Thursday, December 27, 2007

Kona winds in Maui

Whew, was it windy today!! We rode to the "point" which is basically a scenic lookout a short 23 miles or so from our camp station (sounds rough) in Kapalua. The winds were reported to be 20's mph sustained with gusts into the 40's. Well, we found that these type gusts are really scary! I was only more scared in this type of wind once, on my practice ride in Kona before IM World Championships in '06. I had a couple mechanical issues today, put my rear derailer on incorrectly then got a flat tire shortly thereafter - I should be caught up on mechanicals for a few days. The problem with mechanicals is that there is very little shoulder at some points in the highway and huge trucks are buzzing by at 55 mph - it's unnerving! Anyhow, as we got closer to the point, the dreaded crosswinds were howling! I was getting tossed about and I'm the lightest one of the group. Everyone else was getting buffeted as well and it was a real challenge to keep the rubber side down, as they say. We got back safely though with many prayers being said between the four of us! We then embarked on a brisk 30 minute run after the ride which was challenging because nothing is flat out here. The Dane and I were battling like Mark and Dave of old Ironman Hawaii days! It was classic but we got a really good, enjoyable workout for sure! I'll try and post some pics regularly but nothing can portray the beauty and wind! Enjoy and cheers!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Ahhhhh, Maui!

Got to Maui safe and sound. Still waiting on the bikes but the rest of the luggage came with us. No worries, we are officially on vacation now! I will put up some pictures when I figure it out on my the Dane's new laptop. Anywho, it was a rather long day of travel but always worth it when the destination is Maui! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. I can't wait to share our stories from the Islands. Cheers.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Say No To Drugs 5K

Ok, so this race was last Saturday but I've been really busy! Busy at work, busy trying to prep to leave for Maui, busy getting ready to get ready to move next month. I haven't been busy Christmas shopping though - one thing my family counts on is that they likely won't get squat from me for X-mas. I've always been that way. However, if I find something for someone later in the year, I won't hesitate to give. Evens things out. Sort of...
Anyhow, back to my "race" report. I ran the 5K because, frankly, I haven't run as long as 6 miles since Ironman Florida and don't feel like torturing myself at this time of the year! I went really deep into the well at IM FL and I need the well to fill a bit again before even thinking about digging that hard. Anyhow, a really fast crowd of gals there, scary. Couldn't really tell who was running 5 or 10K, we started together. Chatted with Sharon B. for a bit at the start - always nice to run into her! Luckily for me, she was running the 10K! The race starts at the bottom of the Memorial Causeway bridge, up and over to Clearwater Beach then finish at Pier 60. Nice course but brutal if you start too hard up the bridge, which I likely did. I spent the next part of the race trying to recover from the bridge! I was getting serious challenge by a few of the girls running the 10K (guess I couldn't keep up with the 5K girls from the gun)! Anyhow, I ran my slowest 5K of the offseason but I ran more evenly across the board so that counts for something! I am ready for vacation, a change of scenery and a rest.
We will ride and/or run and swim every day in Maui (plus snorkel, surf, boggie board) and it will be thoroughly enjoyable. Can't wait. The plan for January is to run a 10K, off-road half marathon and get back on the bike. By the way, I've kept the daily run going, only missed one day due to massage appointment three weeks ago.
Cheers and Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Beautiful Day

Since the weather is so, well, inclimate, in most places in the country today, I thought I would rub it in that we had an absolutely beautiful day here in Florida. Started with a nice, easy 3 hour ride which was about 67 degrees at the start. Stayed in the little ring all morning, spinning the legs working on, well, nothing. Just recovering still. Then a warm 30 minute run in the sun. Doesn't get much better than this. I will confess that I'm attempting to run every day in December. Won't discuss where I got the idea but going to give it a shot. Just 30 minutes and as easy as desired. Sounds easy. Hopefully, I'll end up in January with the ability to do some longer runs without too much turmoil to my old body. Plus, the Dane is in Europe for a 12 day journey and forgot his running shoes. I can smell the household running trophy.........
Only 16 days to Maui. Maui No Ka 'Oi (in October, Kona No Ka 'Oi)

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

five things....

I was blog-tagged by Bri Gaal a while back but never got to list five things most people don't know about me. I guess I've been lazy and well, most people know a lot about me by now. Well, I'll try to come up with a few:
1. most people don't know that I was accused by my college cross country/track coach of not being competitive.
2. I used to consume tons of sugar
3. I love wicked roller-coasters (but am afraid of heights)
4. If I wasn't a physician, I'd like to be a dog-walker
5. I wanted to be an orthopedic surgeon (couldn't bear the thought of more medical training and deferrment of my loans any further).

There you have it, not very exciting. I would imagine most of this comes as no surprise to anyone.
I'm enjoying my "exercise if I feel like it" program....

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Jingle Bell Arthritis 5K

Another 5K yesterday. Val's idea to ride bikes to the race (21 miles), race, then ride back home. It sounded like a good idea until Saturday morning. We got up there about 30 minutes prior to the start, got signed up, changed and ready to go. Never gave a thought on how I might place or anything - just a fun race 4 weeks out from Ironman. The gun goes off and the pace felt really quick but I followed the young girl who went out like a rabbit and it nearly killed me! The race was out and back over the causeway in Tarpon Springs. This causeway is typically quite windy with nothing around to block the wind. It happened to be a pretty breezy morning so this was getting wound into my spontaneous race plan. I went into the lead (for the women) after the 1/2 mile mark and wanted to try and stay there. A couple guys came up to me at this point and I really had to try hard to stay with them to have a draft on the way back into the headwind. The Dane was up ahead and I had to, once again, conceive the household 5K trophy unless he really popped (he didn't). The way back was tough into a pretty stiff headwind so I tucked in and enjoyed my draft - I did try and go ahead but found that too tedious so stayed where I was. Once we got closer to some cover and the wind lessened, I tried to give a decent kick the last 1/4 mile or so. Wow, I won the race! My first 5K win in about 10 years. I didn't run fast but fast enough. About 20 seconds faster than Turkey Trot which was good (the time listed in the results is wrong by about 10 seconds). The ride home was a slow slog but the weather was warm and I had the sweet feeling of a solid effort, 2 tickets to Busch Gardens and a $50 gift certificate for a running store in Tampa for my prize! How cool is that? I was glad to do this race because it went for a good cause, the arthritis foundation. Being a sufferer of rheumatoid arthritis, this was gratifying. I am also going to try and run every day in December just as a fun little challenge. Not long runs, just 30 minutes as slow as I wish. Maybe it'll make the time until we head to Maui go faster!! I can only hope....

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Giving thanks, and all that

I have been lazy about updating, probably cuz I'm not doing anything worth writing about! We did do Turkey Trot 5K on T-day morning - my slowest in a few years but it was a good effort anyway. The Dane beat me as usual but I'm closer. Have been riding the road bike which I enjoy doing in the offseason. Can't imagine riding the tri bike right now, ick! Rode in the hills today on a beautiful day weather-wise - couldn't be any nicer! Only did a couple hours but it was enough since we hadn't been out there in so long. We are planning tenatively to do St Croix 70.3 in early May instead of Florida 70.3 so need to get strong in the hills. We are riding pretty relaxed for most part. I got officially registered for IM Hawaii 2008 which is exciting! Hope everyone had a wonderful Turkey day. Only one month til we go to Maui!! Cheers.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Clearwater 70.3 World Championships

NO,I did not race! I'm crazy, not stupid! I witnessed some very impressive and motivating performances out there today. And, completely enjoyed watching my teammates perform on today's great stage in triathlon. Linda M., you are the badger and my idol forever, please don't stop. Donna S., you showed some serious moxey and class and I hope to witness this again in my future, please don't stop. Lisa P., keep pushing girl and you WILL be and Ironman! Sharon B., you are one of the toughest competitors I've come across. Ladies, you rock! I get soooo much motivation from watching my friends/competitors/pros perform on one of the greatest stages in triathon. I feel lucky to witness it all! I'm feeling lazy and out of shape one week from IMFL and ready to get it together for Kona '08! Not too soon, I know. I wish that the Dane was here to share this with me because he always supports me in every measure, which I'm learning is very treasured. Never give up on your passion people, some may find it's all they have. I'm blessed, that I have my passion and support. Thanks to everyone who competed today, you gave me inspiration and I hope we clapped for you all! (we tried!!!) Cheers.

