Thursday, February 28, 2008

Effing High Schoolers!

It is between seasons for the high school boys and girls. They are currently gearing up for their spring seasons. The gym is a MOB SCENE. You must remember that I do one of my workouts in the hour following school before I get my kids. We're talking about 3:15-4:15. Prime high school hours.

You may recall that I have started strength training. I basically like strength training. I like the idea that I'm getting more buff. Nothing says "I'm going to kick your ass" like a few muscles. But I digress. Back to the high schoolers.

The girls are harmless enough. They get on the ellipticals or stairmasters and rock out to their tunes. Some are clearly runners and kick my ass on the treadmill. Mostly they are benign.

Not so the boys--.

Here are a few things that annoy me about high school boys lifting weights in my gym:

  • They HOG all of the equipment.
  • They act as if they own the place.
  • The leave 100 lb discs on the squat machine that I can't lift off on my own.
  • They high five each other and are really loud and like to grunt.
  • They smell. Sometimes like sweat, but mostly of cologne and sweat combined.
  • They won't look you in the eye if you are a middle-aged woman. They pretend you are invisible.
Those are the major things. Mostly I just don't like that I'm the only woman invading "their" space.
These boys also make me wonder. I wonder things like--

  • How many of these kids are on the juice? Call me crazy, but if my son was benching as much as some of these guys bench and had zits all over his back and was big as a truck, I'd be raiding his bedroom for the hypodermic.
  • What sport are these guys playing? Can't be track--they're too big. Can't be lacrosse--these aren't pretty boys. Is it baseball? Why do you need to be big as a truck to play baseball?
  • What do they think of me? Do they know I'm a serious athlete, or do they just see me as yet another middle-aged mom? and more importantly, WHY DO I CARE?
Okay. My rant is over.

I'm very sore from lifting. I wonder if it will really help and I will really look and feel stronger when all is said and done.

The one thing I really dislike is the whole waiting 3 minutes between sets thing. Argh! I don't have three minutes to be hanging out picking my ass! So I never wait that long. Not even close. This makes me wonder if I am effing things up so much that the strength training won't work.

I'm done now!
In other news, I printed out a few pics of Angelina Jolie because I like her hair. I wanted to show them to Martha to see if she could cut and color it similarly. My hub finds the pictures and what does he say?

and I quote:
"Do you think your hairdresser could give you her body too?"

I kicked him. jerk.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

When it's Time to Change

you've got to re-arrange. 

Sha-na-na na na na na... na na na na naaaaaaaaa. 

I'm feeling it. It's time for a new DYE JOB! 

You may remember that I mentioned that I have had many a different shades of haircolor in my years on this planet. I have an appointment this weekend with Martha, my fabulous stylist who I've been seeing for years now. I think I'm going to keep it long, dye it a darker brown without any red in it, and add a blond streak to the front. Maybe something like this: The hub. will groan, of course, like he usually does when I do something different with my hair. He especially dislikes it when it looks fake. In my mind the point isn't to look natural, though. Snorefest. The goal is to doing something fun and fake, because soon I will be wrinkly and hunched over, and what fun is it to have dark hair with a blond streak then? Can you say AGE CRISIS??? 

I've been in one for a year now, ever since I stopped nursing my youngest little cub. I feel like I'm on top of the hill looking down, and soon I will start skidding down uncontrollably until I hit, well-- the grave. Okay. A little morbid. On that note, I will bring up the other thing my husband hates me to talk or think about it: getting a tattoo. I want one. I plan to get one. Why not? When you're married to a guy you know you want to be with forever and so you'll never scam again and you know you aren't having more kids, and you know that you're just getting older every day, why the hell not? What's stopping me? Propriety? Image? Who cares? I've got nothing to lose. The hub. points out that our kids as teenagers will likely not want a mom with crazy hair and a tattoo, but really, my kids as teenagers likely will not like anything about me, right? So what does it matter? The question is--what kind of tattoo? Well an M-Dot, of course! (**note: I mean only after I actually complete an Ironman. That won't be for another year or so...) Here's the hub's objection to the M-Dot. It's a logo. It's a company logo. It's a company that makes money. Do I want to be an advertisment for Ironman? My feeling is that everyone in the know KNOWS what an M-Dot means, so does it matter that it's a corporate logo? And if I didn't get an M-Dot, what should I get? And where? 

