Monday, October 26, 2009

Blogity Blog Blog Blah

Blogity blog blog blah blah blah. You may (or more likely, not) have noticed that I am taking a bit of a blog break this week. I just don't have that much to say! (Gasp, the shock, the horror!) Life is nice and settled right now and we have cruised to the end of October. As I type this, we are in the midst of a winter storm warning and I think I have yet another foot of snow that needs to be shoveled. Naturally, Michael bolted out of town for business yesterday so it's up to me to get it done. Total bummer. For him.....I decided not to shovel his side of the garage!!!

Where's the bush?

Not much to report on the training front either. Clearwater is a couple of weeks away and I have been getting my final workouts done although the weather is not cooperating. It is only October and me and my trainer have already been spending way too much time together. This could be a tough winter!! I just have to trust in the work I did all summer long, focus on my nutrition and go out there and have fun all day long (well half day)!!

I've been spending lots of time thinking about next season as well as Halloween and all the candy my kids will bring home. But next season is shaping up!! I have my preliminary "A" races and then of course my "A/B" races. There will be races in Arizona, Knoxville, Kansas, Budapest, Alabama and a really, really long race next November either in Florida or Arizona.....

But right now, I have that pre-race build tiredness thingy going on. And the I could eat more thingy going on. And, wow that couch looks way comfy thingy going on too. Less than three weeks to Florida. A quick little trip with my peeps Sonja, Anthony and Steve. Another half-Ironman under my belt.

Here are some fun photos!

Isabelle as the Monkey King in a production of "The Little Frog"

Nana and Iz

Silly Char and Iz at the Fall Festival last weekend

Char the pirate!

Iz the cat!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Denver Half Marathon 2009

I signed up for this race back in August for a couple of reasons. First, I really like this race - it showcases the best of Denver and it is about as flat as you can get at altitude. Second, I thought it might make some sense to have a half marathon under my belt going into Clearwater, at best this would be a quality training day and I was hoping to PR or it would just be a good training day. And third, I figured if I was going to do it, may as well sign up before the big price increases!

On Saturday I woke up with a scratch in my throat after sleeping 10 hours....not a good sign. And then my tummy turned on me. Not good, but may have been attributable to the mass amounts of coffee I ingested earlier in the day. A PR?? Really, my goal was to beat my 1/2 marathon time off the bike at Kansas 70.3 earlier in the year. But could I do this without the good 2.5 hour "warm-up" of being on the bike? With a cold? I knew I would get up and race regardless of how I felt and I knew that I would do whatever I could with the run with whatever I was "given" on that particular day.

But race morning was kind of interesting! Sure, I still had that horrible cough/itchy throat thingy going my breakfast down (and yes, it was my favorite pre-race breaky Mix1!!) and then realized that I was indeed a tad bit nervous! Why was this? I am usually not nervous before a running race so this was a bit unexpected. And then I figured out why.....I wanted to PR. I had a time in mind and I knew it was realistic and I really wanted to do it, I'm pretty sure I haven't approached a run race with that mindset before!

Michael and the kiddos got me to the race in plenty of time to warm up (PIC Sonja ran down to the race site even though she wasn't racing and she warmed up with me!!!) and then I got positioned around the right pace group. I felt pretty good at this point but maybe a tad dehydrated so I knew I would need to take in some fluids along the way. No worries though and then we were off!

