Monday, June 24, 2013

Lots o' catchup

Whoah, I've been a little slacker on my blog recently - and truth be told just been waaaay too busy. Now I have all sorts of things to catch up on but instead of writing a novel, I present you with pictures from the past few weeks.

Post Raleigh 70.3 consisted of lots of rest and catching up on life. I wasn't actually too sore or tired since I neither went super hard or ran an entire half marathon.

Just another cute Logan picture

This kid is so freaking fun

We put on an open water swim clinic the weekend after Raleigh

This is Logan and his little girlfriend Lizzie. Unfortunately, Logan doesn't see her anymore because we switched him to a Spanish immersion daycare. He points to this picture and says, "Izzie?"

We got him a total tricked out baby pool

Which Tassie also enjoys

Father's Day fun at the pool with friends

A shot of Logan and me. For comparison, a similar position from 11 months ago below:

I won a local-ish sprint triathlon called the 3 Little Pigs. The age group awards are the cute pigs and the overall awards are the wolves. It's in Smithfield, NC and Marty got a flat (which he changed and was able to finish the race) but interestingly, the last time he got a flat in a race was in another Smithfield (Virginia).

This past week was Boone Camp! My favorite week of the year :) This is the 4th year where we rent a huge house and our athletes and good friends all go to western NC for some great training. The house we rented this year was awesome but the location was TOUGH. To get there you had to go down a huge extremely steep downhill and then climb a hard switch back road. So to start our rides we had to do the opposite. The super steep road (according to people's gps's) had an average grade of 13% and went up to 20% on one section. This is hard, but it's even harder when this is within the first 5min of your ride! And of course coming back to the house was also bad, but not as bad as the beginning. Other than that, we had an absolutely fabulous time. These pictures are out of order and I'm way too lazy/busy to change them around.

On a bike stop

Egg boy was up early every morning cooking away. Pancake man took this picture.

This would be one of the only flat roads we encountered. In Todd, NC.

Doug designed us some sweet camp t-shirts!

View from the deck of our house

This was a I-phone propped up with a timer picture. Not bad.

The town of Todd had 2 stores. This was one of them.

And inside was a bakery. She was just pulling freshly baked goods out of the oven and we all hovered at the display case until she served us. Rude, hungry cyclists!

Heading to Snake Mountain

Running down the fire tower trail at Moses Cone Park. Charge!
The most delicious cupcakes ever.

They had an oreo cookie inside!

Group dinner time

The early group - some of us started Boone Camp on Tuesday. Everyone else came in on Wednesday.

Still running

The Scottish Highland Games also took place behind la casa.

Frank was one of many birthday's celebrated during the week. Not that we needed an excuse, but this led to many cakes being eaten.

These guys rode long and hard (twss)

While a few of us opted to ride into Blowing Rock for some ice cream

A small sampling of the Boone Camp refueling center

Lunch at the Mellow Mushroom took a day and a half. Good thing we all like each other.

Annual Camp photo pre-run at Moses Cone. A few people got lost getting there which literally happens every year.

Marty broke his chain riding up the driveway on one of the last rides and he wasn't able to get it fixed before Sunday so Tassie, Marty and I did a run around Price Lake before heading back home.

There is one place to run that is flat - a nice greenway in Boone.

Group picture of those of us willing to do a shot on Saturday night. Where are all the boys?

Lots of riding

On the drive up, we stopped for a swim at Kerr Scott Reservoir. Beautiful mountain lake and Tassie was in heaven.

Awwww. We like each other.

If you climb up the fire tower, you are granted with this view (Marty not always included)

Monday, June 3, 2013

Raleigh 70.3

The weekend was a little nutso, particularly getting all of our stuff set at both transitions and dropping a car off downtown, all with Junior Awesome in tow who was a trooper.  While others might have been relaxing with their feet up the day before the race I was out at the park chasing him around. Life doesn't stop just because you sign up for a race!

At the pre-race meetings the organization kept on relaying the current water temperature and it had climbed all the way to 79 degrees on Saturday. With how hot the day was and how not low the lows would get overnight it was recommended that you don't even bring your wetsuit. The wetsuit cutoff for WTC is 76.1.

Wonder of wonders, they managed to measure the water temperature at 76.0 degrees on race morning. Hmmmmm. At least when my wave went off, the water was warm. And take that statement for what it's worth coming from me. Here is a card my friend Mary sent to me recently (she said she immediately thought of me when she saw it).

