Sunday, May 26, 2013

Birthday Weekend!

Birthday weekend has arrived! My birthday is May 25 and typically falls right around the Memorial Day holiday which is great because PARTY TIME! Kari said last night at the party Heather hosted for my birthday, "You know, you are the only person I know who has an actual birthday party every year."

Score for me :)

The day started out with a swim with Mary at TAC (I wonder sometimes when I type Mary if you all read that quickly as Marty). It just so happened that the pool was hosting the Black Heritage swim meet so that was pretty fun and funny. The good thing about TAC is even when there is a swim meet they always have lap lanes available in the other pool. And since most people take one look at the parking lot and turn right around, swimming during a meet almost guarantees your own lane.  We had a good workout and enjoyed listening to the warmup music like "No Diggity."

Then Kari picked me up for brunch, and dropped me off for a surprise from my sister and brother-in-law: a relaxing facial at a spa! I've never done this and it's so something I wouldn't ever do for myself so it was a really nice present. Marty and Logan picked me up and then it was off to the Honnold's for my birthday party :)  It was so fun and such a great group of people. We were remarking today that no matter where you were there was always another fun person to talk to, unlike some parties, where groups form and you feel comfortable only in certain areas.  I had not one but two birthday cakes, PLUS homemade cupcakes that had a birthday cake oreo inside!! I have definitely eaten my weight in sweets so far.

This morning we did our last brick before the Raleigh 70.3 next week. Unfortunately, Marty couldn't do it as he has had some sort of bad stomach virus for a bunch of days now. Not going to lie, I'm sort of terrified I'm going to get it since we seem to pass everything back and forth. Fingers are crossed that I've somehow been spared.  Anyways, a group of us met at Harris Lake to review the last part of the course. Although I've ridden the first 25 miles of this course hundreds of times (since this is our typical riding area), I've never ridden the end. It's narrow and much more trafficky so not bike friendly at all. It's rolling, much like the rest of the course.

The weather was absolutely GOR-GEOUS today. Seriously, it was a ridiculously cool in the morning, sunny with no humidity topping out in the low 70's sort of day. I am so not going to be surprised when it's the opposite in one week, probably 90 degrees and humid in the baking hot sun. Because that's how these things work, right? And ugggghhhh, I'm wave 19 out of 21. Marty starts almost an hour ahead of me! But back to the ride - I had to wear arm warmers, how crazy is that?

Later, we hit up a park with Junior Awesome.

Concentrating hard on the big boy swing

Monday, May 20, 2013

2 Weeks to go

Since I decided I was definitely going to do the Raleigh 70.3, I have crammed in some important training this week. Oh what, you aren't supposed to cram for a half Ironman?

Thursday morning group interval run, Thursday night group ride (ouch), Friday swim where I didn't even cut any of the workout (go me), Saturday long run, Sunday long brick.

Marty went down and did the FS50 in Washington, NC. This is a neat distance (1mile swim, 44mile bike, 5mile run = 50 miles. Get it?) and although I've never been there, everyone says it's a great venue.  He didn't get back until 2pm which meant I didn't get to start my long run until 3pm. My original plan was to start at Umstead and run the Turkey Creek loop and then add some on to get to 12miles.

Within 1mile, I had several horseflies swarming me. Oh yes, they are out. Typically, if you run in the morning you're okay, but if you wait until the afternoon heats up, you're a goner. There is really nothing more annoying than having horseflies dive bomb you during the entirety of your run. I really can't handle it - this run from 4 years ago is still very fresh in my mind!

Luckily, I could get out of their fairly quick and get onto the greenway that takes you to the NC Art Museum. No horseflies on the greenway, they tend to stay in the trees. It's kind of a boring run, but I don't ever run on that greenway and I was cruising along with my music so it was all good. I briefly thought of running more of the 70.3 course since the turnaround is at the Art Museum and I had around 3 more miles to kill, but instead decided to check out a couple of their trails. I had never run on them before and there are weird sculptures that kept it interesting.

Logan's one year pictures taken at one of the sculptures at the NC Art Museum in December

On the way back, I picked it up for about 3.5 miles and felt pretty good.  Then we stuffed ourselves at Ruckus Pizza with friends. I was a little worried for the quick turnaround that was going to happen since I was meeting the group at 9am for our last big brick, but that workout also turned out pretty good. We rode 50miles and ran 4. So I got several good workouts in and now I'm ready to taper, ha :)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

I'm in for the 70.3

That might look like a funny title - didn't I sign up for the Raleigh 70.3 last fall? Well, yes, yes I did. But if you had asked me 2 months ago if I was going to do it, I would've probably said, "I don't think so." 

It all came down to balance. I'm working almost full time again, coaching athletes, being a mom, and trying to keep some organization to the house and things were just too much. For me, anyways, I know plenty of people out there have more on their plate and get more done than I do. Anyways, when it came down to decision time, would I rather be on my bike for 3+hrs or take Logan to a trampoline place? Would I rather get a run in or head to Logan's daycare for a Mother's Day Tea Party? I always chose Logan. I don't want to miss anything! So training went on the back burner and I did what I wanted when I wanted. This typically meant no long rides and I swam if I felt like it. I also didn't do any long runs over 10 miles (10 miles just seems the perfect long run distance to me). And I was 90% sure I wasn't going to do Raleigh because I obviously wasn't trained enough to be competitive.

