Monday, March 30, 2009

Mortal City

I know that people all around are dealing with horrible weather right now. Colorado is covered in snow, back East is cold and/or wet, and all we have here is some wind.

It's Wind! How bad can it be!! It's not like there is anything attached to it. There is no tornado warning. No Lightning storm. Hell, we don't even have a risk of rain.

Just wind.

Apparently, wind makes BIG difference. I first went out, thinking I'll go for an easy run loop and then follow it up with another long faster run to negatively split the workout. But one mile into it and those plans were changed!

The first mile was great, wind at my back; I could barely keep my pace in control! I LOVE RUNNING!

Second mile was into the wind, but had a slight downhill. I kind of still LOVE running!

The third mile was parallel to the wind and uphill. Running? How about walking??

I don't know what happened, one minute I was good, I mean running into the wind was tough but I was able to maintain my desired pace, but one I turned up the hill and sideways to the wind, I was d-o-n-e. I ended up walking the last bit home, shivering from the cold. Now I still have to a long run and I have one pissed off dog who was 'promised' a run outside!

One thing I did find was that even though I was sideways in to the wind, I could not catch my breath. I found myself having to cover my mouth with my hand so that I could grab a passive breath. Otherwise the air was forcefully injected into me!

But other than the air, I can't figure out what was up, but I just know that I was miserable.

Actually, now that I put this down on paper, I think it has to do with tired legs. If I recall right, I think this is almost exactly how I felt when I tried to run after Solvang Century. Oh! That sucks! I just got done with another 100 and felt great! My legs are sore, but not tired.

Apparently, they are more tired than I thought.

Well, I don't know which is better. Having a miserable run because of the wind, or having a miserable run because of the tired legs?

Looks like I still have more work to do.

The title "mortal city" comes from Dar Williams. It's a great song and when it was 'Earth hour', I couldn't help but think of this song. Combined with the way I feel about the wind and....

Sunday, March 22, 2009

For the love of it

Today, I tried out the computrainer CDA course offered by the Dave Carlson (the president of the Las Vegas Tri club).

The computrainer (for those who don’t know) is a trainer hooked up to a computer that automatically changes the resistance on the bike to simulate the hills and the terrain of a course. Dave actually has the advanced model and has a simulation of the CDA course!

Basically, it is a real movie of the course done on race day that shows everything about the ride course. Complete with transition, water stops, the multitude of turns and of course the hills!

The coolest thing about this is that Dave offers his garage up for free! He freely lets riders who are doing CDA come over and ride the computrainer. Anyone who lives in Las Vegas and doesn’t come over is a fool. (Seriously, go see him!)

JT did it last year and raved how much it helped, both physically and mentally.

Anyways, While I sat there struggling through the ride (and I did struggle! Just because it’s a trainer doesn’t mean it is easy on you) a random thought occurred to me.

During the Red Rock Marathon, I finished up with a group of marathon maniacs. I love the marathon maniacs, especially the older guys. These guys are usually retired and they (and often their spouses too) float around the country hitting marathons in each state. It’s not uncommon to hear guys doing one each month. A few of the guys boast 100+ marathons!

But one guy in particular had more marathons than anyone: 209. Two-hundred-and-nine!

He had just done a marathon the week prior to this marathon! He was doing Boston in April and between this marathon and Boston he was doing 3 more!

That's 213 marathons before May!!

I don’t know about you, but 213 is huge!!

I like ice cream. A LOT. I really like ice cream. But a marathon isn’t just an ice cream scoop; it’s like eating three-four scoops of ice cream all at once. You have to be determined to eat ice cream. You have to really love ice cream.

As much as I love ice cream (and I do LOVE it), 213 big bowls of ice cream??!!

In my entire life, I don’t think I’ve eaten that many. 213 ‘full size pizzas’? Nope! 213 ‘bloody Marys’? Nope! 213 ‘all day naps’…ooh that’s a close one but...nope!

213 marathons…that is a P-A-S-S-I-O-N for running!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

It's Official - St George Ironman

Looks like I finally got one right!

It's official!

"St. George, Utah will serve as the host city for its newest Ironman event beginning in 2010. Taking place on May 1, 2010, the event will consist of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike and 26.2-mile run"

It' s the inaugral run of the event. I know that makes some people jump!

So...any bets how long it will take to sell out??

I just looked at the course. Looks like it's a point to point.

They are starting the Swim at Sand hollow and the bike/run finish in St.

Looks like you CAN'T park at Sand hollow. This is true for Athletes and spectators.

That could turn into a major cluster. Imagine having to take a shuttle bus to the swim. I already thought we had to get up too early.

They offer a free shuttle, but still...