Monday, November 05, 2007

IMFL race report - no room for error

Whew, glad that one is over!! Let's just say that there was absolutely no room for error on Saturday. Once again, the AG I happen to be competing in was the toughest on the day for the women. The days leading up to the race were pretty uneventful, which is good. Tried to stay relaxed and off the legs as much as possible. Didn't sleep well the night before the race which is annoying but no big deal. I knew this was my first real try at "racing" an Ironman and I knew this would likely involve a lot of pain. Got out of bed about 3:30 AM to get in some calories for the day. Did couple bottles of boost and couple pieces of toast with PB which I really had to choke down because I don't like eating at that hour. Walked down to transition and dropped special needs bags and checked the bike over. My tires needed some air so stood in line for about 20 minutes for the pump guy. He tried to get some air into front tire but my valve extender was stripped. No problem, go stand in another line for 15 minutes for the mechanic and he changed my valve extender, filled the tire and I was on my way. Luckily, we got there early enough to account for this delay. Wetsuit on and standing on the beach ready but nervous for the day. This feeling prior to the cannon going off is one of the most intense moments I can recall. I'm aware that I'm going to get into some contact with others trying to find some open water to swim but this was a full rugby scrum. I actually felt at a few points that I could truly drown out there! Pretty scary! I spent the first 800 meters defending myself, avoiding direct kicks to the head and drinking copious amounts of salt water. Not much actual swimming going on here, just getting pulled along by the masses and defending myself. Got into some rythym after hitting the bouys to return on the first lap but swung way wide to avoid anymore beatings fully aware that anymore salt water consumption may be detrimental later in the day. Got out of the first lap in around 30 minutes which was a surprise since the first half of that lap was mayhem! The second loop was uneventful, stayed wide again to avoid contact. Probably swam a little extra but comfortable, still came out in 1:02 and change, a PR. Got through the change tent a little slow but onto the bike. I had a bit of a high heart rate on the beginning of the bike but went more with perceived exertion at this point because my legs felt good. The ride was kind of boring. Got passed by a ton of guys and a few gals and multiple packs. As tempting as it was to attach myself to the back of a pack, I didn't do it. The wind was a bit snotty the entire ride and it seemed to change every time we made a turn but I tried to embrace this and keep pushing and riding within myself. I kept my HR pretty good and kept hydrating. It was pretty cool once we first got on the bike and this was nice. Warmed up some toward the end but the weather was really perfect. Managed to hit T2 with a PR for the bike, 5:24 and change. Got through T2 pretty well and off on the run. I didn't have any idea what to expect here because I missed my long runs the past 5 weeks or so. I just didn't want to have any injury issues and felt I could deal with fatigue issues. I ran out of T2 in 7:24/mile but felt like I was running slower than 8-minute pace - this is a good sign. Kept slowing to make sure I didn't kill myself on the first loop. The first loop went pretty well, kept the pace pretty good and felt I was going along well. Got out to the second loop and learned that I was in 6th in the AG at this point. I felt we would have 3 Kona slots going in, maybe 4 if we were lucky. I managed to bridge up to and pass two of the girls ahead of me before the last turn around in the park, about 10K from the finish. By that point, I had run through all the aid stations but I knew I couldn't continue this because my quads were nearly in complete failure in the last 10K. I knew the two girls I had just passed were running the aid stations and I knew if I walked it had to be quick and short. I started on coke and anything else I could get my hands on and kept running. I felt at about mile 22 that my legs could buckle at any time and my dream would be done but I constantly forced that thought out of my head and replaced it with, "keep pushing, keep pushing, all the way to the line". Must have worked because they never came back to me. I figured I was fourth and felt content that I couldn't have gone any faster. My marathon was not great but what I expected with the lack of long run training the previous 6 weeks. I knew if I didn't get a Kona slot, I still PR'd by quite a bit, ended up in 10:24 which would have won 40-44 most years. Hobbled back to the condo with the Dane (who also PR'd with inconsistent training, amazing), showered, ate then returned to the finish line to watch Val finish. She was incredible, finishing under 15 hours. Proof that the MAO program is effective! We toasted our great journeys with pizza and a glass of champagne and hit the bed. Didn't sleep well due to so much muscle pain but it was nice to relax and reflect on a pretty complete effort. We got up Sunday morning, wrenched our sore bodies out of bed and limped back to the expo area to find out about Kona slot distribution. I was suddenly really nervous to look at the board and then saw a "4" next to the W40-44 column and my knees got weak. I got a Kona slot and didn't have to wait for roll down! This was a very exciting feeling. Needless to say, I paid the $500 and took my slot. Good thing because the slots didn't roll this year. We are on our way back home now and still really sore.....but happy! It's a really gratifying feeling to give everything and more in the race and get to return to Kona in 2008. What did I learn from my fifth Ironman? I learned that my swim training is spot on and will continue with this and hopefully continue to improve there (a long way from being last out of the water in my first several tri's). I learned that even though I lost this race mostly on the bike, I continue to get stronger but it's a slow process (I should learn to race in draft packs but wouldn't feel right doing it). I learned that the last several long run sessions in training are critical to remaining strong on the marathon, can't fake it. I also learned that even when you don't know if you can keep pace, you have to keep pushing and believing because amazing things can happen and the pain is worth it! I'm going to take a little break, run a lot this winter, work in the weight room and try to get stronger. In the meantime, I'll be out in Clearwater for the 70.3 World Championships cheering everyone on. Best of luck to everyone there. Cheers!

Friday, November 02, 2007

More hurry up and wait

So, we're within 15 hours of starting IMFL. It's not glamorous, just sitting around waiting for the big hour when we get to reward ourselves with the race we've prepared for for so many weeks. Today consisted of a 15 minute open water swim right outside our condo. Then onto the bikes for a loop of the run course which went well. Then a quick 10 minute run with a few pick-ups. Nothing extravagant, just keeping the pipes open for the big day tomorrow. We dropped off the bikes and gear bags earlier this afternoon so all we have to do now is eat a healthy dinner, sit around some more and the try to get some sleep. I, surprisingly, slept really well last night.....good sign. I read that there are over 1,100 first-timers (also affectionately known as "iron virgins") in the race tomorrow - that's a lot! The weather continues to be "Chamber of Commerce" weather - absolutely beautiful! So, thanks to all who have sent well wishes, they mean a lot to me! I'll try and get a race report out quickly. Until then, ciao.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

We've descended upon PCB!

Ironman fever is alive and well in Panama City Beach! The tri geeks are out in full force and ready for action. We did a short swim in the beautiful Gulf of Mexico this morning and it was clear and calm. The weather is warm and gorgeous, couldn't ask for more. As for me, the body feels pretty good. We did a short run after settling in to the condo which was good. We get to registration later this morning then sit around a wait. My sister and her clan come in sometime today so that'll be good to visit with them some. I'll try and keep updated. Ciao.

Monday, October 22, 2007


I have realized that after my 10 1/2 hours of solid sleep last night, I guess I am ready for taper. I was going to do my Tuesday swim this morning, but could not get out of bed. That's ok, supposed to take today off anyway (something I'm not good at, days off training). We had some inclimate weather this weekend so had to juggle workouts a bit which isn't really a big deal. We've been lucky not to be rained out any weekends since beginning this training cycle 18 weeks ago. We have had some rain on the long rides but nothing to cut the workouts short. I ran a couple times last week without any problems. I will just do normal running during taper and hope I don't have the pain in my right glut area return during the marathon. We'll see. I feel good overall. I am tired with some accumulated leg fatigue but that is normal at this point. Nothing a good, focused taper cannot fix! I'll keep trying to get really solid sleep, nutrition and stretching the next couple weeks as well. Go Rockies!!!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Kona week!

Firstly, I want to wish all those lucky soles in Kona best of luck. I, for one, will be glued to my computer watching all day. Can't wait. I also want to admit I'm quite jealous after having been there last year. But, I didn't do a qualifier for this year so I guess I can't complain too loudly. I love reading all the blogs of the pro's who actually post, it's quite fun. I especially enjoy Michellie's and Rutger Beke's.
Well, the work continues on this end trying to get back to Kona! We did the final seven hour ride last Sat (actually ended up with 7:16, but who's counting) and logged 132 miles. Then a four mile brick in 90+ temperature which I took out way too hard and the old glycogen-depleted body made me slow down the last couple miles. It was hard but got it done. Still shortening some of the runs due to a little upper hammy pain but this is improving. My swimming is going really well. I'm always amazed how much yardage I'm able to do week in and week out along with some solid speed sessions. Hope it all pays off! Looking forward to taper in another week and a half. Go Rockies!!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Getting closer...

I have strung together some really good, hefty (time-wise) weeks of training. The only problem is that I have missed my regular massage over the past month. I just got out of routine for one reason or another and it's hard to get back onto her schedule since she is quite popular! Anyway, I was rolling along just fine until during the long run last week (8 days ago), had some pain upper hamstring which I had to ignore and finish my run. Ran again on the Monday and had some pain but figured it was nothing to worry about. Ran speedwork on Wednesday and had a little pain during cool-down but no problem running fast. Thursday morning's run I had to cut short and come home nearly limping (still got nine miles in). Did a lot of stretching between Thursday and Sunday and did all my other workouts without any issues. Sunday's plan was a 3 hour run which I was pretty sure I didn't want to attempt for fear of real injury. Ran five miles instead with no pain or limping. Have a massage today which will really help. Next run is Wednesday so we'll see how it goes. Training is going great otherwise. I'm pretty tired and looking forward to taper!! I am really confident about my fitness and the most important thing right now is to get to the starting line healthy! Cheers....

