Saturday, May 30, 2015

Salem Spring Sprint Triathlon Race Report

I signed up for the Triple Play with Racetri this year.  This means I have to complete the Salem Spring Sprint, the Rock Cliff Olympic (June 13) and the Utah Half 70.3 (August 22).  When you complete all of those you get a special award after the Utah Half.  I was all game for this and immediately agreed and registered.  Then I looked closer at the dates of the events.  This meant that just two weeks after IMTX I would have a sprint and just two weeks after that an Olympic.  I have heard various things about how long IM recovery takes, and having never done one, I figured it would be a complete mess, but I would go anyway.

Race Day Selfie with this cutie!
Then I tried my first two workouts this past week since IMTX.  My attempt Monday morning at a swim (just 9 days post IMTX) was PATHETIC.  I felt like lead the whole time.  It took all I could to force 25 minutes, and it was a pathetically slow 25 minutes at that.  Then I attempted a bike ride out to the marina and back.  Flat, easy 15 miles.  I felt great at the time, but after I got home I felt like I had done a century ride.  So, I did nothing else the rest of the week and was just hoping to not die in this race!  I was pretty sure it would be comical!

Due to it being a typical crazy Saturday at our house, the IronSherpa wasn't able to make it.  I was fully prepared to make the trek to Salem on my own, but IronKid #1 wanted to come.  I was surprised that he wanted to, but thrilled at the same time.  I explained we would have to get up pathetically early and leave, and it would mean a long car drive (1.5 hours one way) and lots of waiting.  He said if I bought him a drink and snack at the gas station he wouldn't complain.  DONE!


IronKid #1 and I headed down to the race.  I haven't done this one before and am not that familiar with the area, but we were still able to find it okay.  It was a blast hanging with my oldest.  He's a hoot!  I thoroughly enjoyed his company.  Great kid!

We got to the race and he helped me with my bike, offered to carry stuff, etc.  What a great help!  He also held my stuff while I got my race packet and timing chip.

It was fun to have reserved racking as being a Triple Play participant.  Loved this!  No crowded racks at all!  I also got to see several of my friends from my tri club.  It was shaping up to be a great morning!


This was a 800 meter swim in the Salem Pond.  Not a huge pond by any means, and it did look pretty nasty.  However, after swimming in Lake Woodlands and the Utah Lake, it wasn't so bad :).  Typical greenish duck pond.  I was in the 35+ Women's wave, so we went very last.  I stayed dead on straight for the first two swim buoys, and I started off too fast too.  My heart was beating through my wetsuit and I was struggling to breathe.  I dialed it down a notch, but had a hard time finding the 3rd buoy  that was on the other side of the bridge.  I am not a straight swimmer, and I noticed I veered way too far to the right.  Dang it, Katie! Rookie mistake!  I should totally know better!  I was glad to find the buoy and stayed on course for the rest of the swim.  I did notice however, that when I would put my head up to breathe, the water smelled bad.  Eeewwwww!

I finished the swim and was glad to be out of the water.  My heart rate was crazy high, so I knew that I needed to chill a bit on the bike to bring it back down.

Final Swim Time: 15:01, fastest swim split of my age group, ....HECK YEAH!!!


I wanted a really fast transition because I have been working on them.  Apparently it paid off, my T1 time was 1:23!  Very pleased!

I must note two things here.  1)  My transition was only this fast because some nice spectator decided to act as a wetsuit stripper and got it off super quick 2) My truly pathetic/embarrassing/what the hell was I thinking moment happened here when I went to get my bike off of the rack and took down the entire rack with it.  Since I am a fast swimmer, there were still a ton of bikes on it.  Whoops!  Thanks heaven for good volunteers!!


