a Bri Gaal's Blog: March 2009

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Raleigh Rocks 5K

Just got done from a long day, now we're heading out for some burgers and beers with friends - yay! Marty did the half marathon and I did the 5K at Raleigh Rocks, and then we put on a Powerstroke swim clinic at the Triangle Aquatic Center. Busy, busy!

Quick race report (it is afterall, just a 5K!). Race started a lot later than what I thought which was more annoying than anything. Mostly because I didn't know anybody and I started to get bored. My goal was for a sub 19, which I felt like I was capable of with my recent training. A couple of girls started off faster than me (like always, I just don't have the beginning speed), but I was able to catch up and pass them just after the mile. I was wearing my big, fancy Garmin watch, which was nice since the mile markers weren't out for the 5K (I think they were just for the half marathon which had a slightly different course?). I just happened to look at my watch right when I hit 2 miles and it was at 11:34 - SWEEEET! I should totally be around 18:30ish! The course was very turny and not hilly, but not super flat either. I felt strong, but still not fast, which I suppose is a good thing. I make the final turn and see the clock....and it's almost at 19 minutes?? F! What the heck happened? I didn't fall apart that much in the last mile! I crossed in 19:01 and look at my trusty monstronsity of a watch and see - 3.23 miles happened. Not 3.1. Dangit! It said I averaged 5:54 pace, I just wish the course had been more accurate. Ah well. The important thing is I'm feeling good and it's still early.

Here I am in a feeble effort to kick it in when I saw the clock. Grrr.

Marty ran with Kara and they did pretty good and would've gone faster if it weren't for Marty and his bowels ;)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Morning Commute

Usually, my commute to and from work is pretty easy. The one I had in Orlando was WAY worse. But this morning had a lot of fog and add to that a couple of fender benders and this is what I got:

It took me 3 times as long to get to work, which was a problem because that meant I didn't get to eat as quickly after the swim workout. By the time I got to work my stomach was in serious pain and I felt like I was going to faint. I am such a baby. Literally. I need to eat every 2 hours. Luckily, our cafeteria makes fantastic French Toast (2 slices for $1.28! What a bargain!). 30 minutes after gulping them down I was feeling much better. Oh yeah, I guess the other problem was that I got to work late, but food was much more important to me at the time.

Last night I had a solid workout at Umstead (mile repeats) in the chilly, light rain. Not many other people out there. After a quick dinner and shower, Marty and I went out to a local pub for a little date-night. He went into great detail about the plot of Kung-Fu Panda which he had just watched while riding the trainer. After 10 minutes of minutia, he admitted that was actually only the first 20 minutes of the movie - so he sped it up from there :) Sounded like a good movie.

This weekend is the Raleigh Rocks half marathon. There's also a 5k run in conjunction with it - guess which one I'm running.

Monday, March 23, 2009

She's the Cute-Dumb Girl

Nice weekend, albeit a little chilly for my liking this late in March. We got in some solid workouts and I’m feeling pretty strong. Marty stayed with me on the tempo portion of our long run on Saturday – he was grunting and groaning but he did it, which is exactly what he needs to do to get himself back into shape.

As mentioned in my last post, we watched Cider (Tassie’s best friend) all weekend. Those two play hard and sleep hard. They were both exhausted by Sunday afternoon, and Tassie didn’t even get off of her pillow this morning when Marty came downstairs (yes, that’s right, she didn’t even make it upstairs last night she was so tired!) Instead she looked at him and just gave him her paw, “this will have to do until I’m ready to stand”!

Whenever Cider comes over Tassie goes completely berserk and is so excited. On Saturday, we opened the side door to get something from the car and Cider walked out. This is the door that she always comes into our house. She was out there for about 10 seconds before I walked out and called her. So she walks back through the door and Tassie goes crazy again! It was like a reset button and Tassie completely forgot that Cider had just been inside 10 seconds earlier. I’ve never said we had the smartest dog; she’s just awfully cute and nice :)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Tempo Tassie

Yesterday Marty and Tassie met me at Umstead (after KP’s bailed). Marty had just finished riding and wasn’t into running with me, so he brought his mountain bike to keep me company on the bridle trails. I wasn’t expecting him to bring Tassie because we usually just take her on easy runs, and today I had some longer tempo portions. She did great! She really is quite the little runner and only started to get a bit tired in the last few minutes when we were running all uphill (still doing tempo). But even then she was right beside me instead of out in front of me. We have definitely created quite the endure-doodle. Less than an hour and 7+ miles later we were back at the car – with one panting dog and one tired Bri.

