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Official results for my half iron race were posted today.  So here’s the official breakdown:

  • Swim (1.2 miles) = 41:17 (1:57/100 yards and 25th out of 41)
  • T1 = 4:26
  • Bike (56 miles) = 3:31:59 (15.8 mph and 38th out of 41 – not surprising)
  • T2 = 2:01
  • Run (13.1 miles) = 2:25:26 (11:06/mile and 27th out of 41 – much faster than I thought at the time)
  • Overall = 6:45:07 (34th out of 41 – bringing up the rear as usual!)

One of the nicest things with this race is the free race pictures.  Every race has a professional photographer on site who takes lots of great (and not-so-great) pictures, and then charges a ridiculous amount of money for them.  This race has a couple photographers all over the course, and every picture is free.  They did a nice job too!

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Today I completed my first half iron distance race, the Half Vermont Journey, a part of the Vermont Sun Tri series.  I really enjoyed it and had a nice day.  They put on a great, very organized race and I would definitely do another.

At first I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it to the race today.  This past week has been the worst week of my life (literally), for reasons I don’t feel like delving into right now.  But at this point, I was emotionally exhausted and very beat down.  I didn’t know if I had it in me to wake up at 3:30 am, drive myself two hours (I was going by myself), race for 7 – 7.5 hours, and then drive myself another 2 hours home.  Just the thought of it was overwhelming.  But as I was wallowing in self pity, the great ladies on the health and fitness forum I frequent encouraged me to go and fight, and I’m so glad I did.

I woke up at 3:28 am, just two minutes before my alarm was set to go off.  So I took that as a good sign.  Dragging myself out of bed after only about two hours of sleep was sooooo difficult, but I kept telling myself I would feel much better once I got into the shower and woke up a bit.  And I did.

After getting ready, taking care of the dogs (who were very confused as to why I was disturbing their slumber), and having my chocolate peanut butter green monster for breakfast, it was time to load up the car and head out.  I hit the road by 5 am and headed up to Branbury State Park in Vermont.

I loved driving  through the rolling hills with the fog and the sunrise.  The whole thing was just beautiful.  Eventually, I pulled into the park at 6:45 am (I made good time!), where I was informed by the woman checking names at the park entrance that I was “nuts” for doing a half ironman (all in good fun).

Probably.  But aren’t we all?

I parked about 30 feet from the start/finish/transition area (one of the perks of doing a small race), checked in, and started unloading my stuff.  Since I was so early (The half iron started at 8:45 am, but there was also a sprint starting at 7 am.), the bike rack that I was supposed to be on was completely empty (score!), so I grabbed the prime end spot and started setting up my transition area.  This was my first race with Roo, and I got quite a lot of compliments on him as people were milling around and setting up.  He is a snazzy boy.

Ready to go!  (Well, except for pulling out my wetsuit – in the green bag.)

Once the sprint group set off on their swim, I got my wetsuit on and got in the water to warm up a bit.  It was an absolutely spectacular day.  The sun was shining, the water was like glass, and the scenery was beautiful.  It was supposed to get quite hot (mid to high 80s) by the afternoon, but in the morning, it was just perfect.

Can’t ask for a better day than this!

I chatted with two other halfers who were nearby, which was quite nice since I was by myself.  We were all back-of-the-packers, and tended to hang back on the swim start, so we milled about the start together.

At 8:45 am, we were off.  For the sprint, they started everyone in waves.  But since we were such a small group, we did a mass start on the beach.

For the swim, we swam straight out (maybe 300 feet) to the start of the buoy line, and then turned left (keeping the buoys to our left) and swam parallel to shore.  All the way down the buoy line, turn around and come all the way back, then turn around and go alllllll the way back down, turn around, come about halfway back, and then pop out onto the beach (basically 1.5 loops in a big long oval).

