Monday, April 11, 2011

I will beat you long run if it's the last thing I ever do

Me and runs longer than 12miles don't get along. We are like two cats in a box and trying to claw each others eyes out too stubborn to concede victory to the other. Last week ended up being my first 40 mile week running week ever, something I attempted last month but failed miserably at but it seems I am making progress either with my stubbornness to not give up or actually becoming a better runner. I have been following a suggestion given to me on Runners World to increase one of my midweek runs so that my long run is not double or triple the rest of my weekly runs. This means I am still getting my 5milers in on Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday but I have increased my Wednesday run to 8miles. That meant this week to get my first 40mile week all I needed was a 12miler for my long run instead of the dreaded 15miler.

This 12 miler would also become my very first run at the butt crack of dawn to prepare for doing the same during the summer. This will likely be a fairly common thing come summer when it's still 100 degrees until after 10pm at night and the only way to get a long run in without roasting is to do it at the butt crack of dawn. Up until now all my long runs have taken place at no earlier than 10am and normally more in the afternoon around 1pm or 2pm.

But my wife worked Sunday at 10am and it was just me and the kid all day tell after 7pm so that means for my 12miler I set an alarm for 6:30am to get the run in before she went to work. I had hoped to do it Saturday instead and have the grandparents watch the kid but by the time they showed up all I had time was for my normal 5miler. They had cousins down for a tennis match and it kept getting rained out and they didn't want to take Oliver out in the rain and the cold.

The worst part was for some reason it decided to get cold Friday and rain all weekend. My run on Friday was 38 degrees and a slight drizzle rain the entire way. My run Saturday was 42 degrees but with a biting cold wind that made it feel 10 times colder than Friday and both of these runs were done in the afternoon which makes me go oh dear lord how cold is going to be at 7am.

It ended up being one of most single miserable runs I have had to date. It was 30 degrees yesterday morning when I started and the sun wasn't up yet, although it was up within 15 minutes of me running. I think it got to around 35-40 degrees by the end of my run near 9am. I also think I am getting old, not because of the run but because my body is getting one of those old men kind of schedules when it comes to using the bathroom in the morning. Race mornings I normally have to do two rounds because my body is like uh huh mister it's to early you need to wait but we will give you half a round and then see you in a hour or so. So do one when you get up and then round 2 when you hit wherever your racing but that doesn't work just for a training run. I got 3 miles in and was like oh dear lord someone kill me now, luckily I was only about a quarter mile from my house at this point as my loop takes me near my house at that point. I did have to walk that quarter of a mile or risk crapping my pants (too visual oh well sue me). So with a detour to the house and luckily being close enough I didn't have to resort to missing a sock somewhere on my run like some have mentioned (use your imagination where that sock disappears too).

At some point I realized I wore my beanie too long as I am not used to having a hat on my head and was getting very hot and light headed from it once I started to warm up. I finally pocked the beanie around mile 7 or so and that made me feel better. Mile 7 takes me past my house once more and even though I had a gatorade stashed in the bushes I was like I am not touching that nasty stuff right now as my stomach never really healed from the 3 miles of trying to get home to use the restroom. But I think I like my new idea of having a gatorade with my breakfast as it seemed to help no cramps even though I did 12.5 miles, I guess getting some electrolytes in prerun or race will help I am going to have to try that on my half on the 30th. I think it was somewhere around mile 8 that I got jelly like legs and was like how the heck is it so freaking humid when its not even 40 degrees (it did rain non stop the last two days, although the sky was clear and the sun was out Sunday morning) I didn't even think it was possible to get humid when it's that bloody cold.

Mile 9 resulted in me very grumpily at this point swearing at a car. For some reason people around here attack every stop sign with the intention of running them and only slowing down or stopping if absolutely forced to. Then they act all shocked and surprised when crap now I got to jam on my break because I just about hit someone running or biking. Well I was very grumpy by this point and I yelled very loudly STOP SIGN YOU %$&$& $*%&$*( emphasized with me pointing to where the stop sign was. Some days I swear I feel like I am playing a live action version of frogger and it's just a matter of time when these frakers who rush every stop sign actually hits me, oh wait that already happened last summer. That actually made me feel a little better and I know they heard me because I was very loud yelling and standing in front of their car from where they almost hit me, I was already in the intersection when they came rushing the stop sign had they bothered to slow for it they would have easily have seen me.

