Thursday, May 31, 2007

Clif Bar Triathlon Start Commercial

So, our training group is going to do an open water swim in a couple of weeks. I was thining we should do something like this...... Anyone in?

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

24days.....

I don't have a whole heck of a lot to say today.... but when I decided to go in and start writing - figured something would come to mind - I saw my count down ticker saying 24days...... left until IM CDA.

Really, it's really only 24days away?

I know I'm ready to taper...but am I really ready to do this crazy thing? I've done all the training, I've rested when needed, bought everything tri related (and then some). Figured out my nutrition (last minute of course), made travel arrangements. It sure seems like I'm ready on paper....

I start to think of the day. Waking up when it's still dark out. Our house of 7 ironmen, and soon to be ironmen will be up eating, getting dressed, FREAKING OUT (ok, maybe that's just me).

Then I start to think of the swim start. The MASSES of people trying to get into the lake at the same time. I've heard about it, I've even seen it up close. I just can't believe that I am going to be in that craziness shortly. Then my heart jumps like 50bpm and I start imagining getting kicked and pushed and looking at my watch as I have so many times before when my swim has not gone as planned.

I don't know why I'm stressing so much about the swim. I am a good swimmer. I've even gotten a little bit faster this season. It's just for some reason I'm not a GOOD race swimmer. I have had a few good race times, but I've also had several bad race times.

I know it's the shortest section of the day, but for some reason THIS is where I want to do well. I want to finally put that bad race swim karma behind me and get my confidence back. If I can get out of the swim in a good time, I feel like it will help lift my confidence for the rest of the day.

The bike is what it is. It's a LONG LONG time. I don't really have to worry to much about my HR, except on the hills. My HR is always fairly low on the bike. I need to focus on keeping my sodium levels good, and eating & drinking. Hopefully I don't have to go pee 5 times like normal :-) Don't get me wrong, I'm not above peeing on the bike... but I'll save that for the shorter races..... I don't know that I could handle going around in my own silt for THAT many hours! I think I can have a pretty good bike if all goes well. Not too fast, Not too slow If all goes well & I have no flats, no nutrition issues.... We'll see.

The run.... This part is totally up in the air for me. I have not run a marathon in 3.5 years. I know it's not the same, but still.. it is a marathon. My bricks have gone well, although my HR has been REALLY high due to the 100 deg weather here in phoenix by the time we do the run portion. My running has slowly gotten faster. I started this training running like an 11min pace around 150-155lbms. Today, during my speed training workout I was doing an 8min pace at a HR of 160-165. By the end I finally went anaerobic & was clocking some 7:20-7:40/mile paces for sets of 400meters. My HR was about 170-175. That's still in my zone 3, beginning of 4.

You just really never know what this day will bring, do you? What can my body do? What can it sustain. I know I am tough. I know I can work thru the pain.... I know I can handle whatever life throws at me on that day...... More than anything I guess - I am curious. Curious to see what this 29 year old, retired party girl can really do!!!

Monday, May 28, 2007

The Perfect Mix

We read articles, listen to lectures, take advice from those who have gone there before. We try them all. Look at this grid, for example - How are we supposed to know what's right for us? What will work the best, and give us the best results? Well, we don't... and we just have to keep trying until we get it RIGHT!

Well, finally - on my 16th week of my 20 week ironman training plan, I think I figured my nutrition.

I've posted about my nutrition issues before. About my headaches and nausea. Then there are my shoes. Orthotics or no orthotics. Keep with this new model of my old favorite shoe even though it's giving me blood blisters on EVER single run.

Gatorade, Gatorade Endurance. Carbo Pro - how much? How many gels vs Fig Newtons vs Shot blocks.

And the biggest question of all..... HOW MUCH SALT DOES MY BODY REALLY need?

This Saturday, things just kinda fell into place. I think the big epiphany came last weekend however. About an hour into the ride my bottle cage broke & my bottle of Gatorade flew into the street. I turned around to get it - cringing as the cars drove by missing it, until about the 4th car came right on target and SQUASHED the heck out of my bottle. My nutrition.

Well, good old Momo had an extra bottle filled with her new recipe. 2 scoops of Carbo Pro and 1 scoop of Gatorade Endurance, Lemon Lime flavored. I almost turned her down because I HATE lemon lime Gatorade. I mean, I'll drink it, especially during races cause it's usually all they have, but I'd rather not drink it by choice. But, we had a 5:45 ride that day and I was going to need that nutrition.

So, I took it. And, surprisingly it was good. It kinda tasted like frozen lemonade. Hmm.. this just might work.

Next up. The salt. My headaches. Will I EVER figure this out? About 3 hours into the ride I was sick to my stomach. I didn't want any more nutrition & I couldn't make the headache go away. Then pipes up Momo, "Here, just try some SALT," as she hands me a packet of salt from McDonalds. I split it with her. I instantly felt better. I was able to take in nutrition.. Me headache started to fade....

About an hour later I had another half of a packet of salt. Things were looking good. I was even feeling a little hungry. Then, I started to chat with Sara. She had informed me that the salt pills I was taking only had 80mg of sodium in them for 2 pills (Endurolytes). She started taking different ones that had over 300 mg per 2 pills (Thermolytes.) They also have ginger to help settle your stomach.

So, when I got home from my bike ride I did a little research on Sodium intake, different supplements, etc. I found this very fascinating article. The more I read, the more I was realizing that I am just one of those people who looses a CRAP LOAD of salt. I need a lot of it. Mostly now.. in this heat.

Later that day I felt better than I had in months after the long ride. I was hungry, I wasn't just craving a bag of chips or french fries. I even wanted a beer... or two. It was such a great feeling. To be hungry, not sick.. and feel GOOD! Like momo says, "have some salt - it cures everything." I think she is on to something.....

