Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Running Mojo

Well, I survived... Momo didn't kill me.

3:09 later.... about 18miles, and a 1000ft climb, and I'm here. No dramatic stories, no SIGNIFICANT pain. No drama.

It was an absolutely beautiful morning. The air was clear, and it wasn't TOO hot. We ran about 4.5miles to meet Stacey, that was about 300ft climb.

Then we headed straight up Happy Valley Road. Stacey is pretty familiar with this hill. She "dominated" up it during the Ragnar Relay.

I had to walk quite a bit to keep my HR aerobic, but no big deal - we made up quite a bit of that time on the way down.

The views were spectacular, the company was great.

I hit my "runner's high" at about 1:45, as we were coming back down the hills. Unfortunately, I did get a little woozy, because I ran out of water.

Stacey shared some of hers, then I refilled back at her car.

So, I've made my peak run! I have one more 3hour run in this training, and I can only hope that it goes just as well. Well, I could do without the blisters, ya know - they JUST healed. Looks like they only happened on one foot though. Sooner or later I'll get this figured out.

Now, it's time to go rinse off, put my swimsuit on & head to the pool for a 3000M swim workout. I'm talking zone 2 baby! No speed today ;-)

Tomorrow S, Momo & I are doing our 5 hour ride. I'm hoping it is uneventful & we can head home to shower & get on the road to Mexico!

I'll bring a full report (well, I might need to leave out SOME details, it is Mexico...) and wedding pictures.

Have a great weekend...

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Post Office Karma

I'm going to take a minute away from my usual training update, to discuss something rather peculiar to me.

You know how some people have something that they just HATE doing? Some people hate doing:

cleaning house
grocery shopping

Well, I can actually handle all of the above. I don't love them, but I don't HATE them. But, there are two things I hate doing.

1. filling my gas tank
2. going to the post office

Now, I can't exactly procrastinate #1, but I can procrastinate going to the post office like it is no body's business.

The worst part is I order stuff on line ALL the time, because I don't enjoy shopping. I order 99% of the triathlon & running apparel. Even my shoes, and nutrition shopping is done mostly online.

So, usually, I will take forever to make a decision on my purchases. It's not really shoppers or buyers remorse. It's the dreaded POST OFFICE trip if the purchase does not work out.

Well, I have had this box of the samples of triathlon clothing that we were all trying on for the website sitting in my dining room for like a month. That's just where the pile began. I also had the Desoto tops that didn't fit piled up ready to return. Lastly, with my blisters, hip issues... I've decided (and confirmed with my PT that my stability shoes plus my orthotics are just too much.

Of course, when I bought my running shoes, I ordered 2 pair, so I have a brand new pair still in the box. I decided to exchange them for the neutral shoe.

Today I had a ton of errands to do to get ready for our trip to Mexico this weekend (It's Stacey & Dave's wedding!!). I decided I would just get everything done, including the dreaded post office trip....

So, on my way to the mall I stopped by a UPS store, one I had never been to. After hauling all my boxes into the store, the guy tells me that their systems are down so he can't ship anything right now. I told him I didn't care if they went out right now, as long as I could get them set up.

Then, one of the computers came back up, so he started to punch some stuff on the keyboard. About 1min later, the guy runs off to the back of the store. No reason... just jumped up and left...

What's next... I hear the guy throwing up like a mad man. One of the other workers goes, "Man, what did he eat?" Another guy goes, "Oh, it was something he had last night."

All at once my visions of happy beach time, Tecate and Tequila shots went flashing before my eyes. A not so happy vision of being sick, in Mexico.... appeared.

I grabbed my boxes and said, "Ugh, I'm sorry, but I think I'm going to leave now. I do NOT want to get sick!" And, off I went.... I hopped in my car, lathered up in antibacterial liquid and went on my way.

So, after all of my errands are done, I had to find ANOTHER post office. There is one by my grocery store (which was also on my list), but well... something sorta happened last time I went there too.

See, a few weeks back I was at the post office... I parked right in front of it, took care of my mailings, then walked over to the grocery store. When I got home, S brought in a post it that he found on my car. It read:

"Hi, if you are single can we go on a date? I'm new in town, my name is XXXX please call...."

So, all that I can think is it was the guy from the post office, because who else would be watching me & know what car was mine? Needless to say, I didn't want to go back there...

So, I went to yet ANOTHER UPS store. Now, I normally like this one. The guy that works there is really funny. It's just out of the way. But, considering how things were going with my Post Office Karma, I figured I better just get this stuff taken care of.

So, here I am, up at the counter filling out all of my paperwork, while the guy is boxing my stuff up.

Behind me I hear a voice, kinda calm... kinda loud, "Miss, there is a RAT by your foot!"

Are you laughing yet??

There were 2 older women next to me who started SCREAMING. Now, usually that would be me, but I just couldn't bring myself to look down. I had flip flops on for Pete's sake! I slowly took 2 steps back and started hopping up and down. I looked over & the little, no take that HUGE bastard ran across the floor.

He was literally RIGHT at my feet!!!!!! This rat was like 6inches long, not even including the tail....

Anyone want to know how soon I'll be heading back to the post office???

Hope you enjoyed...

I'll update tomorrow on my big 3 hour run. Momo is trying to kill me and taking me on a very hilly route...

