Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 in Review

So, athletically, 2010 was amazing for me! I am probably going to think of more highlights as soon as I publish this!!

Here is my coach's review of the year by the numbers. I really appreciate all of the work he puts into my success. I was happier with some more than others, so lets focus on the happy memories! (full disclosure, a few are left off!)


1/23/10 - Polar Bear 5K - 23:15 (PR)

2/06/10 - Chattahoochee Challenge 10K - 49:09 (19:51 PR from 1st 10K race)

3/21/10 - ING GA Half-marathon - 1:46:44 (6:51 PR ~ 52 of 1165 in AG)

5/22/10 - Turtle Crawl Triathlon (Olympic) - 3:15:42 (Training through)

6/06/10 - Ironman Kansas 70.3 - 6:05:07 (21:15 PR!!)

6/27/10 ~ Ridges Invitational 5K Swim 2:01:00 (22:12 PR!!)

8/14/10 ~ Richard Russell Olympic Distance Tri - 2:38:52 (4th AG)

8/29/10 ~ Ironman Louisville (First Ironman Distance Event) - 12:43:36

(Coach's Prediction 12:43:39)

11/13/10 ~ Serenbe 15K Trail Race - 1:19:45 (13:11 PR!!!)

12/11/10 ~ Tashka Trail 50K Race (Running) ~ 1st Overall Female ~ 11th OAL ~ 5:43:26

(New Course Record by 8:40 !!!!)

My personal highlights in my memory....

Riding and running into the new year in Austin, TX.

My PR in Kansas.

An amazing trip to Boulder, Co to pretend like we are professional athletes.

George winning the state road race championship (not mine, but I am super proud of him!).

Finishing my first Ironman in Louisville with incredibly supportive friends by my side.

Finishing my Mom's first half marathon with her!

(we forgot a camera!!)

Finishing Sparkles first half marathon with her in Myrtle Beach.

New friend and training partner Laura.

Being invited to join my awesome new team!

My first overall win!

This was such an incredible year--with its ups and downs, but I prefer to remember the ups!!

I am so lucky to have such supportive family and friends. Can't wait to ring in a new year with new adventures!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

And the Recovery Continues

So, I finally feel like I am starting to get better.

Not perfect, but better.

I am pretty sure that I will only be running the half at Disney, but I continue to hold out some hope.

I have gotten to do some rehab and keep some fitness on one of these:
Cool, right? I have been running at 75-80% of my body weight here on earth.

Monday, I did 14 minutes, but had to stop because I was "limping" (clearly, I didn't make the call on that one!). Wednesday, I ran 35 minutes, and felt fine. Today, I ran 18 miles at 9:13 pace, and felt good! I am a little tired/dehydrated (it is HOT running in a bubble!).

I keep hoping that my coach and doc will say, "ok Kacie, go for the full instead of the half," but I know it is doubtful!

Ok, back to healing! I am planning a "year in review" blog post tomorrow, so I'll be back!

Monday, December 20, 2010

When the going get tough.....laugh at yourself!

I know that all of my readers out there are just DYING to know how my recovery from the 50K is going. Well, not well. Not well at all. I have had one bad swim, a failed 2 mile run, a 1.5 hour easy spin that almost killed me, an incredibly painful massage, 30 minutes on an eliptical, a horrible 4 mile run/walk, and a crummy strength training session. Thank god I got some results from that race, or I would seriously be cursing every rock and root I tripped over. I have to continue to remind myself that I did run 31 miles, and I did fall...a lot. I am totally jammed up. My hip and knee on the left side feel awful awful awful.

So I have really high hopes for my appt with Josh Glass of Georgia Sports Chiropractic tomorrow. I see him regularly, and there is no doubt that he works wonders on my joints. Seriously. I keep telling myself that he helps me out as much as he possibly can, and that I will be ok. But, as any athlete knows, there is also that creeping voice whispering, "you could really be injured" in my head. I know it doesn't help to listen to that looser, but it can be hard to knock him out. You know that nagging fear is about to drive you nuts when you just want to go to bed so the morning appt with Josh will come!!!

So, let's focus on the positives....the Dardens did win last weekend:

Sometimes, when I am anxious about this kind of stuff, I need to make sure I don't start taking myself too seriously. So, in honor of not being too serious, here are a few treats:

A classic from Peru:

New Goggles and swim caps are REALLY exciting.

