Sunday, July 31, 2011

Vineman Relay was a blast!

I just got back from Vineman Relay, an Ironman distance race that I did on a relay team. It was my first experience doing a race on a relay team and it was so much fun!

Our original team was myself, Seht who lives right in the heart of the race and that I train with some times, and a friend of ours from this area who we've never met but know online as bSophie. We all of us have had bariatric surgery and lost a lot of weight so we named our team "Winning by Losing."

bSophie is a runner. Last year she ran a half-marathon every month and this year she wanted to move up to the marathon distance so training for this event was perfect for her. Seht does triathons but hates open water swimming (or any swimming, really) and has a mixed relationship with running. So he did the bike.

This made me that fastest swimmer on the team! That cracked me up and I like to do an open water swim every weekend so being on the team didn't even require any special training on my part.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Why is there a mouse in my running shoes?

I have suspected my running shoes need replacing for a while now. I suspected at Vineman 70.3, in particular, but then I started to hear a squeaking noise every time I ran and I knew it was time. This is the second time I've had a pair of running shoes do that and am still completely clueless as to the cause. Except that it's not a good sign, of course.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wildflower Long & Metro Tri

I am normally so good about posting race reports that I'm a bit embarrassed that I never blogged about these two events. They were right around when I got laid off and I wasn't in a good place. I was doing only the stuff that had to be done and blogging wasn't high on that list. Anyway...

Wildflower Long

It's very weird to go into a race knowing that not only are you going to DNF but that doing so is your race plan. That was my experience at Wildflower this year.

Vineman Ironman 70.3 - Go, Fluid Girl!

I did the Vineman Half on Sunday and I had a blast! For the first time in a long time, I made pretty much all my goals. I even ran the Half-Marathon at the end -- at least as much as many better athletes would run it (i.e., I walked the aid stations). My purpose in doing this race was to see what I needed to do in my last training push up to Ironman Canada and that worked too. So, all-in-all, I'm happy.

Packet Pick-up and Expo

Vineman is now doing registration this new way. You have to attend a mandatory meeting the day before and you can't pick up your race packet until you attend the meeting and get your hand stamped. I always go to the mandatory meetings so it wasn't that big a deal, yet I still didn't like it. For one thing, the meetings were only happening once an hour. I get up there in time for the 1:30 pm meeting, but I can't find a parking space. By the time I circled the parking lot twice and then went out on the street to find a spot and walked back, the meeting had already started. So then I had to hang around for a full 45 minutes until the next one started. I did run into a bunch of friends from my tri club and I did get to check out the Expo, but it was still annoying. Plus, the Expo was pretty lame.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Swimming naked at Del Valle

Okay, I wasn't actually naked. But I had no wetsuit. I did this on purpose because the water temps at Johnson Beach were recorded at 78 F and that means no wetsuits for racing. I decided that my first time in open water without a wetsuit should probably not be on race day so I needed to practice.

When I got to Del Valle on Sunday, the water temp was listed as 78 F just as it had been a few days before at Johnson Beach so I decided to give it a whirl.

At first, I felt so great to be without a wetsuit. My arms felt free and I could feel the water all over me and it felt great. Then I got out of the protected boat launch and into the lake and all that changed. First, I felt more like a cork bobbing up and down in the water than a sleek swimming cutting through the water. Second, every time I lifted my head to sight instead of breath, I sunk like a stone!

It took me a full 30 minutes to get to the turn around point for the 1.2 mile swim and I was not a happy camper. It was not as bad going back because the current was with us but it still took me another 30 minutes. So the entire distance took me 15 min. longer than usual, which is a LOT of time! However, my Garmin said I swam 1.4 miles, not 1.2 and I did head straight out for the buoy and then across the lake when I normally angle out. But still...

Luckily, Johnson's Beach is now reading a nice 73 F and it's unlikely it will get over 76.1 (the cutoff) before Sunday when my race is. I may try swimming there sans wetsuit on Saturday just for grins and a short warm-up prior to the race, but I'm in less of a panic about the whole thing than I was last Sunday.

Friday, July 8, 2011

It's like an ice bath for my ass!

Long distance runners often use ice baths to help with recovery after long runs. I say: more power to you if you can make yourself sit in a bath full of ice. But I could never make myself do it.

So I was very excited to hear about a product that promised to give the same effect without having to actually put my body into a tub of ice and water. It's called 110% Play Harder and it's compression gear that has pocket for these flat ice packs.

I have the shorts and the calf sleeves. I use the calf sleeves a lot but the shorts less often.

When it rains, it pours

Well that's a trite blog post title. But it's true...

First I got laid off. We figured out we could pay our bills except for the mortgage between Mr. Mac's salary and my unemployment so we thought we'd be okay until I got a job or I settled with my (former) company and got a severance package. But then "stuff" kept happening.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I think I'm ready

Yesterday I ran 3.5 miles on the treadmill without pain of any kind in my calf or knee and only mild discomfort in the hip area around mile 3.25. The day before I swam 2.4 miles in an okay time. (It would have been better but where I swam was full of weeds and I had to slow down to avoid drowning--kind of like when you swim through kelp.) I've also done a number of 80-90 mile bike rides and a ton of hill work.

I feel ready for IMC. At last!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

My experiences with laser hair removal

Almost a year ago, there was a Groupon for 3 visits of Laser Hair Removal for a decent price. I checked out the doctor offering this and she had a good rep so I bought it. I've been annoyed by my chin hair for years. It actually seems better since I lost all that weight, but not enough better than I can stop shaving every day. I knew that it typically takes 6-8 visits to get rid of hair in an area, not three, but I figured my only goal was to cut down on hair in the area and also I could always sign up for more at the full price, if I felt it necessary.

Fast forward to June... still haven't gotten around to using the groupon and there is no way I'm paying for additional treatments without a job. But it's about to expire and I did pay for, so I make my appointment.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Haz Passport

My passport came today!

Yes, I've never had one. I have left the country. But only to go to Mexico (3x), Canada (2x), and various places in the Caribbean including Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas and St. Croix. None of those places required a passport to get into when I went to them. But now they do.

I was worried my passport wouldn't come in time for Ironman Canada so I'm relieved that it did.

Now I want to be one of those people who can decide to fly to another country two weeks before the trip starts. I have friends like that and I envied their spontaneity and their passports. Well now I can be one of them!