Wednesday, July 31, 2013

One Day at a Time

One of my favorite movie quotes is...
 "I am so tired by the way you people talk. You know, I mean, "one day at a time." What is that? I mean, like two, three days at a time is an option?"-28 Days

The last day and a half have been really hard, a lot going on and my emotions have been running high. After talking to a few different people about things, thinking things through, and allowing myself time to process things....I'm in a much better place. I'm grateful to have people I can turn to when I'm feeling that way, and also grateful for the changes I have made in myself in the past year and a half that have allowed me to handle things in much healthier and productive ways.

"You gotta fight like hell to make sure you're still alive, because you are. And that pain you feel? That's life. The confusion and fear? That's there to remind you that somewhere out there is something better, and that something is worth fighting for"-OTH

Nothing is perfect- not every day will be good and not everything will work out the way we plan. But there is no sense in worrying about what could happen...take it one day at a time. I'm one of the most impatient people to ever walk this planet, and have no issues admitting this. I know things are going to get better and I know that I need to just go with this. I have a man by my side who I love more than words could say, we get to spend the rest of our lives by each others side and I couldn't ask for anything more. I have friends who I can call at any time, who make me feel like they are right there with me even if they are miles and miles away. I have family who will love and support me no matter what. I have a job that pays the bills, allows me to pay for races, save for a wedding, fund my Saucony habit, and everything else. I have more than most and I often take that for granted.

I owe it to the people in my life to work on this patience thing, this "one day at a time" theory. I also owe it to myself to work on it, I owe it to myself to be patient and understanding of my own shortcomings as well as others.

This is true of life in general and seeing as this is a "semi-running-blog", I'll tell you this is also true of training. One day at a time, or a week at a time. No sense in worrying about the long miles you need to run a few weeks from now, or that hard workout you aren't sure you can handle. Take each run and workout as it comes- one day at a time. One of the reasons I don't do cookie cutter training plans is because life happens, you can't plan every moment out for the next few months it just wont happen. You gotta play the cards as they are dealt and sometimes that means just paying attention to what is in your hands and not what "could" be dealt.

Now that I have officially gone off on movie tangent, old HS show tangent, and poker tangent...I should just be done.

What about you, are you a patient person?

What do you think about "One day at a time"?

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Women Run the ROC 5k

 So if you notice anything about this photo---all women...except one.

Well that was the concept behind this inaugural race; all women except one man. The "one lucky man" was chosen by random drawing (I believe it was $10 an entry, with all proceeds going to charity). The start line always holds emotions, and nerves and lots of things going on, add in a ton of estrogen and one guy....I'm not sure lucky is the word I would use, but he was a good sport all the same. A few of us girls were chatting it up with him at the start, and he was giving the jokes back just as good as he was taking them.
Quite a few turns for a 5k
I had an up and down week with my workouts last week so I really didn't know what to expect. I didn't go in with the goal of setting a PR, but I knew if I had a good day it would be possible. 

This was early on in the race, you can see by my lazy form and "eh" face that I just wasn't feeling it. I pushed forward and ran the first mile in 6:10 according to the guy yelling at the 1 mile marker. I was already having issues breathing, 90% humidity makes it super hard to catch your breath. My legs felt fine, the breathing thing was a whole separate issue.

After that it just went downhill. I was in no-mans-land. I started the race in 3rd, and that is where I stayed the entire time. I could see 1 &2 but they were far enough away that it wasn't quite enough to push me and the gap spread more. The course was cool to see parts of Rochester but it was pretty quiet, few spectators and little going on. I knew it wasn't my day and I was okay with that. I have a 5k in 2 weeks that I really think will be a good race for a PR (it's actually the course that holds my PR right now).

I finished in 19:42 and the same 3rd place overall that I started. So I told myself I am not allowed to complain about my time. There was a big time in my running career where I was chasing sub-20 and it took me a long time to get there. BUT I got there, and since then I have kept most of my times under that. I had REALLY good races at MedVed ALS 5k on Father's day and again at Airport 5k this year, so that's why this was harder to swallow. 20-30 seconds feels like a lifetime in a 5K, hell when I was chasing sub-20 every second felt like a lifetime.
Saucony A5 flats officially had their first race! Also rocked my Speed run visor and spark tank.

