Sunday, February 13, 2011

LOVEly weekend & Palm Springs Half Marathon RR

FIRST- congratulations to Kona Shelley and Kate who both guessed 2:40:00 and won the "Spread the Love" giveaway. Next time I need to be more clear with some rules (such as only one guess per number) but I thought that like 5 or 10 people would guess so I didn't sweat the details...Well, now with 2 winners- I need to see if I can find another pair of compression socks to make the second place package into a first place one! And Kate who guessed 2:40:00 (not the other Kates who guessed other numbers) have no blogger profile..please leave a comment with your email so I can hook you up!

On to the fun-ness that was the LOVEly weekend...full of palm trees, cycling, running, sunshine, sunshine, sunshine, a dunk in the pool, lots of time with my husband, team SlaMo, the RU crew, and the wonderful Nytro Women's triathlon race team.

Friday after work, James and I hit the road for the desert. James had the car all packed up with bikes, food and gear. All I had to do was hop in! (I love my husband!) Palm Springs is just about 120 miles away..With Friday traffic it took a little longer, but we still arrived in time for dinner. I met up with the team and feasted at Lori's house. She is an amazing host! After dinner, I returned to the (not so) lovely Cambridge inn for a good night's sleep.

Saturday's forecast for the Tour de Palm Springs century ride was 47 degrees at the start and climbed up to the 80s in just a few hours. By the end of the ride my pockets were busting with all the extra gear. Next time, I'm going to suck it up like a good princess and just be a little chilly in the beginning. The Century ride ended up being a blast. I rode with the Nytro team and Monique the entire ride. We took it easy the first half and then started some more "aggressive" riding for part deux. During part deux, we found ourselved in the mix with some bigger speedy packs and played the paceline game. The packs would break and a couple of times, I surprised myself and sprinted by those who had "fallen off" to bridge the gap to the front groups. Not sure what to say, other than it was awesome. I've never done this before and I felt like I could ride my bike with other people. This is new for me. YES! Ended the day with 106 miles in 5:55 and a big smile. There were 3,000+ feet of climbing- nothing gnarly and much less taxing overall than our typical weekend HILLY rides. The first 30 miles were straight into a headwind but after that it was smooth sailing.

I got back from the ride feeling alright and decided to do a little t-run shakeout so I ran the 2.8 miles (felt great!)  over to the Palm Springs Swim Center - a sweet 10 lane outdoor pool. At the pool, James and team SlaMo were waiting and we had a quick 30 minute flop.
Swimmin' laps in the sunshine! My arm is the wide-swinging one :(

 I LOVED this pool because it was at least 80 degrees and our YMCA is more like 76-78 (cold to me!). When all was said and done at 3pm, I must say this may have been the most enjoyable 3-sport training days I've ever had!

That night, we decided on Mexican food (including a big margarita!) for fuel for the Palm Springs Half Marathon the next day.

On Sunday morning, we were up at 5am again for the pre-race usuals and jog to the race start. I ate rice pudding for breakfast (random, I know, but I like it and I have a healthy version). I also spiked the hotel coffee with Starbucks VIA to make it taste more like the nectar that James brews daily at home for me (Did I mention I love my husband?). We scooped up SlaMo and jogged the 2.8 miles to the race start. Nice and mellow and a good way to get loose.

Okay, I was looking for a new PR (old one is high 1:26 from Phoenix RNR Half last year with Katya), but there is always the "I worked out for 7 hours yesterday" thought lingering and squashing the confidence. However, I didn't listen to those thoughts so much. I know that I can run close to my best "open" times on very tired legs. The cycling doesn't seem to affect me as much, so I don't let it get to me. It's just another day to give it my best! I didn't talk about tired legs or really think about them for that matter.

