About Me

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Austin, Texas, United States
I'll make you laugh, or break my neck trying. This is usually accomplished with daily bouts of swimming, biking and running. A former "chub-a-holic," I got fit and healthy the good old fashioned way and went from a mid-pack athlete to top age group runner and triathlete. I'm a Writer and USAT Level 1 Certified Triathlon Coach. I guess that makes me part Tina Fey and part Jillian Michaels. Visit my coaching site at www.fomotraining.com

Monday, January 28, 2008

And Now for a Sincere (and slighty cheesy) Moment...

Saw a screening of "The Spirit of the Marathon" last week and still get chills when I think about it. This is the first time, in full screen, that someone has adequately put into words and film the impact that this sport has had on my life. I had so many "YES!!!" moments during the film and I realized that it doesn't matter if you are Deena Kastor or a 6:00hr marathoner...this sport changes you from the inside out in so many ways. (Or, in my case, from the outside in)

The best part about running and racing? The friendships that are made as a result...No question, my life has been utterly filled to the brim with wonderful, positive and energetic persons who have coached, guided, encouraged, challenged and laughed with me every mile of the way. There is no substitute for this type of euphoria. In fact, I just received very timely emails today from fellow Gazelles Frank and Jay who both expressed their gratitude for all that our friendships have brought to them. I couldn't agree more.

That, to me, is the True Spirit of the Marathon.

Here are just a few pics of wonderful moments brought about through running and triathlons over the last couple of years. There are so many friends and moments not represented in these pics, but rest assured, each person and finish line are all in my heart.

After the 2005 Chicago Marathon (the year upon which the movie is based) and my Boston Qualifier day!

I can't imagine my life without my post-run Saturday Mi Madres visits!

My 2004 MS 150 friends and team

After the 2004 NYC Marathon

Shawn and I after finishing the 2006 Eagleman 70.3 in Maryland

Bob, Tracy and Karl (friends from Ohio) at the 2005 Vineman 70.3

Thon and I after our kick-ass North Trails Half Marathon in May 2007

Katy and I at 2007 Longhorn Triathlon. We're now training together for Ironman Arizona. Hell yeah, we're tough!

Skud and I at the Boston Airport 2006

My coveted Boston Marathon medal 2006. The Spirit of the Marathon led me to that day.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The 3M 23.5 Miler

Thanks to Scott Wedge for the photo! I'm happy to see I was smiling at Mile 10 (which was Mile 20 of my run)...Definitely looking stronger than I felt.

Going to bed early last night paid off because I wasn't totally exhausted when the alarm went off at 4am. Let's be honest, the last thing I wanted to do was go run 23 miles, but at least I felt well enough to try it.

My stomach wasn't bothering me, but I noticed that I wasn't really hungry at all. Last night, Shawn and I went to Galaxy and all I really wanted was some chicken broth and a few bites of mac and cheese. I'm still trying to figure out the source of this nausea and lack of appetite, but it doesn't bode well during these long training weekends. I forced myself to eat a piece of bread with peanut butter and a banana. Usually, this is my food of the gods--(LOVE peanut butter and banana together all Elvis' style), but it just didn't sit well. I drank a bottle of water and drove up to our T3 Meeting point at 45th and Lamar.

So, the plan was to do a 10 mile warm up to the 3M Half Marathon start. In my mind, I was hoping to warm up at a 9:00min pace. Right out of the shoot, the fast folks were blazing a trail that was hardly a warm up for me. It was more like my scheduled race pace. Four miles into the warm up run and I was running an 8:37 pace and feeling like shit. I hadn't carried any water with me thinking that I could stop at a gas station or steal some from a water stop table that might already be set up. This was a mistake as I was completely thirsty and dehydrated. On top of it, the mild nausea had returned (probably as a result of the dehydration). I was running with Jerry who wisely advised us to slow down so that we didn't burn out. He also offered me some water from his bottle, which was a huge help. By the time we finished our 10.5 mile warmup, I was pretty spent and not feeling all that great. It's scary, especially since our final avg for that part of the run was a 9:05 pace. It's where I wanted to be, but not how I wanted to feel.

