Sunday, June 29, 2008

Olympic Trials and the Tavern Burger..

Yep, I'm sitting at the Tavern gulping down a burger and fries while watching the Olympic trials track and swimming competition...and feeling like quite the unworthy-to-be-watching fatty.

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'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

Sitting on the floor...

I'm at the airport in Denver, sitting on the's that or one of the few seats that are left next to people that look like they may not smell very good or have small children. I'll take my chances on the floor...

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

Should it even be a question?

Is he worth it?

If I ask that question, have I already answered it?

How will I know?

On my way home...

I am finally on my way home. I leave for Austin late tomorrow morning and arrive in the evening. There are some things I'm ready to go home to and others I could do without:

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
2. Work
3. My sprained ankle
4. Heat and humidity
5. Work

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

What a week!!

Summary of June 19th - June 28:
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


IMCDA 2008 is in the books. Here is my recollection of the day:

3:30 a.m. Wake up!!

I slept like a baby the night before the 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 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'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

'Twas the Night Before Ironman...

...and all through the hotel, Ironman participants were stirring, trying so hard to sleep. Tossing and turning and worrying in bed...about swimming and biking and running...all in one day.

I was doing ok until a couple of hours ago then I had a 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...


It is Saturday. It is ONE day away from me toeing the start line and hearing the cannon fire signaling the beginning of a day full of the expected and the unexpected.

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.

It's all a blur...

I meant to pound out a daily account of the going on's here at IM CDA, but it's almost impossible as there is soooo much constantly happening.

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

I have arrived...Ironman Coeur d'Alene

I made it. After a long flight, I finally made it Spokane, WA where I was picked up by Richard and his wife, Tiffany. We drove to our hotel and began to settle in. Fortunately, all my luggage and Desiree's wheels arrived with me and in great shape.

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 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

Anonymous B...

Always surprised you find me, but never really surprised. Always coming through when I need a push, a lift, any bit of support. You were instrumental for so long in helping me get to where I am today...and even still, I always know you're there and always have a special place in my heart for you, for I will never forget you and will forever appreciate all you've done for me. I hope you are happy and well.

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'm no Tiger Woods...

but as I watched him play for two days on a not-yet-recovered knee, in thick competition and from behind; I fed off his talent, his drive and his mental fortitude.

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

The calm before the storm...

This is my time to relax. I have packed and double checked my bags. Everything is done. All I have to do is get through the next three work days...blah!

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 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

Separation anxiety...

I feel like a parent dropping their child off on the first day of school. What am I talking about? My bike!! Today I delivered my bike to the shop where tomorrow it will be whisked away for it's journey to CDA!! I felt it during lunch when I could barely eat because I was so nervous and anxious...silly.

It's here.

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


I am officially "just a number"...and lovin' it!!

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'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

The Homestretch...

Well, here we are. Less than 2 weeks.

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

Sex and My City...

I saw the movie, Sex and the City this evening with Esther.

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 their penthouse.
p.s.s. Where's my Big?? :D

Thursday, June 5, 2008


Thanks so much to all of you who have sent well wishes and "kick some ass" messages my way as I start preparing to leave for CDA. Some of you I don't even know and I really appreciate your kind words!! :)

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


I'm ready.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Ain't so bad...

I feel like I've been posting a lot of "oh, how I had to pick myself up again" stuff...which is a bit concerning because really, I've enjoyed the training. I really do love this sport.

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.

The final countdown...

21 days

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 quit.

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 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!