Preliminary Race Schedule 2015

Black Cat 20 miler March 2015
Boston Marathon April 2015
JCC sprint tri May 2015
B2B bike race/ride June 2015

? Musselman July or Lowell Olympic
? challenge Maine olympic in august
sprint or half September

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Well its been a long time since I last posted

Its been almost a year since I last posted, I have many reasons for this which are:

1. Didn't have much to say at the time
2. Not a lot of free time to write and didn't know if people were really interested anyway
3. My mom got really sick last winter after my last post and then past away in April 2014
4. My racing schedule was somewhat non existent with how my life was going.

Well its 2015 and things remain crazy in the Furse household.  I did do something super fun this past fall, I ran my first ultra marathon, a 32 mile trail marathon in Stoneham mass which was awesome and hard at the same time. I ran with some great people who help support me throughout the entire day and I can't say enough about how great the trail running community is. I highly recommend the TARC 32/40 miler and I may try to attempt that course again in the fall of 2015.

It was awesome, I would definitely do it again.

The only other races I'm actually signed up for is the Black Cat 20 miler in March and the Boston Marathon in April. I am also signed up for the B2B Vermont bike ride/race in June. I really do need to get my triathlon schedule in order for the summer,not that I can do many races but at least plot them out. I may try to do a sprint in May, either an olympic or half in July and possibly another race or two in August/September, just hard with all the kids sports and things.

Anyway, after 2 days of tons of snow and me stuck in the house I am hitting the trainer and hopefully a little run today.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

New Year 2014

Gosh, Its been awhile since I blogged and lots of things have been changing around here. I think the last time I blogged I had just finished the Baystate Marathon and had qualified for Boston, that was back in October, Geeeeesh. After I finished Baystate I wanted to make some changes in my life and one was my diet ( yes, yes, I know, but I knew I needed a change, a jumpstart if you will.)

A good friend of mine and athlete/coach started doing the Whole 30 program, which is like Paleo but a little bit more aggressive. Its a 30 day approach to eating as clean as you can and learning why you eat the way you do. Is it physical, is it mental? I literally finished the race on saturday and new that I was going to have a good few weeks recovering from my marathon with not a ton of hours of training so I embarked two days later on the Whole 30.

The Whole 30 was an awesome journey which I continue to this day. The first two weeks were difficult, I was trying to think of all different reasons to cheat ( I didn't), it didn't get manageable until about day 20 when I finally learned to cook with flavor and different spices and different recipes. I bough a cheap food processor and a slow cooker and what was most awesome was that so many people sent me recipes and were supportive on social network. I do believe that people thought I was crazy but I felt great, slept great, lost some weight ( > 10lbs) and really felt that sugar definitely was the root of all evil in my diet. Now, I didn't eat bad in general so it was shocking to me how hard it was for me when I already had eliminated bread from my diet, minimal dairy and I didn't eat a ton of processed food. Removing the wine and my occasional hot tomale treat was tough but I did it the entire month. I continue on the whole 30 but I do have my occasional wine and a few treats here and there but I'm contemplating just sticking to it completely because when I do have any sugar whats so ever I feel lousy.

I now eat to live not live to eat and I believe it is making me healthier, I certainly feel better.

The holidays were great, nothing too grand to report, same amount of craziness, same amount of sports and travel with the kids. Its exciting seeing them grow up and love sport and be an active part of their community and their schools, its really fun.

With the new year comes new changes and new adventures. I've chosen a few key races for the season, Texas 70.3 in Galveston in April so I can hang with some friends and it can be done cheaply and Challenge Atlantic City in June which is a full distance triathlon but not ironman branded. After that I'm not too sure, probably Pumpkinman ( because its great) in September and a fall marathon most likely. Also, looking forward to signing up for the Boston Marathon in September to run in April 2015, very excited to do my first Boston.  I hope to throw in a sprint or two or maybe a few running races but with the kids schedules its tough. I need a lot of flexibility and my kids have to come first so my race list will always be small and signing up for anything else will certainly be last minute.

