Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Too many horses in the barn?

The Primo horse - Giant TCR Advanced Womens specific sweet ride!

Too many horses??

Just thought, since we were cleaning out/organizing the garage (as much as can be with 9 bikes!) I'd line up the horses for a close up. Pretty scary to think there is still a bike hanging from the rafters from our vacant home in Largo! We'll eventually find some way to store these but for now, they keep each other company!
Happy New Year to all and go Gators!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Enjoying the holidays

The chef in his element

Not as surprised as I look over my new gadget!

One week of vacation time down, one to go. I really like not having to rush off to work every morning. We are getting some good training in. I have been able to ride a lot more which I like and need. Haven't run a lot this week - felt some left heel pain after the 10 miler on Thursday morning so am backing off a bit. Not sure why I'm having these issues but am trying to prevent any long-term layoff. I am getting new orthotics tomorrow which are much needed - have been duct taping my current orthotics for a while now! We rode in the hills on Sat (because it was warm) with a small group and this was relaxed and fun to be back out there again. There was a lot of traffic which wasn't nice but oh well. Did the Sunday group ride today, rode the Giant TCR Advanced women's specific demo bike and it is truly a dreamy ride! I hadn't ridden it with any real tempo until today and it did not disappoint! Thanks Val for letting me test this bike out! Legs weren't too bad considering we did over 3 hours in the hills yesterday. Tried to run but the foot was hurting so cut that short. No need to push any workouts this time of year! Thanks to my family for such wonderful gifts, we loved them all! Aloha!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Feeling blessed

I want to thank everyone for such a wonderful Christmas. We have had such wonderful weather all week and have been having "epic camp" training since we don't have to work. This is lovely and civilized! Getting up a reasonable hours to train vs getting up at 4:30 am the rest of the year and racing off to work prior to having second training session of the day is really nice. We did a 10 mile run then a weight training session in the gym this morning prior to enjoying the spoils of Christmas day. We feel tired and great all at the same time. We enjoyed a wonderful Christmas Eve meal of roasted duck ala Danish Christmas dinner last night which was wonderful. Tonight's menu is linguini with clam sauce and a wonderful cab! I love vacation time!
I am riding a Giant TCR Advanced women's specific road bike demo, thanks to Val at Outspokin and Giant bicycles, which is an absolute dream! This bike makes me want to be a bike racer. It is smooth as silk and faster than it's rider! More to come on that and pics to boot! I have temporarily installed my primo X-mas gift, Garmin Edge 705, on the bike and cannot wait to ride it more. May need a new horse in the garage soon!
I wish all a very Merry Christmas and great training! Or, just good weather to walk around and enjoy the world.
Training with aloha.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

Just wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. I am sitting awaiting my Christmas Eve dinner that the Dane is cooking, yummy. Poor duck didn't have a chance! Inserted a pic of our little Christmas tree - my first real tree in many many years! We enjoyed a couple hours on the beach today as it was a perfect weather day. Sorry to all of you freezing but, hey, I chose to live here!
Love to you all!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sunday ride

Resting after racing on Saturday, not in our world. We have gotten on routine to do this group ride on Sundays which is good for me since I don't love group rides (fear of crashing) and it gets really hard at times which, I hope, will make my overall cycling stronger. Today, we had a guy that is leaving in a couple days to begin training camp as neo pro for a European pro cycling team. This guy leads out sprints at 42 mph and that doesn't feel good when you're at the end of your rope as I was! Anyway, hard ride today but the weather was awesome, no fog today, just sunny skies to greet us. This ride seems to get bigger every week but at the end, the same folks are still there. Lucky for me, I'm one of them! I like that I have moved up a notch on my VDOT (for the run) and am able to stay in the front group for the Sunday ride. Hope it pans out for faster bike splits in my '09 tri's! I'm ready for a recovery day tomorrow. The Dane and I are off for a couple weeks but are staying home this holiday which allows us time to train and rest which we surely need! Just for good measure, we went to the gym after the ride today to lift weights for 45 minutes. Sitting watching football now and enjoying a nice cab - doesn't get better than this! I forgot to mention part of my "winnings" for the 5K yesterday was a free entry to the St Pete Beach Classic in Jan (which is very competitive) and a night's stay/VIP party the night before at the Sirata resort on St Pete Beach! I never would have gotten any of that in the local race! Like I said, Wendy Johnson puts on a great event!
Got a swim and ride tomorrow which will be at recovery pace!
Training with aloha!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Ok, I'm RR