The race itself was well run, put on by one of the local powerhouses Yellow Jacket Racing, I think if they do it again next year it will definitely grow. They had 400+ people show up for a first time race, which was pretty darn good. They also did co-ed kids races after the 5k and it was so cute watching all the kids run! I think that made it a good draw for families, women run and then the kids do.

 Have you been bummed about a time 
that you previously would have been ecstatic over?

Have you ever run an Inaugural race before?

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Wineglass: 1 Glass Full of Training

Welcome to this weeks version of...
So you want to run a marathon: Wineglass Edition

Week 1 of 11 is done training... sheesh.

Before Y'all go "lady, shouldn't you train for more than 11 weeks?" on me-- I had a pretty good base before this from training for my first 70.3. But yes, only 11 actual weeks of training for this specific race.

I was pretty open about my goals for this race, and I plan to be pretty open about my training. Some runs are going to suck and some I am going to be bouncing off the walls for days from the runner's high. C'est La Vie.

Quick Rundown (pun intended)

Monday: 10 minutes ab-work
Tuesday: 8.11 mile run, 45 minutes Elliptical
Wednesday: 5.11 mile run
Thursday: 8.11 mile Tempo run, 45 minutes Elliptical
Friday: 30 minutes Elliptical, 30 minutes bike, 15 minutes core and pipe cleaners (arms)
Saturday: 5.25 mile run,
Sunday: 1.1 mile w/u, 5k race, 1 mile c/d

Total Running Miles: 32
Total Cross Training: 2:40 minutes

~I have a good base right now, I feel like this week added to the base more than it added to actual marathon training.

~There are a few miles missing from this week, but that's life. No point in stressing over missing 4 total miles from the week (2 from Tuesday and 2 from Sunday)

~My calves are the only "complaint" I have from the week. I couldn't get them to loosen up at all this week, no matter how much stretching and TLC I gave them. After a few nights of rolling, and sleeping in Zensah's I finally feel them starting to cooperate. About damn time.

What's next?
~Things are definitely going to crank up quickly the next few weeks, I'm ready for it though.

~This coming week is a few easier paced runs during the week with a longer run on the weekend (with some of the miles at Marathon pace). I think it will be a good week to really focus on form and getting my body into the condition that it needs to be in. I might change up one of the mid-week runs to add a little speed training, after the 5k today I have a big desire to bust my 5k PR in 2 weeks.

A few Scenes from the training week:
1st official training run done for this cycle!

Roadkill on the back deck after my first Tempo run in months

Final stretch of the 5k I did today (recap to come this week)

How was your week of workouts?
What are you training for right now?
Favorite run this week?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Who wants to Beat a Celebrity? Run Edition.

Today: A brief review of a WSJ article, and then....Celeb marathon times!

In this morning's edition of the Wall Street Journal there is an article entitled "Beating America's Fittest Mayor in a Triathlon" by Kevin Helliker

Basically the article talks about how the mayor of Chicago(Rahm Emanuel), is a super fit 53-year old who is "unbeatable" in the political world, and does the Chicago Triathlon each year placing well in his age group. But of course they take shots at him- he ONLY competes in the sprint (versus the Olympic/Intermediate distance), he HAS to start in the first wave to avoid standing around in the cold with everyone, and because of his position he can afford a "super-fast road bike". I don't agree with acting like it is less of an accomplishment because he "only" does the sprint, what about the billions of people who don't even do that? I also don't agree with "celebs" getting special treatment like early starts at races- you want to be "a normal person" but yet you can't start at same time as everyone else?

After taking shots at him, they allude to the fact that his triathlon times are even more impressive as his training time is limited being mayor of a big city and having a family- like there are no other full-time professionals with families out there that compete in triathlons? Let's see here, according to USAT the average income of a Triathlete is $126,000...I'm pretty sure that means they work full time and have busy schedules. Even more so, 74% of triathletes are married or in a committed relationship with 44% having children who live at home. So they work hard AND have families and can do various distance triathlons (including full Ironman).....Imagine that!!

Okay now for the fun stuff--
here are some celebrity marathon times...
see where you stack up!