This is a two loop 12 mile bike course.  It starts off circling the pond then up a short, but steep, hill.  Once to the top of that hill it is a false flat with climbing for a bit after that.  No real chance to settle into aero until you are a couple of miles into it.  However, the second half of this loop is FAST!  I loved it and at one point got up to 31 mph.  I was pleased with how good I was still feeling!  My heart rate was high, but then again, I reminded myself that this is a sprint, not an IM, so no need to get into Zone 2!  I was supposed to be working hard!  I decided to ignore HR for this race and just go as hard as I could stand.  I was especially pleased with how good I felt, so I decided to put the pedal on the gas until I ran out :)

First bike loop was fun, but I was glad to pass several people that were slow and had no clue what ON YOUR LEFT means.  Move over people!  I am well aware there are people faster than me, and when they say that, I get over!  Apparently several people didn't get the memo on this.  The second loop was more spread out, and I didn't have so much of this issue then.  I was able to power up the hills, and tuck in on the down. I also passed many people on this course.   I felt very fast and strong on this's about freaking time I felt like this on the bike!

Final bike split for this race was 42:35...second fastest bike in my division.  Man, some really crappy cyclists must have been on the course today if that was 2nd!


Again, I wanted this to be crazy fast.  Though I have been practicing flying dismounts, I decided against it seeing as how the bike dismount area was at the bottom of a decent hill.  Nope, not happening.  Still got off the bike fast and quickly switched shoes.  Decided to go sockless again for the run since this worked well for me at Icebreaker.

Final T2 time was 57 seconds.....HECK YEAH!!  First time I have even been under a minute on transition!  In and out Baby!


This is a simple, and pretty boring 5k run along the chip seal roads and neighborhoods near the pond. There is another short steep hill, but it isn't bad.  I was running comfortably hard, and my run mile splits were 9:51, 10:22 (where the hill is), 9:19, and 8:27 for the last .1 mile ;)  This made for a final run time of 30:36 or 9:46 avg pace. Second fastest run in my division as well.   I will definitely take that!

Final Race time for Salem Spring 1:30:36.


IronKid #1 found me and wanted me to sneak him a bagel from the finish line food :)  I then mingled with other friends and IronKid checked the results to see that I had podiumed with a second place finish for my age group!  What the crap?  I was so excited by this!  I literally had no expectations for this race, so I was thrilled and surprised at the same time.  We hung out for the awards ceremony, only to also see that my friend Brandy had finished right behind me for the #3 spot!  How fun to podium with a friend!  It was a great day!


I loved this race, and not just because I landed on the podium.  I love the course, and I was reminded how much fun, yet hard, a sprint can be!  It is a total different kind of racing, it is all about going as hard as you can!  Totally different from the Ironman, when you have to pace yourself and go long.  I really think that I could be content doing the short distances and taking on a different kind of challenge for awhile after this.  Plus, the training would be fun, I need to focus on speed anyhow!  Definitely gives me something to think about for 2016 :)

Also, another shot out to Racetri.  I love these guys!  I love their races!  They seriously know how to take care of their athletes!  The races are always fun, yet challenging, and I see myself doing many more in the future!  The only thing I didn't love about this race was the orange shirt.  I look like a traffic cone in it!  But they more than made up for it with the awesome medals and awards!


School is out on Wednesday, so I am looking forward to my summer off and some good training, as well as more down time with the IronKids.  I have the Rock Cliff Olympic in two weeks, then nothing until the Utah Half in August.  However, I did get into the St. George Marathon for October 3, so I will officially start my training plan for that right after Rock Cliff.

I am excited to be "back".  The past two weeks were tough and I hated the residual fatigue and crappy workouts.  I am glad that I am back on a plan, of some sort.  Technically I have 2 weeks until my marathon training officially begins, and I am going to continue doing what I want and only if I feel like it until then, as I don't want to take on too much too soon.  Ironman takes a lot out of you!  Though I do feel lost without a training plan....

In the meantime, Happy training and Racing all!!

