One week from today….

11/28/2011

…I’ll be packed and preparing for my flight to Tucson in the morning!  Look how beautiful!

 

Perhaps I’m overly excited for a week of intense training (a.k.a. monitored torture) but this will be my first time ever at a specific triathlon training camp and I can’t help but feel excited.  Very few people understand and I’m ok with that.  It reminds me of my summer volleyball camp days for 7 years of my youth and despite being so challenging physically, I always came out a stronger player.

I’m super excited about is meeting/getting to know the other girls and the coaches.  I have heard great things about each and every one involved in this camp and I think it’ll make the trip that much more fun.  I’m also looking forward to new and different workouts, new bike routes, running routes, a change in the weather, a city I’ve never been to…all sorts of new and different experiences!  Oh, and PS, I’m not all that disappointed about our accommodations!  http://www.thelodgeatventanacanyon.com/

WOOO HOOOO

The only workout I’m sure of is our ride up Mt. Lemmon.  I’ve heard a lot about this ride and it’s making me anxious to tackle the 27 mile climb myself!

 

 

Otherwise, I have no clue what to expect our time will be spent doing.  I imagine it will include lots of swimming, biking, running, eating, sleeping and repeating.  I plan to spend a little time at the spa  at the resort myself!

After an awesome past weekend of working out, a recovery day today, a solid week of training ahead and a few recovery days early next week, I’ll be ready to rock and roll!  Oh yeah, and trying to manage about 20 work deadlines before I leave!!  As my boss and I always say:  “we always seem to find a way to get it done.”  And it’s true.

On a side note, I’m wishing my athlete Laura well tomorrow as she tackles knee surgery bright and early.  I’m excited for you to get this taken care of now so we can have lots of fun next season together!  Good luck!


One Hell of a Weekend

11/27/2011

So this was one of my biggest weekends in a while.  I am kinda having flashbacks to Ironman training tonight with how my legs feel, but tomorrow is a day OFF that I’m truly looking forward to!  Camp in Tucson is in 10 days and I’m anticipating the challenge!  I’m actually starting to feel moderately fit again so camp will hopefully just accelerate that. Stacey made a great point that I’ve had to remind myself….

“Training camp is to get fit, not prove to anyone how fit you are”.

How true!  The caliber of girls at camp has made me feel “pressure” to keep up, but in reality, we’re all there for the same reason….to get more fit, have a good time, and be surrounded by other girls with the same interests.  Not to show one another who is the best swimmer, biker or runner.   I’ve felt relieved since talking with Stacey about it.

Nonetheless, yesterday turned out to be an insane (read: awesome) training day, kind of unintentionally.  My day started at 8am with a 60+ mile ride that included 3×15 min efforts (each) with Marianne.  What an awesome ride!  Some BIG efforts and also lots of easy spinning.  It was great – Marianne and I ride very well together which is why I’m so excited for next season!

I then had to hurry to the pool for my 3000+ swim set as I promised myself (and Stacey) I would do since I wasn’t able to get to the pool Friday.  Surprisingly, I swam a 100 yard PR, despite the huge ride!  6×100 all between 1:24 (PR) – 1:26.  A few months ago, 1:30 was a stretch for me, so ALL of my hard work is making HUGE improvements (insert sarcasm).  hahah.  Crazy that hours and hours of time in the pool equates to only a FOUR second improvement on 100 yards, but that’s the nature of the swimming beast.  I realize very few people have the drive or the desire to work as hard as I do for such modest gains, but I am thankful to be the way I am.  I hope this time next year to hopefully be swimming sub 1:20.

THEN…Dawn reminded me Friday that we made plans a few weeks ago to go hiking at Crowders Mountain with the dogs on Saturday afternoon.  The weather was beautiful and I couldn’t resist!  So, she and I packed up immediately as I got home from the pool and made the trek down I-85 to get our hiking on.  We took a trail that we weren’t sure was a loop or an “out and back”.  2.8 miles into our climb, we got to the top and realized it was the latter.  So, 5.6 miles later, we returned to home base…me with some ridiculously tired legs and the dogs with tongues to the ground.