Normally it takes me a while to get into my groove on the swim, but today I felt awesome almost immediately!  I tried to hang back and get some space, but somehow I found myself in the thick of things pretty quickly after we turned to get onto the buoy line.  I was on feet almost the entire time, so I got a little boost from the drafting, which was nice.  I’ve never done that before.  At one point, about halfway through the last time down the whole line of buoys, I ended up in a pack of 7 or 8 people and actually had some contact.  This was actually kind of exciting.  I’m usually off the back in the swim, just doing my thing.  But today I felt like I was really doing well because I was actually up in the pack!  This was the perfect chance to swim in a pack and get my first contact in the water.  I didn’t panic at all because I knew this was a small group of people, and I didn’t have a massive crowd around me.  The water was SUPER shallow (I could stand with my head above water when I was only a few feet from the buoy line), and it was a calm and crystal clear day, so sighting was easy.  So bring it, bitches.

I ended up getting punched in the face just as we rounded the buoy to turn into shore.  There were also people just off my feet most of the way who kept grabbing my legs.  I may have kicked them a bit.  (Honestly, I’m not sure.)  But it was a good time for me to get used to it.

I came out of the water feeling great.  A little tired, but overall, very happy with my swim.  I didn’t see any clock as I came out, so at this point I had no idea what my split was for the 1.2 mile swim course.  I later figured out that my swim + T1 time (combined) was about 47 minutes.  So I’m guessing my swim time was around 42 minutes.  Not too shabby!

I ran into T1, stripped my wetsuit (with a bit of trouble today, but not bad), cap and goggles off (they had leaked a bit on the swim, so I was very happy to take those suckers off), bike jersey on, socks and shoes on, helmet and sunglasses on, watch on (I didn’t use my Garmin today.  It’s been having battery issues and didn’t want to worry about it.  So it’s a cheapo Timex for me!  I was surprised that I actually kind of enjoyed not having much data to focus on.  It was simpler.), unrack bike and go!

The bike course was a lot hillier than it seemed at first.  It was a 14 mile loop around the lake that we had to do four times.  That was my only complaint with this race.  Four loops got a bit boring.  I wish they would change the course back to the two loop format they (apparently) used to use.  There were a lot of rolling hills, and a few more significant hills – including the one around mile 11 of the loop.  It sucked knowing that you had to do that thing four times.  But I stuck with it and ended up feeling great on the bike!  Starting on my third loop, the leaders started lapping me, which was a bit disheartening, but considering they were winning, that’s fine by me.  I knew about where I was in the pack, and it was nowhere near the front.

I used the same nutrition plan as I tested out on my long ride last week and it seemed to work really well.  I didn’t feel worn down at all during the bike, and nothing out of the ordinary on the run either.  The bigger hills were a bit tough, but I managed to drag my butt and Roo up them.

I pulled into the transition area at 4:17:xx, making my bike time 3.5 hours.  That means I averaged 16 mph on a very hilly course!  I was thrilled.

T2 was quick – rack bike, helmet off, hat on, change shoes, change shirt (got to represent my fellow NMAs!), grab water bottle, and go.

The run course was an out-and-back, with 8 of the 13.1 miles being on the same roads as the bike, so the area was already very familiar.  Going out onto the run course, it’s straight into an uphill, which stunk a bit, but I just chugged along and came up with a plan.  My plan starting the run was to walk the big uphills to save my legs, and if there was no significant uphill, I would walk for two minutes every time I got to a mile marker to give my legs a bit of a rest.

For the first few miles, this plan worked very well.  I managed 10:00 miles for the first few miles, but then the hills started winning the battle.  That run course is hilly!  Also, about 3.5 miles into the run, I started to pick up on a very unnerving sensation – chafing.  In some very unpleasant places.  Dun dun dunnnnnnnnnnnn.  At mile 4, where the run course leaves the bike course and heads off on a dirt road, there was an aid station.  Fortunately, the aid stations were stocked with big tubs of vaseline, so I made good use of that.  The poor guys working the aid station were so nice when I started shoving my hand down my pants to apply it, and saying “I am SUCH a LADY.”  No worries.  All boundaries and bodily functions are fair game in endurance events.  Nobody bats an eye or thinks twice about it.

