Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Pfitz Week 8 - 2 runs down, 3 to go

Monday 8.0 miles/1:09:20/8:40 average pace

8 miles total with VO2 intervals: The schedule called for 5 x 600, but since I don't have a track to run on and use my Garmin GPS, I went with 4 x 800 (1/2 mile). Here's my interval times:

I 3:22 (6:44 pace)
II 3:24 (6:48 pace)
III 3:24 (6:48 pace)
IV 3:23 (6:46 pace)

I wouldn't say it was fun, in fact I thought I might puke at one point, but that's ok. I got through it and was very happy with my times! Since I'm on a kick of comparing to previous times, I ran these intervals much faster than in my last training cycle (link here) and I was pretty pleased with myself last time, as you can see by that post title! :P But I was way more consistent this time.

Tuesday 11.0 miles/1:40:13/9:07 average pace

This morning I got up just after 5:00 and ran 4 miles with Zach, then ran 7 more miles solo. I was really dragging ass, but I got it done. I rewarded myself with a big pumpkin bagel and a coffee the size of my head, and I'm actually feeling good now. However, I am glad tomorrow is a rest day and then only 4 easy miles Thursday. Here's the rest of the week's schedule:

Wednesday: rest/cross training

Thursday: 4 miles Easy (got a running date with Maritza- she leaves for NY the next day!)

Friday: 10 miles Goal Pace

Saturday: 17 miles Long

Sunday: rest/cross training

TOTAL miles scheduled: 50

NOTE: There's a program on PBS tonight at 8:00 pm called "Marathon Challenge" that is supposed to be pretty interesting. I know we runners eat up anything running-related so thought I'd let you know. Set those DVRs! :)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Long Run Week 7: Spooky Fun

Saturday 20.0 miles/2:57:56/8:54 average pace

20 miler: check! Peak week is in the books! I had a really fun run this weekend down in San Jose on the Los Gatos Creek Trail. Zach came along on his bike and kept me company and carried my water and snacks and a camera. I felt really strong the whole time and didn't have any major pains or issues with my sore foot (see previous post). I did develop a monster blister on my pinky toe, but it's healing up already.

I've run the Los Gatos Creek Trail as my 20 miler every time I've trained for a marathon, making this my 5th time out there. During my last training cycle I looked up all my previous times for the 20 mile distance (here and other routes) - here is a LINK to that post. This weekend I ran the distance nearly 5 minutes faster than ever before (in training). I was hoping I'd break 3 hours (a 9:00 pace) but tried not to think about that as I ran an easy, comfortable pace for as long as possible. When it started to hurt- just that general aching you get after running for hours- I picked up the pace. I'm super psyched about my performance and I'm convinced that I'm a better and faster runner than ever. This has been a hard week, and I've been tired and a little sore, but I'm a hard worker and I'm determined and I just friggin love to run. These things will get me through my training and through my marathon and through many more years of kicking ass.

I should mention I also I watched Rocky today, and just watched the Red Sox win the World Series (I am a bandwagon fan) so I'm pretty pumped in general. :) Go me, go Rocky, go Red Sox.

I won't post my individual mile splits, but here's a summary in 5 mile increments:

First 5 miles: 46:01 (9:12 average pace)

Second 5 miles: 45:29 (9:06 average pace)

Third 5 miles: 44:50 (8:58 average pace)

Last 5 miles: 41:36 (8:19 average pace)

Picture share!

And finally, some Halloween shots :) At the pumpkin patch last week, and the jack o' lanterns that we just carved tonight (mine is on left, Zach's is on right).

Today I dropped Zach off in downtown Pleasanton for a group bike ride and then went to the pool for a recovery swim. I did 1000 meters - 250 freestyle, 500 pulling only, 250 freestyle. It was good to get two swims in this week.

TOTAL miles for the week: 55 (yipee!)

PLUS: 1500 m swim :)

Happy Halloween everyone!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Friday morning, foggy and sore

Friday 6.0 miles/54:00/9:00 average pace

It was nice and cool this morning, and I actually got to run in the light of pre-dawn rather than the pitch black! Sure, it's because I slept in and ended up being late for work, but it's Friday so it's allright.

I am feeling less run-down the last couple of days, and my quads are feeling better. However, I have a few minor surface-type issues happening and they are all on/around my right foot. Just for fun, I will list them!

