Friday, July 30, 2010

One more thing I 'Get' now.

I now finally understand how my parents could be so proud of me for finishing a marathon, even when I am so disappointed that I want to scream. I used to think they were just trying to sugar-coat the experience, and focus only on the positives. (which is a wonderful trait that my mother has).

I remember cringing when we were at dinner after the NYC marathon: my 4:02 finish in my mind a disaster b/c my goal was a BQ of 3:50, and I was in severe ITBand pain for the last 16 miles. They were proudly telling folks at nearby tables (other diners wearing finisher medals and their friends/families) how I had run the marathon, and we had all traveled from Pittsburgh. At that time I just wanted to crawl under the table as I mumbled 4:02 time and time again.

What was to me a failure was to them something to celebrate.

Fast forward almost 4 years. When T and D finished their Kiddie Triathlon races I could not have been more proud of them if they had won an Ironman. To me it really did NOT matter where they finished in their age groups (near the bottom), but that they went out there and competed and finished. I want them to know that I am proud of them for trying and their success is in the completion.

They wanted to look their times and AG placement up online (wonder where the competitive nature comes from- ahem) and I had to watch as their faces both fell when they saw where they had finished, and recognized names of classmates and teammates above theirs. The fact that D finished after his 3 falls off the bike and T did the longer distances in his first time out is something I hope they can be truly proud of themselves for doing.

And, the great thing about timed races... THERE IS ALWAYS NEXT YEAR!


PS-- I ALWAYS appreciated the support from my parents; THANKS for being there!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Boys' Triathlon

Today the boys participated in the South Park kid's triathlon. We 'trained' a bit at the trail, which consisted mostly of helping Danny get acclimated to his 2-wheel bike, and Tommy working on the run portion. I left the swimming training up to the swim team coaches. I was really happy they both wanted to do it; Tommy b/c the distances were double what Danny would have to do (100yd. swim, 2M bike and 1M run) and Danny b/c he really just got started on getting off/on his bike this week. He had some issues turning, which would come into play today.

We got them there, and they found their transition areas, and got their timing chip around their ankles and got their body marking done. Danny was in the 4th heat, and he had a 50 yd. swim. All went well:

He made it to the transition area and on the bike. Now, remember Danny had been having some trouble turning. Well Bad Mom over here didn't take them up to see the bike course, so we didn't know how many turns he would have to make. Poor Dude ended up falling off 3 times, once was an over-the-handlebars type move. He got back on each time, and came in off the bike course a bit battered:

Got off the bike, and finished his run with a big smile on his face:

We got him attended to right after the race, but here are some pics:

Note the road burn on the chest- OUCH!

We both told him how proud we were of him for finishing with those injuries, and he said "why wouldn't I finish?" Great attitude!

Tommy was in heat #12, so here he is during the 100 yd. swim:
Love the position of the elbow. The race was in a pool that was 50 yds. long, so they had to do two laps.

Here he is waving to Danny and I after the swim:

And on the bike:

The one-mile run the 10-12 yr. old kids have to do was half-mile down and a half-mile up a hill. I was really proud of Tommy for running all the way up the hill- he did great:

(note how Tommy has his shirt on- he saw what happened to Danny after his bike fall)

Each athlete received a nice medal for finishing:

When asked if they wanted to do the Triathlon again next year the answer was 'YES'.
Great way to start the weekend for all of us!

Oh, and me: ran 25M on 4 runs this week with a LR of 10M @ 9:08 pace. Hope to get out tomorrow for 3-4 more. Finally feel like I am truly running again. Also, biked 21M, and swam 1000 yds.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Firecracker 5k

Quick stats: 22:44 (watch time) 22:49 clock time
7:20 pace
2nd in Age Group out of 36

Today I ran the Firecracker 5k that I have run probably 9 times in the past 14 years. It is a hilly out and back course that I enjoy because it is a relatively big race (1400 people this year) and there are LOTS of fast runners. Many of the area college and high school XC teams run this race.

My course PR is 22:06 and I was targeting 23:00 with a pixie-dust goal of 22:30. Most importantly, I wanted to race well and not get injured (which happened the last two times I ran 5ks- last year and after this race 2 years ago.

The weather has been glorious for western PA this whole week- cool in the morning and getting nice and warm during the day. Today is going to be in the high 80s, but it was cool in the morning. Nice day for a race.

I got up, had my usual bagel w/PB and headed over to the race. Parking was easy, and I got a mile warm-up in before realizing it had gotten very hot since I had arrived. (race time temp. was low 70s). I made a last-minute dash back to my car, changed into a tank top, and headed to the start.

This is a chip-timed race, but only has 1 mat. I lined up 10 or so rows back, and knew my watch time would be a bit off of clock time. I was trying not to go out too fast, but once again, did just that.

First mile is rolling hills, and the 1 mile marker is just past a church. 1st mile was 7:02-oops!
The second mile includes the turn-around point, which is my favorite mile because you get to see all the fast runners (winner was 15:38, 20 runners below 17 minutes). Great inspiration. The turn-around went fine. (I fell here a few years ago)
The third mile was very weak-- mentally and physically. I sort of zoned out for awhile, and a few women passed me. I just didn't have my mental game today. The last hill by the church seemed bigger than in past years, but since I know the course so well, I knew it was the last hill, and that the end of the race was sort of a small incline.

I did put on a bit of speed at the end, but was content with my 22:41. Not the fastest on this course, but not the slowest in the past 5 years either. I ran 3 more miles to warm down, very easy. I wanted to make sure to get everything loosened up, so as to avoid injury this year.

I was happy to get 2nd in my AG. The 45-49 age group winner ran a 19:57, and 2nd place 20:15. yikes! And I thought moving up to 45 AG would HELP me next year :)

All in all, I am very happy to be healthy again with the running, and feel as though my fall half marathon training and goals might be accomplished.