 I'm interested in all thoughts. I know some of you have an M-Dot tattoo, and some (many) of you have completed an Ironman or two or three and did not get one and never would.

Monday, February 25, 2008


I love the Felt. But it's going to take getting used to. I was way more spread out on the road bike. The aerobars were pleasantly far away, and it was comfortable. With the Felt I feel all bunched up. My knees are really close to the aerobars when I pedal. It's strange. Also, I need to break in the new seat. Also, I'm chafing in all sorts of new ways. 

 But I still love the Black. She's just so hot! In other news, I continue to SPEND. I just got a new pair of racing shoes. I had an old pair of Adidas--can't remember the name--and they are just about kicked. I raced in them for over 250 miles! It sort of amazes me that I raced that many miles in just the last few years. My new shoes are the ASICS Speedstar. I like them. I race in a couple of weeks, so they will be put to the test then. They aren't exactly flats--there's more to them than that--but they still only weigh a little over 7 oz. Pretty good! I also just got a Computrainer, although it hasn't arrived yet. I'm pumped! 

My husband really spearheaded that effort because he's taking a class with DeDe Greisbauer at Fast Splits. They use the computrainers and she (DeDe) uses their power thresholds to prescribe their workouts. He scouted out EBay for several weeks, and made a move yesterday. Yeah! Of course, we will probably end up bankrupt.... This extravagant spending spree must come to an end- _________________________ 

Yesterday I was a bad. I know you, the tri blogger community, will understand what I mean by this. I didn't skip a workout. That's not bad in my book; it's maddening. Usually it occurs as a result of life getting so in the way that the workout must be rescheduled or canned all together, which gets me infuriated and righteous and basically unbearable to be around. No. Yesterday I didn't skip the workout. I just did it way, way too hard. As you all know because I complain about it unceasingly, I am supposed to do all of my workouts right now in zone 1--which is to say they are to be done at a steady, but relatively easy pace. 

Yesterday I was supposed to run a bit over an hour. I picked out one of my favorite 8 mile loops and headed out. It was a GORGEOUS day: sunny, bright, cold, but not too cold. I was jamming to my 80's tunes, fresh with a few new good ones like I Love Rock and Roll by Joan Jett. Love her! Anyway, I just got fired up. I started pounding. I knew I was out of zone 1, actually out of zone 2, but I just didn't care. I felt awesome and strong and with each new song I thought, Fuck it! Run on! So today I'm a little bit sore. Or maybe alotta bit sore. My swim this morning was actually fine. I'm having fun working on the barrel thing. However, I also had to run after school (work). Well, actually, my bad again. I had to reschedule a (this coming) Wed run for today because I have a meeting after work on Wednesday. So I went out for another seven today. I was really, really, really tired on this run. I was so tired I had trouble getting my heart rate up, which is really unusual for me during a run. Oops. Anyway. Every once in awhile you need to do that, right? right? right? Can I hear you out there? My coach, Cait, kicked serious, serious ass this weekend at the Hyannis Half Marathon. She won it for women in 6:10 pace. That's 1:20, folks! Sick! Her boyfriend, (remember Tim --from "Hi, I'm Tim?") came in third in 5:39 pace, Jesse Kropelnicki (Coach Jesse-founder of QT2, my coaching group/team) was sixth in 5:53 pace and his wife, Chrissie, went under 1:34 in 7:10 pace. I'm so impressed and so proud of my team!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Over the Barrel

Today I went to Fast Splits for a swim analysis session with my coach. I've been convinced that there are great things to be changed about my stroke; things that when corrected will make me super, super fast.

