Friday, July 29, 2011

Great Big Bloggy Post Exchange

You guys!  I am so excited about the Great Big Bloggy Post Exchange!  I’ve met a bunch of great new (to me) bloggers, and now I get to introduce them to you!  Here is the list of Post Exchange bloggers, with links to their sites (bloggy peeps, if I got your info wrong or somehow missed listing you, shoot me an email:  PahlaB2@gmail.com):

JenWa098 has a whole bunch of animals and wicked funny sense of humor @ Will Run for Cupcakes

Morgan has a fun family blog with lots of great photos @ Hartastic

The Jesse is an amazing photographer, foodie and runner @ Journey Thru Life Blog

Jennifer is a smokin’ fast runner with a great group of girlfriends @ Running with the Girls

Candice is the original Runnerd (trust me, that’s a compliment!) @ I Have Run

Marisa is a busy running mom with a BeCool giveaway going on right now @ The Pace of my Life

Holly trains hard and has a real aversion to treadmills (a girl after my own heart) @ I’d Rather Run Outside

Carrie is a runner and the mom of a couple of cutie-pies @ Maine Mom on the Run

Sophia is a badass triathlete and marathoner @ Tales of an Ambitious Slacker

Sarah knows why meat is light and dark and other cool science-y stuff @ Running on Words

Michelle is a newer runner/blogger who isn’t afraid to dream big @ Runn Princess Runn

MCM Mama does it all -  running, blogging, coaching, and drinking beer @ MCM Mama

Laura is a runner with a real zest for living and setting goals @ Laura’s Boise-full Life

Deanne is a doing her very first triathlon on Sunday (go wish her good luck!!) @ I am Not a Runner

It’s not too late to get in on the fun!  If you’d like to be part of the GBBPX, just send me an email with your name, your blog’s name and your email address.  Guest posts will be floating around bloggy world next week!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Okay, About All Those Jobs…

Before I get back to the real questions and answers, I have some answers from questions asked on my Question and Answers post!  Ha, ha - this sort of thing could backlog me forever!

Here are all of the jobs I’ve held (or at least the ones I can remember) over the years in more or less chronological order:

High School, College and Beyond 019

   1. and 2.  Baskin-Robbins – I worked at two different locations, several months apart.  I seem to recall that the official policy was one scoop of free ice cream per shift, but I ignored that.  I’m the girl on the right.  At left is my high school BFF.

   3.  McDonald’s – I lasted all of six weeks.  This was in the 80s, but the uniforms were straight out of 1979, with big ol’ bell bottom polyester pants.  I pegged them with safety pins, of course.

    4.  Captain Video – We got to rent two movies a day for free, so I’ve pretty much seen every single movie in the world that came out in 1987 and 1988.  My boss ended up being my mom’s neighbor years later, which was sort of awkward.

   5. and 6.  Various college grant jobs – my memories are pretty vague around 1988, but I think I worked in a bookstore and maybe the Student Services office.  Something like that.  I remember learning how to use a copy machine that would collate and staple things, which was pretty freakin’ amazing.  And there were these new-fangled things called computers

High School, College and Beyond 030   7., 8., 9. and 10.  Restaurant jobs – I was a hostess and/or a waitress for quite a few years at four different restaurants.  Pic on the left was my favorite job at Lyon’s, a chain which barely exists anymore.  I’m on the far right.  And yes, the girl I’m standing next to is holding a cigarette.  The prep cooks used to smoke while cutting up the salad!  The world was a different place in 1992.

   11., 12., 13., 14. and 15.  Things I Did Very Briefly – I did temp work for about a year, but I’m only counting that as one job.  If I counted them all, my total would be in the 40s or 50s, I think.  I worked in a lingerie store while it was liquidating (six weeks if I remember correctly and heaven knows I probably don’t!)  I think I lasted an entire week at a telemarketing job, but it might have only been one day that just felt like a week. I sold spas for a few weeks at my friend’s store.  No, that’s not accurate, since I don’t think I sold a single one.  I worked in a store that sold spas.  I also worked for a consulting company who was helping to open a bank.  For the life of me, I can’t remember what I did there, but I’m sure it involved filing.  *yawn*

Picture 105   16.  Event Coordinator at Lakewold Gardens – This was my first job out of college.  The pay was low and it was barely part-time.  Hmmm, sounds a lot like my jobs before college!