So, on Saturday I tried a new new setup for our longest bike ride. I froze two bottles with 1.5 scoops of lemon lime Gatorade Endurance & 2 scoops of Carbo Pro. I also filled a baggie with the same solution to refill at one of our stops. Then I filled another baggy with the Thermolytes & some salt packets, just in case. The rest of my bento box was filled with multiple gels, a package of shot blocks & 4 Raspberry Fig Newtons.

My plan was to start with 2 salt tablets on an hour, starting at hour 1. I would eat 100cals of nutrition every 40mins. I would sip on the Gatorade mix as much as I coud tolerate to get the extra calories.

Guess what? My plan worked FLAWLESSLY!! I had to adjust slightly with the salt however. I started to get headache so I also started taking a 3rd salt pill on the half an hour mark. It helped a little, but I ended up adding 2. So I was taking 2 pills every 30mins. This seemed to work.

I also started to see how much salt I was really loosing. Whenever we were climbing, my head would be down slightly, and the salt was POURING into my eyes. I had to keep pouring water on my face to get the salt out of my eyes. It stings.... bad!

My new nutrition plan worked great until about 4 or so hours. I was getting a little sick of the sugar, and it was getting a little harder to take swallow so many of the salt pills. So, finally at 5:30, instead of taking more of the pills, I opened up a packet of salt & ate about 3/4 of it. I was instantly relieved, despite a little heart burn. I could take my nutrition in and felt great. I had another 1/2 packet at about 6:10 as we were heading home. I figured I'd need it for the run. It also enabled me to take in another gel before the run.

So - there we have it. Saturday was a fantastic ride! Our entire group of 7, plus 1 (more on that in another post) was there. We all rode incredibly well. No big issues. No flat tires.... nothing. It was just a near perfect training day. What more could we ask for on our peak bike ride?

6:25mins, 113.something miles
:30min run.....

We all jumped in the pool to cool down afterwards.... It was a rewarding day. I experienced something not very common - a "cycling high." It came at about 5:45mins into the ride when we were climbing an 8% grade and shane shouted "100miles!!!".......

How crazy is that?!?

And, how crazy is this - the amount of sodium, not including my gatorade or gels or regular food, that I took in on the bike:

15 Thermolytes @ 150mg Sodium each = 2250mg
3/4 salt packet @ ~650 per packet = ~490mg
1/2 salt packet @ ~650 per packet = ~325mg

Total Sodium = 3065mg sodium

AND, I felt GREAT!!!!! Doesn't that sound weird though???

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Detail Oriented

You know when you go for an interview and they always seem to ask you what your "strengths" etc are? Well, being detail oriented has always been one of my strengths. But, I'm beginning to wonder if it was really more like a curse. Let me explain....

If you know me, you know that I definitely have the math nerd characteristics (if her haven't already noticed with my pace, miles, time, etc calculations I provide in this blog!). My checkbook is balanced to the penny. If for some reason it's off, I fix it. I can do calculations in my head fast, very fast (with the exception of lately, and during or right after a long workout - the brain is GONE, literally). Those very nerdy detail traits follow me across all of my skills & habbits, etc.

When I plan a trip - I have a manilla folder with maps and numbers. Now, I don't plan vacations by time or itineraries, I don't like that. BUT, I do have all the options available, right in my little folder.

When I write emails, they tend to be far to much info... Same goes for this blog, sometimes...

You all know how I plan even our workouts. I have mile markers and potty stops and meeting times, etc..... it's all there...

Yet, on the same note when it comes to like say, work.... I'm all about efficiency, so when there are a lot of UNINTERESTING details, I tend to skip over them, and unfortunately sometimes forget about them.

I beginning to think this is what most people do.... on everything.

See, I've been working for a couple of months on getting some custom jerseys, tri tops, tri shorts, running tops and regular T-shirts made to promote http://www.allthingstriathlon.com/ I started working on the Tri stuff on January 31st. It is now May 24th and we just finally received the final bill (of course it's 1.5 times more expensive then the originally told us) and the sizes were messed up.

Now, I supposeI wouldn't be reacting as such, had I not just received a box of the other shirts yesterday, and we were missing ~ 15 of the tops I ordered. But, more on that later.

When I received samples of the custom tri apparel, the shorts ran REALLY big. Like everyone needed to go at least 1 size down. When I was placing the order I mentioned this, and they told me they realized this and were going to change the sizing. So, here comes my detail oriented mindset - I made a phone call to the company asking them if they were changing the size based on what I sent them on my order, or do I need to convert. Well, the poor guy was so confused and wasn't sure yet, so I decided to provided him with BOTH sizing. Which I did. In a very immaculate excel spreadsheet. Very clearly labeled. And, guess what was on the bill? A mixture of both columns of sizing. No rhyme or reason to it.

I totally freaked out. I put my multi-tasking skills to use and called them to clear up the issue... While I was on a work conference call. Thank goodness for mute.... Hope my boss doesn't read this :-).

So - I also get reassured that they will be done by the end of next week. And I make it VERY clear these outfits need to be in the mail NO later than next Friday or Monday, June 1. Ugh, our race is in 4 weeks.. kinda need to try out the shorts, don't you think!?

Ok... now on to the shirts. I ran into a friend from HS & College at my 10year reunion. I found out he lives in AZ and owns a marketing company that does custom shirts, etc. I sent him an email back in February asking about making these tops for us. He told me he could get coolmax tops and he'd give them to me at cost. He actually made the shirts our team wore in the Ragnar Relay. They were PERFECT!

So, once again I sent a VERY detailed worksheet with all the shirts we wanted. It was a mixture between technical fabric tops, plain white T's, as well as we needed printing on the Desoto tops that we wore for the Rage in the Sage Tri.

My friend was in his busiest time of the year. A bunch of year end stuff at ASU, and they were backed up beyond belief. He called me and said that the "they" screwed up the order and the technical tops weren't in, would it be ok to print them later. Absolutely.. I just need the Desoto tops for the race. So, I show up... and not only are the tops not printed, I wait almost 2 hours for them to get printed. I saw the pile of White T's there, but no time to print those, so he said he'd do them with the technical tops.

