Twenty Miler. Check.

My twenty miler is over. Thank goodness. I was dreading it. I got up early this morning, and hit the door at 7:30 a.m. I just wanted to get going. I did an easy two mile warm-up in 21:09. The weather was perfect, cool and sunny, and I felt good. I dropped my running jacket off at my house before proceeding to my first 6 mile loop. I wore capri running pants, and a long sleeve tee, and was fine, temperature-wise. My first 6 mile loop felt fine, and I finished in 58:03. The second 6 mile loop felt ok, at first. I had water with me, and a vanilla Hammer gel. At the end of the second 6 miler, I started to feel a little nauseous. I think it may have been the Hammer gel! Last week's 14 miler I had a chocolate one, and it tasted awful, and made me feel sick. I thought vanilla might be better, but again, I felt nauseous after the gel. I finished the second loop in 1:05, and headed out for the last 6 mile loop. I got about a 1/2 mile in, and felt REALLY nauseous, like I was about to blow chunks any minute. I just started walking for about 5 minutes, and tried to get it under control. I alternated walking and shuffling for a while till the nausea passed. I figured I would have to walk the whole rest of the way if it didn't improve.

I did end up pushing through it, and at the end, felt ok. My last 6 mile loop took 1:11 minutes. My total watch time was 3:50 for the run, and that includes hydration/stretching breaks between each loop. I am glad that is over.

I finished my run in time to spend the afternoon with a friend that recently gave birth to a little boy, which was fun. Tonight, vegging out time, and movie rental night. On deck: The Constant Gardener.

Tomorrow is a swim session. I have been lax about getting in the water this last week, and need to get back in. I think I am going to do a pull workout to give my legs a rest. Hope everyone's weekend is going well!


True Endurance?

What would you do for a sweet new ride?
New Yorkers Want Tri Bike.


Stream Of Consciousness

Happy Sunday, everyone! I haven't posted in a while, so this post will probably contain a bunch of random thoughts and observations strung together in no apparent order, hence the title.

Training is going well. I was going out of town this weekend to visit family in Pennsylvania, so I had to get my long run done before I left. So, I called off work on Friday, and did my 14 miler that morning. It rained the night before, and it also rained a little during my first 6 miles, but then it got sunny. It was around 70, and it felt really humid. I carried a water bottle with me, and it lasted the entire run. I also had 1 gel with me, that I didn't even finish. It was a chocolate Hammer gel, and it just wasn't tasting good during the last two miles. I need to go and get some Espresso Love Gus, and work on my nutrition/hydration, because I definitely was dehydrated at the end of the run. I finished in 2:27:44.

I took a break for an hour, and then hopped in the car for a 3 hour drive. Ugh. My knees were killing me at the end of that drive, let me tell you. The weekend went by pretty fast. Saw family, including my niece and nephew who live in New Jersey, so I don't get to see them that often. I had a rest day on Saturday, so all I had to do was relax while in PA, and I left this morning.

Upon returning to the Buckeye State, and went to the pool for a 2K swim, and am currently typing fast so that I can make it out the door for a 3 mile run before the rain hits.

RunnerSusan recently put up a review of her new running skirt. And although one of my favorite bloggers, Elle, won't don one until our male compatriots come over to the dark side, I bought one last week from Nicole Deboom's company, Skirtsports. She is a total stud, so I figured if she wears one, I am in good company. I'll post pics and a review when I get it. Hopefully it will come before my 20 miler next weekend, because I am planning to wear it for the marathon, and want to get in a nice long run with it.

And in other news, have you heard that Lance is running the NY Marathon? Maybe he figures if he can post an awesome time in a marathon, an Ironman is not that far away? Now that would be something to see!

I hope that everyone had a great weekend! I'll read all about them while catching up on my blog reading tonight. Have a great week!



And that pretty much sums up my 18 miler! Ha, actually, it didn't go too poorly. To recap, I was able to get in a swim on Friday, a quick and easy 2200 yards. On Saturday, the weather was primo. Sunny, warm, but with a cool breeze, and not a cloud in the sky. My first six miles took 59:58 minutes. The next 4.5 took 50:31, and the last 7.5 took 1:27, for a total of 3:17:31. I took Sunday off, and didn't feel too bad. My legs are a little tired, and my feet are achy, but no big complaints. I have a 14 miler this week, and then a 20 miler the week after. The marathon is almost here!

