My Number is Up!

Apparently this is a Texas State Highway shield
Kind of Cool to find this pic.
Wow... it's so low,  I'm practically racing with the elite group.

Ok, not so much!  But, wow!  This makes it real.

I'll leave an image of it up on the right hand side for easy reference as the day gets closer.  :)


I don't know this guy.  But, congratulations. And, hopefully in 23 days, I'll have my own video to post!   Rock on age-groupers! :)

Quote of the Day

"You have a choice. 

You can throw in the towel, 

or you can use it to wipe the sweat off of your face."

I did not sign up for THIS!!

I'm starting to hyperventilate about Ironman Texas. 

Not because of the training. 

Not because of the fact I'm going to be going powering my body through 140.6 miles in crazy Texas heat and humidity.

Because, reports are coming in that there are snakes, freaking everywhere.  I won't even post a picture of one, because I HATE them so much.  I don't even buy anything that has a snakeskin print on it.  If one shows up on TV, the channel is changed.

Here's a couple of quotes from the Beginner Triathlete thread: 

"I usually see dead snakes on the course, but yesterday I almost ran over 3 live ones.  Two just scared me, but the third scared the **** out of me and I almost broke my cleat trying to get my leg away from it.  It jumped back, but it was a coral snake and I know they have some serious venom. "

"I saw 3 snakes on my run today.  One was dead, one was alive and small, and the other was about a 2 foot long moccasin and I did not get close enough to see if it was alive. "

I'm hoping that the fact that I'm an average age grouper, that the pros and the fast people will have scared them all away.  I am now very happy that there are going to be a whole heck of a lot of people swimming in the lake with me. 

I will be situating myself in the middle and will take what beatings may come, because if I see a freaking snake in the water, I'm likely to lose it.

Need.. a... brown paper bag...NOW!

Happy Easter!

Hope everyone has a fabulous Easter!

If you can find one of these costumes and head out for a run, more power to you!

I'll be on a sugar high from having too many Peeps!

I'm a Centurion!

Roman Centurion
I'm not sure if that's the correct terminology, for one that has ridden 100 miles+ on the bike, but whatever it is,  I'm finally a proud member!

While many of my fellow IMTX'ers- in training have already surpassed this mark, I've taken a very conservative approach on the bike, since it is one that I don't have a whole lot of experience in.

In other words, I've trusted my training. I've gradually built my base and have added hill training to the mix for strength, even if it meant not exceeding the distance.

Dreary day for a ride

But, on Wednesday, I set my course for an epic 112-mile ride.

I was supposed to ride on Friday, but the weather forecast in D/FW showed thunderstorms in store from Thursday- Monday, so I switched my day for riding.  Unfortunately this meant I wasn't going to get to ride with my good friend, Marcy- who is also training for IMTX.

Check out the wind via the flag.
Since I was riding alone, I opted for the Texas Motor Speedway.  I ride there a lot. It's safe. The roads are good.

It's a 5-mile loop with no scenery that blasts you with insane wind regardless of which direction you're riding.  This day was no exception.  Except that it was drizzling and overcast when I started, too.  Forecast said 72.  It was more like 65. So dreary.

Bring it IMTX!
I don't think my speedometer showed over 17mph the entire time. I was constantly getting hammered. I decided at some point to stop worrying about the time, focus on the distance and just do what had to be done. That was absolutely the best state of mind I could be in.

I finished the 112.5 miles tired, but not exhausted. There was more in me, which is encouraging. 

Ironman Texas - I am coming for you!  29 days.

Ride for the Heroes Report and a Big Training Week

My weekend started early Saturday morning with an 82-mile bike ride in Aledo, Texas at the 9th Annual Ride for Heroes.  This race supports Fire, Police and EMS crews, so I was very happy to support it.

The Good: 
- Well organized
- Close parking
- Good cause
- Great aid stations with helpful and enthusiastic volunteers!  The Cow mascot from Chick Fil-A was even out there! 

