Monday, June 30, 2008


If you just hit my blog... YOU are NEXT... Tag! You're it!!!

10 years ago I was:

19, in my first year of college at Xavier University in Cincinnati, studying special education (to be changed to electronic media at a later date)

5 years ago I was:

I had just moved to Cleveland to live in sin with my then fiance

1 year ago I was:

I had just turned 28 and must not have been doing anything too exciting b/c I can’t remember anything to call out from last summer

5 things on my to do list today:

1. wash Taiko
2. Meet Sara for coffee
3. Lift weights
4. Meet with the guy from The Floor show who is measuring our basement
5. Take out the garbage, it’s garbage day, which means time to scoop the litter boxes, yuck

5 snacks I enjoy:

1. Clif Z-bars
2. Frozen berries
3. Barbara’s Puffins
4. 100 cal packs of popcorn
5. Cucumbers soaked in balsamic vinegar

If I were a billionaire I would:

1. Pay off the debt of everyone close to me
2. Chip in for college for my nieces and nephews
3. buy my mom a farm in the middle of no where with a proper cathouse for her cat rescue
4. Hire a trainer and a coach to get my ass in shape and ready for an IM
5. take some really kick ass adventure vacations to the furthest reaches of this world – mountain climb, hike, go on a safari, bike across the country

6 people I want to have lunch with tomorrow:

My dad, Gary, Howard Stern, my nephew Cameron, Hilary Clinton, you

5 places I have lived:

1. Danville, KY
2. Cincinnati, OH
3. Cleveland Heights, OH

5 jobs I have had:

1. Cashier at JC Penny
2. Waitress/Bartender at Mt. Lookout Tavern (oooh how I miss those days)
3. Nanny
4. Sales person for manufacturer of highway maintenance products
5. project manager at software company (current)

Goodbye June

Mindy and I had a great weekend. We ran on the buckeye trail, did some shopping, drank some beers at the Barking Spider, had brunch at Lucky’s cafĂ©, what more can you ask for. I miss her already. But back to reality and back to getting my butt in gear. These past 2 weeks have been horrible on the training front. So, I started my day off with a swim. It actually went pretty well. I managed to do 1600 yards in about 40 mins. Not super fast, but I haven’t been consistent at all. My goal for July is to swim at least 2 times a week, but preferably 3. I am never going to be successful at this tri thing unless I become more confident in the water. Wed. I plan to go to the Shaker’s master’s swim. I’m a little nervous, I haven’t swam over a mile since early May. That’s a long time. Tonight I am meeting a friend for coffee and plan on doing a few miles on the bike. I can’t even blog about how little I have been on the bike that last 2 weeks!

Tonight we have someone coming by to measure out basement for carpet. It’s a big step in getting our house ready. By ordering the carpet we will be forced to get the drywall fixed on paint. Then once the carpet is done, we’re going to move a bunch of junk down there and paint some of the rooms upstairs.

My stomach woes have been really bad the past 2-3 weeks and I had another really bad night last night after eating some birthday cake & ice cream. I am such a reluctant lactose avoider. I know it makes me sick, yet I love chips and dip and ice cream, etc. But I vow that starting today I’m done, dairy is out, all of it. I am sick of being sick. I am not 100% confident that lactose is my only food issue, I suspect I may have some sort of sugar intolerance. But for now, cutting dairy out, every little bit of it and if I am still having issues at the end of July, it’s time to go see someone who specializes in stomach issues. I suspect if I clean up my diet and cut pretty much everything fun out, I’ll be fine.
Friday, June 27, 2008

ready to get out of heeerrrree

Isn’t Friday just the best day ever? Saturday’s are great and all, but Friday has that little gleam of hope. That little kernel of happiness that you get in the pit of your stomach around 4 b/c you know the weekend is almost here! I am very very very much looking forward to this weekend. My dear friend Mindy is coming to see me. Mindy and I met about 7 years ago. Shortly after I had graduated college and shortly after she had moved to Cinti from Nebraska b/c her boyfriend was there going to Mortuary College. We met at a Big Wu show. Something you may not know about me, I used to be such a jam band fanatic. I saw Phish over 70 times (boy I miss those guys). Anyway, I had just gone through a horrible breakup. I was quite frankly a mess. All I did was go out and party. I worked at a bar and had no “real” job prospects. Anyway, Mindy came up to me and we talked and somehow exchanged numbers. After that show, she started calling me and I just didn’t have it in me for a new friendship, I didn’t want to call this girl back and she kept calling so I thought she must be a little weird! In fact, we joke b/c I thought maybe she wanted to date me at first. But long story short I did call her and we ended up being fast friends and she is one of the best friends I have ever had and when I moved to Cleveland I missed her everyday. But she’s the type of friend, no matter how far apart you are, or how long to go without talking, you know they are always just a phone call away and every time you see them it’s as if you just saw them the week before. I love my Mindy and am looking forward to a nice weekend with her. Unfortunately Mindy is moving back to NE with her hubby and I am very happy for them, but very sad for me L Looks like I’ll just have to go to NE every now and then. She won’t get here until late tonight, but tomorrow I am going to take her on a run up to Brandywine falls. Then I think to the west side market where we can get food to make for dinner. I’m thinking after dinner, we’ll head to chagrin falls for a little window shopping and some wine at the wine bar weather permitting. Sunday will involve brunch at Lucky’s for sure and maybe a yoga class. I took a half day from work today, so I get to leave here at noon and go clean my house and take a bike ride too. 2.5 hours to go! Then I’m free. For now.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008

