Monday, June 29, 2009

All signed up!

As tradition has had it this year, it's now the day after a race and I'm online signing up for more.

I've lightened the load and decided to skip on Pumpkinman. Maybe I shouldn't have made that decision while feeling crappy because I made that decision based on not wanting to swim in the freezing ass water. I'm a wimp, so what. I did it in April and just don't look forward to it in October. I'll email Brogg to have him put me on the list as a volunteer.

I also decided to skip on Kokopelli. Meaning I won't be blessed with anymore of Brogg's races this year as a participant.

I'm signed up and paid for:
July 25th - Barbara Cook 5k run for Cancer, NJ
August 8-9th - volunteer @ ET Race, Rachel NV (calico racing)
September 12th - Camp Yuba sprint triathlon, Levan UT - camping trip and a tri!

For October I'm trying to get back on the team I was suppose to be with for the Ragnar Relay. I reeeeeeally want to do that relay but was giving it up for the Pumpkinman tri. I'm praying something comes through and that I also get one of the legs I feel confident I can do.

I know I keep doing this switch up and schedule stuff, but now that I'm paid in full, this won't be changing anymore. I finally feel I can relax about it all.

This also covers 2 more states now! I'm looking forward to covering all 52 of them - yes, Alaska and Hawaii. Also add on Puerto Rico. I feel so blessed to be able to do all this. The financial provision and physical abilites that God has blessed me with boggles my mind everyday.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Running With the Devil Volunteerisms

Uh... did I say INTENSE? Well my measly 3 miler is laughable compared to what I saw out at mile 20/30!

After my race I headed 20 miles out to my station. I'll be with a girl named Kim. Luckily, ours had a canopy to set up for shade - woohoo! Since the runners turn around at mile 25, we were also their mile 30 stop. I was scheduled for 8:45am - 4:15pm. We had bananas to cut, animal crackers, oranges and pretzles. There were 6 cut PB&J sandwiches in the cooler but only 3 made it out alive. The other 3 were soggy and soaked with water. I decided to wait to eat my own PB&J sandwich in case the runners needed it. There was also boiled potatoes that thanks to the heat ended up mashed potatoes instead. And salt to serve with those... They ended up not getting put to use. We found out later that one of the aid station's potatoes did the same thing and they rolled them into balls - smart people... they're so annoying :o)~ We also had asprin, vaseline and stix, electrolyte pills, banana and raspberry hammer gels, heed, cola and LOTS and LOTS... and LOOOOOTS of water and ice. There was a huge bucket that we kept filled with ice water and washcloths. And there was an ice water sprayer. Joyce's crew even went as far as to put a little mini can of pepsi in the box that we could open and put way off to the side to attract the bees away from our station. That didn't work well but it was clever. At the end of the day we ended up with a pepsi can, an orange peel and a cup of heed off in the desert trying to get those damn things to leave! As it heated up... they went away. Weak animals I tell ya.

Dan Kuch is the man... as always in almost every race he comes to. He came up first. We greeted every runner about 50 feet out with 2 cups of water and I would grab their water bottle(s), ask them what they wanted in it and run back to the aid station to get it started for them. I'd fill their bottle all the way with ice and then whatever drink they desired. A lot of them drank a small cup of pepsi cola. We only had one bottle and ran out fast! I felt bad as they all asked on the way back if we had anymore. Next year, if I'm out that far again, I will bring a few extra bottles.

Some would sit, some would just get their water and move along. Some peed. Some gave up at this point. The runners were all very very friendly and grateful. Every time they thanks us, we thanked them. They are such an inspiration. They are doing all the hard work. The least we can do is soak them with water, throw ice in their hat and serve them with water and food. In that sweltering heat, to make it 20 miles... it's completely admirable... or maybe insane. I can't figure it out yet.

Keep in mind through this that we're at mile 20 and before us was mile 16-something, and before that was mile 11-something. The next aid station from us was mile 22 and then 25. That's where they turn around and then they have an aid station at 28, 30, 33-something, and then 37- or 38-something.