The Bad: 
- 90% of the course was on the roughest,  chip seal/ patch job roads you could ever find.
- The hills kept coming and coming and coming.
5,600 feet of climbing - in Texas!! (Seriously?)
- 90% of the course was on the roughest,  chip seal/ patch job roads you could ever find.

It was the most beat-down, cry-inducing, cussing like a sailor ride I have ever done. Never again would be an understatement.  The roads were so jarring and unforgiving. Everything, I mean everything on my body hurt. 

I learned after the ride that it had just about as much climbing as Ironman Coer d'alene in less distance. Overall, though it made the IMTX course seem like a cupcake ride, so for that I am grateful.

On Sunday, I laid in bed contemplating my long run.  My mind ran through every excuse in the book after the ride the day before not to get up and go.  It took me almost an hour and a half, but then a comment my friend, Jason had told awhile ago ran through my head.

"Ironman waits for no one."

And with that, I got up and ran.  I ran for 16 miles and it was fantastic.  I didn't hurt, I felt strong and relaxed.  I am going to have to stop listening to my whiny mind more often.

Here's a picture from today of my friend, Michelle and me from our lunchtime run. 

It was 90 degrees out with 20mph winds.

Sweat fest!  Talk about acclimating by fire!

I'm taking tomorrow off of work to get a 115-mile ride in.   And, I'm doing it all at the Texas Motor Speedway.  23 mind-numbing loops on my own while constantly fighting with the wind and watching scenery that doesn't change.  Good times.

I was supposed to ride on Friday with my friend, Marcy out at the beautiful Trinity Trail in Fort Worth, but severe thunderstorms with possible tornadoes are heading our way, so I don't want to chance it.  Although a tornado might make for an awesome tailwind! ;)

Only one more week of build and then taper commences!  How is that even possible??  

Hope you have a fantastic training week!

Holy Toledo! Big Daddy Diesel & IronDiva - Run Your Buns!

Bet you didn't see this one's a Friday Shout Out!

Two of my favorite bloggers are running the Glass City Half Marathon this weekend in Toledo, Ohio.

The elusive Big Daddy Diesel is finally going to be outed from anonynimity in his FIRST Half Marathon!  So, excited for him!

And, Colleen at Iron Diva will be racing her first race of the season!  She's going to rock that course!

Sorry I can't be there physically to dazzle you with my leaping abilities, but please know that some weirdo in Texas is cheering you on! 

Normally these photos are taken outside, but holy moly, the winds are gusting upwards of 40mph today! One jump and I could end up in the next county.

Help choose my hat for IMTX!

I've decided that IMTX deserves a new running hat.  What do you think?

Hat #1

Hat #2

Hat #3  (Afterall, it is Ironman Texas, Ya'all!)

Go Allison! New Orleans 70.3!

Allison from Just Tri and Finish will be competing in her first Ironman 70.3 this weekend down in New Orleans!  

She is racer #947 and I will be officially stalking her when I return from my long bike on Saturday!  I have no doubt that she will rock this course.  I had the pleasure of meeting Allison back in January at the Bold in the Cold 15k in Grapevine Texas. 

Click here to see a cute picture of Allison, Jason and me- freezing our tails off! 

I stepped this one up a notch from my sign for Jason.  I'm even impressed at my leaping ability! Although after 10 years in gymnastics, you'd think my toes would have been pointed.  Anyway, sorry for the bare feet, but I decided it would be best to take off my heels to attempt this.

Thank you to my Web Manager, Blake, who graciously captured this on the first take! 

I Got Squirrel'd

So, I'm sure you've heard of being Chick'd on the race course, but the other day, I was Squirrel'd!  Say what?

Here's how it went down. 

I was minding my own business running my normal 6.2 mile course at lunch, when at about mile 3, a squirrel jumped out on the road ahead of me.  It's a country road, so I didn't think much of it. 

He continued running just ahead of me for a little while and I was thinking, "Awww.. how cute."