Ok, no big deal.... A couple weeks went by, I had to go out of town for business, etc. Finally I commit to picking the shirts up on Tuesday. I was about an hour early. They were JUST being printed. He showed me the T's - they looked great. He offered to have them sent to me so I didn't have to wait. Perfect - thank you. Then we went over the invoice. He was saying something about not charging me for printing on the Desoto tops, and he was just going to add on to the invoice I got for the white T's - Ok, whatever... He said you had like 10 of the technical right? Nope 19 - but 5 were paid for with the other order. Oh, ok... Somehow, he pulls out adding a certain amount for 15 tops and adds it to one of the line items on already on the invoice, so it looked like double the actual cost. Are you confused as I am? But, I'll I'm thinking is FINALLY I get to put this task to rest...

I thought this was reasonable - and the total price was very reasonable. I reminded him we would hook him up if he wanted to go to Rocky Point & rent our house. He said for sure, in the fall.

Yesterday the box came. Shirts look great. All 30 of the white ones I ordered, the 5 leftover technical tops from the first order and 2 random short sleeve technical tops. No sign of the other 15ish technical tops.

WTF!!!!

So, questioning my own clarity.... I go into my email & pull up the worksheet that I sent him. The worksheet we also went over in his office. The very detailed worksheet that I put together to make things easier on everyone. It was clear as day. And, the funny part. The technical tops were first on the list.

So, now I'm back at square one with these damn shirts. I'm actually waiting for a call back. I need to figure out how much extra it's going to cost, and see if it's worth the hassle.

For some reason I feel like the detail Kharma Gods are out to get me.......

Ok - I guess some of you might want an update on my training. So, here's the downlow.

Today momo & I did our long run (2:40). We wanted to have slightly fresh legs for the long ride this weekend (6:30/:30 brick). Fresh being relative to week 16 of IM training . The run went pretty well. We were both a little sluggish and had to fight some wind, but of course we prevailed, and were SO happy to be finished!

Swimming has been a bit rough for me this week. I'm never sore from swimming. I never really have BAD swims.... or hurt from them. Sometimes I'm tired or a little slow, but nothing like I experienced this week. I'm guessing it's a build up of Mark Allen's swim obsession on my schedule. All I know is this week, I just had no swimming mojo. I sure hope that changes tomorrow! My masters coach said it's too be expected at this point in the training. She said she was very impressed at how I've pushed thru the extra long workouts.

I wasn't impressed with my :05 -:07 drop in my 100's. I hope that is temporary!

So, I guess to sum it all up all is "ok" on the training front. No body issues, no injuries or anything. I'm tired, and pretty much ready for the taper. Although, I have to admit the taper pretty much just freaks me out, cause it puts all this into such a real perspective.

I am doing an Ironman in a month. I am freaking crazy. Thankfully, I haven't had the "WTF was I thinking" thoughts - YET

Two more BIG, never been reached before workouts, then things SLOWLY start to wind down.

So Saturday & Monday are the big days.... stay tuned to see what happens!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Massage - the 4th, or 5th discipline

Aghh, sweet relief.... I just finished my 90min deep tissue massage. My poor girl, I don't know why she continues to work on Shane & I - we really must wear her down. Maybe it's the tips... We always feel so bad and tip well.

"K" So, anything hurting, or bothering you right now.

Me - Nah, I feel pretty good. Well, I mean everything hurts sometimes, but right now... I feel ok

about 10mins later...

"K" - I thought you weren't that bad!?!

Me - Oops... well, I mean, considering how much I've done, I thought that I was ok.

Me - (as I feel "K" dig her elbow into my shoulder blade)... WOW, I feel that all the way up to my sinus/eye area.... yikes!
"K" Has this been bothering you?

"K" How flexible is your hip?

Me - Not sure.... why?

"K" - I need to work on your IT band. It's bad.

"K" Do you want me to do your left one too? It's not as bad, but your call...

Me - Sure, why not.. You know, you'll have to let me know if this one feels more tight at all, because I barely felt you working on the other side, it's immune to the tissue work sensation after years & years of PT. OUCH... yup the "good" leg hurts worse

"K" - Nope, it's not too bad - that's weird. I mean, I get it that you feel it more, but it's just weird!

This is about how my 90mins went. Ouch... man....

Lessons learned - no more waiting 6+ weeks during the hardest part of training to get a massage. It doesn't feel good, and it's not nice to the therapist.

"K" is working on ironshane now. Wonder if his conversations will be anything like mine!

Tomorrow I'll give an update on the training. It's going pretty well. You can read momo's blog to hear all about our Saturday ride adventures. All you can do is laugh at rides like that....

Oh, and tomorrow I'm going to my niece's "crossing the bridge ceremony." Apparently this is something special they do for pre-school kids moving on to Kindergarten. The funny thing is Tay still has another year of pre-school. She is only 4. But, she was so excited about this thing that she called around to all of the family to invite us. So, I'm going to see her "graduate"....

This girl is going to be a heart breaker when she's older....

Friday, May 18, 2007

Running TAPER!!!

So, I did it. Today was my last PEAK run of the training. I had 3 hours on my schedule, momo had 3-3:15. So, I mapped out an 18.5 mile loop that would put us somewhere in that time frame.

There is definitely something to be said for getting up EARLY this time of year in Arizona. I mean, 4am or earlier type of early. So, today, I was OUT of bed at 4am to get ready for the run. We were meeting at a local park to begin the route at 5am.

I was SO prepared this time! See, last time on the 3hr run momo tried to kill me. She had been dying to do this beautiful route up north. It was 9miles up, climbing 1000ft. Now, when you haven't run that far in 3.5 years, that is kinda intense if you ask me. But, I did it, and I survived. But man, was I sore. I also ran out of water last time - and didn't get up early enough. This time, I had plenty of time to drink my spark, go to the bathroom, use my inhaler and blister proof my toes. I also had all my gels ready, water bottles frozen, outfit picked out, salt tablets, map of route.. you name it I was ready for this!! Sometimes, things just don't always go as planned.....

