Saturday, June 30, 2007

A Fresh New Look

Now that I've completed my first Ironman, and the reason for starting this blog - I've decided a new look for the next year was needed. I'm going to play around and see what else I can come up with, but for now, here is my new bright and fresh look for my blog!

Friday, June 29, 2007

The run...

It has taken me a while to find the right words to describe the run part of IM. I'm not sure if it's because this was the final stage of the race, where months and months of hard work and training were about to come to an end. Or, if it were simply the fact that it was hard. It was the first marathon I'd done in nearly 4 years...

But, here we go!

T2 was pretty uneventful. I did forget to go potty once I got in the changing tent, so I had to backtrack a bit to hit the porta potties. I think they should put a couple outside of the tent too, for those of us who SOMEHOW miss the 20+ of them on our way in to change. Can't really blame us can you? We were out there on our bikes for a LONG time!
I have to admit it was pretty odd just dropping my shorts an standing there half naked for a couple of mins while I put my running skirt on. I decided not to reapply bodyglide anywhere... I do have some modesty left you know...

I couldn't make up my mind what all I wanted, so I just took a baggy of just about everything you might need (face lotion, wet wipe, chapstick, gel, salt, more salt....) and stuffed it into the much smaller than needed pocket of my top. Grabbed my fuel belt, visor and slipped on my running shoes and headed back out to the porta potty.

On my way out of the porta potty I saw Momo. I told her I'd see her out there, she'd catch me.... Then, headed back thru the tent so I could exit on the other side and start my run.

As I started running I realized I wasn't getting any air. My lungs were basically shutting down so I could only do short shallow breaths. It was very exhausting. I never expected this, so of course didn't have my inhaler. But, I remembered giving to Erin, Sara's sister.. so was hoping to see her out on the run. The first couple of miles were out and back along the lake. It was beautiful. On my way back in I saw Melisa, Ric & Sara.... I yelled to Sara & asked her where Erin was, and she told me right up the road.

Thankfully about a mile later I found Erin & got my inhaler. I used it a couple of times but they were too congested to actually get enough medicine into them, I think. Finally about mile 4, I took one more puff and began coughing the congestion up. Ahhhhh, sweet air. I could finally get some.

I think the first few miles went by so quickly, because I was just focusing on getting air. Not expending too much energy by talking or wheezing, and putting one foot in front of the other.

I wasn't really thinking about nutrition too much. All I new is that I was STARVING. I had hunger pains like you wouldn't believe. I started with a Gel about 20mins into the run... That did absolutely nothing. I wasn't ready to walk thru the aid stations yet though, so I didn't try anything else.

I saw Troy at about mile 4.. I asked him where Shane was, and he said not far back. A little while later I saw Shane. He was walking....He said, "You're going to catch me." I knew his A game was over with and the Hernia pain he'd been dealing with had gotten to him.... Poor guy. He had plenty of time though, so I wasn't worried about him not finishing.

At about mile 5 momo caught up with me... then shortly after that Ric. Momo said she was feeling the same thing, and that she had eating an unbelievable amount of gel on the bike. She was done with those though. So... I decided to start with pretzels. I just started munching as much of them down as I could. Still not helping....

I stayed with Ric & momo until about mile 8, after a big climb I was slowing way down. Just couldn't keep up. Shortly after that Sara passed me. I could see all of them in front of me for a while, but just didn't have much in me to pick up the pace. I felt famished. My legs were great, but man.. this girl was just STARVING. I think this was just such a surprise to me. I expected to be tired, to be in pain, to be nauseous... but never expected to want a big old piece of pizza or bagel or ANYTHING solid for that matter....

I ended up walking quite a bit from mile 8-about 12. OH - and I also saw Heather at this time. I was so happy to see her out there and smiling. We were all worried about her after she had trouble in the practice swim. I guess she had an amazing swim, and was out there kicking some but!!

Then, as I approached the transition to begin lap 2 something hit me. I just had a great burst of energy. My only clue is it's the chicken soup I had just eaten. My extreme hunger had finally subsided and I was running.... I was living up the cheers of the crowd, giving high fives and smiling all thru the crowded area. When I saw my cheer group, Stacey jumped in and ran a few feet with me. All I remember saying is "This is F'ING HARD!!!" They were so encouraging. Said I looked great.... was doing so well. Nothing but positive thoughts from them!

Stacey was like, are you ok? What about it is the worst. The funny part was, nothing was hurting. My lungs had cleared up. My legs felt good. I just didn't know what else to say, I guess! And, it was HARD!

I must have picked up some time in those couple of miles because I saw Ric again (he was waiting for Sara) and I figured he was a lot further ahead of me... then I saw S walking. He was just trotting along. Then only about a half mile ahead of me I saw momo. I thought, hmmm, maybe I can catch up to her, but that fell apart pretty quickly when my 2 mile mojo vanished.

It was a great 2 miles.... but, then, then they were gone. It took everything I had not to walk up Sherman as I headed back out to the hills. The crowd saved me. Saved my running legs. You can see in this picture that I wasn't exactly cruising anymore!


The next person I saw was ironbenny. He was actually sitting down on some grass. I asked him if he was OK, if he needed anything... He said he just got low on fuel, but he'd be alright...

Then, I ran up to Shane. He was walking. I walked with him for about 5mins. He kept trying to get me to go run, but I was actually enjoying the walk :-) He was telling me to go, that I could beat his Wisconsin time. I knew that wasn't going to happen, and really just didn't care about the time. I already knew I was going to finish, and finish well. I just wanted to take it all in. Not be in pain... and get thru it. Although Shane would probably give anything to have been able to run the marathon, the rest of us sure did have fun walking with him at various points... Here's ironbenny & S walking together...

Eventually, I left him and started running again. Then walked..... then sometimes ran. When I got to the top of the hill where the turnaround was I saw momo. She said, "Come on - I want to finish with you!" It was so cute!!! I told her I couldn't run up the hill.... and she said, "that's ok - I'll walk."

So she did.. she walked and waited for me. I finished the up part then somehow got my legs to speed up and catch her a couple of minutes later on the down. She told me we did all the training together, and we were going to finish together! She asked what my plan was, walk, run or walk & run. I said yah.. I've been doing them both.

So, being the brilliant gal she is she said, "Ok - we'll run the down's and walk the ups." Gotta love a girl with a plan. Especially one that sounds as good as this one!

That is what we did... walked some, ran some..... drank a LOT of soup at the aid stations...

We also ran into ironbenny again. Or, he caught up to us. I can't tell you how good it was to see him! He was't looking so hot when I saw him a while back. It was like a complete turnaround. He walked with us for a while... then, I think he could tell we were just happily trotting along at our leisurely pace, and he picked it up and headed up in front...

The next and last few miles actually went by fairly fast. We stuck to our plan of walk/run. We talked about how it was just much more fun to be doing this than powering thru it and hurting. Our legs were finally starting to get a little tight, and we were ready for this thing. Ready to see that finish shoot... ready to stop moving.

We turned the corner before hitting Sherman where they were directing those who were finishing to go to the left, those who were starting lap 2 to go to the right.

In pure momo fahion she raised her hands up in the air changing, "We're finished, we're finished!!!" It was a blissful moment! I remember telling her I don't think I can run fast down that last stretch, but as soon as we turned the corner a whole new body over took mine and we started booking it!!!

About 100 yards from the finish I saw my Baxter sign with Stacey, Carrie, Chris, Karen & Dave - and I also saw a couple of surprise guests as well. Molly & Stacie, some friends from high school that were at the swim, but I had no idea they were coming back for the finish.

I think I picked it up even more..... Momo told me to go ahead, that she was grabbing her kids.

So, I sprinted (or at least that is what it felt like to me) and crossed that finish line as I heard my name followed by "YOU ARE AN IRONMAN." I was all smiles.
I turned around and saw Momo, gave her a hug.... We did it, just like we planned. Trained together, finished together..... It was such a great time. Such a great experience. Something, I will never forget...

