Race Ramblings

So, my next 70.3 is next weekend.

This shouldn’t be a big deal, but as things usually go for me I developed a lovely stress fracture in the fifth metatarsal of my right foot. Way to go, me. This has been sore for about three weeks now. I was contemplating not racing next weekend, but with some strength tape and the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) my foot is starting to feel better. However, there is a downside. I haven’t been able to run the past few weeks. This is going to make for a brutal run portion of the race. Please pray for me.

In other news, I’ve started planning my 2015 race schedule and it’s shaping up nicely. I’ve already got a few great races on there, including another 70.3 that I’m doing with a friend this time! This should be one fun year coming up. I’m super stoked to get settled in our new little area, and get to training on all the spectacular hills we have around us now.

I’ll be back in a week or so with a recap of Ironman 70.3 Austin!

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Women’s Running Series Half Marathon NASHVILLE Race Recap

Last weekend Women’s Running Magazine put on their last race (or last race for a while) in Nashville, TN. Let me begin by saying that the race directors have decided to cancel all future WRS races for the foreseeable future. More on that later.

The Expo

The expo was held at the Renaissance Nashville hotel that is attached to the old convention center in the heart of downtown where all the little restaurants and shops are. Easy access in and out of the hotel makes for a fast paced packet pickup. I walked right in and got my bib, tote bag, and shirt. The volunteers were nice. However, the expo was very, very small and I was underwhelmed. When the race was the Women’s Half Marathon, things were much bigger, and much better.

The Race

Logistics of this race were well planned out, and the course was beautiful. Other than the very smelly sewers in Nashville, the course was something to take in as it took you around the sights of Nashville. Some back roads are a part of the course that traverse through neighborhoods, but spectator support in those neighborhoods were awesome. Some small kids were out high-fiving the racers, some handing out water, and some even blaring music to help us racers get through to the next mile.

My own race was one of the worst I’ve ever experienced. I chafed so bad on my leg for the first time EVER, ending up bleeding the entire race. That was fun <- insert sarcasm here. My stinking IT band seized up, and my recently hurt knee flared up…this in turn made for my worst half time ever, and the worst race experience ever. Running this race made me realize why I love triathlon so much more.

Then, the finish line appeared. I scooted across, nursed my issues, got my medal (which was far better than the last WRS medal I got; it actually said half marathon on it this time), and then headed back to the hotel to shower and take a long awaited nap.

Overall

Overall, I would recommend this race because of the course, and the course only. I do certainly hope that if WRS brings back this series that many things will be improved. So, in the meantime, I would recommend the Rock n Roll marathon series if you’re wanting a nice course in Nashville, TN.

WRS did not give any sound reason why they were canceling their races, but I know many people who signed up for one of their FL races in November were not happy for the last minute cancellation; that made for many who already paid for the race, hotel, and flights upset. At least WRS is offering refunds for race registration or entry into any Rock n Roll series race. Hopefully WRS races will come back better in the future.

It’s been a while…

Sorry it’s been such a long time since I’ve posted. Many major life changes have been happening for the course of the past four months. My oh my, it’s been crazy but good.

Due to those life changes, I’ve taken a major hit on my training for Ironman 70.3. Austin is only a few short weeks away now and I’m totally freaking out. I finally found a pool to train in for the next three weeks and hopefully my swim endurance hasn’t suffered too much. But, the bike…well that’s a different story. I’m just praying I get through this one. Austin is purportedly easier than some races; the website says the elevation gain on the bike only totals something just over 800 ft. Not too shabby, I guess. Anything is better than the 4,000+ at St. George.

So, I may ask if you all pray for me. I just want to finish Austin. I don’t have a strict time goal, just anything under 7 hours (which I think is completely attainable) barring any major panic attacks this time.

See you all soon!

Ironman 70.3 St. George

So, this post is about a month and a half late. I’ve been having a hard time writing this, but better late than never. St. George is one of the most beautiful places to race an Ironman, or any triathlon for that matter. However, to sum up this Pro Championship race: Beautiful but brutal.

This was my first triathlon that ever ended in a DNF. St. George was “unseasonably hot” this year….the only weekend, by the way, that is was to be in the 90’s instead of the regular 70 degree temps that the area normally sees this time of year. That heat made for more suffering on the race course on top of those hills.