The second guy came up, we'll call him "orange guy" because he was wearing an orange shirt, and he was really not feeling well. He felt very sick to his stomach and needed to sit and stay for a while. By doing this he lost his place and once he took off he was then in 4th place. It's ok though, you're not out there to beat anyone but yourself and Mr.Sun.

Lots more runners come. Then we get this one guy, kinda young, maybe in his 20s. We'll call him "green guy" because.. you guessed it... he was wearing a green shirt. He isn't feeling well either. Keeps saying he's going to throw up. He sits for a long time and then finally decides to leave. We're serving runners and all of a sudden, he comes back. I'm thinking "wow that was a fast 10 miles back", but as it turns out, he didn't make it more than a few feet from our station before deciding he was done the race. He sat at our station, I called Joyce to see if we had someone to pick him up, and in that time another runner was sitting there and said "i'm done too". Okie dokie then... This man was an older guy, he's been running since the 1970s. He's run a 6-day race with over 100 miles, biked a 100-miler race, has done multiple long distance races and some triathlons. We're not talking about inexperienced runners here, and they're unable to go on. It was green guy's first 50-miler though. So finally, with no one to drive them back, I decide I'm going to. I had to pull over to let green guy puke, but once he did that he was SO much better. He sounded and looked better too.

I drop them off at Boulder Beach and pick up tons of ice for my cluster of aid stations on Northshore Drive. I head back out and drop it all off. Then back to my aid station 20. Poor Kim had to be left by herself, but lucky for us as the runners were turning around, they spaced out and were trickling through rather than rushing in all at once. As I'm driving back to 20 from 22&25, I take note that there are about 10 runners still to come through our station, which is now mile 30 for them. Some were sitting on the side of the road, many were walking.

Ambulances were driving around and were parked all over the place. Police SUVs were patrolling the area to make sure no one passed out on the side of the road. It was well-manned and great precautions were taken to make sure all runners were safe and cared for.

As we get to the last few runners left, a truck pulls up and drops off one of them. He's spent. Slurring his words and dizzy. Again I call Joyce. All ambulances are busy on calls and we have to wait it out. We keep him cool with iced washcloths, and drinking water. Within a few minutes, mile 22/28 volunteers come by to let us know how many runners we have left, and we have them take this guy back. We've been fortunate with getting runners back to Boulder Beach quickly and I'm grateful for our canopy that provided a shaded station for them to sit at.

As we're down to waiting on one more runner to come through, we start packing away the unneeded stuff. And lucky for that last runner - we literally had JUST enough ice left for her! It was exactly the perfect amount to fill her bottle.

After completely tearing everything down, I head to station 16 to see if they need our leftover heed and food. There a runner comes up and decides he's also done running. Perfect timing buddy! I'm heading back that way now.

I get back to the finish line @ Boulder Beach and I start looking around for some of my 50-milers to see who's come in... no one I see except for Dan Kuch's name up on the results listings posted so far. He did the 50 miles in 6:50! That's a steady average pace of 8-something a mile for 50 MILES... I don't even know what to say. Just imagine !!!!!!&^*&%&^%^$%^!!!!! going off in my head. I then see orange guy! I go over to give him a high-5 and say great job when he looks down and tell me how he only made it to mile 41 and had to stop :( I felt bad for him because it seemed he saw more that he didn't go the extra 9 rather than he DID go 41. I just wanted to shake him it into him how awesome he did. Hopefully he was just out of it from the heat, disappointed for the moment and will realize in the following days how amazing he really is.

Overall - the volunteer part of yesterday was THE most rewarding experience. Those runners, whether they finish or not, they gave it all they had and tried their hardest. I am in complete awe of each of them and I hope they can all feel accomplished in what they did.

Everything at our aid station was needed and used. Lots of ice in hat requests, sweet cravings kicked in and as I said the cola went fast, then the runners resorted to raspberry hammer gel. Vaseline got popular when they hit us as mile 30. Electrolyte pills and asprin came in handy. We officially shut down around 3-something pm.

