Tuesday, August 27, 2013

What a summer

The weather in NC this summer has been unreal. This is our 7th (!) summer here and every other time has had streaks of 100+ degree days. We haven't hit 100 once this summer and have barely been in the 90's.  We've had some hot weeks but it's freaking summer so we should! Mostly we've had lower than normal humidity and beautiful 80 degree days.

This is great for running confidence. Typically around this time we are all thinking we totally suck and are slow and then sometime in late September - boom - a nice day arrives and we're back on top of the world. This year I've had some great workouts. In August. In the afternoon. Crazy.

Speaking of, I pr'd one of my long run routes the other weekend. Turkey Creek is a hella hilly route in Umstead. I wasn't meaning to run it hard but just slowly increased my pace as I was feeling good, then hit a point (right at an hour) where I realized if I picked it up and stayed strong I would run my fastest ever. So I picked it up a little more and I was kind of at that ugly-face-pace and all of the sudden thought "what the heck are you doing?!" But you'd better believe I still finished with my fastest time. What does this mean? Nothing.

But I have been running a bit more than normal and feeling pretty good. I haven't been on my bike since Lake Logan. Marty told me in his coach voice that I needed to get back on it for cross training purposes and I whined "but my back wheel isn't on"  Then he gave me an eye-brow exasperated look.  We DID ride our mountain bikes to Goodberry's and back with a stop at the playground for Logan. Goodberry's (an NC treasure - homemade custard ice cream) is about 5 miles away from our house and we can get to it almost exclusively on greenways and wide sidewalks.  Marty towed Logan in the Chariot while I got the easy way out and spun behind them. It took us 2 hrs round trip. 10miles, 1 ice cream, and a playground in 2hrs. I'm pretty sure Turkey Creek Bri could've beat this trio.

I was also a single parent for a few days last week when Marty flew to see his dad in Miami. That was hard. I applaud all the single parents out there. Trying to get Logan ready for the day, myself ready for the day, work all day, fit in any workouts before I picked him up from daycare, and feed us all with at least some semblance of nutrition was exhausting.

Here is a picture we sent to dada while he was gone. This was in the morning, so Logan is still waking up. And you can't miss Tassie, always right on top of us.


My mom spent the weekend with us 2 weekends ago and spoiled Logan with gifts and clothes (she spoiled me, too). She has now seen the obsession with Elmo. It's pretty amazing.

We took Logan to the mall with us and he has liked the carousel before so Gi-Gi (that's what Logan calls her) forked over $2 to see this.



I had to take him off before it even started so people didn't think I was too horrible of a parent. Got the good blackmail picture, though!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Getting rid of the clown

I had a request from a friend to please update so that he doesn't have to see Logan-the-Clown anymore. So here is some randomness for you. You're welcome, DT.

I watched this youtube video and now my linen closet looks AWESOME! Like I mentioned to some friends, it's great because it's just an older dude in what looks like a guest room explaining how to fold a fitted sheet. Anyone can do it!
   


We went and watched the Cary Criterium on Saturday, which was right in downton Cary so very close to our house. It was really neat watching the different races. I hope it is an annual thing - I really feel like they could get quite a crowd if it was advertised properly. When we were in Orlando they had a crit in downtown right where all the bars/restaurants were and it was such a fun night. Logan was great and really enjoyed sitting on the curb yelling 'Go go go!' to all the bikes.



I really like these shorts if anyone is in the market to buy me a present. My birthday has passed and Christmas is still several months away but, you know, I'm a pretty awesome wife/daughter/sister/friend (size medium) :)

I'm out.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Clowns

Have you ever googled 'clowns'? Click on the images section - they are super creepy. I assumed that the pictures would be of happy, fun clowns, so I mistakenly googled 'creepy clowns' first. No need to put the adjective in there.

Why was I searching for 'creepy clowns'? Because I wanted to compare with my own.


It's the eyebrows, right? Sidenote: this was not my doing. It does make me laugh. I hope none of my readers are coulrophobic.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Lake Logan Triathlon Race Report

Results

The Lake Logan Triathlon is one of my favorite races – possibly my favorite Olympic distance. The venue is awesome: clear mountain lake (always wetsuit legal which is a treat for us this time of year), rolling but fast bike course (I’m always a bit suspicious that it’s a tad short because the splits always seem just a bit too quick), and my favorite 10K. The run is slightly uphill to the turnaround, then obviously, back down. So when you typically start hitting a lull in an Olympic Distance you get the added benefit of extra turnover from the downhill. AND the temperatures are always better than in the Triangle. What’s not to like?


Marty and I decided to make a weekend out of it with Junior Awesome. My dad has a cabin near Maggie Valley that we could use and one of Marty’s athletes, Frank, stayed with us and brought a lot of comic relief. We decided for long car trips we would let Logan watch DVD’s and he was in heaven (zombie-baby heaven), except now every time we get in the car he asks, “Elmo? Elmo?”


You guys have totally been holding out on me!

