Just to let you know- this blog is no longer active. I'll be keeping up my 101 in 1001 list until its completion, but will not be writing new posts. You can read the post below if you want the long version. Thanks for the journey to all my friends in the blogosphere!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Back for a hot minute- Kure Beach Triathlon Race Report

Okay, I know I'm supposed to be staying out of blogland for a little while, but I did just complete my first triathlon since 2008 and really and truly, no one in my real life (except my mom- not because she's my mom but because she is obsessed with racing) wants to hear the full race report. And since one person asked for a review of my tri shorts I know the virtual world is clamoring for the results of the Kure Beach Triathlon, I just cannot deny you! (It may also be because I'm just a little OCD and want to properly record my results on my online log.)

In any case...

I was a little bit nervous about this race last Sunday because I really had not trained like I should. My husband looked at me in the rear view mirror as he drove my mom, sister, and I to the race start and said, "Now, we can all admit you haven't trained for this. So no one's going to judge you if you need to quit." Obviously, that was ridiculous. Even if they didn't judge me (and my mom and sister SO would, in a very loving way, of course) I would drag myself across the pavement and sand before I put up my first DNF. (I'm not saying it couldn't happen someday, but this was too short a race to let that be a possibility.)

It's been over two years since my last triathlon, so I did a lot of double-checking with my transition things. Overall, though, I felt way more prepared material and experience wise than I ever had at any triathlon. My mother graciously loaned me her fancy race bike (I've previously been the slow misfit on the mountain bike), I had on my new two piece triathlon suit (which is at least four times more flattering than my old one piece), I finally broke down and bought a race belt (I wished I had had it dozens of races ago. It makes so much more sense than safety pinning, especially onto a wet suit in the middle of a triathlon.), and I packed a gel into said race belt.

I made a few friends on shore before our wave started in the ocean, but once we hit the waves, I didn't see them again. The ocean swim was longer than I remembered from last time, but I think they may have shorten it that year because of the crazy waves. I remembered to dive under the big waves and not worry about swimming out too fast against the waves and everything went fine. (My tri shorts worked just fine in the water, Dana. I didn't even think about them once while I was swimming.)

I have to admit I was a little winded when I came up on shore and didn't think that was a good indicator for the rest of the race. After pulling on my socks, shoes, and race belt, I had a little chance to breathe and felt better as I started out on the first run. I decided to go ahead and have my chocolate gel while I was running. It was then that I realized this was the first time I've had a gel when it's hot outside. (I didn't start using energy gels until last September.) That hot chocolate goo while I was already hot and nasty was just a little bit too much, even for me. I was pretty sure I might throw it up, but I got the whole thing down. The rest of the 1.5 mile run was pretty uneventful...it just seemed really long for only a mile and a half.

I was very excited about using the race bike and I finally got to use the three words I've always wanted to say during a triathlon, "On the left!" I only actually passed about five people and was passed by approximately a hundred, but it was definitely the most pleasant bike portion I've ever had. I felt like I was going pretty fast for me, but I held back a little to save my legs for the second run.

The second run was actually much easier and turned out to be faster than the first. I was kind of doing a shuffle-run more than real running, but it seemed like that was the game plan of most and I ended up passing a few people. By the time I got to the ocean, it seemed like a wonderful idea to end in the cool water, but I realized immediately how worn out I was. I took it sloooow and easy on that last swim. My attitude was, "I'll get there when I get there."

Surprisingly, I was not sore at all afterwards and I wished that I had pushed it more on the bike. Race results came out that afternoon and I immediately compared them to my 2006 times.

Kure Beach Triathlon
Swim, 375m-13:34
Run, 1.5 miles- 17:00
Bike, 12.4 miles- 41:56
Run, 1.5Mi- 16:31
Swim, 375 M- 9:00
Total Time with Transitions: 1:38:01

Kure Beach Triathlon 2010
Swim, 375m-8:34 (5 minutes faster than '06)
Run, 1.5 miles- 16:10 (50 seconds faster than '06)
Bike, 12.4 miles- 43:11 (1 minute, 15 seconds slower than '06)
Run, 1.5Mi- 15:27 (1 minute, 4 seconds faster than '06)
Swim, 375 M- 11:12 (2 minutes, 12 seconds slower than '06)
Total Time with Transitions: 1:38:01 (3 minutes, 28 seconds faster than '06)

So, in conclusion, I'm running faster, biking slower (even with the race bike!), and swimming is inclusive (and impossible to judge between these two years because the swim course in 2006 kept being adjusted by the ridiculous waves from the offshore hurricane). Even though I wasn't properly trained, I really enjoyed the race and hopefully will figure out a way to train for future races!