   17.  Admin/Placement Coordinator – I turned the tables on all that temp work by working for a temp agency.  I quit when I started having babies.

   18.  On-call After Hours Coordinator for a home health agency – Like it wasn’t tough enough getting up in the middle of the night with a baby, I got paid to wake up in the middle of the night to handle staffing problems with home health nurses.

   19.  Tupperware – Yep, I was a Tupperware lady.  BTW, have you noticed that all of these photographs involve me (or Big Boy!) wearing an apron?  And that I always appear on the right side of the photo?  But wait, there’s more…

Summer 2009 005   20.  Co-owner/Preschool Teacher – I worked with my mom and sister at our own preschool.  Little Boy was in our first graduating class.  And, yes, I wore an apron!

   21.  Fitness Trainer – My current job, which is part-time and low-paying.  Plus ca change, plus c’est le meme chose.  But!  I don’t wear an apron.  I also don’t have any photographic evidence of this job, you’ll just have to take my word for it.

Oh, yeah, I’ve also had one other job…

 

High School, College and Beyond 01722.  Mom – The best (most frustrating, hardest, most rewarding, and lowest paying) job in the world!! 

Coming soon:  more answers to your questions and – oh, what the heck – I might even talk about training!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Naked

I did something sorta crazy this morning.  I ran naked.

Running Naked 001Naked feet.

Running Naked 003Naked wrist.

Running Naked 004Can’t really tell in this pic, but the rest of me WAS clothed – I promise!

How far did I go? I dunno.  How fast? I don’t care.  I was a little afraid of causing a car accident the way people were gawking at me, and I didn’t know what to do with myself at red lights (I usually look at my Garmin to check how I’m doing), but other than that it was a glorious run.  I felt free.

Am I going to run naked all the time?  No, probably not.  But it’s nice to know I have options.

I’m off to stalk IMLP now.  I’ll finish answering questions in just a bit!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

You Asked, I Answered! Part One

Alrighty, the day you’ve been waiting for is finally here!  Woo hoo!  You guys asked me some fun and interesting questions, though I have to say most of them were softballs.  I guess I’ll just have to reveal the nitty-gritty stuff on my own.  Ha, ha!

Tortuga_Runner asked:

Have you read Chris K’s responses?  H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S! 

Huh, okay, nothing like setting my bar too high right from the get-go…of course I read Chris K’s responses (I’ve read pretty much everyone’s responses, except for the ones posted today that I still have in my reader).  I will not be that funny.

What deodorant/antiperspirant do you use? 

I don’t.  I’ve tried dozens and don’t like any of them – they all clump and show up white, even the ones that are supposedly clear and non-clumpy, so mostly I just go stinky.  In a real pinch, I use IronHubs’.

Ice cream, gelato or fro-yo? 

Ice cream all the way, baby!

Book, book on tape or magazine? 

I’ve never listened to a book on tape, so this probably isn’t a fair question, but I’ll go with book.  I read a few magazines, too.

Star Wars or Star Trek (Hint:  there are only 2 right answers, Star Wars or both)? 

Well, thankfully, I was going to answer this question correctly, even without the hint!  Thanks to a trio of Star Wars geeks fans in the house, I have most of all six movies memorized and ready for handy quoting.  These aren’t the droids you’re looking for. 

Star Trek the original TV show was played as reruns from 4 – 5 pm every weekday when I was in high school, so I have most of them memorized, too.  I’ve seen the movies, but was mostly unimpressed, except for the recent one.  Chris Pine is yum-tastic.

Char asked:

What’s your most embarrassing training/racing moment?

Yeah, that would be the three count-‘em THREE marathons where I walked from Mile 14 – the finish while puking on the side of the road.  You can read about one of them here.

milesforbreakfast asked:

Who is your biggest inspiration?

At the risk of getting all cheesy on you, I’m gonna go with you guys!  Seriously, reading other people’s blogs inspires me every day.  You are all dreaming big and accomplishing amazing things!

Christi asked:

What is your degree in?

Ha!  Criminology.  A field I have never worked in, which is really saying something for a girl who has held a whopping 20 jobs in the last 25 years.

Brad Pitt or George Clooney?

Is it okay if I say both?

Teamarcia asked:

Do you have a marathon on your schedule?