George W. Bush 3:44 (Houston '93)
[Prior to his "run" for presidency]

Will Ferrell 3:56 (Boston '03)
[Did Mister funny man laugh his way into Boston...?]

Sarah Palin 3:59 (Anchorage '05)
["Buck up or stay in the truck"]

P.Diddy 4:14 (NYC '03)

Oprah 4:29 (MCM '94)

Drew Carey 4:37 (MCM '11)
[I'm really confused as to why he didn't run the Cleveland Marathon like I did... I mean..."Cleveland Rocks"]

Gordon Ramsay 3:36 (LA Marathon '10)
[I couldn't verify this one, but I'd like to run a race with him because we would win, he would yell at everyone in front of us to GTF out of the way]

Katie Holmes 5:29 (NYC '07)

Paul Ryan 4:01 (Grandma's '90)
[who can forget this whole ordeal! 
Don't forget to plug your time into the Paul Ryan Marathon calculator!]

Ryan Reynolds 3:50 (NYC '08)
This one made me sad- Men's Health reported his time as 3:20 and since we all know breaking 3:20 is my goal right now I really wanted to enlist this handsome man for help. After doing a little digging, I found his time was really 3:50 which is an incredible time but won't help me get my goal because if we ran together I'd want to be running behind him.
  For obvious reasons.

How do you feel about Celeb's getting special treatment?
[Early start times, special entries, etc.]

Should Celebs be allowed to buy their way into a race(such as Boston or NYC)- which they usually do? Why shouldn't they have to earn a BQ or wait in NYC lottery like everyone else?

Google celeb race times, or pick one from here...
What celebrity would you most like to beat?
(This doesn't have to be because of their time, maybe you just really want to show a celeb up?)

WHY is there a Wikipedia page for "Non-professional marathon runners" that is for celebs--what about the other billions of normal people that aren't "professional" that run marathons? Thoughts?

This is another edition of "reading the WSJ at work sparks a blog post idea" [Edition 1 here]

P.S. Don't forget you can follow me on BlogLovin :)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Head up: Eyes Forward

Sometimes we need a reminder to keep our heads held high

Physically, keep your head up
Cycling, running, walking, everything...
so you can see what's coming,
be aware of your surroundings,
be safe and be prepared for what could happen.
Side effect: keeping your head up you get to see all the amazing things around you.
If your looking forward, you will move forward.

On my run yesterday afternoon, I tried to focus on keeping my head up.
Watching the things around me, not staring at my feet or the ground around them.
I ended up having a fabulous run, I started looking up and forward and my body followed suit.
1st official training run for Wineglass Marathon Done! 8.11 miles @ 7:24 pace

Mentally, keep your head up
As I begin training for another "goal race", I think about things I want to focus on.
One of the biggest things is keeping my head up[physically & emotionally]-
"where the mind goes, the body will follow"
We can't dwell on whats behind us: the past is the past.
Time to focus on what's right in front of us.
There are so many things to be happy about right now, 
I feel beyond grateful for all of the amazing things I have.
Life is to short to stress about things that don't deserve to be an issue in my life in the first place.
Time to focus on continuing to study and learn and grow with my job.
Time to focus on marathon training and going after my big goals.
Time to focus on planning John & I's wedding- We're ready for the next chapter in our lives.
Time to focus on being grateful for the friends and family that are by my side.

Can you tell I'm a little sappy today? :):)

Where are you looking right now--the past or the future?

How do you "focus" when starting something new?

Pay attention on your next run/walk/ride...where do you find yourself looking most?

FYI: You can follow me on Bloglovin :)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

What's Next?

One of the biggest questions I have been getting lately is....
what's next?

It's been a hell of a year so far. Some familiar things (5k, 5k, 5k, 5k15k, 13.1, 26.2), sprinkled with some new things (30k,  A Relay, A Duathlon, Sprint triathlon, and Half-Iron distance triathlon). This has kept me busy, and anything but bored. 

I really feel like mixing things up this year has been really good for me both mentally and physically. My recovery time is quicker than before, I generally feel stronger and in better shape than before and mentally my stress-control has been amazing. 

