

You don't need to tell me twice...

2013 I finished in 1:49:29.
2014 I finished in 1:33:32.
-15:57 PR

Great PR, still pretty low on the AG rankings.  Oh well.  There's always next year!
And next year, heck with the apples.
I'll be a kiwi.

Next up?
23 days.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Words for Wednesday

...allow yourself to feel free and appreciate how strong you are.

- Sarah Hart, Coach

25 days

Friday, May 9, 2014

Adventures with Thelma: Episode 4

(to be sung to the Happy Birthday tune, pitch accuracy is optional)

Happy anniversary to me.  
Happy anniversary to me.

Happy anniversary to meeeeee.....

meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!  (this should be the highest note the human ear can hear....)

Anniversary you ask?  Yes folks, my triathlon anniversary!

On May 11, 2013, Thelma and I made our debut at the Jetton Park Triathlon.   

Tomorrow, Thelma and I will return to where it started.  I have a lot of feelings and emotions surrounding this event.  It's a little surreal to see everything come full circle.  To see how much things have changed, how I have changed, and yet remained the same..... (insert thoughtful, pondering, philosophical look here) 

Last year was strictly about survival the experience.  This year I find myself thinking that just surviving isn't good enough this time.

Nope.  Not at all.

I want to kill it.

This tri is a 750m swim, 12.4  mile bike and a 5k run.  Up until about a week ago, I have been putting in some decent training hours.  40+ mile rides, brick sessions, 2000m swim sessions in the pool.  Tempo runs, intervals....I've seen some serious improvement in my run.  Bottom line....I've put some good work in and tomorrow's distance doesn't equal half of what I do in one day's training. There is absolutely no reason for me not to do well.  The only thing that can stop me?  

My head.

Where I'm at:
  • I've had some knee issues that we think a slight saddle adjustments we made will resolve.  Unfortunately, we haven't really been able to test this theory.  I chose to stay off the bike to get the inflammation under control.  This makes me nervous.  REALLY hoping it's just an adjustment that was needed and all will be ready for EagleMan.  
  • I seemed to have picked up some extra weight since last weekend.  I may have celebrated Lori's AG win and ICE Racing's stellar day at the Carolina Half/International a little too much.  Over celebrating + a light training week + eating like you're training hard = a little more padding than normal 
  • Open Water.  'nuff said.
Where I'm trying to get to:
  • To put the knee issue out of my mind.  We made the adjustments.  Fingers crossed it works.  If it doesn't, then we make more adjustments.  Keep rpms high, keep a good effort on hills but no need to crush them.  Keep the attack in check and live to ride another day.
  • Weight.  It is what it is.  Can't do anything about it now.  I know that it will come back off.  Training ramps back up this Sunday with a 50 mile ride.
  • Open Water.  I need to keep calm and slow my strokes down.  Reach, glide, relax, and try to sight without breaking stroke.  Goal:  to swim as much as this course as possible.  To not worry about speed or anything.  Just feel the water, feel the stroke, feel relaxed and have a good swim.  This will put me in good spirits and ultimately set me up to have a fun ride and a killer run.
Tomorrow's goals:
  • PR - kinda goes without saying, but I said it anyway
  • Keep Calm and Tri On
    • meaning - get the hell out of my own head, have faith in my training and my ability
Race face engaged.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Adventures with Thelma: Episode 3

Thelma thought that with two long rides in the books with her new digs that I should post an update on our progress.

Last weekend marked our longest ride EVER.  We made a pretty substantial jump in mileage, one that I don't really advise, from 35 miles up to 53.  A good time to test out the new fit, saddle and aero bars!  I'm happy to report that even after 53 miles, I had no pain in the unmentionable area!  This is huge, people.  This is a game changer, seriously.  If you find yourself uncomfortable after 20-30 miles, try a new saddle.  It is TOTALLY worth the investment.  Unfortunately, I didn't have the cojones to get into my aero bars.  I didn't realize how different the front end would feel with the added weight!  Oh well, live to try another day...

This past weekend we had another long ride to do.  I'm still a novice rider and do not feel comfortable battling the roads on my own.  I hooked up with a local shop ride out of Cool Breeze Cyclery.  They have 3 groups, an "A", "B" and "C" group.  As and Bs are your faster groups and the "C" is my speed!  What a great group!  Thanks to Chris for keeping as all going and together!  I did have a little mishap and fell off my bike standing still.  Yes folks.  This takes skill.  Almost as much skill as the day I feel off while on my stationary trainer....thank goodness the couch was there.

I was able to get 34 miles in with the group and then headed to the Huntersville Business Park to finish out my ride.  The HBP is a 2 mile loop where many cyclists, runners and walkers go to get in their miles.  I feel safe here because even if something happens, I know there will always be someone to pass by.  That and there is a hospital right there!
Anyway, with a bruised knee plus some unrelated-to-fall knee cap pain, we had to cut it short a few miles. Good news?  I was able to try out my aero bars!!!!  Yes, I looked like a bad ass, even if I was only going like 10 mph...

Now I just need to figure out how not to veer off to the left and hit passing motorists and cyclists alike....

I guess that's about it.  Not too terribly exciting for most people, but for me, it's all part of the process!

Thelma and I are hitting the race circuit again on Saturday so I'm sure she'll want me to post a race preview.  Though, her and I need to have some words I think....she's getting a little full of herself since her new digs....

Friday, May 2, 2014

Did you know.....

.....that Jelly Belly Jelly Beans Citrus Mix is "an excellent source of vitamin C?"

It's true. I mean, that's what it says on the package, so it's gotta be true, right?  

Score!  Next time I'm coming down with a cold, free ticket to jelly bean gluttony!!!