So, this time we opted for a more flat route. We ran in an area we call "tour de crib." It's in Paradise Valley - multi million dollar homes, hence the name. We do a lot of our bike rides here because there are a couple of mountains you can get some climbing practice in. Not today though, we were all AROUND the mountains. Anyway, it was interesting the things we noticed on foot vs on bike. The homes are gorgeous, huge properties, green landscaping (yes - there is some green in AZ) with water fountains in the entries, and best of all they don't all look the same!

The run started off GREAT. Our HR's were both really low and the air was somewhat 'cool.' I thought, "wow this is going to be a really good run!" Well, something happened to me. Either I ate something that didn't agree with my stomach, or momo's ailments are starting to wear off on me! If you have read momo's blog on a regular basis, you have heard her mention how much she appreciates all the porta potties due to construction. Well, that girl - she can spot a porta potty like it's nobodies business. She has a special radar, I think. Today, I was thankful for this special trait of hers. 11 miles of suffering later, 3 bathroom breaks (there would have been more if available) we were heading back to our starting point.

We had been running really well. Even with all of the stops & walking due to stomach cramps, we were avg about a 10:20 I think(so we were actually running faster than that!). Now, we slowed down a bit on the last stretch. Partly due to heat, and partly due to the fact that we BOTH need some new shoes - funny how your knees & feet pick the best times to let you know it's time for yet another $100 purchases, eh?

All in all it was a GREAT run. We went just over 18miles, and somehow I feel pretty darned good right now. The feet are still sore, but my muscles feel good. Best of all. I was in my best "fat burning" HR zone. My avg was 147 - my lowest long run avg to date! I don't feel as famished as normal because I was burning = amounts of fat/carbs & didn't deplete myself.

I have to admit that with all of my scepticism about the whole low HR training in the past, it has come around with a big fat "I told you so!" My HR has dropped about 10 beats over the last couple of weeks, and I am loving it! Hopefully my body can learn to change the pace to accommodate though - it has gotten used to being a slow poke. With my longest run in my back pocket, it is soooo close to the taper time I can feel it! One more long, (2:40) run next week - and it's all 'downhill' from there! I think the taper will come right about the time my mental state decides to start totally freaking out that I'm about to do AN IRONMAN!!!!

Hopefully this post leaves a more 'positive' taste in a certain anonymous reader/commenter's mind. You, know bing that I'm so blessed and all, and shouldn't be complaining. I guess this person hasn't been a regular reader of my blog where I have mentioned countless times how incredibly lucky I feel to be in the situation, work/life that I am in... But, more on that later - for now, I'd like to continue to bask in my "runner's high!"

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Numb Legs, and a few other things

Yesterday during our 3:10 bike ride, I was talking to Sara about running in the PM. You see I avoid night runs like the plague. I just don't feel the same. I'm not as fresh, the air seems so stagnant, and frankly - I just kinda like to vege & get to bed early. Oh, yah - top that off with the fact that it's been 100 degrees here in AZ and I avoid it even more.

Well, by adjusting my schedule a little over the last couple of weeks with travel, being sick, etc., I had to miss my Monday am run, and the only really good place to put it was Tuesday evening. So, after a 3:10bike ride in the am, I ended the day with an 1:45run.

So, back to my conversation with Sara. She started describing how she feels when she runs at night lately, and also on Sundays after the long bike rides. She said she has one pace. She can't go any slower, and she can't go any faster - it's just a flat pace, and after a while, her legs just simply go NUMB. I was thinking, numb.. really? She must be crazy. Man, I've always got some sort of weird pain, or sore muscle or something, and actually I'd really like it if the legs would go numb!

Well, I got my wish! Last night I left my house at about 6:30pm. It was 96degrees out, but I was prepared, kinda. I was scared as heck about the heat, thinking it would be the determining factor on my HR and pace. Ever since my knee surgery I'm just a plain old slow runner, add a 50+mile ride in there, and near 100degree temps & I had no idea what was in store for me.

However, I did figure this to be a good mental workout, and great prep for IM. My legs were tired and sore from my Daniel leg workout. I did a 5000yard swim the day before, and an early am bike ride. It was hot, and late in the day - sounds like pretty good practice, huh?

So, I came prepared. IPOD with a few new tunes on it. A fuel belt with 2 10oz frozen bottles of water, as well as my 20oz bottle in hand. I was certainly not going to run low on water. Oh yah, and two power gels.

The first mile was tough. My hamstrings were really tight from the leg workout, and the rest of the muscles felt SO HEAVY. Then, it was weird... the next thing I new, I was at a 3mile mark at 29:40. I wasn't overheated, and the craziest part was my HR was standing still at 141, sometimes dipping to 137 and only going as high as 147. Now THIS has NEVER happened. My typical average HR, on a LOW day is 151, and on a normal day 154-156.

I stopped for a potty break at about :45mins. I also refilled my bottle with ice. I was feeling really really tired at this point. Like sleepy tired. I started to think about cutting the run short, maybe only going 1:30... That seemed like a good run to me. But, somehow I found myself continuing to run, run on the route I had figured would take me 1:45.

At about 1:15 things kinda started to fall apart. I was trying to do some math in my head and that certainly was NOT working. Then, I started to shuffle my feet. The next thing on the list was getting dizzy. I checked my HR and it was still holding around 140ish, but I was not feeling too well. I started to do some walking. Just so I could regain my composure.

Somehow it all worked out. I got home at 1:41 - 9.5miles, or a 10:37min mile. I couldn't believe it! Oh and the craziest part was - my AVG HR was 144. I have NEVER had an avg HR that low. Never. Guess I was worried about ALL the wrong things!

S had just finished his speed run and was about as coherent as me, so there wasn't much for conversation. I have NO idea how he can do speed work at night in this heat! Although, I'm pretty sure he couldn't do it when it's 35degrees out, and I would thrive in that temp!

