Monday, March 30, 2009

I ain't doin' this shit again :)

I say that with a smile, but in all honesty, I can't do this again. Ironman training that is. I think I bit off more than I could chew, but am trying my darnest to stick with it and gut it out. I'm enjoying myself, and know I'll be stronger later for it, but this is just mentally grueling!!! I'll repeat myself... I AIN'T DOIN' THIS SHIT AGAIN!!! :) Yes, I say that with a smile :)

Just a quick update...

I had big hopes for this weekend. It was to be my first 100 mile ride. I set out, despite all the changing of plans from most T3'ers to go to Salado and do the ride. I woke up, bundled up, and got out there. Started at 8am with everyone, and things were difficult but good. I came across some mental demons that told me the wind was too much and I needed to turn around, but didn't. I finally found my happy place. I was barely moving, and at some points, I thought the wind was literally going to push me right over, but kept chugging along. I passed all the rest stops, until I came to the one at about mile 45. I stopped to re-fill my bottles, take a pee break, talk to some fellow T3'ers. That was the best part. I wasn't THAT slow that I could still see T3'ers in front of me and catch them at the rest stops, so I was delighted. From the start, I decided not to set my Garmin on Avg Pace, because I knew it would just torment me. I started back out on the course with the intention of not stopping till I finished.

About 2 minutes into it, all I heard was a loud, clank, clunk, clankity. Scared me, immediately came to a stop and looked around. The guy behind me (yes, I said behind, which is a rarity) said my bottle cages fell off. Both bolts had completely fallen off and there I was with two FULL tall J&A bottles, the entire rear hydration system, and pockets too full to stuff anything. I decided to call it a day. Called a friend, who called the fire station and they picked me up. 47 miles :(

I attempted to do it again on Sunday, but my legs were tired from fighting the wind and mentally I just wasn't in the place I needed to be. I got in 58, thanks to Sabrina and Amber and called it a day. I was going to go swim or run, but just couldn't muster up the energy. It saddens me that I can't follow in my teammates footsteps, cause 99% of them all got in their first 100 miler, but I'll wait till next time. Good weekend. I was pooped. I am pooped.

HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to all the T3'er's that got the 100 miles in AND the 20 mile run. You fools inspire me to keep it going :)

I'm still really looking forward to Galveston and the mini-vacation Adrian and I are going to make out of it. We're taking the motorhome with all the boys and the Jeep. I took off Friday and Monday from work to relax. It should be fun!! Adrian's first half Ironman and my 2nd. Looking forward to a great race and a relaxing weekend with the boyfriend and dogs :) This will be Riley's first trip in the motorhome :)

Monday, March 23, 2009


Thanks to all the personal emails and way to go's. I'm back on the horse, and excited about the next weekends event. My first 100 miler.

To go back and clarify some things from the previous post. Adrian and I figured out a few things regarding my new bike. It came with a 56 for the big chain ring up front. This was probably the cause for my legs giving out so early. I'm a SLOW rider, so I shouldn't be trying to push such a huge gear. Adrian doesn't even ride a 56, so I really shouldn't be. I made an appt with J&A and I'm getting re-fitted by Zane on Friday, in time for the next ride. The master link in my chain was bent, hence the chain problems.

I still love my bike, love the training, and know I can do this. I will 100% think of Saturday's ride out on the Ironman course. It will and has made me stronger.

Thanks for all your support :) Pity party is over, back to training :)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I survived the toughest mental challenge EVER!

Fast forward to Saturday, March 21st. I had planned on doing the Spokes and Spurs ride with T3. The prescription was 2 times 44 mile loops with 50 minutes off the bike.

I was excited about riding my new bike on the roads. I heard there was a group starting at 7:30am so I planned my morning accordingly. I woke up at 5:30, ate my whole wheat waffle with peanut butter, and banana. Used the restroom and was out the door and in Liberty Hill by 7:15am. I heard there was going to be a group of girls to leave at 7:30, but later found out that they were doing a different course. I hung out till 8am and started with the group. Dee was planning to ride the 44 mile course, so she kept me company for the first few miles. She later stopped at the first rest stop and I continued on. Chrissie told us, she wanted us to do the whole 88 miles without stopping.