Making friends in Austin, TX

This is how my friends and I do our shopping together. We are lucky when we are not asked to leave :-)
Serious preparations for Ironman Louisville. Good thing we were there early so we could clear out this trojan horse of scary attack monsters.

Working on my moonwalking with Oma (my grandmother), Jessie Anne (my sister), and Patrick (my brother).
I would be SUCH a good lizard.

Ok, I think I have thoroughly convinced myself that I am a goofball, but my knee still hurts. Alas, I had a good laugh looking through pictures that should probably just be kept to myself!!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Merry Christmas!

So, due to a surprise snow day, I had time to do our Christmas cards! It is a picture from our trip to Boulder this summer in front of the Flatirons. Now, mind you, people volunteered to take the picture for us, but what kind of challenge is that? So, self timer it is. That's right. We have had many a self timer Christmas card, and I am not going to rock the boat and change that! Merry Christmas out there!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tashka 50K Race Report!

Sometimes race reports are hard for me to write. I think I want the actual physical discomfort to go away before I try to convince anyone (let alone myself) that it was amazing :-) This was a really tough race, but I am very glad that I did it, and it was my first overall win in a race! Yippie!

We got to Tuscaloosa on Friday night. George, TyTy (erin), Laura, Sparkles, Chris, Big Frank, and Little Frank, all safely arrived and found some food. Then, off to bed, and up bright and early. As we drove into the wilderness of Alabama, we felt like we were on an episode of punked. Surely there was not really a race going on. We were in the middle of NO WHERE! Sure enough, though, a group of trail runners were there and ready to roll!
Right before the race, George says to me, "hey be careful, I just heard that the course is a bit technical. Be careful running." Oh man, and it was. Or maybe I am a wimp, who knows!

So we take off and start running. Laura and I try to find our place and pace on the tight singletrack on the edge of a gorgeous lake.
We get about three miles in, my foot gets caught on a root that is hidden under leaves, and I hit the ground hard. I mean really really hard. I am pretty bruised up from that first fall. Not only that, but now my confidence in my own trail running is pretty shaken up. After that, I fall again and again and again. It is really embarrassing. Fortunately, Laura is thoughtful and supportive. I know it was technical, but I think I just got in my own head that I could not stay vertical. Any negatives in your brain in a race translate into your performance. This was not the speed versions of that, this was the not-falling version. I eventually told myself that I could NOT break collarbones, ribs, ankles, or wrists, so if I was going to fall, I had to fall smart. Clearly, I was in my own head.

The course was great, with these crazy hills in the last mile (when else!?) that you had to use your hands to get up and down! Yes! That is trail running :-)

After one lap, Laura and I switched up some gear thanks to George and Frank.
As I am leaving, George says, "the lead woman is four minutes up, go catch her." I snapped at him, "this is really hard, and I have to focus on me right now." Nice Kacie. Way to be a jerk.

So, Laura and I go back on the lake section, and I told her what George said. I kept saying, "I don't care where she is. I am doing this race for me." Less than five minutes later, I said, "ok, I really do care." Laura graciously helped me pick up the pace, and we caught up with her within about 3.5 miles. Then, I had to make a pass and keep it for 13 miles. Yikes. So I did. Laura decided to back off a little bit and get some walk breaks in. Within a few minutes, she caught me, because I had taken a face plant into the ground and my calf was visibly balled up. I punched my own calf really hard, got up, and kept running. Even though it was a small race, I have never lead a race, and I am certainly not going to loose it now!

So, on I went on my own out there in the woods. I know people talk about pain caves. Well, mine got a little redecorating. I decided to paint the walls the same color as the brown leaves that were blocking my sight of the roots and rocks.

There was one out and back, and I made it through the whole thing without seeing anyone. At the end of the out and back, George, Sparkles, TyTy, and Chris were cheering. I was really tired by mile 29, and I could barely look at them without tearing up, so I gave George a fist bump, and took off. I knew I was good to go once I made it past the out and back, but I still had those awesome hills to tackle! I hit the road for the last half mile, and I was thrilled to get to the finish line. My crew was jumping and cheering, and generally being totally nuts, which was great!!! It was an amazing race, great support, great food and aid stations, and yet, I was happy happy happy to be finishing!

This is how I handle my first overall win. I crack up laughing!
Did I mention that while I was out there, George won the overall in the four mile race?

