Sunday, September 29, 2013

My First Triathlon

Last weekend, I did my first triathlon!  Yeah, I can't believe it either... but I did it! I did the Redman Half Distance Triathlon in Oklahoma City.

That's... 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and a 13.1 mile run.   (I didn't exactly start with the shortest distance)

A little background:  When I decided to do the tri I knew I could bike 56 miles, I knew I could run a half marathon, but I knew I couldn't swim.  So 1.2 miles of swimming? No problem right???

I am going to save you all the details of pre race and all and get straight to the triathlon.

1st...the swim!

So, I swam in the very last wave to start.... The SAFETY WAVE!!! That wave was for beginners or people that are slower swimmers and might need a less crowded start... Well, that's me... So, we had to walk out into the water to get to the starting point...and as we were walking in, they were playing bag pipes... that made it kind of eerie... So now the start signal sounds and everyone starts swimming, so I did...but then I realized I had forgot to put my goggles on.  So, I stopped, got those situated, and was on my merry way.  Remember I said I couldn't swim? Well, I worked on it over the summer and got adequate at it... but by no means good.  Well, I started the swim and I think I forgot everything I learned.  My arms just flailed around and I probably looked like someone had just thrown me in water for the first time ever.  So, I am swimming along, swallowing water, breathing water, all that good stuff, when I finally get to the first turn.  I look at my watch and I am 37 minutes in.  At this point I give my self a little pep talk and tell myself to focus and remember what I had learned.  I got into a better rhythm after that.  Then, a little later, a volunteer asked if I was ok.  [First off, I heard her ask... Second... I must have looked awful] I told her I was, and then she gave me a peppy "you can do it!"   Well no freaking way???? I wouldn't be out in the water if I didn't think I could.  Haha.  Well, I ended up finishing the swim in 1 hour and 12 minutes.  This is very very very very slow... but I will take it. I was actually hoping for a 1:15. 

Next, transition 1.

Why worry about my transitions when I have such a slow swim time? Not me! I was there to have fun anyway.  So, I sat down, and started on my feast of food.  I had a peanut butter sandwich, and a little bit of the following : chocolate milk, mike and ikes, bbq chips, and mountain dew.  I must have been comical to onlookers... I put my shirt on wrong to begin with and got all tangled up in it.  Yeah, people must have been looking and laughing :). 

Now, the bike ride!

I liked the course and enjoyed the bike portion for sure!  The course was mega easy compared to the hills I had been riding on and the wind was not bad either.   I kept a pretty consistent speed the whole time and actually got a little faster the 2nd half.  I surprised myself because I really hadn't biked as much as I should have.  I ended up finishing the bike portion...56 miles in 3 hours and 19 minutes.  That was a 16.9 mph average and I was very very pleased with that.

Transition 2.

Again, it was comical. I was ready to leave and then I couldn't find my inhaler, so I am having to rummage through everything.  Rookie mistake! 

Last...the RUN!

Want to know how to make a running not as enjoyable?  Be a triathlete!  [or maybe be an undertrained triathlete?]  The run started off pretty good, although I knew I was going too fast.  I was sub 8 pace the first two miles and I knew that wasn't going to hold... my mistake and I know better than that.  I settled into a pretty good rhythm though and slowed my pace up.  The run course was very flat and it was an out back that I had to do twice.  I don't mind out and backs to begin with so this didn't really bother me.  The aid stations were wonderful!!! The were well stocked with great stuff... I was able to get gu, oranges, pretzels, Gatorade, sprite, water... and lots of other stuff that I didn't partake in... including pickle juice?  The support on the course was also complaints at all about it.  Well, besides being tired. :)  So, at mile 10.. I started cramping up.  I don't really cramp up ever, and I had thought I had hydrated and got enough electrolytes in me... guess not.  My pace slowed way up because I had to keep stopping for a cramp or skipping a few steps.  Grrrr... Finally, I get to the finish line...  and I want to kick it to the finish...but yep...a cramp while I am on the red carpet... about 20 feet from the finish line.  I had to run it in and try and hide the grimace.  My final time was 2:00:26 seconds.  Stupid cramps... Not as good as I had hoped to do, but for my first tri, I can't really complain I guess.

So, for my first half ironman... I finished in 6:47 minutes.  I know I will never aspire to be a triathlete...running is where I will stay focused. I know it! I  do know I want to go back and do Redman Half again. I want to improve my swim...I have a long way to go there! With that, I will improve my transition times... I think I can get close to being sub 6 with just a few small changes...and that's the plan!

Next up... BQ! 


Friday, December 14, 2012

running running running

So, yep. I'm going to blog about running. Again. I can't help it! It's been 5 weeks since I've updated this thing. I've been neglectful. Sorry. Well, I know you weren't really anxiously awaiting a new post, but I can pretend you were.

