Monday, January 18, 2010

Monday Ramblings

What a great week last week! Lots and lots of good stuff people....

Ironman Canada - officially registered. OMG. To go along with it Shane & I also hired a coach! We're so excited to have a plan, and someone to help us reach our goals (which aren't exactly determined yet). Although we've been racing triathlons for 6-7 years, we've never planned a year form start to finish. Never worked with a coach for anything other than one specific race at a time. To say we're excited doesn't do it justice.

I met our new coach, Lori-Lynn Leach after a track workout with our friend, Karen. We headed for "coffee" after the workout and Lori was in town for the week working with a couple of her athletes as well as visiting. Lori was giving the IMAZ athletes all sorts of nutrition and racing advice and I really liked what she had to say. Not to mention she lives in Canada and has done the race MANY times. After an hour phone conversation with her, Shane & I couldn't wait to get started!

I emailed her our "tentative" race schedule - which for the first time ever meant I was planning it ALL out. Weird. Exciting. NEW! :-)

Skirt Chaser 5k 2/13
Foothills 10k (date tent, not announced yet) 2/27
El Tour de Phoenix 4/10 (maybe, but it does have a lot of climbing!)
Rocky Point Triathlon 4/24
Tempe International 5/16 (maybe)
Deuces Wild either Oly or Half IM 6/5
EITHER - Desert half IM in CA (if we CAN) 7/11 or Centurian Colorado Century bike ride 7/17
Ironman Canada 8/29
Silverman (for Shane) 11/7, I might do Soma?

I guess I was a little fired up this week! I ended up getting some GREAT workouts in, including heading back for strength training with Daniella-Bella Torture trainer. THREE HOURS of workouts left my glutes screaming from Monday through, well still a little today.

I ended the week with:
17.37 miles of running
71.8 miles of biking
9,343 yards of swimming
2:50mins of strength training.

My running is feeling better each day. I had another visit with my ART wonder Doc and I graduated to not coming back for 2 weeks! My IT band has NEVER responded this quickly before, so when I asked him about it, Dr. Sherman said he is really getting in deep and using more pressure than he's ever used. Hey, whatever it takes!

Swimming is SLOWLY getting back there. I've still got a LONG LONG way to go to get my speed back to where it was when I was in shape, but it's getting easier.

Cycling.. Oh jeeze. I pretty much suck right now. I know I just have to start logging the time and focus on my cadence and pedal efficiency. I can't believe how much of my cycling fitness I've lost!

ON that cycling note.... I will soon have a REALLY REALLY cool announcement. My belated birthday present is a NEW BIKE! I had my heart set (for no particular reason) on the Wilier Cento Uno or the Look 585 Optimum, however after some measurements at my bike shop I found out the size I need, a 50cm top tube - so my options are limited. Fit is the #1 priority for me this time around, so I'm going to do it right. I've got my bike all picked out, but until she's officially ordered - I'm gonna keep it a secret just a little longer.

Couple hints. She's TINY (mini-ER me?), she's RED and she's foreign, but not that far from here :-)

On the swimming front. I went back to my gym pool for the first time in FOREVER. 24 hour Fitness pool in North Scottsdale should be CONDEMNED. I went Saturday and managed to get my whole workout in, but was so grossed out by how dirty the pool was. The chlorine content was SO strong I couldn't get the smell of me (or my suit) to save my life.

I gave the pool the benefit of the doubt and went back today, only to find the conditions worse. The chemicals stronger, the dirt in the pool worse, and on top of it all they had someone cleaning the floors with very strong chemicals using a brush & splashing the garbage, dirt & bleach all over WHILE we were swimming. I only made it 1500 meters before my lungs felt like they were crystallizing and my skin started to itch. Needless to say I will not be back at that pool for a LONG LONG time.

I heart masters swimming and the JCC pool.

A few rambles on the non-training front. Facebook. It's a crazy addition. It's annoying at time. I read things I really would rather not know, or not hear about. Yet at the same time it's FASCINATING. ON Saturday I received a note from a childhood friend. We lived just 5 houses from each other our entire lives. I haven't seen or heard from her since I moved to AZ nine years ago. So cool.