Two medals, one day...I could get used to this!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

One week and some change past IMTX

I have had over a week to process and think about my race.  Here are some random thoughts I have had:

1)  When they say that IM recovery is a matter of weeks, not days, they mean it.  My poor body, though it feels better every day, still has some residual fatigue, and my poor feet are still healing from awful blisters.

2)  Trying to exercise for the first time yesterday was comical.  I tried a nice easy swim and though it felt good, my poor body was saying NOPE as it felt like lead for most of the swim.  It was pathetically slow too!

3)  This weekend's sprint tri is going to be even more comical than yesterday's attempt at a swim.

4)  I have changed my mind about never doing one again.  I know I will, but it won't be for awhile.  With my kids and their ages, the fact that I am coaching the swim team next year, and other life circumstances, I can't commit to another one for at least a few more years.  And I am okay with that!

5)  I didn't realize the commitment that it was until it was past.  All of a sudden my schedule is wide open with lack of training 15-18 hours a week.  I am not thinking about it constantly.  I have also noticed a few times I have even been BORED!    Ironman is pretty all consuming while getting ready for it.

6)  My injuries/battle wounds from IMTX included awful funky sunburn in weird patterns due to the unevenness of the volunteers putting it on, at least 8 blisters big enough to constitute their own zip code, friction burn from my timing chip, chaffing in weird places, hyper extension of my knee on the bike that a week and half later is still sore, nerve damage in my shoulder/neck from being on my bike for 7+ hours (this is nothing new, just the same old issue with the arthritis, but it has SUCKED the past week), and still crying at the drop of a hat when I think about the finish line :)

7)  I won't do another IM until I can upgrade my bike to a TT bike.  I love Belle, but if I am going to do another IM, I think it would be best done on a TT.  I will also not do another one with out hiring a coach.  I feel that I have come as far as I can on my own, and I liked my training plan, but don't know that it was enough.  Part of me thinks it was, but I am not so sure.  I would really want the personalized guidance and feedback of a coach. Plus, it would be nice to take a lot of the guesswork out of it for me.  So, given all of those things, it will be awhile till I do another one :)

8)  I can honestly say this was the best and worst thing I ever did.  I loved the journey, I loved the people I met, and I am proud of my accomplishment, but DANG it was hard!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Kathryn Limb of Syracuse Utah...YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!!!!

The title of this post is the short version of my first Ironman race.  If you want the abbreviated version...there ya go...I finished the most brutal day of my life.  If you want the long version, pull up a chair, grab the popcorn and a ya go:)


Ken and I arrived on Monday, 5 days prior to the race.  I was so glad that we did this.  My mindset was it would give me time to acclimate somewhat to the humidity, and at the same time, if we were spending the money to go to Houston, I wanted to have time to see and do things that I wanted to do as it is where I grew up and there were people I wanted to see and things that were definitely on what I was calling my Texas To Do list.  Among the highlights of my Pre-race activities were seeing my best friend from high school, Amanda for dinner, driving through my old neighborhood, going to an Astros game, and attending a pre-race clinic by Endurance Nation.  Pics below!

We also attended the Athlete Banquet.  I had been told this was a MUST DO, so we bought Ken a  ticket as my ticket was included in my registration fee.  The food was good, it is always fun to visit with other triathletes, but that is where the fun ended.  The actual presentation was lame and we left after 45 minutes of corporate plugs.  Pathetic!

I am not normally an emotional person, but I found all week that I was crying at the drop of a hat!  I went to packet pick up and the sweet volunteer asked for my name and I got all choked up and couldn't tell her that I was #1198.  She just nodded nicely and said, "You're a first timer, aren't you?"  Gee, how did you guess?

Then we had bike check in on Friday.  It was a muddy mess.  It was fun to run into my friends Jenny and Kerri from our Facebook group.  I think we were all a little dazed or a bundle of nerves! Ken and I then took it easy the rest of the day.  I was way excited to meet up with my friend Jenny who has done this race twice.  Reading her blog over the years not only made me want to try a triathlon, but also sparked the IronBug with me.  Seeing someone I know go through it made me believe that maybe, just maybe, I could do it as well.


