Wednesday, March 28, 2007

We're making a difference!

Today one of the local papers ran a story about Tonsa, Breast Cancer Awareness and our team's efforts to raise some money. Check it out here.

Last night Tonsa asked me to come to her house for pictures an interview with another local paper, the Scottsdale Tribune. Have I ever mentioned how much I hate pictures, hate being in the spot-light. Heck, I even ran away to get married on an island, because I couldn't imagine walking down the isle in front of so many people! I am much more of a "behind the scenes" person.

ANYWAY, I couldn't make Tonsa be there alone, so I actually showered & got dressed in real people cloths after my swim workout (working from home has been fabulous for my mental health, not so great on my appearance) & met Tonsa. We sat through about 150 pictures (this girl was so click happy), then I listened to Tonsa tell her story. Had some tears at a couple of points. This woman is such an inspiration. Her main goal is to get the word out about self-examinations, particularly in the African American Community. She spoke of Cancer being the "C" word, but that she has learned so many other "C" words throughout this process. Courage, Compassion, Concern....

So, again I will put my camera fears aside, and head to her house tomorrow.

We (other team members as well) will be interviewed by FOX news & NBC news. Watch for us (if you are local, of course) at 5pm on Thursday!

Oh, and our goal for raising money for Susan G Komen has been raised to $5000. We're at $1805. So, if anyone is reading this please spread the word, and the website!!!

After the relay I will get back to my regular training, life, etc. postings. Right now, this is just what is important to me.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Good, make that GREAT People!

I first have to start out by saying what a pleasure it has been to be part of a race where the race directors have been so incredible. The race directors at Ragnar have been nothing but helpful, resourceful & gone above and beyond any expectations.

They have taken our idea of "Runnin' Ragged, Inspired by Tonsa" to a whole new level. What started out as a way to make a nice donation to the Susan G Komen Foundation, in Tonsa's name, had turned into much more. The race directors have put together THIS site, as well as posted, the press release (see below) trying to get awareness out. They, have been truly amazing.

Our team members, and everyday training buddies have been just as amazing and supportive. Ready to wear the PINK in Tonsa's honor, and donating money to help raise awareness. They are some of the most passionate & caring group of people, that I am proud to call my friends.

Tomorrow, check out where, there just might be an article featuring Tonsa, and our relay team!

It's so inspiring to be blessed and surrounded by such amazing people. I know I've been fortunate to have so many of them in my life. It helps make all the bad in the world seem so small when you get to see all the good in so many other people. Does that make sense?

Here is the Press Release that Ragnar put together:

Ragnar Events, LLC
8142 South State Street
Suite 105
Midvale, UT 84047
Contact: Communications Director, Tanner Bell (801) 608-2486 / (801) 495-7044 or

Breast Cancer Takes Runner from Relay, but Ragnar Spirit Prevails
Phoenix, AZ -- March 23, 2007 -- Starting March 30th runners will begin a 189-mile adventure that will start in Wickenburg and end in Scottsdale. Teams of 12 will blaze through spectacular Arizona scenery, each team member running three legs, each leg ranging between 3–8 miles and varying in difficulty. The course will be alive with painted vans, costumed runners, and cheering spectators. For most it will be an adventure; a wild overnight party with 11 good friends. But for one team, Runnin’ Ragged, it will be a mission, a dedication to a dear friend, and an inspiration to all who know their story.

Six months ago, Tonsa Price-Edwards heard about the Ragnar Relay Del Sol presented by NordicTrack. She couldn’t think of anything better than participating in this wild 189-mile, 12-team mate, 24-hour, relay adventure from Wickenburg to Scottsdale.

Immediately she thought of her friend and running buddy Krista LaPan. A simple email and Krista was in. A few more emails from each women and a team of 12 was ready to rock. They came up with the team name Runnin’ Ragged and began training. Team Runnin’ Ragged consists of 6 men & 6 women ranging in age from 29 to 50.

On February 22, after months of training and preparation for the Ragnar Relay Del Sol Price-Edwards was diagnosed with Breast Cancer.

“It came without warning, without mercy, and without regard,” Price-Edwards said. “It ignored the reality that I have no risk factors, have been an avid runner and actively support the Susan G. Komen foundation. It came and brought with it a dazzling array of new terms, new tests, new doctors, and new fears. Breast cancer came and it took Ragnar.”

News that their team captain had been diagnosed with breast cancer and would not be able to compete alongside them came as a brutal shock to team Runnin’ Ragged.

“I actually cried as I read the email,” LaPan said. “I've known of people sick with cancer, but I've never been close to one, so I guess it was just kind of shocking to me. In that instant our reasons for running this race completely changed. We decided to do this race because Tonsa asked us to! Now, we have decided to run in her honor.”

Price-Edwards couldn't
me more appreciative of her team's support.

“Breast cancer, in all of its rage, will prove to be no match for me and those who now will step to the start line in my honor. Breast cancer could not have anticipated how strong the bond between a band of runners truly is. No, I won’t be running the Ragnar Relay instead I’ll be crossing a different finish line as I deliver a personal record in the race for my life.”

Team Runnin’ Ragged will be will running in pink shirts that read “Inspired by Tonsa”, and have asked that any interested parties donate to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation in honor of Tonsa Price-Edwards. $1000.00 has already been donated in her name.