I skipped Master’s Wednesday morning because we met some people out for St. Patty’s Day the night before. But not to worry because we have an extra Master’s practice on Thursday mornings so I made it up this morning. Since Thursday’s are new, we get a small crowd, but that also means we get our own lanes. Marty gave us the main set (a ladder) and he told me to do 1:30 as my base pace. I said, “I think I’ll try 1:25 today.” It’s time to step it up a bit and 1:30 has gotten a bit too comfortable. Well, I did the entire set on 1:25 and had plenty of time to spare in between intervals. Maybe 1:20 base pace is in my future? It wasn’t so long ago that 1:40 was my go to pace – I’m almost a real swimmer! :)

In other Gaal news, Marty’s mom is coming up for a visit this weekend. She hasn’t been here in quite awhile, and unfortunately the weather is looking chilly again. Enough already!! I’m sure we’ll all manage to have a good time, and she’ll get double the doodle since we’re watching Tassie’s BFF Cider all weekend. I’m also planning on getting a library card. One of those things I should’ve gotten a long time ago but have just been lazy about. There’s no sense buying books when there’s a nice library right around the corner.

And finally – MARCH MADNESS! I love watching college basketball, but especially the NCAA tournament. And living here right near UNC & Duke means it’s the topic of most people’s conversations. Even Marty inadvertently knows what he’s talking about (sometimes). Here’s a picture of Tyler Hansbrough. When he finally shows any emotion, it’s usually pretty funny. But I also wanted to post a picture so this post wasn’t too boring.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

There's A Little Irish In All Of Ya

At least that’s what they say – St. Patrick’s Day is the one day of the year that everyone gets to be Irish. I am a bit Irish (the surname of Harrington has English and Irish roots), but I’m actually more Sicilian which explains my WILD TEMPER!!! Just kidding, I don’t have much of a temper at all so that part of Sicily didn’t get through. My family is more Irish in the sense that we were raised as huge Notre Dame fans. That’s where my dad went for grad school and cheering for ‘Ol Notre Dame was something we started doing at birth. I knew the fight song by heart as a kid and our doorbell was the same tune. I’ve been to a few Notre Dame football games – even the one where they filmed Rudy. Go Irish! I did apply and was accepted to Notre Dame but just couldn’t fathom spending my winters up there, where my parents said most mornings the radio would declare, “It’s a gray and overcast day in South Bend, Indiana.” Two words: lake effect. No thank you. No wonder they decided to return to Florida after 3 years!

We kept all things Irish by naming our dogs silly Irish names. We had Shamrock, our black standard poodle who loved to swim. Clancey, our first Irish Wolfhound who lived to be quite old for a big dog. He was lazy and nice, until he got a bit crotchety in his old age (but only to strangers). And finally, sweet Bayley, another Irish Wolfhound who died young from bloat (Shamrock also died from this).

Marty is not Irish at all unless you count his severe love affair with beer as an Irish trait.

And recently on Facebook Marty and I both took the “Where should you live” quiz and we both were told that we should live in Ireland. At least it told us the same place, but I’m not so sure about that quiz. I said I liked warm weather and beaches, but I did say I liked a night out with a pint and good friends. I think that’s the only part of the quiz that was remotely Ireland, so I think it wasn’t all that scientific.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to everyone!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Again, Triathlons are a SUMMER Sport!

Well, the rain wasn't too bad (just misting every now and then) but it was quite cold this morning during the Azalea Triathlon. Overall, I would have to say it went pretty well. My goal was to hold Marty off for 125 yards, and I actually held him off for 175! I saw he was right behind so I paused at the wall for him to pass. Someone told me after the race that they counted and that cost me 5 seconds. Never again will I be so nice, ha!

Right when I got out I glanced at the clock and saw my swim was 3:47 and I'm happy with this! Not sure of the real split because then you have to run down a flight of stairs and out the door to the mat. It's a long run to transition and I was frozen by the time I got to my bike. I put on a long sleeve running shirt, socks and gloves. Marty was eating a sandwich in there or something and I ran my bike out right behind him.

The bike was tough to gauge. My legs were bright red from the cold and the course has an annoying amount of speed bumps. It was over quick.

When I was running out of transition to the run, I stopped because it felt like my sock was bunched up or something...nope, just the frozen, blocky foot sensation. I tried to push the run but didn't feel all that great. I saw Marty not too far ahead of me but it took me forever to finally catch him. I also almost got hit by a car. When I got to Marty I said we could run in together, but he said no, I needed to get going. It would've been a cute picture at least.

I finished as the 3rd elite behind "she's so fast she could race against the male elites" Stacey Richardson and new Pro Chris Tommerdahl. My time was a little less than a minute slower than two years ago, but two years ago this race was 3 weeks later and I was training more - so I'm happy with the effort! And, I ended up beating Marty by 7 seconds.