As of this point, I have one more "big" goal race this year. Wineglass Marathon. This doesn't mean I am not running other races, actually I have 5 races between now and then (See Races, Paces & Places) and that might go up one more. It's no secret I love racing I actually used to race much more but I have gotten smarter about planning them over the years. But Wineglass is the goal, a PR would be anything less than 3:21.
I have a tentative plan I will be following, but as always it is subject to change- I don't do cookie cutter training plans. I believe in adapting as necessary, to how I feel, to what my schedule is like and to just life in general. This works for me, very well actually....BUT I'd like to stick as closely to this plan as possible, I believe it will give me the best results. 

The plan itself is a combination of a few different plans. The concocted plan has a base from Advanced Marathoning, some additions from Run Faster, Running Tough as well as some personal favorite workouts of my own.

It's  pretty straight forward; my miles are going to be higher than I have done for my previous 5 marathons, and there will be more "pace specific" runs/workouts which will help me build a stronger Marathon Pace base. I also plan on keeping up with the cross training, I noticed a significant difference in my running while triathlon training-- the cross training was making me able to put more miles in, without the damage to the body.

Is there a plan for after Wineglass? Yes, to have FUN! I'll run plenty of races I am sure of all distances but more than anything I am looking forward to a few months of running without a reason (aka not officially training). I have a few races in mind but nothing too crazy, this will give me time to focus on other things (like road tripping with Heather to watch Hollie kick butt at NYC).  I think that will make for a really relaxed few months, and then hit Boston training hard when the time is right!

As for triathlons--I may do another smaller one this year, and I may not. I'm not leaning one way or another, I simply just don't know if there will be time. 

To answer a question I have gotten a lot this past week, yes I will be doing another half-iron distance triathlon and yes I will be doing a full Ironman- NEXT YEAR. The plan right now is Musselman 70.3 again, and Ironman Cozumel in the late fall of next year. This has been the plan for a while, and I see no reason to change it. Although part of me has considered an earlier IM, as I like the thought of having at least one IM in my maiden name. Something about hearing "Laura Anderson you are an Ironman", although if Cozumel is the first one I do, I will be more than happy hearing my married name as well (we get married in September of next year). 

What about you, WHAT'S NEXT?

Do you share ALL of your goals?

Friday, July 19, 2013

MM 70.3 Blooper Reel

As promised in yesterday's Musselman 70.3 recap
a few photos for your viewing pleasure.

Most of these are bloopers 
but I did throw in a few decent ones as well.

I don't really have any swim bloopers, at least ones that were documented on film. 

Onto the bike.

Trying to wave, not fall, and prepare for 56 miles.

And this was coming in after almost 56 miles...
with the last few riding on flat tire. Epic Fail.

& then there was the run.

At least my nephew looked cute.
As mentioned in the recap, I stopped and kissed him on the run.
That is my hand holding his on the right.

About 12 miles later...
I remembered to get rid of the sponges I was hoarding

Oh the finish chute...
at least I managed one good one.

Here's a good one of my sister and myself.
Note that I had ice cream in my hand within 5 minutes of finish.
Would have been less, but I spent that 5 minutes sitting in a kiddie pool full of cold water.
Worth the wait.

And of course, my #1 Fan :) Rocking his volunteer stuff :)

 Not only did I get a fabulous medal, 
but permanent tan lines
and a knot that took me as much time to get untangled
 as it did to navigate the 70.3 miles.

Some random blooper moments not caught on film:
Getting tangled in seaweed and spazzing for 10 seconds trying to get it off.

Slipping and almost falling hard getting out of the water.
 (again, thank you to the young man volunteer who caught me)

Getting caught eating PB&J on the bike, and trying to figure out how I was gonna get the sticky PB&J off my hands while riding.

Getting caught singing on the bike, multiple times (one dude started singing along though! Folks I was singing T.Swift, he held a tune better than I!)

in T2 I unscrewed my water bottle top to dump the remaining little bit on my head...unscrewed but forgot to remove the top...dumping water and the lid on my head. DOH!

Do you have any race bloopers?

What is you "tired running" quirk? 
T-rex arm? tilted head? Bow legged?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Musselman 70.3 Recap

After a fun Mussel-Weekend of adventures, it was finally race day--

The morning itself went pretty darn smoothly. Got up, got ready, and got on the road. Went to volunteer tent and John did my body marking for me, and then I went to transition to set up. I ate a huge handful of Energy BITS, and drank water like a boss. I knew it was going to be hot and was trying to help prepare myself as best I could.