For more information on the Ragnar Relay Del Sol visit

About Ragnar Events, LLC
Ragnar Events, LLC owns and operates the Ragnar Relay series, the nation’s largest series of overnight relay races. The series includes the Ragnar Relay Wasatch Back (a Utah relay race), the Ragnar Relay Del Sol (an Arizona relay race), the Ragnar Relay Great River (a Minnesota relay race), and the Ragnar Relay Northwest Passage (a Washington relay race). Ragnar Events, LLC is committed to providing each participant with an unforgettable relay race adventure.

About NordicTrack
NordicTrack, the most widely recognized fitness brand in the world, is proud to be the official fitness equipment and fitness apparel sponsor of the Ragnar Relay Series. NordicTrack’s 30-year heritage of producing the finest quality fitness equipment continues today.

Specialty treadmills, designed for runners and race training, have been recognized by Runner’s World (, the New York Times, Prevention magazine ( and the TODAY show. Visit to see NordicTrack’s complete line of treadmills, ellipticals, exercise bikes, strength training, yoga and Pilates products, as well men’s and women’s fitness apparel.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

A new peak

Yesterday I hit a personal peak on the bike. I rode the longest & furthest in my cycling career. I have trained for 2 half-ironman, and my peak long ride was 4 hours, but no brick following. Yesterday, I did my first 4:15 ride, followed by a :30 run.

S, was out sick & others out of town, etc., so it was just Heather, Sara & me. I rode down to our "tour de crib" area (funny, name huh? I think Heather & Troy came up with this - it's an area in Paradise Valley where the avg home price is probably 3million. It's a great riding place. Some flats, some climbs, nice bike lanes & few stop lights or traffic) to meet H & S. We spent about an hour doing some short STEEP climbs (no one will be able to say we are NOT hill trained for CDA). We headed down to my old cycling neighborhood Papago Park. Unfortunately a lot of Tempe is a cluster, because of a new light rail system being installed. We had to make an adjustment to a loop I had planned, because of road closures. So, we made a potty break, and turned around. About :30 back on our bikes there was a gun shot!!! Ok, not really....but Sara's first thought as we heard this incredibly loud explosion was - "the Serial Shooter is back!!"

Instantly Sara's back tire was completely flat. So, we pulled over & she started the tire change process. Barely started that is, until Heather exclaimed, "Uh, Sara - we're done... you've got a GASH in your tire." She wasn't kidding. It was a straight line across her tire, that cut completely thru both the tire & tube. I've never seen anything like it. I walked a few feet back & found she had run over a 1" box knife blade. Crazy....

Believe it or not we were able to continue on the ride. Troy picked up a new tire & brought it to us. Unfortunately, it added an extra ~:40mins onto our "non-ride time."

After this, we kinda had a hard time figuring out where we wanted to go. I usually have a great loop planned out for us, but because of stormy weather & bad road conditions, we were just kinda winging it today.

Eventually we ended up at our last potty break/hydration refill with about an hour left to ride. It was already 11:45. We started this ride at about 7:am.

I decided to split off from the girls. I was getting kinda of grumpy from being out there too long (NO ONE'S fault, of course- this stuff just happens sometimes), getting hungry & also not wanting to go back on the SAME route I've been riding on like 3 days a week for several months. SO, as they headed south back to Heather's house for their run, I decided to do a loop heading North, that would get me home a different way. I'm actually glad I did this. I was so ready to be home, that I pushed myself and avg'd about 19mph the whole way. It felt great, and my HR was finally sticking in my zone at around 145-150 (zone = 140-159). With uphills, downhills my hr is all over the place - like, for instance my avg HR on the ride was only 137. I need to work on pushing myself harder, more consistantly, I guess...

The loop I chose was dead on with getting to my 4:15 ride time. I traveled 70.7miles!! This is my new long ride top. I decided to take the "kids" out for my brick run. I never do this, because I am usually fatigue. I felt pretty good though & it wasn't TOO hot. Plus, they'd been bored out of their minds sitting at home with sick Dad all day. I wanted them to help me kick my grumpiness out the door too. Which, of course, they always do. So the kids & I headed out to finish my VERY long workout. It was a little warm, but we were all smiling. Finally, back home at 1:30pm... What a day, huh?

Today is my rest day. I'm tired. It was a pretty long week. My workouts went really well, including my long run 1:50, that I did with Heather. I felt really great on it. It was perfect weather for me. Cool (60deg), some clouds and also some sun - most importantly, humid (helps my lungs). I am rewarding myself (kinda) with a 90min deep tissue massage. Hopefully my muscles aren't too bad for our poor little Kyla. I feel bad sometimes when she had to work out the stiffness.

So, here's the weekly roundup:
Run: ~26miles
Bike: ~102miles Plus 60min trainer workout
Swim: 8000meters

For this week (slightly different because of the relay)
Run 1:25 (moderate, low zone 2)
Swim 3500meters (Long, Zone 2)
Bike 2:00 (moderate)
Weight training
Swim 3000meters (Tempo)
(no run, slight taper for Race!)
Pre-race run - :35mins
35 minutes with 5x10 second pickups
Relay - My legs are as follows:
Leg 1 (approx 3:20pm Fri) 5.6miles, relatively flat
Leg 2 (approx 2:00am Sat) 6.2miles, downhill
Leg 3 (approx 10:am Sat) 4.3miles, UPHILL
continued relay
3:30 ride/:30brick - this will depend entirely on how my body feels after the realy, lack of sleep etc.

