Sunday, October 28, 2012

Maraton Ecologico Riviera Maya

My girls (just turned 11 and 13) and my 18yo son and myself had planned to run an event today. 3K for the girls, 10K for my son and 21K for me.   The course markings were "interesting" and the girls ended up on the 21k course and eventually the 10K and finished at least 10K. They had a GREAT time, said they just had fun and enjoyed themselves and didn't mind ending up taking 2 hours to do what should have been 3K.   My 18yo went back out on the 10k course to find them and they all finished together. What a GREAT bunch of kids! (the 16yo is at a kitesurfing competition). I'm SO proud of them for having a great time and making the best out of the situation they were in. They have done no training (except the 18 yo and sporadically) and I honestly thought they'd never do anything athletic (the 16yo windsurfs and the girls do equestrian, so there's that) and just figured I'd keep plugging along and my husband and I would just model athleticism. The 18 yo wants to do 21k next. :)

Looking at the map, the girls did at LEAST 11k and are resting now. :) The little one says her legs are sore.  The girls said that they walked all the aid stations and took all the gatorade they wanted and were happy to know that, surrounded by other runners, they couldn't get super lost so they just stayed with the flow of people. They ran into people along the course (one school teacher got them off the 21k course and onto the 10k course) and then the 18yo gave the 11 yo a piggyback ride at one point. I'm still awed that they ran at least 11k and had fun doing it as they don't get much activity (13 yo does school sports, dance and horse riding and the 11 yo just rides horse) and so glad it all worked out.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Saturday update (how's that for original)

Seas keep remaining calm in the afternoons.  It is beginning to get a bit unnerving. I had a rest week this week, about 10K swimming (if I get my swim in tomorrow), the usual run (5 hours) but a huge decrease in bike to about 6 hours (from 12, I think, last week).  Jesse wanted to do a run (mainly for the shirt, I think) and we picked the Maraton Ecologico and it will fit into my schedule perfectly as this week will be my last long run week before IMCoz.  I felt like I really needed to get comfortable with 2-hour runs and I think I am, more or less, as I will have done a 2-hour run 3 out of the 4 weeks thus far in October.  I'm hoping that will be a help during the marathon at Coz but really, it's a crapshoot. 

I've decided that I'm either going to do about the same time at Coz or maybe 30 minutes faster.  I had fantasies of taking an hour off but I've now realized that it is pretty much a pipe dream.  I need to train smarter on the bike (intervals!  Who knew?) and just figured out I should have been doing intervals all along.  So that's on the schedule for next year.  Yeah, I'm already planning for next year.  I'm happy with my run progress thus far and very comfortable with 5-hour weeks, so the plan for next year is to either get faster or this winter get very comfortable with 7-hour run weeks.  For the swim, I think I just need more time in the water and, well, that won't happen until next year maybe.  I'm just not that motivated on the swim.  Yet.  Maybe I'll enter some races next year.  I'd definitely like to do Bacalar. 

At any rate, tomorrow the girls will be running the 3K, Jesse the 10K and I'm off for my first half-marathon outside a triathlon.  It is looking to be a HUGE deal here with reports (on the radio) that 1500 people have signed up.  I've never been in a run with that many people so that will be interesting.  Looking forward to seeing what happens tomorrow.  I'm not at all rested and I kinda trashed my legs today on the ride but I'm hoping for a 2-hour run.

the perfect afternoon

I went for a "run" last night with my eldest.  That simple sentence is so spectacular on so very many levels.  Before I started dieting and exercising I would not have been able to run more than 10 meters without getting out of breath and feeling like I was going to die.  Almost 13 months ago this same son had cardiothoracic surgery and lost a part of his lung.

I really didn't want to head out for the run but I knew I needed to keep the run volume consistent, especially with IMCoz staring at me BUT I had just eaten (meatloaf!) and was waiting for that to digest before going out.  He and his brother came home (unexpectedly early) and since he has been so busy with school and band practice he hasn't been running much.  He was raring to go.  Me, not so much.  The dog was DEFINITELY ready.

It was a lovely afternoon as the temperature has been plummeting in evening and early morning lately and the humidity seems to have completely disappeared.  The dog was so happy to be out on his usual "walk" after healing his broken hip and he was intent to put iguanas back on notice that he was back in town.  We jogged slowly, me with my stuffed belly and my son with his still-healing chest, and chatted about the day.  This boy has never been one to drop his end of a conversation and every time I mentally want to shut off his chatter I immediately remind myself of all the parents of teens who would pay good money to have their teen chat their ear off.

So we ran and talked and watched the dog and the flat, flat seas of the Caribbean.  In the moment I knew how special it was and tried to hold the entire time close to my heart, knowing how quickly life changes and how immensely lucky I am on so many levels; to have a body capable of running, to have the freedom to live where we do (and leave if we choose), to have the amazing family I do, to have a son healthy enough to run, and a son who chooses to take moments in the afternoon to spend with his old mom, running down the beach, watching the flat waves roll along.

