Monday, August 15, 2011

Arcadia Triathlon Results!

    1 Emily Sutton             26 Oklahoma City OK        
Total Time: 1:18:15   
Swim Time: 10:16   
Transition 1:  1:01   
Bike Time:  41:30    
Transition 2: 0:44   
5K Time: 24:46            
I am happy with this! If I continue to pursue sprint tri's, I'm going to have to work on my 
transition times! I don't think I've ever run that fast before! WOW!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

57 Mile Haul, Watermelons, & Arcadia Tri

Thank you for all of your donations so far!  Please donate to the Leukemia & Lymphoma goal is $5,000 and every dollar counts! Just click here!

Hello, friends!  First off, let me apologize for the lack of blogging.  I have been working A LOT lately. Both our morning and Chief meteorologists took off for 2 weeks at the same time!

The storm reports from Monday, August 8th show what this past week was like!  We had a wind gust of 96 mph reported in Lahoma! Wow!  The heat dome moved away and BOOM! We had Northwest flow aloft and storms rolled through.  Another wind event slammed central Oklahoma Tuesday night, particularly Edmond.  I also stayed up Friday night through 2 in the morning Saturday tracking storms at the station.  I think our coverage went well but I was wiped!  

We're Going How Far?!

So let's rewind back to last Saturday, August 6.  As you've likely read before, our Team in Training workouts are usually on Saturday morning and swim practice is on Monday.  Two Saturday's ago I met up at Lake Hefner at 8 in the morning expected a 30 or maybe 40 mile ride.  In typical Emily fashion, I showed up a few minutes late and scrambled to set up Michael Jackson (the name of my bike because it's Black and White!).

Michael Jackson was bad, was bad, you know it! (haha)  Seriously, I started out with a back flat tire which is the worst one to have due to dealing with the gears!  I fixed it and we prepared to head out.  Right before I clipped in, Coach Megan explained our route to Okarche.

*Scratch* OKARCHE?!!!!!!

Remember this picture from a former post?  Yes, only a few weeks prior my parents and I DROVE about 30 minutes to Okarche for fried chicken.  How ironic I was riding my bike there to not eat fried chicken but train for a triathlon!  I guess I did not know what I was getting into!
About 45 minutes in, I get another flat.  Coach Jill Hull thankfully stopped to help me out and change it. I tried to not get upset but Michael Jackson's obsession with flats was killing me!  I realized something was wrong with my gears.  It was taking 10 seconds before switching to another gear, which is not normal.

I later found out from Schlegel's repair shop that I bent a part when I fell on the grass at an early morning ride with Joleen and Heather the week before (picture on the left).  Side note: we rode 40 miles before heading into work that day! Hardcore!

After the flat fiasco, Jill flew ahead and left me behind.  I was nervous because I did not bring my phone and did not have any supplies left for another flat.  I just prayed I would make it to Okarche to meet up with the group!  Riding with messed up gears and a poor attitude, I bitterly pulled up to Okarche with two empty waterbottles.  Once I washed the bike grease off of my hands and filled up on water, I felt a bit better.  This was 30 miles in.  I realized I had a long ride back!

Coach Jill warned me that the way back was hot, windy, and hilly.  I mentally prepared myself for a miserable ride and it ended up not being too bad!  A few other people got flats on the ride back so at least I wasn't alone.  The only problem on the way back was lack of water.  I only have two waterbottles on my bike and in 100 degree heat, they run out fast.  Thankfully I didn't have to go for too long...we stopped at a few gas stations to fill up, eat a few snacks, and wait for our full group of six.

After all the pit stops, we finally got back to Lake Hefner 5 and a half hours later!  The ride itself took around 4 hours total.  But more importantly, I reached a new milestone!  57 miles! On race day I will have to do 56 miles but it will not be as hilly or hot.   I was exhausted, dehydrated, and hot but I felt great for accomplishing what I never knew was possible!  I ended up with a nasty heat rash on my thighs but I will spare you by not posting the pic.  Thankfully, it went away the next day.  I looked it up and there isn't much you can do but just keep the area cool so the pores can open up.

Team Jo & Em Fundraiser #2

Let's jump ahead one week later to the Rush Springs Watermelon Festival Dunk Tank fundraiser!  Joleen spearheaded this event since it's her hometown and she is a runner up Watermelon Queen!  I must admit, after staying up until 2 in the morning tracking severe weather, I did not exactly want to wake up at 7 in the morning to drive an hour away and get dunked in cold water.  However, fundraising is part of the training in Team in Training.  So I got my butt out of bed and it ended up being a blast!  I'll let the pictures tell the story.

Bobbie Miller, Joleen Chaney, Emily Sutton

Rocking our new Watermelon Festival hats!
Thanks Representative Joe Dorman!

This watermelon weighs more than Bobbie!

We had fun and raised $361.85! Thanks to everyone who came out to support the cause!

