Wednesday, June 25, 2008

New Recruits

I'm getting ready to head to Denver in a few hours to visit my family, and I'm definitely excited to be going. It's been 6 months since I've been home, and in that time, a lot has happened! My dad has gotten a new job after retirement. My sister got her Captain wings. My other sister took a new job. And my mother has dropped 22 lbs on Weight Watchers and has found new energy and new life. I can't wait to see how they are all doing.

To top this brief visit off, I will be doing the Danskin Denver sprint tri relay with my Mom and sister on Sunday. I reluctantly agreed to swim, seeing as how I have no shame in a bathing suit these days, while my mom is biking and sister is running. Mom walks the dog on a hilly 3-mile hike every day, but she didn't touch her bike until last week, when she went apesh*t (pardon my French, but it's serious here) and went on (3) 14-mile bike rides in a row. She's still sore and tired, but I'm pleased to say she is alive. Suffice it to say her 10-mile bike will surely be painful to endure, but hopefully it won't take her too long and she'll enjoy herself out there. Little sister is running the 5K. She's been diligent in her training, although she's had some difficulties with asthma and has finally turned a corner with her new inhaler. This is the sister that watched me do Pacific Coast last year. I'm trying to calm her down about Danskin, telling her that the atmosphere is far more relaxed than Pacific Coast, but she is still a nervous wreck.

So my hopes for this trip are a bit selfish. I hope to motivate my mother to continue down this new healthy lifestyle path and to become more involved in sports.....and I want my sisters to become addicted to triathlon so that when I finally move home, I'll get some training partners!

At any rate, I'm out for a few days. Will post the race report on Monday!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Iron PS

She did it!

Coach is officially an Ironman.

In true Coach fashion, she hammed it up all the way down the finish chute and I could see her coming on Ironman Live for a mile away, it seemed. There was a party in Idaho last night, for sure. And judging by the look on her face crossing that finish line, there will be many more Coach watching parties in the future. :)

Congrats to all the other blogosphere finishers today, too. I tracked who I could, and it was great fun. Probably far more fun that actually doing the race, but you made me proud!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Iron Sunday

All I can say this morning is, it's a glorious morning for triathlon!

And I am not racing.....

Today is Ironman Coeur d'Alene. A little race in Idaho that my Coach has spent the greater part of 2 years trying to get to, so she can put herself through a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and 26.2 mile run, all before the clock strikes midnight. (Technically the cutoff is 17 hours, so not sure what that really equates to) But because she is a MACHINE, I have so much confidence in her that by the end of tonight, I will be watching IM Live and crying like a baby when they say that she is an Ironman.

Anyway, thought I'd make an "Ode to the Crazy Coach" post. I know she's a tough cookie, and she will get there.....hopefully quickly. So that's my day today. Eating, and watching IM Live. It's a glorious day!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A Pictorial Journey Through Mayhem

I just couldn't resist adding pictures of the race this past weekend. There was something almost absurd about swimming in a murky, artificial brown lagoon surrounded by roller coasters and Ferris Wheels. I can't help myself!

Behold the swim start, where 100 women are loaded onto a narrow boat ramp and held, by noodle, until the gun goes off. If you are in the back of said wave, instantly add 2 minutes to your swim time:

Here is the course, before it got crowded. It swam a whole lot like 500 meters, but that's awfully hard to tell with all the traffic. Remember the boat ramp? Well, that's also the swim EXIT! Ah, happier times. This is me on the bike. Suck it in and smile for the camera! Notice the full water bottles. No nutrition or liquid for me in this race. No sir! And I felt fantastic, so obviously this is a great strategy for sprint distance races.

Oh, and here's the best part. The finish! Except I really cannot explain the whole hands thing. I didn't realize I did this, but this is the 2nd finish where I have been documented to do this. It's not a "heck yeah, I finished the race and I am awesome!" finish. It's more like, 'thank freakin' goodness I am done!' You can see my rabbit in the foreground. She was in the wave in front of me and was the only person I wanted to beat in the race. Somehow I was content to just sit behind her for the entire race, because I'm.....lazy?!

And we cannot forget the team photo. Look at how big we are! I'm ashamed to say that even after all the name tag days and training sessions, I still don't know half the women who race with us. Maybe one day I'll get better with names. :) But this was our biggest team yet, and what a great place for the newbies to cut their teeth in the world of triathlon.

Now, wasn't that fun?!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Disney Madness!

This morning was my first Danskin triathlon, and I have to admit, it is definitely one I will remember for years to come.

There's something very unique and slightly crazy about 1300+ women in the happiest place on Earth. Leaping into a man-made, brown-dyed "Paradise Bay" whilst listening to carnival midway tunes and spotting roller coasters and Ferris wheels is crazy enough....but add hundreds of flailing and half-drowning women, and you have a spectacle quite unlike any other on Earth.

I had a tough time finding a balance today between my competitive, die-hard spirit and my compassion for the women who were doing their first triathlon today to prove to themselves that they could do it. I was them three years ago. I know what they were going through and how hard their journey was. But I tasted blood and I wanted to race! Oh, it was difficult indeed.

The race started out with a 4:30am opening of the transition area. Yes, 4:30am. To prepare us for the first wave at 6am. Yes, this is abnormally early!!! I got an end cap and set up shop, then walked around and visited with my friends. Because I knew this would be a crazy race, I had no expectations other than "turn and burn." No stress. No nerves. I was pretty happy.

They moved us into a staging area in back of Disney's California Adventure, between the parking lot and the Paradise Pier area. We never saw the swim course until we were loaded onto the boat dock, three minutes before the swim start. We went off in waves of less than 100, every 3 minutes. I was fortunate enough to be in the front row of my wave, giving me a clean first 1/2 of the swim.

