Friday, September 14, 2007

Cram before the Exam

Yesterday I tried to cram in a bunch of workouts into one day because Wednesday went to hell in a handbasket and I didn't do crap. And this weekend is questionable because of all my family obligations (sister coming in town, not 1 but TWO soccer games, PLUS Shay's birthday party, not to mention ACL!)

So I started with a ride in the neighborhood. The only bummer about riding in my neighborhood is that no matter which way you go it's nothing but hills, hills and more hills. (Kris would love it here....)

So I strapped it on and went for a nice 14-miler through the hills of Riverplace, Westminister Glen, down City Park road to the lake and back. Fortunately, it wasn't super hot (yet) and the views were beautiful. The pic below is one of my favorite views on this ride because just as you start the screaming downhill, you see the monster uphill way off in the distance. Get aero and hang on! WOO HOO!

Following the bike, I needed to get in a run, so I headed down to the H&B trail. I decided to run two laps of the 4 mile loop, like we did at the end of last weekend's brick. My main goal was to find my nice and easy pace, negative split the laps and drop the hammer for the last mile.

Since I can't ever seem to find all the mile markers, I just checked my split at lap 1, then again at mile 7 (the footbridge). Here's what I got:

Lap 1: 35:45 (blistering, I know...)

Miles 4-7: 26:48

Mile 8: 7:18

Lap 2 Time: 34:06

Total Time: 1:09:52

So what's curious is that after 7 miles, I was able to run a 7:18 (Many thanks to the two random guys who became my rabbits at the foot guys ROCK!). This clearly indicates to me that my nice and easy pace is my old nice and easy pace. For some reason I haven't got it programmed into my head that I can hang on for a good distance at a faster pace! WTH?

Still felt pretty good after the 8-miles (and babysitter was still on the clock..), so I headed over to the pool and logged a mile swim: 27:07. Having not been in the water since the Austin Tri, I'll take it!!

I think I need my new theme song needs to be Salt -n- Peppa's "Push it!" to remind me to giddyap on the run. So if you see me running and lollygagging around... PLEASE yell, cajole, curse, laugh, or whatever you'd like and tell me to "Push it REAL GOOD!"

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Through the eyes of a child...

Sometimes it is just damn funny the things that kids say... and just when you think they never listen to ANYTHING you say..ever... it shows up. Here are a few funny moments from the past couple of days...

(As Shay and I are riding our bikes to school)
1. Shay: "Isn't this great? We are doing two things at once. Exercising and helping the environment! We should ride more and drive your big car less, mom." (out of the mouths of babes..)

2. Coming to a screeching halt on our bikes as a roadblock of kids has formed on the sidewalk. Everyone is huddled up and peering at the ground. My first thought was, "uh oh, somebody bit it!" As we got closer, everyone was watching the BIGGEST, FUZZIEST, black, spikey caterpillar cross the sidewalk. After the friend made it safely to the other side, there were murmurs of "Cool!" "That caterpillar was HUGE!" "Awesome!" (it was kinda cool actually....)

3. Upon hearing that I remembered to buy bologna from the store and was making him a bologna sandwich for his lunch box, Shay's response: "This is going to be the best day EVER!" (ah...the simple things in life...)

4. After fending off repeated attacks from his little brother Devon, Shay exclaimed "Devon! You need to treat others how you want to be treated yourself!" (how does he match the same tones and inflections I use so well???)

5. Shay: "How come moms are always cleaning up?" (damn good question...)

6. After having my hair done by the wonderful folks at JR Salon, I went to pick up Devon from school. His response, "ooooohhhhh Mommy! You brushed your hair!" (hmmmm...maybe I've been wearing ponytails and caps too much lately...)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

My First 7!!

I know for some of you, it probably isn't a big deal...but for me, I AM PUMPED!

Yesterday's track workout was the 2-mile Time Trial. Always fun, always nerve-racking. It is challenging to get this thing right! In the past I've made all the classic blunders, going out to fast and cratering at the end, going out to slow and leaving gas still in the tank. How to get it just right? Don't know..still searching...

This time, I actually combined blunders by starting out too fast AND leaving gas in the tank at the end. Go figure. If there's a way to screw it up, I'll find it.

HOWEVER, I am totally excited because I ran my first 7:00 mile EVER! (at least as far back as I can recall...there may have been some sub-7's in my past when outrunning friendly police officers...but that's a blog for another day...) AND I didn't get lapped by Triscuit, Glenda or Kris! WOO HOO!!!

Here are my splits:
(Mile 1 - 7.00.94!!)

Total Time: 14:13 (vs last time of 14:57!)

While I was hoping for 14:00, I feel good about the improvement over last time.

Big thanks to Kris for being my rabbit and for Wiley's one lap check list that helped me kick it to 1:41 for the final lap!!!!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Back in the Saddle -- AWESOME WORKOUT WEEKEND!!

What a crazy, awesome weekend!

As some of you may have noticed, I haven't posted a race report from the Austin Tri...that's pretty much because mentally I wasn't really there. I pretty much just mailed it in...and the results definitely speak to that. Ms. Lord, however, had an AWESOME race and kicked some serious ass! I graciously bowed to her superior performance that day. Even Tiger has put a green jacket on Phil.

