Monthly Archives: October 2013

Home Away From Home

Or a hotel. For the weekend is was my home away from home.  I must say, I do like waking up in the morning and walking out of the room to come back later with everything clean. I need to get that magic lamp action at my real home.

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The Westin Lake Las Vegas Hotel was beautiful.  It offers so many active amenities that some of the women I traveled with have decided that when we go back we need to plan differently.  First of all, we NEED to leave Thursday instead of Friday so we have 2 full days to do give our support to the hotel.  Sure the impetus behind this is so we can have more time to practice the course without pressure.  However, I do believe kayaks, SUP’s, boat rides, and golf were mentioned.

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An additional item we’d like to add on the the menu is the spa.  We did, after all, just compete in a triathlon.  Therefore we probably deserve a full massage.  Minimum.

Thank You!! I Deserved That!!

I like to think I work hard. With my kids, with my training, with my jobs.  In my mind it feels good to push hard, give it my all.  Fortunately I do have an amazing boss.  (Please don’t let him know I said that…..)  After a particularly tough week, he gave 3 of us pedicures.  Thank you!!  I deserved that!!  Time to go to SOAK!!

The drink menu

The drink menu

The set up

The set up

Oh, yes, thank you!!

Oh, yes, thank you!!

It's a lot of pink in here

It’s a lot of pink in here

Me.  Getting things done

Me. Getting things done

A hot towel??  Why yes thank you!!

A hot towel?? Why yes thank you!!

Red.  My favorite color.  I don't usually get polish because as a runner it comes right off but this time I threw caution to the wind!!

Red. My favorite color. I don’t usually get polish because as a runner it comes right off but this time I threw caution to the wind!!

Super high end disposable flippy flops

Super high end disposable flippy flops

Our 3 feet.....

Our 3 feet…..

Ahhhh.....  Yes, I'll pay someone to rub my feet.  Or, my boss can!!

Ahhhh….. Yes, I’ll pay someone to rub my feet. Or, my boss can!!

Lessons Learned. Maybe

There are things about travelling that I forget every single time.  Or perhaps I expect them to change.  They don’t.

  • I bring the same face wash, lotions, etc… with me on a trip that I use at home but I don’t use them.  I go to bed with makeup, I rush, I don’t follow my normal rituals.
  • My skin breaks out.  See above…..  Duh?
  • My stomach doesn’t work the same and it takes a couple days of being home for it to function normally.  Poop happens.  Just not as much on a trip.
  • I grossly over-pack
  • I forget things.  Yes, this is a contradiction.  It defies every normal law
  • Time runs at least double on a trip.  Last weekend took 48 hours.  The weekend of the trip took 12
  • Unpacking is not nearly as much fun as packing
  • Coming down off the high of friends, family, teammates, travel, racing isn’t at all depressing but “normal life” takes a couple days to feel normal
  • Pictures make it all easier. Yes, you can relive it all
  • I love road trips.  More with crazy women friends!!
Saw this on my way to meet my friends for the trip.  Okie dokie!!

Saw this on my way to meet my friends for the trip. Okie dokie!!

Dinner with a big, crazy bunch of people I love!!!!

Dinner with a big, crazy bunch of people I love!!!!

 

Work It!!!

I’ve been working a lot lately. It’s not a bad thing. It’s actually a good thing. Just a lot of hours.  Add in family – my kids are the most important thing in my life – and training – my decompression – and it adds up to being very busy.

Not to worry!!!  It may be a lot of hours now, but I’m taking a couple of days off.  6 months of planning, training, plotting, being excited……  And it’s finally almost time!!!  This is a “girls weekend with a race – it’s supposed to be fun!” weekend.  I’ve only done one Super Sprint Triathlon this past summer.  The Tri has been on my bucket list for years and I can’t imagine doing a better one for my first “real” Sprint Triathlon.  Irongirl puts on a good event, the people are outstanding and a weekend in Vegas is very much desired.  I’m not going to place, to win.  I’m going to do my best and ease myself into the world of the triathlon.  To see how I like it.  To have fun.

Irongirl Vegas.....  HERE I COME!!!

Irongirl Vegas….. HERE I COME!!!

 

No Rhyme Or Reason

In the last year I’ve run several half marathons, but two of them I ran in almost exactly the same amount of time. In one, it was a slow, easy run. I felt amazing the entire time.  At the end I had that feeling like I could go forever.  I did not push myself, it was relaxed.  In the second I had miles where I felt fantastic, but I pushed.  I pushed the entire way and harder for 4 miles of it.   You can tell I was pushing hard because my time dropped.  The numbers showed my struggle.  In the easier race, I was by myself, doing my own thing, wanting to push harder but sticking to the plan that it was an easy race.  In the second race, Pete paced me.  Without him I would have walked, my time wouldn’t have been nearly as good.

