The Year in Review...
As 2010 comes to a close, it seems that it rushed by quicker than a rabbit being chased by a greyhound. Maybe it seemed to rush by because I had lots of things on my plate. I had little time to focus on one thing and that made the clock run a little faster. So lets take a look back over the last 12 months to see what I have been up to.
I kicked off 2010 by heading out to Walt Disney World for Marathon Weekend and the Goofy Challenge. I am not sure, but 2010 may have been the coldest Marathon Weekend on record. I went with Team in Training, having fund raised over $4200.00 and I, along with my buddy Tim Allen, took on the Donald Duck Half Marathon on Saturday in snow and freezing sleet and then turned around the next morning and ran the Mickey Mouse Marathon in sub freezing temperatures. I was able to run with another friend of mine, Sarah, lovely wife to my TNT buddy Geoff. As I recall, I ran the half marathon in 2:09 and the marathon in 4:35. Not bad for 5 weeks after Ironman Cozumel.
Coaching the 2010 TNT Cap Tex Triathlon TEAM was kicked off at the beginning of February along with my strength training program set up by my coach. I watched the Winter Olympics as I did all manor of single leg squats, single leg dead lifts, single leg jackknifes on a stability ball, and single leg ball bridges. I dealt with some knee problems that popped up but my awesome sports doc, Dr. H, referred me to Dr. Lehman, an orthopedic doctor who could find nothing wrong with my knee but found my blood work to be off. I was diagnosed with a severe Vitamin D deficiency and put on 8,000 IU of Vitamin D per day as well as 1,000 mg of Omega 3, B-12, and Magnesium. Within less than 2 weeks, my knee pain was gone and I was back to running without the feeling of a knife being thrust up under the patella on my right leg. Bud was having a great swim season and I was a very happy swim team mom.
I had made a deal with my step-brother at Christmas that he could run a marathon and that if he did, I would run it with him. So, not wanting to back down on my promise, I started my training for the Seattle Rock n’ Roll Marathon. My training got derailed by a loss of motivation when our family Spring Break cruise to Cozumel was canceled due to fog. I was bummed out. I had lost my mojo. I was in a funk. I continued preparing my TNT Triathlon TEAM for their Olympic distance triathlon at the end of May, but more importantly, for their first Sprint Triathlon at the Gateway to the Bay Tri in just a few weeks.
Time to get on the bike when the wild flowers are out...
I had the bars of my cage rattled by my trusty training partner Greyhound. He asked me to run with him as he prepared for the Ogden Half Marathon. I told him that I would be good company until I could no longer keep up with him. Little did I know that those interval sets that he had to run were also helping me prepare for my marathon as well. Did he know that? Hmm, I don’t know, but Greyhound got me up off my butt and got me back in the mix again. My mojo was coming back. I was keeping up with my strength training and just focusing on that and running was doing me some good. My TNT TEAM successfully got through recommitment, The Gateway to the Bay Sprint Tri, and the Lonestar Sprint Tri which became a bike and run race due to rough seas and a cancelled swim. I saw my TNT friend Laura finish her first half Ironman at the Galveston Memorial Hermann 70.3. Little did I know that in just a few weeks, she would announce that she had signed up for Ironman Cozumel!
Summer League Swim Team began for Bud and I had to balance training my TNT gang and then hustling to a swim meet to see the fish swim. My distance for marathon training was getting into the long miles now. I had helped provide some witty banter on Greyhound’s long runs but now that his half marathon was over, I was on my own. My TNT team was almost ready for the Cap Tex Tri. There were a few members who gave me second thoughts because they never showed up for practice. So I had no idea how well they swam, if they had a bike, and if they were keeping up with their running. Bud was swimming so well that he qualified for the end of season Championship Meet after his first team meet. To end my solitude on my my long runs, Greyhound came out to run 9 miles with me the morning before I had to leave for Austin to take my TEAM to their big race on Memorial Day Weekend. Everyone finished and I got rave reviews for being the best cowbell ringer on a lonely stretch of the run course.
It was time for World Cup Soccer and my 21 mile run. The first weekend of June was hot and humid. I decided that since there were hills in Seattle, I needed to head back to Austin to do my 21 miler. Thankfully, Greyhound was in Austin for work and he paced me 9 miles and then kept tabs on me for the rest of my run to make sure that I did not run into a bad patch. The following weekend I was back in Austin with Kathleen, my Houston Racing Tri Club friend, her friend Kim and her boyfriend Wilmer, and Greyhound for the Shammies and Koozies ride in the hill country. We were not able to get the event in due to extreme flooding in the Canyon Lake area. We made due with a hilly ride around the Austin area and a long run around Town Lake. I tapered down my miles and on June 26th, I flew up to Seattle. I did packet pick-up with my step-brother, Eric on the 27th. I ran the marathon and finished with Eric by my side on the 28th, and then hopped on a plane for a Red Eye flight to get back to Houston on 29th for Bud’s big Championship Meet and to volunteer. I had a huge PR at Seattle Rock n’ Roll with a 4:16. A 14-minute PR on a hilly and hard course. I was stoked.