Monday, April 23, 2007

Getting Smarter?

For those of you that know me, or for those who have been reading my blog for a little while - you know that injury has been a big nuisance in my life over the past few years. It has nearly

"Will I ever run again?"

"Why me?"

"This is NOT fair"

"Maybe I was just not meant to do this!"

Well, until now I have always taken those thoughts and used them to power me through pain, and finish.. Whatever the day was. A race, a workout, brick... whatever.

Yesterday, at the Rage in the Sage Triathlon, I finally got a little smart. And, the best part. I feel fantastic about my decision and have no regrets. So, here you are folks, my Race Report...

Saturday afternoon, once we picked up our Race Packets, we headed down to the lake to do our practice swim. I was all prepared to enter the ice cold water with She-Rah's super insulating, super buoyant Zoot Wetsuit....

Only, when I got in the water it was NOTHING like last year. It was actually, quite pleasant. We swam around for about 10-15mins. I practiced drafting on some speedy guy that went by us. I was ready... Only, I was a little HOT. Are you kidding me? I didn't even BRING my sleeveless wetsuit.... Oh well, I thought - Maybe this one will make me faster...

We decided to bag the warmup bike & run. We were pretty tired, hungry, and just wanted a shower.. So we headed to the hotel to check in.

The previous times we've done a Las Vegas Race, we stayed at the Host Hotel, the Hacienda Casino. It's only about 5mins from the race, but the accommodations are less than ideal. You have to walk though the smokey casino to get to your rooms, which even if they are a "non-smoking" still wake up congested from the lingering smoke.

So, this year, we decided to pay a few extra $'s and stay at the Boulder Dam Hotel. It is a cute little OLD hotel in the middle of the Boulder City Town Center. They also have a pretty good restaurant. We were hoping to get a good, QUIET night's sleep...

That was until we discovered there was a PARTY going on in the courtyard, right outside of our rooms.

The front desk said it was just a 16 year old party, shouldn't be too loud, and would shut down about 9:30. No big deal....

Until at 8:30, when we are all ready for some sleep and the DJ, (yes, they had a DJ - BTW, when did turning 16 become such a BIG deal?) started blaring the music so loudly we could of had our own dance party in our rooms.

This is not an exaggeration either. The funny part was (and funny being used lightly as all I wanted to do was SLEEP) the music was stuff I was dancing to in HS & college... some even junior high. We had some....

Ice Ice Baby
Baby Got Back
Return of the MAC

These kids were like 2 when those songs were out. At one point S looked at me and said, "Well, I guess THIS is the new "classic rock."

The party finally shut down about 10:30, after a few phone calls, and a little "threat" that we would be calling the cops at 10:02! I know, a little dramatic, but we were SO tired!

Sunday we woke up & started getting ready. I heard S say, "It's WINDY out there. Really windy." Great, I thought... on those hills, again???

We got down to the transition area about 6am.... "Where are the buoys?"..... "Maybe they are late putting them out." This is NOT a good sign. We got to our slots on the bike racks. The person next to me says, "Yeah! There is no swim, it's cancelled."

My heart sank... I was REALLY looking forward to this...

One of the race directors came up next & said, not to get our wetsuits on, there would be an official announcement shortly.

Apparently the wind tore the buoys that were set off the anchors... We were expected to have wind gusts from 30 to 50 mph. The Park Officials did not feel it was safe to have the swim, so it was being cancelled.

Several people packed up there stuff and left....

I considered it. I was GRUMPY! This threw my whole game face off. I never really feel ready for a race, but this one... I was ready... I was ready to push it, ready to SWIM.

The decided to do a bike/run, and start us in waves of 25 according to our race numbers. That put momo & I in the same wave. We decided to do the "race" together & just treat it as a tempo workout.

Here's the before race picture. From left to right - Heather, Momo, Me, Sara & S. My smile is TOTALLY faked... I was not happy about this whole race thing at the time... Our shirts are cute though, huh?

Next thing we new, they were starting the big waves. Heather & Sara were first off.... Momo & I shortly after. We were taking our sweet old time getting up there. Momo's watch was beeping like mad, I kept telling her to stop & I would take it off auto start. Next thing we new we were at the start & the guy was telling us to "GO!"
Huh? Shoot...guess we better get on our bikes. Momo crossed the timing matt first, then me... I got clipped in and slowly started pedaling UP the hill. But, M was still back trying to get on her bike.... I looked back.. she's STILL there. I don't know what the heck she was doing...

So there I was, balancing on my bike, annoying everyone around me cause I wasn't "racing".... She figured out her watch, or clip...or whatever it was & started heading up the hill.

About 2 or so mins later.... my legs were working, but something in Momo's weren't quite yet. After looking back a few times, I decided to just GO for it. It wasn't my idea race anyway, but I could use a good bike split, so I headed on out the course trying to power up the hills. About 10mins into it I reached Heather. She said, Sara was up ahead, doing really well. I asked her to tell Melisa that I would wait for her in transition to run.

Ahead I went.... The wind was BRUTAL. Fortunately, it was pushing us UP the hills on the way out. I saw Sara right before I reached the first turnaround. I wondered if I could catch up to her. She was maybe a mile ahead of me? Had I not been goofing around the first min or so I would probably be right up with her. I got to the first turnaround and my AVG was 20.5mph. WOW..... Then came the way back. Headwind.