I got to Fast Splits and walked in. Two men were talking at the desk, one of whom I know but don't know (as in I don't know his name, just that he works there) and the other I immediately recognized as Tim Snow, Cait's boyfriend. Tim is a pro triathlete in the area, and I've seen him compete, so naturally, I know who he is. Naturally he does NOT know who I am. Introdcutions were in order.

So I stuck at my hand and said enthusiastically, "Hi! I'm Tim!"

Moment of silence. "I mean, oops. You're Tim. Hi, I'm, I'm, I'm, Mary."

What I should have said is I AM SUCH A LOSER.

There was really no way to recover. I just looked like such a tool. Argh.

Anyway. He told me Cait was in the next room, and I slinked away.

I've seen Cait race, but we haven't met before. Actually, that's not true. I met her at a race last year, but again, she's locally famous, and I'm a tool, so I know her and she doesn't' know me.
This time I got it right and actually introduced myself like a normal human being.
She's very pretty.
She's very young.
She's very strong and thin.

Okay. Onward.
I got changed and came out to the little Endless pool thing. I've never been in one, and honestly, I was a little nervous. What if Cait put on the force field too strong and I blasted into the back of the pool while trying to swim? I'm not sure I could take another moment of total embarrassment.

Embarrassment. right. So I started to put my cap on, and got half of my hair up when Dave, the owner of the store and an old friend, walked in. I haven't seen the guy for like six years. He's the X of one of my best friends, and when they split we didn't keep in touch. I like him, and I wish we had, but it was one of those things... You know how splits go. We were couple friends. Then we weren't. Now both he and my friend are married with kids. Time has passed. It's all cool.

Anyway, after not seeing him for eons, I saw him while dressed only in a bathing suit, while putting my hair in a cap, while all pasty and wintry white, with no makeup, and shivering from the cool air in the store. Nice. LOSER again.

He gave me a hug and we exchanged niceties, and he was very sweet about not mentioning that I was half naked and a little scary with my hair only half in my cap.

Then I got in the pool.
With Tim, Cait and Dave watching, I got in.

Silently I prayed-
Dear God do not let me make an ass of myself any more than I already have.

Cait turned on the power thing, and it was like the strongest jacuzzi jet you've ever felt. I began to swim, and it wasn't so bad! A bit hard to breathe with all of those bubbles blasting at you, but basically okay. There was a mirror on the bottom of the pool, which was fascinating. It was so fascinating that I kept forgetting to breathe because I was so busy looking at myself and thinking, "Cool! That's how it looks when I blow out my nose! Cool! I'm really rotating! Cool! That's me! Look! That's me!"

The good news (or bad news, depending on how you look at it--very bad stroke means room for major improvement which means more speed potential relative to where I am now etc. etc.) is that they convinced me that my stroke is good and it just needs to be "tweaked." That said, they found several things for me to work on.

Apparently I have good balance and rotation, but I over-rotate when I breathe. Also, I don't breathe enough. (I didn't want to explain that it was really my self-fascination that was causing me not to breathe, but whatever.) My kick is fine, my hips are up, my stroke is even. The one thing that is really wrong is that when I put my hand in the water after recovery I let my elbow drop. I have to keep my elbow up, like I'm lifting it up and around a barrel.

They had me do a bunch of drills to try to get me to do this, but I guess my whole dropping the elbow thing is pretty ingrained, because I didn't really get it before our session was over.
I see this as a good thing, in a way, because it gives me something to really work on in the pool.
I'm little and I'm short. Little, short people can't swim as fast as bigger, longer people. I need all the stroke perfection I can get.

Swim on.

Monday, February 18, 2008

My B12 Shot : Performance Enhancement at its Best

Meet the Black Stallion. She's a 2008 Felt B12. She's my shot in the ass. 