Then- with just about a couple hundred yards separating us, he stopped.  Turned around and stared me down.   His competition.  He taunted me like Usain Bolt in the Olympics. Then he about-faced 180 degrees and took off running like a shot, leaving me - his unworthy running companion in the dust. 

All I have to say is, "Fine.  You're faster than me on the run.  But, let's see how you do with the swim and the bike ahead of it, you fluffy little speedster."

Ironman Lonestar 70.3 Race Report

2011 Memorial Hermann Ironman Lonestar 70.3 - Galveston, TX

Pace the Race!

That was my mantra for this race. Race day marked exactly 40 days until Ironman Texas. The 70.3 was not my "A" race of the season,  so really racing this event was not an option for me. It was to be just a "long training day."

Checking in my bike- wristband checked

Overall, I did a decent job at sticking to my plans, but, it is hard- I mean really hard to do sometimes.   Despite what you will read in this race report, I am very happy with my finish time.  I finished almost an hour ... yes, you read that right -- an HOUR ahead of my time last year.

As, I told Jason at CookTrainEatRace, I apparently got my money out of the race last year- but I'm also telling you this, because crazy improvement is possible! Holy cow! An hour in a year- I would have fallen over laughing if you told me that was possible last year.  I was happy with my finish last year.  I finished! I had a smile on my face when I was done and then I decided to drink the Kool-Aid and go for an IM.  I went into this race with no expectations (ok, maybe some secret ones), but I had no idea that I was going to drop that much time off my race and not even "race" it!

The cute sign my mom made! :)

My mom was my support team for this race (and has been at almost every one of my marathons, tri's, etc) so  she was with me all morning, which is always great. She keeps me calm and we pretty much talk about everything, but triathlons!  I was also able to call and talk to my little girl and she wished me "Good luck running, mama"-  she's 2 1/2 and I was missing her like crazy, so I was so happy to talk to her!

Pre-race fueling was a little difficult.  My swim wave was second to last. We didn't leave the dock until 8:35am.  That's about an hour and a half later than when most races start, so I was getting hungry before I could even begin my normal pre-race feuling. I didn't want to start too early and then be starving during the swim or eat too much.  I stuck to my Oatmeal Raisin Clif Bar and a banana.

Distance - 1.2 mi (2112 Yds)
Time - 41:56
Pace - 2:12/100 Yds
My Grade - D-
Ok, sorry that this is posted sideways. but this will give you an idea of what happened with my swim. The Female 30-35 wave (last names L-Z) jumped into the water.... well, with the exception of the girl right in front of me.  The poor girl slipped and took a header right in.  I waited for her to surface and made sure that she was ok before I jumped in.  The water was a little chilly, but it felt good with the wetsuit on. 

The announcer mentioned it was one of the gal's birthday, so we sang her "Happy Birthday" and then the countdown 10-9-8-...  boom!  Off we go.  The friendliness of the girls quickly ended and it was feet and elbows all the way to the first turn buoy.  
I thought I turned. I saw the buoy. I spotted what I thought was a buoy. Perhaps it was a swim cap.  Well, I wasn't the only one. Several of us went off course.  Way, way, way the heck of course. 300 yards? At least?! See the modified "IronTexasMommy" course in red.  So, I apparently need to spot better- first open water swim of the season. Guess I was feeling a little over-confident. Flipped onto my back, cleared my goggles and then worked on my strategy to get back into the swim.  Decided that it wasn't a big deal- I was just adding some extra yards in for IM training.  I pushed hard and even caught up to swimmers in caps two waves ahead of me. But there were also a few caps from the wave behind me.  Rats!  

Jellyfish? Wetsuit burn? I don't know.
It freaking hurts!

As I made the last turn (and made sure I turned enough) I started to feel a sharp pain at the bottom of my neck, like someone was pulling the hair out of the back of my neck. At one point I swiped my hand over the back of my neck to see if it was the swim cap, but I couldn't figure it out. It was burning. It hurt. bad.  Finish... the... swim.  Got a solid elbow to the side of the head.  Seriously? Is this swim over yet?  Get out and head for the wetsuit strippers!  I love you girls! Thank you!  Grabbed my wetsuit and headed to the bike. 