Don't forget Boston is being run today - set your TIVOs and VCRs! Have a great week everyone!


Bound For Beantown

Good luck to all the runners headed to Boston this weekend. Elizabeth has a list of bloggers posted on her site that are running it. I will be vicariously cheering you on as I watch the coverage on OLN. GOOD LUCK!!

Running was light this week, as I have my 18 miler on Saturday. I was supposed to run 17 during the work week, and unfortunately am sad to say I only managed 11. I walked on Monday after the race, and plan on swimming tomorrow, though. Weather here has been great. Saturday is looking good, too. Will post on how it goes. Have a good Friday, and weekend!


Hurt. Pain. Agony. Love It.

You had me at "hills." Yeah, that's right. Two months of spinning class pretty much meant nothing today - I got to the race site, and realized that there would be hills. Rolling hills, but hills, nonetheless. (How many times do you think I can put the word "hills" in this post?)

Seriously, though. It was a good race day, and I am glad that I did it. My first Du of the season, and I can only improve from here. We got to the race site with plenty of time to get our bikes ready, and our area set up. We got to walk around and check out the race site. It was a really nice part of the Cleveland Metropark system, with some nice falls, and a small lake.

It was pretty chilly, but it was sunny and there was no wind. I wore black tights under my bike shorts, a coolmax tee, arc'teryx pullover, and another pullover on top, because I knew that the bike portion was going to be CHILLY, especially going down the hills. I also had a thin hat under my helmet, and a thicker set of gloves.

While waiting in line to use the facilities, I was able to meet up with TriEric, and his wife, Aimee. What a great couple! It was so nice to meet you both. Great athletes, too, as Eric demonstrated on the bike, and as Aimee demonstrated at her half marathon in Athens Ohio a few weeks back - 1:49 - NICE!

As far as the race went, the first leg of the run was good. I felt pretty loose, passed a few people on the hills, and made it into the transition area at 26:13. I didn't take much time in the transition area, grabbed a quick drink, threw on the helmet, and walked the bike out of transition...and started up a hill. WTH! They couldn't start us off with an easy flat, huh? Needless to say, I just powered through it. 5 laps over rolling hills. Nose running, thighs burning, low back aching...but on the positive side, my hands were not cold, at all, and I didn't get a flat. And, hey, I was ON THE BIKE...OUTSIDE!! I know that alot of you gear-heads have been out and about for a while now...please remember that I am BuckeyeRUNNER for a reason. And as a former swimmer, I am definitely a fish on a bike. So I felt glad to just be on the bike, and not fall off! I finished the bike leg in 1:06.

Dumped the bike, had some words of encouragement from TriEric and Aimee, and was off. The first mile, my legs felt tight, but the knees felt okay, and my toes started warming up. I forgot to ditch my outer layer jacket, so I was pretty much roasting, but I guess you'll have that. I powered up the IPod to some Rage Against the Machine, and finally started to find my legs. I finished the run in 28:45. Although I have taken better pictures, here is me at the finish (finish time:2:01, third in my age group. Out of three.)

At the finish, I was able to meet Al, another speed demon, who I saw blow by me on his bike! Here is a group shot, post-race:

All in all, it was a pretty good race. Lessons learned: I will look to improve my biking skills (esp. my gear-shifting, and hydrating while biking), and also work on my bike to run transition. My husband, Eric, deserves an honorable mention, as well, as he cleaned up pretty nicely, with a finish time of 1:35. Double kudos to him for getting stuck with bike duty (being the slower half of a couple does have its benefits!)

The best part of the day was being able to meet some really great bloggers - here's to seeing each other at more races, and meeting other NEO bloggers as the season progresses!


It's Cold!

The sun may be shining here in Ohio, but it is one chilly day! I have a feeling that tomorrow will prove to be a cold race day. Running in the cold won't be bad, but biking in the cold will be a whole 'notha ball 'o wax!