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Yeah, the Dane is back.........for now.

Well, the Dane is back from lengthy Euro trip and I'm happy about that. I also get to assert my well-honed go-forever-at-a-good-pace fitness on him! It's not funny but it is nice to know all this consistent training has elevated my fitness level quite a bit which I can compare when he returns from each trip. Poor guy, he tries to jump right in to my training when he returns and it really proves difficult. He is a trooper and will toe the line in Panama City on Nov 3rd and give it a go as they say. Things are going fine overall. Really into the meat of it. Still with a lot of volume but added speedwork and weights. I'm pretty tired and looking forward to tapering in about 4 weeks but I know I have a lot of solid training efforts to put in between now and then. Not much else to report. I could blab about all the killer workouts but don't feel the need and too much to type out! Cheers.

Monday, September 17, 2007

big weeks - I love 'em

Didn't get a chance to post during the weekend, too tired, I guess. Fully back in the swing this week. Work was insanely stressful and training back on full bore from week's "vacation" (from work, not from training). Got the first seven hour ride in on Sat. I had some issues in the middle but finished strong, I think. Had a great brick, too fast on the run but, hey, if that's my problem, I'll take it! So, about 7 1/2 hours of training on Sat then long run on Sun morning. Got in a little over 15 miles, most of it felt pretty good. Pleased about that as this Ironman training period starts to get serious. The Dane is gone to Europe so most training, other than swimming and long ride, have been solo (great job out there Val). I work well solo which is great for Ironman. I have had a bit of time this weekend to refocus and motivate myself for my goals for IM Florida. I think I'm on track. Swam PR's for 100 and 200 yards last week (I won't say what they are because they are pretty slow)! I'm getting pumped and watching the race in Kona in less than 4 weeks online will really solidify my goals! I am looking forward to my Dane coming back home end of the week - gone too long! I'm gonna post some fun pics from our trip to God's country just for kicks! Go Broncos and Gators! Cheers..

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

mini altitude running camp

We had a blast in Colorado for Labor Day weekend. We did a really cool long run (3 hours) in Rocky Mountain National Park that was just amazing! I would say it ranked right up there with climbing Haleakala on the tri bikes two years ago prepping for IM Florida '05. I'll post some pictures which don't do it justice. I could have run for five hours out there it was so challenging and serene. I we did another run out there on Sunday on the trails just to check them out and did the long run on Monday. We spent Monday night in Denver at Hotel Monaco which was really cool. It was an amazing trip, wish we would have planned more time there because the training is incredible. The altitude at Grand Lake is about 8600 feet. The turn around on the trail we ran on was nearly 10,000 feet (the Garmin download is great). I actually was able to keep my average heart rate aerobic too. Can't wait to return there with bikes and wetsuits to do tri training, maybe next summer. Have to get back into the routine next week (have medical conference this weekend) which will be easier after having such a nice change of scenery and temperature. The temps in the morning were high 40's and low 70's during the day - such a nice break from Florida! Back to the heat and humidity now. I mind it less with the wonderful memories from God's country. Cheers!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Running with dolphins

Coolest experience on my long run on Monday. Running back from turn around after 1:15, running along Memorial Causeway, there was a huge group of dolphins swimming right along the water's edge. They seemed to be keeping pace with me and it was truly enjoyable, as much as a 2:30 run can be enjoyable. Still hot, about 93 degrees, add whatever for "heat index". I faired much better than last week, thank goodness! Anyway, off to Colorado on Saturday, yeah. Hope my sinuses don't act up, they're on the edge! Cheers.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

On and on

Another solid week in the books. Just about same amount of time as last week and still in one piece. This week, the Dane left on Wednesday for a week in Europe so I got to focus on training and sleeping (and, unfortunately, work/cleaning/laundry/grocery shopping). I did manage to catch the Dane's cold before he left and am getting through that without any serious sequelae, thank goodness. The week started Monday with record heat. When you talk about record heat in Florida, that isn't fun for training. I know it's not Arizona or desert heat but, sheesh, it's humid here also folks. The record heat and a 2:10 run were staring me in the face when I came home from work Monday evening. The Dane was smart enough to avoid that long run and amazingly hot conditions. So, I was on my own. Time to toughen up and get going. I've stolen a motto for this Ironman training season which, anyone who is a CSC cycling fan will know.....HTFU. It means Harden the F#$% up! I normally, being pretty small in stature, handle the heat very well and am typically not bothered by it other than having to slow my run pace to keep the heart rate down. Well, I got about a half mile up the road and it felt like a blow dryer blowing in my face. I knew it was going to be a testing run. I knew the heart rate monitor was going to take a beating so paid a little less attention to it (sorry Luis). I got out a little over seven miles to the turn around point and wanted to sit down and cry. I never cave mentally in long runs like this so I knew these were special conditions. I looked across the Memorial Causeway and spotted a guy and gal running along at a really solid pace and thought, hey, I can do that. I began running again after a gel and some hot, watered down Gatorade from my fuel belt and my knees nearly buckled! Oh boy, who can I call to come and pick me up? But, of course, I don't have a phone. I had to go into survivor mode and make little goals for myself, which I did. Before I knew it, I was back to the golf course, 4.5 miles from home, with a cold water faucet, refilled and motored on. I made it home, negative splitted, no less. This was one of those days that will go into the motivational vault should I need it down the road (ie, IMFL). This really kind of put me in a hole physically for the week. I got a much needed massage on Wednesday which was wonderful! I did recover enough to ride 6 1/2 hours on Saturday with a 32 min brick which was a solid workout. We will be leaving for Colorado for Labor Day weekend and I am not upset that I might miss a workout or two! I think I need it for the final push into IMFL. I will be so happy to run in 70-something degree weather! Even if it is at altitude! So, HTFU and less than 10 weeks to IMFL! Cheers.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The fun continues...

Well, I've officially done the biggest training week of my life as far as my training logs go back. Nearly 23 hours in the log. And, I missed one easy run! I quickly realised Sunday when finishing bike/swim/weights at noon that an "easy" run wouldn't be so easy so decided not to do it. I have done all my other workouts. Logged nearly 200 miles on the bike this week which is my focus for this Ironman push - the key, for me, to building overall endurance is the bike. We rode 100 miles on Saturday and I didn't really feel that great but I got through it, practiced my nutrition strategy and just got 'time in the saddle', as they say. Today, another 3 1/2 hours on the bike and actually felt better than yesterday, weird. I'm amazed that, at 40, I can still recover from day to day. I think that is the beauty and secret of the MarkAllenOnline program, is the ability to get the volume and recover. When training aerobically, nothing is intense or "hard" to the outsider but if you do it long enough, it is difficult. The beauty is, in staying aerobic, you don't beat the body and it rewards you with a fresh outlook the next day. I know the hot weather is taking a toll on my run pacing because I have to slow to a crawl to keep under my MAHR (max aerobic heart rate) and it frustrates me greatly. I just hope this will improve as the weather cools. I have done a run in the am and my pace was about 50 seconds/mile faster just based on temperature.....amazing. There is hope! Cheers!

Monday, August 13, 2007

REAL Ironman training has begun!

Not that I have been goofing around for the past 7 weeks but this past week began feeling like IM training. Firstly, I had over 21 hours for last week in the training log which I haven't done since last summer! The legs are generally tired and it's hard to wake up in the morning but we get up anyway! The scary thing about it is, the long ride will get much longer! I'm not really sore or anything though, which is good. I usually only get sore from weights. Basically, did about 16,000 yards swimming, 170 miles biking, 35 miles running and about an hour total in the weight room. The only problem is that I also worked about 45 hours! I feel like I'm recovering pretty well - should be because all of the work is aerobic other than weights. We have a 2 1/2 hour long run after work tonight so I'm hoping for a thundershower to cool it off a bit but that's not likely today. One thing is for sure, I'm well heat-acclimated right now! The Dane is hanging in there like a trooper, trying to get as much training as he can before leaving for Europe the end of the month. We are then looking forward to our trip to Colorado over Labor Day weekend, should be nice and cool there! Cheers.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Top Gun Tri race report

