My First Tri

During that first swim practice back in June, when Coach Garrett said “Do 200 yards to warmup”, and I responded with “I’m not that far along yet…maybe I can do 50.” I am not sure Garrett knew what he was in for. After swimming 50 yards, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to swim 400 yards at once in just 3 months.

Well I did it, and not only swam it, but felt comfortable doing it, in a crowded pool with people splashing and passing me. I ended up doing two Triathlons in September, both were short, the first one really short.

That first one was the Great Buckeye Challenge in Ohio over Jen and I’s anniversary weekend. There were 4 different distances offered, I choose the shortest because I didn’t think I could handle a long swim. It measured 250 yd swim, 7 mile bike, and a 2 mile run. I started out in the water too fast and too excited, but was able to find a groove about halfway through. As I ran out of the water toward my bike I tried to keep my heart rate low. The bike was a pretty flat course. Went hard and was getting a little worried I was going too hard, but after that mile came in slower than I wanted I pushed it hard for the rest of the route. After the high cadence bike ride my legs kept wanting to go fast, so I let them. Had a really nice time on the downhill first mile, and mentally kept focused on passing people on the uphill. Had a sprint finish but wasn’t able to make the last minute pass. However, the race had a staggered start, so I ended up beating him according to the watch. I got first in the small field in my age group. But the race I had really been training for was 2 weeks later.

Peter & Jen after our Races
Peter & Jen after our Triathlons

I am also super proud of my wife. She had done her first triathlon a few years ago but for the Great Buckeye Challenge, she choose the “Olympic” distance which is almost a mile swim, 26 miles on the bike and 6.2 miles running. That doubled the distance of her previous tri and she did great!

Jen as she finished her first Olympic Distance Tri

Two weeks later, on a cold dark morning back in Lexington the nerves really started to hit. As I walked my bike to the setup area, I could see the steam rising off the pool. This was the morning I had been training for, for four months. A 400 yard swim, 13 mile bike and 3 mile run.

The morning started out cool but because it was a staggered start I got to wait an hour so I was able to keep long sleeves on until just a few minutes before my swim and at least the sun was emerging behind the trees by the time I was left with nothing but shorts on. The swim went really well, I felt confident. Did get stuck behind a log jam once or twice and I was able to get out of the pool with plenty of energy left.  For the bike portion I managed to keep the same pace as my mini Tri even though the bike portion was twice as far and hillier. As I dropped off my bike and headed out for the run, I still had my helmet on. Luckily, a volunteer stopped me, before I got too far along. For the run I barely squeaked under my goal time. I didn’t know how realistic that was, because it was the same pace I try to keep for a standalone 5k. I didn’t win any awards among the bigger field but felt well prepared and very satisfied with my times.

Checking my time at the end of the Tri for Sight (Thanks to Steph for taking the photo)

All in all, my first two triathlon were a ton of fun. Really enjoyed them and they definitely won’t be my last.

A little jog in Columbus

I feel old now.

It seems that every time I have a birthday recently, people ask “do you feel older?” A couple of weeks ago I got, “so do you feel like you are 30?” Well, after Sunday, “yes, yes I do”.

On Sunday, October 16th, I completed my first marathon, and dang was I sore for a couple of days.

It was a beautiful morning for a run, 49° and cloudy but surprisingly warm even with the wind. While the spectators were bundled up, I was perfectly comfortable in shorts and my new florescent yellow short sleeve technical shirt.

Even though it was very crowded near the start, I saw my faithful supporters before mile 2. Jen cheered loudly, the yellow shirt worked! The crowds did help keep me from starting out to fast.

After training for a marathon, it is surprisingly easy to run 8, 10, 13 miles. I saw my fans twice in this time frame. Jen letting Pablo run along side of me, my father-in-law getting some great pictures and my mother and mother-in-law cheering wildly really helped push me along and stay positive. By the time the half-marathoners were turning off to their finish, I was at 1:46, dead on my target pace! However, I knew the second half wouldn’t be as easy as the first.

I figured at this point it was safe to push it. In fact my fastest mile, was number 17 with a 7:43. But, at mile 19, I knew I was starting to slip. By mile 21, I had never run this far before.

My legs were really starting to hurt now. Very strong pain in my calves and the top of my gluteus distracted me. As my pace significantly slowed for miles 23 and 24, I almost lost some tears. Luckily, I was still making progress and around that time I was able to start smelling the finish line. My legs were so tired, they were tired of hurting and I knew I would be able finish strong.

Peter Running from Steph's iPhoneAt about that time Steph comes riding up on her bike. She cheers me on and then starts riding along side me. Not only did I have the pressure of someone I knew watching me, but also video taping my stride (darn you iPhones). I couldn’t let up now.

As I got about a mile away I saw Jen and my mother-in-law. That was only half of my crowd, I knew the other two must be closer to the finish line. I wasn’t going to leave anything on the course. I passed people left and right on the way to the finish. I didn’t hear my mom cheer as I crossed the finish line, just a medical person ask if I was alright.

The next twenty minutes consisted of the worse leg pain I have ever felt, but I wasn’t surprised because it was similar to my 20 mile training run 3 weekends earlier. You should have seen me try to walk to the massage area. The soreness lasted in earnest through Tuesday. By Wednesday I felt a lot better.

It was a great race and well organized. While I didn’t hit my goal time, I am happy with my finishing time 3:42:11, a 8:29 pace. Pretty respectable for my first marathon. Will I do it again? I’m not sure, it was a great sense of accomplishment.

