Tuesday, September 30, 2008
She's pretty obedient, she always sits and is mostly patient when we put her leash on.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Back several years ago, Marty and I were not even semi-regular, but would go to a local high school’s pool for 6am morning swim practice. So much for that promise to myself. The year before we left Florida, I started meeting a friend of mine for a once a week 6am spin class, and a once a week 6am swim together. You gotta do what you gotta do.
Now for almost a year I have been going to our local Master’s practice, headed by a really great guy, at 6am, 3 mornings a week! This means the alarm goes off at 5:25 – even earlier than it did in college for morning runs. But wait, NOW instead of having practice from 6-7am, we’re going 5:45-7:00am. So this morning the alarm went off at 5:10am. You have got to be freaking kidding me. To make matter’s worse, there was a swim meet this past weekend so the water was oh-so-chilly. Chillier than normal. My comment of ‘stupid kids!’ was quickly followed by, ‘sorry, I’m not at my best at 5:50…’
I didn’t get there in time, but was still swimming before 6am. Here’s the typical schedule:
-Alarm goes off. Moan and groan. Whine about not getting enough sleep. Push Marty to make sure he’s awake.
-Tassie runs over and kisses my face, all wiggly and EXCITED FOR MORNING!!! YAY!!!
-Get dressed, brush teeth, grab bags and stumble down stairs.
-Forget something and go back upstairs (this always seems to happen)
-Let Tassie out if Marty hasn’t. One of us gets the coffee pot going.
-Let Tassie back in and feed her
-Possible important bathroom break
-Give Tassie heart pill in liverwurst. Wash hands because liverwurst stinks
-Ask Marty to make me a PB&J for the afternoon
-Hug Tassie and wish I could stay home and play with her all day
-Pack up car, walk back into house because I forget something
-Drive to pool semi-awake
-See someone walking out of pool, already finished with their workout and realize I’m not SO crazy…
-Head to pool deck, get cap ready, chat with fellow swimmers
-Watch everyone dive or jump in
-Head to pools edge, make an ugly face to Marty
-Sit down at edge and dangle legs into water
-Announce to Marty that the water is cold (again)
-Make face when someone splashes me on their flipturn. Never you mind I’m about to get in the pool anyways.
-Deep breath and slide into pool, push off the wall, and curse up a blue streak in my head
-Workout gets underway and I’m happy I’m there :)
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Saturday, September 27, 2008
That's my niece Ashleigh, with her 'Build-A-Bear' (or in this case, 'Build-An-Elephant') and her arm in a sling. Her and her sister were playing on the stairs and Haileigh accidentally dislocated Ashleigh's elbow! No worries, it's actually a common thing in kids. So the next morning when they realized it, she got it re-located (?) and had to wear a sling for a day. Yep, just one day. That's how injuries go when you're 3. You or I would've been out for a month!
This weekend we're finally staying in town, after being gone for the past 3 weekends in a row. Now I can finally catch up on all the things that pile up when you're gone. Like the laundry. It's all clean, but it doesn't like to fold itself. And Husband doesn't seem to like to fold, so I'll be plopped on the couch folding mucho loads hoping there's something good on tv for a good chunk of the day.
Tomorrow I'll be doing a 5K in RTP (Research Triangle Park - where most of us drones work every week). There's also a 10 miler that Marty will be doing. I'm not expecting much for this race, but figured it would be a great opportunity to go out and get a good solid tempo run in.
In other news, we've decided not to put our house on the market. Not that I ever talked about putting it on the market, but we've been looking at some houses in Cary and we were planning on putting ours up for sale. We want to get into a slightly bigger one with a garage, and prices are great. But, we finally decided that trying to sell our house now - with a much lower buyer pool right before the holidays kick up might not be the best time. We're not in any hurry, either. So we're going to hold off until the spring. Luckily, we don't need to sell our house for much more than we bought it to move into something bigger. That's because Marty analyzes everything and is a cheapskate (see previous post).
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Oh no he di'in't.
Have I ever mentioned Marty is a teensy-weensy bit cheap?
"What?!!!" I said, looking at him like he had two heads. "Well, then I'm not going up there with you!"
I think he relented because he knew I wasn't budging, but I can't say he was happy about it. Nor was he mad. He just didn't say anything. I think he knew my mind was made up.
