Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Rookie Triathlon Race Photos

Here are some official race photos from The Rookie Triathlon.  I look close to death during the swim and run. 

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Most Improved

….. and the CC United Team Italy Spring 2011 Most Improved Player is……

Ella Tirch

End of Soccer and Disney Princess on Ice 012

She might not be the best player on the team, but she’s pushing herself to be better, improving with each game.  Today I realized, my daughter is my inspiration.  Who doesn’t want to improve?  Who doesn’t want to get better with each new opportunity? 

Let’s take a look at some of my race times. 

Name Date Time
Spirit of Pgh Half November 2009 2:17:22
Pittsburgh Half May 2010 2:09:20
Decker Challenge December 2010 2:21:06
Austin Marathon February 2011 4:58:19
RNR Dallas Half March 2011 2:17:12

From November to May (just 6 months) I managed to shave 8 minutes off my half marathon time.   In May of 2010 I felt like I was in the best shape of my life.  I averaged a 9:53 pace at the Pittsburgh Half Marathon.  I was working toward my goal of a sub 2:00 half and I was confident I’d make it there by fall. 

Life had a different plan for me.  My accident set me back quite a bit.  In fact, the second half of 2010 was probably the worst time of my life.  Not to be dramatic, but I had some pretty terrible luck.  Coming back and completing Decker Challenge in December, even at 2:21:06, felt like a victory.

decker challenge4

I’ll be honest, completing my first marathon was a victory as well.  My victory was made even sweeter by finishing in less than 5 hours (by the hair of my chinny chin chin), but I knew I had done the minimum I could to get by.  In this case it was rightfully so.  I had been through a lot (multiple surgeries, kidney stones, physical therapy) and my body was still recuperating. 

I felt like my redemption would come at Rock n Roll Dallas.  I could finally prove to myself that I had overcome all the obstacles of 2010.  I was finally completely healthy, yet I didn’t improve. 

Rock N Roll Dallas Half Marathon 002

The fact of the matter is, I didn’t put in the effort to improve.  I did the minimum I could do to get by.  Part of that has to do with life and the way “things” seem to take over.  That’s all part of being a mom and my children being a priority.  I admit too that part of it has to do with settling--  settling with staying at my current level, not pushing myself to be better, and becoming complacent. 

So here I am blog world letting you know, I will IMPROVE my marathon time.  I will push myself to do better, learn more, become more efficient and get FASTER!  I will let my daughter be my inspiration and IMPROVE.

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Friday, April 29, 2011

Get Excited

I’ve had three children, but you knew that didn’t you?  I’ve also had a kidney stone, I’ve fractured my shoulder and I’ve fractured my wrist.  Point is, I know pain.

Contractions are pretty intense pain.  You know the headache you get when you eat ice cream (or something cold) too quickly?  Well, that’s the pain of a contraction, only it last a lot longer and happens every 2 to 3 minutes for say, oh I don’t know, 4 to 24 hours.  One word for all you ladies out there—epidural. 

Having a kidney stone is painful, nowhere near as painful as a contraction however, so men, don’t think there is anything in comparison.  Well maybe there is— A Marathon.  All of the things I mentioned PALE in comparison to 26 miles 385 yards. 


There are some similarities among childbirth and labor nonetheless.  For instance, after you have a baby, what is the first thing everyone asks you?  Are you going to have another one?  The same goes for a marathon.  No one lets you bask in the mediocrity glory of the first one, they just want to know if there will be more.  For me, making the decision about having another baby meant forgetting the pain and suffering that goes into being pregnant and then actually having a baby.  Likewise, deciding to do another marathon meant forgetting the pain of the first. 

sdt mile 6

I’m not so sure I’ve FORGOTTON the pain of the first marathon, but I think I’m ready to tackle it again.  I better be because I signed up for Rock n Roll San Antonio on November 13th. 

san antonio 2

Running a marathon, while both mentally and physically grueling, isn’t REALLY that bad.  Wait, it does really suck, I can’t lie.  But my point is, you can do anything for 3 hours or 5 hours or however long it takes.  It’s the training and preparation that are so hard.  Convincing yourself week after week to run, run, run and then run some more.  You begin to HATE it.  Who wants to feel that way?  NOT ME! 

