Monday, May 25, 2009

Fox Trot 5K

I did the Fox Trot 5K today in Elgin. I wasn't planning on racing it, just running it, but of course I went a little faster then my training pace. I ran 6:42's and finished in 20:57 and first in my age group. I was 42nd overall and top 10 female! This was fun because I didn't even race I just ran at a little faster than training pace and felt great! I'm so happy my leg seems to be doing just fine! It was also my parents first race... they did the 2 mile walk... so that was really fun! Almost every single girl that beat me was under 15 years old. It was a big high school race, so there were a lot of families there and people celebrating Memorial Day. I saw my physical therapist Lindsay there who also ran the 5K, and Elizabeth's coach Jen, who ran the 10 mile race. (Of course we all know I wish I did the 10 mile race but I'm still playing it safe! I'm up to 8 miles running so all in time my friends!)

Happy Running!



Sunday, May 24, 2009

Mind over matter

So I lost my iPod somewhere in AZ. It's not in any of my bags, stuffed in any of my shoes or left at Lifetime Fitness (yes I had them check!). In addition to that sad, sad story, my old computer (aka. the tank) recently froze and is no longer functioning. This is bad because my iTunes is on that computer and hasn't been transfered to my new computer yet. So basically, the point of this little story is that I have been training sans iPod (or any music at all) for the past week. I forgot what it's like to hear the birds chirping and cars wooshing by and the nice, ever so kind honks of car horns while riding and running. But really this is probably a good thing because I feel really good that I have been able to push myself through 4 hour rides and lots of runs without music! The only time I've suffered was today. I felt really sleepy when I started my run this morning, and it took me about 30 minutes to really wake up. It was strange, I felt like I could fall asleep while running, and if I had my tunes I would have cranked up some Metallica and woken myself up... but no, no this was not the case today as I had no source of music. After a half hour though I felt great and got excited for breaking an hour of running for the first time since this injury started... and I did it! I ran for 1 hour and 5 minutes and danced my way back to my car because I was so freakin happy! Mind over matter people, mind over matter! I don't NEED music, I just want it :)

But don't go thinking I'm a music-free trainer now... because I want nothing more than that dang iPod back!!!!!!

One thing good: My weekend training went great! Long steady 4 hour ride yesterday followed by a 30 minute run. My first brick of the year because of my injury and I felt awesome! Today was my hour and 5 minute "long run" and I also felt pretty good! I did my strength exercises afterwards and stretched nicely as well! Tomorrow I'm doing the Fox Trot 5K in Elgin and then biking to the gym and swimming.

The weather in Chicago this weekend has been tempting to say the least. It is perfect temperatures for training, but very windy. I do have to say though that nothing, let me repeat that, NOTHING will ever make me forget those days of -20 degrees (NEGATIVE TWENTY) over the winter, breaking out in hives, putting on layers and layers of clothes, biking indoors ONLY for seven months, and not wanting to put even one finger in the pool because all I wanted was to be warm!!! I'm moving back to Arizona in 8 days and couldn't be more thrilled. It is my home, that is one thing I have figured out about myself, and although I learned that the hard way I am glad to know where I belong!

Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone! I know I'm happy because I can train again! YAY!!!


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Good Day!

Today I got my race kit and welcome box from Erin Baker's! It's awesome! It's a beautiful day in Chicago, windy but warm. I ran for 55 minutes this morning (YES!) and then biked 20 miles on the new bike! Gonna ease into it so I get used to the new positioning, but it is F-A-S-T!!!!

It's been a great morning so far... ready to swim tonight and start packing!