You can read an even more detailed explanation of the race on dailymile and view my full interactive results at mtec results.

One thing I can’t omit was the great surprise my wife helped pull off. We were leaving Keeneland on Friday afternoon and Jen said that we needed to stop by the airport because a friend who had flown back from an international trip that week had miss placed a bag, it had now arrived. Sounded fine by me, I needed to use the restroom anyway. We pulled up to the curb. Jen ran in and quickly came out hauling a blue suit case, she was now going to stay with the car as I ran inside. I walk in the doors by the baggage claim and I see a familiar profile leading against the wall. “Mom?” I ask, “what are you doing here?” She asks the same question back at me. I go on to explain that we are picking a bag up for a friend. After I finish my detailed explanation I realize no one’s bag got misplaced. Even more time passes before I realize she has flown in to watch me run my marathon. What an awesome surprise. The fact that my mom flew in to watch my first marathon was right along side the feeling of completing the marathon itself.

I like fast cars…

…and my husband knows this. That is why, for my birthday, Peter gave me a ticket to ride in a NASCAR at the Kentucky Speedway. Sweet!

Taking in the scene and getting excited for my ride.

When I saw that the cars running the track were real, sponsor painted NASCARS, my thought was “boy I hope I don’t end up riding in a Jeff Gordan car or it will really put a damper on this experience.” Thankfully, the cars being used for the ride-a-longs did not include a Jeff Gordan car.

Suited-up (with a helmet at least) and ready to go.

I was a little disappointed that I did not get to suit-up. That is reserved for those having the driving experience. Maybe that will be my next adventure.

Feeling like a NASCAR driver as I enter through the window.

Getting in the car was such a Dukes of Hazzard moment and I LOVED it! After seeing numerous people of all ages and sizes struggle to get in and out of the car, I was determined to enter and exit gracefully.

My driver, who races, just not on the Sprint cup circuit, was a real sweetie. He held my hand while I was buckled in and kept smiling at me, asking if I was nervous and if I was ready for this. “You bet” was my reply. You could tell few women take advantage of this opportunity. 🙂

Three laps around the track hitting 170 mph.

One low lap.
And a high lap.

It was amazing the G-forces exerted on my body. I was trying to imagine driving an entire race with those forces, maneuvering in traffic and not hitting anyone. Incredible athletes, those drivers! I was also smiling like a fool the whole time and getting a nice layer of track grit on me. It was thrilling, exciting and made me want more, as you can plainly see from this smile that Peter caught just after I finished.

Seriously fun!

Thank you Peter for an awesome birthday present!

Summer Fun

This is just a few of the things Peteifer and Pablo have been up to this summer:

In May, we ran the Deckers Creek Half Marathon and brought friends with us this time.

Peter, Jen, Kristin, Jessica, Elissa
All smiles for the camera, even after 13 miles.
The railroad spike for running fast. Go Elissa!

In June, we went skydiving with Mom and Dad Morris and we have pictures to prove it!

Mom practicing and praying
No turning back now
Mom and Dad parachuting
Back on solid ground
I think Dad had a good time, the smile says it all
Peter and I and a tag along

We were all smiles after this adventure. Great job Mom, Dad and Peter on your first jumps! Oh, also, Mom, Peter and I ran in the RJ Corman 5K too. Thanks for capturing the event for us Dad.

Go Peter
Mom and I
The prize winners

Nothing like an action packed weekend!

Our kayaks got some use in July and I found out that you should not take a water loving dog on a kayak trip because he will want to swim the whole time!

Cheddar doing what he does best - swim!
Pablo doing what he does best - avoid the water!

Rob, Annie and Sylva came to visit in August. I had tons of fun cooking with Rob. And we learned that Sylva can run with the big dogs.

Tuna melts - one of the many delicious meals we ate
Sylva warming up with the little dogs
Now running with the big dogs

What a variety of events this summer. Traveling, new adventures, outdoor activities, time with friends and family – life is good!

Magistrate, Constable, etc.

In my travels around Kentucky, I have seen plenty of political signs and some have set me thinking. What exactly does a magistrate do? Or a constable? And how about a jailer? I am picturing a western movies at this point.

So, to help myself and maybe even some of you out there, I dug around to find out what these elected positions entail here in Kentucky, since we will be going to the polls later this month to cast our votes in the primary elections. Thanks to Franklin County for the summary of duties of elected officials. Red text = emphasis mine.

The County Judge Executive: Acts as the presiding officer and member of the Fiscal Court and serves as the county’s executive and administrative official.

The Jailer: Has custody of the county jail and all persons committed to the jail.

Magistrates: Serve as members of Fiscal Court and conduct business of the county.

Constables: Charged with and serve various court documents such as summons, civil actions, and warrants.

The Coroner: Investigates certain types of deaths and attempts to determine their cause.

The Property Valuation Administrator (PVA): Assesses or estimates the value of property for taxation purposes. (Has some secret formula you will never see to come up with your property value and subsequent taxes).

The County Attorney: Serves as the legal counsel for county government and represents the county when they are named as parties in legal actions.

The Sheriff: Acts as a law enforcement offical, collects real property taxes, provides court security, performs various other duties.

The County Clerk: Issues licenses, registers voters, and performs other election-related duties, files and stores various legal records and county records, and prepares county tax bills. (Is pleasant and always has a smile on their face).

There you have it folks. Hope you learned something. Remember to vote May 18 and be thankful we have a voice.