Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Hotter N Hell 100 2008

I was going to wait until I got my pictures to post a race report but since I had to use a camera with actual film then it may be awhile before I get it done so I should write this now before I forget all of the details.

We left out of Lubbock on Friday afternoon after I spent all morning cleaning and organizing to make sure I had everything I needed for the whole weekend. I also ended up getting new tires on Thursday because I got a hole in one of mine. I did have time to ride a little bit on Thursday night just to make sure everything was working right and that I liked the new tires. The trip down was fairly uneventful except for the frustration of not having my cell phone work for two hours which was probably good so I would stop texting my boyfriend who was following me in his car. Setting up our tent and hitting registration all went very smoothly and I felt really great until after dinner and had a horrible case of stomach cramps. Luckily, I was well stocked with medication and nipped that right in the bud.

Even though we were sleeping in a hot tent, I slept like a rock until 5am when I got up and started getting ready. I hit the restroom and saw way too many beer bellied, shirtless men just going outside their tents to pee. And to change. Ugh. When I got to the restroom, I smiled at the long line waiting to go into the men’s restroom as I sailed into the women’s with no wait. This soon changed because at my next bathroom trip an hour later, I found the men had taken over our restroom too. So unfair! The first time we don’t have to wait and the stinkin’ men take it over.

By the time I got dressed and ate, it was time to go line up. When lining up to start with 12,000 other riders, this can be a challenge, but this year it was fairly uneventful. I got settled in and talking some with the people around me. The guys next to me were newbies so I got to tell them some of the things they had to look forward to which got me all excited and ready to be out there. But first, they played the Nation Anthem which always chokes me up. Every single time. Then three fighter jets flew overhead (I am hoping I got a picture of this. One of my favorite things about this ride!), the cannon boomed the start and then…..we stood there. For almost 20 minutes. It was all very anti-climactic, but it is really hard to get that many cyclists started safely. The good news is that no one fell on me and I was able to pick my way through the crowd pretty easily. The most important thing about this race is being very cautious for the first ten miles. After that, it is pretty clear, but when all of the routes are together, you never know what can happen.

I saw the first big wreck about 4 miles in. All I could see is a woman laying on the ground moaning with EMT’s surrounding her asking questions. And blood. I quickly looked away, but apparently the lady next to me not only had laser vision but also was psychic as she started shrieking to her friends that she (the lady whimpering on the ground) did not have her helmet on correctly. This irritated me for so many reasons, the least of which being that how on earth could you know that when the injured party has probably already had the EMT’s and who knows who else messing with her trying to help. Second, even if you were able to tell that she did have her helmet on incorrectly, why rub salt in the wound by announcing to the whole world that she screwed up?? And not once, but yelling it multiple times? Ugh, I was happy to pass her.

The amazing thing about this race is that I was really passing people. A lot of them. For a good portion of the ride. It was an incredible feeling…mostly because it was not one I had often. Of course, my computer was not working so I had no idea how fast I was going but by the number of rest stops I was passing, I knew I was going to finish in a timely manner. Which was a darn good thing since I had to be finished by 11am in order to load up and drive to my parents house to make it to a dinner in another city at 6pm that night. Nothing like your mother threatening you to make sure that you will be on time!

The rest of the ride went by quickly and uneventfully and before I knew it, I was at the end. Not only just at the end, but I finished at 10:55am, 5 minutes before my deadline. I was excited, I was thrilled, I was joyful……and I was not really sure I could swing my leg off of the bike. I spent the last 5 minutes I had left standing over my bike using the premise that I was texting people and that is why I was not getting off of my bike. When my boyfriend was there to hold it and me, I swung my leg off and wobbled off.

I had finished my 100K in 3 hours and 35 minutes which was almost an hour faster than last year. I do have to say, I usually stop at more rest stops and linger for awhile and chat some, but this year I had a deadline and I met it! I guess it really can all be in your mind! Now that I know I can pull off speeds higher than 14 mph, I am totally ready for my next ride!