My first loop was good. Great overall. I noticed pretty quickly on that my legs were burning, but took that as I was working hard. I was able to play in my aero bars, make a mental list of all the things I want changed. Around mile 39, I averaged 15.0 mph and let out the biggest "Whoopie!!' It was the high point of my ride. It slowly but surely turned to shit after that.

The hills seemed to be in the later part of the 44 miles, which was fine, but my average mph started to creep down. I finished the 44 miles averaging 14.8 mph. SUPER huge for me! I turned around for my 2nd loop and immediately felt exhausted. I had gone through my three water bottles, all filled with Heed. I need to test out something different for the next ride, like Sustained Energy, just to test it out. I got to the first rest stop and got off the bike to refill. I saw the last of the T3'ers coming back at the end of their ride. As soon as I got on my bike, one of the volunteers said, "You know they're picking up the signs, right?" and I told her thanks, but I had a map. As soon as that volunteer said that, the mental games started. My legs felt shot, I felt tired, it was hot, and I actually kept considering turning around. So I did this back and forth, stop and turn around, don't, stop and turn around, don't. I decided to tough it out. I ended up going through what I'd recount as the hardest mental challenge I've had. In all the marathons, all the races I've done, nothing could have compared to what I went through today.

Knowing that I was towards the end was daunting, but I assumed there had to have been one or two others behind me. I plugged on. During my first loop, my chain had fallen off, but I corrected it with gearing and got it back on without having to get off my bike. I pedaled on, and at each volunteer, I pleaded that I was ok and please don't waste their afternoon waiting on me, I'd be ok. Some cheered, but I really felt bad. I hate being the last one, but I hate it even more when I'm the last one and I know I'm inconveniencing others. So, I pedal, pedal and my legs are toast. They burn, I can't get comfortable, I'm just spent for the day. Most of the signs in the beginning were up, but I used the turn by turns and was fine.

Then the sag wagons... oh the sag wagons. That was another mental low. Having the sag wagon follow you. I just kept pedaling, but was getting frustrated. I kept waving for them to pass me, but they wouldn't. I kept talking to myself. "I can't spin faster, I'm in my easiest gear, please leave me the F alone!!!" They would pass me just long enough to pick up the sign I'd pass, then follow me. It was awful. I kept thinking, should I just quit?? Hell no, I'm almost freaking done. I came up to a hill, my chain fell off, but I couldn't get it back on by gearing and there I went. Per-klunk! I tipped over on my new bike. Scratched my leg, but my ego and confidence were hurt more than anything. I got up and took a breather. I was out of breath and I was mentally and physically EXHAUSTED. And here comes the sag wagon. I feel bad now, but at the time I was beyond frustrated. Here's how the conversation went...

Sag: You ok?
Me: Yes, I'm fine, thanks.
Sag: Do you need some help?
Me: No thanks.
Sag: Oooo, did you fall?
Me: Yes, I'm fine. I just tipped over, I'm ok, really.
Sag: Well, do you need help?
Me: No, please go away, thank you.
Sag: What happened?
Me: Nothing, please. My chain fell off and I'll be fine.
Sag: Let us get out and put your chain back on.

They left. I put my chain back on and was back at it. Legs were shot, but I was proud at me for finishing. I only 15 miles left per the sag wagon. I had switched screens on my Garmin because it was playing on me mentally to see my average just spiral down from the 15.0 that I had worked so hard at. Now I was staring at my time and my real pace. I was only going 10-14 mph at best. I just kept plugging along. I kept anticipating that last steep climb and there it was.