Pete and I coming down the final chute

Pete and I coming down the final chute

Done!!

Done!!

At mile 4 I felt a little nauseous but it went away.  At mile 8 I told Pete I felt really nauseous.  He told me in his calm, supportive manner that I could throw up when I crossed the finish line.  Okie dokie then.  By mile 10 the feeling was gone.  I had some tough miles and some great miles along the way.  It was cold, constantly drizzling, windy, rolling hills, breathtaking autumn views of trees, fields, a lake.  Pete commented that the scenery and weather must remind me of New England and indeed it did.  At mile 11 I felt my body ache.  My right hip is a little out, my upper back doesn’t feel too bad, my muscles are working…..  At mile 11 I was feeling tired.  Then the finished loomed.  My kids were cheering, Taylor ran us in and Pete’s power of suggestion happened.  The last 3 miles I didn’t feel nauseous at all but as soon as I crossed the finish line I dry heaved in some bushes.  Sexy, I know.

Hand on my mouth, looking for a bush.....

Hand on my mouth, looking for a bush…..

Thank you to this friend and teammate.  Pete, you pushed me through.

Thank you to this friend and teammate. Pete, you pushed me through.

FREEZING!!!

FREEZING!!!

I still managed to pull off 3rd place in my age division

I still managed to pull off 3rd place in my age division

For whatever reason, this was a tough race for me in a string of tough races.  After my first half marathon of the season – which went perfectly – my time hasn’t been what I wanted.  I’m fine with a tough race, but I want to push through it and still finish strong and this season hasn’t panned out that way.  I’ve contemplated dropping down to the 10K distance, but the half is still my true love.  I could give a list of reasons that it didn’t go well but in reality there is no rhyme or reason.  Nutrition, training, etc..  are all good.  Attitude, drive, desire all the same.  Now that the season is over, Irongirl is coming up and then the winter training sets in.  My sights will be on the Napa Marathon in March and the increase in mileage.  I can relax and train and set my sights on next season.

Coming off the race, deeply contemplating  my time.  I was hungry and ready to go home.

Coming off the race, deeply contemplating my time. I was hungry and ready to go home.

Kids and I in the hot tub at home!  Felt great after a tough, cold race

Kids and I in the hot tub at home! Felt great after a tough, cold race

 

Bragging Rights

My kids are awesome.  No.  I’m not biased???  They run 1-2 5K’s a year and last weekend was one of those races.  Reno 5000 puts on exceptional races here in Reno.  This was the 3rd and final in a series offering a 1 mile, 5K, 10K and half marathon.  Samuel – my youngest – opted for the mile run and five other kids decided to run the 5K.  We have a tradition to write our PR on our hand with a Sharpie marker.  Just to know the time we’d like to break.

Taylor with his Sharpie time

Taylor with his Sharpie time

Samuel.  His cute, shy self ready to run the mile

Samuel. His cute, shy self ready to run the mile

At the start!!

At the start!!

I took off for the half marathon ten minutes prior to the kids starting the 5K.  I ran with Pete and when my watch read 47 minutes I told him I knew all my kids were done running the 5K.  I wondered how they did, how they felt, if anyone PR’d…..  It was a cold, windy, rainy day and although it’s not the most difficult course, it’s not the easiest either.  We’re at 5300 feet in elevation with constant, rolling hills.

When I came down the last quarter mile of my half marathon, all the kids were cheering.  Taylor jumped the barrier and told me he was running me in.  Awesome!!  I asked how everyone did, what were the times, how was the course, etc…  He told me Alana was the only one to PR but he and Gabrielle both came in 4th for their age – the other three girls took 1st, 2nd and 3rd – but it was their favorite race to date.  After I crossed the kids were full of enthusiasm for the race.  It was a tough but great course, the weather wasn’t great which made it even more fun (Definitely an inherited attitude from their Mamma!), they had a great time, and 3 of them took the podium!!!

Alana took first, Kezia took second and Ashlea took third

Alana took first, Kezia took second and Ashlea took third.  My teammate and wonderful friend Brynda took this picture.  They took the podium while I was still running.  When I finished and grabbed my phone I got all choked up that she had taken this and sent it to me.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

Not one of my kids has ever been disappointed that they didn’t PR.  I hope I’ve passed on my goals.  #1:  Have fun.  It’s the journey, not just the destination. #2:  Finish the race.  We GET to do this.  #3:  Beat your time or at least be proud of it.  You’re there, you finished.  Embrace it.   #4:  Podium.  Yes it’s fun.  It’s a good goal, but in the end it’s that you did it.  I’m so proud that they had fun with the event.  Proud that they finished.  Proud of Alana for her PR.  Mostly, though.  I’m proud the have the right attitude and they were there with me.

