Wednesday, December 31, 2008
As I sit down to write this post, I envision running...Ironman...Hobbits/Orcs...and how I would relate my self imposed goals for 2009 to those subjects. I thought first about running and how the goals I have set will be like going for a long run...sometimes I'll feel good, then not so good (maybe sad, maybe hurt) and then most likely good again. Then I thought about Ironman and how it calls for you to dig deeper and deeper each time you dare step up to the challenge. But what really kept coming to mind were Hobbits and Orcs...I feel much like a Hobbit (less the hairiness...although, if I stop waxing...ok, TMI) battling the evil Orcs (which would be my demons). Frodo had many battles to fight and often felt scared and weak, but he always found the courage to go on and keep to his promise. And he always had help. He always had people or creatures to help him find his way. I am fortunate to have many helpers, I just need to reach out to them and that for me has always been difficult. Anyhow, I have made my references and now I will get to what I really want to say.
I am beginning to stand up to myself for myself. I have dared myself to look deep inside by putting pen to paper and acknowledging the demons and arming myself with weapons to combat these saboteurs. This is the year I take the steps I have needed to take for years...always having turned away out of fear and using excuses like "I can handle it" and "I know better"...and even though, yes, I can handle it and I do know better...I never did. I didn't handle things and I was too stubborn to admit when I needed help.
A lot of things have happened over the last few weeks - I lost a teammate. I almost lost love. I realized how much I have been holding myself back from living...really living and being happy. I've had my head in the sand...something (when I was younger) I vowed I would never do.
It ends here.
I am putting this out there for you...for me. So that I may hold myself accountable. So that I shift course and make positive changes. So that I do not continue down the same paths. There have been times in my life that I have been able to deviate from the negative and I can remember those, even if only vaguely, and I remember how good I felt. How proud of myself I was for taking the leap. Now, I have to dig deep again...find that strength to take control of my life.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
I don't know where I heard this or who I need to credit with this, but I know one thing...it is more true today than it was before this weekend.
I'm not exactly sure where to begin explaining what is bouncing off the walls of my mind. Let me throw out some words that come to mind from those 48 hours: shock, disbelief, numbness, love, sorrow, disappointment, fear, love, grief, joy, guilt.
I learned Sunday afternoon, as I was looking up marathon race results for my teammates, that one of us, Erin Lahr, had collapsed at mile 21 of the Dallas White Rock Marathon and died.
She was an accomplished marathoner and loved to run. I didn't have the pleasure of knowing her very well, but we were friendly and even ran on the same relay team earlier this summer. She always had a smile and friendly disposition. She will be forever missed.
But not only will she be missed, she will serve as a reminder to me that there may not be a tomorrow. There might not be a "later today"...it can all be gone in an instant.
If you've read my last few posts, you know that I've already been going through some tough internal struggles and this was like ice water being thrown on your face while you're sleeping. WTF?!?!?! It confirmed what I was already thinking...time to take those walls way down.
I already had started to chip away but this made me go back for a bigger sledge hammer. I will not let my fears dictate my life any longer. I will not take for granted those who love me and I will not follow in the footsteps of those who do. I want to be a better person than that. I want the people close to me to know how important they are and how much I care for them. I want them to know that they mean something and that I will not disregard our relationships for the guilty pleasures that taunt us from time to time. I know I'm not perfect, let me not cast stones!! I know that people have reasons for their actions, I've been there...and have dealt with consequences...sometimes they were worth it, sometimes not.
A lot of emotion flowed this weekend and although I cannot go into it all here, I know that because of the actions of others and the loss of a truly wonderful person...I am a changed woman. A better woman.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
I've been busy downloading my applications (first up: Facebook, Shazam, Urbanspoon) and getting my iTunes updated. I've taken pictures, set weather profiles for cities I've never been to, reset my settings a gillion times and am just having a blast getting to know it better.
iPhone, I LOVE you!!!!
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Eventually, like most things...we began to drift apart. While I realized what was happening, I didn't want to admit it. I liked knowing you were always there, always ready to keep me steady - even if we had become but a mere convenience to each other.
I am forever going to miss you and what we once had.
Monday, December 8, 2008
So last week I hit the wall. I stumbled. And now I'm trying to figure out how to NOT run toward the wall again.
I started by looking back. A long way back. And it seems that I've been running into walls for a long time. Not exactly the kind of "hard-headed" that's looked at as favorable. It's more like the kind that keeps you from dealing with the demons that are lurking around your noggin'...the kind that keeps you in denial. But this time I inadvertently hurt someone else in the process...I did let someone down and have been doing it longer than I realized.
I came to this discovery of running into walls when I decided that I needed to do some cleansing and purging. I needed to feel like I was making progress at something. So I started cleaning out boxes. I will be moving soon and figured this would be very therapeutic as well as productive.
I got a little more than I bargained for!
My project uncovered several old journals dating back a good fifteen years. WOW! I couldn't help but to pause and read a few entries. A few turned into several, which turned into many and in the process brought a lot of those old demons out into the open. There they were, blocking my road to happiness and success - forming a gauntlet leading right to those walls I have forever been running into. I have never been able to push past them...much like my Ironman races, I try and I plan and I work real hard, but when push comes to shove - I fail.
The power of positive thinking has not exactly found its way into my life. Maybe I'm just such a late-bloomer that I just haven't gotten there yet. "Late-bloomer", that's a nice way of saying, "I just have never quite gotten my shit together". Anyhow, it can be true...I've never done anything early except get married...and we all know how well that turned out.
Is this too much rambling information?? Perhaps. But why should I hide behind it any longer. I screw up. I make mistakes. I battle self-doubt, need for acceptance by peers and family, fear of disappointing and rejection, painful feet from walking on egg shells and fears of success as failure is, unfortunately, far more familiar. I have hidden behind these things my whole life, letting them always get the best of me while trying so hard to put a happy and well-groomed face forward.
Am I unfolding my life in public to the possibility of judgment and criticism? Yes, I am.Why? Why now? Because I have to believe that I am not the only one who struggles with these or similar demons and I can't keep them looming overhead any longer. They must be banished. I have to free myself from my past.
p.s. I did clean out a bunch of crap and do feel a little better already...
Sunday, November 30, 2008
During this intense year, I completed two half iron distance races and two full ironman races. I PR'd them all. I am happy with the results, save one. Oh, and don't tell me "you PR'd, you should be happy" or "you still did sub-13"...I've already heard that from everyone, including myself and you're not going to change my mind. Not yet, anyway.
Now I'm in my "off-season" and back in the "real world". But it seems to me the line between the real world and training world have been blurred. I've been in training mode so long that it has become my real world and the real world is so far removed that re-entering it feels unreal.
Sleeping in, going out, exercising without a purpose all feels so incredibly bizarre. I feel listless and a bit out of sync.
Yesterday I went for a run. I know I'm still recovering and shouldn't run at all, but it was a crisp, overcast morning just teasing and taunting me to come and play. I only ran for 25 minutes with no goal in mind - awkward. Then I went to breakfast. Then to yoga. Then for coffee. Then to watch friends run the Beer Mile. Then to dinner. Then to a friend's. Then downtown to meet Ed1 and Ed2. Home at midnight.
