Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Catch Up

Hi friends!
It's time to catch up!

Sorry it's been awhile but I've had a lot of things going on in my personal life. They have all been blessings including this guy...

I rescued "Okie" from the Tulsa Animal Shelter a few weeks ago.  I have been looking for an English Springer Spaniel rescue for a year now (I grew up with the breed) and English Springer Spaniel Rescue alerted me to this little guy.  It was love at first sight!

Okay, so let's go back to the El Reno Triathlon.

El Reno Triathlon

The original date for the El Reno triathlon was June 1.  The El Reno tornado happened on May 31st so the triathlon was most definitely canceled on the original date. Apparently the run course was flooded and emergency personnel that usually help assist the race were needed to help tornado victims, clean up, etc.  So the race directors did a great job of moving the event to July.  Although it was going to be hot, at least the race was not canceled completely.

Saturday, July 13 - Sprint Distance

Saturday morning was beautiful. The winds were light and we had sunny, dry conditions. It was forecast to be hot, but not unbearable since we were racing early in the morning.

I ran late to the event and forgot my goggles so "thank you" to Jane for lending me a pair!

The race went well.  I got kicked in the mouth during the swim and for a hot minute, wondered if I had a loose tooth.  The bike went well except I felt like my legs weren't too strong.  The run was a challenge but I worked my best to push and keep the pace high.  I tried to keep the tornado victims in mind during the run to give me strength. If they could continue their lives after losing everything, I could handle pushing myself for a 5k!

I ended up placing second in my age group with a time of 1:19. All in all I think the race went well!

Sunday, July 14 - Olympic Distance
Pre-race meeting and weather briefing.

I knew that storms were likely in the morning.  I woke up, checked the radar and realized that storms were inevitably headed towards El Reno yet I wanted to show up to help race officials make calls based on the weather.  When I arrived the skies were dark and ominous to the North.  The race officials already made the call to decrease the race distance from Olympic to a sprint, upsetting a few athletes.  I knew based on radar we would likely not even be able to finish a sprint distance with thunderstorms dropping south towards our location.
Storms moved in right at race time.
The rain was chilly so I wore this sweet garbage bag.
Fashion statement!

We started the race at 7:30am.  As I waited in the water for the swim start, I saw lightning. The lifeguard in me wanted to do a long whistle blow and get everyone out of the water!  I asked the race director if he saw it and he did.  We started the swim any way and apparently half way through the race was cancelled. I didn't know until I was running out of the water.  By this time the rain was at a complete downpour.  I was a bit miffed because I knew I had a strong swim!  So I kept running strong through the timing chip check in so that I could get my swim time.  I don't think it recorded.
Triathletes brave the elements.

So all the athletes scrambled to get their gear in the heavy downpour.  I was drenched!  My car smelled like gross mildew for the rest of the week until I could get it washed.  I guess the El Reno triathlon was not meant to be this year.  But please, don't let it discourage you from coming out next year! We just had some freak weather events this year...but I guess that's not uncommon in Oklahoma!
Scott Hines showed up to watch his first triathlon.
Too bad it got rained out! Thanks for coming!
No race. Not happy.

My First Century!

I decided to do Spin Your Wheels again this year. It is a wonderful bike tour (not a race) that raises money for the Children's Center in Bethany! I had a great time and achieved a new bike milestone last year so thought I would go for a century this year!

So on Saturday, August 10, Clark Kent (my triathlon bike - thanks PRO BIKE!) and I prepared for a long, intimate ride together.  Thank goodness my training buddy and friend April Davidson decided to do the century as well! I couldn't have done it without her!

Temperatures were unseasonably cool in the 60's/70's under overcast skies for the ride.  The winds were forecast to be light but definitely picked up out of the North as the race progressed.  The first 20-30 miles felt like the flipping Tour De France. People were flying and it was very crowded.  When you ride in a pack, you save energy by "drafting." In order to draft you have to get up the butt of the other cyclist in front of you.  It can be quite dangerous because one little wobble or false move could result in a huge crash.  I was involved in a crash last year (see previous post on Spin Your Wheels) and so I was very cautious this year. We were flying with speed averaging 20-25 mph.

Once we hit some hills near Mustang, I started to drop back. I am not very good with hills. Next year I need to force myself to do hill repeats. It's the only way to really get better.  April has grown as a cyclist after joining the Bike One team so she stayed ahead of me.  She was always kind enough to wait for this granny, so THANK YOU April!  

I felt fine until about mile 50.  April and I didn't have a group to draft off of and were riding uphill and into the wind. I hit a wall and wanted to quit but we kept pushing on.  Eventually the sun started to peek through and that actually lifted my spirits a bit.  My butt was numb by mile 70 and I felt like I had daggers stabbing my shoulders.  I'd say my shoulders hurt the most on long rides.  Mentally, I tried to just think of the ride in 10 mile increments.

At one point, April and I started singing 90's songs for entertainment.  That was fun. We started singing the Spice Girls' "If You Wanna Be My Lover."  We even made our own parody "If You Wanna Be A Cyclist."  That was about 8 miles of entertainment!
The last 15 miles were grueling because I knew we were so close! Thankfully we latched on to a couple of other cyclists and drafted. The wind was at our backs at this point as well. We were going pretty strong around 18 mph.  

As we approached the end of Lake Overholser, we were directed a different way. April and I thought that was odd and wondered if there was a big crash.  I found out the next day that a cyclist died.  Click here for more info.  My condolences to friends and family of Chance Toles.  He was only 36 years old and left a wife and daughter behind. Very tragic.  I hope that we can take away a lesson from this and continue to remind drivers that it's the law to have 3 feet between you and a cyclist.  

All in all I thought the ride went well!  Afterwards I had my first ice bath in an effort to recover for the next challenge...

Sunday, August 11 - Arcadia Sprint Triathlon

It's a beautiful day for a triathlon!
That's me in front!

Yes, I'm nuts. I signed up for a sprint triathlon the day after my first century bike ride. What can I say, I like to challenge myself!  So I had no idea how bad I would feel the day of the race but I knew I wasn't going to PR this one!  

Janet from KJ103! She's a rockstar!

As soon as I started the swim I could tell my legs were fatigued.  Due to heavy rain the week before, random debris floated in the water. Occasionally I'd hit a log while swimming!  The bike (obviously) kicked my butt. I could definitely tell how fatigued my legs were on the steep uphill climbs.  On the plus side, I went the fastest I've ever ridden on one of the downhills at 38 mph!!!

The run went surprisingly well! I did the 5k in 26 minutes which is great for me, let alone after a century ride the day before!  It was a loop run which is always challenging mentally.  Once again, I felt like I was going to have a heart attack after sprinting through the finish line.  That's standard...but at least I know I am pushing myself!

I had a great time and afterwards treated myself to a long, hot shower and a burger and fries! BOOM!

That's all for now, folks! Next entry I will include more about my first solo fundraiser, "Paint for a Purpose" and talk about how the Tie Dye Tri in Norman (this Sunday) and the OK Redman (Sept 21) went! This year I will be doing an aquabike which is just the swim and bike (no running! WOO HOO!). Have a great week! 

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