Friday, July 28, 2006

The best race photo of all time

From the Musselman half:

What was this guy thinking?

A. Got hot in the middle of the swim and disrobed?

B. Lost his shorts by some freak accident?

C. Thought it would be really funny until the "see thru" realization set in?

Discuss amongst yourselves :)

Race Report!

Finally a race report!

Pre-Race: I went to pick up my packet on Saturday morning meaning to pick up both mine and my dad's (he did the sprint!). Unfortunately there was an extra waiver that needed to be signed so they wouldn't let me pick his up. Big time bummer since I didn't think he would be in until after the expo was over. Oh well, the said he could do it at 5am (doh!).

Unfortunately due to some repaving and construction the entire race course had been rerouted and it seemed to be quite confusing. I wasn't too worried about it, but there were a bunch of people there who were very concerned. The race directer was a total jerk about it and I almost saw him get in a fight with a guy who was trying to get clarification. Geez. Note to self: Find another race to give my money to next year.

My dad ended up getting in early after all and I got the pleasure of going to the race expo twice. This time they were out of everything! Not even T-shirts for people. And this race cost $100! Oh, well, just have to have fun with it :)

Race morning: Got up super early (4am) to eat breakfast (Cliff Bar) and got to the race early. Transition closed at 6:30 so we got there about 5:30 to give plenty of time for pre-race prep. Unfortunately my race didn't start until 8am, so there was a lot of downtime. Another negative for the race director- he didn't inform the nearby parking lots of the early start and most of them were not open yet. We managed to slide in to a restaurant parking lot and parked for free. Bonus!

Racing started at 6:45 with the super sprint. I watched them go and then said goodbye to my dad. He was super nervous about the swim. Although a strong swimmer, he panics in the water in race situations and has a very hard time. So I made sure to watch the swim portion of his race. I was a little bit nervous when I didn't see him swim by before my wave (the last olympic wave- all women) was called. Turns out he made friends with all of the kayakers. They told him that he would be a lot faster if he swam in a straight line! I must get it from him! Swam from one to the other until he got out of the water in about 26 minutes (for the 750 meters). I'm so proud that he toughed it out!

Swim: It was quite chilly that morning so I was a little leary to jump into the lake. But it was so warm! And not nearly as nasty as that part of the harbor usually is. I wasn't nervous at all and looking forward to the swim. It's my favorite part. I find it so relaxing. The perfect start to a tri! This swim went pretty well. It was my longest constant swim ever I think.

I started passing people from the wave before at the first turn so I knew I wasn't too slow. It felt good, but I wasn't pushing it. Halfway through the second length I realized that I was way off course and had to swim about 100 meters in to turn around the buoy. I was a little bit disappointed when the kayaker said: "Hard left- swim directly into the sun!" Have you ever tried to use the sun to spot with? Needless to say it took me until an hour into the bike to stop seeing spots. But before I knew it I was onto a boat and out of the water. My time 28:37. Not too shabby, but next time I'll try to go harder and in a straight line.

T1: Fine except I dropped my Gu and it took me a good 30 seconds to locate it amongst my messy neighbor's pile of belongings- it was somewhere under his kitchen sink.

Bike: Back/Forth/Back/Forth/Back/Forth. 6 hairpin turns in 24 miles and you're not going to break any land speed records. The course didn't have steep hills, but it was NEVER flat. I had a good time seeing my dad and the other CTC members. There was so much support out there! Everyone was cheering each other on. That club is amazing!I could have done better, but met my goal of drinking an entire gatorade and eating a cliff shot. Total time 1:26:35. Crappy, I know. Needs work :)

T2: fast. Not much to do here

Run: Death march. Kind of hit the wall at mile 4 and started having to walk through the aid stations to drink, re-compose, and dump water over my head. The surface was horrible- a torn up freeway. Ugh. I NEED to start doing bricks. But I have totally avoided running at all outside of competition to let my knee heal, so that just has to wait. But my knee feels like a million bucks now, so it was so worth it! Total time: an abysmal 59:05. But without all my friends cheering me on it would have been much worse- so THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

But I finished my longest race ever with a PR of 2:57:18 which was good enough for 3/13 in my age group (139/229 o/a 15/58 females). Can't be disappointed with that. And my dad did fantastic- 2nd in his age group and got to take home a sweet medal.

and got some really funny race photos!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

So much news!