Oh, and as for the numb legs - they certainly were NOT numb anymore! We made it to bed at about 9:30, and I think I was completely passed out by 9:45. I slept solid (which has not happened in weeks) until 5am. Today, today I feel refreshed. It took me a good hour to get going this am, and work up the strength to do my speed run, but I felt so much better after.

Even my speed swim workout went great. Maybe it was because I had momo doing it with me. We haven't done the workout together in a while, so it was nice. It went by very very fast!

So, to sum it all up - I'm very glad that I did that workout last night. It hurt, but I feel stronger for doing it. Breaking my fear of the evening runs, and making me feel a little more confident about the marathon portion of IM.

Oh - a quick aside. I picked up our bikes today form the shop! I got a new 12-27 cassette put on my bike, a new chain & a tune-up. S got my old cassette (he went from an 11-23, to a 12-27), got a new chain as well, and a new rear tire (hopefully no more flats). I'm pretty excited to see if I can climb up the hills a little faster. I'm such a good little HR girl, that I am usually the last one up the hill trying to stay in my zone! Hopefully this will keep my HR a little lower, and let me move a little faster.

Do any of you have those funny little sayings, about going into certain stores and having a "minimum expenditure?" S - used to joke about going to Target with me. He called it the $100 Target min. Well, I think the bike shop has taken over. Unfortunately it's not a $100 min. Try a $300min. YIKES!

Hope you are all having a good week!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Got Grumpy?

I expected tired, hungry, sore..... but, I didn't expect GRUMPY!!! I'm short tempered, and I don't like it!

You see, I play "cruise director" for my training group. I try to initiate questions to figure out when, where & what time everyone wants to ride. But, more times than others I get little or no feedback. So, I put my project manager hat on, and I map it out.. set up the meeting times, places, etc... and send out the itinerary. Most people are great about it. They say, "Ok, great - we'll be there." But, it doesn't always go that way, and then I feel like I'm on the phone, sending emails & trying to make last minute changes to the plans. Now this.. this I don't like. It usually ends up with me forgetting a detail, or times getting mixed up, or something is off. Then, I feel bad because we missed a meeting spot, or time or something.

Well, no more! I'm putting my foot down. I will continue to make our plans, plan the route & times. But, if someone needs to make a change and they didn't let me know before hand - then I am nominating that person to figure out the rest of the details!

* Disclaimer: 99% of the time everyone is great, but lately... the more tired I am the less patience I have, hence the rant. So - if you are part of the group don't get offended, this isn't a stab to anyone - I promise :-)

It is week 14 of the 20 week IM training plan. It's HARD.... I think I posted my weeks schedule in a previous post. However, to put it into perspective, while on this am's 3:10 bike ride, I counted up the hours. 24 hours of training, broken down by:

~6hours of swimming
~2hours of strength training
~6hours of running
~10hours of cycling

Does that sound insane to you? Well, I think it does.... And, my body kinda does too.

I feel out of sorts today - well actually that started last night. I hit a wall. I was trying to input some billing from lasts weeks travels & work and it just wasn't happening. I was "dumb." S was doing his weights, and was talking to me, but I was so out of it, I just couldn't hold a conversation. And, if you know me - I am a multi-tasking queen!

My body is getting about 8hours of sleep. My body is WANTING about 12 hours of sleep. My normal organization in life is turning into piles at my desk, and forgetfulness and all the things that make me feel crazy!

I haven't touched our laundry that I usually do on the weekends. Except the workout cloths, those were priority. I'm sure S will run out of socks and underwear soon....

My dishes from this am, are still sitting on the counter....

And somehow... even though I already put in 54miles on the bike, I have to muster up the energy to go for a 1:45 run in a few hours. BTW - it's 97degrees out right now

Now, to put all of this into perspective, I need to look at the bright side. "Only 3 more weeks, only 3 more weeks, only 3 more weeks" - that is actually a quote from one of S's emails earlier today :-)

We only have 3 more weeks left of HARD training. It's kinda crazy when you think about it. And, I'm ready.... I'm ready to have some sort of a life back. I'm ready to stop eating like I've been a starving child my whole life. I'm ready for my toes to heal, my swim tan lines to fade... and I'm ready to have the energy to possibly go out on the weekend!

NOW, I guess since I have spent all this time complaining, I should write up some of the GREAT things that have gone along with the training! So, here it goes:

I'm in better shape than ever in my life

I can eat dessert and as many carbs and STILL need to eat more calories

My body is taking a whole new shape

I can finally wear NIKE tempo track shorts (they never fit me right before)

I get to do the race of a lifetime in my old hometown, and lake that I grew up playing at as a child

I will soon have the bragging rights of an IRONMAN...

Now - I guess, after writing all of those fabulous pros down, I should quit my BI@#%ching, huh?

Cheers!
~K

Monday, May 14, 2007

Catching up...

Today I logged in to check out my schedule for the week, and see how intense my speed work was going to be. The first line read: "You have 5 weeks and 6 days before your Ironman triathlon on 6/24/2007." OMG! S keeps asking if I'm freaking out yet. This weekend, thinking about how this week I am doing my last peak run (3hours), and in 2 weeks I do my longest bike ride (6:30/:30brick).. then Memorial Day is my peak swim (5500meters, 6000yards) - yes... I am starting to freak out a little bit!!!

The last few weeks have been crazy, to say the least. First, the weekend in Vegas for the race, that didn't turn into such a great race with the swim being cancelled. Then, trying to squeeze all the long workouts in so we could enjoy ourselves at Stacey & Dave's wedding. Then the FLU! Unfortunately it took even longer for me to recover than I thought.

