Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A stinky situation (Diva Half Marathon Recap)

This past weekend the husband and I headed to the beach early Saturday morning for a nice short beach weekend which was long overdue. The weekend was scheduled around the Diva Half marathon that Lauren and I had registered to run.

We got to the house around 10:00 and picked Lauren and Michael up and headed to the expo to try and beat the crowds. The expo is good sized with lots and lots of girlie running paraphernalia. I'm not real big into all that stuff so we got our packets, walked around for a few minutes, and then hit the road. We had some sun to get! 

The weather was absolutely gorgeous (it's about time!) It was mid 70's with a breeze. It was cool enough not to sweat but hot enough to get a serious burn (ouch...I regretted that decision come Sunday morning). We spent the day lounging in the sun and then headed in for a nice dinner at Bonefish Grill just down the road. Julie arrived at the house just before dinner so she joined us. After dinner we headed back to the house to relax and chat before preparing for race day.

My race morning alarm went off at 4:50am and I did not want to get up. I finally drug myself out of bed, ate my english muffin with almond butter, and got myself race ready. We were out the door by 5:30 to park and catch a bus to the start. We had no problems and were at the start with almost an hour to spare. We hit the porta-potties, chitchatted, and peoplewatched until time to line up. After lining up my stomach got queasy. I knew I was in trouble. I weaved my way back through thousands of people to get to the portas again. There were still lines a mile long. I knew I would never make it to the start in time but I had no choice. I had to wait in line. Thank goodness I hate when my stomach does not cooperate.

Luckily I made it back to where I was standing with my friends with 3-4 minutes to spare only because the race was a few minutes late getting started.

I felt pretty good in the first few miles and stayed ahead of the 8 minute pacer. I felt confident that I could stay steady throughout the race at right under an 8:00 pace. That was until I hit about mile 6. There were a some small rolling hills and it was getting really hot really fast.

It just went downhill from there and I got progressively slower. It was disappointing but i could tell my body still was just not ready to race any kind of distance.

I had one of the nastiest things happen to me ever during a race at about mile 12. A girl passed me running and I noticed she looked like she had fallen in a mud puddle. Once she got ahead me all I could smell was poop!!! Yall, she pooped herself and it was all down the back of her legs and all over shorts. I couldn't believe my eyes or my nose! What the what?!?!? I am a very competitive person but come on, that was just too much. I almost threw up. This picture below was right after she passed me. She wouldn't high five the guy because of her "stinky situation".

What do you do when you are having a bad race? Just have fun and high five everyone!! (And celebrate that the stinky situation has gotten far enough ahead so she can't be smelled anymore).

I ended up running a 1:50:14 and it was good for 8th place in the 25-29 AG.

Our cheering section...mustaches and all. 

 We took advantage of the beautiful day and hit the beach for several more hours before hitting the road back home. These last pictures are of the babies after an overnight stay in the country with the grandparents. This was also Paisley's first stay in the country. Apparently they had a little too much fun!


Easter 2014

 I love Easter. It is such a special time within the church as we celebrate the risen Lord. It is a time to rejoice in the Lord with family and friends. Easter Sunday is also a time of being thankful and spending time with family.

This year we did not go to my parents for pictures before church. I guess some traditions are just too difficult to carry out when you have a mother that is always flying in late and a sister that doesn't always like to get up until the last minute. So, this year we went to church and then took pictures in the hallway. That was a comedy act in itself. We hid everytime someone walked by. Yes, we are still 12 years old. 

Then after sunday school, I made my parents come to my house to take our little family pictures. These are our first family pictures with Paisley included!

After pictures, we headed to lunch with the husbands' family and then ate again at my parents for dinner! What a joyous day! Hallelujah! 


Monday, April 28, 2014

White Lake Half Ironman Race Recap

I cannot believe the day that I had anticipated since early December has already come and gone! Wow, what a day!

