Monday, March 28, 2011

Race Plan

It's taper week. fah lah lah la lah. Crap, it's only Monday and I'm BORED. This is going to be a long week. Can't my work be busy on these easy training weeks? No, that's just not how it works I guess. Oh well. My laundry is all done (although I suppose I could put it all away now), I'm up to date on my work billing/invoicing and my desk is somewhat organized. Somewhat, I say. I figure by the time we finally get around to filling our taxes I will REALLY be forced to organize and file away all that "stuff."

Anyhoo, back to my point. It's taper week and it never seems to fail I start getting the infamous question of goals. Times, specifically. I've always have a hard time coming up with these numbers, and even if I've thrown some out there I hate really putting it out there by saying x:xx. That makes it REAL ya know. And then I obsess and think about it too much, and doubt comes in…and and and.

Last Tuesday while on a really fun almost speed time ride with some set HR intervals I was asked this time question. I said, I really don't know. I've been HR training, and not much speed work and I've never had a good half IM and and and… Blah, Sounds like a bunch of excuses, doesn't it? Maybe it is? Maybe it's self doubt or fear of the unknown or fear of even SUCCESS?

I said one number - I want to go under 5:30. The two gals giggled and said, OF COURSE you will. And then one preceded to tell me what she and another gal had been talking about and what they decided I was going to finish in. Of course I asked, and then I chuckled. Like, yah right.

Why is it that some people can just be bad asses and say, I'm going for THIS time and Oh, I can do this.. yet others just struggle with saying that. With having that confidence?

I ended that ride with those predicted numbers in my head as I headed out for my T-run. It was one of the best T-runs I've had in a long time and I hit some splits I wasn't sure I had in me. I took a picture of my Garmin & sent it to my coach and said, "I nailed it."

She too started the questions of what was your last half IM time & what time do you think you'll finish in? I had a really hard time with this because I remembered my last half IM, it was August of 09' - also the year we didn't really train. I went into the race with a shit-load of confidence only to realize how little work I put into the training, and got out of it exactly what I put into it. I just re-read my race report and it gave me a little reminder of how hard I've worked and how much I've improved over the last 2 years (not to mention the 10lbs lost since that race, no wonder I was slow riding up those hills on the bike!).

After a few texts back and forth with Michelle, I think I've got a number in my head. Not knowing what the course is I'm a little unsure about what I can do on the bike, as well as the unknown of the ocean swim (although I've been assured I will NOT be eaten by a shark :-), but I've got a run goal. It's zippy and I'm gonna have to put it all out there, but I'm ready to work. Ready to see where I need to improve and ready to give my coach some real data so she can get me where I need to be come CDA.

Yesterday afternoon I received an email from my coach:
"Will you write out a race plan for Oceanside in the next day or two? I want to see all the details... What time you're going to wake up and what you're going to eat for breakfast and how you're going to set up your transition area... How you plan on starting the swim and what you'll be telling yourself, pacing and nutrition and supplements... etc. The more detailed the better! This exercise is mostly for YOU, to solidify your plans for the day so on Saturday
all you have to do is execute your plan."

I actually started laughing. You mean, I had to THINK about it all and have a plan? Don't get me wrong, I AM a planner, but when it comes to racing I'm usually only fussing over what I'm going to wear. Now that I have a team kit all brand spanking shiny and new, and know what I eat (of course not in serious detail) I was all good to go!

OR, not….

This morning I started writing. I started responding to my coach's email and "writing" my race plan. This is the first time I've ever done this, so I'm anxious to see how it helps! I'm also curious to see what Michelle thinks of it! But, if nothing else it was a first for me and hopefully a great learning experience.

I feel like it's all out there now. I've said a few goal times, I've made a plan and most importantly my outfit is all set :-)

Now can we fast forward to Thursday and get on the road to get this show going already?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

e21 team weekend!

