Tuesday, November 27, 2007
It turned out there was a bunch of little kids walk-running around the school track. Harrumph. And here I'm a taxpayer and they're not. . . . (actually I found out later that it was Catherine and Elisabeth's class - but I didn't get close enough to see that!)
So I went out on the roads and just ran hard for 100 strides and then jogged until my eyes stopped bleeding, then repeated. Then that was too hard so I walked between sets until my eyes stopped bleeding. And then finally the intervals got farther and farther apart and then toward the end my eyes just wouldn't stop bleeding at all, so I crawled home.
Intervals are hard. And yeah, if you count the peaks, there are only 9 of them. I know, I know.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Here's a preliminary summary of my year in events. There may be one or two road races to go, we'll see.
Many thanks to all the great friends who have run and biked and swum with me and advised me along the way and cheered me on this year. You inspired me and helped me to fly.
- B&A Half Marathon (#28), 04 Mar 07: PR half marathon (2:26:38)
- National Half Marathon (#29), 24 Mar 07: (2:24? long course)
- Cherry Pit Ten Miler, 01 Apr 07: PR ten miler (1:48:52)
- Ocean City Half Marathon (#30), 07 Apr 07: (2:27:04)
- Bridge to Bridge Half (#31), 21 Apr 07: PR half marathon (2:19:28)
- Oxford Day 10K, 28 Apr 07: PR 10k (1:00:41)
- Columbia Triathlon, 20 May 07: PR swim (2:04/100 yards, 34:07)
- Eagleman Ironman 70.3, 10 Jun 07: PR half ironman triathlon (7:08:27)
- Blackwater Traverse Du, 8 Jul 07: (DNF, heat)
- Annapolis Triathlon, 09 Sep 07: PR Olympic triathlon (3:31:54, short course)
- Walt Disney World Triathlon, 23 Sep 07: PR bike (17.5 mph/36.1 miles)
- Ulman 10 Year 5K, 27 Oct 07: (ran with Lance) untimed
- Marine Corps Marathon (#10), 28 Oct 07: PR marathon (5:23:51)
- Run for Hospice 10K, 23 Nov 07: PR 10k (1:001:31, 29:10 5k split)
The best is yet to come. . . . some time in my second half century!!!
"Since you're so close to breaking your 1:00:00 mark for the 10K, how about a friendly motivational challenge? What comes first - I break 20:00 for the 5K, or you break 1:00:00 for the 10K? Honestly, this one is already in your favor: If the cop hadn't stopped you, you'd be there. For sure. I've still got to find 56 seconds in 3 miles."
I have my work cut out for me. There's a 15K on December 9th that I may use to get a 10K split, although there's also a real 10K that day in DC that's flat and fast. Coach Joe recommends a couple 10x100 sessions to prep.
That speedwork had better work fast. Er. . . . speedily.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Friday, November 23, 2007
Track mile, unofficial, 2006: 9:23
5K PR from November 2005: 30:26 (have only done a couple 5Ks since then and not for time)
10K PR going into today's race: 1:00:41 from 28 April 2007 in Oxford, Maryland
10K record on this course from 2006: 1:03:24
This race, the YMCA Run for Hospice, is a fairly casual small-town race that goes out of my own Y, so I try to do it every year. I was really hoping to finally break the one hour barrier on a 10K, and solicited some advice from my favorite triathlon email list, TRI-DRS.
Coach Joe Bator gave me some great advice: "Come Friday run 2 miles as a warm-up by running the first mile of the course and back again. You said there were alot of turns. When you are warming up look at the turns. Figure out the line that is straightest. Plan ahead move to the inside before the turn in anticipation of taking the shortest line. Just because there are turns it is no reason for you to run slower. Heck if done right a course with turns can be faster as long as they are not turnarounds that force you to stop. Finish your warm-up with a couple of short 10 step sprints. The goal of all the speed is to let your body know that your starting pace is not all out. It should feel slow after the quick sprints. Now - line up closer to the start than you are comfortable. Not all the way at the front, maybe the middle but closer than you are used to. Leave the watch, the water bottle, the extra jacket in case you get cold, the ipod, the gu or anything else that is not ABSOLUTELY needed, in the car."
I tried to follow most of this, but ended up with perhaps a 1.5-mile warmup because I was a little nervous about missing the start - they're kind of casual about starting times at this event.
We gathered, I moved up to the middle behind some skinny girls that were in the row right behind all the fast guys. The horn sounded and we all headed off around a series of turns in a residential neighborhood. I felt good at the start, sufficiently warmed up to run comfortably in the mid-pack and hugging the insides on all the curves. That worked!
