Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Flying to LGA

This weekend we celebrated my Great-aunt-in-law's 99th birthday.
that's right 99.
And she is a tough old bird, too. But I that goes without saying considering she's 99.
She lives in Geneva, Switzerland. She comes over to visit family about twice a year. and she travels here...by herself. A few months ago she got pretty sick and we were all on pins and needles. the doctors told her no more flying to the states. she told them she would take a boat. ha!
But, she was feeling good, and so she flew. she came over for cousin Peter's high school graduation. While she was here, on May 19th - same birthday as Princess, she turned 99.
So IronGreg and I were able to fly up north to celebrate with everyone.

I got to the airport about 30 minutes before boarding. the computer screen at the gate looked funny to me. I stared at it for awhile before it really sank in....delayed about 30 minutes. We were scheduled to take off at 7:20.
As I sat in the terminal I read my july book club book (even though I haven;t read June's yet). anyways, as the time nears...the departure time moves later and later. Good thing I brought all 4 Uncrustables with me. I at them all. oink. oink.
After two hours, I find myself getting ancy - we all were. It's late. We're tired. and Delayed.
First the man to my right starts talking to himself....out loud. Watching TV on his lap top and laughing...out loud.
then the man behind me - his BO starts creeping over the back of his chair. Jeez, dude, the plane has recirculated air - please bathe before entering airport. Oh good God, please stop passing gas on top of your BO. you stink! literally. smelly kid in class.
The family to my left is so sweet. a mother, daughter, and son. they eat dinner  i think how kind they are to each other. surely it's not always like this, though. respecting their mother. the kids sharing a game of some sort. then it starts. the son's hic-cups. he is sitting 2 seats away from me. out loud. hic-cupping. I continue to read as I tell myself to remain calm. hic-cup. hic-cup. hic-cup. after 10 minutes I am losing my mind. I give him "the look". and it worked. I scared the hic-cups right out of him. sigh of relief.

I think to myself, I am sure glad I am not:
"but-i-had-tickets-to-the-yankees-mets-game-tonight" guy
"i-will-not-make-my-next-flight-so-i-have-to-spend-the-night-at-the-airport" guy.

I get all the plane and my seat partner joins me. Holy Vodka, Batman. I think this guy spent the last 2+ hours with his face buried in a bottle of alcohol. He clearly passed out during the flight. I may have gotten drunk off his fumes.

Finally I make my way to LGA and meet up with IronGreg and Dennis the driver. (IronGreg was in Montana for work all week, so we met up at LGA). We get to IronGreg's parents' house at midnight. Quickly shove some meatballs in and off to bed.

Saturday morning long run. Lovely park through northern Jersey. It was great seeing so many peopel take advantage of the nice weather to be active - whether it be jogging, biking, or walking. some alone. some with families. I accomplished a 2:15 run - roughly 14 miles. I was scheduled for 3 hours, but my legs were done after 2:15...and that's when I got back to the car and couldn't force myself to go back out for a short loop. I really wanted to get in 16 miles, but oh well. I am so not ready for the run at IMCDA. I a going to die out there. but i guess if I know this going into it, I will be mentally prepared?

The party was lovely. IronGreg (who ran a speedy 18 miles in 2:15) and I laughed that the old people might out party us. and they did. it was all we could do to stay awake during the party. I was even too tired to enjoy wine. I enjoyed some nice bubbly ginger ale instead.

Luckily, the flight home was less eventful. We had bagel sandwiches packed (IronGreg loves Bagelicious) and we got home as I finished my book and IronGreg went off for his 80 mile ride.
and so the week begins...

3 weeks, 5 days until our 1st anniversary
4 weeks, 5 days until IMCDA

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


this morning I could barely make it out of bed for a 7am swim.
I am supposed to go to the 6am class, but that one was definitely out of the question.

then I had an ART treatment. He walked in the room and told me I looked tired. (a compliment every girl loves to hear haha)

Then the kicker. tonight. I missed my favorite bike ride of the week.
I finished my work day around 4, so I turned on my soap (DVR) and the next thing I know it was 2 hours later and 10 minutes until wheels down. (and, man, was my ear laying funny)
I was in a dress. (not appropriate cycling attire.)
and 30 minutes away from the meeting location.

