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Friday, April 30, 2010

Clarification

Because I was cranky & tired, I didn't go into all details. I'm still not going to, but for clarification purposes. Based on some of the comments here and on FB, I thought it was only fair.

The guy is an arrogant jerk who has said:

"You're not a runner unless you do a marathon"

"You're not really a marathoner until you run Boston"

"The worst possible thing would be to DNF at a race. Those people are just mentally weak."

"Ironman is the only race that will challenge me."

"I should be able to qualify because I can run a 3:30 marathon. The swim should be piece o' cake and as long as I keep my run speed up, the bike isn't really a big deal."

This is just a sampling of the types of things he says.

Of course not.....of course running a 3:30 marathon is all you'll need.

Of course running a marathon after a 2.4 mile swim and 112 mile bike would be easy.

Those issues....I can ignore.

But to claim that people (my friends even) aren't runners because they haven't run a marathon?

Apparently this guy was born with running shoes on and never went through the beginning stages.

Guess what else? I've DNF'd at IRONMAN.

Surprisingly, it took MORE mental toughness to stop the race than continue.

I've run marathon(s)....but here I sit anxiously awaiting to be referred to MARATHON-TEA. I might as well throw out my crate of medals because I have no desire to run Boston.

He thinks doing a sprint is EASY? EASY? I'll tell you what's easy, doing ONE SPORT FAR. That's easy. All he has to think about is when to take a GU and what shoes he's going to wear. Imagine going all out fast in 3 sports.

Let me add one thing, my friend David....his Long Runs which regularly exceed a marathon, are done at this LOSER's Boston race pace.

Still, we both just looked at him, shaking our heads.

That is why I think he is simply an unhappy/unfulfilled person who can only feel better about himself when he can talk about himself....over and over and over.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

apples and oranges

Every Spring, I go through the "apples and oranges" phase.

It has nothing to do with me.

I get very excited when people want to become triathletes.

However, I have a very short fuse when it comes to "expert runners" wanting to become triathletes.

NO.RESPECT.

Here's my story:

A friend of mine is an ultra-marathoner. He is super fast and regularly competes in 50 and 100 mile races. He recently told me that he would never think about attempting Ironman. "You guys are crazy", he said.

Likewise, I think he's crazy and I have no desire to run that far.

On the other hand, my friend and I both know a guy who runs Boston every year (for the past 10 years). No doubt the guy is a great runner.

So, can you tell me why this guy seems to think that with less than 4 months of training that he'll easily do Ironman?

With no swimming base.....

With no cycling base.....

No.RESPECT.

Ironman is NOT a race that you can do with sheer determination. It's not like running a marathon where you hit the wall at 20 miles and think "it's just another 10k". You hit the wall in Ironman, and there are problems.

I started my athletic career as a runner. I never ever assumed that cycling would be easier or that swimming would be a piece o'cake.

Putting them together....I thought would be hell.

WHY DO so many runners think that doing a tri is so easy? Why do they assume that just because they are a runner that they can do less training or that they can "conquer" any distance triathlon in less than 6 months?

Doing the run portion of a tri after swimming and riding is very different than running.

But let's look at the numbers:

So you wanna do a sprint tri. Since there aren't any assigned distances for the sprint, I'll just use common distances. In a sprint, you'll cover roughly 18 miles. If you're a beginner, this race will take you longer than a 10k and possibly as long as a half marathon.

In an oly, you'll cover roughly 32 miles. Longer than a 50k, this race could take you as long as a 50k or as short as a slow half marathon.

In a half iron, it's 70.3 miles. Almost 3 times a marathon with a lot more pain & completely different nutritional needs.

Ironman....hmmmm, well any race that starts at 7am and ends at midnight should be taken seriously.

If you are a runner, respect triathletes.....just like we respect you and cyclists and swimmers and everyone else that has an incredibly athletic life.

Training for a triathlon (especially Ironman) is not taking a marathon plan and adding in swimming and cycling.

It's a completely different animal.

One is not better than the other.

By all means, go out and do a tri. Have fun! But don't tell me your first triathlon is going to be Ironman....oh, and that you are going to qualify on your first attempt. That's just ignorant and dangerous.

Apples and Oranges.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

That Sneaky Sneak: A race report, in 2 parts

What a beautiful day!

