Friday, September 27, 2013

Boston '14, horses, long runs, rambling....

I have had a jam packed week.

The big news, and one that I know I was not alone in waiting for is that my squeaker time is good enough for Boston '14!!
I was very excited. I checked my email every hour on the hour starting bright and early and finally had to give up around 1:00. At 1:24 Eric updated the BAA page, saw my name, and literally RAN to the arena where I was riding with the good news! I knew it could be tough getting in this year, my qualifying time from last year would not have made the cut, so I'm pleased, relieved and excited to have another go at my favorite race!

Phew. That's about all I could say.
I had a successful 20 miler the day after Lobsterman which I found encouraging. My long runs over 19 miles have essentially failed for the past few months. Now that I think about it, my last decent 19 plus run was at Boston- jeesh.... This was a pretty good confidence booster for me and I felt good throughout- good enough to throw in a mile at marathon goal pace from 18-19. I like to know that I have legs that late in a run and I did (on that day, anyway!)

I was out of town for last week, at Regional Championships (for the horse end of things!) I had one of my young rider students along for her first time at such a big show and she did very well, placing no worse than 7th in her open classes, winning a big class on a high score, taking 5th overall high score young rider and coming home with a stack of ribbons to be very proud of. She had a rough go in her championship class but part of learning to compete is developing the skills to gracefully handle a less than stellar ride and figuring out what to do better next time.
I was a rather fine example for this skill as my Championship class scored much lower than I felt was appropriate. Disappointing, but in the end it was only 12 minutes of my life and knowing that it was actually a solid effort makes it a bit better! A prime example of the truly subjective nature of the sport, which doesn't take away from my dedication to it but makes me glad that I have I purely objective sport to enjoy as well!
And yes, we took some silly pictures to commemorate the event. We are VERY serious dressage queens...

The awkward faces make no sense.
You can tell it was the end of a long day!

Hahaha! This one makes me laugh every time!

I'm getting around to tapering for Smuttynose. I'm feeling good so far, pretty relaxed, I do have expectations for this race (I'd love a PR!) but also plan to run according to how I feel on the day. Given the debacle at GCI I also am planning to run the first half a little under pace. Bonking at mile 15 is NOT part of my grand plan.

Oh! My athlete profile made it up onto the Oiselle page last weekend. Look at ME!!! I'm loving it, funky typo and all (hmmmm instead of  reading "Pump up song" Thunderstruck is amusingly listed as my 13.1 PR?) I should probably point that out to someone but it made me laugh so I'm enjoying the cut-and-paste error for the time being!

 That's it for now. October is going to be a HUGE and busy month so get ready for much excitement around here!


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Lobsterman Relay, McTriple domination.

Saturday marked the end of Triathlon season in my neck of the woods, as it is fall and the lakes are about to freeze up solid.
The theme of the year certainly has been Tri-Relays- I have had SUCH a fun time participating in several and this was no exception.
The destination on this particular day was Lobsterman, an Olympic distance race in Freeport. I haven't done a 10K in a "real" racing way this year and with my schedule being heavily into marathon training I wasn't positive of the outcome. I predicted a 45-47 minute finish if the course was relatively flat (it was not. more on that later.)

Looking athletic per the norm!

The team today was my sister's friend Taylor. My sister Kate and ME! After much deliberation Kate had come up with the genius team name of "McTriple" paying homage to our favorite pre race snack (brought to us by Rev3 and Reggie!)
 An important side note is that from what I understand after spending the day with her, Taylor REALLY, REALLY hates swimming. With unbridled passion. Poor kid, a mile swim is a significant undertaking if you hate swimming in the face.
She was in the last wave which seemed promising as she wouldn't have fast, collegiate men swimming over her (scary.) We knew she was going to finish but we also knew that she was absolutely hating her life (and us) while attempting to swim thru the seaweed and murk of the ocean.

There she goes!!

