Posts filed under ‘racing’

blah

trying to come back from a mental “blah” is harder than from a physical injury! i’m seriously trying to find a rhythm but it ain’t easy. two weeks ago i managed to get in only two runs. of only four miles each. and one ride of 18. but i also had a last minute visit from the bunny which of course meant patron. lots of it. and the once or twice a year i get to see her makes the over drinking, over eating and under exercising worth it.

this past week was a little bit better. only two runs again but this time four and eight, a 20 mile ride and a first dip back in the pool. i have to admit i kind of missed the water. especially in the hell heat of summer we’ve been enduring. i had hoped to manage somewhere around 800 meters comfortably. but ended up making it a full 1600! barely. at 1,550 i heard the lifeguard whistle and knew the storm i was racing was about to beat me but she let me finish my down lap to complete the mile.

the goals this coming week. (yes goals. i think setting measurable markers again will help) are:

swim: two times 1600m each
bike: two times with a 25 mile long
run: three times with a 10 mile long

with at least one bike to run brick. the only problem i foresee facing is this …

Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 6.50.55 AM

we are, literally supposed to have solid rain for the next three days. i guess it’s the treadmill and bike trainer for me. blah.

 

August 8, 2016 at 5:54 am Leave a comment

accountability

it’s time to come back. to here and to the run. and since the two have always gone hand-in-hand, it’s my last ditch effort on accountability before i admit defeat. i have forgotten that i am an athlete. sure, i run. sometimes. a few miles here. 15 miles there. it’s inconsistent at best and i’m no longer ok with it.

back in january. good god it’s been that long since i’ve written. i ran the croom zoom 100 miler. correction, i attempted to run the croom zoom 100. i try not to call that day a failure. i made it further than the body had ever allowed. 62 miles. but i didn’t make it the 100 i had set out for and in my mind, the means i failed.

my knee was shot. i mean SHOT. and after a few weeks down i did the obligatory X-ray that found arthritis. bone on bone. minor but enough that i had to consider options. after months of insurance company battles that option ended up being a series of injections of a joint lubricant. since then i’ve struggled. physically i’ve been ok. not 100 percent but good enough. but mentally i’ve yet to regain what i lost.

but i’m ready. not sure exactly what for yet. i toy with the idea that i still want to do a full iron man. but i hate that i have yet to check the 100 off my bucket list. then there’s still that pesky sub-4 marathon. do i dare leave the comfort and security of the woods and hit the road again in quest of speed?

but i’ve waffled over the debate for too long. so a few days ago i made a commitment. a small one. just a sprint tri in october. but a commitment nonetheless. yesterday i got back on the bike for the first ride in more than a year. and this week comes the water. i’m also on the waiting list for AO. a 100 mile race in december. that one is a “we’ll see” at best. it’s a free race and i can say no at any time so no skin off my back to stay wait listed as long as i need to decide.

hopefully i can commit to things. the races and the words. i miss both.

July 24, 2016 at 6:38 am Leave a comment

100 training: week 4

so we all knew it was going to happen. it’s not like me to keep in check. to behave and actually follow a plan. saturday called for 14 miles … i did six. sunday called for five miles … i did 30. excessive? yes. but i couldn’t pass up the invite to do a birthday night run with andyM, tavi and a few others. and in my defense i am using a very light training plan that could probably use a little extra mileage here and there. and this coming week is likely going to be short. for starters i bailed on my run this morning. after a long weekend and a 30-miler a little extra sleep was just too tempting to pass up. and i have a tri this weekend so i’m not sure what kind of run mileage i can build in around it. and no, i haven’t swam or ridden once since my last! there’s a shocker huh? 😉

i felt decent on the 30. my ankle started to bother me around mile 20 which was probably a good thing as i had started contemplating throwing in a fourth loop and going for 40. but i was smart and stopped. and even more indicative of my increasing intelligence is that i went to the doctor today to have her reassess! she didn’t do new films but given where my pain is her thought is that it is still lingering joint issue from my talus rotation. chiro did a little more popping and adjusting and doctor gave me the all clear to keep training.

four weeks down. twenty to go.