I was towards the front of the start line so the pace was a bit quicker from the get-go. I kept my eye on my heart rate and the first mile came in around 7:50. Perfect. Next mile was a bit quicker at 7:33 and I had to remind myself that I also wanted to negative split this. So I just kept my heart rate in the range I knew would get me to the finish line. And so it went for the first 6 miles, keeping myself in check so that I could pick it up (or in this case maintain my pace) to the end. As the miles ticked by I knew that I had a good chance at my PR but as I hit mile 10 and that uphill to Cheesman Park, my legs started feeling heavy and my breathing was a bit more labored. Uhhhhhgggghhhh, a 7:54 on that mile. Got to the top and kept pushing on the downhill and then I got a sight for my sore tired eyes. Boo Yah Tyler was at the Park cheering on the runners!! I loved seeing him and although I couldn't speak, I waved to him and that gave me a little lift on the remaining downhill. Now onto mile 11 and I heard Bethie cheering (didn't know it was her at the time!!) and that gave me another lift. And then PIC was there running beside me telling me to watch my breathing, relax my shoulders and hands and that I was doing great and to keep the pace up. That mile clocked in at my fastest at 7:21......I managed to tell her something to the effect of you're killing me but really what I wanted to say was thank you. And then I was in the final mile running up Lincoln. I had no capacity to pick it up but my pace did not slow down. I even passed a girl in the finish chute.

1:41. A PR!!! And 9th in my age group, 68th woman overall. I will not lie, those last couple of miles hurt, but you know what? It is supposed to hurt. I even had those know the ones. The why am I doing this? But then I crossed the finish line and saw my wonderful family. The hurt subsided and I was left with a great feeling of accomplishment. So thank you to my peeps, PIC, and my family for the cheering and everything else. And to Trakkers, it was a great experience to wear the device (didn't even notice it!) and hopefully help them out bringing it to market.

With that report, I have just one more race on the schedule for the year: Clearwater!!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Racing With Trakkers!

This weekend I'll be lacing up the ol' running shoes and heading downtown to run the Denver Half Marathon. The weather will be gorgeous and this course is awesome - running through downtown, passing by the Pepsi Center and Coors Field, then running to City Park, then to Cheesman Park. I also really enjoy making the turn towards the finish line for the half while the marathoners go straight!! (No worries mate, I have a marathon on my schedule for January)

But the really cool thing about this race is that I am testing a Trakkers device while I run. Trakkers is a cool company that has developed a GPS device (about the size of a beeper) that you hook onto your shorts. It then sends information about your race to a website and friends and family can "watch" you run from their computer! Because they are still in development, your feedback is critical and needed. I have copied the email I received from Carole at Trakkers about the process. If you are awake at 7:00am on Sunday morning, please give this a try and give some honest feedback - it will be appreciated!

Below is the link you can send to your loved ones to use to follow you on race day. At this point I don’t think our application is compatible with iPhone but we are moving in that direction. I think (but am not 100% certain) this test is only viewable from a computer – and I have heard MAC causes problems. ?

(Feel free to forward this email to your friends and family if you’d rather not take the time to explain everything I am below.)

When sending the link to your friends and family, please ask them to fill out the online user survey they’ll find on race day. We are specifically not giving online user instructions how to navigate the system as this is part of our test (frankly, it’s the primary purpose). We realize not every person who wants to follow their loved one will be computer savvy and we are trying to create a system that is fairly intuitive to navigate. Our online user feedback has been critical to improvements and we truly appreciate everyone’s time they’ve taken to give feedback on their experience.

I thank you (and your friends and family) in advance for any feedback they offer. Ultimately, we are creating this device and website for THEM so they can follow you during your training and racing. Knowing how to make this better for them is our primary objective.

We are continuing to make modifications to URL page until race day, so know the final version will not be ready until the morning of the race. Also, if you have difficulty getting to this page, try copying and pasting the URL directly.

Here is the link they will go to on race day.

Thanks again for your help! We are excited for this test and eager for your loved ones to have an intimate connection to your progress!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

K2 Pink Chase Fundraiser

So who do you know? I'm sure there is someone. Someone you know that has breast cancer. Or someone who has survived. And maybe even someone who has died. 1 in 8. That is the statistic. In your lifetime, you or someone in your circle of friends and colleagues will be diagnosed with breast cancer. That is a frightening statistic. I know many mom, a grandma, a friend's mom, did I mention my mom, and a friend diagnosed at age 39. I also know Amy who was recently diagnosed at age 31 while 35 weeks pregnant. I know women that have died. And I'm only many more women that I know will have this diagnosis in the next 10 years? 20 years? How many do you know?

