Sunday, August 15, 2010

Twelve Weeks Out--Ironman Meltdown

I am not entirely sure WHAT happened this week. Granted, it was a tough week. Second week of minimal childcare and trying to get one of our spay/neuter clinics together for a week from today. Sporty Spice went to Science Camp in the mornings and I scrambled to try to get the training done during that window. Then he and I were home most afternoons with me trying to work, feeling bad because I couldn't concentrate on the clinic and bad that I couldn't concentrate on my kid. By Thursday I was starting to disintegrate. By Saturday I had burst out in some sort of stress RASH (oh, it's lovely) all over. I had tried to re-group today, to no avail. I've got twelve, count em TWELVE weeks to pull this Ironman together. I feel so angry with myself and struggling to regroup. One more week until Sporty Starts kindergarten and I have lots to do in that area this week. I'm going to carry on with the plan, meaning this week is a Rest/Test week. I'm frustrated and worried. And itchy.

As a consolation, I did get done a few projects I had half-finished, which was nice. The roll of Cath Kidston wallpaper goes on. I finished this (somewhat large) serving tray I made from an old picture frame I painted white and added little feet to. I also added wallpaper to shabby up this little green table I bought at a yard sale years ago. And these little rocks....they are "memory rocks" I've been meaning to finish...with the names of all our precious foster bunnies we've had and have passed over the "rainbow bridge" in the past few years. The passing of our sweet Norton a couple of weeks ago finally got me going to make finally finish these.

The top photo is of some very cool little push pins I made to put on my new bulliten boards. A bag of craft buttons from Michael's, some thumb tacks and a glue gun. Presto.

My little training hiatus has also allowed me to finally get started on the 27 (yes 27) little alphabet pages I need to make by September 10th for the fun (but right now bitty bit stressful) abc swap I'm participating in. More on that later, I'm sure. I'm letter E, and was very relieved to see some emails this weekend from other participants, that they were not all that far along either.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Welcome to August--Month from Hell

We've known it was coming for awihle....and it is here. 21 days of somewhat unpredictable childcare, upping the training hours for Ironman Florida, and a clinic on the 22nd,for which we don't yet have a full team of vets...It's kind of like our own Tour De France--without the caravan.

If there is a daycamp happening, you can bet Sporty Spice is in it. And my bike and I are just about living in the car, and jumping out for a ride between shuttling him up and down the Tri-Valley area for the different camps. He may get some sort of frequent flier award at the gym childcare.

This weekend has consisted of training and getting ahead of the "animal-curve", cleaning, grooming, vaccinating, nail trimming, flea treating, and resolving the "great duck war of 2010". I was, however, rewarded, with my first chicken egg!

The last week of July Sporty Spice and I did 3 days of "Camp Mommy", which was very fun. No childcare, but tapering for Barb's Race meant we could do some fieldtrips and have some fun. We went to the dollar showing of "Hotel for Dogs" and it was surprisingly good! The portrayal of Animal Control was frighteningly spot-on, and had this mommy laughing out loud at all the inappropriate spots, where the kids were all afraid. We also went to the water park at the pool where I swim and S.S. finally got up the courage to go down the water slide.
The second day we went up to Tilden Park in the Berkeley Hills and rode the steam trains. Then we went to the Lawrence Hall of Science, a wonderful place I hadn't been to in years. They had a great exhibit on roller coasters and Sporty got to make a boat and float it down their water features outside.
The last day we went to Lindsay Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek. We used to live near a similar nature center and went there a lot. Lindsay is amazing and we got to see the most incredible presentation with a bald eagle.
We had such a fun time and I must say, I am really liking the 5 year old phase. It suits me much better than the infant/toddler thing and having only one kid, we really have fun together.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Quilting Report

Rare is the week when I can balance triathlon and crafting! I'm so excited that I finally finished my Yo Yo Sisterhood table runner! I started the applique part over a year ago when I was a shut-in with my broken leg, but couldn't get around well enough to use a sewing machine. And this was a perfect project to FINALLY try my sewing machine out for it's quilting capacity. Very fun! And it came out pretty well.

And from the garden...I've been collecting old plates from thrift shops and yard sales for about a year and finally started my "plate border" around the chicken and duck house to make a border garden around it. It's really really cute. Now I just need more plates.

