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, June 23, 2008

Our Buffalo Springs Warm Up

Watching friends cross the line at Ironman CDA last night was the perfect cap to a fantastic weekend. Congratulations to all! As usual, it was incredibly inspiring watching the live feed of the finish line on www.ironmanlive.com. You were in my thoughts all weekend as I put together a couple of strong workouts.

Saturday 6/21 AM
I did my 14 mile long run with the Gazelles on Saturday morning and felt strong the entire Grove route. Temps were a little cooler this week, which was also a huge benefit. We paced between 8:30-9:00 min miles until Rachel and I did our progressive pickup over the last three miles. It's hard to find another gear at the end of a run, but building that fortitude (and oxygen deprivation) can be so beneficial in a race situation. Our last three miles averaged between 7:20-7:30 per mile.

On Saturday night, we met up with some friends and headed down to the AT&T Criterium bike race that was taking place on the streets of downtown. I don't know much about bike racing, but suffice to say, it's like watching a Nascar race in spandex. People are drafting to the point of rubbing tires, sparks fly when a pedal hits the pavement and even bodies and bikes fly when the occassional collision occurs (and it did). T3 Lindsey posted some great photos on her blog and I may have to steal a couple of them! It certainly was packed with Austin's sub-culture of runner/cycling/triathlete types who were out and about!

Sunday 6/22
It's not USAT sanctioned yet, but I present to you a new race that Shawn and I did on Sunday. It's sure to take over the world of racing soon, I'm sure.

(Insert Future Sponsor) Proudly Presents

The Grin and "Barrett" Ironman 37.4

In honor of our friends who were racing an Ironman that day and to prep one last time for Buffalo Springs next weekend, we did our own mock triathlon on Sunday morning, with Barton Springs (and my car) serving as our transition area.

We hit Barton Springs a little after 8:00am and swam 4000m (1.4 miles). Surprisingly, it was pretty crowded this morning so I just took my time and didn't work on pacing at all. I finished in about 43 minutes, which is pretty typical of my times.

Preparing for swim at Barton Springs

After the swim, we headed to the car and prepared the bikes for our 28 mile ride that took us up 360 to the Bee Caves loop and back down to 360 and back to Barton Springs. This hilly adventure was about 28 miles.

T1: about 25 minutes (we won't be winning any awards)

Ready to ride!

The bike ride (28 miles) was nothing new, but I was feeling a little discouraged at the beginning. My legs were sore from the previous day's run and the first few miles were full of wind and climbing. I couldn't believe it when I looked at my speedometer and I was averaging 13 mph. Well, thankfully, I found my stride (and got some wind help) on the Bee Caves loop because I was able to pick it up a lot. Plus, the way back down 360 was a blast with the downhill and tailwind--and my Zipp 404s that I was using as well. Every now and then I would stop and just make sure Shawn was within sight. At one point, an ambulance buzzed by so I stopped to wait to make sure he was ok. (he was). I finished the ride with a 16.5 mph average and felt good that I was able to pick it up tremendously for the 2nd half of the ride.

T2: I loaded my bike back in the car, changed shoes and waited for Shawn to get back...3 minutes passed, 5 minutes passed, 10 minutes passed. I started to get nervous. I had my cell, but he didn't have his. I was going to wait 5 more minutes before I hopped in the car to find him. Fortunately, with moments to spare, he came racing back into the parking lot in one piece. He flatted and had to change his tube along the way...whew....

The run (8 miles) started in the Barton Springs parking lot and headed around the 7 mile portion of the trail. It was about 12:45pm at this point so the sun was hovering directly ahead and it was blazing. We started off and hovered around a 9:20-9:30 pace per mile, which felt very comfortable. Along the way, we saw Lindsey who was with us at the crit the night before. It think she was happy, but mostly surprised to see that we were actually into the run portion of our "mock tri" that we had been bragging about the night before. As fate would have it, Shawn tripped and fell in the EXACT same spot that I tripped a few weeks back. I'm pretty sure it's the same damn tree root too!! Thankfully, he was ok, but we walked for a few moments so that he could catch his bearings again. As the run went on around the trail, I gradually (if not subconsciously) started to pick up the pace ever so slightly. I wasn't trying to push it at all since I had done that the day before. I was just finding a good rhythm and my pace quickened with every mile. The last three miles were around 8:30-8:40s so I was extremely happy to see that pace after a long day in the heat. Again, it's those "fast finishes" that help to build my confidence.

Shawn finished shortly afterward and we celebrated the completion of our mock triathlon by heading back into Barton Springs and soaking in the 68 degree temps. The now-crowded pool was filled with families, kiddos, swimmers, hippies, college kids and a couple of triathletes celebrating a job well done!

Preparing for post-race soakage

Post Grin and "Barrett" Ironman 37.4 Soak in Barton Springs!

Bring on Buffalo Springs, baby!!!

On a side note: Send good thoughts to my Father-in-Law who crashed his bike this past weekend and broke his upper arm. (Shawn knows the technical term for "upper arm." I don't. ) He's doing ok, but is seeing a Doc today to find out about potential surgery. Keep him in your thoughts and prayers! This photo was taken on Father's Day last week when we went down to San Antonio to visit them. Shawn, Dick and I had a great Father's Day bike ride...and I like to constantly remind them of my Ironman status by wearing my jersey--just in case they forget :-)


Dave said...

Will you be selling "37.4" car window stickers? I always thought it would be fun to have some random ones.

tracie said...

sounds like the grin and "barrett" was well organized and a great success. maybe you and shawn should become race directors! :P

good luck and speedy recovery to FIL!!!

triguyjt said...

way to rub it in with the ironman shirt...haha

cool mock tri!!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great post...now I'm starting to get excited about Buffalo Springs!

Nice job on the mock tri. Your T1 time is pretty close to my real ones ;)

You are fast and prepared! I know you're gonna tear it up at the Buffalo this weekend!! I'm looking forward to the postrace soak and Miller Lite :)

Hope to see you there...maybe at the expo?

ShirleyPerly said...

Oh, hope your FIL heals up fast. I think that's really cool that he's into cycling too.

Best of luck at Buffalo Springs!!

Viv said...

Keeping good thoughts for the FIL. Ouch! I like the Grin & Barrett 37.4. If you change the venue to a flat city and give me a couple lotion sample or something...I am in.

Great job u 2!