We arrived at the 3M Start Line 15 minutes before start time. I desperately needed a porta-potty pit stop before, but the lines were long. I decided to wait it out anyhow as my legs began to tighten and my temperature began to drop.

We made it to the start line in time and prepared for Part 2 of the day's run. I knew it was going to be a tough one for me, so I encouraged Jerry to "run his race." By Mile 1, he was out of sight and feeling good. I don't know how he did it. He had very little water and no gels. Before the start, I forced a gel down even though it wasn't tasting good at all. That was my first gel of the morning. It's an interesting perspective of running when you're not out there to be "the fast one." I was getting passed by a lot of people including many Gazelles who went on to kick some butt. Even Jay said, "What are you doing back here? Did you have a 100 mile bike ride yesterday or something?"

"Yeah, kinda...And I ran 10 miles before this race even started!" My original hope was to run somewhere between 8:00s-8:30s for this race...of course, closer to 8:00s. However, it just wasn't going to happen today. The first 5 miles clipped off quickly and I continued to ebb and flow between feeling good and feeling like total ass. Of course, it usually corresponded with whether or not I was on a hill at the time. Because I had neglected to drink enough before, I found myself walking the water breaks and taking two cups at every stop. I was so afraid of the tank going empty.

It's also weird knowing that this was also just a long training run. I swear, you put a chip on, bring out a couple thousand people and set up water tables and you can't help but kick into "race mode." I didn't mind being slower than usual, but I also didn't want to be humiliated either. I wish I had a t-shirt that said, "I ran 10 miles before the start of the race" just to let people know why I seemed to be struggling. Along the way, I chatted with a few Gazelles (Susan, Frank, Rachel, Brian, Jay, Ann, Amy F., Monique, Katie) They provided a much-needed boost every single time as our meetings were spaced out throughout the course.

I choked another gel down at Mile 8 and hunkered in for the North Loop "hills." It's no Mt. Bonnell, but they definitely pose a challenge when you're already fatigued. My splits continued to be decent for the shape I was in, but I was also paying a price for trying to run a decent Half-Marathon.

I saw Richard, Stephanie and Shawn at Mile 11 and stopped for a minute or so to visit with them. The last two miles are pretty fast so, again, I just put my head down and finished Miles 22 and 23 of my training day strong. It definitely wasn't a PR, but an 8:19 overall pace is still pretty damn awesome considering.

I still have to figure out what's going on with my body, but I'm definitely pleased with the training day. Did I mention it was utterly beautiful this morning watching the sun come up?

3M Mile Splits
1:49:06 (8:19 avg pace)

Mile 1: 8:55
Mile 2: 8:36
Mile 3: 8:24
Mile 4: 8:16
Mile 5: 8:00
Mile 6: 8:20
Mile 7: 8:05
Mile 8: 8:17
Mile 9: 8:44
Mile 10: 8:19
Mile 11: 8:38 (visit with Richard, Steph and Shawn)
Mile 12: 7:45
Mile 13: 7:42
Mile .1: .58

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Swim...Bike...Run...Eat...Sleep...Epic Weeked

It's 7:24pm and I'm already lying in bed with my cat Brutus snuggled right next to me.

I remember in the good old days, I'd be having some dinner, getting my drink on and getting ready to go out for the evening. Now, I'm getting ready for bed on this wacky Saturday night. Why? Because I have to be up at 4am and running by 5am. More on that after today's recap.

This morning I was at Barton Springs Pool by 7:00am for my 2800m open water swim (seven laps). Believe it or not, this was a new distance record for me. I've never gone this far in one open water swim in my life! All felt great because I was just taking my sweet ol' time with each lap. I lost rhythm for a while, but seemed to get it back by the last two laps. It took me one hour to complete the swim. The main reason I took it easy is because I also had a 75 mile bike ride right afterward. Most people do their Barton Springs Swim on Friday mornings, but I've been doing mine on Saturdays the last few weeks to practice that swim-to-bike brick workout.