After having several snowstorms in a row, we were all a little worried about the race today.





"We" included: Yours truly, Mike, Justin & and my Thista ---------->








The Sneak is a 5k race and a 5 mile race. You can run both or run either. I ran both. Everyone else did the 5k.



Me and Thista arrived earlier because she had to pick up her race packet. I was surprised at how warm it already was. It was incredibly sunny and around 35 degrees.




We walked around, chatted, waited for Mike and Justin, waited s'more....when I look up at my friend HELEN is staring at me!




Helen, my friend from the gym, who did her first triathlon last year at age 80! We chat for awhile when Mike and Justin show up.....7 minutes before the race starts.


I think for a minute, "hmmm, I didn't warm up."




And then I look at the crowd of people all line up at the start. Oh shittake, how am I going to make my way toward the front? With a little slide here, an excuse me there, and a couple of quick steps, I manage to make my way closer to the front.


Since I didn't warm up, I decide to not go all out but to run hard and consistent.




When the gun goes off, the pack takes off like a wild banshees. Everyone is really jostling for their own space. So, I figure "eh, this is a training run, do whatever you feel like doing." Most people running the 5k are not then also turning around to run the 5 mile race.


So, I decide to slow from 8:30 to I don't know what pace, run to the side and let people pass. What the heck, they're probably going for PR's.


Me, I'm just out enjoying the day. La-dee-la.


We pass the first water stop. Really, THAT many people need water one mile into a 5k? Really?


Ok, well. The crowd has thinned at this point, and I decide to push the pace to where I am feeling a medium level of discomfort but that will still leave me with gas for the 5 miler.



WOW---5k's are short. In a blink of an eye, I'm done. I quickly finish, run through the finish party, grab a bottle of water and 2 small bananas, eat bananas, run to car, up 3 flights of stairs, throw my party goodies and jacket and hat in the car, swap out for my visor, and run back to see Mike finish.


Didn't get to see Mike finish, but we did hook up at the finish to look for Thista and Justin.


I'm frantically looking through the crowd, thinking that I'm going to miss them! My next race starts in less than 15 minutes.


Just then, I see Justin and Thista finish! YAY!

They finished in about 1:02. Mike finished in about 48:00.







Dang, I look at the crowds. There are ALOT of people running the 5 miler. Right before I head to the start, Mike took this picture of me and Justin. Yep, he's taller than me now. If I didn't know better, I'd say I look downright petite next to him.

I quickly say my good-byes (Mike and Justin head home). Thista is staying to watch me finish.


O.M.G.

The crowd. I look toward the front. This time, there's no way I can make my way to the front and with 1 minute until the gun goes off, I don't know if it's really necessary. Afterall, I'm just training.

So, I decide to line up in the 10:00 + pace section. I'm pretty far in the back, but this race is really about having fun.

The gun goes off....and slowly I make my way to the front. Before I know it, I'm off and running again. I find myself in a great little pace that I'm pretty sure I can hold for the entire time. I don't want to go hard, but I want to run faster than a training run.

BUT, my legs are feeling the previous 5k. Oh my my my, I can hold the pace, but by the first mile my booty and quads are starting to.....HURT LIKE HELL. I just keep running.

I know I won't stop.....chaa.....hell no, that ain't going to happen. I decide to run a little harder. I pass the first water station. As I pass mile 2, I think "MOVE YOUR ASS CHAND". There's a very slight uphill from mile 2-3, and I decide to push it up the hill and pushing the leg pain away.


Focus.


Focus.

Focus.

I'm more than halfway now. Maybe I ran too hard for the 5k. Too late to change it, keep going...and so help me, if you slow down now I will royally KICK YOUR ASS.



As I round mile 4, I look up, and I see Heather. Heather is an RD for all the Dip n Dashes and some tri's in the area. She's got a good pace, and I make it my goal to pass her. I catch her, and we chat for awhile. I fall back for a few steps and decide to go as hard as I can for the last .75 miles.


I really feel good at this point. My legs are hurting, but my breathing is controlled and I'm focused. As I round the very last corner, I'm pretty sure I was hauling ass. All of a sudden I hear screaming and "TEA!!!!" I look up to see Thista! I smile and wave and run right to the finish.