I got set up and left transition and found my family & friends and was actually pretty relaxed.
My friend Amy is the Volunteer coordinator and made sure to leave me a special note for when I arrived in transition. Good work making a girl cry before the race.

Kind of reminds me of my awkward faced wetsuit photo from my first sprint triathlon.
 We made our way to the shore and I got my hugs and "be boss", "kick butt" etc, before John walked with me to enter swim area. It was an absolute gorgeous morning on the lake, and I was just trying to soak the sights and sounds (bagpipes) in.
Ratcliff photo posted this on Musselman Facebook page

Swim (Goal time: 45:00, Actual time: 41:22)[T1-2:38]
After getting counted in, I waded my way out to the start buoys and found a spot I was comfortable and relaxed while waiting. Miraculously I hear a pretty loud "GO LAURA" and turn to the shore which was a ways away to see my family and friends jumping up and down. I waved my hands in the air and smiled, it was going to be a good day.  I maintained pretty steady pace throughout, and only over shot one of the buoys which made me really happy. I finally made my way through the canal and to the last buoys by the boat launch where we exit. I walked up the ramp and slipped right near the top as the mat had moved towards the middle. A volunteer caught me right as I did (thank you, whoever you are!) and then I was able to get out and go. I looked at my watch as I was going through transition and saw 41:XX and couldn't help but smile. I gave my high-fives as I passed my family and friends and continued to get ready for bike.

Bike (Goal time: 3:25, Actual time: 3:30)[T2 2:09]
Bike mount went smoothly, and got to wave and see my family and friends shortly after which put a huge smile on my face!

The bike could easily be broken down like this for me
First 1:30 hours--"oh boy it's gonna be a long day"
From 1:30-2:30 hours--"this girl is on fire"
From 2:30-3:00 hours--"I literally feel on fire, it's hot"
From 3:00-3:30 hours-- "FML, why is this so hard right now"

After rounding the last turn- I knew I was close, got all excited seeing my family and then my friends were also at dismount....I got off my bike and said "woah"...drunk legs. T2 was decent for me switching my shoes, dumped remaining water from my bike bottle on my head and went on my way.

[After the race, I realized that I had punctured my tired while coming out of Sampson State Park (rough road section, I remember the bump where it had to have happened) which is about the time I thought it was fatigue slowing me down. I rode on low air for a while, and it had to have been flat the last 2 miles because I struggled really bad but wasn't going to stop with so little to go...explains why it felt harder than it should have!!!]

Run (Original Goal time: 1:45, Adjusted Goal time: 2:00, Actual time: 1:53)
Goofy smile seeing everyone in beginning of run.
Coming out on the run felt amazing, I was finally in my element. As much as I was happy to be running, I knew that I was tired and that the 90 degree heat wasn't going to help me get a 1:45 half in. I immediately told myself, just come in under 2 hours. I came around a corner and saw one of my favorite sites of the day. My parents, friends and their kids, my sister and her hubby all screaming and cheering my name. Even the people next to them started cheering my name when they heard them. Then my friend Mary did something that made my eyes light up, she held out my 3 month old nephew. I stopped and gave him a huge kiss on the forehead and went on my way. I couldn't stop smiling. Shortly after that I saw my friend Tom, he was stretching on the side and told me he wasn't going to go on (he was injured going into the race), I walked with him for a minute and then he told me to "get my ass going". I carried on, and got to see John around mile 3. I was so excited I just stopped and gave him a big kiss. We jogged together for a minute and then he told me to have a good run and I went on my way again. I knew that aid stations were roughly a mile apart so I made the goal to run to each and walk when I got to them (for fuel, ice, sponges and standing in hoses). With walks I averaged 9 minute pace for first 8 miles. Finally at mile 8 I told myself to kick it in, and bring it home. I still walked a little through aid stations to drink water and dump it on myself but managed to do the last 5.1 miles at 8 minute pace(including walks).
Pure happiness before the finish line. 
My goal times (with original run goal) + 
my pre-estimated 5 total minutes of transition time 
would have put me at 6 hours.
I crossed the finish line in 6:09.