Nearly every other step of our awesome hike yesterday though, I thought about the 90 minute run on my schedule today!  I committed to getting off my legs immediately after the hike and did pretty well chilling out the rest of the evening.  I was asleep at a time that I’m embarrassed to admit being a 31 year old single girl and the fact that it was Saturday night, but it was great 🙂

Jim and I made plans to run today and I was worried to say the least.  An easy pace for him is like 6:40 and, needless to say, that is not an easy pace for me.  Stacey’s goal of this run was base training at about 8:30’s with some accelerations and strides and I warned Jim the run would be super slow for him.  He was awesome to accommodate.  The run was all good….for about the first 3 miles.  Luckily I had Jim there to hang with me and push me along cause I’m 99% sure I would have cut this run short without him.  We stayed slightly below goal pace for the most part and ended up getting a nice 10 miles done in about 1:20.  Pretty much a suffer-fest, but got it done!

And that recaps my weekend in a nutshell.  Post run I met my bestest friend Emily for a late lunch in Birkdale.  It’s always so good to see her and I think I’m as excited as she is to meet baby Brax and be an Aunt again.  That little boy is gonna be very loved…by a lot of people, including his Aunt Kim.

My adorable little Emmie! Due Jan 13th…

Happy Thanksgiving – Thankful for Family, Friends and a PR

11/24/2011

First and foremost, Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!  If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably someone who is important to me and I am thankful to have you in my life…truly!

 This year was the first year since Dawn and I moved to Charlotte in 2002 that we’ve done Thanksgiving at my parents house – Dawn usually hosts this holiday.  My parents / our older dog Parker has been having lots of heart problems and we were unsure of what Dawn’s plans were going to end up being, so we decided to do the day here in Hillsborough.   The Turkey Trot in Charlotte was my first ever organized run in 2002 and its technically because of that race I started running 1/2 and full marathons!

 Needless to say, I was disappointed to not be there to participate this year, particularly since I have athletes that I coach out there now.  Nonetheless, as soon as I decided to come to Hillsborough, I looked for a Turkey Trot nearby and came across the Gallop and Gorge 8k in Carrboro, not far away!  I had no plans to go hard at this race, but I think Stacey felt otherwise.  I figured I’d just head out there and see what happens.  The Charlotte Turkey Trot has always been a great way to gauge my years running improvement, and I’ve literally run a bit faster every year since 2002!  I ran 35:39 there last year (43:50my first year) and Stacey wanted me to run sub 36 again today.  I haven’t felt very “fit” lately so I didn’t really think that was possible.

 

This course was a bit flatter than the Turkey Trot and I’m happy to report I ran a 33:57 (6:48/mile pace)…an 8k PR by over 1:20!  I felt great for the whole run and ended up finishing 7th overall….my best ever finish in a stand alone running race.  Seeing the winner who ran 28:08 snaps me right back to reality that I’m still not very fast, I’m improving with every year and that feels good.

 On that note, I took a huge nap, walked in the woods with my dogs, ate some delicious home-cooked appetizers and now I await the yummiest meal of the year!  Happy Thanksgiving friends!


2011 Season Recap

11/23/2011

I have been meaning to recap this season for a while now so today seems like a better day than ever!  I have to say, this season was really great.  Most importantly, I had a blast racing, met a ton of new people and had great success!  I raced my  tail off though – 26 races!!

Here’s a little recap from each race…

Cupids Cup – 5k – 21:11

11th OA/ 2nd AG

I had bronchitis before and during this race so it was really tough.  I don’t remember much but literally gasping for air coming down East Blvd.

Carla’s Fund Time Trial – 8m time trial – 21:25

1st OA

This was immediately following the Cupids Cup, and obviously still had bronchitis.  This was a fun (hard) charity ride computrainer ride at Uptown Cycles.