Friday, March 13, 2009

Triathlon is a Summer Sport

The weather is looking awesome for the race tomorrow. Please note this sentence is dripping with sarcasm.

I'm going to race; I'm just going to complain a lot. I like to race and really don't want to sit out if I don't have to. I am going to be very careful on the bike which I realize will probably cost some time since there are quite a few turns at the beginning. I'm also undecided about my wardrobe, but I'm hoping to stay warm. And this is why you shouldn't sign up for a race in early March!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


The triathlon this weekend is a time trial start, so you are supposed to submit your 100yrd swim pace for the 300yrd swim. I try to be pretty honest with my pace whenever I submit my time, and I think I put in 1:15 for the race. I'm not sure what Marty put in, but I know it wasn't 1:15. They posted the swim start times this morning and check out who's 13th & 14th:

How the HECK did that happen?! And there's no changing swim times now, so I'm stuck with him starting :15 after me. Nothing like my own husband coming to mow me down in the pool when we already have two-way traffic. For those of you who don't know, Marty is a superfast swimmer, and he kind of produces a big wake...I'll be body surfing when he goes by me.

CRAP! :)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Nice Weekend

Like most of you, we enjoyed some beautiful weather this weekend. Marty flew down to Florida on Friday, but that didn't stop me from having a fun night out with friends at Tyler's Tap Room. On Saturday morning I met a new-to-me group for a very tough broken brick workout. Thank goodness for some great athletes to keep me honest and help me push hard! My legs were toast on the last round but I gritted my teeth and finished strong. I even did an ice bath for my legs after because I could tell they were begging for it. I don't think I had enough water in there but it had to have helped at least somewhat. And it was a good thing no one else was in the house as some not so nice words flew out of my mouth the first minute.

Today Marty and I did a 2hr mountain bike ride. I dropped my tri bike off at Inside Out for a new chain and cassette - I figured that after almost 3 years I may need a new one. And a quick look at the weather for this weekend's race shows cold and rainy...ugh. I may be making a gameday decision. Not to be a wimp or anything, but if it's 40 or under and raining, I just don't think it will be worth it with all the races I have in the season.

Tassie has also been enjoying the nice weather. We leave the backdoor open for her which she loves because every once in awhile she'll come back inside, take a lap, and then go back out. If we close it, she'll sometimes 'woof' at us. I guess she likes her freedom to come and go as she pleases...little brat!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Another Morning

Marty added another morning practice to our Master's team - Thursdays. But this practice doesn't start until 6:30...ahh sweet sleep! Except this morning I must've been so excited to swim that I accidentally got us up a little too early :) If I swim tomorrow morning at 'Fast Friday' that will be 3 days in a row of swimming, and quite honestly I'm not sure I've done that before! But swimming has been nice this week, much better than running or biking. I've been so wiped out and been dealing with a bit of tendonitis in the heel (it's what my awesome massage therapist thinks. Can't wear cute shoes with no support. Repeat: NO CUTE SHOES). I think the training last week left me a bit wrecked, but I won't share the hours with you readers because for most of you, it's what you do on a normal week (and for many others, you regularly do more!) What can I say, I've always been a low mileage person.

Anywho, the other big story right now in NC is we have Fat Tire. Never been sold past the Mississippi until now. Fat Tire is good and has a neat label, but I prefer their seasonal Skinny Dip myself. I'm not sure that's going to make it here this year, but I'm hoping. The New Belgium Brewery was one of the many brewery tours we took on our trip around the world in '06. Neat place.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Back in NC

The weather turned on us the last day of the camp, so we were only able to get a short run in. 30+mph gusty winds and hard rain wouldn't have made for a safe bike ride, and the water was very rough for a swim. Ah well, one crappy day is pretty good all things considered. I landed this morning in Raleigh with the flight attendant joking, "Welcome to New England...I mean Raleigh!" because of all the snow we got again! It was very pretty to see from the air, but sheesh, isn't it March? The weekend looks to be warm, thank goodness. I actually have my first triathlon in less than 2 weeks - what was I thinking?! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it's relatively warm by then.

Here are some pictures from the camp. We stayed in a really quirky place above some shops in 'downtown' Pass a Grille. Looking this way is the Gulf, and if you turn around the intercoastal is right behind. It was really cool.

Beautiful Northshore pool we swam at several times. The Bay is behind the pool - and I now have a speedo tan again!

The water color was amazing.

Some of the campers watching the sunset.

Dinner time!

There were a lot of jokes being thrown around when this guy decided to hot dog all over the beach with everyone watching the sunset.

This is not from the camp, but from the Coach Bubba 4 miler the other weekend. I thought it was funny that even during the run Alysia and I were STILL talking!