My Adjusted Scale for Boston Qualifying

I'm not a "fast" runner when it comes to long distances.  Over the last year, I've actually gotten faster and I directly attribute it to the cross-training of triathlons.  I used to be a consistent 10:00/mile runner.  I've dropped that now to about a 9:03/mile average. 

Still not stellar, but I shocked myself with a 7:33/mile at a sprint tri this year, so there's hope that there's a faster runner in there, somewhere...

So, this gets me to my point. I was thinking that it would be nice if there was an adjustable scale for Boston Qualifying.  They adjust for gender... they adjust for age... why not other factors?

My age jumps up next year to the 3hrs 45min qualifying category, so that's a start.

How about...

Kids?   +10 min/ each
Child not potty trained?  +10 min/each
Handle the majority of the grocery shopping, pay bills, cleaning,  etc.?  +5 min
Work full-time?  +10 min
Commute time in excess of 30 minutes?  +5 min
Triathlete?  (Have to split time between sports)  +5 min

That would get me to a 4hr 30min qualifying time, which I think is definitely doable.  Sigh.  :)

Or, I'm just going to have to break down and buy myself some "En Fuega's" like Jason's!

It's So Fluffy!

Ok, I absolutely adore this movie.  It has nothing to do with triathlons, kind of like my entire holiday.  Ha!

Big fat zero's on the training schedule for 5 days straight.  The majority of that issue was a bad case of the stomach flu that made its way around the entire family.  Almost thought we were going to have to cancel Christmas! Oh well. Hopefully I'm getting all my sickness done and out of the way and I'm off to a fresh start.  Made it to the pool at lunch today and am hoping to get a trainer ride in this evening.

Hope everyone had a fantastic holiday!

Dream On

I think if there is any saying that sums up my goals/ achievements over the last few years, it would be "Dream On.

It is the first song on my running playlist on my iPhone and starts out every run, I do.  (I <3 Aerosmith.)  It has always been one of those "Pump me Up".. Rocky-esqe type songs that inspire me to push myself in my workouts and continue to tackle goals.

One of my co-workers told me that she saw this sweatshirt at a local Aeropostale and wanted to buy it for me, but they only had super large sizes.  I was so excited about it, I went online immediately and guess what... it was on sale for $20, down from $49.50.  And, I love that the letters are green!  A sign?  I say, yes.

So, today, I'm officially adopting "Dream On" as the Iron Texas Mommy mantra. Look for the new sidebar graphic, coming soon!  What's yours?

(And, I apologize for deleting my "Putting the Oh! in OMG" post.  I decided at 3am, because the nature of the post was bothersome and possibly offensive - as funny as it may have been, that I would take it down. I didn't need that one to be THE post that went viral.)

Iron Christmas Virtual 70.3 Race

I love the idea of virtual races, I'm just bad about submitting my results.  But, for me it's about the motivation to get the mileage in, so I'm in for  The Iron Christmas Virtual 70.3 Race.

The race is being hosted by Luke from The Super Fatlete and it was my favorite So. Cal Multi-Sport racer, Patrick that gave me the heads up.

Between Monday, Dec. 20 and Friday, Dec. 24, each entrant must swim 1.2 miles, bike 56 miles and run 13.1 miles. 

I've already got this in the bag.  ;)

I got the swim in on Monday (and I didn't even know about the race).  Have  a 6.2 mile run planned for lunch today.  Bike trainer tonight.  And, we're only on Tuesday, folks!

A Glorified Fanny Pack

Ok, I'll admit it.  I'm going to race with a fanny pack.  Technically, it's called  a SPI Belt, which stands for a "Small Personal Item Belt," but when push comes to shove.. it's a fanny pack.  But, just like the closet Snuggy wearers out there, I kind of like it. 

It's small and works just like a race belt, and has these wrap around pull cords/ toggles that actually hold your race number (sold separately) and the model I purchased has six individual elastic sections to hold gels.  Then on top of that you have the zippered section to hold whatever your heart desires.  (Although the pouch looks tiny, it can actually fit quite a bit.)

