Friday, December 28, 2007

Coming Soon to a Road Near You

Wow! What a ride...literally.

After months of test riding bikes.
And test riding again...
and again...
well you get the point.

I spent my holiday break on a Felt B12 and almost walking home with her. But, I decided to sleep on it and made a spreadsheet to compare my options (dork?) and since I like them all I decided I would go with which one was the "biggest bang for my buck". And...I have made my decision.
The Orbea Ora was nixed first – she had lower end extras on her.
It was VERY hard debating between the Felt B12 and the Cervelo P2C.
I really liked riding both of them. And the Felt is just sexy – I have been drooling over her for months! I felt fast on her! But…she was a size 50 which means 650 wheels and both stores told me when borderline like that then 700’s are better for distance rides. So…

The 2008 Cervelo P2C Ultegra.
She is supposed to be here in mid-February. I am going to change out the aerobars for the S-bend and put a different saddle on her, but I can’t wait to bring her home!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Holiday of Reflection and Remembrance

A time to gather with friends and family.
A time to spoil each other with little gifts to say you care.
A time to fill your bellies.
and especially a time to spend a little extra time in church.

This year's Christmas was a time also of remembrance.

It started out normal. I hit up training on Saturday then hit the road for an extended drive home. I was so excited for this year - my grandma and step-grandfather were flying in from Jersey. I don't get to see her much and she is the cutest little old lady (especially now with the diminishing filter between thoughts and mouth). Everyone was here - even my expecting sister and brother in law.

We sat around the tree and tv the past few days. Hugging and snuggling. drinking tea and playing games. I even went for my christmas day run!

This morning started out jsut the same. we got up. i packed the car ready to hit the highway back to virginia. we were meeting my brother for a lunch before all the travelling back to our repsective homes got under way. Then it happened. about 10 minutes before we were to leave for lunch, my step grandfather collasped in the family room. we all knew what was going on. mom used to be an ER nurse and she and i were there when my dad passed. The ambulance, fire, and police flooded the street. About an hour later at the hospital, at 12:13pm, he was pronounced dead.

Merry Christmas, i think. Then i think about it. He was flying tomorrow - imagine if it happened in the air. Imagine if it happened when my grandmother and him were home alone. I am glad I could be there to hold my grandma and cry with her and know that she wasn't alone. He lived 90 long years even being wounded in WWII and he and my grandma were able to share 19 years of wedded bliss together and end it with a fabulous christmas surrounded by family. (they married after meeting at the pool of the "grandma neighborhood". yeah she's a babe in a swim suit)

I might not have the new year's eve that i was looking forward to, but i will be with my family as we start a new year. together.

So it will be a crazy few days and weeks, but this is a time to be with each other.

I will miss your NYC accent and the smell of your pipe. I will miss your jokes. Thank you for being there for my grandma over the years. You will always hold a place in our extended family's heart.

John Richard Casazza

Cheers to all of us being happy and healthy. Having great families at home and our amazing triathlon fmaily. And being healthy to participate is the sport.


Friday, December 21, 2007

Bike Search Update

First - I give myself an award for being the most indecisive int his bike search. How many months am i going on now!

So I was leaning towards the Cervelo P2C. I rode it. I liked it. It's a good solid bike. The I added the Orbea Ora to th mix. I still drool over the Felt B12, but I have to drive 5 hours for it. Ugh! Over Thanksgiving they didn't have my size. They had a 48 (i rode) and a 52. I need the 50. Argh. They ordered e one to come in for when I head home for the holidays, but I am doubtful it will be in.

so I am sticking to deciding between the Cervelo P2C and the Orbea Ora.

The I get an e-mail.

My size 50 B12 is in. AAAHHH!!!
So Saturday I am riding the Ora and then Monday the B12.

Let's say a little prayer and cross our fingers I make my decision within the next two weeks! Enough already!

I'm a Star!

I have the bestest boyfriend ever.

Last night we had the Christmas gift exchange after a nice dinner.

My favorite gift - I'm a star!!!!

He remembered me talking about wanting to be a (rock)star but instead the idea of naming a star instead from our first date. So now in the Aquarius constellation (my sign) there is now a star with my name on it!

So thanks to my baby I have fulfilled my dreams of becoming a star!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Happy Birthday to me!

Okay so maybe it's not even Christmas yet. But 6 weeks later it's my big day. Ya know, when they decorate everything with hearts and cupids - yup - they do that in honor my birthday.

Well, I have my gift all picked out already. A Garmin Foreunner 205.
It's Perfect!
tracks my runs, my paces, i liek it.
No need for the 305 - i have cadence and heart rate already.

So Happy Birthday to me...I hope!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Frustration in the pool...Surprise?

Last night was the weekly Masters class. At first it was only Snells and I in the "guppy" lane - I like it! We warmed up with a "quick" 300. hahahaha. I haven't done 300 meters straight since Naylor's Beach Olympic months ago! I finished in 6:15 - not too far off from where I left it. I led the lane for most of class which was good for the confidence since Wednesday night coach asked me to move up a lane. Yikes! I like my guppies. Those are scary shark-like swimmers. Ok maybe more like goldfish but you get my point.

Then the class turned a bit sour for me.

First we had to do this series of 25x50 (ha! get it 25 days of christmas) well our 4th set of 5x50 were to do 25 free, 25 breast. Problem - I don't know how to do breast stroke. sure I can try to fake it - but it hurts these old lady knees I already have. So JP tell me to dolphin kick - um ok. I will try. So the first 25 of breast coems and this plain SUCKS!!!! I sink. every time. About 5 attmpts in and I think I am moving backwards - no mroe leading. I go back to free and at the end I tell JP that I quit on teh breast stroke. Then after 2 moe sets, practice is cut short.

I'm a 3? Ok. Wait a minute. Everyone begins lining up behind the blocks on lanes 3, 4, and 5. Relay race. OH SHIT! And we're off. Man my lane is in the lead. and then we came in last. Yeah. I left with a feeling that I am mad I never did swim team and lerned breast stroke and that I am jsut plain slow. Usually when swimming no one can see me except the coaches. I am hidden int eh mass of other swimmers - whether it be in the pool or in a race. But now - everyone can see me swim. Exposed. for all to see me flail around and go no where. It was fun, but would have been more fun if I could actually benefit the other people on my team.


Christmas Lights Run

An annual event - the Christmas Lights Run! A group of us gathered downtown erady to jog an easy 6.1 mile course checking out the Christmas lights throughout parts of the city. IT went by so fast - all of a sudden we were done! Sure, my knees creaked like I was the tin (wo)man, but I think that is due to the subzero temperatures.

Afterwards TG40 supplied her famous Glogg. Unfortunately, I was too cold to stand outside with my weat icing over on my forehead and headed home to finish my "spring" cleaning.

I look forward to next year!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Mother Nature

In my continuing bike search I add to the mix the Orbea Ora. This weekend I planned to pick up the bike for a like ride. They don't have the Ora in my size, but the 2007 Ordu which is similar frame to the 08 Ora so I gently place it in my trunk and head home SUPER excited about my weekend riding! About 5 minutes after I got home - the rain started.
Ok guess I will just ride it Sunday.
sunday morning - still raining.


It's ok I can still ride in the afternoon. And make plans for a little tour de west creek with the very pretty bike that I will never own.
the sun comes out - with the wind. Wind gusts up to 37mph.


So now it's Monday. There air is chill and brisk. The sun is out.
And I am at work. Not able to get on a bike and I have to return her today.
Total. Bummer.
Hopefully next Saturday the weather will be nicer and I can take her out for a quick trip before I head home for the holidays.

and the search continues...

Thursday, December 13, 2007

New Diet Technique

I have begun the process of getting my new tooth.

The first step is to whiten since it is a new front tooth. So last night was my first night sleeping in the trays.




I was at at 4am yanking those things out and brushing my teeth to get the gel off! Those bitches hurt! the dentist told me it would hurt and to use Sensodyne toothpaste and ACT mouthwash. So I started using those over the weekend thinkg maybe if I started early it would help. Good God! I hope I get used to this. I had to cancel my run this morning because all I want to do is pull my bottom teeth out of the gums. I swear even my dead tooth hurts! and I have 13 more days to go of this.

But. I came into work and there sitting on the break room coutner was a very yummy looking cherry danish. mmmm. tis the season. Then I thought about how much it would hurt to eat it and walked away. As I walked back to my desk I thought "Hmmm maybe this is like a new diet technique!"

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Tis the Season...

Ironman Florida Celebration
Oliver's Christmas Party
Joy and Mark's Engagement Party

Monday, December 10, 2007

Starting Block

"It's just a jumping off point to start negotiations" (Clueless)

Saturday morning we had the first timed mile for White Lake Half training.

My last timed mile was in June... 7:19.

I knew I would be slower with marathon training and lots of ellipticallizing.

Making it public for motivation... 8:28.

Friday, December 7, 2007

What are you doing this Sunday?

This Sunday there is a national candle light vigil for Kyle Fleischmann. For those unaware, Kyle is a 24 yr old who has gone missing from my home city of Charlotte, NC on November 9th, 2007. (He went to my high school). You can check out his story at His story has been on the Today Show as well as America's Most Wanted.