I pedaled as fast as I could, shifted up to my easiest gear and spun as long as I could in my saddle. The split second I stood up, my chain dropped and tipped over, yes a second time. I walked my bike to the top of the hill, but the back tire wasn't moving. I tried to get the chain back on, before the stupid sag wagon saw me, and it was jammed in between the bike frame and the chain ring. I pulled pretty hard, but it's all relative to my overall tiredness. Here comes the sag wagon. It was a different one from the one that I felt bad about telling them to screw off. I just threw my hands up in the air. They asked if I was ok, and I told them I gave up and that I needed a ride back.

The two men were nice. I hopped in, he put my bike in the back and chatted. One minute into the drive the radio calls out, "Anyone know the status on the turtle rider??" The passenger says, "Yes, we have her in the truck." Radio says, "Good, now we can pick up the rest of the signs and call it a day." That made me feel AWFUL. I almost and now that I think back, I should have said something. I was already in a mentally low place. The last hour of my ride, I could only thing about the following things.

- I HATE HATE HATE being slow on the bike.
- I never ride with ANYONE from T3, so why should I start with them.
- Sag wagons should hide or drive back far enough to where the rider doesn't feel the heat from the engine on their back. It's just not nice and it's mentally degrading.

I got back to my car, loaded the bike, and called Adrian. I had breakdown #3. I just started crying. I was tired, I was defeated, and it wasn't even my fault. I wanted to finish, I'm not a quitter, but I couldn't get my chain unstuck. He told me to run, and I couldn't catch my breath long enough to tell him I couldn't. I was mentally taxed and just wanted to be home. He promised me that running would make me feel better. This is why I love him. He said, "Take a deep breath and run 10 min out and come back and come home." I said, "Ok" hung up and finished my cry.

I put my shoes on and started running. Everyone was done, the parking lot was clear and I left my Garmin in the car, on purpose. OMG, great run. It was just me and the sunshine. I ended up running 5 miles (I drove it to make sure afterwards) and I negative splitted it. I ran sub 10:00's which delighted me, and I could have run farther. I love running, and the thoughts changed. I started thinking about how tough the ride was and what I learned.

I learned that everything I just went through made me a stronger person.
I learned that I was 1.0 mph faster than my previous 80 mile ride.
I learned that even though I got picked up by the sag wagon, I only cut off 8-9 miles from the total course, which means from the 88 I was attempting doing, I got in my 80 miles. 79 is close enough.
I learned that even though the low's seem like you can't get any lower, there's always an up. Things will get better.
I learned that the new bike is going to make me faster, but I need more time in the saddle.
I learned Adrian pushes me and inspires me more than he'll ever know.

Elizabeth must have drove her run course, because I saw her twice and she gave me two huge smiles and "way to go's". That was awesome and totally helped me pick up my step and put on a smile. I was finally back in a happy place and I really appreciate her for that. She even emailed me a "Great Job" email and it's just made my heart smile.

Long day, mentally and physically, but glad I learned some valuable lessons from it.

Good day, in the end :) I'd go back and do it all over again. Next time, I would unclip without toppling over :)

Thanks Elizabeth, T3, and Adrian :)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Wednesday through Monday :)

Wednesday, March 11th
Time: 4:15pm
Location: Jack and Adams
People: Me, Thomas and Zane
Comments: I picked up "Pretty". I know it sounds like a retarded name, but every time I see her, I say, "Hello, Pretty!" You have to emphasize the TT's in Pretty :) So that's her name. Thomas put the final touches on my bike fit, moved the aero bars a little and I took her home :)

Time: 7:00pm
Location: Lost Creek
People: Me, Sabrina, and other T3'ers
Weather: Cold, but not effing cold.
Comments: Wasn't really feeling the swim, but got through it. I think I slacked on parts, didn't do the complete workout, but got it done. The weather was yucky and not many of us showed, so I was glad to have gotten the workout in.

Day: Thursday, March 12th
Comments: Work. Got stuck working late, so missed my first spin class with Pretty :) Stayed at work till almost 10pm, but got alot done.