P.S. Green guy, if you're out there... you left your water bottle in my car.

Running With the Devil recap


That's the one word to describe the entire experience of yesterday. Running With the Devil isn't your average cup of running. This race is an extreme heat race, purposely set at times of the day when it's the hottest in Las Vegas. It's also at Lake Mead which is usually at a few degrees higher than the city, despite being by the water. You are actually so high up in the rolling mountain hills of the Mojave Desert rather than along a shore with a cool watery breeze.

People were falling over, stumbling, and dizzy. Then there were some like me who were throwing up....

I onyl ran the 5k. I wasn't interested in running much more under conditions I wasn't used to. I knew I didn't have time to seriously heat train. I also wanted to volunteer for a long time that day. So I decided to run the shortest distance, maybe have a PR even if by a few seconds, and then help out far into the ultra-marathon.

The night before the race, I started feeling flush and very thirsty. I was confused because I had been staying hydrated well with 150 ounces a day. I guess I did start slacking in water intake the few days before the race. Big mistake. Then I had something containing dairy that night.... I can't really do dairy, especially not straight milk like what was in my meal. I didn't even think anything about it though. Hindsight....
I slept great and awoke on my own a few minutes before my alarm was set to go off.

I grab a granola bar, which has been an ok food for me to eat before a race. I stick to PB sandwiches only right before a triathlon, but for a short race something light is generally ok. I feel my stomach turning as I'm driving to Boulder Beach. I'm not familiar with the feeling, and I don't want to be familiar with it. So when I get to the race I grab some water... it doesn't seem satisfying or appetizing. I don't feel right and it's not nerves. I just don't feel.... excited or energetic like I usually do.

The race starts and I'm doing fine. I play leapfrog with a few runners. This one girl took off very fast in the begining and I said to myself 'well that's one girl I won't finish before'. I do a dance of run/walk. I'm not feeling much energy coming... Usually by now I will get that adrenaline going and I find a nice pace. I just couldn't get a good rhythm. I felt very off. And now I start getting stomach cramps. It's really getting hot outside now.

I hit the aid station at 1.5 and I'm doing well! I'm at about 15 minutes. I grab what I think will be cold water. It isn't very cold and I don't even drink the whole cup. I'm a very avid drink-while-running gal. This wasn't going well. I'm still not feeling the adrenaline kick in.

On the way back, I get that bile coming up and it isn't the kind I can just swallow and make go away. It comes up. I end up puking bile 3 times on the course. But I do try to keep my pace. No bending over for a minute and taking my time. I stop, I puke off to the side on the rocks, I move right along. I walked for most of the race unfortunately. Everytime I started to run, the stomach cramps got worse and I felt horribly sick to my stomach. It was also SO hot by now. The desert sun was unrelentless. Not a cloud in the sky and the sun was shining strongly with how-dare-you-attempt-to-run-in-my-desert rays.

How do you feel when you hit your reserve? I get chills from head to toe and almost jolt forward with speed all of a sudden. Usually I don't hit that until the last mile. Yesterday, I hit it starting around mile 2 and felt it 3 times, except without a jolt of speed. The feeling was actually annoying yesterday because my body body was searching everwhere for some energy and there just wasn't any.

I end up playing a bit of leapfrog with guess who.... fast-take-off girl! She's out of energy, or maybe she feels sick too, and she's walking a whole lot. We round the corner for the runway to the finish and she picks up to running. So do I. I pass her and the next girl, and with puke coming up in my mouth, I cross the finish line. I grab a quick glance at the clock, it's in the 36 minute range... Not horrible, but not what I was hoping for. I lost a lot of time with all the walking. However, I can say that I got the same time in an off and sick race as I did at my first ever 5k. I think that's an accomplishment lol I only did 3 minutes more (so less than 1 minute per mile) than my last PR and I was running under extreme, unusual conditions. I'm not excited I didn't get a PR, but I'm very proud of how I did despite how I was feeling! Even during an 'off' run, I still thank God I'm able to do this.

