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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

TRAKKERS

Hey everyone! I'm really excited that I will be working with Trakkers this upcoming tri season; great concept for a great product! Carole Sharpless is the woman in charge, and she is great! We've corresponded quite a bit and I even got a Christmas card from the "Trakkers family" =)

Here's some info about it:

Are you looking to be a SPONSORED ATHLETE for your 2009 triathlon season? Trakkers is currently accepting applications from dynamic, character-driven, hard working individuals who train and race for fun, for competition, or - let's be honest - so we can eat that large pizza on occasion (or even often!).

Trakkers is a unique, real-time tracking device athletes are using during their training and racing events. A satellite signal allows friends and family to locate their athlete online, following actual movement and progress. Imagine how helpful it will be to family members no longer having to guess where their athlete is, no longer having to do vigil on the sidewalk for hours, no longer wondering where their athlete is amid their 4-hour bike ride on Sunday afternoon. Using Trakkers with the internet, family members can navigate accurate location in real-time in order to see their athlete, or follow their progress.

Athletes slated for 2009 Team Trakkers include: Michael Lovato, Heather Gollnick, Amanda Lovato, Chris Legh, Carole Sharpless, Bree Wee, Linsey Corbin, Brooke Davison, Tim Hola, Rachel Ross. At Trakkers, we are looking for individuals to sponsor who will help bring awareness to the product in their multi-sport community through racing, but also by participating in community events. Results are important, but aren't the first thing Trakkers is looking for. We want individuals to represent Trakkers who display passion, emote a positive energy, and will take initiative to spread the word about this already-popular product.

If this sounds like you, using the link below, please consider applying for 2009 Trakkers Sponsorship to be on Team Trakkers. Once you've completed the application, please attach in an email to: sponsorship@trakkersgps.com All applications must be received by January 27, 2009. Thank you for your interest in Trakkers. We look forward to reading about you in your application. http://www.trakkersgps.com/2009%20sponsorship/ (If link doesn't automatically bring you to sponsorship application, try manually typing URL address.)

Good luck! =)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Laura Vedeen, M.S.

So today I officially earned my Master of Science degree in Exercise Physiology!

I started in January 2007, and finished the program December 2008. I earned a 4.0 GPA, and successfully defended a thesis. I earned the "Graduate Assistant Teaching Award" and presented my thesis at a state conference.

In other words, I rock! Yes, I'm bragging a little bit here...but I think I deserve it =)

I am so lucky to have people in my life that have helped me make it this far:
  • My wonderful fiancee Dan, who has put up with all my crap, yet is my number one supporter; he has so much faith in me, which allows me to have faith in myself!
  • My parents! If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't be who I am and where I am today
  • My instructors: I had the best advisor/thesis chair anyone could ask for; she guided me the whole way and helped me stay positive! My other instructors were also extremely helpful, especially with feedback
  • Other friends and family who have supported me throughout the way.
I do plan on earning a doctoral degree, but not just yet. I am going to take a break from the learning process and actually be a grown-up for a little while. Next semester I'll be teaching KNR 113 Personal Fitness as a lecture instructor (I'll have my own G.A. =) working as a consultant for my instructor's, ahem; colleague's research, and another job at ISU which is not finalized yet, more info to come soon =) But I am happy! It would be nice to stick around until Dan is done with his Master's degree (May '10 or Dec '10) then we can move so I can do more school =)

As for now, it's shower time! Tri Shark formal tonight!! =)

Monday, December 8, 2008

AZ...the puppy!

LAST post regarding my trip to Arizona!

Rewind to Saturday 11/22, when Dan, my mom and I were heading toward Tempe Town Lake to go to the volunteer meeting/swim...

My mom walked ahead and crossed the street while I waited for Dan. All the sudden I hear her yell "LAURA! LAURA! PUUUUPPYYYYY!!!!!!"

How obnoxious, I thought, but whatever she's excited. She doesn't even really like dogs, weird!

So we catch up with her, and yes, she was playing with a VERY CUTE little puppy!!! Her owners, Carl and Tabitha, were very sweet and super friendly. They also had another dog with them, a friendly lab/rottweiler mix.

We come to find that they were looking for a home for the little puppy- Carl found her when he was driving to meet his friends for a run three weeks ago; She and her brother were in the middle of the street picking at a McDonald's bag and cars were swerving around the skin-and-bone little dogs! Carl picked them up, kept them in his truck while he ran, then when he returned home with the puppies he checked around his neighborhood to see if they belonged to anybody- no luck. Carl and Tabitha kept the puppies, fed them, took them to the vet to get their first shots, and even trained them a bit! They are a very busy couple- going to school, working, training, and keeping up with their own dog, so keeping the puppies wasn't a good option. They found a home for the boy (Carl's friend), but the girl (whose name was Gorgo-princess from The 300) still needed a home!

We come to found that they are avid dog lovers- their lab could do cool tricks like "Stick 'em up" where we puts both of his paws up when you"point a gun" at him! And the little girl would follow you on a leash, was house-trained, and was generally a good puppy! They thought she was a Rhodesian Ridgeback/maybe a little pit bull mix, as that was what a vet had told them. She didn't really have the "ridge" on her back though, but who cares, she was a good puppy!

My mom fell in love with her, and seriously considered bringing this dog back home to Illinois! She weighed a lot of options- since Beau (our lab) Ty (our awesome golden retriever, I miss him!) both died a year ago (Beau-old age, Ty-seizures) my mom and dad did enjoy the freedom of not having a dog, but then again, they missed the company, especially when Don and I are at school. With the economy having an effect on their business, my mom thought a puppy might be a good way to take their minds (especially my dad's) off the bad stuff and focus on something fun!

So, after meeting with Carl and Tabitha again that evening (so they could interview US as well- there were lots of people who wanted her!), my mom decided she was going to do it! Except, it was going to be a total SURPRISE for my dad- she let my grandparents, my brother, his girlfriend, and various other people in on the little secret (and to get their opinion), but total surprise for my dad. =)

Sunday after the race, Carl and Tabitha were around spectating and volunteering, so they brought Gorgo, and my mom and I got to play with her a little bit. On Monday, my mom made arrangements with the airlines, and her and Dan went to a pet store to buy a carrier for her (we had to take her ON the airplane and keep her under the seat!).

On Tuesday, we had to leave the hotel at 6:30 to get to the airport- Carl actually got up with her at 4AM, exercised her like crazy, and dropped the exhausted puppy off at our hotel at 6AM! He had made a little "puppy packet" for us, with some sample meds, reading, poopy bags, etc. How cool is that? They are so nice!

She was so good at the airport and on the plane- she loves cuddling, and sleeping. And that 's what she did. No howling or anything! What a good girl!

We brought her home, and my brother picked Dan, my mom, and the puppy up at the airport. My dad was still at work for a couple hours. When we arrived home, we debated her grand entrance...the result was pretty darn cute. We put her upstairs in our playroom, under a blanket, and let her sleep. When my dad got home, he said hi to me and my mom, then we told him that Don needed him for something upstairs- he went up (and we subtly followed), looked in the room, and saw this cute little thing sleeping.

"What is this?!...is this Blitz (referring to the little boxer Dan and I are in love with)?!"
"No....this is your dog Len"
(with a little smile, he couldn't help it)"Please don't tell me this is my dog..."
"Nope, it is."

He loved her! It went well!

Next was the debate about the name...Gorgo will be her middle name, but it took 1.5 weeks to determine a name! We thought about JUDY (haha), Tempe, Miley, Brandy, Annie, Nala, and a million others, but my dad decided on AZ (like Daisy without the D). Cute!
(I look mad but I'm not!)