Last week momo & I went to Toronto on Wed am to attend some meetings for work on Thursday. The flight went by with no glitches (like our last trip - missing flights, etc), and we were able to check into our hotel & get some dinner. There is something to be said about working for a luxury hotel company. The food is fantastic, the service impeccable & the beds are the most comfortable hotel beds you will ever experience. Momo & I had a very good dinner, glass of wine & headed to bed. Unfortunately, the 3 hour time distance is enough to throw my sleep completely off, and I only ended up sleeping about 1-2 hours before the alarm went off at 5am to meet momo in the gym for a "speed run" on the treadmill.

I remember logging on to my computer in the am & it said 2:05am. Now, that is just not right!!! That means I was doing a run at 2:30 according to my body clock! Somehow, the run actually went very well. It was very nice to have company doing the speed work, and it made it quite a bit easier not to slack off, and try to push myself.

Thursday was a really long day. We had meetings from 11-5, and because when it rains it pours, we were actually working in before, during and a little after the meetings trying to get everything done.

We had drinks & dinner plans after the meetings, so by the time we ended dessert, momo & I were officially DONE. It was about 11pm, and we were finally back at the hotel. I started to have a very upset stomach. I stayed up a little while, and finally fell asleep at about 12:30. Then, I woke up at 2am with horrible sharp stomach pains. All I could think was NOT AGAIN! I was sick...... There was something with my dinner (blackened Cod) that my body did NOT agree with). I got sick, then went back to bed. I awoke at am with the same pains, but was able to fall back asleep for a couple of hours.

I was able to wake up feeling better, so I guess there was just something in the food that my stomach was not ready for.

A few hours later, I was home... and SO happy to be there! One thing about traveling - I actually do like it. It's just with the training, it makes it a little less fun. Momo said this should be our last trip before IM CDA. We need the next few weeks, then the taper without any glitches!

So, Saturday we had our WHOLE group together for our long bike ride. It was actually a lot of fun, although hot has H-E-L-L. Somehow in the last week it had jumped from like 85 to 105. YIKES! We did a big loop, heading down to an area called south mountain, for some new scenery. We met my trainer, Daniel there. I think we (momo & I) both spoke about him in our Ragnar Relay race reports. He's the incredibly gifted guy, who barely trains, but can rock any workout, race, regardless.

Well, we were ON fire on Saturday. I think because it was slightly flatter of a course, especially the beginning, and for momo & I - we usually run long on Fridays, but we actually took the day off to travel. I think we actually gave Daniel a run for his money... he looked pretty pooped after his 2 hour jaunt with us :-) Mission accomplished. We did 5hours, about 92miles. Quite a step up from my last 5hour ride at 85miles, and our 5:45 last weekend at 95miles! After the ride S & I had a 30min brick to do.

Do you know how hard it is to do a brick at NOON? It was about 100degres outside (seriously)! We headed out, and I decided to turn around at about 14mins. My HR had spiked & boy was I feeling it. I had to run/walk the whole way home to keep my HR under 160. I suppose I could have just let it spike, but I have been such a good girl with my Mark Allen HR training, I didn't mind the walking. My legs felt fantastic, but I was burning up! Plus, we had our pool waiting for us to jump in & get the body temperature down. Oh, how I love that feeling!

Saturday night, S & I had a "date night" to celebrate our 3rd anniversary. He made reservations at a very yummy seafood place called Eddie V's. We are pretty lucky, S worked on a food tv show with a fantastic woman named Candy for a couple of years. She is a chef, & all around food & wine connoisseur. He can call her up and she will recommend the best of the best in the area. This was one of her suggestions.

The meal was fantastic, we shared a bottle of Sokol Blosser Pinot Noir (yummy!) and even shared a Godiva chocolate dessert. It was a really really good night, and something much needed with our busy S & I have been. He even got me a beautiful blue Sapphire bracelet that matches an earring & necklace set he bought me last year! He did VERY VERY good :-)

Yesterday, was Mother's Day and we were having a BBQ with my parents, my sister & her family including her mother-in law. Everyone was coming over at 3pm, so we had a very long list of things to get done before hand. Including, a 2:30 run. We slept in a little, so didn't start the run until 6:10am. It was already about 80+ degrees out. S & I headed out with the kids for about an 8mile loop. I do this loop regularly. You can do it 2 ways, one with more uphill, the other slightly easier. I actually did the easier, downhill loop on Wed before my flight with Abby. It took my about 1:20! Although it took me a while to get into my groove today, I did the loop in 1:16!!! I was running under 10min miles with a HR avg about 148. It felt awesome.

We stopped at the house to drop off the kids (S had them, running ahead of me), refill & head out for another loop. This loop didn't go so well. The temp was rising up closer to 100degrees, and there was little shade. I guess this is what we get for sleeping in. It was very tough, but we ended just under 2:30 total time, and managed to get in right at 15miles. We were both a lot slower on the 2nd half.

We didn't have much recovery time, as we had to get the house ready. S went to clean up the backyard & pool, and I had to still go buy food! I got home at about 1pm & had 2 hours to eat some lunch, prepare the food & clean my floors. 3:15 we were finally done, and our company started to arrive. My niece, Taylor was very excited that our pool was warm enough to swim, so I spent about an hour with her splashing around in the pool. She is just the cutest darn thing. She's 4.5 going on 16! Really.... She followed me around the whole night, and even decided she needed to carry my cell phone & walk in a pair of my heels. This girl is going to be
T R O U B L E in a few years. Just like her aunt, I suppose :-)

About 7pm and we finally had an empty house. We finally got to sit down for the first time since 6am. Well, at least for me. S kinda hit a wall at about 5pm, and hit the couch. I think the run, then cleaning up outside in the heat kinda kicked his booty. We were in bed by 8pm. Agh, that was nice. S got up at 5:00 to do his long swim, and I stayed in bed until about 5:30. I am a little groggy, but feel much better after the sleep. It's a good thing, cause look what I have in store this week: (I'm actually switching up the runs a little because I did my long run yesterday)

Mon:
Weights with Daniel
Long Swim - 4500 meters (4900yards)

Tues:
Moderate Bike - 3:10mins
Run - either 1:45 moderate or speed run on treadmill (if too hot)

Wed:
Run - either 1:45 moderate or speed run (depending on what I did Tuesday)
Speed Swim - 3500meters (3850 yards)

Thurs:
Weights with Daniel
Speed Bike

Fri:
Long Run (hopefully, I'd like to get it in with momo, rather than wait until Sunday) 3hours
Moderate Swim - 3500meters (3850 yards)

Sat:
5:45 bike ride

Sun:
OFF

With any luck I can actually get all my workouts in!!! Thanks for reading and catching up with me :-)

Monday, May 7, 2007

I'm BACK!!!!

