Monday, October 31, 2011

One more race!

Tonight is Halloween already. That means that Worlds long course is this Saturday!! It also means off season and vacation starts Sunday!
Since my Ironman, training has been filled with up’s and down’s. I took ten days completely off after the big race. A few weeks later, Ron was on a relay team for the Savageman triathlon. Without being on his bike for several months, he climbed 6000 ft. over the 56 mile course. I too, ended up doing the course but at least had some time to rest to watch Ron and the rest of my DC Tri friends climb the ‘Wall’, which has a 31% max grade! I figured that I needed to get back somehow and didn’t think it would be as safe to go back the way I came. So, I just rode the rest of the route back to the finish line. At mile 40, right before the ‘Killer Miller’ climb, I got a text from Ron saying, “This sucks!” Well, I guess that’s how I felt doing the course just three weeks after my Ironman with hardly any riding so, I can’t imagine the way his legs felt not having been on his road bike for quite some time. It’s very impressive that he finished that harsh course with little training! 
So, let’s see, what else has been going on…..I sang the National Anthem at Nation’s Tri and did not race since I know my body would not have been too speedy two weeks after my IM. What an amazing experience! It was such an honor to sing the National Anthem, at the largest triathlon in the U.S. on the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 in the Nation's Capitol! Words can't describe the feeling I had singing that morning! If you're interested in seeing it, I finally got it loaded on You Tube.
 I got to volunteer at mile 4 water stop and represent High Cloud and DC Tri.  It was so fun to cheer everyone on and it was really nice that so many friends and even people I didn’t know were telling me ‘nice singing’ in the middle of their race. It was much appreciated and I know it’s hard to speak when you’re racing!
DC Tri Club members at after race party
The beginning of October was USAT Club National Championships at Myrtle Beach, SC. I signed up for the International distance. It was a 7-8  hour drive each way and my back and hamstrings did not like that! I was already having issues with this during my recovery. This race was VERY windy and flat….the perfect recipe for my hammy irritation. L I tried my best and raced to 4th in my AG and 7th overall. They only gave awards to the winner of the race, so no AG award for me. The best thing about this race was seeing over 50 athletes from DC Tri out on the course! I will link to my race report on the DC Tri site soon. Check out the rest of the elite team’s reports as well! Everyone rocked that course! DC Tri got 2nd in the club championships b/c people from Columbia, MO bring their whole club and slot people into every age group and race. They know how to work it strategically to get the most points, but we by far had the fastest times and podium finishers!
After the Myrtle Beach race, I was in a lot of pain for a few days. Luckily, that went away and I got in some decent workouts that following weekend into the beginning of the week…75 mile ride, 14 mile run with negative splits and 4600 yards in the pool. I got a massage appointment with George, at Capitol Rehab, knowing I would definitely need it to keep up my training for Worlds. It hurt so bad I almost cried, but I felt amazing the next day! Then the rest of the week was a pain in the neck…..literally! A week and a half ago I turned to shut off my alarm awakening me for a 5:15am trainer ride. The left side of my neck locked up and it hurt just to walk to the bathroom. No ride for me that day! I got into Capitol Rehab and  Dr. Booker told me some ligaments had moved around, which causes the muscles to tighten up. I got adjusted and went to work. Luckily, I didn’t have to be at my desk too long that day. The IAFF went to Capitol Hill to support the ‘Back to Work Act’ where Vice President, Joe Biden spoke. Fortunately, he was only about 15 feet in front of me and I just had to look straight ahead. ;) It’s nice to get opportunities such as this living in the Nation’s Capitol!
The next few days I went back to see Dr. Beck, who has kept my back/hammy in working order the past few years. He did some more adjustments and work on my neck. I admit I cried when I left the office….out of frustration more than anything. It did hurt during the adjustment but it helped! Ron made me go back the next day (I think he was tired of me being grumpy…sorry Ron!) and I told Dr. Beck I was afraid to come back. I didn’t mean it in a bad way of course. Dr. Beck is definitely not a scary person! J
That weekend Ron and I were supposed to go to the Fall Foliage Bike Festival in Shenandoah. My plan was to do a century on Saturday, 30 miles easy Sunday and then a 14 mile run. Umm that was of course before I hurt my neck so obviously, there was no riding for me. This ride would have been beautiful and the perfect training ride for the hilly ride at Worlds next weekend. Very disappointing! I just think my body is telling me it’s so ready to be done for the season. Come on, hang in there, just one more race!!
We did end up having a nice weekend and went to Lenornardstown, MD for a Cavalier Spaniel meet-up group event. I was in Cavalier heaven!! There were about 20 cavaliers at this event and at the end they had a costume party. After our horrible experience with not getting our dog last year b/c of an awful breeder, we held off on getting a dog. At this event, we got to meet three wonderful breeders so when we are ready we definitely know who to contact now. Here is Ron with one of the dogs we took a liking to. His name is Ernie. Apparently, Ernie is usually shy, but he warmed right up to Ron and me and cuddled on our laps for awhile. I love this breed!
Poster at MCM expo in memory of Will Caviness

This past weekend was jammed packed with training and helping with the Marine Corps Marathon. Ron’s IAFF Burn Fund Fitness team ran the 10k and marathon so I helped at the expo booth and went to the pre race dinner. Ron did such a wonderful job planning this event for his athletes! At the booth, there was a nice poster he had made for, Will Caviness. Will is the fire fighter that tragically passed away at the end of the Chicago Marathon a few weeks ago. He was running for the IAFF Burn Fund Fitness Team and Ron was there at the hospital with his wife and when Will passed away. Very sad! It's comforting to know that Will’s wife and kids are surrounded by many family and friends filled with tons of love and support. Will and his family are in my thoughts and prayers! Here is a link to Will's Memorial Page on Facebook and where you can find more information on how to donate to his family.!/captainwillcaviness
On a more happy note, congrats to all my friends who ran MCM this weekend! Many people had PR's with the cool weather. Luckily, the race was not on Saturday when it snowed. Crazy weather and I hope that was not a preview of what type of winter we are going to have. I did test myself mentally Saturday and ran 11.5 on the treadmill. I wanted to get off after three miles! I'm still fighting off a cold and was not going to run that long in the rain/sleet. On my three hour ride yesterday I started to feel my neck tense again. Unfortunately, I turned quickly to turn my alarm off again this morning and my neck tightened up in the exact same spot. :( Who knew an alarm clock could be so dangerous!? So, this week will be very easy workouts and I just hope I can get through World's long course without injuring myself this Saturday. I will definitely be ready for a break and some relaxation! Next post I'll be writing from Henderson, NV. At least it will be a little warmer there!

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