Race Report: Barb's Race 1/2 Ironman

Race Report
Barb’s Race Half Ironman: 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Santa Rosa, CA

Well, I’m thrilled to say that I don’t think there is a single part of my body that does not hurt thismorning. My goals were simple. Goals One and Two for any race are always the same, no matter the race. ONE: Finish. TWO: Finish without pooping on myself. Simple. Goal three for me Saturday was to end this race with nothing left besides the energy and mental capacity to get myself home. (The only error in this plan, as my family was to witness, was that I didn’t really work in the animal chores into that equation and they darn near put me into a coma when I got home.) I didn’t want to leave this race wondering if I could have gone harder and survived. My ultimate goal, as has been the case every year I’ve done Barb’s or Vineman, is to beat my elusive PR—5 hours and 58 minutes at Vineman about 10 years ago (I clearly remember urinating on myself to accomplish this); I’ve been trying to go under six hours ever since to no avail. The closest I came was 2 years ago when I flatted, and not counting the time to repair it, my unofficial time was 6.12. My method was simple. To take every second as it’s own entity, bringing myself and my focus back, time and again, and asking what I could be doing better: can I turn my arms over any faster during this swim? Can I keep my elbows up? Can I up my cadence, can I push a bigger gear? Can I run more relaxed? Can I push my run a little tiny bit harder? Breaking it up into these itty bitty moments to keep my focus.
Barb’s Race is great for the whole all-girl thing and the camaraderie; the competitive element is not nearly as palpable and sometimes this distracts me. It is an interesting day as there are people (male and female) competing in the Aquabike swim/bike race as well as the full Vineman (you couldn’t pay me…). The hardest part of this race is so often the hot weather. This year was by far the coolest I’ve ever seen this course. The swim was foggy, not clearing until partway through the bike, and the run, I’m guessing, was about 80-85 degrees at the end, far cry from the 110 degree year. The scencery is always so amazing.
I do like that swim, so different from the usual lake or ocean swims, up and back in the Russian River out of Geurneville. I love the cozy feeling of being surrounded by the tree-lined shores, and the current on the way back is my new best friend. I love the warm water as well as the fact you can often see the bottom! The official results aren’t up yet, but my watch said somewhere around 45 minutes. You can almost set your watch by my swim, sadly, despite any amount of swim training I do.
Onto the bike! After the initially alarming mental question of “why does this seem so HARD??”, I quickly assessed that I was unable to get out of my big ring and began a short session of rolling-problem-solving, not wanting to dismount to fix the problem until I was pretty sure what it was. Hmmmm….something in the routing….pulled over, jumped off, sure enough, the housing had come out of the braze on getting the bike in and out of the car…yanked it up, popped it on, got myself back on and safely back onto the road. Maybe cost me a minute and a half, tops, with another minute and a half to get my rolling rhythm back….bummer. But after that, no one passed me and got away with it! Hello! I’m BACK! Not even the Relay guy in the Stanford jersey that I played leapfrog with for miles. History. I pushed that bike ride from start to finish; I think the problem of so many people slowing down at the end of a bike leg isn’t always an endurance problem as much as a focus problem. So, my refocusing plan worked really really well. My accumulated stopwatch time off the bike was about 3 hours 50 minutes. I knew it was possible to hit the big goal, but it was going to be close. As much as I did not want to, I had to visit the porta potty (see goal two) which probably cost me a minute.
Out onto the run! And AGAIN, the curious phenomenon I experienced at Wildflower happened. I started running, and like I was possessed by the spirit of Forrest Gump, I just kept running! Where are these runs COMING from?!?!? Before I broke my leg, I never ran a whole run, even in shorter races. Now, I start running, and after the year of training to walk a marathon last year, my brain is completely turned off to the idea of EVER walking again, if I can run. Bizarre! I don’t even walk the aid stations. And the oddest part is that it is pretty soon into the run that I realize I just don’t envision walking at any point in this run. God, I hope this lasts.
So, I truly left it all out there yesterday. Unofficial time on my watch…Including mechanical and potty issues….6 hours 5 minutes. I WILL TAKE IT, thank you very much!! I really really needed a touchstone race to know where I was in terms of training for Florida. It’s all systems go starting tomorrow morning. Today I plan to do absolutely nothing I don’t want to do, to take a nap, and eat an entire watermelon by myself.

Race Report: Barb's Race 1/2 Ironman