The Black and I met this weekend at Fast Splits. It was love at first sight. Andy and I stopped at Fast Splits just to look. (of course.) We had just dropped off the kids at the grandparents so we could get a day and a night away. We were feeling pretty good. The day was before us, we were staying at the Westin in town, and we had nothing on the agenda except for eating and sleeping. 

When we walked into Fast Splits I saw her immediately. We pulled her off the rack and looked at her tenderly. She's so small she looks like she could be made for a child. I've wanted a tri-bike for exactly this reason. Road bikes are never made with 650 c. wheels; only the tri-bikes can be. When you are only 5'2", having a road bike is therefore problematic. I currently have a 47 cm Cannondale R700 road bike with 700c wheels, and she's not really easy for me to handle because of her wheel size. The Black is 46 cm, and has the smaller tires. I anticipate being able to handle her better. Plus, together I know we will be blazing fast. She's all carbon fiber. She's got fantastic components. She's very beautiful. I have even saddled her up with a new Butterfly seat. I get to take her home on Saturday after a fitting. I'm one happy girl. __________________ 

 Our night away was awesome. I didn't realize how much I needed sleep until this weekend. We went to bed at 8:30 on Friday night and slept until 8:00 the next morning. The kids got up a 6, of course, so we feel lucky that the house wasn't burned down when we finally woke. I got up, shoveled in some breakfast and rode Little Red 70 minutes on the trainer. It was a very groggy 70 minutes. We showered, packed up the kids and the dogs, and soon, we were temporarily free! 

 I need not say I love my babies, but you know, when you have three of them you just don't get away that much... We didn't buy the Black on Saturday. We thought it best to "think" about it. Well, Andy thought it best. I would've bought her right then had I had my way. Anyway, after Fast Splits we drove into town, did a little window shopping at furniture stores, checked in, went to our room and TOOK A NAP. That's right. After sleeping nearly 12 hours the night before, I wanted a nap. I was still queasy. (Okay, really I am STILL queasy--it's the sickness that will never go away--and no, I'm not pregnant. absolutely positive.) 

After our nap we went to dinner at a little restaurant down the street. I had swordfish and wine. Very tasty. It would've been even more tasty if I had felt 100% better. We then went to the hotel bar, had another drink, and then... etc. :) We were asleep by 11 and didn't get up until 8:30. I know you young ones sans kids out there are thinking we are super lame, and we are, but all of those with a few rugrats at home know what I'm talking about! Sleep, baby! It's better than a night on the town! Sunday morning we went to the gym in the hotel, ran for a little over an hour, had a HUGE brunch, and then WENT BACK TO BED for another nap! 

On the way home I convinced Andy that the Black needed to be purchased that minute. I was beginning to fear someone else might take her home. I know that there is more than one Felt B12 in the world, but she was MINE, you see. She had to be mine. So we went back to Fast Splits. And I test rode her. And we got her. And now she's all mine. Can you believe it? Now if I could just get rid of this lingering nausea...

 The benefit of being sick to your stomach for over a week is that although I have not confirmed this, I think I've taken off a few pounds. I imagine this will be temporary, because my body really likes to be a very specific weight, and she always kind of GOES there. You know? But it's nice for today. 

I got on the trainer for 2.5 hours this morning. I was supposed to do that workout on Saturday, but it didn't figure into the whole weekend plan. My kids played at the foot of the bike while I rode endlessly, and kept bugging me to try the Nano. It's 2:45 p.m. and my son is still in his Cars pajamas! I love holidays. Hope yours was good too.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Out of Commission!