I don't know if getting to yell at a car made me feel better but the last 3 miles went by with ease. I actually ended up doing 12.5 miles with the half mile detour for the bathroom. So early morning run one down, sucky and miserable but still a success. Got home took a shower, fed the baby, played with him and once he was napping I also took a nap.

I am still daunted by the marathon and anything longer than 12 miles but I will beat this darn road block if it kills me. This week I have 43 miles planned M,T,F,SAT 5milers, WED 8miler and Sunday the dreaded 15miler once more, going to kick it's arse once and for all.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sand Hollow Aquatic Center Sprint Triathlon, I'M A TRIATHLETE

I love that some days that I am still so new to this running and racing thing that I am a total goober at times. I did my packet pickup Friday night for my sprint triathlon and it was 3 lines, the first line you got your goodie bag and tech shirt, the second line you got your bibs and the third line you got your tracking chip.

I had my 18 month old son with me at first he was really good as he was in awe of all the new people around us but after awhile he just wanted down to go run around. So I am half listening to the advice and trying to keep an eye on him. There is two distances a sprint and a beginner (half the distances of all the sprint legs) distance. I hear the lady tell the guy in front of me black bibs are for the beginner distance and the red bibs are for the sprint distance. Well the lady gives me one of each a black and red bib and I am like huh. And I am looking at the back of the black bib and it's got tape on it and has the my number twice and i am like that is the weirdest bib I have ever seen.

I tell her I am not going to switch clothes for the bike and run portions and I don't need two bibs and I am supposed to have the red bib. I am such a goober the black bib is to go on your bike and the red bib to run in. Took me a minute to get that ohhhhhhhh moment.

So then I get in the next line and I am like why are they giving out finisher medals before the race even begins. I nearly abandon the line and just go home thinking I can just grab a finisher medal after the race because my son is running all over the place and I am having to chase him down constantly. I toss my "finishers medal" in my bag and scoop up the rambunctious rapscallion and head home. I get home and go to look at my "finishers medal" and realize it's actually my timing chip. It is a little Velcro band that goes around your ankle and only half paying attention it looked like the ribbon for a medal. And I nearly left without it.

The mistakes would continue from there as I had planned to be in bed my 10pm with a 5:30 alarm already set. Well vegging on the couch and enjoying some Lego Star Wars the Complete Saga on the Wii had me missing my planned bedtime by 30 minutes. Which I didn't worry about too much because I never sleep that good before a race anyways with the butterflies and jitters doing numbers on me.

Woke up around 5:20 before my alarm went off, like I said I never sleep that good race night and everything was going good, got a quick shower, got all my stuff together, made myself a breakfast to eat at the event center (PB&J sandwich and a banana my normal pre-race breakfast of late). Loaded the bike in the car and headed over to the Aquatic center with the wife. Got all my stuff set in the transition area and went over to the picnic tables to chill pre-race and eat my breakfast. Since it is a pool triathlon they had set the heats to be in four different times and I got the last time 8:15am. So I had plenty of time to eat breakfast but that is when I realize I forgot my swim goggles (I keep them in a little black bag with all the rest of my swim stuff in the car hence it not being with my race stuff).

I make the trek back to the car, grab my goggles and head to stand in a line for the restroom. I swear this event was nothing but endless lines at time, from packet pickup, to the restrooms to waiting for your turn at a lap lane in the pool. The wife is a little grumpy and tired and I figure I would go get in line early for my swim so she didn't have to wait around as long. It didn't make that much of a difference as even though I lined up at 7:25 for my turn at a lap lane it wasn't until after 8:30 that I actually got in the pool and I was still nearly one of the last 50 or so swimmers in a race of 700.

I didn't train for the swim as much because I always knew it was my strongest discipline (plus right now the chlorine does hell on my allergies) but that didn't squash the fear of me being the weakest swimmer there. That was of course tell I watched some of the swimmers during the hour I waited for my turn, from back strokes to one kid that was in the way shallow end of the lap lanes and seemed to walk a good portion of the swim. There was tons of weak swimmers there and probably the reason it took so long to get a lane. I felt bad for the one kid because he obviously shouldn't have been in the sprint distance and someone should have just signed him up for the beginner, and I kept thinking what if he had been in the 12 foot water like I ended up being in he might have drowned, poor kid. I actually saw that I was easily in the top %5-10 as far as the swim went and even without a lot of training cranked the swim out in a fairly good time.

