Monday, December 31, 2012

Endings & Beginnings

Today was a difficult day.  I ended one year and began a new one.  I also made a decision to end one life and begin a new one, physically and metaphorically.  A new chapter in my life has begun.  A new chapter in my family has begun.

Our family friend, our pet, a seven-year member of our lives was put to eternal sleep today.  Daisy was a great dog, but she became very ill and this afternoon was diagnosed with "diabetic crisis".  No, we didn't know she was diabetic, however I became suspicious when she all of a sudden stopped eating, dropped 20 pounds, and began drinking nonstop.  A trip to the vet turned into a trip to Iowa State, which led to many tests, an x-ray, and ultimately a decision that will forever change our family.  I didn't realize how much this would affect me.  Tomorrow we tell the children.

I have been reading many posts of people's New Years resolutions and things they want to do to better themselves.  My pessimist side says most of them will never see the fulfillment of those decisions.  Ironic how we go about our lives as if we are invincible yet are surprised when the proverbial rug is ripped out from under us.

At the beginning of December I saw that I was close to the 1000 mile marker for the year.  I only needed 46 miles.  No problem.  I could do that easily.  In the end, I only ran twice in the month of December.  It did not add up to 46 miles.  I fell short.  again.  as I do every year.  I have been running for the past 3 years.  Each year there is a hurdle, or more, that prevents me from achieving my goals.

While I have a lot to be bitter about this year, I also have a lot to thankful for.  I may have missed my goal again, but I also accomplished a lot, too.  I count my blessings everyday.   I had something new and different to celebrate each day.  When I wake up I will celebrate the life of another.  I will cry.  I will laugh.  I will embrace.  I will celebrate.

Tonight I wanted to run from 2012 into 2013, even if that meant I only ran around the block.  I missed that goal, too.  Instead, after the children were asleep, Bill came to kiss me goodnight and I said, go put on your boots.  He looked at me strangely, but reluctantly put on his boots.  We got coats on.  We got hats and mittens and scarves on.  Together we made a one-mile walk through town, splitting it in half, south to north and back again.  It was our time.  It was my time.  I didn't run; I walked.  I didn't run through the stroke of midnight, but I did complete the job.  I didn't do it in the way I had intended, but I completed.

I have goals, resolutions, and expectations of myself for 2013.  I know I probably won't accomplish all I set out to do.  I know I have more in me than what I will complete, but eventually I will complete it, one way or another.  Each January 1 we have the opportunity to recreate ourselves and be someone or something we are not or have not been.  Tomorrow at lunch we will turn the proverbial chapter of our children's lives, too, so that they can begin again.  Tomorrow we tell the children.

today's mileage: 1 mile walking
weekly mileage: 4 miles running
monthly mileage: 14 miles running
annual mileage: 557 miles running; 415 miles riding; 10.6875 miles swimming
TOTAL mileage: 968

Saturday, December 29, 2012

fat Yak run

We have both been at our highest weight ever so the 27 day break was finally over.  We had every excuse in the world to not run and just sit around this month: too tired, too much homework, too stressed, lost a job, too busy, have to go Christmas shopping, have to bake, too cold, too snowy, too..., have to...

Today we pulled out the Yak Trax we bought on a garage sale for a steal this summer.   It was snowing, cold, and mildly icy on the streets.  I knew we (oh who am I kidding?  I ) couldn't go more than 3-4 miles so we headed out for a "quick" run.  Of course we started off way too fast, but we did manage to keep our pace under 10:00.  My HR was at 90% by then end; I was really working to finish that run.  I took along a bottle of gatorade, but only got about 1/2 of it before it got slushy frozen in the nozzle.

Yak Trax review - I really liked them.  It was weird at first.  I thought it would be more noticeable running on them, but it didn't bother me at all.  They didn't slip  or shift on the shoes.  As a matter of fact, it was a little tricky getting them on!  I felt like I was really stretching them.  Getting them off was easier than getting them on.  When we were on an icy patch we were able to grip the surface without any problems.  I didn't feel like I had to watch where I was running or landing my foot.  Overall, I would give them an 4.5 stars.  :)

today's mileage: 3 miles running
weekly mileage: 3 miles running
monthly mileage: 13 miles running
annual mileage: 556 miles running; 415 miles riding; 10.6875 miles swimming
TOTAL mileage: 967

Sunday, December 2, 2012

It's over!

I think that was seriously the worst run I've had in months!  I probably should have abandoned it early, but I pushed through thinking it would get better.  As I mentioned I've had bad beginnings, but then it gets better around mile 3 and I feel like I can go forever after that.  Ick.  It got better around 3 again, but then transgressed around miles 5.

It's a good think I had company.  Rachael and Bill kept me going.  I kept thinking if Bill quits, I'll go with him.  He never quit!  Rachael kept chattering nonstop which was really good distraction for me.  We walked a bit around mile 2.5 and then a potty break around mile 5.  Bill and Rachael raced the last 1/4 mile.  About mile 8 my groin muscle started stinging me again so I slowed down hoping that would help, but it only got worse.  Again I almost stopped, but to be sure I wouldn't hurt myself, rather than out of fatigue.

Yep, glad to be at the finish line today.  I made it - all 10 miles of it!
Silver lining? 58 degrees and sunny on December 2!  It was beautiful weather to run.  We had shorts and a tank shirt.  Crazy.  Snow next week.

today's mileage: 10 miles running
weekly mileage: 10 miles running
monthly mileage: 10 miles running
annual mileage: 553 miles running; 415 miles riding; 10.6875 miles swimming
TOTAL mileage: 964

Friday, November 30, 2012

7 miles ending under 7

Yep, that's right Bill and I went out with an average 9:40 pace and ending our 7 mile run with a 6:57 pace!   I have been having problems pushing through the first 3 miles, but then my body settles down and I feel like I could go forever after that.  Love that feeling!

today's mileage: 7 miles running
weekly mileage: 7 miles running
monthly mileage: 38 miles running
annual mileage: 543 miles running; 415 miles riding; 10.6875 miles swimming
TOTAL mileage: 954

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Postcaloric Intake

Well we got home today from Thanksgiving break and yes, it was definitely time to get out for a run.  We didn't take any running clothes with us so just sat around and ate all week!

