"...In the end, people either have excuses or experiences; reasons or results; buts or
brilliance. They either have what they wanted or they have a detailed list of all the rational reasons why not."

~ Anonymous
(taken from Matt Erbele's, It Takes Time to Get Good)

Friday, May 30, 2008

Oh brother, oh brother, oh brother

I am getting really nervous now. I do not feel ready. My run buddy says it is because of taper that I feel like I haven't been running enough, but

I feel like I haven't been running enough!

Plus, everyone I talk to about San Diego lately says how tough it is. I know it is a tougher course but, I didn't think it was awful. The race reports I read didn't say it was awful. I think this may be because I don't look like a typical marathoner they feel the need to warn me.


Ok, race information. If you want to track my progress (or lack thereof) I am bib # 17122 and the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Site will have live tracking. I am flying out tomorrow morning and will be back Sunday night.

I am not going to have my computer this weekend so this is probably it until my race report. I hope you all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Not much better today

Ugh. Why do the hormones change me into this person? A person I hate. A person NO ONE wants to be around.

Yesterday: Bailed on my run, but went to swim class and did 1650 yards.

Today: Rode 18 miles with hubby. I am somewhat surprised he didn't run me off the trail and leave me for dead in the creek. Had roles been reversed he'd be lying in the creek for sure.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Boys, cover your ears

Is it a rule that I have to get a cold and my period right before EVERY marathon I do?! Ok, I have only done 2, but I am 5 days out from my 3rd, DAMN IT! It happened before both marathons and it is now looking like I am on schedule to make it a three-peat.

Plus, I am a crazy, PMS nightmare. Lucky students, lucky husband.

I need to go running and to my pre-masters swim class, but I would rather eat an entire pizza, wash it down with a chocolate cake, and take a nap.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Easy Sunday Run/New Run Friend

Today I had a run with my triathlon clinic group. I think I actually made a friend. Until this point no one seemed to even remember my name from clinic to clinic. Today I had an actual conversation and a beautiful, easy trail run with one of the girls. She even emailed me about a possible marathon we could do and suggested we could meet up for long runs. Cool. (The marathon is the Bizz Johnson Trail Marathon, I put it on the schedule and am going to go for sub 5 hours. Check out the course profile) I am trying not to get too excited, but it would be nice to have someone to run with again. Even if only once in a while. We ran 6.5 miles with a 3.5 mile 500 ft climb in the beginning and a nice easy decent. Beautiful views and only two really hard sections. Nice taper run.

One week until San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon. I am getting excited!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Weekday Brick

Bike 18 miles Run 2 miles

This is the first brick that has been on my schedule since I started training with my coach. I think it is a little brutal that it is 3 days after my first triathlon of the year, but I did it anyway. I had to move some things around this week because I am going to San Diego for my friend's graduation from graduate school this weekend and Friday and Saturday are going to be tough to get a workout in. So I rode 17.6 miles yesterday and then went to my pre-masters class and swam 1500 yards, then the brick today makes four workouts in 2 days.

I have 10 days until the San Diego Marathon. I am nervous but excited. It is going to be a tougher course and hotter than Napa so hopefully I don't suffer too much.


Ugh. It was supposed to get better after May 14th. Didn't happen and won't happen until June 14th. This is for a myriad of reasons:

1. I decided (last minute, mind you) that I wanted to do this cool bacterial unknown project for my AP biology class. It involves A TON a planning and preparation and a decent amount of money. I have a parent that offered to donate the funding, so I have been killing myself trying to get the materials together to make it happen.

2. My masters professor decided that in addition to this HUGE project he gave me (examination and ID of literally a couple hundred parasitology samples dating back as far as 1971, reorganizing the entire parasitology section of the pathogenic microbiology teaching lab AND his research lab, cataloging of all these samples and creation of a set of unknown parasite samples for teaching purposes. I could go on and on. He did. The project will never end) Anyhoo, in addition to all this he wants me to do I need to take a parasitology final exam.

By Monday.

This Monday.


He told me yesterday, and said, "Don't worry, it is at your convenience, of course. As long as it is done by Monday." Thanks Doc, I will just squeeze it in between my full time job and the Mission Impossible project you asked me to do. No worries.

