Thursday, June 26, 2008

I'm in!

Just got an email from the director of the Zoom Yah Yah Indoor Marathon saying that I was one of the lucky 43 folks selected in a lottery to run it in 2009!

Indoor Marathon? Yes, it'd better be ... it's held in Northfield, Minnesota, in January. 150 laps around an indoor track. You switch directions every 30 minutes.

But check out all the perks:

- 600 aid stations (4 places along each lap)
- Music the entire time (they provide it; no iPods allowed, as usual)
- A comfortable, constant temperature (while it may be single digits or maybe even subzero outside, who knows)
- Spectators can see you 150 times
- 150 split times
- Pancake flat course (great for a flat-lander like me)
- Added: Large restrooms near the track -- always close, no waiting!

About double the number of folks allowed to run in the marathon had entered. My backup race was Grandma's Marathon in June, which I know is also a good one to run, but, heck, when would I ever get to see the nasty bone-chilling snow and cold that Steve in a Speedo, Rural Girl, Simply Stu, Sunshine, Wendy, and Cliff have to endure each winter? Not that I actually want to run in it but it'd be cool to get an idea of what others deal with while I'm complaining about sub-70 deg weather down in FL :-P

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sneaky Sprint Tri

Well, thanks to the 3 hour time difference between Coeur d'Alene and Orlando, I had time to sneak in a little race before manning the Bar's Ironman CDA race status board yesterday. And being only 3 miles away from I live in Orlando, I could not pass it up, even if it was a sprint tri. Eeek! I've only done one sprint tri before and it wasn't pretty.

But I had hoped to work on getting faster this year, before my bike crash back in February put a kink into my plans. So Dave and I got to the race early because I still had to register. There were only a few people in front of me but the line was barely moving. They didn't have a separate line for folks who'd preregistered because, one, they didn't have enough folks working and, two, everyone, preregistered or not, had to sign special waivers for the University of Central FL, where the race was being held.

While waiting I saw Beth, the UCF tri club mentor and Total Immersion (TI) swim instructor who had taught me how to swim freestyle a couple years ago. She asked me how I was doing. I'd taken about 3 months of lessons from her and thanked her for getting me started. She knew I decided not to continue because another tri coach, whose program I had purchased, had advised me to work with a non-TI swim instructor to get faster (besides, all the rolling side to side in TI often made me nauseous). I secretly hoped I would beat her on the swim. She'd mentioned always swimming slow no matter the race distance and we were in the same swim wave.

Finally, I get my packet, get marked up and go set up my stuff in the transition area. Being another training race, I'm trying some new things: no socks, no gloves and no Fuel Belt (fluids were supposed to be every mile of the 5K). I don't know how to put on or take off bike shoes while already on the bike or do the fast dismount while the bike is still rolling so I'll get on/off as I do in longer races. The main thing for me on the bike was not crashing while not wearing gloves as I'm still not comfortable hitting turns fast and this short 8-mile course had one U-turn and eight 90-degree turns, one of which is where I went down hard before in training. Other race goals: get my transitions done in under 2 minutes and finish the 5K run in under 25 minutes.

By 7:00am I was all set up and ready to go but the line for packet p/u and late registration had grown to like 50-60 people. No way the race is starting at 7:30am. With the extra time, I started moving a lot of the nasty rocks I might step on in the transition area on the way to my bike. Why they had us set up in this sandy/rocky parking lot rather than the soft grass nearby is a mystery to me. I see Beth leave some slippers outside the transition area and decide to do the same too. After the glass I stepped in the transition area at my last tri, I wasn't taking any chances on more foot problems!

At 8am, they finally announce the race will be starting soon. My wave was 4th out of 5, so another 12 minutes after the first wave goes. The worst part about the delay was the fact that the weather was going to be even warmer. It was already close to 80 plus high humidity. Typical Central Florida morning.

On the way to the swim start, people are posing for pictures next to this sign warning swimmers. And it's no joke ... the UCF tri club president told us earlier that they don't swim in the lake much unless there's a big group doing so. Safety in numbers!

Which is why I was going to swim hard to stay with others in my wave. I swam freestyle the whole way, even around the turns, stayed on course pretty well and came out about two-thirds of the way back in my wave (women 40 and over, plus Athenas). I was very pleased with my swim until I saw my watch: 12:51 for supposedly 400m. UGH! But later I'd find out that half my AG had swim times over 12 minutes and lots of folks were saying their swim times were a couple minutes off. Either way, that's 3 minutes faster than I swam 400m at my first tri 3 years ago (before I'd taken any swim lessons) and my swim rank was 78th out of 121 females, the best I've ever had in any tri. And I beat Beth :-)

T1 done in 2:09, lots of improvement needed though pretty average time-wise, 5/13 in my AG. Watch the video below to see for yourself ...

The bike course, as I mentioned, had a lot of turns for being such a short course. I decided to push on the straightaways, go slow on the turns, and in the last couple miles I started standing up and sprinting after the turns to try to make up the time I lost slowing down into them. 8 miles done in 23:26 (20.5 mph). Could be better but, hey, I stayed upright. Also passed a whole slew of folks, some of whom were on hybrids and mountain bikes. Don't see many of them in 1/2 iron tris!

T2 done in 1:22. Again, pretty average but could be better, 7/13.

I started out the run much slower than I would have liked, unfortunately. Besides the usual lead legs from having done NO hard brick workouts this year, I also felt a side stitch coming on. Darn it! Still, I was gaining on people as a LOT of folks were really wilting in the heat. There was no shade whatsoever the first mile. At the first fluid station, I missed the water cup on the table (no one was handing them out) but kept going while others walked. By then my side stitch had gone away and my legs had forgotten about the bike ride. At mile 2, I made sure to take a quick sip of water, threw the rest on me and brought it home strong. Final 5K time: 24:25 (7:53 pace).

Total race time: 1:04:11, 2/13 F45-49. Only in a small race.

And here's what I need to work on for next time (thanks Dave for capturing my T1 troubles):

Plan to do a couple more sprints and short races over the summer in lieu of doing Steelhead 70.3 in August. Summer is the only time I'll have to work on speed and faster transitions with 3 marathons and another 1/2 iron tri already in the line-up for the Fall. So that's the plan.

Congrats to everyone who raced last weekend!!!

Friday, June 20, 2008

I'm Baaaaack!

And I've got a few little souvenirs from Kona to give away! Check out the Bar's post on June 19 to see how you can win them.

More about my vaca soon ... Today I'm writing my essay for the last slot on Team Evotri. I just realized that it's due, like, TODAY!!! Oops!

And for any who may be interested in following the many bloggers who are doing Ironman CDA, the Bar will have a race status board on Sunday that will list all their IronmanLive splits, updated at least once an hour. Of course, you can track them on your own and get the latest on them every minute.

Good luck to all the IMCDA bloggers, Bree Wee who's doing Ironman Japan, Jade Lady, Planet3rry, Kevin and Jeanne who are doing sprint tris, RBR and Nancy who are doing Oly tris, and Steve in a Speedo who's running Grandma's Marathon. If I left out anyone else who's racing this weekend, good luck to you too!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

On Vacation!

A colorful visitor we had this afternoon

My plan until June 20

But I'll still be posting at The Bar after each day of fun. Aloha!