Oh. The hills. I think there may have even been hills in the water. Over 4400 feet of climbing. And, the biggest hill comes at miles 40-45. The five mile ride uphill through Snow Canyon State Park was very beautiful, but oh so brutal. I made it up to mile 45 but just couldn’t continue. I was so mad at myself…landing in an ambulance for about an hour and a half. So, I can’t speak to the run course (which I heard was a four mile incline right out of T2) but I’m sure it was just as tough as the bike.

I’m not going to let this DNF get me down. I’ll be back at St. George another year to finish that course. Don’t let the hills scare you…just train hard, then trust your training. Go out there and compete with the best! St. George is definitely the place to be.

Fighting Fatigue

So, it’s been a while. My bad. I’ve been having a nasty time fighting fatigue as I near my Ironman 70.3 in just a few short weeks. Lately, I’ve found it hard to get out the door in the morning; not for my swim workouts, but for my bike and run workouts.

I’ve never really been a strong runner, but I try to make it look like I know what I’m doing. And, when you don’t feel 100%, it’s really easy to talk yourself out of workouts. However, this is NOT a good practice. Let me repeat that sentiment: TALKING YOURSELF OUT OF WORKOUTS IS BAD.

Why? Well, there is a quote I found one time that said something along the lines of, “Don’t lower your dream, raise your effort.” That has always stuck with me. My goals may seem lofty, but they can be accomplished with a little hard work and dedication. I had to remind myself of that lately as I trudged out to door to finish workouts that seemed like they would never end. But the feeling that you get from finishing a workout is so incredibly rewarding that when you’re done, you’re happy you stuck through it–even when your arms and legs feel like lead, and your head just keeps telling you to quit. It’s these emotional moments that are good in training to help you find your own unique way to overcome those negative demons when they enter your head on race day. Mental toughness goes just as long a way as physical toughness.

So, just get out there and do it. You’ll be glad you did. I promise.

Monthly Totals

Looking over the past few months since training has begun for my half-ironman coming up, my monthly totals in mileage have been ramping up. Now, some of them have been measly compared to what other triathletes do; but, with my schedule I am proud to say that I swam over 7 miles this month, and biked over 133 miles. That’s a lot for busy old me. And, I’m completely satisfied with it.

With only two months left of training, I’ll be amping it up more and more. Before I know it, it will be taper time and I’ll be on my way to St. George. Woooooo hoooo! It’s starting to get more and more exciting by the day.

Praise the Lord for His goodness.

Women’s Running Series: San Diego Half Marathon Race Recap

This was the second annual Women’s Half Marathon in San Diego. They recently changed the name to the Women’s Running Series, and offered a 5k this year as well. The race was slightly different from last year, as was the place for the packet pickup.

The Expo

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The expo was held at Broadway Pier in downtown San Diego right next the the Midway ship. Bib pickup was easy enough, and the Pier was easy to get around. However, there were quite a few things I was dismayed about. First, the parking. I had to pay ten dollars to park for thirty minutes because the expo was by the Midway ship. Second, I personally thought the race shirt was the most hideous race shirt I’ve ever gotten. Third, there were not very many vendors. I didn’t even buy any apparel branded “Women’s Running Series” because I didn’t like the designs. I think this is the first time I’ve ever been disappointed in a race. But, those are little things, and I hope that others enjoyed them.

The Race

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A very sweet lady at the expo gave me her VIP wristband to get into the Subaru VIP area during the race. I am so grateful for her because that area was so awesome…clean, private bathrooms, a changing tent, free after race massages, and food from Panera were awaiting all the VIPs after the race. It was glorious.

Anyway, back to the race. It was a great start, and a beautiful morning. The race course wasn’t the exact same as last year, but it was still a great and flat course to run. I had been running with the 2:15 pace group, but suddenly my IT band flared up around mile 11.5 and the lovely race medics walked with me for a few minutes, and even helped me to the medical tent after the race. I have to say that is a first for me. I’ve never had this problem before. When it started happening, I was just praying that it wasn’t an actual injury since I have an Ironman in a few short months. Needless to say, I was embarrassed for not being able to run the last mile and a half when I could have run to a PR in this race. So sad. But, there are always other races.

The finish line was full of cheering people which made the entry nice. I got my medal and a few snacks, and headed to the medical tent then to the VIP area for my Panera food. I heard there was a freshen up lounge and cookie cafe, too; but, I didn’t hit those up this time.

All in all, this was a good race. A few minor things I would change that I liked last year a lot better. And, of course, I can’t forget my fan girl moment cheering for one of my favorite bloggers Kristin over at http://www.stuftmama.com … She rocked the race!

Make sure to check out next year’s race, and the other races in the series at womensrunning.com