So she's really cute, and she really is house-trained at 10 weeks old. And she loves her crate, she just goes in there when she wants to sleep. Perfect for my parents who were worried about the puppy messes. She can sit, stay, come, and RUNS on a leash! I took her running up to 2 miles when I was at home, and my mom runs with her as well. My mom also says she learning Stick em up! My mom took her to the vet, and he thought she was mostly "Staffordshire terrier" haha. My mom gets defensive about that. =) I'll post more over Christmas break! =) Welcome AZ!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Pantagraph article about Dan and I

A couple weeks ago, the Pantagraph called Dan and asked if they could interview us and publish an article in the paper...so we agreed (how exciting!) and met with Randy Sharer a couple days beore we left for IMAZ. He kept track of us on race day and took enough time to include our results in the article =) I love it- it's so well written and reminds me of how lucky I am to have such a wonderful fiancee! =)

July 2008 Upper Bridal Veil Falls, Estes Park CO

How cool is this? Dan proposed at the lower BV falls in March...we wanted to hike back out there to see what it's like in the summer, and discovered an upper BV falls! And someone had recently gotten married there- flowers and all! Props to Dan for Macgyver'ing a way to autoshoot with my camera! (aka hanging it off a tree branch!)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Ironman Arizona 2008 RACE!! part 3

However, I was very comfortable with pace I was running (about a 9:30-9:50), and chugged right along...remembering that even if I didn't break 12 hours, I was still going to PR by a LOT - at CDA I finished with a 12:37. for some reason I remember being set on a time of 12:02, I have no idea why. Well I'm near mile 20 now, almost done with the first part of the final loop, and I realized that I had about 1 hour left of this race...this day that I've trained so hard for, made so many sacrifices for, put so much effort into...and it was all going to be done in an hour. I was so thankful that I was feeling great, I was happy and healthy...and I made it a point to ENJOY what remained of this adventure.

At mile 20 there was a race clock...and holy cow, race time was around 10:50!!! WAIT A MINUTE!!! I had six miles to go...and I had 1:10 to finish it!! WHAAT??! Then it hit me that every time I looked at a race clock, it was set at the PRO time...I was just given an extra 10 minutes!!! I COULD DO THIS!!! Oh man did I rock the 2nd part of the last loop. It was dark, everyone around me was walking/shuffling/suffering...and I was still trotting along with the biggest smile on my face. I saw my mom, who was relieved that I looked a lot happier, and I double-checked the real time with her to confirm my discovery! YES! She said she was going to skip waiting for me on the last turnaround and go right to the finish. See you in 4 miles Mom!

On the back half of the 2nd loop, there was a guy out for a jog who caught up with me and started chatting. He picked up the pace and I followed...What a cool guy, he confirmed the time for me (again- I was paranoid, this was too good to be true!) and led me through a mile before he turned off. The last couple miles (this sounds corny but it's true) I thought about the day and the awesome spectator and volunteer support- here are my favorite stations:

-Mile 1 of the run: You entered a gated parking lot, and they had a volunteer designated for each runner - as you entered the parking lot, a volunteer jogged with you, asked what you needed, and they got the good for you and brought it to you so you didn't have to stop or pull off to the side- THANK YOU!!!!

-Mile 4 of the run: The Superheroes!! They had a sign that said something along the lines of "Great Job Ironmen, YOU are our SUPERHEROES!" All the volunteers were dressed like superheroes. Awesome, thanks for the entertainment.

-Mile 6 or 7 of the run; The Phoenix tri club and their Wild West Theme - they had made their own BUILDINGS!! and the girls were wearing skanky cowgirl costumes, and spanking the "naughty" athletes who admitted to penalties on the bike. Again, THANKS for laugh!!!

Mile 24 and beyond...I couldn't believe it was coming to an end, and that I felt this great. I even managed to "sprint" (aka like a 7:30 during an Ironman haha) it out the last 800m to pass a girl (not in my AG, but that's ok =) I saw Dan's parents...I heard Mike Reilly...I saw my mom...and I DID IT!!!!! 11:52!!!!! ANOTHER PR!!!! Unbelievable. I rock.
Run Time: 4:12 (not a PR, but not too bad either) 7th in AG...again!!

silly...but who cares =)

Overall: 11:52!! 7th in AG...big surprise. consistency is key?

IMOO 05 - 15:43
IM FL 06 - 14:50
IMUSA 07 - 13:33
IMLOU 07 -15:19 (got sick on the run)
IMCDA 08 - 12:37
IMAZ 08 - 11:52
...I like breaking hour barriers...=) I also PRed in every aspect this year - I PRed overall at CDA with a 12:37, and on the run with a 4:08, then I Pred overall AGAIN at AZ with an 11:52, and on the swim with a 1:24, and on the bike at 6:00:02! Can't wait to see how Canada is going to go next year with some hard work put into it! =) Especially if this trend continues...


My mom and Dan's parents were hooked up with VIP passes (THANKS!!!), so I got some delicious FOOOOD after I finished...real food, very exciting after a day of cookies, liquid, and gel substances. Oh so good. I played with our NEW FRIEND (again, post to come later!!) chilled on the VIP couch and called my entire family. Visited with my mom, who had quite a day herself, then went off to change into some comfy, warm clothes.

After awhile I started to walk backwards on the course to go find Dan and cheer him on. I was able to go on a computer and track him and knew that at race time 13:00 he had 6 miles to go...I figured he would come in right in a little after 14:00, so at 13:50 I leisurely started walking backwards on the course...shame on me. I stopped in a porta=potty for a minute...a minute later I got a call saying Dan had come through!!! Perfect timing, NOT.

my man looking sexy

BUT HE ROCKED the last 6 miles!!!!! I'm so proud of him!!!! Not only had he gotten his IM swim PR, be he also got his OVERALL marathon PR...AND his IM PR (13:57!)!!! GREAT day for both of us!
So I took a shortcut back to the finish line and found Dan. We hung out for a bit while his dad went to go get his bike...by hanging out I mean passing out on the lawn...big difference with Dan and I post-races: I am WIRED, could party all night...Dan just wants to PASS OUT. Haha. So he left with his fam, and I stayed with my mom. She volunteered to work as a finish line catcher from 8PM-12AM. She's an animal- dancing at the finish line, helping the oldest finisher...I'm so happy she loves this stuff as much as I do!

for the rest of the evening, I walked around a lot - spectated on the course a bit, walked around the lawn and talked to other athletes, picked up my bags and bike and took them to the car, etc...Then I parked myself on the couch at the VIP tent and feasted a bit more. I also had fun tracking athletes on the computer and watching the finish line both in person and on the TV in the tent. Talked to Koren a little bit, etc...

Then I realized that the massage tent was free for athletes, and at 11PM there wasn't much of a line, so I went for it. Ani is my new favorite person! She worked on me for like 1/2 hr, was an awesome person to talk to, and did a great job! She was also impressed at how "loose" my muscles were- we concluded that it must have been due to the 3 miles of walking I did after I finished the race! She said that she gets a lot of people who hop on the table right after they finish...and then the scream in pain as soon as a fingertip comes in contact with their IT band! Haha.

Midnight finish was fun...what a day.

big THANKS to a lot of people:

Dan: for loving me, supporting me, joining me in these Ironman adventures, and putting up with all my crap.

My mom: For being the best IM spectator ever - I can't wait for your big races to come so I can return the favor!!

My family: Thanks for the support!

Dan's family: Thanks for the support!

Tri-Sharks: motivation, workouts, and training partners! and a bike case for travel! (I still need to return that!)

Tamara and Heather: BEST training partners ever!!!!!!!!!!! When stuff started getting tough, I remembered some of the tough workouts (wind, hills, dogs, etc.) that we've gone through =)

Chris Sweet: Thanks for letting me borrow your bike case as well- I should return that too...=)

AND EVERYONE ELSE for the support!!!!! =) =)

I AM an IRONMAN!!!

Ironman Arizona 2008 RACE!! part 2

As I was leaving T1, I finally saw a clock, and it said that race time was 1:45 (I had no idea how to check what the "real time" was on the Garmin, I just put it on race time/hr/pace and only touched buttons to get splits). I was a little sad...I figured that my swim must have have over 1:35, since I estimated about 7-10 minutes in transition. (NOTE: this clock was set at the PRO start time, I didn't realize that).


I'm glad that my mom and I drove the bike course the day before- I had it all broken down in my head. Section 1: Get out of town (lots of turns) Section 2: Beeline to Gilbert (where my mom was), and Section 3: Gilbert to the Turnaround. This was about 17.5 miles, then we turn around and do it again. Then the whole thing 2 more times. Piece of cake. I also though that there was going to be no wind...HA!!!