Waxhaw Duathalon-  2m run / 18.63m / 2m run – 1:21:30

3rd OA

This was a really fun day!  The run course was on a trail which I’m not that strong at.  I rode my tail off today to try and track down Stephanie Hucko, and never could.  The first time of many this season.  🙂

Corporate Cup 13.1 – 1:38:31

9th AG

Did this race with Tom and Jim!  We had a blast but I hit a wall hard at about mile 12, coming up Morehead!

Quintiles 13.1 – 1:59:01

I paced my sister at this race to her goal sub 2 hours.  It was awesome to run with her and it’s so nice to take the race pressure off.  Troy was running the full so after I finished with Dawn I headed backwards on the course and paced Troy in for a Boston Qualification sub 3:20!!  One of my best 20-milers leading up to Boston!

Dawn and I after Quintiles

Cool Breeze Sprint – 250m / 20k / 5k – 1:05:37

9th OA / 1st AG

So this was the worst race of my whole season!  My goggles totally filled up with water when I pushed off the wall and I never got my riding legs.  The entire Navy Triathlon team showed up and destroyed me.  My boss renamed this race “fricken Cold Breeze”.  It was freeeezing.

Boston Marathon – 3:52:12

4655 OA

I was so ready for this race and trained my little tail off.  I ran a 1:40 first half and was feeling great.  At about mile 15, I was heading into an aid station and attempting to go behind the volunteer to fill up my water bottle.  As she thought I was coming in front of her to grab the water she was handing out, she stepped back to get out of my way.  At this point, I “jerked” to my right get out of her way.  I literally felt like I tore my right quad muscle.  It was excruciating.  I debated calling it quits, but given it was “the” Boston Marathon, I couldn’t bring myself to.  I literally hobbled and limped my way to the finish line for the next 11 or so miles.  Aside from IM Louisville, this race goes down as the biggest disappointment in my athletic history.  Turning onto Boyleston Street at the Boston Marathon is supposed to be exhilarating and momentous – a moment you remember forever.  I honestly don’t remember much about making my way to the finish other than trying to whip the wince off my face.  This day ended in the medical tent and after about 4 hours of attempting to get back to my hotel, I spent the next week or so with the most painful legs I have ever dealt with.  I hope to make my way back to Boston one more time, someday.

Me, Andrew and Tom at the Boston 5k the day prior!

White Lake Sprint – 750m / 14m / 5k – 1:18:01

11th OA / 2nd AG

Another not awesome race.  My swim here was atrocious, but can’t really point out exactly why.  I rode the entire bike course without hardly seeing another female so I had no idea what kind of race I was having.  I had a decent run of 21:13, but overall not an awesome race.

Over the Mountain Olympic – 1500m / 45k / 10k- 2:40:36

5th OA / 1st AG

I had a decent race here today.  This was my best Olympic swim of the season – 19th overall – but still no where near fast enough to be in OA contention.  It was also my slowest 10k of the season.  I realized as I ran out of transition that I forgot to put my insoles in my racing flats (and had taken out the original insoles) so I ran the 10k on the soles of my racing flats.  Probably not that good for my feet!   I do love this race though and am looking forward to executing better in 2012.

Fletcher Flyer Century – 100m – 4:48:57

This isn’t technically a race but I had great ride today!!  This is my 3rd year doing this ride and I’ve loved it every time.  Rode 11 minutes faster than first year and 5 minutes faster than last year in 2011.

Tri Latta Sprint – 750m / 17m / 5k – 1:26:43

5th OA / 1st AG

A pretty good race today!  Same story with the swim, actually one of my worst of the season.  Tough run course but managed a 22 min 5k.

Blood Sweat and Gears Century – 100m – 6:06

5th OA

This was my first year doing BSG and man, it’s all its cracked up to be…and MORE!  This was a tough day, left 1 of my 2 water bottles in my car before the ride so managed with only 1 for the day, but overall a great experience.

