Saturday, September 19, 2009

Related Shenanigans

Last winter, Shelly and I ran on the Scenic Loop every weekend when we were training for the Austin Marathon. Every time we ran it, I would point out a mailbox that is painted with the Texas flag, and I would say, "Hey, you know what would be cool? We should get Robert to take our picture running past that and then submit it to Runner's World as one of those two-page spread photographs of fabulous places to run." And Shelly would agree. And then we would laugh because we always had the same conversation every time we passed that mailbox.

Now, thanks to iPhone technology, I present to you a version of that photograph:

Thanks, Shelly, for taking the photo!

After that ride, we went shopping for a new bike for Shelly. And after she purchased her fabulous new bike (Chloe), we went for a second ride that day, just so she could give it a try.

Here's Shelly and Chloe:

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Gator Bait Race Report

Felty* and me in the rain, approaching the finish line.

They don't cancel triathlons due to rain. It rained off and on the entire time yesterday at Gator Bait. All my stuff is still drying out right now.

The official results:
5th out of 22 in my age group
116th overall out of 240 finishers
600 m swim: 13:40 (3/22 in my age group!)
T1: 1:32 (11/22)
4 mile run: 38:36 (13/22; 9:39 min/mi)
T2: 1:19 (6/22)
12.2 mile bike: 43:43 (5/22; 16.7 mph)

I think Shelly and I both had great confidence going into this race because it was held in the same place that we practice every weekend. We swam from a different part of the lake than where we usually train because of the water levels; it was a triangle course around 2 buoys. There were 4 or 5 waves of swimmers and Shelly and I started dead last in our wave. But! We swam pretty much side-by-side the entire time and exited the water together, finishing the swim in the front of our wave. I can't believe I was 3rd place in my age group on the swim! Later, we found out that the swim course was long by 100 extra meters.

Because the swim was in a different section of the lake, we ran next. Shelly and I got to run together too. We pushed each other through a very quick (for us) 4 miles. It started raining on the bike segment. Thankfully, they shortened the course due to wet roads, so we didn't have to do the monster hill at the turnaround. On the way back, I battled it out with another girl in my age group (I knew she was in our group because she passed us on the run...grr). We passed each other a couple times but I picked it up on the way into the park and crossed the finish line first. She finished right behind me, and behind her were 2 other women in my age group. Hooray! It was really weird finishing the race on the bike. We had to dismount and walk across the finish line with our bikes.

We enjoyed post-race sausage wraps, Cheetos, and cookies. And then, to cap a fantastic morning, Shelly won the grand door prize! She got a free pair of Newton shoes from Tri-Sition Area. Even in the rain, it was a wonderful race day.

*Yes, I renamed my bike Felty. It just fit better than Eisenheim the Magnificent.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Practice for Gator Bait

This morning was the last practice session out at Boerne Lake before the Gator Bait triathlon next week. A few people chose to try running before biking today because of the way the race is set up, but I decided to do the traditional workout instead.

Today's workout:
700 m swim (to the point and back - used to be 800, but the water is SO LOW)
12.9 mile bike (the Gator Bait course - avg 16 mph!)
4 mile run (9:30s average w/negative splits - woo hoo!)

Stubbed my toe on a rock on the way into the lake. Worried the whole swim about whether it was bleeding (it wasn't). Got into a good rhythm and my stroke felt great after correcting using the thumb-to-thigh drill earlier in the week. I was even good at sighting!

Took off with a group of riders who went out the gate at 20+ mph and left me behind. I caught up to them on the hills though. Struggled up the big hill (see it in the handy video posted below!), but it wasn't as bad as the last time I did it. The first half of the bike ride was at 13.9 mph pace. Took a gu and turned around, flew down the hill at 38 mph and brought my avg speed up to 15.9 mph on the second half with negative splits.

I was happy with a 10:15 pace to start, but after a giant fox ran across my path and scared me at the end of mile 2, I picked up the pace and finished my last mile in under 9 minutes. Once I got started, I just couldn't stop.

What a great workout! I'm a little nervous about the tri next weekend. I hope I can still ride the bike after using up my legs on the run.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Gator Bait Triathlon Bike Video

Shelly and I are famous! And by famous, I mean we appear in a video on YouTube, of course.

Here's the course video for the bike segment of the Gator Bait Triathlon that is coming up in 2 weeks in Boerne, TX. We'll be swimming, biking, and running on our home turf - the place we work out every Saturday. That's how we got captured on video (start watching for us around 1:56 - Shelly is in purple and I'm in pink). The twist? This year, the triathlon will be a swim, run, bike event instead of swim, bike, run. And, due to low water in the lake and possibility of bacteria present, there may not even be a swim.