They say it's your birthday

I'm a lucky woman, look at that smacker I get to kiss! So, what does one do on her 29th birthday? Work of course! Why oh why didn’t I take today off? I thought about calling in this morning, but remembered I have an important 10:00 call, so here I sit. Also, I was gung ho to try out that master’s swim class this morning, but we shoveled 2.5 yards of mulch last night so when 5:15 rolled around this morning, I hit snooze for about 2 more hours!!! Maybe I’ll give it a shot on Friday. Yesterday I ran 4 miles and lifted weights. Since I slept in this morning, this will have to be my rest day b/c tonight we are going to an Indian’s game with our neighbors tonight.

So what do I want to accomplish in my 29th year? In this next year I will work on being a better friend and wife, we can always improve in those areas. Definitely another marathon (or 2!). I’d say my first HIM, but that might not happen until the big 3-0 due to timing. I’ve been thinking a lot about it and I really believe I will be better off training hard for sprints and an Olympic in the fall and then doing a HIM next season. I am just much more comfortable with that right now. And with us selling our house we have so many projects we have to get done in the next 2 months, which will really cut into my biking time. But I started training for the towpath marathon this week. I have some friends doing Indy in Nov though, so I might do that one instead or maybe Philly, anyone want to go to Philly and see Josh!

This is my last year of my 20s, which is just crazy to me, a little unsettling. Unless you have known me for 4+ years, which no one here does besides G, since I moved here 5 years ago, you would not even understand what a different person I am. And I owe the change to one thing and one thing alone, I started running. I’ll never know why I started running. I have always detested it and thought it was the stupidest thing in the world. I was the girl in gym class completely unable to run half a mile, I played soccer and made it through one year and decided I had exercise induced asthma (but really I just never learned to run and breathed like a hyena). Yet after living here for 1 year and being completely miserable b/c I knew no one and was far from home, I heard someone talking in my spinning class about wanting to learn to run. I approached her after class and told her I’d like to learn as well. So in Dec 2005 we started running on the track at the JCC on Tues/Thurs. We’d run a few laps and then walk a few. By spring we moved it outside and I did my first 5K. From there I was hooked and have been on some sort of plan ever since. All my wonderful friends are people I run with. Those running friends have translated over and we have book clubs and movie dates and dinner parties. Runners are the best! Then I moved to tris and have met even more great people. I used to drink and smoke and go out alllll the time. Now I rarely drink, never smoke and go out maybe once a month. But I love it this way and look forward to running into my 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond! Nothing makes me happier than printing out a fresh plan. I don’t always stick to them!!! But I like having them up on the fridge and putting a little check mark next to another workout. Now with Ironman in my head (many more years out than I originally thought) I love the idea of training in the bank. I know that one day I will be an Ironwoman, but look forward to taking a few years to become a better triathlete, become more disciplined (maybe just maybe a little faster!). I like working towards a purpose. I love this life. Thank you for all the birthday wishes and emails Bloggy Friends. You are a great group and I am thankful to count you as my friends!
Tuesday, June 24, 2008

official results

1.23.42 bitches! Much better than the 1:28 I thought I did. Much much slower than I should be capable of.

Oh and I got promoted this morning. Tomorrow is my birthday.

Shouldn't I be in a good mood?
Monday, June 23, 2008

Summi Sprint Tri

Did you have a nice weekend Bloggy friends? I did. Friday night Gina came over and we ran 9 miles. It was great. It had been awhile since I have ran over an hour and was glad to know I could still do it and with little issue. Gina is always a pleasure to be around and Big G even joined us for the last 3 miles. Sat. I was planning on going to the GTC training session but accidently overslept. Woops. I finally woke up at 9 and we got ready to go meet G’s mom for a bike ride. I dusted off my hybrid b/c the MIL is a bit slower than us. I forgot how different it is to ride on a big old bike like that; the huge seat actually hurt my butt after awhile! And the position didn’t feel natural anymore. We rode 20 miles on the bike path out in Chardon, it was a nice day. Then we took her out to lunch for her b-day. From there, we rushed home and got cleaned up and headed to a house warming party for our friends out in Willowick. We were there from like 5-8:30 and I ate a bunch of stupid stuff and had a margarita, not the best pre tri meal. But we had a nice time and I was so stinking exhausted by the time we got to sleep.