Now, I'm sneaking back off for the rest of my blog break (unless I have another race report that just MUST be shared)! Pretend you didn't see me!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Taking a Blog Break

I've been contemplating a blog break for several weeks now. I love it here in blogland; I've met so many lovely people, read so many lovely things, and wrote so many random and/or pathetic things, so I don't think I want to shut down and exit entirely, but there are some other factors that have been weighing in as well:
  • My husband is sick of my laptop. (Although it's very common for him to be sitting on the other side of the couch on his own laptop.)
  • I'm kinda sick of my laptop. Between school, work, and home, I'm on this thing a lot.
  • It is waaay too easy for me to get sucked in and blog-hop on indefinitely while time passes by without me noticing.
  • I'm piddling around with my little races and whatnot now, but I'm really not doing anything that exciting or blog-worthy in the running arena right now.
  • It's summertime and I want to be out and about (or cleaning out closets or other such exciting things!)
I was still on the fence until today. You may recall that I'm a elementary school teacher. I'm on my feet almost all day, every day (yes, even during lunch) and though I may check my email and update my website while my students are at the library or whatnot, I'm rarely just sitting in front of a screen for more than 15 minutes at a time.

Well, it's summertime, of course, which means I'm not teaching and I just started working on my grad school internship. Over the course of the summer, I'll be organizing web resources for teachers, students, and parents for my school district and I'm extremely excited about the process and the outcome.

Today, though, on my first full day, I had a very quick realization, "Wow...I'm just going to be sitting in front of my laptop allllll day long. Is this what most jobs are like?" It's not necessarily bad, because I'm really enjoying the project I'm working on, but once I closed that laptop at the end of the day, I did not want to open it again for any reason whatsoever.

So, that pretty much sealed the deal. I'm sure I'll still do a least a little blog lurking (you know I couldn't quit cold turkey, right?) and who knows, I just might not be able to stay away and start posting again in a week! I'm pretty sure I'll return at some point, though...I've still got 365 consecutive runs to get in someday!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Just so you know...

I went back and conquered the bike with the clip-on pedals. I rode 11 miles yesterday and didn't have any problems (except for being sore because I never bike). I've had a lovely week at my parents' house and have enjoying a little running, biking, and swimming throughout the week, so I'm minimally prepared for this triathlon next week.

I did get a new triathlon outfit though! I'm way more excited than I should be about spandex, but it's a big improvement from my one-piece triathlon suit that I got on sale five years ago. I went to the biking store first and they only had 2 options for tri shorts. I wasn't really jazzed up about either, but I thought that was about as good as they would get. So I bought a pair, then went to Fleet Feet and immediately fell in love with these cute Skirt Sports outfits. After much deliberation, I decided to get both the tri top and shorts there and then had to go back to the biking store to return the less flattering shorts.

Images are from www.skirtsports.com

I tried the shorts biking, but I couldn't really judge the comfort because I was still sore from biking the day before. I'm really excited to try swimming in my new outfit! I'll let you know how it goes. (I know you're just waiting by your monitors to find out!)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Biking = FAIL

Since I'm going to be participating in the Kure Beach Triathlon just two weeks from today, I decided it was time to get out the bike. (Obviously, I'm not going for a PR here.) I kinda hate biking and therefore hadn't yet brought my mountain bike home from my parents' house, so there has been absolutely no bike training in a looooong time.

When we raced our first triathlon, I used my mountain bike my parents gave me for 13th birthday. It took until my 16th birthday for us to actually go out and buy the bike, but in any case, it was a bike purchased for playing and not for racing. We knew my mom would have an advantage with her road bike, but even with that, I managed to beat her by a few minutes. Within a month, my mom had purchased a slick race bike with clip-on shoes and skinny tires. That, combined with her superior training, led her to an easy victory over me in the next triathlon.

She loves that bike.

Which is why I was slightly surprised when my mom offered to let me borrow it for this upcoming race. She was insistent, however, that I practice a lot with it this week while I'm visiting to get used to the clip-ons and gears. So, thinking it couldn't be that difficult, I snapped in the shoes and went off on a biking adventure!*

*Biking adventure may or may not have consisted of me falling off the bike in the driveway, walking in my socks, dragging the bike through the yard, taking 10 minutes to figure out how to unclip the shoes, making about a 1/2 mile of progress before goofing up the gears, falling off the bike again-this time attached to one of the pedals and landing in the barn driveway and embedding gravel into my hand, cursing, turning around, and going home and awaiting a tutorial from my mom before getting back on that bike.

I decided to remove the flat tire from my car for exercise instead. That actually worked.

By the way, the China Grove 5K Main Street Challenge was a success on Friday! My mom, two sisters, and I all ran and dad even came along to hold our race packets and eat race refreshment leftovers. For as little running as I've been doing lately, I was happy with my time: 26:42, but I think it would have been more fun to use my Garmin if I could look down and see better paces.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Upcoming Races!

There's just 2.5 days left with my 3rd and 4th grade babies! Even though a part of me is aching a little to lose them (they're a good, albeit quirky, little group of kids), the vast majority of me (and them!) is ready for summer! I've got a full summer schedule (think 3 weddings and accompanying parties/showers, an internship with my school system, teaching swim lessons, and a trip to Las Vegas!) but I'm just really ready to drop the stress and fuss of school.

