Wednesday, August 22, 2012

New Milestone, Bike Name & Chitown TRI!

Hello, friends! I'm so happy we've finally been getting rain and below normal temps! Woo hoo!  About 2 weekends ago I reached a new milestone!
Ta-Da! 70 miles! That's the longest I've ever ridden! I did it at "Spin Your Wheels."  I would recommend this ride to any level of cyclist. 

Alright, we'll round it to 71.  Clearly Janna and I are making a 71.  Maybe we should freelance to Sesame Street?
It was one of the first cooler days of the summer with morning lows in the mid 60s!  We had light winds and sunny skies...a perfect day for a long bike ride!  The combination of the cooler weather and actually having 7 hours of sleep the night before made for a great ride. I felt amazing!

I rode with my cycle buddy, Patrick.  The ride left from the Children's Center in Bethany south to Mustang, west to Tuttle and back.  We rode without a pack (no drafting) for most of the ride which is good training since you are not allowed to draft in triathlons. 

I have a boo boo
Patrick and I decided to join a group of century riders (a pack for drafting) for the last 10-15 miles.  The person in front of me made a small but quick swirve and slowed down a tiny bit.  As a result, I swerved a bit and the cyclist behind me tapped my wheel causing a crash.  Patrick went down and the guy behind him flipped overhead.  It all happened so fast!  We were riding around 30 mph at the time. 

Patrick and the other cyclist came out bruised but not broken.  This is why a helmet is imperative!  Patrick hit his head but prevented any head trauma due to the helmet.  Apparently there had been several wrecks by experienced riders earlier in the day.  I felt horrible that I helped cause it but I guess it just happens.  Patrick wasn't seriously hurt but he did have a HUGE bruise and large scrapes to his leg, arm and nose.  He was a trooper until the end!  I did have to help coach him through a bit.  If the roles were reversed I would be crying and likely on an ambulance so kudos to Patrick!

Meet My New Pal!

This 70 mile ride bonded me with my new tri bike (loaned generously by Pro Bike Inc.)  I have now named him CLARK KENT after Superman!

See the resemblance?!  I think my tri bike's aerobars are like Superman's flying position.  So hopefully this bike will be my super hero in my next triathlon.

Largest Triathlon on the Planet

I signed up for the Chicago Triathlon in January to inspire me to keep training.  Obviously I did not need much inspiration...I am indeed addicted to the culture.  At the time I did not realize that I signed up for the LARGEST triathlon in the country!

Actually, the main inspiration for the Chicago triathlon is to race at home and show my family my new passion.  I have been so blessed to have parents that support me no matter what.  They supported me through my hard training for my first half Ironman last year...but I still think they don't get it.  After my duathlon this year my dad said, "so, you're really into this?!" Yes, Dad.  I don't think they will quite get it until they SEE it and feel the energy of a triathlon.  Even if you're like my mom and NEVER work out...I suggest you attend a race.  You will be surprised to see all the different types of people participating in triathlon and hopefully it will inspire you.  I'm telling you, I competed with a 70 year old gray haired lady last summer at a sprint tri.  It's inspirational!  I hope to be like that one day!

Here is the schedule:
Sunday,  August, 2012
  4:15 AM  Transition area opens (my friends & family can't comprehend this time)
  5:45 AM Transition  area closes
  6:00 AM  Race begins
  9:00 AM-­‐3:00 PM Post-­‐race celebration, finish  area; Columbus and Balbo

Swim: The swim seems pretty straight forward.  All the other tri's I have participated in were in a pyramid. This is more of a straight shot.  This IS Lake Michigan but at least it is in a harbor so hopefully we will not encounter choppy water.

Bike: I think the bike will be fun.  I get to bike along Lake Shore Drive! Hopefully Oprah will be watching. I'll make sure to wave at her.
"Hi, Emily! I love your bike!"

Run: The run takes us past the Field Museum (full of dinosaur should check it out!) and Soldier field.  DA BEARS! 

The Forecast:

I totally trust my man, Tom Skilling.  I mean, I own his snuggy after all! For those of you not familiar, Tom Skilling in Chicago is equivalent to Gary England in Oklahoma.  He has nearly 10 minute weathercasts...that are more like dissertations.  The man is a genius!

Anyway, after a bit of forecasting I looked at what he has going for Sunday and I will have a cool start in the upper 60s with winds out of the south around 10-20 mph.  Unfortunately, it may be a bit breezy.  I'm not too worried because I have my sweet aerodynamic bike AND I've been training in Oklahoma which is WAY windier than Chicago!  By the time I'm running it will likely be in the low to mid-70s and muggy.  Hopefully it will not rain because I have not trained in the rain.  I trust God to help me through this!