As soon as I started biking (and for the rest of the ride) I felt a nagging little strain in my quads that I haven't felt before. I think that there were 2 factors that may have caused this:
1) I cut my training off too soon- I hit my big weeks, then did way too little for the taper (not completely intentional, I honestly had a lot of schoolwork to do! but I could have made time...)
2) Something wasn't put together right after assembling my bike. I did have trouble getting my seat height correct, and I just put it together the day before the race! duh....

It wasn't excruciating or anything, just annoying. But, maybe I would have LOST 2 SECONDS if it wasn't there! (more on that in a minute)

Back to the bike ride. Once we hit the beeline, I realized that my weather forecast from wishfulthinking.com was completely wrong- SUPER strong headwind up in our faces! Feeling strong, I muscled through it the first lap...I caught up to Dan right before the turnaround, and found out that he had swam a PR- 1:14! Great job Babe!

Turnaround..holy cow, I was going 27-30 mi/hr!! I was scared sh*tless because I never go that fast (remember, no hills or downhills in central illinois!) There was no way in hell I was going to drop in aero position because I am NOT confident in my bike handling skills. I like to have access to my brakes thankyouverymuch. Canada should be fun next year... Halfway down the Beeline I was going 25 mph, which is more "manageable" for me. First loop went well.


Back in town I saw Dan's cheer squad - His mom, dad, aunt, and grandma made the trip out! Thanks for the support!

Second loop, the wind definitely picked up. I tried to keep my HR between 155-160, but with that darn wind, I felt like I wasted my muscles pushing big gears, but I couldn't keep my cadence high enough when I was in small gears...I opted for the former option. I was going 13 mph at some points (HR 155!) and I really wanted to break 6hrs (high18s mph)! Being in aero and pushing through this wind was wearing on me quite a bit- my lower back REALLY started to hurt from tensing up. Man I was happy to see my mom on the course!!! She definitely kept my spirits up!

Second loop was rough. On the way back into town I was going about 23-25 mph, legs were tired, back hurt. I was still focused and determined though.

On the third lap, I was definitely in pain and my back was in dire need of a good stretch...so I stopped at the aid station before the beeline, got off my bike, and gave it a good stretch while the volunteered refilled my water bottles. Good to go. Headed out onto the Beeline and was REAALLY HAPPY that the wind had died down!! I was actually doing 15-18 mph! YAY! 3rd loop felt much better than the 2nd. On the way back, I had run out of nutrition supplies, so I stopped at the special needs station to get my stuff. I decided to sit and order the volunteers around (with a big smile and thank you of course)...it worked great, legs felt fresher when I got back on the bike. The SN station was at Gilbert, so my mom came over to take pictures =) Ay yay yay I wish I would have been TWO SECONDS FASTER!

Felt good heading home, I spun it out a little more (rpm >93, usually I'm between 85-90) and was going about 20-22 mph. However, I realized I had to MOVE if I wanted to break 6...and get this, I knew I had it in the bag by about 5 seconds but I made a wrong assumption that the bike-t2 timing mat was right after the bike dismount...wrong! NOOO! It was probably like 20-30 feet away or something, I remember trying to hobble as fast I could over to it in my bike shoes and with tight hip flexors...but NOOOOOO! 6:00:02! DAMN!!!!!! (7th in AG...again!)

I can't be too disappointed though, I did beat my previous best bike time by 35 minutes! Next time!

T2 went well...not fast or anything, but I don't think I was another contender for slowest transition! New shoes and socks. Forgot to put Vaseline on my feet before the socks - my "trick" to no blisters! Put on skirt and shoes, stuff nutrition in various places of sports bra, rub biofreeze on hip flexors...I look like a freak sticking my hands down my pants, but its necessary =)

So I start the run off at a quick little clip...about 1/2 a mile into it I had to use the porta-potty. Took care of that and now the real race started!

It was pretty warm and sunny, and the first part of the figure 8 run course (3.5 mi ish) felt good- Mom's Garmin told me I was running well under 9 min/mi's. Sweet! However, I was pretty excited to start the run, and my heart rate when up really fast. My plan was to keep it near 160 bpm, 155 if I felt like crap (at IM CDA, my HR was between 148-152 the whole race, and it was an easy, super consistent 9:30 pace the WHOLE TIME- 4:08) but, during this race it was averaging over 160 and I was hitting 170 at some points (170 bpm is my half marathon intensity!); I knew I should have slowed down and kept that intensity under control, but I really wanted to continue the pace I was running at...

Second part of the first loop (5ish miles) I started slowing down a bit...9-9:30 min/miles maybe? My abductors were tight (I've been telling myself I needed to strengthen those up all year!) and was feeling just "okay"; the high 70's temp was perfect, but for a snowbird like me, even that was a little much- I started feeling the heat...

My mom was positioned at really good spot; my least favorite part of the run course! There's a section of the course where you have run over a bunch of gravelly sand...not fun for stability or speed. But, there was my #1 Fan - my mom!!!

I started the 2nd lap at the perfect time; Dan was just getting out on the run course the exact same time! I saw his mom right before the end of the first loop, and his dad scored a picture of us together =) Don't have those pics yet, but they will come. We ran together for about the first mile, then he started executed his plan of walking through aid stations, while I continued my multi-tasking trot.

Around mile 10.5 or so I saw April Gellatly, a pro triathlete whose blog I follow on occassion. It looked like she was having a rough time, since she was walking. From what I've read, she is a really tough athlete and a strong person that has been through some hard personal times. And just like it could happen to anyone else, she was having a bad day on the IMAZ course. However, her choosing to walk, choosing to overcome the same adversity as us age-groupers and taking pride in an Ironman FINISH, really says something about her! April, you ROCK. One thing I've learned (as have many of you I'm sure) is that you get to take something home from bad workouts, races, life experiences, etc...they make you really appreciate it when things go your way. The good workouts become even better, the great races become the best. We look forward to seeing you destroy future IM courses April!
(note: really random...Dan and I were hanging out with some graduate assistants last night, and met one of April's friends, Lauren, another grad student at ISU in the KNR dept.! We were all talking Ironman, and Lauren mentioned her friend...small world.)

Back to the run course...I made it through the first part of the second loop okay, but by the 2nd part I was fading out big time, the "heat" was really taking a toll on me; I was getting lightheaded and tired. It was time to start juicing up on the crack cocaine of triathlon...COLA?!?! That right! Perfect blend of sugar and carbs...I was also sucking in gels every 20-30 minutes, as much as my stomach would let me. I was carrying pedialyte in a little waterbottle, which worked out well by the way- no major crampage issues throughout the whole race. that 2nd part of the loop was very slow for me...I was reduced from a trot to a shuffle and I was walking aid stations and the steep little inclines on the course (no major hills, just little inclines). It was a good strategy for me though. I started feeling better by the end of the 2nd loop, and I got another boost when I saw my mom and later Dan's parents as well. I also saw a fellow Tri-Shark Dennis Killian spectating as well! Awesome!!

I gradually started getting my groove back and trotting /vs. shuffling). I received a glow necklace when I started the 3rd loop, and was relieved because that mean that the sun would be going down...which means cooler temperatures(yeah, definitely not ready for Kona yet)! Yay! Sure enough, cooler temperatures + cola buzz = happy Laura. I was feeling great, but it was time to crunch some numbers. Due to my weak 2nd loop, I wasn't going to break my IM marathon pr of 4:08, nor was I going to break 4 hours. I needed to look at the bigger picture- breaking 12 hours. I was doing the math when I was saw the big race clock at the beginning of the 3rd loop. With about 8 miles to go, I calculated that I would need to be running 9:30s or faster to break 12... I was barely running that pace at this point (actually I was running slower), and started getting a little sad, because I knew it would be very, very close...

sweet pic Mom!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Ironman Arizona 2008 RACE!! part 1

Let's see where did we leave off?

Oh yeah, Dan heading for the mosh pit...and me having a good feeling about the day ahead =)

BAM! gun goes off, it's time to swim! This is it...Hopefully less than 12 hours til I can stop moving!