The dirt road out to the turnaround point at 6.55 miles was hilly.  I ran where it was flat or downhill, but spent a good deal of time walking (quickly).  The hills combined with the chafing were making it uncomfortable, so I just ran when I could, and walked when I needed to.

Eventually, I made it to the turnaround point 6.55 miles into the run.  It was exciting because things usually feel much shorter coming back – but no, not this time.  Somehow, most of the 2.55 miles back to the end of the dirt road were uphill.  Did the topography change between coming out and going back???  How did that happen???

I re-vaselined at another aid station around mile 7 (and probably scared the poor high school soccer team girls who were working it), and chugged along, slowly.

At this point, I started doing the math to get a sense of when I was going to finish, and I was shocked.  I could still finish under 7 hours.  I thought I would be between 7 and 7.5 hours on a good day!  Not under 7!  And the possibility of being sub-7 was including all the walking I was doing.  That was awesome!

I pushed on, and ran/waddled (ow chafing) whenever I could, and walked the uphills.  But at this point, I was trying to incorporate more running to make damn sure I got in under the 7 hour mark.  Now that I knew it was possible, I was going to be pissed if I didn’t make it.

I ticked off the miles, and told myself I had to run it all the way in from mile 12 without stopping.  At mile 12, I tapped the sign, got a little emotional, and ran it all the way in feeling very strong (and chafed).  I would have loved to have my Garmin just for this last mile, because I imagine it was around a 9:00/mile pace.  And I would love to know if that’s right.

I turned into the park entrance, ran past the cars at the gate, rounded the bend in the road, and saw the finish line.  The clock said 6:44:xx.  BOOYA!

I ended up crossing the finish line as the clocked ticked over to 6:45:04.  I was absolutely thrilled.  That made my run + T2 time 2:28:xx.  Assuming I spent about 2 minutes in T2, that gives me a half marathon time of 2:26, which is an 11:08/mile pace – way faster than I thought I was going.  I must have been booking when I was actually running.

After crossing the finish line, I was then immediately bummed that I didn’t get a finishers medal.  I did, however, get a souvenir pint glass (Very nice, and more useful!).  BUT, shortly after I finished, they started doing the awards ceremony.  Considering this was such a small race (only 53 people), almost everyone ended up with a medal anyway – INCLUDING ME.

Hooray!

I ended up getting third in my age group!  Granted, I think there were only 3 of us, but I’ll take it!  I podiumed, dammit!  I probably never will again, so I have to take what I can get.

Overall, I was ecstatic with how today went.  I beat all my expectations for each of the legs, as well as overall.  I couldn’t have asked for a better day – well, maybe with less chafing.

I used today as a test run for my full iron coming up in less than two months (aack!).  The general rule of thumb for predicting your full iron time is to take your half iron time, double it, and add an hour.  So that gives me an estimated full iron time of 14:30 – which would be absolutely fantastic.  We’ll see!

I will definitely do another VT Sun tri.  They put on a great race.  I would like to do their half iron again, but not next year – I already have races planned around the same time as this one, but perhaps the year after?

Last week was kind of a play it by ear week, since I have a half iron race coming up this weekend.  I didn’t want to do any heavy training, but I needed to at least keep my legs moving.  A “mini taper,” if you will.

Tuesday and Wednesday  (not including Monday since that was finishing up the previous week) – Rest days, just letting my legs recover from my 55 mile bike ride on Monday

Thursday

Discovered Roo at the bike shop!  Took him out for a 35 minute test ride and said I would return the next day to bring him home.  Lots of work around the house for the rest of the day.

Friday

Brought Roo home!  Did a 45 minute ride around the neighborhood with my husband to celebrate.

Saturday – my own mini tri

1250 yards (continuous) at the pool, comfortable pace

45 minute bike on the trainer, just getting used to Roo and the new saddle (ouch)

3 mile run on the treadmill

Sunday

BEST.DAY.EVER!