T1: 3:22

As it was the first race of the season, I was being extra careful that I didn't forget anything.  Helmet on, glasses on, some extra chamois butter (always so lovely to have to shove your hand down your shorts in front of everyone... sorry spectators!)  Nutrition still there. Water bottles. Ok. I'm ready to go.  I let the sunscreen guys slather some on my shoulders, so I didn't pay for that mistake later. A couple extra seconds was worth it to me

Distance - 56 miles
Time - 3:06:40
Pace - 18mph/avg.
My Grade - B+
Transition madness!
Got out of transition and mounted my bike.  Didn't fall over.  Things are looking good. I'm all about small victories!  Pedal, pedal, pedal... my bike is NOT moving without serious effort.  What the heck?  Something is rubbing on the wheel.  Stop. Unclip.  Check both of the brakes. Nothing seems wrong, but I opened up my front brake, just in case.  Pedal, pedal... still not moving!  Stop. Unclip.   Opened the back brake.  
Ok, now I'm ready to go.  Not even a mile down and I've had to stop twice.  Super Fantastic!   Look up and here comes all the male pro's on their way back in from the bike.  Well, they started nearly 2 hours ahead of my wave, so bygones.  I was getting antsy to ride.  Made the turn on to Seawall Blvd. and hello headwind.  It's ok. I've made my peace with the wind. I call it my "personal air conditioning."  I had a tight grip on my aerobars and stayed down about 95% of the entire ride. A few of the crosswinds pushed me around the road, but I never felt out of control. 
I've mentioned before that I am really bad about eating while on the bike. I could almost hear my friends Marcy and Steve yelling at me .. "EAT!"  So, I did.  Plan was to start with 1/2 a package of Clif Shot blocks at Mile 10.  A Snickers Marathon bar (love, love, love these!) at mile 20,  another Marathon bar at mile 35 and the other 1/2 a package of Clif Shot blocks at mile 45.  I stuck with it and all was good.  
Drank mostly water and about 3/4 bottle of Gatorade.  Would have finished a full bottle, but I launched it.  And it hit my bike computer sensor.  Ka-klink, ka-klink, ka-kling.  Yay! Another stop. Unclip.  Fix the sensor.  Good times. 

There were a lot of people with flats and an ambulance went by at one point, so I focused on the positive and started focusing on the run.  I did pass my friend, Erin from at one point on the way back in- we have the same bike, so it was cool to see someone I knew on the course.  We said quick "hello's" and "good job's" but can't ride next to each other due to drafting rules. 

T2:  2:47

Again, I wanted to make sure I didn't forget anything. I looked down at my watch and saw that I could possibly break 6 hours.  Crap.  Stick to my plan? Push it? Moral dilemma. 

Distance - 13.1 miles
Time - 2:07:57
Pace - 9:46/mile
My Grade - B

My mom was like "Where's Waldo" - she kept popping up at all different parts of the run. It kept it fun! She is so darn cute and it was so awesome to see her!  My first lap averaged an 8:45/mile.  I wanted to finish under 6 hours.  It was hot and humid.  The cloud cover was great. I had my hand held water bottle with me and I dumped ice cold water over my head at every aid station. 

Finish Line Set-Up
Then the cloud cover disappeared and the sun came out.  Second lap averaged 10:14/mile.  Time to go back to the "Pace the Race" mentality.  My stomach started to feel a little wonky and I could feel some of the heat exhaustion effects-  I felt like I was fighting to keep my head straight and not start hallucinating.   I took a Hammer Gel at Mile 5.  Some more cold water and was feeling a little better. 