I was pleasantly surprise with home much room I had- I wasn't getting clobbered, I was doing just fine. No choking to death for me today. Swim felt fine. I relaxed, and didn't really think too much for the first 15-20 minutes. I just went with the flow and kind of tuned out. Once we got in the shade of the next bridge I realized that YES, this water is COLD. But hey, all I have to do is swim to the bridge, under the bridge, swim a little more, turn around, and head home. got it. For the rest of the swim I was cold. On the way back I got roughed up a bit since the buoys were all zig-zagged so the path wasn't exactly predictable, but whatever. My hands started going a little bit numb, but nothing like IM CDA where I swear I lost function in my wrists. I was very happy to be confident in finishing the swim (I'm always nervous about that since I don't swim too much!)

I didn't see a clock when I got out of the water, and I wasn't wearing a watch yet since my mom's garmin was in my transition bag, so I didn't know what my time was, but I predicted it was under 1:33. I saw my mom cheering like crazy for me when I got out of the water so that made me happy =)

***Actual swim time: 1:24***PR by 6 minutes (I didn't know it until after the race though) 7th in AG


For this race, I was unusually scared about being frozen when getting out of the water and onto the bike (probably since it didn't have a HOT TUB in T1 like IM CDA!!!) So I opted for the full change-a-roo...I just wore a swimsuit for the swim, then changed into completely dry clothes for the bike. I did the best I could, even with help of an amazing volunteer, but it is QUITE DIFFICULT to put on spandex when you are wet! I anticipated this, and put some more of my handy vegetable oil in my T1 bag...Gosh I hope all the fat didn't penetrate through my pores, layers of skin, subcutaneous fat, and make it to my bloodstream! haha.

I wore the same outfit that I did for CDA...and the zebra arm warmers made a comeback, you know IT's ON when the zebra arm warmers make an appearance...I also decided to go with a pink/green theme for this race...I got a new pink helmet (Thanks Koren!) and lime green bar end tape. I think it's cute.

HEY TRI-SHARKS - WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT A NEW AWARD...BEST DRESSED? haha
(not that I would win it, I think it would get some funny nominations though...a la Tuma at Evergreen...)

I'm pretty sure I had the slowest T1 time in my age group...9 minutes and change...whoooops....

Monday, December 1, 2008

Ironman Arizona 2008 Race Morning!

I'm living in the past a little here...I'll catch up eventually =)

RACE MORNING!

Wake up was planned for 4:30AM since I didn't get to bed until about 10PM, but I woke up with a vengeance at 4AM. It's time. =)

My mom was just as excited about the day as I was- she had her spectating plan down to a tee, and she would be volunteering as a catcher at the finish line from 8PM-12AM.

First order of business was breakfast. A big ol' waffle with raisins, cinnamon, brown sugar, and syrup on it. Filling and delicious.

We took our time with showers, breakfasts, getting ready, and we were out the door a little before 5AM. The next order of business was quite exciting: caffeine!!! We stopped at the QT and I got a cappuccino/coffee mix. Dan and I severely limited our caffeine intake the last 6 weeks (decaf coffee only, caffeine-free pop, etc.) so it would have a greater effect for race day =)

I think we arrived on site a little before 5:30. The place was buzzing with excitement- love it! First things first, checked on my bike, put my nutrition (cookies!) in the bento, pedialyte in a water bottle, powerbar electrolyte water in the aero drink and other water bottle. Didn't actually bring water to mix the stuff with, so I had to find somebody that had extra. Next, put the rest of my stuff in my transition bags, doubled and tripled transition and special needs bags...Ran into the love of my life at the transition bag section, and we were both happy to have a big cup of real coffee in hand!

Next: potty time. It was pretty late at this point, like 6:10AM, and I still hadn't put on my wetsuit (quite the process) nor had I got my bike tires repumped up from last night (Dan and I couldn't find our "crackpipe" so we had to have someone from the race site pump them up). While I was standing in line for the potty, I gave the SN bags to my mom so she could drop them off. At 6:28, I was finally able to put my wetsuit on and got bodymarked. Didn't get to repump the tires...oh well. Hopefully they'll be fine. Hung out by my mom while I greased myself up with vegetable oil (gross!! I know!! But I ran out of my wetsuit slicker stuff-I underestimated how much of that I use to squeeze into the whale suit- and the QT didn't have any spray cooking oil! ha!). Hugged my mom goodbye and planned on seeing her either at T1 or at Gilbert Rd. on the bike.

Time to go! Met up with Dan and we headed off to the start. I got my wetsuit on pretty good, I gave my throat enough room so I was pretty sure I wasn't going to choke to death. I really should have done that wetsuit contest the day before and tried to win a new one! I was actually pretty calm before this race, usually I'm in tears of some sort. I was not looking forward to the cold water, but come on, I survived CDA, so I can do this!

The grand entrance into the lake involved a good old fashioned cannonball. I jumped in first, Dan was still stalling by adjusting his cap/goggles/etc...it was getting down to it, and a little crowded...I almost lost him for a minute, but we found each other =) We did the warmup swim to the bridge together, kissed good luck, and he swam off into the poundage section while I stayed back.

It was a beautiful morning...I had a good feeling about this day.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ironman Arizona 2008 Pre-Race

#6!!! Woo hoo!!!

After I presented my thesis at a conference on Thursday, Dan and I spent the night at my parents' house, and the two of us along with my mom got up super early Friday morning to fly out to Tempe. None of us were able to sleep on the flight, figured it was going to be a looong day...

Checked into the hotel, got some lunch (excellent actually...the Hilton on University has great food and service!!), went to the expo around 1PM? Immediately enjoyed the warm sunny weather, as we left 29degree weather back in Bloomington (Thanks Heather for that update!).

Since Dan and I are old pros at this, we efficiently made our way through the check-in process and merchandise tents and bought some sweet stuff. I also had made a list of essentials I needed to pick up for race day and purchased those as well. My new stuff: aerobar elbow pads, 2-sided tubular tape, socks, IMAZ swimsuit, IMAZ coffee mug, IMAZ bento box, bunch of gels and Baker's breakfast cookies....

I saw my friend Koren (from Clermont!) who works for Blue Seventy. She rocks! I do miss Florida =)

I also saw another friend from Clermont, Tom Z, coolest Ironman guy around. He's such a great guy and does so much for the sport! He's the Gatorade swim guy, and he's also the race director some awesome races- The Great Escape (Florida), Florida 70.3, Kansas 70.3, Steelhead 70.3 (among others)....check them out!!!

We got back to the hotel and went for a 20-min run...at which time I got the idea to use my mom's Garmin Forerunner 305 for the bike and run portions of the race. She taught me how to use it (Yes, 2 days before the race), and Dan and I "practiced" using it on our run. Pretty easy to use actually!

Shower, then the athlete meeting. We met up with Stephanie, Dean, and Julie. Great food as always (haha). The reality of race time set in...it's finally here!

We didn't find everything we needed to at the expo, so my mom carted us off to CVS in our amazing yellow PT cruiser (rental, thank god). I found my fav hydration in some delicious flavors: Pedialyte!! Mmmm Mmmm pineapple and tropical berry....along with a razor blade to use in case of a tubular flat, and band-aids- my "comfy" shoes dug into the back of my ankle... not so comfy anymore!
Hot car
Taste-testing

We went back to the hotel and started to put our bikes together (2 days before the race...I know.) and discovered that in our haste to leave on Thursday morning (to drive up to the conference in St. Charles) we had left the plastic bag with all the screw, bolts, etc. for Dan's bike in my car!!! Yeah, THAT was good. Dan's family arrived Friday evening, so he stayed with them, while my mom (best cheerleader ever) hung out with me while I put my bike together and got my bags ready.

Saturday morning Dan's family took his bike to a local shop to buy some needed parts while my mom took us to the race site for the morning swim and her volunteer meeting. On the way over, she saw a cute PUPPY....(NEW POST ON THIS TO COME!!! =) =)

I had heard the water was chilly, so I brought my thermal cap that I used at IM CDA this year... The morning swim went ok, but I was a little worried...my wetsuit seemed too tight...I was choking! I would be okay if I was just swimming, but the other elements of an Ironman swim, especially the boxing match of a mass start...would freak me out and I would really hyperventilate and choke and die...well maybe not, but I was worried! Shoooooulda skipped that pizza last week lol. I decided to not freak out about it, it is what it is, the race is tomorrow!

