Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Things That Make You Say "Doh!!"

Tomorrow we're leaving on a "ROADTRIP"!!!  Bill is on vacation and we wanted to go and visit family in New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  He told me about a month or two ago that he would be taking a week around the first part of May. I of course immediately go online and see if there are any triathlons in the NOLA area for that time.  And I find the CRAWFISHMAN TRIATHLON on the first weekend in May!  "Do you think you could wrap your vacation week around a weekend instead of taking Sunday through Saturday?"  "You could?  Really??"  Cha-ching - race entry fee.

We got a new car last February - a Subaru Outback!  Bill used to drive a Jeep Cherokee so the cargo room in our vehicle has decreased slightly.  Now we need to figure out how to take two Golden Retrievers, luggage and a bike.  No problem - we'll get a trailer hitch and a cool bike rack for the back of the car.  (The roof rack houses kayak carriers). 

I order a Yakima HoldUp bike rack - I like this version because the bike is held onto the rack by the wheels instead of the frame.  No frame torque and all bikes will be horizontal, even if they have a sloping top tube. I make an appointment with the Subaru dealership to have the hitch installed.  I go to Wilmington with the car last Thursday and hang around the city for 6 hours. Right when the Outback is finally through the complimentary car wash, dried and brought to me it starts to rain.  Nice.  My mistake - not checking the work.

Last night we decided to put the rack on the car.  But when we remove the little cover on the hitch and start to install the Spline of the rack we notice that the 2" reciever that I ordered for the car is a 1.25.  DOH!!!!!  Of course the dealership is already closed for the day.  We have to wait until the morning to do anything.  In the morning, upon contacting the dealership we find out that the 1.25 is the only size available for our car because of the towing capacity.  Okay... I get it, but we're not going to tow anything. 

So then I have to see what I can do about the rack.  No one stocks one anywhere with a 1.25", I found a couple more 2", but we were SOL on the size we need.   The guy at TrySports in Wilmington recommends that I call Yakima and get creative in my thinking on what to do.  He gave me some good advice!  I called Yakima and yes, they have the Spine for the rack.  I'd have to Overnight it to get it here on time.  I ask if I can exchange the one I have for that one?  No, I can't because I didn't buy the rack from them, I got it from ORS Racks Direct.  I got a great deal on it and free shipping!!   The person at Yakima suggests that I call them, that they're open and might be able to help.  Maybe they could exchange it and overnight me the correct size. 

No such luck... they don't carry the individual Spline.  However the oh so cool folks at ORS Racks Direct are going to let me return just the 2" Spline by itself and are going to give me credit for it!  How amazing is that Customer Service.  Brianna at Yakima referred to the guy at ORS by name.  What great companies.  

So I should have the correci size Spline for our trailer hitch by noon tomorrow from Yakima.  And then let the Roadtrip begin!!!!  Keeping my fingers crossed for the FedEx guy to show up early!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Weekend

What a great weekend!!  Saturday I met up with the local Ocean Isle Beach Cyclists for a ride.  The plan was for a 74 miler plus my 12 mile commute to the shop.  A rider from Greensboro showed up for the ride.  We had a tailwind out and the speed ramped up to 25+ when The Masher and our visitor went to the front.  We started out with 6 of us, dropped one on the way out.  Dropped two more on the way back - at the end it was just me and the two hammerheads into a headwind all the way back.  I thought I was going to hurl.  But I hung on until the end!!  Yay Me!!

Sunday was the perfect day!  Started out with a visit from the Easter Bunny then Bill and I ran an easy 3 miles on the golf course.  After we got home we packed up and went to Sunset Beach for some sun and relaxation in the form of a couple margaritas!  Back at home, made some dinner and then we took the boys for a walk - again on the golf course.  By then the course was closed and we were able to let them off leash to burn off some energy.

I met up with The Masher and The Dominator and Jimmy, the wrestling and cross country coach from the High School for a ride on Monday morning.  I wanted to do a few 3 mile intervals.  Again - nearing the hurl point.  Here is what my heart rate looked like.

Then I went to the pool to get in a swim.  Had a great swim until my last set - 14 x 50 @ :60.  In the next lane there was a guy (here we go again) wearing swim gloves who raced me for the first 25 of the 50, then hung on the wall for my next 50 and did it again and again and again.  Of course I beat him to the wall every time so then he started leaving a couple seconds early.  Aaaaarrruuuugggghhhhh.....  only this time when I got finished I turned to him and told him that I didn't mind him doing the intervals with me, but they were 50's on a minute and what he was doing was extremely irritating.   I'll chalk up my irritation to another cased of electrolyte imbalance.

I hope I'm ready for this coming Sunday!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Things That Irritate Me

Okay... so generally I'm a pretty even tempered, let things roll off my back like a duck kind of person, but there are a few things that really irritate me.  I'm thinking that the degree of irritation is directly correlated to the electrolyte imbalance at that particular point in my workout.

Why is there always some guy in the next lane who is swimming a few laps and decides he needs to wait at end of the lane for you to flip turn and try to race you to the end of the pool? And then wait another 50 and do it again and again and again.  Please do your own workout.  The other day I had one who (hopefully was just trying to learn) waited underwater watching me flip turn.  He did it so many times I almost got out of the pool because I was getting a little creeped out.   Please try YouTube, I'm sure there are much better swimmers than me on there showing you how to flip.

