Monday, July 30, 2007

And I thought I was doing hill training....

Every run that I go out on lately, I try to add some hills. Lately, I've been trying to find some that have more of a downhill at the end, to practice my turnover for the St. George Marathon....



I thought Iwas doing pretty darn good.



Until I did THIS...



1644ft of climbing.... with the majority of the descents in the last 2 miles.

A good friend Mike invited several of us that have been running together for years now up to his new home in Cottonwood, AZ. Him & his wife Susan have building this home for the past couple of years. Cottonwood is a small little town NorthWest of Phoenix.

Mike wanted to take us on a new run route and enjoy some slightly cooler temps. So, Stacey, Sara & I headed up there on Saturday evening to join them.

When we arrived (after several wrong turns do to the directions linked from the EVITE) we shared some wine and started chatting. There was another couple already there, Angie & Michael. They actually came up on Friday to join Mike for both a Saturday AND Sunday run.

I thought this was quite adventurous, 2 long runs back to back. But, then as I learned more about these two, I didn't seem so surprised. They, Angie in particular were so fascinating. What a worldly, generous amazing woman.

She is in her early 30's, although she looks maybe 25. This tiny little thing that was all smiles. Very modest about everything... like the fact that she did Ironman Arizona the first two years barely missing qualifying for Kona.

Or, like the fact that can she can run a 3:15marathon....

Or, like the fact that when she was 25 years old, she legally adopted 2 Russian TEENAGERS and brought them to America so that she could help them have the opportunities in life that they otherwise would never have.

Yup, that's right. She was 25 years old and doing some missionary volunteer work in a Russian School where she met the 2 young ladies (12 & 13 at the time, I think). She claims that she was very 'immature' when she made the decision to try to adopt the two. She wasn't thinking of the lifelong responsibility of raising the two girls, or being a mom. She figured it would be a 5-6 year commitment and that she could help get them through high-school and into college.

That's why she describes the decision as immature, and is thankful that she didn't not think it through, because she might not have gone through it.

So, she did. She was awarded custody of these two young women and raised them as her own..... all on a teachers salary.

The two young ladies now live in their own condo and are attending a local community college. Angie says they are wonderful. One is very strong & independent and like most families... the other child needs a little more, shall we say, encouragement!

All I could say while listening to her and her adventures was "WOW!" I certainly had nothing so worldly, and courageous to share!

It was a nice evening with friends, good food & some wine. We finally went to bed around 11, maybe falling asleep a little after midnight. People started waking up shortly after 4 am, so not much sleep to prepare for this "slightly hilly ~12 mile run" that we were about to go on.

I decided to wear Shane's Garmin since I had never been on this route & I wanted to see how I was doing pace wise with the hills. Unfortunately the HR monitor strap was not working, so things didn't start off so great.

I'm so dependent on my HR training now. I know my limits & I know the benefits of training in my zone 2. I was a little frustrated I was going to have to depend on my "perceived effort" during this run. Especially when it was:

100% humidity (no joke!)
trail (we all know what a klutz I am)
hills
new terrain
FAST people running in front of me!

Stacey & I had already made a pact that we would stick together & go SLOW. When push comes to shove we can both run much faster than we do, but I am committed to my low HR training & Stacey hasn't been doing long runs much lately. Like, 9miles has been her longest run in a year...

So, as we started we were actually doing pretty good. Stacey was struggling a little with the humidity and elevation, but I was feeling ok.

We stayed right behind the others, but I could tell we wouldn't be able to keep up the pace as they got warmed up and pulled ahead of us. SO, I just told Mike we wanted to slow down and that as long as we could see them ahead to know where to turn, not to worry about us. We didn't want them waiting for us.

Well, I spoke a little too soon! Stacey & I walked up a hill or slowed down or something and lost them about 40mins into the run. Of course we couldn't make up our mind which way to go... and finally chose the wrong way... Which entailed a hill climb that was oh, I don't know 25% grade....

We were starting to worry, not about getting lost, but because we knew they would be worried about us, and we didn't want to ruin their run. We finally headed back to where we thought we turned off the wrong way, and thankfully ran into them.

Mike gave us directions for the rest of the run, and we assured him we would be fine. I think he felt bad and didn't want to leave us, so he ended up staying with us the rest of the run. Sara & Angie were just a little ahead of us, but in our sights the whole time. I think the hills might have gotten to them as well, because they were started to move quite a bit slower as well.

The run took us through some hilly hilly neighborhoods, then through some trail up close to the mountains. It was beautiful. I'm kicking myself for not bringing a camera to share with you all.

The hills were relentless. There really was not a flat place in the route. It was AWESOME! Hard, but such a good, hard feeling of accomplishment as we were getting closer to home.

All in all it was 13.2miles (with the added .25mile from our little wrong turn escapade), 1644ft of climbing. Basically 2.5 hours. (yes, I know slow!)....

It was a great weekend. Great company, great food, great run....