Hello Peak Ironman Training. We meet again.
Well, it's almost 9. time for bed.

side note: planning my post-Ironman wine road trip is well underway!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Kinetic Half Race Report. Wow.

Yesterday (Saturday) IronGreg and I participated in the Kinetic Half at Lake Anna State Park. A nice venue only about 75 minutes from home. Lots of my comrades doing IMCDA with me did this training race a well. Sine this was a training event, my coach did not have us taper for this. Instead I had a hard 2 hour ride three days before.

I was pretty anxious going into the weekend.
1. I had not raced a half ironman in 2 years.
2. last time I swam in open water I had my first "freak out"
3. I am just starting to run outside again and it's only been for 30 minutes.

The plan was to wake up at 3am and be in the car pulling out of the driveway by 4 am. Ew.
Luckily, IronGreg's coach got a hotel room and it had two queen beds in it, so we were able to grab the extra bed. We didn't make it up there in time for Friday night's packet pick up. Oh well.
We got to the "roach motel". I laughed that the coach must have smoked a pack of cigarettes while waiting for us. But - it was a place to lay our weary heads the night before the race which offered us one more hour of sleep. I could not be more grateful. I forgot my watch, but luckily a friend was able to bring an extra now known as the "pay it forward" watch. (more to come on that)

Race morning. I get dressed, but my oatmeal just isn't doing it for me. I get down what I can, but only eat 1/3 of it. Packet pick up line was long and I was getting anxious. I got my number and was happy to get a good spot on the rack. After claiming my territory, I got body marked and my chip.
I am trying to find my peace with the swim, and so I want to go for a pre-race warm up swim. Race starts at 7, so I figure if I get in at 6:50 I can splash around for a few minutes then get back out and not get cold waiting for my wave. I get to the beach at 6:50 as planned. and they announce for everyone to get out of the water!! what?!?!?! That wasn't in my pre-race plan.

Swim. I line with the red cap wave and the gun goes off. I ran into the water and quickly start swimming. I try to sprint for a minute then find my groove thing. I learned quickly that there is some velcro not covered around my neck where the wetsuit closes. This catches my hair. and not just a few strands. It felt like half my hair was being scalped every time I sighted. I would have to reach around and pull it out. but, I wasn't going to let this bother me. I had to laugh it off. Especially knowing that my dear friend who closed my wetsuit would feel absolutely awful knowing this hair pain and that just made me laugh. I did a good job at sighting, especially for me. I had to pause a few times to really see where I was going, but I stayed on course pretty darn well. Unlike the guy who was swimming diagonally and kicked me pretty hard in my chest taking my breath away. but I couldn't be mad - he was going off course and had no idea he was going to kick me. I really tried to go at a moderate pace. When I get in open water I have a tendency to slow down my stroke. I am afraid of running out of steam - it's hard without that wall to gauge my distance, so this time I really tried to give it a little more gusto.
Goal Time: sub-40
Split Time: 43:28 (16/19 AG)

nothing exciting to report.
Split Time: 2:23 (3/19 AG)

Bike. this is what I have been working hard at. I got a fit a few weeks ago and have been feeling like I am finally getting my bike legs. I wanted to really work the bike, but keeping in mind I had a hard run ahead of me afterwards. the hill coming out of transition my heart was racing. I went into an easier gear to spin and get myself in line. Why do I put pressure on myself at times like this?! Getting on the road and feeling groovy. I start flip flopping with a few girls. Usually when this happens they pass me and I never see them again. This time, uh-uh. Not going to let that happen. I am going to try (pun intended). It's a lollipop course doing the lollipop part twice. Not bad - LOTS of false flats, but only a few real climbs, which aren't daunting at all with the hill training I have been doing. At one point I start to feel tired, I think to myself, "Self, it's a good thing you put a #1 nephew kiss in your pocket" About 20 miles to go and my friend, the wetsuit closer, catches me. she is a crazy good biker even though she doesn't realize it. We actually end up flip flopping a few times. I have accomplished "dropping" the girls I started with except one. We'll call her "your grey tri-suit is too thin b/c I can see your butt crack" girl. or "Grey girl" for short. for some reason I wasn't going to let this girl win. Maybe b/c she was in my AG and I really wanted a solid bike. With about 3 miles to go she is ahead and I just can't seem to catch her. drat! then we are at the dismount line together and I ran over the mat first - hooray. (although come to find out she actually beat me by 3 seconds. blast!) But I felt happy coming off the bike.
Goal Time: sub-3 hour
Split Time: 3:00:49 (10/19 AG). 18.6 avg. I will take that.

