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

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Hyannis 1/2 marathon mini report and garmin file

Untitled by donnafurse at Garmin Connect - Details

Not a great day for me on the course.It was a PR on this course but not my Half PR. Lessons learned today:

1. stop treadmill running, I know its convenient and sometimes it has to be done but I could tell a big difference in my durability on my legs. Miles on the treadmill and miles on the road are just not the same.

2. I needed to drink more and I didn't take my second GU, ? whether or not this affected me or not but I may need to consider running with my fuel belt if I can't drink enough during the race.

3. Wind is not my friend

4. I need to mentally strong the whole race, I tend to drift around mile 7-10 and then regather my thoughts and push to the end, usually these are my slowest miles for some reason.

5. I need to move on from today quickly because if I dwell on my performance today it will ruin further workouts this week and I have two weeks of build right now and they are important.

6. I need to snap out of this funk from today, I felt I disappointed myself and my coach.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Disney Picks and other radom thoughts

these are just a few of our Disney Pics, too many to share them all, we had a great trip but most likely won't revisit for quite sometime, I'm thinking more Turks and Caicos or Bahama's, something a little less stimulating for the kids and more relaxing for mom and dad.

Anyhoo, things have been crazy around here, kids have been super busy with their activities and field trips/class parties, etc... we had two birthday parties this week for Cade ( #6) and Kellen ( #10), absolutely insane that I have a child in the double digits, its been a great 10 years, busy but great.

We now have school vacation ( yuck) I swear our kids today spend more time at home then they do at school, if its not vacation its holidays, mondays off, 1/2 day tuesday or wednesday for teacher education days, parent/teacher conferences. I mean, I don't want to bitch but I think this is 1/2 the reason why we are soooo far behind some of these other developing nations, our kids aren't in school long enough. I'd be up for a shorter school day for more days in school. I'd have them start a bit later so they could get their sleep if they were allowed to be in school, its just too much.

For example: right when vacation is over the following friday my kids have off for a teacher education day, they following week they have the friday off for parent/teacher conferences, its f-in ridiculous. How do working parents figure these situations out, who takes the day off, who gets the sitter or grandma/grandpa, I swear it has to be a juggling act for most familes, even for me who stays at home, its great to have them here but after a few hours they want to kill each other and if I don't have things scheduled for when they get up to when they go to bed they would be all over me every second of the day, its insane.

Ok, enough bitching. Training has been going well, coming off of camp was awesome, I miss the ease it was to just go and workout without any responsibilites and just being able to get up and go whenever, its been hard this week to get everything in with all the stuff that I had going on with the kids/house, school, etc... but most of it got done. I'm especially proud of getting my workout done last night 2hrs of a group simulation effort on the bike f/b a zone 2 mile and finishing up with 30 minutes total on the treadmill. My workout last night ended at 10:25pm, the only time to get it done and I did it without excuses. I have the Hyannis 1/2 marathon this coming weekend and I'm very excited, lets hope for good weather and a PR.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

QT2 Camp Travel Day and Day 2-4

Ahhh, the 6hr ride f/b the transition run. I have to say,last year I was so nervous about lasting long on the roads, I had spent so much time on my trainer and nothing longer than 2hr 45. The weather was nice, a little chilly to start but we had long sleeves on and shorts. We broke up into 3 groups and I was in the 2nd group. The ride was great, lots of chatting, lots of riding, my nutrition was spot on, 32 oz of fluid an hour, food every 40 minutes, peed x 3, all good. I was able to get a good 2 1/2 hours done in complete aero which was nice and my lower back didn't hurt at all. It will take some time to get my butt and the girlie parts all good to go for long rides but this one ended up pretty well.

My T-un was great, the legs felt zippy, no issues really, my pace felt strong and HR was well in check. Today gave me a lot of confidence regarding my fitness so hopefully I can get a bit faster over the next 4 1/2 weeks before we taper for Texas.

Dinner was great for sure, meeting new friends, having a few beers was awesome. We were all really tired from the day so it was early to bed for me.