1. chaffing on the top of my foot from crappy socks. ran with band-aid today.
2. blister/loose-skin thing on the bottom of my foot near the crook of my big toe, which I stupidly pulled the skin off (it was kinda hanging there) and now it hurts. nothing I can do except leave it alone.
3. top of my foot is sore, possibly from too-tight laces? ran with shoe practically untied today.
4. outside of right ankle kinda sore. random. will ice later.
5. inside of right shin a little sore. will ice later. this is a pretty common overuse injury for me so I will start icing it religiously. I'll start using the super effective "ice bucket" method (like an ice bath, but a bucket, and only for lower legs and feet. not as uncomfortable as an ice bath and way more effective than ice pack)
6. both calves are tight. will foam-roll tonight and daily from now on.

Poor lower right extremity. :(

Luckily I'm feeling strong and healthy otherwise and am ready for my 20 miler tomorrow. I'm a warrior runner, I can deal with this stuff. :)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Peak Week Update

Thursday 12.0 miles/1:50:00/9:10 average pace

Ran the first 5.5 miles with Zach at 5:00 am, then finished up on my own listening to This American Life. I've been pretty sore the last couple days, but I felt ok while running and actually a little better afterwards. Mainly I was sore in my quads, but my calves are tight too. I've also been really tired the last couple days, so I'm trying to eat more and get more sleep. I know this is a big week, but I have a few more to go and I can't burn out now! I know I can get through it... it's nice having Maritza encouraging me since she was right where I am just a few weeks ago. Now she's a week away from NYC Marathon and getting pumped! I'm excited for her, and I'm excited to be a week away from my own marathon and done with all this freaking training. :)

Also, yesterday I did manage to go to the pool for a super short 500 yards and a looooong soak in the hot tub. I miss swimming regularly! I am going to try to go this weekend again if I can.

So 6 miles tomorrow morning, then 20 on Saturday! yay! Have a great rest of the week kids! :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Weekend Pics

Halloween Costume Party:
at our place before leaving:

at Maritza's:
on dancefloor!

Nike Women's Marathon:

21st Century Mom heading to the finish of her half marathon (in center of pack with red shirt):

Me hassling Miss Petite America while she's trying to run a marathon:

There she goes, on her way to her first marathon finish!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Pfitz Week 7 Schedule (underway)

I just cannot keep up with blogging all my runs! This is a reflection of how freaking much I am running, not laziness in posting, I swear.

Monday: 5.0 miles/44:52/8:59 average pace

I did this run yesterday afternoon and ran a relaxed pace. Zach came and met me on his bike with a mile to go and helped me do my strides, which went really well! I felt very fast during those and finished feeling really good. I just now realized I was supposed to do 6 miles though, oops. I'll add a mile to Friday's run instead.

Tuesday: 12 miles/1:41:45/8:29 average pace

Got up really early and was out the door at 5:00 am with Zach. We did 6 miles together at a fast Tempo pace: 7:42 average. It was awesome having someone to pace me for the tempo run (even though it was his normal running pace). It was still hard, but more fun than doing it alone. We made it back home where I grabbed my ipod and ate a clif block (couldn't stomach more than one) and then I headed out for 6 more miles, this time at an easy pace. Listened to Phedippidations and heard my Half Marathon race report, which was cool! :) I was home with lots of extra time before work so I made myself a big omelet breakfast. Yummy! Now I can't stop singing "Give it on up for omletteviiiiille" like in that SNL skit with Justin Timberlake. Random.

Wednesday: rest/cross training

Thursday: 12 miles Medium Long

Friday: 6 miles Easy

Saturday: 20 miles Long

TOTAL miles scheduled: 55! Peak week baby!! :) Race is 5 weeks from Sunday.

HUGE congrats to Miss Petite America for finishing her first marathon like a champ in San Francisco. Check out her exciting and touching race report at her blog, http://www.runnerswanted.blogspot.com/

Monday, October 22, 2007

Tucson AZ, and Long Run Week 6

Thursday 12.0 miles/1:47:46/8:59 average pace

It was really warm and dry in Tucson, and I did this run in the afternoon when it was hottest! But I took it easy and drank a lot of water. The miles went by slowly but I got it done. I ran on the Rillito River Path which had a little shade and a dirt shoulder to run on, plus occasional drinking fountains, so I was happy.