This Sunday marks the one month of his missing and in honor there is a national candlelight vigil being held. I have been in touch with the Kyle Fleischmann Foundation and we are all set to have one in Richmond. It is being held from 4:30-5:30 EST on Sunday with candles being lit at 5:00.

Fairfax Building
10710 Midlothian Turnpike
Richmond, Virginia
The Fairfax Building is an office building located in Chesterfield County on Midlothian Turnpike at Johnston-Willis Drive, directly across the street from the hospital, and due East of the Koger Center Office Park.
Thanks to Steve and Chris Sadler for donating their property!

Check out the website for a location near you!

Please forward this on to keep spreading the word!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Holiday Downer

First there was the awful mall shooting yesterday. Made me think of my family and friends and how easily that could have been anyone. The families that will forever have a scar on the season. I can only hope that they move forwards with their lives the best they can with memories held close.

I just received a phone call from my marmee (my name for my mom). She was out shopping when tragedy struck again this holiday season...

I can only hope that things do not happen in threes.
I wish for everyone to have a safe and happy holiday.


Sinker. that was me last night in the pool. I went to my first masters class since mid-october. Sure i have been in the pool in the interim - on monday for about 20 minutes!

Man Ironwoman extrodonnaire kicked our butts!

Class was filled with lots of speed drills, pull buoys, and fins...mine were more like duck feet. At one point coach asked if I would be interested in moving up a lane. Flatterd, but i chuickled and said "not today". It's my first day back and was totally feeling it. I was plain pooped! My 25's were in 25 seconds. My 200's - were a little over 4 mintues. Guess I need to get my butt back to class!

OH! but! I did debut the new TRIgirl swimsuit last night. So pretty. One girl even said she wanted one. Join TRIgirls and you, too, can your very own! hmmm I wonder what fun gear is next...pool towels?!

Right. Back on the topic. Masters. I am back in the ball game, folks.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Tooth Fairy?

After griping for the past 3 or so years, I am finally getting my tooth fixed! After my trip to the dentist this morning all appointments have been made and in early January I will have my new front tooth!

Some of you may be wondering what the heck I am talking about. Well my freshman year of college I went for my routine cleaning. I went to my dentist that I had seen all my life since my first tooth. He noticed soemthing wrong with my front tooth. He asked me if years ago I rememeber hitting my tooth really hard. Hmm. I do not. and neither does my mom. Typicl kid, I guess. Well the prognosis was that I have a calcified tooth - so it experienced what they call "tooth trauma" (that makes me laugh) and has a crack down the middle of it and died and gave itself a root canal. So yup - I gots myself one of them dead tooths. The root sealed itself shut (thatta girl) so they can't get into it to do any work. so after years of dealing with it and hating seeing it in pictures and ahandful of dentists later who all tell me about it - um thanks.

I am getting it taken care of starting next week. I start with impressions for nightly whitening for two weeks -which they said makes you teeth sensitive and no red wine for two weeks! Then I go for the crown...dum dum dum. I have never even had a filling! yikes! I have to continue whitening monthly forever to kep my real teeth matching the crown, espcially since it is dead smack in the front! But I am VERY excited (no matter the cost) that I will have a pretty tooth again!

But Baby It's Cold Outside

As I look at the window to the parking lot. The white parking lot. The snow has lightened in the last few minutes, though.

I sit here and sing (yeah you know i sound like a whipperwill) "But baby it's cold outside" and "winter wonderland" and think to myself thank goodness tonight is swimming! It's too cold to be outside!

I have to give a shout out to my baby here - he is still training outside for IMNZ! 11 weeks to go!

Off to spend my lunch break at the post office mailing those Christmas cards. Yeah I am a little late this year - oops!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Bike Search Continues...

I rode the Cervelo P2C a few weeks ago and really liked it. I am not a fan of the paint jobs, but it rode well and I was comfortable on it.
But man, I am drooling over the Felt B12. The stealth bomber. Finally it's the day of my test ride. I get to IOS and they put me on the trainer. She is so pretty. He fits me on it and talks to me about the bike as we compare it to the P2C and I have lots of questions on 650's vs. 700's and more. He said I look like a pro with a perfect fit - it's a 48 with 650 wheels. Then it's time. Time to take her on the road. Woah there nelly. A bit wobbly. Climbing hills isn't bad. I go around the route as instructed. Wait a minute, this shit! I got myself lost in my home city! I toodle arond and gte back on track. Unfortunately this whole time my knees are hitting my elbows. Sadness. I go back and discuss the bike with the fitter guy (technical description). Although lots of pros and others witll have that happen, I am not an advanced rider and not comfortable with that.
So - the latest.
Waiting to get on the P2C in the Ultegra (gray).
Will try the Felt B12 in a 50. this is a gray zone size. it's the size i would need. it requires 650 wheels, but is at the point where a 700 would be better. so hmmm.
Hopefully over Christmas IOS will have both bikes for me to ride on and I can make my decision. If I decide on the Felt, then great. Sold! If I decide on the Cervelo then I have another dilemma on my hands. Both the local bike store AND IOS carry the cervelo. I think IOS would give me a better price on her, but the local bikle store would be the ones taking care of her along the way so I don't want to step on their toes, but i also need to keep the checkbook in check! so we shall see.
and the bike search continues...

Charlotte Southpark Turkey Trot 8k

So I never wrote a race report...and I am not going to. I would prefer to forget this thing ever took place. It was bad. very bad. They started thousands of runners and walkers at the same time. it was like the swim start of an ironman...but on a road. and in sneakers. my brother had me take off as fast as i could as we dodged people and ran on sidewalks and grass to try to find a clear spot. yeah that wasn't good for me. it gave me a side stitch i couldn't knock the entire time. so between dodging people...the entire time, and the hills that were like a mini san fran, it sucked. my time sucked. my energy level sucked. i left in a bad mood and my brother's advice... "you've got some work to do". yeah. thanks. well there. there's a race report. :)
but we took some good pictures!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

It's Business. It's Business Time.

1. View video.
2. White Lake Training starts this Saturday, December 1st. 7am. 1 hour cycling. 4 mile run.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Just Kidding

So maybe 2007 is not over quite yet. My brother and I are doing the Turkey Trot 8k in Charlotte on Thanksgiving. This is the month of "off season", right.

Well Brother said he might do handsprings and sommersaults the whole way. In other words, jsut for fun without looking at a watch. Well I have a little bit different plan. My goal is to get down to an 8:00 mile. Since this year I was comforatbale at a 9:00 pace, it's a stretch, but I want it. And since I am a brat, I get what I want! So with the pacing of the brother I am going to run the 8k to see how far away I am from that goal pace. Now please note that the last time I swam was 10/15. The last long run I did was the marathon. Well that basically was my last workout in general...until this week. I have hit the treadmill a few times and will keep it up until Thanksgiving. Here's hoping...

Gobble! Gobble!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Cheers to 2007

Where do I begin? 2007 has been quite a year...
~ January: I conquer indoor cycling and weight training at Maramarc...Yummy. (little did i know i would soon crave this torture!)
~ Febraury: I learned to swim thanks to Som's Total Immersion class
~ March: I learned to swim in open water - scary!
~ April: I competed in my first multi-sport event - the 3 Sports Duathlon produced by RTC. was snowing.
~ May:
~ June: I finished my very first triathlon - Powersprint a tropical storm!
~ July: I finished my first open water triathlon.
~ August: I raced in NH with lots of family there.
~ September: I finished my first half iron distance triathlon...then 2 weeks later did my first Olympic distance triathlon.
~ October: I participated in my first full marathon in San Francisco - a weekend I will never forget.
~ November: I watched my team mates complete their first full ironman.
~ December: 2008 here I come!

I look back and wow! I am not sure what "clicked", but I like it! I have met some amazing people. Team mates...and the new boyfriend, too. I feel like I have the world of opportunites waiting. All I need is the dedication and determination and I can do anything.

As I take a few weeks off to catch up on life. Where did all this filing come from! I also have the chance to look back at where I was and where I am now...and where I can go.

Goals for 2008...
~ Off Season Training at Maramarc - December-March: Now that I have less unknowns, I know more on what to focus on and take away from each session as a real opportunity to improve...and hang out with the girls (you coaches are part of the girls!) I need to improve all 3 disciplines of the sport. Mainly the run and bike where most improements can be seen and felt all while really focusing on my knee.
~ Monument Avenue 10k - April 5: I would love to magically average a 8:00 pace. This is going to take focus. It is a challenge, but I want it.
~ White Lake Half - May: I would love to finish this race with a significant increase from Patriot's. I will have my brother participating in the event with me, so I know it's gonna be good!
~ Powersprint - June: This was my first race in 2007. My jumping off point. I am intersted in participating in the event again as my annual event. Where I started and where I am now.
~ Timberman 70.3 - August: The air was electric. This will be the largest race I will participate in. With family and this year having team mates, there, too. This year I will make those hills my bitch. Yeah I said it. Bring it hills, bring it.
~ Nike Women's Half Marathon - October: This event was amazing. The most positive and inspirational event. I look forward to just being a part of such an amazing event again. And hopefully I can convince some pinkies to join me out west!
~ Richmond Marathon - November: I enjoyed the challenge (and agony) of 26.2 miles. I love the challenge and the feeling of accomplishment afterwards. This year I will mix up the scenery and have a new perspective on my city.
Then...Ironman New Zealand Training...anyone? anyone? Bueller?