Today was spent doing some chores, taking the dogs (we're dogsitting the next couple of weeks) to the dog park, and getting in a quick swim. I went late in the day, so the pool was pretty dead. Just the way I like it. Here's what it looked like:
3 x (200swim, 100kick) - 16:30
500swim - 7:33
5 x 100swim - 8:44
400pull - 6:49
5 x 100swim - 8:47
300swim - 4:48
5 x 100swim - 8:58
200swim - 4:06
8 x 50swim - 7:25
Today was the FertileHope 5K Run, the favorite charity of Kristin Armstrong, a favorite athlete of mine (she, too, like a lot of you bloggers, is running Boston '06). Here is the article about it, and the interview with her ex-husband, Lance, who ran it. What's Lance run a 5K in? His chip time was 18:20, and his pace was 5:55/mile.

He must have been taking it easy.
Race report, and hopefully some pictures from the Du tomorrow!


The Season Is Upon Us. On Tap:

Cleveland Marathon: registration, check.
Cleveland Olympic Triathlon (first one ever): registration, check.
Buzzard Duathlon: registration, check.

The Du is this Sunday. It's a 3 mile run, 15 mile bike, 3 mile run. This will be the first time my bike has seen the light of day since my last Du in October. My time in October was 1:52, and that was a 5K/12milebike/5K. Will I be able to top my prior Du time? Will those spinning classes make a difference in the bike portion? I am looking at this as a way to help me work on my transitions, and hopefully meet some other NEO bloggers out there! I hope the weather cooperates - the thought of racing during Spring showers doesn't thrill me much.

Tonight: a run/swim workout.
Update: Only a 6 mile run tonight...Was all set to go swim, and then got sucked into blogland. Go figure.


Just A Reminder

It is starting to get warmer out (yippee!), and not only are runners and other athletes out and about, but so are other people that don't necessarily have getting in shape in mind. I am posting this running safety list to remind us all to stay safe when training.

Most of these tips are common sense and maybe things that you already do.

-RUN AGAINST TRAFFIC so you can observe approaching vehicles unless this means running on the inside of a blind bend. Cross well before the bend and return as soon as it is safe to do so.

-WEAR REFLECTIVE MATERIAL if you run before dawn or after dusk.

-When approaching an intersection/T-junction, make eye contact with the driver who is waiting to proceed onto the main road. If the driver does not see you, pass behind the car.

-Always stay alert and aware of what's going on around you. The more aware, the less vulnerable you are.

-Never assume that because you have heard/seen a danger/obstacle that your fellow runners have. Make the call to advise them.

-Trust your intuition about a person or an area. React on your intuition and avoid a person or situation if you're unsure. If something tells you a situation is not "right", it isn't.

-Ignore verbal harassment. Use discretion in acknowledging strangers. Look directly at others and be observant, but keep your distance and keep moving.

-Dogs can be dangerous, so avoid eye contact and slow to a walk if threatened.

-When running with a group, the club ethos is to re-group if there are runners of varying abilities. At the end of the run, ensure that all members of the group return safely.

-If leading a run, set a positive example by practicing the advice set out in these guidelines.

Further Safety Principles when running alone

-DON'T WEAR HEADSETS. Use your ears to be aware of your surroundings. Using headphones, you lose the use of an important sense: your hearing.

-Carry a mobile phone or change for a phone call. Know the locations of telephone boxes along your regular route.

-Alter or vary your running route pattern; run in familiar areas if possible. In unfamiliar areas, such as while traveling, contact a local running club or running shop. Know where open businesses or shops are located.

-Run with a partner (or let them accompany you on a bike). Run with a dog.

-Write down or leave word of the direction of your run. Tell friends and family of your favorite running routes. This could make the difference!

-Avoid unpopulated areas, deserted streets, and overgrown trails. Especially avoid unlit areas, especially at night. Run clear of parked cars or bushes.

-Carry identification or write your name, phone number, and blood type on the inside sole of your running shoe. Include any medical information. Don't wear jewellery.

-Practice memorizing car registration numbers or identifying characteristics of strangers.

-Carry a noisemaker.

-CALL POLICE IMMEDIATELY if something happens to you or someone else, or you notice anyone out of the ordinary. It is important to report incidents immediately.

-Create a network of women runners. Create a system whereby women can find other women to run with.

Stay safe out there!!