Seriously, is this what I used to do all the time? How?
I must confess, there is something kind of nice about not being on a schedule but I don't think I can do this for long. I need the structure. I need the discipline. I guess the only thing that eases my concern for having all this free time is that it won't last. I want to get back to training as soon as possible but I know that I need this break for my mental health more than anything. So in the meantime, I have a finite amount of free time which I am scheduling with various projects that I know won't get done one training returns to full stride.
So while I sit here pondering my existence I will enjoy my coffee and not a recovery drink, I will wear jeans (which I now fit into b/c of training) and not workout garb and I will fight every urge to put my hair into a ponytail...at least for now.
I realize that this post may seem like a rambling hodge-podge of words and thoughts...but it is off-season and I'm giving my brain a break too!
Friday, November 28, 2008
It's been such a busy week with Ironman, post-Ironman, traveling, Thanksgiving and work all in a matter of days. I've wanted to post my race report and just throw out random thoughts but it seems like I just haven't been able to get around to it!
Much like Ironman, I am resorting to plan C - getting up reasonably early tomorrow for coffee and writing my race report!
'Til then...good night and I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Well, I am confident of some things - I will swim 2.4 miles. I will bike 112 miles. I will run 26.2 miles. I will execute my plan to best of my abilities. I will remember to have fun. I will remember to eat on the bike. I will remember that I've had really hard training months and that this should go pretty well. I doubt that I will break any land-speed records. I doubt that unless something totally kooky happens, there is anything that will keep me from finishing! So, I guess there's no reason now to worry.
We'll find out tomorrow.
Today was a pretty good day, albeit busier than yesterday. Got up early to swim, which went waaaaay better than yesterday's swim. It's still around 63 degrees (brrrr) but still not as cold as CDA was, so it'll be ok. Had some coffee. Walked around a bit. Met Jess and Charles for some Starbuck's. Ran into the T3 crew on the way to Transition. Chatted. Turned in my bike and transition bags. Met Michelle and Michael. Went to lunch (waited 45 minutes - I started to sprout fangs and claws - got a free lunch). Took a nap. Double-checked my stuff for the morning. Picked Sandra and Brian up from the airport. Had a glass of wine. Ate some dinner. Watched football. Wearing my compression socks. Getting ready to climb into bed for 4:00 a.m. wake up call.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Saturday afternoon, after my last bike ride, I had the pleasure of meeting up with some of my girlfriends for lunch. Six women laughing, eating, drinking wine and enjoying the day. Seems normal. Normal except for the fact that the one with the brightest smile and the biggest blue eyes you've ever seen is fighting an uphill battle with breast cancer. Second time around. So far, the chemo is working. We had a three hour lunch then took her shopping - a little gift from us to her for her courage and selflessness through all of this. Like most moms, she has little time for shopping (for herself) between caring for her son, husband and trying to defeat cancer.
Spending time talking with her about life now really hit home. No matter what I might feel is tumultuous in my life, it in no way is comparable to what she has endured and continues to endure. She speaks of medicines and treatments like most of us talk about training schedules and nutritional supplements. Where we talk of losing toenails to running, she talks of losing toenails to chemo.
And we think Ironman is hard?
Yes, Ironman is difficult and challenging and so is cancer. Next week, as I enter the chilly waters of Tempe Town Lake, I will have a new perspective and remember her. I will remember what she and so many others are enduring and I will use their strength to help me through my day. I will remember how blessed I am to have my health, family and friends. And I will remember to have FUN!!!
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
I stripped my bed and myself - nothing better than fresh sheets and a shower to feel better. I even flipped my mattress. With a renewed sense of optimism, I headed out to pick up my bike from the training center for this weekends rides (fingers crossed). On the way, I decided to do my civic duty and stopped at the local early voting polling location and cast my ballot. Ah, that's done.
After a quick stop at the store, it was back home for me. It's really a little strange to be home - not training - could get used to it, but then I'm sure my waistline would make a beeline to expansion.
Anyhow, I'm back in bed again but feeling better than I did last night and looking forward to returning to the land of the living!
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
I am trying to keep smart about this even though my head is swimming in worry and grumpiness. It's easy when it's happening to someone else, "oh, just get plenty of rest and fluids you'll be over it before ya know it!" Riiiiiight! I know because I've said it to friends before and now it's my turn to listen to my own advice...although, I can't hear because my ears are stopped up!!
Case in point:
I was having dinner with my dad the other night and we were talking about training and racing (the one thing we know we can both talk about without ending up in a 'discussion'). For anyone on the planet who does not yet know, my dad's a runner (because I tell everyone). Anyhow, I was talking about my run on Sunday and how I was finally starting to believe that I am actually faster than I've let myself believe all this time.
Anyhow, my dad proceeds to tell me essentially, that I'm not training hard enough...not pushing myself and not believing in myself as much as I should if I really want to improve my times. I'm not a professional athlete or even an elite age grouper...but he's my dad and he thinks I can be better, faster, stronger.
Fortunately for me, I understand where my dad was coming from and I know that he is just trying to help me be the best I can be in my chosen sport. I know that sometimes I don't push myself as hard as I should and yes, sometimes I just feel lazy. But what I realized is that after that conversation, I found myself thinking of what changes I should make for next season. I was trying to find a way to make my dad happy.
Now don't get me wrong, my dad is proud of me (at least that's what he says) and we've come a long way in our father/daughter relationship. He's very supportive and always happy with my results...even if he tells me I could've gone faster if I'd pushed just a little harder :) I think he probably just believes in me more than I believe in myself.
I still find myself wanting to please the parentals...even as the calendar inches toward thirty-seven...
Dad and me at the 2008 Longhorn 70.3
Sunday, October 26, 2008
My babies, Sophie and Bella
Nicole and Tim DeBoom and Me at Interbike...maybe some of their speed will rub off on me!!
The unveiling of the Cervelo P4 at Interbike
So there are a few random pics, I'll try to be more consistent...hope ya'll are having a great weekend!!
Oh, quick training update: LAST LONG RIDE YESTERDAY!!! Woo Hoo!! And I had an awesome 16 mile run this morning!!!
One month from today and it's all in the books!!
Friday, October 24, 2008
I have soooo many pics. From Boston (yes, that was in APRIL) to puppies to Interbike, to Longhorn.
Maybe, just maybe, I'll even take some new ones tonight!!!
This morning I slept in...yep, that's right! I slept for almost 9 hours straight!! I didn't open my eyes until 7:00 a.m.! Got up, made some coffee, had a little breakfast, played with my puppies and casually started the grooming process for work.
Is this what normal people do? It seemed strangely familiar to me, but only as a distant memory...almost like a dream.
I had no bag to pack, no towels to hang in my car, no concoction of recovery drink waiting for me to consume...did I forget to do something that was on my calendar?
Later I'll meet my friends for a drink...on a Friday...like a normal person.
Then back to reality...29 days and counting.
Can't wait to join my friends in the "off-season"!!!
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Sure I'm excited when I really sit down and think about it and I do get a few butterflies, but it's very manageable...so far. I'm sure that will change as we get closer to race day. What's amazing to me is how different I have felt before each race.