In another post later today, I will write more on my 8 hour volunteer experience at miles 20 and 30. We're heading to church now and it's my son's 4th birthday today!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Got to run

I ran 3.15 miles yesterday and it felt sooooooo good. Then I hit the dry sauna for 30 minutes. I went afterwards to see the chiro, got some cracking and heating pads. I am feeling mucho better but not perfect. I was going to do some SI6 or TurboJam today but I ended up with so much to do. That's the way life is with 3 kiddos, a hubby and a dog. Poor puppy spent mostly all day outside.

Tomorrow, 2 or 3 mile run and dry sauna again. Swim/muscle group resistance band work and Slim In 6 "Ramp it Up".

Friday, June 12, 2009

Doc's orders

I went to get my hair done today. When the lady called me name, I stood up and then fell almost to the floor. The most excruciating pain I've ever felt took over my entire lower back.

After my appt, I went to the chiropractor. Thank God for my chiro. It's one of those kinds of doctors you just have to have. And he's always so excited to know all about my training and racing. He has a bunch of other triathletes he works on too.

He asked what I've been doing. I told him the only thing new I've been doing since I saw him a couple weeks ago was the Kickboxing. He said that would absolutely do it and he's seen it so many times. So for now, the doc's orders are NO activity, NO training, and definitely NO kickboxing. Can I shed a tear now? I have a race in exactly 2 weeks and I'm not allowed to run. It could be for just a day or 2 though. I go back to the chiro on Monday and we'll go from there.
Here are some hair pix. In February, I did it red/black. Today I decided the red was faded enough and to do something different. I went with jet black and blonde/white.



Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Breaking It Down

I have been overwhelmed at the thought of trying to explain all the trianing I'm doing. It makes sense in my brain, but when I try to explain it "out loud" on the keyboard, it seems so hectic. So I'm breaking it down just like my training - into 3 parts.

I have a 5k race coming up on June 27th. The Running With the Devil race, and then I'll be volunteering for 8 hours afterwards. I chose the 5k because I was a little intimidated by the heat factor and really wanted to have enough steam to volunteer. I don't know if I regret the decision to only run a 5k, but I can say that I'm definitely not challenging myself. I sit here on my suppose-to-run days and think "but I know I can run 3.1 miles, it's no big now". That isn't why I sign up for races. I sign up to challenge myself, force myself to push harder and train further than I have before. On the other hand, add the heat and a challenge to myself to have a possible PR with all the x-training I've been doing, and maybe it will actually turn out to be a great race! I have to admit, I've seen people at races who are themed and seem to be having fun at their race... I never was like that because for me it was all business. I'm actually looking forward to having some FUN this time! Maybe one day I can feel the fun of a 1/2 marathon or something. Hey a girl can dream right?

I have been biking quite a few times since IronGirl. I'm not sure if it's just because biking is "the new kid in town" and gives me an excuse to buy more cool gear, or if it's because I REALLY feel like I'm good at it! I get that spark and excitement when I think about riding through the mountains or down a street of palm trees. Even to go to the store! I'd rather bike than do anything else.... however, I know that it can't be the only thing I do or I won't see improvement in anything else. So sometimes we have to sacrafice enjoyment for the better of the big picture.
I took a ride out at Red Rock the other day. I did 13 miles in 45 minutes. Not amazing compared to some superstar triathletes, but that is a great improvement since IronGirl where I did only 10 miles in 45 minutes!

I have to admit I haven't been in the water since IG. I just don't have the love for swimming like I do for running and biking. But again, it's one of those things I have to do. I won't give up triathlon because I'm not an amazing swimmer. I will continue to improve my running and biking and just know that I have to make up in those areas of time where I lack in my swim time.
On an really awesome note - I had an epiphany! I have always felt like my swimming lacked just cardio and breahting techinique. As I got better with cardio and practiced technique, I saw my stamina and time improve from The Rage triathlon to IronGirl. I did 3/4 mile at IG in the same time that I did 1/2 mile at Rage. After that, I felt like I improved as much as I really could to make up any real time difference. Now it's time to strengthen - duh right? I don't know why it didn't dawn on me how incredibly important it is to seriously cross train the swimming muscles. I mean, I got it and understood it had to happen but never understood the shear importance. So now I have a bunch of x-training resistance band workouts I'm doing that help simulate swimming and works those muscles without having to suit up, leave home and get wet.