Do you all know what it's like to be going DOWNHILL in your small gears? Holding on so the wind doesn't blow you over.... Man, that is humbling. 11mph downhill.

I started to fill the twinges in my hip flexor. Ugh oh... I noticed the only place I could get power was on the tip of my saddle. Not exactly comfortable. I started to think this whole hip problem had nothing to do with my running Ragnar or blisters, or shoes.... I think my bike fit must still be off from the saddle change.

I decided about halfway into the race, that if the pain continued, I would not do the run. There was on point where you actually pass the transition area on the bike, but still have about 5 miles left, including a mile uphill, 8% grade. I considered ending the ride there, but I was having fun, so I decided to keep going...

The pain moved from my hip flexor/TFL area to the outside of my hip.... Thankfully, I had just made it up the last hill & had a nice decent all the way down....

I finished the bike in about 1:25. That is over 7mins off my last year's time. Including a couple minutes of messing around at the beginning. I don't think I have ever passed so many people on the bike. Particularly not on this course...I was extremely happy with this... and was leaning even more towards not running at this point.

I got in the transition... walked to rack my bike. Slowly put on my shoes & visor. I saw Shane come in next.... I yelled to him that I wasn't sure if I was running yet. I was waiting for Momo.

She came in next... looking a little confused, "like where is my bike?" I started waving to her so she could see me. First words out of her mouth:

"If this is what CDA is like, I am in TROUBLE!" I just laughed.....

I told her I wasn't sure if I should run. I must have been looking for someone to tell me not to. But, no one did. She said she'd do whatever I wanted... She headed into the porta potty & I was still debating. We started off on the trail. Instantly I felt a throb in my hip. It had moved further out to the side. All I could think of at this point was my upcoming 3 hour run this week. That was my important goal. That is what I was focusing on.

It has been 3 and a half years since the New York Marathon. That is the last time I did a LONG run like that.... With that thought in my head. And with the upcoming training for CDA, particularly this week, I made the decision to stop the run, only about 100yards into it.

M' said she would walk with me. I told her no... there really was no point. I didn't NEED to finish this day. The no swim had already thrown off my game face, and I just was not into it. I wanted to stop before I really hurt myself, and be ready for this week's training. She said, ok... I'll do whatever you want. I said, "NO - you go run!" Have fun.. and off she went with her PERFECT running form...

As I walked back to transition, I actually felt a sigh of relief. I didn't care about not getting a medal. I didn't care that I was ending my day right here. I felt like I had finally put my goals in front & made a GOOD choice.

You know, it's funny.... Although it will say DNF next to my name on the results, that is not at all how I see it. I am happy with my decision, and for me.. thing it was one of the best I have made for my self (related to training) in a long time, possibly ever.

I went straight to the massage tent, which happened to be an ART therapy tent. Oooh, I've heard how well this stuff works. I bet THEY can help me.

I got on the table & the therapist began poking around on my hip. He asked what happened. I explained that I had been having hip flexor issues, but on the bike it got a lot worse. I told him I was training for an Ironman and that I decided it was best to not run in pain.

Even though the look on his face said it all, he still said. "Uh, I think you made a very good decision."

The therapist, including second one he called over to assist (was I really that bad?) did a piriformis, glute, hamstring AND IT band release. It was terribly painful, but I instantly felt relief.

I got up from the table, grabbed momo's camera & headed to the finish line to take some pictures!

First came Sara - she was rocking the course, not to mention the time she took off from last year! She placed 2nd in her age group:

Then came Shane (although he was the first time finisher, he started after us, so he wasn't the first in....)

Then Momo.... I yelled at her to pass the guy in front... She gave it what she had. Notice the pink race belt? Since our uniforms are blue, she needed to add a little momo to it :-)

Then, surprising us all, taking a LOT of time off of last years bike AND run was Heather!

So, there you have it. The 2007 Rage in the Sage Race Report from Tri-Dog mom.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Race Goals

Tomorrow we (momo, S, Heather & Sara) leave for Las Vegas to do the Rage in the Sage Triathlon.

I have actually raced on this course 3 times before. My very first triathlon was at this course. It wasn't the Rage race, it was put on by Mountain Man Events. I did the sprint triathlon. I had NO idea what I was doing.

I wore a 2 piece swimsuit, threw some running shorts on top of them for the bike & run. I was riding this:

Are you laughing yet? It gets better....
I had only used my clip less pedals/shoes about twice...
I didn't use body glide
I barely new how to shift....
WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING? Well, I'm pretty sure I wasn't. Unfortunately, I can't find the race results in old archives to tell you about it. But I remember the bike leg being something like 56mins.... the swim (600m) was like 17mins..
I guess, I've come a LOOOONNNG way :-)
The next time I raced on this course was in September of 05. This was my first triathlon since my IT band surgery. First race in a couple of years, in fact. It was the same course (Mountain Man Events), but the Olympic Distance.

A few things to note about this race. I was nervous as heck. My training was going well, BUT I had only been "running" for about 4.5months, post surgery... My training was focused around swimming time to give my body more healing time.

S & I had bought new tri-bikes (oh, yes.. we had rode bikes too - that was decided about 2 sprint races AFTER the Hybrid purchases). S got a fantastic deal on a Felt B2. The guy at the bike shop bought one, and ended up changing his mind that he wanted the QR Lucero. So, he was selling his B2 for over $1000 off MSRP.
Well, if S was getting a fancy bike I just had to have one too. This is what I landed with...

