Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Race recaps and Ironman Training

Hello All!

Well my Pleasant Prairie Olympic Triathlon went well… I had a ton of fun racing with my Sis-in-Law Ana, Mom and Brother!!!

NICE LOOKING TRI tops and bottoms- HUH? That designer must be super talented! ;)

That Saturday was a busy day, John and I worked out our list of things that need to be done prior to moving. I had all my things pulled together and just got started on Jacks things… he was doing an overnight stay at my sister’s house… when I heard John say something’s wrong with Jack… my heart stopped.  I came running into the kitchen… what’s wrong??? Look at his neck. Panic set in, there was a huge lump on the side of his neck and was hard when I touched it, although it didn’t seem to bother Jack … I immediately determined we were heading to the emergency room!!!  As I was rushing around, I had a brief moment of sanity and decided to call his doc. They told me it’s prob an inflamed lymph node and they recommend just watching it. My response: Um right, can we come in anyway just to be sure?  Being a first time parent is full of worries – WAY more than I EVER imagined. So onto the unscheduled trip to the doc and it was in fact what they said. They also noted that he could be on the verge of getting sick or just getting over something. No sleepover for Jack.
I could only imagine if he did spend the night, he would end up sick. So he stayed home with John- which meant a change of plans for my poor husband who had to miss his hockey game in the morning. I felt really bad about that.

Once we were all settled at home, I headed over to my brother’s house. I stayed overnight and we all went out for a nice dinner with some of their fellow peeps that they train with. It was fun to just talk TRI, and hear all the nervous chatter about the race and future races. I like to hear what other people are doing in terms of race prep, race plans, etc. its fun to hear what works/doesn’t work for others. We got home and watched an episode or two of Modern Family… now that is some funny stuff!!! Then off to bed for an early wake up at 4:30am.

Race Recap.
My Overall goals: 
Swim: 28 min 
Bike: 1:10 and under 
Run: 50-55 mins. 
We got there and set up transition, and there was only 15 mins left of swim warm up and until transition closed. Left and jumped in line for the bathroom… (was ungodly long!) I had just enough time to put my wetsuit on slam a GU and get in line – my wave was up next. No warm up- BOO!

SWIM: I positioned myself in front and to the left to avoid the crush at the first right turn around the buoy. I went out strong breathing every stroke- and much to my surprise- no panic. I jumped on a set of feet and the gal was heading out nice and strong and then slowed down and stopped to sight. Nope, not going to follow behind that. I looked for some other feet close by but couldn’t find any. So it was me and the gal pacing alongside each other pretty much the whole way. I think a few times she tried to get ahead of me to cut me off… but I just kept my sights on the next buoy and stuck to my cadence and stroke. I was very proud of myself for doing this… the old me would have stopped or wasted too much energy trying to get ahead or around. (Thanks Dave for the extra help!) I broke from her between turn two and three. I was passing a lot of swimmers from the wave in front, my navigation was strong. On the last turn, I found a guy’s feet that was going a tad faster than me and hooked on. I worked harder on the last leg and was out of breath when I came out, but felt really good about the swim. SUCCESS! Was hoping for 28mins and came in at 27:47.

T1: I struggled a little with the new wetsuit- I just need to get used to taking off a one piece. Still T1 came in at 2:00 exactly. Grabbed my bike and off I went.

BIKE: Legs didn’t have the usual pep. I think they were still a little fatigued from all the climbing the week prior at the Horribly Hilly Hundred. My HR was pretty much at 175 the entire race. I was breathing a little hard for the first 10 miles or so on the bike and then finally settled in. My brother gave me a front hydration bottle and I found it much easier to stay on top of drinking with it in front. Wanted a 1:10 or less on the bike and came in 1:11:59.

T2: was a little faster 1:51—need to get another pair of shoes just for racing so I can put the speed laces in and go. (after we close on the house!)

Run: I felt like I was going sooo slow! The first two miles I had that annoying slosh going on in my stomach. GRR. I kept my cadence up and focused on good form. I am not sure where the 3 girls who came in ahead of me at 2:34 came from? I was watching, and honestly didn’t see any (except the girl right before me) go by? She was moving at a pretty fast clip, and my legs were not responding. No excuses… I should have pushed harder to try and stay with her the last half mile. I was hoping for 50-55 mins and came in 52:02 for the run.
All in all, I PR’d by 5mins for that distance, so I was happy. I honestly thought I was closer to the top 5 than where I actually came in at (13th). Not going to lie, I was a little disappointed, but it was a beautiful day with my family, I had fun, and I couldn’t ask for better weather! PS- Last time I did this race in 2008 my time was 2:55:06- That is a 20 min difference!!!! Thanks to everyone who continues to help me get stronger and faster!