Triathlon is such an infinitesimally small part of life but training for it allows me to have these incredibly special moments.  And these moments are so much better than any prize or achievement in any particular triathlon.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

it is a constant learning experience

Today I headed out for a 180km ride, planning on 2 loops of Tulum.  About 30 km in I was swallowed by a group of riders who encouraged me to jump in with them so I did.  I've ridden this road (the Only road) for 2 years now and this is the first group I've ever seen.  I've had it in my mind that a 6-hour bike leg is not only attainable (that's only 30kph and I do that with no problem on a 40km or 60km or even 90km ride) but should be expected at Cozumel.  The group was headed out to 25 km along the Coba road past Tulum so I figured I'd ride with them and then make up the remainder after coming home.  I only had $20 with me though, and limited food (one 2-scoop bottle of Perpeteum, a Luna bar and well, that was it) and knew I'd need, at the least water at some point.  I had planned to do my 90km route to Tulum, come home, pick up Jamie (money, water, food) and head out for another Tulum loop.  So I was a bit concerned about that but couldn't bypass my first chance to ride in a group!

There were 3 ladies and one was sitting at the front.  I was super impressed with her.  Everyone stayed together well but some of the guys were a bit squirrely and I tried to stay out of the bars when behind them.  We stopped in Tulum and headed out (into headwind) towards Coba.  It was here I really realized the power of a pack.  Into a headwind we were pulling a nice speed and I sat 2nd from the front most of the 25km out but was never offered to pull.  On the way back we stopped for coco water and I found it strange when one of the riders offered a paramedic (who had pulled his ambulance over at the same coco stand as we were at) to buy him a coco.  The same rider then offered ANOTHER guy a coco but both guys refused him.  I thought it was a little weird that he was offering strangers cocos but I noticed both guys were in uniform (one paramedic) so I thought he just really was supporting their work.  Sometimes I'm incredibly clueless.

The group (I think we were 15 or so) got split at the coco stand and as we headed back I noticed that a grey truck seemed to be following us.  I found this increasingly disturbing and finally said something and was informed that this was their "security" i.e. a sag wagon.  COOLIO!  Back in Tulum the other group was waiting at an Oxxo and Surprise!  The ambulance and paramedic were also there with them.  I was beginning to have a clue.  This group not only had a sag wagon, they had an ambulance accompanying them.  SWEET!  That's riding in style!

Then entire route back from Tulum was pure headwind (as usual) and the group couldn't seem to decide on one strung out line or two.  A little over 30 km from home the hammer came down and the strong riders surged.  I tried helping the slower female riders but she couldn't match the train speed and I almost had a heart attack trying to rejoin the train.  Little by little riders dropped off until it was just 4.  At this point they let me pull.  :)  We dropped down to myself and one other rider and then about 3 km before Puerto (where they all live) he blasted off and I was on my own.  I got home, got supplies and headed out for another 40km.  That was really hard mentally as I was D.O.N.E. after that last effort.  I had a brick planned but wasn't no run happening today.  My legs were BEAT.

I only averaged about 30kph for this ride (but that includes the slow riding on dirt roads home and out again) so that was an excellent point of information, that my expectation for Cozumel is Way inflated for this old body.  I can't see a 30kph average and now I know I need to adjust by at least 30 minutes.  I did 6:45 last year (plus 15 minutes of potty stops etc.) so I'm thinking I should be able to do 6:30.  That would be much more reasonable.  It was so exciting to ride in a group and I'm really happy to have had the chance.  Apparently they ride every Saturday at 6:30 am to 7:00 am so Jamie and I are going to try and find them next weekend too.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

just keep swimming, just keep swimming

 that's what we do, we Swim. Swim.  Swim.

 cloudy, overcast day in the bay.

my favorite cenote for swimming - strong current going into the cenote, TONS of underwater weird manglar root spooky sights, little offbranches to the cenote to traverse and nice cold water.

Out in the bay today.  It was amazingly calm.

I posted on the triathlon board I frequent for swim help and, as evidenced by the top photo, my head is WAY out of the water.  So I've been working on that.  I've also totally changed my stroke and today it finally started feeling good.  I'm not doing any fast sets, just trying to find this new stroke.  We've had some amazingly flat, calm seas lately and I love being out there and am dreading the point I'll have to go back to the pool. 

I ordered a swim safe somethingorother and the toads will be bringing it down with them and them I'm back to unchaperoned swims.  Today Pike didn't get up until after 1330 and the seas weren't quite as nice as they had been at 930 but I still got my normal 3000 in.  I'm really getting used to 3000 now, especially since that is 4 laps, and mentally it is quite easy.  Well, until about the last lap.  I've also been changing my pedal stroke.  On one of my last long rides I accidentally found the "floating" stroke but found I have to REALLY engage my inner thighs to get it to work, so I've been working on that each ride.  I'm also upping my cadence as my knees are KILLING me since I switched to the Adamo seat.  Always a tradeoff.  I'll take knees over crotch any day though.