Friday, November 29, 2013

I was #500!

Right before I left for Disney World, I published my 500th post. You may remember the fanfare surrounding this miraculous event.

You don't?? Really?

Yeah, don't worry about it... I forgot, too! I did, however, publish a great post #502!

Coincidentally, during that time, a fellow Team Touch Chik member was running a contest for the 500th like on their Facebook page! The winner would get some free Nuun tablets, and since I was almost out of Nuun, I decided to pop on over and like their page...

and I won!!

I got two new flavors to try - lemon and tropical - and they are very yummy!

I love personal notes, and her handwriting is simply fantastic! :D
The blog is Fit Moms Full Plates and I have really enjoyed reading it and getting to know Dani and  Pam! They post recipes and race reports and all sorts of goodness, so you should check them out! And go like their Facebook page, too! :)

And while you're on Facebook, you should like the page for Running Through the Castle, so I can get more than 23 likes! :D

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Race Report: Turkey Trot 15K

I didn't fall off the face of the earth, I promise! Between being gone to Disney, and then coming home to a very busy week, I wasn't able to post much. I was able to post on my Facebook page, though, so remember to like my Black Pearl Academy Facebook page so you don't miss anything!

I have so very much to catch up with on my blog, but today I'm going to stick to the race report! I should have more time to post this weekend, so check back later! :)

There is no shortage of Thanksgiving Day races to do in the Atlanta area. The big one is put on by the Atlanta Track Club and takes place downtown. I did that one in 2010 and you can read that race report here. I had signed up to do it again in 2011 but was unable to due to my IT Band injury. And then I didn't do any holiday races in 2012 at the request of my family. I had considered doing the Atlanta Half again, but it's really a logistical nightmare. And I didn't have $70 in the budget.

So when I learned of a Turkey Trot being hosted by Five Star NTP, the race directors that hosted the Super Sprint triathlon I did in June, I was interested. They put on this race as a thank you to their customers and it's free if you don't want a medal or shirt. If you do want those things, it was $22 for the 15K or Half Marathon! And the race is up here in the northern Atlanta suburbs!

As race day approached, the weather forecast got worse and worse. The Coldest Thanksgiving in a Century! That really doesn't make me excited! LOL But it's an adventure, right? And when I went to pick up my race bib yesterday, I found that I was getting really excited!

Since the location was so close, and I had already picked up my bib, I could wait in the car until right before the start. I was meeting a friend from Moms Run This Town, and we would walk over to the start together from the parking area. While I waited, I took note of the temperature:

That's the actual temperature, folks - the wind chill was a few degrees cooler! Brrrr!
My friend arrived and we walked over to the start to look for the bathrooms. I was shocked at how many people showed up. The RD had posted that there were 1100 signed up, but I figured the weather would scare lots of folks away, especially since it's a free race! I guess we runners are completely crazy! The line for the bathroom indoors was super-long, and we ended up missing the MRTT official picture. And we almost missed the start and had to end up going outside and using the porta-potties. Such a bummer! It was so cold and there was actually ICE on the floor of the porta-pottie!

Unofficial MRTT Pre-Race picture, since we missed the real one!

The course for the 15K was 3 loops of the 5K course. I wasn't really thrilled about that but it ended up being fun because I could see people from MRTT that I knew and wave to them. But I think I've learned that this RD has a crazy view of "fairly flat" when it comes to course description! There were 2 pretty decent hills on the back side of the course.

At least someone has a good sense of humor!
I ran with my friend and the time passed so quickly while we exchanged stories about how we got into running and homeschooling! We had to run pretty slowly in the first lap because of the 5K being so crowded (the majority of runners were doing the 5K distance), but after that, we could set our own pace. I walked while eating my Honey Stinger Chews, and that took longer than usual each time because of frozen fingers (even with mittens and hand warmers!).

Overall, I wasn't nearly as cold as I was expecting once I got moving. My nose and mouth were the coldest for the longest. In fact, I could feel how frozen my mouth was while I was trying to talk! It was a really freaky feeling.

Our third lap came to an end really fast - and there was the finish line! The medal was absolutely adorable!