The thing about the Olympic distance vs the Half is that everything flies by much more quickly. Except the stupid swim. Basically, the way I see it is that an Olympic swim is the same damn thing as a half. UGH!!! (and word on the street is that the swim actually measured long, as in 1.2 miles. whoops. and apparently the currents were fierce and the sharks were everywhere!!)

Taylor made it out alive, which was a great relief and Kate took off on the bike.
She was relatively coherent and only said "NEVER again" once or twice.

During this time I also saw Eric speed off on the bike (he then had multiple bike mechanical issues. blah!)


I had just enough time to pick out who I needed to chase down in the run portion of the event. Standing around in transition for a while gave me quite the opportunity to scope out the competition (and there were an ass ton of teams. more than we have seen all year.) I am a jerk (as we know) and certainly won't be beaten my someone wearing today's race shirt, or other things that have already been discussed. Anyway, I knew who I would be chasing!

Kate was quick on the bike coming in at 1:28 after chasing down several Relay bikers on the hilly course. Not wasting any time I ripped off her timing chip, she smacked me on the butt and yelled "go get it" and I scampered off.

Hello mud run!
See, my bogs were totally justified!
And then....
I scampered straight up a fucking mountain. What the hell? I was not at all shocked to see that my first mile was done in an abysmal 7:50 due to the fact that the course was legit retardo mountainside stupidity. Things only were slightly better during the first half coming in at 7:33 and 7:40 as I struggled and wheezed my way laboriously past a couple of Relay-ers.

At mile 3 I told myself to man up already and run, that it was only a 10K and that I could stand to kick it up a notch and quit whining. So I did. The final 3 were in 7:17, 7:15, 7:04 which is much more reasonable given the distance at hand! My watch read 46:14 but my official time was 46:46. This has be baffled as I started and stopped my watch exactly (and I mean, EXACLTY) over the timing mats. While it certainly did not impact my results I'm a person who always defers to the official time and I'm sad that I added mysterious seconds. Either way, I was done, I was happy, and in the end I passed a few people which brought our final placing up another couple notches to 48th out of 62. Hey, we'll take it!
Oh, and for those keeping track. I did a damn good job predicting my finishing time today! Boom!

McTriple for the win! Or... For 48th but who is counting?

Then we had beers.
The end!


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A week of my workouts!

Hello again from a bad blogger.
Ya know, I think most of the world will agree that when you work a ton of hours, then add some kickass marathon training into the mix sometimes blogging has a way of falling off the priority list.

I have had some questions via email from my loyal fans asking about my training leading up to Smuttynose in October. Last week was a pretty solid, pretty typical, and also manageable week in my training log so I'll share!

Monday: Off, Tuesday is typically my day off but I actually had a chance to rest up for a couple hours today. Hit the comfy chair, slip into some sexy little compression socks and drink a beer. Recovery of the champs right there kids! (Monday is usually my Yoga day- but the Holiday messed up that plan!)
I am slowly changing my feelings about yoga. I yoga first drink second!!
And don't worry. I'm not turning into one of those bloggers who relies heavily on cartoons....

Tuesday: Track workout! I had 4 800's on this that were to be done in the 3:20 range. While this is a decent enough workout I also felt it was within my comfort zone. I did the repeats in 3:18, 3:16 (then had to dash off the track and move my car because the lot was being swept...) 3:23, 3:16. So all within the correct range. A total of 7 miles on the day.

Round and round.

Wednesday: 20 miles on the bike. This took about 1:15 and with the hills we have in the area was a good ass kicker. I also did 30 minutes of core (if anyone wants to know more about my core routine holler, until then I'll assume that reading about core is like watching paint dry.)

Giving Fiona a workout...

Thursday: 6 miles at base pace (mid 8's) with some drills thrown in. I call it prancercising... And it amuses the people of my town to no end. I also did 30 minutes of core and 20 minutes of foam rolling. This falls into the "easy day" category.
Then I did a really quick fashion show and pranced around like a boss in my pimpin' new Oiselle Kit.