Oh, I just applied to be an ambassador for headsweats, its my first time applying for any type of sponsorship but I feel I truly love their products and probably wear them way too much. I will keep you posted if for some reason they choose me to be one of their ambassadors. How cool would that be.

Anyway, my top ten crazy things for 2013 ( Can't forget my yearly tradition)

1. Appendicitis for 6 year old january 2013, husband fly to Texas same morning, absolutely sucked
2. Kids sick for 4 months straight, in and out of hospitals and ER's from January through March, sucked.
3. Dog gets all bottom teeth pulled because of over bite.
4. Dog has seizures
5. Dog gets hit by a car ( really come on now). Mother who hit my dog still hasn't contacted me regarding the situation or apologized for it. Her son is in my 10yr olds class.
6. Can't seem to get my 10 year old to wear underwear, I think maybe he has worn it 10 times in a year. Will continue to be a mission of mine in 2014
7. Saw a car driving the wrong way on Rte 128 north, had to ride side by side to him on 128 South while talking to State Police ( day of Pumpkinman 1/2 in September). Was finally pulled over by state police without killing himself or anyone else. I'm still a bit traumatized over this one.
8. My cat makes it a nightly ritual to bring a mouse in from outside and chase it alive in our bedroom at night, I believe she does this at least 4 nights out of 7. She then proceeds to leave the half eaten bodies of the field mice all over our deck or front stairs. My dog ( Obi- dumb as a stump but cutest thing ever) continues to eat it. Really? Everyday.
9. Every time the phone rings during the school week I get a nervous twitch going definitely thinking one of my kids did something and I'm going to have to go get them at school, or apologize to another parent. Ugg.This is a continuous theme every year.
10. My sons continuous attempt of trying to build a zip line from the porch to the pool. He will eventually do it just hope he doesn't kill himself in the process.

Happy New Year and God Bless.

Monday, October 21, 2013

baystate marathon race report and potential future race plans

Untitled by donnafurse at Garmin Connect - Details

yesterday was a good day and a humbling day. I was racing my second open marathon and in my mind really hoping to qualify for Boston. The training had gone well, I wasn't injured and I had no excuses. Baystate is known for being relatively flat, its not flat/flat, it has some nice gradual climbs but nothing over maybe 3%-4% grade and certainly not long, a few bridges and that's it. Last years marathon yielded me a 3:55:55 which was 55 seconds over a BQ time, so hopefully an easier course profile would buy me some minutes. My realistic goal was to finish around 3:40-3:42.

I met up with my friend Keri ( IMLP queen) we went to get my number and hang until start time. The weather was cool but not crazy. I did wear some throw away gloves for the first half marathon but after that I was so glad to be in a tank and shorts.

the course had water/gatorade at every I think 1 1/2 or 2 miles and gels every 7 so I decided not to carry my water bottles with me ( good decision).

I didn't wear my IPOD this time because for some reason my fully charged IPOD ran out of batteries right before the start. Oh well, listening to my own thoughts and other peoples for the next 3+ hours, oh joy.

The first 14-15 miles went really well, at this point I believe I was still around a 8:23-8:24 overall avg pace, I knew this would get me in at this point in my goal time. The wind started to pick up a bit and my right groin and right quad started barking a bit. I kept plugging along but I started to notice my running pace was slowing just a little. At times when it got flat my pace would quicken but with any incline I slowed a tinch. My nutrition was spot on, I took in water and gatorade at every stop and my gels every 5 1/2 miles.  I did have some salt on my face at the finish so I'm not too sure if that caused any of my pains during the run but my calfs and feet were fine.

