Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, everyone! I do believe that 2010 is going to be an awesome one. After being a big, fat slacker, after my ironman, it's time to get serious. I'm happy to say that I participated in my local masters swim group annual 50- 100 meter swim today. Yep, that's right, 5000! I must say that I kept my paddles and pull buoys on for most of it, because they are all so dang fast, but it was great. I felt like I was training for ironman again. :-) Well, there are many things I'm looking forward for 2010. I am so very excited about my new triathlon team, Team Snapple. They are the best, but I do wish I lived closer to all of them in D.C.. I cannot forget the ongoing amazing support I get from my favorite and only running shoes, Spira. They have been incredibly supportive to me and I cannot thank them enough!!!! I love Spira!!!! Also, I am going to be doing the World Championship Ironman in Kona! Yahoo! Who wouldn't be excited about that?!? I am also getting married in Kona. Why not?!? It's beautiful and I'm marrying my best friend, my training partner, and the man of my dreams. All in all, I think 2010 will be a great year. Happy New Year!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

World Championship 70.3

A week after my first ironman, I decided to drive down to Clearwater to support my awesome coach during his World Championship 70.3 race. I mean, he helped me qualify for Kona, so that's the least I could do! :-)

Now, Coach Dan and I hadn't ever met face-to-face, but I've talked to him enough and e-mailed him enough, I didn't think I'd have any problem picking him out of the thousands of participants.

The electricity that I felt in Panama City Beach for my ironman had moved down to Clearwater. What a cool thing it is to race the best of the best in the world! I did this race in 2007 and have many fond memories of that day.

This year, because the tropical storm had come through Florida, the race organizers felt it safer having the participants race in the bay across the street. It sounded pretty cool to me, because it would be a time trial start for the age groupers. I got to experience that once at St. Anthony's Triathlon this year. Certainly different, but difficult to know where your competitors were with time.

Watching the pros come flying out of the water was exciting. Thinking to myself, "Nope I wouldn't be coming out of the water yet." A few minutes later, "Still probably wouldn't be coming out of the water yet. Boy, I think I should concentrate on my swimming in the off season!"

Once the age groupers started coming out of the water, that's when I really had to pay attention. Looking for my coach. Several tall, fit guys went by me. They looked like they could be Dan, but no dice. Finally, as I watched the wetsuit strippers (or should I say peelers) yank wetsuits off people, I noticed a LifeSports Coaching tri suit (Hey- where's my tri suit?!?) Yep, no doubt that that was Coach Dan. Now I knew what he was wearing, I could track him during the race.

To watch everyone come in from the bike portion of the race, I knew I had to find the best spot. There was a bridge, that apparently everyone else thought of too, where I planted myself. I saw some great triathletes also there watching, like Luke Mackenzie and Miranda Carefrea (I know I mispelled their names. Sorry.)

It was too funny watching the mass packs of triathletes coming in on their bikes. No wonder many of them had faster bike times than some pro cyclists. I do know it was difficult to avoid those packs, just from my experience when I did the race.

Where I was standing was also where the Timex run bonus was. The fist pro to get to that point got some really great $$$$! I had a blast cheering on all my favorite pros like Greg and Laura Bennett, Michellie Jones, Ritchie Cunningham, and Matty Reed.

When I saw my coach, I screamed, "Go Coach Dan!" He looked at me a bit strange, like I was a LifeSport Coaching stalker. I think it was my head to toe in pink that clued him in on who I was.

Watching everyone finish reminded of how I felt just a week earlier in my ironman. The joy and feeling of accomplishment was on all of their faces. So very cool!

I am so proud of Coach Dan and all the other LifeSports Coaching athletes and coaches that competed. Hopefully, next year I'll be joining you.