I took the Friday before the race off. I had a vet appointment for Paisley at 8:00 for her last round of puppy shots so I got up and got in an easy 10 minute run, took her to the vet, came back and finished packing, and then we were off to meet Jennifer and Julie and hit the road.

We got to White Lake around lunchtime and hit up Subway before heading to the expo. I also got in a quick ride on the bike and a short easy swim just to calm my nerves.

The husband, the kind loving soul that he is brought his cooking utensils and made us an awesome meal including pancakes, bacon, eggs, and toast! There is not much to eat at White Lake and we were staying at a friends' home so eating in was the best option! 

After sitting around and organizing our gear we hit the sack about 10:00pm. I slept horribly. I woke up ready to roll only to look at the clock as it read 2:00am. Really?!?! I tossed and turned until the alarm actually went off at 6:00am. After double checking and triple checking the gear we were off to the FFA Center on the lake.

My first time having the end of a transition rack and it was wonderful!! I was and still am very thankful that I had this transition spot!

W.T.F - Women Triathletes of Florence

Race morning was well organized and a total breeze. But most importantly, the water looked like glass! Hallelujah! It was a beautiful morning and I was and still am so thankful! We set up transition, got our chips, took a few pictures, and before we knew it the time was near! In the water, we went! 

I started to the left to stay out of the way of the faster swimmers although in the picture above I am dead center. It was never too crowded which is always a plus for a smaller race. I got bumped and kicked a few times but nothing bad. This course was a triangle. It was set up with 3 orange circular buoys and then a bigger triangle. Mentally, I counted them down one buoy at a time. I did get kicked in the arm about 10 minutes in and it  was right on my Garmin. It was hard enough to push one of the buttons and it stopped my watch. I did not feel like messing with it in the water so I just kept on going and reset it once I was on the bike. Once I got to the second triangle and made the turn towards the dock it was smooth sailing from there! I was elated to get out of the water and head towards my bike! I cant believe I am going to say this but the swim was great and the lake was absolutely gorgeous!

Swim:  54:26

There was a short run from the swim to T1! I felt as though I was moving through T1 pretty quickly but my time doesn't show it. My spot was at the end of the rack right near the Bike Out which was good. I did stop and take time to put on sunscreen.

T1:   4:07

I was happy to get on the bike. I felt so good at the beginning. The first 12 miles were wonderful and I was averaging over 19MPH. Then we made the first of two bike turns and the wind hit. I was still feeling pretty good keeping my average in the 18MPH range. After about mile 35 is where I begin to loose it. It was getting really hot and my bike seat was quickly becoming really uncomfortable. (Note to self: Get a new bike seat NOW.) It hurt to stand up and it hurt to sit down. After making the second of two turns on the course we hit the road of evil! It was so cracked up and uneven. There was nowhere on any part of the road that was smooth. I wanted to cry or either cuss someone out! I am pretty sure I ended up doing both (silently of course).  I was okay with my bike time but not overjoyed. I know I can ride 56 miles faster than what I did. (another note to self: When in training, do not stop and take breaks during your rides. You will pay for it on race day) I wanted to stop so bad on those last miles but my mental game won out and kept on pushing. I knew my parents would be there by the time I got done with the bike and I think that kept me going also!

Bike:  3:08:14 (17.9 MPH)

T2: I don't remember much about T2 other than my mom and her incredibly loud voice screaming at me, haha! The run started at the back of the transition and I got to run right past my husband and my parents and I started. My dad gave me a quick high five and I was on my way! Little did I know what I was about to encouter!