Dan calming my nerves...as usual!

The rest of the afternoon was spent checking bikes and bags in, and getting Dan's bike put together!!! The bike shop supplied some parts, but he had to go to the race expo to get the rest because the shop's mechanics were working there! Dan, my mom, and I spent about 2 hours total in line throughout the day...

Me checking out the bazillion dollars worth of bikes

My mom and I drove the bike and run course...to help me visualize and know what to expect, and for my mom to find a sweet spot to spectate! This was followed by yet another visit from that cute little puppy...=)
The Beeline


Food on Saturday: Hotel waffle in the morning...Monty's for lunch (the BREAD is amazing! Highly recommended!!) and for dinner Dan went with his family and my mom and I went back to the Hilton. Only bar food was available, so I ended up with 2 glasses of wine, a chicken sandwich, and an extra french roll, and some appetizers. Yummy.

I didn't bother checking for weather updates and such...The last 3 days were crazy and nonstop...THU: wake up, finish packing, drive home, drive to St. Charles, present, party with KNR faculty, go home, finish packing. Fri: travel, race stuff Sat: race stuff, race stuff, I need to relax!!! Before I went to bed, here's what I was thinking:
  1. I am going to choke to death.
  2. If I can just get on the bike, life will be great, wind is supposed to be 2-3 mi/hr!!
  3. Bike: hmmmm....I really didn't do jack squat the last few weeks (sooo busy finishing up thesis and papers!!)
  4. Run- beware of heat...otherwise I should be fine.
Here were my goal times:
Swim: 1:30-1:33. I didn't swim more than usual, I didn't expect faster times.
Bike: 5:59. I really wanted to break 6:00. I biked more and harder this year.
Run: 3:59. I really wanted to break 4:00! I ran longer and faster this year!
Overall: 11:59. Sub-12.

And off to bed...in my new swimsuit... =)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Catching up!

Long time no post...getting my stuff together!

Dan and I moved into a new place - a cute little duplex - and we love it! We still haven't moved everything over (waaay too busy the last few weeks) but we are quite comfortable!

Pretty much finished my thesis - some lost paperwork involved (grrrr!) but the 55-page monster is done, and I will defend it in a week. YAY!!! I am proud of myself for all the hard work and effort I put in to it - I came up with the study myself, sucessfully received a loan from Racermate for the Velotron, completed all the data collection in the time span of 1.5 months (60+ VO2max tests!!), and wrote the manuscript this semester. More on that after I defend!

I presented my study to group of faculty 2 weeks ago, which was good because I received some constructive criticism, and a week ago I presented at the IAHPERD conference in St. Charles, and received a check for it! THAT was exciting! One more presentation to go!

Pre-presentation



At the same time I was writing my thesis, I also wrote a 25 pg. literature review for my Advanced Body Composition class - I examined anthropometric and body comp. characteristics of triathletes and their single-sport counterparts. Very cool topic, I'm pretty proud of that paper too =)

In addition to teaching aerobics and online personal fitness, I was also juggling training for Ironman Arizona (#6!!!), which I completed on Sunday! Whole new post to come. I definitely missed lots of training that I had intended to do, especially in the final few weeks with my thesis coming together, but I rocked!

I graduate next month with my master's degree in exercise physiology...wow. I still have one paper, a test, and a thesis defense before the semester's over, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I was hired for a little job - a lecture instructor for one section of personal fitness next semester - which is GREAT, but I still need some extra income.

Wedding plans may start to be in the works over Christmas break...I'll keep you posted =)

Monday, October 6, 2008

goodness!

Very happy that I got through another tough weekend of training!!

Last week I was pretty consistent with running, not so much swimming or biking. When the weekend hit I was ready to roll...but silly me, when I taught my aerobics classes on Friday, I thought it would be a good idea to add lots and LOTS of lunges (stationary, alternating, jumping, etc...) to the step/kickboxing routine! Nevertheless, my legs were SOOOOOOOORE on Saturday morning when I headed out to meet Tam and the boys for "a little bike ride"....

Bit chilly Saturday morning...but that's how it is when you get on the bike after an Ironman swim right? Gotta get used to it. The plan for the ride was to head straight out east for 58 miles, then head back on the same road. Not a bad idea, but we were going straight into a headwind!

The ride out was pretty tough- trying to keep up with the boys, and I was tensing up a lot because of the wind. and my legs hurt lol. Another factor in this ride is that we didn't make any long stops- usually we make a gas station stop every 25 miles or so, but not the case here!

On the way back, Mike and Brian took off, and Tam and I were holding our own...the tailwind didn't seem as relieving as we thought it would. The temp was great by now, the sun was shining, but we were pretty achy, sore, tired of riding, etc...so my wonderful fiancee came to our rescue! =) So we cut the ride 15 miles short- we still got in 100mi though!

On Sunday morning Tam and I ran together - what a fantastic run it was! 3 hours, and although our legs were trashed, we still cruised along pretty well and picked it up at the end. Great temps, sunshine, the trail, it was altogether quite lovely. One of the most enjoyable long runs I've ever had!

I'm sad that Tamara is going to be tapering for IM Florida now! I've still got a month of hard work to do!! =)

I'm dedicating my weekends to training....but my work during the week is going to be focused on school. I was a bit hysterical last week - I realized my thesis (~50 pgs.) is due around 11/10...and a completely different research paper (~20 pgs.) is going to be due 11/4!!! AAAHH!!! I LOVE grad school, I really do. I love research, I love my classes, but I'm feeling a BIT overwhelmed here. I can't even imagine what life will be like 1 month...2 months...3 months from now ??!?!

I will give myself HUGE props if I can somehow get it all done. I think it's a bit much...and I'm probably going to cry a lot...but my family, my fiancee, and even my instructors have faith in me, so I'm going to bank on that and see what I can do.

Lator gators!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

monster weekend

Happy with the training this weekend!

The weather was GORGEOUS so that helps. Saturday I got up early and headed out for some biking- super long ride planned. I was going to ride for 1.5 hrs, meet up with Dan, ride out to his parent's house in Colfax, then I would ride around by myself while he helped out with some yardwork, then we would ride back into B-town together...

But those darn bikes, I love em, but all the technical difficulties and maintenance involved with them are not fun! He couldn't meet up with me, he discovered that his bike had a hole in the tire and the tube, and he didn't have any patches...

So he ended up driving out to Colfax with his bike in the car, I rode back into town and got some extra tubes, CO2, tire boots, and tube patch kits for both of us...then I rode out to Colfax...

2-hr break for lunch and chatter with the fam...while he was cutting down a tree I fixed his bike...then as soon as we started riding, I got a flat! Geez! There was a hole in my tire...patched that, and we got on our way...

We rode around Moraine View Park...they better keep it open...then out to Downs to catch a glimpse of his little cousin playing football (and see a cute little chocolate lab puppy!)...got a tasty sangwich at the gas station...then headed back!

Then we headed to BWW's with my brother, his girlfriend, and her roomie...and I had a tasty veggie burger and a salad...along with some cheeseburger bites, onion rings, mini corn dogs, and parmesan/garlic wings...mmmmm mmmmm......

Sleep! Long run planned for Sunday...

I procrastinated bigtime. Got up and worked on the computer, made some tasty pancakes, took our friend's dog to the dogpark and swimming...then got some lunch...did some work...FINALLY started on my run...maybe a little on the easy side, but I got it done! 1 hr by myself, 1 hr w/ Dan, last hour by myself...the last hour HURT, my muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments still aren't used to the repetitive movements and pounding!

Whew! Lots of training, not a lot of schoolwork. Gonna catch up on that this week!

happy training to you all!

Laura

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

We are the minority...

Ay yay yay....

Ms Lazy is back again...