I will be posting tomorrow about an interview with the Arizona Republic... stay tuned :-)

Friday, March 23, 2007

Little Devil in Disguise

Our little Abby has several names. The most prominent is "Punkin" or "Punkin Pie." No reason for the nickname, I just kind of gave it to her.

We've also called her "Evil Abby" when she's being naughty. "Jessica" is her sir name when she's acting well... not so bright (so, she's PRETTY, but not very smart, just like Jessica Simpson). I call her Stinky sometimes, because she's ALWAYS having ear issues and they STINK!

Well, today I had to take her to the vet to get some medicine for her ears, they just weren't getting better. First thing on the agenda was to get her weight. She proudly hopped up on that scale, like it was a fashion show catwalk, or something. (nice to see that she doesn't have "body weight issues" like most young ladies...) Anyway, the nurse said - "Oh, oh no... she's 66.6lbs!!!" I start applauding her because she's always been so skinny and scrawny and exclaimed, "Wow Punkin, you are a BIG girl now!!!" But, this nurse... she was being all rude - like & almost gawking at the weight. I'm thinking she can't possibly be calling my little girl chubby???

Then, I figured it out. "6 6 6." See, I guess Abby really does have a little devil in in her :-) But, come on..... look at these faces. You know she'll be getting some extra treats this weekend to get her past that .6lbs!!

"Sweet TIRED Punkin"...

And, I'm looking for trouble... "Evil Abby"

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Speed Work?

Today I learned something new, well new to me anyway. I learned that I like, or eh.. LOVE to run slow. It's easy (relatively speaking), my face doesn't turn a nice shade of PURPLE, my shorts don't creep up between my thighs (I knew I should have worn a skirt today), and I don't get that "I'm going to throw up" feeling in my tummy.

So, today I had my first "speed run" of the IM training schedule. Mark Allen's philosophy is based on a huge buildup of aerobic/low HR training at first, then about half way through, he ads a weekly "speed" training for each discipline. So, for the Ironman training we have not started speedwork yet, but we had one added this week to prepare for a "race."

The race is the relay I've been talking about. Anyway, the workout was as follows:
10 minute easy warmup.
3x1 minute fartlek accelerations with 30 seconds rest.
1x6 minutes, 1x4 minutes, 1x3 minutes, 2x1 minutes all with rest of half the fartlek length. Warm down 10 minutes easy.

Well, the warmup was nice.... The first 3x1:00 weren't so bad. The 6:00 damn near killed me... It was cracking me up. I'd look down to see if my heart was going to explode. Thinking it's going to read something like 196, only to see 178!! Are you kidding me? So, I'd push a little harder. I think I got it as high as 185.

It's just so crazy to see how my HR has dropped. At least my Max HR area. I could seriously hold 185-195 for a LONG time before. I didn't wear a HR monitor when I first started training, BUT I always, and I mean always ran a 9min mile. I knew all my mile markers & made sure I hit that pace. If I had one mile left and was 2 mins behind, I'd sprint home. Of course, NOW I am older (ha!) and a little wiser....

When I started wearing my HR monitor, I was surprised to see how high my HR was. I would do my long runs about a 9:30 pace, and my HR would avg about 165-168. That means to get an avg that high, sometimes I would have been up in the 170s. My week runs were 9min miles, and I was in the 170s.

When I started going to track workouts with my running group, I did my "tempo" sets at about an 8:00 pace (2:00 per lap), and the 5K, or mile speeds at like a 7:10-7:20 speed, so each lap was about 1:45-1:50. My HR would be in the 190s.

And, we WONDER why I was injured for 3 years?? Hmmmmm

Anyway - I can't tell exactly what my pace was for my speed sets, but I imagine it ranged from an 8:00 pace to an 8:45 at the end. But, my 178 HR, felt like my old 190 did. Funny how things change, huh?

It was a tough run, of course I'm glad I did it.... but like I said above. I have learned that "we" (my legs, tummy, red race & I) really really like the slow, aerobic stuff!

My little speed day gets even better. When I got to Masters & saw the swim board it was basically a repeat of this am. Check it out!!

1-2 : Easy Swim
3-4: Drill
5-10: Easy down, Fast Back

Main Set:
3 x 200 swim Level 4 (just under ALL OUT)

300 Pull Level 2 (pull with paddles, NOT the buoy between your legs)
200 swim Level 4
100 Swim Level 5 (sprint baby!)

200 Pull level 2
200swim level 4
200 pull level 2

300 Pull Level 2
200 Swim Level 3
100 Swim Level 5

Cool Down - 100 choice...

I did well until the last set, then I was DONE....
My 200's at level 4 were 3:08 (I used my tempo trainer so I was consistent
100:'s were 1:29. I set my tempo trainer too slow the first time, but when I packed it down on the second set, hoping to hit 1:25ish, I was too fatigue & lost some of my glide in the water.

So, all in a day's work.... I'm tired now :-) Good think work isn't crazy like yesterday! I know for sure if I didn't have my fabulous job, I would be missing workouts. I am very, very lucky... Especially with days like today. I planned on getting up at 5:30 with S, but I just couldn't do it. My body wouldn't move. I was "able" to stay in bed an extra half an hour...

Hope everyone's week is going well!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Time to get back to normal!!! (or life as I know it)

What a week! After all of the crazy travels at the beginning of the week, I struggled to "catch up." After no sleep the first couple of nights back, I was so ready to just get in bed & stay there for a week. Of course that wasn't going to happen, but somehow I did get a great night's sleep on Thursday. S & I were in bed by 8:30, so we could get up at 4:45 & do our 2:10 long run.

