Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Don't Wait Until Jan 1

I overdid it on the sweets and junk last week. The combination of my birthday, Christmas, and cold encouraged me to eat too much, drink too much, exercise too little, and stay up too late. I didn't feel terrible, but I was very tired. I knew I needed to make some changes to feel better and I didn't want to wait until New Year's Day to start. So I decided to have a "recovery" before the New Year's Partying began. Starting Sunday night I followed these rules:

In bed by 9:30, lights out before 10.

Exercise for 60 minutes each day.

Drink water.

No sweets or alcohol.

These 4 goals aren't anything new or exciting, but I knew achieving them would improve my energy. I like these goals because they aren't about giving up a bunch of stuff. The only things I'm giving up are sweets (real ones) and alcohol. I didn't give up caffeine because I usually only have 1-2 cups of coffee a day and other than that I've been drinking water.

For exercise, I've been to the gym everyday so far. I took spinning Monday and today. Tuesday I went to Zumba. My muscles have that happy sore feeling. I'm thinking I'll take tomorrow off and Friday it looks like it will be nice enough to run outside. Yay! I haven't done that since the day after Thanksgiving.

And the best part is, it's working. I've been up since 4:40am and worked a 9 hour day, but I'm feeling great tonight. With some modifications, these goals will be a part of my New Year's Resolutions.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year. And remember, while it's never too late to start, it's also never too early. Take care of yourself.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Run Less, Run Faster

I love reading and usually have at least 2 books going at a time. Since I started my new job (almost a year ago) I haven't done a good job of documenting what I've read and I want to change that. I just finished Run Less, Run Faster by Bill Pierce, Scott Murr, and Ray Moss and wanted to share my thoughts.

The premise behind the book is that by running less miles at a higher intensity and cross-training, you can improve your running performances. Most of the book focuses on marathon training because the program was originally developed for marathoners. However, it also includes training plans for 5K, 10K, and half-marathon and a chapter on starting running. The topics of cross-training, nutrition, strength-training, and stretching are covered as well.

This is an easy book to read, but probably not that useful for runners that are looking to improve on very slow times (like me). The slowest runs are based on a 30 minute 5K which is a far off dream for me. That said, it did validate my belief that I can run 3 days per week and cross-train while continue to improve my pace. I will probably incorporate some aspects of the plan as I develop my training schedule for next year.

Good information, lacks practicality if you can't run a mile in 10 minutes or less.

I'm a member of One Book One Month Challenge and post reviews there also. It's a great site to check out if you're looking for your next book to read.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Better 13.1

Yesterday was the Indianapolis Monumental Half-Marathon. My two goals for this half-marathon were to feel good throughout the race and to finish under 3 hours. I mostly met these goals. Here's the recap.

It was cold. The temperature according to The Weather Channel was 34 degrees at 6:30am, but I think it was colder at the start. Our hotel was about 1 block from the start, so we hung out there until 7:55am and then jogged to the start. My lungs felt a little tight, so I decided to break the rule of not doing anything new on race day and used the albuterol inhaler I got for running in cold weather. I'm very glad I used it. I didn't have any bad effects and was able to breathe easily during the whole race.

The start was packed (of course) and it took us about 6 minutes to get across the starting line. I started my Garmin at that point and discovered the satellites hadn't loaded, so I had time, but no pace or distance. I decided not to worry about it and just run since Richard was with me and he would keep me on pace. I felt great starting out. We ran the first mile and passed Lucas Oil Stadium. I decided not to stay with my plan of running 9 minutes, walking 1 minute and instead thought I would just walk the water tables. I wanted to make sure and stay hydrated since that was one of the problems I had with my last half.

This worked well until about mile 5, when Richard asked if I wanted to walk a little. We walked 2 minutes and then started running again. I was still feeling pretty good, but thought my pace was slowing. At mile 8, I had to stop and use a port-a-pot. I guess I didn't really need to drink a whole cup of water at each water station. After mile 8, I ran slowly while Richard ran a little faster, then would walk until I caught up to him. His knee was starting to hurt. By this point, it was getting hard to keep going, but I still wanted to make my time goal. We had a great start and I thought I might even be able to beat 3 hours in clock time.