3. It is time for all of the end of the year crap that teachers have to do. This is when administrators decide that you haven't done enough to prove that you are teaching the students. So instead of actually, I don't know, watching me teach, they ask for reports and data about student progress. So on top of everything else. I have to make some shit up. Shit that will be put into a file and will collect dust on the shelves of my principal's office. The same principal that is retiring and whose successor will no doubt throw all this bullshit away.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Race Report: Uvas South Bay Triathlon May 18, 2008

Uvas South Bay Triathlon: 3/4 mile swim, 16 mile bike, 5 mile run

What an awesome race! I am so glad I did not chicken out. Picture: Uvas schwag. Note the lack of medal. Irritating, but still an awesome race. The race was held in Morgan Hill at the Uvas Reservoir. It is not open for public swimming except for this one event. I went to high school in Morgan Hill and it wasn't my most stellar time, so it was a little cool to go back as the person I am now and do some demon stomping! RBR 1 Demons 0

Because I am such a baby about doing new things alone my run buddy came with me. I am not sure what I ever did to deserve such an amazing friend, but I am very grateful for her. Picture: Me and Run Buddy, pre-race ham shot.

The transition area was organized by age group, but the race numbers were not, so this created much confusion in the transition area. There were many unhappy triathletes, but I lucked out and we found my rack spot pretty easily (yes, 'we'. I snuck my run buddy into the transition area, shhhh!) I set up, suited up and headed down to the water.

The Swim (35:52, Woo hoo!)

Let me just say that fresh water open water swimming is WORLD'S better than ocean swimming! Warmer, not salty, no waves, no sharks. What more could you ask for? The swimming practice and pre-masters classes have definitely helped me feel MUCH more comfortable in the water. I had a great swim. I can not sight for beans, but even with the extra 1/4 mile that I am sure I swam I had my best swim time EVER! I don't have my official chip time since it isn't posted yet, but when I looked at my watch after (yes, AFTER!) I ran to my transition area I swear it said 37 minutes! HO-LY SHIT! We'll see when they post results, since that seems impossible for me. Regardless, best open water swim I have had. Update: Chip time 35:52. that is 2:43/100 yd. pace which is really good for me. Awesome!

T1: 5:09 (as compared to the 10 min transition for Pac Grove 2007 where I was deciding whether to continue or not. I will take it)

The Bike (1:00:52, 15.7 mph ave)

My transition from the swim is much better when I am not seasick, so I was out on the course pretty quickly. Hubby told me to push the bike hard to see what I had gained by the hill training and extra riding I have been doing. I did just that! the course felt pretty flat, but the elevation chart shows that it more challenging than it felt. There was one tough climb and several people had to get off and walk, but I went right up. Pictures: Elevation chart of bike course. Me heading out on the bike. Overall, great ride.

T2: 2:14

The Run (51:23, 10:16/mi. pace)

My legs were pretty heavy, but marathon training has taught me that I can handle discomfort for long periods of time and that it almost always gets better. The run course was an out and back. It was hot, but the run course was pretty flat. Slight uphill on the way out, and slight downhill on the way in. Just the way I like it! I have no idea what my pace was (Update: 10:16/mi. pace). I didn't wear my Garmin. Lame. Should have took two seconds to put it on. But I think it was pretty good. Especially on the return trip. Pictures: Me heading out on the run, feeling pretty good. Me coming in from the run, feeling pretty great!

The Finish

I crossed the
finish line and stopped my watch, 2:35:38! I had hoped to finish under 3 hours, I was ecstatic!
Update: Chip time 2:35:30!

Ok, this next part is mean,
but remember Bag of Hair Boy? He did this triathlon too. It was his first.


Not by
much, and I am certain he struggled on the swim and went out too hard on the bike. He is young and strong and there was NO reason for me to beat him, .... but it still felt good!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Oh God, I am doing a triathlon tomorrow

How did it escape my attention that I am doing my first triathlon of the season this weekend?!

I mean, I knew it was there on the schedule, I had made some plans around it, but it wasn't until the kids asked what I was doing this weekend that I thought, "Crap! I am doing a triathlon this weekend!"