When I hit mile 20 I was still under an 8:30 pace average but I knew I had to dig deep, my heart rate was spot on but my legs hurt, I know this is when the marathon really begins, what can you do to bring it home can you increase your pace, can you get your HR up? I saw so many people stopping, stretching, slowing down, two people where taken away in an ambulance for injuries, it was so weird to see so much carnage in just a running race, typically you see this in ironman, so weird. Not having my IPOD had me really tuning into my surroundings and the other racers, I ran side by side with two people who I swear where the loudest runners ever, their feet just slapped the ground ( bang, bang, bang) so heavy on their feet it sounded painful. My legs at this point were sooo tired I couldn't get ahead of him to stop listening to him, thank goodness he started to slow and I didn't need to hear him anymore. Then I kept hearing this loud music around me, I didn't know if spectators had music going or someone was on a bike playing music, then I saw this kid running with a radio/boombox on the back of race belt blaring pop music, I'm sure that thing was heavy and I bet he has some serious chaffing from it. I'm not sure I liked it though it was very distracting and it was super loud. Just weird to see on the course. I wonder if that would be legal in ironman?

Anyway, the last mile came and I knew I just wanted to finish, my watch had clicked at 25 well before the mile marker it was such a tease, then I ran by the mile marker and then it was another god knows how long before the next sign said 1 mile to go. I just put my head down and started running, trying to get my HR up and just wanting to get home, I picked up the pace just a tad and ran it in. 3:45:49. BQ time qualifier. YEAHHHHH.

I was very happy with the time, I definitely gave it everything I had, I have to figure out how to manage those last 6 miles as that it what happened in Plymouth last year. I didn't get my 3:40-3:42 but I still bested my time by over 10 minutes so I'm happy.

As for the 2014 Boston Marathon it is closed out for qualified runners so unfortunately I won't be able to run it this year unless I wanted to do a charity spot which I don't. That means I will apply for 2015 once registration opens. Baystate is one of the last marathons that can qualify you both 2014 and 2015, so yeah me. I am also signed up for the new Challenge Atlantic City full distance ironman event in June 2014. I am really looking forward to this as I can drive and it is significantly less expensive then ironman. The course is capped at 1500 athletes and the roads are completely closed. I am also on the fence on registering for 2014 IMFL because I would still like to do it. Well thats it for now.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Pumpkinman Race Report and the incident that happened at 3:45am

All things considered my training was ok going into Pumpkinman, it wasn't perfect especially my swimming, I could certainly get the distance done and have fun but how was I going to do, " I had no clue". Its been an up and down season this whole year starting since getting injured last August before IMMT, I'm kind of writing off this season as a rebuilding year in both fitness and confidence. I mean racing only 2 triathlons in a year isn't going to get me where I really want to go but it was all I could do. Anyhoo, coach Pat put me in a really good place and we god knows he has had to tweak my schedule more than once ( I won't even give you the number). Okay, lets chat about the day.

As I was leaving home at 3:40am I needed to stop off and get gas on route 128 south in Beverly, as I headed out onto Rte 128south it was dark and I was still a bit tired, as I was driving by exit 22 I noticed something really weird, to my left traveling right beside me was a car going south on route 128N, I didn't believe it, rubbed my eyes and took another look,, " Holy Shit", I couldn't believe my eyes, WTF, this car was traveling fast and going in the wrong direction, "HOlY SHIT, HOLY SHIT". I immediately grabbed my cell phone and dialed 911 and got put through to the state police, they kept me on the line so that I could describe the car and tell them where it was traveling, everytime I saw an on coming car I started to cry, I would tell the dispatcher/policeman on the phone, OMG there is going to be a crash, somethings going to happen, please get here fast. They needed me to stay on the phone and follow him so they could get the exact location of where he was traveling, eventually after what seemed like 20 minutes they were able to get him right before Reading, Mass, 3 State Police cruisers for 3 different directions cornered him off and he pulled over. Thank God is all I said in my head and told the dispatcher that the vehicle had pulled over and nobody was hurt, we hung up. I then had to turn around and head back on 95 to head to the race, at this point I was getting nervous because it was 4:20am and I didn't know whether or not I was going to make packet pickup in time, Kat told me to be there no later than 5:30a so I really had to move it. That being said I was still very shooken up about what happened, afraid to see another car on the 128N side of the road as I was now driving on it, just freaked me out a lot. I still think about what happened quite a bit since Sunday, just insane and very scary. What could of happened.