Somewhere between mile 10 and 11, Richard asked if I would mind if he went ahead and ran because he just wanted it to be over. I told him I'd be fine and he should go. At that point, I was getting really tired and realized I hadn't had any Clif Shot Bloks since before mile 8. I ate one of those and talked myself into alternating running and walking every 2 minutes. During my walk breaks I ate a pack of dried fruit bites that came in our bag. I'm so glad I put them in my pocket, because they saved me. I started feeling good again as I got to mile 12 and ran 5 minutes with a 1 minute walk break. As I got close to the finish, it got really cold, but then I saw my parents and that perked me up. I pasted mile 13 and tried to speed up, but didn't really get into a "sprint" until I made the final turn and saw the finish line. I passed under the finish with 3:00:something on the clock. Bummer.

The post race food was great. They had little Panera bagels, cookies, chocolate milk, and more of the dried fruit things. I told a few bags of them. I'm planning on trying them again and then writing a review if they're as awesome as they seemed. After picking up my medal, hat, and snacks, I remembered to stop my Garmin. The time on it said 2:57:something.

I mention the times because apparently my chip didn't register as I crossed the starting line. According to the results website, my net time was 3:00:13. I know I finished under 3 hours, but don't feel like I can officially claim it without the site showing it. I'm a little disappointed about this, but I'm trying to focus on the improvements I made. I felt good for most of the race. There were a few miles where it was difficult to run, but I never wanted to quit (and I seriously considered quitting in my first half-marathon). I lowered my time by 20 minutes. I also learned that I probably need a longer training period and longer training runs.
I maxed out at 10 miles this time and would like to try a 14 mile run before my next half. Overall, this was a better 13.1, but I still have a lot of room for improvement.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Happy Pumpkining

This year for Halloween, I wanted to get pumpkins to carve. Then I saw a post about a blogger carving contest and wanted to do it even more.

Last Saturday the hospital I work for hosted a provider outing at Huber's, a local farm and restaurant. I love their fried biscuits and apple butter and they have tractor rides to a pumpkin patch, so I signed up. Unfortunately, there were no fried biscuits and I was sore from my long runs earlier that day, so I decided to pick from the pumpkins at the farm store rather then going out to the patch.

Tonight I carved the pumpkin. I used a pattern, but it's still a lot of work. I haven't carved a pumpkin in years and had forgotten the effort required. I think it turned out great and can't wait to light them for trick-or-treating. What do you think?

Ghost in a Graveyard

Better Week, Better Run

I completed all my runs plus 2 spin classes last week and covered 9 miles on Saturday without much difficulty. I was definitely ready to be done at the end, which makes me a little nervous because my longest run before the race will be 10 miles. However, unless I really fall apart at the end, I will meet my goal of less than 3 hours. I think having Richard with me will help me to keep going. I've also some non-time goals. I want to finish feeling good and stay hydrated during the race.

Today I had a very sweaty interval session at the gym. I'm not a big fan of running on the treadmill, but it's nice for trying to improve speed. I can set the treadmill faster than I usually run and keep it up until the end of the interval. My speed varies so much when I'm outside. I'll start an interval fast and slow down until the end.

I've been checking the weather for Indianapolis and I think I'll need to break out my running pants. So far, I've been comfortable in long sleeves and capris. I have 2 new shirts that I'm trying to decide between. One is a little warmer, so I'll probably take them both and decide that morning.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Week Of Nots

While I don't feel like I have to stick to my training schedule without any misses or changes, I do notice an improvement in my long runs when I follow my plan. This week that did not happen and my long run today suffered because of it.

Last Saturday I had a pretty good 8 mile run. I finished tired, but felt like I could have done more. My toe was pretty painful because of a blister I had gotten the week before when I couldn't find my favorite running socks and tried a different pair instead. Sunday I went for a 25 mile bike ride. This was my longest ride by 10 miles and while I was excited at the time, it might have been too much of a jump. Or maybe going out on the jet ski after the bike ride was the problem. Either way, I was exhausted Sunday evening and pretty much just sat on the couch watching football. I was still tired on Monday, so I moved my interval run to Tuesday. My toe still hurt, so after the run I didn't go to Group Power as scheduled. Wednesday I worked late and missed spinning. Thursday, we went to the gym, but didn't get there till late and I just really wasn't feeling it. I did the elliptical trainer for 30 minutes and hardly worked up a sweat.