I awoke nice & refreshed before the alarm even went off. I must have passed out as soon as I hit the pillow :-) The run went REALLY well, minus a few stomach issues (I think still messed up from the travel). S & I ran 2.5miles up to a park where I met Stacey. S left us after that so he could run his own speed. He's finally broken the 10min barrier & moving more like 8:45-9:30 aerobically. Stacey ran 8.5miles with me, which helped a lot. We talked about her upcoming wedding, and old friendships. Next thing I new, we were on the last mile stretch back to the park where she would stop. I had 2.5miles to go, and my time was already1:55. I knew I'd be over a little, and figured I'd just walk the last quarter mile. But, after I left Stacey, there was some nice downhill & shade. So, with that & not talking my HR dropped about 5beats & I got home in 23mins. My overall time was 2:18 for 13.4miles, avg HR 154.

13.4 miles!!!! That is the furthest I have run since before my surgery. The furthest I have run since the NY marathon in 2003! My legs felt pretty darn good, with the exception of poor blistered toes.... However, as the day went on I started to feel some pain on the top of my left foot.... I really started noticing it when I pushed off the wall during my swim. Hmmmm, this is not good.

Friday was another early night. We had a 3:30 ride for Saturday, and it was Stacey's bridal celebration party later that night at my house. We started out on the ride a little late. Poor Sara got a flat on her car tire... We did a 50mile loop that is all up for the first 15miles, then down for 10, then rollers for about 5 & then solid climb at the end. The wind was crazy. Oh, I forgot to say HEAD wind. You had to really hang on as not to be blown to the side of the road. I wasn't really having fun. I think still tired, it was hot & thinking of all the things I still needed to do to prep for the party. I decided I was just going to ride hard & get home! I stopped taking it easy and headed to the front of the pack, where I stayed until the last 10miles. Something happened & I was sweating SALT like you wouldn't believe. It was all over my face, going in my eyes & I got a horrible headache. I finished my Gatorade thinking that would help, but it was too late. My quads were starting to cramp.

We made a pit stop before the big climb & I went in the gas station looking for the little salt packets. No luck. So, I drank some more Gatorade, and had another power gel. My headache went away, but it was too much all at once, so climbing the hill I was a mess. My HR was barely into my zone, but I was nauseous.

We were about 4 miles from home & still needed :45 of ride time. S & I decided to call it a day. It wasn't worth feeling so bad just to get the time in. I was so happy with my decision. I got home & actually saw what a mess I was. I could literally scrape the salt off my chest in chunks (I know GROSS!).

To make matters worse I decided to try out the lactaid pills I had bought so I could try the 1st Endurance Recovery drink again. See, I've been having problems with all of the recovery drinks (except Cliff Recovery). The Dairy makes me sick & my throat starts to swell. Well, I was hoping the lactaid pills would help me digest. WRONG! About 5mins after I finished the drink I had to run to the bathroom & throw it up!!! Unbelievable.... Guess I just need to stick to what my tummy is happy with.

What a day huh? Well, it got better. Carrie (my friend in town from Washington) & I spent the afternoon doing some final errands for the party & get home to get ourselves ready. The girls started to show up about 6pm. It was a great night. We didn't actually make it out of the house, but just did a wine tasting (Pinot Noir), watched Stacey open her gifts, ate yummy food & cake & enjoyed the company. I'd love to post a couple pics, but I'm not sure Stacey wants them out for the world to see :-)

So, today is a new week. Week number 7 actually. I maneged to only miss a few workouts last week, and with all that was going on I was VERY happy with that.

Week 6 totals:
Run - 28 miles
Bike - 68 miles
Swim - 6000meters

This week (#7) is a build week on the bike. We have 4:15 this weekend which will be my longest bike ride ever! Thankfully the crazy heat wave we had last week is going to drop off a bit, so it will be nice temps :-)

This week is:

Run 1:10 (moderate, low zone 2)
Swim 3000meters (Long, Zone 2)
Bike 2:20 (moderate)
Weight training
Run Speed Set (to prep for Relay Race, I guess) (anaerobic zone 164+)
Swim 2500meters (Tempo)
Bike 1:30 (Tempo)
Weight Training
Run Long 1:50mins
Swim 2500meters (moderate)
Bike(brick) 4:15/:30run

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Where has the time gone?

First off, I'm just going to refer you to momo's blog to recap our Boston trip. I think she was waiting for me to recap our more than eventful business trip, but I just couldn't seem to get my words down. So, thank momo. Now, I can move past those crazy days & get life back in order. Well, somewhat. I can't seem to move past the jet lag. It usually doesn't affect me like this, so I'm not sure what is up. For some reason I just can't sleep. I was awake all night last night, and finally just got out of bed at about 5:30 when S went to go run. I'm kinda hoping I crash here in the next hour or so to get a little bit of rest.

Training has been a bit sporadic this week, to say the least. Monday I did my 1:20 moderate run in Boston which was actually great. Including the grumpy, fast/serious runners we encountered. You know, I actually thought it was runners law that we are all friendly. Guess not. At least not when you are fast and getting ready for the upcoming creme de la creme of marathons. But, enough about that....

Tuesday we tried to recoup from our travels, and did not get a workout in. So, I missed my moderate bike (1:45) and weight session with Daniel. I planned this ahead of time, so no big deal. You can only fit so much in one day, right?