Anyway, I got to the race venue on time thank goodness, got all my stuff ready, packet picked up, saw some friends and headed to transition. I saw my friend John Young briefly, gave him a hug and wished him luck, he is such an inspiration to me in so many ways, I hope he realizes that he touches so many peoples lives and hearts, just a true ambassador in my opinion. As I got transition set up my phone rang and it was one of the State troopers who had pulled over the vehicle this morning and he wanted to call and say thank you for what I'd done and to make sure I was ok. He told me that the man was completely beligerent and drunk to holy heaven and thank goodness nothing happened. I think he was still in shock. I wish I knew what happened to the guy.

On to the swim start, started walking to swim start, a sense of calm was over me, the weather was absolutely perfect, saw some friends, Amanda, Jessica, Mironda and Meaghan and then went to my corral. I knew my swim was not going to be my best and not even close, I had no top end speed just lots of aerobic base, so I knew that what I should do is to just swim my zone 1 pace and keep it long and strong and not get my HR up too high, we had a big hill to climb to transition and I wanted to set myself up for a good bike/run. Siting was a bitch, the sun was right in our eyes, even with my goggles it didn't help, mulitple times I had to stop to try to find my way and on the second loop it just got completely congested. It was what it was, my HR was great coming out of the water.

33:53 on my watch, they got me at 34:07. Really slow, really really slow, but zone 1 pace spot on.
3rd in age group, whatever.

Bike: The bike course was fun, just enough small climbs and just enough long flats to really build up speed. Good bike support out there and good markings to make the course easy to follow. On the second loop the wind started to pick up, it wasn't too bad, I did start to notice my right groin and my right hamstring started getting sore and I knew this was because I hadnt spent enough time in aero in training, I had spent more time in aero in training this year than in the past so it was better but I knew this was the reason. I started complaining in my head that my run was going to suck if this pain didn't go away but I just tried to stay positive.

2:52- 19.4mph- Getting better, high zone 1, low zone 2 HR average, spot on. Thus this is an improvement in my bike performance in a race keeping the HR where it needed to be. So hopefully my run was going to be good.

Run: 2 loop course, and I really liked it. I have to say again, it had enough climbs, flats and downhills to make the course interesting. The volunteers were awesome, tons of stuff to get on the course and the most important, the sponges were super cold when I got them, "perfect". I felt good coming off the bike, the right groin and hamstring went away after about a mile, I was able to get off the bike and keep my HR where Pat told me while averaging an 8:15 for the first mile. things slowed a tiny bit after that to keep the HR where it needed to be but I was ticking off 8:35's and I didn't want to push it till mile 10 if I had anything left. I loved seeing all my teammates on the course and friends, the weather was great, the wind was blowing hard at times but it was really fun. At mile 10 I knew I needed to pick up the pace, I ended up averaging an 8:05 for the last two miles and bumped my HR from 158 to 164 by the time I finished.

1:52:xx, 8:37 average. Best time I've run off the bike in a half ironman ever, and I know I can go faster.

5th AG F45-49. Overall time; 5:24, pretty dam close to my personal best ( did Patriot a few years ago faster but the swim was about 9 minutes short, so who knows)

It was a good day for me and I'm happy with my performance given the year I had. Besides Baystate marathon coming up in mid October I have a lot of thinking to do regarding what I want to do for races next year. I know in my heart I really want to do an ironman but don't know which one would be good for me and my family and what would be practical. I've signed up for 3 ironmans over the last 1 1/2 years and I've not made it to the start line of any of them, I don't want that to happen again. Do I concentrate on building more speed at the half distance and do 2 of them next summer and maybe try to qualify for the World championships, is it even possible, I'm not sure. What I do know is that I had fun at the Boston Triathlon and at Pumpkinman and know that I continue to love to train and compete. If anyone has any suggestions let me know, maybe the Triple T or the Zufingen, but regardless getting to either Kona or the 70.3 world championships is on my bucket list of wishes.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Tyler Place Family Resort in Vermont