Fabulous 4th Metric Century – 100k – 5:02

Well, this started off as an awesome day.  We rolled out with a really fast group and I was feeling great sitting in….until I flatted at mile 8.  Two awesome guys were kind enough to stop and help me and we ended up riding the rest of the day together.  Not exactly the ride I planned, but ended up getting a good workout.

Piedmont TT – 14.42m – :35:23

1st Cat 4 / 2nd OA

This was my first official bike race, though TT’s are not really bike races.  I love time trials, because it’s like triathlon riding 🙂

Piedmont “Open” Road Race – 38.4m

1st Cat 4 / 8th OA

This was my first real bike race.  Road racing is interesting and tactical and I learned so much from Marianne this weekend.  I learned two things this weekend….I love bike racing and I need to learn how to sprint.  I spent entirely too much time pulling everyone around and cramped a bit at the finish.

Stumpy Creek Olympic – 1500m / 27m / 10k – 2:37:25

15th OA / 2nd AG

I was assessed a 2 minute penalty for my race bib being turned at the finish line which bumped me down 4 places in the overall and 1 AG place.  I had a pretty good race today…if you only count biking and running.  My swim was an utter disaster.  The “hill” destroyed me last year and I refused to let it get to my head this year.  I ran a 44 min 10k which was a 5 minute improvement over last year.

Heading out on the run at Stumpy

Tour de Orange Century – 84m – 4:11

The heat index was over 100 when we rolled out for this ride at 8:30am so the race directors opted to shorten the century course by about 15 miles.  It was a brutal ride with the heat and the course was windy and far from flat.  I ended up with a group of 5 ex-European bike races who pushed the pace quite a bit and I was thankful to be able to sit in!

High Rock “Open” Road Race – 41m

1st Cat 4 / 4th OA

I don’t remember much about this race other than it was really hot and the Cat 3 men caught us with about 200 yards to go, which made our finish a huge cluster.  I grabbed a wheel and rode it in wherever I was in the line as there wasn’t much room to move around.

Crossroads Crit – Cat 4 and Open – 30 min and 45 min

Cat 4 – 1st OA

Open – 7th OA

I did two crits today in Salisbury since I’d driven all the way up there.  This was my first criterium racing experience!  I was super nervous heading up but felt better after talking to Marianne and after riding the course pre-race.  The Cat 4 crit was first and I decided to break on the first climb.  I was able to get away from the group so it ended up being more like a “time trial” in order to stay away from the group.

The “open” crit was about an hour later and I was even more nervous since this would be my first actual crit experience with other girls around, cornering, etc.  I was glad to have ridden 30 minutes on the course earlier to get comfortable with the turns, but I was also nervous with how my legs would feel.  Luckily, they ended feeling ok and I was at least stay in the lead group.  I ended up finishing 6th in the field sprint (7th OA as a girl had gotten away on a break early) and was pleased with my first few crit races.  I was hooked!

During the Cat4 Crit in Salisbury, the pace car letDawn ride a few laps so she took some cool pix 🙂

AG Nationals Olympic – 1500m / 25m / 10k – 2:23:31

19th AG

As I recapped earlier in my blog, this was a decent race results-wise but not a good race “execution”-wise.  Travel disasters the day before meant stiff and sluggish legs.  Despite totally bonking on the run, I ran a 43:55 10k which is an Olympic distance PR.  Given how flat the run course was (other than one huge hill), I should have been able to run a bit faster.  The best part of this race was qualifying (by the skin of my teeth) for a Worlds spot in NZ in 2012.

Signing in for Team USA!

Lake Norman Sprint – 750m / 17m / 5k – 1:28:36

4th OA / 1st AG

I had a great race here, again if you consider it a duathlon.  I hung a hard right at one of the buoy’s in the water and ended up in no-man’s land thus turning in yet another lost race in the water.  Otherwise, I ran a PR 5k at 20:39!!