There was no traffic leaving and I made it home in no time at all! I had taken clothes with me to change into but I was running a bit later than I had expected so I skipped the clothes change and just went home. There was a roaring fire in the fireplace to greet me, and my hubby had put the turkey in the oven for me since I was running behind schedule! All I had to do was get in the shower - and let me tell you, that hot shower was truly my best friend! :) Ahhhh, felt so good to get really warm again!

The traditional race shirt picture had to be taken in front of the fireplace because I was not going back outside again! LOL

Such a cute shirt - no trouble seeing me today!
I think I have found my new Thanksgiving Day tradition, thanks to Five Star NTP! I am looking forward to running this event again next year! Now I just have to figure out which of their races to run in 2014 so I can qualify - maybe one of the triathlons? :D

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I am thankful for all of you who take the time to read my blog (and ::cough cough:: comment! HINT HINT!).

Saturday, November 9, 2013

WOW! It's Blog Post #50....2. @@

I really don't believe I did this again.

Back in September, I missed doing something special on my 1200th blog post on my homeschooling blog. So I was determined not to do that here. My 500th blog post was going to be something special. Something AMAZING.

And I completely forgot about it.

In case you're interested, here is my 500th Post: The big #500! It was on Halloween Day, no less.

Anyway... I guess there is always the 1000th post to look forward to! :D

I can't believe it's been a whole week since I posted. It certainly wasn't on purpose. This has been a really busy week! I have been able to get my workouts in just fine, but it's been really crazy.

I reached another milestone in my running - 9 miles without walk breaks! I had been so stressed out about it, too, which was bizarre. I've been running 8.5 mile long runs for several weeks! A half mile is really not that much further. But for some reason it was LONG in my mind. But I did it! 10 feels that way as well, and I will attempt to tackle that distance in December!

I got a nice surprise this week from my friend Cindy! She is the one who sent me the Garmin after I had lost mine! Look what she found that goes with it:

It's the Garmin foot pod!

Doesn't it look cool?!
Now I will be able to track my cadence while I'm running! I used it for the first time on my 9 miler, but it only recorded the cadence for the first 20 minutes or so. I'm not sure if that was due to the low battery on my watch or if the battery needs to be replaced on the food pod. I will try it out again and fix one or both of those issues! But if the data that the foot pod collected during that short time was correct, then I am running at a proper cadence for the proper form to keep my body healthy! I'm anxious to be able to collect more data soon!

This coming week I am taking a break from formal exercise while my daughters and I go to Walt Disney World for a short vacation with my mom! Instead of swim, bike, run, I will be doing a walk, walk, walk! :D I typically continue to run when I go to Disney, but I thought this was a good time in the schedule for an extended break. I really haven't had any down time for months, just the Cut Back Weeks. It's time to just rest and relax! I am bringing a skirt with me in case I want to go for a run on the last day that we're there, which is not a park day. I wasn't planning to do this until I realized that I will finally be able to run the entire way around the lake and over the bridge between Pop Century and the new Art of Animation resort (we are staying at the latter). I have been running half way around the lake for years!! Running all the way around would be very special to me!

I hope everyone has a wonderful week of training and resting and achieving that elusive balance! I'll be playing with Mickey, Goofy, and Captain Jack! :)

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Race/Ride Report: 2013 One Can Ride (30 miles)

This morning was my big ride. Race. I'm really not sure what to call it! It was a group event. Sort of like a "fun run" since there was no timing or awards! LOL

I managed my anxiety much better this time. Ok, I ate my way through my anxiety - probably my weight in Halloween candy! But that's OK. At least I slept well, despite the sugar high and the resulting crash.

One of the best parts of this race was the fact that it was less than 10 minutes from my house. My alarm was set for 6:30 and I didn't need to leave my house until 7:50 for a 9:00 AM start. Easy Peasy! But then my tires wouldn't inflate right. I wasn't sure if my pump was broken, or if my brain was the one that was broken, but I figured I'd just ask for help when I got to the start.

I hadn't gotten anything pulled together yesterday and that was a big problem - left me scrambling around in the morning more than I needed to. And in the end, I ended up forgetting my Road ID at home. But I had my driver's license on me so it wasn't a big deal.