The first couple miles have been tough lately, but then they get really easy and I feel like I could go much farther.  I mainly just wanted to get out a burn off a few pieces of chocolate.  Yes, I ate a TON of chocolate this week.  It's a great stress reliever.

today's mileage: 5 miles running
weekly mileage: 10 miles running
monthly mileage: 31 miles running
annual mileage: 536 miles running; 415 miles riding; 10.6875 miles swimming
TOTAL mileage: 947

Precaloric intake

Tuesday we decided we should head out for a run before heading to the table.  We did a quick Ethanol Loop and packed up the van!  It was a great Thanksgiving Day with family and we counted our blessings.  I am really enjoying running with Bill and having time with him.

today's mileage: 5 miles running
weekly mileage: 5 miles running
monthly mileage: 26 miles running
annual mileage: 531 miles running; 415 miles riding; 10.6875 miles swimming
TOTAL mileage: 942

Saturday, November 17, 2012

New sunrise

This week starts new beginnings for our family.  Wednesday Bill and I went out for a 5-mile Ethanol Loop to discuss our future.  Things will definitely be different and we are headed for lots of changes.  I suspect our exercise regime will also have new beginnings.

This morning I got up after reading Vardotrichic's blogpost about excuses.  Thanks.  That was the push I needed to get out of a warm bed after a sleepless night and stressful week.  My goal was to do 10 miles, but procrastination put me a bit behind schedule and we just aimed for 7 miles.  It was a beautiful morning to wake up the sun, a symbolic new horizon for us.  It was good to spend time with just the two of us discussing the changes that we are about to embark.  With negative splits, we continue to move forward, accomplishing what we set out to do.

Bring on a new day!

today's mileage: 7 miles running
weekly mileage: 12 miles running
monthly mileage: 21 miles running
annual mileage: 526 miles running; 415 miles riding; 10.6875 miles swimming
TOTAL mileage: 937

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Mike Vardo

The IT Band is still nagging at me.  I really haven't been stretching like I should.  I haven't been eating like I should.   I haven't even been running like I should.  It's nice to have 9 miles this week so far.

The Vardos were running tonight so I decided to give it a whirl.  It was only 4 miles so I could push through that if I had to.  It ended up feeling great.  I stretched for about as long as I ran tonight.  I'm sure that helped.  I discovered that MIKE WAZOWSKI! was there.  He was proud to say he completed a half marathon.  Later when I talked to him on the run he said he finished Des Moines Half.

Overall I felt very strong and I think all the stretching ahead of time really helped.  Later Vardotrichic made me aware of the Little Rock Marathon.  I am very intrigued by this one.  The pictures I see still imply that it will be cool, yet warmish.  I have wanted to do an early spring marathon.  It's a 10-hr drive one-way so it's possible to run and get back to teach again on Monday.

today's mileage: 4 miles running
weekly mileage: 9 miles running
monthly mileage: 9 miles running
annual mileage: 514 miles running; 415 miles riding; 10.6875 miles swimming
TOTAL mileage: 937

Monday, November 5, 2012

Needed break

Well, it has been 2 weeks since we ran Des Moines.  I was surprised how easily I completed that and how little I really prepared for it.  I wasn't nervous.  I didn't do a lot of mental preparation.  I just showed up and ran with my best friend!

I really wanted to get out this past weekend and run a medium run.  I thought it felt better to just stay in bed and relax however.  I was easily talked into just relaxing.  Finally tonight we went out for a little run.

It started off not so good. I really didn't think I was going to make it.  It's only an Ethanol Loop.  I can do this!  It truly felt like my first run around that loop.  I really pushed myself to keep going.  I watched as our time dropped.  Then about a little over a mile left my chest opened up, I took a deep breathe, and I felt like going strong.

While mile 3 was our fastest mile, I felt like we had a good strong finish.  It wasn't the best run we've ever had, but overall it was a good run.   I pushed through a difficult one and watched it blossom and grow throughout the race.

today's mileage: 5 miles running
weekly mileage: 5 miles running
monthly mileage: 5 miles running
annual mileage: 510 miles running; 415 miles riding; 10.6875 miles swimming
TOTAL mileage: 933

Friday, October 26, 2012

IMT Des Moines Half Marathon

Last Monday we did our final 12 mile run.  It was probably too late and too close to the half, but we completed our final big run.

Well, Sunday was the day.  It was forecasted to be perfect weather: 47 degrees, 5-7 mph winds, temp rise to 53 at finish line.  Bill got up and was ready to go after stretching and eating a light breakfast.  We had our race numbers, nutrition, garbage bags, and a running bag ready to go.  Thinking it may be a bit chilly, we also packed pants and a long sleeve shirt for the finish line.  We headed down to Des Moines and were on our way!

We found the start line and the pacers.  I figured we'd be around 2:10-2:15 finish and was excited to see a 2:10 pace group.  It was a bit chilly start so a warm up lap around a couple blocks was very welcome.  We did some more stretching in the skywalk, too.  The garbage bags helped keep us warm.  There were plenty of portapotties with plenty of people in line.  I think it was nerves, but Bill wanted to get back in line about 10 min before shotgun.  He quickly learned why we visited earlier.  While finding our place in the line up, Bill found a few familiar faces and was excited to share his experience with them.  We never did see them again, however.

The gun went off and of course it was slow-going to the starting mat, about 4 minutes.  It was great to get running.  Along the way I had mentally planned out the water stops and was briefing Bill on the method of how to pass through them.  I think we did quite well getting through them and I was pleasantly surprised how many there were!  Everyone always talks about how long and lonely Waterworks Park and around the lake is for the marathon.  Yes, I can understand that seeing it now.

We had been following the 4:30 marathon pace group along with the 2:10 pacer.  When the half and the full split, obviously the 4:30 pacer left as well.  I kept looking for the 2:10 pace as we had left him within the first mile.  We never did see the pacer again, but heard he finished around 2:12.

Around mile 4 Bill commented that his knees were starting to hurt.  I thought uh-oh! This is going to be a long run and I knew I had to keep him going through the end.  I figured the last few miles would be tough and I'd have to start talking a lot to distract him toward the end.  I kept looking over at him to see how he was doing.  For the most part he kept good form throughout so I knew he wasn't completely miserable.

I think it helped that he often ran part of the course during lunch at work.  The part he was most familiar with was toward the end so he was able to talk about that between miles 9-12ish.  I kept looking at my watch to be sure we weren't going to fast or too slow.  There was a mile where he really slowed down, about a minute slower than usual.  I thought he would walk, but he did keep going.  I was about 10 steps in front of him and he wasn't moving up with me.  I finally meandered through the crowd and met up with him again and he said he just needed a break.

As we ran by the street along the lake, we finally turned and went over a bridge.  There was a lady sitting along the side of the bridge lying there with a few medical people assisting her.  I don't think I have ever seen anyone so white and still conscious!  I felt bad for her, but was glad there were knowledgeable people helping her.