It was time to watch The Tour de France and to hop back on the bike. I had missed being on the bike and now it was time to get my pedaling legs back. July was rainy, hot, and humid. I signed myself up for the Longhorn 70.3 race in Austin in the fall and even though it was a long way off, I really took the training up a notch. My coach started giving my TRX workouts and I used the one at the gym I work at and bought one for at home as well. My running was getting faster. Test sets were showing numbers that I didn’t think were ever possible for me. I worked hard and I found a little bliss in that.
Time for Altitude Training Camp!!! This was our second year for Bud and me to head west to Breckenridge, Colorado and spend 10 days with Greyhound and his family in the mountains. I got some good bike riding in but more importantly, I got a a lot of great trail running in. I used to hate running on the grass. I was learning to love it. When I got back home to sea level, it was time to get ready for the Clear Lake International Triathlon. The only thing that was going to keep me from doing well at this race was a mechanical failure...and that happened less than two weeks before the race. I was out riding with a strong and fast group of roadies and hit a raised lip on a pavement joint at 26 mph and cracked both of my ZIPP 404 race rims. SUCK!!! I had said I was going to ride them until I cracked them just a few weeks earlier. Well, Greyhound came through in a pinch and let me use his race wheels off of his road bike for the race. I had a smoking bike leg and came in 3rd in my age group!
Training continued. I headed out to Austin to hang with my friends, Coach Carrie and her hubby Shawn, and to run the Zielker Relays. Shawn and I would be running on a team with Coach Tammy and Greyhound. Each person ran a 2.5 mile leg and I was the anchor of this ship. For a hilly course, I knocked out a sub 18 minute leg. Shazam! I found out that ZIPP was going to give me a great deal on a new set of race wheels. I just had to get some cash together to get the ball rolling on “Project Speed Weaponry”. Swim team got rolling again for Bud and he was starting Cross Country at school. And then I fell off of my bike. It was not a spectacular crash, but a stupid “I couldn’t unclip” moment about 10 feet from my car. Even though it was not showy, and I only had a couple of nice bruises on my rear and down my leg, my pelvis was really screwed up and out of place. Dr. H put my back together over a few appointments and I started to get back to training. I am sure I needed a few days off to rest but I was antsy to get going again. The low point of my month was having one of Bud’s swim coaches and one of my tri friends get hit by a car on his morning run and killed as he was training for Ironman Arizona. I doubled up on my blinky lights and reflective gear.
Time to race! Oh yeah, It was my 40th Birthday as well. My awesome TNT friends gave me a surprise party. After the excitement of the party, the excitement of watching the events at the Ironman World Championships, it was time to head to Austin to see if all my training for the year was going to pay off. And boy did it ever! My coach’s instructions were to get the swim out of the way, take it easy on the bike, and murder the run. I got the swim out of the way in something like 38 minutes. I was not really happy with that. I had a 19.6 mph average on the bike! That was taking it easy. I was very well hydrated. I made sure not fall off on that. When I got to the run, I was ready to rock n’ roll. Almost half of the run course is hilly and off-road and the trail running from Breckenridge paid off! I ran a 1:57 half marathon! My second fastest and my fastest in a triathlon. I had a PR of 16 minutes!!! 5:33!!! It was time for off season....yeah....right. Right after I win Female Masters Overall Winner at the Monster Mash 5K in 22:13.
I had gotten antsy and was going on little runs here and there but November brought a new training plan from my coach. There was more TRX work, more interval running, and more 5K races. So far I have won every one that I have entered. And I am not the fast girl! I did some riding with my bike mechanic and my training was progressing nicely. The best part of the month was that the Spring Break cruise that was canceled due to fog in March was going to set sail the week of Thanksgiving. And the best part? I was staying in Cozumel to watch my girls Laura and Lauren race their first Ironman! Along with a little swimming with the dolphins and an Andy Potts sighting on my run, November was by far the highlight of my year!
Yeah, there was that month too. I got a viral infection that has sent my training into a tailspin. I am getting better but it is small steps. I am certain that there are only a few other times in my life where I felt worse. I have a high threshold for pain but sometimes it is not the physical but the mental pain that you have to work through. I have been waiting patiently for Dr. H to get back from his holiday break so we can start putting Humpty Dumpty back together again. Muscles are pulling and tugging me into submission. But for all the low moments during this month, there were a few bright spots. Santa was very good to this rag-tag swimbikerun girl. My Element was over 227,000 miles old and only running on three cylinders. It ran fine but idled rough. I was just waiting for a cop to pull me over and nab me for an expired inspection tag and force me to buy a new car. Christmas morning I found a set of keys under the tree. The other bright moment was this morning. I had not done any interval running due to illness and injury and this morning I was determined to do an interval workout and knock it out of the park. Thanks to Greyhound for providing time countdowns and motivation from his bike, and holding off until the end on going all Full Metal Jacket on me, I was able to get in 20 X 60 second intervals on an all out pace with 60 seconds recovery between each one. I did it. It was a small step of getting the mojo back.
So what does 2011 hold? Well some of you already know but you don’t know the entire playlist for the party. You will have to check back in to see what’s in store for the new year.
Thanks for coming along on this magical mystery tour with me.