I slept like a baby last night. 9-6. Solid. I woke up feeling MUCH better than expected. No muscle soreness like I expected. Just my feet & ankles a little tender from the trail running I'm not used to. Even thought that run hurt so bad, I must have been able to stay aerobic for the most part, otherwise I'd be sore! I'm very happy about that!

Thanks Mike and Susan for a fantastic Saturday/Sunday!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Margarita Mix

Today was Shane's surgery to repair his hernia. I'm not sure who was looking more forward to hit, him or ME?

I know what it's like to have training taken away. To have to sit back and watch and support and cheer on all the people around you that are doing all the things that you want to be doing.

Thankfully, S's time was only a short month. Which is FAR too long in my books. He's actually done pretty well over the past few weeks. Maybe it was because he was pretty burnt out with the training, work, new businesses...... life. Or maybe it's because he was trying pretty hard to not make me crazy? Either way, I have to give him props. There were only a couple of times where I was ready to lock him up. Or drug him....

We headed to the hospital at 6am today. His surgery was scheduled for 8:45, so if all went well, he'd be out of there by 11ish & I would still have time to get to my real estate class (oh yah, I started real estate school this week, but that's another story...) by 1pm.

At about 8:45 the surgeon finally came in & went over the routine stuff with him, then gave me a script for his pain meds. We asked to have these up front so I could have everything taken care of in order to get to my class on time. This Dr. ROCKS. Not only did he ASK what drugs he wanted (Vicoden, Percocet...) but he wrote the script for 60pills PLUS a refill. Guess he didn't have a feeling Shane was one of those that likes to take advantage of the loopy pain pill buzz? Too bad he doesn't know about his wife.... :-) J/K.... well, kinda...

The Dr. was pretty cool. He said the first couple days will be painful, but by Sunday as long as he doesn't take any pain meds he can drive. Activity: "If it doesn't hurt, you can do whatever you want."

S & I both said the same thing... Good thing my surgeon didn't say that..... Or I'd still probably be on Crutches after numerous attempts to run when I wasn't ready. S on the other hand, he's a good patient....

Anyway, my point here was that it was 8:45 and the Dr had JUST come in. Next was the anesthesiologist. We had a little chat about how S doesn't handle the drugs all that well. How last time, they basically woke him up in recovery and kicked him out, and he was a complete and utter MESS. I think we got our point across.

So, a couple of minutes later and a couple injections into what the Doc called his "Margarita mix" Shane was on his way to la la land. Literally. :30 after the injection I said, "So, do you feel it?" S goes, "No, not ye...... WAIT, oh yah... 'giggle giggle'... 'wweeeeee'...smirk.... I think SO!"

It was pretty funny...

Light-Weight.

SO, he was off, and I was off to get home, do some work & try to get ready for class.

I don't know what I was thinking. By the time I got back to the hospital to pick Shane up it was 11:20. Although he was in MUCH MUCH MUCH better shape than last time, the ride home was rough and I could tell he was already in some pain.

We barely got him inside the door & he thought he was going to throw up. So, it was pretty much straight to bed for him. I made him some soup, got him water, gatorade.... and a couple of pain meds.

I didn't hear another word for over 3hours. He was OUT.

I went back to check on him a couple of times and he had not even moved. He was laying there in bed, with his pants pulled halfway down because the boxers were rubbing where the incision was, hugging a pillow. I almost took a picture to post up here, but I know paybacks are a bitch.

He finally woke up the last time I went to check on him. I brought him some yogurt & his computer to watch "The Shining." He invited me onto the bed to watch it with him, but I opted not. I'd have to lie there still, or I'd hurt him. Still, not in my vocabulary.

I suppose I could pop a couple of his pills and join him in la la la margarita ville land? Hmmm, I guess I'll just drink some wine with him tonight so I can be on his level :-)

All in all the surgery went well. He's far more stable than the first time around. Either his pain tolerance has gone up, or the fact that he scheduled the last hernia repair surgery for TWO days after we ran the NY Marathon was not a good idea. I think he's more than ready to get past this, get back to exercising and be worry free about this happening again. The Doc assured him that once both sides are repaired, he should not have any more problems.

We'll see how he feels tomorrow..... My guess is he'll be up and at em again in a few weeks! Putting us all at ease :-)

Watch out CDA 2008.....

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Camping in Arizona

As I've mentioned before, I grew up in the Pacific Northwest. While, I wouldn't trade my home in Arizona for anything, there are some things, particularly the beauty of the area that I just can't help but miss.

Being back in CDA for the Ironman reminded me just how beautiful the area is. Actually, it was even more pretty than I remembered. Maybe it was just that I hadn't been back for so long, other than a quick weekend, but I remember walking along Lakeshore drive a couple days after the race & not being able to take my eyes of the beautiful clean, clear (and glass calm) water surrounded by the huge evergreens.....