This weekend one of my e21 teammates Molly & I met for a few matchy matchy fun workouts:-)

Thankfully, the too big suit mentioned in the last post photographed ok and I wasn't flashing anyone :-) There were however, no pictures of me pushing off the wall as the not so filled out top part fills with water. I'm working on getting a smaller suit, I just might be squeezing into the bottom half. I guess this brand is a little more appropriate for women that are a little more "blessed" shall we say??

I want an underwater camera now. So fun. And maybe, I could learn to pose a little better. Next time I'm doing a handstand :-) And, I need a matching cap for sure. Maybe some goggles that aren't squeezing the life out of my eye sockets? Thank god for eye cream.

Saturday Molly & her husband planned a ride in Fountain hills. They were going to park at some city park then make their way up Shea. After hearing this, and also after their not so bike friendly route from a few day earlier I immediately offered to lead them on a very bike friendly route to avoid most of the crazy Shea traffic. And, of course I'm always open for some company on my rides! Plus, matchy match again - fun times! Seriously tho. Who ever thought I would love a kit with PINK? We are definitely Rainbow Bright-esque, but we certainly won't be missed out there will we?

Molly is wearing the bike shorts, and "I'm modeling" the tri-shorts. I actually like the look of the bike short a little bit more, more color and a little more pattern to it (not to mention the butt says "train hard, recover faster." I think that saying just about sums up my experience with e21 FO SURE. However, I am never comfortable wearing the thicker padding of bike shorts on my TT bike so the bike shorts will be saved for my road bike adventures! Either way the kits fit great and are super comfy. Cute + Bright + Comfy totally = fast, right? :-)

I think I need to hang out with Molly for often. She makes me feel like a grown up. Like, I don't even need to wear my 4 inch heels to feel like a big kid. Shane looked at this picture and was like, "wait, is that you? the BIG one?" Before I slapped him for the "big" comment I realized what he meant. Usually I'm the "little one." It's funny to see me looking so tall, even on my mini-me bike with 650 wheels :-)
I lead Molly & her husband out into Rio verde before it was time for me to head back to the hills and get some of my HR intervals done. I have to admit as amazing as I felt that day I really struggled to get my HR up. Am I rested? Ready to race? Not sure… but I sure did enjoy every minute of being outside on this gorgeous spring weekend. And, anyone who says that the desert is ugly - just look at this. This is what we get to look at for hours on end in the saddle. Not so bad, eh?

It was great hanging out with you this weekend Molly and looking forward to your next trip up here in May! I'm still debating cheering or racing :-)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Some of my favorite things, take 2

A while back I did my first installment of "my favorite things." I don't know about you, but when I have a product; food, clothing, online shop, or just about anything under the sun… I like to talk about it. Like it's the best thing ever put out there on the market. And, of course i want EVERYONE to try it.

With my training hours getting up there lately I feel like I'm constantly going back to my staples, my favorites. So, in no particular order, other than the order I found the pics on line here are some of my latest and greatest FAVORITES.

The CamelBak podium Chill water bottle. If you live in AZ you understand how impossible it is to keep your fluids cold in the summer. I like my water and gatorade ICE cold. Not luke warm bath water. This bottle keeps it just like that. In my opinion, WAY more so than the Polar bottles. And the best part about this bottle is the way the water comes out. There is no top to pop open every time you want a drink. You simple open the valve before your ride and when you want a drink you squeeze the body of it. It's awesome. No more pinched lips either!

The best part about the podium chill bottle is while it still holds 20 oz of fluid, it also fits on my beautiful mini road bike, RED. I freaking love this bike. It took me a while to get the saddle right and fit tweaked and replace some fancy ass brakes that were on it, but I absolutely love her. She's smooth and light and responds like nothing I've ever been on before! Not that I've had a whole lot to compare to, but still. And, she's RED. And, what's better than a RED bike. I hope someday she'll have the TT version to keep her company :-)

A & D lotion. After years and years of saddle problems, I've found my solution. Nuff said.

