Monday, March 25, 2013

Sampson County Super Sprint Race Report

Like I mentioned in my last post, Marty and I raced in the Sampson County Super Sprint this past Saturday. There was much deliberation on what to wear, but Marty convinced me to wear my BlueSeventy point zero in the pool and just not take it off for the rest of the race. The weather would be in the 40's and the thin, rubbery speedsuit would give some extra warmth.  Marty was also going to wear his, although he almost wasn't able to since his zipper was completely stuck. We unstuck it with a combination of WD40, vegetable oil, and old fashioned strength. Not mine, his.

Rita, the most awesome babysitter, was at our doorstep at 6:15am while Logan continued to cut z's. Marty and I hopped in the car and drove to Clinton, NC where the race was held. Once there, it was quickly discovered that Marty had forgotten the front skewer to his race wheel. Oopsie. Luckily, the nice guy parked next to us had an extra and saved Marty from a DNS.

I did a short warm-up run and felt really pretty great. Then we headed to the indoor pool to get a swim warmup in. I really hate pool swims. I never feel completely warmed up or comfortable, and snaking under the lane lines is annoying. NC State tri club member, Colleen, who I know is fast and keeps getting faster, started just 2 spots (supposed to be :20) ahead of me, but they took a break to get the music going so she ended up starting a solid 1:30 ahead of me. I was a tiny bit disappointed because I was looking forward to having someone around my speed to focus on throughout the race.

250 yard swim done, and very cold run out the door to transition. I decided to put on smart wool socks which were very hard to get on wet feet since they don't have as much give as normal socks. And I put on gloves and it frankly felt like I was in there for a day and a half. The first 1min on the bike was the coldest I have ever been, I think! It was one of those knock the wind out of your lungs and gasping type of cold. But once I got going I was fine.

The bike was out and back, and a very short 7 miles. I totally screwed up the tight turn around which was on a tiny downhill and had to unclip and basically started back up again at a dead stop. 

Back in T2, and my toasty socks also made it difficult to get on my racing flats. But I was out on the run fairly quickly and hammered as hard as I could. I was really red lining it, completely by myself, but that's why all the tempo runs and intervals on the road really help out. The run was mostly flat with just a few tiny sneaky hills thrown in there.  I started my watch just a few seconds late and got my split of 12:40. The official split for some reason, was much slower (12:57) and I was very happy to hear that the run was a tad long. My pace was more like 6 flat or under, which is honestly exactly how it felt.

In the end, I didn't catch Colleen, but made up for more then enough time for the stagger so I finished 1st overall for females (5th overall including guys).  What I didn't realize until I was leaving was that I also nipped Marty and beat him by :02! It's all in good fun, but I definitely talked some smack after since he was so high on himself from the Cary Duathlon :)

We made an extremely quick exit so I could catch the train with my friends to Charlotte.  I have never taken a train here in the US (only in Europe) and I've heard that south of DC it's scary and dirty but that could not be farther from the truth! Traveling by train was awesome - lots of room, very relaxing, and we made it to Charlotte in about the same time it takes to drive there. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

This Weekend

On Saturday morning, Marty and I are driving an hour (1 hour!! - remember this, it's important) to do a triathlon. This is ridiculous because it's a 250yd (pool swim), 7 mile bike, 2 mile run.

It sounds like a lot of fun, I just wish it were closer, because how long will this take? Certainly way less than an hour.  Also, it's only supposed to be 40 degrees, making the balance between putting on clothes or saving time extremely tough. 

The other wrench I've thrown in here is at noon I'm getting on a train with 4 other friends to head to Charlotte for the night. Just a total girls weekend where all of us married wimmins (4/5 are moms) are going to have a blast. So we will literally be getting back in the car pretty much right after I finish.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Logan update

Logan had his 15 month old checkup last week, which Marty took him to since I was working. He's 24lbs and 32.5 inches tall. I swear he gets more and more fun with each passing day, suprising me with what he picks up on and what he can do.

And he has, curly-ish hair?