I have a half iron race this coming weekend and I was starting to worry about my lack of a nutrition plan.  I didn’t know where to start, and I didn’t want to be trying out an untested nutrition plan come next Sunday.  So I looked around and found a reasonably useful article on BeginnerTriathlete.com.

I decided to use that basic plan as my starting point, so for a half iron (roughly a 4 hour ride if I went at my typical 15 mph), I would need to consume 1,200 calories over 4 hours (300 cal/hour) on the bike.  This equals 6 GUs and 7.5 scoops of my Clif shot powder (a present from my awesome BeginnerTriathlete mentor group leader).

I marked off one of my water bottles into 8 equal volumes and mixed the super concentrated Clif shot in there.  Then the other to bottles on my bike were filled with plain water.  For the first half of the ride, I tried to mix the concentrated stuff in with the regular water (as suggested in that nutrition article), but that proved to be more trouble than it was worth.  So for the second half, I just took small sips out of the concentrated stuff and then washed that down with some water.  I liked this method much better because I didn’t have to do any mixing  on the fly, and it left me with some plain water that I could drink along with my GUs without mixing the chocolate and lemon flavors.

But I’m getting ahead of myself…

I set the alarm on my Garmin (which appears to have resurrected itself from whatever bizarre thing was happening last week when it wouldn’t turn on – yes, it was fully charged) to go off every 20 minutes.  Whenever the alarm would go off, I would either drink some of the Clif shot, or have a GU.  I alternated so it worked out like this:

  • First 20 minutes –  just water
  • 00:20:00 – drink (Clif shot lemonade flavor)
  • 00:40:00 – GU (chocolate outrage flavor)
  • Alternating drink and GU every 20 minutes after that, with regular water any time – making sure to drink a full bottle of water and consume 300 total calories every hour.

At the two hour mark, my water bottles were empty and I was looking for a place to refill.  I happen to be right down the road from the restaurant I waited tables at when I was in college, so I popped in for a minute and refilled there.  Then it was time to turn around and do the 30.7 mile return trip home.

At this point, I was really shocked and excited by how great I felt.  I didn’t feel tired at all, and although the hills were a little tough, they weren’t anything I couldn’t handle.  I felt awesome!

I smiled and enjoyed the ride all the way back home.  I tried to focus on keeping my shoulders relaxed, because when I get discomfort on the bike it’s always in my shoulders and neck because I scrunch them up when I’m in aero position.  This time, I had a slight twinge in my neck, but nothing that wasn’t manageable.  And hey, after four hours on a bike, you’re going to be a little sore, right?

The one problem I had on this ride is just getting used to the new saddle on Roo.  It’s a perfectly good one, but there’s always an adjustment period, and it’s usually unpleasant.  I felt okay if I was sitting up in the hoods, but as soon as I got down into aero position, I would rotate forward on the saddle and YOWZA, lots of pressure.  It was very uncomfortable at first, but after a couple hours, things appeared to just go numb and it didn’t bother me anymore.  So I suppose that works.  Every once in a while I would stand up to relieve the pressure/numbness and it was pretty crazy what a difference it made.  I don’t have time to mess around with the saddle this week, since I have the half iron on Sunday (it’ll be fine for that).  But I forsee trying out a Cobb or Adamo saddle in the future.

I can’t repeat enough how awesome I felt on this ride.  There was no fatigue whatsoever.  Somewhere around mile 50 I remember saying to myself “I feel like I’m just getting warmed up!”  I really started to find my groove – it was like a runner’s high, but on a bike.  I absolutely loved it.  I finished my bike with a total distance of 61.4 miles, at an average speed of 15.2 mph, and that includes stopping at lights and whatnot.

Four hours after leaving, I pulled back into the driveway and announced to my husband, who was happily building shelves in the garage “I.  FEEL.  AWESOME!”  Then it was time to park the bike, change the shoes, remove the helmet, and get out for a quick run just to see how my legs felt with this new nutrition plan.

My legs felt FREAKING AMAZING.