Joe advised: "Run the first mile hard but not as fast as the earlier sprints. After the first mile settle in with those around you, if you see someone who seems to be breathing hard then you pass them. If someone seems to be not working hard and having a good time, pass them clearly you want it more than they do."
PR 1 mile split from Garmin: 8:59 - 24 seconds faster than my previous track mile PR!
I caught a glance of this and knew it was an unusually fast start for me, but I just tried to hold the pace steady and stay right there. Down the highway shoulder - I passed one younger girl and about half a mile later she passed me back, but for most of the rest of the race I was running mostly by myself with the other runners a couple hundred yards up the road ahead - which seemed too far to try to catch. Using other people to push myself forward wasn't going to work at this small race. I was running alone.
Off the highway and into a semi-rural residential area that I've run in often. The roads are rutted and uneven and that slowed me down slightly. Mile 2 in 9:30, Mile 3 in 9:39. I was running at a high effort level, heart rate well in the mid-170s.
Quick time check at the halfway mark:
Time at 3.1 miles on Garmin: 29:10 on my watch (or 29:05, below). The good news is that was a huge 5k PR and I'd finally broken 30 minutes for a 5K decisively! The bad news is that it was an unofficial time, and the even worse news was that I would have to keep running just as hard as I had up to that point to have a chance of breaking an hour for the 10k.
In the second half it started to get difficult to hold the pace. I worked hard to keep my head in the game and retain my focus. I kept reminding myself to use my arms, pull myself along, keep my cadence high by keeping my arm movements high.
I was promising myself all kinds of crazy stuff too. I reminded myself this was probably my last event of the year - finish this one well for the year and I had a long break with no events. I told myself that if made a PR I wouldn't have to run at all until NEXT YEAR. Heh. I lied.
Joe said: "If you mouth is pasty take a sip of water to wet it otherwise skip the water stops. You don't need it for 6 miles and it will just slow you down. Once you get to mile 4 pick up the pace. This is the mile we tend to slow down on, it is to far from the finish to get the pull and easy to lose focus. So FOCUS."
Mile 4 marker arrived with the one and only water stop. My mouth was indeed pasty, my throat was dry, and my breath was getting a bit ragged. I allowed myself the luxury of slowing down to get one Dixie cup, took one sip and swished my mouth out with the rest and kept running. Maybe five or ten seconds lost. Back to running hard. Glance down to check my pace - a little too slow. Pick up the effort level now. Keep the turnover high. Dig deep for the final miles.
Back out on the highway towards the finish line. Mile 5 seems to take forever. I pass one guy who has stopped to fix his shoe but he trots easily past me when he starts again. I feel resentful of the people jogging along easily at this pace when I'm averaging 177 bpm heart rate just to maintain it. But I keep the effort going nevertheless. I did my best to remember what Joe said for the final stretch: "Once you hit mile 5 you only have 1.2 to go and the .2 doesn't count, anyone can run that. Use your arms and pull."
Hmm, in the last 3/4 mile we had to re-cross the highway we had been directed to cross earlier which now put us on the wrong side. I'm puzzled. I'm still running hard and preparing to kick it into a sprint for the final half mile. But then we enter the stream of walkers and strollers in the 5K event, which forces me out into the roadway against oncoming traffic to get around them.
Then I get to the final intersection. The policeman is slow in stopping the traffic and I proceed a few steps into the intersection to wait for the cars to fully stop rolling. Then the cop YELLS at me to get back behind the line and WAIT for him to tell me when I can cross the road. W. T. F.!?!? I've NEVER been yelled at by a hired cop for attempting to cross the road when I'm in a race! I'm standing by the roadside with the time ticking away and swearing under my breath.
Finally he lets us go, but I've lost my momentum and just do my best to run hard to the finish line over the last half mile, around the walkers filling the sidewalk. I get to the finish line and there is one guy standing there tearing off the strips on our bib numbers, but there was no finish clock and they never compile the race results anyway, so I'm not sure why he was doing that. I was spitting nails and swearing my head off to my training buddy who was waiting for me there - but then I caught myself and thanked the finish line guy nicely. The last mile (including the traffic stop) was my slowest by 24 seconds - and the last 0.2 miles was fully 27 seconds slower than last year.
PR watch time at finish line (6.19 miles on Garmin): 1:00:23 (or 1:00:31 at 6:20 miles, which may have included some walking after the finish line, below). 10 seconds faster than my best 10K since my 20s, and almost 3 minutes faster than my best time on this course.
I'm pleased with my effort level during this race and reviewing my heart rates tells me that I succeeded in keeping my focus high - after the first 3/4 mile my heart rate remained steadily between 175 and 178 except for a dip to 173 at the water stop and an increase on the final home stretch.