The bike ride was an out and back from Austin to San Marcos. After four days of cold drizzly weather, the sky opened this morning and the sun came out presenting a glorious day for riding. We started at 9:00am while it was still pretty cool outside so the first few miles were chilly. However, it didn't take long to warm up with all of the gear I was wearing. I rode consistently throughout and settled in to a nice sub-group with Nancy, Jeff, Jerry and Jane. T3 definitely has several sub-groups of fast folks, but I like my place as a "tweener" right now. My legs didn't hurt this morning, but I still didn't feel the need to push it. This route is actually one of the less hilly courses and, for the first time in a long time, there weren't any major wind issues.

A couple of things I noticed today that I have to work on... (oh my God, my cat is snoring right now)
1.) Heart Rate-noticing that whenever I was climbing, my HR also seemed to raise very quickly and I'd get a small wave of nausea. This could be many things including dehydration, fatigue, heart attack...not sure yet, but something to keep my eye on.

2.) My Nutrition-I'm not consuming enough calories during the ride. Today was weird because I have been having some sour tummy issues this week and I just didn't want to consume a whole lot. When I was nauseous, I definitely didn't want to eat or drink calories, but I knew I needed to. I know this is one of the major "crash and burn" factors at Ironman. People stop following their nutrition plan and invariably bonk. Again, it's something I'm aware of and monitoring. Right now, I'm trying to keep most of my bike calories liquid in the form of Perpertuum. I mixed 3 scoops of that with water and drank the whole bottle throughout the course of the morning. The taste isn't all that spectacular, but it keeps my levels consistent and doesn't make me bloated (like gels will). I'm hoping to save my gels for the run portion. I just noticed that when I finish the bike, I'm pretty depleted which is not a good thing knowing that I still have to complete a full marathon!!

3.) Form-I was in and out of aero-bars today more than I should've been.

Today's Results: 74 miles at an avg pace of 17.0 mph. It's my fastest training ride to date, but it's also one of the flatter rides we do. I keep telling myself that IMAZ is also pretty flat so I should do great!! My goal is to avg about 17mph on the IMAZ course so this was a good practice run (without the 40+ extra miles I'll have to do)

And now the reason I'm going to bed at 8pm? We have a 22-23 mile run in the morning! The 3M Half Marathon is tomorrow mornig at 7am, so a group of T3'ers are meeting at 5am to run 10 miles to the start line and then run the Half Marathon. I won't be setting any PRs tomorrow, that's for sure, but it's supposed to be a perfect morning for a run. I just hope my tummy holds up since it's been so darn queasy.

Completing this weekend will be a huge deposit into the Ironman bank as I continue to reach new distances and levels with all of this training. Of course, I'm also reaching epic levels of food consumption as well!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

There are some pretty hot legs in the world:

Tina Turner has her legs insured they're so famous.

Marilyn had some sexy gams (or at least President Kennedy thought so)

and as strange as it may seem, cleanly shaven male cyclist legs are also pretty darn sexy.

Currently, here are the state of my legs:

Yep, they pretty much feel like tree logs with the beating I've given them this week starting last Saturday, January 19th!

Saturday, January 19th: 60 mile indoor training ride

Sunday, January 20th: Frost yer Fanny Duathlon that was full-on assault from my toes to my hips.

Monday, January 21st: 1000m Meridan repeats in the afternoon. I did 4x repeats, 3 backwards and 3 sprints (4:44, 4:50, 4:44, 4:50). I was still so exhausted and beat up from the tempo effort from the day before.

Tuesday, January 22nd: Morning Swim Workout and 1hr 45 min Evening Indoor Training ride where we pushed the big chain ring and hard gears for most of the workout.

Wednesday, January 23rd: Gazelle 7-Mile Fartlek workout with 10 1min fast/1min slow repeats thrown in between the warm up and cool down.

Needless to say, my legs are the functioninh equivalent of a pumpkin that's been tossed out of a window from 20 stories high. Unfortunately, I'm a little nervous because this weekend doesn't get any easier on them.