Wake Forest Crit – 30 min

1st Cat 4 / 7th OA

This was the longest and hardest 30 minutes of my life.  I raced as hard as I could with zero legs and stayed on the lead pack for all but the last 5-6 minutes when I just couldn’t hang on any longer.  A really tough course that I’m not 100% sure I’ll ever go back to again.

Carolina Cup Circuit Race – 45 minutes

1st Cat 4 / 6th OA

This was the day after the Wake Forest Crit and I was toasted.  45 minutes, after 30 minutes the day prior, sounded like an eternity!  A group of 6 of us got away in a break on the first lap and stayed away for the whole race….but I fell off the lead group with about 8-10 minutes to go.  I finished up and was never caught by the group behind us so took 6th overall.  It was a beautiful course and I am excited to go back with hopefully some fresher legs next year!

This was at the Carolina Cup – I was SUFFERING

Pinehurst International – 1500m / 30m / 10k – 2:43:52

5th OA / 1st AG

One of my best races of the season.  This course is well suited for me.  I swam “ok” today, rode pretty well and ran 44 on a very hilly course.  I used this as a good race prep for Halfmax which was just one weekend following.

Heading out for a windy ride at Pinehurst…

HalfMax Nationals – 70.3 – 4:55:44

2nd AG / 7th OA

A perfectly executed race for me!!  I felt great during the swim, drafted a little, swam a pretty good line.  The ride was boring and flat and very very windy but had a strong ride.  My goal was to run sub 1:39:59 and I ran just a shy over 1:40 which I was disappointed about that but overall a great race and the perfect end to a loooong season!

No matter how hard you try, no one looks good in an aero helmet!

I raced a lot this season and I had a ball!  But next season I will likely race a bit less and hopefully swim a bit faster so I can see some better OA results!


End of Season Gathering

11/18/2011

Last night was my 1st annual end of season gathering for my athletes, their spouses and SO’s and my good training friends.  I think everyone had a good time; I know I did!  It was so great having all of my favorite clients and friends (and sister, of course) that I train with in my house all at one time.  My house is really small so I was worried how it would work out, but I don’t think it ended up being a problem.  From what I’ve heard, I think some people even made new friends to train with and I love that!

Prepping for parties is always hectic, especially when they’re on a week night.  I wanted as many people to be able to attend as possible so Thursday night worked out best for that.  All except one local athlete and my two out of towners were able to attend, so I’d say it was a success!

I was so excited to “give back” to my clients who have made my first year at this so awesome and I am now looking forward to it every year!  It’s also nice to chat and hang out without having races on the schedule.  Everyone seems very excited for the 2012 season which is making me antsy too!  I’ve gotten the rest I’ve needed mentally and am ready to get back at it next season.

I decided to make a little something for everyone and I couldn’t think of anything better for this time of year than a holiday ornament.  If you didn’t leave with yours or weren’t able to attend, I have it 🙂

Everyone got a special message on the back too.

Of course I forgot to take pictures the rest of the night.  I’ve gotten horrible at that in my old age.

As I said to everyone last night, thank you guys for making this year so much fun for me!  When I question how I can maintain this insane life I lead, I think about how rewarding it all is at the end of the day and I am able to find the energy and desire to go150mph for another day.  Lots of love to all -CK


Shower, Veteran’s Day Madness and a Good Deed too!

11/11/2011

So today stacks up there with one of the busiest and most productive days I’ve had in some time!  I scheduled out my whole day yesterday, as dorky as that sounds, because I had so much to do.  I am hosting an end-of-season party this Thursday for my athletes and good training buddies and I’ve had a lot to do to get ready.