It's hard to believe that it is overwith right now. Maybe that is why I signed up for next year. I wasn't ready to let it all go. I didn't quite feel complete.

I think there is a lot more that momo & I could have done out there, but we did what we did, had a blast and will be back next year to do it all over again! Hopefully, no white-caps on the lake and a little more running mojo!

I can't say enough about our wonderful support crew out there in CDA cheering us on all day long. Or, about the friends who were at home watching us online. I thought about each and every one of you while I was running out of fuel and steam out there on there run. You all are the reason that I made it....

I also can't say enough great things about the small city by the lake, Coeur d'Alene. This place and all the amazing people that live there made my first Ironman such an incredible experience. I really did feel like I was home......

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Part 2 - The Swim & Bike...





A couple of minutes after my near panic attack, the big cannon went off and the next thing I new I was in the middle of the craziest, wildest water experience of my life. No one seemed to be swimming. Everyone seemed to be flopping around like fish out of water. I was one of them. There was absolutely no rhythm to my stroke. No form. No technique or calm breathing. It was complete and utter chaos. At one point a kayak had gotten caught in the middle of my race pack. We were all kind of just stuck until it could move. Some people were yelling at the poor gal, but I just patiently waited. It’s not like I was having a super speedy swim anyway……

When I got to the first buoy, I looked at my watch. It was about 17mins. The other day it was 21.5 mins, so at least I was moving faster. Still not as fast as I had hoped for. It didn’t really matter at that point though, the water conditions were crazy. The wind, waves and the non-existent ability for anyway to site where they were going had already thrown my swim game face off and my 1:06 top goal out the door. I was just going to be happy with whatever I ended up with.

The next big buoy turn was difficult. The current was taking you into shore, but you had to go about 200yards parallel to the beach first. A bunch of us had missed it and had to swim back out to go around the buoy. Of course I only realized this once I was on my way into shore and heard a couple of girls yell, “It’s THAT way,” as they pointed back out to the lake… Once we hit that it got quite a bit easier. If you could time it right, and hit the wave right you could get a good push back in. If you were off however, the water would come over your head and impede your breathing rhythm and almost make you feel sea sick.

Eventually I made it out of the water for the first loop in 37mins. I figured I could do that again and it would be a 1:14-1:15swim. Unfortunately for me I felt like the second loop was harder. Even though their was more room to swim, you were fighting the waves with less help. My neck and arms started to cramp up from having such slopping form, so all I could think of was getting out of the water.

Finally…. I’m out of the water and on to T1 – Swim time: 1:18:30

T1 – 10:26

I don’t think I’ve ever had 10+mins go by so quickly. I actually had no idea how long I was in there. Now that I think about it, I’m thinking that my potty break was probably took just as long as my actually transition/changing time. We all know how fun it is to try to pull up and down SPANDEX when you are wet…..

I think was also in awe of my surroundings in the changing tent. Naked Wet people EVERYWHERE. Some people were shivering, struggling to regain their composure after that swim. The person next to me had a volunteer helping her. I was laughing internally at her requests or demands rather. I need help with my Bra. I need help pulling this over my head. I need… I need… She wasn’t even very courteous. I actually wanted to slap some sense into the girl, but decided to refrain.

Leaving T1 I spotted my # 1 fan Carrie. I screamed to her and she must have yelled at the rest of our cheerleaders, because the cheering suddenly got louder and I was FIRED UP!




THE BIKE

The first part of the bike was pretty fast. It was about a 12 mile loop. My focus was just to get my HR down from the swim and cold and try to get into a rhythm. I let a LOT of people pass me at this point, but I expected it. I was able to see Troy & Shane. I figured Troy would be out of the water before me, but I have to admit, once again I was pretty annoyed to see Shane. The little bastard swims faster than me in EVERY SINGLE RACE…..

I finally got my HR under control and was really feeling good. The air was cool and there was some wind, but I was pretty comfortable for the most part. My neck and shoulders were a lot more stiff from the swim than I expected, but nothing that I could not handle.

The best part was coming back through downtown CDA, near transition. The crowd support was phenomenal. Our group of fans were by far the best! They were decked out in BRIGHT orange EVERYTHING. The best part – my friend Carrie had a HUGE poster with my baby boy Baxter plastered on it. It was SO stinking cute….. It was my inspiration as I headed up into the hills of Hayden.

The first loop of the bike went by pretty quickly. I was definitely conservative with my speed and effort. I dropped to my easy gear on the hills, and didn’t crank away on the downs. My focus was my nutrition. I was really really hungry, but I was afraid of over an under eating, so I stuck to my plan of eating every :40mins. I wanted more food, but I was too nervous to screw anything up.
A really cool thing about this course is that you have a chance to see those ahead of you and behind you because of a few out and back portions. By mile 30ish I had seen everyone in our group: Troy, then Shane.... then Ric, then Momo, then Sara then Heather... Ric, Momo and Sara were very close to each other.
About 20miles into the ride I had to go potty. Every time I passed an aid station there was a line. I had hoped that I would be able to hold it until the halfway point, but at mile 45 I could no longer stay aero and was starting to lose time. So, I pulled over and waiting in line for about 3mins before getting into a porta potty. I actually expected some of my group to catch up to me once I stopped for a potty break......, but I never saw them...

The aids at this stop were amazing. They held my bike, asked me how I was doing, if I needed anything… Thanked me for coming out there… then, even yelled to the oncoming bikes to move out of the way when it was my turn to head out.

They weren’t the only great support. The entire community was full of inspiration. Nothing but good vibes and thank yous and loud cheers and clapping and singing…. The city of Coeur d’Alene and Hayden embraced us athletes with such encouragement and charisma that you felt like you were a celebrity. It was the most surreal feeling to be in such an incredible community of people.

After the first loop I was really feeling good. My legs were still 100% and I even with the hills the ride felt almost easy….. As I turned into town and saw my cheerleaders again, I embraced the experience, the momentum from the crowd. The energy from all the people that were spending their Sunday afternoon out there for US. I took that energy and brought it with me for the next 56miles…..

I kept waiting for the moment when I would be dying to get off of my bike. So many others had told me about it, and I just kept on waiting, but it never really happened. I was ready for a change, ready to get my bike shorts off, ready to get away from the GIRLS I’d been around that were peeing right in front of me on the bike…. So, I guess I was ready to start running, but not nearly as much as I imagined.

Maybe it was all the hills I had trained on. Maybe it was the bright yellow signs that my race support crew Stacey, Dave & Carrie spent the evening posting all over Hayden. Whatever it was, I got off my bike feeling fabulous. My only regret now would have been to give it a little more out there and improved my time some. I couldn’t change anything about my potty breaks, but I think I could have put a little more effort out there on the road…. Live and learn though, right? It was my first Ironman, what the heck did I know? :-)

Total Bike Time: 6:32:52

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I'm doing it again......

Something crazy must have come over me. Maybe it's peer pressure (sshhhh, I'm not saying a word), or maybe it's just all about the experience I had. Maybe it's the amazing community of Coeur d'Alene, or the best fans EVER that we had out there on race day. Whatever it is... I'm in, again.... 2008 Ford Ironman CDA....

Here's part 1 of 2 or 3 of my Ironman Race Report. Sit down... prepare yourself.... then go sign up to join "us" for next year...

Ironman CDA…

When I finally decided that I was ready to take the leap of faith and register for an Ironman, I though what better place to do it than somewhere I was familiar with. Ironman AZ never really intrigued me for some reason. Maybe it was the heat, or the winter training, or maybe it was Tempe Town Lake…..

Ironman Coeur d’Alene seemed to be the perfect fit for me. It had the best of all worlds. I grew up in Spokane, Washington and spent just about every summer that I can remember at CDA Lake. First, when I was a kid my mom & her friends would pack us up in the car and head to the beach for the day. Then, as I grew older and it was no longer “cool” to be with mom, my girlfriends and I would drive ourselves there and spend the day a the lake. Basking in the sun and taking swims in the lake to cool down.

Now, when I look back at those times, I think I must have been crazy. That water is SOO cold! Anyway, that is not really my point, yet anyway…..

