Sunday, October 30, 2011

Terrific Taper Timing

Awww, how I love thee, taper!

This week begins week two of the taper and culiminates with 32 for 32! I have put in all of the miles and feel ready for the race. Having never run the distance or a trail race before, I have zero time goals - mostly, I just want to stay vertical and avoid roots, rocks, holes, etc. that will send my flying (and not in a good way). I am really excited to be doing something new and different and tackling a new challenge. With that said, AFTER the race, I need to do some soul searching ... what will my race calendar look like in 2012? There are a lot of decisions to be made.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Kitchen Sink

I often will have random thoughts pop up and I will think, “I should post that in the blog”, but I either forget about it by the time I have a chance to sit down and blog or the singular thought itself doesn’t seem to warrant its own post, so I am starting a “Kitchen Sink” post, where I will share my random, disjointed thoughts about triathlon, and well, just about anything, except maybe the kitchen sink!

-Did you watch any Kona coverage this weekend? One word – inspiring! I can’t wait to see it on TV. I get that it is a long day, but damn, it is frustrating not to get to watch it live! I have decided that I have to do this race once. Since taking 2 hours off my 140.6 PR is unlikely given my full time job, full time wife and mother status, I think I will be playing the lottery.

-I have to admit, I was torn on whether I wanted Chrissie or Rinny to win (after Dibens was out) … who were you rooting for? I annoyed my husband for at least an hour trying to follow the race on my phone at an outdoor, very low-key wedding reception.

-After reading interviews from the pros, it is clear that I do not let myself get into the pain locker. I must work on this - test the water, a toe at a time?

-Rev3 is going to Florida in 2012 – and it is a great weekend for us to boot, October 27 – 28, 2012. I am so excited about this race. For my fellow Texans, I am still suggesting a Texas race. Good things come to those who wait!

-I ran 22 miles in the rain on Sunday and it felt awesome. I am feeling ready for this 50K, although I am seriously lacking on actual trail miles. The great thing about a new race distance, especially one off road, is that I am not worried about my time. I am just enjoying being outdoors in this beautiful weather and celebrating the fact that I can run!

-Yesterday, 11 miles into my 22 miler, my amazing hubby took the boys to a birthday party. He drove through the neighborhood to find me to tell me he was leaving and didn’t even look at my funny, while I was drenched, running in the rain. I am so lucky to have him – he just gets me!

-I am seriously considering going back on my previous commitment to not race long in 2012 … I really want to race IMTX again. Something about missing a race in my backyard just kills me, plus I really like the idea of an early season full. My family supports it, now I just need to make a decision. More to come on this topic soon …

-Tyler, my 4 year old, was wearing his “Ironmanne” shirt - the support shirt that my family wore for IMTX this year. I asked him if he picked it or if Daddy did. He said he picked it (and he is a bit picky on what shirts he wears). So, I asked him if he remembered what that shirt was for. Andrew, my 7 year old, replied, that is the Ironman shirt. So, I asked, do you know what Ironman is? Without hesitation – yea, where everyone runs and gets a medal. This just made me smile.

-I have not ridden my bike in months. I miss her. I have even given up on spin class and indoor cycling since I am now running about 8 hours a week.

-Did you see the new Garmin 910 xt? This is at the top of my Christmas list from a triathlon perspective. What is on yours? The new Garmin power pedals look pretty sweet too – but at $1500, someone needs to give me a sales job on why I need these.

-Speaking of Christmas lists, I decided not to wait and bought two super cute running skirts from Lululemon. I wore one in the rain yesterday and it was so light despite the rain. Perfect! Now, I just need to find 2 or 3 more fun colored running tanks with built-in bras and pockets in the back. Suggestions?

-One month post LASIK eye appointment was today. I love it! Sign me up, I will do a commercial. I love, love, love, love, love not having to mess with contacts anymore!

-I ran 10 for Texas this weekend in the Woodlands – what a fun 10 miler! I love the Woodlands – too bad it is so far away from work or I would consider moving there. So athlete friendly. Race report to follow soon.

Have a great training week!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Support your Local Bike Shop

It is the day before a race and you need extra CO2, a new tire, spare tubes, extra nutrition or someone to look at that sound your fine tuned machine (yes, your bike) just started making … where do you go?...

Well, if you traveled to the race, you might be at the expo, where you hope and pray that the vendors have what you need (good luck with that!). Unfortunately for me, one disadvantage of riding 650c wheels is that race vendors often don’t carry enough spare tubes or tires in the 650 size, so I am often out of luck when I am looking for last minute items (let’s ignore the fact that I should have planned better) or nutrition that I left at home. So, back to the question – where do you go?

The Local Bike Shop (commonly referred to as the LBS), of course!

My local shop, Bicycle World and Fitness, is like Cheers. I walk in and everyone knows my name. I have only been a customer there for 3 years, but I have purchased two bikes there and watched them grow from two small shops, into three, including one large, beautiful shop (lots of eye candy!), without losing their amazing customer service. They have nailed my bike fit twice and the bike enthusiasts that work there share great information with everyone they meet.

Chris Holmes, the owner, is usually around at one of the three stores, as are his wife and adorable son. There is definitely a family feel to the shop – and they treat their customers as family too. In the last two years, BW&F has really embraced the sport of triathlon and now carries essentials for all three legs of triathlon – something I love and am so incredibly appreciative of as a customer (one stop shopping!).

As a thrifty shopper, I understand wanting to get the best value and being tempted to buy almost everything online to save a few bucks. Except … I need my LBS and so do you. When you want to touch and feel a new product, zip around on different bikes or try a bike in different sizes, try on apparel, put 10 pairs of goggles on to see what fits your face or get a perfect bike fit – where do you go?

You certainly can’t get those things online. I am not suggesting not to shop online – I love All3Sports and I have happily given them plenty of cash and I will continue to, but I am just reminding folks to spread the wealth. As I mentioned above, the LBS is there when you need them, so don’t be afraid to return the favor.

Maybe I am just lucky, but my LBS, BW&F, will order anything I need and offers extremely competitive pricing. Plus, they support their customers – everything from shop rides to tents at local races. In fact, they have also been stepping up in the community by sponsoring races and they have also just recently started a local team. I am excited to be a part of this new team along with many of their other customers. Yes, CUSTOMERS. They didn’t go out into the community to find just the fastest racers, they put together a team of their best customers – which includes athletes of all ages, from long time triathlete age group winners to newbies!

I am excited to be a part of this local team and to meet more local athletes. I have loved being a part of Trakkers and Rev3, and hope to continue that relationship – the Rev3 people and team are amazing! Despite the fact that we are spread out over the country the Trakkers/Rev3 team is very supportive of one another on all fronts, from personal issues to racing. Since I do a lot of training solo and often travel to race, I have not met as many local triathletes -- so I am thrilled to have the opportunity to have a local team to bond with as well! This will also encourage me to race more locally – in addition to the great races I do with Rev3!

Now, go thank your local bike mechanic … :)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Chamber of Commerce

Weather in Houston in October is what I like to call "Chamber of Commerce" weather. If you want someone to move to Houston - bring them down in October or March, especially if said someone is already getting frosty nights in the great white North.

Well, today is October 1, and the weather came just in time. There is not a cloud in the sky. Morning and evening temps in the 70s with the high topping out around 85. Given that temps hit 100 degrees a week ago, this is much appreciated relief!

Besides making my runs feel slightly easier, I am thrilled to be able to run with my best girl, my chocolate lab, Indy, again ... and the feeling is mutual! She loved every moment of our 8 miles this morning - as did I!

Happy October!