Ironman Training.
Coach Jen sent out a nice Ironman training cheat sheet filled with things to remember and things to do/not do. It is really official now--- we are training for Ironman! Whoo hooo!  First up on the schedule: 100 mile ride. It was HOT and HUMID on Sat. I was very fortunate to spend the morning with the Ironman crew: Emily, Karen, Stacie and Mia. We rode from Hampshire up to Sharon, WI and back. Here they are at the State Line!

We took our time heading up, it was nice to catch up with the girls (my schedule doesn’t allow me to hook up with them for training too often.) On the way back we were all business. It didn’t take long and Emily was a speck in far distance ahead and then gone. She is so fast on the bike! The rest of us broke up into groups of 2. Around mile 80 I was ready to be done. Back and neck would ache off and on, and the lady bits were a tad angry to be biking for 5 hours. We pulled into where we started but I was 7 miles short… so I kept going. I didn’t want my first 100 mile ride to be short… It took all I had to continue, I so desperately wanted to get off the bike and stretch the legs. But, I felt good when I finally rolled in with the triple digits on my bike computer! 6 hours and 2 mins! All in all, I did well, nailed my heart rate and nutrition.  I did manage to make a rookie mistake and not take any fluid with me on my T run. DUMB DUMB  DUMB! I got about ¾ of the way through and then goose bumps, chills, and no sweat. BAD sign! So I walked for about 5 mins and got my heart rate back down. I managed a stupid slow shuffle for the last quarter mile. Emily who had a T run also was heading toward me with a nice cold glass of water as I finished up… she looked like an angel! Thanks Emily!!! It was a fun day and confidence booster, knowing I handled myself well in the heat, and wasn’t destroyed at the end of the bike. For the T run, I learned a valuable lesson: don’t get too cocky and always follow your nutrition/hydration plan!  When I got home, I inhaled a sub sandwich and several glasses of water and spent the rest of the day and weekend packing. Lucky me!!

This PAST Saturday: My Mom and I participated in a 2 mile Open Water Swim Race. It was a nice morning and water temps were at 82 degrees… I was debating not wearing my wetsuit but in the end decided to do so. Here is a pic of my Mom and I pre-race.

As we got in the water, the race director told us the course. There was supposed to be 2 platforms - 1st platform was to be at ¼ mile, then a lane line connecting to the second platform ½ mile out. This race had both 1 mile and 2 mile races. So for us doing the 2 mile we had to do the loop two times. We started off, I felt good and strong. My goggles fogged up a little, and I was a slightly warm but all in all pretty comfortable. I kept on course, and let me say that the person selecting the cap colors should have stayed away from neon orange, since that is the SAME color as the buoys! I couldn’t tell if I was sighting off of someone’s head or an actual buoy! HAHA. As I’m swimming I’m wondering where the heck are these platforms??? I got to the last buoy and was slightly confused- No platform?  No lane line? weird… so I just continued. It felt like I was swimming FOREVER! As I was rounding the last buoy and started on the last leg of the swim I noticed a platform way over by the shore. My first thought was “that’s cool those people are out here to watch the race” Then it hit me … those people were the lifeguards on the platform they never could fully secure. I continued on, and finished . When I looked down at my watch it read One hour and twenty-five mins. WHAT THE??? One of my friends who did the mile saw my look of disappointment (it should have only take me about an hour!) and told me the course was long… about a mile long. HMMM big difference 2 miles vs. 3… NO WONDER why my shoulder was hurting and it seemed to take forever! My Mom was thinking the same thing as she got out of the water… It was a great confidence builder as I now know I CAN do the Ironman distance, but a real shoulder killer- ouch it is still sore today!  

A nice surprise as I got out of the water was my hubbie and son cheering me on! I guess, Jack was cheering all the swimmers in, and as I was swimming in he said Mommy and pointed to me… how did he know it was me? John told me he didn’t say that to anyone else... what a sweetie!  We finished the morning up with a great breakfast complete with French toast and coffee!!! Plus a few laughs over the distance discrepancy.

Next up: This Sunday Racine ½ Ironman… It’s supposed to be a lovely 95 degrees! Think cooling thoughts for me please ;)


  1. Go Cheryl! Tear up that course this Sunday!! -Kate

  2. Thanks Kate!!! Thank you for working on my shoulder and getting me strong!!!

  3. We will be thinking of you in Racine! Think of us a little further up the lake :))) yeesh! Good thing we had some heat practice!

  4. YOU are doing so awesome, Cheryl! KEEP up the good work and we are getting there! YAY! :)