So, as I was saying pre-first meal post race/beer! I love races that have beer at the finish! Quality event. Anyhow, we did the St Pete Bowl (new college bowl game) Fan 5K this morning. It was on the calender after we did Turkey Trot. The Dane really wanted to score a good time here. I, on the other hand, felt this was my "speed work" for the month. Honestly, we have been running during the week, nothing faster than about 8:something pace which is comfortable this time of year. The Dane has been racking up the run miles in his quest to return to FOP fitness. (FOP=front of pack) I merely wanted to try and go sub-20 which I haven't done for a couple years (sad, I know). Based on my 10K 3 weeks ago, I felt I should be able to go sub 20 on a fast course. We get to St Pete in pea soup fog and find the start area. It was wet, soggy but not cold. My second go in the Nike Lunaracers - highly recommended racing flats (if you can find them)! Got our packets and sat around and scanned the competitors. I seem to be very "bitchy" at the start of a race but I actually like to chat with others at the start - which likely drives them nuts! I had no plan other than to go out fairly hard but not too hard. The Dane got out good, ahead of me......until about 400meters. I went passed him and he let it happen so I knew he was having heavy legs (he blamed it on last night's sushi). I went by him and sat on a couple college guys, never a bad place for a 40-something woman! Even split miles one and two (6:10) but once we turned back on to Central Ave, I felt the false flat and began to suffer a bit! Felt the fitness from IM Hawaii would pull me through but if I needed to "kick", let's just say, not happening! The Dane told me during warm up exactly where he was going to start his sprint.......hmmmmm bad idea! So, running in the fog up Central Ave in the lead, for the women, I knew the Dane was back there, stalking me! Suddenly, the sounds of the finish line rang in my ears before I could see anything. I would take it, the illustrious household trophy! I had no kick, just a will to try and not slow down. Why do I love the Dane, well that would go on forever but let's just leave it today for the fact that he allowed me to have the finish banner to myself. He was sprinting like Carl Lewis to catch me at the end but allowed me have my "glory". All is fair in love and war.....and I have the trophy for the 5K! We enjoyed some networking post race and then had to get back home. One of the cool things about this race is every finisher gets tickets to the St Pete Bowl football game. We had every intention to attend but once back at home, we tend to stay home. Thanks so much to Wendy Johnson for such a great race, we'll be back for sure! We are now kicking back, relaxing and enjoying the time off from work. As I said, the Dane won the men's masters which he was very happy about and had to fight for in the last 100 meters! He is going to be a force come April, no more household trophies for me! Or, I will get REALLY fast! Cheers and Merry Christmas!


Ok, I am still alive. Just got through the last week of work and now we have two weeks off to sit and do nothing........except train! Yipee, I love training. Anyhow, I'll do a mini-race report but the gist is we ran the inaugural St Pete Bowl 5k run this morning in the fog (it's snowing everywhere else in the country, so I can complain about some fog). There were a couple other races this weekend so you never know who will show. The Say No To Drugs race is closer to home but I like to support the MSM races, they are nice to me! Anyway, I won overall for the women and ran sub-20 minutes which was my goal. The Dane won Masters for the men too. Good day, all in all. Now we are going to eat. Later...
racing with aloha

Sunday, December 07, 2008

20 hours in St Pete

The Dane and Mary D, we're out on the town

Room with a view

Pics taken with phone, not so good
Another ordinary week for the most part. Wonderful thing is that the week ended with the Mad Dog Triathlon Club Christmas party. A perfect chance for the Dane and I to test out the Vinoy in downtown St Pete (plus, we don't have to drive anywhere once there). It's always nice to see people we haven't seen in a while and hang out. The Vinoy was great, we loved our executive suite (got this on points!). Didn't really eat anything at the party so the Dane, Mary D and I went to Ceviche which was really great and really crowded! Had little more vino waiting for our table but the food was worth the wait! Once we emerged from there (after experiencing the loud Latin band in the basement, really cool), we headed over to where the post-Xmas party was to be held. To our dismay, they were packing up already! Guess it was a little late! Certainly felt late since we were up at 4:30 to swim and worked all day. Decided to call it a night and went back to our lovely suite. Slept in then ran the St Anthony's tri run course, since we were right on it! All in all, a really fun experience. We don't have much of a social life so it's fun to get out to new places and see so many friends every once in awhile. Sunday, we did the now routine hospital ride. Local group ride with some really sane people but also some fast people! Very female friendly ride. It's, technically, a no-drop ride but you better be near the front if you want to keep up! This is something I've gone away from in the last few years but during the winter, now, I want to do some hard group riding to keep my bike fitness up. Believe me, this ride is sufficient for that! It was windy and cold but pretty much has been every Sunday since we started doing this ride. All good, keeps the pressure on and the heart rate up! The Dane and I also started our power weight program this week, three lifts in and I've not got complete full-body soreness anymore, just partial body soreness! Hopefully, I'll get stronger, that's the goal. I love training this time of year because it's all just by feel and opportunity. We have the opportunity for a nice, hard group ride on Sundays, road running races and getting back in the weight room which I hope will all help when the season kicks off next Spring. We shall see..
Training with aloha.....

