Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Another Great Day!!

I had a fabulous Wednesday QW. The workout itself was tough but successful. Soaking in cold water was a very nice way to end the workout part of my day. I got a little sad when I realized that we don't have too many more of these Wednesday workouts left....or any Ironman workouts for that matter.

On the way home I had to stop by Bicycle Sport Shop to sign up for this then I had to do some browsing. I'm still on a mission to find my Ironman outfit :)!! I've been doing all of my long rides in tri shorts and nothing hurts so I thought I was set. Recently, I started to have some minor issues so now it looks like I may have to buy some cycling shorts or tri shorts that will work better.....and still put them to the test before June 22nd???

Grabbed some lunch with my husband then we shopped at Costco together. He took Costco items home so I could stop by Betty Sport for some more browsing....turned out to be a nice little shopping day after all. I found some shorts that may work....let's hope that they do because I have spent a small fortune on three pairs of shorts in a few shorts weeks. Not as fun as one would think!

Who am I is always fun....especially after a good workout and soak with good friends!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Taking Care of Business!

May(hem) is in full swing! Some of the kids activities are coming to an end, along with another school year, and some are just beginning. Vincent and Madeleine are doing swim team again this summer and we enjoy it. There will be a few Saturdays that will be a challenge for me get my workouts in, but I think all of my significant training events that were on my calendar (the scheduled events)are all under my belt. My last one was the Austin Triathletes Open Water Swim on Saturday. It was the third time for me to do this event, but the first time to do the longest distance swim option. This year the longest distance was the 2.4 mile swim. I know, it was very convenient for me this year :)!! They usually offer a 5k swim and I thought that I would have to do that distance. Thank goodness for the 2.4.

The swim went well. I didn't have any goals, but to stay calm, find some bubbles and stay with them. Oh, I also didn't want to go into my usual treading water panic mode which is normal for me at the beginning of most races and/or organized open water swims. Not much to say, but that I found some nice steady bubbles and stayed with them very easily. I thought about passing a few times, but by the time we started the second was pretty lonely out there and I was comfortable. The pace was nice so I thought I would pass this nice girl (that had been dealing with my constant tapping) towards the last stretch of the swim....good plan and it made the swim a little more interesting. I was ready to make my move and I had plenty of energy left to go for it, but this girl was not going to let that happen. Oh well, I drafted a little longer then I tried again so it was sort of a race to the finish with this girl and the man she was drafting off of...yes, for most of the swim...I rarely had to kick. I was going to thank the girl when we got out of the water then she turned to look for me and it turned out to be Leah :)!! I should have recognized those familiar bubbles....very comforting. I need to make sure that I follow her at CDA. She was great with sighting and keeping us on the course. I'm usually all over the place. I sure do love my training partners. Great issues and no drama!!!! I hung out for a while and talked to some other friends that I haven't seen in a while then we (Cathy, Leah, Claire, Amy B.) set out for a two hour bike ride. I was very excited that this was going to be a short work out day...and on a Saturday. The ride was short, hilly, but very nice.

The rest of the day was full of activities. Vincent played his last coach pitch game ever and it was a heartbreaking game (they lost by one point). I won't go into details about that, but I had few tears after this game. The next day David was flying out to Japan (again) and I had a 5 hour ride on my schedule for Sunday. My mom was going to stay the night so I could get an early start, but it turned out that Madeleine got invited to a sleep over and Vincent had a Boy Scout camp out.

I never have my house to myself on a Saturday morning so it was hard to set out for my 5 hour solo adventure. I had been so busy that I didn't make plans to ride with anyone. Robin, Jeannie, and Erin had done their ride on Saturday so I was OMO!!