On Sunday morning I got up dark and early and 4:45. I made myself some coffee and 2 Kashi waffles. I had packed everything up the night before so there was little I needed to do and I was out of the house by 5:10 headed for Munroe Falls for the Summi Sprint Tri. It was a little cold out and had rained the night before. I was worried the water would be an ice bath! I was heading down solo and I am horrible with directions, so I was nervous I wouldn’t find the place. But I did, it’s a very nice park that I think would be fun to visit sometime for a hike. I got parked around 6 and checked in and had plenty of time to get my transition set up. I was sandwiched between some really nice gals from the Steel Valley Tri Club. My stomach was no behaving, at all. I had several bathroom trips before the start of the race and was very very worried as I got into my wetsuit. How was the day going to go? Was I going to puke? Was I going to poo myself on the run! Around 6:55 we went down to the water and listened to the race directions. The swim was in a small lake, but it was a little confusing. You basically started on the beach and had a wide area to swim out to a white buoy, then you had to cross under a rope lane and swim back to shore between 2 ropes. There was one wave before mine and we had to swim out a little to where we were supposed to start. The water was really cold, I’m glad I had a wetsuit, as soon as I got neck deep I could feel my chest tightening and the panic starting. I tried to calm down while I treaded water, but then the horn and it was time to go. I started off with a side stroke, trying to calm myself down, but every time I put my face in the water I sucked up a nose full of water. I just kept side stroking and was making decent time. I was in the back of my pack, but there were plenty of gals around me dealing with the same swim in the same way. Once I crossed over to the lane I tried to convince myself to just do it, freestyle the whole way back. But I just couldn’t. It’s all mental, and it’s really FING annoying. I got to shore in like 12 mins, it was fine, but I could have done it in 6 if I could have just swam it. I just can’t seem to calm myself down and there is nothing to do about it but practice. Out of the water we had about a 200 yard run to the transition area. I had no trouble getting out of my wetsuit, but my breathing was very labored and I took my time putting on my shirt, strapping on my garmin, my helmet and my shoes and then ran with my bike to the road.

The bike was only 11 miles. It started in the park and then went out into the roads, but the traffic wasn’t bad and they had plenty of cops at the intersections. Last time on the bike my legs really hurt, and I thought it might have been lactic acid build up. They hurt again this time, but not nearly as bad and I was able to shake it quickly. I tried to pull as large of a gear as I could and really hammered on the bike. I got passed by a ton of guys (b/c their swim was after the gals), but not too many girls passed me. I was done with the bike in 36 mins per my garmin. It was a hilly course, but just rollers, nothing too steep, but enough incline that you could get into the 30mph zone coming down. Coming into T2 I felt good. I thought that I really wanted to eat a GU, but was afraid my stomach would rebel, so I decided to chance the run without any fuel.

Last tri I had to walk on the run, my legs were just spent (it was also 20 degree warmer). This time I didn’t walk at all and finished the run in 29 mins. The run was 2 loops of 1.55 miles. It was all in the park. There was one decent sized hill, but it actually felt nice after the bike to be able to stretch out my calves. My stomach really started kicking about halfway through the run. But luckily I was able to finish the race without any major stomach troubles. I passed through the shoot around 1:28. Not sure of my exact time. All in all I would say my second tri went better than my first on the bike/run and worse on the swim. I actually got 3rd in my age group, but I honestly think there were only 4 or 5 of us. I am interested to see the official results, they aren’t up yet. Champ usually takes awhile to get them posted. I am not happy with my performance. But the thing I like about tris is there is a lot to learn, they are very technical and there are lots and lots of ways I can improve. With running a 5K, I can really only run so fast. But with a tri, there are a lot of things I can do to get better. Work on my swimming, shorten my transition times, get stronger on the bike to run legs…etc. I am looking forward to improving.

I started this morning off with a 1000 yard swim and it felt like I had never swam before. I am making a vow that I will get in the pool 2-4 times a week from now on. I will try and swim OW every week and a master’s class every week. I will become a better swimmer!
Friday, June 20, 2008

I fart in your general direction

Okay, how many of you get this picture? If you do, I love you. It's friday. Can I just put this week behind me? I haven't done this litte in the way of excercise in a long time. And you know what? I hurt! Seriously, I'm all sore and creaky. My body expects to work out and it didn't and it doesn't like it. I don't like it. I feel out of sorts. I am running 9 mile tonight and I am happy about that. The lovely Iron G will be joining me, which is always fab.