I've been sick all week. On Sat. I was feverish and throwing up, but on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday I was just feverish and had a horrible sore throat. On Thursday the throat finally got better, but I became queasy again. For the last two days I really haven't been eating and I have wanted to sleep all day. Nevertheless I haven't missed a workout (go me!) and I didn't take time off from work. This is good in some respects--. I'm pretty tough about soldiering on when I am sick, mostly because when you are a working mother you just learn to deal. You often have to take days off from work because your children are sick, and you never want to WASTE a day being sick yourself, so you just suck it up and go. Teaching is not a great profession to have when you're sick, though. You can't hide. You can't put your head on your desk and rest. You must be in front of the class, and you must perform. Really teaching is a bit like acting on stage. You must take on a certain role and stick to it. If you don't, there are consequences. Perhaps this is just true of middle school teaching, but somehow I doubt it. Kids need to know you care about them and they respond to you if you are warm and enthusiastic. However, they are also savvy and demanding: if you are inconsistent or appear to lack total and complete control, they will eat you alive. In short, it was a tough week in the old classroom, made more difficult by the fact that I really didn't want to miss any scheduled workouts. I had doubles this whole week. They were short workouts for the most part, but like the kids, they were relentless. My swim workouts seemed to suffer the most. I just had no gas in the pool and the nausea doesn't seem to abate when swimming like it does with running and biking. The only good thing about being sick is that I think I may have taken off a little weight! Anyway... It's Friday afternoon, the kids (MY kids) are eating popcorn and watching a Aladdin, and I am thanking God that next week is vacation. _____________________________ In other news, last week I was tagged by AtlantaMom. Here goes! Seven Random or Weird Things about Me: 1. My hair has been most colors of the rainbow. I've been a blond, I've tried brown (current), black, fire engine red, black and blond in chunks, auburn, and purple. When I began teaching at 23, so long ago, my hair was purple. The kids loved that. I think my real hair color is mouse brown, but I haven't actually had my natural hair color visible since I was 13. 2. Before I was a runner or triathlete, I was a dancer. As a girl I danced with The Maine Ballet Co. in the corp. As an adult I became a really good Lindy Hopper. I even did crazy things like go to Lindy Hop camp! 3. I am addicted to peanut butter. I put it on everything, even pancakes. 4. When I was an eighteen-year old, after I stopped dancing, I weighed 30 pounds more than I weigh today. 5. When I was a young girl I was an angel--a teacher's pet--a goody-two shoes. When I turned fifteen something went terribly awry, and I became a total rebel. I did a lot of really stupid things for a number of years. I feel so lucky when I think back that my friends didn't desert me, I still managed to do okay in school, that I didn't get pregnant and that I didn't die of a drug or alcohol overdose. Them were scary times.... 6. I love all things made for adolescents: movies, music, and especially BOOKS. I am the lone adult scoping out the YA (young adult) section of the library and taking out all of their novels. (Guess it makes sense that I spent time as a middle school librarian and that I'm a middle school English, teacher...) 7. I was so terrified when I was taken into have an emergency c-section with my first child that I couldn't stop crying and shaking. I held the anesthesiologist's hand so tight that I bruised him. Meanwhile, my husband was fascinated with the surgery, and kept saying, "Wow! that's so cool. Mary, you should look at all of the yellow stuff in there. I think it's fat!" It was very special. I remember after it was over and we were talking, I asked him why the nursing staff kept counting during the surgery. He told me it was because they had to count the many, many surgical towels they used to sop up the blood: they feared they would leave one inside when I was sewed up. Pleasant, huh? C-Sections 2 and 3 were scary too, but not like the first. On that note, I'll tag a few more bloggers! 1. Ange: Ange's Drive to Tri 2. The Lazy Triathlete 3. Tri Guy J.T. 4. Michelle 5. D.C. Rainmaker 6. Locked and Loaded 7. Who in their right mind... Here are the rules: The rules are as follows: # Link to the person who tagged you # Post the rules on your blog. # Share seven random and/or weird facts about yourself on your blog. # Tag seven random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs. # Leave a comment on their blogs so that they know they have been tagged. Signing off.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Snacks, the Dogs, and Nutrition

I packed better snacks today.
I gave up my good intentions as soon as I got home (see last post) and had access to food that actually satiates hunger.
Just so you know, though, when I was discussing my snacks yesterday I meant that they were exactly that, snacks. Some people asked me if that was all I ate at work for the whole day. I was like, Are you kidding me? That doesn't include breakfast or lunch! No way could I go all day just on raw veggies and cottage cheese! That's like scary and insane. No, my friends, I'm just talking SNACKS. Anyway.