The First: too naive to know better
The Second: too anxious to prove I can do better
The Third: too tired but more confident in my fitness
One thing I have noticed though, is that I have begun to obsess over it in my head. It's all I can think about. Will I like my new wetsuit? Will I ever get my new goggles adjusted just right? Will I manage my nutrition like I need to? Will I hold on to my run? Will I be able to stay in my game even if things start to go crazy?
Some of these things I have no control over other than how I deal with them; others are all under my control...this is up to me. I guess that's one reason why I like Ironman so much...you really do learn so much about what you're made of and who you are...and who you want to become. I could go on and on on my philosophy regarding Ironman, but I will spare you...for now.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
I was tired and it was starting to get pretty toasty out there, but the legs felt steady and solid. We (me and my legs) took off at a nice pace and I made note to take in plenty of water and ice. The first few miles were tough but mostly because once you get out to the Exposition Center it's really hot and hilly. But the most awesome-est thing out there was seeing my dad and sister, Katy, (who came out on her birthday)...like seeing an oasis in the desert! Ice and water = in and on me. As I was coming up on mile 4 I felt a little spring in my step because I knew I'd be coming up on the T3 tent and since this was the first time to race in town with my team, I wanted to come by looking strong. Funny thing was, I actually did feel pretty strong.
As I passed the tent, I saw the bundle of blue and heard the cheers and saw the smiles of my team - so cool! I remember seeing Chrissie; I don't remember what she said, but whatever it was was enough to keep me going.
After I left the comforts of my peeps I headed into the woods to face Quadzilla. I attacked her with a steady pace that I knew she wouldn't kill. My quads were screaming but I wasn't going to let her win. It really helped that Logan was at the top calling out names and keeping people motivated. That and I was just really happy that I wasn't still out on the bike course like so many other people.
Just one more lap.
The second lap was much like the first. I kept telling myself that if I stayed steady, I would PR. I tucked that into the back of my head and kept running. Heading back out to the "dessert" again, my oasis had grown...my mom, sister Becca, her boyfriend and mom's husband had shown up as well!! All the more reason to keep at it!
I was waiting for the wall to rise up in front of me as I neared the T3 tent again. I hadn't had a race yet where the wall hadn't jumped up at me. I was ready to battle the mental demons, but they weren't anywhere to be found. I saw my peeps again and this time I saw Maurice and out of the corner of my eye I saw him point to the side of his head - I knew I had to keep my head in the race and I'd be good.
Heading back to Quadzilla I still felt strong (except the darn shin splint - I decided not to concern myself with them at this point) and managed to run her down again...grrrrr!!! Logan said something to me but I was in my zone and couldn't make out the words. I knew I had less than 2 miles left and I was still running...I hadn't stopped!!! I slowed at a few aid stations to grab endurolytes, etc. but I didn't walk. This was great!!
The last two miles were good for me as I was able to pass quite a few people (including a few team mates) some of who had resorted to walking...cramps are evil!! The more I was able to pass people, the stronger I felt.
Finally, I came up the last hill and could hear Adam's voice bringing people home and as I cleared the last turn I found myself in the finishing chute...ahhhh!!!
My legs were done and I didn't get in my additional 5 mile run...I did feel a little guilty about that. I'll get over it.
*Successfully completing my heaviest training weekend ever
*Getting into my "zone" and not letting the demons into my head
*Pushing myself through the pain and just focusing on the goal
*Having my family come out to watch
*Seeing my Dad as I came down the finishing chute
*Having my coaches and friends out on the course
*Setting an 11 minute PR on a difficult course the day after riding six hours
*Overcoming obstacles - i.e. the choking wetsuit
Well, that's it...that's my Ironman Longhorn 70.3 official race report!!!
Armed with only my watch (no Garmin, no computer) I started out pretty strong and fueled by adrenaline. Not to long after I started my legs began to feel heavy and I began to wonder if that long ride yesterday was such a good idea. But I decided I was going to trust my coaches and my training and keep pushing; I was still holding a strong pace. Chrissie told me to give it 20-25 miles and my legs would start to feel better. Trust. The weather was nice, so nice that I almost forgot to keep up with my nutrition - yikes! I began to focus on my caloric intake because I knew it would get hot later and I didn't want to fall behind.
My legs began to loosen up and holding the pace began to feel easier - she was right, here I was right at 25 miles!! The winds were strong and I was still passing people...really?? Last year in Arizona the winds crushed me - physically and mentally - I may not like riding in it, but I'm learning to manage it better. Every time I do these races I learn so much.
Around mile 40 I realized that I still felt strong, hadn't had any negative thoughts and my legs didn't feel nearly as tired as I thought they would...or should. Cool. As I started making my way back to the park I remembered that I had those two nasty hills (affectionately named "Bitch" and "Bastard" by my friend Carrie) and then I would be on to the run.
Monday, October 20, 2008
I am ready to do this Ironman...I am ready for a break in the training...Let's do this!!
Oh, and I ordered a new wetsuit this afternoon...no choking in Arizona!
Now back to your regularly scheduled program...
My wetsuit is attacking me.
The neck of my suit has creeped up and is pressing on my throat. So much so that it begins to consume my thoughts and I start to panic. I swim off to the side and call over one of the kayaks and ask the girl if she'll unzip my suit a bit. She did, I caught my breath again and started swimming. But just as soon as I start to get back into it, it begins again. WTF????? Why is this happening? Then my mind starts going NUTS!! OMG, I'm not going to finish. I can't breathe. I'm can't do this. But I've done two IM's, why is this happening? I'm not going to be able to do IM AZ next month. All these negative thoughts started to consume my every thought. Finally, some sense came about me and I knew I HAD to finish: my family and team mates were expecting it. I was expecting it.
So what I did next was out of pure determination to finish. I called over a guy and girl on a jet ski and told the guy, "I gotta get out of this suit". He didn't bat an eye, just said, "Ok". Somehow, I managed to get my suit unzipped and down over my hips all while still being in the water. Then I grabbed onto the side of the jet ski and flung my legs up and over the side and the guy took my suit and yanked it off. I said thanks and went about swimming again.
FREEDOM!! Freedom from the strangling suit. I had never felt better in the water than I did at that moment. A renewed sense of confidence got me swimming strong again. My mind settled back into a positive state and the rest of the swim was uneventful.
(turns out my suit has become a bit big for me, I guess losing 14 pounds will do that!)
On to the BIKE!!
Thursday, October 9, 2008
I'll start with my race report from the Longhorn 70.3 Triathlon:
I woke up rather groggy on Sunday morning, still tired after a 6+ hour bike ride the day before. I felt like an experimental pawn..."how much training can she do in one weekend??" I poured a cup of coffee as my puppies looked at me without an ounce of enthusiasm. Slowly, I started to eat my breakfast as I got dressed. I wiggled into my T3 tri top and zipped up my sweater. It did feel good to have to wear a sweater, finally. I then headed out.