Luckily, because I am dating a total sweetheart, he had already loaded up the tent and so all I had to do was load my bike and we were off to find food. Which at that moment was more important than anything else. Apparently, it was more important than taking my seat bag off of the trunk before I drove off. Oops. I did spot it and my brakes kept it from sliding off onto the highway before I could stop and retrieve it.

I quickly stuffed my face and then started my second race of the day…driving 3 ½ hours to my parents hometown so I could then get in the car with them and drive another hour and half to San Angelo, Texas. By the time I got to the house, I had half an hour to get showered and changed and get in the car. I fully planned on passing out as soon as I got in the car (with someone else driving now) but as it turned out, I was too wired. And stayed wired all through the dinner and show we attended. Which was totally worth racing across Texas to see!

Pictures will follow soon!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

3 Days and Counting

My mind is constantly spinning as I am trying to get completely and totally organized to go to the Hotter N Hell 100 this weekend. This is the one event I make sure I do every year although earlier this week I was certain I was going to back out. Now, midweek, I am starting to get excited and nervous and just flat out ready to be there.

I remember doing this race when I was probably 7 or 8 with my parents and one of my brothers. My dad and brother were doing one of the longer distances and mom and I did a shorter one. Most of the event from when I was a child is very fuzzy, but it is something as an adult I have loved going to.

This will be my fourth year and each year I have drug another poor unsuspecting person along with. The first two years, I got a brother to go with me but those two seemed to have warned off of the others (Four brothers total. I know, it is rediculous) because systems of communications always seem to come to a halt whenever I start talking aboutit. Last year, a friend went with me for moral support and this year my boyfriend gets the honor. I love taking new people just because it is kind of awe inspiring to see how many people come out for the event, all of the vendors, and just all of the crazy bike people in one location.

Did I mention I don't get a hotel room because A)they require a two night stay and B) they are all totally booked by January and C) I am cheap. So we are camping. :) Luckily they do let us camp anywhere we can find space and there is not a problem finding a good spot. They also have plenty of showers and restrooms so it is really not a bad deal. I like to think it adds to the whole flavor of the event. You know, that flavor of sleeping on the ground all night and then getting up and biking 100K. Why do people not think this is fun??

Thank you to everyone for the pedal/shoe advice! I have decided not to do anything until after this race and then I am going to start a dedicated search to find my perfect combination so that way I have plenty of time to get used to whatever I choose. Unless I see something at the consumer show that I fall in love with, and then all bets are off.

Look for more frantic posts as the event gets closer! It is amazing how much stuff it takes to get me to one little bike ride!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Why Didn't Anyone Tell Me?

So I was reading on MSNBC this morning and saw this article:

Poor Jennifer Lopez. The new mom is training for a triathlon, but everyone is too busy watching the Olympics to notice.

Lopez, who appeared on "Good Morning America" Aug. 18 to discuss her preparations for the Malibu Triathlon, was overheard saying after the segment that she “couldn’t understand why everyone is talking about that swimmer,” according to a GMA source. “She couldn’t come up with (eight-time gold-medal winner Michael) Phelps’ name, and then she yammered on about how she was the one training for a triathlon just six months after giving birth, and how that was the big story right now, not ‘the swimmer.’ ”

Lopez is planning on donating money raised for her race to the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. To help drum up attention, she started a blog to share tips on training. “Touch up makeup prior to your run” hasn’t made its way into any posts, despite Lopez being spotted arriving in Central Park with her makeup artist later in the day.

Apparently, Jenny from the Block requires a lot of powder,” says the source.

