Monday, June 30, 2008

Pre-Race...A picture Story

It's been over a week. I don't really know what I've been waiting for. Someone else to write my report? Someone else to unpack me, and do all the laundry? Well, the later didn't happen, so I guess it's high time I started to write about the experience....
We had an early flight scheduled, so knowing the chances of getting someone to my house at 5:30 am to take us to the airport for 7am flight were about zero, I found an alternative solution. Parking in the terminal is $25 - $200+ in parking seemed just stupid, and off site parking is a little less, but takes more time as you have to take a bus to the terminal. So, I made a few calls and booked a car service for $110 round trip. Door to door service, can't really beat that.
Little did I know that "limo service" (I thought a.k.a Town Car) really DID mean limo service and low and behold a white stretch limo showed up at 5:15am. Now that's the way to roll to an Ironman if you ask me...

The flight was good, nothing to talk about.... besides laughing at how much stuff Shane and I had (2 large suitcases, one carry on, a camera bag, a computer bag holding 2 laptops and my handbag), vs Daniel's ONE carry on bag. I vowed to do outfit checks every day cause I didn't believe he could fit it all...
We arrived around the same time as Bold - so I got us somewhere downtown to meet up for some food. I planned a nice sandwich place, but it was only 11am and breakfast sounded better, so I found directions to Frank's Diner. Someplace I remembered being good when I lived there. Apparently my memories of this place were from a different time in my life. A less healthy time where this food would have a been fantastic hangover meal. Butter with a side of butter....
We all made it out of there in one piece and our stomach's survived... On our way to Coeur D'Alene, our rental house....
Wednesday night was very low key.... We headed to Sherman for some dinner and chatting, and of course, Shane & I had wine.
Apparently Daniel and Greg were too busy "people watching"
and texting
to enjoy some cocktails with us. Or maybe they were really trying to psych us out for the race. Who knows? We were 4 days away from race day, and I needed me some drinks!

We also headed to another bar/grill to meet up with some other bloggers... I finally got to meet the infamous Bigun and his fabulous wife Di. These are some good people...

Later that night my new sister arrived.


I've been IM'ing and emailing with this girl for a while now. Somehow I just knew we'd get along. That we were kinda alike.... even after I learned she was a CHEERLEADER and DANCER, I still loved her :-) And, Devin... Can't say anything bad about that guy. He's pure good people. He supported his wife with trashy magazines and DVD's and kept her on that trainer hour after hour....
I can't wait to see these two again...
Over the next day or two the rest of our home and friends showed up.

My second family.....The Angelones. Big J was a saint.. he kept us fat and happy and was a FABULOUS sherpa. Gotta love him. And little J & Frankie are just the best. If I had 2 legged kids I would want them like this....

Sherpa extraodinares IronJenny, Stronger and Jaynee and Benny..... Who would have thought you could meet such incredible people online.... Not me that's for sure.. I'm so glad to say these people are in my life now..
EVEN IF you all had way too much fun molesting my race day nutrition...






One thing I can say. Pay pack is a bitch people....
Of course there are a million more pics, and I also want to share some of my family. My sister, brother- in law, niece and my number 1 fan Carrie were all out there all day. It was amazing... I'm just waiting on some more pics to be sent my way and I will share....
I promise, soon will be my real race report... then the much awaited POST race report :-)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

13:09:45

I'm not ready to write my race report. And I haven't figured out how to put into words the experiences from the past week.... New friends and old. Family and strangers. I felt so loved, so supported and over and over so inspired....

I carried each and every one of these thoughts and people in my heart as I struggled through the first 4 hours of my bike ride. I knew I couldn't quit, no matter how horrible my stomach felt. I dug deep, and I pulled through, and somehow got a ~10min PR over last year.... I'm not sure I could have done it all without so many people on the sidelines all day long...

Thanks to our fabulous photographers.... This right here, sums it up for me



Monday, June 16, 2008

What it is all about for me.

Both my girls have done it, and since I've been lacking on the blogging front and after reading this moving post, I just feel inspired to talk about "My One Thing"

If I'm truly honest with myself, I know deep down that I do all of this crazy training and racing and all consuming endurance activities for one reason and one reason only. Because I CAN. And, because so many times before I've been told that I CAN'T. And if you know me, even just a little bit, you should know that CAN'T, along with NO are not in MY vocabulary....

I did grow up a rather active kid. I wasn't the best at any sport, but very similar to my current state I was good, or sometimes above average. I was never the the best, or first place or that typical athletic looking child, slightly chubby if I must say, (some things just don't ever change), however I always put my heart into it. 100+%.

As a young child in elementary school I played all after school sports. Basketball (people, I'm SHORT too), Softball, volleyball and even cross-country (go figure). My parents didn't have the money to pay for extra summer activities, so I just did all of the school related sports that other than a pair of shoes were fairly inexpensive.