9 minutes away from my original goal, and I am definitely okay with that. I did a half-iron distance triathlon, I didn't die, and I finished with a smile on my can't beat that. Yes, there is a part of me a little bummed- but that's what makes me an athlete and competitor, you HAVE to have the drive to be better. If I was 100% satisfied with this then I'd have no reason to try again and work harder for a better time. I want to get better, I want to get faster and I want to prove to myself I can break 6 hours. And you can bet your bottom, I WILL. #Findyourstrong

I may be a newer member of the Tri-family, but I still feel part of it. The encouragement from most of the other athletes out there was incredible. The "good jobs" and "you can do it" out on the course were awesome. If someone was on the side with a flat, everyone was asking if they needed help (I even offered my CO2 to someone, but they already had some).

I have amazing support from family and friends. I can't thank them enough for being there. My parents, sister/hubby with the baby, Mary/Cassie, Corey/Marie/Giada, Amy, and everyone else--it made me incredibly happy to see their smiling faces.

I also can't discount the amazing support from my friends and family who were not there physically but were sending emails, Facebook posts, texts, and tweets.

John really is my number one fan and team mate. I couldn't have done this without him. I absolutely can't wait until he is fully recovered from his knee problems and we can be out there together. Even though he hasn't been able to compete this year, his support to myself and other athletes has been more than I ever could have asked for.

The volunteers and course support was INCREDIBLE. I took the time to thank as many of them as I could on the bike, and same on the run. The run course was never lonely, aid stations every mile (overloaded with water, ice, sponges, food, flat soda, and hoses), and many local residents had their sprinklers and hoses set up outside as well. I don't think I ever went more than a half mile without either a local resident support crew or race station. I'm going to the volunteer appreciation dinner tonight (I volunteered Saturday and John did both days) and I can't wait to give lots of people hugs for all they did. Musselman, you put on an amazing race and I thank you for that.

Stay tuned: There will be some more photos, including a blooper reel for you. Most likely tomorrow (waiting for my daddio to send me the rest, get ready for some laughs!).

Monday, July 15, 2013


I'm still processing some race thoughts, but I do have some general things about the weekend for you :)

After my last post on Friday, I worked and then headed out of town to get the fun started. I rode out to Seneca Lake with a friend of mine since John left earlier that morning.

It was an afternoon of friends and fun at the MicroMussel Triathlon- a very short triathlon involving costumes and tricycles (or in our case....a moving dolly with a fake plane on it). John and Corey dressed up as Goose & Maverick from Top Gun, and had everyone laughing the entire time. Truly a great way to start the weekend off in a fun way!

Me and my Maverick- he's way better than Tom Cruise!
Saturday was the Mini-Mussel Triathlon (Sprint Distance). John and I were volunteering, and a few of our friends were competing. I spent the first part of the morning at the "mount line" yelling at athletes not to get on their bike until they were at or past the line. It was a great place to be as I got to see all my friends as they started the bike, and cheer for others as well. Once people started coming in from the bike, I moved over to the "dismount line" making sure everyone got off their bikes before the line. More yelling and cheering but I was having a great time, and again it was a great place to be so I could see everyone! Volunteering the day before my race was a great way to get inspiration and motivation, and to see logistics of race location!

My Job was making sure everyone go off their bikes before the line- I also made sure to yell "have a great run" to as many as possible. They thought it was a good idea to give me a megaphone(haha!), I used it for a few minutes but it was heavy to hold and I also helped people grab things they dropped at dismount (shoes, water bottles, bikes etc) so I was better off without it.

Being at the"dismount line" is where I first learned of "the accident". One of the faster cyclists to come in, asked me if I knew what the name was of the person injured on course. I said I did not know, and he sternly told me to find out: there was fear in his voice. My friends were standing near me and heard the whole thing, they ran to the volunteer tent to make sure they knew there was an accident on course. They knew- and it wasn't good. After that, many people were asking me questions about it as they dismounted their bike. They all had to ride past the accident site, seeing ambulances and crowds of people and blood. I can't even imagine how hard that would be to see, emotional and scary for sure. Then later on, the questions turned towards family members cheering near me "has so & so come in yet?"-- everyone was worried it was a friend or loved one. 