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Turkey Trot '08

First off, happy Thanksgiving to everyone. I'm thankful for so many things that I couldn't list them because it would be too boring to read and they would all be at the top of the list. The Dane and I are chilling at home this year, cooking our little turkey and watching football, movies, whatever. We did the Turkey Trot 10K this morning. We saw a lot of friends and got to catch up with some folks that we haven't seen in a while. That is one of the biggest reasons for doing this race. It was chilly by Florida standards, in the mid 40's for us at race time, perfect for racing. No real goals but with what I've been doing in "training" lately as far as running, all base pace, no tempo/speed/long. Felt if I could break 42 minutes, that would start the winter off pretty well. Went through the 5K faster than I ran the stand alone 5K last year at this race, good sign. My main goal, other that getting my VDOT score for my half ironman program, was to really try and even split this. I had a not so hard time until about mile 5 when we head uphill a bit. Ended up breaking 41 minutes and nearly even split the race, ran the second 5K only 9 seconds slower which is pretty solid for me. I was 4th overall female and first Masters. Crazy on no real run training! Very happy with this. I will note that the Dane regained the household 10K trophy by going 30 seconds faster than me! He's been running a lot, frequency only at this point. I'm very proud of him and we both got our annual coffee mugs (which we need like a hole in the head). All in all, really good effort, had to pass the girl in front of me at the six mile mark, that hurt! I also had a really good speed swim, for me, yesterday. Hit all my 100's (SCY) 1:16 and below - doesn't sound like much, but a breakthrough for me! I really want to swim under an hour at IM Canada (have 1:02 PR) and I have to keep getting my 100 time down to do it. One thing's for sure, I'll die trying! So, we will enjoy our day relaxing, eating and having some tasty wine. Best to all.
Also, congrats to IMAZ folks - Lisbeth setting AG record and 3rd female amateur, Val finished with vertigo, Jennifer got her Kona slot.
Racing with aloha!

Friday, November 21, 2008

A hole in the ice

Another beautiful sunset in Kona

Yes, yes. I'm in Florida. That said, this has by far been the coldest November since I've lived here (since '97). As I mentioned before, we are trying to swim 2-3 times per week in this "offseason" portion of the year at our OUTDOOR pool. Well, it has been pretty chilly, even for here. We slept in Monday, no swim, it was cold. Wednesday was not to be missed. Another cold front came through (we're getting 2-3 per week as opposed to 1 per week in normal fall/winter). Unfortunately, it was 41 degrees on Weds morning. Gotta swim, can't miss. Got to the pool at 5AM, coach is there but nobody else. So, the Dane runs over and tells coach that we can live without a swim if nobody else shows up. Then the headlights, other cars showing up....hmmmm. Out of the car, here we go. There were only three of us initially, so we can swim in the 2 lanes in the middle of the pool between the tarps which means we didn't have to pull the tarps off half of the pool. It felt like swimming in a hole in the ice. The water was warm, thank God. The air was not. Dashing out of the locker room through the cold air to dive into the pool. Getting out is worse. This, after all, is the winter of HTFU. The weather is living up to the bill. Thanks, Mother Nature! Anyhow, our two swims this week were of high quality. I can add volume later. We have Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning, looking like we'll run the 10K this year and not the 5K. I've never just done the 10K here but I have absolutely zero foot speed but plenty of endurance so looks like the 10K will fit the bill. We'll see. It'll be fun. The household trophy is in serious threat this time, the Dane is running a lot. (I wouldn't be upset to lose this one anyway!).
As before, best of luck to those out in Tempe, AZ.
kia kaha.....still

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Mad Dogs

Serenity and safety in Kona

Today was the Mad Dog Tri club anniversary party......and early sign up for St Anthony's tri in April! It is always fun to regroup with people we haven't seen for a while. Especially having the Dane with me, every encounter is always more fun. He has done some amazing feats of late. Since a little before we left for Kona, he has lost over 13 pounds (he's not fat, just not at "race weight") and has been running like a fiend. I can barely keep up with him anymore......except in the pool!! Anyhow, we are having fun doing training that is just what we feel like doing. I do love being back in the gym lifting weights! You may not know it by looking at me, but I do love lifting weights. I am holding off on the leg weight training until Dec to give the little chicken legs some recovery from a hard Kona effort. None the less, doing some very challenging group rides on the road bike and swimming with the masters group is all I can handle right now! I will continue to try and increase the run mileage as much as my body will allow - stupid to get injured in the off season (like last year). Running fast is such a powerful weapon in my age group now I'm really seeing! We'll keep plugging away and staying healthy!
Best of luck to friends doing IM Arizona next Sunday. Mostly to Val, my only sponsor and best of friends! Also, Mark, Pam, Ken, Jennifer and Lisbeth. Go get em! Better you than me at this point!!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Clearwater....glad we live here!