Yesterday I took the kids for my 55min tempo run. They were so cute. Just waiting for me to get out of bed so they could greet me & tell me how much they missed me. Top of mind, they missed me NOT being home all day with them. They forgot what life was like when both S & I left for work & they were stuck to nap ALL day long without mom to bug, or windows to look out & bark at every shadow they saw. So, they sat there "patiently" being GOOD until my eyes showed the first sign of movement that declared I was officially awake. Then, GAME ON!

I also made it to masters. I did my long workout set that I missed on Monday (3000meters). Momo & I were a little off in the pool, but nothing to worry about... we got the distance in. I had to rush out of the pool for lunch date though. I was meeting Stacey and Diane, a girl that worked with us at a previous job. She's now in Law School & is home for Spring Break. It's so funny to hear her stories. She is living the life right now. Playing (and studying some) off student loans (and I thought it was just me, ha!), planning a study abroad trip to Brazil (why didn't I think of that?!?!) & just enjoying the last couple of years before reality hits! It was fun to listen to her stories, and take a step back in time. Of course, I wouldn't go back to that life for anything, but it never hurts to reminisce.

My busy day continued on. I was home with just BARELY enough time to put my spare bedroom together & clean up a bit. Carrie, my # 1 Fan (see comments) was flying in today for her spring break. We were heading straight to our wine bar to meet Stacey & Dave for dinner & drinks. This weekend we are doing a girls bridal thing for Stacey, and the boys are going out as well, so it was kind of the only chance for all of us to get together as a group while Carrie is here. We shared a couple bottles of a tasty Pinot Noir, some great pizza & good laughs.

So today, I'm supposed to get 1:15 bike ride in, and do my second weights day. I'm going to play it by ear. I need rest first. I'm actually starting to feel a little sleepy now, so maybe I can go get a little nap in before I start the day!

Tomorrow S & I are doing our long run before he goes to work. It's 2:10mins. Although I have done a couple half marathons as well as 2 half ironman, I have not done an actually training run that long in almost 3 years when I was training for the New York Marathon. Keep your fingers crossed it goes well! I'll post a recap on that tomorrow!

I hope every one's week is going well. I hope those in AZ are enjoying the sizzling hot spring weather. Hopefully the warmer temps are helping those in colder climates that have been stuck in doors for so many months get out as well.


Friday, March 9, 2007

Week #5 Roundup

Here we are again. Almost the end of another week of my IM training. You know, after tomorrow I will have completed the first 25% of the training. Pretty cool, eh?

Today was a little tough on me. Well, I actually feel really good, but my run was a little "off." Arizona weather decided to actually turn into Arizona Weather. Meaning, for the last couple of months we've been running in the 40's to 60's. That's cold for here. Then, out of nowhere comes the mid to upper 80's. This morning I met momo, Natalie & baby Kate for our 1:50 long run. We started later today to allow a little sleeping in, so it was nice about 60 or so when we started but jumped up to the 70s when we finished. My HR shot up from the get - go. I struggled with it all morning. I stayed in my zone, but the top of it, not where I like to be. My legs wanted to GO, but my HR said I cold only go a snail's pace (or at least that is what it felt like). Not sure if it was the jump in temp, or everything in bloom congesting my lungs. Either way it was just one of those days..... Not a bad one, not a good one... just an OK one.

Thanks to M & N & baby K for going slow for me ;-) Hopefully next week will be betta!

M & I finished the run with just enough time to eat & get to the pool for our "recovery" swim. We were really good today & did nice & easy. We always say we will, but we don't. Today we were good little recovery swimmers. And, it felt really good to "recover."

So, tomorrow is a 3:00bike ride followed by a :30 run. Hopefully we won't have a repeat performance of last weekend!!!

On another note, I just got off the phone ordering a cake. Next Saturday we are having a little "Bridal Celebration" for our friend Stacey. Stacey & her fiance' Dave are getting married this April in Rocky Point (for those of you non-AZ's, it's Puerto Penasco, Mexico) on the beach. It will be a fabulous mini-vacation for us all. Here's a pic of Stacey, Dave, S celebrating the New Year in RP. Fun times we've had there. What happens in Rocky Point, Stays in Rocky Point...

Anyway, back to the cake... I just ordered it. I think I am most excited for this part. I'm not going to give any details about the cake, because I know that Stacey reads this blog, BUT I will say I ordered this one partially for my own benefit. You see, about 3 years ago when I had my wedding reception my cake disappeared. I know, can you believe it? We had enough cake to feed over 200 people, and there were only about 120 there - you know they didn't ALL eat the cake. Well, sure enough come the end of the night that cake was GONE. I had that tiny, tiny little bite that Shane shoved in my mouth. That was it.... So, I've been waiting 3 years to taste it again. Hopefully Stacey enjoys it as much as I'm going to :-)

Even better, my friend Carrie is coming for the celebration. She gets in on Wed. Carrie & Stacey met last year in Rocky Point. It was "friends at once" :-) Carrie is currently in school, so she isn't able to come for the wedding (due to finals), so she's coming out for Spring Break & the Bridal Party! If you see any posts from "K's #1 Fan" that is her. She truly is my #1 fan. I'm sure deep down she thinks I'm crazy, but ya'd never know it. She's always ready to root me on, no matter what the adventure. She will be out there ALL Day long supporting me on June 24th. I've known her since 9th grade, I think.... There have been some CRAZY times with us. Maybe someday I'll share some of them, but not now. Right now I just wanted to mention her so you all can get another count for how lucky I am to have such amazing friends.