Believe it or not, you can live in Phoenix where it's dry & brown over half of the year, yet still have the opportunity to drive just over an hour up North to some of the most beautiful places you'll ever see.


There is Sedona and the famous Red Rocks



There is Flagstaff, a small hippy-like town with outdoor adventures all over, like, Mount Humphreys.



See, there is more to Arizona than the desert...

But, that's not my story for this post. My story involves camping. Last week, a couple of our friends, Jeff & Kristin invited us to go camping with them over the weekend. The thought of getting out of the 110deg temps for a couple of days, not to mention letting the kids get out in the woods for a little adventure was very appealing, so a few days later we were all set with plans, and reservations at a campground just outside of Payson. Just outside is a slight understatement, but more on that later....

Let's backtrack a little... back to my days in the Pacific Northwest.

Growing up my family considered camping as "vacation." Some things have certainly changed in my book. I now consider vacation somewhere on a tropical island with crystal blue water, fresh seafood, drinks a plenty..... Our a trip to wine country, or New York City. Now THIS is vacation to me...

None the less, I enjoyed my days of the good old outdoors, sleeping in a tent, drinking cheap beer (ok, it didn't ALWAYS include the beer since I started camping before I could crawl), cool nights & warm days.... well, not always so warm.

As a kid there were a lot of short weekend adventures just outside of Spokane, but the one yearly trip that I have the most memories from was in Northern Idaho. Priest Lake, Indian Creek Campground. We would spend a week here every August.


I'm sure I could paint the picture of how beautiful this place really is, so I searched the web and hijacked some photos. I know i have some old ones in a box somewhere in my house, but that's why we have the Internet right?

The campground had a beautiful white sand beach where we would spend our days playing in the water.... The water that reached a peak temp of maybe, oh, 68degs.



The campground was full of trees and pine needles, and most importantly the individual sites were big enough that you weren't on top of the campers next to you. Quiet, peaceful and somewhat private.




Best perk, although it still seemed rustic, there were flushing toilets and warm showers. A must when you are a young teenage girl trying to find boys!!! I'm still laughing at the fact I used to blow dry my hair and apply makeup.....

Every year was a different experience. There were weeks that it rained the ENTIRE time. Not like Arizona rain where it comes, goes & then dries up. It was full on Seattle-like rain. We would be bundled up around the fire drinking hot chocolate.... or other adult beverages as we got older....

There were also years where it was hot, like in the 90's that we just lived in the water...

And, somewhere in between there were also times when we would have thunderstorms so severe they would send trees tumbling to the ground, hitting whatever came in it's way; campers, tents, cars.....

I remember one year when the camp rangers sent everyone down to the beach to lie flat on our stomachs. The storm was so intense it was classified as a hurricane. 6-8' waves.... I was young on this trip and it scared the crap out of me.

But, through all of these adventures, we survived and kept coming back. My high-school girlfriends and I even packed up and came here for a week after our high school graduation. I'm pretty sure it was just our way of getting out of the house, drinking that cheap beer we were so fond of and working on our tans...but, none the less I was a true camper.

So, Friday night we headed up North, just over an hour to a campground called Houston Mesa. When I mentioned above that this campground was RIGHT outside of Payson, I wasn't kidding. It was like 3 miles outside of Payson. Less than 5mins from the local Walmart and Home Depot.

We just laughed it off.. I mean, what did we expect getting last minute reservations in Arizona in July?

The campground was actually quite nice. Enough space from your neighbors. Green trees, very clean..... So, we parked the cars & started to set up camp. Not even :30 later the camp host was at our site instructing us to get the dogs on a leash as there was a $5000 fine. You.Have.Got.To.Be.Kidding.ME!!!!!!

We were actually prepared for this and brought a ton of rope to tie the dogs up with, so they wouldn't even noticed they were restrained. Well, wouldn't notice until they got themselves so tangled up they only had like 6" to move around. Watching this was half of our entertainment for the weekend....

So, we settled in for the night, made some good old turkey hot dogs and drank some beers. Unfortunately, no fires were allowed in AZ due to the drought, but it was only like 75degs so it was no big deal heat wise....

We went to bed around midnight, which is way past my bedtime, even in the woods.... especially after a 14mile run that morning. But, being it was cooler than we are used to, we hoped we could sleep in.

It was a good thought, anyway. Unfortunately, the obnoxious, dirty little parent less kids in this campground were up and about at 6am screaming like it was no body's business. I hope no one takes offense to this, but these kids were downright rotten! Maybe I'm just spoiled with the children I am around. All of my friends children are so well behaved, I don't even think of the ones like I was tormented with this weekend....

So, with about 2 hours of sleep, we were on our way to day 2 of camping.

After a slow moving morning, we decided to pack a lunch & head up North by the Mogollon Rim to some of the trails so we could let the dogs off leash....

Unfortunately our trip was cut short as we saw a big storm coming in, so we headed back to the campsite. We decided to put up some tarps to shelter us from the rain.