We got out of Cary later than we wanted, as per usual, but it all worked out. My sister and her husband happened to be in Asheville for vacation so we met up with them at The Wicked Weed Brewery for dinner on our way in. Very yum.


I had Wicked Weed's ImPEACHed Wheat

When we decided to do the Lake Logan weekend Marty gave me first dibs on whichever race. There is an Olympic distance on Saturday, and a sprint and aquathon on Sunday. The sprint was the USAT Mideast regional championship, so that might hold a little bit of interest for people if you’re into those types of accolades (I’m not). The Aquathon was actually the USAT National Championship. But I got a free entry into the Olympic because they had a ‘Champions’ wave (people who had won other races in the series) and like I mentioned above, I love the Olympic distance here. So it took me all of 3 seconds to decide. My biggest concern was my bike, which is always lacking with my current training.

Even though we thought that we would just switch off watching Logan at the race each day, we realized it would be WAY easier if the person not racing just hung out at the cabin. So Frank and I got up early on Saturday morning to make our way to the race while Logan and Marty slept for several more hours.

Gail Kattouf always does this race and crushes everyone. In addition to being crazy fast, she is super nice and we got to catch up a bit before the start which was great since I didn’t really know anyone else. No problems setting up and I made my way down to the lake with plenty of time since I knew it would take me a bit to get in my wetsuit and then actually in the water. Usually the lake is in the low to mid 70’s but because of all the rain and colder than normal spring it was measured at 67. And you all know by now what a wimp I am getting in the water anyways. The course is a rectangle but the back side is longer so you can get to the swim exit which is under a bridge and up just a little bit into the ‘mountain river’ that empties into the lake. Every year it is noticeably cooler than the lake at this point but this year it was absolutely freezing! At least 10 degrees colder than the lake temperature, maybe more? I’m not sure, but everyone said it was a take-your-breath-away-I’m-now-hyperventilating temperature.

The first wave was the men’s and women’s champions wave, and although it was small there was still some great competition in it. I am still stunned by my swim time. This is quite possibly my best ever swim, and I’m not totally sure why. I always swim better in a wetsuit, and I’m a better open water swimmer compared to the pool, but I just felt so great out there. I haven’t done anything different in training, still my typical twice a week 2K – 2.5K swims. It was just one of those days where it clicked. Or maybe being married to Marty for 9 years has finally paid off.



Beautiful mountain lake for the swim

I had a lickety-split transition, and was outta there like lightening. My goal for the day was to see how long I could stay ahead of Gail, as she surely would catch me on the bike. Marty had told me to put it in a gear that had me at that comfortable fast effort – but not pushing super hard. He’s knows my fitness right now. I grinded up the initial hill and then kept it at the pace we talked about. The only people I saw were once again, guys I beat out of the water who zoomed by me like I was standing still. So that’s the not so great thing about having a fast swim – you get passed a lot.

I couldn’t believe I was still in the lead at mile 15, then mile 20, then up the final hill into transition. I was stoked to be in first and figured that although Gail is a crazy fast runner (she has split a 37 out here before!) any time I had on her just meant that she would have to run even faster to catch me and I’m not a bad runner either ;) The whole time I’m telling myself that I need to try and stay ahead as long as I can and maybe she’ll have to work so hard that I can hang on and sprint hard at the end. I was heading out onto the course when she was finishing the bike and I now knew that I had close to 2min on her. I could work with this.

I felt good on the run. I tried to focus on a few of the guys up ahead of me and then run off the shoulder of Josh for a little bit who caught and passed me (he started in a later wave). It was only for a short while but every little bit helps. Now I just wanted to get to the turnaround and see what the split difference was because I knew I loved the portion going back down and could really hammer it.

To my utter surprise, I now had over 3min on Gail after the turnaround. It turns out she is not in the shape she has been in years past at Lake Logan, but it’s all good because Gail-from-the-past spurred me on to have a great race for myself! It can be tough pretty much time trialing an entire race but knowing she was back there made me keep my focus.

I still worked hard on the downhill miles 4 & 5, and then was pretty tired for the last mile but managed a 40:37 run split. Not my fastest out here but I’m definitely happy with it! And I won some cash for being the overall winner and having the fastest run split. The inaugural winner of this race was killed the next year coming home from a training day and his family has set up a fund for this race to have a little prize money, a very nice gesture. The prize money was not on my radar because I have never managed to win any money at this Olympic distance, so it was a nice added bonus to the day.

The rest of the weekend was great. Marty and I tried to recreate some pictures we had taken with Logan over a year ago at the cabin, then we all headed out to The Bear Waters Brewery to rehydrate (and hydrate for Marty, who was doing the aquathon the next morning). Then to Tipping Point Brewing for dinner and more hydration. Junior Awesome was of course, awesome for the whole evening.

5 month old Junior Awesome


20 month old Junior Awesome




Super baby!


Strength workout this time around


Bear Waters Brewery, Waynesville, NC



Tipping Point Brewery in downtown Waynesville