Now I think I need to find another 10K before the end of the year to lay that sub-1:00 goal to rest, finally. Of course, losing some more weight to make that running pace easier would always help, too!
I learned later that the Evil Cop had stopped just about everyone in the race at that intersection, including one of my triathlete buddies Jim Crowley who won the race. *shaking head*
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Here are some carving tips for the slightly more muscular birds that we have today. As for us, I just bought a small boneless turkey breast that I'll cook this afternoon - my girls aren't big eaters yet and the rest of us try not to be!
And thank YOU for coming by my blog today! All the best to you and yours!
Even Catherine said today that I need to go see a doctor. Her prescription: "I think they need to take your bones out," while gesturing toward her ribs.
In particular, she wants her Mommy to stop being grumpy. I don't blame her!
I'm still hoping to run a 10K tomorrow morning, and go on a group ride on Sunday. Fortunately the only thing that hurts is my throat. I hope to get some antibiotics today and maybe they'll kick in fast. A little turkey can't hurt, either, right?
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I'm thankful that I still get to do this running and cycling and swimming stuff - and I hope I can keep saying that every year.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
And these beasts are our allies!?!?
Update: The Saudis are attempting to explain their ruling.
"The government statement said that according to the woman's signed confession, she called a man on her cell phone and "asked to be with him alone, illegally." The two met at a marketplace, then rode in the man's car to "a dark area of the beach, and stayed there for some time," the ministry said. The group of attackers "saw her in a compromising situation, her clothes on the ground," the statement said. "The men at this point assaulted her and the man with her."
The woman knew that being alone with a man who wasn't her husband was illegal, "and therefore she violated the covenant of marriage." However, the woman was engaged -- not married -- at the time. After the incident, the woman and the man did not come forward about the assaults or press charges until someone contacted the woman's husband "telling him what happened, and about his wife's affair and adultery," the ministry said. "She then confessed ... the husband therefore came forward to the police and formally complained nearly three months after the incident." The woman and her companion "exposed themselves to this heinous crime, causing the crime to take place because of their violations of the pure Sharia ruling" -- the country's strict Islamic law."
It's still not making any sense at all to me. They have the blame-the-victim routine down pat, don't they? Savages.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
That turned into jogging the corners and running the straights, and I finished up with 9 x 100m. I was all excited because I caught a glimpse of 7:02 min/mile out of the corner of my eye on the Garmin for the merest flicker of an instant. Must have been an optical illusion. Or brain damage.
I was "saved by the bell" when they had a practice evacuation drill at the high school and needed the entire track to relocate 400 happy (but chilly) students for a few minutes.
Maybe I should just hope for running most of the 10K on Friday without coughing up anything. . . .
Monday, November 19, 2007
The girls brought them home from school today. They were also wearing construction-paper Indian headresses, so I assumed that they were something to do with Thanksgiving.
However, Catherine said they were volcanoes. And said something about "vava". I asked her if she meant the red part was lava, and she corrected me, "No, vava."
Then she instructed me on the names of the other components. "This is called a tube. This is called tape."
Um, that didn't shed any light on it for me. Anyone out there have any ideas?
Naturally, I exclaimed about how wonderful they are. Whatever they are.
Holly wins! I asked the teacher today what exactly they were and she said they were just experimenting with three-dimensional building. So it's Modern Art. Perhaps if I had an actual formal education in Art like Holly I wouldn't be such a diehard rigid representationalist. Not every work of art has to "be" something else, right?
Here's the scene from a slightly different angle in different light - the painting isn't meant to be photo-realism, more of an impression of the way the light filters through the leaves.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
23 Then he [Elisha] went up from there to Bethel; and as he was going up the road, some youths came from the city and mocked him, and said to him, “Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!”
24 So he turned around and looked at them, and pronounced a curse on them in the name of the LORD. And two female bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths.
An alternative translation:
23 Elisha left and headed toward Bethel. Along the way some boys started making fun of him by shouting, "Go away, baldy! Get out of here!"
24 Elisha turned around and stared at the boys. Then he cursed them in the name of the LORD. Right away two bears ran out of the woods and ripped to pieces forty-two of the boys.
And that's one of the good guys. So for you follicularly-challenged folks out there, just feel free to call out the bears to maul anyone who dares mock you. You've got God's full backing on that. I suppose He must be overly sensitive about His receding hairline too.
What's your favorite?