I got there too early but did that intentionally because I knew that parking would be atrocious, nothing to do about it but avoid any additional stress. When I got to transition, first things first - port 0 john! Then the usual - body marking (thanks, Vic) then in to set up my stuff. I finally remembered to bring a headlight (flashlights leave you one-handed) and it worked like a charm because I was racked at the end and there was really no lighting over there. I quickly set up my things then got out as fast as I could. I needed to get away from the "masses". I was tired and a little grumpy, so I didn't want to come off as unfriendly to anyone. I made my way to the T3 tent and laid my head on my wetsuit. Jess showed up shortly thereafter and seemed to share my mood.
Then our coaches arrived and then little by little everyone started to show up. The mood was cheerful and chipper - a sign of a bunch of fresh and tapered athletes - I was so not in the mood. I wanted to be tapered, oh well. I just kept myself under cover until it was time for one last port o john run and a final check of my bike and gear.
I slipped into my wetsuit (which has become a little big since I got it some pounds ago) and it just didn't feel right. Never mind though, I'd worn it to races before. Finally it was time to line up and I still hadn't found my motivation. Would it come as I started the swim?
to be continued...
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
I know this isn't in the training program, but I figure, I gotta live a little!!
I always enjoy coming back to Vegas...you just never know what's going to come your way...
Friday, August 29, 2008
After a week's worth of workouts and a long day at work, I headed out for a 20 mile run at 5:30 p.m. I started off slowly trying to get in a good, long warm up on a hot and humid afternoon. I kept my heart rate in check during the first loop and never felt over-exerted. Once on the second loop things started to fall apart. I just began to feel tired. Nothing in particular hurt, I just couldn't get my legs to turn over and I began to feel discouraged. I had such a good 20 miler two weeks ago, I couldn't understand.
At about mile 11 or so, my friend, Fred, ran into me and could see I was having a really hard time. I was near tears at this point, wondering why...why this time? why now? But he hung with me and eventually we ran into our friend, Michelle, who also joined us.
They stayed with me the rest of the run and although I only finished with 17.5 miles, I felt like I'd run a marathon and couldn't have done it without them!
I must be doing something right to have such good luck having them come along when they did!!
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Thursday I decided to go and have a manicure.
Once upon a time, in a life long, long ago, I used to be quite a "girl"...weekly manicures, haircuts every 6-8 weeks and monthly pedicures. Now I find myself struggling to get my monthly color treatments and my haircuts are more like 6-8 months!! Manicures and pedicures are a seldom seen treat. But this week would be different. I wanted to feel like a girl again. So not only did I get a manicure, I had my nails painted "Too Hot to Handle" red. Then I went and had my eyebrows waxed.
Now I'm considering laser hair removal...watch out, my girl-y side is making a comeback!!!
Friday, August 15, 2008
Doping-N.Korean medallist fails dope test-IOC
Aug 15, 6:35 am EDT
(Updates with Vietnam Olympic team chief quotes 9-11)
By Karolos Grohmann
BEIJING, Aug 15 (Reuters) - North Korean shooting double medallist Kim Jong-su has tested positive for a banned substance, been excluded from the Beijing Olympic Games and stripped of his medals, the International Olympic Committee said on Friday.
Kim won silver in the men’s 50m pistol and a bronze in the men’s 10m air pistol shooting.
Kim tested positive for beta-blocker propranolol, IOC spokeswoman Giselle Davies said. Beta-blockers are misused to decrease the heart rate and stop possible trembling.
IOC Medical Commission chairman Arne Ljungqvist said Kim’s positive test showed it was an intentional act due to the substance’s ability to provide to the user precision characteristics necessary for sports like archery and shooting.
“I could not interpret that other than a deliberate intake,” Ljungqvist told reporters.
A female Vietnamese artistic gymnast, who finished out of the medals, also tested positive for a banned substance and has been excluded from the Games, the IOC said.
Thi Ngan Thuong Do tested positive for furosemide, a diuretic which can be used as a masking agent for other drugs.
State-run Sports and Culture newspaper quoted Hoang Vinh Giang, head of Vietnam’s Olympic team, as saying the 19-year-old athlete used a diuretic at her last training because she wanted to be slimmer, without checking with doctors of the team.
“It is regretful for Ngan Thuong because she is an athlete trained in China since her childhood and she has seized many achievements for Vietnam’s gymnastics,” the newspaper quoted Giang as saying.
“We do not know why Thuong has such a thought to have a slimmer body so she made that mistake,” he said.
Ljungqvist said the gymnast could be a victim of bad information as the drug was also used by women for pre-menstrual tension.
“My interpretation is that it is a problem resulting from poor information of the athlete, not enough knowledge what to take,” Ljungqvist said.
Davies said both athletes would now be referred to their federations for any possible further sanctions.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
It feels like I can't shower enough these days!! I know working out a couple of times a day has something to do with it, but even so...I just long for the day to come where I can step outside and not immediately start sweating.
And if you've ever seen me sweat, you'd know what I mean!!!
Oh, that reminds me...I need to put another towel in my bag.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
But I have a confession to make. Until today, I could not recall the lap splits on my very basic Ironman Timex watch. I have been operating by memorizing (kind of) all my swim splits and writing them down before I could forget (most of) them.
I finally made myself sit down and figure it out...now I feel like an UBER-DORK for not figuring this out MONTHS ago!!!
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
It's kind of like going to a strip club and meeting "Crystal" and "Rose" and "Jasmine" (no offense to anyone whose real name is listed above)...you know those aren't their real names, yet that's how you know them...
One real difference is that maybe you don't really care to know the dancer's real names...I hope to someday learn the real names of my triathlete blogging mates.
Let's see some similarities between dancers (of the "pole" variety) and triathlete bloggers (female):
dancers: (when wearing clothes) wear spandex, lycra and are scantily clad
tri bloggers: (usually wearing some clothes) wear spandex, lycra and are scantily clad
dancers: dance to music
tri bloggers: spin to music
dancers: are socially engaging
tri bloggers: are socially engaging
Any other similarities??? Feel free to contribute any thoughts, ideas, whatnots...
Ok, not my best post...but it's late, I'm tired, give me a break!!
Monday, July 28, 2008
That's me right now. Grumpy and for no apparent reason I can see, other than I'm at work and would really rather be anywhere else right now. Even a trip to the dentist sounds like fun...bring on the drill and tooth sanding machine-thing.
I got a good night's sleep, played with my puppies this morning and in general, had a good weekend. I guess that's why I'm grumpy...I'd rather still be doing any of those things. I had a really good ride on Saturday and even though I had a bad ride on Sunday, I had a really good run...and in between I had a lot of fun with a lot of friends.
Hi Ho...Hi Ho...it's back to work I go...hmph...
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
So keeping with the theme of "public display of a personal faux pas", let me add my own moment of brilliance...
I forgot my bra.
Yep, thought I packed it with all my other crap and when I went to shower it was no where to be found. I might have had time to go back by the house and solve my little dilemma, but nooooo...I had to sit and chat with the girls for half an hour. Of course, had I known I was bra-less I would not have dilly dallied...but that's neither here nor there at this point. And quite frankly, I was really enjoying my early morning girl talk with Amy and Val.
Now you could say that this is the one time where it's a blessing to be "small chested" because you don't have to worry about bouncing around. On the flip side though, if you are small, you usually rely on the ol' padding to give you a little more umph...
And to top if off, today it's FREEZING in my office!!! So you know what that means...yep, headlights are on.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Before I even start I will say that I'm sure I've been guilty of this at some time or another, but here I go anyway...
