Friday, September 24, 2010

I'm back...

Thanks to everyone who sent me emails and posted comments concerning Allen Salinas. It has been a rough few weeks for many reasons and that is why I have been absent on my blog. I have had three funerals in three weeks, I messed up another set of expensive wheels on a ride in Austin, I crashed on my bike (a different one) for a stupid reason, I came down with a sinus infection, and my kid is failing math. And now that all of the bad stuff has been noted, let's move on to the good stuff.

I ran in the Zilker Relays in Austin on September 3rd. I had a great team consisting of Greyhound on leg 1, Coach Tammy Metzger on leg 2, Shawn "Hubbster" Barrett (Hubby to Carrie "Tri to be Funny Barrett) on leg 3, and me as the anchor. Our team was named Greyhound's Bitches. Hey, you have to get in the spirit of things. I was the only one on the team under 40 so we could not qualify for the Mixed Masters category. This will come back to haunt me. Basically, this is a "Puke Fest" event and you run as hard and as fast as you can for 2.4 miles against some of the fastest runners in the Austin area.
Team Greyhound's Bitches
Me, Greyhound, Coach Tammy, and Shawn

Trust me, there are some abnormally fast humans in the Austin area. This was an evening event so things got started around 7:00 pm once the sun had started to come down in the sky a bit. Greyhound cracked out a strong 18:35.08 for a average pace of 7:35 per mile. The Bitches were told we had to do as well or better than that...OR ELSE. Coach Tammy is in her off-season so she did great crossing the line in 20:53.06 for an average pace of 8:34 per mile. Shawn was next up and he flew through the course in 16:50.32 for an average pace of 6:54 per mile. Way to go Shawn!!! I was last and had been waiting around for nearly an hour to get my run on.

As I was waiting for Shawn in the transition area to get the wrist band my nerves were on high alert. The adrenalin was pumping and my legs were twitchy. I just hoped that I would not bomb out and crater on this run. The sun was down now but the sky still had some light in it. This means that the temps were better and closer to what I am used to on my morning runs, still up in the upper 70's and low 80's. As I got the hand off from Shawn, I started out my run at a pace that was not out of control but snappy. Within 150-200 yards, the path turned left and went uphill on a gravel path. I could feel my heart rate going up as I was maintaining my speed up that hill. I took a few breathes at the flat at the top before racing past a few people on the way down the hill. After exiting the trail, the course turned left onto Barton Springs Dr. and went uphill again. This was a longer uphill but the course was now on pavement. I passed a person walking up the hill and focused on the guy who passed me and I made him my rabbit. On the way down the hill I cut loose and let the legs fly. I passed a few more women before we turned left and into the park area. At the first aid station I grabbed a cup and got a little sip of water and ended up pouring most of it all over me. It is hard to run fast and drink. The effort was hard and mildly uncomfortable and I made myself calm my breathing so that I would not hit Ventilary Threshold 2 where things go anaerobic. I passed another gal and had to find another rabbit as he was too fast and getting out of sight. I started playing fishing and reeling people in. Now I was getting more walkers. The light was disappearing out of the sky and I wondered why in the world I still had my sunglasses on. Oh yeah, so no one could see how much this was hurting by looking at my face. Going through aid station #2 again I only got a little sip of water and most of it ended up all over me. It was enough to keep my mouth from drying out. There was one last gradual uphill to a turn around point that was back at Barton Springs Dr. The downhill was not as speedy as the other ones, but I was working hard to hold off a gal that was gaining on me at the turn around. At the bottom of the road the course turned left and there was a good 400-500 meter run to the finish. Greyhound, Coach Tammy, and Shawn were all yelling at me, but I had Rhianna yelling at me even louder to "Go Hard or Go Home" in my ear. I turned it on for the last kick and was basically at a sprint with this other gal.

I cannot remember who crossed the mat first but as soon as I stopped I had that "Oh crap, I'm gonna barf!" feeling and started walking around to get away from people if I really did up-chuck my Mahi Mahi fish tacos that I had for lunch and had not set well with my tummy. That's what you get for not asking if the Mahi Mahi is grilled or fried. I got fried. I pulled it together and found the team. I had no idea what my finish time was until later. I ran a 17:44.41 for a 7:16 per mile pace!!! HOLY CROW!!! When did I get fast??? How did that happen??? Our team finished in 1:14:26.41 or an average pace of 7:35 per mile! WOW! We're ROCKSTARS!!! However, compared to all the fast people from Austin, we finished 11th in the Open Mixed division. If I had been 34 days older and we could have raced in the Mixed Masters division, our team would have come in 3rd. I heard about that from the team. Ok, next year it is on like Donkey Kong!

I have had some good workout and because of life in general I have missed some workouts. I am set for a 4 hour bike ride in the morning and a 15 mile run on Sunday. This is the last big weekend for workouts before Longhorn 70.3 in 3 weeks. Intensity will still be high, but the distance will come down. The bruises from the bike crash are turning yellow-green and they no longer hurt to touch and the meds are working so my sinus infection is getting better.

Good luck to my buddy Ryan who is racing at USAT Short Course Nationals in the morning. He came in 3rd in his age group at the Nation's Tri a few weekend's ago in Washington D.C. with a 2:10:24! This boy has gotten fast. I remember when I first started working with him and I could swim faster than him. Now he can finish a 1500 meter swim in under 23 minutes. All you single ladies out there, Ryan is a catch! Super nice, super smart (engineer), super fast, and super cute. What more could you ask for? And he can sing. He will be racing Longhorn 70.3 in a few weeks. This is his second 70.3 distance. After racing with me in Switzerland back in 2008 he vowed he would NEVER do that again even though he finished the race with the hardest bike course I have ever done in a smoking 5:12. I peg him to go under 5 hours easily at Longhorn. Good Luck Tay! MORE COWBELL!!!

OK, time to take my meds so I will sign off for now.

Thanks for stopping by,



Christi said...

I completely understand the hard times that you have been going through. That was kind of the story of my year. However, it is all coming around so don't fret too long about it.

Congrats on a great run with your relay team! WOO HOO you guys are smokin' fast!

Steve Stenzel said...

What a pace!!! NICE WORK!!

And I hope everything else turns around shortly... that just stinks....

Rainmaker said...

Just wanted to drop in and say hello...hope things are continueing to improve for you.

Hang in there!