There are two things that I really miss about living in the Pacific Northwest. Clean, clear lakes and Green trees. CDA has both of them, and to me… it felt like home. I was hoping that the feeling of home would help me get through one of the hardest days of my life.

So, hold on….. here is my RACE REPORT, broken down into a few posts so you don’t have to spend half of your day reading!

Pre – Race

The days leading up to the race were beautiful. High 70’s sunny and mild wind. Our training group was fortunate enough to have a rental house as close as you could possibly get to the Ironman Village. Ok, really… I’m going to take some credit here – as I booked this house over a year ago once we had our group confirmed and registrations complete. I was familiar with the area, and found the house right away. We even checked it out when we were on a trip back to Spokane last July. It really was perfect.

Everything seemed so simple. We were able to walk across the street and do all of the many tasks pre-race. Registration, shopping, picking up our bikes, shopping… oh and did I say SHOPPING??

The lake was about a 2 min walk from the house. So, we were able to do a couple of practice swims. I can’t say enough how important those were. The water was pretty choppy on the days leading up to the race, so we were able to get some practice. The first day was really tough. There was a strong current and it was really tough to get anywhere.

I am usually very nervous about swimming in open water, but just like I had hoped and imagined, the water felt like home, and I had no fears, no issues. I was comfortable.

We also got to meet and swim with Ironbenny and Nytro. Ever since I found their blogs I wanted to meet them. Nytro is a breath of fresh air with her no-holding back blog posts and hysterical sense of humor. I look forward to reading each of her entries. Reading Benny’s blog was just as fun and inspiring. It’s funny how far all of this technology and Internet hoopla has come. I never imagined that I would end up meeting such really great people online.

We spent some time driving the new bike course as well. Although the hills in Hayden were pretty intimidating, I wasn’t at all nervous for them. I’m not sure if it’s because our training rides had gone so well – or if the fact that S & I had done the Lake Stevens 70.3 last year, and those hills were way harder…Either way, I really just wasn’t that concerned.

For the most part, I really remained calm about the whole race. I knew my neurotic pre-race nerves would come in to play eventually, but for now I was doing just fine.

Ok, EXCEPT for the packing. There is just so much to think about when trying to pack up all of your race bags. Thinking of everything you could possibly want and need. What would I want to wear. Would I be to hot, to cold… What if “this” happens, or “that” happens? Well, lets just say this was the toughest part for me. Check out this picture – it do justice to the chaos that S & I had going on in our bedroom.

We had a couple of nice dinners, probably too much wine, family visits, dinner with Grandpa…. It was actually a pretty busy few days leading up to the race. By Saturday I was actually pretty tired. Probably not the best way to rest up for an Ironman…..

Sunday morning finally came. I wasn’t able to sleep much the night before. I was entirely too restless. As should be expected, I’m sure.

Half of the group went over at about 5am to get body marked and drop of their bags. S & I were waiting for Momo to arrive. We walked over to drop off our bags, then came back to the house and did our own body marking. The wind was whipping around like it was a Midwest storm and it was COLD.

We decided to just put our wetsuits on at the house and walk over. It meant we wouldn’t have to worry about our cloths or dropping off yet ANOTHER bag. Well, except for S. After his experience in Wisconsin, he decided he wanted cloths for after the race.

We were all bundled up in a group waiting for S to get back from dropping off his bag. The countdown to the race start was getting a little too close for comfort, and one by one everyone started to take off. I was FREAKING OUT. For the first time all week I was scared out of my mind. I can’t really even explain what about, but I was losing it. I couldn't’t wait for S anymore. I HAD to get down to the water before I lost my mind.

So, I headed down the stairs, across the timing mat and hit my planned race start area. Left of the cones, and up in front. I got in the water to make sure that my goggles were not going to leak (oh, and of course to get my pre-race nervous pee out of the way!), then headed back on to the beach. I was looking all around for someone, anyone. Even though I was surrounded by 2300 other athletes, I felt alone.

Finally, I spotted Momo. She came over to me and we stood there freezing together. A few minutes later I saw Shane. He came over, gave us a hug, then headed back to the right side of the pack.

A few moments later we heard an announcement about how rough the swim conditions were and they were giving all of us the option to do a duathlon. Momo actually looked at me and asked if I wanted to do that. I’m about 99.9% sure she was joking, but for all intense purpose, she sounded convincing with her questions. My only response. HECK NO. NOT AGAIN (Rage swim being cancelled). After all the hours in the pool. The wetsuit drama… WE were ready, and WE ARE swimming!!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Post Race Recovery

I have yet to put together any words that can describe Sunday's experience, so I'm going to save that post for a couple of days. Possibly when I have caught up on sleep, my stomach and muscles have returned to normal and the shock of this entire experience has subsided, I will be able to find the words.....

For now, all I can say is a HUGE thank you to all of our supporters, starting with the loudest, brightest and most encouraging 2 out on the course Stacey & Carrie. Seeing those two as well as Dave, Big J, Little J, Frankie, Stronger, Erin, Bailey, all of the parents and grandparents and even some of my high school friends made getting through each loop on the course so much easier.

We also met a couple of fellow bloggers here (nytro and ironbenny), and even got to spend some time out on the course with ironbenny.

Our entire team is on the way to the airport right now, but S & I are here for one more night. It's so quiet in the house right now, I'm thinking I might finally get some rest! It seems almost surreal that this huge life changing event is complete. I won't say over, because... well, that seems like I would be closing the door on it all, and I'm not quite ready for that.

With that note, I'm going to send you to Stronger's blog for a few pictures that she took. Oh, and my official finish time: 13:18:57

Saturday, June 23, 2007

T - 1 Day!

I can't believe it's here. It's the day before the race. We arrived in Spokane on Tuesday evening. Unfortunately, our flight was a couple hours late (hence why we call it AMERICA WORST)..... but with that first little glitch in our trip, everything has since gone pretty well.

I can't imagine how the people who don't arrive by Wed or even Thursday don't freak out. I feel like we have been running around NON STOP this whole time.

Between practicing swimming, and eating, and driving the course, and eating, and shopping and eating, and getting everything ready and eating....... Well, you get the picture. We've been BUSY!!! Get the picture?

Thursday night Shane & I had a nice dinner with my grandpa. He's about the only family I have left here in Spokane, and was so excited to come see us. He's getting up there, and as sad as it is to say... just doesn't have much left in him (will) - he wants to go be with Grandma. But, we had nice visit and as always learned more things about his past & history.

Yesterday we did some swimming. Well we did on Thursday & yesterday, but a couple of people had a rough time with the COLD lake & rough waters so we went back out there to get them comfortable. I'm proud to say that surprisingly I was NOT one of them. I think I made the right decision in choosing this race as my first. This lake is like my home. I grew up coming here all summer long, and it's basically like my backyard. My open water anxiety was gone, my fear of what the hell is at the bottom of the lake non-existent..... I was calm and cool and collected.

Yesterday we also got to meet Nytro & Benny. Benny showed us a new trick. He put Vaseline all over his arms before going into the water. He said he "heard" that it kept you warm (sleeveless wetsuit). Apparently it's a myth. He said it didn't do a damn thing! Sure sounded smart though!

Please. Please let that happen to me tomorrow!!!

We also drove the course. Holy.Shit. Hills, hills & more hills..... They keep saying how 'scenic' it is. I'm totally with them. It is beautiful..... but it is hilly.

One good thing ironshane & I have going for us is that last year we did the Lake Stevens 70.3. We were no where near the shape we are in now. We drove the course and all we could think was "OMG - what have we done to ourselves?" It was to this date the hardest ride I've done. I still managed a 3:14 bike split. So, as this course is HARD - I don't think it was quite the Lake Stevens difficulty, and I'm in much better shape. Hopefully this helps me out!

Today we just have the last minute stuff to do. A little warming up. A quick 15min run & bike..... My legs are dying to do something. They are actually kind of achy.

I need to finish getting my race bags together. I'm not really all that organized to tell you truth. It'a big overwhelming with all of the bags you have to fill, getting your nutrition ready, cloths, EVERYTHING you could possibly think you might need.