I purchased one of these at the Dallas White Rock Marathon expo.  The particular sales lady that I had was umm.. how do I say this nicely... not in a good mood?  I was very close to walking away, but I could see the benefits in having one of these puppies for IMTX.  Since the course is a three-loop course, I think I'll just be carrying my hand held water bottle as normal instead of having some monstrous Fuel Belt attached to me.  I figured I'll have my gum stash, a couple "keep me motivated snacks" and whatever else I deem necessary at that point. 

Plus, they make my abs look good.  See photo.  Alright, I'm lying. Not my abs, yet.

I tried it out at the DWRM and it bounced a little, but I was able to tighten it up and barely noticed it. Overall, pretty happy with the little bugger.  Even if it is a fanny pack.

All-Women Bike Tours... Pretty Cool!

Ladies... Want to bike across the United States?  Tour the East or West Coast? Circle the big island of Hawaii? Ride  Alaska? This company offers so many different options, it's incredible.  

How awesome would it be to tour the coast of Italy?  Throw some cheese and crackers in the Bento Box and fill my aero bottle with Chardonnay.  Ciao baby!  (Hmm.. possibly a new racing strategy for the 70.3??)

Here's the link to the WomanTours website

They have a blog, too.   And, I noticed they're giving away some free subscriptions to Adventure Cyclist Magazine.  So, if you're interested, check it out. 

What does the trip price include? All lodging, most meals, van support, supportive leaders, maps, gratuities for restaurants. Not included are alcoholic beverages, personal expenses, cost of van shuttles to and from trip starting points, and airline tickets.

 It ALMOST makes me want to bike more.  Yeah, yeah... who are we kidding?   :)   

(And no, I am not affiliated or they did not contact me in any way shape or form to promote them.)

I'm an Organ Donor... Are You?

Awesome Story! There's also a link on the right side of my blog for the organization, "Triathlons for Transplants."  Check it out!

Dallas Organ Recipient Finishes Ironman Triathlon


David Landsberg, a Health Unit Coordinator at Parkland Hospital lives life with a mission -- to raise awareness about organ donation. Landsberg has been on the other side of the profession, he was born with polycystic kidney disease and waited two years for a kidney transplant.

"I was blessed it was only two years," Landsberg said. "The only thing I know about the donor is he was 6 year old boy (who) died in a car accident."

87,000 Americans are waiting for a kidney. 4,000 will die within the year, according the the American Transplant Association.

"For a horrible thing like that to happen to somebody and for them to have enough love and giving to want to do something to make that tragedy wonderful, like donate the organs," Landsberg said.
Landsberg emerged from transplant surgery healthy and determined. He started running, swimming and biking. In the process, David decided to train for the grueling Ironman triathalon. In November, David competed.

"I don't really know who it was but during the event where there were moments where you wanted to give up and you need a reason to keep going, I was like, 'somebody died and I'm alive for it. I'm going to do everything I can to make this happen and spread the word that organ donors save lives,'" Landsberg said.

David founded The Society for Organ Donor Awareness, or SODA, hoping to get the word out about organ donation. People who work with David at Parkland sing his praises. "It takes an iron man to achieve what he has in his life and he's an inspiration," said Michelle Howard, a Health Unit Coordinator.
David says he is grateful for each day and the little boy who in death, saved his life. "All I can say is thank you from the bottom of my heart. there really aren't words to express gratitude on that level," Landsberg said.

Well, there goes my Ironman Training Plan :P

Sorry, dude.  You're DQ'd!
The new USAT newsletter had a link to their "updated" rules - with the new instruction as to wetsuits, etc.  So, as I'm perusing them, I noticed on the run portion that they specifically state:

6.1 Permitted Conduct. A participant must run or walk the entire portion of the run course. Except for reasons of safety and when no advantage is gained, all runners shall follow and remain within the prescribed course. A participant who gains forward progress by crawling or otherwise violates this Section shall be disqualified.