My new favorite swimsuit. I've been wearing TYR brand suits for YEARS. It was the first lap swim suit I bought with my first introduction to real swimming back in college when I signed up for a conditioning swim/PE elective. Ha, to think I actually thought I could swim. The brand has always fit me and the quality is fantastic. They started coming out with some skimpy versions of their 1 piece that are SUPER cute. While I don't exactly want the itsy bitsy suits, it is nice to not get such dramatic tan lines. Insert the new TYR thin X-back, Rock Star pattern suit. I bought it in RED and while it's a wee bit skimpy on my hips/booty, the tan lines are minimal, yet I'm still in my preferred 1 piece. It's CUTE and red (red version not shown) and I love it. It's also made with their durable "durafast" material that lasts a long time! LOVE.

Ok, these stupid little pieces of sugar below are called Techno Gummy Bears. My friend Angie introduced me to them and now they are like crack. I like gummy bears, but I don't love them. Shane on the other hand would take a bag of gummy bears over a meal any day of the week. However, there is something different about these little devils. The flavor is better than regular ones. I don't know, maybe it's in my head. All I know is I'm thankful I don't know where to buy them other than online because that would be BAD.

I'm a big fan of most Zensah Products. We came in contact with this company when we started the website Allthingstriathlon a few years ago. It was a baby of Shane's and while he didn't get out of it everything he was hoping for, he learned a LOT. Anyway, we were selling this product on the website and got a few samples to try out. I've been wearing the arm sleeves for years now, but these little capri compression tights were a staple for me this winter. They are seamless and lightweight and absolutely perfect for putting on over your bike shorts when it's cold outside. Even as the temps warm up you aren't too warm, but if you do decide to take them off they fold up nicely and fit in your jersey pocket. The seamless is key for me as extra seems and bike saddles are no bueno!

Power Bar Nut Naturals, Mixed Nut flavor. I finally started eating solid food last year (on the bike) and admit I can't believe how long it took me to figure out how much better REAL food vs Gels all the time can be. I am not always starving and recover much faster. I do however struggle finding the right bar. I can't eat whey protein so a lot of the normal energy bars are out for me. This one is awesome tho. It tastes like a rice crispy treat and is easy on the stomach. What's better than eating a rice crispy treat on the bike?
My next alternative to eating so many gels are the GU chomps. I've always been a power bar gel fan, but the chomps are SO good. They don't stick too bad to your teeth and they have some great flavors!

Agh, The Desoto 400mile bike short. I've been wearing the Desoto tri short for years now as well, but I finally bit the bullet and bought their 400mile short. It fits just like the forza tri short, almost compression like but the padding is just a wee big more generous than the tri version. BUT, it's not all big and bulky like a normal bike short. No leg grippers and a little pocket in the back. They are the best bike short I've ever worn. Hands down. If you haven't tried it, go for it - you won't be disappointed.

And last but NOT least Recovery e21. This is a recent conversation I had with a friend about the product.
Friend: So...e21. Whats the no BS on the two products. is the electrolyte product really better than say Endurolytes? What about the other joint product. Could use a good recovery program.
ME: I could not recommend the e21 recovery product more. i've been regularly taking it for over 2 months now and I'm handling my training better than ever. At first, I was just taking 2 pills (1 serving) after my hard workouts, and especially 2 between double workouts (so like after run, before swim).

However, I've had the BIGGEST results as of lately with my long bike rides. I sweat massive amounts of salt. So much that I typically take 2x thermolytes (like 2-3 times the sodium as endurolytes) per hour on my bike rides. I get massive headaches in the heat and often just down a packet of salt from a gas station. I've added up my sodium intake on long rides before and it's insane…but it's the only thing that would calm my headaches and allows me to keep taking in food. And, as a side note endurolytes do nothing for me…I took them on accident before when Shane bought those and I didn't know it and I was sick and felt horrible on my long ride.

