Monday, February 17, 2014

Myrtle Beach Half Marathon Report

I can’t call this a race report, because we didn’t race it. We ran it – much like a long run with maybe just a little bit more oomph than we would typically have in a long run. In the end, it was perfect pacing. We felt strong, and had fun, and we weren’t tired/sore afterwards.  Mission totally accomplished.

I picked Kari up in the afternoon and we drove the ~3hrs to Myrtle Beach. We had pizza and a giant chocolate chip cookie for dinner and then went to our hotel. Even though it’s a fairly big event with 10,000 total runners, finding cheap but nice accommodations and non-crowded restaurants was very easy. We stayed right on the beach and had a shuttle to the race start. This is what happens in the off-season of a very popular summer beach town.

This is what we woke up to:

It pretty much poured rain up until the start. Kari and I huddled with many others at the outer edge of a tent to try and stay warm and dry. Neither of us had any rain gear so our outerwear was pretty much soaked by the time we took it to the bag drop at 6:15am. We then jogged around a parking lot trying to stay warm. We made it to the starting corral and seeded ourselves back aways and pretty much all of the sudden the horn blew and we were off.

We had talked about not wanting our first mile to be faster than 8:00 and how that should feel like we’re walking. We hit the first mile at 8:09 and my first thought was, “Uh-oh. That didn’t feel as easy as I was hoping.” But we dropped it to 7:40 the next mile and it was fine – from mile 2 until the end we bounced between 7:30 – 7:43 miles. It was a headwind going out and we tried to draft as much as we could (which wasn’t a whole lot) and then had a nice tailwind on the way back in. The last mile was one final turn to the finish and we were running back into the headwind which had picked up significantly – 30mph gusts, which we powered our way through. This flat section felt like we were running directly uphill – but we felt fine since we hadn’t run any miles that were very taxing overall.  We passed people the entire race and the miles clicked off very fast.  We ended up running just a few seconds over 1:41 and although this is way off my pr, it went by the fastest of any half marathon I’ve ever done.  It’s definitely more fun to run with someone the whole way.

We got massages right after and then went to find our bags from earlier. We were both freezing by this point and our pre-race clothes were soaked so this was not awesome. It was windy and cold and we just wanted to get back to our warm hotel room, which was 1.5 miles away. We knew we weren’t going to be able to make it there on foot as popsicles so we found our shuttle and sat in it for 40 or so minutes before it finally left to take us back. 

We cleaned up and hit one of the 50 pancake houses on Myrtle Beach before heading to the outlet mall where we found some great deals – before both complaining that our feet hurt and heading back (with just one ice cream stop along the way). Endurance shoppers we are not.

Marty had a busy weekend while I was away, being #1 dad and hosting a swim clinic on Saturday morning. He met some friends on Saturday night with Logan in tow and they had a fun guy’s night. He sent me this picture from a new brewery that just opened right near our house.

I asked if Logan was the only baby in the bar?


Phew. It seems like we’re still doing all right with this parenting thing.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Snow Snow Snow

This storm was predicted, so I'm not totally sure why there were so many people stuck on the roads yesterday. If you watch any of the news you'll have heard of the gridlock we had in Raleigh/Durham in the afternoon. I think that even though we all heard about the disaster in Atlanta a couple of weeks ago, most just don't take these forecasts serious.  This is our 7th year here in NC and most times these storms never pan out the way they say they could. It's always, we dodged a bullet, or it could've been a lot worse.  I wasn't too worried about it until I watched the weather forecast Wednesday morning and the meteorologist totally freaked me out. I immediately sent a text to Marty: if you were to buy wood, do you think you could start a fire?

We have never used our fireplace. We are Floridiots.

I needed to go to work Wednesday morning because I had deadlines that required the help of my coworkers. Thank my lucky stars that one coworker came in who could help me.  I still wasn't all that concerned about traffic because kids were off of school and I assumed there were a lot of people who didn't come into work at all. I left the office at 11:30 and made my way to Logan's daycare. I stayed there for a bit as they had just served lunch.  Not that he ate any of it. Can we say picky-eater. Sheesh.

Then I decided to stop at the super market because Tassie was almost out of food. And maybe I wanted cake.  Logan didn't want to sit in the cart, so it was slow going with him ambling next to me while I got some groceries.  When we walked outside it had started snowing - hard. By the time I got home, 5min later, our driveway was covered and there was no way I was getting up it (it's very steep).  But we were home safe and sound.  My helpful coworker didn't leave until 12:30 and it took her 2.5hrs to get home.  And this picture was not even photo shopped.  This is in front of the Angus Barn if any of you are familiar with Glenwood Ave.