So, this is on the gossip page so who knows about its validity.....but why didn't you guys tell me I had to have my own personal makeup artist to compete?? Egads, this is going to throw a whole wrench in the training plans if I have to get my makeup done during transitions.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Don't you hate it when you are outdated and have no clue? I have pedal/shoe issues. My bike and shoes were hand me downs from my brother. I love my bike, but the shoes are not exactly...feminine. So I have been on a shoe hunt for awhile. I impulsively bought a pair of Carnac shoes off of ebay that I love and they fit perfectly....except they are old ones that require adapter plates which I finally hunted down and ordered. I got the ones for SPD's, but when I got them...they did not look quite right. Apparently I have an old type of two screw SPD's?

Please forgive my ignorance here....I know nothing about pedals or cleats. I thought all SPD's were the same but after a google hunt I realize I was wrong. So, so wrong. So basically I am going to need new shoes, cleats, and pedals? I have no clue what kind of pedals to get. Shoes should be simple and I have had my eye on a pair at the bike store....but the pedals are making me stop and think. Suggestions? What do you guys ride in?

I will be doing some looking at the bike stores, but I need a place to start. Not to mention the fact last time I went to one of the bike stores to look at shoes, the guy looked me up and down and then asked if I need shoes for spin class. I probably should not have taken offence to this but I kind of did. I informed him that they were for my road bike and he looked visibly startled. Seriously, I realize I am not thin and lithe like most cyclists, but that is really not a good reaction for a store clerk to ever have. Ever. I have not been back to that store since. Luckily, there are several others and when I go looking time, I want to know exactly what to say and what to ask for so even though I may not look like a typical cyclist, I can at least sound like a knowledgeable one! The Hotter N Hell 100 also has a huge consumer show so I am thinking that I could always pick up stuff there as a reward for finishing the race!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Hot Dam 2008

Well I did survive the run. It was not pretty and and it was not overly enjoyable, but I did finish. Dead last. That was a huge blow to my ego, but in a way it does make me want to work at it more.
To start from the beginning, I knew I was in trouble from the start. Actually from before the start as I was watching everyone line up. I was surrounded by real runners. You know the types. The kind of people that were obviously jackrabbits in another life. I did manage to get in with a group of similarly shaped people only to find out that they were just doing the 2 mile run. I was very tempted at the one mile turn around to just do the two mile, but I knew I would be disappointed in myself if I did that so I plodded on. The course had more hills than I expected but it was a pretty run around a small lake. A lake that I contemplated swimming across after the 2.5 mile turn around thinking it would be fast to swim across than continue running. I figured it would be frowned upon by the officials and that I really had no idea what kind of muck was in there.
I kept the person ahead of me in sight but barely. I tried desperately to keep up, but the second half was a lot of walking and I just had no more go. What was really bad was when one of race officials came driving up behind me and asked if I needed help. Mortified, I told him that I planned on continuing on my own steam even if it was very slow steam. None the less, a car followed me the rest of the way in which I suppose is the usual protocol, but still frustrating to me.
I averaged 12 minutes a mile which is pretty darn slow and I am embarrassed to type it, but I am doing it anyways because everything from here is going to be faster. MUCH faster. And really, I am semi relieved it was that fast considering the amount of walking I did.

After the race was over, I escaped pretty quickly and stopped and got a drink and two bags of ice. Climbing out of the car after sitting for awhile was pretty painful and I was glad I got the ice. I went to make an ice bath but apparently I was a little more brain dead than I though because when I turned the water on, I turned it all the way to hot instead of cold. I did realize the error pretty quickly but the bath ended up not quite as cold as it should have been. I think it still helped a lot though because I am not nearly as sore as I thought I would be today.

I still don't think this was fun at all, but it was very educational. Mostly because it did enlighten me to that fact I am going to have to really get it in gear and start working on speed work. But, I did finish and that is what matters. And now, I know that if I can do a 5 mile, I can do a 10k. Which is my next goal...and hopefully do it a little faster!! Thanks for all of your support and great suggestions! I appreciate all of you!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

What a Whiner

I used to think that my pain threshold was pretty high but I have decided now that I am just a big baby. Running on Tuesday, I got a leg cramp and got frustrated. I could not understand why I could not just run and be happy, but several things dawned on me.