Thursday AM-Indoor Trainer Workout

Saturday AM- 75 Mile Bike Ride

Sunday AM-22 Mile Run

I'd like to say that "I've got a leg up" on the competition, but I'm not even sure I have legs at the moment!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

You Can Never Be Too Prepared

I'm not the only one in training!

Shawn is practicing (and teaching) his life support skills in case he needs to use it on me during the Ironman! (uhh...let's hope not)

Is he also practicing for Fatherhood after Ironman?? ;-) Let's hope that's not how he holds a newborn--unless it's choking!

Thank God I landed a smart one! (and a cute one too)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

How NOT To Land on the Podium at a Race

There are many ways you can lose a podium spot at a race.

1.) Getting a Flat Tire

2.) Bonking

3.) Crashing your bike

4.) Dropping out of the race

5.) Being Placed in the Wrong Gender on the Results

Can you guess which one just happened to me today?

I'll state the obvious. I'm not the most feminine chick out there. In fact, I'm downright scrappy and I'm definitey not a "girly girl." BUT--I'm all vuh-jay-jay and yet somehow I ended up in the Male 35-39 year old age group in today's "Frost Your Fanny" Duathlon!!

The good news: I still placed 8th in Male 35-39

The bad news: I wasn't able to claim my 2nd Place Age Group award in the Female 35-39 age group since I wasn't listed as a chick!!

Total Time: 1:53:18

5k Run #1: 21:13 (6:51 pace)
21 Mile Bike: 1:07 (18.6 mph)
5k Run #2: 22:21 (7:13 pace)

#10 Overall Female

#2 in 35-39 Female Age Group--I'm not 35 years old yet, but USAT Rules make you race in the age group that you will be in that year. Talk about making me feel older than I should be!!

Here I am listed in the Male Age Groups 35-39 :-) before it goes away.


Don't worry-I've already contacted the race director ;-) In fact, his wife is sitting on my couch right now watching the Packers game and she's not leaving until it's fixed!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Jack Lalanne - 10 Point Plan

Really, does anything else need to be said?

An Endurance Athlete Wife's Best Friend

I opened the front door on Tuesday night at 8pm having just returned home from my T3 Indoor Trainer Spin class. My day had started at 5:15am when I woke up to get ready for 5:45am T3 Swim class. In between, I had worked a full day, finished a load of laundry, taken the trash out, emptied the dishwasher and prepared dinner. Yep, I had prepared dinner that morning and boy did the house smell good when I opened that door.

Early that morning I had dumped soy sauce, white vinegar, garlic, pepper and a couple of pounds of chicken breast into a crock pot and left the house. Twelve hours later, I had returned and dinner was waiting for us, ready to go and smelling great. Shawn had picked up some steamed brown rice on the way home. We threw a salad together and, voila! Dinner was served.

I'm thinking the crock pot is going to save my life more often. It sure made me seem like a power-wife if nothing else. Training for an Ironman while cooking...it's ingenius!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

My Life Resolution

Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than FALLING IN LOVE.

In a quite absolute final way, what you are in love with,

what seizes your imagination,

will affect everything.

It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning,

what you do with your evenings,

how you spend your weekends,

what you read, who you know,

what breaks your heart,

and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.

Fall in love,

stay in love,

and it will decide everything.

This poem was read at our pre-marriage classes. I love it so much that I also read it at my wedding reception. Yes, I did my own toast!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Who Am I?

So, my dear husband signed us both up for the AT&T Half Marathon taking place in mid-February. However, he signed me up under my maiden name and not my newly-minted married name. Is he trying to tell me something? Thanks babe, I love you too. ;-)

Am I Still Gazelle-Worthy?

One of the biggest sacrifices of all of this training is that I can't make it to my Gazelle running workouts as much as I want to. My goal is running "maintenance" right now and hitting at least one workout a week. Of course, I've forgotten just how damn hard they all are. I've purposely slowed myself down at each workout instead of trying to keep up with the lead group. While it's good for me to be doing that at the moment (maintenance, remember?), it's also very hard to hold back. Unfortunately, I've learned the hard way that my long rides and runs suffer when I push myself so hard on these other workouts....not to mention the fact that I'm more prone to injury when running at full-tilt.