I'm not working out this week, as I mentioned in my last post, and as a result I'm feeling punchy, out-of-control, and irritable. I really have nothing interesting to say. I felt like posting anyway.

I'm gonna tell you about my dogs.
They are old. They are smelly.

Linus is the yellow one. His breath could kill you. I'm not lying. He opens his mouth, and you could be like on the other side of the room and you have to ask, Did someone just fart? You start accusing everyone, and then you realize it's just Linus's breath. His teeth are rotting inside his mouth. That's the problem.

Linus is also completely deaf. He hasn't always been deaf. It's a recent development that has to do with his being ancient and the fact that there is so much brown shit in his ears that you can't dig it out. It's kind of neat. You can shout right into his face and he doesn't even blink. Speaking of not blinking, Linus can beat all humans and dogs in staring contests. It's actually quite creepy. He stares -- a lot. Sometimes I wake in the middle of the night, turn over, and he'll be sitting there, just staring at me. I think he might be losing his marbles.

Minna is the chocolate one. She is a royal P.I.T.A. When we let her into our fenced yard she becomes Houdini and escapes--every time. We think she might be magic as well as a P.I.T.A. We can never figure out how she actually gets out. Another way in which she is P.I.T.A. is that she steals the kids' food. She has no mercy. If you leave the kitchen for a minute the food will be gone. She also has a really unattractive wart on her head that is growing larger everyday. It's really nasty. Despite all this we still love her. She's very affectionate when she's not being a P.I.T.A. and she's quite a handsome lab if you aren't skeeved by her wart.

Linus is almost 12 now. Minna will be 10 this June. They were my first babies. They were my first running partners. It will be very hard for me when they are gone.

Okay. Enough about dogs.
Back to food. I could do nutritional counseling with Jesse. If I do, however, I might have to give up things like the sausage, egg and cheese on an English, or the cup of sugar I have in my coffee each morning, or the Guiness I treat myself to-- well, a lot. That would be no fun. But is my current "body composition" and my eating habits having a negative effect on my training and racing? That is the question. Is it worth the sacrifice? I'd be interested to hear all input. Who out there is trying nutritionally and seeing benefit? Who is trying and feeling no benefit? Who thinks when you start obsessing about food you've gone too far? (me.)

Just curious.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Very Grumpy

I am at work. I should be working. But I just want to say this: I don't want to work. I

 don't want to work because I am grumpy. 

 These are the reasons I am grumpy: 

1. I have lame snacks today. Lame! Usually I bring a variety of sancks, most of which are pretty good for me, but which also make me happy, like trail mix with chocolate chips mixed in, or fruit yogurt with lots of sugar, or a Luna bar. But yesterday I decided that I need to start being better about my eating. First of all, I'm still carrying a little extra around my belly. I notice this mostly when I put on biking shorts. Biking shorts are so, so very unflattering because of the muffin top factor. I need to get rid of my small but lurking muffin top. So, today I packed an apple, carrots, raw cauliflower, cottage cheese and a Pria Bar, which I told myself I'm not allowed to eat until this afternoon's snack. I have eaten the apple, the carrots, the cauliflower and the cottage cheese. OH MY GOD. I am STARVING. I feel like I'm going to swoon for lack of energy and food. 

 2. I'm supposed to be taking a week "off" according to my training plan. Yesterday I did run slowly for 20 minutes and this morning I went to the pool and did 30 minutes of slow swimming and drills, but I am basically going sans working out this week. I hate not working out. I feel lost and out of control. I think I may have a problem. This makes me grumpy, too. 

