Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011- Athletic Year in Review- 10 Things

Two years ago, in Dec 2010, if someone had sat me down after just having hip surgery and said you would have a fantastic 2011 season I would have told them they were nuts! I had just had my hip surgery and was in the midst of training for my second half marathon- Hyannis 2011- running was slow. Miles on the bike were purely for recovery from a long run and swimming was a filler for days when I didn't feel like running or cycling. As you can see from my New Years Blog from last December there wasn't much written down for goals. I am not one for resolutions but I do like to use the New Year for trying out new things to see if they stick and generally like to use it to set new goals.

That being said and since I didn't set any outright last December I am really amazed at some of the things I did this year. My 10 things I learned blog and my 2011 season: how to learn from your season blog wrap up some of the accomplishments and lessons learned. But lets get some of it down here:

1. I DID IT! I managed to log over 2000 miles for 2011- actually finishing 2011 with 2003mi. Since I didn't ultimately plan this for the year I was psyched that it happen.
2. I DID IT! I finished an Half Ironman. Yes that is I trained for and finished the 70.3 miles! I can't wait to try again and see if I can get under 7 hours
3. I got a new bike! DAMN SHE IS SEXY! Can't wait to get her out on those roads when it gets warm. I also got an aero helmet for Christmas- Thanks D!
4. I did 2 Half Marathons this year! Not bad after having hip surgery in 2010.
5. I did my first Olympic Distance Triathlon. I learned a lot about racing at this race. I did 3 sprint triathlons. A mile swim! and LOTS of 5ks and 10ks!
6. I learned a ton about fueling and nutrition this year.
7. I am getting faster this off season! The time I am spending running hill repeats and doing plyo runs is really adding up to great new PRs!
8. I am hoping to get faster on the bike still! Time in the saddle this off season compared to last year will help!
9. I still struggle with finding my balance- training/everyday nutrition.
10. I just want to figure out why I can't seem to lose weight! PLEASE! anybody?!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

3 Straight Weeks of Racing- Not So Much...

This past sunday was supposed to be the 3rd straight weekend of racing- Hot Chocolate 15k , and Double 5k weekend with PR!. But last week I spent battling a monster cold and then to add insult to injury as my cold feels better I get a stomach bug on Saturday night. That meant to racing the Yulefest on Sunday. I spent all day in bed and D did a great job taking care of me. I am bummed to miss it though. Looks like everyone had fun!

I am wrapping up my holiday tasks. I wanna do a bit more baking stuff and I NEED to finish wrapping. Merry Christmas!!!

My training plan this week is light with enjoy the holidays. I am trying to get myself to the 2k mark by the end of 2011. I have 47 more miles to go. Need to get running and riding! I have a ride tonight and a long run planned this weekend and I've got next week- I think I'll make it.

What are your end of the year goals?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Off season? New PR :)

After coming home from a great vacation in DC- lets just forget aboutHot Chocolate 15k Race Recap the horribly executed 15k I ran down there. We signed up for a indoor bike time trail at the Trek store in Portsmouth. My coach runs it so I kinda had to go. I also went to pick up my new bike... SHE IS GORGEOUS but that is another post for another time.

So the indoor TT sires works like this- you get on your bike warm up and then the group goes all out for 20 min. Hard as you can to get the best power reading. Power meaning working the hardest for the 20min not going the longest distance or getting there fastest. It is an interesting concept. I actually was in my hardest gear with another 5 min to go and after we got off learned I could have changed the trainer to get higher power... oh well. Next time.

On Saturday I told J I would run a SANTA 5K with her. The whole premise being you sign up get a Santa suit and everyone runs the 5k in a Santa suit. Okay I'm down this is a total fun run. Who can run fast in a Santa suit?! I went with Santa hat, jacket, and stuck to my trusty team sparkle skirt. I am really enjoying wearing that. J and her friend Laura and I ran a fun race. We ran and sang Christmas Carols.

