8/28/07

I'm not a college swimmer anymore

As usual, I didn't sleep well on sunday night. The body was extremely tired and I just couldn't sleep. Oh well, it happens almost every sunday. I took all of Monday off and spent the day working on nutrition consultations. I was at my parents house for the day and we talked a bit about our kona plans. My parents support me so much (as they always have) and I couldn't ask for more devoted parents. Of course a trip of Kona is hard to turn down (funny-they just mentioned that I should do Ironman France or New Zealand next year????Hummm, can you say VACA for the parents???). My bro and I are very lucky that my parents enjoy sporting events 'cause they have been to so many swim meets, triathlon races and gymnastics meets (Aaron). Monday is always a quick day no matter how much I try to enjoy a full day off from training. This morning I was a little unprepared that our masters/triathlon swim team had to share the pool with the High School swim team. Divided in half, we all shared the pool with the triathletes in lanes 5-8 and the HS swimmers in lanes 1-4. As a chance to push myself and see if I could hang, Matt said I could join the HS swimmers. As I was barely hanging on for the main set of 8 X 250 IM's (25 fly, 50 back, 75 breast, 100 free) I could totally relate to the HS swimmers. I remember the early morning swim practices in high school and college before I went to class (while the rest of the world was fast asleep), playing around on the bottom of the pool while the coach wasn't looking and just sharing time in the locker room chatting about how hard practice was and yet you couldn't wait to go back for more. It must be a swimmer-thing but I don't think I'll ever no enjoy being in the water. So I sadly did not make the set and as I was swimming freestyle and the rest of my lane was still swimming the whole set IM, I couldn't believe that I use to be an All-American breastroker and IMer. Oh well. I like my life now. I swim AND bike and run. I love being a triathlete!!!

If you are in the area, I will be speaking at the PALM HARBOR YMCA at 8pm on wednesday evening (8/29/07). I will be discussing pre, during and post training nutrition for triathletes. All are welcome but the meeting is put-on by the future "no name yet" Palm Harbor triathlon club. Email me at mrakes1@hotmail.com w/ any questions.

8/26/07

The EPIC ride!




I had a lot of time to think about what to name this blog but in the end, the current title sums it up and I have pictures to show for it!

For some reason I wasn't as nervous for the "110 mile" ride today as I was for the 20-mile run yesterday. I guess with the hard century I did last sunday I had much room for improvement. The morning started around 5:10a.m. w/ coffee, water, oatmeal w/ raisins and 1/2 banana and a rice cake w/ a little PB. I pumped up the tires, loaded up my jersey w/ Hammer Gels and other goodies and filled up the water bottles. It was 6:15a.m. and I was out the door listening to my music. I forgot to mention that yesterday's run was a mental booster for me...no music for 2 1/2 hours due to the batteries in my sony radio shack radio dying at the beginning of my run!!! BOO for a 20 mile run w/ no music. But, I survived and I actually enjoyed the peacefulness of my run. But for today, new batteries in the radio! The beginning of the ride was a typical ride, feeling good but the HR and pace is slow. About an hour went by of warming up and I picked it up to a 120-130 HR zone. This is usually where I find myself holding 20+mph so as long as I can keep my HR above 120 I am not too concerned with my speed. The wind was kinda generous today and so was the heat. In all, it wasn't too bad of a ride. I ended up in San Antonio again but w/o Karel there, I had to get home regardless of how many miles I had on my bike. I turned around at 74 miles in San Antonio hoping for a good pace on the way back home to Clearwater. After extending my ride for a couple hills in San Antonio, I had a feeling I might be close to 110 and maybe a couple miles over. But today I was feeling good. Nutrition went well and thanks to the weather gods, I wasn't extremely hot. Of course I refilled the water bottles atleast 2 times and refreshed myself w/ a cold splash of water on the face around mile 90. On the way home from my ride (around 95) I could see the sky beginning to change colors. The color which only looks nice if you are planning on watching a movie and enjoying a nice storm! So for me, it was not the sky you want to see when you are approximately 10 miles away from home. Around mile 110 I was greated by rain and although it felt nice I could see a downpour about 1/2 mile infront of me. I could hear a rumble in the sky so the radio was turned off and I began to concentrate on the road. This wasn't a typical gentle rain, I'd say more like Seduza and I jumping in a pool. I noticed that my feet were getting more and more wet from the water on the ground which was touching my feet as I pedaled to the ground. Although I slowed down for a bit because i could barely see infront of me, I regained my speed and stayed cautious on the road. Not too concerned w/ my speed or HR at that point and I just wanted to get home. I can honestly say that I feel comfortable on my bike and I trust myself on my bike so when it is raining, I don't get to scared. I do get worried about some of the cars out there and if they see me riding but then again they probably think "poor girl riding on her bike in the rain" and then they drive off in a dry car. As I passed the 110 mile mark I couldn't believe what I was doing. I've been on my bike for over 6 hours and I feel great! I couldn't run cause of the storm but I think this was a major confidence booster for my Kona race. Around 1:15 I was home. I dried off Seduza and I checked my cat eye one more time just to make sense of what I just did. 118 miles and I averaged 18.1 miles per hour. Woah baby! Seeing that it is almost 8p.m. and I've done nothing but watch Ironmanlive.com all day (congrats Travis Graves, Bryan M. and Steve Kester at IMKY!!!), eat and drink plenty of fluids, the legs are getting a bit tight and the body is getting tired. What a weekend! I just can't believe what I did but I wouldn't want to spend it any other way. I guess what I do is a bit crazy but to me it is all about proving something to myself that I have the discipline and dedication to reach my goals and I'm willing to do anything and everything to make myself the best athlete possible for Kona.

Thanks for your support everyone! It means a lot to have parents, friends and blog-readers accept my crazy Ironman life.