Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Set your TiVo!


I know this is a little early, but I will be reminding you on a regular basis. NBC's broadcast of the Ford Ironman 70.3 World Championship race in Clearwater, FL is scheduled for Saturday, March 29th at 2 pm EST.

I will be one of the featured athletes...

Don't Miss It!!!


Monday, January 21, 2008

Recovery, Rain, and Roto-rooters, and Running...


That was a strange title for my weekly post, but it will all make sense at the end. Coming off the Houston Marathon I had to take a few days of recovery. I had somehow loaded my self down with so much stuff that I had reached Pack Mule status (as Steve in a Speedo put it) that the extra weight had caused a fixation of my Sacral joint causing my left Illiopsoas to get more fired up than the Hot Wings at Hooters and in turn triggered some inflammation in my lower right back near the pelvis. I had never experienced this before, but then again I had never run with everything but the kitchen sink. See the last post if you missed the Pack Mule picture.

So just about the time that I was feeling better and thinking about going out for a mile or two run, the rains came. And it rained, and rained, and rained some more. Normally I would run in the rain and I like to run in the cooler temps. But when you combine a nice steady rain that would soak you in a short period of time with temperatures in the low 40's, I draw the line. I really did not want to end up chilled and sick. So last week, I renewed my friendship with the treadmill for a few short 30 minute workouts. The treadmill to me is like the doctor. You hope you don't have to go and pay a visit, but they are always there when you need them.

That leads me to another reason why sometimes getting your workout done inside with a ledge on the treadmill to hold your phone is better than having to run outside and try to carry the phone if you forgot the phone holster for the Fuel Belt. I was in contact with my Step Mom on a sixty to ninety minute basis most of Tuesday through Thursday when my Dad had to have Quadruple Bypass surgery. My Dad is in good shape and was one of those guys who started running in the late 70's when the police would pull you over and question what you were up to. He was a photojournalist for United Press International and spent time running after MLK during the Peach Marches in Selma, running film from the sidelines of a ball game to the developing lab under the stands during a half time or inning change, running with camera bags loaded with Nikon, Cannon, and telephoto lenses to get photos of the Pope, the Presidents, Pele, and Muhammad Ali. Genetics is the cause of his need for the surgery. With a history of diabetes and high cholesterol in the family, the arteries and veins were blocked anywhere from 85% to 95%. The area where he had an angioplasty 17 years ago was still good. My Step Mom is a retired Cardiac Care Nurse so she feeds him well and makes sure he gets plenty of exercise. He did great and is back home and already hitting the stairs up and down 4-5 times, 3 times a day. His only complaint was that his throat was still sore from the breathing tube on the respirator and that sitting on the sofa was uncomfortable so he had to watch the football games in one of the chairs from the kitchen table. Not only did the docs do a great job of replacing areas of vein and artery that needed to be replaced but they did the "Roto-rooter" job on a few others to chip out the hardened plaque.

Dad pre-surgery and post-surgery going home on Saturday!

Well, I finally got to run outside. Normal people would not run more than 5 or so miles a week after a marathon, but I still have the Los Angeles Marathon on March 2nd. So, with the sun shining and the breeze blowing, I headed out my door and put in 17 miles. Normally I go in towards downtown to run the long distances but I thought that I would stay around the house and see if there had been any changes since this summer when I last did that run route. Not much has changed, but one of my roads that does not have a shoulder seemed busier than usual. I did some ditch running and my new "sneeks" got a a little muddy. It was then time for an ice bath and a steaming bowl of Hot & Sour Soup and a hot mug of tea while I sat in the Polar Bear Plunge.

Be on the lookout for fantastic photos in the next entry!


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Houston Marathon!

Sorry I have not kept up with the blog of late but it has been busy the last two weeks. I have been working hard at the gym where I work since everyone has gotten on the kick to get fit again. This will last until about March and then everyone falls off the wagon around Spring Break. Then, I had to have the last group run with my Team In Training group and we did an Honored Teammate breakfast for our Honored Teammate Jonathan who is now in remission from leukemia. Yea Jonathan!!! He is an amazing kid. He was diagnosed at age 14 and suffered with kidney failure in his first round of chemotherapy. He is at our practices each week and last June he ran the San Diego Rock n' Roll Marathon. He is now 18 years old. Such an inspiration!!!