This morning I decided to go ahead and get my run in. I put on my trusty Yaktrax but this time around wasn't as good as last time.  The snow was deep and slushy - very, very hard to run through.

This was our backyard this morning:

But we haven't lost power so everything is good. I can work from home and have the Olympics on in the background. It definitely puts a damper on the training, but let's be real here, I'm not exactly very disciplined right now.

Also, my sister had her baby this past Sunday. Say hello to Beckett Morgan Lowery! I can't wait to see him in a couple of weeks.

And here is Logan's latest thing: fake falling and saying, 'ow ow ow'

Friday, February 7, 2014

Oh Hiiiiiii

Hello world. It’s been awhile.

What has been going on? What has not been going on? Here in ‘freaking cold isn’t this still considered the south North Carolina’ we are plugging away. I am doing a half marathon next weekend with one of my dearest friends where we are in it to finish. Yup, my goal is to finish. Last weekend I pulled off my longest run in prep for this – 11.7 miles. It was hilly and I negative split it so I figure I can fake 13.1 miles on a flat course with a good friend.  I am severely under trained – not my fault. Actually, it is (it always is right? Whether we want to believe it or not).  Last week I only managed 2 runs the entire time! It snowed, and as you all have heard by now when it snows in the South everyone becomes blathering idiots and the entire metropolitan area shuts down.  Luckily, Marty and I own a pair of Yaktrax so we did each get out for a run on the snow day (yes, I said day). But the next day was so icy and a very freezing 7 degrees, so no go on driving into Umstead at 6am for our normal group run.  Saturday we went to Richmond, VA for a triathlon symposium (which lasted all day).

The Symposium was really great. They had interesting speakers from athletes to doctors to coaches. I was worried initially that this was going to be a long day in a boring room but it wasn’t.  It WAS an early wakeup call, 4:30am so we could get to Richmond, which is 3hrs away, in time. Our babysitter made a small fortune that day. Anyways, Michellie Jones was the first to speak and she had some good stories. She is right up my alley, minus of course me not being an Olympic silver medalist or Hawaiian Ironman winner, but she said she hates IM and loves going short and fast and being done quick. Me too, which is why I’ll be doing sprints this year (that and also the full time job/coach/mom thing).  I also loved that she said she never used a heart rate monitor or power meter. When she was supposed to go hard she went hard and when she was supposed to go easy (or gasp, rest) she did.  OF COURSE they are great tools that provide solid feedback and I don’t want to debate that, but I’ve been an athlete for a long time and I love going by feel.  Chris Carmichael also spoke – Lance Armstrong’s former coach although you’d be hard pressed to find that info in his bio. He spoke about the time crunched athlete (which most of us are) but he also sprinkled in interesting stories about his time riding for the 7-11 team back in the mid-80s.  Frankie Andreau was the last speaker, and we actually had to cut out of his a bit early so we could get back before Logan’s bedtime.  He also didn’t say a peep about that other cyclist, despite being his teammate and his wife having a huge fight with him. I wanted some dirt! Alas, they were all professional and crap.

And where to begin with Logan. He is growing so fast and saying so many words. English and Spanish – it’s really amazing.  He loves Go Diego Go (which he calls ‘Agua’) and playing with Matchbox cars which are literally covering our entire living and dining room. He is sleeping in much better, too, which is great for us. He had been waking up very early 5:30am (or even earlier) but we bought him a clock that changes color when he’s allowed to call for us. We have this set for 6:30 and when he does wake up before this we just simply tell him it’s not time yet and he lays back down. We were shocked when we realized it was that easy to get him to go back to sleep!  He is still in a crib – he has never once tried to climb out so we’re going to keep him in it for as long as possible. 

He is loving the pool now and often asks to go to the ‘seena’ (la piscina is pool in Spanish). He also enjoys running the circle in our house – typically its “Dada unner!” and they run while I stand and give them high fives every time they come by me. He’ll stop occasionally if Tassie gets in his way and says, “Miso, Tassie” which means excuse me in Spanish (con permiso, actually).  We take him on all of our long runs and instead of letting him sleep which then screws up his nap later on, we allow him to watch a movie on the Kindle which of course he loves. He either watches Cars or Toy Story. If I tell him “I love you” he responds, “Amor, Mommy.”  Cue melting of my heart.

Here is your random cute picture.