What's the deal with the armpit hair?? I know every once in a while you forget to pack a razor or something bizarre happens. But what I'm noticing is that more and more often women are coming to workouts with less than fresh pits. A little stubble is acceptable...we all get busy, lazy, in a hurry, whatever. But what I'm talking about is hair that's seriously 2+ days long. And for those of us who are blessed with beautiful, dark hair...WATCH OUT!! That stuff grows like weeds!!
Maybe we can come up with a sign to let our ladies know they need a little shave action??
So ladies, you're all beautiful but please, please show the pits a little love!!
(p.s. I've taken to keeping a cheap, single blade razor in my glove compartment...just in case)
Friday, July 18, 2008
So much has happened/not happened/been said/done/etc. The days seemed to have blended together and I can't remember what I did without having to look at my calendar.
There was recovery from the Couples Tri and T3 post-race party...then there was the Splash n' Dash...then the Couples Volunteer party...then Key Bar catching up with non-tri friends...then wrapping it all up with a delightfully relaxing evening at the mall with Esther. Nothing like shopping, food and a bottle of wine to end the week!
Oh, and don't forget there was actual training splattered throughout the week. I have to say though, that I didn't feel my best. My workouts felt sluggish, at best. The Couples race really took it's toll on me and I didn't quite ever recover from it. I think because we did S-n'-D and the party in the same week, I just couldn't get back into my groove. I even MISSED SWIM PRACTICE on Thursday...and I NEVER miss swim. I was just soooo damn tired.
All in all though, I did manage 3 swims, 1 spin, 1.5 runs and 1 core...tomorrow I'll shoot for 10 mi but be happy with 7 mi, as I haven't had a long run since CDA...wish me luck!!!
On a somber note, we (T3) are changing our long ride to Sunday so that we can participate in the memorial ride for a fallen cyclist...Michael Argall. I never knew Michael, although I had seen him around and his loss is felt by the entire community. We will ride in his memory.
Too much sadness and death has brush closely by my side and I can't help but be a little fearful as to where it may strike next. I know I cannot dwell on it, but I still can't help but think of it from time to time.
On a much more pleasant note, several teammates and Coach Chrissie will be taking over wine country for the 70.3 Vineman and our very own Amanda will be tearing it up at IM Lake Placid along with some local pros...GOOD LUCK TO ALL!!!
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
After the baby was born she was diagnosed with breast cancer and went through hell to fight it. I saw her a few months ago and she was radiant and even more amazing than I ever remembered her. With what she and her family went through, it's no wonder!
The joy fell silent as we have now learned that the cancer has returned. Now there are more tests and more waiting. While the prognosis isn't good, there is a little hope...sometimes that's enough. While I'm trying to make sense of it, even though I know it's impossible, I can't help but want to scream, "It's not fair!!" Knowing all too well that life isn't fair.
I've never been a religious person but over time I find myself becoming more spiritual...and when things like this happen, I can't help but think that maybe a little prayer certainly can't hurt.
So to my friend and her family, I pray that they remain strong during this terribly difficult time. I pray that she is able to withstand whatever treatment she will endure in her fight against the disease. I pray that her little boy grows up with his mother and not just her memory.
Makes you think of your own mortality just a bit, doesn't it?
Thursday, July 10, 2008
So this weekend is the third event in the Texas Tri Series and the second one of the season for me to do volunteer coordinating. I'm sooo excited!!
I already had the "panic" dream, you know the one - you bolt straight up out of bed in a cold sweat and say, "SHIT! I don't have enough volunteers!" That was on Sunday. The week leading up to the event is usually very hectic and I seem to always have a little bit of a sick feeling in my stomach and constantly worried. There is a rush of emails to send and respond to and this time seemed especially difficult because I just got back from Coeur d'Alene and that really seemed to throw me off track. This panic seems to last up until about an hour or so into the event. It's not until then that I feel like I can relax a bit. When I can look out and see people having fun on the course, volunteers smiling and spectators cheering...that's when I relax!!
The great thing about Austin is that it has a strong triathlon community and people are generally eager to help, which makes my job easier. I also think people are eager to help because the guys at Jack and Adam's are so awesome! They really care about what they do and the people they help and you can feel it.
Seriously, if I could do this for a living I'd be ALL OVER IT!!
What is that people say? "Follow your heart and the rest will follow"...something like that. This is where my heart leads me and I love everything about this sport - the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
I am marrying IRONMAN.
That's right folks. I am officially committed to Ironman for the next year.
I just registered for Ironman Coeur d'Alene, 2009.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Now, I realize that I didn't grow up swimming or running, for that matter, and I have come a long way in both; but to watch these athletes is truly amazing. We are fortunate to be able to participate in our sport at will (with the exception of going to Kona, even then you can hope for a lottery spot) but these athletes are the best in their field and only once in four years do they get a chance to qualify for the Olympics. Four years. If they miss a step, a stroke anything...it's over.
My heart goes out to 4th place.
And from another perspective: damn, those swimmers are H-O-T!!! Michael Phelps is awesome, but that Lotche is something else!! He's the whole package...with that killer body and dimples that make you want to...
gotta go, next heat is on!!
Saturday, June 28, 2008
I'm ready to get home. I'm kinda grumpy about it, as I often am when I have crap to get back to...
No, I am grumpy.
(so Carrie, you like my tan? thx!)
ok, maybe I'm not entirely grumpy
1. I'm excited to get back to training.
2. I'm looking forward to seeing my puppies, who have probably forgotten who I am by now
3. I'm excited to get back to working on the Texas Tri Series (psst...if you know anyone who wants to volunteer, steer 'em my way, please!)
4. Making some changes that I'm not quite ready to post...more to come on those
5. Seeing my FAMILY and FRIENDS!!!!
1. My sprained ankle
3. My sprained ankle
4. Heat and humidity
This has been a good trip for me in many ways. As you may have noticed, I'm still trying to finish my race report...I want to remember as many details as possible! I had a good race, I've seen a part of the country I had not yet experienced and have had a chance to decompress, regroup and think about some fairly personal life choices I need to make.
I am always evolving...
Good Luck to everyone doing the Buffalo Springs Lake Triathlon this weekend!!!
Friday, June 27, 2008
19th - arrive in Spokane, WA...hitch a ride with Richard and Tiffany (and baby) to Coeur d'Alene
20th - pre-race festivities
21st - more pre-race festivities, minor freak out, talk with coach...all good
22nd - complete Ironman Coeur d'Alene - 13:37:08 (PR)
23rd - post-race festivities (photos, stuff, dinner/banquet, T3 party)
24th - drive to Seattle, WA...nap all day, sight-see, dinner
25th - Pike's Market, wine, run into Austin folks, more dinner, more wine
26th - Columbia & Chateau St. Michelle Winery's, dinner (buffalo burgers...yum!), park
27th - Whale watching in San Juan Islands, dinner, rest
Pictures to come soon!
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
3:30 a.m. Wake up!!
I slept like a baby the night before the race...so much so, that I didn't even hear the storm that blew threw over the night. So when the alarm clock went off I felt fairly rested. I ate my breakfast (bagel w/peanut butter, EAS drink, banana, coffee, z-bar) and got dressed. I was a little quiet, as I usually am before an important event, but was happy to have friends around me.