I'll try & find a fun old pic of us from H.S to post!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 8, 2007

inspired by "T"

I got this note from my friend "T" I mentioned in an earlier post.

She wrote this letter to the Race Directors, in a response to an email they sent out asking for inspirational stories. Well, there you have it. Can't get get much more inspirational than this!!

For any of you that know 'T' you know she is a fighter!!! She will be back out there in no time, I just know it.

Our Runnin' Ragged Team has set up a fund with the Komen Foundation in T's name. S is taking the donations, so if you would like to make one, please contact him, or me.



Enjoy this letter from the words of a true inspiration....

Here is my story …….……. I won’t be running the Ragnar Relay.

Not because I didn’t think this was the most fun a set of runners could ever have. Not because I was unable to convince eleven other fools, (oops I mean friends) to run 187 miles with me. Not because I didn’t even flinch at the thought of spending hours in a van filled with funk and sweat. Not because we were unable to get the requisite volunteers and figure out the logistics of an overnight run. No, I won’t be running the Ragnar Relay because the diagnosis of breast cancer came.

It came without warning, without mercy and without regard. It ignored the reality that I have no risk factors, have been an avid runner and actively support Komen. It came and brought with it a dazzling array of new terms, new tests, new doctors, and new fears. Breast cancer came and it took Ragnar.

But breast cancer in all of it’s rage will prove to be no match for my spirit and those of my twelve team mates who now stand behind me. It will prove to be no match for me and those who now will step to the start line in my honor. Breast cancer could not have anticipated how strong the bond between a band of runners truly is. You will know them by the purpose of their stride, their inner light and their conviction to finish for me. You will know them by the simple shirts they designed and will wear for me.

No, I won’t be running the Ragnar Relay instead I’ll be crossing a different finish line as I deliver a P.R. in the race for my life.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

I crashed... HARD

Well, today started off a little rough. I woke up in pain. I knew it was coming though. Yesterday, Daniel was mean. He created this 'fun' little workout for me.

Have you ever seen one of those saying shirts that says, "I make stuff up".... Well, Daniel needs one. This one weird exercise he concocted did me in. He had a stair stepper (which was held in place by a bunch of dumb bell weights) about 2 feet from a wall. Then he had me lean against the wall with an exercise ball behind me & go into a squat position. With that, I had to place my toes on the end of the stepper & do calf raises.

Are you picturing this? Well, if you can then go ahead and add my legs shaking perfusely as I'm doing it. The weird part is that the actual movement did not hurt or burn, but the legs were shaking from the other sets I'd been doing (this was the last exercise of the set). And, I did them all 4 times. And, this was after a 30+mile bike ride.

SO, back to the pain.... My calves are SOOO sore today I am walking funny. And yes, I did ANOTHER ice bath in the pool after my run to try to help.

So Daniel, I know this is all for the better of me & my training, but DAMN!!!!!

I also have to add a correction to my last post about swimming. Today I used my tempo trainer again (have I mentioned how much I love this thing?). Anyway - they were all sets of 300yards at different levels. There were 2 - level 4s in the set

In my last post I said I did my last set of 600 yards with the first 200 at level 2, then caught up to my tempo trainer for the last 400. I had my time as 8:19. I learned today I must have missed a lap, because both of my 300s at level 4 (first one tempo trainer set at :96, next time :95) & my times were 4:40 & 4:45 (I think)... So, there is no way I could have done the 600 at 8:19. Darn..... But, I am still confident I'm going to get there eventually. I still have like 4 months :-)

The end of the swim leads to me to the title of this post. CRASH. I did it, or rather it happend to me BAD. Hopefully I learned my lesson. I needed to stop by the store for dinner stuff. I decided to do it on my way home from swimming. I'm never really hungry right after swimming, so I thought I'd be ok running in to get a few things. WRONG. Somehow about :45mins after getting to the store I was home. On Empty... not even fumes left in my system. I had hit the wall about 15mins after I got to the store, and there was no turning back. I was wondering aimlessly up & down the isles looking for... That was the problem, I had crashed so hard, I didn't even know what I was looking for!!!!

As I was checking out, I realized I'd grabbed a few energy bars to try out (I found these new snack size balance bars, something to just tie you over at only 100cals). I asked the checkout person to hold it out of the bags. About 2 mins later I was on my way to the car. About :20 seconds & 3 bites later that mini-bar was in my body. I kid you not, 3 whole bites. Now, if you ask me if it was good, I don't think I can tell you. However, it did the trick & got my sugar levels back up so I could at least get home & get some nutrition in me.

So today's lesson learned - no more errands after swimming unless I eat!!!

Hope you got a good laugh at picturing me wondering the isles of the grocery store!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

My 1st Ironman NIGHTMARE!

So, I finally had it. My very first Ironman nightmare. Now, don't get me wrong, I've had the "race dreams." You know, the ones we ALL have where you.....
Missed the start
Forgot gear
Didn't tie shoelaces
Forgot to put goggles on
No wetsuit
No water bottles
No Nutrition
CAN'T seem to run.. anywhere...

Ringing a bell?

Well, my IM Nightmare was a little different. It's actually kind of a blur, not a very vivid dream, at least it wasn't once I was awake. BUT, what I do know is that my legs were THROBBING in the dream. I was thinking the whole time - how can I do an IRONMAN when my legs are hurting and it hasn't even started??