Ok, back to my point. I've been doing 3-4hr long bike rides, and most recently a 5hr ride. I started taking 2xe21 recovery pills every hour. I've had NO headache, I'm not bloating as much after the rides, can take in as much food on the bike as I need leaving me stronger for my T-runs and I'm waking up the next day just a little tired, but not trashed from the ride. Yesterday I didn't feel great starting the ride (got a little sick from the lake water swim on Friday), but started taking the e21 every hour and actually got stronger from miles 3-5 and had the best T-run yet! I finished the workout like it was a walk in the park and was able to go out like a big kid for the night. Today I'm tired, but legs feel great!

As for the joint product… I can't say I have as much feedback because it's something I take with my regular back of supplements, but I will say that my knees feel GREAT even with weekly big ring hill repeats and my elbows and shoulders are going strong with 3x per week 3200-3700meter swims! I would normally be feeling this? I think I'll know more as my training continues and I know how my body usually breaks down and will sh
are that feedback with you!

While I wish I had some special connections or offers for ALL these wonderful products to share, I'm afraid I'm not that blessed! I of course have my wonderful team sponsorship discount of 20% to share on e21 products by clicking HERE and using dogmom as a discount code. OR, they also have a great deal going on right now where you can by 1 and get 3 free! It's a fantastic deal! Use this link as well!

weekend ramblings

It's safe to say my weekend actually started on Thursday. This was a big training week build, the last big push before Oceanside and I had some hours to log on my bike. Coming off the race Sunday and a rest day Monday I was actually still really tired on Tuesday. I guess I pushed the race pretty hard. Tuesday I had a 3hr ride with lots of big chain ring hill repeats and a T-run plus a strength workout. Wed was an 8mile run test and a swim and Thursday another 3hr ride +T-run.

I actually felt pretty good on Thursday and decided to join Shane and some coworkers while they entertained some executives for the night. I mean, what girl in their right mind would pass up the opportunity for a dinner at Mastros vs trying to come up with something to make out of my fridge that consisted of bread, peanut butter and feta cheese? Yah, I was in dire need of heading to the grocery store. Of course this started out with Shane's infamous lemon drops at our house first, which led to all sorts of comedy and getting to dinner VERY late. So late in fact, it was actually my bed time before we even ORDERED dinner. Needless to say I pretty much knocked down 1/2 of the appetizers and bread while the men watched in awe. I'm sure Shane was SO proud. Little did I know I was also the only one that ordered dessert. At least I shared, a little anyway.

And then Shane saw me hit the wall all sea bass and tuna tartar and lobster mac and cheese and chocolate cake filled. I told him to put me in a cab and he could stay, but I think he was pretty pooped out too, you know it was his first time out of the house since surgery! So we headed home me filled up with all sorts of sugary stuff and quite the little buzz. I don't know if I even washed my face before hitting the pillow. It was MIDNIGHT after all people.

Friday when I woke up a little fuzzy…I finalized plans to head out to Bartlett Lake with some friends and meet my blogger friend and new e21 teammate Molly. We have been blog friends for a couple years now, and even though she visits Scottsdale regularly we've never actually met up so I was pretty excited!

The lake was actually quite pleasant and seemed even somewhat clear for an AZ lake. I don't know how far I swam but it was enough that my lack of food (no, I still had not bought any groceries) and a bit too much to drink the night before was getting the best of me. It was all I could do to get myself (with help from Tracy) out of my wetsuit and back home. Well, actually not even home I had to stop at AJs market to get something to stuff in my mouth RIGHT NOW.

The best part about getting home was seeing the package at my doorstep waiting for me! Our e21 kits were finally here! I didn't even wash off the nasty lake before I was tearing all of the stuff out of the packages and trying it on! Here's a stolen picture from Molly of all our fun new stuff. I'm pretty sure I won't be hard to miss out there racing this year :-) Thankfully, all of it fits (well, almost all but I didn't find that out until today) and I think it's super cute… even with the little bits of PINK! I also just got a cute new lime green Mdot visor & think I might need some of these green CEP socks as well!

