Monster Sprint Triathlon 2011 Pulaski, TN

Today was my first individual triathlon of 2011 and it was definitely a memorable one! Since the stress fracture I have either swam or biked in relay teams. The Monster Triathlon in Pulaski, TN is put on by Race Director Scott Landis and his amazing crew of volunteers. The money raised from the event goes to the Deanna Glossup Foundation, which helps children and their families fight cancer. Check out their website at

The distances for the Monster Sprint were 200 yard pool swim,  11.2 miles through hilly backcountry roads and a 2.9 mile run through Sam Davis stadium and the Historic Heritage Trail. The swim starts were spaced about 7-8 seconds apart, with one athlete entering the pool at a time. The wait time made the swim MUCH more enjoyable than last years human washing machine feel! The bike course was cut short this year due to road construction issues. Though “monster hill” was eliminated this year, the bike course was STILL a killer! Luckily the downhill made the uphill worth the effort! It is most definitely not considered a flat and fast course, by any stretch. The run was pleasant, as it stayed off of all major roads and was nicely shaded a good bit of the time.

I had a pretty good 200 yd swim (3:45) and didn’t get passed in the pool. My T1 was decent at :51, though I think if I were more focused I could have been faster. My bike average was 19.7, and pulling that off was no easy feat! My climbs were SLOW. My T2 was pretty horrible at 1:07! I put my socks on and had tied my shoes loosely before the race started because I realized I didn’t have my tri laces in my new shoes. That ended up a disaster, as I had to stop at the beginning of the run and untie my laces and tie them again! Lesson learned. Also I grabbed my race belt only to find that the belt strap was not fed through the buckle so it wouldn’t snap together! I had to mess with that on the run as well. In addition, I was holding my silly water bottle that I really didn’t need in a 2.9 mile run AND I was fidgeting around with my Garmin trying to get it on my wrist. I was all over the board on run pacing, but ended up with an 8:13 pace. I have definitely had better T2/run days, but all in all it was a great race!

I ended up placing 3rd overall female, which bumped me up from 1st in my age group!! I couldn’t believe it! It was a really great day for racing and a great post injury comeback for me! Maybe it was the lucky ROCKSTAR “tatoo” Rick put on my calf during body marking?!  It was definitely a good day!  Either way, it’s time to celebrate!! I’m headed to the Team Rocket Tri Club pool party to celebrate my accomplishment and everyone else’s who rocked the Monster tri, or some other awesome event this morning! I LOVE tri season!!!

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Mach Tenn Triathlon Relay Recap

Well it’s a little late for a recap on the Mach Tenn triathlon relay I raced in a week and a half ago.  I figure it’s not too late because I haven’t had another race since Mach Tenn… yet!  I will race again on Saturday at the Monster Triathlon in Pulaski, TN.  Monster, which is a sprint tri,  will be my first running race since the stress fracture.  I am REALLY looking forward to it!  I haven’t done any speed work, so the run is pretty much just left up to the triathlon gods.  We’ll see what they have for me on Saturday!  Either way, I’ll just roll with it.

I ended up doing the swim portion for the relay team at Mach Tenn, after planning to race the bike leg.  Long story…  Embarrassingly I did not swim for a solid week before the race with the exception of a chilled out 1500 yard swim the Friday before.  Nonetheless I had a pretty solid swim and even surprised myself!  I didn’t really know what to expect time wise, especially with the swim being in open water.  I find that I am usually slower in open water than in the pool.  Compared to my age group, my swim time would have been third!  Granted I was not doing the bike or run so that comparison is somewhat skewed, but I was still pleased!

