Hello, friends! I can't believe race day is less than 2 weeks away! HOLY COW!
First of all, I'd like to say CONGRATS to all of my Team in Training team mates that just finished the Nation's Triathlon benefitting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The event is an Olympic-distance triathlon held in Washington D.C. This year the event coincided with the 10th anniversary of the September 11th tragedy. Rumor has it that the swim portion was cancelled at the last minute due to a strong current in the Potomac River from several recent rounds of heavy rainfall. I suppose this was good news to many triathletes...however, I know a few of our team members have been spending lots of training in the pool or lake in prep for the swim portion. I would be bummed! I will be excited to hear about how it went!
Run, Emily, Run!
Last Sunday I achieved a new milestone in my least favorite of the three: running. I ran about 17 miles around Lake Hefner. It took a little over 3 hours. I was doing the "grandma shuffle" for the last 2 miles. I met an old man named Dick and he helped me get through the rest of the run. After talking for a bit, he told me how he did a full Ironman at the Redman 4 years ago. He said he did all of his training at the YMCA and tried open water swimming only 2 days before the race! He finished though, in 19 hours! I don't know if this is inspiring or insulting? He was a nice guy, regardless.
So why did I run 17 miles? It was more of a mental thing than anything else. I still can't comprehend how I'm going to run a half marathon after all the swimming and cycling...so I decided to tack on an extra 4 miles. This will help me mentally during the half Ironman knowing I can push myself to new limits. This also let me know that I have no desire to run a marathon. I thought my knees were going to fall off!
Apparently Falling Isn't Just For 70 Year Olds
Okay, I'll keep this short and sweet. Last Tuesday I walked briskly towards the news studio on straight up bit-it. I mean, I just wiped out and before I knew it I was on the floor. Embarrassing! Unfortunately, I landed right on my already sore knees from the long run mentioned earlier. I hobbled away and a few co-workers helped me out by bringing me ice. No matter what, the show must go on! As much as it hurt, I got through the noon newscast and then headed to Urgent Care.
I could walk so I knew it wasn't terribly serious but it was hard to walk up and down stairs. I was quite upset. Not so much about the pain but about the potential for this freak fall to mess up 4 months of training during the hottest summer on record! Thank God the X-Rays came out okay and I just had to ice my knees for the rest of the day, take anti-inflammatory medicine, and not run for a week. Whew! So I had several swims and a few short bike rides since then...
As you may have read in past posts, I am a huge fan of the Oklahoma Bicycle Society, or OBS. They basically took me under their wing and taught me how to work my bike and about group ride etiquette. So I thought it would be nice to support the group by participating in my first sponsored group ride! My TNT buddy, Janna, is a huge fan of the sponsored rides, so I thought I'd give it a spin! (Pun intended). You could choose between several distances. I chose 40 miles. The main downside, like most rides/races, I had to get up at 6am! Yuck! It was actually chilly in the morning with lows in the mid-upper 50s!
I met up with Janna and we stayed together through most of the ride. We took this opportunity to practice race day nutrition. I tried a new protein bar before the race by Luna. It was tasty except for the fake minty taste. I like the texture though so I will just try another flavor next time. Janna gave me another type of gummies. I did not have tape to place it on my bike so we creatively used a rubber band to hold it. During the race I ripped it open with my teeth and stored the rest in my sports bra. Not the most conventional method, but it stayed put!
I started out unnecessarily fast. Competitive Emily comes out during group events. I will have to be aware of this on race day so I don't burn out early. I was passing people left and right at the beginning of the ride, going about 22-25 mph! Then the hills kicked in. That slowed me down a bit. I had to stop when my chain suddenly came off. In typical OBS politeness, several people asked if I needed help and I was quickly fixed and back on the course.
Janna and I decided to stop at the second rest stop around mile 25 or 30. They had homemade cookies! Yum! I may or MAY have stashed a few in my bike bag for later.
My right knee started hurting in the last 5 miles or so. I think this just verifies the previous thought that I need to take it down a few notches when starting out.
After crossing the finish line, Janna and I ran for 5 miles. She has a sweet sweat visor. I really want one for running. It's very functional because sunglasses are annoying while running and the visors keep the sun out of your eyes and sweat off of your face! Thankfully she wore a fuel belt, so we had drinks along the way. I tried GU but I did not like it again. It's kind of how I feel about eating shrimp. I can have a bite but I don't prefer it and would never order it. It's a lot easier to tack on miles with a training buddy. I still am not sure how I will be able to do 13.1 miles. I was ready to stop at 5 miles. I guess I am just banking on adrenaline, familiar faces in the crowd cheering me on, and the drive to cross the finish line.
ONLY 12 MORE DAYS! Stay tuned....and have a great week!