Then it was on to planning my secret covert operation to surprise the TEAM and get Johnny Tri into town with out anyone knowing and surprise them at the TEAM pasta party. IT WORKED!!! JT had been my assistant coach from August through October until he had to move to Las Vegas and he has kept in touch with the TEAM through our Yahoo Group and sent them all e-mails and helped them with their questions about aches and pains. He's the guy to ask since he is a sports doc. Well, we had people crying when they got off of the escalator by the ballroom of the Hyatt when they saw "Coach John". He was a huge part of our group and he wanted to make sure they all crossed the finish line.

The marathon was great. The weather could not have been better. Start time temps were 45 degrees and it was bright and sunny all day long. I was in the first wave start and I ran out with my fast guys who were gunning for a 3:30 to 3:40 finish time. I kept up with them for the first three miles and then I told them that I would see them at mile 16 and let them go. I waited along the side of the route for more TNT purple singlets and jumped in with Jeff and ran to mile 5 with him. Jeff also has a membership at the gym that I work at so even though he is in a different training area than mine, I have been keeping up with him and how his training is going. I sent him on and cheered with other TNT supporters and waited for more purple singlets. Then I hopped in the fray and ran with my gals Lauren, Sarah, Taryn, and Johnny Tri to mile 7.

From there, I cut off the course and while all the other people continued up to the Museum District, I booked it up Allen Parkway, through River Oaks, down San Felipe, and over to Post Oak to catch my fast guys. I was hauling ass too because I did not want to miss them. I had not been on Post Oak but 2-3 minutes when I saw the first purple shirt coming through. I was going to be working miles 16 to 18 back and forth to check on all of our people so I had come prepared. I had on a pair of Race Ready shorts with all the pockets filled with essentials.

I had Vitamin I or Ibuprofen, Nunn tablets, Body Glide, 3 packages of Shot Bloks, Bio-freeze, hand sanitizer, and $20 stuffed in all those pockets. Then I had on my race number belt with a small Fuel Belt pocket that contained S-caps electrolyte capsules. My Fuel Belt had flasks for water and Gatorade and two big pockets that I had stuffed 10 Power Gels into one, and a small first aid kit and a blister kit in the other. I had my cell phone in it's holster and I was set for any need or emergency! I knew other runners would be looking at me like I was a complete dork for carrying everything but the kitchen sink but I had to have it for my peeps. I was just concerned that the Ibuprofen would be pulverized from being shaken around so much like a maraca.

I worked Post Oak back and forth at least 7 to 8 times on a quarter mile stretch so that probably gave me a good 2.5 to 3 miles. Then I worked San Felipe back and forth through the 17 mile mark a good 8 to 9 times on a quarter mile stretch. I then headed into the Tanglewood subdivision and worked that back and forth a good 8 to 10 times before I found my last four people. From mile 18 to mile 19 I ran with Tory who was apologizing to me for not coming out to all the trainings and now she was paying for it. I told her that she was doing great and we just needed to stay ahead of the sweep vans. I then ran up and hooked up with Earline and reassured her that there were Port-o-cans ahead and that she was doing great. When we got into Memorial Park we found that the 22 mile aid station was still handing out Shot Bloks but they had dumped out all the water!!! We were in trouble since we were all empty on our Fuel Belt flasks or were not carrying fluids. I told Tory that I was going to run up ahead and catch Doug and we worked the park until Earline gave me a desperate call that she was out of water and Gatorade and still in the park. I told Doug that I was going to go find Earline and I told him where the water fountains were in the park just in case. I caught Earline at the next water station and I asked the volunteers who were starting to clean up and dump water not to do so since the other aid station had closed up and there were still lots of people behind us and they needed fluids. At this point, the temps were nice and in the 60's so it was starting to get warm. We filled our flasks and off we went with Doug and Tory close behind. At the corner of Shepherd and Allen Parkway we caught Lisa who was walking in and getting some support from her husband. I kept on motivating my little crew that they did not have far to go and we were right on schedule to make it to the finish before they ended the event.
Earline was concerned that she was not going to get a finisher's medal and I reassured her that she was going to get one even if I had to beat someone up to get it. Tory had picked up some family on the route and they were helping her and One of the other area coaches found Doug and was working with him. I told Earline that I would get her into downtown and that she would have no problem with the last mile to half mile and that I was going to go back and get Tory. I saw Lisa and she was picking it up to make it to the finish line and then I waited for Tory to make the last corner and take the last half mile to the finish line. I told her friends that volunteers might ask them to get off the course as we came into the finish and that I would take good care of her. As we came to the finish line one of Tory's nieces jumped in and ran across the finish line with her.
I had Doug not far behind. As soon as Doug crossed the line, they turned off the time clock. He was the last official FINISHER of the marathon! Way to go Doug.