I woke up amazingly calm and just flat out excited.  I was surprised because normally before a big race I am ready to puke, but not this time!  We woke up at 3:45.  I ate my breakfast of instant oatmeal and a banana with water to sip on until the swim start.  The water temp was 81, so this was not going to be wetsuit legal, so I had my swim suit on under my swim skin.  Ken helped me put my race tats on and I was pumped!  He then took me and dropped me off at transition where I went to load my bike with all of my nutrition.  It had poured all week, including during the night and it was super humid and the area was super muddy.  I went to tape my salt tabs to the top tube of Belle, and it was so humid, the tape had no stick to it!  Crazy!  I ended up just dumping them in my bento box.  Not horrible, but not as easy as I was hoping for either.  I then put my Perpetuem bottle on and filled my front aerobottle with water and dropped in a Nuun tab and Belle was ready to go!  IMTX has a swim start that is actually  just under a mile away from transition, so I started my walk over there and visited with other triathletes along the way.  It was fun.  I love the triathlon community and meeting others.  I walked over with an older gentleman named Skip.  He was a first timer as well and was working with Team in Training.  He is 67!  Amazing!  We talked about how the training had gone and how at the end of the day, we just wanted to finish.  He was awesome!  When we got to the swim start we went out separate ways and I went to get in line for the bathroom.  I dropped my special needs bags with the volunteers and then turned around to see Ken had made it!  I really wasn't sure that he would, but I was glad that he did!  Ken is my rock and he was good to be with those last few minutes.


We then lined up in a self seeded fashion for the rolling start which was new to IMTX this year.  You line up by projected finish times.  I had mixed feelings about this.  One, I wanted to experience the mass start of an Ironman just once, and it wasn't happening here.  On the other hand, I have anxiety about that kind of start and I didn't lose any sleep over a rolling start either.  However, the one down fall is it takes away from that magical midnight finish time because everyone's 17 hours starts when they cross the timing mat at the water's edge.  So, pros and cons.

The reality of it was it was slicker than snot!  I loved it!  It was very smooth and efficient and I felt like I seeded myself right with the 1:10-1:20 group.  I got bumped and toes tapped a few times, but nothing like the battle scene I have heard about it mass starts.  The water was always crowded around me, but totally manageable.  I settled into a good pattern of counting strokes and sighting every 4th stroke.  It worked well.  The water quality though it was no Caribbean or Bear Lake, wasn't as bad as I expected.  Utah Lake is worse!  I could see about a foot in front of me on the down stroke.  I really focused on counting strokes and not swimming any faster than I could maintain good form for.  The first turn buoy came and it did get pretty crowded and crazy around it, but it didn't last long.  Then we started swimming back to the bridge and that next third went very well!  I was in a very happy place and started to think ahead to the bike, but then reminded myself to stay in the moment and focus on it.  One, two, three, site, one, two, three, site, repeat.  Before I knew it we were rounding into the canal.  I had heard from others that this part is a double edged sword.  It is cool from the stand point that the spectators come out and have a great view of the swimmers and you of them.  The down side is that it is narrow and you are funneling all of those swimmers into a narrow area and it can get choppy and crazy.  I stayed to the far right of the canal, a couple feet out from the side, and I did just fine!  Not too crazy at all!  The canal seemed to go fast and then it got crazy at the swim exit, but the volunteers literally grab you and pull you out of the water.  I was very happy with this swim.  I stayed on course, stuck to a good rhythm, and felt physically very strong. I don't feel like I over did it, it was exactly what I would have hoped for.