This weekend was the 70.3 World Championships in Clearwater and since we live literally 2-3 miles from the start, we rode out to spectate and cheer everyone on. Truth be told, I didn't qualify (which I'm sure is known if you follow along here) but only had one qualifier this season. The course (Rhode Island 70.3) didn't suit me the competition was quite strong and I wasn't fast enough. After seeing the times and the pelotons coming (here at Clearwater) on the bike, I didn't miss this race and may never wish to do it again. Anyhow, met some friends on the top of Memorial causeway bridge with cowbell in hand and cheered like it was my job. We had a great time and saw some really impressive performances and were truly impressed. I'm really happy that at the age of 38, JZ was able to win. She dominated on the run and suffered. The other impressive performance on the women's side for me was Nina Kraft. Say what you want but she dug in and had an impressive finish at 5th at 39 years of age! She has had some adversity in her career, chosen and otherwise, but has overcome. I have met and talked with Nina and she is a very nice, down to Earth woman and I have the best wishes for her. We missed the post race festivities because we were just too tired. Back to training though, easing into it. Trying to run with some consistency, swim 3 days per week and ride on the weekends. Back in the weight room full on in another week, can't wait to get STRONG! We had chamber of commerce weather and truly enjoyed it. You can talk about moving the race from Clearwater, but you won't get better weather but you'll always have drafters/cheaters. As you were.......
Racing with aloha

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Another biathlon......aka anaerobic nirvana!


Brrrrrr! Glad to get out of the water!

Erin and me prior to start

Ok, I haven't done anything anaerobic in several months building up for Kona. So, today was the race formerly known as Strangeman's Biathlon. A grueling 2 mile run, 1/3 mile swim (brrrrr) and 2 mile run. I thought it would be fun, silly me. My goal this winter is to HTFU against the cold and get out in it, embrace it and get faster. This was day one. It would figure that we had record breaking cold weather this week to boot, enough to cool the Gulf down below 70 degrees. No wetsuits here, we're running first, no time for such luxuries. The weather this morning was much nicer, 60 degrees, as opposed to the 40's during the week. The Dane decided to run to the race site (Clearwater Beach) and cheer me on instead of racing - waiting to unleash his new found fitness on the AG next year! I was out here for fun and a good workout so no goals as usual. That said, I wanted to win depending on the competition. Ironman 70.3 World Championship is next Saturday at this very site so I felt maybe a great age grouper or pro might show to sharpen their form. Lucky for me (not the men, congrats Darby from Finland), that didn't happen. I went out hard on the first run and felt I could survive in the water, however I never actually got in the water to see how cold it was! I lead at the beginning with two gals not far behind. Into the water, it was COLD! I almost couldn't function and certainly couldn't dolphin out because when my face went into the water, I went into a full spasm. When we got past the sandbar, it was swim time so I dove in and went. Wow, it was cold. The swim was uneventful otherwise but I could see the second girl, Erin K, not too far behind. She is a solid swimmer so I couldn't slack and claim hypothermia. Got out and had trouble putting my shoes back on because hands were numb. The Dane was letting me know that Erin was "right there" so I ran scared. I am not in shape enough to run scared for short distances but I managed to pull it out for the overall womens win. Whew, it was indeed painful and cold. The winter of HTFU is in full force! Some friends are currently surviving IM Florida as I type, best of luck to them and I can honestly say, I'm glad I'm not there (even though they are having record-breaking conditions). I'm done. We will do Turkey Trot in a few weeks just to keep the running going and it's super fun. We'll be out at Clearwater Beach next Sat to cheer everyone on as they fulfill their dreams of competing in the 70.3 World Championships - it's actually much more fun to watch!
Cheers and race with Aloha!

