Friday, April 27, 2012

New Gear & New Attitude...Keep Moving Forward With Where I Am

So far this has been an interesting season and the journey has really just started. There have been ups (a PR at St Malachi and 3rd place OA at Kirtland Hills 5K) and downs (early season tendonitis in my right foot, which is slightly bothering me again and an unexpectedly hot half marathon that I almost quit). Note "almost". I haven't quit a race yet and don't intend to start now! That being said, I want to take a moment to update everyone on some exciting stuff as the 2012 multi-sport season takes off for me:

The new ride AND wheels! My Kestrel Talon, New ISM Adamo Breakaway seat and new Grey 50mm Carbon Tubular Race Wheels and red Look pedals. Isn't she pretty?! 

The new FULL wetsuit! This is a Blueseventy Reaction. I also picked up some Blueseventy hydra-vision googles and swim cap and love them! (please excuse the bad quality of the photo and my post swim hair!)

Lots of new socks and arm sleeves from Swiftwick to make my feet/arms happy! Their stuff is outstanding!

Lots of new Pearl Izumi bike and run gear, which is super high-quality gear! I tried out my new Pro Aero Softshell jacket on Wednesday night's ride and LOVE it!

Also, I have a new in the box GIRO Aero helmet, which was a X-mas gift from the hubby. I have yet to try. Will break it out in a couple weeks for first multi-sport race this year!

Also, have lots and lots of awesome fuel from PowerBar. Gels, powder, energy bars, protein bars to keep me going on the very long workouts to come this season.

I am VERY much looking forward to starting off the multi-sport season and am just like a kid in a candy store right now with all this new, awesome gear. But while the gear is really great to have I know it will be a lot of hard work this season - especially getting through my first 140.6 at Rev3 Cedar Point! There will be ups and downs, wins and losses and I need to understand and accept that. In other words I will work on having more fun out there this season! At the end of the day I am truly blessed to just be part of an amazing sport (triathlon), a top notch team  (Team Rev3) and have so much support from sponsors, loved ones and friends! So on to the next one I go...with a smile on my face!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Run for Home Half aka Sufferfest Half

What can I say about the Dover Run for Home Half Marathon yesterday? It was a sufferfest. Definitely the most difficult half I've run in a long time due largely to unexpectedly high temperatures. The race start is at 1PM - a late start, which was not an issue when I ran it back in 2010 at a 1:45. This year it was 80 degrees at the start and 82 when we finished. I knew I was in trouble after I was sweating from my 9:00 paced warm up mile.

Although I feel that I did everything right to prepare for this race it just didn't matter. There was too much working against me. Aside from the weather conditions, I had pinned a Powerbar gel onto my shorts. I discovered at mile 2 that the gel had leaked all over my shorts, tank and iPod! I stopped to try to wipe off my hands as they were caked in gel but I had no way to really clean myself up until mile 3's water station. At mile 3 I stopped and threw water down my shirt/shorts, on my hands and moved along. At that point I was doing okay, averaging around 7:30 per mile despite the setbacks.

At mile 5 I felt overheated and whooped. I stopped for a drink and stood for a minute or two debating whether I should just quit the race and wait for my husband to finish. I even threw out my bib. I figured I had no shot at winning and would just do the race as a training run for the Cleveland Half Marathon coming up next month. So that is what I did. The back half of the race is also hilly. There are a few big ones in there for extra fun in the heat. Needless to say I stopped and walked some on some of the hills and water stops as many people were doing. There were never any gels being handed out on the course and the gatorade was watered down so I had no fuel to really help me either.

I wasn't even going to run through the finish since it wouldn't be timed but after working that hard just to finish yesterday I decided I earned my medal with my crappy time of just over 1:58. Or at least I felt it was crappy for me. I wanted to run 1:38. 20 minutes off was a fail for me. My husband was standing there waiting for me. He also did not do as well as he hoped as he was shooting for a 1:30 and did 1:41 - still a good time considering the heat.

I just looked up the results and although I am not listed my time would make me 6th in the 30-34 age group and 16th overall of 200 women. At least that makes me feel a little better today. But yesterday was rough. I felt like a failure and I cried. I called my coach and explained what happened. I went home and cried and ran another few miles fast just to make myself feel better (or to punish myself). And that was it. The end of a very difficult race. That one's in the books and at the end of the day at least I finished. I would have been much more disappointed in myself for quitting. I also feel I learned a few things yesterday about running and myself.

I would like to thank my Rev3 team members for your encouragement and support as well as my other friends and especially my husband who did his best to cheer me up yesterday!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Running & Racing For a Cause - You Can Make a Difference!

There are so many reason to run! It would literally take me hours to list them all! Some of the more obvious reasons are that it's good for your health (physical and mental), helps you look and feel better about yourself, gives your life meaning and direction in being involved in something bigger, etc. But the reason I would like to focus on in today's post is running for charity. Running makes a difference in the lives of so many people - not just the athletes themselves.

A large number of races exist for the sole purpose of raising funds for a worthy cause. For example, a couple weekends back when I raced the Kirtland Strides of March 5K, that race exists to help raise funds for Deepwood, an organization that helps individuals with mental and developmental disabilities. The half marathon that I am running next week in Dover raises funds for Habitat for Humanity.

Some race organizations themselves get involved with charity organizations. For example, Rev3 Triathlon is a supporter of The Ulman Cancer Fund. Last year when I completed the Rev3 Cedar Point 70.3 triathlon I signed up to raise fund's for Ulman's Team Fight. It was rewarding to raise funds to help young people affected by cancer. At this very moment, Rev3 is undertaking a huge effort to help Ulman...they are literally running across America! Some of my Team Rev3 teammates are on that journey right now. Others including myself are participating virtually by running as much as we can each day. Rev3 hopes to raise $100K in its 21-day running adventure. We still have a ways to go. Please consider donating. Every dollar helps!

The next time you think about why it's valuable to run local community races, be sure to think about all of the organizations that are supported through your efforts! You can and do make a difference just by participating. If you are unable to participate due to injury or lack of time, just donating helps make a difference too!