What a spectacular event. The payoff as a coach is seeing the smiles and tears of your people as they come across the finish line and reach that goal that they thought would be impossible. I am not sure who was happiest, Jane who ran a 3:07 or Tory who ran a 6:14 for their first marathon. All I can say is that they are heroes to our Honored Patients because they took the time to train and fund raise a whole lot of money to find a cure for blood related cancers. Our 162 person TEAM raised over $450,000.00 to make sure that there is a cure by 2015. I am so proud of them.

I'm still excited!!!

Coach Liz

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

I thought for the New Year I would give my Blog a New Look. I am still working on it, but I kinda like it so far. I was thinking about where I was last year this time and I was feeling like I was gaining weight from not running much after knee surgery and eating more than I should have. I have again been eating more than I should have and probably not running as much as I should with some races ahead of me, but I feel good this year. Last year was an amazing year and I don't think that I could have dreamed on January 1, 2007 how it would turn out.

Here is a re-cap of how it all went down...

January--Walt Disney World Half Marathon 2:05:44 Great race but warm conditions in the 70's. Not sure all the people who were still running were happy to see me with my finisher's medal at mile 11.5 when I walked back to get my kid from the TNT hoopla zone. Comments ranged from, "WOW!!! Look at that finisher's medal." to "Fricking fast people!" Hey! I'm not fast, really I'm not.

Houston Half Marathon 1:55:34 One week later, and about 23 degrees cooler! PR Time!!! I felt great on this race.

February--Team in Training Kick Off with my Tri TEAM. I had an amazing group of people to work with this past year. Many of them have become my good friends and training buddies. I would have never met some of these people unless it was for TNT.

March--Not much here. I was traveling a lot for work but many of my TNT gang ran the Blue Bell Ice Cream 10K with all the FREE Ice Cream you can eat at the finish line.

April--Lone Star Half Ironman 6:22:45 My first half IM race after my knee surgery! 33 mph head winds gave my knee a good test.

May--CB& I Sprint Triathlon was a chance for me to watch my super TNT triathletes show how their training had been going and I was very proud of all of them and their SUPER finish times.
Silverlake Sprint Tri was next and Coachie raced with the TEAM. I sported the race briefs and also solicited for donations, HA! You see the money hanging out of my race briefs and my top??? Check out that nice early season tan line on my legs from my cycling shorts. Now that is a class act tan line. I had to work the rest of the summer to erase that.

Cap Tex Triathlon got rained out...BUMMER

June--Lake Tahoe Most Beautiful Bike Ride Century Ride This was my sixth time to do this ride and it is my favorite event! I have never seen a place more beautiful than the Sierra Nevada Mountain range and the Lake. Nothing like racing down the side of a mountain at 42 mph on your bike!

There were a few of my tri-buddies that took our wetsuits and we went swimming in the Lake. That was cold! It took your breath away at first and it was still harsh even after being in for a while. The water was so clear that you could still see down to the bottom even being a good third of a mile away from shore. It was a little creepy.

Tejas Sprint Tri I did darn good at this race. Really can't remember my finish time, but I think I was 5th in my age group. This was the last time to ride my faithful EPX in a race (poor thing has been sitting in a corner of late) because I got a new Kuota Kalibur!

July--Ironhead Olympic Distance Tri

August--Hood to Coast Relay 197 miles of sleeping in one of 2 team vans, you and eleven other running buddies, 3 running legs around 8 miles each, a lost cell phone, porta potties, energy bars, sore muscles, blisters, tons of fun, and one goal...VICTORY!

Kick Off for the Team in Training Houston Marathon group!

September--Austin Triathlon, Olympic Distance I felt really good on this race and I had a had a good pace on the run. Not the best over-all time, but I was racing at Half IM pace for Cancun.

Cancun Ironman 70.3--you can relive that magic in my race report that posted back in 2007. It was a frustraiting race for me but as luck would have it, I was able to nab a roll down spot to Clearwater...

October--training, training, and more training...

November--Ford Ironman 70.3 World Championships!!!

December--My kid's first White Christmas

WOW!!! I did all of that??!!??

That hardly seems possible. I had a great year and it was injury free and loads of fun. I have several things lined up for 2008, but first I have to hang my new Inside Triathlon 2008 calendar on the wall and start my new 2008 Triathlon Adventure! I hope that your year will be your best ever.

Coach Liz