 

September 2, 2014 at 3:09 pm Leave a comment

by the light of the moon

this past saturday night was the inaugural moon over croom. the race was a seven mile loop ~ 7.2 if you want to get technical ~ with seven, 14 and 21 mile options of which i was doing the 21 (duh). with 100 runner cap, i knew most of the people running. if not by name, pace and run, at least by face and facebook. i truly don’t miss the days of huge road runs and pretentious racers. the ultra trail running community is a different world. runners that run for the love of not just the sport but the people that go with it and i was surrounded by friends as we set off on what i almost saw as another weekend long run versus a race.

but there’s still a racer in me. a competitor. and almost immediately i had to talk myself out of self-dissapointment. the frenchman pulled ahead. the girl i ran with once who deemed herself slow left me in her dust. and i watched as multiple women disappeared into the woods ahead. i tried to remind myself that setting the pace is the smart way to run and that i was on some of my favorite trails and simply needed to enjoy but i found myself struggling with the desire to be better than i have been of late. it wasn’t long before i was alone. the slowest of the fast. or the fastest of the slow. i’ve never quite determined which group i don’t belong to.

i was lost in thought and almost screamed when the lone doe darted across the path directly in front of me. i quickly looked for others ~ both deer or human ~ and realized there were neither. she was mine. all mine. and i instantly had a flashback to an art project in seventh grade where we had to find and draw our sprit guide animal. naturally back then the equestrian in me picked a horse, but at that moment i had this strange connection to a creature i saw for a mere flash before she leapt into the brush and somehow she reminded me of why i was there.

i ran steady. not fast by any means. it was still daylight and it was hot as hell. but i kept relatively consistent. i finished loop one a few minutes over goal, doled out a couple sweaty hugs, shoved a few potato chips into my mouth and headed out for loop two. though completely uneventful, this was my strongest loop. slightly cooler, sun going down temps and daylight enough to still see the obstacles before me. i pushed it harder than loop one and made up the time i’d lost.

it wasn’t long into loop three that the headlight went on. somewhere up above there was a full moon. a super moon at that. but the clouds and trees left little light beyond the thin battery powered beam. darkness was upon the trails quickly but a few miles in i got what i had secretly come for. one minute it was pitch black. the next the woods were twinkling. i miss a lot about living up north ~ seasons, spring flowers, culture ~ but i was years into being a “floridian” before i noticed the absence of fireflies. and only recently i learned of the small windows of time and space to find them. and here was one. i couldn’t help but stop mid-trail and turn off my headlamp. i ached to chase after them. to catch them in cupped hand one by one and keep them in a glass jar with crude holes punched in the lid so they could breathe before releasing them back into the darkness. but i didn’t have a jar and i was mid-race so i simply ran as they lit up childhood memories that made me happier than i had been in a long time.

in that last loop i passed a few. and got passed by none. that consistent easy pace was paying off. as i battled the last mile ~ a treacherous narrow path of almost solid roots and overgrown grass ~ i watched as my expected time drifted by. i finished in 3:45. fifth female, 12th overall and fifteen minutes past goal. but i couldn’t have cared less.

a race called moon over croom no doubt needed  the reward of moon pies and cold blue moon. and before heading home i took the top off the jeep so at almost any moment the super moon was visible. it was well after 1 a.m. when i crawled into bed. exhausted but in a state of mind i can’t even explain. moon, by the way, was my first word ever. my mother would sit me by the window and i’d seek it out. ironic yet somehow relevant to a race that i can easily claim as the most perfect racing experience ever.

July 15, 2014 at 6:37 pm Leave a comment

100 percent nuts

back in december i paced the dillo at ancient oaks ~ his first hundred. i was 50k training and had a pretty solid base of mileage so i was able to run 42 miles with him. i could have done more. physically. but mentally i was wavering and given i was there to provide support not require it, i tapped out. but i was surprised at how easily i did 42 ~ my second longest run ever.

i’ve always said that if i ever claimed to want to do a hundred, someone needed to have me committed. not just is it seriously insane  to consider but the time commitment for that kind of training is extreme! but pacing gave me the itch and i started looking at options.

