UPCOMING EVENTS for 2015: (Under consideration) BigHorn 50K, North Carolina/DC Marathon Doulbe, TURNING 50 (not in that exact order).

It's never too late to be what you might have been. --George Eliot

Athena is the Goddess of wisdom and war. In 2005, I declared war on my own bad tendencies: sloth, being fat, compacency, and being too old for adventure.
This is the story of how I went from being someone who never stood when she could sit, to being an ultrarunner, marathoner, triathlete, and *sigh* student.
"You're never too old to be what you might have been" --George Eliot

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Favorite training foods.

I was told not too long ago that "for a vegetarian, you look pretty healthy."
Uh, thanks! Actually, my diet is well supported in the literature as being ideal for athletes. I have a link (down and to the right) to the physician's committee for responsible medicine on diets for vegetarian atheletes. I'd also like to share some of the things I've picked up as an Athena (heavy) female (hormonal) and vegan (where do you get your protein?) athlete.

For breakfast, I like instant oatmeal, any brand and any flavor that doesn't have milk or whey in it. Complex carbs like those in oatmeal kind of line your stomach and help regulate the absorption of carbs into your system. Kashi has a new one out that's complete vegan, and uses fruitose and cane juice instead of sugar. Right before we leave town for an event, if I have my 'druthers, I like a huge plate of curly fries from Hurricane's and a side order of green chili. But that might not work for everyone. For carb-loading, I prefer whole-wheat pasta (see earlier mention of complex carbs) with TVP nuggets and/or veggie sausage chunks and olives. Gives me complex carbs and veggie protein. I eat my last meal as lunch the day before a race.

Energy bars: There's LUNA BARS. They're fab, and I like the fact that they sponsor women-only triathlons. Their big brother, CLIF BUILDER BARS are terrific, too. Both are yummy, and animal-free. Soy protein, all the way. GNC's pro-performance protein-95 is soy protein isolate, if you MUST get some extra, and it comes in banana flavor. I like to drink CYTOMAX before and after workouts, because it provides carbs in the form of fruitose and electrolytes, it calms my stomach before a race, and doesn't give me the cramps during events that other drinks. I got into the habit of taking Clif shots from time to time - I like the company because of the reasons I mentioned before, plus they also were handing these out at aid stations along the first half marathon I ever did.
I take magnesium, calcium (no oyster shell) supplements from time to time, and iron supplements during "that time of month". BTW, don't take iron and calcium during the same meal; they can interfere with each other's absorption rate.
My favorite post-race recovery drink is a Silk Chai Latte. Silk soymilk has a ton of potassium in it, and it just plain tastes good, ice cold, going down. Husband prefers the mocha flavor.

If you let me play sports

If you let me play sports
I will like myself more
I will have more self-confidence
If you let me play sports.

If you let me play,
I will be 60 percent less likely to get breast cancer
I will suffer less depression.


If you let me play sports,
I will be more likely
to leave a man who beats me.

If you let me play,
I will be less likely to get pregnant
before I want to.
I will learn what it means to be strong.
If you let me play sports.


(from a 1996 award-winning Nike ad. Nike, by the way, is the companion to goddess Athena in Greek mythology)

More plans for 2006.

I've been perusing the training plans at begginertriathlete.com and have decided on the 16-week, run-focused Olympic plan. I'm going to try to run the Buffman and Squeaky Olympic distance triathlon in Buffalo Springs. it's more than a little daunting. First of all, Buffalo Springs has this insane climb immediately out of the canyon on the bike. Not really much chance to get a running strart. In fact, the entire bike portion is up and down hills, in and out of canyons. Yikes. But what the hell, right? I'm having trouble deciding between the Tour de Acoma and the Fiesta Marthon. You see, they are both the same weekend, although one is Saturday (marathon) and the other Sunday. I'd like to do them both, but I don't know how possible that is.

I went to the Dr. the other day to see him about some things. One is my weight. Why aren't I the sleek athletic hollow-boned bird person I dream of being? I know I lost 30 pounds during 2005. But still. He showed me a graph of my weight over the past 5 years. "If I were to draw a line right through the middle of these spikes, it would be the weight you are right now. You're healthy, and not terribly overweight. You're just a big girl". Of course that means I'll have to give up my dreams of being the tiny, sleek bird person who flies like the wind, and perhaps be a large woman who lumbers like the wind. It also means I can focus now, on being a fast, ass-kicking ATHENA.