Of course as soon as the tarps were up, the storm had basically circled us leaving only a few drops. Either way we were prepared. So, we got comfortable, made some drinks, which apparently my lush dogs thought they should partake in as well










... played some games, then headed out on a walk to let the dogs run around.



On our way back, we noticed another storm coming. This one didn't look like it was going to just roll over. So, we sat there, under our tarps as the thunder and lightening was right on top of us. Not too much rain, so it wasn't so bad.. Well, that's not exactly what the dogs thought.....


"Dad, save me!!"


Thank you, Dad.....
Well, our friend's puppy, Bently thought everything was ok. This was his first camping experience... I'm not so sure what he'll think of coming back....
Suddenly the rain got worse... and worse.. and within a few minutes our campsite was flooding.
Shane jumped out and started digging trenches. Digging as much as he could using his hands, then a few rocks as a shovel. But, he couldn't keep up. The water was pouring over the streams and heading right for our tents...
Jeff jumped in and started to help..... Kristin and I stayed under the tarps trying to calm the dogs....and stay dry. Our dry space went from a nice 20x30 section to about a 2x2 section that was occupied by the puppy, Bently.
This went on for about 3 hours..... We finally got the boys under the tarps and in some dry cloths. The trenches seemed to be working and the rain was a little lighter. We did the best we could to make some dinner, hoping the rain would stop and we could continue on with our festivities. This never happened.....
We finally gave in at about 9:30 and went to bed. Wet, tired, grumpy......
The rain continued for another couple of hours. We woke up stiff, wet, dirty and tired.... We spent the next hour or so packing up our cars and getting the hell out of there. Then we spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning up our muddy camping messes....
I guess I learned something new this weekend. No camping in Arizona during peak monsoon season.....
I think we'll be back, maybe not to the same place, or the same time... but there is just something about camping that keeps me coming back. I guess it's in my blood.
Good trips, bad trips.... at least there is always a story :-)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

He Totally Pulled the Ironman Card.....

I've yet to have this pulled on me...... but oh yes, it happened yesterday. And, yes... I answered... and yes, I am PAYING FOR IT TODAY!



It was another afternoon with my trainer Daniel. You know, Daniel the one who doesn't train, but then can still bust out a 6:30mile 10k?


Yup that's him... He ran a couple of times.... over several months, but there he was leading our relay team to 24 hours of anaerobic 10ks during the Ragnar Relay.


I had a few weeks hiatus from working out with Daniel at the end of training for IM CDA. I was tired, my whole body was tired... and it was time to taper.


But, believe it or not I was actually missing the torture. The feeling of legs burning, shaking, etc.

And, as I signed up for the St. George Marathon with momo, and a lot of the course is downhill, I really needed to get back to strengthening my quads. With a history of IT band issues, this is essential.


So, 2 weeks ago I went back to Daniel. Since I've been resting my shoulder it's been 2 days of leg workouts. The first two weeks Daniel was actually pretty easy on me. I think that he thinks I should be resting and living it up after Ironman. If you read my last post, you'll realize I just can't seem to do that. I'm having to much fun with the training. So, Daniel will just have to suck it up & train me.


Besides, not all of us are gifted like Daniel... Not all of us can ride our bike twice in 6 months and pull of a 112mile bike ride with a group that has been training for that distance for 16weeks. Most of us, in fact, are just not this lucky and blessed, and naturally talented...


Anyway, yesterday like others I was at Daniel's gym ready for another leg workout. Forgetting about my shoulder he asked, "what are we doing today?" I started to say that my arm hasn't been hurting me at all... but he said, "oh, yah... let's give your shoulder 1 more week."


Then he got this look on his face. It was a look of pity. Right before he goes, "Oh, it's a hard one.... it's really hard."


Shit.


All right, bring it on..... at the same time I'm thinking, WHY this week, I am running 14miles on Friday?


So, he goes thru the set of 4 exercises. 3/4 of the exercises are the ones that have made me the most sore of ANYTHING he's ever had me do.


But, I really am determined to get my legs strong. And, since they are the first place that fat likes to find a home at on my body, and the LAST place it likes to leave from, I knew I would do it.


My legs started to burn on the second set. On the last exercise of the 3rd set I asked how many sets am I doing. He said 3. If you are feeling good, you can do 4. A few other people in the gym started laughing...

Then he did it. Then he went and pulled the IM card.


"BUT, if you area an IRONWOMAN you will do 4."

Oh, he did NOT just say that.


And oh yes, I DID just reply with,

"Yah, he can't really say that, since he hasn't even DONE an IRONMAN yet!"


That really got the other gym folks going :-)


All fun and games. I completed my 4th set, because I am an IRONMAN.


And, it's ok to say things like this to Daniel because:

- He's going to make me hurt anyway
- He is signed up for Ironman CDA 2008
- He could kick my ass at any sport anytime... well, maybe NOT swimming :-)
- If the guy actually did train, he'd be on his way to Kona.