I really enjoy casual, easy mornings. I like waking up, making coffee, checking emails, grading, writing (schoolwork), fixing breakfast, lounging with my man, all in the comfort of my bathrobe. Tuesday I woke up and fell into my groove, planning on starting my scheduled loooong run in the afternoon. However, Dan and I thought that there could be a chance that he could get tickets to a Cubs post season game if we sign online and do the mlb waiting room thing...which started at noon. So I ended waiting around for that to happen (he had to teach or had class) so I sat on butt for two hours (grading and starting to study for an exam that night) only to find out that he needed to get a password emailed to him through a lottery for the opportunity to buy tickets! DARN! After that I got hungry again...can't run right after I eat...then I fell into hard-core studying mode for an exam at 6PM. Needless to say, I DID NOT WORK OUT.

Today I had a short run and swim on my plate...Didn't do a workout in the morning, then I taught 2 hours of kickboxing, then went into "data entry/data analysis of RPE at different stages of cycle max testing" mode for hours...Once that was done and emailed, I went for the short run, and I definitely enjoyed it am glad I did something today!

I should probably try to implement a "workout first thing in the morning plan"...once I can adopt this behavior and make it a routine, I could probably actually get in more scheduled workouts...

BACKTRACK...kickboxing...whatta workout!!! If you REALLY throw those punches...your biceps will be sore from jabs...your lats will be sore from hooks...your quads will be sore from front kicks...your abductors will be sore from sidekicks...your butt's gonna hurt from squats/ducks... I forget how good that stuff is!!! Oh and then I had my class try to do ball tucks as part of a core workout...hahaha!! I'll put pics up at some point!

For my personal fitness class, I posted a 6-week training plan leading up to the Jingle Bell run that will have them building up walk/jog intervals to eventually get them fit enough to run for 30 minutes straight! I posted it last night, so I'm looking forward to getting some feedback from the students!

So my test last night was for my Advanced Body Composition class...pretty tough test! Lots of statistics regarding obesity...here's some general ones you might find interesting:
70% of Americans are SEDENTARY
60% of Americans are Overweight or Obese

Here's a sad one:
There is a 2% success rate for obese individuals who attempt a diet or exercise program that will bring them down to a healthy weight; they are not willing to make the proper behavioral changes. Research is suggesting that more focus should be put on children, since statistics show that they are more likely to make appropriate behavior changes.

The essay questions were fun to answer:
1- What factors contribute to the rise in obesity, and what can we do to prevent this trend?
...I went into different factors in the school, community, and workplace that can be changed

2-Discrimination of obese individuals is becoming more predominant, since the majority of the population is ow/ob. Explain why this could be counter-productive, give some examples, and alternate solutions.
...I talked about airlines charging obese individuals for 2 tickets, health insurance companies charging a higher premium, and the portrayal of obese people in the media. I gave the "rationale" for the discrimination and some more "rewarding" alternatives, instead of the "punishment" that they are describing. Rewards tend to be better motivation for most individuals...with the exception of some athletes!! =)

Longer bike ride tomorrow...we'll see how it goes! Back to grading! =)

Monday, September 22, 2008

busy bee

Training is going alright, I'm feeling pretty good. Last week I did skip/alter a bunch of workouts, but I also got some important ones in, such as a brick workout (intervals on bike trainer - tempo run), actually getting to the pool 2-3 times, a couple decent rides and runs, and an amazing long ride on Saturday with my favorite training girls! I'm feeling a lot stronger on hills and tempo workouts, so that's good! Swim needs loooots of work though!

My major training related goal this week is just to show up/attempt each scheduled workout! So far I completed my short run today, yay! I still gotta get to the pool this evening.

Besides training, here's some other projects I'm working on...
  • I'm teaching an online personal fitness class, and I want to post 2 different walking/jogging programs for the students to follow- 1 program will help beginners build up to jogging 30 minutes, while the other program will have intermediate/advanced versions of 10K training. I also want to video a do-it-at-home strength workout and post that.
  • Studying for my advanced body composition test tomorrow!
  • Finishing the introduction for the first chapter of my thesis- I have the methods, results, and stats pretty much done, and I have the rough draft complete for the intro, but I need to clean it up and cite everything
  • Enter and run stats on the rating of perceived exertions for all the subjects (my instructor and I speculate that the athletes understimated their exertion at the beginning of the test, but were pretty right on for threshold and max efforts)
  • Get all my aerobics stuff graded (and this week I'm teaching kickboxing...fun!)
  • Finalize travel plans for Ironman Arizona (and the conference that I'm presenting at immediately prior!)
  • Hopefully get the lactate analyzer when the replacement parts come in so I can help start up a fee-for-service program for endurance athletes that would like to get VO2/lactate/body comp tests done!
=) busy busy but I love it.

Monday, September 8, 2008

ironman wisconsin

So Dan and I were up at Ironman Wisconsin this weekend and had a blast!

During my internship this summer, I worked with Tom Ziebart, one awesome guy and he is kiiiind of a big deal in the Ironman community =) I keep in contact with him, and he totally hooked Dan and I up this weekend! We volunteered to help him at the Gatorade swim on Friday and Saturday morning, and he got us all-access passes for the weekend- we got into the VIP section at the athlete dinner (free buffet and drinks) and the party at the Great Dane afterward (again, free booze and desserts) and on race day, we got into the VIP sections - at the swim start we went to a roped-off section on top of the terrace with a a great view and breakfast...then for lunch we were in Verona for another delicious meal of food....then at the finish there was dinner and booze as well! The finish tent was awesome- it was a platform RIGHT next to the finish arch and announcers! sweet!

On race day, we also had a fun job to do- we were "spotters" for the pros, which meant we got a "race support" sticker to put on the car (and park WHEREVER we want!)...and we went to the 30/70 mile marker in mt. horeb and radioed in to Ironmanlive when we saw the first male and female pros and the minutes behind the 2-10th place racers were. For the run, we went to Camp Randall stadium and we radioed in their positions at 3,11,16,24 mi. markers. fun fun!

What a great day for the race too! All our racers looked awesome, I am so proud of everyone!

It was so motivating to see my friends do so well- they work so hard and deserve their amazing times!

Driving back home was AWFUL though...Dan and I switched off, and we still needed to nap at a gas stations 40 minutes from bloomington for 45 minutes....ironman makes for a looooooong day.

So I got in a couple decent workouts- Friday I ran 2:30 (loop of the run course plus some)- felt awesome, running fast and couldn't get my HR up...by the end though, my tendons and ligaments were mad at me for not working out enough though!! Saturday, Dan and I rode the 40 mi Verona loop...that was fun. I love a rolling course- hills are fun and I feel strong, but I am an awful technical rider- I hate downhills, turns, switchbacks, etc...cycling elements a lot of people consider "fun"....

Took today off b/c I'm exhausted and I really need to caught up with schoolwork. Let's see if this weekend will spark a JUSTDOIT mentality...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

i've lost that lovin feelin...

so the "training" thing hasn't happened the last few days...no success yesterday- I chose to stay in and eat chinese food, and today, I actually got my butt to the pool...to find out there was an error in pool times on the website and it was actually closed...so instead of doing an alternate workout...or doing a workout this afternoon...I chose to do school/other things.

I love training- nothing beats the feeling after you've completed a tough workouts; I love the feeling of accomplishment. I love the actual workouts too- long runs and bikes are great for thinking and enjoying the outdoors; intense/interval rides/runs give me this empowered feeling- I love hills,- whatta way to work your muscular endurance in addition to your cardiovascular endurance! I love what triathlon has done for my body and my mind...and honestly, I don't hate swimming. When I was in Florida for my internship this summer, I was doing some consistent swim training, and I really did enjoy the pull/paddle sets and middle-distance sets. I do miss that 50yd outdoor pool...

I'm fighting this battle with myself...it's like I'm "punishing" myself by depriving myself of what I love to do- "it takes up too much of my time- I should be working on school/running this errand/etc..." when I DO have time, I've worked hard and been given a great opportunity, and I'm not letting myself take advantage of it.

I'm afraid this battle is also not allowing me to work to my potential in other aspects of life as well- I can put a lot on my plate, and handle it well, but I choose not to put in that "extra" effort to do something great. I've always been a hard worker and have always aimed big, but my work ethic and "do" capacity has definitely diminished over the years.