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Trial Race

Last Thursday I flew to Phoenix so I could participate in the Tempe International Triathlon, which is also the club championship race. I'd been planning on doing this race even before my injury so I already had the plane ticket. Whether my knee would let me race or not... I was going to Phoenix. Luckily my running has been improving little by little each week so I signed up for the sprint tri - a 400 meter swim, 12 mile bike and 3.1 mile run. Of course everyone knows I would have rather done the Olympic distance race even with 105+ temps, but I was playing it safe doing the sprint. I mean I didn't even know if I'd be able to finish the sprint without having to walk from the pain, but in the back of my mind I was wishing I could do the Olympic. So here it goes with the race report:

Race morning I got up at 4 a.m. ish and ate one of my Trader Joe's muffins (come on it's a sprint... breakfast isn't as important as a longer race right.. lol). Brian and I took the red van to the race and on the way I already had to go to the bathroom. The first gas station we stoppd at didn't have a bathroom and I felt sick driving to the second one. Even though this is gross to write, I was happy I had to go so early before the race to avoid potty lines. So when I got to the race I got transition all set up... man it was so crammed!!! I hardly had enough space for my bike shoes and run shoes next to my bike. I put everything else in my helmet on top of the aero bars. Speaking of the aero bars, I raced on one of Brian's old bikes that I used to ride around a year ago. Its heaver and clunkier then my wonderful Felt and new Kestrel, so I was very nervous for the bike part of the race. Especially since I hadn't ridden that bike in a year!!! I decided winging it on a random bike was better then spending money to get one of my bikes here for a sprint tri. Anyways.... I saw so many of my old friends before the race and it was awesome catching up with everyone I havent seen since Ironman in November or even before that! I was in heaven being the social butterfly in transition.

When it was time to head over to the swim start I started getting a little nervous because the swim was not wetsuit legal. It was my first open water swim without a wetsuit and in my head I was picturing myself drowning in tempe town toilet water as soon as I jumped in. So of course when I first jumped in I panicked a little, that is until I figured out that, yes, I can still tread water without a wetsuit. It felt so strange being in the water and doing a tri again because I've been injured for so long. I started in the front but very close to a lot of other girls... bad bad bad idea!!! The 400 meter swim was worse than the Ironman swim! I was trampled and stuck between people the entire time. It sucked!!!! I got kicked and smacked and who knows what else.. I was just glad to be alive when I got out of there!

I ran to tranisiton and felt pretty good. I haven't done a tranisition in a while and OF COURSE I didn't take any time to practice or anything (that would be too smart of me) but I think I did pretty good considering all that. When I finally took my bike out I was still so nervous that I couldnt get my foot clipped into the bike to take off and people started getting pissed off behind me that I wasn't moving already. Finally I got clipped in and off I went. I decided I was going to just hang out on the bike so that I would be able to run after without knee pain, but that bike is so hard to move!!! I felt like I was driving a semi truck compared to my nice little race cars (sitting nicely in my garage in Illinois BY THE WAY!!) and it was difficult for me to get into a groove. The bike felt short, and I was glad for that!!!

Coming into T2 I couldn't get my bike to stay on the rack so eventually I just left it hanging by one brake lever (I know I hate people who do that, so sorry everyone around me!!) I slipped on my heavy ass Brooks trainers which I used because I was scared to run in anything else with less support, and ran off with my hat and race belt in my hand. I put the hat on and clipped the belt while I was running. The run was hot and I definitely felt the extra pounds I put on from not being able to run. THAT SUCKED let me tell you... yep, that sucked. Anyway, I was hot as hell but just ran a normal pace and prayed to make it through. There were a lot of aid stations, but each time I passed one all I wanted to do was get to another one within one minute. I crossed the finishline happy and without pain in 1 hour and 11 minutes. Thank the lord in heaven!!! I walked straight to the massage table and got in line for a post race massage, where she could definitely feel my tight glute muscles and where my problem spots were. I couldn't shut up about how happy I was that I finished the race and ran the entire run without pain. Honestly... I hadn't ever done a brick before this race because I was too scared it would trigger my knee pain, so I really had absolutely no idea if I would even finish this race... but I did! I had a great (slow) time but am just on cloud 9 that I actually did it without pain and I can't wait to start picking up the training and doing more races... and actually racing them and not just doing them as a joke!

My trip to AZ cannot be described in words but what I can say is that it was one of the most amazing, exciting and emotional weekends of my life. I started planning my move back and hopefully will be back the first week of June. Some of the details are too personal to mention yet on this blog to the public, but in time I'm sure they will all come out :)

I'm at the airport now waiting to board my plane back to Chicago. After I returned my rental car I had tears in my eyes because I didn't want to leave (even though I know I'm coming back very soon). I know this is my home and finally feel like my life is coming back together!