Friday 6.0 miles/54:50/9:09 average pace

Now this run was fun. I ran up the beautiful Sabino Canyon in the morning. It was cool, busy with walkers and runners, and did I mention beautiful? I ran there back in July, but October really looks good on Tucson in comparison. It was really lovely.

Saturday 18.0 miles/2:39:51/8:53 average pace

Speaking of lovely, this weekend Zach and I drove up to Tiburon for one of the most scenic runs in the bay area. Actually, Zach rode his bike around the hilly loop while I did my run. He passed me a few times and gave me encouragement which was cool. I felt really good - even on the hills. It was a beautiful day with lots of people out so I never got too bored. Afterward, we had a leisurely breakfast on the patio of this little cafe and then did a little shopping. It's a long drive from our house but always worth it.

TOTAL miles for the week: 46

Saturday night we went to a Halloween costume party with Maritza and her boyfriend and had a super fun time. I have a couple cute pictures (the costumes were great!) that I'll post later. Sunday morning I got up and went into San Francisco to watch the Nike Women's Marathon (which was my first marathon 2 years ago!) and cheer on 21st Century Mom who was running the half, and Miss Petite America who was running her FIRST full marathon. Amazingly I did spot them both in the crowds and even got to run along with Miss Petite for a while and encourage her a bit. They both were looking very strong and I can't wait to hear their account of the event. Congratulations to both of them and everyone else out there! :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Pfitz Week 6 Schedule (in progress)

I altered this week's schedule slightly to allow for a full recovery from the half. I'm still running the miles (less one recovery run) but I'm skipping the speedwork. It felt good to get back in the pool and that has helped with my recovery. I'm ready to get focused on training for the marathon- I feel like I've been distracted with the triathlon, then a big trip to Montana, then the half... but now it's time to work. I'm going to Tucson for work Thursday and Friday so I'll get in those two runs there.

Monday: rest

Tuesday: swim am: 750 m in 15:50 (250 free, 250 pull, 250 free)
pm: 10 miles/1:29:37/8:58 average pace

Wednesday: swim am: 1000 m in 21:15 (500 free, 250 alternating breast and back strokes, 250 pull)/rest

Thursday: 12 miles Medium Long

Friday: 6 miles + Strides

Saturday: 18 miles Long

Sunday: rest

TOTAL miles scheduled: 46

Have a great week everyone! :) Thanks so much for the feedback on my race.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Primo's Half Marathon Race Report - PR and Hardware

This was the 6th Half Marathon event I have ran, and it was my fastest yet. I've been chasing a PR in this distance for almost 2 years since running 1:44:54 (8:00 pace) at a half in San Francisco in February 2006. I've trained for and ran a half marathon both summers since but never even got close. This last July when I ran 1:46:33 I was especially disappointed since I really thought I had it in me. This time I wasn't nearly as focused on the half as a "goal race" - I just incorporated it into my Pfitzinger marathon training program for my December marathon. I've been running really strong and maybe the lack of pressure was just what I needed.

I ran an 11 miler on Thursday before the race at an 8:00 average pace, and it wasn't that hard, so I knew I was in shape to PR. But I definitely know anything can happen so I was prepared to make it a marathon-pace run if I didn't have the speed I'd need. I ran a short 4 miles Friday and rested Saturday. Sunday morning Zach dropped me off at the race staging area in dowtown Danville for my 7:30 start (he was going to the finish area and running the 5k- check out his race report). I warmed up with a half mile or so and waited. It was perfectly cool - 50's- and the field was small but friendly and fast.

The gun went off (literally, yikes!) right on time and we were off. I felt very good and went through mile 1 in 7:55- perfect. We were running through the pretty tree-lined neighborhood streets in Danville for the first several miles, looping around through parks and up long but gentle hills. The rest of my splits kept coming in right on pace: 8:04, 8:07, 7:56, 7:54, 7:59, 7:54, 7:57. I was running strong, but was starting to feel a little tired and was breathing kinda hard. But I was in my range of comfort and never needed to walk or anything. I knew I could keep going. Finally we turned onto the Iron Horse trail, where I do nearly all my training. I got a cup of water at a water stop and walked a few steps- the only walking I did for the whole race. Mile 9 and 10 were 16:10- 8:05 average (missed a marker). I went through mile 10 marker at exactly 1:20:00 (8:00 pace).