The weather here looks beautiful. It's about 50degs now (7am) and just slight 6mph winds. The sun is shining and everything is GREEN. Hourly forecast shows very similar weather for tomorrow. Could we be any more lucky?

I can't think of anything else too exciting to write. I'm starting to get a little restless, so I think I better make use of it.

Tomorrow is going to be one of the craziest, most exciting days of my life thus far... I can't wait. I'm sure my jitters and nervousness and freak outs will come shortly... but somehow, I have remained calm.

t-23hours34mins

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

And... We're OFF!

Today is the day. S & I are finally all packed..... Trust me, you have no idea what an accomplishment that is. I am the world's worst packer. Without a doubt, the worst. It literally took me all day to get my sh$! together yesterday and physically in the suitcase. I just kept running from room to room with different things in my hand... then I'd forget what I was doing, and end up not accomplishing a whole heck of a lot.

The kids were so irritated with me. As if the stress of the suitcase in front of them wasn't enough, THEN they had to follow me around the house like a mad woman. Poor things. Not much has changed today either. My poor baby Baxter. He just keeps looking at me with the saddest, longing eyes. I hate when he does this to me. I hate to leave him. Trust me.... for those of you with 2-legged kids. I swear, I have the same attachment to my dog. Who, is really not a dog.... he's a red, 4-legged person.

The bad part is he knows it. He knows he can get me to do anything he wants. Like last night. I was feeling guilty, so I told him, after his Dad went to sleep he could jump on the bed. This is about the only thing the kids aren't allowed to do - sleep on the bed. So, about 30 mins after we went to bed, I called him up... He slept with me all night long. Ok, actually I didn't sleep much last night.... but that's another story. Baxter sure did though. He was all snuggled up to me, and WE loved it. Even Shane... even though he'll NEVER admit it.....

So, like I said before... we're leaving soon. In a couple of hours to be exact. I still have some last minute things to do, you know.. like TAKE A SHOWER! But, I've still got time ;-)

It's so crazy that 1 year ago..... this date was so far out in the future, not much about it scared me at all. Now, it seems like just a couple of months later, it's all here. The training is done. All my money is gone on everything you could possibly imagine, and then some.... My muscles are healing (which by the way - HURTS).

There are so many things about this journey that are amazing. Every time I reached a new "longest swim, longest bike, longest swim...." I felt achievement. There were good days & bad days. Some days when I just didn't feel like I could do it. Others, when I was on top of the world and couldn't believe how far I have come.

Who'd of thought the party girl from Spokane, Washington would be doing her first Ironman before she turned 30 - and who'd of thought it would be in the lake she grew up swimming in. Countless summer days playing in the water (what the hell was I thinking - it's 58DEGS!). Countless trips to Paul Bunyan for soft serve ice cream (I think it's still there!)......

So many people have supported me through this journey:

My husband, who wasn't even going to do this race until I gave him the "ok" - he was going to be my cheerleader.

My training buddies, all 6 of them also doing the race (momo, ironshane, Sara, Ric, Troy, Heather).

My dear friend from High School Carrie , who is my #1 fan and will be out on the course all day long supporting me.

Stacey & Dave who are actually flying in from Phoenix to come support us - how lucky are we?

My trainer Daniel.... as mean as he was, I know he will be a big part of my success on Sunday.

Natalie and Kate - they were out there on so many of my training runs. And, Natalie is ALWAYS sending the nicest kind thoughts to all of us.

So many others that are supporting us - Sharon, Toni, parents....... It's just so amazing to have such great people surrounding us! And, although they may think we are crazy, they are still cheering us on.

Of course - all of my blog readers that I have not yet met. Thank you for your kind words...

I will be writing more while we are in CDA, so STAY TUNED!!!!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Ironman

I've been trying to come up with the right words for this post for a few days now. I just haven't really figured it out, so I'm just going to let it roll.....

Momo has written a couple of posts about ironman lately; balancing family & training, what it means & does for her, and even some posts about the taper and how she's feeling.

Ironshane has written almost every day for a week. First his 5 goals, now he's working on sport specific goals. He's VERY ambitious, or maybe it's just confidence. He has already finished Ironman.

I've also read a few posts from ironbenny who will also be in CDA. S has been emailing with him so I think we will be meeting up with him and his wife Nytro. It will be nice to meet some new faces before the big day!

I am a pretty calm and rational person. Maybe almost too calm a lot of the time. I haven't stressed out too much about this race. I expected to, but it just wasn't coming. Not that I'm complaining or anything.

I've had a few little speed bumps, the sprained ankle (which by the way is healing nicely, just sore when I turn it inside too far), some shoulder issues (still dealing with, but manageable)...oh, and the most recent bike crash (still wearing the battle wounds from that one).

All in all, my training has been near flawless. I've felt great for the most part. I've seen the expected improvements in my dropped HR, running pace, swimming pace and finally feel like I can actually sustain a good bike pace for such a long time. So really, it's all coming together.

So, people keep asking me how long it's going to take me? You know, it's really not an easy question. There are so many variables in such a long race that I really just don't know what to expect.

For instance:

The swim - In a pool I would be confident in saying that I could do the 2.4mile swim in 1:05, maybe faster if I were drafting. But, this is OPEN water, with 2600 other people splashing around like fish out of water..... So really, can I REALLY expect to swim a 1:05? My best half ironman swim time is :36. Yes, I'm faster now...but 2600 people in your way - that is a LOT of people!!!

Yesterday, I was reading the July issue of Triathlete Magazine. I found this article about open water swimming, and how it will be in the 2008 Olympics. They talk about the challenges of the open water & how different it is from pool swimming.

Article by Richard Martin, "The Loneliness of the Open-Water Swimmer." Triathlete Magazine, July 2007

"The water, as you start to wade in, is cool but not frigid, and you quickly warm up inside your wetsuit. At the gun you avoid the splashing meliee at the head of the crowd and take a few hard strokes to get going before settling into a steady rhythm, breathing on both sides. The pack strings out and you can tell, from raising your head every 10th stroke or so, that you are closer to the front than the rear......... Time passes easily, and soon enough you've rounded the last buoy and the finish comes closer. You're on your way to the best open-water swim of your life."

Now, if I could live my ultimate swim experience for this race - it would be exactly what you read about.

Then, then there is the bike..... My cycling has always gone well. Never anything to complain about too much. Doing the long runs on Friday, then the long bikes on Saturday made for some challenging saddle time, but again, nothing I couldn't handle. Mini-Me and I are a good team. As long as she behaves, no flats, no weird gear issues, etc. Our weekend rides are somewhere between 16.8 & 17.5 AVG MPH. That includes all the stops at lights, bathroom breaks, etc.

So, how to take that kind of average and put it into a race pace for such a long distance? I guess I could compare to my other half ironman paces. My first one, Soma in 05 I did 2:59 - 19mph. I wasn't in nearly as good of shape, but it was also FLAT. Then, last summer I did the Lake Stevens 70.3. This race race was HARD. Hills, hills and MORE hills. I was slightly slower, even though I was stronger. It was 3:14 or 17.3mph.

So, with both of those things considered, I'd like to say I could do the bike leg in 17-17.5mph or 6:20-6:45 including potty stops, special needs(?) and God forbid a stinking flat.

But again.. who knows. It's all about what my HR tells me to do on race day.

Lastly, there is the run. This is the BIG FAT ????. My running has improved. I've gotten faster at lower HRs. I'm still not as fast as I was 4 years ago when I first got injured. I was at the Rock n Roll Marathon in San Diego. I was planning to run a 4hr marathon. S was there to pace me. I hit the 1/2 mark at right at 2hours. Then, something happened. I slowed to a near crawl. I ended with a 4:31 marathon time, and have never been the same since.

So, needless to say, after 4 years, 3 years of PT, cortisone injections, strength training, 3 MRI's and surgery to repair my IT band... I lost my speed right along with my running confidence. Now, over the past few months I have gained some of those back, but I still... just have NO idea what to expect from my run time.