I definitely want to race Mach Tenn again next year!  It was a very well managed event that drew a really fun, energetic group of triathletes.  Team Rocket Tri Club was very well represented and fun times were had by all!  Now let’s do the same at Monster this weekend!  I love tri season…

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2011 12 hours of Tsali (dustin)

It’s over! A bittersweet statement, though. One the one hand, all my body parts are relieved. On the other hand, my big race of the year is done. No other long races for the year (at least until the fall marathon). First off, a huge shout out to my Sis who did an excellent job as pit crew and motivator.
Soooo, as a lot of you know, I raced for 12 hours at Tsali. The race started at 11 am, which was a great time, as I didn’t have to wake up before the sun came up to get ready. We all went off running up County Line Road as soon as the air horn blared. As it was to be a long day, I chose to jog. Shortly after getting on the bike, I realized I was climbing much more than I expected. Then it got more steep. Then there was another climb. In all, the climb lasted about 12-14 minutes. Then there was some fast downhill single track, followed by rollercoaster singletrack. Then I realized I had to pedal up those usually fun whoop-de-do (if you ride Tsali the “correct” way) climbs. Good GOD, that was tough. And then around 8.5 miles in there was the rocky ascent (usually the descent around mile 2 if going the “correct” direction). Then the single track turned to flowy, epic, perfectly classic Tsali trail . Multiply that by 10 (laps). A couple laps in, I learned the laps were more than 10 miles, closer to 11. I wasn’t too happy about that.
I’ll jot down nutrition/water intakes in a couple days. Thanks, Sis for keeping up with that. For now, a rough estimate of what I took in: 350 ounces of water, perpetuem and cytomax, 30 endurolytes, 3 advil, 5 tylenol, 1/4 pound of salami, 15 combos, 1 pepsi, 1 orange, 5 mini-snickers, 3 gels. The highlight of the race was meeting and riding with (for a while) Grace Ragland, who won 1st female, has had MS all her life, and is ramping up for Leadville this year! Even better, she’s from Huntsville, AL (my birthplace). Huge props to her and best of luck, as well. At the end of the day, I had ridden 107 miles (10 laps), finishing at 10:43 pm. Results at unfortunately have my last name listed as Miller (#49).

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Cleared to run!

I finally got cleared to run on Tuesday, 5 weeks and 1 day since the unfortunate injury.  My current plan is no more than 2 miles for the next 2 weeks then increase mileage slowly.  My doctor did not limit me to a certain number of running days per week, but I plan to adopt my regular 3 days per week.  I ran for the first time Tuesday evening after work.  One mile, walk a little bit, another mile… felt great!  I did the same on Thursday at the Cinco de Mayo Run.  I ran the first mile with one of my Dixie Daredevil teammates, Regena.  I turned around after that mile and walked a little and finished the second mile.  Today I finished a 43 mile bike ride and then ran a mile. So far so good! 

I ordered a new pair of Newton’s at Fleet Feet Huntsville as soon as I left the doctor.  I have been running roads in my Newton trail runners until my new road shoes come in.  Tomorrow I will run 2 miles and Wednesday I hope to do another brick.  The off time went by pretty quickly actually, but I am REALLY happy to be back!

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Plans are just points of deviation…. (By: Carrie)

So, my friend Melissa always says that plans are just points of deviation.  She is right.  I will soon be removing some of my planned races from the blog, as I have moved beyond denial and removed them from my race calendar.  On Monday March 28th I was running with some friends when I felt a crack in my left foot.  I was around mile 3 when I felt it and I stopped and limped on it for a few seconds wondering if I was going to have to stop.  The pain subsided so I finished out the run completing just under 6 miles.  I went home and iced my foot immediately and took a couple Advil.  The next morning I couldn’t even put weight on it.  I continued to ice my foot all day on Tuesday, thinking “I better take care of this so I can run my back-to-back half marathons this weekend!”  Denial.  The first stage of injury. 

On Wednesday morning I woke up and called The Orthopaedic Center to make an appointment.  They told me the next available appointment was in June!  I explained my situation and the fact that I have several races coming up and need to have an assessment on my foot.  They said “Oh, you’re a runner?  How soon can you get here?”  I started breathing again and said “20 minutes!”  My experience with TOC and Dr. Fambrough was top notch.  Great service, a caring and understanding staff, and a timely appointment.  The only thing I would have changed was the entire reason I was there in the first place!  The x-ray did not show anything, so the doctor ordered a bone scan… for tomorrow! 