Absolutely!  I’m doing the CIM again this year, and I can’t wait!  I’m going to go with a different training plan this year, which I’m really looking forward to.  More on that in a few weeks, when I’m done with my next duathlon and can start thinking about marathon training.

Kara asked:

Have you ever seen “The Descent?”

No, but I just imdb’d it and that would be a big, fat NO, I will not be watching that movie.  Ever.

Team Edward or Jacob?

Team Edward, no question.

Favorite President of all time?

Ummmm, I’ll be honest, I’m pretty much apolitical, but Slick Willy had some undeniable charisma.

ajh asked:

What was she reading (in response to the story about a woman who was out for a walk and reading a book at the same time)?

I have no idea, but it looked like a regular paperback book.  Must’ve been a good one!

McDreamy or McSteamy?

Sadly, on this one I have to go with “neither.”  I don’t watch that show and I don’t find either one of them particularly appealing.  I hope we can still be friends!

Book or Kindle?

I’m old-fashioned, it’s gotta be a book.  Preferably a library book!

Favorite three books?

This is the hardest question on the whole list, for sure!  In general, my favorite book is whatever I’m reading right now.  I’ve read so many great books, I’m hard-pressed to name any of them as my favorites, but here’s a Top Five list:

  1. The Harry Potter series - yes, I’m a Potter-nerd!  I’ve re-read this series more times than I can count.
  2. The Percy Jackson and the Olympians series - Well-written, funny, fast-paced, and imaginative.  If you haven’t read them, you should.  In fact, let’s go ahead and include Rick Riordin’s other series’ as well:  The Kane Chronicles and The Heroes of Olympus.
  3. The Hunger Games trilogy – I just finished these and I can’t get them out of my head.
  4. The Red Tent – yes, occasionally I read “grown-up” books, too.  But not very often.
  5. Where the Red Fern Grows – A sentimental favorite, I have read this book at least 20 times, maybe more.

runningonwords asked:

What made you decide to become a blogger?

I have a terrific circle of friends who don’t run and I had SO much to say about running that I had to get it out in words somehow.  Imagine my surprise when I discovered hundreds of other like-minded souls on the interwebs.  Oh, happy day!

Favorite TV show?

I don’t watch much TV for myself.  It’s on a lot, but it’s generally tuned to my kids’ shows.  Would you laugh at me if I said my favorite show was The Regular Show?  That’s some pretty funny stuff.

Coming soon…Part Two!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Word-full Wednesday

I love the idea of Wordless Wednesday, but let’s face facts:  I’m not really a “wordless” kind of girl!  Anyway, this is the picture I would have used had it been merely a wordless Wednesday:

1st day of 6th grade 003

Yes, that’s right - Little Boy started SIXTH GRADE on Monday (we have a year-round calendar here, obviously).  To make matters worse, he turns 11 on Friday.  This week always packs a little emotional punch for me – too much growing up!  If there was a way to flash-freeze the boys right now to stay this age, I totally would; ten and twelve might be as perfect as it gets.  I am almost entirely unprepared for a year that will bring not one but two graduations – Little Boy’s from 6th grade and Big Boy’s from 8th grade.

*sigh*

I know you don’t come here to read a mom-blog, but I actually am feeling sort of wordless about my training right now.  Training and I are hitting a little rough patch in our relationship.  I’m still getting out there and getting it done, but…  meh.

Good thing I have questions to answer.  Still haven’t asked me one yet?  Do it now, I’ll be answering them tomorrow!  Oh, and while you’re digging back through last week’s posts, visit the one where you sign up for the Great Big Bloggy Post Exchange!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Fun Stuff

Yay!!  I’ve been tagged by Julie – one of my favorite OBC girls – to play the Q & A game!  So, ask me anything.  Perhaps you’re curious why it took me nine years and four colleges to get a degree I don’t use, or maybe you’d like to know how many tattoos I have.  You might wonder if the toilet paper goes over or under in my house, or if I’ve ever farted in front of my husband.  Nothing is too personal or too irreverent *cough* Kara *cough*.

Q&A

I will also answer some questions you didn’t even think to ask about what I’ve done with my weekend, mostly because I want to show you that I’m not always sweaty and lacking lipstick.  Last night, I went to a Going Away party for a friend, where I got to put on a pretty dress and drink beer:

Why am I looking the wrong way?  Pssh, that’s the story of my life!