Gabrielle and Taylor happy they  took 4th place.

Gabrielle and Taylor happy they took 4th place.

 

 

In Other News…..

Yesterday my teammate and Irongirl enthusiast sent me a text: “Just an FYI, the Irongirl swim distance is 750M (not 500M). It was a typo. You will do great!” WHAT??!!  That’s a pretty decent typo.  The swim is the most difficult part of the triathlon for me.  I’m already signed up, I know I can complete the distance but WHAT??!!  I’ve felt good about what I have done in the pool for training, although I know I fall very short in comparison to my teammates.  This isn’t a race where I expect to be on the podium.  It’s a fun weekend with the girls and some of their family members, meeting an old friend of mine, having a FUN race and getting away to Vegas.  Those aspects I expect to go very well.  Finishing the race is second to having a great trip and I still know that I can handle the distance.

For me, this is where it’s not how physically fit I am, or how much training I’ve had.  It’s all mental……  Kind of like saying, “Hey, we’re going to run 10 miles!”  Then showing up and finding out it’s really 15….  Yesterday I kept asking myself if I would have signed up.  Maybe.  Perhaps not.  I don’t know.  I already am so that seems irrelevant.  The thing is?  It scared me.  I know tons of people who do much further.  I know I CAN.  But I don’t want to.  This is supposed to be FUN and pushing that hard – for me – isn’t fun.

Where I like to hang out at 6 am....

Where I like to hang out at 6 am….

This morning 5 out of the 6 of us going to Vegas were at swim practice.  General consensus??  We’re going.  We’re signed up.  We can finish the distance.  We’ll just push through. Well of course that’s the plan!!!  We practiced in our wet suits.  I wanted to do 30 laps because that’s the 750 Meter distance.  They were still broken up some, but I did 36.  Basically I left the pool knowing it was going to be a challenge but I could do it.

Couple of hours later???  Irongirl announced the distance was being kept at 500 Meters instead of 750.  I can only guess that there were about 800 irate women who had been expecting to swim 500 and weren’t happy that 10 days prior to the race, it was changed.  Well, whew!!  At least I knew I COULD do it.

 

Here’s Your Sign

At the Bowers Half Marathon yesterday there were a couple of note worthy signs. These were at the first aid station at the 5K turnaround.  Even when I’m in the zone running, I do notice signs, people, energy.  I appreciate the spectators support and the volunteers.  I’ve played both roles and enjoyed being at an event in any capacity.  As a runner and triathlete, I know how important it is to keep the athletes spirits up and be there in case they need anything.  If you ever second guess the importance of your role as a volunteer or spectator, wonder no more.  It’s vital.  I’ve read a sign at the beginning of a race and giggled at mile 11 when I’m hitting the wall.

I couldn’t find these online so I contacted the man who ran the aid station and he gladly posted them for me.  Thank you!!

My kids saw this at their 5K turn around and thought it was fantastic.

My kids saw this at their 5K turn around and thought it was fantastic.

No but the hills did....

No but the hills did….

 

Packet Pickup AKA Best Thing Ever

I’ve said it before but I’m reiterating.  I heart going to packet pickup.  The swag, the energy, the happy faces.  I’ve passed my dysfunction down to my children who also adore going to packet pickup.  Today was the day.  Packet pickup.  5 of them are running the 5K, one of them is doing the mile and I’m running the half marathon.  My coach and amazing race director puts on several races throughout the year and this is the final in a series of three.  It was scheduled for last month, but we had so much smoke here that it needed to be postponed.  At least it’s happening!!!  Supporting local is also something I try to do, so all around this is a great event.  Usually my kids run the Halloween 5K, but it’s on the same weekend as my Irongirl triathlon in Vegas.  Bummer.  But fantastic that they’re doing this one instead.

Going in to Reno Dolan Toyota who are one of the sponsors of the race

Going in to Reno Dolan Toyota who are one of the sponsors of the race.  Kezia and Alana with Nicolas in the back

Crazy crew - Ashlea and Gabi doing their twin matching thing.  OBVI!

Crazy crew – Nicolas, Ashlea and Gabi doing their twin matching thing. OBVI! And Samuel in the back

MELISSA!!!!  Love this woman!

MELISSA!!!! Love this woman!

Melissa photo bombing and leading the way in the swag bag line....

Melissa photo bombing and leading the way in the swag bag line….

Swag time!

Swag time!

Theresa on my team offered to take a picture with me IN it!!  So here's to Reno 5000, Endurance Reno, Dolan Toyota, packet pickup, family, friends and running!!

Theresa on my team offered to take a picture with me IN it!! So here’s to Reno 5000, Endurance Reno, Dolan Toyota, packet pickup, family, friends and running!!