I am so excited to race in Chicago, my hometown.  I just wish I had the Oklahoma kindness and support to cheer me on!  My friend, Lacey, from OKC will have to represent the Sooner state!  Please send a prayer up Saturday night/early Sunday!  I'll let you know how it goes!
Have a great rest of your week friends and I will let you know how it goes!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Crazy Week!

Hello, friends!  Let's start off with a forecast for SPIN YOUR WHEELS benefiting the Children's Center.  It's not too late to register! Just click here. It starts at 7am in Bethany and you can ride 12, 24, 46, 71, or 100 miles!  It's a ride not a race and it's for a great cause.  If you'd like to donate to the Children's Center click here.

The forecast couldn't be better considering it's August in Oklahoma!  We're looking at a relatively cool start, generally light winds, and lower relative humidities!


7AM: Much cooler! YAY! Mid-upper 60s, sunny skies, winds ESE 5 mph

8AM: Upper 60s/Low 70s, ESE 5-10 mph

9AM: Mid-70s, SE 10 mph

10AM: Low-80s, SE 10 mph

11AM: Mid-Upper 80s, SE 10 mph

Noon: Low 90s, SSE 10 mph

1PM: Mid-90's, S 10 mph

Donut Ride? More Like Speed Racer Ride

Last Sunday I joined a group ride that Astronaut John from ProBike frequents.  It starts at 8:30am at Stars and Stripes park and takes a random (seems like it to me!) route downtown to Starbucks.  A group of us did not go to Starbucks and continued on for a longer ride.

We went from downtown to the boathouse to Overholster to Hefner!  I had to push pretty hard at times to keep up with these guys.  I think we were going 18-20 mph on average...which is really fast for me!  We ended up doing 38 miles in a little over 2 hours!  I need to go on this ride again!  Granted, I did draft off of people which helped a lot.  However, the winds weren't terribly strong.

Tuesday BRICK

Tuesday I joined my cycle buddies April and Patrick for a 2 hour ride in Yukon to El Reno.  We met up around 6:30 in the morning and there were storms in the distance.  The sunrise with neighboring cumulonimbus clouds made for a gorgeous sky!  It's moments like this that I wonder how people could NOT believe in God.  It's just too beautiful!  As part of my training plan, April and I did a 25 minute easy run after the bike ride.

Wednesday SWIM - 2000 meters (1.2 miles) in the pool.

Thursday RUN, FOREST, RUN!

I have been filling in for the Chief all week and because of the Olympics, we have been going on an hour later at 11pm.  This usually wouldn't matter much since I'm a natural night owl but it's been kicking my butt with this training plan!  It's so hot out I have to get up early so I have been missing out on my sleep and I haven't handled sleep deprivation well since high school.  Despite the fact, my great training buddy and friend, Joleen Chaney and I met up at 5:30 in the morning to go for my longest run of the season so far.  Joleen is a natural runner so she helped me get through it.  I think we pace each other rather well.  Whenever I'm slacking she pushes me and vice versa.  That's why it's great to have a training buddy!  We ended up doing 9 miles together in 1 hour and 20 minutes or so and that includes a few stops for water!  We were going at a decent clip!  Then she had to leave so I did a slower loop to complete my 2 hour run scheduled on my training plan.

I have a big issue with knee pain.  This run I tried to have great running form by holding my stomach in to utilize my core and by standing up straight.  It must have worked because I only had a few moments after mile 9 where my knee hurt really bad.  I've found that running faster hurts less than running slower.  I guess that's good in terms of racing?!

And today I'm taking a rest day.  Due to the long run/lack of sleep yesterday, I treated myself to sleeping in.  And I've still got teenager Emily in me...I slept 14 hours!  And I feel great!  Also, my coach did not schedule rest days into my training plan but I am doing 71 miles I'm taking it!

Have a great weekend everyone and I will let you know how 71 miles goes!  I've never cycled that far before! I hope my butt doesn't fall off!  After the long ride I have to do a public appearance! So when I look tired, you'll know why! I will be at Bob Moore in Edmond from 2-3 tomorrow afternoon if you want to say hi!  You can meet our Chopper pilot, Jon Welsh as well!

Thursday, August 2, 2012


Hello, friends! I have big news to tell you about...I'm pregnant! Just kidding.  That's awkward.

No, I am doing the REDMAN HALF IRONMAN AGAIN!  Not only am I participating in the event...I am SINGING for the event!  The race director asked me to sing the National Anthem!  What an honor!  I will sing the National Anthem on Saturday, September 22 in my wetsuit so I can jump in the water and get ready for my swim wave.  Crazy!