That's when I broke out of my comfort level and went for it. We join up on the streets on San Ramon with the 5k (walkers at this point) for the final miles. It was kinda nice to be passing the hordes of strollers and families walking because it was distracting me from my heavy breathing and heavy legs. Seemed like there were only a few half marathoners on the outside lane with me, and I was passing them all. I saw Zach with a mile or so to go and he jumped in and ran with me, which was awesome. My final three miles were 7:46, 7:41, and 8:13 for the final 1.1 (7:24 pace). The final 5k split was 23:40 (7:37 pace).

Finish time 1:43:40 (7:55 pace).

3rd place in 19-29 Age Group out of 20.

21st female overall out of 195.

100th finisher overall out of 418.

I got my finisher medal and then Zach pointed out that I won a special tech shirt for being among the top 25 women! It was actually two shirts- a long sleeve and a short sleeve, and really nice Brooks running shirts. We stood around talking about our races- Zach had a huge breakthrough in the 5k - then they posted the results. Zach got 3rd in his AG! As we waited for him to get his medal, I saw my results and couldn't believe I got 3rd in my AG also! We both proudly received our medals and got a picture.

What an awesome day. I really feel like I earned this PR, and it feels great to finally get it. I have 6 weeks of training left until the Cal International Marathon in Sacramento, where I plan to set another PR. I have a lot of work to do but this mid-training confidence boost is definitely going to get me through. :)

Friday, October 12, 2007

Really, really, very, very good run

Thursday 11.0 miles/1:28:05/8:01 average pace

This would be like my best training run ever. The only time I've ever run faster for this distance is my Half Marathon PR back in Feb. 2006, when I averaged 8:00 pace for the 13.1 mile distance.

I was dreading this run all day, which taught me a lesson in just getting it done in the morning. Thinking about it and planning it and generally NOT looking forward to it was exhausting. Especially since it was a Tempo run, so I knew it was going to be hard. An easy run I wouldn't have stressed as much, but this one was really hanging over my head. In summary, morning running is much better all around.

However, it turned out to be the best freaking run ever! The schedule called for 11 miles with 6 miles at Tempo pace (7:45 ish), the rest at an easy/general aerobic pace. Well I started off pretty strong... faster than "easy" but slower than "tempo." Whatever, I figured, I'll go with it. Maybe it'll turn into a long Pace run or something. But I just kept speeding up and continued to feel great. Zach came out on his bike and met me with 2.5 miles to go so I cranked it up even more. Here's my splits:


Sweet. What a confidence booster! I hope I can be recovered enough to duplicate this effort in the Half Marathon Sunday. I don't have any hard goals for that- I'd love a PR (current pr: 1:44;54) but I need to remember this isn't a big goal race, and I have a training schedule to resume next week. So I will put a good effort in, but I won't kill myself out there. And I'm willing to make it a Goal Pace run if I don't have the speed in me. Nice little pre-excuse. :) But after yesterday's run I think I can PR with relative ease. We'll see!!

Friday 4.0 miles/36:36/9:09 average pace

It was pouring this morning so I went to the gym and ran on the treadmill. Pretty boring. I was really looking forward to sitting in the hot tub but I didn't have time. Bummer. I am seriously a hot-tub addict, I wish I had one of my own. Some day I will! And I will soak my life away. Run, soak, repeat.

Have a great weekend everyone! I'll report back on the Half asap. :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Catch-up post

Monday 5.2 miles/47:54/9:13 average pace

Last run in Montana with my dad. We just ran around our side of town and I soaked in the sights one last time. Then I took one last dip in my parent's hot tub... man I miss that thing already. I had a really wonderful trip and it was great to see everyone, but really hard to leave.

Tuesday 12.5 miles/1:49:08/8:44 average pace

Back home on the usual trail. I ran a loop which I know to be 12 miles exactly, but I had to divert for a water fountain because I was SO thirsty! The run felt great and I ran the last 5.5 miles about a 8:15-8:20 ish pace. I was ignoring my watch so that was a pleasant surprise after finishing the run feeling good.