Today, IronHubs and I took the boys spelunking.  Yep, I totally just used my otherwise useless college education in that sentence.  There’s a big ol’ cave (you descend to a depth of sixteen stories!) less than two hours from us and I hadn’t been there since my sixth grade field trip.  Now I can’t figure out why we haven’t gone before - it was awesome, amazing, and so much fun!!

Mercer Cavern Trip 021You can see the steep pitch of the stairs in this photo.  You couldn’t be afraid of heights, depths, or small spaces on this tour – yikes!

This afternoon I made homemade plum jam.  I would not have done this if our neighbor hadn’t come over with a Walmart bag FULL of ripe plums, because frankly, homemade jam isn’t part of my usual repertoire (dang, I’m just full of two dollar words today, aren’t I?)  In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever made jam before, but I used to spend my summers canning peaches with my grandma and this wasn’t altogether different.  I used the recipe I found on this website and it went about as well as can be expected for my first jam-making experience.

Jam 001I have no clue if it’s going to actually be edible, but the jars look pretty.

Don’t worry, I did sweaty stuff this weekend, too, but I didn’t take any pictures.  The boys and I went for a bike ride yesterday morning and today I took my dog out for a little 4-mile run.  Along the way, we came up behind a woman who was out for a walk and when we were just a little behind her I said, “Good morning!”  The poor woman let out a yelp and jumped off the sidewalk!  Jeez Louise, she couldn’t hear me breathing or my dog’s jingling collar?  Nope.  She was reading. a. book.  For those of you keeping score at home, this makes two book readers in about the same number of weeks.  WTH?

I hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend, too!

 

Ask me a question in the comments – ask me, ask me, ask me!!!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Photo Friday

When I got up for my 20 mile ride/1 mile run brick this morning, I really wasn’t feeling it.  So rather than fret about my speed or stamina, I gave myself a fun bloggy reason to stop and smell the roses…errrr, take some photos!  Here’s what my workout looked like today:

Friday Fotos 002Pretty cheerful considering it’s not even 6 am.

Friday Fotos 006That’s the moon setting in the distance.  In real life it was so huge I felt like I could reach out and touch it!

Friday Fotos 007Shadow pictures crack me up, with my huge shoes and wheels and teeny, tiny pinhead.

Friday Fotos 008Wild Turkey Mama and her baby drumsticks!  This is actually the same field that is pictured above, just from a different street.  My route this morning was a 5-mile loop that I circled four times.  Yes, it’s boring, but it’s close to home and has mostly right turns, so I don’t get stopped very much.  Unless I’m taking pictures of turkeys.

Friday Fotos 009All done with my ride, time to get running!

Friday Fotos 010The beautiful paved nature trail that is right across the street from my house – I am such a lucky girl!!

Friday Fotos 011Turnaround point.  I was soooo glad to be on my way home, I swear this was one of the longest miles I’ve ever run.

Friday Fotos 012Yay!  Done!

Garmin ScreenshotIt wasn’t especially fast, but I got ‘er done.  Note the 6-minute transition time, lol!

 

The Great Big Bloggy Post Exchange update:  I’m so excited with the turnout so far for my Bloggy Post Exchange!!  Some of my favorite bloggers have joined the fun – how about you?????

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Great Big Bloggy Post Exchange

I’m hosting a Great Big Bloggy Post Exchange and you’re all invited!

When:  August 1 - 5, 2011

Where:  My Blog, Your Blog, Everyone’s Blog!

Why:  Because I love to read blogs that are new to me, and I know you do, too.

Who Can Join the Party:  All bloggers are welcome!  (Don’t have a blog yet?  Start one now – this is a perfect opportunity to find readers!)

Post-Exchange-Logo

Here’s how we’re going to get this party started:

  • The Great Big Bloggy Post Exchange is a fun way to meet new-to-you bloggers as guest bloggers on your favorite blogs (that was a whole lotta “blogs” for just one sentence!)
  • When you join TGBBPX, you’ll write a guest post for another blogger and another blogger will write one for you.
  • I’ll post a master list of all the bloggers participating; feel free to visit them all and check out what they have to say!
  • If you’d like to participate in The Great Big Bloggy Post Exchange, send me an email (PahlaB2@gmail.com) by Friday, July 29, 2011 with the following information:  the name of your blog, a link to your blog, the name you go by on your blog, and your email address.
  • The weekend of July 30th, I will email you with the name, email address and blog name of the person you are guest posting for – you will send them your guest post directly, including any links or photos you want in the post.
  • Don’t know what to write for a guest post?  Use your imagination – tell a funny story, write a product review, or if all else fails, recycle one of your first posts.  If you’re like me, nobody actually read it the first time around!  Smile

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

TRI for KIDS #2 Spectator Report

Yes, it was another big weekend in the P household – after my race on Saturday, I got to get up early on Sunday and do it all again (though thankfully as a spectator)!  Big Boy and Little Boy both raced the TRI for KIDS #2 and both of them turned in huge PR performances!