Sunday, October 26, 2008


view from our new favorite bar in Kona

Yesterday was the Suncoast sprint tri which I have never actually competed in. I let the RD know early last week that I wanted in, I can do a sprint tri two weeks out from Kona. Yeah, sure... with who's body. Certainly, that was a crazy idea. I ran four miles on Tuesday and the last two felt just like the last two in the marathon of IM. Later in the week, decided I would volunteer and give something back to one of the best RD's out there! Anders ended up staying home this week so we have had some nice time together reintegrating into work life. So, up at 4am, we drove down to the Fort to volunteer. It was pissing rain and it's hard to body mark wet bodies. There were a lot of brave souls that showed up, even I was surprised. After body marking, we headed to the boardwalk to keep the spectators off the race course - fun to boss folks around there! hee hee. Then, I went on to the run course to cheer people on. It was fun and I got to catch up with a few friends. The Dane and I then went for a 5 mile run while they were giving out awards. We got back from the run and one of the original Mad Dogs ( walks up and hands me an award. I thought she had certainly mistaken me for someone else! It was the prestigious Ralph Perry award for volunteerism. I was informed that they did a nice speech about my race in Kona and I was speechless to hear all of this had happened. What a cool thing to get a volunteer award and completely unexpected! I really really appreciated it and we had a lot of fun down there, especially giving advice to first-timers and cheering on complete strangers! You tend to forget how all of this just comes so natural now. I could have used some advice when I was a first-timer! The water was rough, winds were blowing and rain was falling but I saw so many smiles on so many faces - makes me certain I selected the right sport for me! It was a rough week getting back to work, the usual payback for being gone! The Dane is here though and that makes me happy. I got in a couple swims, three runs, a couple weight workouts and bike ride today. I can only take so many days off before I start going nuts. There is a beach biathlon on Saturday (2 mile run, 1/3 mile swim, 2 mile run) which I'll do if the weather is good, otherwise we'll be out riding. Nothing hard or serious, just keeping it fun. I mentioned that we are doing IM Canada in August, but didn't mention that we also intend to do IM 70.3 in New Orleans in April, that should be fun!
Go Rays!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Hawaii hangover

No literal hangover, just wishing I was still in HI. We had a blast and don't want to get back to the reality of full-time work weeks and time management. I learned a lot in Hawaii, mostly about myself and what I can survive. I really want to return in to Kona '09 to race. The bad news is, I'm not signed up for one of the qualifying races. The good news is, there are a lot of North American Sports Community Fund slots still available for all the North American qualifiers. The Dane's favorite and first IM race was IM Canada so that's where we are going to race on 8/30/09. It is, along with IM Louisville (ugh, no thanks), the last qualifying race for Kona. It is hard to do two IM races in 6 weeks but I am willing to try this. HTFU and give it a go. At least we have 10 months to prepare! So, for anyone who wants to join us in Penticton, Canada the end of August, we welcome the company. I will try my hardest there to get a Kona slot and get back to Kona and make bigger goals. I've not got 'Kona greed', just ended my season on a good note and want to plan ahead. My fallback is IM Cozumel 11/09 (which I've already signed up for) for Kona 2010 ( I seem to be on an even year schedule for Kona). We rode 100 miles this weekend and I don't feel as shattered as I thought I would (or as bad as I did last year after IM Florida). I am going to postpone running a few more days because I have a little tenderness in my left achilles, weird. I'm in no hurry to get injured! I'll get back into the pool this week because I obviously need the work. I have somehow managed to inspire a couple people here who are great swimmers to help push me to get faster in the water. Other than Kona and St Anthony's, I've had a great season in regards to swim improvement, I want to continue this. I know one thing, not swimming won't help me at all! Bottom line, I am motivated still to continue and, Donna S, I'll try the 'running every day in December' - will you join me??? Come on! Last but not least, GO RAYS!
Racing with Aloha!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

My favorite part of awards banquet

Got video of the banquet before the skies opened up and a very meaningful bit of words from this native Hawaiian.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