Again, nothing exciting in transition. I did find out another girl in my AG was doing her first HIM. I wished her luck and told her she was 2/3 of the way there.
Split Time: 1:51 (9/19 AG)

Run. I run out of T2 and I hear my FAVorite race sound - my mom made it and is cheering. She's always so loud I just LOVE it. and she has #1 nephew with her and I hear this sweet "Auntie!" and some kisses are blown (we catch them and put them in our packets for later - I didn't know he was going to be there which makes the bike pocket kiss even sweeter in my head) the run starts uphill. My calves hate the hills. seriously?! And of course this is where all the fans are! I try to run, but damn this hurts. I get to mile 1 and I stop to stretch the calves out. ahh much better. I get on track to run 4 minutes and walk 1 minute. But I know it's a hilly run and I have to walk uphill to keep calf inflammation down...I have to keep my eye on the big prize in 5 weeks. In my head I tell myself to just hold a 10:00 pace today. That's all. I haven't been running outside and don't have the confidence to be aggressive. Everything seems to be going well. I am doing my 4:1 and holding my 10:00 pace. Awesome. IronGreg is on his 3rd loop when he passes me on my 1st. He passes with a "Good Job, Wifey". thanks, babe. Wait! what the?! His shorts are torn and he is covered in blood! oh Lord. He must have wrecked on the bike course in this misty weather. Oh no. I hope he's okay. But I have to finish my run. A lot goes through my head when running. I pass through for the 2nd loop and IronGreg is in the medic tent and his friend pokes his head out to holler at me that he's fine. Oh good. Then comes the half way point. and the cramps. oh. no. seriously?! I just put one foot in front of the other. I tell myself that the bathrooms at the finish line are SO much nicer than the port-o-potties on t he course so just take my time and think of indoor plumbing. unfortunately my stomach was not listening. port-o-potty won. i was racking my brain while running why this was happening and what can I do to make it stop? I realize I put enough calories for a 4 hour ride on the bike (in case something happened and I was out there longer than expected) and I had almost all of them!!! and they were offering HEED on the course which I don't like. maybe i should stop drinking it - duh! So from now on water and flat coke. Unfortunately, by this time my stomach is a wreck and my 10:00 pace is shot. I just have to finish. and I did.
Goal Time: 2:10
Split Time: 2:20:35 (16/19 AG)

Overall Goal Time: sub-6:30 (6:34 is/was current PR)
Overall Finish Time: 6:09:03 (12/19 AG)
So I didn't hit my swim goal or my run goal. But dammit I just got a 25 MINUTE PR!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now, before I go any further, you may be wondering, "What's all this 'wow' about?" Well, I will tell you.
As we were heading out on the bike there was some traffic stopped. I turned left and there was an SUV at the intersection. I look over with a smile and I see a little girl, filled with joy, staring out of the window. In the instant that I saw her, her eyes were filled with amazement. Filled with life. she was saying the word "WOW". I was thinking to myself that she has no idea the motivation she just gave me. I said a little prayer, as I often do when racing, asking God that she may one day be blessed by someone giving her the motivation she may need just like she gave me. It was just such a neat moment.

1. LOTS of PR's. Strong races out there by all my friends.
2. IronGreg is alright. He is pretty banged up. but still finished with a respectable time...and a PR. His entire right side is a mess. and his bike is covered in blood. We don't think it is too banged up, but it goes in the shop tomorrow for a good check up.
3. Jill S surprised me out on the run course with her cowbell when I was struggling and that was so nice to know that I would see her again.
4. I love my girls - we smile when we race and cheer each other on.
5. I know I say it a lot, but I also think it during events, we are so fortunate that we are able to do this.
6. I want to give a shout out to my girls that raced Rev 3 Half today. You all did so great. You make me proud.
7. Last but not least. My mom is awesome. She just happened to be coming in town for another event and drove additional time that day with a 2.5 yr. old to cheer me on. she said she was happy she was there to see me do a personal best. (and #1 nephew was happy to eat all the crackers and oreos - even woke up this morning asking Grandma if he could go see Auntie race today and get more cookies) how awesome is that.