TRI for KIDS #2 060Super proud Mama moment!

Of course I made a movie:

Big Boy and Little Boy tearing up the racecourse at the TRI for KIDS #2!

I absolutely love watching all the kids competing and working hard to do their best.  I got to see two of my former preschool students kicking booty and earning podium spots, which was thrilling!  (They are sisters, so it wasn’t too crazy of a coincidence to see two former students at one event.)  I think my favorite, though, was this little cutie-pie:

TRI girl

She’s just FOUR years old and she covered the same distance as all the other kids in the under-10 division:  50 yard swim, 4 mile bike (which she did with training wheels!!) and 1 mile run!  The whole time she was out on the course she had the biggest, happiest smile on her face.  When I grow up, I want to be as awesome as her!!

And in other race weekend randomness, the photos from my race have been posted and I was miscategorized for both the bike and the run as a man.  Okay, I know I don’t have an overabundance of boobage, but ouch!  Apparently I will be wearing my bumblebee outfit again for race number three.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

DU for FUN #2! Race Report!

Yes, even the title has exclamation points today – my day was THAT!  GOOD!  But that’s all the spoiler you’re going to get…here’s the report:

PRE-RACE

I slept about as well as I ever do before a race where I have big expectations, which is to say, barely at all.  I had set my alarm for 5 am, but I was up at 4.  No matter, I had plenty of nerves and adrenaline going for me, so I didn’t feel tired.  I had some coffee, read some blogs, hit up the bathroom 37 times and got my Gatorade and bike ready.  I had frozen a bottle of Gatorade for the bike leg – this would turn out somewhat poorly for me, I’ll have to rethink this strategy before my next race. 

IronHubs and I had decided a few days ago that because of his crazy work schedule this month and the boys both racing tomorrow that the three of them would stay home while I raced.  On the one hand, I was a little sad not to have my cheering squad there for me, but on the other hand, with them still asleep when I left the house, my morning was pretty smooth.  My wonderful mom came along as Chief Sherpa and Official Photographer and she was excellent company!

DU for FUN 005Let’s DU this thing!!

The drive was uneventful, but the venue was packed!  They said it was a record crowd today, which was pretty cool.  I like it when the race course is full enough to be exciting, but open enough to speed on through.  Plus there were a ton of spectators.

Since I was wearing my team jersey today, I got to use the team’s reserved rack and scored a sweet rack spot just off of the bike dismount, right near the run start – w00t!  I got body-marked, set up my transition, visited the port-a-pots 37 times and then I was ready to rock and roll!

DU for FUN 007I totally loved my race number, btw!  I have silly little superstitions about them and double numbers make me happy.

RUN LEG #1 – 3 miles

When I went to line up at the start, I noticed that the field was just about the same size as last month, maybe 40 – 50 people.  I recognized quite a few people from last month’s race and chatted with a really nice girl who recognized me from last month.  The funny thing is that nobody wanted to come all the way up to the starting line.  I’m not sure why everybody was hanging back, but I wasn’t shy, so I ended up being the very first person out of the gate!

My strategy for this race was to go all out and give it everything I had to give for as long as I had it to give.  Don’t be afraid!  I let my legs fly and didn’t worry about the consequences.  I’m pretty sure this worked in my favor…I’ll get to this topic more in a little bit.

I felt fantastic on this run!  Of course I got passed – the fast people were all behind me and they swarmed over me in the first quarter mile.  I was unconcerned about them and focused on running hard.  I got passed by one girl and then another, but no more.  Heck yeah, I was happy to be third female – I’ve never been that high in the ranking before!

The three miles passed in a speedy blur.  I powered up the hills, I flew down the hills, I honestly barely even noticed the hills.  I was intent on running my hardest and giving my best.  Mission accomplished!