Final swim time was 1:23:22....Heck yeah!!  Thrilled with this especially since it was a non wetsuit swim!  I ranked 42/120 in my age group for the swim portion

I will now say that the swim is the only part of my day that went as planned or better :/

Transition 1:

I got out of the water and went to do costume change #1.  I took off the swim skin and swim suit, then put on my cycling shorts, a sports bra and tri top.  I was glad that I did this, but it was much harder to get the dry clothes on a wet body than I thought.  Thank heaven for volunteers!  They help with whatever you want!  They greased my shoulders and back with sunscreen, gave me water, and helped me on my way.  I did get my bike shoes super muddy mess, but they will wash.

Final T1 time was 10:56.  It seemed like longer than that, so I was pleased.


The first part of this bike was great.  I did the best I could to just ride along as the coach at the Endurance Nation seminar had told us.  I rode easy for the first 10 miles or so to get my bearings, bring my heart rate into a solid Zone 2, and settle in for what would be a long ride.  The first 40ish miles were great, not fast, but smooth sailing.  I was loving this course.  It was all the great things I love about Texas.  Green forests, farm lands, wild flowers on the sides of the road, people coming out to cheer your on, etc.  I was sticking to my nutrition plan by taking in my Perpetuem every 15 minutes, taking a shot block or two, and taking salt tabs every 30 minutes.  It was great!

Around mile 50 the winds started. I would like to say that they didn't last long, but they lasted until mile 95 or so.  Brutal doesn't begin to describe these hot humid winds that were going 20-30 mph and they were a constant head wind.  It was like biking in a furnace. It also was hard because this course was more hilly than I thought.  Granted, this was not the Triple Bypass, but they hills were consistent and with the winds coming at you, they did get difficult.  I just wanted to be done!  I then glanced at my Garmin and noticed that I wasn't making good time at all.  I was starting to get bummed by this, and started to worry about having enough nutrition to last long enough.  I had planned 7 hours of bike nutrition, and it soon dawned on me I would NOT be off the bike in 7 hours.  Thank heavens for Bike Special Needs at mile 60!  I was glad that was there or I wouldn't have had enough.  I was so glad that I utilized this and packed extra stuff.

I got to be a pro at the aid stations, which were every 10-12 miles.  I grabbed 2 bottles at every station, one to refill my aero bottle up front and would dump the second on my head to cool off.  I was sticking to my nutrition, but it started to frustrate me.  It was working in that it was keeping me going, but it was too many moving pieces.  The Perpetuem, the Nuun, the Salt tabs, and the occasional Bonk Breaker was just too much to manage while riding.  Next time, I will go a simpler route.  However, I had to stop 3-4 times to pee, which is a good sign that I was getting enough fluids and electrolytes in.

Physically I felt pretty good except for a couple of things.  One, I got a cramp in my right leg at the top of my calf muscle behind my knee around mile 50 of the bike. It never went away.  Also, my saddle seemed very uncomfortable, and I am not sure why, but I was so ready to get off that thing!  Also, my sore shoulder that has been an issue reared it's ugly t

While on the bike I was getting pretty grumpy and frustrated that I wasn't making the time I wanted.  I then would hear occasional sirens of ambulances and it was a quick reminder that someone out there was having a worse day than I was, and Suck It Up Buttercup and just get the job done!  I then decided to quit being so hard on myself and just be grateful to get through it in one piece.

I was happy to get to Mile 100 and a nice lady named Dianna and I started talking.  She was friendly, happy and positive.  She was just what I needed at that point because I was being pretty negative.  Thank you, where ever you are Dianna!  You helped me to get into the right frame of mind before I started my marathon!

My final bike time was 7:55:09.  I am not thrilled with this, but what do you do?