My biggest battle when running is heat. My body heats up so damn fast my HR sky rockets and thus no more sub 10min miles. HOWEVER, I've been training in 80degrees (at the coolest) and 105 at the hottest conditions. Right now CDA forecast is about 72 for a high. I'm really hoping this helps me significantly. So, with that said. I think a realistic run goal for me, including potty stops, nutrition, etc is 5hours. I would love to do it faster. I think somewhere in there I've got it in me. Yet, at the same time..... I just have no idea how my body will feel.

So, add all of those times up. Puts me somewhere around 13hours finishing time. It's a good goal I think. It's possibly things will happen and I won't meat that goal. It's also possible that my body and all this hard work will pay off, and perhaps, I could BREAK that goal.

Yes, I have some more specific and faster goals in my head. But, those are my goals and at this time... I want to keep them quietly packed away in the back of my head. If I meet them, then fantastic. I will feel like a superstar. If I don't, well then... no one will feel bad for me or try to make me feel better if I don't make them! It will be my quiet little secret. My own personal achievement and or disappointment. Either way.... I will be an ironman, regardless of the time.

I actually started this post wanting to write about how I was feeling, tell you about some crazy ass dreams I've had, including a specific finishing time at IM. I wanted to write about how my usually calm self has turned into a nervous wreck, which will only get worse as the date approaches. But, then I just started typing away at my goals, etc... so I guess that's what this ended up being.

So, tomorrow.. tomorrow I will write about my nervousness. My neurotic non-existent ability to pack like a normal person... and then, then it's off to the airport to catch our flight to Spokane!

Crazy......

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Lucky (?) Number 2042

Here you have it - the CDA race numbers are finally here. I had no idea the impact.. Ok, I still really don't, but ironshane & momo were OBSESSED with these things. I'm surprised that between the two of their visits to the website to check for them, the entire thing didn't crash ;-)

So, as I'm still lying in bed I hear S coming down the hallway saying, "MY NEW FAVORITE NUMBER!!!!"

So, I ask... "What's mine?" He replies, "I don't know..."

But here you have it - the entire teams numbers, in order. Shane said it goes by Age Group, then Alphabetical, which makes sense. Look who has the smallest number in the group(girls), yup that's me. The baby of the team :-) Ok, well Shane doesn't count cause he's got the smallest cause he has a charity slot.

http://www.allthingstriathlon.com/
Shane - 176
Ric - 930
Troy - 948
Krista - 2042
Sara - 2155
Heather - 2245
Momo - 2290

Something to be said for the lowest & the highest #'s... Maybe ironshane & momo will be finishing together? Hmmmmmm......

So, the last couple of days have been pretty eventful.... Today, the race numbers.

Yesterday, momo & I tried out our wetsuits. They are effing FANTASTIC! The new Zoot Zenith fits like a glove, is comfortable as anything I can imagine wearing. And, besides the fact that it has PINK on it, it is FAST as heck.

Even though the pool was like 80degrees, and it was 100degrees outside, we still swam in them for a bit. Started with a 100 warmup.

Does a 1:27 sound like a 100 warmup? It is when you are wearing the new Zoot Zenith!

How about a 15:32 for 1000yards? Hmmm, there is something to be said for this thing...

Worth.EVERY.Penny!!!

Which brings me to my next point. My brilliant idea to make paying for this speedsuit less draining.

See, S & I were planning on going to NY for the marathon this fall. We tried the lottery last year, in hopes at least one of us would get in so we could carry our entrance into this year. Well, S got in, but I didn't. Unfortunately, I didn't get in this year either.

I had saved up enough Credit Card Points to buy us each 1st Class tickets for our journey. Well, now that I didn't get in, we decided to post pone it and try again next year. So...... I took some of the points saved up for the tickets & just credited the cash to my cards and WA-LA - it's like the wetsuit was FREE!

Anyone else like my rational? I think even S liked it. You should have heard his reaction when I told him that ONLY the MOST expensive suit in the entire shop fit me.

So - on to the next news breaking story from yesterday. As I mentioned above, I didn't get into NY. I really wanted NY to be my next marathon. It was the last marathon I did in 2003. It was pretty much the last time I could run. I was in pain the entire run. Well, Ok - from my 6-26.2 I was in pain.

I remember begging people for Advil. Tylenol was sponsoring the marathon so that's all they had. But, I had already taken Advil that am, so I decided it wasn't a good idea to mix it up. I remember dreaming of someone at the aid station have a big fat needle full of CORTISONE that I would almost trade my life for a shot of. Anything to take away the feeling of someone stabbing me with a knife right on the side of my knee, and THEN turning it in circles to make the pain even worse.

Is that descriptive enough.... Ugh, it almost makes my stomach turn thinking about that.

Now, despite all the pain, it was also the day that S proposed to me. He had it all planned out. He had 2 long sleeve shirts printed up that on the front read: "He asked... and all I got was this crummy T-Shirt." It had a picture of the ring on it. On the back it said - "The ring is at the Finish, Go KRISTA GO!

Pretty cute huh? Well, unfortunately although we were prepared for 40deg temps, NY had a fluke heatwave and race day was about 85degrees and 100 humidity. So, I wore the shirt tied around my waist.

And, yes... at the finish I got the ring :-)

Pretty cute story, huh? Now, you can see why I was wanting NY to be my next marathon....

BUT, all things happen for a reason, I suppose. I didn't get into NY. However... momo is doing the St. George Marathon, so I thought maybe I could do that as well. You know, I actually have a story about St. George too :-)

We had a group enter the lottery for St. George in 04. I was one of them. When it came down to trying to train for it. I was in too much pain. I could barely run at all. I gave up my entrance and had to still go on the trip. Watch everyone else run it. Everyone Pr'd.....

Have you ever been stuck in Utah, not able to do what you want and can't even DRINK your sorrows away? Well, I have - and let me tell you, I vowed to NEVER go back.

Well, look at me now. Yesterday, I got a charity entrance to St. George. I will be running and trying to raise money for
The Erin Kimbal Memorial Foundation.

I think my timing was perfect. There were only 3 spots left as of yesterday, and I got one of them. All I had to do was make a $200 donation, and then try to raise other funds throughout the training.

SO.... if anyone would like to help this cause, please send me an
email, and I will give you instructions.

So, there you have it, like I said - an eventful couple of days! Today is a rest day, and tomorrow we have a our long ride 3:30. I can't believe how incredibly close we are.....

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Adventures of Momo and Tri-Dogmom

Well, I think the title says it all.....
You know what is cool about working from home? Ok, so besides the obvious (staying in your pajamas or running cloths, no makeup....no office drama, etc) Flexibility. You know what is cool about working for your friend, who also happens to be just as crazy as you, and obsessed about the perfect fit, and perfect outfit, and... ....... ....?

You get to pick up on a Tuesday at 1 and drive down to Tucson to the big fancy Trisports shop to test out wetsuits in their new Endless Pool!

Well, thank GOD for all of these things, because had yesterday not happened, I'd be well... uh.. SCREWED.

So, I wrote about my wetsuit issues last post. I was freaking out Sunday night and again Monday am.... I tried Momo's Desoto First Wave suit at the pool Monday. It fit fine, but like her, the shoulders were not right. It was too restricting. So, now what?

I was looking at S's new wetsuit - the 2xu Elite, that he tried out on Sunday and LOVED. The arms were so thin and flexible. I decided that was what I wanted.

So, I called Trisports and decided to order it. Never mind that I am usually a very savvy bargain shopper. At this point, 12 days from the race, I was running out of time.

OUT.OF.STOCK. - Of course they are.... at least in my size. Or, the size I THOUGHT I was...
So the girl talks me into the Blue Seventy Helix. Now, my sleeveless is the old Ironman Stealth. I love it. It fits perfectly. She said the Helix is a step up from the Stealth, that she loves it. Her shoulders never get sore or tired, and if I love the Stealth I would love this.