I can run. Give me a pair of shoes and a race number and I am off, but swim/bike/run? All in a row?

I don't feel ready for this.

List of my concerns in no particular order:

1. It is a sprint, but a long sprint (3/4 mi. swim/16 mile bike/5 mile run). Eek. Upside the swim is in a lake, meaning no sharks, not as cold (60-65 degrees), and no rip tide to flush you to your death.

2. It is, however, a "water start" and I, frankly, have no idea what this means other than, I assume, you are in the water when you start. *shrug*

3. I am in the last wave, which means that I will be the last fucking swimmer out of the water. Awesome.

4. California is currently in the middle of a heat wave and it is HOT. I have not done so well training in the heat (read: I have been a miserable, whiny baby)

5. No one is doing this with me. Well, except the other 1000 people, but I do not KNOW them! They won't listen to me whine about how much I hate the swim, they don't care that I am hot, they won't help me find my transition area, or the body markers, or, or, ... *sniff*

I'll stop. Sorry.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Training Week in Review

Thank you all for the support of my latest harebrained idea. I am excited and more than a little scared.

This week was insane, but I got some good training in and conquered a fear (ok, 'conquered' is strong, we will say 'faced'). More on that later.

Tuesday I did intervals on my run. Intervals are hard, and are especially UN-fun in the heat. But, I did all six of them. Go me. Swim class was good except they removed my beloved swim bubble which makes it significantly colder and more exposed. Ick.

On Thursday, I had my first fall of the season on the bike. Notice I said fall, not crash. Yep, I fell at a stop sign from a complete stop. The bike survived with minor blemishes as did I, but it was a little embarrassing since I fell right in front of a car that was waiting to turn. This prompted the driver to come out and dramatically wave her hands around and ask if I was ok. Nice of her, but I would have rather just got up and rode away. It was apparently one of the scariest things that had ever happened to her. (It does make me wonder how close she was to hitting the accelerator and squashing me. Whatever. I am fine.)

Fear facing: On Saturday, my tri clinic had the first open water swim. Needless to say I was not thrilled about the prospect of re-entering the ocean after the Pac Grove Swim Debacle of 2007. (Picture: Right before the swim 2007. Don't I look excited to get in the freezing ocean) I have to say that my coach was AWESOME. She stayed with me the entire time and was a great cheerleader as I sputtered and splashed my way to the buoy and back. The water was a balmy 51 degrees (yes, that is Fahrenheit) I think I swam a sum total of 500 yards, but at least I got in and swam some.

Then when I got home hubby and I went for a 3 hour, 36 mile ride. He had a flat so that added to our time but it was a nice ride. No crazy, billy goat climbs this time!

Sunday, I ran 9 miles (at a 10:40 pace, go me!) before I had to come home and cook brunch to take to my Mom's for Mother's Day. Yes, you read that correctly, Ms. "My idea of cooking is puncture film 3-4 times to vent" actually cooked! I guess spending this winter watching the Food Network while on the treadmill paid off.

Training totals for the week (Sun 5/4-Sat 5/10):

Run: 12.5 miles
Bike: 54 miles
Swim: 2100 yards

Thursday, May 8, 2008

It is official, I have lost my damn mind

In 2005, when I was training for my first triathlon with Team in Training I stumbled upon Athena Diaries. I am not sure what I put into the Google box, but I am very grateful to the Search Gods. I read her poem Why I Run and then I read her entire blog over the next couple of days. The parallels between her story and mine gave me hope that I could actually do this "sports" thing. To be honest, her story has more bad circumstances and mine has more bad choices, but both resulted in a major life transformation including education, better partner choices, and an appreciation for the life we now have.

I know it is cliche to say it changed my life, but in a way it did. It gave me hope and lit a fire. I had always secretly (VERY secretly) dreamed of being able to complete a marathon, but I thought I could never do something that required that sort of sustained effort. Reading her race reports and training trials and tribulations made me believe I could do it and as a result I have run a marathon.

When I read her IRONMAN race report. I was blown away. By the end I was speechless, crying, and blown away. Whoa. An IRONMAN. That, my friends, is some serious, balls to the wall, bad ass status!