Now let's recap my 1/2 marathon experiences:
1. Duke Liver Center Half Iron 2004: horrible horrible, lots of walking and an unusable quad afterwards that ended the triathlon season. 1:51:41
2. Duke Liver Center Half Iron 2005: thought I would come back and show this course what I was made of! Ended up even worse. This is starting to be the definition of insanity...1:54:28
3. Sydney Half Marathon 2006: Just for fun since we were living in Australia at the time. Beautiful but hilly course, didn't train specifically for it and was just there for a good time. Splits were confusing since they, like the rest of the world, use the metric system. "Hmmm, so 13K would be like...ah forget it." 1:33:high? Can't find the results.
4. White Lake Half Iron: Flat course, in great shape (yay to only working part time for the early part of that year!) but don't let me fool you, this one was still painful and yucky. 1:31:47
So my goal will be to break that time. I ran 10 miles after work with Marty today and I don't think we were moving all that fast. But, there's still several more weeks to get in shape.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
The Bri Loop typically takes about 40 min for an easy run, but yesterday I ran it in 37 min. This afternoon I had a message from Marty saying that he AND Tassie had done it in 38 min "so we're just 1 min behind you!" Tassie loves this change in weather, and is able to run so much further when it gets a little cooler.
Marty and I had originally planned on meeting at Umstead when I got off work. I went in before 8am with the hopes of getting out around 4, but I found out late in the day I had to go to a 4 o'clock meeting. Argh. Marty couldn't meet me much later so I was on my own. But what a nice day and run it turned out to be! I soon forgot work and was lost in my own thoughts on the beautiful trails in 70 degree weather. It doesn't get much better than that.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
We had another fun weekend, this time down in Wrightsville Beach. Marty and I were lucky enough to stay at the in-laws beautiful beach house that is right on the beach, and a very short distance from the swim start of the Wilmington YMCA triathlon. Our friends Alysia and Jimmy stayed there with us and we all felt very lucky to be staying in such a great place. Alysia and I rode our bikes over to the transition area early Saturday morning, in the cold and wind. Cold being relative, but cold for just leaving summertime.
This race was night and day compared to the Virginia Beach race, since I knew SO many people. It's so fun to laugh and catch up with people at the races. The logistical issues at this race went smooth for what I saw and we were all soon in the water shivering before the horn sounded (no wetsuit). My swim felt great. I have definitely improved this year and have improved significantly from a few years ago when I was racing in Florida. Back then I was typically the last elite out by several minutes and raced alone until the run. But now I'm actually able to stay with packs and the main pack of girls was not too far in front of me. The swim times were a lot slower this year than last - I guess the current was not as strong. I hit the ladders and sprinted out to the transition area. This is a long run and quite painful on the feet. Along the way I passed Nas and Laurie but once in transition I somehow managed to get my sunglasses tangled in my helmet straps and had to take the entire helmet off to fix it after unsuccessfully trying to fix it while on my head. They both left transition ahead of me. If it's not one thing it's another in transition with me it seems! Practice practice practice.
I could see Nas ahead of me for quite awhile on this bumpy, potholed bike course. She slowly got away and Laurie and Alysia were also not too far ahead of me. They stayed that way for what seemed like forever, I just couldn't get going on the bike! Finally, I passed them towards the end before almost getting hit by a car and having a head-on collision with a few age groupers. My time was 1 min slower from last year. It was a bit windy on one stretch, but my bike is a direct product of time and mileage. Both have been very low this year, so for what it was, I was happy with my bike today. This time I transitioned smoothly and was out on the run.
I felt good on the run. I pushed it hard and passed a couple of people. I could see some people futher ahead but just couldn't get there. Again, I was almost 1 min slower from last year. My top end speed just isn't there right now. I still managed a 19:08 split which is pretty good for a 5k off the bike, and I really can't complain. I know if I hadn't missed all that time because of the injury and had been able to run and continue my workouts through that time I could've been much faster.
I finished as the 4th female and absolutely did the best I could on the day. That is something my parents instilled in me at a young age ("Do the best you can and be happy with it"), and they both even reiterated it yesterday when I spoke with them after the race. I am very happy that I was able to comeback from not running for almost 8 weeks and manage to compete so well with the other elites.