Ok, so my wind dance didn't really work. Now, I shouldn't be complaining about our AZ weather, when the poor people in Kansas were struck so hard over the weekend by Mother Nature.

BUT, man... was it windy as heck here! I mapped out a nice 95+ mile loop for us (Momo, S & Sara). Well, nice being relative... I mean, there were lots of hills so it was going to be tough no matter what, but dang.....

Now, if you've read my past couple posts you know I have been, well.... "under the weather." Saturday was no different. I tried to get in as many calories as possible on Friday to help, but after a week of not eating right, it just wasn't enough. My energy level from the start was at about 2 on a level of 1-10. The first part was actually the hardest for me. I couldn't get my HR up, and kept on trying to take in nutrition. Finally at about the 3 hour mark, I was really struggling to get in calories. I backed off my gels/fig newtons to every 50mins instead of 30-40, and stuck to just water.

I actually started to feel better. Thank goodness, cause Momo was really kicking it in then, and I was just trying to stay with the group (by stay with the group, I mean draft from the back of the line!). I think I had 1 more gel at about 4:45, but just couldn't do anymore, with an hour left on the ride... We ended the ride with a few really hard hills, and I gave everything I had to get up them (which wasn't much). I remember looking down and seeing like 3.5mph. Does anyone know at WHAT speed can you still keep moving, and not actually fall over when still going UP? I don't want to be the one to test it out...

We got home at exactly 5:45, and I somehow managed to get my running shoes on. I decided to cut the run from :30mins to :15, because I hadn't done any nutrition in over an hour. I headed out with Sara & Melisa, but could only stick with them for about 3mins. My stomach was cramping & twisting and turning....

BUT, I made it.... my longest workout yet! Momo & Shane were describing how it gets better, and it was a really tough day, so not to feel bad. You know, the funny thing was, I wasn't discouraged at all. Had the ride been tough like that when I was healthy, heck ya I'd be a little freaked out... but I was able to hang with the group & pull through on basically no nutrition for a week. You know, I'm actually looking forward to this Saturday's ride!!!

Sunday Sara came over to do a run with S & I. I wasn't able to take much in on Saturday after the ride, so I knew I'd be lagging behind. I brought my IPOD so I could pull back from them when needed. About 25mins into the run, I just couldn't hang anymore. I told them to go ahead & I'd be good. So, Sara, S & the dogs took off ahead. The rest of the run was a real struggle for me. I just had nothing in me. I kept a decent pace, but I couldn't change the pace regardless of the terrain, up hill or down hill.... My HR was pretty low, but I just didn't have enough fuel to make my body move!

They waited for me at a light, and I told them to just go ahead, not worry about me, I was going to cut the run short & head home. I filled S up with water for the kids, and they took off ahead. Then, we were coming down Via Linda Hill (we'd been climbing this whole time) about an hour in to the run, and I saw Shane kinda stop suddenly. I caught up to them, and he said his hamstring was locking up. So, he was ending the run too. I took the dogs from him & headed home. We both called it a day & Sara headed out for the rest of the run.

We managed to get in 1:20 out of 2:10. That was enough for me. The best part? I got my HUNGER BACK!!!! Suddenly, I was hungry... food sounded good, I didn't have to force it down... it was fantastic.

I ate a real dinner(real meaning not chicken soup or toast and more than a couple of bites).... enjoyed a glass of wine (I know, way to let myself heal, huh? - ask Momo, I'm sure she'ld agree with me that it REALLY DOES HELP!), and got a great nights sleep.

I woke up today, still pretty tired, but still hungry, and not nauseous at all! I did a leg workout with Daniel, and then headed to masters for my 4500meters (4900yard) swim workout! Do you know how stinking LONG that is... Man! I was the first person in the pool, and one of the last ones out! BTW - I still smell like chlorine!

So, all in all.... I think I'm BACK! I'm ready for this weeks training, and next week's BUILD week. I'm ready for it all :-)

Friday, May 4, 2007

Wind Dance

Wind, oh wind.... PLEASE go away. I'm not even sure I want you to come back any other day...

Current weather in Scottsdale, AZ
Partly Cloudy, 81degrees
14% Humidity
Wind - from SW 18-24mph

Tomorrow's forecast -
5:45min bike/:30brick run... AND
Sunny, with gusty winds
High 77Degs
Wind - from W 20-30mph

Wasn't Mother Nature hard enough on us in Las Vegas???

Please, do your NO WIND DANCE with me :-)

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Damn the Flu!!!

Why is it that when everything seems to be going so well.... life happens, and everything that was so good just seems to filter away?

Well, that's what I feel like. I have done SO well with my training. A few glitches with the body here and there, but nothing to cry about.

Then this flu.... Man, it has struck both S & I pretty hard. Now, the fever and chills, and "etc" that goes with the stomach flu... those symptoms are gone. However, the repercussion of no food or drink for almost 48hours has really messed up my entire training mojo.

I'm running on empty, literally... I'm resting enough, sleep wise, but just can't seem to get the calories down. Now, I'm not a girl that normally has problems eating, but man.... NOTHING, and I mean nothing is appealing to me.... I sure hope this goes away by tomorrow, so I can intake some nutrition.

Yesterday I went for my first workout with momo. She nearly killed me. And, she was taking it easy. We met for a 2 hour bike ride. I did ok at first, but it was pretty tough at the end when it warmed up.