"For the convenience of athletes and spectators alike, we have arranged a race day shuttle bus service from the Washington County Fairgrounds to the swim venue at Sand Hollow State Park. Public parking will NOT be available at Sand Hollow State Park."

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My date with Mary – Red Rock Marathon Report

I know I said I’d right the report for the last marathon, but you know how after a while you forget what the whole experience was like??

Well, that’s how I felt about the marathon. I remember running for a long time. I remember it was hard. But everything is kind a blur (my mind has blocked out the horrible experience).

So…what’s the best way to remember something? DO IT AGAIN!

Red Rock Marathon

Take a look at this profile:

That is the most climbing I hope to ever see.

To start out this story I need to confess that Mrs. Mary (marathon) and I haven’t been the best of friends.

Usually before one attempts to ‘mount’ Mrs. Mary, there is a little courting that goes first.

You do a few practice runs. Getting close to Mary but never quite touching her. Getting the body used to the feel of Mary, how hard she can be, where is she soft and you’re hard.

You know…get a ‘lay of the land’.

Also, there are some basic ground rules when courting Mary.
  • Don’t try anything new. Once you’ve established your routine and Mary likes it, don’t vary from it!

  • Don’t get new clothes. If Mary likes what you’re wearing now, then don’t change it!

But this here buckaroo went the exact opposite approach.

  • My last long run? The last marathon. Over 60+ days ago. Since then the longest run has been 9 miles.
  • New Clothes? Sure, why not? Might as well get new shoes, right? I mean what better time than the week before the bid date with Mary.
  • Something new? What is all the gels and water? I've only been doing 9 miles, so my body isn't use to all these fluids at every mile

Needless to say, when it came time for my fling with Mary, I was woefully underprepared.

The event started out awesome! During packet pick-up, the RD held a drawing for lots of little prizes. My name came up and I won a big fat bottle of Hammer Gel. Sweet!

Came race day the morning was so freaking cold. We all huddled together under the propane heaters exchanging war stories.

Most of the war stories are about the coldest race they’ve ever done, or the strangest race, etc.

One question is asked “how much longer does this time add to your marathon?”

It’s a very interesting question, one that Las Vegas events seem to get a lot. They say that a Silverman time is really an Ironman time +2 hrs, meaning that Silverman is two hours tougher than ironman. Where it’s true or not, I don’t know, but I like the idea of it!

Once our date with Mary officially began, it was a slight downhill. "Hmm, I think I might like Mary!"

However, the luv was short lived. Once we started to hit the hills and began climbing, I had the dubious pleasure of feeling an ache in the bottom of my foot. I am only at mile 4 and I already feel my foot! Not a good sign.

By mile 10, I am in new territory with Mary. I have gone farther with Mary than I have been in the last two months. “I have that fluttering feeling in my stomach”

The next few miles are all downhill (yes, the next FEW MILES), so I am just floating along. At this moment, I think I am in LUV with Mary. So nice and easy to get along with. HEAVEN!

Unfortunately, it must have been something I said, because Mary decided to show me her ugly side.

Now I have those same few miles uphill (yes a few miles UPHILL).

UGhh! I have the feeling that I am on a BAD date! You know the time when your date does something so obnoxious that it makes you regret agreeing to go on the date in the first place? That is where I am at this moment.

By the time I reach the top of the hill, I am d-o-n-e with my date!

You know when the date has gone so bad that you are willing to fake illness to get out? You just want out! It’s at this moment that you realize that your stuck, you have no car and you’re out in the middle of nowhere without a way home. In the back of your mind, you're thinking of how you can convince your friends to come pick you up while you ‘step out to use the bathroom’??

I was there!

By the time I reach the bottom of the hill, I am willing to give up any goal as long as I can finish NOW!

Another runner obviously feels the same “I usually wait until mile 21 to start bargaining with the devil, I started bargaining at mile 15 and now I am just giving stuff away!”

Now I should be happy. This date is almost over, we are paying the bill. It’s almost over! YEAH! Except, I am not. I just want to be done. I don’t care about finishing. I don’t care about anything. I just want to be home, in bed, eating bonbons!

But Mary isn’t done with me yet, not without a good-bye kiss.

I am within spitting distance of the finish line, which of course is uphill, and I couldn’t care less about running. My feet have long ago mercifully gone numb, but there is no drive in me. I can’t imagine running. I look around at my fellow runners and most are the same way. We are DONE.

Everyone is agreement; Mary is a b-i-t-c-h!



Now that my fling with Mary is over and I am no longer walking funny, I have to say that I enjoyed my time.

I had a good time with Mary, I would have loved to had a GREAT time but...

It turns out that Mary didn't mind my shoes all that much after all. No blisters, no dead nails. All in all I fared quiet well.