Cheers to 2007.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Monday Monday

talk about a case of "the Mondays"

I walk up to the front door of the office this morning to see it is plywood and the small window next to the door is shattered. yup. you guessed it.

yesterday my boss came to the office to find that we had been robbed. the police came - guns drawn - to make sure he could enter and check out the damamges. it was not "kids at play", but people who knew what they were doing. all but one computer is gone. server. printers. autocad sofware discs. one printer was found by the front door. and one office had been rummaged but the computer was still there, so we are assuming they got startled and took off without finishing the job.

as the partners roll through the process, we are all filing witht eh credit agencies. the acounting information was all taken with all of our personal information. although it is password protected to you and me. a hacker can get through most anything so we are taking precautionary measures. sucks.

i had to file about a year and a half ago when my wallet and checkbook were stolen out of my purse at work at my old office. which a police officer found about 2 weeks later in an alley a few blocks from teh office. everything was in it except the cards that were used.

so - we are dealing with the motions today. as i sit here with an old laptop one of my bosses had at his house. i can't get to any drawings, but at least i can blog, right!

congratualtions to IMFL girls.
way to go, Du-chicks.

send happy thoughts to my office!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Margo made me do it...

~ Disney Trifecta: 76%
~ My cadaver would be worth: $4,175.00
~ Me body produces: 261 watts (This is 4% MORE wattage than the average person, You could light up 3 light bulbs, You could power 65 iPods, You could power 1 Xbox 360, 4 of you would be needed to keep a refrigerator running)
~ Can I pass 8th grade Science?: 73% C
~ How Geek am I?: 22% - but i think more for wasting so much time playing these darn things!

back to those deadlines...

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


+ wine and cheese
+ pizza
+ art supplies
Kickass IMFL Posters!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


My friend Alison told me about this awesome race that she has participated in the past few years - the Nike Women's Marathon and Half Marathon. Registration day comes and before I can log on - within hours the half marathon is sold out! Nuts! There is still room in the full marathon, though. What the heck - I'll sign up. And although rumor is that you can sign up for the full, but only run the half - no way - I am doing the full.

Fast forward about 9 months.
After months of elliptical training - due to knee issues and stitiches. I knew this race was the end of my 2007 season. Should I do it on the knee? I have to. The disappointment would be too great not to. So here goes.

Days before...
packing and re packing. stretching. eating. hydrating. iPod drama (see previous post). look slike I am all ready.

Katharine and I head up to DC to fly Virgin America to San Francisco. VA is such a new airline that when we booked our flight they were still waiting for FAA confirmation to fly. We walked on teh plane and it was like a party - pink and purple mood lighting, all "leather" seats (first class are massagers), and the best part part were thes little screens on the back of he seat in front of you. Although they came by with the normal beverage service, you can order food and drinks by the touch screen throughout the flight. need more water? touch water and voila! there they are with your water. now these did more than just order your food. you could watch movies of your choise (some pay through the handy credit card swiper) and some free, you could watch direct tv (unfortunatel they did not get abc do we missed grey's) and you can also play games. there wasn't much sleeping on he way there b/c we were so entertained playing games, watching tv movies and doing crosswords. oh and the staff - SO nice. And there we are - in San Francisco. We get a cab and head off to meet the girls at the Hotel to get some much needed sleep.

We are on east coast time - we are up awfully early. after a short 15-20 minute jog around town to acclimate ourselves to the weather and altitude, etc, we put on our walking shoes and headed off to catch the trolley, cable car, whatever they're called! we venture to Coit Tower and pier 39 to see the sea lions - man they are smeeeellllyyyyy! In the distance you can see Golden Gate and "The Rock". Then it's time to hit the expotique. Pick up our packets and check it all out. At one station we made buttons to wear during the race in support/honor/memory, etc. The race was to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society - the race raised over 18.5 million dollars!!! I made a button in memory of my dad to wear on race day (he passed away 15 years ago from non-Hodgkins Lymphoma). There were all kinds of goodies - Ghiradelli was constantly passing out chocolate. Clif/Luna was passing out Luna Moons. Massages. Manicures. Nike+ testing stations. iPod engraving. The backdrop to the stage was a screen of dedications. We sat there for awhile waiting for the dedication I sent in and we all just let the tears flow as we read the amazing stories of loss and of survival to the different diseases that were being played. After composing ourselves we headed off to Nike Town!!!! on the outside window wall was a list of every name of all the participants - all 23,000! We walked in and the place was bumping. A woman DJ had the place dancing and singing as we shopped the 3 floors of workout heaven. On the 2nd floor there was a station where you could have your newly purchased shirts custom screen printed. A few hours later we are all done. 7 women in nike town and man you can get your shop on! Next thing we know it is time for dinner. We headed off to Little Italy for a nice carbo filled feast. Even though our waitress was a bit of a stinker - we enjoyed getting to know each other (2 groups of friends coming together). And the public transportation was great - confusing at first - but entertaining none the less.

the day before the race. holy running shorts, batman - time is nearing. Go get a pre race back massage. walk around expotique a little more. I signed up to run with a pace group to hit my 5 hour goal - an 11:27/min pace. I am hesitant that this is being a little overambitious with the knee issues, btu go for it anyways. they told me i can always drop back if i need to. i get my protein smoothie courtesy of jamba juice and a new running top (orginially 45 got it for 23!!) thanks to the wonderful discounts from macy's (ps all of this was within 2 blocks of the hotel). I spent the afternoon with my 1.5 liter bottle of water, large protein smoothie, and turkey and avocado sandwich. yup you guessed it - nap time. stay off the legs and watch chick flicks. then we go eat more pasts at a much closer restaurant with a very nice server. I have my traditional pre-race glass of wine with my pasta. and off to bed very early.

race day. 4:30 alarm clock. as expected, none of us slept very well. to keep tradition going i grinded my teeth all night. we got our outfits on and snapped a few pictures (what do you expect from a bunch of chicks - we take pictures!) Alison and Courtney were running with Club Nike; Katharine and Karen joined me with the 5 hour pace group. Our fearless leader - Geo - my marathon heroine. After an amazing star spangled banner was sung, the gun went off. the race was here. Group hug! We went across the start line waving to our #1 cheerleader, Mrs. Sizer - watching her 2 daughters and 3 adopted daughters for the weekend. Katharine was runnign with the assistance of "Robert" her podcast hunk, so after 5 minutes he had her do a short walk and we waved as Karen and I trucked on forward. Geo was great - she was giving us hints on how to best run up the hills and our gait/form. Around mile 4 we lost Karen to some knee problems. I don't know how I did it, but with the help of the group I ran up ALL the hills!!! Geo had us tell where we were from, our stories of inspiration (i pointed out the button i made on my race belt), jokes, etc. She reminded me to keep my chin down and that I was a little hard on my right foot. We kept right on track. We headed up a hill and around a curve and bam! the cliffs! the waves crashing! breathaking. At mile 17 I slightly tripped over my foot as it skidded across the ground - calf cramp. nooooo. Luckily a water stop was ahead and i could take one of my ecaps. man i love thsoe things. Then came mile 18. Brakes. Although I had water and gatorade at every water stop I got a little dehydrated and had to hit the ole port-o-jon. Geo told me not to sprint back to the group afterwards, but to take my time with a slightly increased pace and after a mile or 2 I would be back in the group. I did that and it worked - within about 1/2 mile I was back in the groove. Then it hit again...worse...the stomach. this time I was unable to kick it up enough to find the 5:00 pace group again. I was sad that I didn't have my group, but i turned up the iPod and kept trucking. Then I realized that no, I didn't have the pace group, but I had friends with me through the songs...
Shake That Ass For me - you should see my roomie and I dance around the living room to this one.
Shoebox - Karen G/R
Dont'cha - the brother - the one song he told me not to get in my head.
Pour Some Sugar on Me - my Missy - shall we sunchronize dance?
Save a Horse - cousin....we love bob.
Stagger Lee - a favorite of me and mom's
Footloose - makes me think of my Greg.
and more...
I found it ironic that all of these played on the new iPod that had a playlist made without much thought. and after skipping through the holiday songs and the slow tunes, these are some of the ones i heard. and every time i heard one i thought of someone and smiled and knew i had to run for them. So i would pick it up.
Next thing I knew I only had a 5k left to go. Eyes fill with water.
Mile 24 - 2 miles left. man this water keeps getting in my eyes.
Mile 25 - only a mile left. really? it's almost over? am i really doing this?
man there are a lot of spectators aorund all of a sudden.
OH MY GOD!!!!!!! I am in the finisher's chute. There's the finish line.
A few tears.
Then cramp - aaaahhhhh!!!
take a literally 2 second wak to kick that calf cramp. I wouldn't let it ruin my finish.
Then I looked ahead as I gave it everything i had left - I heard my name - it was my friends: Katharine, Karen, courtney, Brenda - all cheering me in. More tears. I heard the beep of the timing mat and I finished. I walked on through as the men in tuxedos handed me one the the blue boxes with a white ribbon off their silver platter. He looked at my teary eyes and told me it was ok - that I finished. I walked through and held on to the pole as they cut my chip off. handed me the bag for my new necklace and picked up my finisher's tee.

