IM Louiville

IM Louiville
Bikes racked at Ironman Louisville 2010

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Resolution Run 2007

Well, I don't have much time for this entry, but I just got back from the Resolution Run and wanted to quickly get my thoughts down.

This was just a 5K. Though there was really no pressure to perform, I wanted to try and run a good race. "Good" for me, at this time, is an unknown. I haven't been training, just getting in a few workouts here and there. I thought it would be interesting to see what I could do.

It was cold - I think the temperature read 20 degrees when I woke up this morning. The good thing was that there was no wind and it became sunny out (I forgot sunglasses). The biggest obstacle was all the ice on the trail. I'm a bit nervous about ice because I have a horrible sense of balance, so most of my run was on the side just along the path.

I was pretty much out of breath right at the start and my heart rate was much too high. I was getting tired and losing steam fast...then I hit mile 1! OUCH! I had to slow down. The air was cold enough and I was breathing hard enough that it hurt. I spent the next mile jumping off and on the trail because it did feel easier when I could run on dry pavement vs. the somewhat packed snow on the sides of the trail. The last mile was pitiful. I felt like I was reduced to a jog, but I kept trying to remind myself this was just a baseline. On a positive note, I felt no pain in the shin!

I think this was my 2nd slowest ever 5K. (The slowest 5K I've ever done was over 30 first one, with no training at all). I knew not to expect much, however, I did expect to go faster than the close 28 minutes I put on the board today. Seeing as it was called the "Resolution Run" I thought about what Resolutions I would make before the new year. Then I decided I was working too hard to think about such things! Besides, I already have my resolutions all written out.

Today's time disappointed me, but in looking at my lack of run training for the last 6 months, I'm not really sure what I expected. But I am coming away with 2 positive things from today: 1 - no shin pain! WOO HOO! 2 - it will be fun to watch as I make improvements on today's race time.

Monday, December 24, 2007

New Bikes

My TT bike is close to 4 years old now. Which, to me, doesn't seem very old. However, I've recently been told I should get rid of the bike after 5 years. I look around and yeah, most everyone I know has bought a new bike since I got this one. I have a tendency to think that many type A, competetive, obsessive-compulsive, psycho triathletes simply buy new bikes because they're better, not because there is anything wrong with their current bike. Manufacturers make small improvements and advancements each year and if you don't keep current and keep buying new bikes, well, then you must be at a disadvantage!

I remember when I was picking out my bike, I showed a picture of it to a co-worker. He laughed and said, "You're going to spend all that money on a bike and it doesn't even come with pedals?" Right. Now my brother is buying a new, top of the line bike which should be arriving any day! This is his first road bike and he still hasn't picked out pedals yet. I helped a friend of his pick out some things to get him for Christmas (all for the new bike, of course). Basically, it's a lot of stuff he needs but doesn't know he needs it yet! These things are bottle cages, a bag for the bike, spare tubes, patch kit, levers, etc. He has no idea what the levers are for. I cannot wait to go out riding and show him what all this stuff is for and why he needs to carry all this stuff. The rides he's been going out on - on a mountain bike - have been 20+ miles. He's been doing this WITHOUT a spare! Yikes!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Particular About My Socks!

I've recently been able to start running again, albeit slowly. Last weekend, I bundled up for a short little run in the frigid December air. I have a considerable problem trying to keep my hands and feet warm in any temperature under 60 degrees. So last weekend's 19 degrees made me break out some of the warmest outdoor clothing I have.

I'm one of the few runners that will double up on socks in the winter. In fact, I have a separate pair of running shoes I use in winter. Those shoes are laced up much more loosely to give me the extra room needed to fit the warm, thick, woolly socks I use in temperatures under 32 degrees. These socks go up way past the ankle. No way any cold air is sneaking in anywhere!

Underneath those thick, woolly socks are usually my favorite Asics multicolored socks. These socks have different padding at the bottom in different parts based on where your feet hit the ground the hardest. As an added bonus, these socks also have a little "L" and "R" on the top to make sure you get them on the right feet. I also need the socks that have the quarter cut. Those low rise, short ones that are not visible over the shoes are just too little. And my ankle gets cold! If I use socks that are much thinner than these, I end up getting blisters.