WOO HOOO! What a race! Faster than I planned to go, but not as fast as "race pace". (heck, I just did mile repeats, day before yesterday).





Thista meets me at the end of the corral, and we decide to go walk around the post race party.


Of course a race just isn't a race, without mini-goats....














Or chickens......
















Or a guy dressed like an eagle.



After walking around, I could tell Thista was tired and was having some pain, so we decided to go.
We stopped to get coffee on the way home. When I got home, Mike had a nice big lunch all ready for me.
Then, it was time to shower.
Now, we're off to the Rockies game!
There can't be a better way to spend the day. :)














Thursday, April 22, 2010

Dude, I'm a professional

My preference is always to run outside. However....sometimes, I must resort to the treadmill. With thunderstorms and (yes) even snowstorms, I had to move my workout inside.

'Twas a workout that I dread and on the dreadmill.

Even knowing a tough workout was in front of me, this morning I felt great. I've been rather particular about my diet lately, given that I am logging serious miles. (It only takes one serious BONK to remind us that we're only human).

The workout was 1600m repeats with 800m recoveries.

~mile repeats (in my ever-so-humble-opinion) are truly a test of a person's toughness. They require a certain level of endurance/fitness. Think about it, even if you only do 2 repeats, at a minimum, you're running about 5-6 miles.....and fast.

It's a workout that you have to work up to, over several years and have experience doing speedwork.

Because these suckers hurt.

As I arrived at the gym, I notice immediately how humid and hot the gym was. I live in Colorado. The only time I feel any humidity is when I get in the shower.

Fortunately, I brought alot of water.

As I was warming up, a guy jump on the treadmill next to me. For whatever reason, he is fascinated with my speed.....not that it's fast because it most certainly was not. He continued to speed up his workout: constantly comparing his console to mine. I'm used to people running faster than me on the treadmill. It's no big deal to me. When I run, I have a goal. Most of the time, gym runs are recovery runs for me. I never feel the need to prove myself. That happens on the race course.

Then, the warm up was over, and it was time to speed up. As I did, I noticed that he was watching me speed up the machine. Shortly thereafter, he sped his up to match my speed.

I just shake my head. What is up with that? Talk about NO respect. But given how this guy was panting, I'm pretty sure he thought I was doing 400's or maybe 800's....and he probably thought he could easily keep up with lil ole me.

My first thought, "Dude, you're gonna hurt yourself. Just admit, you're about to get chicked."

Just when I thought he was going to fly off the back of the machine, he slowed down to a walk. Me? I kept going.

Then, I did it again. Once again, he tried to keep up. After the 2nd interval, he got off.

After the 3rd, I saw him walk behind me looking at my console.

After the 4th interval, I saw him shake his head and finally walk off.

***
You all know me. I have a self-deprecating sense of humor. The reality is that I know where I stand, and I know what I'm capable of, but that doesn't mean that I go around bragging about it. That's because you get your a$$ kicked by a race or two, and you know anything can and often does happen. Having great races is often as much "chance" as it is "training". (Besides talking about stupid mistakes is waaaay more fun and get waaaay more laughs than a PR--satisfying maybe not, but damn funny, definitely).


Today that guy next to me, got a little lesson in

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Respect the 40 something bee-yotch on the machine next to you.

If you don't, it's going to be YOUR ego mopping up the floor.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Metamorphosis

Me: (looking nervously down at the floor, rubbing my hands together): Um, so, um I was thinking about doing a race.

Mike: (half paying attention, half watching ESPN): YAWN...which one?

Me: (running my hands through my hair and now staring anxiously out the window, thinking about how poorly this conversation is going to go): Well, y'know, I'm talking about 2011....NOT this year for sure. But, I was thinking of doing Ironman Boulder.

Mike: (turning to look at me & clearly not happy): I thought you were done with that distance. I thought you were done with the long stuff.

Me: Um well, uh....I wouldn't need you to Sherpa, and I'd make sure training doesn't interfere with anything. And Boulder is a 70.3....

Mike: OH! well then, Heck yea....I didn't know it was a SHORT race. DO it. It'll be fun!