It's been a long busy week! I'll summarize:

1. I signed up for Coeur d'Alene Ironman! 338 days left to train. Yikes! Yes, I do think that this is slightly crazy given that I have only done one triathlon (a sprint), however this will certainly be my last opportunity to commit this much time to training for at least 5-10 years. Might as well do it while I'm young :)

2. Went to the Musselman half ironman this past weekend. Had so much fun! I took a lot of pictures that I still have to upload. Great job to everyone who raced!

3. My first olympic race is in 3 days. I am really excited about it. Not so pleased that it is a 3 loop bike course (boring!), but my dad will be in town and he's doing the sprint. It will be such a fun day competing with friends and family.

4. I am getting faster on the swim! Put in 10,000 meters this week at masters practice. We did our first set of 100's this morning in quite awhile. I got my time down from 1:50 to 1:35 (meters) so far this summer.

5. I got my proofs back for my first primary authored publication! I also found out that my paper, and our collaborator's paper (I'm second author on that one) are both going to be published in the same issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry (JBC). Yeah, I'm a big, big science nerd.

6. How could I forget! I'm an auntie again! My first niece was born on the 13th (on her daddy's birthday). Here is a pic:

Ava Lewandowski- 8 pounds 4 ounces, 19 inches. What a beauty!

And her proud brother Ashton who is not too happy to have to wake up at 2 in the morning to go to the hospital with Daddy

I think that's it for now. I'll try to have a little more time to blog later. I hope to see most of the Cleveland bloggers on Sunday!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

I feel like a slacker this week

I haven't been feeling so hot this week. A little bit of a virus hit me on Monday night so my training has been a little bit iffy.

Monday: Swam in the morning, then biked to Squire farm at night (16 miles total)

Tuesday: I had meant to do the Columbia beach swim, but it was looking threatening as far as the weather was concerned so I decided not to make the 45 minute trek. So it was a total rest day!

Wednesday: Should have went to Master's but I woke up at 5 with a headache and very tired so I slept an extra hour. Then I woke up feeling VERY guilty. So I did the Cindy Crawford New Challenge workout (1 hour of toning- it is bad ass, trust me) and then went for a 20 minute run to work out the lactic acid

Let me take a break for a second to tell you how absolutely wonderful my patella band is:

This thing is a lifesaver! It has been a month since I have been able to run more than a quarter mile without pain in my knee. It has been so bad that I have done zero running outside competitions for weeks. Until I got this wonderful invention! I ran 2 whole miles yesterday with NO PAIN! I'm back :)

Today: I just got back from swim practice. It was a distance day. Great for me- as much as I hate doing it. The longest distance we did was 1000 meters. It was torturously boring, but I did it in 18 minutes (I know, I'm not a speed demon, but I was happy with it!). Our total yardage today was 3600 meters

So tonight I am going to go for a bike ride, tomorrow I'll go to swim practice again, and then I'm off to upstate New York to go to the Musselman Half Ironman. It should be a lot of fun. I am going to try to get a lot of training in since I'll have to start my taper soon, but it might be difficult.

Catch up with Ya'll later!

Brooks, Brooks, Brooks!

Blog deleted under coercion from subject.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Lorain Summer Triathlon

Time for my first race report! I survived, but it has made me a little nervous that I won't make it through my Oly. That was tough!


Woke up at 5am. Ate a Cliff bar (I've decided that peanut butter toast is too heavy for race day). Took the dog for a walk, drank some coffee and headed out to Lorain. It was about an hour drive from my house and we got there at 6:50, 10 minutes before registration began. I went with my roommate Matt who also was doing his first tri.