I walked around and just looked around taking it all in. As the girls and I found each other - we all did it...together.

Sunday evening...
shower. cheeseburger and fries. beer. (sounds good at least)

Katharine and I don our new finisher's tees and necklaces proud as we head off to the airport. Thank goodness she was with me. helping me carry my luggage, etc. I never realized standing, sitting, and walking would be so hard. I found a new respect for the grab bars in the bathrooms! We walked around the terminal waiting for our flight. We got to pre-board thanks to my slowness. This time I did not play too many games and such - much more sleeping with the new pillow i got in the airport! Landed smoothly in DC and drove back to the RIC and back to the a marathon finisher.

Nike Women's Marathon entry fee - $95.00
airfare to/fro San Francisco - $270.00
Hotel in Union Square - $200.00
Finishing my first full marathon with friends - Priceless.

Final Time - 5:13:38 (pace 0:11:58)
5k - 0:35:36 (11:27)
10k - 1:09:40 (11:12)
15k - 1:47:24 (11:31)
half - 2:29:37 (11:24)
25k - 2:56:48 (11:22)
30k - 3:32:15 (11:23)
35k - 4:12:17 (11:36)
40k - 4:56:21 (11:55)

Me, Katharine, and Karen at the finish line.

The San Francisco Treat - by Katharine H.

Katharine's name on the big board of participants
The San Francisco Treat...
Well, this time it was not Rice-A-Roni, but it was the Nike Women’s Marathon and half Marathon.

I went out to San Francisco to run the half marathon with two friends and met up with three others. I flew out on Thursday night with one friend on VirginAmerica (highly recommend it!). We got to the hotel Palomar which was close to the race start in Union Square and most of the group was already there.

Friday, we spent the morning touring around the city...riding street cars and trolleys, visiting my Dad’s uncle’s old neighborhood around Coit Tower, and saw the sealions at Pier 39. In the afternoon, we went to the race expo to pick up our race packets.
This race was to benefit the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society and many of the runners had lost someone to the disease. They had a tribute screen which played peoples stories...and the tears for the weekend began.

Overall the whole theme of the race was so positive and so encouraging. After getting everything we needed for the race, we went to Niketown. Niketown was hopping, there was a DJ and the whole store just vibrated.

Saturday was a day to relax. I got a message, ate a yummy lunch and then just rested in the hotel. We went out for a tasty prerace dinner and then off to bed pretty early. I was nervous for the race in the morning and had a dream that I was late to the start of the race because I couldn’t get my sports bra on!

Sunday: Race morning...we were up at 4:30 am! After dropping off our post race clothes, we got in line around 6:30 and chatted with the other runners and then the race started at 7:00 and then we didn’t cross the start line until closer to 7:30.

The first 6 miles were great. Each time I passed another mile marker I couldn’t believe it. The race started along the bay to the Golden Gate Bridge.

Miles 6-10 for the most part were pretty much up hill and HARD. Once I got to mile 10 and started down hill the Pacific Ocean was in view and amazing, I just had to smile. The race then ended on the Great Highway right along the beach! I couldn’t believe when the race was over and I didn’t feel like I was going to die. I ended up walking more than I wanted to, but I was also happy with my finish.

So, people have asked why I run (well more run/walk).
I do it because I love it. I love being so sweaty that my skin tastes like salt. I love be so physically exhausted after a long run, but still having the most amazing sense of euphoria. I love talking about training with friends. I love the electricity of race day. Running/walking is a way to challenge myself. I am by no means fast and will never place at a race but I will always win because I will finish, even if it is hard.

So Just Do It...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Last night - the night before I leave. Final preperations. I prepared a yummy dinner and put the last things in the suitcase. (side note - i am not a light packer. not even close. i barely closed my suitcase. but then i realized that i had to take some thigns i can have room for shopping!!) Sp now that the bags are packed and my belly is full, it's time to make the playlist. Yes I thought about doing this earlier but was convinced that last night was the time to do it. So...

as we sat in front of the computer for over an hour...the computer is not reading the shuffle my brother passed down to me since my mini has gone to a better place. Ok it is now 9:43 and I have no iPod. I can't have this. I need sing along songs. you know the cheesey pop and rap songs, the solid gold oldies - all the tunes that just get you going (well gets me going at least) - yeah i got nuttin. Ok - target closes in 17 minutes, come on baby we are going. and i am driving. now i am not the best driver under good conditions- add stress - yeah i am surprised i still have a handle on the passenger side door! what a trooper! but we got to target and like a light shining from the cabinet were the shuffles. and one pink one left at that. it's a sign. but before she opens the cabinet she bring sto my attention that i can get the pink shuffle for 89.99 or I can get the breast cancer pack with the shuffle and a 15.00 itunes card for 89.99. hmm tough decision there! 9:59pm and we are on the way home with a new iPod in hand. (man i am a spoiled brat! but well that goes along with being american right?!)

we get home and GASP! my computer is not reading this one either. i can behind the controls...aka the mouse. i fidget around reload the driver and poof! i have an iPod! now after figuring this out clearly this would have allowed the other shuffle to work - d'oh! but the playlist has been made. 9 hours of tunes - that oughtta do it.

midnight struck and i turned into a pumpkin.

so i guess my glitch for this race is out of the way. smooth sailing form here on.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Gearing Up

The coundown is almost over. This weekend is the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco. 26.2 miles of big hills and a bigger goal with 3 awesome girlfriends. I can only trust that my time on the elliptical will have benefitted me properly as I attempt for my very first full marathon...with knee problems alogn the way.

We are flying out on Thursday. Friday we can go for a 10 minute jog to acclimate to the weather conditions. Then check otu the sites and eat lots of yummy carbs! Saturday we will rest and not do much of anything. Sunday we will have an amazing day - wish me luck! I will have my iPod hopefully fully charged and loaded with sing along songs to bop down the road to while chowing down on delicious gu's (?). monday I will return home...a marathoner!

Until then...

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Poor Farm

This past Saturday I fianlly tried something new that I have been wanting to try. Before I starting training for triathlons, I thought I wanted to do mountain biking. But it never happened. with experts Greg, Erin, and Jenn and fellow novice Derek, I did it! My bike might not be the best - steel frame, no shock on the front fork - but it got a tune up and away we went! I can't wait to go back...nad maybe one day I will get a real bike and learn how to go over logs, too. But for now I will continue to carry my bike over!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Recovery and Training

As I wind down my body from a long first season. I have lots to think about. Now keep in mind that I still have my first marathon in 2 1/2 weeks - which I want to do NOW! I am ready for my time off. I am ready to stand at my own finish line look back and see how far I've come - what got me here and where else I will go.

This week is recovery from Naylor's - which my knee desperately needs - as well as continued training for San Fran. Hmm how do I acomplish both? With wine? Why yes, that is correct.

Sunday night - post race hummus dinner and a glass of wine. Then asleep around 7:30.
Monday night - sushi and a beer.
Tuesday night - get a phonophoresis treatment on my knee - will be doign this regularly until san fran. and then what? 2 hours on the elliptical! what? no no no. I mean I do need my new marathon outfit to train in and new sneakers. So I head off to road runner with one of my san fran running mates, katharine. and i mean 3 monkeys is right there. my as well just skip the training tonight and do it in the morning instead and have more hummus and wine. yes. that sounds good. but mmm those monkey fries sound awfully tasty! ok hummus, fries, and a glass of wine. ahhhh. now that's more like it.
Wednesday morning - 4:40am. Alarm clock goes off. um gross! why did I skip training last night? Ok ok - katharine and i meet at the gym at 5am for a 2 hour elliptical session. i sure am regretting those fries right about now!

But - I have been able to have some wine. and then today I get lunch at a new client's restaurant Osaka! ok - twist my arm! I love having all star clients like this!

See ya on the elliptical, don't mind the bottle of wine in the cup holder!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Naylor's Beach

Let's was not a good day, but not a bad day. I was mentally not with it beforehand. The hour start delay due to serious foggage did not help.