While waiting for my turn in the swim the Race director for the Saint George marathon who I have been talking on facebook with gave me several shout outs as she knew this was my first triathlon and was there last night at the packet pickup. This resulted in a lot of people congratulating me and knowing my name during the race and after the race. That was kind of cool, I almost felt like a celebrity and had at least three people come up to me and tell me about there weight loss and also gave advice to someone while I was there too. She also mentioned that I signed up for the marathon yesterday, gotta love shout outs.

Swim went great and headed over to the transition area. Who knew putting socks on wet feet with nowhere to sit might be one of the toughest things I did all day, it almost makes you want to be a barefoot runner but not sure if there is barefoot bikers.

In the race booklet and on the race website it said the bike was mostly flat with a few rolling hills. I cry liar liar pants on fire for that statement. The bike course was nothing but rolling hills, which is fun on the downhill but sucks every time you have to climb another hill. It was a minute or two of climbing for 30 seconds of wheeeeee like 20 times during the bike portion. On my first lap I had a volunteer that looked to motion me to turn which is what they were doing when turns came up but instead she was motioning for a car to stop so I did detour for a quarter of a block on the bike ride and had my goober moment.

Bike went pretty quick but at this point it seemed that I was almost DFL, it was two laps and you could see who was behind you on the second lap and there wasn't many people behind me (the joy of starting so late you feel DFL all day even though I was nowhere near being DFL in the overall standings). They also only had water stations on the run portion and man does a GU make you fraking thirsty ***note to self by a water bottle thingamajig for bike. I always knew the bike portion would be my weakest link but it was surprising by how much. It was a combination of me not being that great on the bike and not having the best of bikes to race with. You could see the difference people only putting in 3/4 of the effort I was were still passing me on their much better and much more suited bikes. Oh well I got my revenge and ran past them on the run with my more suited and much better legs haha.

Get to transition 2 and this went great, no darn socks to pull on wet feet. Wonderful wife who spent 4 hours probably bored out of her mind was there to hand me my water bottle and ipod for the race (did use the ipod just because I had the wife to hand it to me).

Hit my first aid station and I now have my water bottle so figure I would grab a Gatorade instead. Oh you hated Gatorade you are still my nemesis and enemy. One drink of that Gatorade and my stomach felt like a rock and I had to walk the first little bit of the run. Once my stomach decided to stop acting up I was actually able to get a good run going on (I know I was under 30 minutes for the 5k portion) and got to pass quite a few people a rarity for the day (I did pass two people on the bike portion but only two and I got passed by a lot more). It was all rocky music all the time during the run. Some people must have thought who is this lunatic running a 9mm punching the air like a nutcase (and yes I did punch the air, rocky music does that for me).

Race to the finish line and the wife who was so patient is waiting for me there. Mill around and wait for my results of course to find out they don't have my age group again and I have to update it at the scorers table for my 3rd straight STG race. Finishing time was 1:45:28, not sure on my splits and transition times (first transition time must have been horrible because of those darn socks) yet as I can't find those results online yet. I am extremely happy with the time because 1:45:xx was my stretch goal and my overall goals for the race was to finish in under 2 hours and have fun both of which I did.

I am not completely tanked, I am tired but I don't feel like I couldn't go out and get a run in. My legs felt a little stiff so I took my son on a three mile walk up to the grocery store and around the neighborhood in the stroller. I bought the wife her favorite Easter candy at the store and made her a note and will surprised her with it when she get home, she was amazing and waited for me for hours at the butt crack of dawn. I kidded with her at least for the marathon since we shuttle out you can just sleep in and meet me at the finish line. That is one great thing about a point to point race for sure.

I finally caved in and took some allergy meds around 5pm knowing it was going to knock me out and I was watching the kid but at least he is napping so I could lay down. My allergies did a number on me once more, no swimming until they are gone. Went to bed around 9:30 pm doped up on allergy meds and woke up so stuffed up I can't even blow my nose without having to use both nostrils at the same time. I can't wait for my run because that always clears me up a little, all the sweating and opening my breathing cavities.

it was a great day to become a triathlete.