We were setting up our transition area (I got a great spot- second rack from the bike course) when Brooks got there. What a guy! He brought me a race belt and took some great action shots of the race (I'll post those later). It was great to have a cheering section. I'll return the favor next week at Musselman.

Swim: I was definitely among the minority of swimmers who was wearing a wetsuit. It was definitely not neccessary because the water wasn't very cold and the swim was only 400 meters. But I wanted to practice with it because I am definitely wearing it for the Cleveland Oly. I hung out with Carly (a fellow CTC member) while waiting for our wave to be called. She was freezing because she wasn't wearing a wetsuit and had gone in for a warmup beforehand. I became even more happy that I had my Orca on! It was a beach start and the water was very shallow for about 50 meters. When the buzzer went off everyone ran in. I was one of the first one to dive in and start swimming. That was a little funny since I was swimming at people's shins. But it was much faster than running through water so I started pulling ahead. When we got outside of the breakwater it got a little wavy, but we just had about 250 meters of swimming out there and it went really fast. I passed a couple of people from the wave before ours that weren't looking so good. But there was plenty of help around so I'm sure that they made it out just fine. The swim back to shore was nice because the traffic had thinned quite a bit. I was probably about 7th or so out of the water from my wave in 7 minutes. Not too shabby for 400 meters in open water I guess.

T1: It was a good run up the beach and through the parking lot to get to my bike. My heart was racing from the swim (probably should have warmed up). It took a short bit to take off my wetsuit. Not terrible, but I can definitely improve on that. Then I put on my race number, helmet, shoes and then grabbed my bike and was off. We didn't have official splits for this race. I'm sure from my getting out of the water to getting on the bike course took several minutes.

Bike: Heart was still racing so it took several miles to settle in. Unfortunately there was a good sized headwind for the first 9 miles of the bike. I was thinking that I was having a bad day when I saw that I was just going 16 miles per hour. But then I realized that I wasn't being passed by anyone (except a few serious female cyclists early on) , so I stopped worrying about it. The second half of the bike was much better. I increased my pace to 20 mph and started passing some guys from the previous wave. The course was pretty flat altogether so the only real obstacle was the wind. When I pulled into transition I was the 10th woman off the bike.

T2: Uneventful and fast. Probably 30-45 seconds. I love my Yankz! And the snazzy new shoes that I put them on

Run: Total and complete torture! I had just adjusted my bike seat the day before to alleviate some of my knee problems. So my hamstrings were not happy about it and they were extremely tight for the first mile of the run. I think the only thing that got me through those 3.1 miles was seeing so many friendly faces. I saw Brooks, Shanna (Matt's girlfriend), and Angie at transition. Then I ran into Mark who was on his way to winning his age group. Then I ran into Brian (TriFrog), then Matt, then Tri-Eric on his bike cheering us on. Then I saw Carly right when I was turning around (she was about 30 seconds behind me). I also cheered on a bunch of people who were looking strong and a bunch of people with CTC jerseys that I had never met. It was fun, but I was hurting and not moving very fast. Knee was very sore, but I bought a band for it and I think that helped a lot. Nevertheless, I was so happy to see the finish line!

Total time 1:23:06 400 meter swim 14.3 mile bike 5k run

Post race: Felt like crap for a good while. Dizzy and light-headed. But once that passed it was fun. CTCers got a lot of bling:

I got 1st in my age group and a pretty sweet trophy! (10 out of 37 females)
Matt got second in his age group- Way to go roommie!
Mark won his age group
Carly won her age group
Joanne got 3rd OVERALL

Great day for the club :)

The good: the swim- I felt strong. T2 was fast and efficient. Sweet trophy.
The bad: T1 and my slow trek against the wind on the bike
The ugly: The run. Everything about it. Ugly. I need to do some serious brick training!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Great holiday -- bad pool day!