The ride itself was uneventful. I set out for Parmer via Great Oaks and Avery Ranch, then headed to Mopac and turned around...still on Parmer all the way to 3405 then right towards 2338(?) then left to Andice...then turnaround. A new section was open (at the end of Ronald Reagan/Parmer) so I was able to add some mileage...that was very nice. Finally, I turned around (again) and headed home...with a big smile on my face. I've been so spoiled with some very nice supported rides in the last few weeks that I was just sort of bored with this ride. Towards the end of the ride I started to feel empowered about what I had just accomplished. Not long ago, a 2 hour ride alone would seem daunting, but now I'm riding over 70 miles (73.2 to be exact) with out any real planning. I did all this before noon....that is taking care of some serious business!!! Returned home and my mom had already picked up the kids so that was very nice. I ran for a quick 20 minutes (felt great too), took a shower and enjoyed a very nice day (which included a great meal at Papasito's) with the kids and my mom.

I dropped my bike off at J&A's for a tune up. I had to schedule this 2-3 weeks before I drop it off to the Bike Transport folks on June 12th. It was ready by Monday and it needed a new tire, hubs (?), and a wash. My bike is ready and I think I'm ready too!!! I have never felt so confident going into a race. Six months ago, I would have never thought that I would be feeling so confident, strong, and extremely empowered by my training at this point.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Mid-week (19) update!

I had another solid work day on Tuesday. It is getting harder to do these workouts back to back, but somehow I manage....everything else seems to be ignored. Not the kids or anything, but the household stuff. Kids are getting busier and May really seems to stress me out. I wonder if it's a coincidence that David seems to travel more (and further) in May???

I remember once when he had to go to France for most of May back when i was training for my first Danskin. My kids were a lot younger and NOT in school full time so it was hard. The kids ended up with Step throat and puking everywhere. That was tough...and it was only Danskin. It was overwhelming. I don't think training for Ironman has been that stressful, but I'm feeling a little on edge. I digress...imagine that!

I'm very proud when I can get my workouts in. I know "I have all day", but logistically it's still not easy. I have to make sure that I eat (something healthy) so I can do the next quality workout and not eat too much so I throw it up. It's not an easy balance, but doing morning then evening workouts is not an option. I'm missing some of the kid's end of school activities and that bothers me. I tried to ignore that I wasn't going to make it to Field Day...until my son asked "Mom, what time are you going to get there and which event are you volunteering for??" It broke my heart to tell him that I couldn't go this year. His face looked so disappointed. He didn't sign up for this Ironman and I'm sure he doesn't completely get it so I have added pressure on me to get to their field day, but I'm looking forward to it. He's in 3rd grade...he may not be as excited for this stuff and to see his mom at these events for much longer. I hope he doesn't outgrow it too soon, but you never know. Again, I digress.....somehow, I always end up making it about my kids. I jokingly say..."surrendering to motherhood!" I love being a mother and I'm not sure that I would be doing all of this if my life weren't exactly as it is. I also say the being a stay at home home drove me to do this endurance stuff....I say it lovingly.

Tuesday was good. I did 5 Crystal Falls hill repeats and enjoyed watching Leah conquer some of her fears. I'm glad she came up to join me. Robin joined us also so it made it easier to talk ourselves into heading down south for our BSP swim. It was short (due to the OW swim this Saturday), but sweet. I finished up the day with my strength training and core work.....just in time to get home and take kids to swim practice. I was grumpy that evening, but I think I just needed food and a shower!!!!

Wednesday was a stormy morning. I got an email from coach that said to still meet, but bring something to write with and we would discuss race day logistics at Austin Java if the weather was still bad. I was certain that the rain would stop by then (and I still had to deal with rainy traffic into Austin). If we didn't meet then I knew she would want us to do something that evening??!! We went to Austin Java (it was worth the drive) and she gave us a Bonus day off. I was relieved at first, but later, I still felt a little guilty.

Thursday morning came after some horrible storms with David flying home from CA...I was very worried about him. I made the decision to wake the kids up and make them go in my closet without totally scaring them. I was terrified. The hail was so bad and funnel clouds were all around us....scary. So on Thursday, I'm very thankful for my day off yesterday!!!! David returned home safely and I was finally able to fall asleep around midnight.