Exciting things happenings at the Nowac house. We were contemplating moving to AZ due to a job offer, but that isn't going to work out due to finances (paycut for the job). But that has caused lots of late night talk, not getting to sleep early enough and general huffapuffs in our household to get me out of sorts and out of my routine. But we decided no AZ, but we are going to sell our house and move somewhere else in the Cleveland area. Which is very exciting. I love looking at houses on the web, fun stuff. I can't wait to find OUR house. Gary had a house when I married him and while it is certainly our house, I look forward to picking one out together and decorating one together. And then having a HOUSE WARMING PARTY!
Thursday, June 19, 2008
It’s amazing the ebbs and flows I feel during this training. It’s amazing how I can be soooo into it one day and regretting I ever signed up for the race the next. I have had a real motivation issue this week. I haven’t been feeling well and I didn’t really work out for 3 days, in my mind that is the end of the world, I’ve blown in all. Now in reality of course I know that’s not true. But when you have a few measly months to follow a plan and you miss some days, that’s how it feels sometimes. I keep flip flopping. One day I am really geeked to try for the HIM, the next day I am really geeked to just give that up and concentrate on sprints so that I can then also concentrate on a fall marathon and century ride. I am not sure what I want to do and I am not sure I am having fun anymore. But anyway, the point is I have been sick and workouts were nonexistent this week. This morning I got up and ran 4 miles with Ilana and it felt great. Perfect morning, a little cool, got to wear a long sleeved shirt. I felt awesome when I got home, but then I curled back up with G and when I woke back up 20 mins later I felt like I got ran over. Catnaps in the morning are BAD ideas. Today is the summer solstice; the longest day of summer. To celebrate we are taking a 40 mile bike ride tonight. I am looking very forward to it. But b/c I am a little sick, I hope that riding 40 isn’t pushing it and won’t cause me to continue to be sick. I want to feel good for my race on Sun. I am very nervous about my next tri, but excited that there are only 150 people allowed, only like 30 in my swimming wave so that will be nice.

I found out that there is indeed a summer’s masters group that swims in the morning near my house. I am so happy about that. So I am tweaking my schedule starting next week and it will look like this:
Mon – AM swim 1000-2000 yards at JCC (meet Janet)
Tues – AM speedwork with Ilana, PM weights
Wed – AM masters swim class, PM 20ish mile bike/run
Thurs- AM 4-6 mile run, PM 20ish mile bike/run
Fri – either AM or PM weights, maybe short run
Sat – Long bike (30-60miles)/run (6-8miles)
Sun – Long run (8-13 miles)
And on either Sat or Sun I will get an OW swim in. That’s the plan. Once I get better at swimming I may add another masters swim on Mon, Fri or Sat, but I do have to pay $5 every time I go, so 4 times a month is probably enough.
Monday, June 16, 2008

Not quitting yet

The truth of the matter is, that after that Sprint tri, I gave myself permission to not do the HIM. The swim was so hard for me, that I just knew, knew deep down that there was no way I could swim for 1 mile in Lake Eerie, no way no how. So, last week I kind of let things slide a little (granted I biked almost 90 miles, ran 13 and swam in OW twice). But the swims were not long enough, neither were the runs or bricks. I am going to promise myself this, if I feel on August 7th that I cannot do the 1 mile swim at GTC, then I will drop down, maybe to the sprint (considering the oly is only .25 of a mile shorter). But I will not make that decision until a few days before and I will continue to train as though I am totally going to rock GTC. I am not only doubting the swim right now, I am doubting the ability to run 13 miles after the ride, so the brick runs must increase. I have a race this weekend, so I won’t get a very quality long workout in, but I will make sure I run for 45 mins after my ride mid week. But starting next week I am back to riding hard and running long to build my confidence. I will sign up of the Milton Man Oly on July 13th and and and I will sign up for the 1 mile swim they have in Lake Eerie in July. If I can make it through that, I’ll have all the confidence I need. There is a swim coach here giving open water swim lessons a few times this summer. They are $20 a pop and far away from my home, but I am going to attend them all. And if I drop out of GTC I’ll at least know that I tried as hard as I could, but I just bit off a little more than I could chew. I seem to remember being just as confident that I couldn't get through the marathon last year and yet I did. So, maybe I will surprise myself again...
I feel like shit this morning. I think it’s a combo of working out hard, not enough sleep and eating ice cream Saturday night that is now reeking havoc on my stomach. I feel like I could hurl at any moment. I wanted to stay home so badly, but I am in various meetings for 5 hours today and couldn’t miss them. So, here I sit. But the weekend was just beautiful. Perfect weather. We had a little rain Sat morning and that cooled things off. G and I planned to bike in the am, but the rain put us off and I just couldn’t get out of bed, so we slept until 10 and then got up and ran errands. At 1 we met Beth and Tracie at a lake near Beth’s parent’s house and did some swimming. I felt slightly better in the water. But I wish I could just buck up and swim from buoy to buoy, but I just stayed close to shore. After that, we went home and napped a little, ate a little and then got on our bikes around 4 and took a nice hilly 37 mile ride. Afterwards, we ran for 15 mins. Since we biked so late in the day, I was worried about getting up and doing it again. But at 6am on Sunday I rose to head out to Mentor Headlands to meet Jen & Matt. They were kind enough to lead me on the GTC course. We rode one loop, which was about 24 miles. My legs were a little rusty to start, but after about 8 miles I felt just fine and had a really nice ride. We did it in a decent time and I even managed to not be a total wuss on the descents and hit over 30mph at one point. After that ride I ran 30 mins. Then we headed to G’s dad’s house for too much food. I started feeling ill around 7 last night and hope to knock this soon. We are meeting friends tonight to see the Incredible Hulk.
Hope everyone had a nice fathers day:

Friday, June 13, 2008


I love Fridays. Love them! I wish everyday was Friday. Although this Friday didn’t get off to a great start. But first a recap. Wed night Gary and I did some work to clean all our hardwood floors on the first floor b/c our rugs were out to the cleaners. So, we busted our asses getting that done, then walked the dogs, etc and it was late, but I decided I had to get in 10 miles. So, I hopped on the trainer and spun a fast recovery 10 miler. It was so hot in the house, it was pretty miserable, but I was glad to get it done and fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow! Thurs morning I got up and met my friend Ilana to run. It was a gorgeous day out, perfect temp. Unfortunately I had some serious emergency stomach issues and had to cut my planned 5 miler to a 3 miler. But at least I made it home! Last night Gary and me and 2 gals from my biking group rode a great 23 miler. We headed up Shaker to Chagrin River Road, up Berkshire, over to Cedar and then back down Shaker. I think I am still recovering from the tri b/c my legs felt like jelly, but I rode pretty well, aside from one bad side stitch (I wasn’t drinking enough). I am getting better on the descents thank goodness, I took the hill down into chagrin valley pretty quickly for me and got over 30 mph. Followed the ride up with 1.5 mile run to make it a brick. Sooo, I had the best intentions of getting up this morning and doing a long swim. I had a bit of trouble getting out of bed, so I was already running late, then both dogs decided they needed to poop so I was out in the yard longer than normal, by the time I got in my car, it was already 6 and I like to be at the gym by then. I got half way to the gym and realized I didn’t have my card or my license. Grrr. Now that I think about it, fully awake, they probably would have gone ahead and let me in. But my fuzzy morning brain took it as a sign to get back in bed. Booo. So, my weekly swimming mileage is going to be way less than it should be unless I can get some pool swimming in on Sunday. Have a great weekend bloggy friends.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008

It's the things you cannot see (day 24)

Last night Beth was kind enough to let me tag along and swim at the lake by her parent’s house. I was afraid it would be really cold b/c of the rain, but luckily it wasn’t. I must say though…the fear is now there! Which is such a bad thing. I just can’t stand to have my face in the water for very long. I need to see what is going on around me, I don’t have the blind faith that I am going in the right direction. Beth swan horizontally along shore about 200 yards out between 2 buoys a few times. I swam out to the first bouy and back and forth to shore. We were in the water maybe 30 mins. I just kept trying to get myself to freestyle stroke for 10 counts and then look up. I need to figure out how to just keep going. I believe I am a fast swimmer, the fear just gets me and I stop. I don’t like when the temp changes, the color changes and I keep picturing what I cannot see like these things:

I know, I know it’s irrational. But I am someone who cries when I see a spider and I have let this fear get a hold of me. I will get over it, I just need to keep getting in the water. It stinks that I don’t have easier access to a beach. There are several tri club swims but they are all super far away from me. I am going to join my neighbor in a 50 yard pool weekly to swim starting next week. I think that will help with my stamina at least.

Once I got home, Gary and I walked the dogs and then ran 4.25 miles. It was a decent run, but I was feeling slightly nauceous; I had all day yesterday. I feel better today though. I got up this morning and lifted weights at home. I have this great AB burner DvD and did that, hardest 8 mins ever! Tonight G and I need to mop/vacuum our house b/c we sent some rugs out to get cleaned and they come back tomorrow. Afterwards I will ride my bike for an hour and run 20 mins afterwards. Tomorrow is an AM 6 mile run, PM 20-25 mile bike. Friday is weights/swim. Sat is long bike with G and an afternoon open water swim somewhere. Sunday I am riding the GTC course with Jen early and will need to run at least 6 miles afterwards.

Then off to G’s dad’s house for Father’s day. Sunday I think will be tough. The commercials and greeting card sections have been getting to me. We never did a whole lot for father’s day, but I certainly would have talked to him. What I wouldn’t give to just be able to talk to him one more time.
Monday, June 9, 2008

I am a triathlete, day 22/84

I have 13 days until my next Tri. I hope to get 3 open water swims in before then. If anyone is interested in meeting me at Mentor Headlands one evening after work, let me know! I am also planning on going to the GTC women’s only clinic on 6/21 so I figure we’ll get to swim open water there as well. I have nowhere to go but up! That’s kind of a nice thing. I just want to swim freestyle 50% of the next swim, as opposed to probably the 30% I did yesterday. I want to buy one of those personal floatation things you tie to your ankle for just in case situations. I think that I will probably hit mentor headlands every weekend and if no one wants to come, I will drag G with me, but he won’t be in the water with me, so for someone who is not a strong swimmer a little safety is probably in order.