Once we got through the lake area and back on the streets, it seemed to go slower.  I just kept looking at my watch.  I knew we were close, easily within a couple miles of the finish line.  I wanted to speed up, but Bill kept hanging back a bit.  We met up with another runner that we knew, but she dropped off when my phone rang - my mom, wondering how the run went.  We had about a 1/2 mile left.  We rounded the corner to the final stretch and I suggested to Bill that we try to pass a few people before we get there.  He just looked at me and kept the same pace.  Alrighty.

We crossed the finish line at 2:10:08.  It was a great day!  It was so much fun to cross that line with him.  I asked Bill if he would do another one, "Yeah, I think I could do that."

today's mileage: 12+13.1 miles running
weekly mileage: 25 miles running
monthly mileage: 55 miles running
annual mileage: 505 miles running; 415 miles riding; 10.6875 miles swimming
TOTAL mileage: 928

Monday, October 15, 2012

Putting the sun to bed

I have been gone for the past 5 days to meetings and conferences so running has really been put on the back burner.  Because of all this, I have had to sit and be sedentary and eat lots of great food provided at the luncheons and breakfasts.  Yes, I know I could have declined, but I really have no will power at all when good food is put in front of me.  So, needless to say I have gained at least a pound a day with all these meetings and conferences.

Tonight I got home from the last conference day, and comparatively early I might add!  I walked in the door and Bill said, "OK, Mommy and Daddy are going running..."  What?  We are?  ok, I guess.  How far are we going?  12 miles?!  I know we missed the long weekend run, but we should be tapering to Sunday's half marathon now.  This could be interesting!

It was a beautiful night.  Mostly clear skies, light cooling breeze from the SSE, and a magnificent sunset.  About mile 7 we watched the sun go down behind the horizon.  I knew it would get cooler, but it was still relaxing and beautiful to see the sunset.  What a great way to close out the evening.  What a great way to finish up the last long run before Bill's big event!  What a great way to end a long week, albeit Monday.

today's mileage: 15 miles running
weekly mileage: 15 miles running
monthly mileage: 30 miles running
annual mileage: 482 miles running; 415 miles riding; 10.6875 miles swimming
TOTAL mileage: 903

Sunday, October 7, 2012

a little behind

This week has really gotten away on me, or shall I say it's running away from me!  I actually ran twice this past week.

Wednesday Bill and I ran 5 miles in Boone when we dropped everyone off at CCD.  I got a heavy burden discussed.  I can't say I cleared my mind, but I organized my thoughts a bit more and got a lot of junk off my chest.

Speaking of chest, I have been fighting off a nasty cold that has been trying to settle in my chest.  It was a tough run, but it went pretty fast.  Then, a cold front came through.

Saturday we headed out on a 10-miler.  It was 24 degrees when we started.The body works better in cool temps, but wow, that was about a 50 degree drop in temps!  That run was much better.  I was expecting the worst, given the temps, wind, health, lack of prerun warm up.  Bill made it all the way through the 10 miles without stopping!

today's mileage: 5+10 miles running
weekly mileage: 15 miles running
monthly mileage: 15 miles running
annual mileage: 467 miles running; 415 miles riding; 10.6875 miles swimming
TOTAL mileage: 888

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Mental training

So, we're well into [half]marathon training.  I've run 64% of my miles this month during the past week! I was really feeling it this morning.  While I really like having a goal that I'm working towards, I almost quit this run before it really started today.

We ran a mile to the T and back, then around the block.  I seriously had to stop and walk because my achilles hurt so much.  I was just totally exhausted and we were only doing about a 10:40 pace.  I almost just turned back and went home.  No, I can do this.  I've had some really fast runs this week so I can't do them all at that pace.  I need a slower run.  It's ok to be tough today.

We start to head out of town through DogTown.  OK, they're going to go out a mile and then back around Ethanol.  I could just walk north, waiting for them to catch up from their mile west.  I have to push through this.  Here we go!  Rachael started her signature chatter and we sped up to almost a 10-min pace.  I was really working to keep that, but pushed along.  There was heavier than normal traffic making us run single-file.

We got back to the Ethanol turn and I just kept telling myself, "Make it to the top of the hill and then you can let loose and just run."  I seemed to calm down after that.  I was feeling more relaxed and was able to get going on a more normal pace.  We finished the last few miles well under 10:00.    Hindsight, it was a tough run, but good mental training today.

today's mileage: 8 miles running
weekly mileage: 30 miles running
monthly mileage: 47 miles running
annual mileage: 448 miles running; 415 miles riding; 10.6875 miles swimming
TOTAL mileage: 873

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Crazy Boring Run

Maybe I'm delusional, but the Ethanol Loop is getting boring and I need to spice things up a bit to keep going.  I had a hard run tonight.  It was very consistent as far as times go, but I felt like I was really working to complete the run.

About the last 1/2 mile I had a bug fly UP my nose!! Yes, up my nose.  How crazy is that?!

today's mileage: 5 miles running
weekly mileage: 22 miles running
monthly mileage: 39 miles running
annual mileage: 440 miles running; 415 miles riding; 10.6875 miles swimming
TOTAL mileage: 865

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Bugs on the windshield

I just felt like running all day today.  I wanted to get up early and go out for a run, but just couldn't drag myself out of bed.  I was missing the roads all day today.  They were just calling to me!  I even took my 8th period class out for a walk today.  It was hot and they were complaining and just wanted to go back to school? What?!

Tonight I got home and just wanted to sit, but the roads were still calling me.  Bill was gone so I had to make supper and get everyone in their regular schedule.  Finally after supper I asked Rachael if she wanted to head out around Ethanol.  She wasn't super excited, but she went and it was a good chat/run.

Pretty much the entire run I was choking on bugs!  Yes, bugs.  They were awful out there tonight.  I felt like a car windshield.  ugh.  They kept flying in my mouth and one even hit the back of my throat.  YUCK!

Again we had negatives splits on the loop.  I just love that feeling!
Mile 1: 9:49
Mile 2: 10:00
Mile 3: 9:45
Mile 4: 9:23
Mile 5: 8:43 Yeah, that's cool!
I'm starting to think I could maybe, perhaps, almost be a 9:00 runner.

today's mileage: 5 miles running
weekly mileage: 17 miles running
monthly mileage: 34 miles running
annual mileage: 435 miles running; 415 miles riding; 10.6875 miles swimming
TOTAL mileage: 860

Saturday, September 22, 2012

12-mile Vardo run

Today Rachael and I ran with the Vardos!  I couldn't see a map ahead of time on the email so I thought that's ok I'll just go with it.  We got there and realized there was no map posted ahead of time!