My only complaint is my balls(of my feet). They hurt so bad, I was walking funny for days.

I suppose that is supposed to happen. I mean you try doing Mary for 5 hours and see if your balls(of your feet) hurt!

I hope that in the future, I'll respect Mary a little more. Give her the kindness and patience that she deserves. A little more courting , if you will.

It's scary to think that the next time I'll be with Mary will be at the end of a threesome!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Triathlon and bowling

Excuse my rambling. I have guests in from out of town (the nice thing about living in Vegas) and we've been drinking.

I am bowling. My 'best' sport ever. I am a self-professed loser in bowling. Hold on a minute while I put the lane bumpers up....

OK. I'm back.

It's only the third frame and I'm already out of the running. It's not that I am that far behind. I am close. But I can feel the lead getting bigger.

Much like my life in triathlon:

I am coming off the bike and onto the run and while I feel good, they feel better. I know they do. I can feel their power. This is 'their' game. It's all I can do, to make it to the mile marker.

I can run a 10 minute mile, they'll run 9:30. I run a 9:30 they'll run 9's. Just enough to stay in sight but far enough out of reach to make a sprint pointless.

That's OK. I am getting used to this. This is my genetic/physical lot in triathlon.

I don't mind this. I used to. It used to drive me crazy. I have hated this sport because of this. But I am getting better. I have "redefined what victory means".

Despite what my race results say, I am getting better. I run with a new; better; faster crowd. And yes, they will beat me. Be it a mile or minute.

But I don't care. I have learned that this is for me. I am out to beat myself.

I win!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Open mouth

It was a great weekend for laziness/Recovery bad weekend for training.

I was giving back to the community and was volunteering to man an aid station for Calico Racing's Marde Gras race.

Its a great event, all done on the bike trail, so it completely cutoff from the road. Plus its close to my house, nice bonus.

Rather than do the event and then go workout, I figured I'd run from my house to the event and get if over with.

Right off the bat, I knew something was up. My PE was high, I was full of snot and I felt god awful.

Crap, I remember this feeling. I felt just like this before I got sick last time. Well, there goes my plans for an intensive workout.

Instead I took it easy and while I got less mileage than I wanted, I still got to the event in plenty of time.

I was in charge of aid station #1. Which is great because you get to see everybody as they come in and go out. Sometimes that doesn't happen for the far out aid stations as the race has different lengths.

Originally, I thought that I'd be the only person there. Its a small race, one person should be OK. But when I got there I found a couple of people already there. I should have known that the RD would take care of everything. Her races are always so well supported.

There were two ladies setting up. One dressed way up for the theme (Marde Gras) and the other had on some beads.

We got everything all setup and started talking. The bead girl was a newby to running but really liked it. The dressed up lady was only 4 years into it but had already done a lot of races.

One thing leads to another and we start talking about races, which one to do, which RD's are cheap, etc. Eventually it comes out that I'm a triathlete.

Oh! If your a triathlete, then maybe you know my husband? Mr. X.

(Now I hate it when outsiders think that you MUST know this person because they do what you do too! I mean come on, the triathlete world is huge! What is the chance that I know this one person??

Of course....

I do actually know this person! What's worse? I know the history of this person.

Mr. X was a local coach around here. He always struck me as 'off', because he looked and acted like a total skater boi. Turns out that he was actually a good coach! Lots of locals used him. Big ego, but great guy!

Anyway, Mr. X took a wild turn in his life and right out of the blue he decided to join the Military. Skater boi with big ego becomes straight lace "no 'I' in team" guy. A complete 360.

Why? I don't know. But here was a great chance to find out.)

Now as I already mentioned Mr. X was a skater type, but this Marde Gras dressed woman seems like a total hippie chick to me, a great person but a hippie chick nonetheless.

Me: I didn't know he was married.

Her: well, we are not married anymore. He's my ex.

"Wow! I didn't even know he was married"

Yeah, we were together for like 15 years. Until one day he just said 'ok, we're done'

OK. Little awkward.

"Yeah. I heard he just up and joined the military what happened?"

"He felt like he needed to do something with his life. He had a near death incident and felt that he had to change his life."

OK. At this point I feel stupid for asking the question and dragging out the painful memory. I am trying to find a way to make this better.

"Well at least you know he didn't leave for another woman"

As soon as the words left my mouth I knew it was the wrong thing. I had meant that he was surrounded by a bunch of guys, training the hardest he has ever trained in his life. Everyday was a struggle. You can be confident that he is not off travelling the world eating cherries from another woman's navel. That is what I had meant to say.

Her: "Actually, do you know woman Y? Apparently they are engaged and they're going to get married next time he's here".

OK. Really awkward.

Me: "OH look, here come the runners!"