Friday, May 13, 2011


IronGreg and I (and lots of my training friends) are doing a half ironman tomorrow.
We are leaving in a few hours.
I haven't started packing yet.
I did swim in the lake and drive the bike course this morning. I also got lost driving the bike course. And then it rained. Am I ready for this?! I haven't done a HIM in almost 2 years. I feel so...removed.

I used to precisely count all my calories. Now I just dump calories into a bottle and fill it with water, grab a bag of Gu chomps and call it a day.

I used to pack a week at least ahead of time. I have my tri kit pulled out. and my bike shoes and helmet are nearby. But that's it.

either a.) could I be getting used to distance?
or b.) just in complete denial that I am about to go long and hard when nutrition and endurance really matter?
you chose b.) Denial?
Yup. me too.

Rev3 is also going on this weekend. I wish lots of luck to my girls heading to TN for that event.

It is kind of neat that after this is Ironman. and then I would have done the 4 distances in 3 months.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


As I training for the marathon of Ironman on the elliptical and treadmill I am spending some quality time with my pink iPod shuffle. I bought this from Target the NIGHT before I flew out to San Fran for my first marathon (nike Women's in 07). I couldn't get my iPod to work and the idea of running a marathon without tunes seemed so daunting. Best spur buy ever.
anyways, I definitely need to update the playlist. So as I jam out in my car to Black and Yellow and other current ditties that will never go down in history, I find myself creating an IRONMAN CDA playlist.
tonight. I am taking on that task. well at least starting it.
What are some of your FAVEorite workout tunes??


This morning I had a session with my new personal trainer, Jillian. No that is not her real name, but I am a fan of the Biggest Loser (although I wish they went b body fat % loss and not weight loss). Anyways, that's for another post.
Back to Jillian.
this morning I was tired.
I had a long workout Saturday. Another long day on Sunday. And some kick ass bike intervals on Monday night.
I didn't sleep well last night I think partly due to restless legs from them being worked so hard. Luckily, this morning we worked on core...or my lack thereof. Afterwards instead of stretching she taught me the easiest thing to do to flush out your legs.
If I were good at quickly uploading pictures I would give you a photo step=by-step directions.
1. lay on your back in front of a wall.
2. swing your legs up so the backs of your legs are on the wall - your butt should be on the floor up against the wall.
3. just relax.
yup. that's it.
there are some additions you can do to stretch your glutes, hammies, and hip flexors...but I think those would require photos to explain.
Thank you, jillian, for teaching me how to flush out my weary legs.

in other news, I think I am ready to start picking out outfits for my post-Ironman wine tour. I wonder what the weather will be like...

Monday, May 9, 2011

Weekend's theme song

Last Saturday, it was just me and "Miso" riding together. So we decided this was our theme song.

Sunday, May 8, 2011


This weekend I rode 100 miles with one of my dear training partners. Well she is more than a training partner, but we were training together when we had an interesting conversation.
In 2009 we both did our first Ironman - she did FL and I did AZ.
this year we are both doing our second - CDA.
But this year doesn't seem to have the same spirit. Has training for an IM lost it's charm?
It's such an intense time in our lives no matter how many times we do it.
Our workouts are no longer filled with "firsts".
We have gotten then hang of how to pack for a long ride.
At IMAZ I had am amazing sense of pride at the finish line. I can only hope that I do again.

I don't know if my anxiety with training this time around has taken out some excitement. But should that really matter?!
I am not a strong open water swimmer.
My bike isn't where I want it to be. I had some problems with the bike up until a few weeks again and I just don't feel as "fit" as everyone else.
My run is well my run. I have had more leg problems this year than in 2009 when I was also recovery from invasive surgery.