5:00 a.m. Transition
We arrived at the race site without any problems with traffic nor did we have to park too far away. The morning was damp and fresh from the rain and the air was cool. It was already light out (this time of year the sun begins to rise around 4:00 a.m.!!) and there was an electric vibe that was almost tangible. I first went straight to body marking and had that taken care of before the lines got too long. We were greeted by cheerful and chatty volunteers who seemed to be almost more excited than the athletes to be there - they were great.
Next, I went into transition and checked on my bike. I attached my Bento box, water and nutrition bottles, all of which would be my only nutrition for the 6+ hour bike ride. I then aired my tires and checked that they were not rubbing on the brakes or having any other issues. All seemed in check.
I found my coaches and they seemed just as pumped as we did. After I found my way to the special needs drop off (I only had a SN run bag with a flask of Monster) and then to my T1 & T2 bags to check if my stuff had gotten soaked over night from the rain (all stayed dry) and then a couple of stops at the port-o-let, I found my team.
6:25 a.m. Pro Start
The first cannon went off for the pro athletes. I was excited as Richard, Michael and Desiree were all out there and I was hoping the best for each of them. I then started to get into my wetsuit and was happy to not be sweating in it while standing around waiting.
6:45 a.m. Starting Line
I gave my hugs and started to make my way down to the beach area. I remembered that my coaches suggested we start up towards the front, which I wasn't too sure of, but I had trusted them to this point and I decided to not stop now. So as I made my way up to about the fifth row of people, I realized that I had been separated from all my teammates. As I would be most of the day, I was alone. No Eryn. No Charles. No Audra. No Illiana. No Noah...Ed...Ralph...Rhonda...Chris...Greg...anyone.
I stood on the beach taking a few deep breathes and was listening for instructions, but I couldn't hear anything because I had these super-duper ear plugs in. So the only thing I heard was the cannon firing and then I though "oh crap, we're starting!!". I may start to wear ear plugs more often because since I couldn't hear anything, I didn't have time to get nervous!
I pulled my goggles down over my eyes and ran toward the water. As I entered the water it didn't feel nearly as cold as it had in previous days and I started to swim. I was expecting to have to work on keeping my heart rate under control and to fend off the anxiety that often plagues me...but not this day. I had an entirely different set of problems on this day - ANIMALS!! That's right, it was like swimming with a bunch of wild animals who had been unleashed into the brisk waters around me. I was kicked so hard in the eye at one point that I thought I'd come out with a shiner. I spent the first 800 meters fending off the other swimmers and then at the turn around buoy I actually had to stop and tread water. Everyone in front of me was at a standstill. I was really getting pissed off, this was a race for crying out loud! We were supposed to be moving!! I finally got through that and finished up the first loop, then got out, ran across the mat and went back in for my second loop. This time I swam out from the buoys which cost me a little time, but kept me from getting so beat up.
Total swim: 1:19:43 (a PR of almost 20 minutes)
7:20 a.m. T1
The wet suit strippers were great and as I headed into the tent with my bag I entered a world of true madness! I was hard pressed to find a place to sit and had no volunteer to help with my stuff...no worries, I managed to get into my tri shorts and pack up all my swim gear and head out the door. It took longer than I had hoped but I guess that's just how it goes sometimes.
7:27 a.m. The Bike
What the hell? I climbed onto my bike and as I took my first pedal stroke I knew something was not right. There was a searing pain in my right ankle that wasn't there before. I thought that maybe if I just started riding it would loosen up and be ok. I tried not to think about it too much as I headed out onto the course. As I approached the tough part of the course Eryn flew by me (much to my expectation) and I tried to feed off of her positive energy, but a few minutes later when Charles came whipping by, I thought I was in trouble and told him I wasn't sure if I'd be able to run. I decided that I would put in a solid effort on the bike before I DNF'd...I wanted to at least prove to myself that I could swim and ride even if I wasn't going to be able to run.
I pushed the first loop and averaged 17.95, which I knew I couldn't hold for the second and as the pain worsened, my pace slowed. I still managed to push up the hills with a strong and steady effort and climbed better than several of my aero helmeted and disk wheeled male friends out there. That made me feel good. What didn't make me feel good was having to stop at medical to have my ankle wrapped.
One thing I thought was strange was that two men actually complimented me on my tan. WHAT?? ARE YOU KIDDING?? This is Ironman and you're telling me I have a great tan??
As I was coming in the last 10 miles of the bike I felt really sad. Sad because I saw several people, including a woman from Austin, just heading out for their second bike loop and I knew they'd never make it back before the cut off.
Then something else happened. A bee flew at me and landed on the side of my head where it proceeded to sting me. I probably could have not stopped but I did to make sure I didn't have a stinger sticking out of the side of my head! At this point, I had to laugh.
I have to say that I really enjoyed the course for its challenging hills and awesome scenery. I made sure to take a few moments during the ride to look around at all the incredible views...it's definitely something to see! I also was trilled to see so many teammates throughout the ride.
Total bike: 6:51:54
2:20 p.m.~ish T2
I gladly passed my bike off to a volunteer (at least I hoped he was a volunteer, at that point I didn't really care) and picked up my transition bag then headed back into the tent. As I entered I asked for medical and proceeded to prepare for my run. I thought I'd give it a chance even though my ankle was killing me. The medical person said she couldn't really do much for me so she took me over to the ART guys. They quickly got me on the table and started poking and prodding and I started screaming. I had three guys working on me and finally one told me that my "nerve was stuck". Huh?? What does that mean? Can I still run? He suggested that running wouldn't be good for it then he did something to my leg and I felt a pop in my ankle. I couldn't tell if it was good or bad, but it felt like something let loose. I decided to give it a try as I shoved some gummy bears and pretzels in my mouth.
Off I went.
2:30 p.m.~ish The RUN
And I thought things were tough on the bike...this is where you find out who you are, what you're made of and even then the doubts persist.
As I started running all I could feel was my ankle searing with pain; so much so that I began to wonder if I was even running in the right direction. I questioned it so much that I actually asked a volunteer if I was going the right way. As I headed out towards the lake I saw my coaches and friends on a corner who gave me some words of encouragement, I think that may have been when Chrissie told me she was proud of me, but I can't be sure...anyway, it helped me to keep going.
I stopped again at the medical tent for help with my bee sting and they put some Benadryl cream on which I discovered is a BAD IDEA. Shortly after the application, I became dizzy and was trotting along in a stupor. I alternated Gatorade and chicken broth at the aid stations trying to stave off the deterioration. As I passed teammates along the way they each gave as much encouragement as they were able to muster. Once I reached the turnaround I tried not to think too much and quite honestly, I don't remember much until I reached the neighborhood again. I saw my coaches again and I regained some composure. I cursed the first part of the run loop as I really hated that short out and back, but the spectators were there and again, that helped.
I was making my way back out when again I saw my coaches, that's when
(to be continued)
Saturday, June 21, 2008
I was doing ok until a couple of hours ago then I had a meltdown...it was kind of like one of those beautiful clear days that suddenly produces a heavy rainstorm, which then clears up as if nothing ever happened. Strange how your mind plays games with you.