So you might be wondering how I'm feeling today.... Let's just say Daniel did his job.

-It hurts just sitting here today.
-I felt every step of my incredibly SLOW 5mile run this am.
-My sore butt woke me up at 4am, and I could tell I was in trouble before I even moved my body.
-When the alarm went off at 5, I called the dogs up on the bed with me and stayed there until 5:45.
-If it weren't for the promise that I had made to them yesterday, that we were running 5 miles today, I would still be in my pajamas (yes, they are smart enough to not only remember, but hound me until I get my ass out there and take them for a run).
-I don't think I'll be back for my usual round 2 of abuse tomorrow, otherwise I'd be walking my 14mile run on Friday.


Case in Point?


Daniel is mean, but he is good and he will get me to that marathon strong, confident and hopefully in one piece. Next year.... he'll be able to rightfully pull the Ironman Card.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Restless...

You would think after being so run down, tired and in need of a break 6 weeks ago, I'd be 'living' it up...

It's just not what is going on with me. It's so weird. So not what I thought I would be like after doing an Ironman. I was sick of getting up so early, sick of not having energy or time to do anything 'fun' outside of training.

Funny how things change...

This weekend was a perfect example of how I NEED the training. I need the endurance exercise..... However, I like not feeling like I HAVE to do it.

Friday I did a 10mile run. I did the first 7.5miles with my dogs, and it was fantastic. It was hot, of course here, but for the most part the sun was behind some clouds so it wasn't so bad. I wasn't worried about my pace, I just followed my HR, took extra stops to give the dogs water & completed the run. Later that afternoon I went to masters to swim so I could loosen my legs.

S & I met for dinner that night and had a drink, pizza & salad. To top it off we also had Pzookie (peanut butter half baked cookie!!!). This right here is the big difference between being "in training" and just "kinda training" as I like to call it right now...

Normally on a Friday night we'd be home, tired as all get out & eating the same damn whole wheat pasta with red sauce for dinner. In bed by 9 to get up & do our long ride. So, it was a nice change to be able eat what we wanted and not worrying about the next days workout...

Saturday I took the day off. My body did feel like it needed it, but then as the morning progressed I realized I had no idea what to do with myself. I was B.O.R.E.D. I did about as much damage on the internet as I could. Read Blogs, searched some triathlon sites, looked over people.com (my weekly gossip fix).... Wouldn't you know it it was only 11:30am.

I really didn't know what to do with myself. I'm trying to not spend money for a while. After looking at the last 6 months of expenses related to ironman training, S & I are both feeling a little tapped out...

I would love to go get a pedicure... but again, trying not to spend $$. I can always go shoe shopping, especially now that I can wear HEELS again!.... Hmm, see a pattern? B.O.R.E.D = spend money.

Well, somehow I survived Saturday. S & I ran some errands, ate Sushi for dinner & got a movie to watch.

I had planned to go on a bike ride with Stacey and Dave, the All Things Triathlon Newbies. I was very much looking forward to this. I haven't ridden with them for months as we were in our peak IM training when they were getting comfortable on the bike....

Let me tell you. These two have improved A.LOT!!!! They are worlds ahead of where S & I were 6 months into our cycling. I think the more they get saddle time, they'll be even better! We did a 40mile loop from my house, and they even let me take them up Hummingbird Hill, one of the infamous hills in AZ that was a staple in our IM training. They did awesome. Dave was up ahead of me.... Stacey was right with me. I was doing my best to stay under 160bpm, but had I done that they both would have sped up ahead of me!

I have a feeling they are going to be out there with us next year as we train for CDA again....:-)

The heat picked up and I was definitely happy to be able to end the ride. As much fun as I had... as the temps hit 104degs (9am!) I was really happy I didn't have a 5+hr ride or brick to do. I needed the ride, I enjoyed the company, but I'm happy to say I was relieved to get into an AC house.

I didn't do much the rest of the day. Laundry was pretty much it. Unlike Saturday I was ok with this. I was calm, relaxed & no longer restless. I guess a 40mile ride with some friends is exactly what I needed.

I guess my point is, I'm not really sure what I would do with out all of this. Without my marathon goal, without next year's IM, without being healthy and happy and able to do all of these things that I love so much.

So, next time friends.. when I start to complain about not wanting to train. Remind me of this post. Remind me of how much I love it, how much I miss it when I'm not doing it... and how much it truly is a part of who I am.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

IM CDA Slide Shows

I can't seem to get them posted so they look right, so here are a few links..

Pre-Race

Race Morning & Swim

Bike & Run

Finish & Post Race

Friday, July 13, 2007

Clean Bill of Health

I went to pick up Mini-Me and "X" Road bike today. Unfortunately my road bike wasn't ready yet, but Mini-Me was all set..... I guess she just had a lose bracket. Total Cost $15. Now THAT might be an all time LOW $$ spent.... Of course I haven't paid for the other bike yet....