I am very surprised by how sore I am today! I also ran a 6.5 trail run at North Chagrin on Sat with some of my favorite bloggers IronG, Salty and CG. Plus my non bloggy friends Katie and Sherri. Followed by a nice brunch at Yours Truly. But maybe I should have taken it a little easier the day before my first tri. So, I will swim next Sat, but nothing else before Summi.
Sunday, June 8, 2008

NEOsprint triathlon - Clay's Park

Alright, I did it! And I think I did it in 1:38 or 1:39, but times aren't up yet. And unfortunately you only get your overall time :( So I won't know my splits, which really stinks, I wish I had thought about that and kept track.

Yesterday Beth was kind enough to let me come out to her parents house and swim in Aurora Lake so I could try out my wetsuit and swim in the open water, both for the first time!!! I must say that the wetsuit is great and it is neat how much cleaner you slice through the water, but swimming in the open water was tough for me and it made me really nervous for Sunday's race. So, pretty much all Saturday night I was second guessing myself and dreading that I decided to give Tris a Try this year.

Gary and I got up at 5 am today, so I could get to Clay's Park in plenty of time, mapquest said it should take 1 hour and a few mins. So, we left the house at 5:30 and got to Clay's Park at about 6:45 since there was one potty stop. I had plenty of time to get checked in (which consisted of grabbing your own bag) and get my transition set up. I had no clue what to do in transition. I think at most tris they have numbers up for where to put your bike, but this was a free for all. I thought I had done something wrong b/c one girl in my row kept giving me the stink eye. But I figured since there was a hybrid next to me, surely I was okay in my spot. I hit the bathroom a few times, chatting with Beth, Adam and Brandon and stood staring at the water for awhile. I was scared, but I was glad to know the lake was pretty shallow.

The swim was in a shallow man made lake. The water was pleasantly warm, but

not too warm and clear, although it had a blue dye in it. You basically had to swim across the lake to the opposite shore, turn at a buoy, go down to the next buoy and then head into shore. There were 2 men's waves before us and then all the women. I'd say there were about 80 women total. I didn't know where I wanted to place myself, but I decided to get on the far outside. If you look at the pic, go all the way to the right, I'm the person at the front in the sleeveless wetsuit. Waiting as the guy counted down was the worst, I could just feel my heart beating out of my chest. They blew the horn and off I went. I managed to swim freestyle for maybe about 30 strokes, then I came up to sight and realized I was off quite a bit and did some breast stroke and side stroke back towards the buoy. At this point I started to freak out a bit. Every time I put my face in the water I would choke. But it was fine, I didn't necessarily feel too tired or like I was going to drown, just like I couldn't breathe. So, I just did breast stroke for awhile until I got to the other side of the lake, then I managed to swim freestyle the bottom of the rectangle, but also stopped and put my feet down a few times to get my bearings. On the way back I was better and was able to swim free most of the way, but was just way off course. I have no sense of direction when my face is in the water. I am a fine swimmer, speed and stroke wise, but would have been over back on the other shore if I hadn't brought my face out of the water every few strokes. Maybe I'll do better at an out and back swim where I have the shore on one side to look at. Coming out of the water was fine, I was able to get out of my wetsuit just fine and had it down to my waist by the time I got back to the transition area, which was about 200 feet away. I just walked it and used the time to get my breathing in check. I don't know how long the swim took me, either 12 mins or 17 mins. Gary told me 17, but the guy next to him was telling the girl beside me it took her 12 and she was right behind me. Gary just knew it was 8:27 and we were supposed to start at 8:10, but I don't know if we started on time or not. I'm going to go with 12 mins :)
Transtion 1

I had laid every thing out before hand and didn't have any issues getting my stuff together. Only bad thing is I forgot my Garmin and I was pretty pissed about that. I really would have like to have known my speed on the bike. You had to walk/run your bike out of transition which was on grass to the concrete path.

The Bike

You start off in the camp grounds and there is a lot of gravel, which is a bit unnerving. But after that you get out onto some country roads. The bike was 13 miles. There were some rolling hills to start with and one really large hill at mile 3 you got to go down, but oh man you knew you had to come back up it. I did really well on the descents, I didn't feather my brakes and tried to go with it. When we got to flat areas, I really hammered. I wish I knew how fast I was going. I honestly passed a lot of people and only remember getting passed once by a guy. Then there were 2 women I played leapfrog with the whole time. When the bike started,I felt really bad. My legs hurt horribly. I have never really felt like this before, it was physical pain in my inner thighs/quads. I think it was lactic acid buildup? I just tried to ride in a semi low gear and shake them out. By the time we got to the turnaround I was feeling better. The ride back was a gentle descent and I really picked up speed and passed some more folks. Then we got to the 3 hills and those were tough, but after Lake Placid it was nothing. I think the bike took me about 45 mins, not quite sure. I ate one pack of luna moons and drank one water bottle. I was sweating like a maniac though, it was so hot and there was no shade on the bike course. I wish I had brought 2 water bottles. I also know that I really need to work on taking turns, I basically stop and make the turn and I lose a lot of time that way.