i have this weird preference when reaching for certain challenges. though some want to be surrounded by familiar places and faces. i opt to go elsewhere. so i wanted a race far from home but close enough to drive. and knowing my strengths and weaknesses i knew i needed cold weather and a flat course. i researched and read and found what i felt to be the perfect race. i lined up the dillo and a couple others as pacers. and i waited for registration to open. and waited. and waited. an email to the RD in april said a couple weeks. so i waited. and waited. another email early june went unanswered.

a part of me decided it was a sign. i’m not ready for this shit. 100 miles?? no way. one 50 miler and three 50ks by no means suggests i can run 100. but i kept researching and looking closer to home. and there was only one race that made sense. cold weather likely. flat. familiar. i ran the 100 furlong out there this past year. and supported runners until the cold numbed my body and sent me retreating home to my warm bed. so the other day i did it. in a moment of sheer insanity i registered for the long haul 100 miler on jan. 17, 2015.

that gives me six months. for the 24-week training plan i’m looking at, that’s plenty of time especially given my base mileage. but it’s not so much the time and distance i’m worried about. it’s the mindset. the belief. the self-confidence that i can do this. i’m faced with the challenge that in choosing this race i lose my pacers. they are all running it. and the importance of having the right support is so essential. but staying close to home means mini-me will be able to crew and other nonrunner friends ~ yes i have a few ~ can come cheer. though with a 20-mile out and back loop they won’t have a whole lot of opportunity to do so.

so after moon over croom this weekend i’ll take three weeks easy. and then life as i know it changes for 24-weeks of training ~ both physical and mental. a journey of 100 miles begins with a single-step … or a momentary lapse of sanity!

 

July 11, 2014 at 11:01 am 5 comments

catching up

i knew it had been awhile since i’d written but a month??? really? damn i guess time flies when you’re having fun. not that there’s been anything exceptionally fun in my life the last few weeks. well besides the fact that i turned another year older on june 17th. twenty nine years old … again! and again and again and … ah hell. fine! i’m 42. but i maintain i’m like a fine wine and i just get better with age 😉

for the most part, things are good. I’ve been running some decent mileage. nothing extreme but a couple weekends ago a 20 for the fun of it and last friday 17. with weekly averages in the upper 20s to low 30s. i keep telling myself i should cut back a bit before training really kicks in but things just don’t feel normal if a saturday doesn’t include a double digit jaunt through the woods. i did break my no summer racing plans and register for a race this coming satuday. i couldn’t resist! it’s a brand new event  called moon over croom on some of my favorite trails. with seven, 14 and 21 mile options i, no surprise, chose 21. it’s a night race put on by andyM with a total field cap of 100 runners complete with a full moon and with any luck fireflies 🙂 how could i resist!

i also finally broke in the new mountain bike! i couldn’t find anyone to go with me so i decided to just suck it up and go on my own. which i’ve done twice now! i think it’s pretty safe to say i’m hooked! which i knew i would be.

 

a different view

familiar trails. new view.

 

rider

rider

work has been busy! we’ve got some serious projects with crazy tight deadlines but it’s awesome. my boss put me as lead on a highly visible program so i’ve been busting my ass getting ready to launch a new marketing campaign late next week. i’ve been here more than two months now and the honeymoon period still hasn’t ended. it’s so amazing to find a job where you know you belong.

as for life, love and the pursuit of happiness things have been quiet. the iceman showed up at my birthday party but we really didn’t spend much time together. we’ve pretty much drifted to minimal surface communication and i’m ok with that. and i will admit, even though i’m sure i’ll get shit for it, that i went out with the hunter a couple weeks ago. not at his beckoning but at mine. we had gone back and forth a few times about risk versus reward of meeting for drinks and he kept getting cold feet so i took control of the situation. surprisingly it was a really fun night. drinks. pool. catching up. but it really came as no surprise to me at this point that i had no remorse, regrets or rekindled emotions about where we are and where we aren’t going. i love him. and told him as much. but i’m not in love with him anymore and i know without a doubt we don’t belong together.

so that’s life the last month. there is some big race news that i need to share but it requires a post of its own so i’ll write about it soon.