Saturday was our recovery bike with another transition run f/b a 5000 meter swim. I think we were all concerned about this one, would last, could we do the distance, its meter's, etc..... Again, today was a good day, I felt great on the bike and run and when we got to the pool I hoped right in and joined my great lane mates and we kicked some major ass. Coach Spinney just kept us going, 400's, 200's, 100's, vertical kicks in between each sets, etc. Then we ended with team relays which each of us had to swim 50meters, my team of Guido, Jaime and Emily took second to Wheeler's team but I swear he cheated.

Anyhoo, it was another long training day and we knew it was going to be cold in the morning and I had a 2hr run and bike to do so it was off to bed.

Sunday: So sad to see this day come, its been so great not to have to figure out when to get my workouts in, feeling like I'm running with my head cut off trying to do everything for everybody. I got up early and headed out the door just before 7a, my run wasn't spectacular, I couldn't seem to get the leg turnover and I couldn't get my HR up, my body was tired and it was telling me. I continued with my nutrition and just logged the miles, it ended up ok, nothing great, nothing bad.

It was then lunch and leave time. Very sad to have to come home after feeling so successful with all my training. I loved meeting all my new friends and talking triathlon with them. It was great to train with my coach by my side and other coaches who just want to help because they care, it felt like a family to me and it looked like everyone was having a great time.

Thanks again to all the coaches of QT2 it was another awesome experience and camp, I hope I can go back next year.

Monday, February 13, 2012

QT2 Camp Travel Day and Day 1

I've waited almost a full year to come back to camp and this time I came back as one of their athletes which was very exciting.
If your a parent of children you know its very complicated to get everything set up and prepared before you leave on a trip, especially if the one your leaving is your husband who isn't home with the kids 24/7. I had lists upon lists, babysitters, playdates, valentines ready to go, everything set up to make the transition of mommy leaving as easy as possible. That being said its never that easy.

Wednesday: Grandma spent the night so she could drive the kids to school and I could take a cab to make sure I got there on time to catch my plane. One of my lovely children was having a slight meltdown about where he was sitting in the kitchen and then proceeded to explode in a full all out temper tantrum. He refused to eat breakfast and refused to get dressed and ready for school. The other 3 where keeping it together and my oldest was really trying to be helpful and making things move along. The cab arrived and I knew I needed to go, I felt so bad for my mom that I was leaving this situation with her but I was hoping that "said" child would turn it around. Well, after only 15 minutes in the car I received 6 phone calls from my " child" all telling me how much he wasn't going to school and how angry he was, etc........ He actually got himself in such a state that there really wasn't anything I could do to help him settle. My mom was able to get him in the car but after 4 more phone calls and 2 teachers at school they were able to convince him to get out of the car and go to school. Good gracious, I felt bad for the kid but at the same time I was glad I wasn't dealing with it.

Flights; As of today I wouldn't fly AirTRan again, but they did tell me that Southwest purchased them and from April 2012 on they wouldn't be charging for baggage. Round trip I had to pay $250 for luggage, that was 1 bag and 1 bike box, I was absolutely appalled. I will triple check next time the luggage costs, it was insane.

Arrived in Orlando without a hitch and grabbed a cab to Clermont. It was a relaxing day nothing too crazy, I met up with some other Qt2 athletes and went out to dinner and was just getting psyched/nervous about camp.

Day 1: 4000 yd outdoor pool swim, 2 hour recovery ride, Timed 5k at the National Training Center Track

This year they assigned coaches to two different lanes of varying ability, our lane had Coach John Spinney from QT2. He corrected our technique during our swim, gave us our send off times and kept us on track, Duffy, Molly, Tara, Guido and I worked like a well oiled machine, the swim went by super fast.

AFter lunch we headed out for our ride, it was great, very easy, nothing hard, just spinning the legs out in the sun. Most of us were trying to save ourselves for the 5k later on in the day.

5pm we all jogged over to the NTC track and started to warm up, we had two heats, the first heat were the athletes whose zone 1 paces were above 7:30 per mile and second heat were all the fastest peeps. We had quite a crew for the first heat, I was really nervous. The fun part was having the pro's and our coaches keeping us on track and watching our form, pushing us from the sidelines, keeping us focused and smiling. One of the coaches wives ( Courtney) was even kind enough to pass out water. It was amazing how well people did and how fast people were. I finished in 22:52, 7:21 per mile avg pace ( I actually ran 3.2 miles), not a PR but after a long day I was happy with it.

