Monday, June 26, 2006

My First Tri

Naperville Subaru Women's Only Sprint Tri
Cloudy, Rainy, Plain ol yucky weather

Well, for starters, I was really nervous. I kind of gave up on the swimming a few weeks ago and I knew I would pay for that decision at the race. I had crazy dreams the two nights before the race--saw the swimming pool as a slide that I'd never manage to get up and saw Sheila in my dream having a great time while I stood there bug-eyed!

I met up with Sheila the day before the race, at the packet pickup. I went with my Mom, who came into town on Thursday. Her hair has grown back in and is a bit curly--Mom with a 'fro!!! She loved that the race was dedicated to ovarian cancer and even had a wave just for survivors. I called Sheila when I got there, she drove right over and called me when she parked. The girl was cursing within the first three sentences of the phone call and I knew then and there we were going to hit it off.

I found her walking, phone attached to her ear, pink shirt on. Yep--looks exactly like her blog pics. She picked up her packet, we visited some of the vendors and then walked over to the area of the swim. It's a very pretty quarry--a man-made beach--tho it freaked me out--it was bigger than I expected. But I kept putting the swim out of my mind--just kept trying to focus on having a good time. Sheila and I had fun just blabbering the whole time--this hard-core chick is one big sweetheart (don't tell her I said so).

Went home, got my gear all laid out and left it out for a few hours. I kept walking over to it and running thru my mind all the different legs of the race and tried tomake sure I had everything I needed. Was a bit overwhelmed with how much prep it took as opposed to a running race--added to my stress, but it was good stress--I was getting very excited!

I tried to sleep that night, but I only got in about 3 hrs, which didn't surprise me--was just glad the night before I had a healthy 8 hrs of rest. I got started moving around at 3am--woke Mom up as she was the only one going with me. My daughter went to one of those radio concerts and told me she wouldnt get home til around 2am--she hasnt been very up on the race, didnt train except for swimming, so I let her off the hook. Mom got right up, dressed and we were off. I stopped at the White Hen by my house and bought Sheila's favorite drink to keep me awake--Code Red Mountain Dew, along with a strong cup of java.

The race was an hour away, with the transition area opening at 5 am. I wanted to make sure I got a good spot for my bike and had enough time to set up. We finally got there and noticed only around 10 other ladies were up that early. More women that couldnt sleep I'm sure!

The transition area was set up by the wave you were in. Wave 1 was for the elite. Wave 2, for the cancer survivors. Wave 3 for 50-55--Sheilas wave. Mine was Wave 4--45-49. OK--now that Sheila was out of my wave maybe I could place!! (Yeah right Lora....maintain that delusion!) Setting up was fun...women all around in all shapes and sizes trying to get their areas in order. It was drizzling so we all tried to hold off fully setting up until the last 15 mins or so. Sheila came by my spot and gave me a few pointers (Lora...what the hell do you need biking gloves for--it's only 14 miles--get rid of them!) I guzzled down some mountain dew, made my last potty run and took off to the swim area. My big problem?????--what to do with my glasses??? Sheila said there was a table just for glasses right at the swim usually and marked them with my number with her magic marker and tape she had in her bag (noticing the need for some of her 173 items has a purpose!!)

When we got down to the swim, there was NO setup for glassess, so I left them with one of the "water ladies". And we were off. The crowd was all around, cheering each wave, with Wave 2 getting a huge response. I got in the water, ok, not bad....felt warm (78 degrees) and took off with the horn! I didn't make it too far before I was winded and decided to basically backstroke the rest of the way. Swimming with the women was funny---lots of 'sorry', 'excuse me', 'are you ok"s going on. I had fun swimming, made some jokes with other women around me that were struggling and soon enough we were out. I found my glasses and ran what seemed like 1/4 mile to the transition area.

The transition went well--dry off, socks and shoes on, number snapped on, pull bike off rack, run to exit. Jumped on bike and took off. The bike part was great. I managed to ride around 18 mph--fast for me, but it was drizzling and had to be real careful around the turns. Only saw one rider with scratches all over her legs.

Transition again---where are my dry socks??? Couldnt find them--Mom was nearby and offered me hers (is she cute or what) but I said no thanks and kept my wet ones. Running shoes on, cap on OFF again!My legs felt stiff.....not surprising....unfortunately they never eased up so I just kept a comfy pace the entire 3 miles. As I neared the finish, out from the sidelines pops Sheila!! "Come on Lora--bring it home, lets move it, finish strong" She was running me in!! It was awesome--the crowd all around cheered me and her and got a real laugh when she shouted out, "Dig in hard--you can throw up at the finish!" Well I made it, got a freakin heavy medal, found my Mom and Haight, flowers gotten from both of them and just gloried in the accomplishment.