Saturday, November 17, 2007
My training buddy Dave and I previewed the 10K course we will race next Friday this morning. The pace was a bit slower than I hope to race it next week, and included an extended pit stop I hope to skip on race day: 10:41 min/mile pace at 169 bpm average heart rate for a total time of 1:07:11 for 6.28 miles.
I thought of two athletes whom we remember and memorialize today: Dorothy Barnett-Griffin, who died following problems in the swim in Ironman Florida; and Ryan Shay, the 28-year-old who collapsed and died at the 5.5-mile mark of the US Olympic marathon trials.
Your race is run, and well it was run. Rest in peace.
Friday, November 16, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
2 miles went by fairly slowly, and suddenly I started feeling half-drunk and nearly stumbling, feeling like I was starting a weird out-of-body experience.
I started walking instead.
That went okay, until. . . . .
Another mile towards home and I was walking down the nice new stretch of fresh asphalt when maybe I stepped off the edge of the roadway? I'm not sure, but one minute I'm walking along and the next I fell down. Not just a stumble, ALL THE WAY DOWN on the ground - striking knee, hip, heel of right hand, right shoulder. Ouch. That hurt.
Plus I think that broke my Garmin, it stopped updating the distance and suddenly was giving me bizarre heart rate readings like 57 bpm, which we all know never happens here.
Later I looked up the stuff online. Oh great, Wikipedia says all kinds of nice things about it like "dissociative hallucinogenic drug" that induces "drowsiness, dizziness, excitation, vomiting, blurred vision, dilated pupils, sweating, fever, hypertension, shallow respiration, diarrhea, urinary retention, and increases in heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature."
Ack. Just what I want in my body while attempting to run. Just goes to show. . . .
Winners never dope, and dopers never win.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Elisabeth worked on her balancing skills. She may be the gymnast in the family!
Fortunately we encountered no alien invaders on our walk today, as we had a few days ago inside our house.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
So I finally covered 3.8 miles around the neighborhood today on foot, mostly slowly, checking out the houses for sale (nothing with either 4 bedrooms or more land under half a million bucks nearby, sadly), picking up flyers, discovering a road that used to be paved with big chunky pieces of limestone will now be nicely blacktoppped, giving me a better local running route, etc.
I was seriously thinking of flying down to Tampa to run the Gasparilla Marathon and see my peeps Shawn and Linae, but now it's only 87 days away, my legs feel slow, airfares are steep, and I still need to sit down and figure out the big picture for 2008.
I think it's time to order my calendar for next year. I need to work this out with pen and real paper.
Update: Got the job done. Went over to Staples.com and ordered two wall calendars and a notebook calendar to work out the Grand Plan for 2008. They will be here tomorrow or the next day. Free delivery rocks.
Monday, November 12, 2007
As Dwight D. Eisenhower directed us, ". . . let us solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly, on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage of freedom, and let us reconsecrate ourselves to the task of promoting an enduring peace so that their efforts shall not have been in vain."
Saturday, November 10, 2007
After that all I wanted was a hot bath and my hands to stop buzzing from the vibration of the hedgetrimmer.
We've all got colds at some stage or another in our house too, and I'm still feeling all worn out. We'll turn it around next week.
Meanwhile, my training buddy Dave PRd at the Richmond Marathon today in a time of 4:10. Congratulations to him!!! Now we're thinking of something nice and flat like Gasparilla in Tampa for him to go sub-4 in 90 days. And maybe for me to go sub-5.
Thursday, November 08, 2007
How very, very sad.
I didn't see this either until a day or two ago - the autopsy from Barney Rice, the guy who died at IMFL last year, indicated a definite drowning. The didn't release the autopsy results for over 6 months: http://www.newsherald.com/archives/article.display.php?id=71565
No heart problem, as was widely rumored.
I don't know about anyone else, but these deaths definitely make me think hard about whether I want to attempt any 2500-person mass swim starts ever again. I think they're needlessly risky.
It turns out the average time for women 50-54 in US marathons in 2006 was 5:26:58!! I ran a 5:23:51 at MCM!!
I'm finally (if the statistics hold in 2007) an above average old lady marathoner. :-)
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Frank Shorter (self-coached two-time Olympic marathoner) has a refreshing take on coaching himself that is well worth the click to read.
I tried it on twice at the race Expo, but reluctantly didn't buy it there because the checkout line was way way too long.
Then they didn't have it listed on the MCM Shop website after the race, so I figured I was off the hook.
But no, I kept going back and checking, and sure enough it showed up on the site a few days later. In just my size.
It must be God's Will that I have this jacket. Otherwise He wouldn't have made me run a PR at the race, right?