Race went better than expected. When entrenched in ironman training and racing a sprint tri, one never truly knows how the body will respond. I do remember in my workouts on thurs and fri prior, I was breathing really hard with super heavy legs. I didn't expect anything great, just wanted to go out and give the hardest effort that I could. Woke up around 4:15am to get out of the house early and get to the race early (I'm anal about these things). Everything went fine, got our race packets then had to have one of the bike mechanics in the Outspokin tent run my gears because they were skipping with the race wheel on. No problem there, waited around a bit but got to catch up a bit with Donna S. Got to my rack which was filling up fast and found an acceptable spot. No racing Elite, I'm going for Master's victories now that I'm 40! There were only 3 girls signed up elite and, alot of times, my own age group is more competitive! We started with the men 40-44 which is always a clobberfest! I kind of got tripped up on the sand which slowed my entry into the water a bit but got my feet back underneath and headed for the turn bouy with everyone else. Getting around the bouy, I got a heel to the face and my goggles got popped off. I calmly stopped and emptied the salty water from them and sealed them back down and went on my way. I swam hard, only 1/4 mile so really a sprint! We had a bit of a current to swim into so the times were quite slow. I got out, didn't even look at my time just cruised into T1. I had no idea where I was place-wise because there were tons of other people exiting the water from prior waves. Got on the bike, gears working great, and tried to really hammer. I had my HR monitor on and, luckily, it worked on the bike (have Polar bike computer) but it didn't work the remainder of the race. Total waste! Oh well. It was the least windy day I can remember at Fort Desoto so really tried to keep my HR steady around 172 which was painful but it's only 10 miles! I really ride scared because the bike tends to be my weakest event and some of the girls in the age group are really fast riders. Got into T2 feeling pretty taxed but looking forward to nice, hot 5K run. Had my usual slow transitions - I just can't get my shoes on very fast. The run was 1/2 on sand and 1/2 on pavement; thankfully, the sand was first. I pushed pretty hard, probably too hard in the first mile (6:20-something) and really paid the next mile. I backed off a bit the next mile and tried to keep the tempo up in the last mile. I was really happy to see the finish though! I had no idea what position I was in but I did see who I thought was going to be my greatest competition in the age group behind me on the bike so hoped I got the win. I did win Master's (my first) and actually won overall the women with the fastest time overall. This was quite a shock to me because all of my training has been aerobic; my runs have been averaging over 9 minute miles to keep my HR down. I was really pleased how hard I was able to push myself while basically racing alone. The race was a lot of fun because we got to see a lot of people we haven't seen in a while. The Dane gutted out a top 5 in his age group which was one of the most competitive. Not bad for someone who hasn't gotten in any training in almost 2 weeks! We had a fun, relaxing weekend. Looking forward to getting back into voluminous training again this week in the final 12+ weeks to IM Florida. I can honestly say I'm pretty happy about my current fitness level. A good place to be at this time. Cheers!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

More of the same...

I have been lazy in updating my blog recently. I guess because there is not much new going on and I don't think everyone wants to hear about my workouts week in and week out. I am happy to have the Dane back home - he was in Europe for the past week. Had a decent week of training last week. My runs are frustrating me a bit because I have to run sooooooo slow to keep my HR down to satisfy my coach. I have been doing my long runs on Monday after work and the temperatures have been in the low to mid 90's with heat index well above 100 degrees which jacks the HR even more! I have been getting it in though which is important. We have a race this weekend (Top Gun sprint tri)which will be interesting since we haven't raced since Florida 70.3 in May! I'm sure I have zero foot speed and am hoping I don't get thrashed. It's nice to change up the weekly training structure a bit and get in a race. I'm actually looking forward to racing and not being a slave to my stupid heartrate monitor. I'll update after the race. Ciao...

Thursday, July 19, 2007


We spent last weekend in Hot Springs, SD, for my nephew's wedding. My mother, aunt, siblings and various inlaws were there. It was quite fun but I'm only just now getting over the generalized fatigue which results from staying up way too late every night! I had planned to run a 10K in Chadron, Nebraska on Saturday morning with the Dane and my brother-in-law's brother. Got up just fine, gets light a little after 5am there! Drove an hour to the race site and started warming up about 20 minutes prior and had this really intense aching in both thighs. I couldn't even run through it and it was causing my knees to buckle. Weirdest thing. Hobbled back to the vehicle, sat down for 5 minutes and tried to jog around the parking lot but same problem. So, I took off the flats and decided I would watch (not fond of watching races). I stood on a corner with my Mother for about 30 minutes then decided to try and jog the course backwards to see where the Dane and Rich were and, viola, my legs felt quite a bit better. I decided to keep running and finally found them; luckily, there weren't very many running the 10K, most were doing the 5K, they were easy to spot. This course was quite hilly, no flats anywhere. As it turns out, the Dane went off the course and ran extra at the end because there wasn't much sineage out on the course (unfortunately, he was in 5th overall). I don't know what the problem was with my legs but it was fine after a few more hours. Oh well, I did get in a nice moderate hilly run in which was quite pleasant in dry heat and different surroundings. We got up early on Sunday morning to do an easy run through "town" and saw about 20 deer roaming around. Pretty cool. Got back late on Sunday night, had to run through O'hare to catch our connection, not fun in flip-flops but we and our luggage made it. Trying to get back into the swing this week, so far so good. I'll post some pics when I get a chance. The videos are hillarious but I don't know how to post that (probably just as well with this motley crew). Back to reality...

Monday, July 09, 2007


Had a pretty solid week of training this past week. Had five days of cycling, 4 swims, 3 runs and 2 weight sessions. I'm feeling pretty comfortable with running now and will add back the fourth run again since I don't feel any discomfort in the achilles any longer (although I'll keep icing, stretching, eccentrics). We have a bit of an abbreviated week this week as we'll be traveling to South Dakota for my nephew's weddding on Saturday. I haven't been there in quite a while, ?16 yrs. My sister found a 10K for us to run on Saturday morning which will be good but probably slow since most of my runs lately have been around 9 min/mile to stay aerobic in the heat! Well, I'll run as hard as I can and hopefully get a little fitness boost from the effort. We are strongly considering signing up for IM Austria next summer; have to sign up early because this one fills up pretty quickly. That would be a fun trip!

Monday, July 02, 2007


I signed up for this camp mostly, I'll admit, for the swim video analysis. I wasn't sure what I would get out of it otherwise but came with an open mind. Not that I know everything at all, but I am pretty familiar with the MAO training system after being involved with it for a little over a year now and having read a lot on the website. I already knew 4-5 of the people also participating which made it more fun. We met up Friday evening for bike fit lecture and actual fittings. I was the "demo" rider during lecture so that went by fast for me; plus Val had already done an excellent job with my fit last year I knew I didn't need any adjustments at this point. Saturday morning's ride started at 5 am for me as I wanted to be sure to get my long ride completed as the camp group was only planning to ride for 2 hours, I had >3 I needed to get in. I didn't sleep well on Friday night so my heart rate was elevated to begin with Saturday morning. No worries, nothing to prove here, I just let the front of the group go and rode on my own; afterall, I had 90 minutes in on my own prior to meeting up with the camp group. We rode South for an hour then turned around and rode back; I was able to hook back up with the front group and got a nice draft the rest of the way back, ahhhhh. Ended up with nearly 70 miles, a bit over scheduled time but rather over than under. After bike, we had swim lecture then a session in the pool. I figured this would be pretty low key but we ended up swimming fairly briskly for about an hour, I was ready for a break. We had another lecture in the afternoon then met up at a local track for run coaching. We were all pretty gassed by this point, especially considering the temp was well into the low 90's with a lot of humidity. We did a warm-up, some drills then some video taping which we viewed after dinner. That was a good session and informative as I haven't been videotaped running since high school! It turned out well, no real significant changes for me to make. Needless to say, I slept like a baby that night!
We had a long run scheduled for Sunday morning. Most of the group ran for an hour, I had 90 minutes on the program so did that. The Dane joined us and ran with the lone German participant which was good for both of them (they're in the same age group too). The run was slow, it was pretty warm even at 7am. I didn't blaze any trails but that's not the goal of the workout. I haven't felt any discomfort in the achilles this whole week so am pretty excited about that!! I did a quick 20-minute weight session after the run then we met back up for breakfast and more lectures. I was getting a lot out of the lectures and people were asking really good questions which Luis answered really well. We then headed back to the pool for swim videotaping. The taping was pretty comprehensive which was really informative. Luis could see a lot of us were making similar mistakes so had us work on some drills which we did Saturday as well. After lunch, we went back into the AC to review all the videos. I didn't have any major glaring issues, just some S-motion of one hand during my underwater pull - a big improvement from the last time I was videotaped 4/06! I had really improved on the things that I've been working on over the past year and hopefully it will pay dividends. We had one more lecture and then we were done. Overall, the camp was an excellent experience. I am planning to work with Luis a bit closer in my bid towards IM Florida in November because I want to get all I can out of the program and my body/potential. I think I will have a good go as long as I stay healthy and I'm doing better now with some TLC of my achilles. Back to reality now but much to look forward to.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

18+ weeks

I haven't run since last blog, mostly because I am trying to keep the running to a minumum which will be 3 runs per week unless I get better. I have no pain in the achilles walking around or doing anything else (if I didn't run, I wouldn't even know I had a problem). I am doing stretching, massage, ice and eccentric exercises to pre-emp worsening. I find Donna and Rob's site very resourceful and have gotten a lot of info from there, thanks guys! We had our first official "long" ride of the IM campaign on Saturday. Went pretty well - four hours of aerobic nirvana. Sunday was my "moderate" ride of 2 1/2 hours and I felt really strong and recovered well from Saturday. I was glad to get back on the tri bike. I have done a couple modifications at the advice of the Dane and Val regarding my gearing and I think it will ultimately be a boost to my bike strength. I feel super confident that my bike will be good, especially since I still have 18 weeks to work on it! Hoping my body holds up for running! Later....
p.s. I got a cool little video camera ( and plan to post some fun videos of training and what not. I'll have to figure out how to do it first but should be fun!