By the way I ran 51 minutes yesterday and am feeling great. When I break the one hour mark I will probably cry like a baby... just like I did when I broke the 30 minute mark. I will just say that my love of running has not and never will die, even if I can only run for 1 minute evey day for the rest of my life I will love that one minute more than anything in the world!


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Running Strong!

I had to write a short post to say I am FINALLY starting to feel good running again! Yesterday I ran 40 minutes pain free! AND it was wonderful! Today I ran a quick 20 minutes before my deep tissue massage and also felt fabulous! Tomorrow morning I'm attempting another 40 minutes. It's amazing because after biking 100 miles total over the weekend I would have figured I'd feel terrible this week... but I feel absolutely fabulous and have no complaints! Big thanks to Lindsay, my physical therapist, and August, my massage therapist, for tweaking my body back to where it's supposed to be and also putting up with me and all my ups and downs, smiles and tears.


Sunday, May 3, 2009

little by little

What's up everyone? The semester is coming to a close now and all my big projects and papers are due... hence the reason I have not spent any time "blogging." But I figured I should take the time tonight to give a little update on my crazy life.

I raced a 5K two weeks ago with my one of my best friends from high school, Danielle. It was her first race ever so I figured I should do it with her! I was up to running 29 minutes so I thought... no problem. Well, of course it was a problem... for a couple reasons. One: It was rainy and cold and just yucky that morning. Not the best weather to run it when you have an injury. Hello stiffness! Two: Not very many people showed up because of the weather, therefore when the race started I found myself in second place! Now, what do you think went through my head? Of course nothing that should have... like, "hold an easy pace, you dont want to get hurt" oh no, it was more like, "hell yeah I can win this thing!" haha, so of course what did I do... I picked up the pace and passed the girl in first and won the damn thing! Well, it probably wasn't the smartest idea, because after that my leg started hurting again... wtf! Stupid, stupid stupid! So right now I'm stuck around 30 minutes of running until the pain comes back. BUT... it is continuing to improve little by little.

Three weeks ago I started biking outside again on the weekends!!!! Oh the joy of biking outside! I missed it so! First I rode about 50 miles out to Sycamore and back on the farm roads by myself. I wanted to make sure I still had some skill on the bike before I joined a group ride... and I wanted to make sure my injury didn't hurt. Well, it did a little but not too bad. The next weekend I went with a group out in Crystal Lake, we rode about 60 miles to the Wisconsin boarder and back. It was a little cold and windy as heck! And today I rode with them again about 80 miles to Lake Geneva and back! I'm a little rusty out there, as would be expected for not biking outdoors for 6 months! But today my leg felt fine and the weather was beautiful. I will attempt another 30 or more - minute run tomorrow morning before physical therapy. Fingers crossed!

Speaking of therapy... physical theapy is going well. Apparently my leg is just all kinds of messed up! My IT band seems to be loosened up again, which is great, but my hamstring and muscle attachments by the glute and hamstring and in the knee are another story. I'm stretching like crazy, foam rolling, doing my exercises, icing, doing electrical stimulation and even started seeing a massage therapist at Lifetime who is AMAZING!!! That has helped tremendously, and I am feeling a lot better since that stupid 5K I decided to win... what the heck!!!!!

In a week and a half I leave for Arizona for Tempe International Triathlon. I'll be there May 14-19 and have two job interviews that I am super excited for. I can't wait actually! I'm praying everything goes well and I can plan to move sometime in early June. More details on this as it comes closer, but for now I am just trying to keep my mentality and attitude positive and stay happy. My new bike arrived last week and I will be fitted for it on Tuesday... so that is another awesome thing to be excited about! I'll post a picture of me with the bike as soon as I get it... it's a Kestrel Airfoil Pro, and looks pretty awesome... in the box! Here's a generic photo of it!

Time for more homework... I can't wait for this week and a half to fly by so I can be DONE with school and train, train, train!