The rest of my 4th of July was a lot of fun. I decided to take Brooks up on his offer of a 45 mile ride to Bath, Ohio. Unfortunately, 10 minutes into the ride it started raining. HARD! It was actually a lot of fun. It was warm, so the wetness wasn't a big deal. And it was quite an adventure... Until we ran into what ended our ride: a flooded out road. We were 20 miles in when we hit the flood, so we just ended up driving home from there. Once we got back, Brooks made the most phenomenal Buffalo (the spice not the animal) burgers, we watched the Indians kill the Yankees, and then watched the fireworks from the comfort of his house. :)

My totals for the long weekend were 136 on the bike with 8 miles running (5 being the fastest splits of my life in a race) and 3600 meters in the pool. So I took Wed. off and was going to go swimming this morning. My body is really sore. My knees are killing me (chondromalacia I think), and my shoulders are sore because I adjusted my handlebars on my bike a bit and that changed my riding form a bit. So I was not in good shape in the pool. I have never been that slow in my life. The workout was supposed to end with 8 X 400's on 8 minutes. I made it through 4 and called it a day. I need some sleep! And I have my first tri on Sunday so I should take it easy a bit.

In other news, my back yard is turning into a jungle. My darned lawnmower is broken. I think that the rotary mechanism is rusted. Its really hard to pull and if it actually starts it stops after about 5 seconds. And to make things worse when I was trying to get it started I chopped off a chunk of my left index finger. Doh.

So now I'm going to take tomorrow off (going to see Pirates II with Brooks :) ), and try to get in a short workout on Saturday before the tri Sunday morning. I don't have high hopes for this one. I'm just planning on using this as practice for the Cleveland Tri. I just hope that my knees can take it. It's not looking so good.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


I'm It...
I have been tagged by DaisyDuc:

four jobs I have had in my life:
1. Graduate Student
2. Laboratory Assistant
3. Bagel Shop Worker
4. Usher (for the Milwaukee Brewers)

four movies I watch over and over:
1. Dumb & Dumber
2. Major League
3. The Goonies
4. Tommy Boy

four places I have lived:
1. Born & raised in New Berlin, Wisconsin
2. 4 yrs college in Madison, Wisconsin
3. An Apartment on Coventry (Cleveland Heights)
4. My house in University Heights, Ohio

four TV shows I love to watch:
1. Iron Chef America
2. Law & Order (SVU is my favorite)
3. Myth Busters
4. American Idol

four places I have been on vacation:
1. Australia (Been to Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Kalbarri, and along the Great Ocean Road)
2. Paris, France
3. Bermuda
4. Hawaii (Maui and Oahu)

four websites I visit daily:

four of my favorite foods:
1. Chocolate
2. Peanut Butter
3. Chicken
4. Angel hair pasta

four places I would rather be right now:
1. Colorado
2. Riding my bike
3. In/by the Pool/ lake/ Ocean
4. At the park with my pooch

four favorite bands/singers:
1. Ben Folds
2. Norah Jones
3. The Shins
4. The Cat Empire

four bloggers I’ll Tag
1. Papa Louie
2. Cookie Monster
3. Rachel (Amateur TriGirl)
4. Rob (Tri-ing without limits)

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Bays Days 5 miler

I decided to do an impromptu running race because my training in that department has been less than satisfactory and I needed some motivation. So I was supposed to bike to the race (20 miles), do the running race (5 miles) and bike back. When I woke up at 5am and the thunder was crashing I knew the bike wasn't happening. But there really isn't a good excuse not to run in the rain, so I emailed Charlie (who I was planning on biking with) and decided to pick him up in my car to drive to the race.

Right after we got registered the heavens opened up. It was pouring for a good 20 minutes! It was a very well attended race ( about 700 I would guess ) and most people were hovering in their cars waiting for the time to get lined up at the start. And then just before it was time to get together, the clouds parted and the sun came shining down. This isn't quite as good as it may sound since a good sunshine after a good rain = unbearable humidity. But we just had to suck it up.

