Sunday, April 3, 2011

Ironman: Beach to Battleship

The long journey to attempt an Ironman began this week. My first swims, runs, and bike rides have occured. There is rust everywhere (and tons of pollen) but perpetual motion is underway.

October I come.

May I find my way to the start line.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Half way there...

I did it! I finished a Half-Ironman with no major problems! I finished the Washington (NC) Half-Ironman on Oct. 30th. The goal was just to finish and enjoy the process. My friend, Nate, was willing to wait for me and do the whole thing together which was HUGE for morale.
Quick recap:
It was cold! Like 30 something outside, so stripping down and getting in a wetsuit to jump in the water seemed really dumb! But of course, we did! I highly recommend (if anyone ever reads this) to do this Half-Ironman. This part of NC is incredibly beautiful and historic. The course was perfect--flat roads with turns and curves, little to no traffic, spectators and volunteers were great! Plus, this is a small event, so it had a much more personal feel to it and people were really nice.
Swim: Blue crap pinched several of our feet at the start. Swim was beautiful. Somehow, after under training something fierce, I had this calm sensation during the swim and enjoyed it. There were some cold spots that took your breath but overall the course was well-marked and there was no current. No sharks either! 46 mins, 49 seconds on the mat.
Bike: We took our time, goal was to avg. 18 mph @ a keep talking pace. Even after stopping for nature breaks twice, we hit our goal. The course was great because, unlike White Lake, the roads were not long straights with the wind in your face the whole time. The roads had curves and changed direction enough to keep things interesting. There were lots of corn fields and people hunting from their cars on the course but that is how peaceful (if that makes sense) the course was. For example, during both nature breaks, we did not see a car nor a fellow triathlete.
Total bike: 3 hours, 8 mins
Run: AHHH the run. Yeaa...did I mention I came in really under trained for this distance. I did a walk-run combo for most of the race. After mile 10, the legs were cramping bad. I did not plan well for run nutrition. So I ran a 2:28:37 half-marathon and was thrilled to finish!
Overall: 6 hours, 31 mins, 19 seconds.

Two reflections on this journey:
1) No one told me about how much the wetsuit + salt-water would chafe my neck! Damn that hurt and the post-race shower was the most painful shower I have ever taken! I need to find a solution to reduce the neck chaffing. I tried the "glide"! Any suggestions?
2) This was a "process" over "product" event. And after having a bad race at White Lake, I needed to enjoy a race and get some confidence back. Mission accomplished! Appreciate it Nate! "It's Oriental"

Lesson for Quest: Sometimes Process over Product is best. May I recognize what situations in life call for Process over Product.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

White Lake Half Race Report:

Well, let's see...last Quest check-in I was ramping up for White Lake Half. Let's start there:
I didn't finish...I failed!

Quiting was the most difficult and humbling experience in recent memory.

The week of the race my son got sick with fever and we had to take several days off of work to care for him. During this time, the virus spread to the rest of us. The day before the race I quit taking meds to get my system as back to normal as possible. During the time, I think I became dehydrated. On top of this, white lake was hotter than hell. All that cold-weather training out the window!

Race day: Too hot for wetsuits. Last 300 meters of swim my legs started cramping! They have never cramped before! I barely use my legs in the swim! I had sheer panic with a charlie horse in the water and still having to swim. I finished the 1.2 miles in 49:35. This was 5 minutes slower than I was planning on.

The bike was hot as hell and much more of a head wind than expected! Again, more cramping in my thighs and back. I could not wait to get off the bike. All the water that was being handed out was hot and I could not cool down. The 56 mile bike took me 3 hours and 9 mins. This was 19 minutes slower than I planned.

The first step off of the bike--I knew I was in trouble. Every time I took a deep breath--my diaphragm sent a shooting pain down my back. I could not run without breathing deeply! I was screwed and started walking with hopes that it would go away. I walked 4 miles. I would let my HR drop and then try again to run--PAIN. I got worried because it felt like kidney stones and I was not ready for that in the middle of no where on 100 degree asphalt. I asked a race referee the quickest way to get back and she said to turn around. About that time, my buddy Chuck Dee showed up and tried to encourage me to go on. The pain was just too much. I put my head down and walked the 4 miles back. I was heart broken. I was humbled to see so many folks pushing through it. I was embarrassed about not finishing and having to tell the volunteers trying to guide me down the finishing shoot that "no, I really did not finish, I just want to get my stuff". I was upset about all who believed in me and supported me. I was upset that I had no control over the situation. I second guessed everything. I was upset that all my friends finished and I didn't. I was mad at myself for quiting--not being able to finish.

I had not felt failure like this in a long time.

But failure breeds new limits...more on that later!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Is this thing on?

It is way past time to crank up the here goes a test and a promise to self to post more later. It keeps self honest! Hope this works!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Next Big Step...Half Ironman

Well, I went and did it! I signed up for the White Lake Half-Ironman in May. I am three weeks into my training plan and scared that I am in over my head. Time will tell.

2009 Recap:
Dec. Thunder Road Half-Marathon, 1 hour and 55 mins (very little training!)
Sept. MS Charity Ride. (still have water in my bike)
August. Chapel Hill Sprint Triathlon (2nd Place in Division)
June. 36 North Sprint Triathlon

I hope my new job and training location will be supportive of my new path! I am going to need it.

One foot in front of the other...

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Back in the saddle again!

Well, I finished 36 North and (even though my helmet is wobbyjawed) I did not wreck! I placed 5th in my age group an 81 overall. Quick recap:
Swim: The worst part of the whole thing. Either I underestimated my pool skills (DOUBT IT) or everyone else grossly overestimated theirs. I walked most of my swim and was forced to pass groups of people in the pool. I became frustrated and it threw my whole race in a different direction.
Bike: I averaged 19.3 mphs and was happy for my effort. After the swim debacle, I decided to enjoy the journey and shake off the cobwebs. Therefore, I did not push it and talked to folks during the bike. I wish I decided to push it a little more.
Run: I underestimated the climbs on this run course. The back-hill to the finish line had several people walking and I was determined not to walk! Avg. 8:36 miles.
Overall: Great race with a fantastic energy to it. For me personally, it sparked a fire and has got me training to PR soon.
Lesson from Journey: Patience man, Patience.

Monday, June 1, 2009

I am not dead....yet!!!

It has been quite a while since my last post. I have a million excuses but if I am real honest with myself--the reason for the lack of activity has been due to me not feeling good about myself. I have not been training or eating like I should/could and it shows. To make matters worse, I was feeling strong and dedicated in February. I then got a sinus infection and my progress and routine atrophied quickly. I did manage to squeak out two third place finishes in 5k's (thanks for name Julian mom and dad, it helped get me in the female division for one race!!).

I am doing a sprint triathlon this weekend and I surely will be humbled. I will be happy just to finish. But maybe this will help get me motivated to prioritize better and appreciate the journey.