DU for FUN 008 Finishing Run #1 with a big ol’ smile!

3 miles – 22:38, T1 - 1:52 (didn’t quite meet my goal of shaving time in both transitions, even though I totally thought I was hustling here)

BIKE LEG – 16 miles

I love the bike leg so much I want to marry it!  Today was my sixth race on this course and definitely my best showing to date.  As soon as I got on Mr. Bike I felt awesome!  It helps of course that the first 2.5 miles are pretty much all downhill – I hit a max speed of 27 mph in Mile 3! – so I was able to get in the big ring and aero position right away and just opened up a can of whoop-ass on that course.

I passed the girl who was second place female in the first few miles.  Holy crap – me?  Second Female??  This is better than a dream!  I got passed (by guys) a few times, too, but I didn’t let it bother me.  I was way up near the front of the mid-pack, which is very unusual for me, so I was just enjoying everything about my ride.  This is an out-and-back course and I frequently either don’t see the lead cyclist at all (because he got to T2 before I got out of the water) or see him within the first mile or two.  Today I didn’t see the lead cyclist coming toward me until I was at Mile 6!  Boo-ya!

Something that I did differently today was wear my Garmin on my wrist the whole race rather than transfer it to the bike mount.  I looked at it once or twice during the first run leg, but it was basically inaccessible to me during the bike leg.  This worked out well for me – I got the mental benefit of racing “naked,” but still got to savor all the data crunching when I got home.  I rode totally by feel, and man, did I feel good!  I felt like I was cruising up even the toughest hills and I completely hammered the downhills.  I didn’t worry that I would bonk on the final run – in fact, I really didn’t even think about the final run until the last mile or so of the bike leg.

The toughest part of the course came at the turnaround, when I realized that the “out” portion had indeed been a tailwind.  UGH!  Coming back wasn’t a terrible headwind, more of a cross-headwind, but it started to wear me out.  The final 2.5 miles are a long, steady uphill.  It’s not steep, but it takes a toll.  I am much better at short, steep hills than those endless gradual inclines.  I kept it in an easy gear and just spun my way through.

The frozen Gatorade bottle didn’t work quite as well as I had hoped.  I knew it was going to be a warm day (60 degrees at the start and well over 70 degrees when I finished – not terrible, but definitely warmer than I prefer), so I was hoping the Gatorade would defrost and be a nice refreshing cold drink while I was riding.  Umm, not so much.  It was still frozen in the middle while I was riding, which made it really hard to drink.  I finished the bike leg way under on my planned hydration, and that definitely affected my final run.

16 miles – 51:05, T2 – 55 seconds (YAY!!  I’m super happy with this!)

RUN LEG #2 – 3 miles

Maybe you already know that I don’t do well in the heat.  This morning wasn’t exactly sweltering, but it got to be too much for me.  I could feel it as soon as I started to run – my heartrate wouldn’t come down and my stomach said, “No thank you.”  I took my Gatorade bottle along with me, hoping to make up some of the drinking I had missed on the bike, but it did that weird thing where it went from being frozen to suddenly being warm.  Yuck!

Thankfully, the run didn’t end up being a total death march, but it sure wasn’t the speedfest I’d had on the first leg.  There was a LOT of “C’mon P, you can do this!” self-talk going on in my head.  I wanted to PR so badly I could taste it, and I wasn’t going down without a fight!  I promised myself that I could run slow if I would just keep running.  I walked through the aid station and poured a cup of water on myself to cool down.  I picked off a couple of people who were running slower than I was.  At Mile 1, I started chanting, “Almost done, almost done…” even though it was a lie.

At the turnaround, the girl I had passed on the bike caught back up to me.  Boo.  She was super nice and complimented my bike split, but being passed took a little wind out of my sails.  I struggled to keep up with her, but I didn’t have it in me to take back second place.

When I got to Mile 2 and I really was “almost done,” I knew I could push through.  I tried to do the mental math on my finish time, but I had absolutely no idea where my total time stood.  I knew the first run had gone exceptionally well.  I knew the bike had gone well, but I didn’t know my split.  I knew the final run was sucking nuts, but I wasn’t sure how much time I was losing.  I estimated that I was going to come in at 1:46:00 or 1:47:00, 3 or 4 minutes better than my previous best, and I was thrilled!!  A new PR was waiting right around that corner if I could just keep my feet moving!