Arcadia Lake Triathlon

Me, Nate, Janna
Brittany, me, Janna
Just when I thought I couldn't handle anymore...I add a sprint triathlon to the crazy week!  After the watermelon festival I worked my regular shift doing the evening shows at KFOR.  I got home from work around 11 last night and by the time I packed for the race and washed up for bed, it was 1 in the morning!  Determined, I set my alarm and got my booty out of bed a little after 6am.

This time around I felt a lot more comfortable setting up since I had one sprint tri under my belt.  Once again, I had to borrow tri-shorts since I'm holding out for the new TNT tri-shorts.
A few people have asked me what the difference is between tri-shorts and bike shorts.  Bike shorts have a bigger chamois (pronounced "shammy") as shown above.  A chamois is padding so your butt doesn't hurt on long rides!  The only problem is...if you swam in it and then rode your bike and ran, it would feel like a big wet diaper.  Here's where the tri-short comes in.  A tri-short has smaller padding to help enough with the bike ride but not hold you down on the run and swim.
I picked up my registration packet, timing chip, and set up my bike and belongings in the transition area. This particular race provided a swim cap.  Men's age division triathletes comprised the first "wave," or round of people to swim and they wore green caps.  I was assigned a yellow cap for the second wave, women's age division triathletes and aquabike (a triathlon minus the run) participants.  First timers and slow swimmers made up the third and final wave and wore pink caps.

Loud Noises!

The gun went off and we rushed into the water like a bad Baywatch episode. The open water followed a pyramid pattern, sanctioned off by five neon orange buoys.  This is the reason why I signed up.  I wanted to have the open water swim race experience under my belt before the Redman.  I'm glad I did.  I need to practice open water swimming a bit more.  It's a whole different ball game from the pool!  Spotting can be a challenge but the worst part for me were people all around kicking and elbowing me.  Fortunately, it wasn't too bad and I managed to keep a decent pace.

Once we were done swimming, we had to run up the beach to the transition area.  I quickly put my socks, cycling shoes, helmet and sunglasses and ran my bike out of the transition area.
I believe this is a map of the race course.  It looks good on paper but if I could make it 3-D, those hills would pop out of the page and slap you in the face!  There were some BRUTAL hills.  The good news is, this is where I saw my biggest improvement compared to the OCCC Triathlon a few months earlier.  I was going around 20 mph for most of the ride!  I managed to clock up to 33 mph going downhill!  I've never gone that fast before!  Of course, it all equals out with the uphill.  I tried to keep my legs spinning fast but it was so steep! I think my speed dropped to 10 mph on the hardest hills.  I was happy to pass several people this time instead of vice versa!

Run, Emily, Run!

Once I made it back to the transition area I was pumped to run and get'r'done!  I quickly racked my bike, switched to my running shoes, and hit the pavement!  I did not have a race belt, so I had to safety pin my number while running out of the transition area.  Like the bike course, the run course was hilly!  But like the bike course, I surprised myself on how much I've improved!  I don't know how fast I was going but I was flying! I still don't consider myself much of a runner but I knew I could push hard for 3.1 miles.  I actually passed 4 or 5 people!
I often play songs in my head while working out.  It's a skill I learned back in the swim team days.  During the run portion I played  "Give Them Something To Talk About," "Hit Me With Your Best Shot," "I Believe I Can Fly," and for the last leg, "I Wanna Dance With Somebody."  I knew Whitney Houston could help me get up that unnecessarily steep hill up to the finish line.

 I sprinted to the finish and thought I was going to have a heart attack.  Sprinting across the finish line with everything I had I promptly wheezed out, "holy sh*t!"  Classy, I know. You stay classy, Emily.
I guess the pushing was worth it.  I won first in my age group!  Check out my trophy....a kick board!  I think that's a great idea!  It's a useful medal.  I believe I placed 6th overall in the female division.  Janna and I were only 90 seconds apart!  However, she biked 54 miles the day before while I sat in a dunk tank.  I set out to accomplish this marathon as a training for the Redman but I'm quickly discovering how much I enjoy sprint triathlons.  I love unleashing my competitive side.  There's a great camaraderie as well within the triathlon community.  Afterwards we all hung out, ate some food, drank some beer (yes, they had a keg?!) and talked about the race.  I will definitely be doing another sprint triathlon in the future!  But first....let's focus on the Redman! It's a little over a month away!

Thanks for sticking with me!  I know I wrote a lot...but think of it as a 3 for 1.  3 blog entries for the price of 1.  Have a great week and stay tuned for updates!

Thank you for all of your donations so far!  Please donate to the Leukemia & Lymphoma goal is $5,000 and every dollar counts! Just click here!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Every Road Has Its Thorn

Thank you for all of your donations so far!  Please donate to the Leukemia & Lymphoma goal is $5,000 and every dollar counts! Just click here!