This morning I had 9 miles on my schedule, but my legs felt like they wanted to fall off after 6. I made it to 7 and then walked about 1/2 a mile home. I haven't been eating well this week and I think that also contributed to my lack of energy today. I have 3 weeks to get myself on track. I'll spin tomorrow and repeat last week's schedule in hopes that next week 9 miles really will be 9 miles and while they may not be easy, they at least won't be torture.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Early Bird Gets Tired

Over the summer I got very used to getting up early Mon-Thurs and going to the gym for 5:30am spinning or Group Power (weight lifting). However, since school started at the beginning of September I have been having a very difficult time making myself get up at 4:30am to get the gym. I've been going to bed around the same time, 9:30pm, but getting up is so much harder. I think it is partly due to a combination of spending more time at work and cool mornings. However, I also think my increased running is playing a role. I'm training for the half-marathon by running 3-4 days per week. This is more often than I have run before and my mileage is increased. This week, I will run 16 miles. Prior to this, my highest was 15 miles because I did 2 long runs in 1 week (Sun and the following Sat).

Since all this running is probably making me need more sleep, I'm going to give myself permission to not go to the gym in the mornings. I learned from the Mini that too much cross-training with not enough running doesn't work. I'm hoping mostly running with some cross-training will work better.

Tonight I went to Group Power for the first time in several weeks. It's a new release that is easier so they instruct you to increase your weight. I stayed where I was the last time I went and felt pretty good. I'm a little sore now which is reinforcing my decision to sleep in and not going to the gym tomorrow morning because I always feel less sore after a good night's sleep.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Best Run Ever (So Far)

Yesterday morning was the Kentuckiana Heart Walk, a fundraiser for the American Heart Association. Both the office and hospital I work for are big sponsors, so I signed up to raise money and walk. There are actually 2 distances, 3 miles or 1 mile, and one of the goals is to encourage activity. When I first signed up, I was trying to figure out how to get a long run in this weekend also. Then I realized I could run to the start, which was 5.5 miles from my house. When I first came up with this plan, I had an 8 mile long run scheduled and I was trying to decide if a 5.5 mile run + a 3 mile walk = 8 miles. I don't think it does, but since changing to the half-marathon in Indy added 3 weeks to my training time, it doesn't matter. My new training plan had a 5 mile run on the agenda.

I started our early and it was so dark. Our subdivision doesn't have street lights. I wore a bight yellow long sleeve running shirt that I got from a series of races last winter. It actually was for the one I couldn't complete due to a wheezing attack. I also wore my reflective vest. I didn't realize how dark our end of town is. The road I ran on for most of time doesn't have many lights, so most of the time I was in the dark. There was more traffic then I expected for so early on a Saturday, but I didn't have much trouble with people driving too close.

I have decided on long runs, I will run 9 minutes and then walk 1 minute. I followed this plan and around mile 3.5 as the sun was coming up, I realized I felt great. Running didn't seem that hard and my pace was better than it was at the start. I got to my destination and talked (and bragged) to my co-workers. Someone asked me if I had just gotten out of the shower and I said, "No, I ran here." I had a some time to rest, drink water and eat a banana while they made announcements and we took a group photo. Then Judy and I completed the 3 mile version of the Heart Walk. It was a beautiful day and we kept up a fairly good pace, but were able to talk the whole time. We passed a bunch of people and I think we were among the first ones back. I had previously arranged to get a ride home with Judy. We drove the route I had taken on my run and I was kinda impressed with myself for doing it.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Relearning How to Ride a Bike

Since I'd like to do another triathlon, I decided I needed a new bike. I went to my favorite bike store, Clarksville Schwinn and Cycling and asked to see their entry level (cheaper) models. I tried a few and the one that seemed best was a Cannondale Cad 8. I also bought clipless pedals that match the cleats in my spinning shoes so I can use them for now.

My new bike

Due to other things we had going on this weekend, I didn't get to ride my new bike until Monday. I started by checking the tires. I couldn't get a good seal between the bike pump and the valve and ended up letting all the air our of my tires. After checking the internet for instructions, I determined I was following the correct steps, I just didn't have a good pump. So, I went back to the bike store and bought a high pressure pump. With it, it took me about a minute to pump my tires to 120 PSI. It was an investment piece, but worth it.

Then it was time to get on my bike. I straddled it and got one foot clipped in and took off. Unfortunately, I couldn't get the other foot clipped in or the clipped in foot out, so I fell in our yard. I looked around and was glad no one was around to see me. I got back up and tried again with the other foot, but that attempt also ended with me on the ground. Thankfully, both times I fell it was in the grass so I wasn't hurt. Then I remembered Caitlin talking about practicing in a doorway. The bike and I came inside and I practiced clipping in and riding about 6 feet in our hallway before I was ready to go back outside.