So, that got me thinking whether or not the same rule applies to the ITU.  Sure enough.  As plain as day, they say:

The competitor: 

1) May run or walk
2) May not crawl

They also go on to say that you can not run with a bare torso  (seriously, these people have no sense of fun at all.)

But, here's my point.  Arguably the most infamous Ironman finish was in 1997 where Sian Welch and Wendy Ingraham do everything in their power to finish and duke it out by crawling to the finish line.  According to today's rules, they would have been disqualified.  As far as safety goes, I understand wanting everyone to be trained to a point where they don't have to crawl, but if you pull a hamstring with 300 meters to go - you can't gut it out and crawl yourself to finish?

Sigh.  I'm joking about my training plan.  But some of the best stories in sports are those that defy the odds and push themselves to achieve when everyone else would have quit.  I'm not a proponent of crawling, I just think that as long as you're making forward progress without assistance, I don't care if you're doing the worm to get there.   Thoughts?

Santa Baby? Saucony Kinvaras, please!

Too cute!!
I've never run in Saucony's, so please someone let me know what you think.  However, I saw a girl wearing these at the White Rock marathon and I had to tell her I thought they were the cutest running shoes I've ever seen!

It's about time we give up the plain ol' white shoes and let our overworked feet have some sassy fun.

2010 Race Year in Review - Lessons Learned

2010 Race Medals
So, I don't have any more races scheduled for the year, so I figured I'd review 2010.   What a year! 2009 was my first in triathlon and this year was one of some awesome accomplishments and one where I made a lot of mistakes and learned a lot about racing.

This year I competed in:
  - 3 Sprint-distance Triathlons
  - 3 Olympic-distance Triathlons
  - 3 Half Marathons
  - 2 Bicycle Rally's
  - 1 Adventure Race
  - 1 Half Ironman

1.  Supporting first -time races is good for the community and for our sport.

2.  Adventure racing is a heck of a lot of fun.

3.  If you want to race fast, you have to race smart. (And that means slowing down for sharp left turns)

4.  After finishing my first 70.3, I realized that I had the drive, the will  and the sincere desire to tackle a full Ironman.

5. Bike rally's are not to be feared. Personally, I felt they would be filled with a bunch of peloton-riding hard core cyclists.  But, everyone is so friendly and they didn't even laugh at my aero bars (at least not in front of me) And, rest stops every 10 miles... with cookies??  Seriously?  Made me question being a triathlete.

6. If the race you're going to ride / run in has hills... it's best to train on hills.  Trust me on this.

7.  No matter how far you are out of your league you feel in any race, you still belong there.  There is room for the person who finished first, just as much as there is for the person who finished last.  Don't let anyone tell or make you feel otherwise.  No one can take the experience away from you.

8.  Always double check the race signs.

9.  Bloggers are a great source of inspiration, motivation and experience!

10.  I can't wait for the 2011 season!!

NBC Ironman 2010 Coverage -December 18

Set your DVR's, my friends.  

Not Taking it for Granted

So, I've been down the last few days about my taking the wrong course at the White Rock Marathon.  I had trained for and was mentally prepared to go 26.2 and  with one simple mis-read of a sign, I was robbed of a marathon finish.  I felt that I wasted valuable training time, I didn't complete what I set out to achieve and well, just wanted to go back in time and fix it.

As most of you fellow triathletes know, we can easily obsess on just about everything race-related.  How to drop seconds off our transition times ... Will that aero helmet really improve my bike time? ...  How can I improve my nutrition plan? We want to be the best that we can be at a sport that seems to give back to us as much as we put into it.

But, seriously.  What do I have to complain about?  I realize that I should be so thankful for my health and that I was able to complete a half without any problems or injuries.   I will go on to run more marathons, triathlons and the like.  I should be thankful and not dwell on the mistake.  In the scheme of things, it's just not that big of a deal. 

I came across this movie trailer for a movie called "ATHLETE" - a documentary that profiles four individuals - a cancer survivor, a blind senior citizens and two twin sisters who compete in marathons and triathlons.  I haven't seen the movie, but the trailer already has me inspired. Enough of my pity party.