Oh how very very important is cross training. SO important. But with 3 kids and already spending so much time away in spin classes and running, I just didn't have time for cross trianing. I was improving and obviously getting stronger and gaining endurance, but after IG it got to a point in my 3-sport trianing that I felt like I had really plataued. I felt like I could keep running, biking and swimming laps, but was I ever going to get stronger? leaner? faster? And I felt the answer was no. At least not for a very long time of just 'basic trianing'.
So now, as you know I'm a BeachBody Coach and so I have a bunch of the workouts, including a bouncy ball, pull up/push up bar, weighted gloves, and resistance bands up the wahzoo.
I'm currently doing LOTS of cross trianing that is really improving my cardio, strength and I'm slimming like crazy! I've lost 4.5 pounds so far and inches all over, mostly in my waist. My favorites at the moment are Slim in 6, Slim & 6-pack, TurboJam with weighted gloves, and I love love love this move from P90X called "In & Outs". Strengthening my core, legs, arms and back are going to be MAJOR keys to my triathlon success.

I now see a brighter light, but it isn't at the end of the tunnel, it's just the beginning of a greater triathlete forming inside of me.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Goooooooood Morning!

Over the past few months I have changed my diet drastically. Becoming a vegetarian was a major turning point.

Since my last triathlon, I have improved my diet even more. I am now strictly on a "plan" (but really just a guide for eating healthier for the rest of my life), from P90X. It has a couple different phases and you have a variety of choices for how many calories you want to take in, all different vegetarian substitutes for protien sources and a guide for what amount of food equals about how many calories. This is really helpful for someone whose NEVER EVER been able to count calories. It was always too hard to count calories, fat, sodium, fiber, etc. I'm completely amazed that I'm able to even somewhat count them now. And it isn't about not eating certain foods groups or cutting all carbs. It's a great balance of learning to eat ALL foods but in moderation and nutritionally rounding out meals and snacks, and learning to eat 6x a day. THAT is the hardes part for me... eating SO much. But I know I'll get used to it, and I've absolutely noticed an increase in my energy. I can now do Slim in 6 and a Turbo Jam workout in one day.

So here's an example of "eating more". This was breakfast:
6 egg whites w/spinach, mushrooms and 1 slice american cheese
2 veggie bacon strips
1 cup sliced strawberries
1/2 wheat bagel, cut in half
It all comes out to less than 400 calories.
To cut it down to less than 300 calories, just skip the bagel.
*YES! I spent 100 calories on the 1/2 a bagel because this girl needs her carbs! :o) If I had been thinking more clearly, I would have chosen a piece of wheat toast instead.
I scored a HUGE 4 pound egg whites container at Whole Foods for only $19.99! This makes it MUCH easier and cheaper than using egg beaters or picking out the yolks myself. You can get the Organic Egg Whites, same brand and same size container, for $29.99. And then there are smaller container as well, which range around $7-$10. The spinach and mushrooms were leftovers from the other night's dinner. And I scored 4 pounds of strawberries on sale for $6 ($2.99 each for 2 pound cartons).
Eating healthy doesn't have to be a pain or expensive! And I'm being very honest when I say I liked the egg whites MUCH better than full eggs. They were fluffier on their own (without having to add milk or pancake mix like many restaurants do), and they allowed the flavors of the spinach and mushrooms come through much better.
Today I'll be doing Slim in 6 'Ramp It Up' and Turbo Jam 'Learn & Burn'. I got a new pair of biking shorts so I reeeeeeeally want to try them out. We'll see how hot it ouside and then maybe I'll add a good bike ride too!
Have a great Tuesday!