Unfortunately, the rest of the swim was a bit of a nightmare. Lots of people over on their backs breastroking, forming solid barriers that were quite difficult to maneuver around. I saw lots of people hanging on to longboards and noodles....far more than I was expecting. I got stuck behind a lot of these people and rather than swim over them or make them more miserable than they were, I just stood up and walked. Disappointing swim for me, but what can you do?

My bike was fantastic. I was 30th overall out of 1300+ women, and I just felt like I was flying out there. Bike handling is getting better, so I could accelerate in my turns and maneuver around people. I pushed pretty hard and although my legs were a little dead in the end, I felt phenomenal.

T2 was a pain in the rear. Forgot a sock, struggled with my Garmin, and pretty much lost my fight. I ran out of transition, then walked as I put on my hat, watch, and race belt. I then granny ran my 2 miles to the finish line. I was tired, and I just didn't think I could run any faster. In retrospect, this was wrong-- it was all mental! So I have quite a ways to go to get my run in shape, but it was respectable overall with an 8:59 min/mile average pace.

I ended up finishing 4th in my age group out of 135, and 34th overall in the competition. I was floored by how well I did, but frustrated that I didn't try harder because there was only one minute separating me from the 3rd place winner. Next time I'll conquer the mental demons and have a breathrough race.

Anyways, totally surreal venue and an overall good experience. A lot of women completed their first triathlon today and have jump-started a healthy lifestyle because of this race. How can that be a bad thing?!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Ready to Rumble!

Well, I'm back from Atlanta.

Apparently, in Atlanta, I run fast and swim like a drowning cat.

So although my training week was a bust, I have been reveling in the post Mud Run glory. I have to say that the race was the most fun I've ever had while running! My team of five was phenomenally funny, and I loved every second of being out on the race course, mud and all. I can't wait to do it again, but I'm glad my first time I didn't "race" it. So much pressure is off of you when you are racing under a team name and your results don't show up on a "record." :)
Here is the race, BEFORE:


Glorious good times!!

This weekend is Danskin Disneyland. I'm not sure I'm at my peak. In fact, I gained 3 lbs in Atlanta (who couldn't--- they sneak butter into everything), so I am sure I'm slower than molasses. But I'm kind of excited about this race, because it seems a little on the "short" side. .35 mile swim (I'm thinking they'll be hard-pressed to get us to 500 meters), 10 mile bike, and 2.5 mile run, although I mapmyrun'ed the run and can't get more than 2.1. Anyway, this sucker is going to be fast and furious-- an all out puke fest! With the 6am start time, I'm thinking this will be an interesting race. My first Danskin, to boot, and the water is excruciatingly warm, so it'll be my first non-wetsuit race. I guess it's gonna be slow for me?

Anyway, stay tuned for the race report......more good times to come.

It's good to be home!

Thursday, June 5, 2008


I've been negligent on this blog for a few weeks now. I'm not quite sure why, but I suppose a lot has to do with the fact that I'm just not terribly interesting. I'm not training for something exciting like an Ironman. I'm just boring old me.....and even that bores me at times.

This past week has been pretty distracting. I turned another year older and hubby and I celebrated our second wedding anniversary. Along with those celebrations came a cake binge eating weekend and a night of fondue excess. Seriously, you could roll me through my next triathlon at this point.

I've been taking 2 days off a week, which makes me feel more lazy than anything else. I'm just having trouble keeping the aches and pains away. I don't like to work through them, but it takes me two days to recover from a swim, 2 days to recover from hill repeats on the bike, 3 days from a long run.... Well, you get the point. I'm barely still functioning, and I have to baby this big ol' body of mine.

Tonight, I was supposed to do a 5 mile trail run race. But my training plan called for 4 aerobic miles...... Since I know myself and know that I cannot be memorialized forever as slow because I did a race in my aerobic zone, I opted to run on a local trail closer to home....for free. And I sucked big time. It was good for the first two miles, and then I turned around and it all went to hell. Hip flexors ached, my heart rate skyrocketed, and I just could not settle. All I wanted to do was cry!! It's been so long since I've had a horrid run like this-- I suppose I was due for one with all my recent breakthroughs. But why now?? Argh. I'm just going to try to forget about it and blame it on the sodium overkill from my lunch of tortilla soup at a horrid local Mexican restaurant.

Saturday, I have been asked to substitute for a team member in the Camp Pendleton Mud Run. It's a 10K, with obstacles I've only seen in Full Metal Jacket. Oh, and hot marines to hose you off. While I can deal with the latter, I'm quite frankly a little concerned about the rest of it!! But my team has a weaker link than I, so hopefully that means we'll just keep chugging along and it won't be too difficult. I suppose I am actually more concerned with what to wear. Our "uniform" is a puffy-painted wife beater and men's underwear. Yeah, you tell me how that's going to stay on in the mud run. :)

Next Sunday is the Danskin Disneyland race. I'm psyched about this, because the distances appear to be getting shorter and shorter!! 0.3 mile swim, 10 mile bike, and a 2.1 mile run (if I measured it correctly)......turn and burn, baby! All I have to do is stay healthy and I think it'll be an amazingly fun race. It'll be my first Danskin, but my fourth women's race. Again, stay tuned. That will be a great story to tell. (Don't get me started on the 6am start time)

I'm spending all next week in Atlanta, so I am on a personal quest to find a lap pool in Buckhead. Since my boss won't spring for the JW Marriott, I'm thinking YMCA...... That, again, shall also be an adventure. But at least next week is "aerobic." Easy peasy!

So, those are my distractions. Reasonable excuses for laziness, right? OK, maybe not. But it's all I got.