Last week I hit the 2000m workouts at Zilker. These repeats are pretty hard to pace because it's 1.25 miles of pure speed. 2000m is so very different than an 800m repeat. With 800s, you know the pain is short-lived. 2000s are a different story. Plus the loop that we do tends to go on...and on...and on. I have a tendency to go out too fast and try to hang on at the end. That also means I start seeing double by the 2nd repeat because I'm so whipped. This time, I slowed the first repeat way down and tried to settle in. It was a little more challenging as some of the gates were padlocked so we had to run around them.

#1 8:54

Pretty slow...time to pick it up for the next few.


Nice...Right on target.

Some were doing a 5th repeat, but I held back...There's just no reason to push too much when my "A" race is three months away.

This morning, I talked Amy into going to the Gazelle workout: Wilke Hill Repeats.

I'm not sure why I wanted to do this workout after my swim/long bike on Saturday and my long run on Sunday. Well, truth be told, I didn't want to do it, but I also want to feel like I'm still a part of the Gazelle bad-ass group by doing this workout. My goal was to just do 7 forward repeats, 3 backwards and 3 sprints. A year ago, I was doing 10 repeats and today I just committed to 7 since I hadn't done this in a while. As always, the first repeat is the worst as your lungs feel like they are going to blast out of your chest and your legs are burning with lactic acid. I'm so slow at these repeats, which can be frustrating as others cruise by, but I'm also consistent. Slow and steady...slow and steady...There goes Marcie. Damn, she's good at these. We started before the lead group and were eventually passed by them. It's cool...slow and steady...

I'm happy to say that we did complete all of the repeats and even took a longer cooldown run afterward. I definitely had energy in me for more, but knew it wasn't necessary. Maybe by March I'll be back up to 10 repeats. Maybe not.

Wednesday's workout is the dreaded 4-mile tempo run. There's no such thing as taking this one easy. Not sure yet if I'm going to attempt this one during this week. I'm scheduled to do 15.5 hours of training and already have 17 hours mapped out if I hit all of the workouts. I've got to cut back somewhere. Theoretically, I could and probably should sit this one out and focus more on my swim and cycling workouts.

We'll see as the week progresses! I hope I'm still Gazelle-ish after all this IM talk.

Coming soon---some changes to the blog. I already screwed it up recently so my next goal is to just completely give it a facelift. By the end of this year, tritobefunny.com will be much more than just my self-indulgent chatter.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Another Deposit into the Ironman Bank and A Moment of Embarrassment

It was another solid weekend of training and, as of today, I have 3 months exactly until I hit the starting line. In many ways, three months seems like an eternity. In other respects, it feels like every day is slipping away so quickly.

Saturday 1/12:
Barton Springs Swim
Because I had skipped my Barton Springs Friday swim, I had to get it in this morning before my ride. Turned out to be a great workout for me and I hit some new best times!!
2 x 600 (12:39, 12:40)
2 x 400 (8:39, 8:25)
2 x 200 (4:14, 4:16)

Technically, the 2nd repeat was supposed to be faster on all of the distances, but I'm just happy to have kept them even especially since the way back in Barton Springs is going against the current. I actually felt a flow in the water! I can definitely feel a huge difference in my endurance and energy levels with my swim. It's happening...YAY!!!

Bike Ride
We were scheduled to ride 50+ miles, which turned out to be the very hilly Bee Caves Loop twice, including a lollipop extension from Escarpment to Mopac on the first loop. Katy and I started and finished together, completing our best ride yet of the training season. Our ride ended up being 56 miles and our average was 16.3 mph overall (3:30). At the beginning of the ride, we questioned whether or not we were feeling stronger. At the end of the ride, we confirmed it. Several of the riders that we train with had cut their rides short and/or decided not to do a second full loop. Believe me, I wasn't excited about starting loop #2, but I'm glad we dug through it. I believe more than ever that I have to continue to train my mind even more than my body to fight through the low moments...the doubts...the sore legs and the wind. It wasn't blazing fast, but the course was 3.5 hours of hard work. Aside from the wind (which became more of a factor on loop 2), we were blessed with sunshine and mild temperatures near 60. You can't ask for anything more in mid-January.