Facebook also reminds me of some of my best times in life. Or, my past life I should say. I get updates and pictures of all my girlfriends I was inseparable from in High School in college. While we've all got different lives now, some of them are still so close to each other. Particularly my Seattle area friends. Seeing their posts and pictures makes me miss them so much. They are down to earth, fun, and amazing. I really hope to get to spend more time with them in the next coming years. To me, my friends are my family. I need them, I miss them, I love them.

For my last ramble, it's BIG NEWS. It's RAINING in Arizona. Not sprinkles here and there, real life RAIN. Wet, dreary, cool, damp rain. And it's supposed to be here ALL.WEEK.LONG. We ran in the rain today. It was cold, and we ran a lot faster than planned, but it was also kinda nice. A nice change, especially knowing what I've got coming this summer. 110degrees, NON stop SUN. Humidity. Blah.

Lord help me.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

New Beginnings

We're approaching the 3rd week of 2010, and after a bumpy start with the loss of my grandfather things are really starting to go the way I had hoped (more on this to come).

After taking a year off of Ironman racing, I was feeling ready. Even Shane is fired up. Ironman St. George was too early in the year for us to commit to, not to mention the intense course. We'll save that for the Supa and speed pants to own! I will resume my position of Iron Sherpa in May.

Arizona is not really my thing (although I know better to say NEVER). Just like Coeur d'Alene, I've had Canada on my mind for quite some time. I know the course is going to kick my trash, but I'm rested, I'm ready. Bring it.

Shane & I are working on a training plan (with help from our soon to be new coach!), and a race schedule. I can't wait to start working, and hurting and prolly eating a lot. I'm scared to death of the summer training, but I will just have to get used to 4ams again.

So - here we have it! It's OFFICIAL. It's REAL. OMG.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Saying Goodbye

While the new year started out with a fantastic weekend in Seattle (saved for another post), unfortunately we came home to a very sad ending. I received word while still at the airport in Seattle that my grandfather was not doing very well. My parents had moved him from Spokane to stay with them in October, as he was not in good health.

Fortunately with weddings and ironman and our summer adventures in the Pacific Northwest, I was able to spend time with Grandpa in his final years. He was a trooper. One of the hardest working people I've ever met. He built everything he had, including his beautiful home on the Spokane river, from ground up. He never had a penny of debt or IOUs.

A lot of my early memories were with my grandparents. Every Holiday spent at their home or ours. Weekends with them picking fresh raspberries and playing with grandma's makeup and jewelry. Fishing in Montana on Grandpa's boat. Asking for fresh peas from his garden, then cursing myself when I had to go out and pick them all. We have a very small family, so with them so close, they pretty much were it, except small get togethers every few years on my mom's side.

They helped me out in college, bought me my first car, and when my mom drove it a few years later and realized it wasn't safe, my grandpa was first in line to help me purchase a brand new one. I cried at the car dealer when I got the keys. They hosted my college graduation party (er, keg) at their home.

My grandmother passed away a few years ago. It was probably the hardest thing my grandpa ever went through. I can't tell you how many times he spoke about how "he was never supposed to live past her." The day she left him, it was as if he stopped living. It was so sad to see, him so alone and just wanting to be with her, yet at the same time I didn't want him to go either.

In the past few years we've heard so many COOL stories about his past. From hardships and being raised by his grandparents, to meeting and marrying my grandma when they were just kids, teenagers. Logging jobs and chartered fishing boats on the Oregon Coast. Stories of my uncle, my dad's only brother being killed in Vietnam. Who needs history books when really we should just be talking to our elders.

On Monday night I went over to my parents to see my grandpa. It was about 100 times over the worst I've seen him. He wasn't the same man. He was a helpless, almost scared man just longing to go. To stop hurting. I could see it in his eyes he hated seeing my sister and I in such shape. It's not how he wanted to be remembered. I'm very thankful I saw him, I was able to hug him and say goodbye. He was coherent, he knew were were there, and I'm so very thankful for that. We helped my mom tuck him into bed, and he drifted off to sleep.

He made it through the night, but his body was slowly shutting down. I'm so grateful that my mom was able to take such good care of him. I think their relationship grew very strong in his past few weeks with her at his every need. He wasn't in a lot of pain, she helped him through the process, and early Tuesday evening he left us. He finally got what he had been longing for the past few years and is now at peace, and with my grandma, the love of his life....
His only wish was for a no fuss celebration. A toast to his life. This is exactly what we plan to do.

Remember to spend the time you have now, with those you love because you just never know what tomorrow may bring...