My friend, Jill, had signed up for the race, too, and she had already arrived when I got to the park for the start. It was chilly this morning and I had layered up. I do not have any cold weather cycling gear, but I made the best of it. We quickly got checked in (no race number?? no tee shirt?? LOL) and hit the rest rooms. I borrowed her pump and got my rear tire to take air but still couldn't get the front tire to work. I took it over to Bruce from Apalachee Cycle and he had no trouble at all. User error, I suppose. But I think I'd still like to get a new tire pump soon.

A little nervous but ready to go!
Me and Jill
We all gathered around to get ready to start. I turned on my Road ID app and then we waited while the 68 mile course riders took off first. We no more got on the road than my 'Stationary Alert' started going off. It stopped beeping at me, and I assumed that it had realized I was moving and turned off, but apparently that was not true. I learned later that both my husband and my mother had gotten the email indicating that I had not moved in 5 minutes. First they texted me and called me but I didn't answer since I was on the road. So then they contacted each other. My husband was actively tracking on the map for the app so he figured I was OK. But that stressed them both out until I texted at the rest stop that I was half way through. At least now I know that if that alert is going off, you HAVE to turn it off! :D

Jill and I stayed together through the course, and I cannot begin to express how much help she was for me! For one thing, shortly into the ride, people start shouting things out and point at the ground and stuff and I was all confused. Apparently, in a group ride, you shout things to allow people to know when there are cars coming up behind you, or if there are things in the road to watch out for, or if there are cars coming or the route is clear. This is stuff I wasn't really prepared for, so I'm glad she was able to explain that to me! She was also a huge source of encouragement! And it was nice to have time to catch up with her since it had been awhile since I'd seen her! She is a true blessing to me!

I'm glad I had driven the course on Thursday, but I seriously underestimated the number of hills. Seriously. Wow, I'm not sure how I did that. But you know what? It wasn't all that bad. There were many long hills and I just spun up them, and only a few hills that left me terribly out of breath! The rest of the hills weren't tough to manage at all. THAT was incredibly surprising to me! I am feeling much, much better about the idea of doing the Olympic distance tri next summer - even if the course is hilly. I have months left to get more practice on the hills! And I am already so much stronger on them than I was this time last year!

One thing I have to say that I love about the whole "bike race/ride" thing? The rest stop! We pulled up and this nice gentleman offered to hold my bike for me while I walked around and stretched my legs. And check out the food they offered:
Yummy goodness!
Yes, those are cookies and brownies! Can you even believe it?? Sure beats the heck out of energy gels and gatorade!

We stopped for about 15 minutes and then took off again to finish the course. At first, my legs were confused. LOL But they settled back in nicely. I was feeling much more confident on the second part of the course which was good because the traffic was much heavier. I even rode over the railroad tracks, instead of walking over them! Jill rode up ahead of me and I just followed her path!

That last hill at the end didn't end up being as bad as it had looked, and then we were at the finish. Or rather, our cars, because there wasn't a finish line! LOL

I did it!!
I can't believe how good I felt at the end! I probably could have kept going, at least for a little while! I had a massive fail on my nutrition/hydration plan, so at some point, I probably was a BONK waiting to happen. I drank probably three or four times on the whole ride. I only ate at the rest stop, and that was half a sandwich and a handful of Honey Stinger Chews. (No, I was too afraid to eat the cookie and brownies for fear of a tummy ache @@). That was NOT smart and I was lucky that I felt so good at the end. Yay for adrenaline.

And yay for a free lunch after the ride! They had hamburgers, hot dogs, and chili! I took a very yummy hamburger and ate it up in a hurry! I also had Cheetos and a Coke! I meant to grab a banana, but in all the excitement that was my junk food marathon, I forgot! ;)

So, if you haven't already figured it out - I had a great time and I am feeling strong, and excited, and much more confident in my cycling ability! My Garmin says that we averaged just a little over 12 MPH which is wonderful considering all of the hills! I am completely thrilled and so excited to do another cycling race/ride again one day!