So...I went to Dallas this past weekend. I had a goal in mind. I just didn't know if it was going to happen. It was going to be hot, and I just wasn't feeling it. My goal was to break four hours. I wanted it badly.

So, the marathon starts...let me just say that I felt that the start of this marathon was very smooth AND very festive! I loved it.  I stayed with the four hour pacer for about 2.5 miles, then I REALLY had to pee! I have NEVER EVER had to stop and pee in a race before! So, I went... woo...I felt a lot better after that. My legs weren't feeling great and that was kind of scaring me...but I was hoping it was because I wasn't warmed up maybe?

I wasn't loving the four hour pacer. Her pace kind of seemed to be all over the place and it just was not smooth.  So, when I caught back up with her at mile 4, I just kept going at the pace I wanted. I said I wasn't going to break away from her...but I did. So, that's that.

Around mile 4, I had some friends cheering for me on the course...and that was AWESOME!  Here is me then...

I didn't see them again the rest of the race, but that isn't because they didn't try!

So I kept running and running. I started to feel a lot better and my pace was staying very steady. Well, in fact it stayed pretty steady the whole race. Overall, I am super happy with how I felt this race.

So, Vickie was supposed to run the last 6.2 miles with me, but she never could find mile 20. Soooo, I got her the last .2 miles. That's fine enough with me. 

Here we are! Vickie is pulling me across...and I'm freaking ecstatic knowing I just did it!

I am ecstatic that I broke four hours. VERY ECSTATIC! I don't know if I've told you that yet, but I am happy!

So then, the race is over...let me tell you, I feel WAY better than I did at the end of Indy. MAYBE because it wasn't sleeting on me.  So no tears this time! My one complaint I have about the Dallas Marathon is that the food is way way way way too far away from the finish. I had to go a long way for a banana. In fact, I gave up. When we walked into the building and I still didn't see food...I sat down. Vickie hopped to it though and found me a banana, an orange, and some chocolate mile. LOVE HER!

So we left the building to find our car, and a band started playing their next song, and wouldn't you know it???  It's Don't Stop Believing. That's my favorite of all favorite songs I do believe.  I think I did shed a tear...lame huh?  haha. 

Thankfully we had a masterful photographer with us to catch this moment on film.

You want to know what else?????????


and that's that. :)

Monday, November 05, 2012

So I blog about running...a lot.

My friend Vicki made all sorts of signs to cheer me on in the marathon on Saturday...She couldn't go so she took all sorts of fun photos with them. I LOVE THEM. I believe they shall be making an appearance on here from time to time...

I can't help it. I kind of like running. I kind of like to talk about it. I like to type about it. I like for you to read it. I know you LOVE reading about running too. RIGHT???

So, this past weekend, I did a marathon in Indianapolis. It was called the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon. I was incredibly excited to be doing a marathon in my hometown. I also had high hopes of breaking the four hour mark. We will get back to that in a minute.

It was very neat to be running on the streets that I knew. I thought the race was well put on. Indianapolis does it right.

So, the morning was cooold...and there was a chance for rain. I wasn't worried though, I was pretty happy that I was about to do my first flat, cold marathon. I think it meant good things.

I started off the marathon with the 4:00 pace group and stayed with them until about mile 8. At this point, I started pulling ahead. I passed the halfway point at 2:00:26. This confused me a little because the 4 hour group was still behind me and the pacer has paced many marathons and says her miles stay almost right on.  I was hoping to be slightly under 2 at this point, but I was feeling good so all was ok.

I was keeping on and keeping a decent pace...Also, I was wearing pretty cool Marathon Maniac arm warmers, so I was meeting all kinds of neat people along the way. 

Well, Mile 23 I hit a snag.  I know some of you know about it, but I'm not going to write about it on here...for my mom's sake. (Sorry mom...don't worry).  Well, I lost some time that mile and mile 24...but miles 25 and 26 I was able make up a lot of it.

I was trying HARD to get finished under 4 hours. I was giving it all I could possibly give... I came close...oh so close!

4:00:32.  So, next goes down.

I felt comfortable the whole way except for the tiny little hang up.  So I know I did it right. I know if I do the next one with the same kind of care and effort to keep my pace under control, I have it.

So after the race, it was sooo cold.  I had to be reminded to get my medal... Andy was at the finish line, and he handed me a chocolate milk. My fingers were so cold, I couldn't open it. It was starting to sleet harder and harder and I was wet. My little emergency blanket thing was flapping in the wind. I could barely walk. So, I found a chair, I sat. I cried. We then walked to my friend Jimmy's hotel, and I pretty much cried the whole way I think because I was soooooooo cold.  I got in the hot shower and even it wasn't getting me warm. Wow, it took a while to warm up. My lesson learned...I WANT MY DOWN COAT at the finish line in a cold race...and maybe a wheelchair.

Finally, I got a picture with my medal...I don't look tired at all...huh?