Thursday, June 21, 2007


I love IM training. It's a chance to completely immerse onesself into long aerobic training efforts. The real challenge is finding the time for it all while working to pay the bills! I like the MAO program especially for IM training because it's systematic, appropriate and doable. I do have a few weekends this summer that I have to do other things (wedding, CME, etc) so I probably won't be racing very much because I want to get in as many long weekend training efforts as I can. I am nursing my left achilles a bit right now. I actually felt an ache in it after St Anthony's but didn't run a whole lot after that while tapering for Florida 70.3 so didn't think much of it. Took so much time after 70.3 too that I figured it would heal up. It's not a pain, more of a discomfort but bothersome nonetheless. So I am running, not a lot currently but doing the program. I'm icing, stretching and doing some eccentric exercises which I've read help. I have also scheduled an appointment with my podiatrist in a couple weeks in case it still is bothersome. I will say my chances at IMFL to place high in the AG are going to be limited if this keeps me from running for a prolonged amount of time but I'm thinking positively. Afterall, I qualified for Kona in '05 with limited running all year but it wasn't much fun! My basic training week set up for now goes as follows:
Monday - moderate swim am, long run pm->this may change back to Sunday
Tues - easy bike pm, weights afterwards
Weds - speed swim am, tempo run pm
Thurs - tempo bike, moderate run (will flip flop am/pm depending)
Fri - long swim am
Sat - long bike w/brick
Sun - moderate bike, moderate swim, weights (sun or thurs), easy run (or do fri)
You may notice a trend, 4 swims/bikes/runs, 2 lifts. All of the training at this point is aearobic, under MAHR of 146 (not easy when running in 90* heat!)

The Dane returns this weekend from a nearly two week stint working in Europe. I'll be happy when he's back! Happy summer!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

We had a great time in Sarasota for Memorial weekend. Stayed at the Ritz-Carlton and were pampered which was really cool. The weather was perfect but the love bugs were annoying! I managed to get bronchitis shortly after that and have been dealing with that for the past week so no real training since before Florida 70.3. Not the end of the world but I hate being lazy! I think I'm coming out of it now so will try and get back in the pool tomorrow but will hold off running since that nearly killed me last night! Congrats to the folks who braved Hawaii 70.3! So, trying to get better and not get the Dane sick before he goes to Europe next week!! later....

Monday, May 21, 2007


I had a good taper and really expected to have a good race. I didn't have the race I wanted but had some positives to take away with me. We got to the race site around 12:30 on Saturday so we could register, rack the bikes then check in to the hotel and relax. We stayed at the Contemporary Resort right across the lake which was nice. No issues with registration, went quickly. Glad we arrived early in the day because the bike racks were first come, first serve and a lot of bikes were already racked. I got an ok spot but the transition area seemed huge. We ate dinner at the hotel and I woke up in the middle of the night with horrible heartburn and didn't sleep well the remainder of the night. We walked to the race from our hotel which took about 30 minutes so that was a nice time to get the legs moving and get the motivational juices flowing. I was in wave #11 out of about 15 so way in the back of the pack. I put on my new Blueseventy Pointzero3 skin suit and toed the line with the other girls; we had the women 40-44 and 18-24 in our wave. I had an awesome start. Got out really quickly and felt good about that. I saw the girls on my left coming by and tried to stick to their feet but went too anaerobic doing this so I had to let them go - that was the demise of my race!! They got away from me and were too fast to catch up to later. I kept thinking how long the swim seemed but it went ok overall (everyone swam slower this year, ?long course). Since our wave was later, we had a ton of slower people to navigate through but I stayed pretty aggressive. I hit the beach and was shocked how slow my time was and immediately went into damage control. Got through transition pretty well and got on the bike and started hammering. It was quite windy, blowing about 10-20mph all morning. I have been doing plenty of speed work bike sessions in the wind at Fort Desoto and was glad for that. I rode really aggressively because I was so ticked about my horrible swim. The bike was pretty uneventful overall. A lot of slower riders to pass and some serious drafting trains coming around me from the men 30-39 AG's! I didn't see a race marshall all day but tried not to get concerned with other poeple not racing legally. I probably didn't drink enough on the bike but didn't have any real problems. I got into T2 and completely lost my rack! Eeeeek. I did find it right behind me eventually and got going on the run. I made sure to hit my watch out of T2 just to see how I was running the first few miles. I ran 6:47 for the first mile and felt pretty good, didn't feel too fast but I knew I would slow down. I quit looking at mile splits around mile 4 when I was averaging 7:05-7:10 pace. I had some good periods and some bad periods in the run but it went by relatively quickly. I knew the girl who ended up winning my AG was way out in front but I wasn't really aware of anyone else, just concentrated on my personal race. I ended up 4th which I wasn't happy about but I lost the race in the swim. The positive I took from the race was my bike, which was a little faster than last year under much tougher conditions (wind) and my run was a bit faster off the faster bike. I'm not going to lose sleep over a slow swim but will do underwater video session the end of June and try and improve my technique. I am really sore today and am glad I have only a four day work week before Memorial Day weekend! I'm going to take the next four weeks and get back into the gym a lot and try and ride a lot before we get into ironman training for IM Florida. I talked quite a few people about the race and most did around what they thought, not all. The Dane did pretty well, 10th in the AG and got a slot to Clearwater 70.3 World Championships (I declined my slot since IM Florida is a week prior). We had fun hanging out afterwards and trading war stories. Now, time for a little R&R!!

Thursday, May 17, 2007


We are well into tapering for Florida 70.3 this Sunday (be sure to tune in to to follow along). I have a love-hate relationship with the taper. On the one hand, I'm happy to cut back on the training and not be tired constantly and worry about fitting workouts into my busy day. But, on the other hand I LOVE to train and I love to push myself in workouts. I will take the compromise of pushing myself in the race and be rested enough to do that. I will have my work cut out for me on Sunday but I plan to just focus on my race and not worry about those around me. I've had some really solid training with MarkAllenOnline and am confident in my fitness. In fact, I emailed Mark with some taper questions and he gave good answers to help me feel confident in what I'm doing. Imagine, the Grip himself answering all my neurotic questions! This program rocks! Hopefully, it will be hot but we're supposed to get a "cold" front today/tomorrow so who knows. Can't control the weather so I won't worry about it. Good luck to everyone who will be battling out there on Sunday. I got some nice Belgian beer from my surprise party to celebrate with afterwards (thanks May-Li)! Race strong everyone.....

Sunday, May 13, 2007


It's late but I just wanted to say how completely grateful I am to have such wonderful friends. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world right now because the people I hold close to my heart were kind enough to show up and surprise me with a birthday party. I don't know what I did in life to deserve such wonderful people in my life but I do appreciate the fact they were there. Thanks to everyone and I was truly surprised!! Forty, here I come....................

Monday, May 07, 2007


Well, we hoped for better water conditions for this 2.4 mile open water swim, and we got them, sort of. The water was much less rough than last year, a little chop for the first mile then smooth. Unfortunately, the current was decent and going against us, especially the second half. I got out pretty good and got to the Don Cesar in about 26 minutes and thought I was going to PR here for sure. Well, I'm glad I never looked at my watch again because it would have killed my attitude as I ended up coming out of the water a little over a minute slower than last year. The good news is, so did everyone else I spoke with but most by more than a minute, more like 4-5 minutes. The good things I can take out of this swim are I kept pretty focused on my technique pretty much the whole way, didn't space out to much and stand up wondering how much further like last year. I got the household trophy back as I passed the Dane (who started 2 minutes ahead of me in men's wave) shortly after the halfway point. He jumped on my feet for a bit and I had visions of us coming out of the water together sprinting to the line in attempt to beat the other! Didn't happen, I put a little surge in after I passed him and he couldn't hang on to my feet. I navigated very well, swam pretty straight, to the point where I almost forgot I had to pop my head up every now and then to check where I was! I finished fourth again in my AG but don't really care about that. The Dane and I then embarked on our long ride which wasn't as long as it was scheduled because I got truly sick of doing loops inside Fort Desoto with a million vehicles whizzing by too close for comfort. We rode about 48 miles though, all aerobic, in the heat - good prep for Florida 70.3! After the ride we trotted out for 30 minute brick which was not much fun. It was a little after 1pm by this time, the sun high in the sky and baking us already. We ran pretty fast because I chose to ignore my "heart machine" (as Linda M. calls it!) and get it over with. Can I just say, it was pretty hot. Again, good prep for Florida 70.3 in two weeks. The good part comes next, celebrating Cinco de Mayo with a few Coronas looking at the beautiful Gulf with my favorite person. I love weekends here! Taper time is here......finally!