We had a very good CTC turnout with Rob, Paula, Christina, Eric, Alan, Charlie, and several others. That was definitely fun and I got to run with several club members throughout the race. I started the race at an easy pace. I always try to go out reasonably slow. I was surprised that my first mile was 8:20 which was decently fast because I started a bit behind the starting line. Then my left knee started hurting. Pretty bad. For a minute I thought I wasn't going to finish the race. But then by about mile 2 it loosened up. At mile 3 I was running at 23:30 and was very happy with that. My 5K PR is 25:40 so I was already ahead of that. But about mile 3 my knee started to hurt again. A little worse this time. My new plan was to run as fast as possible so that I could stop ASAP.

The last 2 miles were painful. But we finished out on a great track and it was like giving my knee a hug! It was so springy. So I kicked it up a knotch and finished at 39:03. Not too shabby. And amazingly, it was 3rd in my age group so I got this awesome trophy. That's the first and last time I ever place in a running race!

So now I'm sitting on the couch with ice packs on both knees contemplating a 45 mile bike this afternoon. Hard to pass up.

Happy 4th everyone!

Monday, July 03, 2006

A beautiful day for a swim!

I just got back from the pool. It was an absolutely gorgeous morning! Sun was shining and it was about 75 degrees at 5:45. These are the days that I am so thankful the pool is outdoors. The only problem with the swim today was that the pool was very hot! 2/3 of the pool is 3 feet deep with the last 1/3 5 feet deep. It was such a relief to swim the last part because the deep end is much cooler.

It was my third day back in the pool since my vacation. I have pretty much blocked out the Friday workout because it was so painful- 3600 meters- all strokes- all sprints. Not a single set was longer than 100 meters. It was painful, let me tell you. But while it's fresh here is what we did today:

200 warm up

100 streamline kick
200 IM
300 free

we repeated this set 4 times

8 X 50 on 1 min.

100 backstroke- 50 drill 50 swim
2 X 100 stroke on 2:45
100 breastroke - 50 drill 50 swim
2 X 100 stroke on 2:45

200 cool down easy

I could be wrong about this - I thought that it was a total of 3600 and this totals 3800- somewhere I have added an extra 200. I have the worst memory in the world!

So for the rest of the day I am going to attempt to find a shop to get my bike fixed, start writing a manuscript, and maybe get in an open water swim.

Anyone out there doing a running race tomorrow? I'm thinking it might be a fun way to start out the holiday :)

Sunday, July 02, 2006

118 mile weekend

It was a great training weekend- twice through the Greater Cleveland Triathlon half ironman course (with an added 3 for me getting lost- twice) and a 5k run after the first go round. My legs felt fantastic after the long rest (except for the 30 miles of hiking) and that made it so much easier to get through!

Day 1 - My first time on a half ironman course

A great group showed up to do the course, organized by fellow CTCer Jen. It was my first time through it and I had heard some serious horror stories. The course is very hilly. I think I ended up in my granniest of granny gears no less than 6 times. The hills were compounded by the fact that my front derailer isn't working right ( I can only downshift when going downhill-not really the best situation). So I ended up dropping my chain once and having to get off my bike to shift it manually once more. Oh, and we took a wrong turn and did an extra heinous hill. But all in all it was a fantastic ride! Especially with DaisyDuc in the lead- that girl can hammer! Our friend Paul was also great and gave us pointers and motivated us up those hills. When we finished the ride we did the sprint course 5k. I was really glad that I had gone to Dick's the night before to buy a camelback. I was a little bit embarrassed to see that when I got it home it was actaully made for a child. But it was the perfect size. By the time I got home I had finished the camelback of water, one gatorade endurance and an additional bottle of water.