I was convinced the flames were going to make me SO fast!!!

Well, All I had was problem after problem with this bike. It was a constant battle with the gears. I was in & out of the bike shop for like 3 weeks. I'm sure they thought I didn't deserve this bike. Well, FINALLY the owner take a look at it.... He said, there is no way the gears should be slipping like this. He told me to come back in about 20mins. I did.... When I walked in he said, do you want the good news or the bad news?

I said, I'm racing in 2 weeks JUST TELL ME! The frame was cracked. I guess when the manufacturer put together the bike, they did something wrong & cracked it. Had something to do with the real derailleur. They said they would call QR & get new one shipped out ASAP.

So, what was next... a 4 hour bike ride on my road bike that I had not ridden in a LONG time... OUCH.... that hurt. Don't get me wrong, I love this bike. BUT, it was not set up in a good aero position & I had never been on her for more than 3 hours.

Anyway - About 2 days later I received a call from my LBS. QR had NO more Calientes in my size. I had 2 choices. Keep my components & put them on the QR Tequilo (which they said was the SAME frame) or QR would upgrade me to the all Carbon Lucero for only $100.

UGh... was there REALLY a choice :-)

Back to my point. I received my new bike just 2 days before the race. Oh, an also my wheels. They are 650's and QR sent 700s so had been borrowing a set from the LBS. So, I did this race on 2 days of getting to know my new bike (mini-me).

This is a LONG story.. sorry, but it's not over with. I got a couple of flats during those 2 days. I went thru about 5 tubes. In LV we went for a test ride the day before the race. I got yet another flat. I was freaking out. So, we drove into Vegas (about 45mins) to hit a bike shop. I bought a new tire, they changed the tube (again) and I was on my way. Wait - BANG!!!! The tire blue in my hand before I was even out the door.

They took it apart, again... Found that one of the spokes was poking thru the wheel & popping the tire.

Why do these weird things happen to me? I don't know, but they do.....

The race was pretty good. It was HOT, like 90+degs Overall, I was happy with my time. Much to improve on, but I was just starting out again (my runs are SLOWLY getting a little better) -

Swim 26:55 T1 4:17 Bike 1:31:03 T2 2:24 Run 1:05:00 TT 3:09:36

Last year we headed out to the same course, only it was a different Race Director (Rage). I have to say, this was by far one of the nicest Tris I've done. It was small, well organized, plenty of support and the transition was right out of the water, vs the Mountain Man one where you had to run UP to a parking lot that was about .25mile up out of the water.

They made the bike course a little more difficult by adding a pretty tough hill at the end. I even saw people walking their bikes up it. It was crazy...

My swim & bike were not as fast. The water was COLD - under 60degs. But, Improved my run & overall time a couple of minutes. And, I got 2nd place in my age group.

Swim 29:03 T1 1:56 Bike 1:32:15 T2 1:28 Run 1:02:16 TT 3:07:33

So, what's up for this year? Well, I've set some goals, which I have NEVER done in the past. I'm not going to share them with you though :-) I will after the race when I tell you if I reached them or not.

I'm hoping She-rahs borrowed ZootSuit makes me swim like a fish, Mini-me powers me up those hills (see course)

And I make myself run like I know I can. No wussing out....

Wish us all luck, and do the "no wind dance" :-)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Clean Bill of Health

I went to my good old buddy Matt, at Metro Physical Therapy today. After my "speed" run on Monday I decided it was time to go in and have him work on my hip flexor. I was convinced it was the reason my IT band started bugging me. That, and well... the blisters & funny walking from the Ragnar Relay.

Sure enough the hip flexor was a mess! I can't remember what all he was rambling, but TFL was in there as well.. Something about them rubbing or pinching on the femur. Anyway - he worked on me for a good 40mins. Poking, prodding at my hip. Moving around my entire leg while he did it. The killer was when he had me on my stomach and he was moving my leg all around, then trying to stretch it. I started jumping off the table! I screamed, "I TOLD you I can't stretch it!!" (I had mentioned how it was so tight I couldn't even do a stretch on it because it would spasm)

Of course, he didn't listen to me & just kept playing around. Then, back on my back... he pulled my legs out to correct my leg length... a few more moves, and I was back on my stomach ready for the previous torture. Only this time, he could go a little further..

We did this for a while, then he just had me stretch it out & ice it. It ALREADY feels better! Not that I was in any pain, but when I would sit for a long time I couldn't straighten out my body or it would spasm. So, being aero for so long, when I'd go to get a drink, or stretch out, or stand up on a climb, the same thing was happening.

He also told me to get a massage! Man...I wish I had time. It's not feasible before the race, and next week is crazy as well (I'll save that for another post). OH and STRETCH, STRETCH, STRETCH my hip flexor!

The GOOD, no make that FABULOUS news is that my IT band is fine. They were both a little tender, but evenly, and as to be expected from the amount of training. I just pray that it doesn't start hurting during the race....