Transition 2

I was kind of out of it so I took the time to drink and eat a gu. I don't think I took much time in the transitions, but I did walk out of T2 as I ate my gu and I lost a little time there. I also had no issues getting my bike racked back up or remembering my garmin! But then the F-er wouldn't find a signal, so I didn't have it for most of the run either. So, next time I will be sure to mount it on my bike handlebars and turn it on as soon as I get to T1.

The Run

Woe is me. I was ready to be done. It was well into the 80s and I was tired. But I managed to start off at like an 8:30 pace, which was not on purpose, just what my legs were doing. But I was walking soon enough. I'd say I walked about 4 times and between the walk I maintained between at 9:30 -10 min mile. Which was fine. The run took me right around 30 mins. It went through a camp ground and a lot of folks were out on their RV porches checking us out, thinking we were crazy. Parts were shaded and there was one water stop. You just ran 1.5 miles out and back. I wish I had had a little more juice in me so I didn't have to walk. It is what it is.

What did I learn? I have a shit ton of work to do with open water swimming. The swim may be the shortest, but if you are scared and blow up in the water, it ruins the rest of your race. I need to learn to make corners faster on the bike and I need to do alot more bricks to ensure I don't need to walk in the last leg. If you ask me today if I think I will be able to do GTC HIM, I would say no. I think I over estimated my abilities and underestimated the distance. But I won't make that decision until I get through my first Olympic race in July. Maybe if I swim OW weekly, I will feel different come august. But I think I can always drop back to the Olympic if I need to in Aug. A big thanks to Beth, she has just been so supportive and she had an AWESOME race today. Her and Adam and Brandon and Alyson all rocked the course. I can only hope someday to be 5-10 mins behind them, instead of 30! And of course hubby gets a big smooch for getting up so early and being there to support me and take pics.
Friday, June 6, 2008

Think like a fish

I tell you what, I am just not a good swimmer. I don't know why I can't seem to get it together. I really think I need to just get out in the open water and practice, being able to touch the wall every 25 yards is just too convenient. I went swimming this morning and I do well for 25 and then I am just gasping for air. I try to slow down, but only really have one speed. Argh. I hope I can be out of the water in 20 mins on Sunday. I am ready for this race to be over so at least I'll have an idea of what to expect.

Swam 1500 yards this morning, tonight I will bike a few miles and then run short. Tomorrow I have a 6 mile run planned with the lovely Iron G and Salty. I am very much looking forward to that! Then later in the day I am going to head over to Beth's to swim in my wetsuit in Aurora lake. First time using it, should be interesting. Sunday is the big day and then I have a baby shower right afterwards. It's going to be a hectic day.
Thursday, June 5, 2008

Holden Arboretum (am I spelling that right...)

Here are some pictures from our trip to Holden Arboretum.

Day 18

ahhh work has been crazy bloggy friends, so I am behind on my bloggyness, hope all is well with everyone. I was very lazy Mon and Tues, but made up for it on Wed. So far this week I have ran 5 miles, walked 5 miles, lifted weights once and swam once. No biking yet! So, I must bike tonight and Friday. I am meeting Janet to swim Friday morning. Sat I am meeting Iron G and Salty for a 6 mile run and Sunday is my tri!!!! I can't wait to right my race report. I hope it doesn't have any statements like - I almost drown, or I got a flat at the top of the hill or it took me 3 hours to finish. Busy, busy.
Monday, June 2, 2008

Day 15/84


Day 15 already, yikes! That tri is going to be here before I know it! I am starting to think that I bit off way more than I can chew!?! Ah well, as long as I can get out of the water, I’ll be alright. I had a good weekend, the weather was beautiful! I had a very lazy Thursday(rest) and Friday (just weights!) so I tried to make up for it this weekend. On Saturday I got up early and I rode my bike on the trainer for 1:30 and watched a movie called – The Real Dirt on Farmer John – it was really good. Why was I inside you ask? Well it was humid and threatening to rain and I just didn’t feel like being out on the road! After that I ran 30 mins to make it a brick. The run felt okay, I find I actually start out running pretty fast off the bike I can’t help it, but I quickly slow down. My goal for the race is just to stay around 10 min miles. After 4-5 hours of working out, that will be tough enough. But honestly, I feel pretty good thus far on bricks. So after the 30 min run, I get my bike out and give it a much needed scrubbing. It is full of grit and dirt from the trip to LP and riding in the rain. Then the dogs and I take a nice walk to the library (about 2 miles round trip). After that I headed to the pool b/c I skipped my swim on Thursday due to a haircut taking too long and being upset about that haircut (they gave me a mullet people) and getting hubby to take me to dinner to cheer me up. The swim was okay. I swam 1500 yards. I’m just really not feeling my groove in the pool anymore. I don’t know if it’s b/ the pool is 10 degrees warmer than I am used to or what. Next week the outdoor pool opens and I will give that a try. All I know is I have to start swimming 2000-3000 yards again at least once a week, I can’t let that slide. Train to your weaknesses, race to your strengths as the wise Tea has said in her blog! Does anyone know if there are summer master’s swims anywhere? I’d really like to do some of these outdoor tri club swims but they are all so far away. Once it warms up I will have to swim at mentor headlands every weekend. Anyone want to join me? Say…starting June 14th? In our wetsuits. Wow, this blog is all over the place today. After the morning of monster exercise, I mopped the kitchen and then got cleaned up and G and I ran a bunch of errands. Sat night was an exciting night of….READING! Yep, I am so boring. I am reading a book called “Drowning Ruth”, I like it a lot.