Right before we left the parking lot we got a verbal map.  I wasn't sure how today would go since my last run wasn't the most pleasant.  I have been stressed, fatigued, and on the edge of a cold.   I figured I'd run 6 and see how it went and decide if I wanted to finish the 12.  Oops.  There were 2 distinct routes that divided after 3 miles.  okey-dokey.  Rachael was having a good run so we continued on to the longer route.

About 1/2 mile into the route we met up with Mike "Wazowski".  It was great to see him running with confidence and looking strong!  He met his goal of a 30-min 5K and was increasing his speed.  Today was the first time he would go 6 miles.  He made it 4 miles earlier this week and was pushing himself to 6 today.  Yeah Mikey!

The routemaster mentioned the streets to take and I recognized them, but truly had no idea where there were or where I was going.  My goal was to not lose sight of someone so I could follow them or run with them.  Rachael and I met up with a group of 4 other guys and ran with them for about the next 6 miles.  Yes, this was the best 6 miles I've had in a long time!   One time I looked at my watch and we were doing a 8:21 pace!  Yikes, I can't run that fast!  OK wait a minute, I feel great.  I'm not terribly winded.  Why am I getting anxious over a few numbers.  This is a good thing.  Keep going as long as you feel great!

I felt some hills, but had no idea how big they were until I got the watch synced with the computer.  Yeah, those were some hills.  Here's a snapshot of the elevation and speed:
About 1/3 of the miles were at <9:30 pace, about 1/3 were at <9:00 pace.  Given that our marathon PR is a 9:38 pace, I am very excited about this!  I only wish for this strength during a marathon!

Yep, about mile 9 I started getting tired and wanted to stop.  No wait, stop that!  I can do this.  I AM doing this.  I have to keep those boys in my sight because I still don't know where I'm going.  We were also too far ahead of the group behind us that we would have wasted a lot of time to wait for them.  We finally got to "the stairs".  Oh my yes, those are stairs to be feared.  I was all but crawling up the stairs.  We met them again at the top and they got to a water stop.  It cracks me up that the Vardos don't carry any water with them, but stop for 2-3 minutes at prearranged water breaks.  Anyway, it was a chance to catch up with them.

We lost them during the last mile, or better yet they lost us.  The route took us back to the start at mile 10.4  WHAT?!  We still had about a mile and a half to finish.  I knew in my mind that I was doing 12 miles today so I had to finish the run I set out to do.  If I hadn't finished it, I would have felt like I was cheating myself, quitting.  Funny thing, during the run the boys asked if we were training for something in particular.  I said, just out running today.  They just looked at us and said, "Wow, nice to see people out here running 12....just for fun." lol  Yep, love those vardos.

today's mileage: 12 miles running
weekly mileage: 12 miles running
monthly mileage: 29 miles running
annual mileage: 430 miles running; 415 miles riding; 10.6875 miles swimming
TOTAL mileage: 855

Sunday, September 16, 2012

XC prerun

Rachael has determined that she has a great race when she does a long, slow run 1-2 days before her meet.  So we finally got out this afternoon.  It was a tough run and we stopped a couple of times, but we did finish.  Rachael had an amazing run and really wanted to keep going, but I didn't want her to get too tired so we just stopped with an Ethanol Loop.

today's mileage: 5 miles running
weekly mileage: 5 miles running
monthly mileage: 17 miles running
annual mileage: 418 miles running; 415 miles riding; 10.6875 miles swimming
TOTAL mileage: 814

Sunday, September 9, 2012

It's wild out there!

It's been 2 weeks, but I finally got out for a run.  I always had an excuse, none of which were good ones.  My goal was 10-15 miles before church this morning.  I got up in sufficient time and headed out after waking up Rachael.  She decided she has a great run after a long run so this plan gave her about an hour to get herself ready before heading out the door.

The first lap of the run was in black darkness.  I was scared to death as I met much wildlife.  It reminded me of the Batman movies - always darkest before the dawn.  There are dark times in our lives where eventually light enters to brighten our fears, doubts, and emptiness.  Just when we think we can't, we rise above it and shine!  Yeah, that's what this run was like.  I don't usually run alone, and almost never in the darkness of the night.  I couldn't help but think of overcoming my fears during that first ever marathon training season.  Yes, it was like Bruce Wayne making his impossible climb out of the dark hole, overcoming adversity.

Enough sappiness for now.  About .25 miles into the run I looked at the side of the road and saw what looked like a mink curled up.  The longer I looked at him I realized he wasn't just "sleeping" there, his eyes moved about and he took a couple steps!  AHHHH!  These animals are known to be vicious and I certainly didn't want him coming at me!  About .75 miles I heard lots of rustling in the corn.  It was too dark to see but there was definitely an animal in there.  Yikes.  About mile 1.5 I could smell a nasty skunk, right after hearing some rustling in the ditch.  Yep, it's getting closer to me.  About mile 2.5 I heard another animal in the cornfield.

I think I was literally running scared by this time.  I had my last turn back into town to pick up Rachael.  I got on the busiest highway on the run.  There was a street light behind me and car coming towards me.  I looked down to turn on the light in my watch and shine it in the direction of the car so he could see me better.  I got a glance out the corner of my eye and saw a DOG!  He was at my feet, scared me crazy as my heart skipped a beat and I stopped breathing for a bit.  I swerved into the vehicle lane trying to jumpstart my heart again.  Oh wait, that was my shadow from the lights!!  There was really no dodge at all!  I'm sure the driver of that car was a little confused.  lol  It was the weirdest thing ever.

I finally made it back into town and got Rachael so we could continue on with the run.   About 1.75 miles into that run Rachael said, "OH MY GOD!  Did you see that?!"  See what?  There was a huge deer that was jumping across the landscape from a field and onto the property of a nearby farmhouse.

All in all, it wasn't a bad run.  I wanted to start off really slow (10:00-10:15 pace) and gradually speed up (9:15 pace).  That was nice theory, but considering I was tracking around a 9:30 pace the first 4 miles, I think it was truly a case of running scared.  Overall it was a good pace, but I was seriously all over clock - paces between 9:20-10:38.

today's mileage: 12 miles running
weekly mileage: 12 miles running
monthly mileage: 12 miles running
annual mileage: 413 miles running; 415 miles riding; 10.6875 miles swimming
TOTAL mileage: 814

Monday, August 27, 2012


I wanted to run 10-15 miles today, but I was so exhausted and didn't get out of bed.  Finally Bill got up and asked me to go run with him.  It was getting late and I was still stressed from the start of school, but I knew I'd feel better if I just got out, if only for a few miles.