And that my friends is why I’ve chosen Hal Higdon’s Marathon 3 Training Plan for my second marathon.  Marathon 3 is a program designed for runners who wish to run 3 days a week.  This allows for more cross training, which I will need in order to complete some longer cycling events in the fall.  Marathon 3 includes THREE 20 mile runs in the training program, but each is followed by a tapered long run the following week. So yes you get to run just 3 times a week, but you have to do 3 twenty milers.  YIKES! 

Another thing, Marathon 3 is a 24 week training program.  I’ll do the math for you, that’s 6 months!  YIKES again.  Therefore, marathon training for Rock n Roll San Antonio will begin on May 29th—exactly 30 days from today! 

Here’s what 24 weeks of training looks like. 

marathon 3

marathon 3b

Get scared excited people get excited! 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

An Athlete or Not?

I remember when I was participating in The Rookie Triathlon, I heard someone yell out, “Way to go athletes.”  I giggled to myself and thought, Athletes?  I’m not an athlete.  Am I? 

Let’s dissect shall we?   


Noun: A person who is proficient in sports and other forms of physical exercise


  • I am a person


  • Proficient … ehhh

Let’s dissect further…


Adjective: Competent or skilled in doing or using something

…and further still


Having the necessary ability, knowledge, or skill to do something successfully.

… and just a little bit more dissection

suc·cessful/səkˈses ful/Noun

Having a favorable outcome

Evidence Against: 

10 Mile Run

  • Mile 1: 10:54
  • Mile 2: 10:31
  • Mile 3: 10:51
  • Mile 4: 10:46
  • Mile 5: 10:59
  • Mile 6: 10:50
  • Mile 7: 10:51
  • Mile 8: 10:48
  • Mile 9: 10:51
  • Mile 10: 12:09 ----->  Stabbing pain in my knee that radiated to my ankle and has still NOT gone away

Total:  1:42:58

Average:  10:53

ice on knee

This is NOT favorable nor is it cool (no pun intended).  Not cool at all running Gods.  Not cool at all. 


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Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Today this happened….


Better than this…

sdt surgery

or this…

But nowhere near as good as this…


or this…

finish eet

So if life gives you this..

Do this…

san antonio

and then do lots of this…

sdt run






decker challenge3

and maybe a little of this…

why am I smiling

No sense in being like this…


When you have all this…


Have you done this lately? 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Follow the Yellow Brick Road

Today I realized—Dorothy Susan, we’re not in Kansas Pittsburgh anymore.  I’ve spent the entire time since we’ve moved to Texas (8 months) running outdoors, but I think that might be coming to a close.  While most people are starting their outdoor running, I’m might be packing up and heading indoors.  The heat today, at 9:30 am, was brutal and it did NOT translate into a pretty run. 


I started off with the intention of doing 10 miles.  I’ll admit, my mind wasn’t really behind this run so I knew it had to be ideal conditions to make it happen.  I texted Julie for moral support and set out on my way. 

The sun was blazing and by 2.6 miles I knew I wasn’t going to make it the full ten.  I’m just not used to running in these temps and I honestly figured there was no point in torturing myself.  I’m not training for any longer races right now, so what was the use?  If only I had COURAGE! 

I turned around at the 3 mile mark and felt like I NEEDED to do something to cool myself down.  At this point I texted Julie asking for “permission” to quit.  She tried to convince me to slow my pace and keep going.   If she only had a HEART! 

At just over 3 miles I found the showers and soaked my head and shirt.  There were onlookers, there were stares, I think I even heard whispers.  I didn’t care, I was cooling off (and taking pictures of it… perhaps that’s why they were whispering… ohhhhhh).  If I only had a BRAIN.