I rode 100 miles yesterday with an amazing woman.
And I even ran (well run/walk) for 30 minutes afterwards. that's HUGE
and today...I "ran" for 2:45.
1:15 in the pool, 0:45 on the elliptical, and finished with run/walking 45 minutes on the treadmill!!!
that's right. I ran. two days in a row! I haven't done that in months.
So while my workouts aren't filled with the same challenges as the first - the excitement of being challeneged with a new distance at almost every workout, this year I am challenged with my mind. Overcoming the challenges on the bike. Overcoming my injury on the run. and dammit overcoming my open water swim ability.
Yes, this Ironman is just as exciting in its own way.

and speaking of injury, I would like to take a moment to thank my team of experts...who you will hear about more and more.
Karen Holloway - my head coach. she won IM Canada. such a badass. and she lets me whine (calls me whineypants). she is patient with my frustrations and my injury when it comes to constantly twekaing my training plan along with my stubburn-ness.
Rusty and Camille - aka Bob and Jillian. my personal trainers working to make my arms and abs look tough. ironman is all about a strong core after all.
Liz and Tina - the nutritionists that are helping me and my sensitive stomach.
Rob Green - my chiropractor doing magic Active Release Technique (ART) on my leg.
Laure - my super open water swim teacher.
and last but not least...
IronGreg. I love you oodles of noodles.

Happy Mother's Day to all my friends out there.
To my mom, who raised me and my siblings by herself after our dad passed away. and I think we turned out alright, too. Hats off to you. God picks special people to show such strength.
To my sister, don't tell her this but she is an awesome mom. I have learned SO much watching her raise to her amazing boys.
to my mother-in-law, you raised one heck of a good kid.
to my Grandmothers, your love leaves me speechless.
to my friends, you are such amazing women. I've seen you conquer the challenges that life has brought to you. and you have succeeded and overcome with such grace. you are the women that should be on the cover of magazines. you are the women people should look up to.
I can only hope that one day God blesses me with child(ren) that would allow to stand beside you on this day and that I can be half the mother that you are.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Secret Trick for Endurance Training

During my training for IMAZ I got sick...a lot. 
Once a month I found myself on my ass. coughing. Running nose. the works. Always a 24 hour lay-you-out-flat bug. 
IronGreg was always on my case that I wasn't taking in enough vitamins. Maybe he was right. But don't tell him that! 
In the weeks leading up to IMAZ I took an Airborne every day. It was glorious. 

This time I know my body doesn't like being treated this way. So I am taking a multi-vitamin every day, along with calcium, and my thyroid medicine. you would think I was 80. The calcium pills from my doc are horse pills! and I am supposed to take 2 pills 3x/day!!! That doesn't always happen, but at least I take some, right?!
anyways, I am also drinking either an Airborne and an Emergen-C with dinner a few times a week. 

so there you have it - my secret health trick for endurance training...multi vitamins and Airborne/emergen-c. 

Healthy Training to you!! 

Monday, May 2, 2011


Does anyone else find themselves writing a blog post in their head during a workout?
I do it All. the. Time.
Unfortunately, I rarely actually post those thoughts.

my bike is not where I would like for it to be this close to IMCDA.
Last weekend I rode 80 miles on the BRP (Blue Ridge Parkway) last weekend with some friends.
I was definitely one of the slower ones out there, but this was also a BIG jump in time/distance for me. I almost doubled my saddle time on a hard route.
I felt good the first 4 hours.
The 5th hour was tough.
The 6th hour was pure hell.
I actually stopped 3 times hyperventilating. It was the most bizarre thing! the negative thoughts were overwelming. I was by myself at this point and was having thoughts that any crazy mountain guy could snatch me up and no one would know. I didn't even have a cell phone on me. I thought about asking for a ride up to my car. But I would have to ask a family b/c if not then I could be asking the crazy man to kidnap me.
you can imagine my other thoughts...
Where do these come from? Obviously watching too much Lifetime!

I rode this past weekend with my girls. We rode a moderate 59 miles and it was amazing. i finally felt like i was/am getting my bike legs back. I have a century this coming weekend so we shall see if they hold up.

I read an article recently that in a pool you should have a low turnover stroke rate for speed and in open water you need a high stroke count for speed - you lose time during that glide.
Hmmm maybe this is why I am decent in a pool and SO BAD in open water?

I haven't run in a week and am feeling good. My ART treatments seem to be going well. I am hitting the elliptical tonight. wish me luck!