We ended up doing and Ethanol Loop with Rachael.  It was a good run, about 2 1/2 min faster than the new usual pace.  That was great to get out again.  We started off fast and then slowed to a better pace, around 9:45ish.  Each mile got faster and we ended up with a 8:49 pace on the last mile!  I looked at my watch and my HR was 174.  I should have been lying on the ground completely exhausted and someone calling 911.  Overall it was a good run and a much needed run.  Glad the paramedics weren't needed today!

today's mileage: 5 miles running
weekly mileage: 5 miles running
monthly mileage: 49 miles running; 100 miles biking; 2.0625 miles swimming
annual mileage: 401 miles running; 415 miles riding; 10.6875 miles swimming
TOTAL mileage: 802

running: 75 miles
riding: 0 miles
swimming: 2.55 miles

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Well THAT was unexpected!

I knew I wanted to run this morning but couldn't make it to Ames because we have some girls sleeping over for Rachael's birthday.  A friend I like to run with is marathon training so I thought she might like some company on her long run.  I called her to see and yep, she was running today.... 20miles!  Hmmm, I thought 20?!  I can't do 20.  The longest run I've done all summer has been like 13 miles.  Sheez.  I told her I would run, but probably wouldn't do all 20.

We got to 7 miles and Bill thought he better stop so went another mile back home.  It was good to run with him, too.  I got to 10 miles and felt so amazingly awesome that I might be able to do the full 20!  OK 15 is my goal.  We got to our turn-around point and started coming back.  We got to 15 miles and I was starting to get a bit tired, but really felt great so I kept going.  I could tell my partner was starting to fade so I just started chattering like a jaybird.  Whatever entered my head I talked about.

The last couple miles were really tough for her, but we made it through!  We stopped and had a few walking breaks, but I just kept pushing along and chattering.  I think I even skipped for a bit.  lol  Boy I wish every run was like that one!  It was a slow pace, but it seemed very easy.  I really think I could have completed a full marathon today!  If I wasn't pressed to for time I just might have done an extra Ethanol Loop just to complete the marathon distance.

Yeah, that was really unexpected.   I loved every minute of it!

today's mileage: 20 miles running; 1200m swimming
weekly mileage: 25 miles running; 42 miles biking; .75 miles swimming
monthly mileage: 44 miles running; 100 miles biking; 2.0625 miles swimming
annual mileage: 396 miles running; 415 miles riding; 10.6875 miles swimming
TOTAL mileage: 797

running: 70 miles
riding: 0 miles
swimming: 2.55 miles

Friday, August 17, 2012

Last day of swimming

I was very rushed swimming as I had to get back to school in time for inservice this morning.  The swim didn't start off very well.  I was extremely stressed and mentally rushed.  I think that contributed a lot to the swim.   I almost got out of the water after 15 minutes, but I decided that this is what I needed so I continued.

A bad swim? This is what I needed?  Yes. Even the worst day of swimming seemed to be better than the best day at work at that point.  At least I knew I had a goal.  I had a destination.  I knew what I was working toward.  I knew the expectation.  I knew I could accomplish that goal.  Yes, this is what I needed: structure.

While I didn't have a great sense of accomplishment in the pool, I did relax and enjoy it.  As usual, I had some rather proficient-looking swimmers on each side of me.  I enjoy getting under water and watching their form, looking at what I am trying to do and see how other people are getting it.

In the end, it was a good day and just couldn't help but think, "this is my last lap", then "this is my last stroke" for the season.  Furman, I will miss you.  It's been a good run this summer.  Hopefully we'll meet again next season.

today's mileage: 1200m swimming
weekly mileage: 5 miles running; 42 miles biking; .75 miles swimming
monthly mileage: 24 miles running; 100 miles biking; 2.0625 miles swimming
annual mileage: 376 miles running; 415 miles riding; 10.6875 miles swimming
TOTAL mileage: 777

running: 50 miles
riding: 0 miles
swimming: 2.55 miles

Monday, August 13, 2012

Iron Hawk #3 Completed

We woke up this morning with no kids so we went for an Ethanol Loop.  It turned out to be a fast lap with all negative splits.  I was so excited.  I haven't done that in a long time!  Bill was a maniac runner this morning!  I kept telling him to slow down or he wouldn't make it, but he just kept going and going and going!  wow.

After a few errands, I hopped on the bike to complete the biking portion of the Iron Hawk.  My dad is in town and wanted to ride a bit so we did a slooooooow Ethanol Loop on the bike.  I then went on the Roland Loop.  There were about 20 mph winds that were either a blast or kicking my backside.  wow.  The first half I averaged 18 mph.  I had the bike in the highest gears they would go and was still spinning as fast as I could.  I wanted to stick my tongue out the side of my mouth just to get the full effect of a dog out a car window.  The last half, well, not so fast, but very draining! 

Since Mother Nature and I haven't been seeing eye to eye this year, I think she shifted the winds on me part way through the first half.  On the way out east it was in my face and when I turned to go west it was in my face, too.  Hmm, fancy that!  I was beat when I got home, 42 miles later.

today's mileage: 5 miles running; 42 miles biking
weekly mileage: 5 miles running; 42 miles biking
monthly mileage: 24 miles running; 100 miles biking; 1.3125 miles swimming
annual mileage: 376 miles running; 415 miles riding; 9.9375 miles swimming
TOTAL mileage: 777

running: 76 miles
riding: 112 miles
swimming: 4.2 miles

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Au natural

I've been so crazy busy this week that I haven't even had time to post my workouts this week!

Friday night Bill and I took off for Webster for a "date".  I discovered that I left my Garmin charger at my parents' house when I was there for the tri so I it wouldn't last through this ride.  I knew I could at least get there, but then would be on my own for the rest of the ride.  Looking at the weather I figured it would be hellish going up, but so great coming back.  I just had to get there and the work would be done.  We stopped at Subway for a quick sandwich, refill of water, and then back on the bikes to head home.  I had a lot of great "world problems solved" on the way home.  It was great to get that off my shoulders!  I was rather worked up and realized almost home that I was really pushing it hard.  Sorry, Bill.  He made a record mileage on that trip and it was good to get home.

The next morning Rachael and I ran with the Vardos in Ames.  What a beautiful morning for a run!  We got in the van and the temp read 48 degrees!  Wow, I can't remember the last time it was that chilly!  We were shivering like crazy in the parking lot before we left.  Since the watch was completely dead, I was really running "au natural" on this run.  9 miles of just running.  Me and Rachael, then "Waldo" joined us.  After a few minutes, I realized that I had run with Mike last time.  We had a good chat.