Swim was alright - went slow. I knew I was participating and not racing, so I aw MArgo and popped up a minute to say hello and then the next kayak was RCAT! gave him a shout out as well.
Distance: 1.5k
Time: 45:43 (goal 40-45)
Age Group: 8/10
Overall: 42/53

The bike I wanted to quit before even getting on. I fought mentally on did I even want to do this? I just didn't feel strong mentally or physically. Then...I fell going uphill at mile 8. I got up brushed myself off and stood there wondering how close a water stop was so I could quit. After losing time putting my chain back on and giving up trying to get my brake away from my wheel which i couldn't so it rubbed the whole race, I decided I would be too disappointed in quitting (thought about you KO!) and knew I had to get my game face on and do what I set out to do. I finished the bike with minor injuries to my body and bike, but big injuries to my confidence.
Distance: 26 miles
Time: 1:38:43 (goal 1:31:00)
Pace: 15.8 (goal 17)
Age Group: 7/10
Overall: 40/53

Pushed through the run in a run/walk to save the knee. It always takes me a good 2 miles to get into my rhythm. I decided I would do a 4 min run/1 min walk to give the knee some time off in there. Around mile 2.5 some guy asked me if I was nursing an injury and I had to say yes - darn knee! This was his first triathlon and we decided to finish the run together. Unfortunately around mile 5 he was havign a real hard time and needed to do a good bit of walking and I lost him. After the second turn around I saw him and he said he was running so I didn't see him walking - haha good for him! All of a sudden I was at the finish line...didn't do my traditional final kick as early on as I would have liked, but oh well.
Distance: 10k (6.2 miles)
Time: 1:08:20 (goal 1 hour)
Pace: 10:59 (goal 9:30)
Age Group: 8/10
Overall: 44/53

Finish Time: 3:36:37 (goal 3:15-ish)
Age Group: 8/10
Overall: 42/53

So after going into the race without having my mind with me it showed and I felt it. This was the first time I walked away from a race without a smile and a sense of accomplishment. Why? because I didn't try as hard as I could have. Admittingly there were some tears at my lack of performance. But I can only take this with me. I know what I need to do for the future and I have to say as always, it was AWESOME having all the pinkies with me.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I Am Not Alone

While I spend hours (yes hours) on the elliptical to train for the marathon, I can know now that I am not alone! I have made the decision to contonue pushing towards my goal...and there are more out there like me.

TG JH spotted a fellow marathoner in training. and how is he ellipticallizing!


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Going For It

After getting upset about the idea of not conquering the marathon I know I have to try for it. I just have to try. Or else I will always wonder and regret. I know I need to be kind to my knee so it works down the road, too! (haha literally i guess). So I am training via the elliptical. I know this sounds exciting, but try to nto be too jealous.

This morning was scheduled an 8 mile run. so let's say I ran a marathon pace of 10:00/miles (reality with this knee will be slower) - but just for trainign purposes. so 8 miles=80 minutes. That's how long I ellipticallize (my new jazzercise). but heck - if i am doing 80 minutes may as well round it up to the even 90 minutes. So I get to the gym at 5:30 this morning. Man it was dark out there. The view out the windows is the pool. I watched the sun ride over the pool - not too bad considering i was sweating on a stationary machine for long enough to drive one bonkers. Unfortunately, I was a little too late in getting started and that work thing made me get off the machine at 85 minutes - one episode of Full House, lots of mtv videos and some news in there too. Thank God each machine has its own tv. Who knew MTV still played videos!

I will be back Thursday for continued ellipicallizing sessions.

The question is - saturday's long i spend hours on the machine?! or do i sweat it out outside?! can i make that a poll...

Monday, September 24, 2007

Frustrated and Confused

the knee saga continues. what do i do?! i have been "running" on the elliptical like directed. but this keeps me from doing brick workouts.

then comes this marathon training. i have 27 days until the day i have been looking frowrd to. my first full marathon. the nike women's marathon in san francisco. i have my entry, the flight, the hotel, and friends coming together meeting there to run along side me (well they are doing the half). i can't wait to experience the atmosphere that surrounds an event such as this - the excitement, the nerves, the anxiety...the post race beer! i am getting excited as we all send emails around with new training highs and lows.

this weekend i hit a low. i was scheduled to run 20 miles - my furthest distance ever. i have never run more than 13.1 miles! i know endurance wise i might be slow, but i know i can do the distance. however, my knee disagrees. i was at a bachelorette party but still managaed to get up at 630 and eat my pre-run breakfast while everyone else was still sleeping. as i was gettign ready to leave the bachelorette got up and we ended up talking for at elast an hour! she wanted to go on a walk so we decided i would run up and back up and back as she walked. well...the beginning of the run didn't go so well. i thought the back of my knee was going to completely lock up. abotu 20 minutes in, though, i was able to run for 10 mintues straight and had we not been at the house i would have kept going. so another weekend passed and another run missed. i am so nto prepared for the race. and will my knee even let me. mentally i am not ready to say no to the mary. i want it too bad. i know i need to pay attention to my body, but i also know the pain and disappointment in my heart to not try. the whole idea of weighing this thought just upsets me and i am confused on what to do. i want it SOOOO bad. i know i will be slow and i am okay with that...this year. i just want to reach that finish line and know that I can do it. so this week i am increasing my elliptical sessions a little longer than the runs would take me. and this weekend i will do the distance. i was scheduled to do some bike shopping, but this is more a priority. so - say some happy knee thoughts and this weekend i WILL have a new distance PR...with a post-run ice pack. aahhhh so nice.

Friday, September 21, 2007


Last night was scheduled to do my last hard ride before Naylor's - my first olympic and last triahtlon of my first season! 15 miles hard and fast. (well actually this is saturday's workout, but i will be at ocean isle for a bachelorette, so i went ahead and did it ahead of time). since I was doing the workout earlier than scheduled, my girls were riding according to schedule...but! lucky for me, greg is on recovery week! Sweet! And well my fast pace is slower than his recovery pace anyways.

I knew I wanted to ride some hills in preperation of the Naylor's course and hills is what I got. the first few miles wan't so bad. kept a really good pace (for me). then we made the turn and the hills began. immediately the quads were burning! (does everyone else's burn early on, too?) i slowed down a bit. greg was pushing me to go harder. finally we hit the turnaround. let's do the hills all over again. this time we were picking up the pace. 30 seconds hard above 19 then a minute rest. i actually really enjoyed this (shhh). until we hit the intervals...going uphill. it's hard to go from recovery to hard in the middle of an uphill but i know it will only make me a stronger cyclist. the last few miles he switched it up to 30 on 30 off and faster. next thing i knew we were back at the car! A good workout (ok maybe i could have kept going). Overall the pace averaged 16.7 - sigh.

and boo on snells! she ditched the ride thinking we were going to be cutesy on the bike...heck no, sister! this is bisnass.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Everything Happens for a Reason

Just a little while ago, I had to run to Michael’s to grab something for a presentation tomorrow. On my way I went out of habit and hopped on 95 South – oops! Fortunately it is easy to loop around back to where Michael’s is located. Then afterwards, I took the correct way home. On the street Michael’s is on coming from the direction I would have been coming was a large accident blocking all but one lane of the 6 lane highway. An 18-wheeler ran into a mini-suv…the white sheet was there. It upset me to see this (and of course they had me stop right next to the car which made me get upset). If I did go the right way to Michael’s in the first place…who knows. Everything happens for a reason. Keep in your thoughts the person in that car and their family.

The words of Greg Mathe, guest blogger

As what has become a rite of passage or maybe more of a precedent with the completion of an endurance race, I feel the need to capitulate and write a race recap to fully round out my experience of the Duke Liver Center Half Ironman ( Don’t worry, it will be short…I will save the long winded soliloquy for when I complete the New Zealand Ironman in March.

Before I begin, I want to send a few thank yous and accolades to some important people.

First, to my coach, Thys Wind of Wind Speed Endurance Training ( I cannot say enough about his coaching style, philosophy, and overall support of his athletes. It works, whatever it is, it works!

To my swim coaches, John Pace and Karen Holloway, you masterfully tweaked my stroke and provided key words of wisdom that I carried throughout my training and on race day.

To all my friends, family and other supporters, thank you for your patience and encouragement along the way!

And a final accolade to Kenneth Schweighofer, a friend who also completed the race, who showed tremendous heart and strength. Starting the event with a bum IT band/knee knowing that you were about to run one of the most difficult run courses around - not liking to run to begin with - and being able to preserve and digging deep to finish was more of a victory than any time goal that you could have had. Congratulations!

Pre-Race, Sunday morning, 4:00am wake-up.

There is something about waking up well before sunrise and knowing that you are about to do something special that makes your hair stand on end. The preparation you go through, the focus your mind has, witnessing the pageantry of an event like this screams something of an 80’s theme song, I am thinking something from Rocky, Rudy or some coming of age John Hughes flick.

Anyway, it was cold. For September in North Carolina I was expecting 90 plus degree heat and some humidity, but who would have guessed it would be sub-60 degrees, you would be able to wear a wetsuit, and the wind would be more than just breezy. Needless to say, it was brisk outside and the warmest place was in the water.

I finished up the usually check-in, body marking, transition set-up, and warm-up. The only thing going through my head was—“What are you doing, leave now, don’t start. You are about to do what to your body?” Then the gun goes off.

Swim, 1.2 miles, 7:04am

The lake swim was a choppy out and back course with a floating start. Never did a floating start before but from what I remember people saying it is truly a floating start, don’t tread water, too much energy needed…just float. Ok, so I floated, for four minutes before we started. Then it was swim as hard as you could against the “current” up and over these massive waves -- note, they probably weren't massive, but they seemed like it. One thing that I didn’t plan for: orange colored goggles, with orange buoys and an orange sunrise…what to sight, what to sight…thank goodness that the waves were so big that sighting was a non-issue.

Came out of the water in 32 minutes and 57 seconds, pretty much on plan.

Bike, 56 miles

We drove the course the day before which was helpful…until I got on the course with the bike, then everything I thought I knew went out the window. What was once thought of as some nice downhills, some good uphills, but for the most part a fairly rolling course quickly turned into uphill and more uphill. The wind made for an interesting and cold start out of the water…my thought at this time was, “Brrrrrrr.”