Transition #2

Time for costume change #2.  I kept my same tri top on and put on the tri shorts and running shoes. I also took the chance to drink two glasses of ice cold water that the volunteers brought to me and reapply sunscreen.  I handed my bags over to the volunteers and started out on the marathon.  I felt like I took my time, as mentally I was NOT wanting to run a marathon in the heat of the day, but apparently it was better than I thought because my final T2 time was 10:08


Now to just run 26.2 miles.  This is a three loop run course with each loop being just over 8 miles a piece.  They run quite a bit along the Waterway, but they also venture off onto some more quiet running trails and into some beautiful neighborhoods with mega-mansions.  Other than a few switch back parts, I really liked this run course.  The volunteers, crowd support, and cheer stations were unreal.  Seriously so much fun!  They provided the mental diversions that you need to get through an Ironman Marathon.  My run strategy was pretty the whole thing at an easy pace but stop at every aid station that were every mile.  Then I would walk through and take in what I wanted to before I started off to the next one.  I was feeling really good at this point and was surprised I was able to stomach the Gu and other nutrition I took in.  In my other long distance races, by this point my stomach only wants water and maybe Coke.  However, I was able to do just fine with the Gatorade on the course and the Gu I had of my own.  About mile 10 a nice volunteer asked if I wanted grapes.  I don't know what it was, but that sounded like a piece of heaven and I started taking in a pixie cup of grapes at the aid stations as well.  They were wonderful!

The funnest part of this course were Hippie Hollow and the Moxie team cheer stations.  They simply made me laugh and smile.  I so needed to mental distraction of the Speedo clad dudes and the 70's dressed people dancing and cheering me on, as well as giving me a mental break from the suffering that is inevitable in this portion of an Ironman.  We also had tons of kids and families out and it was so nice to hear "Looking good" (even though I am pretty sure I would have been a shoe in for the cast of Walking Dead) or "Looking Strong" (even though I am sure most senior citizens could have gone faster).  I loved the signs along the course that not only motivated and made me laugh.  It was awesome!

I was able to maintain my strategy of running except at the aid stations. I had to make a few too many stops at the Porta-Potties (maybe the grapes weren't such a good idea after all?) and I found that I made new friends along the way.  There was one guy Dennis I met on my second loop.  He was just so friendly.  He asked where I was from, asked about my training, we talked about how much this hurt but how cool the finish line would be.  He was also a first timer.  I lost him when we got back to the Waterway, but he was so nice!  I also met another guy that was cramping pretty bad.  I didn't get his name, but he was walking and really suffering. I knew that I had more salt tabs than I needed so I gave him a few.  I sure hope he finished!  I saw Ken on both the first and second run loops.  Ken told me he was proud of me for making this loop easy and for the fact that I was still smiling.

By the third loop it was the tail end of the night and it was dark.  I really mentally had a hard time with this loop.  I just wanted to be done.  I mentally caved at a few points and walked just because I was sick of running.  I was sick of my feet burning.  I was sick of thinking about how I was going so slow.  I was just DONE.  I physically could have gone on running, but mentally, I needed a walk break to regroup.  I finally told myself that there was nothing else I could ask of myself other than to finish.  I had done my best all day, so get this done, Katie!  I was probably at Mile 23ish and I decided I would then suck it up and continue running this.  I was so happy to hit the Waterway part again and feel the crowd support again!

I finally hit the part of the run course where it forked between starting the 2nd/3rd Loop and then where you go to the Finisher's Shoot.  Because this was later in the evening, and most people had already finished, I had the shoot to myself.  I turned there and the energy is beyond anything you can describe.  You have hundreds of people on either side that are all clapping, cheering, calling your name and holding out their hands for high 5s as you pass by.  It was unreal running down that red Ironman carpet for the 100 or so yards that it was.  I ran from side to side to give as many people high fives as I could.  The BeeGee's song "Staying Alive" was blaring (pretty fitting considering how the marathon was a exercise in survival) and then I heard Mike Reilly yell, "Kathryn Limb of  Syracuse, Utah, YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!"  By this time I was bawling.  Pretty funny when you look at my Finisher Pics because I am doing the ugly cry, not anything cute, but the pictures look like I am trying to sneeze.  Lovely, just lovely.

