Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Last Loooonnnngggg Run

Ok, technically, I have 2 long runs left, but once you've done 22, 13 doesn't seem like much.  And that other run is not a training run, so that doesn't count in my countdown either.

Ironman Texas.  25 days away.  Including today, because today isn't over yet, so of course it should still be included.  Race numbers will probably be issued within the next week & a half.  That always induces a nice measure of freakout.  I believe I'm experiencing some palpitations even now.  It is totally human of me to know that the rookies on our training team will be experiencing a much higher freakout factor any time now, right?  Right?  It's not mean, right?  Right?

So, I have temporarily given up alcohol and very bad "food" with exceptions.  I've been "off" alcohol over a week now (OK, I had some of Anita's coppertini Saturday night, but how can that count, it was 1/4 fruit juice).  And off junk food for 5 days.  Do I feel better?  NO, of course not.  Maybe later.

I started an iron supplement.  Perhaps this is TMI, but since I'm practically alone here, I may as well mention why.  My "monthly" "cycle" (quotes because at my advanced age, there's nothing monthly about what is barely even cyclical anymore) may coincide precisely with the race.  That would be pretty bad news for me.  One day to need to feel my best I may feel my worst.  Advil is very bad to take during intense physical activity and that is the only thing I've found to ge me through that once really bad cycle day.  So, I may very well be in extra pain and feel extra weak on IM day.  We won't even go into how no one wants to go swimming on the first day.  Anyway, I think the iron may be working because I don't think this time was so bad.  But I was playing golf, not self-propelling 140.6 miles, so I don't really know. 

Yesterday, Anita & I played in our first one day Virginia State Golf Association tournament.  Anita played the first 7 holes in 1 over par!  That's not only REALLY good for anyone I golf with, it's amazing for someone with a 28 handicap and at a course we don't know that is very difficult.  Unfortunately, one other woman in our group, someone we don't know, started calling her a "sandbagger" and talking about how great she was doing, blah, blah.   Just like the announcers at a baseball game jinxing a no-hitter or a perfect game.  She was a turd and constantly doing things to mess with our heads.  Very annoying.  But Anita persevered and finished in 4th place (net).  She was only 3 shots from placing 1st net.  That was awesome.

I guess that's all I've got to share right now.

Monday, April 18, 2011

100 Mile Powhatan historical bike tour

It just occurred to me that I didn't really see much history in my tour of Powhatan yesterday.  I was too busy pushing the pedals on steep uphills and ducking my head from a vicious headwind.

For those of you reading this (Hi, Sweetheart) who think I'm just Debbie Downer, doom & gloom, I refer you to Saturday's post in which I had a lovely race and after party.

The ride started off nice enough - great roads, lots of friends and teammates participating.  As soon as the warm-up 2 miles was complete for the peeps I started off with, they were gone & I had no hope of riding a wheel to a faster time.  They waited for me a couple of time at stop signs/rest stops, but I begged them to stop as I just felt like I was holding them up so I could ride with them for about a minute before I lost them.

And so, I rode mostly alone.  I was passed by every teammate & coach, which is fine, it's fine, I say.  2 lovely gentlemen who clearly had no other self-interest except time in the saddle, passed me on a hill and then slowed up so I could grab a wheel for awhile.  I mentioned how awesome it was to be drafting and Gentlemen#1 replied that his wife called it "the wall of love".  I loved it and them.  After 5-6 miles of riding, I grabbed the lead, thinking it would only be for a few minutes, but I got in aero and somehow with the 2 guys riding behind me, we whipped through the wind to some of my quickest mile times for the day.  I'd call it the torpedo of love if that just didn't sound so dirty.  They rested at the 30 mile pit stop and I went off alone.  Never saw them again, I think they opted for a shorter ride, it certainly wasn't because I was setting any speed records.

Lots of hills.  Rocky Ford Road.  I yelled "wheeee" as I rolled down the hill, promptly followed by "fuck" as I saw the uphill afterward.  I finished that hill in my easiest gear and barely made it over without falling over.

Wind.  Was.  Brutal.  I have no idea of the mph.  I know it called for 10 to 20, but it at least felt like a headwind for 90 miles.  Even when it changed direction, it wasn't from the rear except for a few lovely miles near the end of my ride.  REALLY hope TX has a calm day while I'm on my bike (or 112 miles of strong tailwind) and then a nice breeze for the run to cool us off a little.

Things I saw:

  • Lots of roadkill
  • One area of blood splatter with no roadkill in sight.  This was when I started thinking of "Deliverance" as I was all alone out there in the Powhatan woods.
  • A seatbelt with buckle
  • What I hope was an air rifle.  I nearly ran over it.
  • What looked to be 5-10 abandoned structures, decades or more old, collapsing toward the road near a creek.  This may have been on Giles Road, which I found fairly creepy.  I hadn't seen a car or a person in miles & miles.  
I talked to a street sign, but in my defense, it started it.  It said, "Watch for turning vehicles."  I replied, "I hope I'm one."  It was mile 95 and I was ready to be home wearing my ice pants.