 

July 10, 2014 at 2:38 pm 1 comment

giving it another tri

this past weekend i returned to the scene of my very first triathlon ~ the dunedin tri ~ which i raced in 2012. i have to admit i didn’t train. at all. well except for the run that is. but i didn’t cut back my run mileage as planned. i rode a mere three times. and i never made it into the water. not once! i wasn’t worried per se. i’m a strong athlete and i knew i could finish with a decent time, but i didn’t expect anything worthy of writing home about.

i got there early and met up with the wingman who had registered last minute. i really hadn’t given being there alone much thought. sometimes i shy away from the events that lots of people i know register for. though i’m social, i think in some ways i’m a loner by nature, and i don’t like to get caught up in the group dynamics drama that usually unfolds. but i have to admit i was thrilled to have him there.

transition setup was a breeze and after we were settled, the wingman and i walked down to the water. last time i raced this event was horrid! rough waters and my own intense first-timer fears. but this year we couldn’t have asked for better swim conditions. trade-off was that it was hotter than hell but that to me was marginal concern versus drowning or getting eaten by a shark! 😉

in the few tris i’ve done, i’ve always made every effort to stay back of the pack in the swim. but this time, i opted to put myself front and center. with a mid-level tide and a sandbar that i knew would be emergency situation stand-able the entire swim i felt secure enough to give it a go. when my wave went off i went out hard, simply finding a way to deal with the feet in my face and the arms flailing over my legs and body. i won’t lie. it sucked! and there were moments of intense panic, but i kept my composure and found a decent stroke.

though most people seemed to hate the quarter-mile run in from swim exit to transition, i loved it. that couple of minutes allowed me to regain my wits and prep mentally for the ride. i stumbled a bit through T1. i’ve got to work on my transitions if i ever want to be a decent triathlete. and headed out for the two-loop, 12-mile ride.

riding a bike is a breeze. but riding a bike fast simply isn’t something i’m good at! i suppose a little regular cross training would help solve that problem but the bike remains my weakest discipline! but i pushed through and got through an uneventful ride in a decent time.

bring on the run. my strength! and even better is this race is largely trail. but trails with little to no shade and absolutely no air movement. thankfully i was smart enough to grab a freezing cold bottle of water from my cooler before running out of transition. i hate to carry when i run short distance but it was my saving grace no doubt. not to drink. most of it went down the back of my shirt to cool my body temps. but it made all the difference. i managed to pass a few in my age group. it’s certainly helpful how tris make you write your age across your calf. and with about a mile to go i saw a woman within striking distance and i vowed to catch her. i got to within a few strides and settled in mentally prepping for the kill i planned to make in the final stretch. with me behind her she had no idea i was her age group so i hoped she wouldn’t start to push too hard. but at about half a mile out she stopped for some reason and though i hoped she was spent and wouldn’t catch back up somehow i knew better. sure enough within seconds i felt her breathing down my neck until we were side by side. we ran that way. neither daring to pull ahead too fast too soon. but with a quarter mile to go she made a mistake … she lay the challenge on the table. we made the final turn and both broke into a full on sprint. somehow i can always find it and i LOVE having someone push me to it. when results were said and done, i beat her by half a second! that counts 🙂

i was sixth female in age group. original results showed seventh but someone got pulled off final results. not sure why. and when comparing this year to last time i raced this event, i’m both thrilled and disappointed.

swim
2012 — 13:05
2014 — 10:17

T1
2012 — 2:15
2014 — 2:12

bike
2012 — 38:11
2014 — 38:45

T2
2012 — 2:14
2014 — 1:44

run
2012 — 27:11
2014 — 26:19

my overall time was better by almost four minutes. and i certainly can’t complain about that. but where i’m mad at myself is being left to wonder what i really could do if i actually trained right. but fact is, i’m not a triathlete. yes, i do these now and then. but it’s not what i love and this race confirmed that. trails. woods. run. that’s what i love. but i’ve got the tarpon springs sprint in september and for that one i think i’d like to really tri.

June 10, 2014 at 11:09 am 2 comments

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the best of times

5k pr ~ 24:23
10k pr ~ 52:49
half marathon pr ~ 1:55:10
marathon pr ~ 4:10:41
half ironman pr ~ 5:57:50
50k pr ~ 5:33:23
50-mile pr ~ 11:32:39

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