As I got older, I found more of a niche. I narrowed my sport playing down to 2. Softball and Volleyball. In Junior High, with the influence of my best friends at the time I convinced my parents to put me in a club volley ball league. It was a blast... but even better, as we went on to high school we were all very much a team already.

In High school one of my friend's father's created a new "select" club team if you will.... We had all these fancy uniforms and traveled to tournaments every weekend. I thought it was just the coolest thing ever. Unfortunately the dynamics were different. The "fun" was taken out of it all. We were all about appearances and winning and well, I really just was not happy.

I remember being at a tournament in Davis, California. We had been playing all afternoon in the heat, Non- AC gymnasiums. We had lost our game, and our coach was PISSED off. She had us running lines (drills) in 90+ temps inside at MIDNIGHT. I was miserable. I ended up with an asthma attack and breathing into a bag.

Needless to say, that was my one and only year with this high maintenance and high pressure team. I went back to my first club team and had a fantastic year!

In my Junior year I started having back problems. The slightest movements would cause me to shriek and scream in pain.

I was in and out of Dr's, physical therapy and my parents even considered taking me to the Shriner's Children's hospital for help.

After a few MRI's it was determined that I had a congenital problem called Spina Bifida Occulta.

By definition, Spina Bifida Occulta” means “hidden split spine.” Basically there is a gap in my low back where the spine did not grow properly..... It is not something that can be "fixed" but something you just have to, as I've been told so many times before, "learn to live with."

I was told I had to quit Volleyball. Each time I would go to serve a ball, the pain would shoot down my leg, like someone was stabbing me. I was taking up to 16 Advil a day (which I can no longer take at all because of that overuse) and my activities began to dwindle...

I took up some new, less healthy hobbies like oh, partying. I must say, I was quite good at it too...Unfortunately, we all know what happens to you when the activity stops, and the calories pile in. Yah, you could say I took less than athletic looking to a whole new level.

A couple of years (and several lbs later) I spent a summer in Seattle working as an accounting intern for Starbucks Corporate office. I lived with a college roommate about 40miles north of Seattle in Lake Stevens. I drove 80miles round trip daily, and soon adopted a new wake up early routine so I could be to work by 6am to beat the traffic.

Getting up at 4am left my social calendar pretty non-existent so I started a new trend. I began to run. I started with 2 miles and built to 7. I started eating healthy and my weight just fell off. I got down about 20lbs and was feeling fantastic. Like a whole new person.

I went back to college for my senior year and continued my healthy streak. The best part, my back pain was next to zero....

After graduation, and my move to Arizona I became a gym rat. I worked out 5-6 days a week, but still ran on the treadmill, with an occasional outside run..... Getting bored with the same routine I started thinking about doing a triathlon. I mean, I can swim (well I THOUGHT I could swim at the time, I mean I grew up as a kids going camping and going to lakes...)and run.... but after some research the whole bike thing just freaked me out, not to mention I didn't have the money to buy one....

The next thing I new our admin at work was passing out flyers for a fund raiser called the "Dream Team." We would raise fund for United Cerebral Palsy and travel and run the Monaco marathon.

I was hooked.... Why, BECAUSE I COULD!

I instantly fell in love with the endurance sports. Of course, in typical Krista fashion, my heart and my desire were there, but my body began to protest and after my 2nd marathon I became injured. The injury that lasted 4 years. (IT BAND).

Dr's told me to not run. That maybe my body just wasn't cut out to do this stuff. My back started to flare up more. For the first time in my life I was close to giving up...... And then I did my last resort. I had the IT band surgery. So many warmed me against it.. It wasn't a typical surgery. It didn't have great success rates.

I just thought, what did I have to loose? I can't run now, and I might not not be able to run after. I'll take "maybe" over "can't" any day.

I did it. And for 6 months I worked my ass off with PT and strengthening, and even when a few steps hurt and I was almost convinced I would never run again. I came through... One year later I completed my first half-ironman. Because I COULD.

My parents of course thought I was crazy. And stupid. Why on earth would I have surgery and then go mess it all up again? Like I said... don't tell me I can't.

Things were looking up for me. I signed up for an Ironman. My training was near flawless. IT band holding up. I had the race of my life.....

If you've been reading this blog long you know what happened after that. My neck injury, or rather neck problem. The steroid Epidural Injections... The pain.... all over again. Then the other IT band.
A dear friend of mine said this during one of the toughest times in her life....

"Life has given me lemons .............. sooooooooooo with all of my soul (and I'm hoping your good wishes) I'll be making lemonade ......."

I Believe it. I believe that when things don't come easy for you, that's when you get the opportunity to prove just how tough and strong you really are.