**Update** Good news, as I am writing this I just got a call from my LBS - the other bike is ready! New Bar Tape, Old fit measurements back, new chain & tune up. He said the chain was BAD, but other than that it just looks like it has not been ridden a lot lately..... Phhhewwww.... Pretty sure that will tally up to $150...

The owner said it happens on Carbon Bikes, and it's a good idea, at least once a year to strip it and clean it all up, then put it back together.

Sounds way over my head, which doesn't take much. About all I can do is; pump up the tires, change a tire, put some white lightening on, and hose her down.

This is in fact why I have my own personal 'bike biatch.' You can tell when he's really busy, or deep into training... or not training, but recovering like now, cause my bikes start to look roughed up. Hence, the recent trip to the bike shop.

On a completely different subject, I too feel like I have a clean bill of health..... As I mentioned before my shoulder has really been bugging me. I did something that I am NOT know for. I rested it. I did not do any upper body strengthening, or swimming for 2.5 weeks.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I don't rest well.... If you've read Spokane Al's Posts lately, he's taking about his injury and having to take time off. I handle it about as well as he explains he does....

It's frustrating at best.. I'm sure this all stems from my old IT Band injury days when I COULD NOT RUN. So, whenever something is hurt now, I panic and think "will it ever get better?" My IT band was supposed to be better after a couple of months you know?

Anyway - I was all set to give in and go to my PT to have him work on my shoulder. Over the 2 week course of "rest" I felt like it was getting better, but at the same time there was still pain..

Then, on Tuesday when I was at the gym doing my leg workout, one of the exercises had me laying flat on the foam roll. I decided to stretch out my arms and stretch my chest. Instantly my left side was noticeably tighter. I started rubbing from my collar bone down to my armpit & could feel how tight it was.

So, I tried to stretch my shoulder blades down as far as they would go. I kinda felt a "pop" of sorts.... Then, I got up off the foam roll and instantly the pressure in my shoulder was nearly gone.

For the next two days I did this stretch over and over....

Wed, I decided to try it out at Masters. Probably not what a lot of people would say was the smartest thing, but hey... it's me :-)

Guess what? It was GREAT! I went really slow, I didn't use the paddles. I was very focused on a nice long stroke. If I picked it up it would twinge a bit, so I stopped doing that.

I swam 2200yards... It felt great. I could have gone longer, but didn't want to mess anything up.

I also went back to masters today. This time a little more confident, yet at the same time cautious. It was a bit harder to stay slow, because there was someone sharing a lane with me that was SCHOOLING me! Now, don't get me wrong it's not like I'm that competitive, but I'm used to being lapped on the run, not so much on the swim.

Oh well.... It was a great swim. Helped loosen up my legs. I had no pain.... 2400total.

I'm not too worried about hurting it by swimming so much, because after next week I'll only be able to go once a week for the next 6 weeks. I'm starting Real Estate School, and it just happens to fall during the Mon & Wed masters workouts. I guess I'll be forced into resting....

Well, that's all for now! I hope everyone is surviving this Friday the 13th!

P.S. Thanks to all your suggestions on naming my bike. I'm thinking I'll ride her/him on Sunday & try to get a feel for what it should be called...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Day in the Life....

of a LaPan dog...

Pretty sure it's not so tough...

Pretty sure they are spoiled as hell...
Pretty sure they run the house....

Pretty sure they have to work hard...

Pretty sure they barely even moved when I took these pictures....

And I didn't even RUN them today. Can't wait to see what it's like tomorrow after they run with me :-)


This was good enough to add an extra post for today!

Here we have Princess Abigail.... Yes, she thinks this is comfortable

And, Sir Baxter.. He is the KING



And, Sassy Pants Sara. I think she's in a coma. She sleeps, and snores with her eyes open


Ok, Abby moved a LITTLE...

And Baxter decided to POSE, he's cool like that

multiple poses even...
And Sara is still in her coma. She didn't move....

Name that Bike

So, many of you are going to think this is corny, but I.don't.care!!!!


You all know about mini-me, the super fast, super small QR. She's my girl. Well, today I finally got my butt outside to take her for a ride. The first time since I got her back from Tri Bike Transport. Well, I for some odd reason decided to ride up Via Linda Hill.... at 7am... when it was already 90degs and climbing.


Sometimes I just don't learn....


But, anyway.... When I stood up to climb she started screaming at me. Like, Sit your FAT A@@ down, I'm going to fall apart kind of scream. So, I listened.. and she shut up.


That is... until I stood up AGAIN. We tried this several more times, until I finally quit pissing her off and just stayed in the saddle, spinning up hill in my granny gear.


So, I was planning on taking my road bike into the shop anyway. She (or he) is in desperate need of some TLC. Poor thing sits in the garage, while the fancy new tri-bike gets a place in my office. The only time I've used it is on the trainer indoors, and a couple of times outside when our bikes were in route to CDA.