3. It's gray and rainy. 

4. Have I mentioned I'm hungry? 

5. Having gotten a little taste of racing on Sunday I want MORE. I have to be calm calm calm. I have to follow the plan. But I want to go out and run hard, not rest. I want to feel in control by proving to myself that I can still run fast and long. I am doubting myself. I am grumpy for doubting myself. 

6. I hate correcting and I'm buried in sixth grade papers. 

7. It looks like Clinton might be it--and I'm scared she can't win it. 

8. I miss my kids. Tri-Boomer wrote this great post on the why of triathlon. I've been stewing about it. 

Next post I will focus on that and stop being a whiner. promise. Have a good day full of good snacks.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Mid-Winter 10 Mile Cape Classic Race Report

I rose early and kissed my hub. and kids goodbye while they slept. I went straight to Dunkin' and got a large coffee and an egg, sausage and cheese on an English. Call me crazy, but I find those sandwiches excellent fuel for a race if you have enough time to digest before-hand. I made good time to Maine. The roads were clear and my mind was at peace as I listened to the end of Through A Glass Darkly, the epic story I have been "reading" in the car. 

After a two hour journey I arrived at the Cape high school. I found Ange and we got our numbers and chit-chatted about what to wear and what to eat and when and all that pre-race stuff. Her very cute boys (ages 8, 6 and 3) were there and her hub, Mark, who was also planning on running, and her parents, who came to care for the boys and cheer Ange and Mark on. About a 1/2 hour before the race I found Speedy with her Bob Rocks shirt on (very nice, I might add!) and introduced myself. 

She had been sick all week, and within a minute she let out the most painful sounding cough. I was like, "Whoa, should you be doing this?" She brushed it off, saying it sounded it worse than it was. Right! Then Mindy found us. She's tiny! Both were really nice. 

We talked a bit and then Ange came over to meet them as well. Ange and I were getting antsy about getting in a good warm-up before the race, so we excused ourselves. I was bummed I didn't get to meet Nistrik. Next time... 

Ange, Mark and I went for a warm-up around the school for a couple miles. I felt great. The air was cool, I was in MAINE, (I love Maine) and I was gonna race! I scarfed down a Gu, went to the start, and after chatting with a few runners, we were off. 

Ange, Mark and a new runner friend, Robin, shot ahead immediately. Yikes. No way could I keep THAT pace. I tried to hold back, knowing I didn't want to crash and burn like I had at the Frostbite. Still, the first mile was mostly downhill, and I took it out in 6:58. Oops. I slowed down, hit a big hill, and the next mile was more reasonable: 7:31. I had my faithful Nano, and I tried to focus on my stride and jamming to Prince instead of observing Ange , Mark and Robin move farther and farther ahead of me. People passed me for the first miles of the race. That was discouraging. Usually I do the passing because invariably I take out races too fast. 

I continued to try to keep an even pace, though, and that meant not going out too, too hard. I did a few 7:20s and a few 7:25s. The second half of the course is harder than the first half. It's a gradual uphill from mile 6 to the end with only a few life-saving dips. I slowed to 7:30s and held on. By mile 8 I was toast. I held on to my pace, but I was dying. I didn't have any kick at the end, and about 10 people passed me in the last quarter mile. That was a bummer, but I hurt, and there just wasn't any gas left in the tank. When I finished my Garmin read 10.1 miles, 7:23 pace. I don't know if the course was actually long, or if I was just really inefficient and did a lot of weaving. Either way, the Garmin doesn't lie, and I DID run 10.1--a whole extra tenth--which made my pace 5 seconds faster per mile than they had me down for. You can be SURE I put 10.1 and 7:23 pace in my log! :)

Ange cheered me when she saw me coming down the road to finish. She and Mark had run most of the race together and finished in 7:00 pace. Man, she is just so FAST! 