OK, So she sold me. And, I was ordering a $500 freaking wetsuit. Less my 15% club discount of course.
Then my conversation with momo about it not fitting - what would I do? Next thing you know, her kids and the two of us are on our way to Tucson...

So, of course the first thing Momo sees is the new Zoot Zenith and the fact that it has PINK in it. She of course wants to try that one on.

I go for the Helix. Size Medium, just like I ordered. 10mins later I step out of the changing room and the guy helping us says, "No, I don't like that AT ALL" I looked in the mirror and it really did look funny. There were these big gaps around my armpit... Then, he said it was too much room on my back as well. He said if I were to wear it in the water it would fill up and only cause me problems.



So, I watch Melisa gracefully swimming in the Black & Pink Swimsuit...and I am sent off to try on another suit.

This time he puts me in a size Medium 2xu Comp2, because they do not have any of the Elite.

Same problem. Only worse. This one is way too big in the upper area. Now, you have to imagine having something that is SKIN tight and takes you 10mins to put on being too big. It's pretty funny, actually. Again, the sales guy doesn't like it. Not to mention, I started with the top of the line Blue Seventy and downgraded to try this size on from 2xu - I wasn't happy with the feel.

Note to self - DO NOT TRY TOP OF THE LINE FIRST!!!

Next up.... the Zoot Zenith, Size Small. I decided to go right for the smaller one, to try to avoid the too big problems.

Have you ever tried to put a WET WETSUIT on? Hmmm, I'm not even sure I can describe it, other than it is NOT fun. Ask Melisa - she watched me. We did however, learn one good trick.

Buddy up for wetsuit fitting. Basically once the suit is up, you put your arm out to the other person and push against them while they pull the arms up properly, as if it were a nylon. It works perfectly!

And who would of known. The damn PINK wetsuit fits me like a glove. Finally, 3 wetsuits later I get to go in the pool. Man, is that pool fun. You get to watch yourself in mirrors & see your form.
The swim felt effortless with this new fancy suit on.

As I'm drying off Momo says, "Uh... we're gonna have to find some more cold water races to justify this suit." Why? How much is it? $599!
You have got to be F'ING kidding me? So, I decide I need to at least TRY some other suits on.

Next up. The Helix size Small.... 20mins later. I am So not getting this thing on me. I was exhausted. Sore, and HUNGRY. I'm ready to spend the money and buy the silly PINK suit.

The sales guy says, hang on..... one more. So, he does have the 2xu Elite, size small.


10mins later, I squeeze into this thing. With help, of course - Now that I am sweating like a pic and have no more arm strength. I step out of the room only to hear those same words again...
"Nope, I don't like that."

Same problem, the gap in my armpit area. Guess it's a good thing they were out of stock of the Medium, since my itty bitty BOOBS can't even fill out the stinking size SMALL!

So, there you have it folks. $527 later I have my new wetsuit. And it's Pink... a dream come true for momo. Now, just my luck our swim caps in CDA will be pink...



All I have to say is I will be finding some cold water to swim in, and it better make me have a DAMN FAST SWIM SPLIT!!!








Monday, June 11, 2007

Taper....

Well, I bet you I'm not the only one with this post Title... TAPER, TAPER, TAPER... I can't get enough of that word!

You hear a lot of people talke about going crazy during the taper. So antsy.... so all over the place on not wanting to rest. Well, while I have never trained for and Ironman, I have done 2 half ironman and gone thru the taper. And, I will be the first to tell you that I did NOT feel like doing anything other that what was required.... that is, if I could get thru even the scheduled workouts.
This taper, which officially started today, seems NO different. After a weekend of bachelorette activities (weekend starting on WED), along with a couple of last long workouts - 2hour run and 5 hour bike ride, I was officially D.O.N.E. "put a fork in me" type done.... yesterday, which also carried over to today.
So, we'll start with the Saturday. We started our ride at about 5:15am. I had slept like a log that night and was certainly not really "awake" by the time we got on our bikes. About 5mins into the ride I turned the wrong way, right into S. He managed to break free from a fall, but I fell HARD. I guess I was awake NOW. No real bad damage, just some cuts and scrapes and a big Raspberry on my left Quad.
Remember how I said I needed to find a bubble to go into for 2 weeks. Do you believe me now?
THANKFULLY the rest of the ride went on as planned. I felt great! My HR was low and I just never really got tired! Don't get me wrong, I was certainly ready to get off of the saddle, but not like last week....
We covered almost 90miles in 5hours. My avg HR was only 141 (zone 2 139-159). Everything went VERY well!
So, it was a quick shower, then headed over to one of the girls house for some pool time and drinks.
Day time drunk.... I do remember those days. And I certainly live it up in Mexico.. but I did find it a little difficult to pull off after a 5hour ride, knowing I would be up all night. Some of the other girls had NO problem puling this off...

Here are a couple of the girls doing "butt lifts" to get their bodies ready for the outfit of "booty shorts" - they are probably going to kill me for posting this, but oh well.. it's MY blog, and they look good, so why not!?
The bachelorette (Sara, on right) was on her way to getting "saucy"....

Even the dogs were having fun.....

After we were all "cleaned up" we were back together for some GAMES....

A penis pinata stuffed with underwear and chocolate. What more could a girl ask for?
The "Outfit" and fun stuff....


In the limo..... DJ Sara -


Shelb and Angie..... (Angie was one of my first friends in AZ - I don't see enough of this crazy girl!)


Dinner and drinks.... Jen, Shelby & Tanya...


Erin & I at Dinner...


Dancing Queen.....

I'm pretty sure this was the last shot of the night...


Or, at least the last one that I witnessed before heading home...before the rest of the girls :-)
..................................................................................................................................................................
SO - the party is over, and it was time for me to get backthe training.

Sunday, we went out to Bartlett Lake to do some open water swimming and test out the wetsuits. It's a good thing. I learned that the wetsuit I was going to borrow is not going to work.

It is too big in the upper body and was pulling air and water in and taking me under!!! Of course, I find this out 2 weeks before the race.

So, today, I tried out Momo's Desoto First Wave 2 piece wetsuit. I absolutely prefer sleeveless, but it will work. The legs were really really nice. So, I'm going to oder one (just what I need - spend more $$$), and hope that the water warms up.

Today the water was 60degrees. I will wear my sleeveless if it is 65degs. I hope it warms up. I LOVE my sleeveless.

So, I woke up pretty darned tired. Even after going to bed at 8:30. I skipped my 1:05 run. Shane didn't have it on his taper schedule, so why should I? hee hee S & Momo are rubbing off on me :-)
Some other good news. Today http://www.allthingstriathlon.com/ went live. Please, check it out! We also got our custom jerseys in the mail today. Here are a few pics! They are going to make us SO fast, I just know it.



Sunday, June 10, 2007

I survived.....

More details to come, but here's how the night began......



And, here's how it ended - at least for the tired triathlete & her preggo friend Erin, the first to take advantage of the limo ride home...



P.S. I made it until 1am, after being up at 4 - that's pretty darn good, I think!

Friday, June 8, 2007

OMG!!

Does my countdown ticker really say 15 days left? Holy COW! That is SO soon..... I keep saying 3 weeks for some reason. I'm stuck on that 3 week countdown. Guess I better change that up.


I AM GOING TO BE AN IRONMAN IN LIKE 2 FREAKING WEEKS!!!

That sounds cool, huh?


Ok - so really I just got online to give a quick update. My ankle. It seems to be A-OK.


I did not do anything on Tuesday. It was pretty swollen and sore and a little bruised.


I decided to go ahead and do my long swim (5500yards), it went pretty well, I just had to use the pull buoy a lot.

After the swim I went to my PT appt. Matt said I tore tore some of the ligaments on the outside, but it wasn't so bad. He did tissue work on it for about 30 or so minutes, then they hooked me up to the stem unit & iced it. He told me cycling and swimming were good, but I needed to be able to hop on the one foot before running.

Matt knows better than to tell me NO. We have that kinda of relationship :-0 He treated me for 3 years... He knows that NO is NOT in my vocabulary.