Our run started off a bit slow as usual, then up to about a 10 min pace with a couple ladies - Chris and Kim.  We crossed the street, following the people in front of us, but Chris and Kim continued on the same side of the street.  We started running a bit faster and eventually caught up to the water break and joined Waldo.  He and Rachael helped pull me through the last few miles.  I think if it were just me and Rachael out there, I probably would have stopped so it was good we were with a group.  I think our pace was a little more like 9:30-9:40, too.  The route was a nice rolling hill kind of route - perfect for me!  I loved it.

today's mileage: 9 miles running; 42 miles biking
weekly mileage: 12 miles running; 42 miles bikin; 1800 m swimming
monthly mileage: 19 miles running; 58 miles biking; 1.3125 miles swimming
annual mileage: 371 miles running; 373 miles riding; 9.9375 miles swimming
TOTAL mileage: 735

running: 71 miles
riding: 70 miles
swimming: 4.2 miles

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Stormy swim

This morning I woke up to raging storms in the southern skies and knew I wouldn't be able to swim today.  :(  I was so very sad.  I went back to sleep, hoping when I woke up it would be just a bad dream.  I woke up and it was still lightening and I could hear thunder.  Darn it!  Mother Nature and I have not been the best of friends this year and she is now on my hit list again.

At lunchtime I decided that I would go up to the local pool for the free hour swim because I was determined to make progress today!  I got in and acclimated myself to the water and took off swimming.  I tried to rotate my arms more today, getting more cycles in than usual.  I think I was breathing the same, just moving faster in the pool.  I was able to breathe every 3 strokes and make a full lap consistently (50 m).  YEAH!  I took short breaks at the end of each lap, but was able to get in a little over a mile in about 40-45 min.  I focused on my breathing, rotating, and swinging of the arms.

I love to end on a great day.  I fear this may be my last day of swimming.  :(  I have until Aug 31 to complete my weekly swims in Ames, but school starts next week and it will be tricky.  I may try to sneak in one more swim next week since I don't have to look so professional for inservice days.  Then I can get as much swimming in as possible and walk in at the last minute like my colleagues!  HA.  I will miss this time in the pool each week.  Bye bye summer....

today's mileage: 1800 m swimming
weekly mileage: 3 miles running; 1800 m swimming
monthly mileage: 10 miles running; 15.5 miles biking; 1.3125 miles swimming
annual mileage: 362 miles running; 331 miles riding; 9.9375 miles swimming
TOTAL mileage: 684

running: 62 miles
riding: 28 miles
swimming: 4.2 miles

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Mike Wazowski!

So my shins have been progressively more painful each day since Sunday.  My foot is getting better, but my shins are screaming at me!  I wasn't sure if I could do a run tonight or not, but I drug myself and lathered Biofreeze on my shins and the muscles just to the sides of them.  The foam roller hasn't seemed to help, either.

As per the Vardogram meeting spot tonight, I had to figure out where "Vardo Center" was so Mr. Vardotrichic helped me out with that one.  Thank you, sir!  :)  I loaded up Bill and Rachael as soon as he got home and we headed out.  With the hottest day scheduled all week, we also loaded up on beverage.

There was a new member, Mike _____.  I couldn't remember his name so in my mind I called him Mike Wazowski.  lol  Some of the Vardos did a 3 mile run, others did a 5 mile run.  I figured I should probably stick with the 3 miles to recover and let my shins heal a bit more.  I took off and felt great, like I could have done the 5 miles, but stuck with the 3 miles.  We soon realized that Mike Wazowski was the only other one who did the 3 miles so we stopped and waited for him.  We had a nice chat and he was a great gentleman.  It was a much slower pace than we wanted to do, but it was good to run with someone else.

We stuck around for about 15 minutes after we got back to wait for others, but then knew our pizza we ordered would be getting cold if we didn't leave.  HA.  As we were leaving we saw the 5 milers coming back and cheered them on through the window of the van.  They perked up and cheered back.  I love the Vardos!

Poopy!  I just looked at the weather and not sure if I can swim tomorrow.  I'm so sad because I think it's the last day before I go back to school.  :(

today's mileage: 3 miles running
weekly mileage: 3 miles running
monthly mileage: 10 miles running; 15.5 miles biking; 300m swimming
annual mileage: 362 miles running; 331 miles riding; 8.8125 miles swimming
TOTAL mileage: 684

running: 62 miles
riding: 28 miles
swimming: 3.0125 miles

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Camp Courageous Tri

The day started quite early.  2:00 AM early when I was dreaming that I woke up and looked at the clock and it said 7:10!!  This was an 8:00 start time!  I bolted straight up in bed, grabbed my phone and realized it was only 2:09 AM.  I had over 2 hours before my alarm would go off.  I just couldn't sleep anymore fearing that my alarm wouldn't go off.  At 3:15 I finally got up and went downstairs to start my race day routine.

At 5:30 we headed out the door.  For the next 2 hours I would spend at least every 20 minutes in the bathroom - combination of being well hydrated and nerves - over the next 2 1/2 hours.  The bike was disassembled and in the trunk of the van so when we got there Bill helped me get it out and put the wheel back on.  I took it for a brief ride to be sure everything was still working properly and the tires were well inflated.  We walked to the transition area and I scoped out a spot to set up camp for the day.  There were only about a dozen or so bikes there so I got to pick my location!  I chose an aisle location one row in.  I think I would pick one closer to the swim/run entrance/exit next time rather than the bike exit/entrance.

As athletes approached and starting getting their stuff organized, it was apparent that everyone seemed to be checking each other out.  I was told there were a number of newbies like myself, but I could definitely see there were some experienced athletes here.  Vardotrichic, I even saw a Zoom uniform! :)

After setting up camp, I went toward the packet pick up location to see about a timing chip since they didn't provide one in the packet.  I saw something going on near the pool so I ventured that direction.  Yeah, it was timing chips!  I was marked, incorrectly I think, and then given an ankle chip.  It was big and gaudy, but I remembered my Body Glide so went back and put some on my ankle!  Yep, that marked about 4 trips to the bathroom by that point.

I then went to check out the area for the shoe drop.  I chose a spot right outside the pool exit.  I set the flip flops and the HR Monitor strap from the Garmin on it, hoping it would still be there by the time I got out of the pool.

I was finally able to get into the pool and see how the body would swim today and what the water temp was like.  It was mildly chilly at first, but it was a good temperature for swimming.  OK, I didn't want to let on that I wasn't a good swimmer so I just did one lap, down and back.  I watched as other people got in and did their warm up laps.  Wow, maybe I'm not so bad after all!  There were some volunteers working there that were cracking jokes and had great personalities so that helped lighten the mood a bit.  Maybe they could sense I was extremely nervous.

About 7:00 I realized, "OH CRAP!  I didn't turn on the GPS on the Garmin!"  That thing takes forever to "find satellites" and get started; I really need to get that turned on and switched over to bike mode.  I have 45 minutes to walk to the transition area and get back before the meeting.  Yep, I can do that.  First, a potty stop.  I got the GPS turned on and the mode changed.  I doubled checked my gear and walked back to the pool area.