Only when it's humid and warmer - we didn't see this last summer as he didn't have much hair, but when we took him to Florida it got pretty curly. I don't know if this will stay or if he will end up having wavy hair like his dad. Probably, since he seems to be a carbon copy of Marty right now (also, the bruise on his cheek is due to a fall into the corner of a table at daycare). Do not be alarmed by the next picture of Marty and his sister - I just wanted to illustrate that when he had hair it was not straight.

My hair was always stick straight, but is sort of wavy like now after having Logan. So weird what pregancy can change in you. But it's not like it's a nice wavy, it's just sort of mangy wavy and if I blow it dry it will be nice and straight - unless it's humid where it will then turn yuck again. And let's face it, I live in the south and humidity is part of daily life. So that's one good thing about the winter. Nicer hair.

But back to Logan. His favorite words right now are 'dog' and 'ball' and he has also recently started saying "choo choo" (really, 'too too') when the train goes by. We live near a set of tracks, so this is a couple of times a day. He also has been saying 'shoes' (again, more like 'tooos'), but hey, he's trying. And it's adorable.

Marty and I went to his St. Patrick's day party at daycare and it was fun watching them all eat green cupcakes and get so messy. We're both amazed at how the teachers can get the kids to sit so obediently at the table and eat without any fuss. When we walked in, Logan got out of his chair and ran over to us so he could give us both hugs, then he went back to the table.

I so appreciate that his teacher made all the kids hats to wear for their party, even though she knows the chances of them wearing them for more than 3 seconds is low. I know a lot of teachers may just blow it off and say, 'Eh, they're one and won't remember it anyways.'

Marty also took him to the pool last week so he can continue to be comfortable in the water. Logan did a class for 6 weeks when he was 7 months old, but we haven't been great about going to the pool with him since then. So we're going to make an effort now.  Again, because of work, I wasn't able to go, but Marty sent me a detailed report:

Change, no probs

Hang out on stairs 2nd step, discuss water safety basics, examine fundamentals of water properties, splashing

Go vroom vroom through water, somewhat anxious

Sit on side of pool.

1-2-3 into pool and under, OK

Go vroom vroom

Hang on side of pool, work on getting out by hisself

Go vroom vroom back to steps, happier

Lying face up work, no likey water in ears

Back to side for more 1-2-3 into pool-under, OK

Vroom vroom to side to get out.

20-25 minute in water, all good, locker room was freezing though. He does not like shower right now.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Cary Duathlon

We have a local duathlon that I have never done until this past Saturday.  They have a long course (5mile run - 31mile bike - 5mile run: hello crazy! that is way long for this time of year!) and a short course (2.5mile run - 17.5mile bike - 2.5mile run: for us wimpier types).  I didn't do this last year, but I did spectate with a 3 month old:

The week leading up to this was not the greatest. I got sick/was super tired, probably both from camp. I was a little worn out from the training and would typically blame it all on that, except the amount of yellow phlegm that was present every morning and my husky (sexy?) voice pointed to possibly a bug.  I did sleep a TON, though.

Marty was all, wah wah you are going to beat me I'm so slow and I was all, you are a faster runner right now then you are giving yourself credit for and you know I'm not that strong on the bike.  He was sandbagging and (spoiler alert) was strutting his stuff after beating me by a minute.

It was a beautiful day, albeit chilly in the morning. But with blue, sunny skies and a 9am start it was nice early season racing weather. Not going to lie, I was happy there wasn't a swim involved :)

There were over 300 people at this duathlon, and although I haven't done a whole lot of duathlons before, this seems like a pretty big turnout. Apparently, there were people who drove down from New York and Pennsylvania for it. 

It was a bit crowded at the start, and even though I absolutely hate going off too fast I lost all confidence and upon seeing so many girls ahead of me I went way faster at the beginning then I meant to.  I definitely didn't feel great this entire race, I was honestly pretty flat and tired but I felt sort of strong if that makes any sense.  It's also the first race of the season when you use T1 as a place to rest, ha.  The run was not flat and had a couple of hilly places, and the bike was not easy/fast, but I knew all this going in.  A headwind on the return portion of the bike just added more *fun* to the whole event.  Marty put a lot of time on me on the bike after I outran him on the first run, and I figured I wouldn't be able to catch him on the 2nd run. Quote of the Day goes to the guy I was passing when Marty was running the other way: "If he loved you, he would wait for you." 

