Thursday, May 30, 2013

Woman of Steel Triathlon

Me and Lucy after the race.  Check out my new triathlon suit! It looked hideous on me but it was so functional!

A couple weeks ago I did the Women of Steel triathlon sprint with my sister Lucy.  For the first time in my life, I actually felt pretty prepared for this race and I felt strong throughout the entire race.  The competition was steep, especially in my age group so I didn't do as well as I had hoped, but I still felt great about my performance.  I finished 7th in my age category of 70 women and 33rd overall out of over 400 women.  I have to also say that I love sprint races.  I can't think of anything more boring than running or biking for hours upon hours.  I just love the quick transitions and events of a sprint tri.  I am, however, doing an Olympic length at the end of the summer and I'll let you know if it was fun or not. 

The day was cold and it rained for the entire drive until I reached the event location.  It threatened rain and sprinkled a couple times during my race, but never let loose. I believe a lot of prayers kept the ran at bay because it was pouring everywhere else around the entire valley.  Before the race started, all the women were standing around the pool trying to hear what was being said at the pre-race meeting, laughing, dancing to try to keep warm and making sure they were in the right line.  We were all supposed to line up according to our projected swim line.  I got in line at the end of the 5 minute group, but I noticed that there were many women in front of me who were not swimming fast at all.  Looking back, I should have gone in the four minute group, even though I know I couldn't have gone that fast.  If I had been in that first group of women, I bet I would have had someone to keep up with during the bike portion because all the first women were the ones who won, even if they didn't have great swim times.  The swim was in a 50 meter pool, which made it an individual start and also made it so I wasn't competing with the women who were in my same category and ability.    So, for the swim, we started in an outside lane, did one lap, then ducked under the lane line and did another, ducked again and did another-it was very strange.  As I ran across the timing mat to start my swim, I slipped and fell.  I hit my knee, but the rush of adrenaline was too high so I didn't feel anything until the end of the race.  It wasn't too bad anyway, but kind of embarrassing, ya know.  The swim was hard for the first 100 meters and I felt like I wasn't getting any air, but then my blood started to flow and went faster and felt stronger.  I passed a couple women and so did Lucy.

I hopped out and ran to my bike in the freezing cold.  I pulled on my shoes, my arm warmers and started the two loops.  During the bike, I was only passed by one woman.  I was hoping to catch up to someone who was going hard, but I didn't and all the women in the second lap had all just started and were in the slower groups so I had no one to ride with.  I was disappointed to see that there was a bunch of glass in the bike lane and I saw at least 5 women changing their tires right after that.  I would think that they would have checked the route for any serious hazards.  Thankfully, I avoided getting a flat.  I lost about 10 seconds because my chain fell off, but I fixed it quickly and made up lost ground.  It was pretty cold outside and as I was riding I was so glad I borrowed Justin's biking sleeves, but I didn't want to waste time putting on my gloves so my hands were freezing as well as my feet.

My transition to the run was very fast.  All I had to do was take off my helmet and I was out of there in a flash.  My muscles felt a little strange, but since I had done quite a few bike to run workouts I felt better than I had felt during all my other triathlon transitions from bike to run.  The only problem was that my feet were frozen and couldn't feel a thing!  It took a little while to get up to the speed I wanted, but I was glad that I still felt like I had energy to push myself and wasn't just dragging myself along.  I was running hard and passing everyone, except for one woman who passed me.  She looked so fresh.  I wonder if she was in the relay or something.  Anyway, only one woman passed me on the run, so I felt great about that.  The last half mile was downhill, so it felt great to be sprinting downhill approaching the finish line.  I caught up to a lady who was running pretty fast at the end and had a sprint to the finish with her.  It was fun, until her children ran out and almost tripped me.  I beat her though.  Woo hoo! 

That was the end.  I was hoping to get podium, but the winner was in my category and there were a few women who were at least 5 minutes faster than me.  The two right ahead of me were only about 30 seconds ahead, so I might have been able to get 5th, but 4th place was way faster than I think I could have done so the podium was totally out of reach.  I was happy nonetheless.  I got a cute necklace instead of a lame medal and waited for my sister to finish.  She came in about 7 minutes behind me, but got 6th in her age group.  She did awesome!  It was so fun watching her run in and cross the finish line.  We ate some fruit and then headed to the car because the threat of rain that entire morning came to fruition and it started coming down.  We were so fortunate to have finished before it really started coming down and I had to get back to meet my family at the movie theater, so we left before the awards ceremony.  Lucy and I both thought, "why am I doing this to myself?" during the race, but afterward we both agreed that it was so rewarding we would do it again. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mother's Day Meltdowns

Last Mother's Day was wonderful.  Kids behaved, we went to church, I got way too many cards and all my delicious meals were taken care of by my wonderful family.  This year was a little different...