Day 2 - The crazy saga

Crazy girl Elizabeth mentioned that she was going to go back and do the course again today. And of course the crazy shoe guy talked me into going as well. So when I woke up this morning the first thing that I did was check There was a band of showers to the south of the race course and a forecast of scattered thunderstorms. But I had my mind set on doing the course so I decided to go. Brooks wasn't so weather confident and told me he was out. My roommate Matt decided to go. So all told there were five of us that met at the park (Sara, Liz, John, Matt, and I). I gave Matt my map because I had just done the course the day before and he wanted to go hard (my first mistake of the day). Then once I texted Brooks and told him that Elizabeth called him a wimp he decided to come out and catch up with us. When we went out I was feeling very good, so I got out ahead of the group and waited at the 10 and 20 mile points to regroup. Then I decided to get to mile 33 before rejoining the group the third time.

So at mile 33 I took out my Cliff bar and started to eat when I heard a sound that made my heart sink.

Thunder. Oh Sh*%.

So a lot of things went through my head but I settled on one- I was the closest person to the car that had keys (Matt was way ahead but he drove with me). So my plan was to hammer it back to the car so I could pick up everyone else if it got nasty. So I pushed off- 3/4 of a Cliff bar hanging out of my mouth and pedaled like the wind. I don't think that I've ever biked that fast before- The fear of lightning will do that to you! But then right when I got to the one and only convenience store on the route (mile 40) the heavens opened up. This was seriously not good. So I waited in the store for the downpour to let up. I was hoping for the group to make it there. I thought for sure Brooks would catch up since he is an amazing cyclist, but then I talked to him on the phone and turns out he was sitting comfortably in his house because he ran into shifting issues early on. As soon as the rain let up a little (it took a while) I pushed off so that I could get off the road I was on ASAP. Auborn is basically a highway without a curb lane. The conditions were extremely dangerous! It was raining again and I was moving pretty fast with cars going by VERY fast and I didn't have brakes that were reliable wet. I thanked my lucky stars when I made it to the turn and I called Elizabeth. They were safe in someone's garage and I told them that I would try to hurry so that I could pick them up.

So then I hammered again (after the guy who designed the course stopped to see if I was ok!). The problem here is that the end of the course has a lot of turns, I didn't have a map, and the water from the storm was quickly obscuring and washing away the course arrows. So of course I got lost! An extremely nice lady helped me out by having me follow her to where she could point me in the right direction towards the park. It added about 2 miles onto the distance but that was fine! The last stretch of my ride was way faster than the middle portion when I had the lightning fears. This time I had the wind from a thunderstorm at my back and I felt fantastic. I was maintaining 24-26 miles per hour on my cruise back to the park. It felt so cool!

Well turns out my detour was a little long so the group got a taxi and poor Matt was sitting like a popsicle outside the parking lot. So it wasn't a very productive plan after all. But it was such an adventure- I loved it!

What I learned this weekend is that I absolutely love cycling. I think that it is the only thing that I can do for hours that lets me totally lose myself. I don't think about anything. All of my fears and frustrations and sadness and worry all disapear and it's just me and the road. Even when the shit hits the fan and its raining and I'm lost. If I could only fit in a couple hours on the bike every day I would be the most mellow person in the world. Too bad we all have to work...

Vacation Pics

Me halfway up our first hiking day in Colorado. This spot was located in the Poudre Canyon

This is a picture of the first summit we were supposed to be able to get to. However, we lost the trail, got totally lost and couldn't find a manageable way to climb this peak with just our hands (no climbing equiptment). On the way down we got so lost I swear I was ready to lay down and let the bears come and get me. Colleen was just terrified that we would have to call search and rescue (Her Fiance and his roommate are both search and rescue volunteers so it would have been very embarassing!)

Me showing the fork in the road that got us lost what I think of it.

Colleen and I near the bottom of the trail at Rocky Mountain National Part- day 2 of hiking

View from the top of hiking day number 2 - black lake.

Me and Kenai at 11,400 feet on our third day (and 30th mile) of hiking. What a great view!

What better way to get off a mountain than to slide on your butt?

Picture from the parking of lot of the mountains we climbed- We had to use this picture to find our way back to our car after we got lost (again!)

On the last day, I went rafting with my brother (left front) and his wife (right front). We got back just in time for me to get to the airport!