I sprinted (but not really) down the finisher’s chute and COULD NOT find the clock!  What was my time?  What was my time?  I heard the announcer call out my name and I cruised under the inflatable arch and  - finally, there it was! – saw that I was way off on my estimation. 

DU for FUN 012

I had set a new PR by SEVEN MINUTES!!!

 1:43:14!

3 miles – 26:47

POST-RACE

My mom and I stuck around for the awards ceremony.  I know I have had a really amazing racing season this year (four races, four PRs, four AG awards – 3 of them AG wins), but I promise you that I am still giddy and disbelieving when they call my name for a podium spot!  I will never be blasé about this!!

DU for FUN 015Before you start snickering about my “big win,” let me say that they called a third place name, she just wasn’t there to pick up her award!  There might have been even more than three of us in the AG, official results aren’t posted yet.

I am ridiculously happy with the way today’s race went – this was a “stars aligned and angels sang” sort of day.  I felt fantastic for almost all of it, and even the tough parts never made me feel defeated or unhappy.  I don’t think the final run was slow because I bonked, I think it was slow because I was hot.  So, in order to improve my time at next month’s race, I’ll be doing some heat acclimation in the next few weeks.

I hope you are having an amazing weekend, too!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Five (Goals) Friday

Hooray, tomorrow is race day – the DU for FUN #2!!  I’m excited and nervous, but right this second leaning more toward excited (talk to me in thirty seconds when that changes again…) 

Duathlon Training Plan 001Workouts have been crossed off the training plan and I am ready to rumble.

You can see at the top of the schedule that my goal time is 1:40:00 – that’s pretty aggressive.  Way aggressive, actually, and probably not in the cards for tomorrow, though I do plan on getting a PR.  My five main goals for tomorrow are:

  1. Don’t drown.  Should be pretty easy in a duathlon, but I’ve got some mad skillz in or near water, so I always have this at the top of my list.
  2. Go hard.  At last month’s race, I ran conservatively and rode conservatively and still managed to kick booty.  Well, now that I know how that feels, I’m going to go a different route and not hold back.  Imagine the possibilities!
  3. Shave time in transitions.  I am a notorious slow-poke in transitions, but with all the brick-work I’ve been doing (the days blocked out in yellow on the training plan are all bricks), I’ve gotten in a lot more transition practice, too.  There won’t be any running bike mounts or flying dismounts just yet – as if! – but I think I can take off 30 seconds or more from T1 and T2.
  4. Shave time on the bike and both runs.  I was completely okay with my run speeds and bike speed for last month’s race, but I know in my heart that I have more.  My goal is to hit somewhere in the low- to mid-8s pace on both runs and 18+ mph on the bike.  No, that won’t get me down to a 1:40:00 total time, but I will be 100% satisfied with something near 1:45:00.  I have been crunching the numbers obsessively on this website, because isn’t that what you do the day before a race??
  5. Don’t be afraid.

The rest of my day today includes a little shopping, a trip to the library and drinking lots of water.  Oh, fun!  What exciting things do you have on tap for this weekend?

Happy Friday!!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Triple T’s

Happy Thursday!  Here are the Three Things on my mind today:

1.     Last night IronHubs and I were taking our dog for a walk when we saw this:

BEAVER 003

Yes, that’s a BEAVER.  Now, you might be thinking, “So what, it’s a beaver,” but I had never seen one in real life before!  And this one was so close to my house (less than half a block from my front door) that IronHubs ran home and got the camera before the beaver swam off.  I sure do love living next to a creek – I get to see all sorts of wildlife right here in the middle of a city.

2.     I’m starting to get nervous about Saturday’s duathlon.  *sigh*  I didn’t mean to start putting pressure on myself, but whoomp, there it is!  The good news about racing a series is that you get to do the same course three times and hopefully improve each time.  The bad news of course is that you (and by “you,” I mean “I”) start wondering just how much improvement can be made…maybe a little, maybe a lot.  I’m aiming for “a lot,” in case you were wondering.