Monday, April 30, 2007


I haven't done this race in 6-7 years as far as I can recall but since I qualified for the elite amatuer division this year, I thought I would give it a shot. I knew there were going to be some blazing fast women in this group but didn't want that to detract from my goal of racing my own race. This was, afterall, a training race in my build up for Florida 70.3 in 3 weeks so didn't have any delusions of a high placing or anything. I wanted to get a good idea where my fitness was right now and compete as well as I could. Did a couple days pretty easy last week to allow my wrecked body chance to rest a bit for this race since I felt so bad at the last race two weeks ago. We spent a bit of time in Outspokin booth at the expo on Sat and this tired the legs out a bit but we wanted to help out since they sponsor us. Since I was in an early wave, we wanted to get down there pretty early to get set up and walk over to swim start. I ended up jogging to the swim start because I miscalculated how long it would take to walk over there! No worries. Wet suit on, lubed up, couple minutes in the water to situate the wet suit better and we were off. The weather was absolutely perfect for a race, we were really lucky with that! There were about 40 women in the wave so the start was super clean, no clobberfest like normal! I concentrated on my stroke mechanics and really never breathed hard during the swim, felt really good. I sighted well, swam straight but never got on any feet to draft so was pretty much on my own which would prove to be the theme of the day! I thought I could swim around 22 minutes if I was having a good day. If I hadn't had so much trouble getting up the steps, I would have broken 22! Very happy with the swim. Unfortunately, half the girls in my wave were already on the bike course. I basically did most of the bike all by my lonesome, worried about being on the right course at some points! This was nice but I would have liked to have a few people to pace off of! Oh well. Legs felt pretty tired on the bike but I really wanted to get under 1:10 and managed to accomplish that on my solo time trial (I was happy I did my speed bike workouts all by my lonesome at Fort Desoto)! When I got off the bike, my quads were cooked! I went into auto pilot for the first part of the run, even though I wanted to try and run with Cosgrove who was in front of me. I managed to keep the pace under 7:00/mile which wasn't fast but ok for how I felt. I finished in 2:16 for 15th in the elite category (placing went higher due to a couple DQ's). I am happy because this is a huge PR for me and I kept competing and pushing even though I had nobody to really key off of which can be difficult mentally. Today I feel really sore so I know I raced hard. I don't have the best swim, bike or run but I feel I'm getting to be pretty even in all three which is what I have been working on. I have a relatively hard training week this week then will start into 2-week taper for the half ironman on 5/20. We are planning to do a 2.4 mile open water swim race on Sat which should be fun, if that's possible! Congrats to everyone who raced on Sunday, it was a great day!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Well, I've gotten over the disappointing race at Fort Desoto and have had some good workouts since then. Most notably, during the past weekend. Rode in the hills Saturday for a little over 80 miles at a steady clip with a small group and felt pretty strong. I rode conservatively (because of St Anthony's triathlon 4/29) but felt strong on the climbs, flats and in the wind. I did a 30 minute brick solo afterwards and felt pretty strong there too, about 4.2 miles covered. I broke a cardinal rule of training with the MarkAllenOnline program and forgot my HR monitor but it was nice just to listen to my body and instead of constantly staring at my heart rate! On Sunday, I ran 1:50 aerobic run and felt quite good. I was able to hold much faster average pace with same aerobic heart rate as compared to previous runs this Spring. Things are looking up! Like I said, we have St Anthony's tri this coming Sunday which is a huge race. It is not my goal race so not much taper for this but I feel good about my fitness right now in build up for the half ironman in May. I have chosen to race in the new elite amateur division which is quite stacked so my goal is to stay within myself and race my own race and see what happens. The Dane is back from Denmark and all is right with the world on this, our six-month anniversary! It's sushi night! Yum..

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I just want to say how disturbed I am for the families that have lost loved ones at Virginia Tech. I don't know any of them personally but feel terrible just the same. I have watched the video of the young man that committed these terrible murders and am saddened for all of them. Seems to me something could have been done as there were numerous warning signs. None the less, we deal with tragedy and, hopefully, move on. I am lucky to go on with 'life as usual' and do my work and my training and complain about races. I am lucky. Thank and hug the ones you love as much as possible because you can, while they're here. I do think of this often and try to do it as much as possible but get 'caught up', as we all do. So, to my friends and family, never forget I love you and think of you often. Peace...

Saturday, April 14, 2007


For those of you who don't speak French, like myself, I'll translate.........."A DAY WITHOUT". That describes my race today. I would end my blog there but then you all would hang at the ends of your collective seats and I don't want that. Yah, right! Kidding, of course.
I had a little, well, mishap, stupid kind of injury that occurred on my Wednesday run that affected the rest of my week and my mental psyche for this race. No excuses and I won't discuss this further unless it becomes an issue in my training for my actual goal race, IM FLORIDA 70.3. None the less, I decided to race in the elite wave for this race because, time-wise, I was third overall last year and won my AG by quite a bit last year and feel I'm in better shape at this time. However, I'm doing a different program this year with max-weight sessions and hard speed sessions currently. I am probably more fatigued than I like to admit to, being someone who enjoys training until I drop. Unfortunately, I will be 40 in a month and it's possible that my body is not hip to this to the same degree any longer......that doesn't stop me from trying! Anyway, I wasn't sure that I was going to race until I got in a good warm up run this morning and felt things weren't 100% but good enough for a C race. I had a decent swim (.5 miles), 3rd overall, which is quite an achievement for a former non-swimmer such as myself! I'll suffice to say it went all downhill from there. I felt absolutely horrible on the bike (10miles), worst ever, I can honestly say. Got passed by girls that shouldn't be anywhere near me and dealt with it, thinking all along, I'll see you on the run. Not happening..... I got off the bike and it didn't get any better, only worse. The run, for me, was more of the same.......LACTATE NIRVANA. The run is usually my strength but today was just a prolongation of agony. I had no race gears, no pep, no body. It was like my mind wasn't connected to my body. Asking for more power but the body said no with authority. So, I took what the day and body gave and was extremely happy that this was my C race and not my A race! I've beaten myself up enough about being beaten by those who normally don't beat me and will take this as a good workout and a good assessment of my current swim fitness, which I feel isn't too bad. Got to take positive out of every situation......even though I hate losing! I will regroup, recover, reassess, retreat (not really) and really get onto the business of getting my ass in proper condition for IM FLORIDA 70.3. Don't lose hope, I haven't.....and never will!!!!!!!

Friday, April 06, 2007


Hard to believe it's April already. The unofficial beginning to the tri season in our area is one week away at Escape From Fort Desoto Sprint Tri. It's a big traditional first race for most around here. I'm looking forward to it for several reasons. For one, I enjoy racing, it breaks up the training and gives me some handle on where my fitness is currently. Two, I get a little break in training which I likely need! Swam 5000 yards this morning before work which is the most I've ever swam at one time! I calculated out, it's 2.84 miles of swimming. When I looked ahead in my MAO program several weeks ago and saw I had a couple 5000 yard swims I just laughed and thought, "no way am I going to be able to do that"! Note to self, never underestimate the program! Obviously, I've built the yardage up enough to be able to tackle this volume in a single workout which is one of the great things about this program. I never would have done this type of yardage on my own but, being a runner prior to my tri career, I understand about doing overdistance training. I never really did that swimming but did running and cycling. The great thing about overdistance swimming is it doesn't take a huge toll on the body as do running and, somewhat, cycling. And, it doesn't take a ton of time as the others. I finished the workout in less than 90 minutes, got ready for work in 20 minutes and out the door! Thank goodness the Dane makes lunch for me everyday! I'm so lucky! I'm on track for a 16,000 yard swim week, which is a lot for me. I need to improve my times out of the water to better compete with the girls that are at the pointy end of the age group! I think my cycling is improving and my run training is going well. All of this leaves me excited for the upcoming races. Unfortunately, we are getting a cold front this weekend so not going to ride in the hills Saturday because it's going to be too cold. Oh well, it's a swim-focus week anyway. I think the long swim for Ironman build with MAO is 6000 yards (which I never did in prep for IM Hawaii, mistake) and now I feel like I can definitely do that volume as long as I can find the time! Wish the days were about 26 hours long! LIVE FULL, DIE EMPTY! (my new favorite saying)