My adoring fans

After returning outside, I managed to get on and ride around our subdivision without falling. This included clipping out and back in at stop signs. I was very pleased, but decided to delay a real ride until Wednesday.

Wednesday after work, I went out for a 10 mile ride down to the river and into Utica. I felt great going out and was getting 15+ miles per hour. Then I turned around and was riding into the wind. This did not feel great and my speed really slowed down. I ended up averaging 13.58 miles per hour. I want to get up to 15 or 16 mph, so obviously I will need some more practice. The great thing about biking is it is a wonderful recovery the day after a long run, so I will be out at least weekly while training for the half-marathon.

And, I have an update on the half-marathon. We've decided to change to the Monumental Marathon and Half-Marathon Nov 6 in Indianapolis. The drive is shorter and it gives us more time to train. Indy is one of my favorite cities and this race starts and ends near the State Capitol Building in downtown, which is a beautiful building. I've walked all over downtown in my visits, so I'm excited to run it.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Frittata to the Rescue

When the question is what's for dinner, the answer can always be a frittata. According to Wikipedia (I love this site), a "frittata is an egg-based dish similar to an omelette or quiche." I call it a quiche without crust and it's so easy to make. You probably already have all the ingredients. The first ingredient is eggs. The other ingredients are whatever you want to eat in your eggs.

The other night I made spinach and artichoke frittata, but I have also made sausage and potato, ham and asparagus, and turkey and broccoli. The possibilities are pretty much endless. Here's the generic way to put it together.

1. Heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil in a large oven-proof skillet over med high heat.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

3. Cook fillings in oil until heated through. If using raw meat, cook until done. If you want to add any seasonings, add them to the filling. Spread filling out evenly in pan.

4. Beat 8 eggs or 4 eggs and 1 cup egg substitute. Pour over filling. Mix filling and eggs to ensure even distribution.

5. Place in oven and cook for 10 minutes. Sprinkle the top with shredded cheese and cook another 5-7 minutes, until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

6. Let cool for a few minutes. Slice into 8 pieces and serve.

I usually eat 1 slice for dinner and 2 slices for lunch. Toby usually eats 1 or 2 slices depending on the filling (2 for veggie filling, 1 for meat). It goes well with rolls and fruit, but you could just eat it by itself. The leftovers are great too.

Friday, September 3, 2010

From Runner to Slacker and Back Again

I've been running almost a year now. I started in October of last year after Toby ran the Louisville Marathon and Jeane and I decided we wanted to do a marathon. She was 7 months pregnant at the time, so thought 2011 would be the year. Then we decided that maybe we'd do a half marathon instead. After that conversation, I started the Couch Potato to 5K program. However, I didn't feel like a runner until sometime this summer. There are lots of ways to define being a runner, but I decided I was a runner when I started liking running. I'm really slow and can't run long distances (yet), but I am a runner.

This week, I have been an exercise slacker. I probably was too tired to exercise Monday, but I continued to use that excuse Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings. I slept instead of getting up and going to the gym and I had commitments every evening this week, so I couldn't make it up then. In the past, this would have led to me taking a few more weeks off from exercise and being really sore when I resumed, so it would take me awhile to get back on schedule. But today, I went running. It was a lovely morning and I ran for 25 minutes covering 2 miles, which is my usual pace. I told you I'm slow. Now, I'm a runner again. I'm not going to let myself go down the "I used to be a runner" path.

My future plans for running including building stamina by running for time rather than distance. I'd like to be able to run 5 miles in 60 minutes with no walk breaks. I know I don't have to be able to do this to be a runner, but it seems like a nice goal for me. Then I will return to working on distance running, probably using the run/walk method. I know a lot of people are happy it's almost fall and I'm thrilled it's football season, but I'm going to miss the heat and the early sunrises. My next planned purchase is a reflective vest so I can still go for early morning runs.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Waffles with Blueberry Compote

As I mentioned yesterday, we had waffles with blueberry compote last night for dinner. I love breakfast for dinner because I usually don't have enough time to make a fancy breakfast in the morning. Not that this is all that fancy, but it sounds fancy. When Toby told me he wanted to swim on our anniversary, I decided I should plan an easy, quick meal for after he got home. I wanted it to be easy because sometimes I take on a bit much for special occasions and things turn out less than stellar.