At White Rock Lake where I used to ride in Dallas - Why is there always the guy that you pass when you're doing an interval on the smooth side and he jumps on your wheel and drafts you to the end and then flies around you and never says a word.  Please say something Mr. Wheelsucker. 

Why are there always women on the running path 4 abreast taking up the entire path?  Or 2 coming at you with one on the line and you still have to squeeze way over to get by them?  Please remember that this is a public shared path, you haven't reserved it for your own personal run.   Oh.. and then there are the "stare at you but won't wave back people".  Please acknowledge my wave or stop staring at me. 

Okay - I'm off my soapbox.  Thank you for allowing me to vent.

Monday, April 18, 2011

SwimRunSwimRun - Repeat

So I've had a lot of time to swim and run these past few days and I'm seeing some nice improvement! 

I did a 5 mile run the other day and really tried to push the pace, when I got home and downloaded the run my Garmin clocked me at a 7:52 pace!!  Now for some of you that may not seem like anything significant but for me it's gold!!  Long long ago (when I was in my 20's and 30's) I always seemed to train at an 8:00 minute pace.  It was like clockwork.  Now days it's more like 8:30.  When I try to run easy I can get it to around an 8:45-8:50, but I feel like I'm going super slow.  Now don't get me wrong, that 7:52 had me working, but it felt good! 

Two days after that I went out for a 6 mile run and told myself that I was going to keep it down a little.  Six miles is typically when my left knee really starts to scream.  It feels like it starts to swell inside the joint and hurts like I'm doing some damage to it so I don't like to push the pace at this distance.  (This one had microfracture surgery back in 2002 and has never felt "right").  So I got home and downloaded the data and low and behold 8:11 average pace!!  Whooo Hoooo!!!

And as far as my swimming goes, I've been extremely negligent on the amount of time I've been in the water this year.  I wrote a post about my first time in the pool a while back and since then I've been lucky to be in the pool once a week.  So I've swam the last 3 days in a row and have watched my 100 yard time go down 5 seconds!  And that's on a 400 as well as a pure 100!!  When I'm in good swim shape I usually bring my 100's in on 1:26 when I'm repeating on 1:45, 1:30 when I'm just cruising.  (This must sound like total gibberish to any non swimmers!!)   So on my first of the three swims the 100's took me 1:40 and I had to extend the repeat interval to 1:50- ugh.  So yesterday I bought the 400 in on 3:20 - Sweet!  Still not where it needs to be but nice to see the improvement!! 

I just love how the pressure of an upcoming race gets me in gear.  I'm looking forward to Crawfishman and White Lake two weeks later! 

Oh... and I just found out that my nephew, sister and brother in law may come and watch me at Crawfishman.  They live about 20 minutes away from the race!  Whoo Hooo ....  more performance pressure!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

"Spanish Moss In My Hand Turn Me Into Crawfishman!"

My first race of the season is a month away on May 1st.  I'll be in south Louisiana racing the Crawfishman Triathlon!!  My husband is from New Orleans so we'll be road tripping as a family, and getting to eat some awesome N'awlins food while were there.  Crawfishman is known for it's post race party, but then most races in Louisiana seem to be known for the party!!  I was hoping my nephew who is in the Navy would be racing with me in his very first triathlon but it doesn't look like it's going to happen, darn. 

I enjoy going to races where no one knows you.  In some ways it takes off some of the "Performance Pressure".  But then again it's always fun to make the locals ask "Who the heck is that?"  I'll be wearing my Recovery e21 tri kit for this race!  It's pretty sweet looking - the back says: RECOVER FASTER TRAIN HARDER!  If you haven't checked it out go to the link and take a look - this stuff is awesome!!  Use code:  e21WINS for a 20% discount!

"The race was founded in 1983 by Charlie Hoolihan, Mark Salvetti and Rick Ramirez. We started with a three-race series 1983 and along the past 26 years we have received numerous awards and recognition for putting on a quality race in South Louisiana. We've come a long way since the first year.....the introduction of clipless bars....heck, we used to put up "changing rooms" for transitions!!!"  *

I've done this race a couple times that I can remember, maybe three times.  First in 1987 when it was known as the Crawfishman Causeway Cup.  I don't even know what the distances were back then.   Look at number 15 - there I am!!  I'm hoping for a better finish this year.  Wow I was only 26 years old!  How time flies. 

The second time I raced it there was a girl coming off the bike at the same time that I was this year and she told me afterwards that when she hit a little bump in the road just before the finish her front fork drop outs came completely off the front wheel - she'd forgotten to tighten her quick release when she put her wheel on!  Luckily it landed right back on the wheel or she would have been in for a nasty crash! Scary!! Triathlon Pointer - ALWAYS DOUBLE CHECK YOUR WHEELS!

In 1991 -  it was a Half Ironman distance and a Kona qualifier. It was my first half, I wish I had the results from that day - I have no idea of how I finished.  This picture was taken on the way to the swim start that year.  I remember that the waves were so rough in Lake Ponchatrain that a triathlete from Dallas had to be pulled from the water after an hour and a half of floundering around out in the lake.  It was one of those swims where you have to wait until you're on a crest of a wave to see the shoreline. 

I hope I do well, I'm not really ready so I'd better get out there and do some more training! 

*From the Crawfishman Triathlon website.