I've gotta get that ugwi feeling back...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Let's try this again...

hey everyone! So blog attempt #2 is on.

So Boston (april) didn't go so hot...4:06...beautiful day, legs cramped and spasmed big time!!! I was keeping a consistent 8:45 min/mi but wheeeeew the last hour and half was rough!!!!

I had been mostly doing basework...HR of 155 or less...nice long stuff. This helped me out for Ironman in June....

I was extremely nervous about Ironman Coeur d'Alene...I didn't feel like I got the training in. My run was alright, but I hadn't been doing the long bikes I aim for in training, and hadn't done much with swimming...SOMEHOW, everything was RIGHT ON during the race, and I ended up with a BIG PR of a 12:37! Swim as usual...1:33 Bike: close to a PR 6:40!...run....a whopping 4:08!! hoooooly cow!! I kept my HR between 146-150 the whole time...my mile pace was 9:30 the WHOLE TIME....amazing. and my zebra arm warmers rocked.

So....with as "little" training as I did for CDA...wonder how I can do at Arizona in November with some awesome and consistent training??

I've got a very tough plan...and I'm NOT doing so well sticking to it. I really suck at being consistent with training! I was supposed to do a brick today....didn't happen. felt hot, lazy, and tired. I have such a flexible schedule where I can do all my school, thesis, and teaching stuff whenever I want...but I convinced myself that it HAD to be done...during the time I should have been training!

Well, time for class...let's see if I can get convince myself to do a teeny workout today...JUST 1600 yards in the pool after class...come on LV!!!!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Gettin a little hectic...

Hey everyone!

I would like to discuss my recent training...mainly because it has sucked the last 2 weeks! I will give myself a little leeway- school is CRAZY!! I have WAY TOO much grading for my activity classes, my HFI certification stuff takes up a lot of time, and now thesis stuff is getting rolling, I'm crazy crazy!

I've been going to Masters swim Tue and Thu mornings (I've made it once each week the past two times, I suck), and they are amazing. Wow it sucks getting up at 5AM. And yeah it sucks that it is still so damn cold outside. And jumping in that pool REALLY sucks when you are still cold! But Scott the coach has helped me out SOOOOOOO much I didn't think it was possible! He's given me a great progression of drills the last few weeks. I seriously think right now I could swim my fastest IM time. Laura needs to swim 3x a week to get good...

Biking...I've been doing ok, aiming for 3x/week, but only doing 2. Spinervals are amazing! I'm trying to get through all the aerobic/base builder ones...then the hill/strength ones...then the fast ones. I'm much farther along with the biking than I have been in MAY previous years...

Running...I was doing great...then I took it easy the week of the track meet, and haven't really picked it up since!I think I've ran like 3 times the last 2 weeks. And once was 2 days ago when I did the Boston-bound 20miler...

So I'm not completely sitting on my ass getting fat, I'm swimming and biking a little, and doing aerobics/strength stuff everyday in the classes that I teach. I was hoping that for the BB 20-miler, my legs would be rested a bit and I might be able to pull off a tough run...HA!!!

On Friday, I thought it would be a good idea to do a kick-butt workout for the last 9-week aerobics class...it was a kickboxing/step combo class, and it was truly awesome. HOWEVER...I kicked my own ass in the process...I had my class jumping on and off the steps, doing lots of step-kick combos, and worst of all, JUMPING LUNGES. They didn't fatigue me at the time...but Friday night I realized that probably wasn't the best idea if I wanted "rested" legs. My abductors, glutes, and hip flexors HUUUUURRRT!!!!

So Saturday I had a 3-hr bike ride planned. I checked out a 3-hr spinerval dvd, aerobic training, shouldn't be too bad, right? In fact, it should loosen my legs up! WRONG!!!

Coach Troy had us riders standing up for 1-minute intervals on and off for lots of sets!! About 45 minutes into the workout, my quads were BURNING...crap. So I started cutting the standing intervals short....then I decided to nix the entire workout at 1.5 hrs. Quads were burning, everything else was hurting from the Friday workout....

So I definitely went ahead with the BB 20-miler on the Chicago Lakefront...Ironman simulation right? Your body hurts after a 112 mile bike ride, so get used to it! Ay yay yay... Tom came up to Chicago as well, so he was my running buddy for most of it! We were able to maintain 8:45-9min miles, even though they were VERY painful for me (usually my heart rate is about 150-160 at this pace...it was 170-172 on Sunday!) and there was a lot of snow, ice, and puddles on the path- had to do a lot of dodging, slipping, and sliding. Near mile 14, my knees started to hurt from my fatiguing hips and compensation for the dodging I was doing! I felt bad for Tom, I know he was being nice and running with me, but wanted to pick it up!

Every single potty stop along the lakefront was closed for winter...(ummmm, people still gotta go?!!) and I ran the entire time having to go, but holding it...so finally I saw that there were bathrooms open for the Polar Plunge that was going on along the lakefront, so Tom took off, and I went potty =) I ran the last 4 miles in, nothing special, but I did it!

So, averaging 8:55-9min mile for 20, on super sore legs isn't too bad. But I do need to run more. Looking forward to altitude training in Colorado...tomorrow!!!!!!

Hopefully I'll get caught up on lots of stuff over Spring BReak (while getting in training and a vacation in Colorado and some time with my MAN) and then training will pick up again in a week or two =)

-Laura

Saturday, February 23, 2008

IC track meet

Hey everyone!

So yesterday I stepped out of my comfort zone and ran in a real track meet...I ran unattached in a 3000m indoor race! My friend Kim ran track and XC at Illinois College, and they invited the alumni to come back to this particular meet and race unattached...so she hooked me up and I got to run too! 3000m was the longest event, (1.86 miles ish?) still too short and fast for me, but I figured it would be an amazingly hard speed workout...

Kim ran the mile and was pleasantly surprised at the speed she has maintained since she ran at IC! She looks awesome when she runs- strong, fast, like she could bust out any second. Courtney (another friend) ran the 55m dash out of nowhere- she never did a block start before, never ran track, and ended up 2nd of the 3 girls in her heat! hahahaha.









Robyn and DAAAAAAN were there too as our support and cheering crew! Robyn was the official photographer and Dan was the official block-holder (for Courtney) and coach/timer (for me).

So...I decided to go all out and wear a skirt for this track meet! Keep in mind this wasn't just the alumni and friends, this was an actual inter-collegiate track meet! Like, real teams and stuff. This is why I was really nervous- there were 3 other girls entered in the 3000m, all who were decked out in their track uniforms...while I proudly wore a black Nike top and my red snowflake gymgirl TRIKS skirt! Gotta represent the triathletes in the house! Haha...

Well I warmed up real good, I took it easy this week...TOO easy since I tried to get a lot of homework done before my special visitor showed up this weekend...so I figured my legs were "well rested"....but oh my gosh was I nervous- like a 6 out of 10. I knew there weren't going to be any consequences if I did bad, I didn't even know anyone except for my people, but I was hoping I wouldn't make an ass out of myself.

My friends and Dan all told me the same thing- you gotta stay with them from the get-go or you don't have a chance! "This isn't an Ironman, you don't pace yourself like you usually do, this is balls out!" I didn't like the sound of it...I know at previous 5Ks I've gone out way too hard, heart rate skyrocketed and I died by mile 1....how the hell would I do this?? I seeded myself at a 13:30 (a little over 7minute miles?) and the three other girls were seeded at a 11:30, 11:50, and 13:50...so I thought maybe I had a chance at beating one? I really wasn't too concerned about that since there was no way I could win it if the seed times were accurate, but I would be disappointed if I ran slower than 7:05 min/miles (my 5K pace...)

Balls out....so at the staging area, after peeing like 3 times...I took off my warmup gear and unveiled my smokin' running outfit =) and the other girls I was running with were like "OOOH my gosh that is so cute!! You're going to run in that?! What's your tattoo (referring to my MDOT) ??" They were really nice, so that took a little edge off! At the start line, I saw my friends, I was smiling, I wasn't as nervous as I thought I would be. Waterfall start...SET...step up to the line...BAM!! and we are off....