I followed Emily and Ryan online during the Chicago marathon, what a couple of tough runners. I didn't know how bad it was going to get with the heat and the humidity but after I heard I was so proud of those guys, and all the others, for braving those conditions and running a marathon. Emily, you didn't get a very fair start to your marathon career, but you sure showed everyone what you are made of. I'm so proud and impressed with your finish. :) I hope you'll give the marathon another chance to show you how fun it can be, and give the world a chance to see how freaking fast you can be. Great job out there, you are one bad ass chica. And Ryan ran an incredible 3:25, an amazing feat in those conditions. You guys are both freaking awesome. Can't wait to hear the full stories...

Congrats also to Miranda who also faced abnormally hot and humid conditions in the Twin Cities, but ran a great race and finished shockingly strong. WOW!

Pfitz Week 5 schedule

Monday: 5 miles easy

Tuesday: 12 miles Medium Long

Wednesday: rest

Thursday: 11 miles (6 miles at LT pace)

Friday: 5 miles easy

Saturday: rest

Sunday: 13.1 miles Goal Marathon Pace World Wide Half Marathon / Primo's Run for Education

TOTAL miles scheduled: 46.1

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Long Run Week 4: Big Sky Country

Saturday 17.0 miles/2:36:45/9:13 average pace

I'll let the pictures do the talking for this run. In summary, I felt really good and strong the whole time, especially toward the end. I had so much fun with my dad running all over Helena. It was really chilly - upper 30's at the start and maybe 45 by the end- and a little windy, but luckily no rain or snow. What a beautiful city.

TOTAL miles for the week: 43

I'm online this morning tracking Emily and Ryan at Chicago- it's really warm there so they have adjusted their plans a little like smart runners, but so far both are running really strong. Great job guys! :)

Friday, October 05, 2007

Montana - So Far, So Cold!!

Thursday 11.0 miles/1:45:00/9:33 average pace

I arrived in Billings early in the day and spent a few hours driving around for work surveying the area, then headed out for my 11 mile run. I decided to run along the Rimrocks that tower over town. I was hoping the trail would be real long, at least a few miles, but the area wasn't that big. It was, however, very cool! It was all dirt trails so I ended up doing the longest trail run of my life. It was pretty tough - it wasn't too hilly really, just kinda rolling and a little technical in parts. In fact, I had to scramble up a little cliff at one point. :) My GPS lost a signal at mile 9 so I just estimated my final time.

Friday 5.0 miles/41:59/8:24 average pace

Next stop, Bozeman. I headed out of Billings late morning and was in Bozeman by about noon. It was raining and cold, but I figured I could tough out 5 little miles. I parked at the Montana State University campus and ran down College Street, then picked up this pretty little trail that lead out to the Museum of the Rockies and the big Bobcats stadium. Nice little tour of town.

I made it to Helena late this afternoon and immediately hit up my parent's hot tub. Aaaahhhh. We just finished some delicious dinner from the Chinese Kitchen, which I swear makes better chinese than most places in California. Tomorrow my dad will join me on his bike for a 17 miler around town and we're expecting pretty cold temps and hopefully not too much rain/snow. Should be an adventure. Here's a shot of the snow on Mt. Helena from my Mom and Dad's backyard.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Mission Bay Tri pics

(pics removed)

There were a bunch more of me making some pretty funny faces, apparantly I only saw a couple of the several cameras! Hey, I was working hard. They actually took that one of me all open-mouthed while I was climbing UP that bridge. That's not nice!

Tempo Tuesday

Tuesday 10.0 miles/1:22:47/8:17 average pace

Felt really good after the weekend "off" (well except for that little triathlon thing, haha) and my legs were fresh for yesterday's run.

First mile warm up was 8:47, but then I launched right into the Tempo portion of the run. I had a fast-paced playlist from PodRunner lined up and off I went! Goal pace is around 7:40-7:50 or so, depending on how I feel.

mile 1: 7:38 (a little fast, not bad though)
mile 2: 7:26 (too fast, but feeling ok)

(stopped for a quick drink at a water fountain, thought I would "reset" and start again at a slower pace. I didn't look at my watch for the next two miles hoping I would slow down)

mile 3: 7:29 (nope!)
mile 4: 7:24 (whatever)

(got a bad side stitch, which I tried to run through, but I finally had to walk it out)

mile 5: 7:34

Average pace for the tempo run was 7:30. A little fast but I felt good. I didn't have to stop and walk except those couple times, but I'm ok with that. I pushed really hard and was proud of my effort.