Sunday, March 25, 2007


I looked ahead in my MAO program last week and saw that this week was going to be tough. Not only was I coming off a race but beginning speed work and power work in the weight room. We decided to try to do bike speedwork in Fort Desoto (instead of the trainer), site of many races and beautiful park to just spend time in. Did that onTuesday which was windy, almost as much as the race on Sat! Got going around 6:15 pm and rode hard speedwork for about an hour total then went for sushi after which was a nice treat. Did run speedwork on Weds PM which, for some reason, I found quite tough. I pushed myself probably too hard, which, normally, is not an issue. Went to the gym afterwards for weights and had a stiff/sore neck. Didn't really think too much of it since Advil relieved it. Actually, comparing to last summer when I did the same speed session gearing for IM Hawaii, I was running faster this time but suffered to do it! Got up on Thursday 4:30 for 1:15 run in the quiet of the early morning and felt not too terrible, just slow to keep the HR down. I started to notice my body not feeling right, neck sore and some blemishes on my face and knew I was getting some recurrence of the shingles I had the same time last year. I don't know why but I must be pushing things a bit and work has been a bit of stress, but I never use that as an excuse. So, we decided not to go to the hills Sat and rode here instead. Luckily, it was quite breezy for our ride so it was a good 3.5 hr effort with nice brick afterwards. Our long run today, 2 hours, felt quite special but we actually knocked it out better than the last one we did. This week proved to be quite tough and one that, if we recover well, will definitely elevate our fitness. I remarked to the Dane as we embarked on our 2 hour, 14.6 mile aerobic run this morning that, I never used to train this much for an Ironman, much less a half Ironman (before last summer and the MAO progam)! So, things are rolling along. My health is a bit on the razor's edge but that's training as working age-grouper. I'm feeling a bit better and expect to be quite well for the upcoming week. My Jayhawks are out, but the Gators are still in so Final Four is one to watch again this year. Go Gators!

Sunday, March 18, 2007


Well, the first tri of the '07 season was interesting to say the least. I signed up elite because there was prize money and you never know who will/won't show up to contest it. I also wanted to get a chance to race out front in this new race (international distance tri at Ft Desoto) and, since I made the qualifying time to do this, why not? Anyhow, the weather was the story of the day. We had a front come through on Friday which made Saturday morning quite windy (20-25mph) which is always worse at the Fort. It was also quite chilly, around 62* at home. The good thing was that the water temp was near 70*! The race directors were trying to decide whether to cancel the swim and make everyone do a duathlon which is not what I wanted to do and I sure whined about it! The problem was the water was quite rough with serious current. The powers that be decided to cut it to 1/2 mile (from .9 mile) and just walked us up the beach so we could swim back with the current which I was happy with. So, we finally got going in the "swim". There wasn't much actual swimming for me as I was just getting clobbered by waves then trying to dolphin-dive back out into deep enough water to try and swim some more; this was killing my legs! Got out of the water, happily, with numb feet to take on the wind on the bike. I was happy that the Dane suggested using my Zipp 303 on the front because I was able to spend more time in the aerobars being able to control the bike in the cross winds. Out of the water behind 3 other girls, I had a sluggish start on the bike for some reason but rode the second loop much stronger, into T2 in second. I charged out of T2 with still numb feet in attempt to catch the next competitor. I was able to catch her just after the first mile split and didn't look back. I was able to catch up to the Dane on the second loop ( he passed me on the bike with an awesome ride) and we ran together for a bit. I tried to press on not wanting to be caught by anyone and was elated to cross the finish line as the first woman. The Dane was very gracious not to try and outsprint me at the end which was wonderful of him! We did hear from someone who GPS'd the run that it was closer to 7 miles than the scheduled 6.2 which explains the slow run splits. I was really happy to win this race and feel my fitness is in a good place with a lot of room for improvement still having not begun speedwork yet. I didn't get to see where my swim was too much because of the conditions but it was good enough. We start speed work this week in the build up towards Florida 70.3 and hopefully this will give a further boost to the run and bike fitness. I feel stronger than I did at this time last year and have the MarkAllenOnline program to thank, it's paying off already! We were able to celebrate a bit with friends for St Paddy's Day and slept in today which rarely happens! Thanks to everyone who gave me words of encouragement it all helps! Next race is Escape from Fort Desoto on 4/15 which is the traditional "beginning" of the tri season and one of the funnest races of the year. Hope everyone had a fun St Paddy's day, we sure did.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Seems like the weeks are just flying by. Pushing the clock ahead one hour doesn't help this perception! Anyway, last weekend we did a ride to Fort Destructo (also know more commonly as Fort Desoto). We enjoy this ride because we can get in some true solo TT (Time Trial) work in the Fort without fearing being run over or stopping for lights! The TT loop is about 10 miles, flat and always windy. Not much "true" TT work due to my HR restrictions as I am abiding to my Mark Allen Online HR zones, but still some good work into the wind. When I finished the TT loop, I stated to the Dane and Marky Mark that that was the most enjoyable loop I've ever done there! I can say that only because I'm usually only racing (and in pain) there and it isn't pleasant. We have done other training there as well but I haven't been back since seriously following the HR ceilings in my program. I will say that I felt a bit stronger and didn't mind the wind as much and, consequently, had a much more positive experience as a result. I would call that progress, mentally if nothing else. We'll see this weekend as we have a race at the Fort on St Paddy's day. It's an "almost" Olympic distance race (the bike is 23 miles, not the standard 25). I am looking forward to racing in my new 2XU wetsuit which I just got; did an short open water swim on Monday with it and loved it. So far, so good. Water's cold but not too bad, 67* now. We do have a front coming through the next couple days so the weather could be interesting. It'll be windy, always is. The water may be rough but it's rough for everyone. I'm looking forward to racing and leaving my HR monitor at home! Happy St Paddy's Day.....and GO JAYHAWKS & SEMO (in womens NCAA Tourney (and Gators)!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

THE HILLS ARE ALIVE.....blah, blah, blah

Last weekend (I'm getting lazy with this blog thing), we went back to the hills for 3 hour scheduled ride. It was finally not too cold so decided no time is too early to start riding out in the sticks, plus we are getting sick of our local sites, or lack thereof. Anyhow, haven't been to the hills since probably September of last year so this was going to be difficult, for me anyway. We had a nice, small, sane group (I know, hard to believe) so that was nice. I didn't obey my MAHR because this is truly impossible for me going uphill with any speed. I also don't know my way around and it's easy to get lost so getting dropped from the others was not an option. We took a different way back to add on about an hour after about 30-something miles and it was really fun. The wind was howling and the hills were solid with some steady climbs. I was jacked because it reminded me so much of Kona, without the heat. Here, I dropped back from the main group to have, invite if you will, the wind into my face and actually enjoyed it. Riding into the wind is a skill and attitude has everyting to do with how you approach it. It can be very defeating if you let it get into your psyche and taunt you, however, it can be powerful to look at it in a different light and embrace the fact that you are getting stronger just for the wind being there. This will only really make sense (or not) to those who ride and especially to those who have ridden in Hawaii. 20-30 MPH winds here are a "nonwindy" day in Hawaii, in my experience. So, I've gotten into a new place in my psyche (scary) and plan to work on that and embrace the wind with this newfound joy. Wonder how long this will last! I truly feel my experience in Kona last October will strengthen me in many ways. I look forward to our trip to the hills this weekend, weather permitting. Like the Dane says "the wind is your friend".....unless it's in the form of a hurricane, tornado, blizzard, etc!

Sunday, February 18, 2007


I know, it's nothing compared to you sorry souls north of where I am but for us, it was downright cold. Coldest ride of the winter on Saturday. If you dress right, it's not so bad but my poor feet always suffer no matter how much protection I give them. Anyway, did 3.5 hour ride with a 30 minute brick on Sat which was pretty good. Sunday was a 11.2 mile (1:35) run in the 20-30 mph winds, then a short swim (cut short because I was freezing) then weights. All in all, a good training weekend. Feel pretty tired but that's what's supposed to happen. The Dane was with me for all the workouts as usual and we suffered the cold together! So anyhow, more base training to come and hopefully, not much more cold temps! We'll be following the Tour of California on Versus for the next couple weeks, itching to watch some good bicycle racing again! Stay warm.....
P.S. I'm really not that heavy! All those clothes are not flattering to the figure!