Since I had given up on my original 10 miles, I wanted to give the 6 all I had.  My body fought me every step of the way.  I started just watching my shadow because when I watched my shadow I felt fast.  Seriously, my shadow really seems to cruise along.  It worked up until about mile 5 and then even my shadow was moving slowly. 


Sucky Six Miler:

  • Mile 1:  10:31
  • Mile 2:  10:37
  • Mile 3:  11:18
  • Mile 4:  10:48
  • Mile 5:  10:55
  • Mile 6:  11:21

Total:  1:05:35

Average:  10:55

I can’t be unhappy with myself.  I don’t know if I’ll have the “power” to run in the heat, but I’ll never know unless I keep on trying.   Like Glenda the Good Witch says, you can’t be shown you have the power.  You have to learn it for yourself. 

So I’m going to follow run on the “yellow brick road” in hopes that it will lead me where I want to go!

Monday, April 25, 2011


By now I’m sure you’ve stop at least twice a day every day asking yourself, “I wonder what Susan’s next event is going to be.”  Well, ask yourself no more.  I am here to announce that I am officially registered for, not one, but two more triathlons. 

First up:  Lake Pflugerville Triathlon, June 19th

pflugerville header

The triathlon starts with a 500-meter swim in Lake Pflugerville with a sandy beach entry and an easy exit to a paved transition area. Then you are off on a 14-mile bike ride through the countryside with enough low rollers to keep it interesting. Racers will finish up with a 3-mile run around the lake on a flat crushed granite trail with water stops along the way. Pizza and ice cream for the finishers... can it get any better than that?

Does it get any better than that?  Pizza and ice cream?  I’m there. This is another Jack and Adam’s/High Five event (like the Rookie Tri) so I expect it will be a well organized race. I’m excited to increase my distances and hopefully improve a little too. 

I’ve also registered for the Butler YMCA Triathlon, which is near Pittsburgh, on July 9th.  I’m expecting Amanda to join me!  So head over to her blog and tell her I said to sign up! 

Anyway, I was registered for this race last year, but didn’t get to participate due to the whole broken shoulder and wrist thing.  Minor technicality.  I still got the shirt! This is the first time I put it on.  I feel like a fraud. 

butler tri 001

This race is a 1/4 mile swim, 7 mile bike and 3.1 mile run.  I’m not sure why the bike is so short, but if I remember correctly I think it’s super hilly,  like in Pittsburgh, hilly.  So yeah, I’m scared.  The good thing, like really good thing, TRACEY! 

half marathon tracey

Tracey is my “training partner” from Pittsburgh and I’ll be eating her dust we’re going to do the race together.  Yay for races with friends! 

Potty Training and Just a Short Run 015jlj sdtsdt jkh

sdt disdt jkh

susan and angiesm lf sdt

So there you have it, you don’t have to lie awake at night wondering anymore.  I still need to find an event in May.  I’m thinking of doing this

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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

Ugh we had an EARLY start to our morning.  I swear the kids were up earlier for the Easter Bunny than Santa Claus.  I had my alarm set for 6:30 to hide the eggs, (outside or I would have done it last night) but I heard the kids up at 6:12 a.m.  Luckily, I could use the excuse that it wasn’t light out yet to stall them.  Nevertheless, the egg hunt was on by 7:00 a.m.


Of course all the preparation of filling the eggs and making the basket only translates to 10 minutes or less of fun. 

jtt basket2eet2wnt basket

They didn’t do too badly though. Check out their loot.

Easter 2011 002

eet basket jtt basket3wnt ba

I always do a little “photo shoot” on Easter so today I went back and compared this years versus last.  I’m amazed, frightened and sad about how much the kids have grown and changed in just one short year. 

1Easter 2011 012

Failed attempt at recreating the pose




I’m holding on as tightly as I can.   Who wouldn’t want to keeping living these moments over and over again?

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Happy Easter from our crazy family to yours. 

family funny