God was merely taunting me for my insolence. I got an email that the jacket is out of stock and my order is cancelled. Uhhh, Brooks, then WHY THE HECK is it still listed on your website!?!??
Registration is supposed to open on November 10th (even though the main web page says 'accepting applications' now).
I have a few questions in my mind about it, though. I'd like to see some course maps before signing up (even though there's a detailed course description in the preliminary news release). It's going to be a two-transition race with a widely separated T1 and T2 which can be difficult with a lot of running around the day before to get your stuff prepared.
And it's about 375 miles away, which is a tough 7+ hour drive through the NY City and Hartford area for me.
Another reason to take a hard look at my 2008 calendar in the next couple of days!
Anyone else thinking about this one?
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
One Ironman triathlon, three blogger girlfriends of mine went to it (one competitor and two spectators and cheerleaders), one rocking fabulous Ironman race finish, and three days later we still have NO RACE REPORTS.
I understand they still might be recovering from their hangovers, however. . . .
Monday, November 05, 2007
Shucks, you guys! I am not worthy. But I do consider it an honor.
My regular readers know that this is much more of a training-journal-of-my-life than a triathlete blog.
My friend Jeanne recently asked "Why do you blog?"
I have to admit that I don't have a single good answer to that question. I started this blog in March, 2005 as a way to make a log of my training progress for myself, and also a historical record and photo file for my own review and for my kids' amusement one day. I periodically save this record month-by-month to a CD and file it away.
I've gone a few thousand miles under my own power since that day. I've gone from a novice who had dabbled into a triathlon or two, to the point that a triathlete is part of who I am. Only just a part, but a part that's personally important to me. I may not always compete in events, but I don't see myself giving up swimming, cycling, or running until something, someday, makes me.
Two-and-a-half years and 138,000 hits later I'm still doing it, blogging away on a regular basis. It's become an important part of my training and my connection to fellow triathletes around the world. I especially appreciate it when someone takes an interest in my meandering posts and takes the time to write a comment. Thanks for coming over to my house. Have another cup of coffee. I enjoy having you here.
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Supposedly she ran 5:29:58 in the New York City Marathon today, although I haven't found her results under that name. She finished in 34,193rd place. Perhaps she's exempt from the headphone ban because she needs to receive interstellar communications.
They fixed the search function that was broken yesterday! Here is her actual result and 5K splits. Yeah, she started fast and faded in the second half. I can certainly relate! (To give her full credit for her accomplishment, she did beat my 2005 New York City Marathon time by over an hour!)
34193 10421 3799 F127 Katie Holmes 30F USA 5:29:58 0:33:14 1:06:51 1:44:42 2:21:17 2:31:41 3:03:38 3:42:54 4:23:20 5:13:37 12:35
Well done Dr. Iron Feist!
Thursday, November 01, 2007
We need some Chick Laws here.
- There is nothing unfeminine about snot rockets or barfing on course. Unless you hit someone.
- It's okay to pee in the wetsuit. Or in the bushes. Or on the bike. Just don't announce it - or ewwww, grunt - while doing it.
- Passing guys on the bike is totally feminine.
- Pink is fast. Red is faster.
- Make-up is purely optional, particularly on race day.
- It's important for helmets and nails to color-coordinate for the total triathlon experience.
- Guys who stink during a triathlon also stink when they're not doing a triathlon.
- Clydesdales who swim over chicks on purpose or grab their legs are the worst abomination in the sport.
- Everybody but you really thinks you look hot in a trisuit. Enjoy.
- Everybody looks fat in a wetsuit. Don't worry about it, it's NOT your hips.
- Only men would think they look good in a Speedo. They should just lose it unless their name ends in McCormack, Sultan, or Stadler.
- Tan lines aren't sexy. SPF 45 sunblock that actually stays on - that's sexy.
- Anybody who tries to hit on you in a transition zone before a race or "fix your bike for you" is a creep to be avoided - after they fix your bike, that is.
- Being fast never justifies being rude. Especially to volunteers.
- It's okay to cry for mechanical problems or hills that really hurt or when approaching finish lines as long as you don't stop moving while you cry.
- Finishing with your children shows the world what a Tri-Goddess you really are. Just don't mess up anyone else's finishing photo.
- Yeah, if we had our own personal anabolic steroid doping system we'd be faster and more muscular and lose weight easier too.
- You think running hard hurts? Don't make me laugh. Try childbirth.
Hmmm. Give me some more, ladies!
I was just trying to update some of my records last night (it didn't work, my other website is broken) and I realized something pretty cool!
In 2008 so far I got PRs in:
1. 10k road race
2. half marathon road race
3. marathon road race
4. Olympic triathlon
5. half Iron triathlon