Last week I sort of started feeling like maybe I could still do it. And then when I ran with some friends on Sunday (on the course, for almost 11 miles and it felt pretty easy), they convinced me. My plan is to not go too hard. Seriously. I'm not joking when I say I'm not well trained for this event - I can definitely do the distance, but I most definitely can't do the distance fast. So I will cruise the bike and run. The swim is whatever anyways. I'm taking a page from my friend Tori's playbook and the goal of the day will be to "Finish Happy"

We know so many people doing this race, and it's right in our backyard. I'm checking my ego at the door and will be enjoying the day, hopefully with a smile on my face for most of it.

And it's not like I'm not training at all. I'm still averaging 8-10 hours a week, and this is doable for me and it's what I like. That was the other thing - I don't actually like training for the long stuff. I'm much happier training short and hard and doing sprint tri's. All out and you're done in a little over an hour. Perfect.

So hopefully I get through the 70.3 unscathed and get back to racing sprints. Or maybe I'll just run. I love running and there is always this desire to just focus on running for awhile and see if I can lower my adult PR's on the roads. Who knows. At this rate I'll change my mind again in a few weeks.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Open Water Swim and Stuff

We co-hosted the Jordan Lake Open Water Challenge this past Saturday with FS Series. This was the first race in our open water swim series that we've been putting on for several years now.  We switched the venue this year and moved the date earlier so everyone could get a run through of the Raleigh 70.3 swim course. This is the same place we do our Big Deuce and Little Uno swims in July. Because of the popularity of the 70.3, we had over 250 swimmers signed up for 1.2 mile, and around 65 for the 2.4 mile.

This was definitely our biggest turnout (thanks, M-Dot!), and because of it, it took a bit more coordination and work.  I'm usually the sort-of in charge person at check-in and I can't thank our volunteers enough (our athletes - OSB rocks)  for their hard work. I was a bit more organized this time around and sent out an email detailing what each person would do and we luckily had enough people that I could roam around and help out where needed. Mostly this was answering questions and trouble-shooting. I also took over when people needed bathroom breaks and when everyone left since they were all swimming. I couldn't because there was just too much to do (schlep all the food out and get it ready for the swimmers afterwards, for example).

I'd say it all went fairly smooth, but I honestly often walk away from these wondering why we put them on since from my perspective it seems no one is happy. I realize I am typically dealing with people who are disgruntled or don't like something (that I have no control over) and I'm having to explain to them the 'why.' I also realize that we attract mostly triathletes who tend to be type-A, not-quite-ever-satisfied people, but even so it can be tough to be in this position all the time. I guess I'm throwing a bit of a pity-party over here. I do hope most people enjoy themselves out there, although I doubt they realize how much work goes into putting one on.

Doug waited around until the bitter end for me so I would have someone to ride with. Although I doubt HE realized how tired/slow I was going to be. Uggghh, that was definitely not a confidence builder. By the time I got home I was so exhausted. Marty had already gone home to relieve our awesome babysitter who came over at 5:30am, and I powered through and we all had a nice dinner with friends that night.

This morning a big group of us ran most of the 70.3 run course in downtown Raleigh. It's not flat, but I also don't think it's the hardest course out there. The greenway has some nice hills on it and running down Hillsborough in the heat will be tough, but I think it will be pretty fun since it's out and back and you'll be able to see so many people. We're all just wondering how hot the day will be after having such a cold winter and mild spring.

And now, Logan. He is so much fun - repeating new words each day, doing new things each day, it's so great.

He'll say "cheese!" now when you take a picture

Sitting with dada at a Mexican Restaurant on Mother's Day

Walking to dinner

Big boy sitting in a booster seat AND drinking from a cup, with Uncle Doug looking on

Some video of Logan saying a lot of "No" (one of his favorites right now), and some other words at the end.

And this one is of another one of his favorite words, "thank you"  I never get tired of hearing him say this when you give him something.

Monday, May 6, 2013

I Thought It Would Be Warmer

Several months ago, Marty and I signed up for an organized group ride near us called the Raven Rock Ramble. We originally signed up for the 86 mile version. Obviously, I was under duress when this was decided since I've never ridden that far. Luckily, you can opt out and do whatever course you want the day of, so we did the 100K route instead. Which is actually 64 miles, not 100K, so why it's advertised as 100K is a mystery. They have 2 columns on their website: Route and Actual Distance, where they distinguish between what is advertised and what it really is. Okay.

We don't do a whole lot of these supported rides, but they are fun, particularly if you have a few people to do it with so you can have your own built in group within the great big group. I do love how these rides attract everyone from hardcore roadies to people on recumbents. And the stops usually have very yummy treats - like delicious brownies. I had two of those at one stop.

The weather sucked, though. We live in the south and it's supposed to be hot by now, not gloomy, super windy, and 56 degrees. This particular ride is really quite hilly (friend's garmin had 3300 feet of elevation gain) so we didn't really need the wind to make it any harder. But there you go and we survived. Not without a lot of grumbling among our group of 4 that rotated through most of the route. It was good natured grumbling, like 'omg this sucks hahaha what are we doing I want to be done we are so tough Marty quit your belly aching and get up here and pull us' type of stuff. Having friends with you to endure a workout like this really helps.

The last 15 or so miles were a tough grind, into the wind with lots of uphill/false flats. The 4 of us continued to rotate while a train drafted off of our group behind. We didn't care about that. But then we all cared a tiny bit when 3 of the guys who sucked our wheels for miles and miles surged in a clear manner to totally drop us all the last 2 miles, like it was the end of some stage race or something.

But despite all of this, it was a great ride and really fun and challenging. I'm glad we did it, and I'm REAL glad we did the 100k, err 64 mile version.