On a happy note, I will be getting a pair of prescription sports goggles soon. No more glasses that are too heavy and sliding down my nose. I haven't decided between M frames and Half Jackets yet. Also, I'll be getting a pair of swim goggles for nearsighted ninnies such as myself. More toys, oh, boy oh boy!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Obsess much?

I read somewhere recently that, "runners tend to be very rigid, schedule-oriented people" and, "triathletes are often obsessive people, consumed with details". I wonder if this is true? For the past couple days I've had off, I've been obsessing over my training schedule for the next six months. I'm determined to dramatically increase/improve my performance. So much so that I'm googling potential competitors to see if how much they've improved, finding out what they do (so that I can determine the liklihood of them showing up at certain races) and whether or not I'm likely to beat them, if they do. Loading times and such into spreadsheets.

Hmmm. Am I approaching this in the spirit of sportsmanship. I feel like some kind of robot, obsessed with PR's and other such numbers (VO2 max, lactate threasholds, et cetera). I want to be certain that I keep enjoying myself, and that I don't push myself too hard or take it too personally when I don't do as well as I'd planned.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Training Plans

I'm going to do another half marathon President's Day weekend '06. It's part of my training plan for my first marathon, the "Fiesta de Albuquerque" marathon in April. It's to celebrate the 300th birthday of Albuquerque. It's a very ambitious plan. We'll see if I stick to it.
Meanwhile, I'm off for the next two full glorious weeks. No schools, no books, no students' parents' dirty looks. Yay! I'm going to spend this time at the gym, and laying about at my MIL's, reading non-academic reading and napping, in San Antonio. Hmmmm.
Happy Holidays, y'all.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

GOALS, 2006

Okay, so here are my goals for 2006
Mainly, improve run and swim time dramatically, and bike time somewhat.
Training:
Spin classes at least twice a week: bike 18 miles flat in 1 hour.
Swimming at least 3 times a week, sub 10 minutes for 400 m. swim
Running: start speedwork to improve 5K times, 1 long run every week, sub 10-minute mile.
Events:
Run 3 full marathons (Lost Dutchman in Feb; Fiesta in April, and Duke City in October)
Run several 10K's throughout the year.
Run at least 8 triathlons to qualify for the SW Challenge series

Personal:
Take 1 art class, and belly dancing. Maybe start ASL.

Professional:
obtain LPC liscense, try to talk RR into creating an Athletic counselor position at the high school, graduate with 2nd MA

Monday, December 12, 2005

First race, 2005-2006 Season

December 10th - Polar Bear Triathlon at White Sands Missile Range.
What a great race! Yes, it was c-c-cold, but it was perfect for a reverse triathlon. Although I'm still PAINFULLY slow, I had two goals: new PR, and don't be dead last.
Coming in on the 5K, I was just behind a race walker. I kicked it just ahead of her, more for personal pride than anything - if you've read my previous posts, you know that my ass has been kicked by a 60-year-old and an 11-year-old; I'm darned if I'm going to come in after a walker, too. Anyway, new PR on the run: a little over an 11 minute mile.
The 18.6-mile bike was a nice course, mostly flat and wind-y. My fingers were frosty - (note to self: next time remember that the gloves were in your helmet was so you'd remember to wear them) NOW, in on the bike, then off with the leg warmers, jacket, arm warmers, shoes, socks...jump in the pool for the 400 meters. Husband ran too, set a new PR, I think, and got 1st place the Clydesdale. Son ran too. He didn't place, but did pretty well. Had his first on course flat tire. Good learning experience.
Results: 3rd place, Athena Division
Dog count: One person was forward enough to bring their dog into the restaurant where the pasta meal was served afterwards. Jeez!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Tuscon Bobbi Olson Half Marathon Race report