IM Hawaii race report

Not smiling anymore

OOoooops, caught me walking

pre-race, still smiling

Overall, no glaring rookie type mistakes like last time I was here. I had the opportunity to meet some other athletes leading up to race day and for the ones who had been here several times, asked about different strategies. One of my concerns (and something I messed up on in '06) was where to line up for the swim start. I made sure this time not to get into the water too early and waste a lot of energy treading water. I stood around in the water while the pros were still filing in and that was pretty cool to be in such great company. I decided I wanted to avoid the bulk of the fray so lined up on the outside and several rows back. I definitely lost some time here but felt it was better than getting the crap beaten out of me for 2.4 miles! I also wanted to be conscious of how much sea water I was inadvertently consuming - this has been known to wreck many stomachs out here. I ended up likely swimming a lot extra but I decided when I wanted to mix it up and when I wanted to have clean water. All in all, decent decision but definitely cost me some minutes out there. My swimming this year, with the exception of this performance, has been great so I'm not totally happy with my time. Through T2 and onto the bike without any problems. The first 30 miles or so are pretty hectic because the guys out here are so aggressive so I just motored along on the right side of the lane and let them have their space. I saw a lot of them again in the last hour of the bike. We had a nice tailwind leading out of town on the Queen K which was nice to build some rhythm; I just kept thinking this is going to end so I had better make hay while the sun shines. Thank goodness the Dane reminded me to take a bottle of plain water with me to dilute some of the sea water sloshing around in my stomach! I did have some nausea on the bike but that would end up being the least of my worries. The crosswinds started really early this year (from what I hear). Once we hit Waikaloa, I was getting bounced around like crazy. This really tested me mentally. The entire way up to Hawi from there was very stressful. I started to lose quite a bit of my nutrition and hydration at this point for fear of letting go of the death grip I had on the handlebars. People who know me know that the crosswinds were indeed my biggest fear of this race. We were then faced with the usual head-crosswind all the way up to the Hawi turn around. The trip down was even scarier! I had hit about 33 mph at one point when a real blast of wind nearly tossed me into the lava fields. This is something you always hear and read about but you can't imagine how terrifying it is and there is nothing you can do. I rode my brakes the entire way down so I could better control the bike at a little lower speed. It was easy to remain focused, if you didn't, you'd end up blown off the road! When there seemed to be some respite, I would try and drink, get calories in and take salt. Otherwise, it was survival. Heading back towards Kawaihea, the wind subsided and it was hot! Once we turned back onto the Queen K, about 35-40 miles from the end, the headwind was relentless. It was a sudden crosswind at times as well but mostly a block on head wind. I actually got more comfortable here, hunkered down and stuck with my designated wattage. I must have passed a hundred people here, there was serious carnage for those who went out too hard. Got back into town and was never so happy to have to run a marathon. It was pretty hot but all the heat training over the summer definitely prepared me for this. I don't think I've had such dead legs coming out ot T2! Granted, I started way too fast but I always do! I began the first few miles wondering how in the world I was going to be able to finish if I felt this bad already. I had a lot of mental battles and thank goodness the Dane was all over giving me great words of encouragement and telling me that I was in this race and just needed to keep it going. I settled in a bit around 10K and started to feel a little better in the legs. I remember being sooooooooo thirsty this whole time, not doubt being dehydrated from the bike. I found a few people to run with and that really helped me along. Went through the half marathon at 1:45 and decided I wasn't going to look at my watch anymore. My long run going in was an 18.6 miler so I knew I could make it that far, beyond was just going to be me having to tough it out. My quads really started hurting around this time and I wanted to just walk. I thought about people who go through more pain and agonizing situations every day and this really helped me keep going; at least all I had to do to make the pain go away was stop! I didn't stop but did walk about 5-10 seconds through the remaining aid stations just to give my quads a break. About mile 24, the Dane was out on the Queen K and this helped me keep focused and keep running when I wanted to walk soooooo badly! I hit mile 25 and decided to look at my watch again and saw 10:49 and knew if I could push it in the rest of the way (which is mostly downhill), I could break 11 hours (one of my personal goals here). This was extremely painful but I managed to sneak in under 11 hours on one of the toughest days there has been in recent years. I was very happy and content with my effort and still have no idea how I managed to run a sub-3:40 marathon! Ended up 13th in the AG which satisfied my other personal goal, top 15 finish. Ended the night going back out to watch the greatest spectacle on earth, the late finishers at IM Hawaii. This is an experience that cannot be duplicated. I threw my finishers lei into the sea this morning in hopes that I will be privileged enough to be able to have this experience again. It is truly an honor to be able to come here and do this magical race and I'm trying to figure out how I can come back even though I cannot walk without a limp still. Mahalo to everyone who helped and supported me - none of us could do this without great support. We return tonight (actually tomorrow) but I have many memories to keep me motivated to keep training in my quest to accomplish more wonderful personal goals. More pics to come.....
Racing with aloha!

Monday, October 13, 2008

ahhh, the crosswinds!

Pre-race - a nice volunteer shot this pic

I'll post a full RR from IM Hawaii later but just wanted to say thanks to everyone for their kind words and support. This was the worst I wanted to quit a race but I didn't and am really happy with my results. Could swim faster and bike faster but never thought I'd run sub-3:40! The winds were pretty terrifying on the bike, I nearly lost it several times! Couldn't drink as much as I wanted on the bike too because of fear of letting go of the handlebars and getting blown off the road! Felt really bad starting the run, worst ever that I can remember but once I slowed down and settled in after about 10K, I started feeling a little better and got into a pace I could hold. Very happy to finish under 11 hours, there was a lot of carnage out there! We left the awards banquet early after getting poured on for about 45 minutes. Unfortunately, we missed the VIP post party also (thanks Lisbeth for the invites) because the rain just never stopped. Just as well, no hangover today! We'll head out to Lava Java for a bite this morning and relax today. Many mahalo's to everyone for their great words of support. It was a tough day and I needed all of it!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Friday in kona, pre-race (pre-shower)....

Guess I should've showered first. You get the idea.