 

The Girls and Sydney at Em and Scott’s

baby shower last weekend

I was thankful to have today off from work as I was tied up last weekend with friends in town and hosting Emily’s baby shower.  Both the shower and the weekend ended up being wonderful as it always is when all of the girls are together.  I was determined to put aside any worries about things on my own party to-do list and  focus all of my energy on helping to make baby Brax’s shower special for Em and Scott and spending quality time with the girls.  I managed to get my long run in Saturday morning, despite being exhausted from being up later the night before, but I got it done and I was happy about that.  As always, it’s sad for a few days after everyone goes back to their respective cities.  I would love it if everyone lived here in Charlotte…obviously.  🙂

It took me a few days to recover, sleep-wise, from two weekend bedtimes after 1am last week so this week I was pretty unproductive at crossing much of anything off my list.  To add to it, I am going home tomorrow afternoon so that I can attend TriStacey’s end-of-season / launch party tomorrow so today was crucial to get stuff done for next weeks gathering.  I managed a decent swim this morning before the madness began!

Most excitedly, I finally finished my cornice project that I started a few weeks back.   It has taken me nearly 3 weeks to find 2 or 3 free hours to drive to Gastonia to Mary Jo’s and pick up the fabric and materials I needed to complete my project.  That said, I made a point to go today and I finished up my project this evening!  I’m so delighted at how they turned out.  I’m not that creative but I didn’t think building a cornice and covering it in fabric could be all that hard.  Below are some pictures of my finished product.

 

I added some beading around the border and made the ends a

bit longer for a more special design than just straight across

 

I have a gold wall and a brown wall so I was excited to find a

fabric that went well with both, as well as my new rug.

 

I think my new rug and my fabric go great together!

 

The highlight of my day came as I was heading down to Gastonia for fabric.  I was stopped at the turn light to get on I-85 and there was a man, which there often are, sitting in the median, with a sign that said “Homeless Veteran – will work for food”.  I’m certainly guilty of trying to avoid making eye contact with such panhandlers on any normal day.  Today struck a different cord with me.  I had just been to Target getting things for my party and spent a whole ton of money.  I was on my way to drive 25 minutes in my huge gas-guzzling SUV to buy fabric for $25 a yard to finish a totally unnecessary project at my house, that I live in alone, with heat, all the food I could ask for, dogs that live high on the hog, and flat screen TV’s hanging from multiple walls.  The least I could do for this Veteran was get him something to eat.  I don’t really believe in just giving money to panhandlers, for obvious reasons; however, if this man was truly hungry, he flashed his sign at the right girl on this 11/11/11 Veteran’s Day.  I got out of the turn lane, headed up to Burger King, got him a grilled chicken sandwich, a large french friends, and a large sprite!

When I looped back around to give it to him, he was beyond gracious and thanked me endlessly stating this was his first hot meal in 19 days.  Whether he was or wasn’t a Veteran I’ll never know, but as I handed him his food, I told him that he worked hard enough serving our country to deserve a free meal today and he smiled and thanked me again.  It was very rewarding.

Tomorrow I’ll be running the Thunder Road 1/2 Marathon with one of my favorite clients before heading home with Dawn and Kevin.  Of all the aspects of coaching, I love being there with my athletes and helping them conquer goal times the most.  I’m excited to run with you Devon!  Good luck and CONGRATS.


Training for Training Camp??

11/09/2011

So I learned a few days ago I would be attending a training camp in Tucson in early December and I’m ecstatic! I am delighted to have the opportunity and cannot wait to meet the girls, the coach and everyone out there who made the week happen!

That said, the last few weeks prior to learning of said training camp were pretty mello.  It was rather nice, I must say, but like any type-A triathlete, I itch to train hard again.  Stacey and I “arm wrestle” religiously about her wanting me to “slow down”, and me not really know how to do that.  So the last few weeks have included pretty much one workout per day, lots of swimming, lots of yoga, strength training, some easy running and enjoyable weekend rides.  Awesome!

Well, I have decided I need to step up the next few weeks leading up to this camp.  Even in my best of shape, I’d have little to no shot of competing with any of these women, nonetheless, 6 weeks into “off season”.  My only saving grace is that they, too, have been enjoying the off season as well!  🙂

I’ll be running the Thunder Road 13.1 this weekend with one of my favorite clients and excited to hopefully pace her to a huge PR!  Otherwise, there hasn’t been a ton going on in my world so I haven’t bored you all with my blog updates 🙂