I bought it in 2003 and we were instant friends. Once I got my hands on this bike I immediately improved my cycling. I supposed I owe a lot to 'her'... But, now that I have been training for triathlons and have mini-me, she takes the backseat.


Well, for the first time in several years my focus is on a marathon, so I figured I could mix up my cross-training and do a little bit of roadbiking. First, however I needed to get my road fit back.


Before I got mini-me, I went in to get "tri-fitted" with my aerobars. I never really got a great tri-fit, as the bike was just too big for that (for me anyway), so it was kind of a make-shift fitting. The handlebars were dropped, stem shortened and a few other tweaks.


So, today I took my original fit measurements in and asked the LBS to clean her up, return her to the right fit and check everything else out.. including some new handlebar tape.


I will get to pick both bikes up tomorrow. I hope nothing is wrong with Mini-Me.... I hope she is just dirty or had something loose in the crank? I hope hope hope I don't have to come up with an uncertain amount of money to get her back to life.....


But for now, I'm asking in some help in naming my other bike. I plan on using her for a little while, and I think she (or he) needs a name. Here is what she looks like:


Now, you know I'm not the only one who does this so no making fun!... In fact here are a few that I know of, just in my little group here - and that's not even counting CAR NAMES!
Mini Me
Lance
Blue Bell
Oprah
Black Dog
and who can forget Malibu Barbie
So, any ideas???

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

CDA Ironman.. did you see these two?

Don't I have the BEST FANS EVER?!?!?!?!


P.S. I'm working on creating a slideshow..... But for now, Stacey & Dave THIS one is for YOU!!!


Friday, July 6, 2007

I want to go back....

Current Temp for Scottsdale, Az 105deg
Current Temp for Coeur d'Alene, Id 88deg


See what I'm saying? There is just nothin else to be said for Phoenix right now. Hot. Hot... and some more Hot....

This am, Stacey came up to meet the dogs and I for a run. Shane decided to try to join us for some of it, but well, lets just say that didn't go so well. I think he made it about 20yards before turning around. He saw the doc yesterday, and will be having surgery to repair the hernia in a couple of weeks. Pretty sure he's ready to exercise. Pretty sure I'm ready for him to exercise too :-) I bet he had fun when I was injured for 3 years....

Anyway - Stacey arrived at 5:30am. As I opened the door to let her in it was like a freaking sauna out there. Usually you have to step outside the door to get the total feel for it, but not today.

A few minutes earlier I had gone to weather.com. It said 92degrees. I thought, oh, something must be wrong and that's from last night. Nope. 92degs, at 4:45am.

So, we take off on our run. Things were going pretty well. The dogs were panting pretty hard, and I was started to sweat immediately, but I was ready. Now that I've got my self signed up for a marathon that is 3 months away, I don't want to lose any of my IM fitness and just keep running. I had my fuel belt strapped with 30oz of ice cold water, a gel AND a hand held 20oz waterbottle.

We stopped every 10mins to give the dogs water..... they needed it. I needed it. Stacey needed it.

There was no breeze, no airflow.... The shade didn't even help. It was miserable.

Abby started to slack off after about 50mins. She really struggled the last mile. The route is a loop route that is about 7.8miles. It usually takes me 1:15-1:20 at the most.

Today, now granted we didn't stop the watch at a couple of the lights that we got stopped at, but that's irrelevant. Today - the loop took 1:24mins. And, then we walked the last 2mins home.

My avg HR 161. My normal avg HR 151-153.....

So, as you can imagine, the dogs are passed out right now. Hopefully this continues for the dog sitters. You see, instead of heading off to CDA where I'd really like to be... Shane & I are leaving this afternoon to go to Boise for a family reunion.

Current Temp in Boise - 100degs.

Luck of the draw, I guess.

So, momo - I hope you are enjoying your road trip heading up into the cool, northern country...

All the rest of you non-Arizonans... I'm jealous. But, talk to me in a couple of months. I think the tables will be turned!

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

America's Finest City

As a last minute decision, I just registered for the AFC Half Marathon in beautiful San Diego. The race takes place on August 18th, and will be a perfect training race for St. George.

The race starts at Cabrillo National Monument, and ends in Balboa Park. The first 5miles are rolling downhill, cool, shaded and FAST. Then, you have a couple of flat miles along the water, as you make your way back through town and up to Balboa Park. The race ends with a 1.25mile UPHILL stretch starting at about mile 11.5-12.75. It's tough. A lot of people blow up on this section of this race.

I've done this race twice before. Once, I was still in denial of my IT band Injury and the severity of it. At about mile 7 my knee started hurting and I had to walk run the rest of the way. I think my finish time was about 2:14..... Right before the big hill there were folks offering up beer & M&Ms. I almost took some. I guess I should have...

Then next year I registered, I actually was unable to do it because of my knee. This was also the weekend that I decided I had to back out of doing the Soma Half Ironman. It was the inaugural year of Soma, and I was just in too much pain. It was a tough weekend for me, although I stayed tough and road my bike along the course to cheer on my friends. I think there were some PRs that day, including ironshane.

