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!

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