TyTy did the four mile race, which was her first time running on trails, and Sparkles and Chris ran the 25K!
I am So lucky to have such amazing friends and if you click on them, you should see some of the finish line cheering :-) I am so luck to have Laura to train/race/run/ride with. It will be an awesome journey leading up to St. George with her.

My time was 5:43. Impressive pace? Heck no. But, when you consider how much time I spent on my face, it's pretty good!

Don't worry, Tashka, I'll be back, and I will be vertical. Now, to nurse these bruises.....

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Team Trakkers 2011

I am really excited to tell you that I am going to be on Team Trakkers for 2011! I am thrilled about the opportunity to get to know this group, race, and represent some awesome sports companies. How cool is that? 2011 season has started off beautifully, and it hasn't even started yet!!!!!

Can't wait to get that bright green on and start racing!
Team Trakkers

That means that I will for sure be racing in at least one of the Rev3 Races next year, and even more if I can pull that together!


I also know that next year, I'll be racing on a Kestrel bike!

Can't wait to get going! Now I need to go join up on all of the Team blogs and enjoy reading about everyone's adventures!

By the way! If you are on my new team, or in regular life, and you are looking for my twitter, it is: @kacie_tri_ing


Can't wait to tell you more!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Time for some rest!

I finished my last long run on Saturday. It was an "easy" 20 miler. I don't want to sound like I am bragging....but it WAS easy! Yippie! I just felt great the whole time. I never felt sluggish or achy, and I felt like if I had to keep going, I could.

My current training partner, Laura, sent out an amazing email. She had a rough day out there on the trails with me. Of course, that means that I am chatting up a storm, and she is not saying a word and just waiting for this awful run to be over :-) Hopefully, she doesn't mind that I share a few things she said, because they were very powerful. The things she wrote that really stuck with me were:

"For me the easy and strong workouts are great, but it is the tough one’s that truly make me motivated to keep pushing further and seeing how your mind and your body can endure!"

"Mentally, I was thinking, I am done at 10 miles and just need to call this a day. I even thought about maybe I should just to 25K not 50K at TASHKA. Then, I remembered Coach saying, it is suffering and your mind just wants you to stop and lay on a couch to be comfortable, but if you just keep going, your body will find a comfortable place. "

"Yes, this is the journey, sometimes it feels great and some workouts are just suffering, but it felt awesome to get through this mentally and physically and gave Kacie a big sweaty hug at the end. It is so nice to have a such a fantastic training partner to help you get through the highs and the lows!"

I just love the strength and courage you can find in yourself in this sport. It is wonderful.
My coach always says, "It's not about the pain, it's about the suffering." Sounds awful, but when you can embrace the suffering and be grateful that you CAN embrace it when so many can't, you find new parts of yourself both physically and mentally.


On a different note, it's taper week. Game time. Time to let my body prepare to embrace some serious suffering on saturday.

That means that tonight, I'll go see sara, and let her destroy my I mean give me a massage. In a few days, I will feel golden.

Tomorrow, I have a 3 mile run! Seriously?! Awesome!

Wednesday, I have a trainer workout, but coach is going easy on us so we can save our legs.

Thursday is ANOTHER 3 mile run. Sweet. Then, I'll go see Josh the chiropractor to get all of my bones in place for Saturday.

Thursday night, we are inviting Sara over to enjoy a spaghetti dinner!

Friday, I will head out and get George and TyTy, and we will drive to Tuscaloosa!

Time to start pulling together the to-do list, eat lots of protein for two days, and get ready!

Friday, December 3, 2010

8 Days Until the 50K

So I am in serious countdown mode for my next race.

Tomorrow, I have an "easy" 20 mile run, as my coach called it. Nice. I have never heard of an "easy" 20 miler, but I guess it better feel easy with a 50K next weekend. I'll be running with Laura at Kennesaw Mountain, which is my favorite!

Next week, I'll do my carb depletion monday and tuesday, normal on wednesday, and carb heavy thursday and friday. I much prefer the balanced days to the protein/carb heavy days, but it has consistently worked for me, so here we go!

Because this race is not a "full out effort" (what? seriously? What IS my full effort, then!), I don't get much of a taper. I can cut my Thursday run short, and I have friday off.

Hope it goes well....With a week to go, the nerves start up!