EPIC FAIL - Dallas White Rock Marathon 2010

Or, shall I say 1/2 marathon?  Yep, that's right.  Somehow I screwed up the turn off for the marathon and ended up taking the half marathon course.  And, I had NO IDEA until about mile 12.  There was no differentiation in the course signs and unless you were passing people and then doing a 180 to look at their bibs, you just figured you were going along the course as normal.  At about mile 12, spectators started saying "You're almost there." and I started thinking, "Where the heck is the lake?"

Freezing, but ready to start.
When the horrific realization of what had happened set in, I started bawling. I was having an amazing run. I felt great.  My legs felt fresh, nutrition was good and I had to stop.  The turn off was at about mile 8 or so, so there was no way to backtrack.  I was devastated. 

My results aren't posted anywhere, so I guess I was DQ'd for not running the correct race.  I needed this race more mentally than physically to prepare for IMTX.  

I keep re-playing the scenario of the run split in my head and I can't for the life of me figure out how I got it wrong.  The sign that I saw was moving (wind or someone holding it.. I don't know) and there were just so many people.  It was also at a point where there was a band and a lot of spectators. I don't know.  I clearly remember looking at the sign.  Guess it's time for Lasik. 

So, I'm just dealing with serious disappointment.  10 years of running and I've never had anything like this happen.   My old coach from TNT, shared with me a story about a Kenyan runner in the Indy Marathon a few years back that was supposed to run the 1/2 and missed the turn, so he ran the full and won it- but it didn't count because he wasn't registered for the full.  So, I guess that sucks even worse.  

No more excuses for IM training now.  Time to break out the trainer. 

Off to Run with 20,000 other Crazies! :)

I will NOT be running with these guys.
Well, it's finally here.  Missing two integral weeks of training while being sick didn't help, but I did get in one 20-mile run and several other 16+ milers.  I'm definitely not feeling so hot in the confidence department, but I will endure. 

For the first 20 miles, I enjoy the scenery, the people watching, the atmosphere... then I'm sure I'll dive into the "Seriously, why am I doing this?" mode.  Then I'll finish. I'll hurt. I'll hate the idea of running.

Then, within about a 24 hour period of time, I'll be thinking about my next run. It's a sadistic cycle and it's why I'm on Marathon #6.  "Marathons... I can't quit you."   (That's an obscure movie reference that makes most Texas guys a little nervous.)

So, enough about me....  I'm excited that I have friends running marathons & half marathons in three different states all on the same day!! 

Good luck to: 

Craig - Looking to BQ at the California International Marathon

Mike & Katrina - Running at the Rock N' Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon

Jason & Karen-  Running the Dallas White Rock Marathon -- Karen's first!!

Marcy-  Running the Dallas White Rock Half Marathon

And a special good luck to my co-workers and friends that will be participating in the relay at the White Rock Marathon and pushing Jackie Murphee in her modified jogging buggy.  Two years ago, 23-year-old Jackie Murphree was in a car accident caused by a drunk driver. Murphree was left paralyzed and with brain damage. Murphree can no longer talk, walk or feed herself as a result of the accident.  She receives physical therapy at the hospital that I work at and this is the second year they have participated in the race.  

So, if you see a group of 2-3 people pushing a beautiful young lady in a jogging stroller/ buggy, please yell out your words of encouragement to them!!  Go Jackie and Team Fit-N-Wise!! 

A hilarious part of the DWRM this year:  

"Call Your Lifeline! – New to the MetroPCS DWRM this year: make a call to a loved one while you’re running! A MetroPCS volunteer will run alongside you as you call so you never have to stop. Look for MetroPCS calling stations along the course (one on half course, one on the full). Calls limited to 30 seconds. May call any number in the continental USA."

Seriously, folks.  I couldn't make this up!!   I'd like to see one of those "volunteers" keep up with the Kenyans!!  Ha!!

And, if you're shooting for a specific time, don't forget to download one or two (if you want a back up plan) of the free pace bands from Clif Bar!  I love 'em.  No math required!  Woo hoo!

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