Day: Friday, March 13th
Comments: OFF day. Took my girl to my honey's with me and he transferred my Garmin cadence monitor, took off the gear guard thingamabob, and we just stared at her gorgeousness :)

Day: Saturday, March 14th
Location: Barton Springs Pool
People: Rogue Zooma Half group. Ran with Lori and Dee
Weather: low 40's, but for some reason I felt ok.
Comments: Run was good. I really miss running with my girls. The route was hillier than expected, but humbled myself and made me realize I've done NO hill workouts since Ironman training started. I might need to incorporate the Exposition loop in during the week instead of just running around Town Lake over and over and over. We averaged 10:10 for all 15 miles. I think I only ran 14. I had to be at my condo's HOA meeting, so had to pick up the pace for the last two miles. Good run. I also noticed, I need to eat more during my runs. For some reason I need more nutrition than before when I was just in marathon training.

Day: Sunday, March 15th
Location: 360, Shoal Creek
People: Adrian and I
Weather: Cool, but not cold
Comments: I kept putting off my 60 mile ride on the trainer until I had no more time. I don't know when I'm going to learn that I need a group setting to do my workouts. I should have done my ride with everyone else at PTC yesterday, but I was stubborn and picked running with my girlfriends instead. I didn't get my 60 miles in, but did get to ride my bike for about an hour with Adrian. I feel more comfortable now having done this from our test ride. I can't freaking wait till Saturday. I can totally feel the speed on my new bike. I feel freakishly fast :) Only rode 11 miles with stopping and starting several times. We ran into old neighbors then stopped at Adrian's brothers house, so the ride wasn't consistent, but gave me enough time to play in my aero bars and get a little more used to my girl :)

Chit Chat: I'm sooooo freaking excited about Galveston. I can't freaking wait to get a tri under my belt :) I know it's hard to compare triathlon times, but I've only done one half Ironman and that was back in July 2006. My time was a whopping 8:02:29. My goal for Galveston is to stay out of my comfort zone and beat my last time :)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Workout Updates

I'm finding that keeping track of my workouts is hard to do!! Here's what I can remember, I don't think I've updated my workouts for almost two weeks, so here's what I can recall.

Monday - March 2nd, ran 7 with Dee, then swim class. Nothing extraordinary stands out.

Tuesday - March 3rd worked late, no workout.

Wednesday - March 4th - run with swim class... or maybe just swim class, can't remember.

Thursday - March 5th - ditched workout for poker with buddies. I didn't win, but I made it to the final table and got to catch up with the guys and catch ALOT of grief for training and not playing poker :)

Friday - March 6th OFF day

Saturday - March 7th - see last post, rode 50 with Dee.

Sunday - March 8th - see last post, ran 10 miles. Very humblings run. I had to walk last 1.5 miles.

Monday - March 9th - ran for 40 minutes on the trail, then went to swim. I had an incredible workout. I got through the entire 2700 meters without fear of getting covered up by the tarp :) I also did my 300 meter TT in 6:05, which means I'm getting closer and closer to becoming a sub 2:00/100 meter swimmer! Chrissie even said that my last 100 was faster than my first. Good stuff. My form is getting a ton better, Chrissie is finding less and less to critique me on. Now I'm looking forward to pushing myself and working on speed!!!

Tuesday - March 10th - core class with Chrissie and it was good. I could do 2-3 REAL pushups, but they weren't very good. I still can't go down very far, so I switched to my girl pushups. I always enjoy her core classes... I might venture to the Wed am in the coming weeks. Spin class was INSANE!! Not only was the class hard, but there were over 50 of us in there. I'm finally making friends, learning names, cracking jokes. I love it! 30 minute run after the bike with Elizabeth and Erin. Good stuff. My legs felt awesome! I could have kept running, I love that feeling. Running will always be my first love.

Wednesday - more to come, I get to pick her up!!! Planning on swim class tonight, no matter what the weather, I'm on a roll :)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Excited about a new bike, who me??