So, on our first loop, Katy and I were on Southwest Parkway and we came to a stop at the bottom of a rather large hill. I clipped out with my left foot like I always do. Unfortunately, the bulk of my weight was still on my right side. I knew it before it even happened. I was tipping over and my bike was at a stand still. It was like watching a drunk person fall over. I couldn't get my right foot unclipped and just fell straight on my butt. It didn't really hurt at the time and I was truly more concerned with the bike. Katy was next to me and helped me unclip my foot. All of the sudden, I heard a voice from behind me.

"Carrie?" a male voice questioned?

"Yeah?" I said, still laying by the side of the road hot with embarrassment.

"It's Jeff," he said. "Is your bike ok?" He asked jokingy.

"Yeah, I'm fine...new pedals...blah, blah, blah."

In a moment, the light turned green and he was gone. Well, Jeff is one of my husband's work colleagues and last time he was at our house, he was admiring my bike and talking about how we should ride together some. Now, he was staring at me as I lay on the side of a busy road having crashed going 0mph! I looked like a little rookie who's never ridden a bike in their life!
A little embarrassing to say the least. Hardly the behavior of an Ironman in training!

Immediately after our ride, I headed to San Antonio where Shawn and I were spending the weekend at his parent's house. Being here makes me feel like I'm on vacation. I get to hang out on the couch, read a book, drink wine and not think about all of the things I should be doing!

Sunday, 1/13
Exactly three months to Ironman and an 11-mile run was on the agenda this morning. Shawn and I headed out at 8am and mapped out a challenging out and back course near his parent's house in NW San Antonio. We ran some hills and I was sluggish for this first half. Plus, my butt was sore from the fall the day before. Turns out I have a bruised butt-cheek!! Sweet. I won't gross anyone out with photos. I'm noticing that it is taking my body longer to warm up and ease into these difficult runs. I suppose it's natural since I'm going into the these runs on tired legs. Still, at 5 miles, we were averaging a 9:15 pace. After a quick water break at the grocery store, we made our way back and I began to finally find the run. I took a Power Gel and that helped me come alive. I ended with 11.69 miles at an 8:53 overall pace. Again, good for the mind and confidence level.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Austin Gets an Ironman 70.3!

Big news in the Tri World of Austin, Texas! Last year's Inaugural Longhorn Triathlon has now officially become an Ironman 70.3 Race! What in the hell does that mean? Well, it means the competition will be tough and the rewards are great. This race will hold slots to the Ironman 70.3 World Championship Race in Clearwater, Florida. So basically, if you're super fast in your age group, you could qualify to go to the World Championship Race!

This past year, I was 11th in my age group and I swear it was the hardest thing I've ever done. I'm just proud that little Austin is getting a big-league race (although it seems like they're handing out 70.3 races quicker than Barrack Obama bumper stickers these days).

I thought I'd relive that little day of hell with some pics taken by my dear friend Stephanie!

The Death March-lots of hills, no shade, 90+ degrees

Gutting it out in the Finisher's Chute

I swore I'd never do it again..

I lied.

"Spirit of the Marathon" Exclusive Austin Screening

Reserve your tickets now for the exclusive Austin screening of "Spirit of the Marathon" on Thursday, January 24th at Gateway Theaters.

Purchase your tickets at http://www.dickbeardsleyfoundation.org/ ...About 40 tickets remain on the second screen as one theater has already sold out!

I'll be in attendance! Oh yeah, so will some other famous runner guy named DICK BEARDSLEY who also happens to be in the film. ( I, however, am not)

The following is taken directly from their foundation website:
Join us at the premiere of Spirit of the Marathon, on January 24, 2008, at the Gateway Theater on Stonelake Boulevard. Running legend Dick Beardsley, who has an appearance in the film, will be in attendance at the screening, and at an event prior to the screening that will be open exclusively to those who purchase tickets from the Foundation.Spirit of the Marathon is the first ever non-fiction feature film to capture the drama and essence of the famed 26.2 mile running event. Filmed on four continents, the movie brings together a diverse cast of amateur athletes and marathon luminaries.As six unique stories unfold, each runner prepares for and ultimately faces the challenge of the Chicago Marathon. More than a sports movie, Spirit of the Marathon is an inspirational journey of perseverance and personal triumph; a spectacle that will be embraced by runners and non-runners alike.
Tickets for the event are only available through the Foundation for a minimum donation of $15 per ticket, with proceeds from these sales benefitting the Foundation.