I woke up from tent camping after not sleeping due to the fact that I had to relieve myself all night but didn't want to get out of my warm sleeping bag and/or disturb my sleeping baby, so I just held it and woke up every time I found myself on my back feeling the need even more.  When I finally got up, I made breakfast for the entire camp and we spent the first part of the day with our cranky children, trying to have fun in Goblin Valley.  Both Clementine and Violette were not enjoying themselves and I ended up carrying them both.  After we ate lunch we hopped in the car and drove with a lot more screaming and crying all the way to my mom's place for Mother's Day dinner...which was re-heated Indian food.  Hmmm.  Not my favorite.  Of course my children didn't eat much and so my mom gave them 4 ice cream bars each because she "wanted to get rid of them".  I wasn't aware my children look like garbage cans because that's exactly where those bars should have ended up.  I didn't say anything because, hey, it's Mother's Day, right?  Justin gave me the gift that I found on the kitchen table a couple weeks ago because he forgot to hide it(still in the bag I put it in, not wrapped and not even one card from my husband or kids) and then we finally got home at 9:30 at which point Bea was having a meltdown because she couldn't find her blankie.  I told her to get ready for bed and brush her teeth and I would look for it while I was cleaning out the car.  She just stood there screaming at the top of her lungs that she wouldn't leave the garage without it and was angrier than I have ever seen her.  Could it have been the lack of sleep mixed with four desserts? Yeah.  Then came the kicker...After she didn't listen to me for the 10th time I said to her, "you're not being nice to me and it's Mother's Day".  Bea responded in the loudest scream she could muster, "I hate mothers and I hate Mother's Day!"

The only consolation is that she ended up having a fever in the morning so I can only imagine how she was feeling that I forgave her.  She's been making up for it all week by giving me dandelions from our horrible lawn.  Then it was all made better when I woke up the next morning to our beautiful lilac hedge completely covered in flowers and it was so warm and smelled so good outside.  I gathered 36 delicious eggs from my chickens, took 4 roosters and my mean, mean turkey to slaughter and did an awesome workout to get ready for my triathlon this weekend.  It is good to be home. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Let the races begin!

Pre race excitement with Becky
Well, I'm dedicated to keeping up on my blogs now that my farm is finally getting established.  I have been working from dawn until well after dark pruning, mulching, clearing woods, creating a giant garden, planting an orchard, and trying to get my pile of sticks and leaves that is taking over my driveway to disappear! That doesn't include taking care of chickens, turkeys, cooking, cleaning, driving around town, and taking care of kids...and keeping tabs on where our hairless rats are.  More photos to come on the subject of the farm, but I had to blog first on the duathlon I did a few weeks ago because it's the first official race I have done after Vivi was born!  I was such a slacker last summer from moving into my house and trying to survive with horrible allergies I have never had and just didn't quite feel up to it, but now I'm feeling great and started the year off good with a second place finish.  If any of you know me, I pretty much always get second place for some reason, but I'm actually fine with it, especially because I don't really train like I should for any of these races, so I don't even expect to do well at all.  The duathlon was called the Legacy Duathlon and it consisted of a 1.5 mile run, 11 mile bike and another 1.5 mile run and I loved it(a duathlon is different from a biathlon because in a biathlon there aren't three segments).  I am a sprinter at heart and being able to just book it as fast as I could run was so fun.  There was no pacing involved in the run and that's the way I like it.  The bike was tricky and I lost a lot of time because I just got a bike for the first time in my life 5 days before the race, so I couldn't remember what gears were which and had to concentrate too much on that and I got passed by quite a few people.  I ran it with my friend Becky who got first place(woot woot!) and the best part was at the awards ceremony they called the third place winner and they called Amelia and I thought it was me(and I screamed and high fived Becky lol), but then they said a different last name and another lady ran up, but then they announced second place and said it was another Amelia and it was me.  Phew! Then they announced the winner and said "first place is not Amelia" and then called Becky's name.  haha. It was hilarious.
On our rickety podium.  This race was ghetto.

Post race at the finish line.  They tents and blow up finish gate blew over in the wind.  lol.