Sunday morning I got up bright and early and met Gina and Ilana to run. It was a wonderful morning, perfect running weather. I was trying something new on Sunday. I had a scoop of carbopro in my bottle to see how the old gut reacts to it. I think it was fine. It got a little too sweet when it got warm. It’s essentially tasteless, but has enough of a taste to be gross. We ran 8 miles around Shaker Lakes, I felt good the whole time and it is so nice to run with people you really enjoy talking to, the time just flies by. We had to take a quick stop around mile 7 to check out the baby Canadian geese and giant koi in the shaker lake! I love living so close to such a nice place to run. I’m glad that after 6 weeks off and then struggling for 3 weeks that I am finally back to 20ish miles a week with no issue. I ran 18 miles this week. I’d really like to get to 20-25 a week and stay there until its marathon training time. The foot still hurts a little, but it’s been after my runs not during and I’ve been doing pretty well with stretching it out on the steps. I am going to go and give ART a try very soon. Need to get the number of the guy Daisy Duc uses. After the nice run, I went home and got the hubby out of bed and we headed to Holden Arboretum to check out the rhododendron garden. Unfortunately, I think we were about 2-3 weeks late b/c a lot were starting to brown, but it was still a glorious day and we got some good pictures that I will post later. We walked around that garden and checked out the lakes for frogs and saw sooo many cute frogs. I could stare at animals all day I find them so interesting. In another pond we saw the 3 biggest water snakes and sat watching them for awhile. We also went on a pretty strenuous hike through the woods and I am a dork and of course wore my garmin, so I know we covered 4.5 miles, we walked the dogs over a mile when we got home. So, 13 miles in on Sunday for me! Not bad. This morning I was tired. So, I slept in. Monday is supposed to be rest day, but I am going to make Saturday rest day since I have a race this weekend! (so nervous). So tonight I will lift weights. I have to take my bike to the shop today, so I might be forced back to spinning class. The ball bearings seem to be off and really something is just wrong with my bike.

Did I mention my bad haircut? Seriously people I just wanted to cry. I love my hair and I have often times thought about chopping it off. Mostly b/c these 2 gals that work at my hair salon have the cutest short short haircuts. I myself had short hair for 7 years, but it’s been about that same amount of time since it was short. Anyway, my hair had gotten really long, so I told my hairdresser, who usually does a great job, that I wanted it shoulder length and that I wanted more of a bang layer, but wanted that layer long enough to go behind my ear and I still needed to be able to get my hair in a ponytail. Well she cut this funky layered cut and I do have a layer that is shoulder length, but it is so thin and mostly in the back! So, I have what appears to be a chunky chin length bob with a long layer underneath. It’s awful. I can’t decide if I want to go get someone to cut the long layer off. I really don’t look good with chin length hair though b/c I have a full face. What to do, what to do. The worst is that she cut the layers in the back really short so I can’t really grab it all up into a ponytail, so I am stuck with this little woosy ponytail and the rest pushed back with a headband. It’ll take months to undo this damage! Maybe this is a sign that I should just go chop it all off again…. I just know that as soon as I do that, I will want to grow it out again.

And I don’t usually watch award shows b/c they are stupid, but nothing else was on last night and I was reading and needed background noise (can’t do just one thing at a time here!) and had the MTV movie awards on. Seriously, Transformers won best movie? Over Juno and Superbad? What the hell. Now I know the youth of today is really F’ed up. I couldn’t even get partway through that horrible movie and I’ll watch anything!

About Me

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distance runner attempting to run a marathon in every state, vegetarian foodie, mediocre triathlete, sucky swimmer, mommy to Harper, tea lover, coffee drinker, animal saver, hubby snuggler, race addict, full time working 31 year old living in cleveland
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Marathons so far

  • Sept 2012 - Corning, NY - TBD
  • April 2012 - Louisville, KY - TBD
  • Sept 2011 - Erie PA - 4:25
  • June 2011 - South Bend IN - 5 hrs+ (it was 98 degrees!)
  • Dec 2010 - Rehoboth Beach DE - 4:26:06
  • Nov 2010 - Huntington WV - 4:11:44
  • Oct 2009 - Towpath - Cleveland area OH - 4:30:35

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