Then, last year I decided to do the race with some girlfriends. We flew out on Saturday am, had a nice afternoon drinking some (a little) wine and hanging out at the hotel. Unfortunately for me I was totally burnt out. I had been training since January, including having just completed the Lake Stevens 70.3 just 4 weeks prior to the race.

It was pretty funny, actually. I went out to San Diego that year knowing the race was a big ???. I would of liked to do well, but I had nothing. No energy, no spunk, no running mojo whatsoever.

As I got out on the course my HR was immediately high. Not like high end of my aerobic zone, we're talking 168 going downhill. And, it never dropped, even when I would slow down. So, I just went with it. Didn't have anything to lose. Around mile 6 as the course led us past the Host Hotel that we were staying at I was miserable. Every step hurt. I had no energy. I started contemplating (seriously) quiting. I had it all planned out how I could just stop at the hotel. I would look thru our cell phones to get the number of the one girl who brought hers to the race so that they would know I quit & not to wait for me....

Somehow, I was already passing the hotel as this plan came to mind, so there I was hot, miserable and slowing down, but still en route to finish. Which I did. In 2:08 something... It was the hardest, longest 2 hours and 8mins ever.

I vowed NEVER to do a race when I felt that crappy again!

So, here I am again. A 4th year of heading to San Diego for the AFC race. I am feeling great, recovered and have already been to see my trainer to begin strengthening my quads for all the downhill running.

I am ready to conquer this race. Ready to have a feel good, run fast (fast being relative for me) day.

I sure hope it's my year :-) Sure seems to have started out that way!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

"It's ALL about the GEAR!"

Can anyone argue that a good run, must also entail a good running outfit? Well, I can't - and, as my dear friend Tonsa would say, "It's ALL about the GEAR!"

Not only would Tonsa display it, but she would OWN! What I wouldn't give to raid her workout closet......

I have to admit that lately, now that I'm working from home and no longer have to dress to impress anyone, I am much more inclined to hit the Nike Store, Sports Authority & browse the sale racks at Nordstrom for workout attire vs Anne Taylor, The Gap and Banana Republic.

I'm pretty sure I've even spent more on sports bras and new socks than my usual obsession of the latest cute shoes (3"heel minimum of course).
But, IRONMAN has brought this addiction to a WHOLE new level. I think that my race jitters were actually overcome by my excitement to hit the Event Store at the Ironman Village. In fact, as soon as we checked into our house it was the first thing we (let by ME) did!

An hour later, and $296 poorer I finally felt somewhat complete. And I hadn't even finished an ironman....

But, of course it didn't end there.... There was a whole new array of products to be found AFTER the race. The FINISHERS gear. HAPPY.BIRTHDAY.TO.ME. So, I thought......

All week long I was inspired by all the cool things that everyone was wearing. The MDOT visors and technical T's. The finishers jackets and fuzzy fleece pullovers.

Now, I've done my fair share of races, but I never buy this kind of stuff. I get the T-shirt and that's usually about it. But this was different. This was IRONMAN. And, now.. it's my everyday attire. No more slacks and button up shirts. No more knee length skirts and sweater sets.

So, we go to the Finishers Tent at about 10am on Monday. It was like a feast for the starving. Everyone running around like scavengers fingering through the racks for their size....

Now, someone, anyone PLEASE TELL me. How many Ironman do you know that wear a 2x?
Please don't get too offended here now. I realize there are Ironman of all shapes and sizes, but this whole store was FULL of 2X EVERYTHING.
There was not a small, or a medium in site. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

So, as hard as I tried to convince myself something was going to appear, I left the finishers tent empty handed.

I still have hope though..... They say the leftover products will be online at eventstores.com So, wouldn't you know it, I've been checking that site daily. No hourly. Ok, EVERY time I sit down or cross paths with my computer. I'm bound and determine to get some more gear. Something cute. Something that I can proudly wear... Just as I did today.....

Today was an IM day. I finally got my lazy butt out of bed to go for a run. If it weren't for my kids, I totally would have skipped it. But, I promised them I'd take them. They've had almost 2 weeks off and were beginning to go stir crazy.

So, today I got to test out my new visor



and the kids got to test out their new gear. See EVERYONE deserves to look the part. They were out there training with S & I every week. In fact, they are a big part of the reason we wouldn't oversleep. They are IRONDOGS, and thus, this is the present we came home with for them.

Today, the kids and I were out in top Ironman FASHION. We proudly wore our Logos, and can't wait to accumulate more of it!

P.S. The run went better than expected! I did about 55mins. HR was good. Legs were great. (Maybe it was the GEAR?)
It was just HOT. Like 90degrees by 7am. WTF????

Summer in AZ, gotta love it...... Or, have a second home somewhere else if you are lucky.

Cheers!