However, now that mom is out of the hospital and recovering well, (Granted she's staying with me at my house..and we all know staying with your parents can be...) and all the boys took off to Ohio for the weekend, I had a chance to re-focus on my training and buckle down in preparation for the Half IM in October.

After a relatively restful recovery week, I was ready to go on the long run on Saturday with the Marathon group. We did 10 easy and it felt AWESOME! I actually haven't run 10 in a long time this summer so I wasn't quite sure how it would go. But we kept a nice, steady pace and talked the whole time...exactly how you are supposed to.

Paula Newby-Fraiser said one of the keys to her many successes was that she would go HARD on the hard days and easy on the easy days. It was challenging at times, but would always pay off.

Plus, I knew I needed to go easy because Sunday morning we were going to do race distance simulation which meant 56miles on the bike and 13 mile run. (In theory...) Yikes.

After a wonderful and relaxing Saturday of chillin, eating and watching football, I was ready for Sunday's adventure. Because you know with this group, you can plan all you want, but you have to be prepared to just roll with whatever happens.

So we're gathering to get ready to roll and before we even leave the parking lot, we have our first injury. JJ has difficulty getting out of his clips, crashes to the ground and proceeds to bleed profusely from his knee. OUCH. (and haven't well all done that?) After some good-natured laughs, some owie spray and a few bandaids we're ready to roll.

The course was to be the damn loop plus a bit. We were slow, but steady with plenty of stops. 3 flats, a dropped bottle and 19 gloves. (Although there is some discrepancy on the actual glove count..but we definitely think it is a record.)

The important part was that I ate...and ate...and ate...and drank...and drank...and ate...and ate... You get the idea. My biggest bonks have come when I forget to eat. I mean, really, no matter how awesome and powerful your engine is...if you have no gas, it will not go. period. Seems like a simple concept...not sure why it has taken me so long to figure that out...

By the time we started our run, it was late in the afternoon and hot as hell. I mean really, really, really hot. The plan was to run the 4-mile trail loop three times. I donned my iPod, hit my Go! playlist and started picking them up and putting them down. Found a steady grove and just went. I made sure to stop at the water stops and hydrate up. Even by mile 2, I was complete drenched in sweat. But my legs felt good so I kept going.

Not a blistering pace, by ANY stretch of the imagination..but it was steady. I just kept Kris in my sights and just kept going. Finished my first loop in 38min. Blistering, I tell ya. But the important part was that I felt GREAT! After a brief water and pit stop I set out on my second loop. Turns out only Menard and I were going for another round, so the rest of the team got a headstart on the beer cooler.

I started out a little slower on the next loop thinking I still had two more loops to go....but then about half way through I thought about everyone else being done and I didn't want them to have to wait for me to do 2 more. So I decided that I would stop after two. 8 miles after 50+ wasn't all that bad, right??

Since I was going to be finishing, I decided to flush out the tank a little on the last mile. So I hit my split when I crossed the footbridge, dialed up some good tunes and started moving. My last mile split was 7:59!! WOO HOO!!!

And again, more importantly, it felt AWESOME! I think yesterday I finally got the whole nutrition thing under control. I just need to make sure I remember what I did and do it again!!

Thanks to everyone who ran, biked, chatted and supported me over the weekend. Y'all ROCK!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Mom Update

After a few extra days in ICU and now moved into her private room on the third floor, here's how I know Mom is doing great. (Also keep in mind that mom is an RN herself and has worked at Seton, where she is staying, for 25 years....)

1. "Dionn, can you get out the bathrobe with the black and white zebra stripes on it, I'm expecting company today."

2. "The food really sucks! Sneak out and get me some fried rice, pot stickers and sweet and sour chicken."

3. "I asked for some hot tea, but when it finally got here it was cold. Guess I'll have to wait until the next shift and see if they are any better. (sigh)"

4. "You guys ordered ESPN Gameplan at the house already, right? Do they broadcast in HD?"

5. "Are the boys packed for their trip? Make sure you charge the DVD player. Don't forget to pack an extra Binkifier (what Devon calls his pacifier... Binkie+Pacifier=Binkifier). What's the weather like in Ohio? Do they need long sleeves? Do you have any long sleeve shirts for them yet? Did you remember to tell the school that Shay will not be there on Friday? Make sure you check with the teacher to see if he has any homework he should take. How many absent days can he have anyway? Are you taking the stroller? Does Mimi have a big boy carseat for Devon yet? Are they going to the Moeller football game on Friday too? Are Shay and Devon going to sleep in the downstairs bedroom together like they did before? What time does their flight leave? Will Shay have to leave school early today? Is it direct or do they have to connect in Atlanta? It's going to be a long day for them, isn't it? What time to do they get back on Sunday? Shay's going to be tired on Monday morning for school. Has he done his Reading testing at school yet? I'd hate for him to have to do that on Monday since he'll be so tired. How was Back to School night last night? Do you like his teacher? Did she say anything specific about Shay or was it just general information? (breath) I hope the boys have fun in Ohio this weekend.

Mom...gotta love her.
ps-> Thanks everyone for all your kind words, thoughts, prayers and hugs over the last week. We (especially me) couldn't have done it without y'all.