Next up were the Elite Age groupers and the Pro's, man was it fun to watch, they spread out quickly at the beginning but at the end it was coach Pat and Rodney ( track star extrodanaire from Iowa) who started to pull ahead, Rodney took the final turn and kicked hard to the finish and out sprinted coach Pat. 16:50 something, just crazy, and Pat finished in the low 17's. Amazing everyone else was sub 19, just crazy fast. I loved Rodney's response at the end, that's my adult PR, I can't even match what I did in high school and college. I said, what crazy time did you do in High School and he said low 15's, just nuts and a 4:10 mile. Anyhoo, he was just so humble on all of his talent and very gracious, he gave Pat a run for his money.

I met out some QT2 friends for dinner and some new ones and then ended the night on a Q+A with the coaches.

So much fun but rest needed to be had because we had our 6hr bike f/b a 30 minute T-run scheduled for the next day. It was off to bed for some much needed rest.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Harry Potter Park/ Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure, Post #2

So Post #2, Harry Potter Park at Islands of Adventure in Disney World. Ok, so just so that you know that Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure is an amazing park that most people don't go to up until recently when Harry Potter was added. It is not on the park hopper passes, most hotel buses do not go there so you have to arrange for transportation and buy a separate ticket that is very costly, $159.00 pp if you want unlimited access to both parks for the day or $119.00 to beable to go to one park and then once you leave to go to the other you can't go back in (not a great option the $119 because if one park is really busy you want the ability to go back and forth, just my opinion)

Anyhoo, when decided to go to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure make sure you check which day the park has early park hours, for us it was wednesday and the park openned at 8am. Knowing that Harry Potter ( the main ride in the castle which is a simulator ride on a broomstick-amazing) didn't have a fast pass and if you go when its busy you could either wait 4-6hrs or not beable to get on at all. We decided to go on wednesday when the early hours were available and make sure we cooridinated a van to take us there by 7:45a so we could be in line at the entrance so we could get to the park before everyone else.

Do you know what that means, trying to get everyone fed, dressed and out the door to the bus by 7:20am and ready to go, it was crazy but absolutely worth it. When we got to the park and were let in at 8am we knew exactly were we needed to go and walked straight to the harry potter park of the park, no one was there, we went on the ride in the castle which was amazing and we were the first ones there, no wait, no lines, it was great. We could of gone on it more times but we decided to hit up the other two rides ( amazing roller coasters) before trying to head back to the castle. This was definitely the right decision because again there were no lines and we went on all the rides without much wait at all. However, by the time we were done with the 3 rides the park was actually getting pretty busy and the wait at the castle at before 9a was an hour. We decided to just walk around and go into all the shops, the wand shop, the candy store, everything. Disney World spared no expense when they built this exhibit, it was truly worth all the hype.

Even though the exhibit was amazing there is no way I would of waited 4 hours for the simulator ride or waited 3hrs to go into Oleandor's to see if a wand chose me, with 4 little kids. With no option of a fast pass for the rides the only way to do this park is to go on the early hour day during the middle of the week and get it all done by 9:15a and don't go back. Take lots of pictures and get your fill because it is wayyyyyyyy to crowded and busy if you don't do it this way.

Now if you bring your kids to this Park, I mean Universal and Islands of Adventure and Harry Potter do know that the height requirements for most of the rides is over 52 inches, make sure you check all the height requirements for rides for your kids before you build up the ride to them and realize they can't go on. I believe the castle ride at Harry Potter is only 44 inches but everything else is 52 and above so either wait till your kids are old enough or tall enough before you go to this park.

Mentioning the height thing, this Park is incredible and if your into rides like roller coasters and thrill rides this one is for you. That being said you need to be tall enough, so anyone under the height of 52 inches will not beable to go one most of the rides in both of these parks, so just heed this warning, we waited till this year to go to this park so that at least all 4 of my kids could 90% of the time go on everything.

The best rides are The Hulk, The Mummy, The Red Rocket roller coaster, Dr. Doom, Spiderman, The Mummy, the Movie Set, harry Potter of course. I've never had more fun at a park than Islands of Adventure and Universal it was awesome, I would go back just for this park alone. The price is expensive but absolutely worth it.