Never in a million years did I ever dream that I would get excited about the purchase of a new bike. I've always had my heart in running, especially after my first Team Rogue experience where I found a little bit of speed :) The past 9 weeks of Ironman training have been eventful to say the least. I had my share of downs in the beginning, but I'm easily outweighing those with positive fun moments. I've finally embraced my new T3 family and I'm having a lot of fun training.

When I got into triathlons, I planned on going to Walmart and buying the most expensive bike they had there. I figured that would be good enough. A friend told me about Jack and Adams, and their packages. I almost crapped my pants when I saw the price. $700 of what??? The week before I went in to get one, the rate went up $100. $800 on a bicycle and the necessities just seemed absurd, but I wanted to be taken seriously, so I bit the bullet. I was proud once I got everything. It was perfect for me since I was a newbie. I got everything that you needed to complete a tri.

Fast forward to 2009. I know realize that the bike I bought was ENTRY level. It weighs about as much as I do, and just going down hills with teammates, I can tell my bike is crappy. It did what it was supposed to. It got me accustomed to riding and it got me through my first half Ironman. I'm thankful for that :) But now it's time to move on...

Now enter Ms. (to be filled in later). She's so pretty. She just looks fast. Adrian rode my clunker as I test rode this one. Felt very wierd and unstable, but it's just going to take time to get used to it. I'm looking forward to spin classes and long rides :)
Now I just need to come up with a name for her...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Well work is going better, although still insanely busy. The more and more I look into the future months, the more it makes me nervous that the Ironman date couldn't have been at a more inopportune time. Then I realized that work is always going to be here, it's always going to be busy and there's never a good time :)

I stayed late last night and got a ton done, got here at 7am this morning, working through my lunch, have meetings upon meetings, and going to enjoy getting out of here on time to run with the girls. We'll run a few miles together, catch up on girly gossip, then head to swim class.

With working late last night, I did get home earlier than I would have if I would have gone to spin class. This enabled me to clean the grout in my tile in my 2nd bathroom :) Baking soda and vinegar works wonders for dirty grout :) I got to do a load of laundry, watch a couple reality shows and get some cleaning done at the house.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Full Time Job + Ironman Training = Near Impossible!

Lately, I've been feeling like there's not enough time in the day to get what I need done. I'm envious of my fellow T3 teammates that I see doing workouts during business hours. I wish I had a more lenient job that allowed for 80 mile bike rides on Friday, or 2 hour lunches to do swim workouts, but I don't, and I do love the job that I have.

Work is crazy busy and I couldn't have picked a more busy time to start this training, but it is what it is and I need to get it done. Blogging has taken a back seat, Facebook only gets my attention on my iPhone, and Myspace, what's that? Lately, I only have enough time to workout, work, or sleep. There were a few nights last week where I was too tired to take a shower. I just laid down, passed out and woke up to shower, now that's just gross. Weekends are filled with attempting to spend time with Adrian, and thankfully he understands what I'm trying to accomplish. I'm grateful for that.

Saturday: I ran 19 miles, it was great. My speed isn't what it was in California, but I feel like I have my legs back after running the Austin Marathon. I got to run with Lori and Dee, and that's always a treat!! Went home, showered, went on a walk with Adrian and the boys, then we did dinner and a movie... at home in our pj's :)

Sunday: I did the longest bike ride of my life, so far :) 80 miles. I'm happy with getting in the distance, but not happy with my speed. I only averaged 12.4 mph according to my Garmin. It does include the stopping at multiple red lights, but I was pushing hard, and really thought it should have been better. I still have a TON of work to do, at the rate I did on Sunday, I won't make the bike cutoff in CdA. I still have 3.5 months to go, so I'm looking forward to the challenge :) I know I can do this!!!

Sacrifices: Even though I got accepted into the cycling study, I'm withdrawling myself. Not enough time, and I need to make work my priority right now. The more I get caught up and ahead, the more I can focus on training.