Sunday was the Winter Classic. The course is pretty flat. Last year I ran to pace a friend and this year I wanted to see what I had. I did a little warm up since coach wanted me to- usually I just toe to the line and go. It was FREEZING as it always is for this race so the warm up felt good. As I stood waiting for the start I had that I might be getting a cold feeling- which I was and now currently have!- and I thought I'm not sure how this is gonna go I did a 15k, a time trial, and a 5k yesterday. Its been quite a week. I set my watch for a 8:40 pace and hoped maybe I could hold on to PR but didn't have much expectation. Mile 1 was a 8:55, Mile 2 was a 9:02- my legs started to really feel all the racing. I decided might as well bear down and see what I can get out of this. I also started to pick off each person in a costume that was in front of me. Christmas Fairy- down, gift bag girl- down, santa suit girl- down. Mile 3 was a 8:48 pace. I didn't hit the 8:40 pace I was looking for originally but I did end up with a PR of 27:33. The pace was 8:53- this was my first sub 9 min pace 5k! The look of shock on D's face as I came close to the finish w 27 min up on the clock was great. I'll take a 30second PR especially after all I did all week!

The power of the team sparkle skirt wins again! So for the count that is 1 bling 5k with a course PR, a 10k PR, a new 15k PR (first ever 15k), a santa run, and a shiny new 5k PR! That purple skirt is makin for a ROCKIN WINTER season!

We had a fun Sunday D had a course PR by a min and half, almost had a PR and had a great run. My friend Danielle got a nice shiny new PR out of the race too. We all went and had a great brunch and stuffed ourselves to capacity.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Hot Chocolate 15k- Race Recap- Logistics/Course Nightmare

(pre race on the bus heading to the race)

To be honest I have been holding off on posting this race report because I didn't know how to write this. Lets start with this- I had hoped to finish around 93 minutes- that would be a 10min pace. Figured that would be pretty good for me. Finished in 1:34 so pretty close and I am happy with that given the race issues.

Lets get into that. We flew down Friday to do our packet pickup- took a very expensive cab ride (thanks D!) out to National Harbor. The jacket sizing was a mess and we finally got the right sizes then realized even though we had received a corral assignment they were not on our bibs and had to go back in and fix that. Spent Friday night with my Aunt and Uncle who graciously hosted us at their house. My Aunt spent the night trying to convince us that a run along the Patomic would be so much better than getting up at 4:45. (we should have listened!)

Since we signed up for a shuttle from Crystal City to get us to the Harbor start line we arranged for a 5:15 cab. The cab driver was a lovely gentleman, by which I mean I was subjected to an early morning death metal concert in his cab where he told me he would die if he tried to walk 15k. This is where the day started to go wrong!

We loaded a shuttle quickly and she headed us toward the harbor or so we thought... after getting lost 2 times and 2 u-turns and some very interesting driving we arrived at the "plateau". The start area. It was about 6am at this point. The race was supposed to start at 8. The wind was howling and there was really no where to stand to get warm. Warming tents would have been nice!

Since we got up early and I know myself with fueling I had planned to eat oatmeal w almond butter at 5. A protein shake at 6 and at 7 shoot a hammer gel before the start. I followed that plan.

We met up with some friends and all hung out talking about the mess that things seemed to be this morning having no clue how bad it was going to get. We heard announcements about traffic issues and heard the 5k start about 40 min late. No one told us what was going on with the 15k. With it becoming obvious we were not going to start at 8 somewhere around 8:15 they moved us to corrals.

We stood in corrals till 9! No updates- no planned start time. NO NOTHING! I knew my stomach was not going to cooperate with the new start time and I was down to the pack of chomps I had for during the race. I figured wait it out eat the chomps as you run. At 9 ish we started- the course was awful down and back for 3 miles with hairpin turns on one lane of an open parkway! Anyone else read that as- NOT SAFE?! At about mi 3 the lack of fuel kicked in. My brain went okay don't usually eat this early but today we are gonna... slowly eat the chomps so you a have enough and over the next 3-4 mi I ate the package. I grabbed gatorade and water at the aid stations that actually had it- yes some had no water or gatorade!