Thursday is Field Day, swim practice, baseball game, and my monthly bunco outing so we'll see how much I get done. Oh, and three workouts. Tempo bike ride, swim, and full body ST. I'm hanging in there....and still loving every minute of this training. I'm truly blessed!!!!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Longest Bike Ride EVER!!!!

On Saturday I did the Armadillo Classic in Liberty Hill. As part of my IM training, I did the 105 mile option. I was very nervous about this, but it helped that I did the Austin to Shiner ride the week before.

There were a lot of people doing this ride and it seemed like I would have plenty of company on the 100+ mile ride. Yvonne did the 61 mile option so it was great having her for my first 30. We talked and skipped the first two rest stops. They seemed to have come really close together...which is great, but no need to stop yet. I had to get to the 30 mile closing gate by 10:30. I didn't think it was going to be a problem, but it's fun to add some pressure. When it came time to split off from Yvonne, I felt like a nervous kindergartner going off into the unknown!! Luckily,I felt great at that point and ready to face this challenge.

The next section was still pretty popular so I wasn't alone and I was certain that Cathy and Leah were behind me somewhere because I had passed them earlier and I hadn't seen them pass me. I also know that Erin and Jeannie were ahead of me...maybe not too far...unlike Robin who was surely way ahead by now since I hadn't seen her at any of the stops. Anyway, I like being somewhere in the middle of my friends because it feels safe. I got to the next rest stop and it was the turn around for the 80 mile option. I wasn't planning on stopping here, but I was unsure of which direction to go and everyone seemed to be turning I felt alone. Hmmmm, maybe I should consider doing 80 miles?? Tim, a guy I had just been introduced to by Yvonne had a map and told me which way to go and mentioned that it would be very scenic. It was beautiful, but lonelier and hotter too!!! I stopped at the next rest stop and took more time at this one. I took a potty break and ate some delicious home made oatmeal cookies with some very cold Gatorade...very nice stop. I was also hoping that I would see Cathy and Leah riding up?? I would have loved the company. I still felt great at this point, but I was nervous about what was to come?? Before I knew it I was back at the next rest stop which was familiar and that was a fabulous feeling. I felt great and so happy that I was at mile 70 and heading home...wahoo...the light at the end of the tunnel.

It was very hot at this point and the course was a lot hillier. I was catching some folks, talking for a while and most of the time....I "had to put the hammer down!!" I was on some crazy high and felt like a kid on the bike. I was surprised to be feeling so wonderful. I was so thankful for my training, my coach, and happy to be one step closer to my IM dream. I was thinking about how glad I was that I waited to do THIS distance on THIS day. I had been tempted to do a 100 miler before this, but for me, they probably would have been empty miles. This ride already felt so productive and I was in control!! I wanted to do a happy dance when my Cateye read 100.00 miles. Happy because I had completed the distance, but even happier to feel so strong mentally and physically. I wanted to call my coach and tell her or shout "I'm finishing strong" and I can't believe it!!!! One more rest stop came along and I just waved on through it. My Cateye already said 105. 7 and they said "just one more mile"....okay...whatever. I rode for a total of 106.8 miles. I ran for about 15 minutes after that and it didn't feel bad at all. Without the heat, I think I could have ran my marathon:)!!!

In my first grader's words (and spelling)..."it was osm!!!"

Next day was Mother's Day and I had a two hour run on my schedule. Met Robin at Brushy Creek (she had an hour on her schedule) so one hour with good company and the next with my music. I felt a little beat up at first, but quickly I started to feel okay. It was a nice run. At the end of my run, I felt a little lump in my throat...getting closer to becoming an Ironman. Not sure what's happening, but some workouts have been making me feel a little emotional??

I got home and my wonderful family had some special treats and surprises for a little emotional...again. I was able to combine a short recovery swim with some quality family time. For dinner, we had my mom, sisters, and sister's family over for dinner. My husband cooked for us and cleaned up too:)!!!

Very nice weekend!!