The waffles were from my mom's waffle mix. Yes, my mom has a blog. Isn't she awesome? She loves to bake and I encouraged her to start a blog so I could have her recipes and memories of different dishes. She should be putting up a bunch more recipes soon, since she entered a lot of stuff in the Kentucky State Fair.

I decided on blueberry compote because one of Toby's co-workers grows blueberries and offered him a 5 pound box. We ate some straight out of the box (delicious), baked with some (a cake to be discussed more later), froze about a half gallon, gave some to my mom, and still had 2 cups left. I went to my favorite site for recipes, Food Network, and searched for blueberry compote. In case you don't know, compote is basically fruit syrup with chucks of fruit in it. The first recipe was from Ellie Krieger, their "healthy chef" and had a 5 star rating. After making it, I have to agree. I mostly followed the recipe, however I used fresh blueberries, added 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch to make it a little thicker, and only cooked it for about 10 minutes total. I usually don't follow recipes exactly, but will always give you a source unless the recipe is completely mine. The compote was fantastic on the waffles and I look forward to finishing it tomorrow for breakfast.

Blueberry Compote, recipe by Ellie Krieger

2 cups blueberries
3 tablespoons water
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Combine 1 cup blueberries and all other ingredients in sauce pan. Cook over medium heat about 10 minutes. Add remaining blueberries and cook for 8 minutes longer, stirring frequently. Serve warm.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Spirit, Mind, Body Triathlon in Pictures

My transition area before the start of the race. Please notice my bike has a kick stand. It was one of a few there that did. "Racing" bikes don't have a kickstand so they hang from a bar. They are also lighter and more aerodynamic. I might get one next year, but I want everyone to know you don't have to have a nice bike to participate in a triathlon.

Here I am before the race. I opted to wear a 2 piece swimsuit and tri shorts for the swim. After the swim, I added my bike jersey. One women did the entire triathlon in her swimsuit. I was really impressed. I couldn't do that because my thighs would rub together on the run.

Here's Amy before the race. She wore a swimsuit and quick drying shorts. She put on a tank top after the swim. She's holding her swim cap. I'd never worn a swim cap before. Apparently you're supposed to fill them with water before putting them on so they don't pull your hair.

My transition area after the race. Somehow all my stuff expanded and I couldn't fit everything into my backpack.

All cleaned up and ready to get some lunch. We rested and showered, then realized we were pretty hungry. We celebrated our accomplishment with pizza and beer. We also went to see Eat, Pray, Love. It was so nice to sit in the cool movie theater until we had to get up. That was a bit unpleasant.

Amy's mom has more pictures, including some during the race and after the finish before we changed. Hopefully, I'll get them soon and can add a few more.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

I am a Triathlete!

This is my journey to becoming a triathlete. It will probably be a long post, so feel free to skip parts. I'll work on a picture recap of the race soon (hopefully tomorrow).

I've never been really be athletic. My first sports memory is quitting a baseball team in elementary school because the boys on the team made fun of me and said it was my fault we lost a game. I was an overweight child that really preferred to reading to playing outside. In 8th grade, I started taking Tae Kwon Do with a friend of mine. I loved it and even though I was still overweight, I could do most of the moves. I started heavily restricting what I ate and lost some weight before I started high school, but I still wasn't particularly fit. I continued taking Tae Kwon Do for 10 years and became a 3rd recommended black belt. I enjoyed it, but when Toby came home from the Middle East I didn't want to spend my evenings away from him.

Over the next several (5) years, I exercised off and on, but never really stuck with anything. When Rebecca moved away and I didn't have a gym buddy, I decided to give up my Y membership. Sometime after that I bought an elliptical trainer, which I consistently used for about 5 weeks. I gained some weight, but didn't really feel bad. Toby had put on a little weight too and my while family has spent time on the heavier side of life.

Two years ago, Toby and I decided to join the Louisville Athletic Club. We started going to the gym together in the evenings, but we weren't really consistent. I loved the classes they offered, but never made getting to them a priority. Then last fall Toby decided to run a marathon. He started training, which meant running just about every evening and long runs of 2-4 hours on the weekend. It made me want to do something. About that time, a friend from work convinced me I should go to 5:30am Group Power classes. I went and loved the instructor, so I kept going. I also loved the way I felt all day after working out.