About 7:30 my family showed up and that gave me a good sense of support.  I walked over and talked to them to let them know that they were setting out pace signs and I thought I was so slow that I didn't even have a group!  Eeeks.  OK, no problem, I can do this.  I kept doing some math in my head to be sure that I was in the right group because I really had zero idea what my 100m pace was.  I finally decided on the 2:15 group.  I went toward the back of group.

Once the swimmers started entering the pool, I was quite vigilante of them, their form, speed, etc to get some good tips.  The announcer at the start of the swim had a good sense of humor, too.  He said we could enter the water anyway we wanted as long as it was feet-first.  This included cannonball if we so chose to do one.  A couple of people actually did!

My turn was up.  I was a bit surprised I wasn't terribly nervous.  A little, yes, but not immobilizing nerves.  I was ready for this!  I jumped in at the signal from the director and took off swimming.  The first time I put my head in the water to start swimming I realized I hadn't put my goggles down on my eyes!! ARGH!  I really look like a fool.  Ok, rookie mistake #1.  I'm off again.  The director saw my error and didn't send the next guy until I was ready, half way down the first lane!

It was mostly a good swim.  I mainly did the crawl down and the side stroke back.  I felt very strong doing this method and it seemed to be working for me.  I passed 2 people and was passed by another guy so I felt like I had seeded myself pretty well.  It was great to hear my family cheering for me at various spot along the swim.  I was afraid they would have left to see me to go to transition or that I wouldn't have been able to hear them at all.

When I had about 50m left, I heard my dad yell "You're at 7 minutes!"  Great!  I needed to know that since I had no idea how fast/slow I was going.  I need to book it to the end to meet my goal.  I still felt great about how I was doing, though.  When I got to the end there were about 3 of us all piled up trying to get out.  I opted for the ladder and climbed out.  I wasn't completed exhausted like I usually am after a swim - I felt great and ready to get on the bike!  Unofficial time: 8:13

Time for the 1/4 mile run to the transition area!  I'm not sure when swim time ended and transition time began, but I spent about 4 min in transition getting my shoes, shorts, and helmet on and getting my bike off the rack.  I was surprised with that much distance between the pool and transition area that I didn't dry off more than I did.

OK, I think I'm finally ready to mount this bike!  I got on and rode out of the transition area.  Bill called to me and I saw all my family cheering me out of transition.  Bill said, "Hey, you're supposed to walk your bike!"  Oops! Rookie error #2.  I just waited for an official pull me off on a penalty.  It was my lucky day.  The route had more hills than I remembered, but it went really well.  I put 15:00 min pace into the Garmin and I stayed ahead of that the whole time.  I finished the bike portion in less than an hour so I was confident that everything was working today.  YEAH!  I was only passed by those cool people with the tri bars on their bikes.  I passed a LOT of people which was another good confidence booster.  I figured I could probably pass those who passed me on the run since that is my strongest sport.
I was sure to dismount before the red tape so that hopefully they wouldn't penalize me.  I figured if I could get out of the transition area without someone pulling me aside I was in the clear.

Again, transition went slower than I thought.  I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to get my bike back on the rack.  Rookie error #3.  I almost left it lying there, but finally got it going.  I knew the watch would be a little work to get it off and the helmet was harder to get off than normal.  ugh.  I finally grabbed everything I needed and was on my way.

I had change the mode on my watch back to running to give me the information I needed.  The run was great.  I felt strong.  Mile 1 had a hill, but I was able to manage 8:50 pace.  My HR was quite high as usual coming off the bike and I couldn't get it slowed down again.  Every time I started running it went up to 170+.  I decided to walk the hills and run the rest.  I walked more than I wanted to, but overall it was a good run.  I was having so much fun I just wanted to keep going!  The run logged in just over 2.6 miles, but I finished the run in 26 minutes, which I was ok with considering most of it was on trails and I despise trails, uh I mean I love trail running.
There were a couple significant hills on this short run, making it a challenging course.  I remember after running Grandma's Marathon I had sever toe pain, thinking I broke my toe.  Later I discovered that Grandma's is mainly a downhill course, resulting in my foot pain.  Today after the first significant downhill, I felt a strong pain on the top of my foot.  I knew exactly what it was.  I also knew that I had a much more significant hill (larger than any hill I have every encountered in a training run or event) coming up that I would have to maneuver and make my way back up!  This foot pain made me go a bit slower than usual and perhaps even walk a tad more not wanting to do any serious harm to my foot.  Darn it.  I was not a rookie runner and I was going to play it safe with this one!
George Eastburn

Back when I was in junior high, a man by the name of George Eastburn strongly encouraged me to sign up for the Monticello Firecracker Triathlon.  It was a short, sprint tri and I could never bring myself to do it.  Now, about 30 years later, George has since passed in 2006, and I have entered this event.  It isn't the exact same tri, but it's about as close as I'll come.  George, thank you for your inspiration all these years!  I finally did it!

Final unofficial time: 1:40:08
Yeah, I'll do that again.

Final (unofficial) stats:
Age Place: 7/11
Sex Place: 45/97
Swim: 8:13
T1: 4:27
Bike: 59:34
T2: 1:13
Run: 26:42
Penalty: 0  :)

today's mileage: 2.6 miles running; 15.5 miles biking; 300m swimming
weekly mileage: 7 miles running; 15.5 miles biking; 300m swimming
monthly mileage: 7 miles running; 15.5 miles biking; 300m swimming
annual mileage: 359 miles running; 331 miles riding; 8.8125 miles swimming
TOTAL mileage: 681

running: 59 miles
riding: 28 miles
swimming: 3.0125 miles

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Loosen up

Hmm, well the next page of the calendar has officially flipped while I was on vacation.  Dang, that's another month gone.

I have been on vacation this week so I haven't gotten much training done.  We came for an overnight so I thought I'd get up a do a little run to get things loosened up.  The first run after a step up is always rough so I wanted to get that out of the way before race day.  I wanted at least 5 miles so Bill and I did an Ethanol Loop this morning.  It was a good run so I am confident going into Sunday...only 4 days away!

The weather is looking favorable for Sunday.  There are storms forecasted for Saturday, but beautiful skies on Sunday and about 20 degrees cooler than what we've had this summer.  YEAH!  I am also rethinking my plan for transitions.