After I was done at my volunteer post I walked around talking to my friends who had finished, and spent some time helping at the volunteer tent. I had heard bits and pieces more about the accident, but nothing definitive. Everyone was on edge, it was like being in high school all over again- rumors were flying, the bad news was that it was actually as bad as everyone was saying.

 I actually left to go get some "me time" as my nerves were building for the race the next day. I went back to John's parents on the lake and practiced mounts/dismounts by myself before heading to packet pickup and the pre-race meeting. 
I got all my gear ready for the next day 
Saturday night was spent at the house with all of our friends. Carb-rich dinner, some wine and good company; perfect way to unwind the night before the race. They have been doing this for Musselman weekend for a few years now, and I was happy I was able to join in the tradition. I also spent a little time on the hammock outside, trying to unwind and mentally prepare for 70.3 miles.

We did find out more information regarding the accident as the night went on. The man, who was a Rochester native was pronounced dead after being transported to a local hospital. An SUV had ran out of gas and was parked as far over on the shoulder as possible, the cyclist had collided into the back window. This is the first fatality in the 10 year history of the race. Sadly, we can't look and analyze exactly what happened, we will never really know-- and at this point it doesn't change anything. The victim, his family and friends are definitely in my thoughts and prayers.
Brief Article here

It was hard not to think about it, it was also hard not to let my parents find out about it.  I had sent them an email with links to maps, race website and my time estimates for them as they were going to be there Sunday. The last thing I needed was my mom to find out someone died on a 16 mile bike course when I was going to be on a 56 mile course the following day. I didn't want her freaking out the entire 3 and a half hours I was going to be on the bike. Did it scare me? you bet; but I have that fear every time I ride, accidents happen and the best we can do is just be aware and ride as smart and safely as possible.

Sunday was race day for me (recap to come this week), overall it was a great day. I survived my first 70.3! I had fabulous support crew of family and friends, and the race staff/volunteers were just as amazing. I can't say enough good things about Mussleman races- Jeff Henderson and his crew(including my friend Amy who is the volunteer coordinator) do an amazing job. From the different race options, mass volunteers, amazing swag and sponsors, pre-race meetings that are fun & informative, "green" race characteristics, all of it makes for a memorable weekend. Congrats to them for 10 years and cheers to many more! I already have next years race on the calendar...more volunteering and more racing!
Me and my #1 fan and team mate after finishing yesterday! :)

What did you do this weekend?

Cyclists- what are your riding fears?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Musselman Weekend!

So, this weekend is kind of a big deal. I'm doing my first half-iron distance triathlon. Holy moly it feels a lot more real when I say it's this weekend, as in 2 days from now. Eek. Pardon me while I go throw a taper tantrum.

Okay, I'm back. As I was saying, Musselman 70.3 is this Sunday, and I am everything I should be right now: Excited, nervous, and everything in between.

I will be leaving this afternoon for Seneca Lake, it's super nice that J's parents live over there so it feels more like home than having to crash at some rando-place. It will be a weekend with friends, family and fabulous motivation.

I don't know if I mentioned this before, but I am volunteering at the Sprint Tri (Mini-Mussel) on Saturday. John and I will be at the mount/dismount line cheering people one, and yelling at them to get on/off bikes in time. I'm excited to cheer and be there, give me good inspiration for Sunday's race!

As for Sunday: I start the swim at 7:07 AM (3rd wave, yellow caps). With any luck I'll be out of the water and on the bike by... noon. Haha. Okay, maybe I am exaggerating a bit. I do know I have the disadvantage from the start with my swim being super weak, but once I get on the bike I'll feel more comfortable. My plan for the bike is to just go steady, I don't plan on breaking speed barriers- no need in wasting the extra energy. As for the run, It's going to be interesting for sure. The half-marathon course is hilly, and at the time I will be getting on the run it will be heading into the hottest part of the day (fun, ay?). Plan is to shove as many wet sponges wherever I can fit them, and hydrate hydrate hydrate at each water stop.