One girl took off pretty quick...she was gone. I stayed right with the other two. Breathing, check. HR monitor not working, took it off before the race. RPE = as fast as I can go. The first lap felt alright (fast, of course, but I wasn't hyperventilating!) at :45...yowza 6min miles!! 2nd lap....1:30....goodness there's no way I will keep this pace...I think at this point the 2 girls starting breaking away just a bit, which was fine by me, my goal was to go hard and maintain it!

The 1/2 mile came up at a 3:06 (which is my fastest ever recorded 1/2 mile, referring to my 800 repeats!) So I slowed a bit which was a good thing...So, as I was running, twice during the race I heard (female) spectators comment..." ooooooooooooh her skirt so cute!!" That put a little smile on my face and kept me motivated! If I'm not gonna win this thing...you better believe I'm gonna look damn cute running in it!

By about the 7th lap, it started getting hard. Now I'm realizing that I am really just punishing myself- running AS HARD as I can, for AS LONG as I can. ouch. Seriously, what could be worse?? It's a good workout....it's a good workout...great training...you'll be faster at Ironman...

At the mile I came in at 6:30 (the 2nd 800 I averaged a 6:48 pace)...

THE BEST THING that kept me motivated and working my ass off was Dan and his coaching!! He was on the back stretch, and every time I came around he gave me encouragement and useful comments that I focused on for the next lap- " Relax your shoulders" "Your strides are looking a little short..." "Push off!!!" He tried to get me to be competitive- "go get em!" BUUUT that didn't really work, I still don't have that "kick someone else's ass" attitude in me yet =) I was going as hard as I could, I didn't care!

By lap 10 I was thinking "GEEEZ why didn't I just enter the 1600?? I still have 5 LAPS to go!!" Trying to put this into perspective, I tried consoling myself- "Less than 5, more like 4 minutes Laura, that's it!!" But 4 minutes seems like a LONG ASS TIME when your quads are burning and it's taking every ounce of effort and energy I have to suck in as much oxygen as possible per breath, drop my shoulders, and actually push off each step. I wanted to give in so bad!! During a marathon, it's perfectly acceptable to "survival shuffle" ya know, drop the intensity for a couple minutes, collect yourself, then get back into a nice aerobic groove. NOT the case here!! BALLS OUT THE WHOLE TIME!! Yes, there is lactate in your blood...yes it hurts a lot...yes you are probably maintaining a HR of 190-195 right now...but you can do this!! Don't give in!

So I kept on truckin...and I got lapped lol by the girl who took off at the start ( I think around lap 12 or 13) so I tried keeping her in my sights....Kept running hard...kept listening for the fab 4 to cheer me on and then coming around that first turn, all I wanted to hear was something new to focus on from Dan...then I got lapped AGAIN by the second girl (who broke away from her teammate...) But gosh I can't reiterate how excruciatingly painful those last 4-5 laps were!!! I'm thinking these track races are so much harder mentally than endurance events (well, take into account the short duration....but still...I'm not used to it!)

So in my mind, I was not doing any mental math of what pace I was running, what my finishing time might be etc. during the last 1/2 of the race...I was really just occupied by trying to regulate my breathing, shoulders, stride, push-off, and NOT lose intensity...I wouldn't say that my mind was blank, but it certainly wasn't busy like it is during a marathon or Ironman!

SO FINALLY my last lap came around (I did most of it by myself lol) and I was extremely happy when I saw my time- 12:38!!! Almost a minute faster than what I thought I would run!! So my last 7 laps I averaged about a 7:03 min/mi (slowed down QUITE A BIT, even though I was going HARD). My overall average pace was about a 6:45 min/mi.

So yes, I got last. But I didn't make a total ass of myself. Hey, if I was running for a team, I would have earned them 4 points. And I was really proud of myself for not giving in- I ran hard the whole time! I was also really surprised how fast I could go! I stepped out of my boundaries and I think it was a success! I'm totally up for it again. I'm not sure how I would do things differently- should I start out slower? I mean, my first 400 was a 6 minute pace, and I ended up running 7's at the end? I don't know, I'm not really an expert at the whole track competition thing. So the fast stuff hurts A LOT, but it's also a lot of fun!

POST RACE
-2 more girls commented on the cuteness of my skirt, and of course, I gave everyone the skirtsports.com info! TRIATHLETES REPRESENT!
-My entire respiratory tract BURNED- throat, nostrils, lungs, everything! Couldn't really do anything about it - it died down a little after 20 minutes, but I felt it for about 2 hours afterward!
-I IMMEDIATELY got sick? Dan, Robyn, Kim, and Courtney watched me go from a healthy state into a sneezing 3-5x/minute, mucus-flowing freak within 20 minutes of running! Very weird, and it's happened before - after I did an intense track workout at Horton. It's better now, both both times it lasted about a day to a day and 1/2. I'm thinking it has to do with the fact that my body is working with well over 100L of oxygen per minute while I'm exercising that hard (think about lining up 50 2L bottles of pop) and if there was something funny in the air, even a small little bacteria, I probably sucked it in...Any ideas?

So, now it's Sunday, and Dan has left =( ....my quads are still sore, but I feel accomplished! Here's a quote (that you've seen before) that sums up this experience:

" Your greatest challenge isn't someone else. It's the aching in your lungs and the burning in your legs and the voice inside you that yells "Can't!". But you don't listen. You push harder and hear the voice that whispers "Can..." and you realize that the person you thought you were is no match for the one you really are."

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Internship Offer #1 !!

Well after an awesome masters swim this morning, and a network outage of all ilstu.edu sites, it's blogger time. =)

Yesterday was very eventful for me! First thing in the AM, Dave (my Velotron contact) FINALLY called me back...I was freaking out a little bit-I need this thing for my thesis project (I'll tell you all about it later)...meaning my graduate degree...and he was supposed to bring it here either Friday last week or Mon/Tues this week....and after numerous phone calls and messages starting Thursday, STILL no answer! My professors were giving me funny looks!

So he called, and said while in transport, a part on the bike broke, so he is contact with Chuck (VP or something of Racermate) in order to get the part, fix it, and get the velotron to me SOON. He'll let me know when....it better be by the end of this month!! very nerve-wracking...I just need to know if I'm going to get it, in time for data collection before the end of the semester (I COULD start up again in the fall if needed...but not preferable.)

NEXT, I got an email from Carol, the Human Performance Lab Manager at the National Training Center in Clermont FL, and she told me that I have been accepted as an intern for the summer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh my gosh! This place is AMAZING! It used to be the USA Triathlon Training Center, but they are no longer directly affiliated with USAT....they still have all the same training facilities though!! A 70m outdoor pool (with masters swim), 400m track, a xc course, a human performance lab with all the toys and services I desire, physical therapy, massage therapy, big weight room, big cardio room, group fitness classes, group tri workouts and training...the area has a lot of triathletes, hills, and lakes...The NTC puts on a triathlon race series in a local state park. The NTC hosts a ton of tri camps, and groups of athletes , such as the Austrian tri team, come to train for extended periods of time...

Check out the USA NATIONAL TRAINING CENTER

My friend Don had an internship there a couple years ago- didn't sound like it was paid or anything, but geez he was swimming next to Sheila Taormina (Olympic triathlete and swimmer!)

So I emailed her back and told her that before I accept the offer, I have a few questions...

1) What will my experience and responsibilities as an intern entail?
2) Will any pay/compensation/stipend be provided?
3) What are the housing options?

I have applied to three other awesome sites, which I will from hopefully within the next month, and if I'm accepted to another one, these three questions are going to help me determine where I intern this summer. The first is the most important- I want to be doing performance testing and research, not leading a senior wellness program. Second is also VERY important. If I'm accepted to 2 sites, both sound good, one is paid and one is not, guess which one I'm going to go with....Third goes along with the second.

but HOW COOL IS THAT?? Worse case scenario, I'm going to be in Florida at an amazing training facility this summer. darn. =)

Finally, to top the day off, I got my Ironman stuff I ordered in the mail. exciting.

Yay! =) I'll keep you posted!