To purchase your ticket, click here, and make sure to indicate in the note field that your donation is for Spirit of the Marathon tickets.
Thank you to our growing list of sponsors for the Spirit of the Marathon Fundraiser
Team Spiridon, Twenty-Six.Two Marathon Club, Conley Sports, Maudie's Tex-Mex, Run-Tex, Jack and Adam's Bicycles - Austin

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Check the Rule Books Folks

I have found my Ironman Secret Weapon.

Hell Yeah...that 112 Miles on the bike will be a piece of cake with this 7-person bike!

In fact, I already started training on this contraption! Here I am with my Barrett family on our way to the Trail of Lights over the holiday season. We were the first people to take a ride on this hilarious bike in Austin. Of course, we drew plenty of attention pedaling our way down Barton Springs Road honking our horns and shouting the whole way. Check it out at www.notyourusualbikes.com and watch out at Ironman Arizona. This baby is the wave of the future.

So, it's not very aerodynamic, but at least there will be plenty of people to talk to during the bike leg.

Who's in on my ride with me??

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A Day of Mourning

I interupt this blog for one brief day of mourning.

My Buckeyes blew it AGAIN in the National Championship Game. I'm so glad my life and career doesn't depend on the outcome of one game. I'm also glad that in the sports of running and triathlon, no one is out to kill me and the only person shouting "you're overrated" is probably me.

I'm also glad I don't live in Columbus, Ohio today. That town (MY hometown) eats, sleeps and breathes Ohio State Football. Couches are probably burning in the streets and riots are no doubt ensuing as I type.

I still love you Buckeyes. Now, stop getting humiliated or I may have to repaint my bike! On second thought, my previous bike was yellow and purple like LSU's colors. Maybe I should just ride that one for the next year...

Uh no...

Sunday, January 06, 2008

20 Mile Run...and an Ice Bath

So after yesterday's ride, I filled the tub up with ice cold water and endured the dreaded "ice bath." This brutal self-torture is almost worse than the actual workout, but the benefits border on miraculous. I soaked my aching legs for about 15 minutes, then hopped in the steaming hot shower. After the hot shower, I hopped back in the ice tub for another 15 minutes. The results speak for themselves. While I, of course, have some remnants of sore muscles, the stiffness and pain is much less substantial than it would be.

There wasn't much time for recovery as today's workout was an equally brutal 20 mile run. I wanted to get an early start so I braved it alone with my iPod and 2 Power Gels. As suspected, the first couple of miles were sluggish and a little "tweaky." My hamstrings and hip flexors were definitely making their presence known. I left from my house and did the Scenic Loop first, followed by the 10 mile Lady Bird Town Lake Trail Loop. I had to add 3 more miles at the end which I did on Lake Austin Blvd, Bonnie and on the O'Henry Track.

Once I got going, it turned into one heck of a good training run. My energy level was high and I spaced my power gels well. I started feeling really tired and dehydrated at Mile 18, but it would've been the time to take another gel anyway. As it was, I took a gel at Mile 6 and Mile 12. I completed the last 1.5 miles on the track across from my house so it was difficult making several loops and looking at my front door every time knowing that coffee was probably brewing!

This beast of a training week is now complete with over 18.5 hours of solid money into the IM Training Bank. Next week is a recovery week--yay!! Time to recharge...

Needless to say, I had another ice bath this morning after that 20 mile trek.