Unfortunately things started to go downhill after my little dress up party. I had a big 5hr ride/20min t run in the am and I had absolutely no appetite. I thawed out some red sauce I had in the freezer and made some pasta and eggplant (FYI - if you haven't tried the Barilla PLUS go for it! It's not as chewy as whole wheat pasta, but it has 10grams of protein per serving).. About 20mins after eating my stomach was miserably bloated and I started to feel nauseous. I ended up throwing up my dinner and then passing out on the couch at like 8pm. I woke up about 30mins later, stomach felt better but I was toast so I headed to bed…. I don't even remember Shane getting home several hours later and the next thing I knew I was up at 6 with the alarm.

I didn't feel 100% but I didn't feel horrible either so I decided to give the ride a go. My guess is I took in some nasty lake water that my stomach just did not agree with, so I was pretty sure I wasn't sick. I had some wonderful people that made plans to do most of the ride with me. We met up, then headed to our gym to meet up with a bigger group. They immediately took off up one of the first hills and I found myself in the back of the group, last up the hill as I watched my HR hit my max number for the day. Humbling to say the least. Thankfully, my two friends that were in for the long haul had an idea to pull off from the group after the first set of hills and go a different, more flat direction. I was game for something new and soon we were on our way. The route was semi flat with some inclines declines for a lot of it, and lots of wind. I kept my HR right where I was supposed to and took 2x e21 pills every hour like clockwork. I also made sure I was getting at least 200+calories per hour and eventually I started to feel stronger and stronger. By mile 70, after a stop for a coke slurpee I felt the best I had all day….. My buddies were stopping in a few miles and I was RELIEVED that I was feeling good. I finished the ride feeling incredibly strong and had a fantastic T-run. I had nailed my nutrition and the e21 kept my legs feeling fresh. After 90miles and 2+mile run I felt great.

The night was young and I had plans to go out with Shane and the one remaining executive in town. I bugged Shane over and over to make some plans/reservations, something for the night since he was in charge but of course as of 4pm on Saturday night he had not done so, and I was left googling places to go, fun things to do for the night and sending out last minute texts to friends to see if anyone was heading out. Without much luck on either front (clearly we don't get out much!) we did finally find some fun places to go and had a very entertaining night out! Another late night out and too much to drink left me not sleeping well, or at all really before heading down to Chandler to take pictures for the Tri for the Cure. I'm so happy I got my butt out of bed because watching this race was amazing and inspiring to say the least. I am so impressed with what a fantastic event this was, and next year hope to help out a lot more!

All I could think of after several hours on my feet cheering and taking pics was getting home putting compression tights on and laying on the couch! Unfortunately Baxter had other things on his mind….like licking one of his wounds so bad it was infected and I ended up taking him to the vet first… Eventually I did get my lazy time, just before dinner and an early bed time!

Monday's events were nothing short of a train wreck…but I've already gone on and on way too much so in short, here's how my Monday went in bullets!
  • waking up to crazy wind and dust and after heading out for my 2:10 run I decided it wasn't smart to continue. My lungs were trashed from my ride and the wind and poor air quality and I'd basically been living on my inhaler.. I was bummed, but I knew it was best to wait a day.
  • next up heading to my indoor gym pool, getting suit on, gear all out and walking to the pool deck only to see a sign saying pool closed.
  • finally convincing myself to go to the outdoor gym pool anyway…. only to start the workout and realize my new e21 suit is too big, so big on the top in fact that I spent the hour swim flashing the older man swimming next to me. Fun times. Not to mention how much fun it was to try to hit some of my intervals with that drag.
  • As I got out of the pool, in the rain I checked my phone and saw 3 missed calls from my cleaning lady… who was left at my house.
  • Apparently, the dryer guy that I called in the am… (who was also just there on Friday, but the dryer stopped heating as I was washing my sheets this am so I called him back)… just showed up. He was supposed to call me first. Thankfully our sweet Mary was there and let him in to check it out. Needs another part, but of course it won't be in for a day or two.
  • Next up as she was mopping the floors my steam mop exploded or blew up or something…so bad that my dogs were hysterical and shaking and she just couldn't leave them alone so WHEN would I be home?
  • Oh, and the explosion blew a fuse and killed the power in my office, now my internet isn't working right
Thankfully, all are safe, no one was hurt… I'll eventually have clean/dry sheets and looks like I'm heading out for a new mop! My swim is in the bank and tomorrow's weather looks better and the rain we're having now should clean up the air for my lungs to catch a break….