I didn’t do a long run – since the half iron was a week away, I didn’t want to go too nuts.  I just wanted to see how things were feeling.  I usually run around a 10:00 mile.  I did a 3 mile run around my neighborhood with a 9:03/mile average pace.  And I was just going with the flow and not pushing at all.  I run BETTER after I bike!  How cool is that???

So things are looking good for the half iron this weekend.  I’m really excited to get that distance under my belt.  Hopefully it goes as well as Sunday did!

This weekend I welcomed a new baby into my family:

MY NEW BABY!  A (barely used) Quintana Roo CD0.1.  I saw him in the bike shop and it was love at first sight.

There’s a saying in triathlon – How many bikes do you need?  N+1.  N is the number of bikes you currently own.  I used to think that was silly.  Now I understand.  It’s a sickness, really.

I want to write more, but I’m exhausted and it’s time to go to bed.  Training update to come tomorrow.

This week was a bike focused week, and it was great!  The bike is the part I’m the most worried about, so I’m really trying to work on it.

Monday – Rest day

Tuesday

2 hours on the bike, going through a very hilly area.  So hilly, in fact, that I ended up only going 25 miles (12.5 mph) compared to my usual 15-17 mph.  But my legs felt strong and I had a great time exploring a new route.  Pulling up the profile made me feel a lot better about my decrease in speed though…

I really liked that downhill!

Swim workout

  • Warmup: 4 x 75 with the last 25 in each doing backstroke
  • Main: 3 x 600 with the middle set going fairly hard
  • Cool down: 150 easy

The swim was good!  I went immediately after my bike was done and felt good in the water – albeit a little bored in that last 600.  I really wanted to cut it short, but my mantra lately has been “I’ll be more bored/hurt/tired than this when I’m out on the course, so I might as well get used to it now.”  Works every time.

Wednesday

A nice easy 4.5 mile run (10:00/mile pace) with one of my neighbors in the morning.  It was nice to get out and run with somebody!  It always makes the run go so much faster when you have somebody to chat with.

Thursday

An hour and a half on the trainer at a good clip of 17.8 mph.  Wohoo!  I was enjoying my audiobook with the Olympics on mute in the background.

Friday

2 hours on the trainer at about 18 mph (my Powertap doesn’t seem to have recorded it).  I followed the bike with a nice hour long run on the treadmill.  My legs felt great and I had such a good run I almost didn’t want to stop (almost).

Saturday

I started a two hour bike, but ended up only going for a half hour because I was so sore from being in the saddle so much this week.  I knew I had a long ride coming up, so I decided to rest and let my lady bits recover for a day or so before tackling that long ride.

Sunday

Rest day.  This should have been my long ride day, but my mom is in town from Florida and she’s only up here for a few more days, so instead we had a nice day together and went to try out some stand up paddling.

Monday (today)

4 hour long bike ride at 14.4 mph.  I slowed a bit because the ride was very hilly and it was a bit windy (but beautiful out!) today.  I did five loops of the Saratoga Battlefield and had a nice time enjoying the scenery and the wildlife.  I had four different deer sightings – all about twenty feet from me, just grazing on the side of the road, and a whole family of turkeys.  I love riding there because it’s a one way road with barely any cars (I think I had a grand total of 10 passed by me in the entire 4 hours), pretty views, and some decent hills to present a challenge.  This was my view at one point…

I ended up doing 55 miles (the loop is 11 miles), and felt pretty good by the end!  When I returned to my car, I asked myself if I felt like I could run 13.1 miles at that point, and the answer was yes – so things are looking good for my half iron race I have coming up in two weeks.

There was one part of my ride that was the mile from hell though.  Mile 52…

1) A HUGE bug smacked into my arm at 20 mph and it HURT.  I didn’t see it coming and it scared the crap out of me.  I just heard a crunch/thwap and felt it hit me and almost fell off my bike.

2) Shortly after the bug incident – I tried to spit (as I do frequently when running/riding and had been doing the whole time), and it didn’t work so well.  I ended up spitting all over myself and trying to clean it off at 30 mph (down the fun and fast hill).  Oops.