It was a scenic course with mainly rolling to not-so-rolling hills and a wind that pushed you around like a big sister – mainly annoying, but sometimes hit you in just the right spot that made you want to cry a little. Felt good and strong, even passed a few elites…and then got passed by a few elites. For the most part, the course was manageable and was a fun ride, especially this one part where you rode pass the nuclear power plant to a turn-around point to come back up a hill and see all the folks behind you – kinda felt like the beginning of the Simpsons, but not really. My goal was to go hard but stay patient since I knew the run was coming.

Came off the bike in 2 hours 39 minutes and 50 seconds, pretty much on plan.

Run, 13.1 miles

So, the run course is a two loop, more than hilly epic that makes me think back to Rocky IV, the one where he fights the Russian, when he runs up the mountain at the end of his training and in the background you hear Hearts on Fire by John Cafferty. Well the run course was like the mountain, and I felt more like how Rocky looked at the end of the fight, only to have to turn around and do it again.

This was an amazing experience to go through. Being a two loop course, you got to see different people along the way dealing with the race however best they could. I liked this format because at this point you don’t know who is where on the course and you just concentrate on your legs and making it up that next hill rather than placement…well, ok, maybe not, but it instills a false sense of confidence that everyone needs at nearing the completion of 70.3 miles.

Came out of the run in 1 hour 55 minutes and 29 seconds, a few - or ten - minutes slower than I expected.

For a total finish time of 5 hours 10 minutes and 25 seconds. Here is how it broke down:

Swim, 1.2 miles - 32:57 (35 overall males, 3 in age)

T1 - 1:17

Bike, 56 miles - 2:39:50 (37 overall males, 4 in age)

T2 - :54

Run, 13.1 miles - 1:55:29 (100 overall males, 11 in age)

Total - 5:10:25 (48 overall males out of 286, 6 in age out of 27)

Overall, I am pretty happy with how I raced my first half ironman and it looks like my age group placement qualifies me for the Halfmax National Championship next September (

With the season at an end and my preparation for Ironman New Zealand yet to begin, I have to reflect on my accomplishments (in what is really my first year truly competing) by sharing them with those that understand that this is important to me and support me in more ways that I could ever describe.

Season Wrap-Up:

Competed in 6 triathlons – 1 half ironman, 1 olympic, and 4 sprints:

Age Group Results:

Finished top 10 in all races
Finished top 5 in 4 races
Placed in 3 races -- 1st in the olympic, 2nd and 3rd in two of the sprints


Finished top 50 in 5 races (my first sprint was a top 60 finish)
Finished top 25 in 3 races

Monday, September 17, 2007

Quick Little Recap

saturday...oh saturday...

i headed out with snellings before the sun came up to meet up with the naylor's girls (and florida girls!) to go for a pre-race swim and then ride the course and check it out. i was really looking forward to this since it was my first time really being active in the week since patriot's. snells picked me up and my bike had a flat tire - argh! well we need to get to the caravan on time, so i will fix it when we get there. put my bike ont he car and sssssssss there goes the air in margo's tire! seriously?! (this is when we should have clued in to go back to bed)

we got to the park and brrrrrr. daggone it's cold out! thank goodness for wetsuits! i was a little nervous at the idea of crabs and jellyfish in the rappahannock, but i put my big girl pants on and went for it. there was a storm coming in which made for some waves and current under the dark sky. I headed out to the first buoy (thank you to IM JW and his family for making us a course and snells for her kayak skills). and made the turn. i know this is just for fun now, so i had fun and didnt' even look at my watch or anything. and after the white caps of timberman, i am not worried abotu these waves. still gave me a few mouthfulls of the nice brackish water, but i was more comfortable int eh situation having experienced it before. i found myself going with the waves and not through the waves. as we made out way back on the sandy beach i scurried up out of the water. when asked why i simply said i wanted to keep my toes and the rappahannock does have crabs in it...then the mass exodus out of the shallow water and onto the land. your welcome for adding something else to think about! :)

time to go off for a windy and cold ride...especially with wet tri shorts on! brrrr! TG shelley and new training pal help me change my tube while i change my shoes and we all get ready. but hmph. we can't get the tube on. it's the right size and everything! coach blake and IM master coach som come to help. pop! there goes the tube. rats! luckily coach b had antoher tube. how many ironman finishers does it take to change a tube?! the question of the day. fianlyl the tube is on and the inflated. we head off to try to catch up with the group. (oh yeah here is when triboy JW gets a flat!) 1/2 mile in i notice i am bumping up adn down. i ask coach b and his day is done. thinking i could have done something to the wheel itself - well boo!

we hop back in the car headed back to richmond directly to 3sports. do not pass go. do not collect $200.00. (thank you snells for your patience). they think it's the tires and not the wheel so i walk out with 2 new tires, and wheels with new lining in them. sigh. i need a nap.

and nap is what i did. for 3 hours. :)

then i headed down to raleigh to meet up with greg and his coach and friends for his big day! i got there and greg and kenneth started preparing their bikes and bags for their first half iron! we enjoyed a carbo filled meal adn headed off to get a good night's rest.

race day...
everyone seemed to get up without a glitch and we were on the road only a few minutes after the scheduled departure time. prime parking! greg and kenneth got bodymarked, picked up their chips and set up transition. i shivered. thank goodness i threw in a pair of jeans at the last minute! and my fave TG hoodie sure did come in handy!

it was a brisk day. the air was chill. the wind was rough.

the swim went off and coming 35th out of the water was greg! looking strong after fighting the current. while the boys were on the bike, coach thys (greg's coach) and his buddy dom and i entertained ourselves with football and the chalk. we covered a good portion of the run course with pictures sayings and just being silly. we had a few people watching us jsu tlaughing at us. you would think i had two little boys with me - it was great, though! the guys perservered the bike course and headed off to the run...promptly to be inspired by the chalk.

Overall - greg finished his first half in record time - 5:10 and change. So happy for him! and Kenneth finished his first half that he trained so hard for! Way to go guys!

Back to richmond...celebratory maragarita with friends and then much needed beauty sleep.

and the week begins...

Thursday, September 13, 2007


It's recovery week. My first real recovery week. Now keep in mind I am doing my first olympic distance in 2 weeks!
Monday - rest day: ok i can handle this.
Tuesday - easy swim: interpret as rest day. I did have my bags packed to go but i didn;t get out of a meetign until 7:30 and the pool closes at 8:30. It's the thought that counts, right?!
Wednesday - 45 minute easy spin: (2) 6 mile loops at west creek - that's gotta take around 45 minutes. close enough.
Thursday - 45 minute easy run: well I had good intentions of running with the gang at the vita course this morning. my knee had other plans. i ran the 1/2 mile warm up and focused ont eh stretches. then listened to my body and went home :(
Friday is a rest day.
Saturday - game face back on! buckle down for Naylor's - my play time will be over. *sigh* it was nice while it lasted.

Monday, September 10, 2007

I'm a Half Ironman Finisher!

Where do I begin...

After my last open water swim, carbo loading festivities kick off. Dinner with Greg, my room mate Amy and her boyfriend Bill. We enjoyed a pasta filled dinner at Edo's Squid with lots of...water?! Yes, as much as pinot noir would normally come to mind here, I drank down as much water I possibly could.

All day at work I was anxious. Focus was just out the window. I felt the need to clean and re-organize something! Anything! Finally time to slide off the dinosaur and head home. I laid everything out in order as I would need it. Checklist a few times. Time to make more wheat pasta. After dinner Greg came over to lube up my chain and make sure I have my nutrition all calculated. He showed up and earned the boyfriend of the year award - my own "The Stick" and flowers. But not jsut flowers - thought out flowers. Sunflowers for happy positive thoughts and trigirl pink gerbera daisies! Well everythign is ready to go and the alarm clock is set. Time for bed. Princess disagreed and felt the ned to be up ALL night! crunch crunch on some food, splish splash of the water, arf arf I hear something outside.

Bzzz. Bzzz. Bzzz. It's 4:00am.
Put everything in the car and eat my breakfast. Becky comes over to follow us to the race.
After some minor parking lot confusion - no light, no signs, no volunteers yet...we found it though.
I picked up my packet, got bodymarked, and set up transition. I was the first person to my rack so I got to pick my location - perfect. The end with a litte more room. I am all set up as more of my girls start arriving. Kate O comes with earrings in Fave style for the girls to wear in my honor! I walk around transition talking to the girls getting helpful hints and calming my nerves. As I am talking to Susie Q I look up and what do I see. Is? that? my? brother?!?!?!?!?! I run out of transition and up behind him with a big hug! What an amazing surprise! Granted his first words were callign me out for unnecessarily using calories i need to save for the race - what a brother! He drove up 5 1/2 hours from Charlotte the night ebfore, stayed in a rinky dink motel for the night. "I wanted to see if she [me] would really do it and brought a camera to get it on film".