So I was mad at myself for not bringing my wetsuit because it certainly makes me faster in the water and it would save my legs a bit for the bike and the run. On the other hand, I had a little voice inside of my head saying it was a good thing because the day would be hot (especially with my waves late start) and not becoming unnecessarily warm at the beginning would be a good thing.

Pre-race hanging with my homies

Plus, I did not have any competitive goals. All I wanted to do was cruise and enjoy it. So that's what I did. I didn't push the swim, I just got out there and swam. The two waves ahead of us (which consisted of men 34 and under) were tough to get through. LOTS of breastrokers and people everywhere. The long backside was a bit choppy and coming in the final stretch also had some rolling chop, but that is typical for Jordan Lake if there's any wind so it didn't bother me. 33:10 and 4th in my age group.

The bike was going to be a bit of an unknown since my long bikes were few and far between. But I had a plan - don't push. And eat and drink, a lot!  That's exactly what I did and it was great. I knew the front half was easier than the back half so I put it in an effort where I barely felt like I was pushing the pedals. One good thing about going so far in the back is there are tons of people to pass so this boosts your confidence :)  And I was so surprised at the spectator support out there for this bike ride. I figured there wouldn't be any but I was wrong. The bike went by very fast for me and I had no idea that I was leading my age group for most of the second half?! That is crazy.  I switched off a couple of times with a friend of mine Becky, who hadn't done a triathlon in 7 years after having 2 kids! And then towards the end a girl in my age group passed me and she looked very serious. I didn't even think about trying to stay with her.  Bike split was 2:43:13 on a rolling course and I'm stoked!  And 2nd place in age group?! That is most surprising to me. I did get quite fried on my back even with tons of sunscreen, but the sun was intense when I was riding.

I was excited to get to the run. I knew I hadn't overcooked myself on the bike and my plan was to cruise the run and just pretend I was out doing a long run with a bunch of other people. I felt awesome. I was easily holding under 8min miles and then 8min miles for a long time and it felt so easy. There was already a lot of carnage on the course with many people walking and I got lots of "you look incredible" from the spectators. It was so fun and I saw so many friends out on the course.  The greenway near the art museum is a bit brutal but I just jogged up the hills.

Feeling great

I still felt great coming back and then almost out of nowhere my stomach totally turned on me. And there was a moment of panic where I realized that this could turn into a very bad situation.  Luckily, LUCKILY, a well place portopotty saved me from a disastrous situation. This was right around mile 9.5. I literally stepped over a timing mat and right into the john.

I spent quite some time in there. It was not pretty.

When I finally got out I thought that I would go back to where I was before but apparently my stomach had had enough.  I'm not sure exactly why that happened: the heat, my nutrition, nutrition in the heat (hard to practice race day effort + nutrition for a hot day when we didn't have any hot days), the fact that I don't race long and probably don't have my nutrition really dialed in...who knows but it really sucked that my stomach was hurting so badly when the rest of me felt so great. I had to walk a ton the last 3 miles because every time I started to run my stomach hurt intensely.

Oh well, whatever, I actually still managed my best case scenario time even with all my walking - 5:15! The finish stretch was awesome and I'm so glad my stomach had settled down by then so I didn't have to walk there. The crowd was amazing and you totally felt like a rockstar coming down the chute.

Getting a high five from Marty who had been done for quite some time. Almost there!

The volunteers were also so great out there. And seeing so many people during the race and cheering me on that I knew was so fun. My good friends Kari, Alysia and Heidi got to see me in a bad place around mile 11 when I was walking and I relayed about my tummy troubles. I really wanted to ask one of them to walk in with me because I was frankly so bored at that point (walking takes sooooo long). I also walked a bit with a 50 year old man who was having the exact same trouble I was. We both were able to pull it together and run in and he wanted me to go ahead of him for my finish picture (which I totally don't care about, and good thing because some big dude kind of elbowed me out of the way anyways).  A lot of people struggled on that run.

I finished 4th in my age group and was in 2nd solidly until my stomach erupted. I thought maybe if I had a good day I might finish in the top ten in my age group so this is awesome. I even got a rolldown spot to Vegas but I wasn't there for awards (Marty had to take me home because I was still not feeling well at all after) but there is no way on this planet I wanted that spot. Time for some sprint triathlons and no more long stuff!!

And Team OSB had a great day. We had two age group winners (and my athlete Kory finished as the 3rd amateur!) and numerous other great results. Marty held it together and put together a solid performance, too.  Next up: Boone Camp!!