Going out on lap 3, the cloud cover came back and I felt much more in control of the run, but the people around me started not to look so good.  Lots of walkers.  Courtesy note 1: If you're running and decide to stop, please veer to the right and then start walking.  Runners who stop, become a brick wall to the runner behind them.  And we're stuck trying to figure out how to get around you when I can barely think to begin with.  Courtesy note 2:  If you're going to spit...  check to make sure there's no one around you.  Yes, that means you Mr.  All Black Spandex Unitard.  Thank you for leaving your loogie on my arm.  Thank you for apologizing, but that was only because I wasn't shy at letting you know what you just did.  Jackwagon.   I picked up my pace to a 9:58/mile this lap.  In the back of my head I was still trying to figure out if I could make it in under 6 hours.  Math genius, I am not.

Lap 4.  One more and done. My neck really started hurting from whatever burned/ stung it earlier.  I decided not to take my second Hammer Gel.  If I was going further yes, I would have started in on one, but I feeling as good as could be expected. So, yes, just one gel on the entire run. That's it. Nothing from the aid stations other than water. I dumped more ice water over my head, made sure to thank as many of the volunteers as I could- there were so many exceptional ones out there that were so motivating the entire time, I made sure to let them know how much I appreciated them and before I knew it I was at the finish line.  Paced a 10:05/mile this lap. My name was butchered.   Sharon?  Really?  Whatever.  I need to hand out a "hooked on phonics" cue card.  

Finish time:  6:02:42

So, what does that mean? It means three things: 

1) I kicked my own butt from last year's time of 6:53:39
2) I did a good job of getting my nutrition dialed in and pacing relatively conservatively
3) I really want to come back and race this race.  What's possible in another year? Drop another 30 minutes?  Hmmmm...

They were out of pizza with no plans of making more--- 'Sucks to be you' in the last waves of the race. Thanks Papa John's!  Bananas? No thank you. I want the bread/ carbs.  We went through the drive thru at  Whataburger and I ate like a Wildebeast.  Chicken sandwich, fries and a chocolate shake. It was so amazingly good.  Anything beyond cardboard probably would have tasted great.  Went back to the hotel, showered and then we were on our way back to D/FW.... with a stop at Buc-ees (of course!) for a sandwich for later before making it home.
I like this distance and I think in the end, this might be the distance I focus on to race in the future.

Congrats to fellow bloggers:
Jeff at Dangle the Carrot.  His very, very, very detailed race report is here.
Jon at SwimCycloRun.  Prelim Results here.
And to my Mentor, Mike who finished at an incredible time (and a personal PR) of 5:25:03!  Awesome! :)
Thank you to Jason, KC , Allison and Colleen for cyberstalking me on Ironman Live... I thought about you guys and tried not to leave you hanging too long waiting for the next time to pop up on the screen!

To all my friends on Facebook and my co-workers for the encouragement.  I really appreciate it!
Thank you to my family for supporting me and believing in me enough to let me accomplish this dream of completing an Ironman. We're almost there!


Next up!  
Go Allison at Just Tri and Finish!   She's racing her first half at Ironman New Orleans 70.3 next weekend!  Woo hoo! 

Recap, Beaver Nuggets and Ironman Lonestar 70.3 - This Weekend

Me, Jeff (Dangle the Carrot) & Marcy

I have been trying to get a post done from last weekend's trip down to the Woodlands to ride the bike course, but work and just catching up at home from being gone and then getting ready for this weekend -  has left every minute accounted for and this week an entire blur! 

I had an amazing time down in the Woodlands.  The bike course is beautiful.  There is a section that goes through the Sam Houston Forest ... it's a tree-lined path of Heaven. The run course is awesome and the lake looks ... not so bad.

On my drive down to the Woodlands, I quickly realized that there was not a plethora of options for a decent meal.  Mostly fast food.  It wasn't until when I realized that half the box of wheat thins had disappeared that I closed up the box and tossed it into the back of the car so that I couldn't reach it!  Those things are wickedly addicting.

I needed to get some gas and then the magical beaver sign appeared.... BUC-EES!  I had never stopped at a Buc-ees, but I had heard some good things about it... had to get fuel anyway, so I pulled in.   It's a gas station mecca with a convenience store the size of WalMart.