This was not a Zen-like ride, but I understand this ride served as a worst-case scenario for race day.  Even if everything sucks on race day, I will persevere.  I just hope it doesn't suck.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Bulldog 5k

Neither wind, nor rain, nor sleet, nor...something, something, will keep me from blah, blah my appointed run.

It rained.  There were a lot of children.  Starting, stopping running sideways.  Puddles, pollen, wind.  My peeps were running with child, so I was alone against the elements.

Well, I didn't make it on the podium for the Bulldog 5k this morning, but I did PR it and let's just give some serious thought to how great that is because my old PR was over 9 years ago.  And in checking the records back, I realize I beat it today by over a minute thirty.  That's like an entire 5k in dog years.

Had fun watching the kids at the indoor carnival afterward, but truly happy the mic didn't work well for their talent show.

FYI, The Franklin Inn has a very nice brunch on Saturday morning for pretty cheap.  And the bloody mary was marvelous.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Timecheck for Ironman Texas

So, it's Friday.  Fabulous.  And another long workout this weekend.  It was supposed to be a 90 mile bike ride, but thanks to me, it's 100 for the whole team.  Yes, voluntarily.  A few months ago, I saw that there was a century ride planned for this weekend.  Support & a map for $35!  Plus a pancake breakfast.  What could be better.  I mentioned it to our coaches and they agreed it wasn't a bad idea.

Well, it's a few months later and the ride is Sunday.  That's nice - it means I have a kind of lazy day tomorrow if I'd like, though I need to do the 2.4 mile timed swim I skipped earlier in the week.  But still, not a huge time commitment to working out on Saturday.

I'm not sure why I'm not looking forward to the ride.  I'm in good shape.  It'll be nice not to have 2 loops of a long course, so no danger of bagging the ride in the middle, which is always a danger if I see my car during a workout.  Perhaps it's the weather forecast for Saturday - complete rainout with bad storms on the way, so no golf.  With the after-bike run, I won't be leaving Powhatan until about 4 or a bit later on Sunday, so doesn't look good to get any golf in then.  So no golf this weekend.  Bummer.

But then, this post wasn't really supposed to be about the bike ride.  In the last 2 weeks, the entire IMTXTG team has found calendars.  As in Holy Crap, we have to race next month.  Or what do you mean we leave for Texas in 32 days?

I don't think I'm nervous.  Really.  I'm excited that we only have 4 long workouts left before the big day.  I'm excited about all the progress I've made through hard work, great coaching and buying better equipment (have I mentioned lately how much I love my bike?).  I'm really very excited that I suddenly enjoy running.  Let me type that again.  I enjoy running.  Last week, I enjoyed a bike ride.  Flat out enjoyed.  On the same day, I had a great swim.  Saturday I ran 20 miles and never needed a walk break (yes, I stopped for water 5.5 times).  The .5 was because there was no water where it was expected to be.  Took .5 to truly establish that it was missing.  And then Anita happened to pass us on her way to the golf course - way across town.  She was nice enough to stop and provide us with water and juice, which she just happened to have in the car, like any good sherpathlete would.  But I digress.  I don't think I'm nervous.  Excited?  Maybe.

So, all systems go.  All IM dreams have been positive.  Positive!?  Like finishing in 14 hours positive (not realistic without a 45 mph tailwind the entire bike ride so I don't have to pedal).  Like running with other teammates who are still on the course after my finish (instead of calling them in their hotel rooms and waking their asses up, which I have been known to do in prior years).  Like saying "hi Mom" to the live video feed as I cross the finish line (because, of course, if you finish in under 17 hours, there is a video feed to say "hi" to).

But still, today marks 36 days to race day.  That's not a lot.  I think I need some chocolate to wash that down with.

Friday, April 1, 2011


Crazy new semi-reality show based on the flashmobs that have started to become ubiquitous.  Howie Mandel finding someone with a secret and turning the reveal of the secret into a flashmob.  Could be good. We love a good dance routine.

So the first episode was last night and the guy with the "secret" wanted to propose to his girlfriend.  They made a huge, and I mean huge, production out of the proposal and it was a lot of fun and really very sweet.  I was sniffling and crying a bit at just how sweet it was.

And then Howie came up with the brilliant plan to stage the wedding right after the proposal, knowing she might not say yes to the proposal and might not say yes to getting married right then & there.

The whole thing was awesome and I was really getting misty-eyed, right up until the actual wedding.  Then I started sobbing, but not from the joy of how sweet it was.  I sobbed because in 45 of these United States, I cannot marry the woman I've loved for 21 years.  Not in my home state, not in Anita's home state, not in the state we currently live in, not in any state we currently have relatives living in.

And why not?  To preserve the sanctity of marriage.  Huh?  Gay marriage is the biggest threat to heterosexual marriage?  How?  How is it any threat at all?  How does your marriage effect mine and how would mine effect yours?  Wouldn't divorce be a bigger threat?  Latest I've heard is that marriage is for procreation.  Huh?  So my brother shouldn't have been allowed to marry?  If that's the case, why are people so uptight about folks getting knocked up first and then getting married - maybe they were just making sure the sanctity of procreative marriage was maintained?

Anyway, a fucking reality show about production dance numbers hurt my feelings tonight.  Happy f'ing Thursday.