Will I tri again? I don't know---the swim takes up lots of time, time that I just don't have at this point in my life. But I love running and biking. So time will tell---in the meantime, I'm a triathlete!! Damn Lora, not bad for a 48-yr old chick!!!!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Osama Update....

The trap is peppers are planted....yes folks, it looks like Osama has been apprehended! I've requested an update from Farmer George, full details to follow as they become available.

The right knee still asking to be noticed so no running just yet. This is a continuous reminder to pay more attention to my stretching and strengthening. I did 30 mins of upper body weight training yesterday, biked one hour this morning and hope to get in 30 mins of lower body weight training tonite.

I'm dealing with a shoulder strain from the new low position on my bike that is bothering me. I'm trying to pay extra special attention to it this week as I know when I transition from bike to run on Sunday I don't need that kind of aggravation.

I'm also getting my transition "stuff" ready--have to plan out mine and my daughters. Sheila, Mind (Slacker) of Iron, was wonderful to send me her list---but I have to warn those of you that request it from her having never done a triathlon before----she has 173 items on there!! Is this girl prepared or what??!! There are things on there I've never even heard of ( what the freakin heck is a zoomer??) But the sweetheart that she is, she offered to come over to my transition spot and check it all out to make sure I'm not missing anything (did I mention she's doing the same race as me on Sunday?) My first meeting with a blogger!

Now for an advertisement for a special race being prepared by our very own, Jessica--Southern California Trail Running, here's the race link-Untitled Page. I'm thinking of a winter trip out there--anyone else interested??

Monday, June 19, 2006

Little Lora

10 pounds....I lost just three weeks! I'm still going....maybe another 10--I'll see how it goes. But damn!! This is great! How am I doing it??--Club Lifestyle - Tranform Your Body--Transform Your Life check it out.

I ran 6 miles on Friday and a little "ping" on the side of my right knee started in--never heard from that knee before! I iced it when I got home but decided to skip my long run on Saturday. On Sunday, Haight and I did a 2-hr bike ride and then I had to work.

The knee is better, but I still feel it a smidge so I'll keep icing--I have my first triathlon (sprint) this Sunday and I want to be in full working order for it!

We saw Al Gore's movie on Saturday, Al Gore, Sundance's Leading Man, and left very disturbed. I recommend it if only I could bike to work!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Osama in the Suburbs

My farmer neighbor, George, states there's a terrorist in his patch. He's named him Osama Bin Laden, but really calls him "that f***n terrorist"!! (Now you know why I really like George!!) See, this lil cute rabbit is eating all his peppers--and you gotta know George cherishes his peppers! So he made a trap--let's just see if he's smarter than our govt advisors! I'll keep you updated!

I ran 5 miles yesterday, keeping my HR between 145-150. Felt like a real good workout. But today my legs are a bit tired, so I ran 6miles, but kept the HR down around 135. I'll see how they feel tomorrow before I do my next 6miles. Might have to wait until Friday for that workout.

My pal, Fred, wants me to try a 100-mile bikeride The Bike Psychos the end of August. I'm considering it. I think we get crazier the longer we do this!!

Monday, June 12, 2006

A Wonderful Weekend

Haight and I met Todd up in Wisconsin for a well-run bike ride. Did you know Wisconsin had hills??? Well, we conquered them!!

It was my first date with "Iris" and she was oh so kind to me. And now I have to say, It's soooo all about the bike! I couldn't believe how smooth it felt, how quick I was going, how much better my legs worked when using all the muscles due to clipless pedals. I was going to do the 30-mile ride, but at the pit stop at 15 miles I felt so good that I went on for the 50-miler. Todd was the perfect gentleman to come along and keep me company!

I was surprised we didnt see any other bikers along that path. The roads all to ourselves!! Well, except for the idiot driver that tried to pass me on the left as I was turning and properly signaling left! Car tires screeched et al! Damn those car drivers that don't share the road. We also passed a swarm of Hells Angels riders, kinda scarey to ride past them as they vroom-vroom their engines. I gave them all the peace sign, and most gave it back (I know, I know--I'm queer!)