So there you have it. A visit to my good old reliable Matt, and hopefully I won't be back there soon. Don't get me wrong. I love the guy - but we've bonded enough over the years :-)

Now, if we could just get MOMO to go seem him and get that knee fixed..... Or, Shane - although he kinda has a list of ailments to choose from....(I'm going to get in trouble for that one!)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Ironman Arizona

There is something to be said about being a spectator. You get to take in so much of the race, and learn at the same time.

This year, as I watched the athletes at Ironman AZ, I had several emotions. The first one was 'terrified' - there was just something about watching the bike leg that totally freaked me out. I'm not really sure what it was, especially considering I had a REALLY good ride the day before.

The wind was just picking up when momo, her kids & I got down to Tempe. We headed down Rio Salado, just west of Mill where we could see cyclists first heading in to prepare for the 2nd, or 3rd loop, and then we could catch them a second time just a few minutes later on their way back out.

Oh, I can't forget, when we got there we also saw Tim Deboom come flying down mill on his bike. "Flying" might be an understatement. It's SO cool to see these amazing fast men.

We picked a really good spot to watch, although if you ask momo's kids they would disagree. They wanted to stop waiting for all the 'normal' people we were looking for, they wanted to move on to the run where the FAST pros were working on the marathon. I had fun teasing them a little, asking why they weren't interested in the normal people, like US?! Poor kids.. they were just bored, but they were pretty good sports!

One funny moment was when I caught a friend go by. I didn't realize it was her, until she was already going past us, but I shouted out - "GO JEN" as loud as I could. I then told momo that I used to work with her. When I said her name, Jenifer Garner - she goes, "Hey, I saw her name on the Kona Lottery list!" I wish I had known that 1min earlier, I could have shouted it out to her. She had entered the lottery the last 3 years hoping to go. I guess this was her lucky day. Not just for the Kona slot, she also PR'd in the Ironman by 1hour and 9mins!

As we watched the rest of the cyclist go by I just started to get really scared. I had goosebumps as I looked at the faces of some of the potential Ironman. The wind had really picked up & you could see how bad they were fighting it. We saw several people pull over to talk with their families. It almost looked like they were giving up. I did see a few smiles, but for some reason the people that were struggling were sticking with me. I just started to imagine all of the hard work, time, struggles, money, sacrifices that they have all overcome to get to this point. I cheered, and smiled, and hoped every single one of them would make it....

Our next cheering spot was on the run. We were on the Mill Ave bridge. We could see people coming in at about mile 8, heading out for the second, or 3rd if you are a pro loop. Now this INSPIRED ME. Knowing they were so close to the finish. Some looked incredibly strong, some looked like they had just gone through a shower of SALT (must be this time of the year in AZ). One man stopped to talk to his wife who was sitting next to us. He was apologizing, that it was going to be a while. He started having stomach problems on the bike ride & had trouble keeping food down. Can you believe it, he was out here achieving one of the hardest victories one can do, and HE was apologizing. His wife kissed him, and he went on his way.

This almost brought me to tears....

We saw the son of our first ever running coaches, Patrick. He was SO uplifting. He was heading to his second loop of the run, smiling like it was Christmas & giving hi-5's to EVERYONE that was cheering. What an inspiration. The IRONMAN is only 20 years old. When I met him he was 13 or 14. He wasn't even running then. Now, he is a first time Ironman, 12:25:... Pretty impressive, huh?

We also saw several of the women pros go by, including Hillary Biscay. Something about her has really caught my curiosity, my respect & my admiration over the last year. I saw her at Ironman AZ last year, I saw her at Ironman Wisconsin last year... I saw her at the Soma Half-Ironman this year. I've read about her. Most recently, I read this article about her strength, perseverance to finish Ironman New Zealand, with a BROKEN HIP. She is a phenomenal athlete. She is just 6 months younger than me. I can't wait to see how the rest of her season, and years to come are! (picture from

This year at Ironman AZ, she had a technical bike problem. She was sidelined for 1:20mins. She still finished as the 10the professional women in the field. Now how many people, PROs none the less would do that, and still with such an impressive finish? 11:33:07

Unfortunately, we didn't stay for much longer. Momo had to get her family home, and I had my dogs that had been stuck inside & alone all day. If we didn't get home soon, I think we were both going to be in for a LONG night.

I watched off an on checking on friends. I even saw a couple people I knew cross the finish line.

So, even though the day started out not so inspirational, more a fearful one - I ended it on a more positive note. I'm ready to be an ironman. I'm ready for this weekend's race. I am ready for my next 9 weeks of training. I'm ready, ready, ready... Just please, God, NO 20+mph winds :-)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Rocky Point

So, I'm actually going to make 2 posts today to catch up a little.... One to recap & share some pics from my mini break to Mexico. The other to talk about Ironman AZ!

My parents were down at our Rental House and they wanted me to join them. So, I decided a little R&R would be good for me! I packed a little bag, grabbed Baxter and off we went... Well, a couple things first of course. I did my 5 hour bike ride on Tuesday, and my 2:10min run on Wed.
Stacey was nice enough to meet me for part of the run, including getting her to go a little extra with me so I didn't have so far to go at the end. That helped a lot. My legs were pretty 'tight' from the bike ride the day before, so the company was much appreciated...
Driving to the border wasn't too bad. I'm a horrible road trip companion. I get bored. I am the epitome of "are we there yet" One time, Shane & I drove at night. I made him pull over once we were across the border to pick up a 6 pack of Tecate. Yes, bad I know.. but it sure did make the last 60miles go by quickly :-)
So, Baxter in tow, we left town at 10am. Arrived to the border at 1pm. For the first time EVER I got STOPPED! The light turned red, and the Mexican border patrol officers flagged me over the the side. They looked in the back of my 4-Runner looked at me and told me to go ahead. FEWWW... I think my HR went anaerobic just from this!