Pre-Race thoughts:
It's a different feeling to me heading into this thing. Hollie asked me if I was more nervous than before the marathons I have done. I wouldn't say more nervous just different nervous. My nerves before marathons or other running races are nerves about "how fast can I go" "how far can I push myself today", that isn't the case with this race. I cannot put"swim" and "fast" in the same sentence with myself. As for the bike, I don't have that comfort level to really push myself on there like I do with running so I tend to air on the side of caution and that slows me down. That half marathon, well I know it won't be my fastest but it might not be my slowest. I know what I would like to run it in, but let's be honest: after swimming 1.2 miles and biking 56, my legs are most likely not going to do what I want them to while asking them to run 13.1. I'm heading into this race with little expectation and that's a good thing. I'm gonna start out way behind on the swim, I'll catch up some on the bike and I'm lucky enough to have my strongest event last....and hopefully be picking off people on the run.

I feel comfortable knowing I will be decked out in solid supportive and comfortable +Saucony gear. Yes the A5's I said I wasn't going to run in, they made the bag....we will see what happens. Either way I'll have Saucony on my feet....and my head...and body...and #findyourstrong on my mind.

The "can't leave home without" bag. Everything I need for race day is in one bag :) nerd alert.

Do you have a special way of packing for races?

Any last minute advice for my 70.3 rookie self?

What are your plans for this weekend, who is racing???

 I also need to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my fast & fabulous best friend HollieThis lady has been serious support and well, she just plain old rocks. Y'all should do yourselves a favor and wish her a happy day. NOW. I'm sad I can't run with her today, or even be there to sing obnoxiously to her....but I know she understands that I would if I could!
She's my partner in crime....shenanagins at their finest!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

I'm cheating on my Kinvara's with the A5's

After my long frustrating day yesterday, I needed something good- 
I needed to run and sweat....and break in my new shoes.

I have a confession. I'm cheating on my true love.
I bought a pair of shoes OTHER than another pair of +Saucony Kinvara's.
I know, I know...I'm just as shocked.

I'd like to introduce you to my lover: 

I've said it a million times, I am addicted to my Saucony Kinvara's and always will be
but it was time to give myself something lighter for races. 
My Kinvara 4's are 6.7 oz where as my A5's weigh in at just 5.2 oz.
I'm really excited to get used to these neutral racing shoes.
I have been running in Kinvara's for a few years now so I am used to lightweight shoes, I had flats too for short races (Nike) but didn't love them. The A5's are just what I was looking for, lightweight and versatile being rated for short races all the way through to marathons.
- I have a feeling these are going to be a crucial part of my Sub-3:20 marathon plan at Wineglass this fall!

My Kinvara's are not going away, in fact pair 8 will be required within a few weeks I assume. When I got my 7th pair of Kinvara's I did a "Lucky 7's workout" 
[7 miles, in my 7th pair of Kinvaras at 7:07 pace].

Last night I wanted to break in my new shoes, but wasn't sure what to do for a workout. So I did 8 miles at 8 PM.  Took it nice and easy for the first 6, just getting a feel for the flats. It was different running in these than my normal shoes; not bad, just different. Slowly I could feel my feet adjusting to the support, and to lighter weight and my last 2 miles I decided to crank it up a little. 
Last 2 miles were below 7 minute pace. It felt good to have a little speed in me, 
I hadn't done speed since Airport 5k (19:17) a few weeks ago.

Definitely came home from my run MUCH happier than when I left, I love that running does that!

Originally my plan was to have these broken in and ready to wear for the half-marathon portion of this weekends half-ironman distance triathlon. They took a little longer than planned to come in, and I don't think I will feel ready for them Sunday. The thing is though, Sunday is not going to be my fastest half-marathon: after all I AM swimming 1.2 miles and biking 56 miles before it. So I would rather go with a shoe I am 100% comfortable with and know is broken in enough. So my Kinvara 4's will be making the trip with me :)  [Don't worry I will make sure they are properly secured just like that time Saucony shared my photo....] Next time around my A5's will be in tow though, a few more runs to get them ready and I'll be golden!

 There was that time I did a Gear Inventory and showed you my obsession with Kinvara's, I'll have to take a new "family photo" with my current shoe rotation (right now, a pair of Kinvara 3, Kinvara 4, and now my new A5 Flats). 

What are you addicted to?

When was your last therapeutic run?

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