I finished 2nd overall for females, and 2nd overall for the Gaal household.

Hopping off my bike

Maybe I'm smiling because because T2 means more resting?

Winner, winner, chicken dinner

One Step Behind, har har

Logan was having fun with Rita, and right after our race Marty went to get him and he had a great time waving at everyone and trying to bounce in the Bounce House (which looks like he is doing baby squats).  He also will stop whatever he is doing if he hears some music and start dancing (again, baby squats). He feels the beat and has to MOVE.  

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

FL Camp 2013

Florida Camp 2013 is a wrap. This camp could have alternatively been named "That's What She Said" as that phrase was uttered no less than 500 times throughout the short week. I was usually teeing it up for everyone, but I got the hang of it by the end and had a few good ones. Oh what? You thought I was going to talk about all the training? Ha.

No really, it was a great time with our smallest group yet. Which was actually really fun because the logistics of everything was super easy, whether it was making dinner or heading to the beach for an open water swim. I'm actually going to let Marty give the play-by-play because he said he was going to make a big blog post about the week - I'm holding him to it because his blogs have been few and far between and he took most of the pictures.

Since this is my blog I'll talk about me. Me me me. Isn't that what blogging and triathlon are all about? Just kidding you Type-A-triath-a-geeks, I kid! I kid!

But no, seriously.

Because of job/being a mom/being a wife/second job I have been averaging a stellar 9hrs/week for the past couple of months. This is swim-bike-run-strength hours all together. But in 5.5 days I got in 13 hours! No wonder why I slept 9hrs a night (well, that and also not hearing phantom baby cries during the night).

We once again were down in my neck of the woods of St. Pete, and stayed right across from the beach. We even layed out this year and got lots o'sun on our pale winter faces.  We rode a lot, ran some, and swam in the outdoor pool of my childhood. We also got in some open water swimming where Marty swam sans wetsuit since it was 72 degrees.

It got a little chilly towards the end of the week, but it didn't really stop us from anything. We even rode at Fort DeSoto on Sunday morning even though it was quite windy, and that place is windy on a calm day.

We 'ended' the camp with a road race. It wasn't actually the end of the camp, but close and we all had many miles in our legs so that always makes the end of camp race interesting.  The past several years we did Gasparilla, but since we were going a week later we did the Suncoast Classic. We were all signed up for the 10K, but in a moment of weakness, I switched to the 5K. I just like them better and figured that it would be easier. Of course, it wasn't, but it was shorter.

Race Report time! It was a cool morning (for FL) with a little bit of rain for the start of the 10K which was was 30min prior to the start of the 5K.  Even though the day before we had ridden close to 60 miles and swam, I had a couple of things going for me.
  1. It was flat. I haven't run a flat road race since the last time we were in Florida. We just don't have that up here.
  2. I had not 1 but 2 slices of Publix cake the night before. There is a rumor about a Publix going up near our house, and if so, I will really need to work on my cake addiction.
So, gun goes off and I ease into my pace as everyone sprints ahead.  I really had no idea how I would feel so figured I would just go with it and try to increase the effort throughout.  My first mile was 6:27 and it felt pretty freaking comfortable so I upped the ante. By this time I had moved into 2nd/3rd with another lady who also started off conservatively. I was told that 1st was 20 seconds up, so she obviously went out much faster. My 2nd mile was 6:00, hmm, possibly upped the ante a little too much. But whatever, only 1 mile left now! I could see 1st place coming back to me, and I could also see she was sporting bunhuggers (or the modern day version of them anyways) and what looked like a real running tank top. As opposed to my t-shirt and heavy trainers (I wasn't packing racing flats for this thing).  The really annoying thing was I had this volunteer on a bike next to me for almost the entire race saying what were supposed to be motivating things, but it got old quick. The kicker was when when she told me that I would hate myself if I didn't catch her.

I figured this girl had a kick, and I knew I wasn't going to, so I tried to pass her a bit before the line, only to have her sprint by the last 50 yards which was a bummer but whatever. I ran a 19:24 and am very happy with that! I felt strong and it was fun.

The End.