1) I am not used to pain. I am used to exhaustion after long bike rides, but I seldom ever hurt. Even swimming does not really hurt me at this point; it just makes me worn out.

2) I don't push myself to that pain threshold. I carefully side-step it and really avoid putting in that extra mile if I know it is going to be painful.

3) Running is going to hurt. It is a very physical, sometimes jarring exercise. It will hurt sometimes and it is going to be hard. Tough. Get over it. Stop being a wimp.

Trijones posted something about Ironman Cozumel the other day and I thought to myself that it would be a really great goal, but at this rate, an Ironman is several years in the future if at all. If I am really going to do this, I am going to have to get serious, quit whining and put my big girl panties on. Am I going to be someone who does one sprint Tri and then quits because I have done one and that is enough? Or am I going to actually push it, do my sprint this year, half iron next, and then possibly.....? Only time will really tell, but first I am going to have to make some decisions on if I want to be tough enough. You gotta want it and not just talk about wanting it.

Leah, thanks for the advice on the ice and ibuprofen. It helped a lot and once I stopped hurting, it is amazing how my attitude changed! I also went and got the books you recommended and just reading them gets me motivated and excited! Thanks for all of your great advice and help!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Positive thinking down the tubes

You know how I wrote all of those positive things yesterday about running? I would like to send myself a message from reality.


I have a feeling Saturday is going to be a nice 5 mile stroll. Possibly with a pimp cane if my stupid calf does not settle down. Booty.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Read the Fine Print

So I went running yesterday in preparation for a 5K I signed up to do this weekend. I ran about 2 1/2 miles and was thinking to myself that I was going to get through this run so much easier than my last one that I did not train for at all.

Then I actually read the entry form.

And realized it was a 5 mile run, not a 5K.

For most of you, this would not be a big deal. But for me, every single yard is difficult. Adding 1.9 miles to the plan is devastating in my mind. I briefly considered dropping down to the 2 mile run, but that would not be a challenge. I am going to do the 5 miles and recognize that while it is going to be painful and I am not really prepared for it, it is going to put me a lot closer to that 10K goal I have. Which then in turn will get me closer to that half marathon. Even though my mind is screaming at me that I can't do this, I know in my heart that I am tough and can get through this although it may be slower than I wanted. So, instead of approaching this with dread, I am going to be excited because this will be the furthest I have ever run!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Stupid Goggles

Ok I swam. It was not bad, but I remembered now the irritation I used to have Scuba diving when your dive mask would fog up. When diving masks fog up or get water in them, you can easily clear them. Not so with swimming goggles. So, I tried spit. No go. (I have crummy anti-fogging spit) I made my whole family spit in my goggles. Nothing. I tried toothpaste. Nope. Any other suggestions? I know they have anti fog spray, but I have not really looked for it yet.

As far as the actual swimming goes.....I need a coach. Seriously. I have been trying to get a picture in my head of how I look, but it is all bad. (imagine throwing a cat into the pool and watching it try to get out. That is me) I know I can get through the 500 M I need for the race just fine, but anything more than that and I am going to need considerable help with form. I have a feeling I am just wasting a lot more energy than I need to be.

Panic has now set in since my first triathlon is in less than 50 days. I had to take down my counter because it was giving me mini panic attacks. I know it will not be a big deal, but I just want to get through this one so I can go on to bigger and better! I have started looking for clothes to wear. I keep learning towards purchasing the one piece tri suits because they look so easy, but advice on this would be welcome! Suggestions? For this first triathlon, it is in reverse order with a pool swim last so at least I don't have to worry about a wetsuit!

In other news, HI TRIJONES!!!! I love your blog too!! Although some days, I might say some ugly things about you in my head because you are one of the ones that got this stupid triathlon idea in my head. Yes, you. Stop looking around at the other bloggers. Yes, there are some others to blame, but I would say you are in the top 3. So nice to hear from you!