So, of course, I ran today. Momo and I did a nice UP then DOWN out and back 12mile route. OR, just under 12miles. We ended up short on time, but decided to call it a day. It was a good run. My ankle survived. Momo had me stick my whole foot in a bucket of ice water before I could go home... all in all it was successful, and I'm glad I did it.

It's a little sore now, so I'll ice it before I go to bed.

On the social front... the Bach weekend festivities have begun. Man, am I out of "fun" shape! Several of these girls are my college buddies. Let me tell you. They can still HANG! Wed we met up for Sushi... they were drinking it up.... Thursday they came over to my house to get some sun and drink some beers.... Then it was happy hour, which turned into closing the bars down. And, today... they were back over at my house drinking coronas and lounging in the pool.

Now, you know you are in a whole different league when you get up at 4:30am to see messages from your friends left at 2:15am saying they are locked out of the house.... I guess I missed them by about 30mins, as they were finally let in at 4am. How funny would that have been? Me stopping by to picking up my drunk (yes, still drunk) friends, so they could go to bed for the night, and I could go get my 2hour run in.

So, tonight is a wine night. I must admit I'm sad to miss this one. Unfortunately their reservations are not until 8:30, and that is just far too late for this girl who turns into a pumpkin at 9pm. So, I'm eating some pasta here in a few, then heading to the airport for the 3rd time to pick up another friend... then dropping her off.

Tomorrow we have a 5hour ride, then I will partake in the Saturday festivities. I hope I live to update you all on the adventures.... It will certainly be interesting. I told my friends they have to keep me from dancing so I can keep this body in one piece! The night will consist of dinner & drinks... limo....and some dance clubs. Oh, and we are all wearing matching tanks. I'm sure we will be sticking out in the crowd. I'll make sure to send pictures so you can see a whole other side of me...

Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Ankle Update

Ok.... so, yesterday after the incident, I iced and iced and iced - then I went to the pool to try to swim. Cause, that's HOW I ROLL.... (my husband is shaking his head right now and rolling his eyes).
The swimming was fine, I got really good at doing one legged flip turns and pushing off with one leg after my surgery. But, when I would push off the wall the movement of the water irritated it. So after about 1500/5500yards, I called it quits. My swim coach assured me it just needed a little bit of rest & it wouldn't affect my training at all....

See, it's not that I'm worried about losing any fitness. It's just that I like to do my workouts. I am ready to taper, but I'm ready to taper on MY OWN TERMS, not cause my stupid body is hurt.

When you get hurt for 3+ years (yes, I am STILL dwelling on this....) it really messes with your head. It was probably the most frustrating time of my entire life. Everyone around me was doing what I wanted to be doing. It just wasn't fair.

Ok.... so a silly rolled, sprained whatever ankle isn't the same, but it brings back those bad memories of HAVING to rest even though I don't want to.......

So, I talked to Heather one of the girls in our training group. She is a podiatrist. She suggested I go get a brace. That with sprains they (I'm assuming Dr's) don't suggest being sedentary or not using it, but you just have to be careful as it is more susceptible to injury. So, I guess sometime today I will get out of my PJs and go buy a brace.
For now... I thought I'd share some lovely pics. Please don't mind the freckles on my legs. I guess that is what happens when you live in AZ.

Let me know what you think.....

Picture of both.....

side view of bad one.....

front view of good one....

front view of bad one....

So, after looking at these again I just put a call into my buddy, my PT Matt. I'm going to go see him tomorrow afternoon to see if he can do some of his magic and help the swelling. I also want him to work on the muscle tissue all around it and going up my shin. It's all tight and stiff from sitting on my U KNOW WHAT..... Then I'll have him tell me what kind of brace to buy...
Yes, this sounds like a plan. A smar one.
And no honey, I WON'T do my speed run tomorrow. But the kids are gonna hate me.... and I may need to sedate myself.... AND I AM going swimming, or else I'll end up by the poolside and drunk with Shelb tomorow!!!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Going into Hiding

Before I get into the title of this blog, I am going to write about an absolutely FANTASTIC meal we had this weekend.

A few weeks ago I got an email from our friend Lisa. She invited us to dinner at a local pizza place in downtown Phoenix. Now, this isn't just any old Pizza joint - this is THE Pizza place. I've heard about it.... I've even seen a clip from Oprah on it, but I've never been there. What I had heard is that it's about a 3 hour wait. They are open Tuesday-Saturday from 5-10pm. They take reservations, but they are 4 weeks out.

Well, as luck would have it, Lisa got reservations for 8 of us on June 2nd at Pizzeria Bianco.

So, at 6:30pm on Saturday S & I showed up ready to check this place out. Walking up to the place you could just smell how good it was. My taste buds immediately started perking up! In a few mins we were taken to our table in the back of the very small little place.


We started with drinks, and salads.. then on to the pizza. S & I ordered their mixed green salad, and the Tomato Mozzarella. All I can say is this is BY FAR the BEST mozzarella cheese I have ever eaten in my life. It was thick and salty and basically just melted in your mouth. It was sprinkled with fresh basil, black pepper and Olive Oil. The Tomatoes were as fresh as you can find..... If this is what the appetizers taste like.... I can only imagine what our pizza will be like!

Between the 8 of us we decided on 6 pizzas. A couple with meat for the meat lovers, and the rest vegetarian. Myself, I preferred the Margarita - I'm a boring girl.

Somehow there was a misunderstanding and they only brought 5/6, but we decided to go ahead and see if it was enough. About 10 mins later ALL 5 Pizzas were gone! Just like that. They were so stinking good, I think not one of us looked up for air :-) So, we decided to order 2 more.

Guess what? We were SHUT DOWN! Have you ever been told NO when trying to order more food? This place was so busy, that they basically give you one shot to get your order in. Our waiter even asked the chef, but he said no. Crazy, huh? But... if that gives you any indication as to how good this place is. They an actually cut you off of food!

The food settled in a bit, and we decided to head across the street to a little tea house for some dessert. That hit the spot! That also pushed S & I into a 9pm daze, as we were DONE and ready to bed. So, shortly after we were off on our trek home, and straight to bed!

If any of you have not tried this place, it is 100% worth the wait. Absolutely the BEST pizza and fresh mozzarella i have ever eating in my life! My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

Now, I'm going to back-track to earlier in that day to recap my bike ride. We were scheduled for a 5:45/:30 brick. Now, does that sound like a taper to you? Nah, me either. I struggled the whole time. I just didn't' want to be out there. I was BLAH. My HR was fine. My legs were fine. Everything was fine in fact. I was just kinda going thru tho motions. Luckily, so were S, Momo & Sara as well. About 3.5 hours into the ride, S ran over a screw. His ride was over, and the girls & I were headed out for the rest of the ride.

I have to admit, seeing S drive off in the cab made me a little jealous. I know he didn't want to be ending his ride that way... but none the less he was done.

Now, I'm sure all of you have one of those bad influences with your training. Well when momo & I are just not into it, we can pretty much convince each other of anything. Wanna stop? Wanna walk? Wanna do this INSTEAD of THAT? Well, this is precisely what happened. She actually only had 4 hours to ride. The plan was to do a couple loops, then take her home and ride back down to my house for the run. Well, her attitude was about as good as mine.

She was dropping 'hints' about being 'done' and how she could pretty much stop at any time. And, I was taking those and running with em. I finally announced, "I've got a plan." How about, we don't ride all the way up to your house - we can finish these hills, head home...and then I'll drive you home :-) I didn't have to tell her twice...

So, there we had it. Although we hadn't shared this with Sara yet. She was pretty blah, but if anyone is good about doing all the workouts, it's her. I think she's maybe missed 3 total workouts in this entire training. I'm not sure any of the rest of us would say that.

So, as we're heading back home - Sara decided to finish the 5:45 (I never had a doubt that she wouldn't) and momo & I headed home. We just had nothing. I was actually bored. I've decided a long time ago, I do this because I enjoy it. Because I love being out there. Well, I was not enjoying myself in the least bit. I made it home just over 85miles later - 5hours. I didn't do my brick..... I didn't care either :-) I was happy with my decision, and mostly just happy to be done!!!!