My coach just called and we talked a bit about the course. I feel better now.
I'm going to sleep and in the morning I will attempt to be a two-time Ironman finisher.
Stay within myself...
I have had so many well-wishes from so many people, it's been quite unbelievable. The experience has thus far exceeded any expectation I could have ever had. The support and kindness has been remarkable!
This morning we started off the day with another swim, although this time I didn't feel the need to swim a mile, a good 10 minutes was just fine. I think the water may actually have been a little warmer...a little.
Afterward, we went to get our bike to check in and as we got to the car I realized that when I had gone to exchange my visor, the volunteer never put the good one in...the FIRST MELTDOWN. I uttered a few curse words and sent myself away for a little private time. The volunteer was very polite and apologetic and I thanked her...she's putting in a lot of hours to help us all out, so I couldn't be angry with her. Anyway, I got over that and after we racked our bikes and dropped off our transition bags we headed to breakfast.
Until that moment I had not had a meltdown, and hopefully that was the last! Well, it got a few chuckles over breakfast and after food and coffee, I was well on my way back to being in a relaxing mood.
We then went out and drove the course, let me say - beautiful and oh-so-many-hills!! Good thing I've been climbing well...I'm going to need those climbing legs!
Now that that's done, I'm sitting in bed blogging, napping, and watching tv..ahhhhh!!
Well, the next time you hear from me I will have tales to tell and hopefully they will be of my finishing the race as I hope to, as I've trained to, as I expect to.
...until then I shall sleep well.
We made it out to the swim this morning and as soon as I managed to get myself ready, I blocked out everyone (couldn't help it-I was wearing ear plugs) and proceeded to march straight in to the water and start swimming. I had decided early on that that would be my plan. I wanted to get as much of the shock of getting into the cold as possible, since that's how we'll be getting in on Sunday. The first couple of minutes were tough, hands and feet trying to go numb...surprisingly, my face didn't feel as pained as I thought it would - WOO HOO!
Everyone was supposed to swim for about 20 minutes but I needed to KNOW that I was going to be able to do this and do it solidly. I didn't swim hard, but I swam steady and took in the scenery. I made sure to enjoy it as I know the next time I swim out there I won't be paying much attention to the beauty of the landscape. I finished 1.2 miles in just over 40 minutes...and I never stressed once! Oh, I think I'm ready for this swim!!! BRING IT ON!!!
Our coaches are here too, which is an awesome motivator! The whole team looks good and I really hope everyone has a solid race. I can't wait to see them on the course. After the swim we all headed out for breakfast, which was fun...I ate two breakfasts :)
Later we went for an easy bike ride and rode this awesome bike trail that led to the Post Falls Falls - it was absolutely beautiful! As soon as I get my camera software issue resolved, I'll be sure to post some pics...truly nature and man working together at its best. Once we made it back we went for a short run. I hadn't run since Sunday, so I felt a little awkward at first, but after a few minutes, easily fell into my pace. I'm still feeling pretty goo.
Aside from just spending a ton on money on IM stuff, I did manage to get all my bags labeled, organized and situation for Saturday. Tomorrow we have to turn in our transition bags and bikes after we do our final swim - YIKES, it's almost here!!!
After all the running around and last minute stuff today, Eryn went on to the athlete meeting and dinner and we stayed in, ordered pizza and watched tv - perfect pre-race activity!!
I little more double-checking of the bags and it was off to bed...One last free day!
We're almost there!
Thursday, June 19, 2008
As I was settling in, Eryn and Charles arrived and the party was complete! We headed down to the race site and took care of our registration and picked up our bikes from TriBikeTransport. I wish I had something amazing to report, but really it was all just a breeze...at least for me, Charles' aero helmet took a beating and looks like it was pummeled in a hail storm...we like to think it now has new "dimple technology", either way he's getting it replaced and the guys were so cool about it.
We saw some of our T3 peeps as they arrived which was awesome! The Blue Train is rollin' into town! Eryn and I did some damage in the shopping tent...I bought way too much crap: a travel coffee mug, a non-travel coffee mug, a blanket, a beach towel, a visor and a TYR skirt that has "Ironman Coeur d'Alene" on the corner (it's way cute). I'm contemplating a tri-top...we'll see. If I go back on Saturday and they still have one in my size, then yes, I'll buy it. See the cool thing about the towel and blanket is that they are not Coeur d'Alene specific, just the "M-dot"...which is what I wanted.
This evening the five of us went to dinner and then returned to our rooms to chillax (chill+relax) and get some sleep.
Tomorrow is the big test as it will be our first swim in the much anticipated Lake Couer d'Alene.
Stay tuned...more to follow!
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Tonight I've finished the final touches on my packing (yes, I refolded every item of clothing in my suitcase) and am ready to get into bed.
I'm watching Jaws...
Monday, June 16, 2008
I am not a golfer. I respect the game and appreciate those who are able to play the game. And although I've watched Tiger play before, I've never really "watched" him play for any great length of time. I was in utter awe of the man. Here is some of what I took away from two days of golf:
1. He is a student and master of his craft.
2. He never gives in to the pressure.
3. Physical limitations do not stop him; he works through and around them
4. He loves his sport.
5. Not every magical shot is purely skill, he gets lucky too.
6. Every other magical shot is purely skill.
7. He stays within himself...always.
I know I'm not Tiger Woods, hell, I will probably never be a quarter as good at any one thing as he is at golf...I have still not found "my-thing-I'm-good-at", but I can learn from him. I know it may sound cheesy but I will take some of what I saw with me next weekend.
He is truly an incredible athlete to watch.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
This weekend was great! Saturday I did an easy spin ride at the gym then followed it up with breakfast with my team. Then I made my way home and decided I needed a nap because it was too hot to do anything else. I was later able to get some chores done: I washed my car, did laundry, gave the pups a bath...and relaxed!!
WOW, is this what "normal" people do on Saturdays??? I've forgotten what that was like!
Then I was in bed by 9:30 p.m.
Today I met the team for a 7 mile run. I made the typical mistake - I started out waaaaay too fast! I had all this energy and felt sooooo good I thought I could keep up with the big boys for a while...and I did...for a while. Then my legs started to burn and my breakfast started to come undone so after 4 miles, I turned it down. Still, I felt pretty good until I stopped at which point I thought I was going to pass out...really. I felt bad because I could hardly hold a conversation and of course I didn't want to say anything to anyone...my bad. I almost didn't make it back to my car for my recovery drink, but I did and after we got to Whole Foods I really felt better.
It was really stupid of me because I knew what was going to happen...I didn't take water with me, nor did I take my electrolytes...I just thought, "oh, I'll just run 7 and be done"...which would have been ok if I hadn't tried to keep 7:15-7:30 pace...I came in after 4 miles 3 minutes faster than I normally run it.
I will be smarter next weekend...promise!
I did manage to relax most of the remainder of my day - spent 4 hours hanging out at Whole Foods, a nap, dinner with my dad, birthday evening with my friends...not a bad way to end the weekend!