Morning, just outside of Tuscon. I was picked up at a designated parking area by buses at 5:00 am and carried to the start line for those running in the half marathon. In the shadow of the Catalinas I am sitting on a bus, waiting at the start line for the Bobbi Olsen half marathon. I was one of the lucky ones. Early and one the first bus, the other buses have left and this one is staying to collect drop bags. So those of us on it are allowed to sit on it until about 6:30. more than a thousand other peopole are milling abouat, trying to keep warm, huddled near the open doorway of the bus. I fall asleep briefly.
I go to the portajohn and there's no toilet paper. Okay for this time, but if it happens again, the $2 gloves will have to be sacrificed. The race starts at 7:00 and it's cold outside. Some people are huddled near the rear of another bus. After we're asked to vacate the bus, I try that, but my eyes are stinging so I leave it. I don't want to try to run 13 miles having been poisoned by carbon monoxide. Note to self: next year, just in case, bring a disposable puffy jacket. Maybe something picked up at Goodwill. Walkers are lined up near the rear. Thank God for them; they make me feel so swift later on, when I'm barely shuffling along. For now, though, I am about in the middle of a pack of 2 or 3 thousand, ready to go.
And we're off! I start up my watch so that it goes off every 9 minutes. At that point I walk a minute and a half or so, and then take off running for the next alarm. The day is cold and clear, with no wind, and dry. The course is the shoulder and right lane of oracle road south toward Tuscon. It's clear and clean blacktop.
Mile 2, I'm starting to see hats strewn by the side of the road. All kinds of hats, thrown into the ditch. I wonder what happens to these. Do people try to come back and find them? Do homeless people look forward to the annual Marathon because it's a source of warm clothing? It's nice out, and the sun is coming up. My MP3 player is chugging away. Still on the
same battery. I'm feeling good. I pick up the pace a little.
Mile 4 or so, and now the clothing on the side of the road is jackets and a couple of knitted scarfs. We are directed to turn left. We run up a side street, then down another side street, turned around, and then backtrack out onto Oracle, heading south again. It's at first humbling because I'm running past all the people ahead of me, which I previously could not see. But then on the way out to Oracle, I pass people that I'm ahead, and I feel better. Easy, Misty. It's not a
contest. Just try to finish.
Mile 7 as I come out of the little jog off the side. The time on my watch, now 2 minutes walking for every 9 minutes, and it goes excrutiatingly slow. I'm dragging. I'm tired. I wonder if I will finish walking.
At mile 8, I hear a siren behind me and a motocycle police officer ride by, escorting the first runner of the full marathon, which started a half an hour later than the half marathon, PAST ME. I stop and take a gel and some water from the guys on the side. I'm feeling pretty weak. The legs are getting slower and heavier.
Mile 9. The ankle is talking to me now. "I hate you," it says. "This road is not even, and I want to sit down." It is also clear to me that my left shoe is on too tight. I've already loosened it up twice. I grab another Clif shot and suck down the last of my water bottle mixture. Somewhere around Mile 10, the gel kicks in. Or maybe it's my 2nd wind. Whatever it is, I'm in a rythem now. Slow run, walk 1 minute out of every 5. I discover that the cadence of the song, "Fly away" by Lenny Kravitz is perfect for a good running pace for me, so I keep backing up and listening to it over and over again. By the way, the course is NOT completely flat or downhill, there are some times when the road curves toward the mountains and gently uphill.
Mile 11, or maybe 12. I stop, take some water, and the guy says "just one more mile to go". LIAR. There's nearly 2 miles to go, as it turns out, and as I wind down to the last mile, I can see a large arch of balloons in the distance. Alright! I'm going to kick it and give it the rest of what I've got so that I can run in strong. I do that, and as I approach the balloons, everyone is yelling. Woohoo! Alright! Way to finish! You're almost there!!!"
ALMOST THERE? Come again? I run under the arch, and round the corner, and now the run course is surrounded on both sides by people screaming, "yeah! alright! You're almost there! I run straight down about 25 yards and round another corner, and there, 100 yards ahead of me, is the finish line. I'd had this idea that I'd do something cute and theatrical but all I'm focused on is the big FINISH and the pad I'm to run over. I run weakly over it, having blown out the last of my energy getting to the balloon arch, and then stop. An older man walks up to me. Places a hand on my shoulder. Would I like to sit down? Yes, please. Very much. I'd like to sit down. I'm feeling a little woozy. He cuts the chip off my shoe and hands me a bottle of cold water. Another volunteer comes over and hands me a finisher's medal. Hell yes I'll take it. I'll wear it until my legs stop hurting. Later on, I go back and wait for husband, who is running the full marathon. He can report that to you on his own.