Sunday am momo came over and ran with S & I. Well, with me really. S & the dogs were too fast for us. We did a 90min hilly loop to start. It was a little rough at first. Just having a hard time making the legs move. Our HRs were low... everything else felt good.. it just took a while to get into our rhythm. We finally did though, and we ROCKED! We were running under 10min miles UP hill, and even down to like an 8:30 pace going down. With GREAT low HRs It was crazy. We finished the first 9.5miles in 1:30. That's including walking to gel4 times as momo & I have different Gel times. All in all it was a FANTASTIC run. Probably the best we've had this whole training season.

Maybe I have a new pre-long workout fuel. Fresh pizza. Fresh Mozzarella and a half a bottle of wine :-) Oh, and chocolate dessert?!

The weekend ended with a massage and then bed at 7:30pm. It wasn't even dark out..... My massage therapist told me, as she was doing a hamstring release, that I was like a trampoline. I don't think she appreciated my tight leg muscles....

So, onto today. I've decided that I need to find a bubble and go into hiding for the next 3 weeks. I need to stay healthy, no sick people, no germs... no nothing! Most of all, I need to stay injury free. I'm a first class klutz. If there is a pothole, I'm going to find it and run over it on my bike. If there is a divot in the road, most likely I'll stick my foot in it. If there is some slick floor, most likely I'm going to slip and fall on it...

Unfortunately for me, something happened to me this am. I was out on my 1:15 run. I actually drove to a park so I could do some hills that I love to run on, and so the dogs wouldn't freak out when I left them behind. They ran the 9.5mile loop yesterday and were pretty tired. They needed a rest day. So, I headed out for my run at about 6:45. It was a little hot, but I was slow getting moving this am, so I deserved it. The hills went great. My legs were stiff, so I wasn't breaking any records, just a nice slow & steady trek in my low HR zone.

Things finally started to look up about half way thru the run. I got into a zone... I was on autopilot. I was about 2.5miles from my starting point when all of a sudden I rolled my ankle over. I felt something kinda 'snap.' I FREAKED out. Stopped running, sat down.... tried to move it around. It felt sore to touch, but wasn't swelling up or anything. I could put weight on it... it was just sore. I kinda looked around in circles trying to figure out what the heck to do.

All I could think of was I am 3 weeks out from my IRONMAN! Damn it... Damn it.... F@!$%$!!!!!

There also happened to be a school bus there, it had just picked up a group of kids. I started walking over there... not knowing what I was going to do. A man asked me if I was ok. I said, "actually - do you have a phone." He replied, "The ONE day I don't have it...." He offered to go get it, or actually that his wife would be coming thru any second & I could use hers.

About 5 mins later the car he described shows up. She was driving right by me. Finally she rolled down her window and in a very annoyed tone said, "Uh.. my husband said you need a phone." I graciously accepted her cell phone, racking my brain trying to come up with momo's number. I tried about 6 different combos and the girl was looking totally annoyed with me.

Finally, I called Shane. I got his voice mail. I was crying. It wasn't because of pain. I was frustrated, I was scared.... I just didn't know what to do. I explained where I was at, and asked him to try to reach momo. I said I would start walking back to my car.

I walked for about 20mins before momo found me. It was a quiet walk. I turned my headphones off and just kept quiet. I walked slowly. It felt ok..but I'd feel a little soreness here and there. I hopped in momo's car and she drove me the last mile to my car. I was still a little freaked out, but calm for the most part.

I got home and made a sink full of ice water to soak my foot and ankle in. I sat there in the painfully cold water while I ate some grape nuts and toast. The dogs were looking at me like a crazy women.

Then, I plopped down in my office where I've been writing this post ever since. It's starting to hurt a little. I just looked at it. It's only slightly swollen, just on the outside, under that bone on the side. I can walk on it, move it around... It just hurts when I roll it around clockwise. It's a little sore to the touch.

S has already called me & emailed me. He is worried I will do something stupid. Like go run. Or pretend nothing happened. He knows I'm stubborn. Mostly with training. I was hurt for long enough. I can't be told no. I can't be told my body won't allow me to train. It's not an option.

However, he will be happy to know that momo & I have already made plans to skip our bike ride tomorrow and go swimming at a lake instead. Wed, I will play it by how I feel if I do my speed run or not....

I know that I will be fine, I know that it's not a big deal. But, it's just a bump in the road. A sore little one....

Friday, June 1, 2007

Rest Day

Today I did something rather unlike me. I took an unscheduled DAY off :-) Not because I felt like I needed it, or something was hurting, but I was looking at my schedule for the next few weeks and realized if I didn't rest today... I wouldn't have a DAY off for nearly 3 weeks..


Momo & I usually do our long runs on Friday, leaving us with Sundays as our day off. This week she was taking her family to the airport, so we would have had to work around that to get our run in. So, with that in mind, and at the beginning of the week when we planned this, I was also feeling pretty warn down, we decided to do our long run on Sunday this week.


I initially still planned on swimming Friday, like usual... but then I looked into the next few weeks and things are a little crazy!


Next week I have some girlfriends coming into town for a bachelorette party. 2 of my really good friends from college, Erin & Shelby will be in town for this (picture at our last reunion almost a year ago in Pullman for a Cougar Football Game - left to right: me Erin, Shelb).


I will also be seeing a few other good friends that I have lost touch with, as well as meet some new girls. Anyhoo - it is an entire weekend of festivities, beginning on THURSDAY with a Happy Hour with some old friends we all used to work with when we first moved to Phoenix (when I moved here, I somehow brought along with me 4 buddies from College.. they have all moved away now - but boy was that first year in AZ crazy!). Friday I am having some of the girls over to my house for pool, relaxing time. Friday night is a dinner/wine bar evening, Saturday is brunch & all day pool party with games, etc at another hosts home, and Saturday evening is the big night out all inclusive of dinner, limo, games, matching outfits, etc.... To end it all is a Sunday late morning brunch.


And we all thought ironman training was hard. These girls REALLY know how to live it up. Now we all know I won't be the life of THIS said party, but I'd like to try to 'hang' as much as possible. IF anyone has some advice on how to be 3 weeks away from an ironman, and still be FUN, please share....


So, Thurs I will head to happy hour for ONE DRINK (will-power if I ever needed you.. it's NOW), Friday I will get up early & get my long run in.... No swimming and hang out with the girls all day. Saturday I will get my long bike ride in & try to recover for Saturday night. Sunday, our group is doing an open water swim, so there goes my day off.... I'm hoping to get the swim in before the brunch, but we'll just have to see how that goes.


My POINT is, had I not taken today off, I would not have a day off from the 27th of May until the week of the 17th of June. Now, I know some people are fine with working out 7 days a week. However, I am a STRONG believer in the rest day. I think not only is it physically important, but it's just as mentally important. Let your body completely shut down.


So - what did I do with my day today? Seeing how I actually felt RESTED when I woke up around 5:30 am.... I tried to keep myself as "entertained" as possible so I didn't end up at the pool.


I did some work this am.... then I was really starting to get antsy, so I did what most normal people do first thing in the am - (just not momo & I...) I took a shower before noon! Can you believe it? I figured it was my best attempt at not giving in and heading to the pool for masters.

So, I showered & headed down to S's office to pick him up for lunch. After that, I hit the bank... stopped for dog food, then headed to my sewing gal to hem a pair of jeans I bought months ago.... then I came home. I took my new nutrition book outside and basked in the sun for an hour learning all about good proteins and bad proteins and fats and oils and sugars.... and that's only the first 2 chapters!


After that I chatted with momo for a while on IM (as if we hadn't already talked about 5 times today), then headed to the store to get stuff for dinner.

And, now.. here you have it. A VERY rested, and RESTLESS Tri-Dogmom.... I've succumbed to writing to all of you out there that are bored enough to read about my non-eventful day.

I hope for all of your sakes my 6:15 workout tomorrow brings me back to normal so I can come up with a little more entertaining thoughts....

Until then.... have a great evening!