Monday, May 31, 2010


This is a two part post revolving around the big number five.

Referring to E's years and kilometers ran as fast as possible (yet still not fast enough).

So, my baby. My little Ella Ann is five. It is all coming, kindergarten, sleep overs, being embarrassed by her parents, driving, college, marriage, wha....deep breath. Five is really a landmark birthday, at least for E it is.

"Mom, I can do that. I am five now. NOT two, NOT 4." (Duh.) The "duh" is silent, but implied.

She's my heart. Love that crazy, curly haired, enthusiastic, monkey that she is.

And the other five?

The second part of this post should be titled "The elusive 19" or "How to not run even splits (when you are trying to do just that)".

So, I ran a local 5k with some neighborhood friends on Saturday. Save our Skin 5k. I've been trying for years, years to get under 20 minutes in a 5k. (I did once, but the course measured 2.86. Damn you, Garmin. Ignorance is bliss.) I've been close 20:09, but never gotten there. I always try though.


That's what I need to run. Just hang on to 6:20s.

First mile. 6:16. (Nice, money in the bank. Got a few seconds to spare here.)

Second mile. Wow. This is really almost completely an uphill mile. This is not easy anymore. ow. ow. ow. 6:48

Third mile. Just hang on. Hang on. Use Angela's mantra, she's super fast. Try it. "light and fast, light and fast". ugh. 6:45, not quite Angela's kind of fast.

The finish was two really hard right hand turns after the 3 mile marker. I pass a girl ahead of me at about 2.5 miles and just knew she let me pass her so she could chase me down and pass me right at the end. I had a gut feeling.

But, I didn't want to slow down to her pace and hang back (plus I didn't know what kind of kick I might have.) At 3 miles, I check back and she's closer and hauling to try to catch me. (I knew her face, she does tri's and knew she was in my AG. We were battling for 3rd OA) We make the first hard right...she's closer. I am DIGGING in here, there's no way she's beating me. DIGGING IN. Less than .1 left and we're both in a full out ugly sprint to finish. Right turn two steps ahead....the guy ahead of both of us won't let me by. I step right, I will fall into the curb, I step left I hit him. I hit him. Yelled, "COME ON!!!! MOVE!!!". This little misstep slows me down, I get caught....we finish exactly together.

The girl was really cool, we hugged and slapped hands and introduced ourselves. Really fun to fight that hard, really fun to leave it all out there. No sub-20 today (20:26), but happy with the effort.

Tied for 3rd OA and 1st AG. (I was bummed since the race actually had me as second to her. No chips and she just happened to hand in her tag first.)

Friday, May 21, 2010

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Remember these essays assigned on the first day back to school?

When these were actual assignments, I tried my damndest to make sandwich artistry, sub par waitressing, pool lounging, and running around the soccer field sweating sound somewhat ambitious.

They weren't.

And my liberal use of SAT words probably didn't fool any of my teachers either.

Well, the first day of summer starts tomorrow in our house. Both girls are out of school. As a Jersey girl who graduated from high school on June 28th, this southern school calendar will always feel a bit off....ya'll.

What are we going to do with ourselves??

Who knows? I am sure in between exhausting the girls at the pool, the park, camps (for E), with friends, I will figure out if I want to race another tri this year.

I am only signed up for one more race (a sprint in June) and I haven't found myself searching out more.


I am not quite sure, a little burnt out? Maybe. Tired of my wrist (carpal boss) making 2/3 of triathlon extremely painful when the cortisone shots wear off? Sure. Excited just to race some 5k's and 10k's and break some PR's? Heck yeah. Ready to plan our summer days based on what time the pool/Monkey Joe's/the zoo opens and not how long Mommy has to swim/bike/run?


Friday, May 14, 2010

Gulf Coast Half Ironman Race Report

So, yeah, this is a little late, but here goes....

My goal for this race was to (a) finish smiling.


In January and February, that goal was not even on my radar. Smiling was for losers. Winners go super fast, kill 'em all, tear it up, take no prisoners, and a bunch of other equally aggressive metaphors.

Then, March, April and May came along with a move and yet another race where I raced while sick (ING Half Mary) and I was done.

Done with pretending I was Rambo. Done with 9 mile death marches. Done with puking on the side of the road. Done with 6 hours of bikerun on the weekends.

Done with all that, but just getting started on the "I just want to be a normal person" whines.

So, I changed my goals. I just wanted to enjoy Gulf Coast. I really love this race and I didn't want to end up hating it, myself, everyone out there, the sun, the wind, the heat just because I wasn't having a good day.

Goal accomplished. (5:35)

The Race...

Woke up race morning ready to go. Not super pumped to get out there, but not hand shakingly nervous like before IM. Feeling okay. Force down my bagel and bar and head down to the water which doesn't look like it is supposed to. It is supposed to look like glass when I am racing.

Swim --
While I was out there to enjoy myself, I did still work hard and wanted to race as hard as I could...I had some tentative time goals. I was hoping for around 33 for the swim.


Yes, I was off. More like OFF. This was the roughest swim I have ever done...the Gulf was super choppy. Lots of whitecapping waves. It quickly turned into survival mode, interspersed with lots of breaststroke, and some shaky positive self talk ("strong and steady, strong and steady, you can do this. F@#$!, F@#$*!, F#@!, I can't even see the buoys anymore!!!"). I was just happy to finish. Honestly. I was scared out there.

Bike --
Uneventful bike. It actually went by pretty quickly for me. I was so concentrated on making sure I hit my nutrition that the hours flew by. The bike at Gulf Coast is what you would expect, flat, fast and not much to look at. There was a pretty strong headwind a few times, but other than that, it was not bad. Way cooler than it is normally. I was hoping for under 2:50, but ended up exactly that.

Run --
My goal on the run was to aim for under 1:50. I was going to try to run 8's and see how that felt. Yeah, that felt good for about 4 miles and then it got harder and harder and the walks through the aid stations became slower and slower. Even though I ended up slower than I was hoping, I never felt broken down. I felt fairly strong throughout and these days will take that over the defeated shuffle that I had in my last half marathon. I think I could have pushed harder on the run, but it just wasn't in me today. I already knew that finishing under 5:20 (my hoped for time goal) was long gone in the Gulf. So, I just smiled and ran my 8:30s. Saw Mike, smiled even bigger and finished strong.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Pause, please.

I need a pause button.

Like, for example, when you're watching something really good, like "Nine By Design" or "The Hills" or "The City" for that matter and someone (ahem, Mike) tries to talk to you about who these people are and what is going on and who is on drugs? and why do you watch this?


Excuse me, I am watching this. Can everyone (this means you, Mike) please quiet down (er, shut up) while Stephanie and KC have it out? This is important.

Ella is all about the pause button, too. She asks us to do it in the middle of rousing games of eye spy.

"Mommy, I have to go to the potty. Pause the game!"

or in bed..."Mommy, I have to feed Goldy (her goldfish). Pause the story!"

I need the pause button for Ella.

She's just getting too old. I registered her for kindergarten today.



A bus. Real school. Homework. Gone...all day? All week? Waahhh...

I am so not ready.

At a red light the other day, I saw one of those stickers on the back of the car in front of me with her school on it. A silly magnet set me off. I was immediately the weirdo, crying in her car, alone.

My baby is growing up and while that is all natural and good, I am not zen about it. I am not welcoming this with open arms. Rather with teary eyes and an armful of tissues and mandatory "cuddle time" with the almost 5 year old.

Pre school graduation is looming. Invest in Kleenex stock today. You'll thank me this fall.

Where, seriously, where did the time go?