Thursday, June 12, 2008
The anxiety of doubt and fear have been replaced with the anxiety of excitement and confidence. I am ready. No, I'm not the fastest and I'm not going to "wow!" anyone with my skills, but I feel ready to tackle 140.6 miles. There are things I have to do in order to make that happen, but I know what those things are and I am prepared to do them.
Stay within myself.
That's all I have to do. I will take this next week to focus mentally on these things and go over my game plan in my head. I will think about my nutrition mostly. I have got to eat enough on the bike.
My bags are packed...yes, everything is ready to go. This means that I have nothing to stress over. My job now is (along with focusing) to relax.
Eat. Hydrate. Sleep. Relax.
I guess I'd better explain what it is I received yesterday before Carrie thinks I got "you-know-what". Although, that too, would be nice :)
Yesterday I received a letter. A handwritten, 3 page letter from a friend of mine who is an exceptional athlete and Ironman. The letter was the kindest gesture I have received in so long. It was so thoughtful of her to take the time to sit down and share thoughts and kind words.
The irony of it is that last year I also received a letter. It was the day after IMAZ and I received a letter quite the opposite of this one. It was malicious, cruel and from someone I had once cared for deeply. But it did not crush me. It did not stop me from believing in myself. It made me stronger. Yes it hurt, but no one like that will ever keep me down.
The letter I received yesterday was a testament to the people I have met over the past year who have become such great friends to me and who have given me strength and courage when I didn't think I had it. The letter is representative of all of you who take the time to read my blog, to call, to high-five after a hard workout, to offer up words of encouragement and who believe in me. Sure I have proven to myself that I can make it through Ironman...but you all have also helped me come to this realization and I have become a better person because of you.
Sorry to get all sentimental and weepy...but I love you guys! Even if this is the first time you've ever read my blog, I love you too!
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Today I am number 1997.
Tomorrow I turn in my bike so it can be shipped on Friday.
I am packed.
No really, I am packed.
Ok, except for my wetsuit and running shoes...I'll still need them this weekend. But everything else is packed...from race clothes, to lounging clothes, down to my undies...it's all packed and zipped up in my suitcase and carry on bag. I feel so relieved!!
p.s. remind me to write about something I received today...such a far cry from last year.
Monday, June 9, 2008
I will swim 2.4 miles
I will bike 112 miles
I will run 26.2 miles
I will cross the line with a smile on my face regardless of what the day may bring.
I remember from last year how fast these final two weeks seem to fly by. Already I've started having the race dreams, restless sleep, restless all the time really. Oh, and my stomach is quite frequently doing somersaults. I constantly see myself on the course, imagining how I will feel (good/bad), the things that may happen and how I will deal with them if they do...
I have made my lists and one bag is completely packed. I ship my bike on Thursday and I have already started making piles with all the other "stuff" I will need - race day stuff, pre-race stuff, post-race stuff, Seattle stuff...I want to have all my "stuff" packed by Sunday. That's part of my try-and-relax-before-I-go strategy.
I want to try to take in more of the "moments" while I'm there, instead of wondering around with a deer-in-the-headlight, glossy-eyed gaze. I want to enjoy being with my friends and coaches. I want to be set up and ready to go by Friday so that I can relax (ha!) on Saturday.
There is nothing left to do now but enjoy the ride...
Sunday, June 8, 2008
As we were walking out of the theater I heard a young twenty-something describe it as "a cute movie"...are you freakin' kidding?!!?!!?
Maybe she wasn't a big fan of the show...maybe her life is perfect...maybe she's just too young to appreciate the reality of the movie. Yes, it has some over-the-top moments and way too cute clothes and more shoes than I'll ever own in my life...but it's real.
It speaks the importance of trust...of love...of forgiveness. It speaks the importance of girlfriends. Those girlfriends who stand behind you through all the good, bad and ugly. Who are honest with you when you don't want to hear it. Who hold you steady when you don't think you can make it any further. Who console you when your heart is broken. Who will forgive you when you screw up and who you can forgive when the tables are turned. Who go to the ends of the Earth to help you through whatever situation you're in at any given time.
I am so lucky to have girlfriends that surpass everything I could ever expect from a friend.
I know that while the love of a man may come and go...I will always have the love of my girlfriends...and I thank God for them.
But, it also applies those same characteristics to your love relationships with boyfriends and husbands. It reminds you that we're all not perfect. That at times you will have to make a choice a decision where they're concerned...anyway, I could go on forever but suffice it to say that I was reminded of a lot of situations, relationships and moments in my own life. Just a little reminder of the past. Maybe I'm not making much sense anymore, but it's late and I'm tired.
p.s. I would have been perfectly happy if Carrie and Big just lived happily ever after unmarried...in their penthouse.
p.s.s. Where's my Big?? :D
Thursday, June 5, 2008
I've already started getting ready - I have made a list of lists I need to make.
Come on, we're all a little type-A, aren't we???
I had a dream last night that I sprained my left ankle. In it, it was swollen and bruised. I woke up with no injuries. Not wearing heels for the next 15 days.
Two weeks from today I will be in CDA
Sunday, June 1, 2008
I feel that maybe I've been putting so much pressure on myself to improve over last year, that when I start to have a tough time I start to worry that I won't do well instead of knowing that I'm already so much better trained and fit than I was last year. And that sends me freaking out and swirling negative thoughts in my head...and that is where my battle lies.
As I look back on my posts and relive those moments in my head...they weren't that bad. Ok, maybe the bike accident, being sick, almost getting involved in a car collision, etc...were scary, but all the other stuff was in my head...all in my head.
I have three weeks to get my head really ready for CDA. I have faith that I have trained well and there is nothing now that I can do to increase my fitness or strength. All I have to do now is maintenance, rest, eat well, rest and think positive thoughts.
I have to believe.
Today is June 1, 2008...on June 22 I, along with several friends and 2000+ other triathletes, will challenge ourselves at Ironman Couer d'Alene. For some of us it will be our first attempt, for others (myself included) it will be a return to an event that sometimes brings happiness, success, triumph, heartache, frustration...but always brings out the most inner-part of who we are, what we are made of...
Yesterday, after a quite enjoyable 58 miles ride, I set out for my run. At 1.5 miles, I broke down.
I don't know why, exactly. I just stopped, took off my visor, my sunglasses and set down my water bottle. I walked around in circles for a minutes saying that I was done and that I didn't want to do this anymore. My friend looked at me like I was crazy. Then he picked up my stuff, handed it to me, gave me a quick hug and asked if I was ready to go back to the car.
That's when I started running again.
Then I was fine. I settled into my pace and after 4 miles, my friend stopped and I kept on for another two miles of quite pleasant running...at least as pleasant as 95 degrees can be for a run! I actually enjoyed the run once I got over myself.
This is what keeps me coming back...the challenge we constantly place on ourselves to compete, to complete and to excel in our endeavors.
Good luck to us all!
Today we swam in 55 degree water and survived!! It wasn't nearly as dreadful as I had anticipated. Of course, my feet and hands felt like they were burning at first, but as soon as I started swimming I actually felt fairly comfortable.
The trick is to keep moving!
I also had the pleasure of meeting a woman who has successfully completed the English Channel swim. Awesome!! I am so amazed by her ability and dedication...and she's a gem of a person, too!