Hello, friends!  WELCOME TO HELL!  Today was 109 degrees, making it day 40 of 100 degree or hotter days in Oklahoma City!  We are up against the record of fifty 100 degree days from the year 1980.  I literally picked the hottest summer on record to train for my first half Ironman.  WOW!
Oh, it gets worse.  Tomorrow I'm forecasting a ridiculous (or as my Mom says, "reDONKulous") 113 degrees.  This is the all time record high for Oklahoma City, set back in August of 1936.  In some sick, weather nerd type of way, I really want this to happen.  Since it's insanely hot, we might as well go big or go home!  Or have a major cool down!  Needless to say, this has been the biggest obstacle with training.  Today I swam, following a work out from my friend, Marlene, one of the headmasters of the OCCC Triathlon Club.

300 warm up                                              300
100 swim, kick, pull-3x= 900                 1200
4-50's on the 1:00= 200                         1500
300 pull = 300                                         1800
4-50's on the 1:00= 200                         2000
300 pull = 300                                         2300
4-50's on the 1:00 =  200                       2500
300 pull = 300                                         2800
4-50's on the 1:00= 200                        3000
300 cool down = 300                             3300
On the 50's, you want to swim them as fast as you can so that you will have more rest before it is time to go again!!

Thanks, Marlene!  I did 3330 meters in about an hour!  Not too shabby!  I love swimming.  Too bad I need to work on the other ones!

Flat Tires Galore

So here's what's been going on since the fundraiser...flat tires!I told you in a previous entry about my first flat due to a pot hole on a bike ride with OBS.  I discovered my second flat while trying to ride while my parents are in town.  My dear Dad tried to fix the tire but these road bikes are tricky and I didn't want to mess up.  So I packed the bike and parents up to visit Astronaut John for help.  It turns out an itty bitty thorn, the size on a pencil tip, managed to give me a flat.  Not good news considering Oklahoma roads and trials are littered with these guys.  Astronaut John says they are more abundant this summer because of the extreme drought conditions and lack of rain to wash them away.  These suckers came back to haunt me again...

This Flat Out Sucks!

So about a week ago I went on a bike ride with one of my TNT buddies I've mentioned earlier, Heather.  Her dad is an avid cyclist so he came along for the ride as well.  Boy, am I glad he did!  I ended up having not one, not two...but THREE FLAT TIRES! Are you flipping kidding me? This must be a record?!  We started out at 6pm at the Louies on the Lake parking lot.  From there the plan was to ride to Lake Overholser and back.  On the way to Lake Overholser, there are a few stop lights and while starting up again for the green light, I managed to twist the clip on my shoe.  This made my knee go in and loosened the clip.  After pushing around a bit, I managed to set it back into place.

Here's where the "fun" begins.  I first get a flat on the back tire.  The back tire is much more complicated since you have to deal with the gears.  Thankfully, Heather's dad has done this before so he stepped in to help out.  As soon as he fixed the back tire, I noticed a small pebble of sorts stuck on my front wheel.  When I pulled it out, I heard a "hisssssssss" guess it!  Another flat!  Since we already used my replacement tube and CO2 inflater, Heather gave me hers.  We didn't have quite enough CO2 to fill the front tire, so I had to ride a bit low.  After trying to ride on it, I stopped and her dad used his (and the last) CO2 cartridge.  So we continued on our journey back to Lake Hefner from Lake Overholser....

BUT WAIT!  There's more!  I hear an all too familiar sound again...something isn't right.  Granted, I was very paranoid of flats at this point (rightfully so!)...but my back tire really WAS flat! Incredible! The sun was setting and we had to hurry back, so we flagged Heather's dad up in front and changed the back tire rather quickly.  We got back around 9pm and it was dark, so Heather let me borrow her light.  Thank you so much Heather and Heather's dad!

I felt very defeated after this ride.  I felt that this was my future - 3 plus flats a ride.  Not only is it frustrating, it's expensive!  Tubes are about $5 a piece and I thought the inflaters were $16...but I found out at my Pro Bike visit that it's just an initial fee for the applicator and that the CO2 cartriges can be purchased for $1.50.  Whew!  I visited Pro Bike a few days later convinced something was wrong with Michael Jackson (the name of my bike).  Turns out nothing was wrong, I just drew the short straws THREE TIMES that day!  They fixed up the bike, hooked me up with a new energy drink/less viscous goo, and I even chatted up with one of my OBS buddies!  Ahhh, I felt much better!

The day after my flat-tastic ride (more like flat-awful!) I had a personal best with running!  My legs were a bit sore from the day before, but I started around 7:30pm and ended around 9:30pm!  Yes, it got dark on me and yes, I know it's not safe to run by  myself in the dark...but it's the only time it is slightly cooler around here!  I iced my knees afterwards because they hurt a bit but I am proud to say I ran 11 or 12 miles!  Personal bests!  They feel great! Now if I can only swim 1.2 miles and cycle 56 miles before that....hmmm...


This past Saturday I went on a group ride EARLY in the morning followed by a clinic at Schlegels.  I've written enough for today but I will give a Cliffnotes version of his class in my next entry.  Keep cool everybody and thanks for reading!