Thursday, October 30, 2008

Turning the corner...

Ok, I think I'm turning the corner on whatever this little bug is that's kept me from training this week. I stayed home and was in bed ALL DAY until around 4:00 p.m. when I decided that I needed to get up...I thought I felt a bed sore coming on.

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.

I digress...

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


Coughing, sneezing, ears popping and eyes watering like faucets...that's me today. Just 24 days out from my event and I have "this" going on. Frustrating.

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!!

Always trying to please...

When do we ever stop trying to please our parents? I'll tell you when...never. It seems that despite any differences we may have with our parents or how good or bad our relationships with them are, we continue to try to please them. Sometimes it's out of wanting to earn their praise, sometimes just to prove them wrong. Either way, their assessment of our successes and failures resonates with us throughout our adulthood. Obviously, this is a general opinion but I think that this holds true for a majority of people.

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

Just a few...

Ok, here are a few pics (as promised) from various events:

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

New Pics...

I realize that I haven't posted any new pics in a looong time. I will make that a project and a priority for this weekend.

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!!!

Can we just do it already???

No, I don't mean do that (out of the gutter, please). I'm talking about this race. Enough already! I'm tired of being tired and I want to get on with it so I can take a break.

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 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

30 Days and Counting...

Today marks the start of the 30 day countdown. This is my second IM countdown this year and it feels totally different. The anxiety hasn't risen yet and I'm not sure if it's because I'm calm, cool and collected or if I'm just too damn tired at this point to feel anything.

Sure I'm excited when I really sit down and think about it and I do get a few butterflies, but it's very 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 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

The Run...

After a decent transition I headed out on the run. I didn't have any nutrition with me, counting on the mercy of the race course. Would that be my demise??

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) 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 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!!!


The Bike...

I came out of the water feeling pretty good and ready to ride. I was whipping through transition (I had a great spot just next to the bike out) and as I got on my bike I realized my chain dropped...arrgghh!! I had to get off, pull the chain, blah, blah, blah. Ok, now I was ready to get on the bike.

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.

Hills managed...


Monday, October 20, 2008

Interrupting Your Regularly Scheduled Race Report..

We will return to your regularly scheduled race report after these announcements:

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 choking in Arizona!

Now back to your regularly scheduled program...

The Swim...

I line up near the front with my newfound swim confidence and a couple of team mates and get adjusted to the water. Gun goes off, start my watch and begin my swim. Things start off much as expected; a lot of positioning and a lot of me getting passed by some of the faster swimmers. As I am getting through the fray of the start, something begins to not feel right. I can't breathe. What's going on?

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

Longhorn Triathlon

I'm sitting here at my computer and not sure really where to start...I'm SOOOOO behind!!

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...


Ok, so a couple of lame posts ago I mentioned that I was "back" but haven't written anything really since then...sorry!

Let's try again...