At this point I wanted answers YESTERDAY!  I lost it.  Right there in the doctor’s- a full on cry baby episode!  I was scared for the outcome, denial was fading.  I did not want to move on to acceptance.  I wanted to run.  In 3 days I wanted to run the Oak Barrel Half Marathon and in 4 days the Valley of Lilies Half Marathon!  Ugh.  The doctor scheduled my bone scan for Thursday afternoon and said I could call for a preliminary reading of the results on Friday.  I  another appointment for Monday morning for the final verdict, the explanation of what I can and cannot do and for how long.  As I left the office (in tears I might add) Dr. Fambrough told me that until confirmed, my foot should be treated as having a stress fracture.  The confirmation came around noon on Friday when I received a call from TOC.  Acute stress fracture in 2nd metatarsal of my left foot.  Goodbye to my weekend of half marathons and goodbye to my marathon 4 weeks later… and might as well say goodbye to my Muncie 70.3 while I’m at it.  Though it took another week or so before I decided to pull the plug on that one! 

I spent the weekend cheering on my friends at Oak Barrel, then I made the 5 hour drive to Cullowhee, NC to hang out with Dustin and cheer him on in the inaugural race hosted by his alma mater!  You would think I would have been depressed not being able to race, but really I had a BLAST!  I was so happy to see Melissa race her longest race since Marine Corps Marathon last fall, and watching Dustin SMASH that half marathon was amazing!!  I was able to see him about every 2 miles along the course.  I had so much fun! 

So, all in all I cancelled the two half marys, the Flying Pig marathon, a sprint duathlon and Ironman Muncie 70.3.  The first week was the most difficult time for me.  First of all not knowing for several days what the verdict would be, then accepting the fact that change was about to shake up my world.  So far it has been 3 weeks since I have run and I have 2 weeks to go until my next check up with the doctor.  In many ways it feels like I have not run in FOREVER!  I do feel lucky that I was only sentenced with 5 weeks instead of the 6-8 week standard.  It could always be worse, but let’s just hope that I get the “all clear” in 2 weeks!  Lucky for me I have been able to swim, bike, kayak and aqua jog.  Yep, I said it.  AQUA JOG!! More on aqua jogging to come.  It’s not just for little old ladies anymore… I am determined to make it COOL! 🙂  Meanwhile, I got a new Scott Plasma and it is definitely cool!  Well, at least I think so! It definitely gives me something to look forward to until I can run again!  Now, if only the weather would cooperate! 

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Western Carolina University Half Marathon (dustin)

On Saturday, I met my Sis in Dillsboro, NC and we picked up our packets for the inaugural Valley of the Lilies Half Marathon in Cullowhee.  Originally, we were all going to run this race.  But Care’s doctor asked her to not run that distance until after the baby comes. Then, Sis just found out she fractured her foot and will be out for a little while.  Anyways, we picked up packets, noted the shirts were pretty nice and then got to Lulu’s as fast as we could for 1) food and 2) beer #1 (sis) and beer #3 (me).  As we ate and drank, Sis told me that Melissa is a faithful believer is carbing-up via barley and hops pre-race.  That sounded great!  After dinner, we went to the BP in Sylva and picked up some drank (and breakfast for Sunday).  Luckily, our campsite on Moses Creek in Cullowhee wasn’t taken and we crashed there.  The next morning we broke camp and, in my infinite wisdom decided to try to just get oatmeal the Huddle House in Cullowhee.  They didn’t have any.  Sis’ quick thinking netted us some peanut butter and luckily the HH made us some toast.

