Friday, August 31, 2007

Checking In

I’m barely making it in under the cutoff for my two posts per month minimum. Whew!
Let’s see, since the last post…. I had a great week of training, a sprint race, a week off of training due to another nasty head/chest cold, and this week easing back into training.

The week of training leading up to my first sprint race of the year had gone really well. I’d done a couple of harder efforts on the bike and run just to remind my body what it’s like to go fast…….there ain’t a lot of fast going in Ironman training. The race was Saturday morning and I took Friday off from training to rest up a bit.

I woke up around 5:00am on race morning and had breakfast. I loaded up the truck and headed out around 5:45. I arrived at the race site about 6:30 with plenty of time before the start at 8:00am. I got my race packet, timing chip and T-shirt and headed to transition to get set up. I omit some piece of gear from my sprint transitions every year….this year it was my running hat. I’ve whittled it down to: my bike, helmet, bike shoes, glasses, running shoes and race number belt. As a result, setting up my transition area took all of about 5 minutes, which left me plenty of time to mull around and chat with a few friends. I did a short warm up run about 30 minutes before the race start and then did a swim warm up about 15 minutes before the start.

After a short delay, the horn sounded and we were off. The swim was very short, 400 yards. There were three waves in the race and mine was the largest and first to go. The swim was very crowded in the beginning and it took a couple minutes to find any clear water. We reached the first buoy and things bunched up again, but it was fairly smooth going afterwards. I had a pretty decent swim for me and came out to the water feeling good. There was a 200+ yard uphill run to T1. I crossed the timing mat going into T1 in 8:31. I exited T1 in 49 seconds and headed out on the bike. The first part of the bike course was very technical with several sharp turns. After clearing all of the turns, I went fairly hard and finished up the bike in 37:30 at an average of 20.8. Quick change and I headed out of T2 in 50 seconds. I found my legs pretty quickly on the run and went as hard as I could go. I completed the 5k in 23:35 and finished up with an overall time of 1:11:12. I bettered my best time for this race by 1:40.

I took the remainder of the day off from training after the race and did 1.5 hours on the trainer the following day. I felt great after the race and all day Sunday. When I got out of bed Monday morning, my throat was a little sore. CRAP! Not again!!!!...was all I could think. KJ had been sick with a cold and I was the next lucky recipient. I struggled through my long run Monday afternoon and felt like crap afterwards. It didn’t get any better Tuesday or Wednesday and I ended up home from work Thursday and Friday. My energy started returning Saturday and Sunday and I resumed training Monday. I’ve been easing back into it this week and I think I’ll be good to go by next week…..if I can get rid of this lingering congestion.

We are heading up to Tennessee this weekend to say adios to summer. I’m planning to take my bike along and get in some riding in the Smokies. Anybody know any good routes in the Pigeon Forge area?

Happy Training!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Jobs I've Held:
High School Summer Jobs
Farm Work
Retail Clerk
After College
Calibration Technician
Calibration Laboratory Team Leader

Movies I Can Watch Over and Over:
The Right Stuff
Star Wars
National Treasure

My Guilty Pleasures:

Places I Have Lived:
I’ve lived in South GA all my life

Shows I Enjoy:
Miami Ink
Dr. G
The New Detectives
Modern Marvels

Vacation Spots:
North Georgia Mountains
Dayton Beach Florida
Panama City Beach Florida
Gatlinburg Tennessee
Denver Colorado
Fairbanks Alaska

Favorite Foods:
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Strawberry Ice Cream
Fried Chicken

Websites I Visit Daily:
Everything in the sidebar on my blog

Body Parts I Have Injured:
Knee (water skiing)
IT Band (running)
Elbow (bicycle crash)
Arm (motorcycle crash)
Arm (Baseball)

Awards I've Won:
5th Grade three leg race co-champion (a proud moment)
Softball League Champs
A few age groups awards

Nicknames I've Been Called:
Cheetah….Not cause I’m fast….long story
Work Horse (by my roadie homies cause I don't mind pulling)