So...once again, I don't have much of a life.  Training is my life...but I love it!  This season I am actually following a training plan by my TNT coach from last year, Ryan Ellis of Conquer Training.  Last year TNT provided a training plan but I was too overwhelmed by the process.  Plus, there is a "TRI language." It looked pretty foreign to me at first.  Here is an example of a "splash and dash" workout - meaning a swim/run combo.  The translation is in pink.

swim (1 hour):
wu 200 - warm up (swim slow)  for 200 meters (in a 25 meter pool that's 8 laps)
drill 200 - 200 meters of different swimming drills
ms 3x400 (30") @+5" - main set: Do a 400 meter swim in 5 minutes (fast pace), rest 30 seconds and repeat twice
8x100 (25")@-3-5" - Do a 100 meter swim in 3-5 minutes (slow pace), rest 25 seconds and repeat 7 more times
wd 200 - cool down (swim slowly) for 200 meters

run (30 minutes):
wu 10' - warm up for 10 minutes (run slow)
ms 8-30" @z4 (30") - main set: go for 30 seconds at zone 4*, slow down to zone 1 for 30 seconds and then repeat 7 times
remainder @z1 - the rest of the run time at zone 1

*Zones: most people base their zone on their heart rate.  Since I do not wear a heart monitor (nor do I want to), I do my zone based on perceived effort.  Here's how Coach Ryan defines the zones:
1 super easy
z2 conversation pace but still easy
z3 85% effort something you can hold a long time but breath hard
z4 90-95% hard could hold 30-45 min
z5 all you got 

I don't think I've done a z5 yet.  Yikes.  Makes me think of the song "Danger Zone."

I'm a week and a half into this training plan and it's been tough.  So far I've noticed myself being a bit more exhausted in general and wanting to eat and sleep more.  I work out about 2-3 hours a day! Yikes!  Hopefully it will all pay off when I cross the finish line.

Here are my future races/events:

Saturday, August 11, 2012
The 16th Annual "Spin Your Wheels" benefiting the Children's Center

Course distances include 12, 24, 46, 71 and 100-mile options
I signed up for 71 miles! I'm a bit nervous...the most I've ever ridden is 60!  The furthest I've ridden this year is 50!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

I signed up for this bad boy last January as a motivation.  I am going back to my hometown, Chicago! I am so excited to show my family and friends from back home what triathlons are all about!  My parents support me no matter what...but I think they don't quite understand why I do all of this.  I feel like once they experience the energy of the sport they will understand why I spend a crapton of hours and $$$ on this obsessive hobby. 

This will also be my first Olympic distance Triathlon.  It is the level under a half Ironman distance.  1.5 km (.93 mi) open water swim in Lake Michigan, 40km (25 mi) bike and 10km (6.21 mi) run.

Apparently this is one of the world's largest triathlons with 11,000 participants.  I wonder how many waves they will have? This swim may look more like the scene after the Titanic sank.  Oh well, I'm excited!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Redman Half Ironman Triathlon. 

 1.2-mile (1.9 km) swim, a 56-mile (90 km) bike ride, and a 13.1-mile (21.1 km) run
Here we go again!

New Swag

So since I'm trying to be hardcore this year, I had to get some new sweet gear!

Love my Newtons but I decided to go to OK Runner and get a shoe with more stability since my left knee still hurts on long runs. Running ended up being the worst part of the half Ironman last year because of my knee pain.  It really frustrates me.  Any advice is appreciated to get rid of it!

Spy Optic Alpha sunglasses.  Bought them half off through "Schwaggle." It's the groupon of active gear!

And I saved the best for last...
Astronaut John and the whole PRO BIKE Crew gets super duper awesome bonus points for loaning me a BRAND SPANKING NEW TRI BIKE for the season!  Tri bikes are usually $3-4,000 so I am excited that I can borrow it for free.  I don't have several grand to spare right now!

And here it is!  A Fuji Tri Bike!  

It's lighter than Michael Jackson (my Cannondale roadbike)!  I feel blessed!

I could write a whole entry on my first tri bike experience...but here it is in a nutshell:

*You ride in aero (those middle bars) so your shoulders are hunched over.
*Your gears are on the aerobars instead of to the side and go up and down instead of side to side to switch.  
*It felt different at first, but I adjusted quickly and I think I go much faster now!
Here's a picture of "aero position"
This pic shows the difference in frames between a Tri bike and a Road bike.

Tri bikes are designed to be more aerodynamic with the aerobars and aero position.  All I know is it makes my shoulders hurt a bit more and makes me faster!

I love swimming.
   Thanks for reading, friends! Have you ever been to a chiropractor? I went for the first time recently...and I'll have more on that experience coming up!  Have a great weekend and GO USA!