Honestly, I think they were just bored. It was a Wed. No traffic.... Still, why did this have to happen when I was by myself?!? Maybe Baxter gave the guy a "look" like - DON'T MESS WITH MY MOM!!! He was in fact my guard dog (ordered by Dad) for those few days...

So, 60mins later and I was at the house, Tecate in hand.... Aghh - The ocean breeze, humidity in the air. God, I love it HERE!!!

I quickly put my suit on, grabbed a cooler with some beer, a beach chair & headed down to the water. It was a bit breezy, but not too bad... Being a Wednesday the beach was secluded... quiet. This is SO what I needed!!!

My dad & I went into town to get some shrimp for dinner... You know it's funny. I used to not even really like shrimp until we started coming to Rocky Point. Now, I LOVE it!

Thursday am I woke up with a little headache. Believe it or not it wasn't even from the beer. I did not eat enough to replenish the workouts from the previous too days. As soon as I got Breakfast 1, and then breakfast 2 in my system I was good to go :-)

Baxter was BEGGING me to take him to the beach, so we headed down there & walked for a couple of hours. He was in heaven. Loved it... Funny thing though. Not having Shane there, he stayed REALLY close. Didn't let me out of sight, even when he saw some birds he was dying to get, he stayed with me. He is SO my boy!!!! Here's a pic of him guarding my stuff! Isn't he a ham?

I read, relaxed, walked ran.... (well sort of - my IT band was hurting me again, GRR) and then, Friday afternoon drove home.

I got home about 7pm on Friday, just in time to eat some pasta, catch up with Shane & get to bed. Saturday we went for a bike ride with Heather & Sara. They were doing the 5hour ride, and we did a loop with them. It was actually a REALLY REALLY good ride. I think the break was exactly what I needed. My legs were fresh for the most part. A little tired from the beach running, but nothing like doing a long run before the long bike. I was really trying to keep my HR in my zone. I've been averaging only like 135-140 on my long bikes. My zone is 139-159! So, I pushed it up the hills. It felt GREAT! At the end, my HR avg was 142, but it was from some of the descends. We did 62.5miles, 3:35mins, then a :30min brick. I was VERY happy with this!!!

Here's a couple more beach pics..... I can't wait to get back there for Stacey & Dave's wedding next weekend!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Just wanted to let you all know that our website is UP!!!! Please go check it out & sign up to win some great prizes as well as fun info. Be part of our informational community!! The site is still under construction, but we've got the initial part done.


I'll update on my fun mini-break to Mexico shortly :-)

Monday, April 9, 2007

Week 10

Week 10, can you believe it? That means, after this week I will officially be HALF WAY thru my training. Crazy.....

So, how is everything going? Honestly, I think it's going pretty darned well. No big complaints from me. I've had a few "issues," but nothing that has really put a damper on my training. I feel good. I feel confident. I'm ready to keep pushing through.

Now, on the other hand, my husband has not been so lucky. He's had issue, after issue. We have also got a lot going on business wise (not just his day job) so life in general has just been pretty hectic. You can check out his blog to read about this weekends mishaps... I'm sure once he gets back up to par, he'll bust out a couple of good training weeks and will start feeling better again.

So, the reason I mention that is that I was with him on his little "fall" off the bike this weekend. After stopping for a long break while we made sure he was ok, changed his tire, etc my mood changed, and I just was NOT into the bike ride. We wanted to ride him back to the house to make sure he was ok, so then we needed to pick another route to finish the 4:15. Because my head wasn't in to this ride AT ALL. I made the decision to end my ride at 2:15, and switch it to this Tuesday (tomorrow) where I'd get more out of it physically and mentally...

So, that's what I've got on my plate for tomorrow, my LONG run. Well, sort of. I've had some other plans that might be adjusting that.

My parents are heading down to our Mexico house for the week. They really want me to come. Now, I've got the job flexibility, I love the beach... Do I really have a reason NOT to go? Hmmm... I've only missed like 2-3 workouts TOTAL in this 9 weeks of training, so I think I can give it a go.

So, my new plan is:

Monday - 1:20 Moderate Run, 3500meter swim (completed)
Tuesday - 5:00 ride/:30brick run and swim OR weights
Wed - Long run 2:10 mins & DRIVE TO MEXICO!
Thurs - OFF
Friday - :55min Tempo Run
Saturday - 3-4:00hour ride (makeup from last weekend) with Shane, whatever he's up for & Speed Swim
Sunday - Swim or Day off

So, all in all I'm only going to miss 1 bike, 1 weights & maybe 1 swim, plus get a little beach time - not such a bad deal, eh?

So Sunday S & I got a ton of stuff done. We - yes 'We', I actually helped a little this time cleaned our bikes. They were so over-due for some TLC. S took the cassettes apart and scrubbed them with a toothbrush. I worked on cleaning the actual bikes. I can't WAIT to ride her tomorrow. I have a feeling it's going to feel so much smoother. Poor Mini-Me, she was totally neglected!!!