I'm Tagging:
Taconite Boy
Rural Girl

Sunday, August 12, 2007


Things are going pretty well down here in the tropical sauna also known as Georgia.
It’s been crazy hot. CRAY…Z! We’ve had 6 or 8 days in a row of record breaking heat.
The mercury topped out at 106 one day this past week. Factor in the humidity and it felt like 115+. Not the most ideal training conditions…. especially if you’re doing a half IM brick.
I’ll get to that later……

I ended the week with about 13 hours of training and around 14 last week. It’s been great to get in some good solid training after being sick a few weeks ago. John just sent my schedule for the next few weeks and things are definitely not going to slow down. I have a slightly easier week this week since I have a sprint race coming up Saturday. But the volume continues to increase after this week. I’ll do my first 100 mile ride of the year in a couple of weeks. My longest this year has been 85 (last week). I’m looking forward to the 100 miler. Hopefully we’ll get a break in the heat that day.

DJ and KJ started back to school this week also. The transition went pretty smoothly. I think they were both ready to get back to it. They’ll be missing their lazy summer days before long though. KJ is starting 4th grade this year, which is a huge deal to her because she gets to change classes. We didn’t start that until 8th grade back in the day. Times they be a changin.

Alrighty…..the half ironman brick/simulation…death march.
Since I haven’t been doing much racing this summer, John wanted me to do a half IM sim yesterday. No problem, right? I’ll get in a nice long training day. The pace will be easy to steady. No big deal, right? Right….other than the record breaking heat. The plan called for a 3k swim, 56 mile bike and at least 12 miles of running.
My pool doesn’t open until 8:30am on Saturdays, which meant the day would be starting later than I’d like. I got up around 6 and finished my breakfast by 6:30. I headed to the pool about 8:00am. The lifeguard was there a little early and I was able to start at 8:15. I took the swim really easy and finished in 1 hour and 1 second. I felt great after the swim and was looking forward to getting going on the bike. I headed out to the parking lot of the Y and got my bike ready and bottles loaded. I was covered in sweat by the time I was ready to go…not a good sign.
I took the first 30 minutes very easy and was feeling good. I increased my pace a little over the next half hour and still felt good. At about this time the heat really started kicking up. At around the 2 hour mark I started to really feel the affects from the heat. The air felt like someone had a giant hair dryer blowing in my face. My heart rate was at least 10 beats higher than it normally would be for the effort I was putting out. I drank more water and Gatorade and slowed a bit to try to settle my heart rate down. It helped some, but not much. I finished the remainder of the ride just trying to stay hydrated and save some energy for what I knew would be a rough run. I got off the bike after 57.12 miles not feeling the best, but glad to be done. I checked the thermometerwhen I got home…..99 degrees, and the sensor is in the shade.
I took my longest T2 ever, about 30 minutes, before heading to the local college to do my run. I’d measured a one mile loop there that passes by a cold water fountain. I parked at the tennis complex and headed out. The first loop went pretty well (9:32). I started to think maybe the run wouldn’t be so bad after all. The next loop
slowed to about 10:00, but I still felt ok. Mile 3 took 11:11 and the heat started working its magic again. I was stopping by the truck each loop to drink Gatorade and pour water over my head. I had to walk some on mile four and it took me 12:31. I was feeling pretty rough. I made it to mile 6 and really thought about calling it a day.
I took a break of about 2 minutes and got out of the sun under the shelter at the tennis complex. I drenched myself in cold water and felt much better. I decided I’d continue on and headed out for mile 7. It didn’t take long for the heat to zap my energy again. I took another break after mile 8. I think my brain was totally cooked at that point and I decided I was going to finish no matter how long it took. The girls soccer team was on the field doing drills. I think they were starting to take bets on how long I’d go before I passed out. I trudged through the next 4 miles and finished up in exactly 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Of any workout, race, brick, whatever, that I’ve EVER done, this was by far the hardest. I know it wasn’t lack of fitness, or poor nutrition, or anything else that made it tough. It was the heat. Truth be told, it was pretty dumb of me to keep going on the run. The heat was at dangerous levels for any outdoor activity, much less running....with zero shade. The smart thing would have been to head home after about mile 3 and finish it out on the treadmill.
I suppose the one positive thing I learned is that I can push through feeling pretty bad and continue on to finish. I’m sure that’ll come in handy on the ironman run.

Hope everyone has a great week of training.
Stay Cool!

Saturday, August 11, 2007