After seeing Toby finish the marathon, Jeane and I decided we could do it too. She was 6 months pregnant at the time, so we figured we need to give it a few years. Since I knew a marathon would require a lot of training, I signed up for a series of winter races that involved a 5K in December, a 4 mile race in January, and a 5 mile race in February. I started doing the couch to 5K program to learn to run. I didn't really do any training other than running for gradually longer times and distances. My goal was just to finish and I made it through 2 of the 3. Running in temps below freezing did not agree with my lungs and I had to stop the one in February.

In January, Jennifer told me she was doing the MiniMarathon, the half-marathon that is a part of the Kentucky Derby Festival. I debated for a while and then signed up on January 31, the last day before the price went up. I trained over the next few months, adding spinning to my morning class rotation and doing long runs on the weekend. I only ran one day a week and that was not enough to completely prepare me for the race. Even though I walked a lot, I made it and the sense of accomplishment was amazing. I completed a half-marathon. Wow. I kept running and sometime after that I started enjoying it and that's when I decided I was a runner.

After Toby ran the marathon, he read about about IronMan Triathlon and decided he should enter the 2010 Louisville IronMan Triathlon. He bought a bike and started riding and running. In May, he added swimming to the rotation. I saw an add in the Indiana Alumni Magazine for the Hoosierman Triathlon and Duathlon and figured I could run and bike and this could be something we could do together. So in June, we both competed in our first multi-sport races. Toby signed up for the Muncie Endurathon, a half-Iron distance event in July and I debated if I could swim well enough to sign up for the sprint distance race. I discussed my desire to do a triathlon with Amy and she mentioned her YMCA hosts a triathlon in August. After going to the Muncie event as a spectator, I decided I really wanted to do it too and we signed up. That was 5 weeks ago.

Friday after work I loaded up my bike and all my gear (seriously I took more exercise clothes that real clothes) and headed to Evansville. We went and picked up our race packets and I was dismayed to learn they use your age as of December 31. I told them it wasn't nice to make me 31 4 months before my birthday, but no one seemed to care. They even wrote 31 on my leg for the body marking. :-( We went to dinner and then to bed. I woke up at 4:50am Saturday morning, but waited until I heard Amy's alarm at 5 before jumping out of bed. We were both excited and got ready pretty quickly. We then had some issues getting Amy's bike on my bike rack. We got rid of the bike rack, laid the back seats down, shoved the bikes in and we were off.

We made it to Scales Lake Park and started riding to the starting area. We had to stop because my bike was having some issues. I know nothing about bike repair even though I know I should, so this freaked me out, but then my wheel started turning again and we made it. We found a spot in transition and got our gear set-up. I took my bike for another test ride and then it was pretty much time to go.

All the women in the sprint triathlon started in the 3rd wave. The swimming was the only part I was concerned about, but I knew I could make it through. In reality, it was so much harder than I thought it would be. I was so out of breath and I could feel and hear my heart pounding. However, I made it out of the water in 27 minutes and 54 seconds, beating my goal of 30 minutes. Awesome and now all I had left was the fun stuff.

I started riding a bike again a few years ago. I bought a hybrid to ride to run errands that I could do without driving. I've riden it around some, but it didn't get used routinely until I signed up for the duathlon. I love the free feeling of bike riding. It makes me feel like a kid again. It also makes my behind hurt, but that's why I buy padded shorts. :-) I used the hybrid for my first 2 multi-sport races, but now I want to look into getting a fancy road bike. Yesterday, the 15 mile bike ride took 1 hour, 8 minutes, and 54 seconds, beating my goal of 1:15. Yay!

About mile 14 of the bike ride, I was passed by a lady and I thought, "that's ok, I'm going to pass you on the run." And I did. I actually passed her just outside of transition when I was running and she was walking. I'd been practicing running 1/2 mile, then walking 1/4 and so on. I mostly stuck to this plan and was able to pass several people that seemed to be walking the whole thing. I also made sure I was able to run the last .35 miles so I could be strong to the finish and even though the finish line was at the top of a hill (are these people crazy?!) I did. They called my name as I approached the finish line and I pumped my fists in the air. I made it! I am a triathlete! Again the sense of accomplishment is amazing. My run time was 41 minutes, 11 seconds and my total time (including transitions) was 2 hours, 21 minutes, and 34 seconds. I beat my goal of 2 hours and 30 minutes. Woo hoo!