My plan was to get into the pool, and do my long swim from Monday, 4000Meters. Well, that idea slowly faded when I was pretty woozy after the ride. Being the ironman-in training that I am, I still went into the pool, ready for whatever I could do. The workout was a nice long warmup, followed by 3000straight, building every 1000 from level 2-4. I really struggled through the warmup.. My stomach was cramping, and my arms felt like lead. I just took it nice & slow. Then, I ate a power gel & started the 3000. Something happened about 600yards into it, and I just felt better. Not enough to really push it, but enough to get by... Wait, I just checked my watch, and my splits weren't so bad after all :-)

My first 1000 - 17:40 - 1:46/100yards
Second - 16:45 - 1:40/100yards
Third - 16:20 - 1:38/100yards

S brought us home some superfood from one of our favorite places here, Soma Cafe. It is an Edamame Pasta Salad, about 600calories & like 50 grams of protein. I figured it would do us both some good... Unfortunately I could only eat about half, but was still hopefull I could get my speed run in today..

I woke up actually STARVING. I ate a piece of toast, then felt a little nauseous. I struggled for about an hour, as Baxter & Abby were running around the house like puppies on crack. Finally gave in, got dressed and headed out at about 8am. I decided to just do what I could handle. The warmup was great... I did a nice 9:30min/mile with a 145hr... Then I tried to pick it up for some of the speed sets. Now, with Mark Allen these are supposed to be TOTALLY anaerobic. I really struggled to get my HR up, because I just had no juice.. Finally about the 3rd set, I could get it up to 170 (my target HR is 159-193)....

I decided to just do circles around in my neighborhood rather than an out & back, so I could cut it short if need be. I cut it a little bit short... but managed to get most of the sets done, just at a more tempo rate than speed.

I did a "lite"leg workout with Daniel this afternoon and that's about all I have in me... I feel ok, I just have little spells of feeling very nauseous. I sure hope this goes away soon, cause we have a HARD weekend planned.

Saturday - 5:45ride/:30brick run
Sunday - 2:10run

Sorry I wasn't all that entertaining with this post.... Hopefully I'll have some fun stories, or more inspiring words next... Just wanted to update those who check in on my training! I hope no one else gets hit with this nasty bug!

I have to commend Momo & S for not lecturing me about doing these workouts. I know that I probably should have let my body rest more, but it's very hard for me to do. Now, don't get me wrong - if I'm too tired, or something is really hurting, I will take a day off. But, it's a mental thing for me. When you are literally UNABLE to do what you want to do for so long do to an injury, being struck with even a minor cold can be one of the most frustrating things out there.... You just don't want to be TOLD that you CAN'T. I am being somewhat good... I just had to do a little hear & there. Plus, I'm fortunate enough to be home all day, and not in an office so I get a lot more rest.....

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Post Mexico

Somehow I have everything you imagine after a long weekend in Mexico.

Tired, tan, feeling out of shape and SICK. Yup, I got the flu in Mexico. Now, I know what comes to mind first... food poisoning. I'm happy to report that is not the case. Mostly happy because S & I ate at one of our favorite places in Rocky Point, the Blue Marlin the night before it happened.
I'm very picky about where I eat in general, but in Mexico, I take that to a whole new level. I'd hate to have to give up any of my favorite places.

So, the trip started out pretty rushed. Momo, S & I had one of those NEVER-ENDING 5hour bike rides. We basically went in circles for about 3 hours, then headed home. None of us had any "gas" so to speak... In my case, I'm pretty sure my 3 hour run mojo took away all my bike mojo and left me empty.

Somehow, we powered thru the morning and ended with a 4.5ish, 70+mile ride, and then... we were on our way to Mexico.
Thursday night was just S & I in our house. I have to admit, it was awfully quiet without the kids there running around. So, add that to our friends not in town yet, and it was strangely quiet.

We had a couple of drinks, enjoyed the sunset from our balcony

We were planning on meeting Stacey & Dave for dinner at 7:30, but got a phone call from them that they were running late. We decided to head over to their rental house & help get them settled. Shortly after, we were on our way to the Friendly Dolphin with them & family for dinner.

The rest of the evening was pretty uneventful, we shared a few post dinner drinks and conversation with the newlyweds to be at our house and then headed to bed.

Friday we did a little of everything. Some beach time, some party prepping at the wedding house and later in the evening was the big pre-wedding bash hosted by Dave & Stacey! Here's a couple of pictures to re-live it all ;-)

Here we have the bride & groom taking a little pre-wedding shot!



S is "corrupting" the mother of the bride....while teaching her the "Rocky Point" way to live...


And here we have our friends Lisa & Joe.... enjoying the sunset, and staying out of trouble for the most part. Or, at least I don't have any pictures!! ;-)



We all seemed to make it past Friday, and almost everyone in our house even went for a nice run on Saturday am. I waited for Stacey to run, figured she'd need it by now! So, we had a very FAST ~5mile run to start the day off.

The girls headed off to the spa for mani-pedis, and the boys refilled the bar for the big night! I headed over to helped Stacey get ready, margarita in hand, of course....

She was a little frantic, but at the end came together looking absolutely beautiful....




The ceremony was maybe a little more than what they expected...but all you can say is, it's never boring with Stacey & Dave....
The night had several stories, upon stories...but like we always say... what happens in Mexico, stays in Mexico. All in all it was a great weekend, with great friends. We celebrated the wedding of two great people, who through all the wedding drama & family chaos showed their true selves. They are meant to be together, and will absolutely live, happily every after....
As for my post-Mexico-Flu recovery.... Well, it was a LONG ride home Monday. We should have stayed the night & tried to re-coup. I'm slowly trying to get food back in my system, and today I'm testing myself on a bike ride with momo. Hopefully she'll take it easy on me... I'm just going to listen to my body & try to get back in the game. This weekend calls for a 5:45bike/:30run. I hope I can muster of the energy!
Thanks for reading!