Then we have cycling socks. Cycling socks are much, much thinner. In fact, I got a pair of socks when I was picking up my race packet for Ironman Florida and had a chance to wear those. There's almost nothing to them! Oh, and they were the really short kind that leave the ankle exposed. Even though any cycling I'm doing these days is indoor, I don't know I have a thing about the ankle and I think that socks need to cover the ankles! The cool thing about those socks, though, is that they have the little m-dot logo on them. Guess it doesn't matter, I doubt these socks will be getting much use.

Don't know why, but the Asics socks are my favorite, even for cycling. Even after 6 months, the socks hold their shape and still offer enough cushioning to make the run comfortable. They might not have cool colors or designs, but they work. Gotta stick with what works!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Luna Chix 2007

As the close of 2007 nears, part of my responsibility of being the team leader of the Chicago Triathlon Luna Chix includes both reviewing our performance in 2007 and look forward to how we can improve on 2008. Team Luna Chix is a VOLUNTEER opportunity for women to encourage and help other women get out and get active while raising money for the Breast Cancer Fund. Though I thought I was fortunate to have a solid, active team in 2007, as the months passed, I realized the women on the team weren't quite as dedicated as I had hoped.

As with any volunteer program, 2 things ring true: 1)you can't force a volunteer to contribute and 2)you only get out of the program what you put in. For a few of us, the rewards are priceless. For others, I seem to think they felt the responsibility was a burden. I thought bringing in more women would help lessen the workload. It did not. I read in some business book that 20% of the people do 80% of the work. How true!

I have been soliciting applicants for the 2008 team and I am excited by the number of people interested and by the enthusiasm they will bring to the team. Women who want to join the team for the right reasons! Women who want to help and want to make a difference! Is being a part of the team easy? Sometimes, no. However, I truly love helping newbies get acquainted to the sport, no matter what their level. It's so exciting to watch someone go through their first triathlon. I remember all the questions and worries I had as I prepared for my first triathlon and I had wished I had such a supportive group to work through those with me.

As I look back on the 2007 Luna Chix, I think we had a good team. It had all the makings and potential for a group to make a huge impact. Our first meeting was excellent and the energy in that room was phenomenal. Somewhere along the line, though, that energy fizzled and as the year moved on, many women did not fulfill even the minimal requirements of being a team member.

In 2008, I plan to have a better, stronger, more dedicated Luna Chix team. Again, as volunteers, no one can be forced to participate. However, by making sure the right people are in place, I think the Luna Chix team can make a big difference in the lives of many women. I'm looking forward to what the new year will bring!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

30 Minutes

Well, it's been a while since I've posted. Because this blog is dedicated to my racing and training, and I haven't really been doing those, well, I guess there's really not much to write about. But I've gotten a few nasty email messages telling me that it was getting boring reading about the 100x100 workout, I figure I'd just write something quickly here to provide an update.

Most of my time has been spent sleeping lately. Work, sleep, maybe head on over to the pool. Not much. Researching a couple of races to do next year, not really ready to make any decisions, I'm just in a funk right now. I've never taken this much down time between seasons. Last year at this time, I had just finished running a marathon. I took a few weeks off and went right into training in January for the Boston Marathon in April. I kept myself busy.

I'm hoping all this "rest and recovery" will do me good. I've read that one of the biggest mistakes us age groupers make is not taking enough recovery time. But how much is enough? If I stop training for much longer, I might never go back. I'm starting to get used to plopping myself on the couch where my ass has now made a permanent indentation in the cushions. What am I watching on television? Mostly crap - you've got all those goofy reality shows (except Survivor, still love that one), a slew of crime-police investigation shows, and then some funny ones and I guess there's some drama. I don't know, I don't care. Unfortunately, I tend to stick with what I know, Seinfeld and King of Queens reruns.

OK, back to the workouts. I've run a couple of times since IMFL. I'm up to 30 minutes. 30 very slow minutes. In fact, after about 11-12 minutes, I'm wondering if it would be OK to stop. The good news is that there has been no pain. The bad news is that I'm so uninspired these days, I feel like a different person. Even knowing I have a brand new pair of Asics sitting in the closet waiting to be worn, I just don't feel like getting out there to run. Any time before my injury, I would've been up before dawn running out the door to try out the new shoes. I question whether or not I'll be able to get back to where I was before I got hurt. I wonder if I'll want to be putting in all the hard work I was putting in when I was able to run.

I always said I'd quit the sport of triathlon when it stopped being fun. It's not fun right now. The swimming is still fun...especially with friends...but the rest, eh, guess I need more down time.