Friday: Negative split 10 miler. started off easy in the high 8's. Made it easily into the 8:15 range by mile 4, cranked it up for an 8:06, 8:00, 7:35 for my final 3 working miles. It was solid, but I felt great throughout. Hit up the foamroller for about 20 minutes post run.

Saturday: Had to make this my long run day instead of Sunday due to some scheduling stuff. 19 miles in 2:47 in cool, damp weather. Nothing exciting to report, I have had a string of decent long runs and I am going to quietly enjoy this and try like crazy not to jinx it! I finished the day with compression, foamrolling and some serious snacks.

Sunday: Was supposed to be an hour easy bike. My Bestie needed a little long run company so I slapped on my shoes at 4:30 AM and headed out for a gentle 8.5. My legs appreciated the shake out and it was a good way to finish up my week!

So there my friends is a week of marathon training. Not as high mileage as some of you fast types but still a good effort from my vantage point. I think I ended up with 51 miles which makes me feel happy- that's my perfect get fit but don't die marathon training mileage total.


Thursday, September 5, 2013

August Recap

August Recap. A few days late but that's cool...

Miles run- 148. Well THIS is better than last August's 35 miles!

Miles Biked- 32 Hahaha whoops! Taking into account the fact that I had a couple of rest weeks I'm fine with this. Also, and importantly, I had a very tough time cycling with the summer traffic. The roads were crazy, there is no shoulder at all and my confidence on the bike is still lacking.

Core/Yoga- I did better this month. Still room for improvement but a good upswing from July.

Races run: 3!

Beach To Beacon. The day a 10k was actually an 8 miler.

Family 5K trail race.
This was a month when I was lucky to run so many races with excellent company!

Rev3 Half- another fun picture for the 2013 collection.
And the day when I remembered that I can actually run pretty well...
PR's set- Zero, unless you count the trail 5K which is semi-legit.

Number of times I puked on my shoes- ZERO. Going strong in the no puke zone!

Times I quit running: Zero. Strange but true.

Longest training run- 17. Going strong prepping for Smuttynose in early October.

Number of new shoes purchased: 1, which brings me to pair #4 for the year. Keeping Mizuno in business.

So in conclusion, August was a very strong month especially considering the post Ultra recovery time and my super busy work schedule. I feel really great going into the high volume weeks ahead and I'm very motivated to run a solid Marathon in October.

I'm really happy with my current running mileage (I thrive on 45-ish miles a week) and I know that I can incorporate some extra cross training into my schedule for an extra fitness boost. I'm hoping to be at my peak fitness for 2013 this fall so am ready to crank it up (more. basically I live my life that way, gosh...)


Monday, September 2, 2013

Rev3 Maine recap, in which Pace Booty lives up to its name.....

Once upon a time, a long LONG time ago (as in the middle of winter) a turbo charged super competitive all woman's relay team was formed.
Knowing that all three of us were more than capable in our respective disciplines we had the podium in our crosshairs. Well, this was before we discovered that in relays there are no gender prizes. Oh well, we don't mind beating a lot of male and mixed gender teams too!
The whole team, workin' it for the camera.
And I'm not short. These girls are just tall.

Jules (on the left) is an amazing swimmer. Cranks out the HM distance like it is NBD and only occasionally pukes a little in her mouth. Pretty damn impressive! She had just done a HM the week before so this was a walk in the park for her...
Kellie (the very tallest one in the middle) came with a reputation of being "an animal on the bike". She does centuries regularly just for fun! She is actually an Ironman which is pretty ridiculous/amazing.
And then there is me, the short one, the BQ marathoner, the pink haired, ninja socked, peanut butter soaked runner. 
And yes, we are amazing.

What a beautiful morning!