The swim:
catsuit on. wade into the water with my fellow pink caps.
I start out slow knowing I need to find my rhythm. Focus on the first buoy. I think about the helfpul hints Karen Holloway has taught me in masters class. Catch up. Slow is fast. Don't rotate too much. Recovery. I continue to pass the buoys. I know I am ebing passed by some of the swimmers from the wave behind me and am okay with that. I even pass a few from the wave ahead of me. As I make the last turn to start coming back in. I know I am almsot there and feeling good. The line of swim caps in front of me seem to disappear. I sto a few times to look around and I see head everywhere. No buoys to go towards. Where am I going?! None of the volunteers can hear me. I fianlly can hear the cheering and go towards it. Then I see people and just go there. Then I hear a "hey tirgirl" in teh water behind me - it's Kate O. We swim in together both completely lost on where we were supposed to be going. I get on the beach and see Greg, my brother, and my pile of pink! Love those girls.
Swim goal: 0:45:00
Swim time: 0:49:46 14/15
Kate and I run/walk the 1.2 mile to transition. It's rocky and difficult. As we turn onto the grass I hear my RTC friends - Deb, Joy, Emmie!
T1 time: 7:04 14/15

Hop on the bike and I'm off. I keep it a steady spin knowing about 15-20 miles in the hills begin. I know I ned to drink my entire aerobottle before mile 15ish where the first bottle hand off is. I eat my bar and drink my gatorade - but yick! we added extra powder to the bottles for more calories and thatjsut is not good. makes my stomach turn. I am passed my tons of people as if I am standing still thinking man we have some cyclists on our team. Those girls rock the bike! I keep my steady pace. This seemed a lot harder after swimming than I thought it would. I am definitely going slower than ideal, but its okay. I climb my hills, eat my food...oh drat! i left my shot blocks in transition. no need worry about them. I will just eat my bars slwoer than planned to make them last, but man I am huuuungry. well I said this race was going to be my learning experience and here is lesson two. Finally in the last 20 miles I pass 4 people. It felt good to know I didn't kill it too hard and am able to grind it out passed a few. 58 miles later I am at the dismount line.
Bike goal: 3:30:00
Bike time: 3:39:36 14/15

Legs? Where are you?
Change of shoes and hat and go on my merry way.
T2 time: 0:01:57 4/15

This is part I was dreading. With stitches in the foot and the bum knee I knew this would be difficult. My plan was to walk through each water stop. Immdiately my inner quad just above my bad right knee crams up. I am nto even a 1/4 mile in. I will get through this. Run and walk it out. Get to mile 1 and it fades. Sweet. Next goal - mile 2. As I am coming up to the water stop TG Molly runs up and we decide to push through the run together. I need to make a pit stop and she waits at teh water stop. I just can't bring myself to pee while running or time maybe. especially after that hot smelly port-o-jon. we continue on oue merry way, but my feet are killing me softly. I tell Molly to go on. I reach each mile with more walking than planned, but it's ok - I am not racing, I am learning. Fianlly at mile 4 I decide this blister on my toe needs a band-aid. I take off my shoe and can see the blood. Drat! I take off my sock to put on the band-aid. ewwwww. My heel and toe are just open and my middles toes and the ball of my foot are all cracked open...but those weren't bleeding at least. Sock and shoe back on - oh well. I reach mile 5 right at an hour. I figure I can keep up this run/walk and hit mile 10 at 2 hours and finish in 2 1/2 - my goal. I am right on time. Then it starts...aaaahhhhh!! (scream). calves cramping. Ok I can get through this too. I run until my calves seize up and then walk it out. I spent most of the run course liek this. Oddly enough, the run was my favorite part. Why?! It was hot, minimal shade, black asphalt. I mean when else can you stuff your sports bra with handfuls of ice?! the best part was the people. the fellow back of the packers. here is actually where I passed the most people. But not without words of inspiration, jokes, and smiles. As I was coming into mile 1 some guy must have seen some pain in my face as he gave me a high five and told me I want this and to go get it. This I saw in my head the whole time and passed those words as well as others to others. Badass TG LS ran passed me and waved the bling on her ears in my honor at me - team. (btw - she rocked it in first in her AG! woot! woot!) I ran/walked with one girl for about 2 minutes turns out her husband and my brother are friends from Charlotte waiting for both of us at the finish line together! Finally I was coming in and I heard it - the roar of pink. It's a blur - I ran as hard as my non-working legs would let me. Heard my name and the beep of the chip. I did it! I finished my first half ironman. Put my medal proudly around my neck and took pictures of that finish line.
Run goal: 2:30:00
Run time: 2:46:11 14/15
Finish goal: (1) to finish and (2) 7:00:00
Finish time: 7:24:33 15/15
Save the best for last baby!

Overall I learned about a long distance race.
But most importantly, I conquered a goal that a year ago I would never imagined even thinking about trying for.

Thank yous:
Grandison, Blake, Mark, Ed - for the training schedules, laughs and support.
John Pace and Karen Holloway - for kicking my butt in the pool.
TRIgirls - inspriation, support and friendship.
Friends and Family - I love you! my crankiness after a long workout, my absence from social gatherings, my annoyance on what I am going to eat! the words of support, encouragement, and faith from you was more t ome than you would ever know.

Next up - White Lake - bring it on baby!

and good luck to Greg on his first half ironman sunday at duke! you can do it!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Gearing Up

So I have been a stranger to my blog this week. And what an important week it is. My first real taper week. the tapering of training. the stomach knots and nausea of nerves. the increased carbohydrate and water intake. Sigh...where do I begin.

After a weekend in my college town of Raleigh. back with my old friends at the opening NC State football game. tailgate - burgers, chips and dip, and ...water?! but but but that beer looks soooo thirst quenching. what?! no airplane bottles for me?! i don't now how i feel about this hydration preperation.
Sunday - a trigirl swim practice. I sat on the side of the pool for a moment having some moments with TG MW as we head into our first 70.3. (wow 70.3 miles straight!)
Monday - rest. what?! no masters! ok ok twist my arm.
Tuesday - 4 mile negative split - for me that means 45 minutes ont he treadmill watching mtv's the hills. followed by pizza which topping si got to choose while viewing jeopardy and singing bee - perfect night.
Wednesday - bike fit with no adjustments to be made until after the race.
Thursday - morning spin with snells (oops i think i got us lost). evening open water swim. then dinner at edo's squid with greg and friends for some carbo loading goodness to be immediately followed by a food-induced coma.
Friday - rest. pack the bags. go over nutrition and hydration routine (thank you greg for your wisodm on this subject i am compeltely lost at)
Saturday - wake up before the rooster crows and head off to jamestown settlement. pick up my packet and get set up. (once again thank you to greg for the chauffeur service). go for a long 70.3 mile workout with 400 of my closest friends. then go into exercise induced coma.
Sunday - wake up and head back to the 'burg to cheer on my pinkies rocking the lady patriot - ooh ah ooh ah.

I look forward to sharing with you stories of "racing" (remember i am not racing this one due to injury), stories of triumphs and tribulations, stories of laughter, tears and bubbly.

until we meet again...

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Knee Update

Well the MRI came back and it is NOT a torn meniscus like she thought last week! This is good! But… no clue where the pain is coming from what is causing this – Argh!

So my options are:
1. ignore it and train through it
2. PT – "band aid on the boo boo"
3. 4-6 weeks off (after the marathon)
4. scope surgery (oh hell no!)
5. prescription – "band aid on the boo boo"
6. hmm I don’t remember! Must have been a good option!

Teresa suggested 2 and 5 if it were her in my shoes.
I am thinking 1 with increased stretching.
Then I will take the end of October and November off (mostly). December starts winter training, but it starts back up slowly.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Holy Masters, Batman!

last night's drills kicked my butt!!!!

4x75 (25k 25f 25s)
4x75 build
1x700 (300hard, 50ez, 300 harder, 50ez)
6x100 (2@2:15, 1@2:05, 2@2:10, 1@2:00)
11X50 (50@sprint, 50@ez 3x50@hard, 50@sprint, 50@ez, 3x50@hard, 50@sprint) (every other lane had to do 21x50)
total: 2500 meters

I was sad to not have any fellow pinkies in the pool with me :( Two people "dumbed down" a lane and smoked by me and the other guppy. I got very frustrated knowing I couldn't keep up as much as I wanted to. This made me lose it mentally half way through and make the class even harder and more frustrating. Therefore, I have exiled them from the guppy lane. I promise no more negative thoughts - Patriot's is around the corner. So i might be slow, but I, too can do it!

Weekend Recap

workout - open water swim (optional)
what i really did - lay on the couch with ice pack on knee feeling sorry for myself, then had 2 beers with friends.

workout - 75 mile ride
what i really did - with no bike i can't ride so i went shopping ALL day!

workout - none
what i really did - volunteered at the Richmond Sprint at ACAC. hung otu at the announcer's table with E-Murph. I punched the racers numbers for her to announce and added little TRIgirl tidbits. Shout out to missy and Karen for their first races, to Kate for getting married, etc. Watched all my pinkies, greg and friends rock the race! go team!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Knee Frustration

I finally can train again post-sutures. As the weeks have gone by getting abck inthe game my knee hurts...again! Argh! I figure it must be the inflammation kicking back in. But now it feels different. Not my kneecap, but the side and abck of my knee. slowly getting more and more painful and annoying. I live with icepacks on my knee. work...sleep...constantly. After flying on Monday it was bad enough that I emailed Teresa. She told to come in in monday afternoon. I made my way in there on my lunch break today. this new pain...medial meniscus tear! Argh!

so what does this mean?
No RNR Half Marathon sicne it is not an important race
Still participate in Patriot's
MRI #3
50% chance - exercises to fix it on it's own.
50% chance - surgery.
I am pretty sure my body will fix it on its own, but damn this shit hurts. Enough already! Can I trade in this knee for a new one? Thanks! :)

Bike Frustration

For Timberman I shopped my bike up to NH through 3Sports and the local bike store affiliated with the race, MC Cycle and Sport. It seemed to be a great flawless process. I tookit to 3Sports, they disassemble and ship it. MC Cycle recieves it, assembles it, I pick it up and race. Then drop it back off to them at the race and they disassemble and ship back to 3Sports. Perfect! or not...