Thursday swim at Pier

Ahh, lovin my day off!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Wednesday in Kona

"beast milk" tat, ready for Hell's Angels now

Swim at the Pier

another beautiful sunset

Ok, so I'm still waking up before 5am but at least I'm sleeping well. Weds started with a walk to the Pier, the usual, and a swim. Started earlier this time because it isn't so crowded in the water. I wanted to get a little more in so we went out to a further buoy and the swells were definitely bigger for this swim than in previous days. Luckily, this doesn't bother me because we do enough open water swimming. Lots of fish to be seen and I heard some folks talk about the dolphins swimming amongst us all, we didn't get to see them....yet. Out of the water and ran into Lisa Bentley and hubby Dave for a quick chat as well as Luke Mckenzie (IM Japan champ) who is looking lean and mean. We walked by these guys giving away t-shirts, and being the swag wanters we are, asked what it was all about. Well, you had to put on their tatoo which translates to "beast milk" to get a tatoo. Sounded good to us so tatooed up, we grabed our shirts. They also said if we took pics with our tatoos and sent it to their web site, we could win trips and other goodies. Yup, we're in for that. Walked back to the condo to fit in 30 minute run. I'm feeling pretty good aside from some aches and pains and needing to stretch a bit more. Quick shower and back into town to register. These folks have this down to a science and it is extremely organized so there is no waiting. Got race pack and goodies in hand, back to the condo for some food. The Dane made poke which is basically a raw tuna salad type of thing with seaweed and soy. His actually tasted better than the restaurant! We them commenced to laying/sleeping in the loungers right above the lava listening to the surf for three hours. We also had a show by some spinner dolphins a bit off shore, very cool. I downed about 4-5 bottles of Gatorade endurance and some water during this stretch. I'll surely be sick of G-rade by the end of day Saturday! We then got picked up in the shuttle to an EST welcome dinner at Ken's condo and I got some beautiful pics of the sunset. The vog is thick and is obscuring the sunset most days. That's what you get when you sit on an island with an active volcano! The dinner was a nice way to sit and chat with some other folks from around the globe. Spoke with the UK girl we rode with the other day and she did ok but was a bit shocked by the heat and wind....."it doesn't look that bad on the telly" (insert UK accent). Back to the condo and in bed by 8:30 but it felt like midnight! Today will consist of no exercise for me (planned day off) and the Dane has committed to a long swim and ride with Phillip L. Maybe I'll get a pedicure and do some shopping. I'll definitely find my way back to the lava lounger to read.
aloha and kia kaha

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Kona condo video

Uh oh, I'm figuring out you tube!

Life does not suck

Lunch at the Kona Canoe Club

Mood is improving

How beautiful is this

We had an eventful Tuesday in Kona (and beyond, more later). Started the day meeting the Endurance Sports Travel (Ken Glah's company which got us this fabulous condo) crew for a quick van ride to the Pier for swim. A lot more people here than on Monday for sure. Had to swim head up a bit so as to not run into others swimming. That is a bummer because can't watch the beautiful fishies! Anyhow, great swim and I feel pretty comfy in the water. We had a Chrissie Wellington (last years female champ) sighting as she was being interviewed just before her practice swim. The Dane still cannot get over the size of her tree trunks, I mean legs. Wow, is she put together. Anyhow, ran into Crowie (last years men's runner-up) before leaving and had a nice chat with him. We know him from Clearwater 70.3 '06 as we had dinner with him, Lisa Bentley and her hubby and amazingly, he always spots us in a crowd. He even said he'll yell for me if he see's me on the! We had a quick breaky at the buffet EST sets up daily then made a needed van ride to the grocery store. I guess $300 is the new $200. Next on the agenda was a van ride out to Hapuna Beach and ride the bikes back. We had a small crew, a nice girl from the UK and Adam, another American guy. She was a bit concerned about the wind as cycling is not her strong suit, according to her. Anyway, it was pretty windy out there and I had to spend a bit of time in the "oh shit" bars but not nearly as much as two years ago. The time spent riding in the hills is definitely going to pay off and I'm much more confident in this wind........unless it gets tons worse. So, 34 miles later, we end up back at the condo. It was a good ride and great practice for Saturday. We ran into Adam at the expo and he was wondering why we rode "so hard".......we didn't! It's all relative I suppose. He was nice enough to accompany the UK girl back as she was riding her own pace. We headed, as I said, over to the expo to try and meet Thunderbear (last year's men's third place, the other Dane), but he was occupied so we had a nice chat with the co-owner of Argon about their TT bike, very interesting design and got a cool t-shirt. Back to the condo to relax for the rest of the day and eat our wonderful clean food we picked up at the grocery store, Ahi tuna filets with rice and broccolini! Yummy. Slept better last night, didn't wake up at all until 5am, I'm finally getting on island time! I have a swim and 30 minute run today and am so looking forward to them both. I love training out here, you get free energy from the Gods - if you stop and feel it, it's there. Sounds strange to anyone who hasn't been here. Life does not suck....enjoy.
kia kaha

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

some photos

swimmers at the Pier

view from condo balcony

I am not as stressed as I appear!