Here are the run details:

20 Miles
Avg Pace Overall: 9:02 (that's on target for a 4-hour marathon on very tired legs!!)

Mile 1: 10:12
Mile 2: 9:45
Mile 3: 9:20
Mile 4: 9:20
Mile 5: 9:19
Mile 6: 9:17
Mile 7: 9:09
Mile 8: 8:52
Mile 9: 9:01
Mile 10 : 9:00
Mile 11: 8:36
Mile 12: 8:56
Mile 13: 8:26
Mile 14: 8:46
Mile 15: 8:41
Mile 16: 8:46
Mile 17: 8:50
Mile 18: 8:52
Mile 19: 8:59
Mile 20: 8:41

Saturday, January 05, 2008

95 Miles of Sweet Redemption

After a very intense week of training and a disappointing bike ride last weekend, I earned the redemption that I so desperately needed with a very strong 95-Mile bike ride. We rode an out and back from Austin to Johnson City and back. If that wasn't enough, we ended with one final loop on South Mopac to get us to the 95 mile mark. Johnson City is the home of President Lyndon B. Johnson. Did I mention that it's also in the area of Central Texas known as the HILL COUNTRY??? No joke...This ride was essentially a continuous roller coaster of hills. Some rolling, some steep, all very trying...The wind was blowing hard from the Southwest making the ride out much slower than the ride back.

All in all, I averaged 15.3 miles for the entire ride and it took me a little over 6 hours to complete with a serious negative split. The last 15 miles, I actually rode with Liz, Jim and some other dude who are faster than I am. I think they were starting to fade toward the end and I was finally catching them. I'm thrilled with how the bike rode today and I really felt the benefits of the indoor spin classes I've been attending. Seriously, I don't think I would've made it without those classes. My body also feels surprisingly well after being in a bike saddle for over 6 hours. My nutrition lasted through the ride, but I was definitely fading fast which probably means I need to eat more towards the end of the bike in order to have energy to start the run. I finished with a smile on my face but realized, "I have to do a freaking marathon after this?????" Wow....

I'm so happy to have completed this key workout and gain the ego boost that I've been needing on the bike. Like last week, there's no rest for the proud and weary because I've got to tackle a 20 mile run on Sunday morning.

Yes, this is the start of real Ironman training.

3 small sweet potato pancakes pre-ride: about 400 calories
bottle of water

During Ride:
1 bottle of Perpetuum with 3 scoops of powder-consumed this during the entire 6 hours
1 bottle of water with Nuun tablet-sipped for duration of ride
1 bottle of water--replaced with a bottle of gatorade at half way point

1 Power Gel 2.5 hours into ride
3 Clif Blocks at half way
handful of fritos at half way
3 Clif Blocks at 4.5 hours into ride

Total Calories Burned according to Garmin: 4964
Total Calories Consumed: approximately 800-1000

Out to Johnson City: 42.49 miles
avg pace of 14.3 mph (wind and hills)

Back to Austin: 42.26 miles
avg pace of 15.9 mph (some tailwind benefit...hills benefit on the way back)

Last Lap: 9.01 miles
avg pace of 17 mph

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

What a Difference a Decade Makes

Me in 1998 at my going away party just a few weeks before moving to Austin. I'm the one on the left who takes up 90% of the picture wearing the sweet acid-washed jean jacket.

Fast Forward almost ten years....

Just mere seconds away from being passed by super-stud James, but not without a fight...but definitely without the extra 50 pounds I carried around.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

My Christmas Gift Presentation

As told by my loving and supportive husband.

“We all know Carrie gets out of the water last in most races, so when she hops on her bike, she’s going to need one of these to let people know she’s coming.”

My new bicycle horn

“And then, when she blazes past people on the bike,
we want everyone to see her bike license plate.”

She has to be comfortable for 112 miles (and I don't want to render her sterile), so I bought her a new gel seat for the bike.

“She obviously has to look good so I bought her a long sleeve jersey and some new cycling gloves.”

“Of course, when she finishes Ironman, we’ll get to celebrate with some Desiree Chocolate Port.”

My tri friends will understand the humor and irony of the Desiree wine.

“But first…she’s going to need one of these magazines in order to pick out her brand new set of racing wheels for the 2008 season”.