Anyhoo, thats it on this park.

10 top reasons to go or not go to Disney World and other tidbits

Ten Top Reasons to Go to Disney World with 4 kids:

1. They are still excited about seeing the characters and getting there autographs
2. Watching my 5yr old hug the chipmunks like they are real ( he still thinks so) and watching my now 10yr old wanting pictures with everyone as well even though he knows they aren't real

3. My kids are now tall enough to go on every ride that I love which is every endorphin filled roller coaster, tower of terror, Dr. Doom, whatever, its the best. Hubby doesn't like the coasters so this was a great turn around this year.

4. If you stay in a place that has a small kitchen you can call a new service at Disney called Garden Grocer and you can order groceries online and have them waiting for you in the hotel room for only a $12 charge, it saved us a ton of money because we didn't have to eat breakfast or buy lunch anyway.

5. having 4 kids walking in the park all day with no stroller = 4 very tired kids at the end of the day

6. if you keep them on the tea cup ride for a few go arounds they will never ask you for a snack during the day, at least a snack that costs you money.

7. Did I mention the rides

8. I think I'm running out of good reasons to take them

9. It's a magical place? ( give me a friggin break)

10. It made my kids happy for about 2hrs a day

10 top Reasons not to take 4 kids to Disney World

1. They couldn't agree on anything, 1 wanted to go one way, the other the other way, it got crazy sometimes

2. When someone didn't reach the height requirement it was another meltdown especially if the other 3 were able to go on the ride. That sucked.

3. Most of the food they sold in the park was terrible and so expensive. they just now are starting to have fruit and veggie stands in the park and water, however, 1 banana was $2.99 and a bottle of water was over $3.00

4. Having to continuously say "no" to my kids on buying things. We told them they could get 1 thing in Disney World, however when that 1 thing was bought ( which all 4 did on day 2) they continuously asked for things each day and if I said 'NO" once I said it 100 times, I'm tired of being the bad guy

5. When we go to Disney World we go in late january so that the crowds are minimal and the lines aren't long but the downside is the weather isn't the best. With 4 kids and no ability to get them to swim in the pools and get some wiggles out is tough and this time most days the lines weren't bad but somedays the lines were stupidly long, well over 1-2hrs, its just awful. Managing 4 kids in lines that long, " Not Fun"

6. After 5 days of fighting and tired children if I heard, " Have a Magical Day" one more time I was going to throttle someone.

7. Unable to drink enough alcohol to keep me numb

8. Having to get up at 4am-4:30am each morning to get my workouts in because we needed to get to the parks by 8:30am so we could get on the rides

9. Sleeping in the same room with my 4 kids, not so much fun.

10. Kids being older and having to have to fight with them to do their homework on a daily basis before going to the Park, that sucked.

11. Oh did I say I hated to hear, " Have a Magical F*&^&*(in day" really bothered me.

Ok enough of the top ten, hear are some of my tips about going to Disney World. I have been to Disney a few times with and without kids and I have made mistakes along the way but feel now I have it down to a system, so hear goes.

Flights: If you can, take your kids out of school during the week to fly to Orlando, try not to go during vacation weeks, the prices of flights go up significantly and the times of flights are a bit more limited. think about buying roses on valentines day, how much are they 1 week before Valentines Day and how much they are on the day, the mark up is at least 50%.

JetBlue to Orlando is amazing and they TV's for the kids on the chairs, if you can fly jet blue not only is the flight one of the cheapest out there but the service and the plane itself is great.

Transportation: If you are staying in one of the Disney Hotels ( i.e., in the Park) make your transportation with magical express. You will be given bag tags before you go to the airport of which you will place on your checked luggage, AFter you check in at the airport you will not see them again until you check in at your hotel. It is a great service as long as you don't need anything from your luggage immediately when you land. My recommendation is to pack everything you need for the day, bathing suits, shorts, whatever in a carry on and go about your day when you arrive at your hotel. Not having to have to wait at the baggage claim is awesome.

The Magical Express buses get you to your hotel with no problems, its very easy. I believe this is a free service with the Disney in Park Hotels, so take advantage.