After a night in a slightly seedy motel, mostly tossing and turning to the dulcet sounds of a malfunctioning a/c unit and the typical set of youngsters fighting drunkenly in the hallway at 3:10, we awoke (or, acknowledged the alarm) to the most spectacular day imaginable!

There is no better team name. NONE.

After a bit of texting and twittering I found my team mates as Jules prepared for the swim. Kellie had had an unfortunate lapse and forgotten her water bottle cage and all her nutrition. Whoops! Luckily Julia and Dutch had a few extra bikes and a bag of snacks in their car so she was set straight without further ado. It is always good to have friends who are prepared. 

Julia ready to ROCK the swim!

Jules hopped in the water to acclimate to the frigid temps and  to fight off the sharks and a small disaster struck. The timing chip fell off her ankle and floated away, out to sea, on the low, low tide. She had such peace of mind that I hardly noticed the incident and she came back to where Dutch and I were animatedly chatting about National Waffle Day without missing a beat.
It is good to get the trouble out of the way early.

There goes Julia's swim wave. All 8 million of them, yikes!

Once Jules (and Eric) were in the water Kellie and I decided there was nothing more that we could do on the beach in the freezing cold sand. After leaving 400 tri bags in Jules and Dutch's car the two of us went to transition to strategize our imminent victory.

Kellie getting psyched!
Or something like that...

Kellie spent a moment questioning her life choice to ride 56 miles on legs that she claimed were slightly untrained (false.) We had just struck up an excellent conversation about her upcoming nuptials when BOOM! Julia ran in, the second relay-er out of the water in ALL kinds of blazing speed. There was a .25 mile run from the water, or something just ghastly like that.

AND she was OFF!!!

We were sitting pretty, on top of the world. Jules had a solid swim (34 minutes? I think?) she did not vomit, she was about 98% coherent and 100% badass.  Then.... We had a few hours to kill.  We watched the pro's roll in. I chilled with my family in law. I got into my race gear hours early to appease my SIL who is basically Eric in a a female body (which is why we get along like peas and carrots.)  I ate 2 PB&J's. And then I walked back to transition.

Jen (picking me up like a boss) murdered the bike in something insane like a 2:20. WHAT?

The best part of being on a relay team is the fun of sitting in transition, cheering for athletes as they run in and hanging with your friends. Who like to pick me up.
Kellie had guessed that she would complete the bike in 3 hours, Eric swore up and down that she was sandbagging and to be ready at the 2:45 mark (and as previously mentioned, I was ready at the 1:45 mark.)
At 3:00 Jules and I started getting edgy.
At 3:05 you would have thought the world was ending.
At 3:10 we decided that she surely had sustained grievous injury or a flat.
We might be impatient people?
At 3:12 she cranked in and I HIT THE ROAD!!!

And yeah. There are currently no pictures to prove that I did anything other that twiddle around all day eating and mouthing off.
I'm going to spare everyone the blow by blow of the run since this was a team day but here is a recap:
The course was pretty flat, much more flat then anything I have run this year. It was close to 80 but not too humid, a VERY nice change. I had a couple of pretty amazing runs before this one which planted the seed in my head that my (Boston 1/2 split) or 1:42 might be feasible.

It was the best race I had run since Boston. At every mile my whole body said "yes, I can do this, no problem" and so I did. I saw many of my friends out there which was awesome but my focus rarely shifted from running and how amazing it felt. We all know that races like this can be hard to come by so I simply enjoyed it, and motored on to a 1:37:10 finish. Pretty damn close to my current PR of 1:36:40 (from April of '12)

I was a touch incoherent at the finish. All in all though I felt great and was really pleased with my effort! Finishing as a team was really awesome and that is something that makes a relay unique! Our overall finishing time was 5:30:23. We are fast and dangerous. The following pictures give an excellent representation of this amazing badass/danger persona that we all bring to the table. 

Finishing as a team!! Whoooo! Badass!

I have to put in the official picture because it's cool!

Pace Booty! 2nd pace female team, 6th overall. What a blast!!!