I also did an 8-mile run on Saturday. It was pouring rain when I woke up, but a runner is a runner in all weather, so I braved the 40-min drive to my running group and took off. Ran with three other gals, two eventually took off faster. I wanted to do 10-miles but I was soaked to the core! I came home and napped and then went for my weekly massage with Beast Woman. Her damn cervical cancer has returned and she's getting it all scraped out on Tuesday--God damn that friggin cancer bug--I want to see it wiped out before my days are over. Meanwhile, my hair grows longer, the least I can do is donate the 11" required for cancer victims. She's been in my prayers these last few days.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Loving Spring

NYC turned me down!! Yaaay!! Two more refusals and I'm in!! :) So my primary race this year is the Chicago Marathon, with some 1/2 M's in there and my first tri.

Last night my son decided he didnt like my weight training program so he coached me thru a set he created for me. It was much harder than I'm used to, so I've decided to stick with it. How ironic to have this 6'3", 240# MAN that used to cuddle into my arms so I could read to him, powerfully hover over me and tell me I'm doing well. It's the deepest love I've ever experienced and I'll always be grateful for it.

My run today was perfect. Just 4 miles at aerobic pace, but my body is pretty close to adjusting to the humidity (God bless Chicago) and my trail is so beautiful. One of my neighbors rents quite a few spots along the trail to plant his vegetables (which he gladly shares at the end of the season) and I love running by and seeing how things are growing. Unfortunately, his scarecrow has seen better days!

Haight and I decided we better make good use out of the Ravinia Festival this year as we'll have to deal with parking and bus shuttles after the move. I live 1/2 mile from the entrance, so I can easily pack up my little red wagon and trek right on over for a wonderful night of music on the lawn. So Saturday night we're going to hear the BoDeans, a group he turned me onto. We have quite the different taste in music, he's an 80's boy and I'm still in love with the 50's and 60's (though my teen and college years were the 70's). I'm even so peculiar that I hardly own many cd's. I do just fine with any little radio, just need NPR and the oldies station. Who said women were high maintenance????

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Monday, June 05, 2006

The Udder Ride

Yesterday we drove out to Union, IL (about an hour west) for a 32-mile bike ride. They offered a 50-mile and 100-miler too. We got our bikes all set and took off. We just made it there by the cutoff time, tho there were still some people rushing in.

The parking lot was packed with empty bike racks on the cars. The 100-miler people had to be there by 8am so they were out there for 2 hrs already. We signed in, handed over our $25 admit fee and got our arm bands (they were black and white like a cowhide).

Got our bikes out of the car and noticed the girl next to us. Skinny lil thang, not one pound of flesh on had an IM sticker from Madison. I knew she'd be whizzing by us in no time, no matter how much earlier we left. See, I ride my mountain bike...been keeping the road bike ready for my daughter as she planned on doing the triathlon with me in 3 weeks, so I figured I should get used to my only other bike. Well......I looked like quite the newbie out there---mountain bike, puma shoes, running tee---I didnt know it then, but it sure hit me later on.

We took off, following the map given to us at registration. Nice, flat land---good old Illinois---flat as a board! Beautiful farmland out there---cows, horses, fields freshly planted. I love newly planted farms---rows and rows of green growth---everything in such perfect order. Pure America!

At around 4 miles, Haight noticed 3 figures behind us---skinny IM chick I figured. Yep--she flew by us, but she did say "Hello". OK--she's nice! Haight flew on up ahead of me, it was hard work for me on the mountain bike. But I kept plugging along.

I remembered my trainer telling me to drink an entire water bottle during the 14-mile bike part of the triathlon I have coming up, so I tried to make sure I did that on this ride. Gatorade sure is refreshing on a hot summer day. Though I could see how a stomach could get tired of it after a really long ride.

At 19-miles there was a pit stop. We got off the bikes still feeling good and checked out the food. There were pb& j half sandwiches, HUGE cookies, bananas and jugs of water and gatorade. We filled up our bottles and snarfed down a sandwich (cookies for Haight, but I'm being true to the Leanness Lifestyle program--lost 6 lbs already!!). Then we were off again!

After another 5 or so miles, we saw the 100-miler bikers turning onto our road. Man are they fast! And decked out in FULL biking wear! I loved all the colors! And the bikes!!!! OMG----now I sure felt like a biking virgin! That was it---I was going for the road bike next time---with a bikers shirt and biking shoes! I shan't look like a farty-old-lady out for a ride to the library!!!

The last 10 miles were a struggle for me, but not so much that my quads were screaming. I see the work that has to be done. We got back to the car and I dropped onto the grass. Ahhhh....soft grass, warm sun, perfect blue sky with some puffy clouds and a great workout behind me! Life is good!!!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Graduation Day

Me with my babies, grad girl and Dean Bean, The Close Friends, Proud Mom with the Grad Girl! A perfect day!!