Thursday, May 26, 2011


Yes, well. It's been a long time since I last posted.

There should be some great reason for it. But there isn't. I've been busy coaching. I've been busy parenting. I've been busy training. I've been busy playing with and walking and not training my dogs. I've been busy reading... some books with literary merit, some books with little; I've been busy cruising Facebook. I've been busy cleaning this shit hole of a house.

Oh wait... scratch that last one. I guess I haven't been doing too much cleaning--that would be why this place is a shit hole.  We even have rodents. I discovered a mouse taking up lodging in the dog food container. The little dude scared the piss out of me. He looked at me with those pools of big black, innocent eyes....and I screeched.

Since I have taken such a long blogging hiatus,  I feel it important that I provide a truly insightful, interesting, illuminating post.  Alas, I'm not sure I'm capable of doing so. My tiny brain appears to be vacant, even in its far reaches.

One thing on the busyness front: I seem to spend an inordinate amount of time preparing. I prepare lunches, I prepare meals, I prepare for my workouts, I prepare for the breakfast the evening before... If I added the time I spend each day in preparation, I believe the amount would be shocking to both you and me.

Add to this that I believe I might have a slight OCD issue going on with certain types of planning.

For example, I could go out Saturday night (let's just pretend for a moment that actually ever happens) get completely lit, arrive home at 3 am stumbling, and I guarentee I would still set up the coffee machine so all I have to do is press ON in the morning, place my vitamins and other supplements in my cereal bowl, take out a coffee mug and put it next to the coffee machine and the sugar bowl, take out my cereal (Grape-nuts and Go-Lean), my box of golden raisins and a banana, and place them next to the cereal bowl (with vitamins/supplements stored neatly in it).

Exhibit A:

I do this every night. Sometimes I even prepare for breakfast the next day directly after I finish breakfast. I kid you not.

Breakfast preparation is not the only obsessive preparation in my daily existence, either. I must make the kids lunches for the next day as soon as they arrive home. I must lay out what I'm going to wear the next day even though I work from home and wear sweats.
And I spend incredible amounts of time preparing for workouts.

  • I get on Gmap pedometer and prepare my route.
  • I make the bottles. I make extra bottles just in case.
  • I prepare the fuel belt. I put the water and/or sports drink in the little 8 oz flasks and store them in the fridge, and I make sure the fuel belt has the necessary gels in its pocket and is placed next to my running gear.
  • I put all bars/gels/food to be taken on route for a ride in a cereal bowl which I place in the cabinet to keep it safe from dogs (and mice).
  • I charge the iphone and use an elastic hair band to attach my license and bank card to it
  • I lay out every item of clothing I will need, including matching socks.
  • I pump my bike tires.
  • I put the aero bottle on the bike.
  • I put the Garmin computer on the bike.
  • I put my gloves and sunglasses in my helmet.
  • I place my bike shoes next to my helmet.
  • I lay out transition wear including my little Nano and my Garmin and my untied sneakers with fresh socks in them.
  • I pack my swim bag making sure I have two clean suits, two fresh towels, my workout written out and stored in a zip-loc bag, my pool ID card, toiletries, a razor, extra caps and goggles (I have about 20 caps so I can always match my cap to my suit) and a gel and water bottle just in case I need it.
Now, lest you think this is just a classic case of OCD, I should point out that this obsessive preparation does not extend to everything in my life. For example, I don't plan my meals except breakfast, and I don't plan my family's meals either. I don't plan when I'm going to the grocery store--I just go when it is clear that the family will soon starve to death if I don't make a trip. I don't plan to go the library, yet I find myself there at least two times a week. I'm often late for appointments, and my system for remembering what I need to do on a daily basis is on a rudimentary desk calendar underneath my computer (this strange and antiquated method left over from my teaching days), and frankly, is not consulted nearly enough.

So why the obsession with preparing for breakfast, what I will wear, my kids' lunches, and workouts?

I think I know the reason. Do you know the reason?
Hint: the reason is not that I am simply obsessed with food and working out (though I am admittedly and obviously obsessed with those things....)

Next post: in which I congratulate you if you figured it out, and I enlighten you if you did not. (And I enlighten you even if you could give a rat's ass... :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Sudbury Spring Sprint Race Report

I love this little race.

It's super short. (400 yards in a pool, 7 tame miles on the bike, and 2.2 flattish miles on the run.)
It's close to home.
It's the first triathon I ever did.
What's not to love?