(I am sorry. I would like to say for the record that my mother is a very classy woman and is in NO way responsible for the crass daughter she somehow raised. She would tell you that I am my father's daughter. She is right.)

Then through her blog list I also found Jane (Born Again Athlete) whose story is equally inspiring. I was immediately drawn to her honesty and humor (and let's be honest Toby, her adorable and much beloved pug, on the front page of her blog didn't hurt! I am drawn to animal people) and then I saw that she had made these HUGE gains in her fitness in one year. Her first big event was the MS150. That is a 150 mile bike ride. I have yet to ride 150 miles in one week and she rode it in ONE DAY! Now, she is doing an IRONMAN this July. In fucking Austria, no less! Whoa.

Every time I am trying to talk myself out of riding my bike, I tell myself "Jane would ride. Get your ass on that bike!"

ShirelyPerly turned 40, found her inner athlete and now kicks ass and takes names all over the country!

Alright, get to it Stacey, why have you lost your damn mind?

I am going for it.

IRONMAN in 2009

You can say it. It is ok. I have lost my damn mind.

These may be the scariest words I have ever typed, but damn it, if not now, when? I have officially registered for my first Half-Ironman distance triathlon on August 2 this summer (Barb's Race) and I have talked to my coach about getting me ready for an Ironman distance in 2009.

I am trying to decide on which Ironman. I need a late 2009 race for obvious reasons (those being that I need A LOT of time to get ready) Here are the options: I don't know much about either, so I am looking for opinions.

1. Ironman Tempe (November 2009)

Pros: In November gives me 19 months to get ready. No ocean swim, and water is supposed to be calm in the lake. Official Ironman (cool stuff)

Cons: can be hot, really hot.

2. Redman Full (September 2009)

Pros: Supposed to be a relatively fast, rolling hills course. Easier registration

Cons: Not an official Ironman event

Holy shit. I don't know if I am brave enough to post this.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Queen of the Mountain

Ok, maybe that is a bit much, but I climbed a hill I have been scared of since I started cycling. Hubby took me on my long ride today and I had a 2 1/2 hour ride with 3 climbs on my schedule. He chose Hicks Rd. which is one of the tougher (albeit, shorter) climbs in the area. He said I should try to go to the cattle guard Picture cattle guard for you non-cowboy types. He ALWAYS overestimates my abilities, so I thought I would NOT be able to get to the cattle guard, but I DID! Go me.

We rode 31 miles and did 2 real climbs, and one lesser climb. Hubby was impressed and said I am definitely getting stronger. This is no small thing. He doesn't exactly play fast and loose with compliments. Picture Elevation chart for today's ride

Tomorrow is a recovery long run. I think I will run 7-8 miles at a different bike trail (ooh! new pictures!) My legs are feeling pretty good, although they were trashed most of the week after the 20 miler. I think I need to look at using a recovery drink after long runs like that. I am going to try one (Ultragen) after the 23 miler next weekend. I am also going to try electrolyte tablets (Salt Stick) on the recommendation of my coach (she also recommeded the recovery drink she uses). The heat last week really got to me and I need to be ready for it to be warm in San Diego. I will give a review of these after I try them.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

I may not make it

April until mid May is a brutal time of year for me. End of the semester at State, so my masters classes have finals and work due, the class I teach at State has finals and grading, then at my real job, high school, my AP students have the National AP Biology Exam (the test we have been working toward since August).

It is balls to the wall until May 14th. I will be a very happy camper after May 14th. If I make it.

My diet has taken a hit this week. My training has taken a hit this week, but I am still worlds ahead of where I was at this time last year. This time last year I hit one the the lowest emotional points I have experienced in the 17 years I have been clean. It was then that I decided I needed to to make a change and not have exercise be a "summer thing", but a lifestyle.

In that vein (or should I say "vain"), I am going to make myself feel better about the HUGE volume of food I have eaten this week by posting my April training totals:

April Totals

Run: 88.9 miles
Bike: 126.1 miles
Swim: 11,460 yards

YTD 2008 Totals

Run: 315.8 miles
Bike: 282.8 miles
Swim: 18,110 yards