It's happened. 70 miles is now a short race, a sprint, a few hours out in the sun, get up to have a big breakfast, cheer as the athletes run in the water, cheer as they come out of the water, hold up a sign, ring a cowbell, watch the bike take off, back to the hotel for a short nap, grab a bite for lunch, head back to watch the bike return/run take off, catch the rest of the Rockies game on tv, and back to the finish.

The day is done before you know it. All in all a fun quick little race.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

It's a double, double

Alas, my race season is starting.

And wow, I'm starting off with a BANG.

Sunday my double race. 5k first, rest for 40 or so minutes, run the 5 miler. This is the one where the whole family runs/walks/crawls whatever.

My goal for the 5k....same as last year.....run fast and maintain. NO FADING. C'mon it's a 5k. I've been doing my some of my best speedwork to date training for my A race.

This is NOT my A race....more like a C or D or maybe an F race.

The 5k is usually a nice warm up for the 5 miler, I should mention that the family does NOT run/walk/crawl the 5 miler. They prefer to enjoy the post 5k party and let me do my silly "running" stuff.

But I digress.

No time goals for these races. I just like to see what I can do.

2 races in one day....DOUBLE.

That, my friends, leads me to the next Double.

Two race weekends in a row.

Due to my ridiculous planning. The SATURDAY after this SUNDAY's race is Greenland. Just when you think I cannot top the stupidity, I go and schedule another race. I confess, I was oblivious to dates when I signed up.

Greenland is however yet another C, D, or F race. (I don't do E races).

I'm shooting for completion only, people. The course is hard. Oh so hard. When I ran it a few weeks ago, there were +35 mph winds, sloppy mud, snow. Truly, an overall joyful experience.

Not to mention, the whole 5 mile climb, 4 mile descent......repeat....repeat....repeat.

repeat.

But don't take MY word for it. Check it out for yourself. HERE You might have to refresh the page.

The course is open for 8 hours. Do not be surprised if I come crawling in around 7:59:59. Look, all I really want is my medal.

That might sound like a bad attitude, but it's really not. I figure that 5 miles up (into the wind) in mud and slop and 20F degree temps means that race can truly only be better.

Besides when my friend D told me that he'd be finishing in roughly 4 hours. I nearly threw up.

Of course, he's also won this race in previous years. Not like win an AG award, but WINNING the whole race. So, he'll be finishing when I'm approximately HALFWAY.

wow.

But my legs sure do look awesome.

moving along

Two weeks after Greenland is my A race. My first half marathon. I am SUPER excited for this. I think I have made great progress over the winter, and I am anxious to see results. I feel very confident that I can get a course PR. How much is yet to be seen, but if I don't get it, it will not be due to lack of training. THANKYEWVERYMUCH.

That's my schedule for the coming weeks.

Just for fun, today was also a Double. Run in the morning, run in the evening.

Don't hate me because I'm beautiful.
Hate me cuz I'm more fit than you.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Just don't ask me about swimming or cycling. Let's get through the next 3 weeks and see what happens.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Moving Target

Maybe I should entitled this post Identity Crisis; except that "crisis" seems a little extreme.

Moving target seemed more appropriate...and certainly appeared to point to my inability to focus on certain aspects of my life.

Until now.

I got the news I was waiting for this weekend, not good news, not bad news, just expected.

I thought to myself, "So this is it. This is the direction I'm going now."

It's certainly not a bad direction. Think of it like this. Let's say you're hiking. You plan out your trail. You know the trail pretty well. You think about taking a different way but nahhhhh you chose Trail A. There's a comfort to Trail A. You know the path. You know what you'll need. You enjoy it. It gives you a feeling of success, takes work, dedication, and it's not very scary.

But you get to trail A and find out that it's closed indefinitely. All along, Trail B was your backup.
Trail B is a little more scary. You've ventured up B before only to back down after a few miles.

Now, you find out you're going down Trail B....no matter what. You're pretty sure all will be well. It's simply an adjustment. There are more "what ifs"....more unknowns.

On the other hand, Trail B also gives you alot more freedom to travel off the path. There are many little trails that branch off of Trail B. You get to cross rivers, walk over fallen trees, climb boulders, and experience things that you haven't before.

Here I stand, at the start of Trail B.

I don't know how I feel.

But I know what I see.

It's a big world, and I see potential.