Now I know that so many people have far worse problems than me. And that for the most part, I am one incredibly lucky gal. I've also learned not to take it all for granted. That you just really never know when something could be taken from you. Something that you love.

I do this. I stay active and healthy and do all this training because I CAN. Because I know what my body does have going against it, and each time I do something so extraordinary, like finish an Ironman....or ride 7 hours in the rain, or complete a 3hr run. It makes me feel fantastic. It makes me feel on top of the world.
It makes me feel, like ME. Like a person that so many times I wasn't sure I would be able to come. And that, in my eyes... is what it's all about.
So this Sunday, when the going gets tough. I will think about all these challenges. About why I'm putting myself thru the pain. I'll remember the lemons, and my promise to myself is that, that I will make some fantastic lemonade.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

10 more days

I have officially reached the before questioned taper. It is Thursday and I am on my second full rest day since Monday.... and I am still in my PJs thank you very much.

You would think I would have accomplished all sorts of things with all my spare time... And, well if you consider constant IM'ing with her... and her about what we are going to wear and what we are going to drink after we are crowed the winners of IM CDA, well than yah.. I've accomplished A.LOT.

I mean, I have in fact FINALLY narrowed down what I'm going to be wearing on the run to only 2 options. Trust me, this is a big accomplishment.

And I must share what my sweet, endearing husband said when I reiterated how important it was to have the PERFECT outfit...
"and you wonder why I always race better than you."

Yup... that is what he said. No joke. He might kick my ass, but people... I will be full on color coordinated and comfortable, that is for sure.

What else has been going on? Well, I feel pretty darn good that is for sure. I'm much more rested this year than last year. Last year I was sleepy and didn't want to do anything. This year.. I'm just feeling kinda normal.

Yesterday I did have a little scare. Well, actually it started on Monday when I woke up and my right shoulder and neck was all sore and my arm was going numb to my fingertips. Which started to scare the shit out me since this was the EXACT same time I started having neck problems last year, which led to a very uncomfortable swim and bike time at CDA last year... which then led to 6 months of no swimming and steroids and a very very fat face!!!

So anyway, I sorta had a freakout and went to my wonderful ART guy where he did some work on me and helped release some of the nerves that were being pinched. I'm still somewhat uncomfortable, but it's much much better..

Now if we could all just find a bubble to stay in for the next 2 weeks. Let me tell ya.. seeing this first hand about made me pee my pants in fear. have you every seen one of your bestest girls in the world's head literally bounce off the ground? Yah, kinda scary....

She's tough though... she's already back in the saddle.

For now, I'm just taking everything day by day. Doing my schedule and trying not to eat everything in my house. Which, trust me has been hard. Why is it that I'm more hungry now that I'm not exercising as much?

Tomorrow is our last big workout... 3:30 bike, 40min low HR run & 2000m swim..... And then we take our bikes to the Tri-Bike Transport drop off. Which, if you haven't used them is like the best service ever invented. No dealing with taking apart the bike, or putting it back together...
And the very very best thing. After the race you just hand them your bike. Which after that long day is like a little slice of heaven...

Well, now I'm off.. to possibly get out of my pjs.... I gotta get my bag packed to go with my bike, so then maybe all of this will seem more REAL. Jeez. I'll prolly start freaking out when I actually pull the bag out...

I can't wait to meet and hang out with all of you! It's going to be so much fun :-)

Oh yah.. and my race # is 1857. I can't figure out anything cool about that number though....

Thursday, June 5, 2008

What Taper?

So everyone is starting to talk about the "Taper" And lots of other friends keep asking me how my "taper" is going...

Well, I'd sure like to FIND this so called "taper" somewhere, cause if I look on my schedule it's REALLY hard to find..... Hmmm.

Mark Allen doesn't believe in Taper? Well, That is what I think anyway!

So Monday my taper was a 1:15 run and a 5500 yard (5000meter) swim. Yes, you read that right.

And Tuesday was a 2:50 bike (I think we did almost that much, but it was all half a@@)

And Wednesday was a 2hr long run and 3800 yard (I did 3500) swim.

And today.. well today my schedule had a speed bike workout, but I just going out of my PJ's and into the shower, and it's 2:40, so It's safe to say that in my self inflicted "taper" it is a rest day for me.

Tomorrow we are doing our long bike ride, which is supposed to be 5hrs, but really, I mean do I REALLY need another 90mile ride? I think.not. So, I've talked the crew into a 4-4:30 ride :-) Hey that 30minutes less does sound better to me...

If you've read my past couple months of training posts you'll see things really started looking up for me. It's been a journey. Lots of ups, and lots of downs. 20 weeks ago I was not sure if I would be able to run 3 miles let alone 30+ per week. I was really frustrated, and angry that I was dealing with that stupid injury again.