The gun (or I think it was a beep) went off and I got out fast...A little too fast, like 5:40 fast. Again, nothing new here. Getting out fast is a good way to blow up. It's also a good way to scope out the competition (as they fly by in the subsequent miles!) I was #1 lady for a mile or so and over the next 5 miles got passed by #2, #3, and the new #3 because I was now #4. They each passed me with a pace that said that they were honest to goodness faster than me, so I didn't change a thing. I just wished each one a good race and kept on my plan (run hard, very hard!!!) Slater also came by in the first mile, ran with me a bit, then pulled ahead. I made it my goal to keep him in sight unless he sped up a lot. So, I played the follow Slater game through the maze of turn-y turns and false flats.

 The first 6 miles...not my finer moments! Huffing, and puffing, more par for the course. The last 7 miles were much better. They still hurt A LOT and my HR was around 170, but I was clicking off miles in the 6:20s now with the realization that I could hold it for the full 13.1 if I just stuck with it.
In the last mile I tried to close the gap on Slater, and take him by surprise, but when  I sped up, it seemed he did too. He must have known I was coming for him :)

I finished as the 4th woman, 20 seconds behind Slater, and with a new 1:24:55 pr. In the last mile, I saw my Garmin click by 13.1 while I was still in the 1:23s, and ended up with 13.32 at the finish line. I'm not going to say it was a long course. Maybe I just need a lesson in running tangents (what's a tangent again?) because I thought I was running them! Time to hang out with some runner dudes who know this stuff. GZ, you game? :)
James cruised to a 1:15 and was the 3rd male overall. Check for his race report tomorrow. He's sitting here eating Nuttzo on the couch, commenting on Christina Aguila singing on the Grammy's, so I'm thinking he hasn't written his yet...Anywho...Not a bad Valentine's weekend for team Walsh!
Some of the Nytro Ladies post-race

After the race we jogged hobbled back to the hotel. James packed up the car (Did I mention I love my husband?) and we cruised back to San Diego for an eeeeeeaaasy afternoon spin along the coast. Then I hung out at home while James went grocery shopping (Did I mention.... :) )

Happy Valentine's Day to all. (Did I mention I love my husband?)


GZ said...

Beth - congrats on a PR! I am pretty sure I have nuthin' to teach you! (maybe pick a race that does not have 13.1 miles done in a 5 block square - what is that, like 30 turns?!)

Well done!

Kate said...

Yay, that Kate is me! Love your blog, and now love it even more. Congratulations on my the PR!

My email is

Thanks! :)

Christi said...

What a great way to spend the weekend. Congrats on a speedy 1/2!

Yasi said...

Congrats on a new PR and a great weekend! You're the lady (as opposed to being 'the man'). I'm totally jealous of your sunny pictures.

Melissa said...

Happy Valentines to you two - you guys are super fast and super cute!

GoBigGreen said...

How fun. we had some MN peeps out there doing the tour, they were the pale white old guys you raced by:)

bex said...

you guys rocked it this weekend!! As we were driving to the race, we saw 4 people sprinting down the street... "Wow, check out those crazy people" we said... only to realize it was you, James, etc...

Congrats on another job well done!!

Kim said...

you and james are one super speedy couple! congratulations on the PR!

Jill Costantino said...

Woohoo - congrats! I LOVE how you just go after it everytime and lay it down! Super Congrats to both of you! May I please borrow a tiny bit of your speed on Sunday for my race? PLEASE!!!!
Your off-spring (should you guys have any, are going to have some FAST genes) WOW! and you could totally get the OT! Just saying!

Beth said...

Oh darn - I was so close to winning. Come on - you couldn't run ANY faster??? ;) HAHA...just kidding of course! Congrats to both you and James for an awesome weekend of training and racing. You guys amaze!

Jennifer Yake Neuschwander said...

Awesome job and thanks for the new quote "It's just another day to give my best" I love it.

Running Bums said...

Good Job Beth! You're on fire:) My bro and Mom were at that century too!

Running and living said...

I was right on with your time, well, off by 5 secs, but James should have picked it up a bit (jk). Congrats to both, maybe at some point you could write a bit about your run training? It is pretty amazing how much you have accomplished in the past few years!

Heidi Austin said...

wow that is fast! congrats on the rockstar PR :)