As I'm feeling all proud and accomplished I realized I was still 4 miles from my car! ha ha. So off I went, trudging along with heavy legs and a hungry stomach. I switched from high-energy PodRunner to chill Phedippidations and made my way back. Last 4 miles: 9:15, 9:16, 8:57, 8:47.

I'm off to Montana tomorrow morning so hopefully will get to log my runs, but the picture showcase will have to wait till next week.

I'll take my chance here to wish big giant GOOD LUCK to the following super awesome runners:

Emily is running her first marathon this weekend in Chicago. Girl's got natural speed and talent to spare, so I know she's going to have a great race.

Ryan is also running Chicago and he is going for his first ever sub 3:00 marathon. He's raised over $1,600 for the American Cancer Society during his training. He spent a good deal of time overseas during his training- including trips to London and China. He's an international speedster. You can do it Ryan!

Miranda is running Twin Cities and has a great race ahead of her, I'm sure. Good luck and have fun Miranda!!

Steven the Ironman is doing his 11th marathon this weekend in Portland, OR. The coolest thing is that he's doing this race with his daughter. Have fun you guys!

Pfitz Week 4

Monday: post-tri rest day

Tuesday: swim am, 10 miles (5 at LT pace)

Wednesday: rest

Thursday: 11 miles Medium Long

Friday: 5 miles Easy

Saturday: 17 miles Long

Sunday: rest

Total Miles scheduled: 43

I will be heading up to my beautiful home state of Montana on Thursday for a work study in Billings and to visit my family in Helena. I am so excited to see everyone and get several runs in there. I'll do my 17 mile long run around Helena (like literally covering every street, haha) which will be awesome.

Virginia City, MT 2002

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Mission Bay Tri addendum

For another take on the race, please pay a visit to Zach's new blog.


He's had it up for a while to log his workouts but now he's ready to share with the world.

Zach has been super supportive of me since I started running and is becoming a great cyclist and triathlete. It's going to be cool to follow his training log. Thanks! :)

Monday, October 01, 2007

Mission Bay Tri race report


We packed everything up for our weekend trip down to San Diego and got to bed early Friday night. We'd set the alarms for about 4:45 Saturday morning and were up and loaded and on the road by 5:45. First stop: starbucks!

We had a nice drive down, saw the sun come up over the central valley and only had minor traffic in LA (minor by LA standards, I guess). The whole trip took us about 7.5 hours.

We drove right to the Expo at Paradowski's Swim and Sport to pick up our numbers, timing chips, swim caps, etc. and listened to the pre-race info session.

After leaving the expo, we headed over the race site in Mission Bay. They had early bike check Saturday afternoon which paid off big time. Check out my end spot:

My mother in law met us at the race site, and gave us a quick course preview since she has competed in this race every year for about 8 years. This would be her first time sitting it out due to injuries, which sucks. She was so helpful though and it was great having a support crew for our first real tri. Here's a preview of the swim course- this shot shows the orange buoys that parallel the beach:

The next thing we did was go for a quick dip in the bay with our wetsuits. That went well- we noticed we are extra floaty in the salt water! Had one last practice of getting the wetsuits off and we felt prepared as we were going to get.

Zach's parents and their friends, several of whom were racing, put on a great pot-luck dinner Saturday night, so we ate (did I mention Zach's dad and his friend are chefs? mmmmm), drank (very little!) and visited for a couple of hours, then crashed pretty early.

Race Day

Another super early wake-up call (4:45 again) which I'm getting used to (sick!) and we were out the door about 5:15. It was already getting busy at the race site, but we found a parking spot and got our stuff over to the transition area and got body marked. We walked back to the car, donned our wetsuits, and headed over to the swim start area. I would be starting in Wave 3, with a cute pink swim cap, and Zach would be 5 minutes behind me in Wave 4 wearing a yellow cap.

The Swim

I love this shot of my wave before the start. However, if you could find me in there you would see I'm dealing with a sudden big problem. My nose clip wouldn't stay on. :( I don't know why I've stuck with the stupid silicone nose clip that tends to slip off, or why I don't at least practice swimming without a clip, but here I was, minutes before the gun and my nose clip was NOT staying on my greasy little nose. I'm one of very few that wear one of those geeky things, but I depend on it like people depend on their goggles. I was stressing. (great shot though!)