So we just got back from a week long vacation in Northern Vermont, 3 miles south of the Canadian border, it was awesome. We stayed at a family resort called, The Tyler Family Resort and it certainly lived up to its billing. The basic format of the resort is that your kids get split up in age groups and they spend, 8:30-1:30p with their group and then again from 5:30-8:30p for the younger kids and 9p for the older kids. They play games, they go boating, kayaking, fishing, hiking, biking, swimming, you name it they do it. During the times from 1:30-5:30 is called family time and thats when we get to do tons of stuff with our kids together and actually enjoy each others company. Mom and Dad get the time that the kids are at camp to themselves and they can do a million organized activities that the resort puts together for you or you can do whatever you want to do with your time. There is cocktail hour at night and great food, the scenery is amazing and the activities were awesome.

Some examples of adult activities:
canoeing, kayaking, ropes course, mountain bike tours for all levels, fishing, yoga, basketball games, soccer games, tennis, sailing, cooking, knitting, etc... All water sports as well, tubing, banana boating, water skiing, etc...

The other goal of Tyler Place is to have the adults get acquainted with the other adults and build hopefully long term friendships, they do this with cocktail hours and also mixing up breakfast and dinner tables so that people get to meet everyone. The kids do the same and by the middle of the week your hanging with good friends and doing activities with them and just having a blast. The kids hardly wanted to come with us during family time because they wanted to go tubing or doing other activities with their new friends, this was great in a lot of ways and sad in others. They are growing up.

The counselors were amazing, most of them where from over seas, S. Africa, Australia, Poland, Russia,, etc. They absolutely cared tons for our kids and you could tell. Lots of guys and girls which made it so great for my boys. One counselor actually came to camp on his day off just to play with Kellen and Alex in a ping pong tournament. I was also impressed with the fact that there were some children with special needs who were assigned a one on one counselor and those kids had a blast and the parents got to enjoy there own time too. I can't say I've ever heard of a camp that all kids could enjoy the same activities and feel completely involved as everyone else. It was great.

On a side note, I was able to do my training as much as I could. I was able to ride my bike on the Vermont roads and run, they had two small swimming pools that I could enjoy and of course Lake Champlain. Pumpkinman is coming up next week and I'm glad I could get in some decent training before the taper.

On a side note, I did an advanced mountain bike ride ( of which I've never done before), thinking that riding cross and mountain biking would be similar, well not so much. It was so hard technically, the climbing up and going down was super hard, rocks, roots, mud, bridges, crazy shit, I worked really hard but I kept u with the boys and they helped me and educated me on how to do things, it was great. Riding on a road will forever be easier then riding in the woods, that is for sure.

Here are some pictures from our trip.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Race Report of the Boston Triathlon

So, Its been over 13 months since my last triathlon and today was my first go at it with a little bit longer than a sprint but not quite an olympic triathlon in Boston. Training has been going well, I wish my swim mojo would come back but swimming alone is getting hard for me. Nothing too knew on that front just getting excited to go and have fun and beable to only drive 30 minutes to a race, how awesome is that. The only curve ball thrown at me this week was 3 out of the 4 kids in my house have been sick with the stomach bug and fevers, one of them keeps getting up in the middle of the night and sleeps in someone else's room, thus you can see how this bug has spread through the house. I too have slept with him so it was only a matter of time that I would be affected. I ended up sleeping a lot yesterday and in hindsight I wonder whether or not things were brewing. Anyhoo, onto race day.

The Good:
1. Nice Day to start, warm ocean water, friendly people, close race and of course won my age group.

