Friday, June 18, 2010

Escape the Cape

WOW, it's been a busy week and a half since I last posted something. I've been biking to work almost everyday despite the fact that the showers were broken until this morning (they worked, they were just freezing cold). So, I've logged a total of 160 miles on my bike since my last post and over 600 so far this year. Time flies when you're addicted to endurance sports.

Last weekend I did the Escape the Cape triathlon in Onset, MA. It was my first tri this year and my first swim this year and my first swim in my new wet suit. I finished in 1:12:48. Not bad for not really training for it and just wingin' it. Imagine how fast I could be if I tried. The distances were 1/3m swim, 10m bike, and 5K run. I was slow in the water (to be expected since I don't really train for the swim), I destroyed the bike and averaged over 20mph (would have been even faster, but there was a no passing zone and I got stuck behind a chick on a hybrid bike), and then I did better than I expected in the run and completed the 5K in 25:23.

Here are some of the pro photos (I might buy them because they actually came out really good):

It was a really fun race and they had pretty decent food at the finish and a DJ and the area was really beautiful. Advertised as the Cape without the bridges and it lived up to the ads. I will definitely sign up for this race again next year.

After the race I went home and chilled, did some laundry and cleaned my house. Sunday morning I got up and did a 10 mile run. Nice and easy, nothing crazy. This week has flown by. I biked to work Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and today (25 miles round trip each day) and Tuesday I did a 6 mile run in the morning and then did it again in the afternoon with my friend Kim. We ran it about 2 minutes faster than I ran it in the morning and it was almost 80 degrees out!

This weekend I'm going to break my nasty habit of not training for the swim and actually get in some open water swimming not in a race setting. We'll see if I can keep it up and maybe place in my next tri. I'm also going shopping for some tri gear with my friend Kristen a tri newbie this year. It'll be a really fun day of exploring topped off with some swimming and maybe a late day bike ride.

Next week the Good Times summer series begins and I'm gunning for 3rd place bigtime so I hope it's not too hot and I can get a good time, maybe even PR again.

My DFMC fundraising has sadly come to a screaching halt just shy of my 10K goal. I was able to raise $9665 for Cancer research. I am extremely proud of this accomplishment and I hope that I can repeat my success next year with the 2011 DFMC team.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Good Times

Last night I completed the Good Times 5K Spring series. It was a perfect night for a run in beautiful downtown Lowell. In the mid-60s, sunny, with a light breeze; ideal running conditions for me. I knew going into the final race that I was in 4th place in my age group and it would take a miracle to get third. Basically, the overall points leader would have to trip and fall or the third place girl would have to miss the race due to food poisoning or something crazy like that. Neither one of those things happened, but it was still a great night.

The gun went off and I was not prepared, it startled me a little and I fumbled to start my Garmin. It wasn’t working so it took me a few steps to get it figured out and get back into a comfortable rhythm. Once I was settled, it was ON! I cruised through the first mile and looked down at my Garmin and saw 8:07 and thought, “That can’t be right, must be because it didn’t start right away.” I saw some friends up ahead of me running with their dogs and I tried to catch up. With a little more than a mile left to go, I passed them and took off as if the dog was chasing me. I don’t know what I did right, whether it was the yummy hummus wrap I had for lunch or the much needed rest day I took the day before, but I was unstoppable.

Less than a mile left to go and I looked down at my Garmin and it said 17:24 and I thought, “A mile is still pretty far, just keep running.” I used my favorite finish technique, pick a person and pass them, and one by one I leap-frogged my way closer and closer to the finish. With less than half a mile to go I really kicked it up, took some deep breaths and tried to catch just one more person. THEN, I saw the clock. It still had a 24 on it!!! I could get under 25:00. Holy crap. Last tenth of a mile was a full sprint and I crossed the finish line with a new PR, 24:51!

So, I might not have worked my way into 3rd place, but I did get a new PR and for someone that just 3 years ago couldn’t run at all and weighed almost 300lbs. I’d say 4th place is an AMAZING accomplishment and definitely something I am very proud of. AND since I completed all 8 races in the series I got a GOLDEN MYLIE:

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A Run to Remember

This weekend I ran Boston’s Run to Remember half marathon. I was really hoping to break 2hrs, but as soon as I saw the weather forecast go above 90 degrees I knew that was not going to happen. Next best thing would be a PR and if that didn’t happen I would settle for just finishing and not dying in the heat.

Saturday, I went into the expo with a bunch of friends to get my bib number and to get lunch. We ate at this great little place on Newbury St. We just stumble upon it and what an amazing discovery! It’s called “Cafeteria”. Everything on their menu is organic, all natural, made from scratch. I had the grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup. Then we got dessert. They had a brownie Sunday and a cookie plate and we couldn’t decide which one to get so we got both. Both had homemade ice cream and fresh whipped cream on top. OH MY GOD, it was out of this world. It was so good, we went back for another helping after the race, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Sunday morning we drove into Boston, it was already 70 degrees at 7:00am! Not a good sign. I just kept telling myself, start slow, get comfortable, see how it goes and then if there’s still gas in the tank in the last 5K kick it up and finish strong. We all got separated when we parked so we tried to find everyone in the start corrals and it just didn’t happen.

At 8:00am the gun went off and we started the race. The first few miles went by incredibly fast. I was glad I had my fuel belt with me though because the water stops were few and far between. After winding through some of the downtown streets of Boston, the course dumps you out onto Memorial Drive (very fitting considering the race is held every Memorial Day weekend in memory of fallen Law Enforcement Officers). The course is mostly an out and back along Memorial drive. There is a little shade and usually a light breeze, but it’s so hot it doesn’t help much. Before I knew it, I reached the turn around a little after Mile 6. I hadn’t seen any of my friends, but I was maintaining a pretty decent pace, not record breaking, but not bad considering the heat. I kind of knew as the race went on even as I passed the halfway mark, the halfway point distance wise is NOT the same as the halfway point energy wise; I wasn’t feelin’ great. I’d be lucky to just finish the race.

In years past I have always bonked around the 9 mile mark on this race course, but this year as I ran by the 9 mile marker I felt pretty good. I even got a little boost of energy knowing that I hadn’t bonked yet and it didn’t feel like I would. The course leaves Memorial drive and winds its way back through Boston, around the common and over the Seaport Blvd. bridge to the finish in front of the World Trade Center. It’s just about 2 more miles, but it feels like an eternity because there are a lot of twists and turns and when you finally reach the Seaport you can see the finish, but it’s still about ¾ of a mile and it’s the LONGEST ¾ of a mile EVER! Your in the blazing sun and you just want it to be over and done and you have to keep running.

I did it. I finished, alive and standing, AND I even managed to squeak in just under my time from the previous year and PR’d. My GPS read 13.5 miles and I was exhausted and dehydrated. Just as I crossed the line the girl in front of me STOPPED right in her tracks and I collided with her sweaty nasty back and yelled at her, “DON’T STOP!” I friggin’ hate it when people do that. It wasn’t entirely her fault though. The finish chute was very poorly organized. There was only about 10ft. between the line and a sharp 90 degree turn into a dark, crowded, sweaty, stinky, air conditioned hallway. Going from 90 degrees and humid into air conditioning with no cool down walk while your heart is still racing IS NOT IDEAL. I almost passed out.

I made it out of the crowd and to an open space inside the Trade Center and tried to drink some water. I felt really sick to my stomach and light headed and I was crusty and dry and covered in salt so I knew I was severely dehydrated. I sat down and sipped my water and tried not to vomit. After a while I got up and walked around a little more trying to find some friends and in the chaos of the crowd I found two of my best friends ever….. Ben and Jerry!