It's also a race at which I can measure myself from year to year. Because it's a pool swim the course is literally exactly the same every time I race it.  And so..... drum-roll...... I present my Sudbury Sprint Stats from 2007-2011.... tad-dah!

Note: They don't separate out transition times in this race, so each split appears a little slower than it actually was b/c it includes some transition time, too.

2007: 48:11
swim, 6:22, bike, 25:16, run 16:33
6th AG

2008: 44:56
swim, 6:02, bike, 22:33, run, 16:30
2nd AG

2009: 42:06
swim, 5:42, bike, 20:51, run 15:33
2nd AG, 2nd woman

2010--Didn't race. Did Florida 70.3

2011: 41:11
swim, 5:47, bike 20:06, run 15:13
1st AG, 2nd woman, 10th overall

In 2009 I came in second (barely--my friend Tracy was right behind me by like two seconds...) This year I came in second again. But I lost to different women. In 2009 I lost to a woman in my AG. This year I lost to an up and coming 19-year-old ITU girl. Grrrr.

I did have a great race, though and a big P.R. (Thanks, Kurt!)

The swim:

Okay, this didn't go so well, I admit. I felt that totally hypoxic I am going to die I must slow down right now feeling just 75 yards into the swim. Not Good. Then a guy passed me. Also not good. Then another guy passed me. Really really also not good. The second guy (both were teenagers) splashed water in my mouth as he passed and as I tried to take a breath. Not his fault, but I inhaled water and had to stop momentarily as a sputtered and coughed. That sucked. 

I will add here that because it is short and a pool swim, many high school swimmers seem to do this race. And high school swimmers are faster than me--by a lot--as evidenced by the two young boys whose bubbles I ate.

After I got my sputtering under control I continued to chug along, praying no teenaged people would tickle my feet again. Finally I reached the last length, and I dragged myself out of the water at the end, clicked my watch, noted it was a 5:29--which was slow, but not so slow considering I had stopped and choked, and then hauled ass as fast as I could to get to the timing mats outside so my swim time wouldn't appear to be pathetic.

The Bike:

I still can't get on my damn bike well. I'm sure it's painful for onlookers to watch. I run like the wind and then come to a dead stop to get on. Once finally on I clicked my watch and began to push. WOAH. Why were my legs on fire?    Oh! Right. I'm racing! I looked at my Garmin to check my watts, but I couldn't even see the numbers because I was moving and working so hard. I passed a girl. I passed a guy. I turned a corner. My quads burned. I tried to keep my panting under control. Then a guy passed me.
Ummm. What? No. Nobody in this race can pass me. This is a small town race. I. will. beat. you. in. the. small. town. race. MUST.BEAT. MAN. ON. BIKE. GET. EVIL. MAN. ON. BIKE. GET. MAN. GETTTTTT. MANNNNNN. It took me a few minutes but I passed him back, and didn't see him again. I passed a girl. I passed another girl. I passed a guy. etc. And then it was over.
My watch read 22.5 mph, 18 minutes and something. Okay.
I'll take it.

The Run:
I also don't get OFF my bike well in case you were wondering. I stumbled off the bike and ran to the timing mats. I noted my hands were shaking in transition and I had trouble unbuckling my helmet and putting on my shoes. Go Go Go! my mind reeled. Go! Go! Go!

I ran out on the course and heard my kids and Andy scream my name. oh! Hi! Hi!

I hurt. And I coudn't run fast. GO LEGS! COME ON LEGS..... GO! They sort of went. How come running off the bike feels so GOOD in practice and feels so HARD in a race? (Ummm... maybe b/c you are going all out in the sprint, I know, I know.) My legs really did feel like bricks. And my breaths came in sharp, painful little gasps. Every person I passed must have thought I sounded on the verge of collapse.

At about mile 1.75 my legs finally started to come around. I had .4 miles to go at that point.
There is a reason I seldom do sprints.....

I saw Andy and Jordan on the sidelines cheering as I ran in. Go Mommy! Go!
I clicked my watch and saw the 41:11. I did it! A PR! Even with that crap swim!

Hours later I found out I was second. I had hoped for first....and RATS. I had lost it to the 19 year old... all in the swim. :( But I did have the fastest bike split for women. That felt good. :)

I collected my award (a Fuel Belt which I gave to Jordan--and she was so excited. She always wants to use mine for her one mile runs around the block), and watched my friends get theirs.

A great Mother's Day for me.