Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Boston Visor

Runners are the wrong people to mess with. We are strong. We support each other. I will proudly wear yellow and blue.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

New Shoes

After my last pair of New Balance shoes literally fell apart, I was in need of new shoes pronto! Since I didn't have any problems with my old shoes (besides the fact that they told me they were worn out), I decided to keep the same shoe, with a little color change -- New Balance 870. My last shoes were pink and yellow. These are pink, black, and white.

I ordered them from Road Runner Sports and they arrived on my doorstep a day later. Yippee! I couldn't wait to take them out for a test run. Since I had just finished Oceanside 70.3, it took me a few days to lace them up. I love how they feel and especially how they look. These beauties will be coming with me to Ragnar, OC Triathlon, and my summer running. Who knows where else? (Maybe Paris?!)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Not just because I'm a runner, but because I'm an American and a human being.

Monday, April 15, 2013

My Sweet Tattoo

As often as I apply Team Sparkle tattoos, I'm surprised I don't have more of these.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Race Report: Oceanside 70.3 2013

I have been waiting for this day for two years. This was my "A" race. And I knew I wanted to crush it. Race day was here and I was ready.

The last time we did this race there was only transition area, but this year it had two. It didn't change things too much except that the race was now had "clean" transition areas, meaning we had all the gear bags like Ironman.

First we stopped by T2 to drop off our run gear bag. Running shoes, socks, Team Sparkle skirt, Team Sparkle visor, 3 Cliff Shot gels, one granola bar (just in case).

Next we rode our bikes to T1 which was about a mile away. We dropped our bikes and bike gear bag: helmet, sunglasses, 4 Cliff Shot gels, race belt with bib attached, bike shoes. We also had a morning gear bag to drop our clothes after we changed.

Skyler's wave started at 6:53 and mine at 7:30. The pros began at 6:40, so I had plenty of time to get ready. I hit the port-o-pottys and waited around for Skyler to start. Then I put on my wetsuit and watched the swimmers come in. I ate a Honey Stinger and Cliff Shot gel. I grabbed my goggles, race cap, and neoprene cap. I wish I would have brought throw-away socks, as the ground is kinda rocky.

Usually the water feels kinda warm, but when the water hit my face it felt cold. I kept my head above water for about 25 yards over to the start line. The gun went off and I didn't think about the cold anymore. It was a rough start as people were going every which way. I spotted a lot during the swim, but it didn't hamper me. About 12 minutes in, the next wave caught up with me. They were all men and they literally climbed over all of us women. They didn't care.

I hit the turnaround and began swimming back. Much to my delight, I felt faster. Skyler mentioned that it was low tide, so the water would be pushing us in on the way back. He was right and I felt so fast. I was extremely surprised to see the clock when I came out of the water.

Elise Swim 36:49 (1:44 improvement from previous best in 2011)
Skyler Swim 40:46

My transition went fine, or so I thought. I was surprised that it ended up being 6 minutes. I didn't have any dumb mistakes, but then again, it's a long run from swim out to our bikes. Oh well.

Elise T1 6:03
Skyler T1 4:00

Onto the bike. I knew the first 24 miles would be fast and the weather was working to our advantage...mostly. I was going fast, but I felt a sideways wind most of the time. I made it out to Cristianitos with an average speed of about 18mph. Not bad, but I thought it could have been better. I hit the first big hill at mile 28. No problems getting up it. The next 10 miles are pretty uneventful. The wind was in full force and my average mph really started dropping. I needed to keep a 17.2 to keep up with my goals.

Mile 40 is the last big hill and then some fun and fast coasting until about mile 48. Then we head back towards the coast. Most of the time there is a strong headwind, but this time there was a sideways tailwind. Thank goodness! I kept a high cadence gear and still pushed hard. My legs were definitely tired, as this ride was hard. 

The entry to T2 is in a different place than I'm used to. You come down to the boardwalk and take a sharp, quick hill up to the transition area. The hill was a surprise to most and many people dropped their chains as they came around the corner. I hurried up to T2 and saw my friend Julie cheering for me. I didn't expect to see her there so I was so excited!

Elise Bike 3:14:43 (1:20 improvement from previous best in 2011)
Skyler Bike 2:51:06

I started the run and felt pretty good. The run course is a bit different at the beginning and I almost missed the first turn. You have to run down a ramp from the pier and do a short quarter-mile run before you come back and go up the pier ramp. You really need to walk up the ramp because of how steep it is. I started off going too fast. I wanted my first mile to be 9:00 and I really did try to slow myself down, but it ended up being 8:18. The next mile was 8:04. Yikes! I kept that pace until mile 7 when I began to slow down (9:00 pace). I was disappointed that I was slowing down instead of speeding up. I was busy calculating my time to figure out what I needed to do to PR. I really wanted a 1:45 1/2 marathon, but I knew that wasn't going to happen. I found a chatting buddy around mile 9. We ran together for about 2 miles, then I left him. It was nice to have someone to take my mind off the race. That's not actually the best idea because I should be thinking about the race, but at this point I just needed to finish and not let my mind mess with my body.