Renting CArs: If you are staying in the Park they have bus transportation that takes you to and from every park you want to go to, except Universal and Islands of Adventure, Sea World and Busch Gardens. If you want to rent I would suggest you go to your concierge and go through Mears transportation and the bus/car will pick up your family or whomever is leaving your hotel to that destination for the day and bring you to the park and will pick you up. The cost is less than what it would cost you to rent a car and less hassle. Just my opinion.

Food: Ok, no joke, the park is expensive, restaurants are expensive. With my family of 6 it was crazy, one dinner the first night cost us way over $250,00, if you multiply that by 3 meals a day for 5 days it would be insane. If you get a hotel room with a small kitchenette you can call an online grocery store in Orlando called: They have a ton of organic/non-organic, gluten free, whatever, groceries you can order from and pay online and they will deliver it to your hotel room for only a $12 fee. Most of the groceries were very reasonable especially the fruits and veggies, not bad, but at the end of the day I paid $150.00 for 5 days worth of groceries and we ate breakfast and prepared lunches everyday. We saved a bundle.

Also, bring your own water bottles with you to the hotel fill them with water before leaving for the parks, this will save you a ton of money. There are plenty of water bubblers around the park to refill them, at $3.00 a bottle of Dasani you can save on this as well.

Park Hopper Passes: Ok, no matter what getting into the parks is expensive so the only way to do it right is to buy the park hopper passes which gets you into the Disneys 4 major theme parks, ( Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Hits). This does not include Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure where Harry Potter is, it doesn't include Sea World or any Water Parks, etc... so make sure you are aware of this. Buying a park hopper pass allows you to go to any park multiple times a day for the amount of days you have purchased them. For ex: if we wanted to go to the Magic Kingdom in the morning and Epcot in the afternoon we could or even add Animal Kingdom in as well, it just doesn't matter.

These passes are expensive but its less expensive to buy the pass then it is to buy a daily pass anywhere.

Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure ( Harry Potter). You want to buy a pass that allows you to go in between these parks during the day, they are side by side and you can walk to both of them but depending on how crowded the parks are you want to be able to go to both whenever to increase your abilities to hit all the rides and see all the shows. With Harry Potter now at Islands of Adventure the parks are filled so buy this pass, it will run yoiu about $159.00 per person and you have to get transportation to the park if you don't have a car.

VERY IMPORTANT: When you are traveling off season to Disney World ( if I mentioned to you this is a big savings for you and if you don't have to wait in line with little kids its the best time to go), you need to do a few things first:

1. Go online and check each park and what hours they are open, what days they have early hours or late hours and also during the off season months rides at different parks are closed for refurbishing, it is important to know what rides are closed so you can plan accordingly.
For example: In the magic kingdom two of the best rides are Thunder Mountain and Splash mountain during our time there last week Thunder Mountain was closed, Thunder mountain and Splash mountain are right next to each other so with one of the rides closed what does that do to the other ride? Splash mountain was packed and the wait was huge, at 9am in the morning there was already a 1hr wait, so we knew we were going to need to get a fast pass to come back to this ride so my kids didn't have to wait, you have to plan or you will get screwed.

Another ex: Animal Kingdom has1 water ride called kali river rapids and it was closed so the roller coaster ( Everest) was going to be packed. You just have to plan your day, either get their right when the park opens or if that isn't your plan just get a fast pass.

So my point is: Check out each park online and see what rides may be closed, you definitely want to know for the little ones at Magic Kingdom because FantasyLand is packed anyway and if Dumbo or Snow White or Peter Pan is closed you want to know.

Fast Passes: If you don't know what this is this is Huge. A fast pass is when a ride is packed you can take your park ticket and put it in a machine and will tell you when you can come back and get on the ride very quickly. On each ride there will be a sign that shows you the fast pass time that is given at that moment and its on your pass. When you return to the ride there are two entrances ones for regular rides and one for fast pass riders, its a great service and I highly recommend it. The only negative thing with fast passes is not all rides have them and you can't get two fast passes for the same time slot. Its not that big of a deal but with lots of kids you try to make the most of the time you have in the park.

Ok this is enough for now, I need to write about Harry Potter tonight, its a separate post. I may have also forgotten to write about a few more things but if you have questions let me know and I will answer them to the best of my ability.

Have a Magical Day.