Fun times! And with that, I'll finally shut up… Happy Monday :-)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

go big or go home

A certain someone I know (better known as Big J) pretty much trademarked the phrase "go big or go home." From delicious wine to all out family dinners to the motor home parked in the dirt lot on the "hot corner" at IMAZ for spectating.

Last Saturday I borrowed the phrase.

On a whim I decided to participate in a local triathlon after many failed attempts at getting someone to join me this coming weekend in Lake Havasu. I checked out last years results to see how many people participated, if anyone I knew raced that I could ask about, etc. I didn't get a whole heck of a lot out of that research, except seeing that it was a pretty small race with a lot of newbies, then some really fast locals that do the shorter distance races as well.

I headed down to register at one of the LBS and asked a few questions like you know, "where is the race at?" and "how do I know when it's my turn to swim." I was actually laughing at myself asking these questions, but like I said, this race was on a whim.

I was assigned a race number in order of people that registered. LOL. Literally. As of 2:30 on Saturday afternoon I had been assigned the last race number. I texted my coach and she said something like "perfect, you can perfect the art of the chase."…. Gotta love the coach's sympathy and the 17hr training week/taper she gave me :-) Actually, it all made me kinda laugh and I got home and said, well I do always swim better when I have someone to chase, so here we go. I looked at Shane and said, "eff it, I'm going for overall."

DON'T ASK ME WHERE THAT CAME FROM. I really pulled that outta my white you know what. Sure a girl can always hope she'll maybe have a good race, maybe get an AG award, but Overall?? No, that thought has NEVER crossed my mind. Shane just nodded and said, All RIGHT!

And, there in lies the infamous "go big or go home."

There is something to be said about an unplanned, spur of the moment & shorter distance race. No pre race nutrition worries, or a whole lotta stuff to pack. Honestly my biggest worry was what to wear. I wish I had the confidence and kick ass body to pull off racing in a swimsuit, but I'm pretty sure that is just never going to happen. Even after an embarrassing T-1 time that was equivalent to an IM transition. But, anyway…. I don't remember the last time I did a race that wasn't wetsuit legal so the outfit under the wetsuit isn't an issue. I finally settled on a swimsuit top and tri-shorts and I 'd put on my tri-top /tankini thingy - big mistake trying to put on an additional bra type thing over a wet bra type thing with wet hands. Just FYI.

I drove out to the race which was about an hour away at dark o'30 so I could get my bike and stuff ready and be out of transition by 6:30 like the paper said I had to be…even tho I wouldn't be getting in the pool until like 8:30. CLEARLY I didn't get the memo that you could pretty much show up whenever.. they let you into the transition as soon as the kids race was over at like 7:30-8am. Yes, I would have liked those extra hours of sleep… yet at the same time watching those little kids swim/bike run & transition SO fast was absolutely priceless.

I didn't really know anyone doing the race, saw a couple of my local clubs kits, but didn't recognize the people. I did however find the infamous king of "fresh and loose" and my new e21 teammate Steve Rink. I'd read some stuff on FB about how he and a few other fasties were wearing some specially made speedos with some catch phrases honoring the life of our local running hero, Sally Meyerhoff for the race. It wasn't hard to spot him in the pink Sally socks that have been appearing everywhere here in the Valley. I quickly introduced myself to him and met a few others that would be out there racing naked and in pink.