The Bad: My swim- Yikes 14: 48 out of water, 15:07 to mat, thats just horrific on all counts.
1. Oh where do I start. 
a. goggles got foggy and filled with water, swam off course a bit, couldn't site for shit, swam longer than I should. I'm not sure it was just a bad swim for me or my swim mojo has really taken a hit on my times in the open water. That being said all the times were pretty slow but I had the fastest swim time in my age group by over 2 minutes. Need to start swimming with some peeps to make swimming more enjoyable.

b. Getting to T1, what the hell, 1min 50 seconds, what the hell was I doing in there. Let me tell you, putting my aero helmet on backwards and wondering why the hell I couldn't strap the thing to my head, couldn't get my bike shoes on. You would think I never did this before.

c. Trying to understand on the bike why I still feel in a sprint that it takes me so long to get the lactic acid out of the legs, it was a short bike, very congested and small travel lanes. For such a congested course there were lots of marshalls out there. We had to do 2 turns twice both of which made you slow down significantly and once an ambulance made me stop for someone who crashed on the bike. 

Bike: 24:13, 21.8mph, fastest in age group

The Ugly. 
1. My run: 35 minutes, 7:59 pace or 8min flat per there computer. The first thing that went wrong was when I put my sneakers on the insole on my right sneaker rolled up, why I wouldn't fix it and decide to run on it I'll never know but that bothered me the whole run.

When I got off the bike I knew something wasn't right, I was a bit bloated and couldn't get my HR up past what I was averaging on the bike. At times I actually thought I would need a porta potty to go the bathroom, and it wasn't number 1. I was afraid I wasn't going to make it to to the finish. I finally saw the finish line and once over the line bee lined it to the porta potty which I spent quite of bit of time in till the awards ceremony.

2. Getting home I went the bathroom some more and then finally threw up all over the bathroom. It felt so good to get everything out, I felt less bloated and felt so much better. I have a low grade temp of 100 so I know things were brewing but at present feel a bit better.

What I will need to work on over the next 4 weeks:
1. Get my swim mojo back
2. work my transitions like there my bitch. Come on, bike helmet on backwards who does that shit- " I do, I guess".
3. Stay as healthy as I can and get some more fitness.
4. Maybe look to do another small local sprint or swim race before Pumpkinman.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Activities of summer

Lots of stuff going on with the kiddos this summer, my oldest is flying down with daddy to Coco Beach Florida next week for the 5th grade AAU national basketball championships, my 8 and 10yr olds are swimming in the New England Regional Swim Championships this weekend and then off to Harvard University the end of July for their 12 and under Age Group National Swim Championships. My 7 yr old continues to play basketball and tennis and keeping quite busy. I'm trying to stay focused on keeping sane and training and heating as healthy as I can.

Over the last 2 months I have chosen to eat gluten free and as paleo as I possibly can. I am trying to decrease bloat and GI distress that I have had since I was a little girl. I have been very successful with decreasing the bloat but still trying to manage not having the carb input that I had before. I haven't been too happy with the gluten free products out there so far but continue on my hunt. I have added probiotics to my diet and aloe juice to my smoothies. Life is good.

Training has been going well. I went away with my qt2 peeps to Lake Placid 1 1/2 weeks ago to get in some good training and to hang with my friend Keri who will be racing in a few weeks, it was so much fun. I was very nervous that I wouldn't beable to handle the volume of training since I'm not doing and ironman anytime soon but it was very doable and I came out of it unscathed. I met some really great people and I can't wait to return to Lake Placid on the 28th to route on my fellow teammates, campers and friends.

Well, time to rest, just finished my zone 3 bike and hill bounding sessions for the day, may try to squeek in a recovery swim later today before hitting the pool hard tomorrow.

Just signed up for the Boston Triathlon in August with Pumpkinman in September and the Baystate marathon in October. Here's to a great finish to the season that hasn't really started for me yet.