But I have to admit that there is that little voice in the back of my head that I've been trying to squash all weekend. The voice that says, "but you're capable of going so much faster!" Sure, aren't we all? If only I had this, or that, or had this much time, or was prettier, stronger, richer, whatever! Of course I can go faster and have gone faster, but I have to be happy with the present. With the now. And I did the best I could yesterday. So I will continue to squash that little voice and be content with how it all went.
So what's next? Well, I'm not ready for a break. I guess because I already had that long impromptu one. Marty is going to run the Philadelphia Marathon so I think I will run the 1/2 marathon and try to get a better p.r. (mine is from my split at the White Lake Half). I think it will be fun to concentrate on running for a bit. I'll continue going to Master's practice because it's a lot of fun, and will still ride my bike as long as the light holds out.
Oh yeah, the rest of the weekend was SO FUN!! Some more friends came over to the beach house after the race and we hung out and ate pizza and downed a bunch of beer. Then later on the 4 of us met some girls from Master's out in downtown Wilmington for a nice dinner and then off to a bar and later into a dance club! We were all booty shaking with the best of them - OH MY! )
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Then she took a picture of Marty.
A little later my sister asked her is she knew Marty's name. She shook her head 'no' with a smile, so Heather told her, "That's Uncle Marty!" Ashleigh looked at her, then at him and said, "Uncle...Party!"
From the stories I've heard about Marty at FSU and as a lifeguard on the Jersey Shore, she is right on target! Uncle Party. Too funny.
Monday, September 15, 2008
We didn’t have to get up any earlier than we do for Master’s swim practice so that was nice. Heather had the coffee pot set for us and we were out the door earlier than planned – amazing! Heather and our nieces were going to head to the race a little later to cheer us on. Since we didn’t know the area and had heard parking was pretty much ‘at your own risk’ we just said forget it and parked in a $10 lot close to transition. It’s always fun to go to a new race out of the area because it’s a different experience and you don’t have any idea what the competition will be like. The only bummer is that since you don’t know anyone, there’s not all that fun chitchat before the race. The only person I knew was my other sister’s boyfriend Scott, and we had a nice chat in the port-o-potty line :) We got our stuff set up and did a very short jog as a warm-up. For some reason I was feeling stiff and tight but hoped once I got going I would be okay. Marty and I walked down the beach with our wetsuits (have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE wearing a wetsuit?! If not, I LOVE IT), and I marveled at how calm the water was! I really don’t know if I’ve ever done a race in the Atlantic that had ever been that calm before (we’ve done plenty of Atlantic swims in the Florida races). The water was not very cold at all, and it was HOT outside so we were both roasting once we got our wetsuits on. We did a short warm-up swim and then got lined up on the beach for the start. The announcer said we had 5 min to go, but just a short while later the horn blew. Right when they blew the horn, a couple of lifeguards were walking right in front of us, so this was a bit messy as we ran straight for them and I got tangled up with one of them who fell. Once I got into the water I felt like I was in the middle of a mosh pit and could barely get my stroke going at all. For the first time I was dunked and actually held under! That was a bit scary but I can hold my breath for a pretty long time so I didn’t panic or anything. I finally got to the buoy and only got punched or kicked a dozen or so more times (!) Once around the buoy I swam right by at least 5 people, if not more. What in the world is the point of going completely anaerobic at the start of the swim? Why do people insist on sprinting like mad and causing lots of chaos when they so clearly can’t hold near that pace? I really wish I could sprint faster and get out of the mayhem but the fact is, I can’t. Sigh. After that mess, I was all by myself in the calm ocean. After awhile I could see a small group ahead of me and tried to push harder to see if I could bridge up. I finally did for the last few hundred yards and got to benefit from a bit of draft, as short as it was.