I did find out I wasn't last to start, I was right in the middle. Perfect. The swim was in a pool set up long course with 8 lengths. We did a 400meter serpentine swim, got outta the pool, ran back to the first lane jumped in feet first and did it all over again x4. You know, I actually had fun with it. The lanes were wide enough passing was no problem, and if nothing else I got a kick outta passing people in the pool. It's kinda my comfort zone. However, then we'd get to the wall which would be jammed up with 3-5 people at a time and well it was just funny trying to get over to the next lane, push off and go go go again.

Before the start of the race one of the fasties who typically wins these races said if you can do this swim in 30mins or under, you are doing WELL. My swim time which would normally piss me off for this distance, 30:xx. Again, I laughed.

T-1 was embarrassing, and I was happy to be out on my bike! 6 loops of 4 miles. So, THIS is what it's like to do a CRIT, kinda… I felt pretty strong and just tried to keep my pace above 20mph for the whole loop. My legs felt like bricks thank you super special simmons taper very much. In fact, I was pushing so hard my quads actually cramped. WTF? I don't cramp. I'm guessing it had something to do with having to pull myself up and out of the pool 4 times?

No worries, I popped 2 magic seaweed pills and was good to go. I felt pretty good heading into T-2. Only passed by a couple of boys (who you will see all of in the OA podium picture below) but no girls. I wondered if I was out in FRONT? Bike time was 1:06. Based on last years times I was thinking maybe 1:10ish so I was really happy.

The run was a 2 loop 3 mile run on dirt. Of course I didn't know this until I started running and the dirt just never ended until the last half mile on each loop. Oh boy did my legs feel like hell. I had hoped to run between 7:30's and 7:45s but every time I looked at my gamin I was seeing 8mm+.. After the first out and back I saw 4 girls behind me, most of them looking REALLY strong.

I'd be lying if I said I didn't almost give up right there. I was pretty sure I was in the lead, which is a small miracle in itself… but I've been up front in a few other races (not overall, but in my AG) only to be completely run down by the fasties. I felt defeated and was less than a mile into the run. The first girl passed me just a couple minutes later flying. I desperately tried to find another gear and follow her but I just didn't have it. I refused to look behind me to see who was coming next and just kept going. After about 2.5miles I finally got my legs back an was able to pick up the pace a little bit. On another out and back I saw that I had actually held off the other girls that I was convinced were going to pass me. That was all the motivation I needed.

I pretty much bitch slapped myself and thought what the hell was I doing out here if I was just going to give up? I work my ass off every day to make the progress I've made in the past couple of years and who's to say I don't deserve to actually SEE the results? Sure I love the training and the camaraderie and everything that goes along with it, but I have also worked SO HARD so why not see what I can do?

I did however notice that the girl behind me had a higher number than me, which meant that she started after me so she most likely was actually ahead of me… I stopped looking back. I ran as well as I could and as soon as I got to the pavement areas tried to put more time between myself and the girl behind me. I suck on dirt runs, but I was definitely gaining speed on those pavement sections! On the second loop I was able to see it had actually worked and unless one of us changed our pace by like a minute/mile I was going to stay out in front, but unfortunately I didn't have quite enough road to make up enough to beat her time wise.