Here's to a crazy exciting first tri!

today's mileage: 5 miles running
weekly mileage: 5 miles running
monthly mileage: 5 miles running
annual mileage: 352 miles running; 316 miles riding; 8.625 miles swimming
TOTAL mileage: 681

running: 57 miles
riding: 13 miles
swimming: 3.825 miles

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Ironhawk #2

I finally got some miles on my bike this week!  Now I have completed the second one.  One more to reach my goal before school starts.  I should be able to do that....99 miles to go!

today's mileage: 19 miles biking
weekly mileage: 2 miles running; 80 miles biking; 1.5 mile swimming
monthly mileage: 50 miles running; 110 miles biking; 5.25 miles swimming
annual mileage: 347 miles running; 316 miles riding; 8.625 miles swimming
TOTAL mileage: 676

running: 52 miles
riding: 13 miles
swimming: 3.825 miles

Friday, July 27, 2012

I love wind; repeat until you believe it!

I pushed myself to a new limit.  I made a record length ride today: 43 miles!  I gave myself a goal, added in an errand that had to be done, and completed it!  It was rough, but I did it and it's done now.  Tomorrow is supposed to be raining and storms so I headed out on a big ride today.  I may be repeating it tomorrow.  We'll see.

The heat wave finally broke so I thought this would be a good day to do a big ride.  I first jumped in the water, had Rachael time me to see how that was going.  Yep, as expected there was no 6 minute finish. I was happy with it though.  I completed the 300m in 7:45.  I'll take that.  8 minutes is my goal so that's ok.  I really think that is more realistic than the 6 minutes I had in the 50 m pool, although I think I do swim better at that pool.

The ride was cooler, but much MUCH windier!  There were 20mph northerly winds.  I decided to go to Webster and combine it with some errands.  It was a good goal, but I could have easily stopped part way because it was quite a challenge.  I knew race day could be equally windy so I kept forging ahead.  I am really really hoping for SE winds race day so that will mean they will be NW.  Poopy.  I really wish I could download my rides and runs.  The ANT on my Garmin has been acting up.  I know on the way home I was flying!  Wow, that felt GREAT!  I was a consistent 2:44ish pace.  Anything less than 3:00 is in the 20s mph.

When I hit 39 miles I felt I was hitting the wall.  All of a sudden I just couldn't go anymore.  I took 2 gels with me, but was really out of gas and couldn't push anymore.  I wasn't dizzy or anything like that, but I was just so exhausted.

Yesterday I went to the tri course and walked the run course.  Hmm, yeah, well, that will be a challenge for me!  It is a very hilly course and only about 1/2 mile is on paved surface.  I slipped and mildly twisted my ankle a couple of times so this could interesting.  The bike course will be ok with one big hill about mile 5.  I can do that.  This will be great! I'm really looking forward to it.  The best part is I will be rotating through my weakest sport to my strongest sport.  YEAH!

Only 6 miles left to complete the next IronHawk!  That will be done soon!

today's mileage: 43 miles biking; 300m swimming
weekly mileage: 2 miles running; 61 miles biking; 1.5 mile swimming
monthly mileage: 50 miles running; 91 miles biking; 5.25 miles swimming
annual mileage: 347 miles running; 297 miles riding; 8.625 miles swimming
TOTAL mileage: 657

running: 78 miles
riding: 106 miles
swimming: 6.225 miles

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

practice tri

This morning was my swimming morning so I headed out early.  With RAGBRAI this week I knew Skunk Cycles wouldn't be terribly busy so I also loaded up the bikes for the free first tune up.  I had a couple hours to burn between swimming and dropping them off so I thought I'd go for a ride before that.  Heck, I'll do all three and see how I respond!  Yep, that's my plan today.

I think I turned a corner on the swimming thing.  I figured out why I get winded breathing - I need to swallow!  OK, Vardotrichic I know that's weird, but I need to swallow.  Obviously I can't swallow under water, but my reflex wants to do so and that's where I panic underwater and can't make it to the end of the pool.  I have done some "torpedos" and realized that I take a long time to breathe.  I tried to combine the two and when my breathing arm comes around for a stroke, I pull back my hip and rest it there like I'm doing a torpedo, but lift my head to breathe a little longer.  This gives me good rotation and breathing time.  I went down and back - 100m - and wasn't horrifically winded.  I think I might be on to something.  I'll have to work on getting faster obviously, but I think it's a start.  I can go longer slower.  ok maybe that's not so good.  Form over time, right?
When I first entered the water this morning I also wanted a more exact time for the 300m to properly seed myself.  So, I got in, went like crazy and did my 300m in 6:10.  That seems crazy fast for me, but I'll try a few more times and see what comes out.  There is a digital clock at the pool that ticks off every second so I'm sure it's accurate, but that still seems crazy fast.  I don't think I can seriously say I'm a 6:00 swimmer on this one.

Transition: I wore my sports bra/running shirt swimming again and it felt great.  I went to the van afterwards and put on my bike shorts and they weren't super droopy.  As a matter of fact, the wet felt really good!  I think I need to dry my legs a bit however to more easily get my shorts on.  I think this plan will be just fine.

Bike: I learned one thing today - I HATE riding in Ames!  The sidewalks suck and the streets are not level/smooth.  I felt like I was riding over potholes left and right.  Argh.  Good thing my tune up was after the ride and not before.  I don't like stopping every few minutes, either.  Why on Earth would there be a stop sign at mile 16.71?  Seriously?  Just give me some open road and strong legs!  lol  Even with all the stopping and cautious riding, I was able to keep the pace above 15 mph again.  That includes a strong south wind and exploration of Ada Hayden Park.

Transition: I was tired, but ready to run!

Run: This is a piece of cake!  I really do like the BRicks.  I feel like I have had such good luck with all my events lately that the law of averages might even out in a couple weeks.  Hopefully this keeps going.  I knew I was going to get off the bike fast so I kept thinking s.l.o.w.  I maintained a 9:17 pace, which is the slowest BRick I've done yet.  It felt good.  I really get clomping at the beginning and when that wears off about a mile or so into the run, I feel strong.  I love starting with my weakest sport and head into my strongest one at the end.  I think this will be ok.

Tomorrow, I'm going to walk the run portion and drive the bike portion of the tri.  Hopefully this will give me some good mental preparation!  Oh yeah, I was reading some rules and this tri has put the Athena category much lower than the official rules so I don't feel so badly now.  ;)  I've also lost about 4 pounds so there, Athena!

today's mileage: 2 miles running; 18 miles biking; 2400m swimming
weekly mileage: 2 miles running; 18 miles biking; 1.5 mile swimming
monthly mileage: 50 miles running; 48 miles biking; 5.0625 miles swimming
annual mileage: 347 miles running; 254 miles riding; 8.4375 miles swimming
TOTAL mileage: 614

running: 78 miles
riding: 63 miles
swimming: 6.0375 miles