The finish line was in a different spot than normal. I actually didn't know where it was. Around mile 8 I messed up my watch so I didn't know the exact mileage for the rest of the race. I kept asking people, but they didn't want to seem to share that info...like it was a secret. Anyways, I finally got an answer from someone that there was less than 1/2 mile left. I finally could see the finish line. My calves were tired. My whole body was tired. I should have taken my last gel 20 minutes previous. I always do that! It's like I'm trying to save my gels for something else. Just eat them!

I crossed the finish line and was so happy to be done. I couldn't muster up a jump across the finish line because I was so tired. Maybe that's a good thing.

Elise Run 1:50:37 (2:12 improvement from previous best in 2011)
Skyler Run 1:53:10

Elise Total Time 5:50:20 (4:34 improvement from 2011)
Skyler Total Time 5:31:05

I was happy to see Skyler waiting for me at the finish line. That's always my favorite time is seeing him during and after the race. He was able to finish the race, which I was thrilled about. Skyler had been sick all week and had thrown out his back the week before. He wasn't even sure he was going to race. I'm so proud of him for finishing strong.

I immediately made my way over to the food booth. I was starving. I ate some chocolate chip cookies, potato chips, and coke. But really I couldn't wait to drive to Elizabethan Desserts to get some cupcakes!

I had a faster time with my swim, bike, run, and total time. So I should be happy right? Yes of course! I am definitely happy to PR, but I'm beating myself up a bit for my run. I should have run faster. That's crazy, right? I should be thrilled. I'm too competitive with myself. But to be honest, I am happy. Any improvement should be celebrated! I can't wait to race again next year. I'm kinda sad I have to wait a whole year to do it again. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Our "Romantic" Getaway

We dropped off the boy and we dropped off the dog, now our weekend getaway can begin!!

What did we choose to do? Race an Half-Ironman. Yes, that's our idea of fun. Since the race was in Oceanside, about 60 minutes away, we decided to get a hotel for the night before the race.

We drove down to Oceanside with butterflies in our stomachs. Skyler had been sick all week and had thrown out his back the week before. He wasn't even sure he was going to race. I, on the other hand, was just feeling nervous. So much pressure to do well on my "A" race. 

The drive to Oceanside takes us through part of the race course. The bike course starts in Oceanside and goes north to San Clemenete, off Cristianitos. Excitement shot through my body when we passed that off-ramp.

We drove straight to packet pick-up and did all that official stuff. I got a new Ironman bracelet to add to my collection. Yes, I still have my Ironman bracelet from November. It's my badge of honor.

I loved this shirt from the expo! It's strange to say that I've "chicked" Skyler, but that's how it happened at Ironman. I certainly don't want to flaunt it though. He had a bad day and I don't think that will ever happen again.

Having alone time with Skyler was so wonderful. When we don't have Desmond, I am usually able to turn off my mommy brain and remember what it was like before we had a baby. Don't get me wrong...I love Desmond, but sometimes it's good to just be me and Skyler again.

We picked up dinner and stopped at the grocery store for some morning food essentials. We tried to be asleep before 9:30pm, but Skyler is always up a little later. I used to not be able to sleep on race night, but motherhood has brought new perspective to my life: sleep when you can. 

Stay tuned for my full race report....

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Race Report: OC Chili Trail Run #2

March 16 was the second of the OC Chili Trail Run series. This one actually got to be a trail run (yay!). Although I have done zero trail running since the last race, so I wasn't exactly prepared. But that's kinda how I roll sometimes.

Skyler was out of town for this race so I had to drop off Desmond at my brother-in-law's house. There was a big line for packet pick-up when I get there and I barely had time to grab my stuff and hit the bathroom before the starting gun went off. I wore a green Team Sparkle visor for St. Patty's Day. My watch wasn't getting location so I had to run by heart. I should have seen this as a sign of impeding disaster.

Carrie and I ran together for the first 3/4 mile until the hills really started. She stayed about 20 feet ahead of me for the next two miles. The hills really kicked my butt and I had to walk a few. But I knew who was in front of me and there were only two women (besides Carrie) who had done the first race. 

The hills subsided and it was time to run downhill. It was at that time that I discovered I needed a bathroom badly. But there are no bathrooms on the trails. And I didn't want to stop, so I kept running.

This is super embarrassing to share, but I figure someone else has to have gone through this experience too so I might as well share it. We got to the mile 3 and I just had to let myself go. I've peed a million times on my runs and I have no problem with that...but this was something different and way gross.

When your mind is occupied with others things, you have no idea how fast you can run. I just wanted to finish and that's all I could think about. Since my watch wasn't working, I had no idea how fast I was running or how far I had left. I just kept running.

My previous fastest time was 40 something, so I was thrilled to see the 38 flashing at me when I crossed the finish line. I saw Carrie cross about 20 seconds in front of me. I ran straight to the bathroom and abandoned all of my clothes. 

The chili was oh-so-good and after about 20 minutes, I was able to enjoy my super fast time. I had PRed by about a minute and change. Sadly, the times were recorded wrong so my official time is unknown, but I'm going to say 38:40. (NOTE: They changed my time to 39:01. Still a PR, but a few seconds off.) That put me in 3rd place for the series so far. Carrie will be out of town for the last race (thank goodness), so hopefully I can secure my 3rd place in a few weeks. Talk about pressure! I can't wait though.