Final run time was 6:33:13, and final race time for IMTX was 16:12:48.

-I stuck to my training plan.  I missed very few workouts.  I allowed myself to recover well, and I tapered well.
-I arrived at the start line healthy and injury free
-Nutrition worked.  I believe that I took in the right amount  of everything...calories, sodium, electrolytes, etc, and I stuck to the plan in which to take them.
-I utilized the Special Needs bags...I would have been in a world of hurt if I hadn't done this, especially on the bike.
-I remained mostly positive,
-I smiled almost the entire time.
-I took the time to thank volunteers and to appreciate that I am able to do this,
-I took the time during the race to thank my Heavenly Father for the ability and opportunity to do this.

- Simplify nutrition.  Though I took in the right amounts of everything and felt good energy wise, there are too many moving parts.  I like the idea of having just one source of nutrition where you just reach for a bottle that contains all you need, and wash it down with water.  I may need to look into other options to do this.
- Take the time mode off my Garmin for the day, only have it show heart rate and maybe the distance.  Especially if for a first timer, the goal should be finish LINE not finish TIME.
-Look into a different saddle.  I have never loved the one that I am on, and I am more and more convinced it may just be worth the effort to experiment and find one that I love.
-Take the day after the race off from work.  It was brutal having to go to work yesterday morning.
- Have a first aid kit in the hotel after the race.  Given the amount of chaffing, blisters, soreness, swelling, etc, I wish I would have packed things like band aids, gauze, first aid tape, Neosporin, Ibuprofen, and things like that to tend to all my battle wounds :)


I am so glad that I had the opportunity to do this race.  I have prepared for it actively for a year, but I really think it goes beyond that.  I have come so far in a fairly short amount of time.  I wasn't raised an athlete.  I always admired the athletes in school, because I never thought I was one of them, though I wanted to be.  I love what triathlon has brought to my life and the experiences I have had and the friendships I have made.  This race was in many ways a coming together of all of that.

I was humbled to the point of tears by all of the posts, tweets, Facebook comments, text messages and phone calls I got from people literally all over the world.  I knew people were praying for me and I felt those prayers, especially during the hard moments, and believe me, there were many!  I have the best friends, family and support crew ever.  I am so thankful for each and every one of you who read this blog, commented, posted, texted, or watched and followed my progress online.  It means the world to me, more than I could ever express.

As good as my support crew is, Ken is the rock and my biggest cheerleader, I have said it before and I will say it a thousand times more, I couldn't do it without him, nor would I want to.  He puts up with me.  He supports me.  He never complains about the crazy adventures I take us on.  He never complains about the training, or having to pick things up the slack while I was training with kids or things around the house.  He's pretty fantastic.  I love him more than I can express.  No moment was as special as seeing him as soon as I crossed the finish line.  Falling into his arms was the perfect way to end my day.

What's next?  A break!  I need a mental and physical break.  My poor body took a beating and I need a mental break as well.  Of  course I have more races this year, but I'm not stressing over them and they are all just for fun, where I have no expectations other than to enjoy them.  I want to focus more on my run, my never ending nemesis (but apparently my bike needs some work too)

So, Happy Racing and Training all!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

It's Race Week!!

I can hardly believe that it is already Race Week!  We leave for Houston first thing in the morning.  My Belle has been cleaned, tuned, and the race bag is all packed and they are getting dropped off on our way to the airport with ProBike Express.  The reality of all of this is sinking in!

Blame the taper, or the fact that I am about to have a dream come true, but I have been pretty emotional lately, which isn't like me at all.  I actually cried while packing my race gear.  I have been stressed about this as all of a sudden I am second guessing everything and the logistics of planning for a race of 140.6 miles was overwhelming at times.  I actually had to walk away from it a few times.  But, I think I have done a good job and am as ready as I will ever be from a logistics stand point.  Once I had the bike and bag all packed I cried for a different reason.  My heart was full and I just had this sudden sense of gratitude.  Just a sense of gratitude for being able to have this journey and this opportunity.  Excited, nervous, thankful, all rolled into one.  It has been amazing and I am so thankful for the whole process!!