I had asked my sister to do two things for me – 1. Tell me what place I was in when I got out of the swim, and 2. Give me time splits to the people ahead of me off the bike. As I ran out of the water she yelled “You’re 2nd! First is right there!” pointing at the girl who was just a few paces ahead of me. Talk about surprised! I couldn’t believe I was this far up! She also admitted to me later that SHE couldn’t believe how early I came out of the water. Once on the bike I caught the first place girl after a few miles. The rest of the bike was uneventful – it was just a flat, out and back course. At the turnaround I saw there were several ladies not too far behind. Towards the end of the bike I backed off so I could spin my legs and two women came by me. I ended up getting off the bike in 3rd right behind them – but not without hearing my sister yell, “Brianne! 1st is 4 seconds ahead and 2nd is 2 seconds ahead!!” I had to laugh because of course I knew where I stood since they were right ahead of me; she sure does take directions well! I had a quick transition and ran out just behind 1st place – she was moving! I thought we might have a quite a battle and I pushed it hard to see if she would go with me. After awhile I couldn’t hear her breathing behind me anymore so I knew I must’ve put some time on her, but never looked back. I concentrated on catching as many men ahead of me as possible. The Virginia Beach ‘boardwalk’ would be more aptly named ‘cementwalk’. It was pretty brutal out there with the temps and humidity way high and no shade whatsoever (and it also produced some suspiciously slow run times). I put my head down and tried not to think too much. At the turnaround I saw I had a pretty comfortable lead and was still feeling decent which was good. I got to the finish line still in first place, although they either didn’t realize it or I look like a boy because I don’t think they said my name until much later after I was walking out of the chute. Oh well, I realize that most of the focus is typically on the men’s race.
Afterwards, we all spent some time in the ocean before my sister and nieces left to go home. I packed up my stuff and made my way over to the awards ceremony which was at an outdoor restaurant – they had tons of food and beer for the athletes – so neat! And it’s always fun to pocket a bit of money for the hard work :) And yes, I have to mention that Marty beat me quite soundly. I had actually predicted he would beat me by about 3 minutes, and he beat me by 3:33, so I wasn’t too far off. Of course, he SHOULD beat me! The fact that I got him at Lake Logan just shows how badly he wasn’t training earlier. A few weeks of training under him and he’s right there duking it out with the leaders again. Great job, Marty!
Here's Scott, me and my niece Haileigh post race:
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Marty left this morning and was able to top off the Fit at a local station where he said it was coming out in a dribble. I hope he can get back here and then we can get to Virginia! This is so ridiculous.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Almost sitting pretty together
Best friends :)
Monday, September 8, 2008
I’m always amazed at how easy (and quick) it is to fly down to Florida, and with a direct Southwest flight, it’s also pretty affordable. This next weekend we’ll be up in Virginia Beach for the Sandman Triathlon. I’ve been looking forward to this race and hope to walk away with a bit of $$ if I have a good one. It will be nice to have my sister and my nieces out there cheering for me, too. The rematch between Marty and I is not going to be too exciting, I can tell you that. With the longer swim, flat bike and run, I don’t have a chance of beating him. This is a very good thing and means he’s actually training again. -
and Leon is NOT getting larrrrrgerrrr.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Yesterday we did some short intervals on the beach which was quite tough since the winds were strong and the sand was sugary. Then we had a nice family/birthday dinner and after that Marty, Tim (bro-in-law) and I hit a beach bar where I not only found $10 on the ground (total score) but I also got to drink Boag's beer which is made in Tasmania. Yum yum.
This morning we met my dad for a run and a swim in the gulf. The swim was so refreshing and when I thought I was done, Marty came in to swim a bit (he ran longer than I did). He convinced me to swim out to the buoy which wasn't too far but I got about 3/4 of the way out there and got a little freaked and shouted "MARTY I DONT WANNA GO ANY FURTHER!!!" It was deep and we were out from shore with no one around us. So funny how we can get mental quick! He calmly said, "Don't worry, I'm right here." He swam easy so he was right next to me the whole time. Then I laughed at my little freakout and continued to the buoy.
We're headed to dinner soon and another beach bar I'm sure! Our flight doesn't leave until 8pm tomorrow night so we still have another day to enjoy.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
I forgot to mention that we got a good laugh at Tassie’s expense on Friday evening. She had played with her best friend Cider earlier in the afternoon and then was of course so excited to have all these new people in her house for the happy hour. But I guess she got a little worn out with all the excitement and right around 10pm she was no where to be found…she had decided enough was enough and headed upstairs to her bed and was fast asleep as the party was still going on!