Needless to say, I have never felt like I have earned a beer more than this one...ever! 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Better feed Kay before she goes all T-Rex on the place.

There's a new girl in Fort Smith. Well, there are probably plenty of new girls in Fort Smith, but there is one in particular I know. Her name is Kay. She moved here from Missippi for a job as a perfusionist.  What a town to move to huh? Fort Smith, Arkansas. Hey! I did it too. It's not so bad.

Kay is a runner. Actually Kay is a triathlete. She's a pretty cool girl.

So, why does Kay get her special blog post? Well, really she doesn't, but she's part of the story, so she needed to be introduced.

Last night, I went to some historical thing with Kay. She's kind of nerdy and likes things like that. It was interesting. Well, we were going to grab dinner afterwards, and I suggested going to the German restaurant that is in town. After all, she is new in town, and it would be neat for her to see some of the things Fort Smith has to offer. I have always had a good experience at this restaurant.  That's obviously why I suggested it. I wouldn't suggest crap!

So, we get there.  Kay is hungry. She keeps saying she is about to get all T-Rex on the kitchen.  There was about a 25 minute wait for a table. That in itself is not a big deal.  They needed to hurry though because Kay was getting cranky! She kept saying she was, but I couldn't tell. I asked the hostess if I could go ahead and order a beer from the bar, and she tells me the bar is closed down because it is set up for Sunday Brunch. ??? It's a Saturday night a 7:30.  I don't think a restaurant should shut down things during prime dinner time for something that happens on Sunday, but that's beside the point.

Finally, we get a table.  We were surprised to see once they sat us at our table that nearly the whole restaurant was empty. When our hostess came over to us we mentioned that.  She said "well the people at this table just got up, sorry about your wait." What? We don't care about that! We care that it's not busy and we had to wait...and we are HUNGRY!!!

So I order a beer, and we order an appetizer and our meal.  They come back and tell us that they were out of the entree we both had ordered.  We then had to make a second choice. We were less than enthused, but it is what it is. 

They bring us some egg rolls on the house to apologize, and after we finish that we ask about the fried cheese we had ordered. She had neglected to ring that in!

I was ready for my second beer, and I was excited to try the next of three different Octoberfests that they had.  Well, they were out of the next one I ordered, so I ordered the next one, they were out of that too!!!  Grrrr...

So we get our food, we eat it...then...then...this is where it gets interesting...

Our waitress comes over and asks how everything was. Kay says "well, it was pretty underwhelming."

Want to know what the waitress says next???

She says "Well you did order the hamburger steak?" 

What?? You are blaming her underwhelming experience on what she ordered off YOUR menu? 

Here's the ISN'T what she ordered...they were out of what she wanted!

So I pipe in and no it's not her's the whole experience. I tell them I she's new in town, and I suggested this place because I like it, but the whole experience since the time we walked in the door has been unpleasant.

She then proceeds to tell us how it isn't her fault that we had to wait or that they were out of food. She tells us that the hostess is new, and apologizes for how the hostess had us wait.

I'm sorry, I know she's a waitress and some things are out of her control.  However, the blame game isn't good, and I like to see a waitress be apologetic. This girl was not.

It did have me laughing though. "Well you did order the hamburger steak." How hilarious!!!!  Duh Kay, order something better if you don't want to be underwhelmed!

Now Kay isn't going to let me pick where to eat again. My credibility has been shot down. Thanks German restaurant that I will not name.  Thank you much.

Our waitress ends up comping one of my beers...she then tells Kay that she hopes Kay will give them another shot. I tell her the only way Kay is coming again is if someone offers to pay for her food. I'm not sure I ever want to go back either.

See how disappointed Kay is?

One more thing is to be is soo sad but true that bad customer service will get written about and spread around more than good customer service. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

I love the sky.

Neat huh? Neat that a skydiver broke the sound barrier after doing the highest sky dive ever???

what a jump

I used to want to be an astronaut. I would go to the mini space camp every year. I loved the then I wanted to be an astronomer. I had glow in the dark stars on my ceiling in the patters of different constellations. I had a little planetarium machine. I LOVED space and all it was.

I still LOVE LOVE LOVE the stars. That was one of my favorite things about working at Astrocamp.  I loved working with the telescopes, I loved the showing kids everything in the planetarium, and I loved looking up at the constellations and pointing at them with the green laser pointer.

If it's dark outside, you can bet I am looking up into the sky to see if I can see the stars. If I am running, and it's dark outside, just watch me.  I will look up at the sky  with a big smile on my face. How wonderful all those stars are! 

My favorite constellation is Orion. I don't really know why, but it is. 

Leo...In the summer, Leo is neat to see, and you really do see a lion in the sky. 

Venus, Venus is so bright when you can see it.

I love the way Saturn looks in a telescope. It looks like a little sticker.

Wow, I love the sky.  the stars take my breath away.