I have had anxiety over the weather.  At one point it showed severe thunderstorms that day, but now that isn't quite the case.  Any person with any sense of logic knows that you shouldn't trust any weather forecast 10 day out, especially in Texas, but logic went out the door when the taper started :)

I was also glad to get my sub plans all ready for the week as well. I have never taken that  much time off from school and it was a bit overwhelming to plan that much for someone else.   My students were sweet and hung the following banner outside my room for me to discover as I came in the other day.

My mother got here just fine and we have been getting her up to speed on the routine of the two minions.  My suitcase is all packed with the non race stuff  (there isn't really much of that :))

I know that  a week from today it will be all over, but I am so excited about this week!  I have missed Texas and it will be fun to be home.  It will be fun to see people I haven't seen in a long while, and make new friends as well.  I am super excited to meet up with the people from our IMTX Facebook group!

Do I have goals for this race?  Yes and No.  Obviously, I just want to finish.  I know that is all I should be focused on, but I am too competitive with myself especially and of course I have goals in mind for each discipline and for an overall time I would like to hit.  But, at the end of the day, I just want to finish, smile the whole time, and hear Mike Reilly call my name.  Oh, and bring home some sweet finisher gear as well :)

I am sure people will get sick of my posts this week that are all Texas and race related, so if that is the case, screw them!  Block me, hide me, delete me....but you have been forewarned, especially if you follow me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter :)

If you care to follow me on race day, my Bib # is 1198.  I am sure I will post between now and then, but in the meantime....Happy training, tapering, and racing all!!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Taper Madness

I'm not going to lie or sugar coat anything.  Tapering sucks.  Just.  Plain.  Sucks.  The past two weeks I have been moody, irritable, stressed, excited, happy, giddy, back to stressed, tired, hungry, hyper, hungry, and then back to all of the above. 

I know a lot of this stress is just the logistics of getting ready to go.  I have to make sub plans for a week, get everything graded, make all the copies, type up the instructions, etc just to be prepared to be off work for a week.

Then there are the logistics of making pack lists, packing, dropping the bike off, picking it up, coordinating with the bike transport company, etc.  Nothing that hard, but it all adds up.  I also have to get my house ready for my mom to be there all week with my kids!

At night I have laid in bed and some nights I am just plain excited.  Other nights I literally start to freak out and think "It's only 140.6 miles, what could POSSIBLY go wrong?"  I worry about the oddest things and things that haven't occurred to me yet, all of a sudden will, like, where do I meet Wes from ProBike Express after the race to get him my bike?  Not a huge deal, just a simple question, but in the middle of the night, this is a BIG DEAL.

And don't get me started on the weather.  I have now deleted the weather apps from my phone.  It is still too far out to accurately predict, but it was just giving me anxiety.  When I was still checking the weather, it was calling for thunderstorms that day.  Please, anything except thunderstorms.  The only reason I don't want that is because that could potentially shorten or cancel parts of the race.  I have trained too long and hard and don't want to complete anything less than 140.6 on May 16.  I am seriously prepared for anything else mentally, but that would just royally SUCK!

I know that I will in the end be fine.  I need to focus on what I can control instead of what I can't.  I know I need to trust my training, trust the planning, and it will be good in the end. It always works out, but right now I am kinda panicky!  Once I get on the plane and to Houston, a lot of this stress will be gone because it will all be packed, checked, rechecked, and we will be on our way! 

I guess tapering is a giant "ARE WE THERE YET?" feeling.  It is like studying for a test that you have to wait 3 weeks to take.  Yep, I am ready.  As ready as I am going to be.  Let's get this show on the road!