Clearly, more research and money need to be thrown at this cause. So I have teamed up with Amy Dannwolf and PIC Sonja Wieck to form Team Bunnies For Boobies and participate in K2's Pink Chase Fundraiser. The Pink Chase raises money for The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, a foundation committed to finding a cure for breast cancer in our lifetime by providing critical funding for innovative clinical and translational research at leading medical centers worldwide and increasing public awareness about good breast health.

What is the Pink Chase all about? This is the fun part......teams of three women compete for the most vertical skied, most creative costumes, and most money raised. Amy, Sonja, and I are all over this challenge!! Not only are we badass triathletes, but we also love to ski and rip it up on the slopes! And since we are all not really competitive (hahahaha) at all, we are completely excited to go and rip up Keystone Mountain on December 12 and compete for the grand prize.

How do you fit in the picture? Well, we need your support!! Powder7 and Smith Optics have already committed to supporting our team (remember, that's Bunnies For Boobies) and now we need your help!! Please consider making a donation here, and remember that lots of companies will MATCH your donation!! Amy, Sonja, and I want to make a difference and are committed to this cause. Please help us out!!

By the way, I just mentioned Powder7 and if you are looking for skis this is the place to go! Check them out!

Smith Optics is a sponsor of the Pink Chase and is helping out Bunnies For Boobies out as well, check out these googles we will be wearing (in hot pink of course)!

So please, consider making a donation! And remember, grope your wife/girlfriend and save the boobies!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Worlds Race Photos

As promised, here are a few of my favorite race photos from Worlds. Thank you thank you to PIC's dad Eric Willis for hanging out photographing all the action that day. If we are elite age group triathletes, then Eric is an elite age group photographer!! These are all of his photos.

Transition. We ran over that bridge out of T2.

Me at the swim start. Sure they all look like nice women.

Just don't get in their way!

I'm on the right being overtaken by a pack of women. Oh, right. There wasn't any drafting....

Run Ford Run!

Running it in

Me and PIC post race. Yep, that's my dad in the background.

Sonja, me and Beth goofing off after the race

Of course, the butt shot!

Monday, October 5, 2009

7.5 Weeks

I look at that title "7.5 Weeks" and think no, nothing interesting like the movie "9 1/2 Weeks". And while we're on that subject, what in the heck happened to Mickey Rourke? In that movie he was hotness in front of a fridge. And today....did you see The Wrestler? Plastic surgery gone awry? Yick.

But I digress.

Yeah, I've been taking a little break from blog-land. It's the only break I'm getting right now too. So while a lot of my friends and training partners have eased into their post-season fun trail running, mountain biking, sleeping in, staying up late, I am into my last build to Clearwater in 7.5 weeks. Yikes. And the problem is......well, I have to admit the season is getting long.

My first race was back in April!! Rage in the Sage immediately followed by a non-race but big event nonetheless: Rim to (almost) Rim to Rim in the Grand Canyon. From there I raced Bolder Boulder, then onto Kansas for my first Ironman 70.3 race. Then Boulder Peak, State Games of America, Nationals and Worlds. There was also an 80 mile bike race and a crit in there as well. Phew - that's a lot of racing. Denver Half Marathon for a "training" race in a couple weeks. And then it's down to just one race left....and it's on another "world" stage.

But I'm ready to put in the work. I'm ready for another few weeks of tough training. I'm ready for the mental challenge of a 70.3 race. I know I can put together a sound race strategy and nutrition plan and I'm looking forward to seeing how this one turns out. I know my goals. Sure it could be another tough swim. And I know (doesn't everyone) that the bike is just a big draft-fest (there's a reason it's also known as Cheatwater).

So yes, the season is getting long. But I am still doing what I love to do. I get to be outside even on crappy days (either the weather or me) and watch the season turn into fall - my favorite time of year. I'm running, I'm swimming (more time in the pool!!), and I am on my bike. And I have no shortage of training partners.....PIC, Steve, and Anthony are all headed to Florida with me. And after that???? Oh yeah. I signed up for a marathon!!

Crazy is as Crazy does. 7.5 weeks.