Anyway - just thought I'd give a quick update. Check out how shiny & pretty mini-me is! She looks funny hanging there on the wall, almost like she is flying!

Friday, April 6, 2007

Salt Shaker

I've learned quite a bit about this Ironman training over the last week or so. The following is a list of a few things I've learned are essential, and without them I'm not sure I could pull this training off:

Sleep - I explained that in my last post
Food - I hit a WALL if I don't have something in my stomach every couple of hours - it happens so fast, I just suddenly can't focus, get dizzy and nauseous & feel very sleepy. A couple hundred calories does the trick
Massage - I was not blessed with a natural talent or gift to be an athlete. I've got back issues, and hip issues, and I choose to be DEFIANT, like momo and fight through it all to say I CAN. The massage helps me get through some of the pain and muscle issues I have. They aren't soft, nice foo foo massages either. They hurt!
Wine - Do I really need to say any more?

Now, last, but certainly not least, I need SALT. I've been eating it like it's going out of style. I eat eggs every day & pour enough salt on them to feed a normal person's sodium requirements for the day. And, as soon as I eat them I always feel better.

Recently on our bike rides, I've been getting a headache about 90mins into the ride. Sometimes only an hour. It comes from no where. I immediately take a salt pill, and wa-la, no more headache. I've tried to calm it down with just Gatorade, but it doesn't seem to be doing the trick.

Today was my long run. I met momo & Natalie for a nice LONG 2:30 run. It wasn't my best run, but again, I'm happy to say I just ran further than I have gone since Nov' 2003. That's crazy. I was also thinking I just "started running" (post surgery) just under 2 years ago. I remember thinking I might not ever be able to do this stuff again. Look at me now :-) Anyway. The run was a nice pretty route through North Scottsdale, DC Ranch & back up to Grayhawk. Natalie did the first 7.5 miles with us, and right about the time to drop her off, I got that knee pain I mentioned from the relay.

It was SO painful. I couldn't figure it out. It didn't seem like my IT band, because when I stopped to stretch my hip out, it was fine. Momo showed me a good hip flexor stretch. I did it and WHOA did I feel that one. We started running again, and I had to stop a couple of more times to stretch it out. I was beginning to think I should have stopped with Nat. I started thinking we could end the run short, and I'd be ok with that. Then, somewhere around the 90min mark, the pain just went away. Gone... Funny, I even had it all planned out to call my PT Matt, to see if he could squeeze me in to help loosen the hip flexor. I still might need to do it. It's been bugging me for a while, it just hasn't effected my leg (I think leg length) until last weekend. He's the best, he will just pop my leg right out & get me straightened out. Matt, is my CURE ALL.

Momo led me through a route I've never gone before (at least on foot) for the next hour, which was pretty nice, not knowing how much further I had to go, After a little pit stop for a potty break, we ended back at her house at 2:29! I think was 14.1miles, so ~10:35/mile avg pace. (HR 156) Considering the week we had, and last weekends relay, I was MORE than happy with this. I hoped for 14.5, but I'll take 14.1.

Thanks Momo & Nat, I wouldn't have done so well without you both!

Now, back to my whole salt thing... When we stopped to walk the last block to momo's house, I had salt just streaming down my face into my eyes. OUCH! We got inside & I wiped it all off with water.... I could feel the gritty stuff all over my face & arms. Gross, I know. Then, when I got home, I was all itchy. I turned around to look in the mirror & could see salt chunks on my back! Ewwwww! I immediately jumped in the shower to get it off. Then, proceeded right to the kitchen to make my salty eggs. Immediate relief.

So, now I pose a question. Does anyone have any idea why I am loosing so much salt? It's not like I haven't exercised in the heat (it's not even HOT here yet?) like this before.. I've always used some salt with exercise, but never NEEDING it like this. Even my gels are the power gels with the extra sodium.

If anyone has any answers, please help!

So, I've decided if I believed in an afterlife, or thought I would come back as something/someone else, I would FOR SURE be a Salt Shaker ;-)

~Happy Friday

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Got Sleep?

This week has been interesting, to say the least... All I have wanted to do is SLEEP! So, I've listened to my body, and sleep is what it got.

I'd say, I've averaged about 9 hours a night. And, I think I could have even added an hour or so on to that each day. I used to be a 6-7 hour a night sleeper. Guess that was before I was on my way to becoming an Ironman.

I've lacked some motivation this week. I'm thinking it is from the Relay still. I've been good, and still logged all my workouts, so I'm pretty proud of that. I'm usually so fired up & ready for the next day, but this week was just a mental struggle. I don't have any excuses like, I don't have time, or didn't feel good. I was just plain tired & not into it.

Today went a little better. I did my 90min tempo ride. I have weights on my schedule, but I have a BIG weekend, so I'm just going to do some stretching and core work.

Tomorrow is my longest run since the 2003 NY Marathon. I have 2:30mins on my schedule, plus 3000meter swim. Momo is kind enough to be running with me. It's a recovery week on her schedule, and I don't think she has that much to do, but she's going to help me through it. She's faster than me too, so hopefully she doesn't get bored!

I just hope my legs are back to normal by the morning. I've talked to the majority of the folks on our relay team, and they just feel beat up this week. Sore quads, calves, shins - Shane has a pulled hammy. He's been "resting" this week. I guess Team Anaerobic may have pushed it a little too far!