Of course the dream is already a distant memory, but I certainly made a note of why on earth I'd be dreaming about tired legs. Well, I am pretty sure it had something to do with Saturday's ride.
As you may have read, I had a pretty good ride, considering the weather on Saturday. Well, I certainly paid for it on Sunday. Oh man... my legs had that unforgettable dead weight feeling. Between that & the NON-STOP hunger, I was useless. I somehow managed to get the house vacuumed, a Costco trip in & a bunch of laundry done, but when it came time to actually making dinner, I turned to Shane & asked "how does Nellos sound?" Sure enough that's what we had. And, I have to admit for the first time all day my hunger was finally satisfied :-)

As for the tired legs, well... as you can see in this picture, I guess more than just myself needed some R&R (the kids ran 7miles with Sara, Jeff & Shane that am)... Note how Shiny they are. THEY needed baths BAD!!

So, what did I decide to do next? For some reason I decided to challenge these legs & do my "moderate" 1:10 run on hills. Not only did I do them once, but twice on my route. I still kept my moderate HR zone though (zone 2, -5beats), so it was very good.

When I got home I decided to take care of these legs so that nightmare didn't come back to haunt me. I put my swimsuit on, a fleece jacket, grabbed my recovery drink (this is the only one that my lactose intolerant tummy can handle) & put my legs (thigh high) in my 50deg pool. OUCH, OUCH, OUCH.

BTW - this point determined my fate of NOT doing the 2.4mile open water swim (local) at the end of the month. If my pool is this cold, HOW cold is Lake Pleasant??

Now, I was able to tolerate the pool for about 15mins. Of course the legs are now NUMB. However, what I was NOT able to tolerate was how much fun Baxter was having bringing his tennis ball RIGHT to me an PLOPPING it the water, making sure that the splash was big enough to get me.... Little shit...

On to my next subject. SWIMMING.

Last Friday I tested out my new toy - my tempo trainer.
Anne, the masters swim coach helped me play with the timing.
We started out at 1:15 (this means the little guy "beeps" every 1.15 second" and you are supposed to have your hand hitting the water at that time)
It was hard for me. I felt awkward... I think my stroke count was 16 each way (25yards) & the 50yard time was :46
We played with it all the way down to :90 where my stroke count was 18 & my time went down to :40. She said that we had not hit my "threshold" yet. The threshold would be when I started to slow down or my stroke count was increasing too much.
So, Monday I decided to try the little guy out. Our main set consisted of some sets of 600. I used the tempo trainer for a few of them.
#1 - 600 at Level 2. I set the trainer for 1:00. I didn't count my strokes, but my time was 9:49 for the 600yards
#2 600 - First 300 at level 2, last 300 at Level 4 (about race pace for me). I set the trainer for :96. I ignored it for the first 6 laps, then got on tempo with the beep for the second half. My time was 9:08. Wow, it's really working. Something I noticed in this set was that the tempo seemed a little slow at first, but as I got to the end of it, my LEFT arm was struggling to keep up. I guess I'm a lot weaker on that side.
#3 600 - First 200 at level 2, last 400 at level 4. Again, I kept it set to :96 & just ignored it for the first 200. My time... 8:19!!!!! I was SO excited. If I were to equate that pace out to an Ironman swim, the pace is like a 58:30 or something like that for 4200yards! Pretty crazy huh?
So, I've decided I'm going to try to practice with this little gadget on my long sets... Then, see if my times improve when I don't have it. Can I keep up the tempo without the thing beeping in my ear?
We'll soon find out!!!

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Toto where are you?

S & I were woken up at about 4 this morning by the wind. You could hear the trees whistling, the pool filling with our neighbors STUPID tree, and the sun shade smacking against the window outside. I wasn't surprised, because while I was checking for our morning forecast I saw 15-20mph winds. Can I tell you how much I was looking forward to this?

Anyway, the wind was BRUTAL. Roads we usually ride around 18-20mph, had us at about 15. It didn't help that we hit EVERY SINGLE stop light. AND, we were meeting some other friends at about 20miles into our loop. I felt so bad. It was our friends Toni, Dave & Stacey. Dave & Stacey JUST got their bikes. They've been on 3 rides with us. For some reason we always have less than ideal conditions on these rides. Or maybe it's the routes I choose. I don't know, but I'm beginning to worry that they aren't going to want to ride with us anymore! What really sucks is that on a NORMAL AZ day this route would have been wonderful. It's a lot of climbing at first, but we go up into the town of Cave Creek, which is so cute & you can see the mountains, it's beautiful. However the wind today made the slight up to Cave Creek feel like we were climbing something in the Tour de France. So, when we got to the last stop light before the town, I thought we should wait & see if they were going to continue on, or turn around at that point.

They chose the latter. I don't blame them... I swear someday we are going to go on a NICE ride where the conditions are ideal, it's early enough that all the crazy soccer moms aren't trying to run us over & then maybe they won't regret buying their bikes. I hope so anyway. Next weekend is supposed to be in the 80s. Hopefully the wind STAYS in KANSAS!!!

So, a couple potty stops, 2 flat tires (one of them mine. A little piece of glass stuck in my BRAND NEW TIRE) & 3:30 min RIDE time we are back home to do our :30min run off the bike. Somehow my legs felt great. Not as great as Sara's though, cause she took off on the run like a BAT OUT OF HELL! We are like .25 mile from the house & Shane's garmin says we are going an 8:15 pace. Well, THAT would explain why my HR went for 80-150bpm in 2 mins! HA.... We all backed off some, but Sara stayed out front, Shane about 20yards behind her & I was 20 yards behind him. I stayed in my zone, but it was the HIGH side of it...