T2:  2:48

The first mile of the run off the bike for me is always fast for some reason. I guess I can't feel my legs yet and they just do what they want that first mile or so, haha. My first 2 miles were under 9:00 pace and then I never saw that again for another 8 miles. It was so hot and we just have not had hot weather to train in. My body was not adjusted to the weather and I could tell. I had to start stopping to walk during the third mile and from then on I walked some during every mile. It was so disappointing but I knew if I wanted to cross that finish line I had to listen to my body and it needed walk breaks. It also needed lots of water, ice cold orange slices, pretzels, flat cola, and icy towels. The aid stations and volunteers were angels that day. I had an ice cold towel handed to me at every single aid station and I used every single one of them! I think my run would have been a whole lot worse if I had not had those to cool me off. I tried to run from aid station to aid station (every mile) and then walk as much as I needed to after each aid station. This worked during the second half but during the first half I walked a good bit more. My metal side kicked in after mile 7. I always say to myself "the faster you run, the quicker you will get there". It seemed to work for me then. I was happy with the fact that I was a lot faster in the second half of the race and I did not give up! This may have been the hardest half marathon to date for me. Alas, I made it and although I was disappointed, I was so happy to have completed a goal I never thought was possible!

Split (Mile 7):  1:17:55

Run:  2:17:25 (10:24 pace)

I huge thank you to the race organizers and volunteers for their jam up aid stations!! 

Total Time:  6:26:58

My parents and my husband were right there at the finish line and I was so glad. It always helps knowing your family is waiting for you. I crossed the line and kept walking through the water sprinklers and straight into hugs from them. They congratulated me and then after a picture or two I went straight to the food. (Keep in mind I had not used the bathroom in 6 1/2 hours) Priorities people! Food first! Pizza, Doritos, water, chips...whatever I could get my hands on, I ate! Then, I hit up the restroom. All this talk about using the restroom on the move is crazy. It was not happening. As embarrassing as it is to say, I tried it but I was totally unsuccessful!

After taking care of the necessities, I kept moving around and waited on Julie to cross. She was about 10 minutes behind me! We saw her finish and then headed to transition to pack up my stuff and pack the car. I changed clothes and took advantage of the snacks my mom so graciously packed! Homemade pimento cheese on nuun bread is absolutely incredible (almost as good as that pizza at the finish!) I took advantage of the lawn chairs too and parked it to get off my feet some! Jennifer was still out on the course so we hung around and chatted for a while waiting for her arrival! After she finished we chatted and enjoyed hearing about each others day. After sticking around for awards and being amazed at how fast people are, we headed back to the house to pack and clean so we could get on the road back home.

I will never forget Saturday April 12! I was a crazy emotional challenging mentally tough day but it was one of the coolest days in my running/triathlon career. I was also a very sad day because after the race I learned on facebook ( I hate facebook for this reason.) that my husbands cousin had passed away unexpectedly at age 32 from a condition that was yet to be diagnosed. My overly tired, aching, sore body suddenly meant nothing compared to what her family was feeling at that time. 

So, this will be a day I will never forget! Cheers to 70.3 and slapping that sticker on the back of my car!!


Sunday, April 6, 2014

The road to 70.3...

The road to my first 70.3 is slowly coming to a close. I registered for the 2014 White Lake Half Ironman distance on December 1, 2013. Since then, I have been thinking about swimming, biking, and running each and every day. 

The training has been tough, the weather has been fierce, and the emotions have run high but the friendships that I have made along with the laughter and some tears will all be worth it when I see the finish line next Saturday!

I haven't talked much about the race or done any blog posts simply because I just haven't wanted to find the time to blog. I do, however, want to remember every aspect and every detail about next Saturday. My friends will be racing with me and my husband and parents will be cheering me on along the way. I am so grateful for them and all that they have sacrificed so that I could spend the time training for this race!

As I go into this taper week my nerves are heightened but my confidence is as well. Today I completed my last long swim. It was an open water lake swim and the air temperature was right at 60 degrees. The water temp was about 61. I swam 1,863 yards, the longest swim so far in my wetsuit. I never freaked out and I never lost sight of my goal. One stroke at a time was all I was thinking. It makes a world of difference to end training with a confidence booster. My swim is definitely my weakest sport and I needed that today.

So, as I begin the last week of this journey, I am in hopes that I can focus, keep my confidence high, and enjoy the last part of the ride!