About a month or so my runs really started to get better. Not only was I able to complete the distances, but my times were getting faster, and my HR avg's lower.

I never got too excited about it all, because it's not like the IT band wasn't still there. I mean it's not 100%, and based on past experiences (hobbling my way through 20 miles of the New York Marathon when my IT band locked up at mile 6) you just never know what can happen on race day.

Much to my surprise my running has made some crazy breakthrough this time around. I've posted all sub 10min/mile long run paces with my Hr in the first 5-10 beats of my zone 2. When I look back at my paces, pretty much every run has been faster.

Yesterday, I completely shocked myself. I did 2 loops. The first with the dogs, of course, and when I looked at my Garmin splits I did a 9:05 pace with a 144HR on loop 1. And loop 2 with more hills was a 9:25 pace with a 148HR. Total run was 2hrs, 12.95miles, avg Hr 147 and ascent almost 1200 ft.

Did someone steel my Garmin? Well, as ecstatic as I am about those splits, I am not too excited, because I know how I felt last year when I hit the marathon. Hungry, and pretty tired. I think my marathon time was a 5:12...... I'd love to beat that last year, but I've got no crazy fast time goals in my head, that is for sure!!

I know that I have worked my ass off the past 5 months. I've done more exercise and training sessions that last year that is for sure, and I haven't lost my drive (yet). I haven't over trained or done anything above and beyond (I imagine looking at some of the crazy hours I've got on my sidebar some of you might think so), I've simply followed the plan.

I see that some people are starting to post goals.. I've even heard my training buddies talk about some time goals. It's funny though - I hear their goals and I think absolutely! They are both great endurance athletes and I could totally see it happening. But even though my training has surpassed theirs (Quantity/hours spent NOT Quality)I just don't have that confidence to think that high, that far... that BIG of my own goals...

As for me, of course based on my training times I could come up with some numbers, but honestly... I've seen so many things happen to friends at this distance, not to mention having my own bad luck at races that I'm just not confident enough to put it all out there.

Who knows, maybe I should. Suck it up. Make some time goals and lay it all out there? Maybe THAT would light my fire when I feel like WALKING at mile 10 :-)

For now, I'm happy just waiting to see what happens on race day. I'm not the most competitive person you'll meet that is for sure, so if you do see me messing around - maybe fire me up a little...get me movin!

OK, wait.. I lied.. I do have ONE goal.
Is it TOO much to ask for me to beat HIM out of the water JUST once??

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Happy Anniversary... to Me :-)

We met training for our first marathon..... He proposed before the start of our 3rd..


It's been a fantastic 4 years, and I can't wait for the next 40+... We've only just begun.


So, our actual anniversary was May 8th, but we were both sorta in a funk that week, post Rocky Point vacation and the training really had us over-occupied! Well, today my present came in the mail, and it's even better than I though it would be (his idea, my picking out!).


So - HE got this (he was gonna buy it with our without me, so I just caved!)...



And I got this....


I totally won! :-)

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Another by the numbers

Made it through week 17, with some great numbers. I'm feeling fantastic to tell you the truth. I don't remember feeling this good last year? I remember, during the taper, not wanting to do ANYTHING... but sleep, and eat. While, I'm not quite to the taper... I feel totally ready. I just wish we still didn't have a 5hr ride this coming week.

Our schedule this year really upped the bike mileage, and while cycling never hurts my legs or my IT's... it's just getting really really hot here so ending a ride in 95-100deg temps, then having to run is a little less than fun.
I mapped out a pretty good route for yesterday. We started out with a few short/steep hills. Then did some gradual climbing of about 1500 ft over the next couple hours. And, the kicker - we finished up climbing ~10-15% grade 2mile hill at the end. It was HOT. Thankfully, we made a good decision and stopped for ice/water refills before the climb. Best.idea.ever.

The heat went from under 70degs (perfect) to start, to about 95 when we were coming up the hills. It hit hard. I consumed more fluids between hours 3-4.5 than the entire first 3 hours (and had to pee twice)! I started to just drool thinking about ice. and ICE.COLD water!

I felt better than ever climbing that hill at the end, and finished strong. The run was ok. Just too hot for my body. Legs felt fantastic, just pretty over-heated. I got home where Melisa & Shane were already sitting in the pool. Took off my Garmin, shoes & socks and dove in. I didn't care what temp it was. Instant relief. I tell ya, growing up in the Pacific Northwest really trained my body to not metabolise in the heat very well... I have to stay cool, keep my body wet/hydrated to stay healthy in it, that's for sure....

This week's totals, including 1hr strength training 21hours.




But what is even more crazy are the month end numbers.... just under 80hrs of training, including 4 of strength. The craziest part. Almost 50,000yards of swimming. Bring on the taper!!!