About 12 mins into the run we went by some landscapers. They were nice enough to stop using their little blower things while we ran buy.. Unfortunately, with the wind, it didn't really matter. We might as well of just put our faces up to the thing & inhaled all the crud! My lungs started to freeze up & I could only take quick shallow breaths. I decided to turn around when my watch hit 14:30... I figured it would be a little slower on the way back home. I was right. I got to the house RIGHT at 30 mins. Shane shortly behind me, and Sara shortly behind him. I guess we all slowed down a bit! I ran inside & used my inhaler. I can just now, 2.5 hours later get a good breath! I sounds like I just smoked a pack of cigarettes though!

Man, what a day. We started at 8:20 & finished at 1:30. Kinda funny considering we only did a 3:30 ride, and a :30run..

So, even with all of these crazy circumstances I still had a really really good day. I felt really strong on the bike. I was able to be out in front a lot of the time, including up into Cave Creek with the wind blowing RIGHT at us. Best part, I had 10-15beats to spare in my zone 2. I think a lot of this is due to an adjustment Shane made to my saddle height last night. I'd been having a LOT of back pain. I'd switched out my saddles (SEVERAL TIMES) & think my bike fit got compromised somewhere along the way. Sure enough, my saddle was about 1.5cm too low. This is a pretty big deal on your bike. It also explains the knee pain I'd been having. And why I felt like my quads were going to BURST on the last few long rides.

Well, not today. I got to ride mini me the way she likes to go. FAST. Well, figuratively speaking FAST, cause with the wind, there really was no fast today :-)

To make the workout even better, even with my congested lungs I still manged about a 9:40pace for the 30min run. I was pretty darned happy with that.

Guess what tomorrow is? REST DAY, that's right.... I think I've deserved it. Mark this as week #4 completed. 3 weeks in a row, all 11 workouts CHECK! 16 weeks to go....

Whoo HOO. Ironman, here I come! First off, more food.. Seems to be the story of my life lately. We're going to Sushi Brokers tonight, and I can NOT wait. Sushi, Saki & Kirin light... what more could a girl want the night before her DAY of rest?

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Girl Scout Cookies... WHERE ARE YOU?

This afternoon I was reading through a few blogs and I came across this post (scroll down a little to Wed 2/28 post). I had almost forgotten about these things. I remember ordering them, from a friendly neighbor who came knocking at the door a couple months ago. I don't know what I ordered, or how many rather, but I sure would go for a samoa, or tagalong right now.... And, who can forget the thin mints... Is your mouth watering yet? Thank God for this Ironman training. Right now, I'd kill for that little girl to come a knocking at my door AGAIN, this time with whatever I ordered in her hands... I guess I'm a little low on sugar right now. I just ate a bunch of Raspberries, so hopefully that will tie me over for a while

I can't believe it is March. I swear it was just December- I just turned 29, and celebrated the new year with our friends Stacey & Dave in Mexico (viva Hornitos!!) Where has the time gone? Not only is is the end of my 4th week of training, but it's almost SPRING TIME! I feel great. No big problems to speak of. The shoulder worries me from time to time, but today it feels good. Yesterday while swimming, it hurt like hell...

My running is improving (THANK GOD). Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not getting fast or anything, but I'm able to stay in my mid zone 2 at a comfortable pace. 2 months ago, I was at my high zone 2 running about a min/mile slower. My goal was to be able to back my HR down to 145-155 vs 150-164 so I could start burning some fat calories, rather than pure carbs. It was frustrating at first because I was so stinking slow. Slower than I've ever been, but the body is coming around. Depending on the route, I can get anywhere from a 9:15-10:20min mile in that low HR. I'm happy with that.

I've come a long way to realize I am NOT going to be a fast runner. When I first started out running it was all about PACE. I thought, I MUST run a 9min/mile pace. Of course, this was before I wore a HR monitor. And, 2 marathons later (and some 8:00/mile 10K prs), I was injured. Little did I know that running that pace ALL the time & never going easy would put me in a 3 year injury that finally led to surgery. Live & Learn, right?

So, I've learned to listen to my body (although ironshane will tell you otherwise), rest when needed & not deprive myself of anything (can we say Girl Scout Cookies?). I've also learned that I don't need to be as fast as everyone in my group, and it's ok to get passed riding up hills if need be to stick in my zone. Besides, mini-me & her little 650 wheels will catch em on the downs!

Now, having mentioned all these things that I HAVE learned, it still seems like there is so much more. Nutrition - honestly, I don't think I'll ever figure this one out. Which supplements are the best. How many calories to take an hour (well my VO2 test helped with that, but I still need to get it dialed in to perfection). Best training plan. Don't even get me started on the gear. The possibilities are ENDLESS. Ok, I have to throw out this new gadget my friend SheRah emailed me about today. Check it out here.

I guess all those things are why so many of us start this sport, and don't quit. It NEVER gets boring. There are new races to try out every year. It's SO much fun!!!!

It seems I've gone off on some ramblings in this post. I didn't really know what I was going to say when I started it, so I'm not surprised. I guess I'll end with a little training update.

Week 4 (after Saturday's brick)

Run - 22.5 miles

Swim - 7250 meters

Cycle - ~110 miles

Strength - ~2.5hrs.

Not so shabby!!