Yep, One More Ironman Florida Picture

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ironman Florida Pictures

Ironman Florida 2009

Had an amazing time at IMFL. Wanted to do a quick blog with some pictures on pre race through post race.For anyone that has done an ironman, the day you arrive to get ready for your race, you feel the energy. Nervous energy? Probably.On race morning, I was scared to death about the mass swim. Hey, I can hold my own, but I didn’t really want to fight people the whole 2.4 miles. I started waaay right, knowing that I’d have to swim a bit farther than other people. Saw lots of jellyfish and some stingrays during the swim.The bike was what I expected. Headwind going out and tailwind coming back in. I have never stopped during a race for anything, but found that I had to stop for a porta-potty break and for my special needs bag, not only for the bike, but for the run too. Quite the change from my sprints or even my 70.3’s. Felt good on the bike. Hard to go that slow at times, but I kept thinking that I needed to, so I could do well in the run. Not actually running 26.2 in training scared me a bit for the run.
Once I got out on the run, I felt great. I was running comfortably, then looked at my Garmin. Oh, how I am a slave to that Garmin! 7:00 min. miles?!? I don’t think so! So, I slowed it down to 8:00-8:30. Felt like I was in slow motion, but I had to make sure that I’d make it to the finish. Thank goodness I did, because by mile 18, I was sticking with my 8:30’s and no faster. I stopped at every stinkin’ water stop. This is also something I’d never do in any other race. By the last 4 miles, I’d grab a Gatorade and a couple of waters. Looking up ahead while I ran, I couldn't wait until the next water stop! I seriously didn't think I had ever taken in so many fluids in training or racing.
Finishing was just amazing! Laughing with me training partner, Shannon, who ran most of the marathon with me, just because we were almost done. Seeing that beautiful finishline all lit up and hearing,”Stephanie Liles, you are an ironman,” was something I’ll never forget. So, not only did I have a great experience for my 1st ironman, I get to do it all again in Kona. Thanks for everyone who was cheering me on, my wonderful family who put up with my absence for many months, for my fiancee, Mike, for doing much of the training with me, and for my awesome coach, Coach Dan, for training me well & helping me qualifying for World Championships Ironman 2010.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

How long has it been?!?

Yep, I've let several months pass by without blogging. Shame on me! Between Facebook, Twitter, and blogging, it's hard to keep up with it all!

Ironman training has been going well. Cannot believe that November is right around the corner. The workouts that my coach has given me lately, it now makes me realize it's crunch time. My bike rides are now easily 4.5+ hours, run painfully long and fast, and this morning, did a 5250 yrd. swim. It seems like every spare moment I'm training. No wonder that people tend to only do 1 Ironman every other year!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

One Addiction to Another

Well, I have had a couple of new changes in my life. I have decided that I'm tired of looking like I'm 5 months pregnant, because of all the carbonation I'm drinking during the day from my Diet Pepsi's. I've ALWAYS hated coffee, but I thought I'd give it a try, in place of my sodas. First couple of coffee drinks, I had to choke it down, but now I'm loving this whole new world. I've decided that I just love the taste of Irish Cream Brewed Coffee. Yum! I've also learned that my body doesn't handle the "Red Eye" at Starbucks very well. I'm just thrilled I'm off my addiction to soda and on to a new one. I think that as an athlete, you have that addictive personality. Thank goodness that I generally have all healthy addictions, with the exception of my new one, coffee. If that's the worse one, I think I'll be alright.
Now, another new addiction is, Twitter. I discovered it this week and it's just so much fun! It reminds me a lot of Facebook, but it's basically all "status updates." You should check it out: I think you'd enjoy it just as much as me.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I missed my bike!

You never realize how much you get used to something until it's gone for awhile. When I got into a bike crash about a month ago, I had to send my beloved pink Planet X bike off to get fixed. During that time, I rode my old Litespeed. I loved my Litespeed before I even laid eyes on my Planet X, but having to go back to it was very hard. Had a cute little bike seat on my Planet X, but was having to ride a bigger, bulkier seat that I did not like at all. Maybe it was all in my head, but I even felt slower on my group rides. Fortunately, it didn't take long at all before my beautiful bike came home. I just always thought I could get on any bike and never think twice about it, but I learned otherwise. So, I guess I won't be changing or upgrading my bike anytime soon. I'll stick with my barbie bike! :-)

Monday, January 19, 2009

To hire a coach or not.

I have always thought about getting a coach to help me put stucture into my workouts. I would run 6 days a week, never get on my bike, except for the weekend group rides, and swim a couple days a week. The quality of my workouts were bad. When not racing, I am LAZY. Why hurt if I'm not going to get a prize at the end?!? So, how would I work on my speed? I would just race a lot. It's worked out so far for me, but I want to step it up a level and know I can't do it on my own.
I have a friend that works with LifeSport Coaching and he hooked me up with one of their top coaches, Paul. Being a single mother of three, my budget is super tight. I was planning on signing up for the cheapest plan they had to offer. Paul convinced me that I needed to do the mack daddy plan, if I want to move up in the triathlon world. So, now living on Ramen Noodles and water, I am getting my butt kicked on a daily basis by my coach, Dan. I look at my week training schedule and think, "Isn't this supposed to be my off season?!? What is Coach Dan going to put me through come tri season?" Needless to say, I will either be an amazing triathlete by the end of this year or broken down and retired. :-)

I stink at Blogging!

Yep, I have figured out that I stink at blogging. I've never been one to keep a diary and so it's been hard to set some time to blog. 2009 resolution: Be a better blogger!