Monday, February 12, 2007


Did Chilly Willy ( this year and was able to squeek out another overall female victory but it wasn't easy. I figured I had a big target on my back this year and really wanted to defend my win from last year. I had a good opening run (5k) and went onto the bike (10 miles) with a lead but not very much of a lead. I lost that lead at around 6-7 mile mark (can't remember exactly when) and lost it bad! I have been riding the trainer quite a bit (see last post) and this leaves my legs quite tired which showed on the bike! I can run just fine with tired legs but pushing over big gears into the wind I don't do so well with tired legs! Anyway, the girl who passed me got a bit of a gap (probably 30+ seconds) which I had to deal with on the second run (another 5k). She is a good runner too so I really had my work cut out for me. The run route is on pavement for the first half and sand (some soft and some packed) for the second half. I'm not a very good sand runner so my plan was to run hard the first half of the second run and hold on for the second half in the sand. I managed to catch her just as we hit the sand and she held on pretty well. I went into the well pretty deep to hold the lead and won by only 6 seconds! Close battle......again! I hope this isn't how the whole season is going to go! I'm glad I was able to defend from last year. I think my fitness this early is pretty good and right about where it should be for mid-Feb so I'm happy about that. The Dane came in 5th overall (I was 12th overall for the whole field of 200++) which he did mostly on the bike because he came off the first run right behind me and rode like a madman on the bike! He did very well and I'm proud of him. Overall, a good race for both of us I think. The next race will be a new Olympic distance tri (1.5k swim/40k bike/10k run) at Fort Desoto on March 17th (one of my favorite holidays, St Pattie's). Looking forward to getting my new wetsuit (2XU) and trying it out on a few open water swims before then. Until then, will continue to slog away in the aerobic training zone! Looks like it's paying off!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


Last week did all of my rides (only did 3, not 4 as scheduled) on the trainer. I used to be the person who would never ride the trainer because, for one, it's harder physically (no breaks) and also because it's tougher mentally (staring at the walls). I have become at peace with my Tacx Flow trainer and we are now quite friendly. I have to say, if not for Spinervals (I must have the entire library) I probably would never be able to write this! I'm starting to really feel recovered from last season and motivated for 2007. Sounds crazy that it took a few months but I think that's normal considering the level at which I competed at the end of the season (age is also a factor). Anyway, I get good quality rides on the trainer and I can be sure to stay under my MAHR because I control the intensity every moment. I did 2:10 on Sat due to rain outside and really didn't have a problem being on that long. I did feel it in my legs, of course, but mentally handled it well. Good signs. This weekend, we have the Chilly Willy duathlon which is fun. I have won it twice and would like to win again but it all depends on who shows up! Either way, I will compete as hard as I can and do the best I can. I found a new triathlon on St Patrick's Day at Fort Desoto, Olympic distance, which I think I will put into my schedule as a good prep for Florida 70.3 in May. Long run Sunday was 1:35 and my avg HR was good and low. The Dane got back last Friday so that was excellent to have him home! I'll report back after Chilly Willy.

Monday, January 29, 2007


Nothing special going on this past weekend. The Dane left on Saturday for Europe for a week so on my own for this week. We had a nice ride Sat, 3 hours in the saddle. I kept it under my MAHR except for the brief spike when we almost got sideswiped by some old guy in an SUV! For those wondering, MAHR means Maximum Aerobic Heart Rate which is the basis of most of the Mark Allen Online training. I'm trying to be more compliant with it this winter. Not as hard on the bike as it is on the run! I ran 9 miles in the cool wind on Sunday which was pretty boring by myself. By mile 5, I could feel the soreness from the 1/2 marathon last weekend - not totally recovered yet! Swimming was chilly this morning. I had one good session last week where I felt things were coming around in the water but now I feel back to slogging away mode! Need to add more swims but don't have the facility or time this point. We're working on that for February. Stay warm....

Sunday, January 21, 2007


I wanted to write this while I still had the fresh sting of pain in my legs. Let's just say any worries I had about losing my mental toughness after last weekend's 10K are gone. We (the Dane and I) always treat this half marathon as a catered long training run. We're typically not prepared, ie. no long runs, for it and just want to measure anyway. Unfortunately for us, others are quite prepared for this "race". I use the term "race" losely however, I raced until the last inch of this one. You see, I ran toe to toe, shoulder to shoulder with one of my biggest tri AG competitors Sharon B. for whom I have the utmost respect. We started the race and ended it together and pushed each other the entire way and took no prisoners the whole time. I would not have pushed as hard if it wasn't her on my shoulder but I felt the need to represent, if you will. She is one classy competitor and neither one of us wanted to "win" over the other after the 13.1 miles we covered together but,someone had to outsprint the other and I have clearly lost any footspeed I once had!! The best part is we both had a big smile at the finish and she actually apologized for winning this battle. Class act in my book. The reason I mention mental toughness is that we began the race with a solid 7 minute per mile pace which I, personally, knew I wasn't prepared to handle but was willing to stick with my racemate as long as she was willing. We held this until about mile 11 when the stiff headwind and final bridge became a cruel reality and we both were suffering and slowed. The final stretch was pretty funny because I tried to actually sprint but I am far from the days of 58 second 400meters and it showed. We took one and two in the AG so it's all good. In the end, after talking to her, we both elevated our effort above what we felt was possible on the day and we will both improve for the effort in the long run. So, thanks to Sharon B. for pushing me today. I still believe so greatly in the aerobic training that I'm doing through and will continue to swear by it. I ran almost one minute faster than last year with less actual running mileage and ALL of it being aerobic other than two 10K's. Props to all who showed up today and bettered themselves on a tough, windy day. The Dane was the proud winner of his AG.......I'm not worthy! So, will try and recover from this and move on to the next challenge, Chilly Willy Duathlon which is super hard/fun. I hope that everyone gets to challenge their own previously determined barriers, it's painful but well worth it.........

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


I was so happy to find out this morning that I was accepted (or invited, if you will) to the elite triathlon team for 2007. I really wanted to get on this team but didn't know if I'd make it because they have so many really fast girls in/around my AG. I really believe in the coaching system they have put together and am using it again this year. We'll see how everything goes. Yipee!

Monday, January 15, 2007


This one didn't feel very good. Ran in the St Pete Beach Classic 10K on Saturday hoping to see some improvement in my fitness although I haven't done anything other than aerobic work the past month or so (running-wise). I did run a little bit faster than the 10K in Dec but really had problems with side stitches again which really slows me down. I ran 41:19 but really didn't feel very good. I was 8th overall woman but only fourth in my AG, tough going! I did run a little faster at a lower average heart rate so I guess that means my engine is improving, who knows. I'm starting my Peak Performance program with this week, 18 weeks out from Florida 70.3. Decided to scrap IM Coeur d'Alene due to the Dane's heavy work commitments and will do IM Florida in Nov which we're already signed up for. We may do Buffalo Springs 70.3 in June instead which is pretty competitive and does have a few Kona slots. So, I have a schedule to follow now but am quite sore today so today's run will get moved to tomorrow. We have a 1/2 marathon this coming Sunday which I'm looking less forward to after this 10K but it's just a long-run workout.

Saturday, January 06, 2007


So, you are curious about the title of this blog, you should be. The Dane and I are watching his favorite program, NOVA. They are showing a program about Great White sharks in the so-called red triangle off the California coast. There were two female great white sharks who seemed to hunt together which is unusual for the species. They were referred to as the 'sisterhood'. This struck me for some reason. As a fierce competitor, I envy the predatory nature of this animal and would love to mimic my racing in this fashion. I then decided I should coin a phrase, if you will. "The sisterhood" came about in my mind as catchphrase for 2007. Girls, jump aboard if you dare. Seeking only those who wish to fulfill the predatory racing spirit of the Great White. It's all about the spirit, not necessarily how fast you race. Just race and live with passion to improve yourself, as I do on daily basis. I hope to see more of my Sisters down the road.... Let's all improve ourselves in '07 and have our best year ever!

Monday, January 01, 2007


We just got back from spending 3 fabulous days in Ponte Vedra Beach (near Jacksonville) relaxing and spending time with some of my favorite people. I got to spend time with my old college roommate/best girlfriend and her husband/sister/mother and the Dane got meet these great people. We had a wonderful time there and the place that we stayed (Ponte Vedra Inn & Club) was really pleasant. It's hard to describe when you meet back up with people that you haven't seen for some time and it's like you were never apart! We really had a nice time and a "honeymoon" of sorts as the Dane's father stated, funny! We had a really nice week off (work) between X-mas and New Years and did some good training. I am starting back with Jan 1st, so had a chance to crank up the miles/yardage this last week of '06. Swimming four days straight last week was hard but essential in getting "back into the program" so to speak! I look forward now to getting back into a healthy training/eating routine! Went a little off track with the eating/socializing the past couple weeks but it was fun and well worth it! My toast on New Years was to remembering a great '06 and to a better '07. 2006 will be hard to top in my book but I have a lot of things on the schedule and really look forward to having an enjoyable and successful time in '07. I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays even half as much as I did and looking forward to wonderful things in '07! Happy New Year to all, set your goals high!