They have an amazingly-huge deli section, in which you order your sandwiches on a touch-screen computer.  Anyway, so completely unexpected.  And, the sandwich?  I had a turkey with avocado on a wheat roll.  It was awesome!  I (Heart) Buc-ees!  I didn't get any Beaver Nuggets- which are some seasoned nuts (bwahaha... I said nuts!)  but, I did get some of the Honey Roasted Almonds and they were fabulous!

So, anyway- after my love fest at Buce-ees, I got to my hotel, joined the Team Endurance Nation folks for a once-around on the IMTX run course, showered and then met up with my friends, Marcy, her husband Steve, their friend, Scott, Jeff from Dangle the Carrot, his wife Annie and another friend Erin and her boyfriend for dinner at The Grotto-Houston.  This place was fantastic!  Great atmosphere and the food was amazing.  I can't even begin to tell you how badly I wanted a glass of wine, but I was a good girl and stuck with water.  I highly recommend the Tomato-basil soup.  Mmmmm....   Anyway, what was so awesome, was that while most of us had just met for the first time- it was like we had known eachother for so much longer.  Such great people!  And, Jeff and I had at least a 20 minute conversation about Buc-ees- apparently he loves it as much as I do!

After dinner, it was early to bed for the ride the next morning.  Thankfully Marcy was smart enough to double-check the meeting place and it turns out we/ I had the wrong Target for the meet-up.  They were able to find the right one on their GPS.  Crisis averted.  As soon as we finished, I took a quick shower back at the hotel and then I was on my way back home ... after another stop at Buc-ees, of course!  :)

So, that brings us to this weekend.  My mom and I are scheduled to leave at about 6:30 in the morning.  I should really be in bed right now.  Really, really.  But, I am just now getting a little on the nervous side.  With everything going on this week, I really haven't given much thought to this race.  It's only a 70.3, right?   Haaaaa...  

I just spent the last 45 minutes cleaning my bike chain.  I didn't realize how gunky (is that a word) that it had gotten from the ride last week.  I did a quick clean job after I got home, but it needed some more help.

I am not happy about having to leave my daughter for the weekend- twice in a row. It's breaking my heart and is going to be tough on me mentally.  Carting a 2 1/2 year old in the car for a 14-hour round trip drive, staying in a hotel and dealing with the heat and humidity for such a quick trip didn't seem like much fun for her.

Back to the race.  My mantra is going to be "This is NOT my A race.  Pace the Race."  I was looking back on my numbers from last year - which were far from impressive (I trained to finish... and have fun), so now I'm thinking .. well, I could drop that number here, and should be able to go faster there....   Uggh. I have to give that up! And focus on making this a long training day.  As lucrative as it is to push hard and show some great progress (which regardless, I'm sure I will) - I can't afford to affect my upcoming training.  So, this is basically a taper week and then the build continues next week.

So, the race starts at 7am..  My wave starts at 8:45am.  Yep, you read that right!  Nearly 2 hours after the pros leave, I'll be getting on my way.  I'm the in second to last wave.  And, I'll be sporting a Day Glow Orange swim cap.  Awesome!  Perhaps the girls in my wave can start the YMCA song before we get in the water.

If you want to track me or my fellow blogger friends... 

Go to  (Click on the Athlete Tracker Link)

Me--- Shannon:  #1887 
Jeff Irvin:   #800


73F-75F temps, 17mph SSE winds with gusts up to 23mph, very cloudy skies (95% cloud cover), and 90-100% Humidity.   20% chance of rain after 12pm so it may be a rainy run

Not that the rain matters, since we'll be drenched in sweat from the humidity.    More Awesomeness!

Actually,  I'm ok with it, since it will be great training weather for IMTX.  Bring it on! I am so ready for this! :)

I really, really, really need to get to bed now!   Have a fabulous weekend!

Powered by Blogger.

    Total Pageviews

    Page Counter