The race: Perfect temps, a little hilly and great views.  Finished 13th out of 164 in 1:39.  Me at mile 1.5:

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March MADNESS (By Carrie)

March Madness to many people means college basketball tournmaments and NCAA bracket picks.  For me, March Madness is how I describe this month in general!  Well, here we are towards the END of March and I am finally posting the race report from the UAH Spring 10K Road Race!  What a MONTH… The race went really well and it was perfect weather (30’s) for a great race.  In conjuntion with my 10k, I planned to run 18 miles in preparation for the upcoming Flying Pig marathon.  I ran 2 miles to warm up, averaging about 8:30.  An 8:30 pace is not exactly my typical warm up pace, so I knew I was feeling great!  As I was finishing up the warm up I saw my friend, Melissa and she said “Girl, you are flying!”  I was pumped!

This race was my first shot at a PR at the 10k distance and I was destined to get it!  Oh, did I mention that this was my first 10K race?  🙂  I started the race in my typical fashion, dipping down to 6 minute miles, a pace I clearly cannot keep up for more than 100 yards!  I began to pace myself more realistically and continued this strategy throughout the two loop out and back course. I have been warned that this course was “hilly” and “boring” however I kind of enjoyed the course.  I run the UAH campus regularly each week though, so perhaps I am somewhat accustomed to it.  I was thrilled when we turned around just before the only decent hill on the course.  I was having a great race.  I started near the front, and I really wasn’t losing much ground when compared to the real runners I was surrounded by!

I finished the first loop of the race at 23:25!!  That is 9 seconds faster than my 5k PR!  I couldn’t believe it.  What a great day!  I really enjoyed the small feel of this race, and because it was two loops I constantly saw my friends on the course and could cheer them on.  I continued to run strong, though my pace slowed slightly for the second 5k.  Near the end of the race when I was tired I reminded myself to give it my all.  So I did!  I finished feeling strong at 48:13 (7:45 pace) winning 3rd in my age group! 

After the race I still had 10 more miles to run.  Melissa offered to run 6.5 miles with me.  We ran a couple miles, went in for awards and then ran the rest.  It was great to have someone to keep me company when all I really wanted was an ice cold post race beverage!  I dropped her off at the UFC parking lot and finished up the last 3.5 miles feeling strong.  It was a great day!  A great race, and a great long run, and a great post race beverage… finally! 

March was a great month in many ways.  I became a member of the Dixie Daredevils Hood to Coast 2012 relay team!  We are a group of 12 ladies and 2 alternates committed to raising money for American Cancer Society, by running a 197 mile relay dubbed “the mother of all relays!” The race starts at majestic Mount Hood in Oregon and ends at the Pacific Ocean in Seaside.  Follow us as we raise money to fight cancer in celebration and in memory of our loved ones!  You can make a donation here.

Other highlights in March include my trip to Concord, NC to visit Dustin and the other Carrie last weekend!  It was a family trip to see them before their baby (and my niece) is born.  It was also Dustin’s birthday weekend, so a perfect time to visit.  Saturday while Dustin and Dad were doing yard work, Dustin gave us a big scare which landed him in the E.R. and resulted in stitches!  I will let him tell the story so I don’t steal his thunder.  I mean, with those stitches, he does have bragging right now and all!  We are just all thankful that he is ok and hope his hand heals quickly so that he can be back to his usual biking and running self.  Highlights of that weekend also included my 20 mile run, half of which was in my new (beautifully green) Newton Terra Momentus trail runners and other half in my Distance racers.  The entire distance I was lost, but that’s a whole other story of the madness!

Speaking of the madness, the McKay Hollow 25K Trail Run (nicknamed “The Madness”)was cancelled on Saturday due to thunderstorms, so there will be no race report on that one.  Several people ran the unofficial race on Sunday so they didn’t lose out on the opportunity entirely.  I, on the otherhand, chose to stay up too late on Saturday night celebrating my and my friend’s upcoming birthdays!  I saw the pictures on We Run Huntsville’s Facebook page and kicked myself for not showing up.  The run looked like so much fun!  For me, Sunday resulted in a short ride on the trainer followed by a 25 minute brick.  This month was definitely The Madness by any definition!

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