The hills on this course were awful. I had no idea the first 2 or so mi were downhill until I was looping back on it- going up! We all then realized when we came back down that we were going to have to go up a hill to the finish! OMG really?! finish on a hill? We then looped out to a part of the harbor- again HILLY- and then hit 2 off road sections, one was a loop and the other a 2 person wide path for close to a mile of the race. My hip doesn't deal well with running on unpaved paths- its similar to sand- the running is like me being on a balance ball and I have to work twice as hard to stabilize. Guess I should get back to some PT exercises to help this if it ever happens again.

At this point my hip is hurting and I know I have to go back up that hill. My heart rate sky rocketed but I just wanted to be done and I knew I was close to my goal time even with the logistics/course mess! When I came to the finish I couldn't even cross b/c there was a backlog of people. I found D and my friends and just shook my head they all burst out laughing because they felt the same way.

We headed to get our promised TONS of chocolate- we were only allowed one container with a little dipping chocolate and 5 things to dip. One coco. Not a SINGLE chocolate bar to be had! Every time we tried to stop to enjoy our fruits of our labor (running 15k) we were yelled at by volunteers to keep moving! Finally we had had enough. Our friends headed home and we tried to get in the shuttle line. The line was at least a couple hour wait. We decided forget it lets get on a metro bus. Unknown to us the metro suspended service to the area. Now it was 1pm we were cold tired and hungry. We got in a cab and headed back to the house. It ended up being a mess of a day.
(post race photo- notice the half hearted smile)

After taking a nap I quickly realized how outraged the other runners were, there was a facebook page created, and a post on the Washington Post just to name a few. People's blog recaps explain a lot of the issues. A email from the race director followed on Sunday filled with excuses and shed light into issues I didn't even know happen- like the lead cyclist of the 5k took them in the wrong direction resulting in a 3.3mi-5k. I will never again sign up for an event by RAM racing- and I don't suggest anyone else reading this does. As of 5 Dec 30 complaints have gone to the better business bureau against RAM for this race. Everyone is demanding a refund- there's even a petition on I'd like my 65 bucks back please- you did NOT provide the services you said you would!

(D and I while getting ready to find an alternative way home- shuttle FAIL!)

We did have a good vacation down in DC following the race- here's one of our touristy photos ;)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

New Challenge- No OFF season Just Winter Training

To quote my coach "Remember there's no OFF season, just winter training ;)" So I finished out the DVD challenge current weight 180.6 <- ended up down about 5lbs. Can't fight with that. I figure with today being Dec 1st- Its time for a new challenge. I was going to try another DVD or another something. But to be honest- I just don't really have an interest in that right now. So- new thoughts a twitter friend,, has a challenge #backtobasics for the month of December. I think my #backtobasics focus and challenge will be to make sure I am eating ENOUGH good foods!

I am going to continue my workouts as planned for the month. Soon I enter my "unstructured training" with my coach. I am going to have my runs I need to keep up since I have Hyannis Half Marathon in Feb to get training for but I will be having a bit more time for yoga and fun workouts. This is at least my hope- I have not done an "unstructured training" time yet with my coach so we will see what it brings :)

This weekend we head to DC for the I am excited for the jacket we get for our swag bags and of course for the chocolate at the finish! Coach and I still haven't talked pace plan for the race. But I am looking forward to this one a lot. Never done a 15k before- so automatic PR! Tons of friends are going to be there! And another race in my sparkly purple skirt from I will keep you posted on the weekend in DC should be a good time- Keep you posted on the #backtobasics plans :) Happy December Everyone!

New December Challenge:
1. #backtobasics - make sure I am eating ENOUGH good foods!
2. "unstructured training" plan- enjoy the time with unstructured workouts add in more bikram and just have fun with training.
3. Get my 2011 mileage to be 2000 total miles! I am at 1909 right now... I think it is do-able. Follow me on