At lunch after the race she mentioned that in May she is going to be Triathlete Mag's Gatorade Athlete of the Month. That is so cool! You all must check it out. Anyway, that just proves she is a total goddess. She's famous. Or soon to be famous. :) The picture is of Ange. The race was hugely competitive. The first three females to finish were under 6 min. pace. The first four females will compete in the marathon Olympic Trials in April. Ange was 8th in her age group, and I was like 12th, I think. You know it's a tough crowd when a girl who finishes 10 miles in 7:00 pace doesn't even come close to placing in her age group. Both Ange and I placed higher than that at Timberman 70.3 last year for crying out loud!  

So that was the race. Even though it was tough, I still loved it. That's me to the right, in the red, behind two of the men who out-kicked me. I look a little concerned that I won't finish! I'm so sore and tired today. I'm wiped, and I'm going to bed. Thanks for reading!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Just Saying...

Great Things About My Race:

  • I got to hang with Ange and Alina (h.s. friends). Ange is a rock star. She did a 7:01 pace. She is my idol.

  • I got to meet (if too briefly) two new blogger friends, SpeedRacer and Mindy.

  • I got to ride all the way up to Maine and back all by myself, with my book on tape, my DD coffee and my own thoughts.

  • The weather was really mild. It must have been at least in the low 40's.

  • I didn't run that badly! I definitely ran better than I did at the Frostbite. I finished in 1:14:27, which is 7:27 pace. It's a far cry from the 7:11 pace of last year, but I've been running 15 miles a week in zone 1 for the past two months. It's not bad for that, right?

  • I had a really nice, warm shower after the race in the high school locker room.

  • I got home and my kids were so happy to see me, and my husband had cleaned the kitchen, cleaned my car, and gotten groceries. I almost cried. His actions made me that happy. Take note, husbands!

A Couple Bad Things:
  • I'm really sore.

  • I got outkicked by like 10 people in the last quarter mile.

  • I didn't get to meet Nitsirk because I was so antsy about warming up.
  • The Patriots lost. (I know this doesn't have to do with the race, but you know, it's part of the day. I don't care really, I kinda of like it when the underdog wins, but the hub. is really sad.)

I will provide a more entertaining and detailed race report very soon!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Tomorrow I Race!

Last year I ran the Mid-Winter 10 Mile Cape Classic up in Maine. 

I had an awesome race, finishing in 1:11:4something/ 7:11 pace. I felt so strong. I remember it was bitterly cold that day. I had the beginnings of Achilles Tendinitis, but I was ignoring it. In the next week it became full blown and I had to take a full week off from running and enter physical therapy. 

This year's race will likely not go so well. I'm not in the rocking shape I was in at this time last year. Still, I'm so excited. I'll get up early and drive the 2.5 hours to the start, drinking my coffee and listening to the end of Through A Glass Darkly, the somewhat cheesy novel I'm listening to in the car. I'll see Ange and some new blogger friends like Mindy and Speedy and Nitsirk, and after the race I'll have lunch with Ange, her family and my good friend from high school, Alina. I hope it's a good day, and I hope I will allow myself to be proud and happy with my pace/time, no matter how much slower it is than last year! 

I have to remember that not being super fast right now is a part of the master plan. I need to peak in August, not January. Right now I'm just building an aerobic base. Remind me of this when I lament my race time in my report. 

 I don't know if you all do this, but lately I've been having massive delusions of grandeur. Winning races and heading to Kona just don't seem impossible right now. This could be because I'm in a rest week. Whenever I'm resting I feel so full of energy that I start imagining that at my next race it will be revealed that I'm as good as Kate Major or Michellie Jones. Sponsors will knock at my door and offer to get me a new Tri Bike and coaches from all over the country will contact me hoping I will allow them to coach me. I spent a lot of time figuring out who will be some of my main competition in my age group at Timberman 70.3 this year. There are at least four women I know of who are returning to compete this year who posted faster times than me last year or the year before (not including Ange, who will likely beat me, but who isn't a "threat" because she's Ange!) My current plan is to smoke everyone in my age group,including these women, but except Ange, who will also smoke everyone, and go under 5 hours. I'm dreaming big. 'Til Tomorrow.