3) Immediately after cleaning off my face, I hit the steepest uphill of the route.  I had squandered away my great downhill leading into it (cleaning off the spit), so it sucked even more than it already does normally.

4) Near the top of the hill, I missed running over a (little tiny) snake by about one inch.  I didn’t see it until I was right on top of it, and I just barely managed to swerve enough that I didn’t run it over.  I once again, almost fell off my bike because it surprised me so much.  I don’t mind snakes at all, as long as they don’t pop out of nowhere.

Then I got to the top of the hill, and things were better.  But wow that mile sucked.

One thing I noticed was that the last several miles of the loop felt like torture.  I pulled up the elevation profile when I got home and now it makes more sense!

Well that makes me feel better about hating the last couple miles.

So what’s ahead?

According to my training plan, this week is supposed to be a recovery/half iron race week, but I have a half iron scheduled for NEXT week, so I’m swapping.

  • Tuesday – Short bike (which I may swap with a run if my lady bits are sore – they probably will be) and long swim day
  • Wednesday – Bike (2 hour) Run (1 hour) brick – I’ve been doing a lot of these lately…
  • Thursday – Long run (2:10) and 6 x 400 easy swim workout
  • Friday – Another long swim
  • Saturday – Rest day!
  • Sunday – Long bike (4:20) followed by 30 minute recovery run

I’ll do the recovery/half iron race week after that.

I’ve been feeling really good lately.  I got the sugar out of my house and have cleaned up my food intake – lots of fruits, veggies, and couscous.  I’m also finally (FINALLY!) on vacation, so there’s one less thing to work my training around.  This vacation is short-lived though.  I have to start prepping for my fall class soon.  So I’m trying to enjoy every minute of it while I can.

On that back-to-school note – I finally started making a dent on updating my wardrobe.  Most of my clothes were leftover from grad school (which I finished in 2006 – ouch), and were pretty crappy.  No wonder everybody always thought I was one of my students.  I was so excited that, thanks to ironman training, everything I tried on was fitting!  Usually when I try to go clothes shopping, I come out miserable.  But this time it was fabulous.  THEN, when I came home I cleaned out a good chunk of my closet.  On a whim, I tried on my “power suit” (everybody needs one of those) that I got for interviews when I finished grad school, that I haven’t been able to fit into in years (besides the jacket).  THE WHOLE STINKING THING FIT.  I stood around in it and jumped up and down for a while – and then promptly put it back in the closet.

So hooray for training and eating healthily!

Now I want to go buy more clothes.  🙂

I feel so behind.  I know I’m really not, but I can’t help but feel that way.  There’s so much to be thinking about and testing out, and I don’t feel like I’m doing enough.

I haven’t really done any experimentation with my on course nutrition – I’ve just been popping a gel here and there and drinking some water.  With no real rhyme or reason to it.  In my marathons, I used to be much more structured with my nutrition.  But now with the ironman, when it’s so much more important, I haven’t figured out my plan yet.  I just feel like my bikes and runs haven’t been long enough to deal with it yet.  My longest run to date has been 14 miles (this past weekend), and my longest bike has been 40 miles.

Which brings me to my next part where I feel behind… I feel like my bikes have been waaaaaay too short.  I’ve been listening to one of my audiobooks lately (“You are an Ironman” by Jacques Steinberg), and I’ve been enjoying it a lot.  However, it keeps talking about the people in the book doing centuries right around this point in their training.  My training plan (Beginner Triathlete iron distance plan) doesn’t have me doing any century rides until five weeks from now – which is just a few weeks before race day.  So again, I’m not really behind, but I can’t help but doubt the plan – which I know is normal.  Everyone always says to just stick with the plan and trust it to get you through race day.  That doesn’t stop those nagging feelings of doubt though.

So while I’m really enjoying the audiobook, it keeps making me feel unprepared.  I need to start experimenting with my nutrition and coming up with a structured plan for it.  I also need to start coming up with an actual race plan.  I’ve never really needed one before.  For marathons, I just run and roll with the (inevitable) punches.  That works alright for shorter tris, but it won’t work so well for the full iron.