Today is Friday. I have no bike. I was supposed to ride Tuesday - ok I knew I would miss that one - and was tired enough to be okay with that. Thursday another ride comes...and goes. So yesterday afternoon I call MC Cycle to get the tracking number to find out where my bike is. I have a big 75 mile ride saturday morning and 3Sports will need to assemble it in time. Well...they haven't even disassembled her yet!!!!!!!!! WHAT?!?!?!?!?! They use the excuse that I did tell them to rush it back and I told them I didn't know they were going to sit on it for a week! entire week comes and goes...and no biking. and 2 weeks until race day. Stress and frustration much?!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Pre-Patriot's Ride Pictures

Leaving Maramarc - Anna, Carmen, DB, Kate O, Cyndi, Jonah, Deanna L
Getting ready to go - Deanna L, Fave, SanDee, Bethany, TRIboy
Me riding along
Smiling afterwards - Cyndi, DB, Fave, Deanna L, Kate, Anna, Carmen, and Jonah

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

White Caps, Mountains, and Pine Trees

Timberman was quite an adventure. Here's my novel...

I arrived in Manchester, NH after only a short delay meeting mom and brother at the airport. My brother got the rental car as mom got me dinner (since i missed dinner waiting on the runway) and I waited for my luggage. and I waited. and I waited. Then they announced that was all the luggage off the plane. I'm sorry, what?! Half the plane is still standing here. Off I took off for claims office knowing the line was going to be long. On my way I passed Desiree Ficker. I smiled and pointed her out to my mom - DF laughed and clearly I got busted for talking about her. When I got in the car, I first had to laugh. What rental car did they gie my 31 year old single brother - a mini van. pimp mobile. I told him he needed car seats and spinners to really pimp it out. Hew was saddened to hear he missed his opportunity of chatting it up with DF since he was waiting in the car. We fianlly arrive through the storm to Laconia, NH - my Aunt Mich's house. Always the family gathering spot.

I couldn't sleep so at 6:15 I called the airline. My bags made it!!! They were located and the delivery company would be delivering them befoer 1:00! What a sigh of relief. I had my tri outfit, helmet, and sneakers in my carry on. But my transition bag and bike cleats were in my luggage.

Brother, cousin Rick, and I headed off to downtown Laconia to MC Cycle - the host tri store for the race. We picked up our bikes all assembled and ready. Since I had no bike shoes we put my bike in the pimp mobile as Matthew and Rick rode to the race site. I said I would never drive a mini van, but I did. This way we could see part of the bike course and Matthew and I could check out the water. The bike course was defintiely hilly. and let's discuss the water. Holy coldness, batman! We swam around for a bit and the water was clear and pretty shallow - 8' deep at the deepest part of the race.

Upon our arrival back to the house all the kids were there riding bikes and playing with the neighbors. Guess what else had just bag!!! So I threw on my cleats and Matthew and I rode around the neighborhood just spinning around for about 4 easy miles. After minor adjusting to both our aerobars we were ready to go.

That afternoon was packet pick-up at Gunstock. I should have clued in right here. Gunstock is a ski resort. What is required for skiing - mountains. The pick-up process was wello organized and very speedy. We toured aroudn the expo which wasn't as big as we were imagining, but well laid out. Little band with raffle prizes, team hoyt was there, as well as final kick had a tent. I went shopping! New tri shorts and socks. Aother all timberman gear tent I walked away with a new cycling jersey and visor. thepackets had goodies in them - an issue of triathlete magazine, gatorade endurance, lots of little samples. the 70.3 packets also had a hat in them. As I walked thru the expo I got a text msg of support from RW! just what I needed.

Back home for a spaghetti dinner and packing of the bags.

Man why do i do these?! It's soooo early! My brother and I head off to the race site at Ellacoya State Park. On the way there I turn on my dead cell phone to get teext messages of support from friends! I love it!! I get bodymarked and head into transition to set up. Only racers in there. The racks were set up so each rack was an age group. There were large letters on the end of each row for east visibility and numbers on the rack so you had a particular spot. I get things set up but am f-f-f-freeeezing. Matthew has his arm warmers in the car so he gives me those even though they are too big to wear on teh bike since i only have my tri top. I head off to the port-a-potty line. As we all stand around shivering I am thinking to myself - I left richmond in 104 degree weather was is the low 50's crap! Flashback to the snowy duathlon. I can take the cold. The women in ront of me strikes up comversation as we realize that she did Eagleman and noticed the TRIgirl presence at that race! Awesome! Go Pinkies! Well - time to wetsuit up.

Ahhhh beautiful Lake Winipesaukee. Mountains in the background, clear water. Perfect. Oh no...white caps?! seriously?! I watch the first wave start and before the first bouy someone is out of the water! oh my. We are all wading in the water since it is warmer than the air temperature! The water I was freezing in yeserday is now where i am going for warmth! As each wave starts people are taken out of the water and it is closer and closer to my turn. As I walk through the swim start timeing mats and into the water. Swim/awlk out to the starting line. 3-2-1 GO! I start swimming. Am I going anywhere. People around me are walking - maybe i should try that i am running through the water. Waves crashing in ym face. Back to swimming at elast my face is in the water. every breath - face full of water. every sighting - face full of water. Hmm. maybe backstorke - then the water will hit the back of my head! great idea, fave! wrong. the waves just go over my haed into my face. suck it up. get your game on. fianlly the first buoy. turn and swim parallel to the shore. waves are crashing on my left side. shore line and stronger breathing on the right - awesome! i get to the last buoy and cannot believe i am already done! as i am exiting the water i am passed by two people with purple caps - mmm not good. oh well. run up the ramp as i am unzipping the wetsuit and taking the arms out. throw myself down on the mats as some guy (who is supposed to!) strips off my wetsuit. man this thing has never come off so fast before. i grab it and run. didn't even think about my fear of losing my tri shorts!
Swim Time- 14:13
Swim Place- 45/61

After a slow 3:15 T1 I ran out for the bike with my family little kids and all cheering me on. The girl in front of me cashing at the mount line - i felt bad for her, but ran around her and pushed forward. I knew the bike started on a steady long uphill. Took my time. Realized I was going way slower than I would have liked and kicked it up a notch. The beginning was very congested and it was jsut a big pack - we fianlly spread ourselves enough apart, but were always closer than i would have liked. at times i had to hammer more than comfortable to pass someone to not draft and times slow down a bit to not draft. The were not hills, but I felt like I was riding through the blue ridge. I tried not to think about the burn. I think 90% of the first half was uphill. ok so that means fly on the way back, right?! yeah not. i hit two good descents that had me hit 30 - my fastest. I make my way back into Ellacoya passing the family again - CD's picture with your heat moments. As I quickly tear off the cleats and into the sneaks I hear my mom yelling "GO TRIGIRL!!" I look up, laugh, and blow her a kiss! She knows I love racing with my team and was sad to not have them there. (ps - totally just got teary eyed)
Bike Time- 1:01:21
Bike Pace- 14.7 (ew)
Bike Place- 34/61

T2 was quick (1:26). I haven't done a brick in awhile since I was out for so long and it got me. yikes! The first mile kicked my butt! I walked thru the water stop at mile 1! Looked at my watch - right at 10:00. I told myself a 30:00 run was just fine and kept on going ignoring the burn from my gluts and hip flexors from all the climbing. Picked it up and pushed on thru. Hey this isn't so bad, just needed to get my legs back. I should pick it up a bit. As I run along the pine tree lined road overlooking the lake and the mountains, there are signs the well organized race team has placed throughout the course for thoughts to ponder: "why does your nose run and your feet smell?" "Why is it called the #2 pencil if it used the #1 most used?" (duh #2 lead!). Well you get the drift. I thought these signs were a great idea to keep you from getting mentally drained. I run down the chute with my family cheering!!!!!
Run Time- 26:46 (my fastest 5k ever!)
Run Pace- 8:56 (which means my last 2.1 miles were at a 7:59 pace!!!!)
Run Place- 41/61

Final Time- 1:47:00 (goal was to break 2 hours)
Final Place- 36/61 (well i like to be at the top of the middle, but this works)

Aftrwards was a post race nap and the traditional family lobster feast! so yummy! Thanks to my family for the posters and cheers!

It was a great race and a great time. I hope to do the 70.3 next year. Pictures to come.

The next day with a glass lake the 70.3 course was rocking! Matthew, Matt L, Alissa, Becca, and Steve! It was great seeing the 3 sports logo, Endorphin logo, and Alissa sporting team nature's path!

Now - to the knee doctor I go. Sigh.