I finished the run in 48mins and held on to 3rd place overall, just ~:90seconds behind 2nd place. The two top girls bike+transition time SMOKED ME. In fact, their bike+T times were faster than all but 3-4 of the boys. Pretty impressive.
I'm really happy with what I did out there on Sunday. Sure it was a small race, but those 2 girls were STRONG. In fact, the OA Female was 5th OA including men. Not to mention, she was incredibly friendly and sweet and cheered me on the whole run. Gotta love that spirit! It gave me a lot of mental breakthroughs I think I was needing.
Next up, Oceanside 70.3! My goal = to not fall apart in the run, and not die in the Ocean :-) Baby steps.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Casa LaPan, Infirmary style

Step 1 of getting my training buddies back started with sending my precious baby boy Baxter into the vet for surgery yesterday. I knew he would be ok, but this is the 3rd time we've had him in for mass removals in the past few years, and it just breaks my heart to see him like this. Thankfully, Shane was able to play doggy dad taxi and took him in the am so I could get my long bike ride for the week done, and then he picked him up as well because I just tear up seeing my boy hurt.

Some dogs are prone to these fatty masses growing on their bodies, and while for the most part Baxter is about as healthy as they come he does have these annoying "bumps" that just keep growing. The last time we did the surgery he was in a LOT of pain. He had one of the masses growing around his elbow/shoulder area so he was limping around a lot and reeking havoc on his running.

And, in the LaPan house having a runner on the injured list is NO bueno. Especially when you have 4 legs and running is almost higher on the list than peanut butter.

yes, my dog and i have THAT in common as well.

The last surgery recovery was rough on all of us. The tenderness from the location of the mass took a long time to fully recover and while his heart was 100% ready to roll after about 2 weeks 2 days you could tell he was faking his perfect stride and would limp around when he thought we weren't looking. Yes, he's good like that. But, so is this obsessive dog mom.

Finally about a month later he seemed to be back to normal, and somehow my house still standing. We built his running mileage back up to about 15 or so miles per week, capping it with a 6mile long run. It was fantastic, he was running so much stronger and for the first time in a LONG time no limping.

Covered under the wellness plan we have the dogs on is a dental. Aside from the monthly fee I pay, everything for that procedure is covered including anesthesia. It's the perfect time to have the masses removed with out crazy expenses.

Just so happens that his dental was due, AND my other training partner and hubby had scheduled his surgery as well. Without going into any personal details about S's surgery, to summarize he too will be having some "masses" removed that have been causing significant pain and making it impossible for him to bike, and almost impossible for him to run.

The recovery plan (as he's been told) is about 1month (similar to what I'm expecting for Baxter) for full recovery. Seems pretty reasonable considering he's been basically out of commission since November/December. So, what's one more month?

Thankfully, for the LaPan family it wasn't the dogmom out this time, cause I'm not sure if ANY of us could handle THAT again.

I'm not sure if it was my smartest idea, but I made the decision if I was going to have one LaPan down and out, I might as well get them both fixed up at the same time? I'll let you know how good this idea was in a couple of days.

So, Shane goes in for his surgery tomorrow and my hope is they can have some boy bonding time watching movies and popping pills together :-) And, at the very least hopefully they can keep each other company as they rest, recover and in several weeks start the road to recovery and building up their mileage TOGETHER.

Baxter's worst night is over. He spent all of yesterday shaking as he came down from the anesthesia. We bottle fed him water (out of the fuel belt bottle, of course :-)) and I made him rice to go easy on his belly and teeth. I slept with him on the couch until about 2am when the drugs must have worn off and he jumped up and b-lined for our bed. He's moving around MUCH better now, but I have to keep a constant watch on him to stop him from licking the stitches (~35 total) and ending up as a cone head (I just CAN'T do that to him).

Baxter is one tough dude. I guarantee you by the end of the week he's going to be begging me to take him out for a run. In so many ways this boy is JUST like me ("I'm fine, really let's go RUN"). As another blogger friend mentioned in a recent post, he is my soulmate.

If I'm being honest I think these surgeries and recoveries are a whole heck of a lot tougher on the dogmom than the actual dog, but I know in the end it will be worth it and he, along with his dogdad will be out on the road in no time kicking my butt again!

I promise S I won't post any sad, drugged up pics of him post op…but I might have a funny story or 2 to share, we'll see :-)

Please keep the good recovery vibes coming for both of my babies boys:-)