3.     I keep taking unintentional days off, which isn’t helping my nervousness about the race!  I have to admit it out loud, I’m not swimming any more.  Ironic, no?  Now that the weather is beautiful and the pool has warmed up, I haven’t swum a lap in weeks.  So every time my training plan calls for a swim day, I can be found lounging about like a slug.  No, you’re right, that’s not entirely true.  Most of my training days are twofers anyway, so there is nothing sluggy about me.  There’s that nervousness talking again – I keep thinking maybe I haven’t done enough to hit my goals.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen near your house??

Monday, July 4, 2011

Long, Lazy Weekend

Ahhhhhh, there’s nothing in the world like a relaxing “3-out-of-4”-day weekend!  (I had Friday off, but worked Saturday, then had yesterday and today off – not a 4-day weekend, not even really a 3-day weekend, but at least I got 3 out of 4.)  IronHubs’ work schedule was similarly jacked, so we didn’t go away for any holiday fun, but instead have been lazing around the house, filling our time thusly:

TRAINING

Of course I‘m training.  Training takes no holidays.  Friday was a nice brick with excellent speeds and that “Mmmmm, mmmm, good!” feeling at the end (and I was particularly grateful for that because Thursday’s brick suuuuuuuuuuuucked).  Saturday I got up and out the door by 5 am for a 7-mile run before work, knocking out a quicker-than-I-thought-I-might pace.  Yesterday was a gorgeous but warm 38 mile bike ride, and today is going to be a swim if I can wrestle some pool time away from the kids.  This coming week is a mini-taper because I am racing the DU for FUN #2 on Saturday – I can’t wait!

WATCHING MOVIES

IronHubs and I decided it was time to introduce the kids to the classics, so this weekend we busted out Wargames and The Goonies.  Good times, my friends!  I was pleasantly surprised to see that both movies held up well for being almost – gasp! – thirty years old.  Oh, sure, we had to explain dial-up computer connections to the boys and the fashions were pretty nutty, but the stories were good and there weren’t any cringe-worthy special effects (have you watched Superman lately?  OMG, you can see the wires holding him up in the flying scenes).

EXPENSIVE INDOOR ACTIVITIES

It’s been at, near, or over 100 degrees the past few days and I am a complete heat weenie, so we took the boys laser-tagging on Friday afternoon.  Can you believe that I have made it through 41 years in this life without ever laser-tagging???  SO.  MUCH.  FUN!!!  It was me and a bunch of tweenage boys and, well, it’s safe to say that I got a “little” competitive.

SETTING THINGS ON FIRE

So far, Big Boy and Little Boy are still cautious around incendiary devices, but I’m sure that’ll change soon.  My childhood 4th of July memories mostly involve my older brother seeing just how long he could hold onto a firecracker before it blew and the time he and his friend “accidentally” threw fireworks onto the neighbor’s roof.  It turned out okay, we had a hose, but seriously, how did any of us survive the 70s??  Today, we’ll aggravate the neighbor’s dogs with our own expensive-but-unexciting (darn those California laws for keeping us safe!) display for a while before we go and watch our local fireworks show.

Have a Happy and safe 4th of July!!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Friday Five

This week’s edition:  Five Things Seen on my Brick This Morning.

1.  Three dead animals, one of which was a snake who was – there’s no nice way to say this – splattered all over the place.  Who knew snakes had so many guts?  Yuck.  (Sorry for starting off with this one, ajh.  There are no more snakes in this post, I promise!)

2.  A real wild turkey (not the kind that you can get on an airplane in a teeny, tiny bottle) and her brood of baby turkeylets.  She gobbled at me as I rode by and I gobbled back.  I always wonder what animals think when us crazy humans do stuff like that.  She was probably going, “That’s not how it’s pronounced, turkey!!”

3.  IronHubs!!  He was out for a run while I was riding.  You know how you see other runners and think stuff to yourself like, “Why is he wearing sweatpants when it’s 70 degrees out?” or “Stop looking at your feet!”?  Well, when I saw IronHubs running towards me – I wasn’t expecting to see him – the first thought that popped into my head was, “Oooooh, he’s good-looking.”  Ha, ha, ha, ha!!  Then I realized that I was married to him and chuckled about that for the next few miles.

4.  A guy who was walking, listening to his iPod and reading a book!  Now that is some serious multi-tasking.

5.  A courteous driver who stopped well in advance of me reaching the driveway where he was planning to turn.  Wow.  I see that so rarely it took me a little by surprise, then I smiled and waved and probably made such a big deal about it that he might have thought I was crazy.  Oh, well.