I would say I f-ed with my nose clip for the first 1/4 of the swim. I had to STOP twice to put it back on, and once I even tried swimming without it, but I got nose-fulls of sea water and was getting kinda freaked. Finally it stayed on, but the damage was done and I was completely thrown off. I think I did ok for the rest of the swim, but I was distracted and disappointed and stressed. I felt like I could have done really well on the swim since I've been working a lot on it, plus with my wetsuit I thought I'd go pretty fast. Oh well though, I kept my head and got through it.

(unofficial swim split 500 m: 10:20)

I ran a few yards then stopped on the grass and peeled off my wetsuit. No problems there. I ran over to my transition area and put on my socks and shoes and my helmet, took a swig of water, and ran my bike out of the transition area. (transition 1 split: 3:03, yikes)

The Bike

My hands were very wet, and my handlebars were wet from sitting out overnight, so I was a little worried about that at first. I guess I settled into a groove but I felt like I was going so slow since I was being passed so often. I was in an early wave and all the fast people from later waves were flying by me. I was working hard but seemed like I was in slow motion. The highlight was when Zach passed me and we exchanged "great job!"s and that gave me a boost. There were lots of turns on the bike course, which slowed me down even further. Ugh. By most measurements the bike course was approximately 10.5 miles long, which is more than a mile over the advertised distance. Finally I was nearing the finish area and I was definitely ready to be done with the bike. (unofficial bike split 10.5 miles- 39:30- 16 MPH)

No problems in T2, just racked my bike, swapped my helmet for my visor, and took off. (transition 2 split: 20 seconds)

The Run

I started the run off real strong and felt great. There wasn't anyone around me right away, so I just got in a good rhythm and was cruising along. Finally came upon some people and started passing. I passed lots of girls in my age group (I love that the ages are written on everyone's calf!) and a few young guys (mens 20-24 was the wave ahead of me). I went through mile 1 in 7:30 or so. The second and third miles had more turns and a bit of loose dirt in one portion, in addition to a bridge crossing (that sucker was steep, especially the second time around!), so they were slower for me, about 8:00 for mile 2 and maybe 8:30 for the last 1.1 miles. I felt great though, working hard but not hurting. I thought about taking a drink at the aid station but just ran past it. Zach was a few minutes ahead of me- here's a shot of him finishing strong:

And here I come, just passed the girl on the left:

(unofficial run split 3.1 miles: 24:05- 7:46 average pace)

Unofficial finish time: 1:17:11

What a fun race. :) I'm proud of myself for overcoming the nose clip issue and pushing on the bike, however slowly. I felt good on the run and had a great time overall. I am absolutely hooked and can't wait to do it again and do better. Specifically, the nose clip thing (get a better one, practice swimming without it) because I know I could do so good on the swim. Get a fast bike and build my strength and skills. And continue to run like the wind! hehe.

After the finish we walked around, listened to the band and watched people finishing. I saw a stand with 9-time Ironman finisher and super hottie Lokelani McMichaels so I got to meet her and get her autograph. What a nice girl!

Next stop: BEER GARDEN! I was hoping to run into Paul who I knew was racing and probably beer-gardening, and sure enough there he was with the San Diego Tri Club. He had an awesome race, placing 1st in his AG and 5th overall. WOW! He and his tri club friends were super nice and welcoming. I love the tri community!

We finally picked up our bikes and stuff and headed over to another post-race party with Zach's parents and their friends. We had a good time there, eating and drinking and hearing about everyone's race. Several of the people there are nurses and doctors and race with the Sharp Triathlon Club. I can't wait to go back and see all these people again. They were all so nice and made us feel like part of a community. :)

Last shot: Salty!

We had a relaxing afternoon and got all of our things packed up for yet another early start Monday morning. The return trip took us about 8 hours and it was good to get home. Back to reality now and back to marathon training... 10 miles this afternoon.

I'll post as soon as official results are up- I was hitting my watch somewhat randomly so there will be a difference in the splits, but not in overall time. Thanks for reading! :)


total time 1:17:12

738/approx. 1500 Overall 45/119 in the 25-29 Age Group

Swim split: 11:11 (768 swim rank)

Bike split (includes transitions): 42:01 (968 bike rank)

Run split: 24:00 (410 run rank)