And I'm ready (and desperately need) to get serious about working out again. I'm itching to really put my Garmin to work, finally fetch my bike from my parents' house, and it looks like I'll even have a place to swim this summer! So here's the plan:

June 11: China Grove 5K Main Street Challenge

This is a fun night race and I'll get to run with my mom and sisters!

June 27: Kure Beach Triathlon
I haven't done a triathlon in a few years and I'm ready to get back in the saddle. The Kure Beach race is fun because it's a double sprint (swim, run, bike, run, swim), it's an ocean swim, and it ends on the beach!

I did this race in 2006 and it was quite interesting. There was a hurricane off in the Pacific and the ocean was intensely rough. They encouraged weak swimmers to skip the swim portion, but I thought that was wimpy. I saw the first wave of swimmers go out and when a few of them came back, I thought that was wimpy too. When I went out into those raging waves, I didn't think it was so wimpy anymore. It was r.i.d.i.c.u.l.o.u.s. Every stroke I took, I was pushed back 3. I was tumbled upside down and backwards and my goggles couldn't stay on my head. I ended up grabbing a floating lifeguard's rescue tube and sobbing, "I'm a freaking lifeguard! Why is this so hard?!" After resting for a minute and getting some reassuring words from the lifeguard, I was able to move on and finish the swim. (Meanwhile, my never-panicking-relentlessly-practical mom is on shore, scanning for me for my bobbing head for over 13 minutes and praying for God to rescue me from the sea.)

The run and bike were quick and easy, but my mom was waiting in the transition area attempting to convince me not to go back into the ocean, "It would really be fine if you just skipped the second swim. You don't HAVE to do it. We all know you COULD but maybe you it's not what you SHOULD do." My mind was made up though: I wasn't going to let that ocean defeat me. I jumped back in, but instead of fighting the water, I just took it slow and easy and glided right through that last 375 meters with no problem. I learned you can't race in a hurricane.

So now it's time to tackle Kure Beach again!

September 4: Take the Lake
This is our big local event. It's not really a race, just a particiption event, but I'll be keeping times. I swam the lake a few years ago and last year Mom and I ran, so both of these should be old hat. Except 4 miles is a looong way to swim. And 15 miles miles is a looong way to run.

September 19: Warrior Dash
I'm so excited about this race I can't put it into words! You get to crawl through mud and under barbed wire, leap through fire, and scale walls...all while running. How could it get better? By combining it with a long weekend trip to New York state to see my best friend and first running buddy, Sarah! I found out about this race from Heather at Run, Mommy, Run, but I hope that Sarah and I can get through it injury-free. Rest up and recover soon, Heather!

And the big event is.......


I want to run my next marathon this fall, but still haven't made the final decision of where/when. The two finalists are the Outer Banks Marathon and the City of Oaks Marathon in Raleigh. What do y'all think? Have any of you ran either of these or heard anything about them?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Running with ID

How many of y'all run with ID? I know that I'm supposed to, but that's just one of those things I haven't got around to yet. I don't know if I should spring for the real thing, or just cram an index card with my name and my husband's phone number in my shoe.

It kind of seems like a moot point here in my husband's (small) hometown though. If I were to ever fall off the sidewalk, not see an approaching car, or get attacked by a wild cocker spaniel, I'm pretty sure I know how it would play out...

Lady who discovers me on her power walk: Oh dear! Mary Jo, there's a fallen runner in the road! Call your nephew over at the fire department!

Mary Jo whips out her cell phone and the paramedics are quickly dispatched. Mary Jo and her friend wait with me (unconscious) for them to arrive.

Mary Jo:
Hmm, they say that that running is bad for you. Bad for your knees, too. My cousin's uncle that lived up North was all into that running mess and, bless his heart, died from a heart attack while he was running. It's unnatural, Thelma.

Thelma: Goodness, isn't she ________'s wife?

Mary Jo: I knew she was familiar! ________, from church is his mama. Call
Derb and have him get their number from the Presbyterian church directory. Let her know to meet us at the hospital.

By this time, the volunteer fire department paramedics have arrived and Thelma is on the phone.

Paramedic 1: Alright, what we got here? Oh! I've seen her before, but she's not from around here.

Paramedic 2: Oh yeah...she's married to ______________. Remember, I used to date his cousin in high school?

Thelma: Oh, you mean ________________. She's such a sweet girl, how's her daddy doing?

By this time, they've loaded me up in the ambulance and the whole town, including my husband, in-laws, friends, and church circle have been notified. It's a closed case.

So it seems a little silly to worry about being Jane Doe here, but I do occasionally escape from this small town. Maybe I'll order the Road ID after all.

*By the way, this is the post that I complained about Blogger eating a few days ago. The reason that I couldn't find it is because I started it as a draft many months ago and never finished. So when I finished and published, it posted back in August 2009. I just recopied it here. There's your tech tip of the day! (Although I'm pretty sure most of y'all could have figured that out before me.*