On a positive note, I did an hour and a half on the trainer tonight and I feel like my bike is getting stronger.  I used to fight to keep a 15 mph average on the trainer, and tonight I averaged 17.8 mph.  Even if that’s not totally accurate (there’s usually some variation between trainer and road), it’s improvement!

This week is a bike focus week, so I have a four hour ride this weekend.  If I can maintain a 15 mph average on that ride, that will get me to 60 miles, which would be great.

Two weeks from now I have my first half iron distance tri.  I think that will be a strange mix of reassuring and terrifying.  While it will be nice to have a half for a benchmark, and get a chance to test out preliminary race and nutrition plans, I imagine it will also be scary to think – “I have to do DOUBLE that?”  The one thing I have going on my favor with that is that the half iron course is very hilly – compared to the full iron course, which is just about flat as flat can be.  The effort I spend on the hills in the half will get me much further than 56 miles in the full.

Oh my goodness.  I just counted.  As of tomorrow morning, it’s 71 days until race day.  When did that happen???
On a totally unrelated note – this Olympic BMX biking is crazy.  I would hurt myself.

Oh my goodness, where did the weeks go?

Today marks 11 weeks to my first iron distance triathlon.  That means 14 weeks of official training have come and gone.  Yikes!  I feel like that has to be wrong!

I was supposed to run the Branbury Classic Olympic Tri today but ended up missing the start (boo).  The race was two hours away and I could not fall asleep last night.  So when my alarm went off at 3:30am, it was BRUTAL.  I was going on probably two hours of sleep at that point, and there was just no way I was getting out of bed, driving myself two hours, racing, and then driving myself two hours home (my husband was not coming with me today).

So instead, I slept a bit more and then did a nice 14 mile run.  I did the first half outside in the crazy humidity.  It was only in the 80s, but the humidity felt a bit overwhelming, so I decided to split it up.  I stopped downtown and called my husband to come pick me up.  When I got home, I finished the last 7 miles on the treadmill in our (air conditioned) basement.

I ran the outside half at exactly 10:00/mile, and felt very comfortable, except for the humidity of course.  When I switched to the treadmill I had to slow down significantly (to just under 12:00/mile).  For some reason, a 12:00/mile pace on the treadmill feels like the same effort as my 10:00/mile outside.  So I don’t stress about it too much.  I felt great outside.

One thing I did recently was download a couple audiobooks to listen to on my runs.  I thought it would be good motivation and inspiration.  I got “Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness” by Scott Jurek; “A Life Without Limits: A World Champion’s Journey” by Chrissie Wellington; and “You Are an Ironman: How Six Weekend Warriors Chased Their Dream of Finishing the World’s Toughest Triathlon” by Jacques Steinberg.  Right now I’m listening to the Steinberg book.  The narrator’s voice was a bit annoying at first but now I’m used to it and I’m really enjoying it.

One other thing I’ve been thinking about lately is perhaps running my 140.6’s to raise money for a charity.  But I don’t really know how to go about doing it.  I would like to raise money for a huge community service event that my old high school puts on every March.  The students raise money for people and organizations in the area that are in need (medical expenses are a big one).  I would love to do something to make this more than just me chasing some crazy goal.  I would love for it to help people somehow.

So if anyone knows how to go about raising money for a cause that is not one of the big organizations (that have established websites for this sort of thing), please let me know.

And on a completely unrelated note… HOORAY CURIOSITY!!!  I used to work at NASA (in my pre-teaching days), so I stayed up to watch the landing tonight.  Not going to lie, I had a couple of happy tears.  That was awesome and totally made me miss working there.  I never got to experience a landing – only an entry into orbit for MRO (I operated one of the cameras) – and I wish I had gotten that chance.

Now that Curiosity has it’s wheels safely on Mars, it’s time to go to bed.

Need to contact me?

geonerdette at gmail dot com

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