Saturday we have a 4:15 bike ride. I hope it goes a little more smoothly than the last one :-) No box knives, or :45min breaks, I hope!

Agh, and Sunday... REST! Next week is one more tough week, including a jump in cycling. The long ride is a 5:30/:30 brick! It will be a tough one, another peak for me.

Also, next Sunday is IronmanAZ. I'll be down supporting all the future Ironmen. I'll also be using it to help get me fired up for CDA! How exciting.... Most of my training crew is volunteering at the race. I feel kind of guilty not being signed up. I can't be out of the house that long with the dogs. S is out of town, so they have single dog-mom. They have been spoiled with me working from home now, so long periods of time locked inside does not bode well for ANY of us! So, although I won't be an official volunteer, I will be down there giving everyone my full cheerleading support!

Next on the agenda is a week of taper to prepare for the RAGE IN THE SAGE TRI, in Las Vegas. This is a TOUGH race. It's all hills, bike & run. Last year we did it and the water was like 55degs. When I got out of the water, my face was so numb that I could not even speak. I just hope the water has warmed up a bit :-)

My goal for this race is to bike well. Last year I avg'd a mere 16.1mph. I am MUCH faster than that... Not sure what my deal was. It is a very hilly course, but I would like to avg at least 17-18 on it this year. We'll see how it goes.... I moved up an age group (is it REALLY necessary to AGE up? I'm NOT 30 yet damn it!) so I don't think I'll be getting a second place again like last year.

Anyway, that's probably enough rambling for now. I'll update on my long run after tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Monday, April 2, 2007

Team Anaerobic

Here's our full team, including Tonsa... All I can say about this group, is they ALL ROCK! What an amazing adventure we had...

You can read momo's recap & see some more pictures here.

It really was as amazing as M describes. And, she TOTALLY started the whole FAST FAST FAST thing. I don't blame her though. There was the "core" group all showing off in their itty sports bras, and the girl took off like a bat out of hell. Momo HAD to step it up, and thus set the tone for the next 30 hours.

When it came to my first leg my HR monitor read 142 before I even started. I don't know if it was a fluke, or just all the excitement! I haven't run fast in years. I haven't done a 10K in years...

It was HOT, like maybe 80degs out? 2:30pm ish. I do NOT run in the heat well. Ughh...but my team was so fired up, and my HR monitor was reading 00bpms, so I just RAN. Next thing I new, I looked down & it said 179, a couple minutes later 184. Oh, screw it I thought. My HR has not been this high in almost a year! Crap... Oh well, I'm taking the sucker off, it's just stressing me out.

My first leg was slight rollers, 5.6miles. 50mins. Just under a 9min mile. Did I mention I don't run well in the HEAT, hence the high HR.

Leg 2, I had a nice downhill 10K, 6.2miles. It was about midnight. I didn't eat my dinner, cause it was gross... I was a little worried. But the temp was perfect, about 53 degs. I had my night guide Matt illuminating the rode for me. I turned the corner with about a quarter mile to go & could see the exchange. I looked at my watch. It was 49:and some change. I pushed as hard as I could. If I could just get to that exchange in like :30 I could PR for a 10K.... It's all anaerobic, might as well try for something cool, right?

Well, I missed it by :40, but I'm pretty sure had I known I was running that fast, I totally could have picked it up. I wasn't working that hard during the run. Oh well.. another time, I guess. My second leg was 6.2miles, 50:11.

The night went on, we tried sleeping. We ate, we ate some more. We ate salt packets (thanks to momo's advice), and then.. it's time for our 3rd legs. None of us were "feeling it," but once again.. Momo fired it up & ran like hell. Then, so did Daniel, and Ric... and then it was my turn again.

I was a mess. After my second leg I had 2 huge blood blisters on my big toes. They were throbbing. I was walking funny to not put pressure on them. BIG mistake. BIG. When I started my last leg, which was straight up hill, I had the most horrible pain on my left IT band. This is my GOOD leg. I was in so much pain, I was actually in tears. Had my group driven by, I probably would have asked someone to run for me...

But, I didn't.. I survived. My pace wasn't nearly as impressive at a 10:14 per mile. I focused on Tonsa, I focused on her spirit, and how she would do anything to be in my place, running UP that hill...

The rest of the team ROCKED their last legs. We had gained over 90mins on our predicted times.

Tonsa met us at the finish..... She snuck away to run the last couple hundred yards with Sara... HOW HAPPY DOES SHE LOOK?? :-) This is what those 30 hours were all about :-)

It's now Monday... I'm still sore, and tired..but also excited for next year's TEAM ANAEROBIC debut, as the ultra team for Ragnar Relay, Del Sol 2008!

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Post Ragnar

.. at the finish line with Tonsa!

Here are a few excerpts from our weekend adventure, and in no specific order:

Corn Fed Beef
Thin Mints
Blood Blisters
No Sleep for 36 Hours
Team Core
did I say DOMINATE?
Carls Jr Cheeseburger
Jelly Bellys
more Salt
did I say ANAEROBIC?

Inspired by Tonsa
TEAM ANAEROBIC, Ragnar Relay Del Sol Ultra, 2008

Stay tuned. Pictures & a full report coming tomorrow