Monday was a swim at the pier. The water was beautiful and clear and fish everywhere! Like swimming in an aquarium. Then, back to the condo for a 30 minute run. My legs are starting to not feel so tired. We have been walking around a lot but that's our mode of transportation. Tuesday, another swim then we'll get shuttled out to the Queen K and ride back in. Should be fun and I'll have my camera. We saw a ton of pros out training which is always cool. Later
kia kaha

Monday, October 06, 2008

Aloha from Kona

We made it in one piece and all our luggage arrived with us. Amazing. A very uneventful and pleasant trip. We arrived at the condo around 7pm (Hawaii time) and had to pick up some provisions. 70$ later at the convenience store, we had water, beer, coffee, etc. We sat on our wonderful balcony and listened to the Pacific ocean batter the lava for a while - that is therapeutic! I have a little video of it, mostly for the noise, too dark (won't download now). We haven't seen our view in daylight yet but feel certain it will be beautiful. Just put the bikes together but have no pump so will have to remedy that today. We'll head down to the pier to swim around 7am. I will try and snap some photos there.
Kia kaha

Friday, October 03, 2008

Big Thanks

Madam Pele.......on my quilt

The last masters swim practice prior to a big race is always fun. Most of the time, everyone knows you're racing and if they don't they act like they do or ask someone else. We have a pretty low key crew which keeps it light and fun. Don't get me wrong, there's plenty of competition if that's what one is seeking. Just (just, sheesh) 4000 yards today so I was there for a little over an hours and pretty much saw most of the regulars. I so appreciate all the well wishes, it means so much to me. Like, Maude (best free stroke under water) wearing fins on part of the set (only cuz she's been out of the pool a few years having babies) to keep me company. Wayne, for bringing a book for me to read on my trip. May-li, always with a fun/crazy race story to share - this one about her adventures at the Duathlon World Championships......that's how she rolls. Cashel, aka Zookeeper, great coach and always just asks how many yards I need. Bill, had to ask my last name so he could keep track of my progress. I'm sure I'm leaving out some people, but those were just today. I take this energy with me and let it help me keep moving along - I'd be rich if I could only bottle it! Also, are the people at work who think I'm really nuts to be "working out" so much but many well-wishes from them also. Patients too, they seem to know all about my races sometimes........must the the girls up front telling them. It's all good and all appreciated in ways they will never know. I will do my best, you can be sure! Biggest to the Dane who is struggling to keep up at times when I'm in my taper because the pace heats a tad. Couldn't do any of this without support. I'm leaving out other friends and family but this was about people I came across today and I was overwhelmed. Big thanks!
Kia kaha

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Go Rays!

I'm not much of a baseball fan but have jumped on the local bandwagon of the Tampa Bay Rays. They made the playoffs for the first time in their existance and it's nice see sports news that doesn't revolve around the Bucs (not a fan). A great story and one we'll continue to follow in Hawaii.
1051 is my bib number. It's exciting to have a number finally, makes the whole thing feel more real. I'm getting through taper well. Sleeping more due to fewer early morning swim sessions, feels kind of weird actually. The Dane is feeding me wonderful, clean dinners with plenty of protein. I'll push more carbs next week. The weather here is beautiful, nice little dry front has come through and tonight's long run (only 1:15) will be delightful. Looking forward to blogging from the Big Island...
kia kaha

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

5 days til.....

We leave for Kona. We are both, the Dane and I, in dire need of a vacation. So, lucky for us, we get to go to Hawaii. My trip is not "pure" vacation due to the little race I'll be doing October 11th, but to be gone and not have to work is a beautiful thing. Into taper mode now, not far enough into it apparently because I'm exhausted and still a little sore from Sunday's last "long" workout - ~80 mile ride followed by a brisk (for me, 7:1x/mile pace) 6 mile brick. I believe I'm as fit as I've been in a long time so we'll see how the race goes. I seem, however, to be getting bad news from/about people I love which makes it hard to feel that this is terribly important. I will be thinking of you Katie and Cathy (each for your own reasons) as my day gets difficult on the lava fields. Love you guys!
More as the week goes on....
Kia Kaha

Saturday, September 27, 2008


It is just over 2 weeks from Kona now as I sit. The Dane will be home tomorrow and my world will be better. I've spent the past few hours with a group of amazing women. One, Mary D, turns 50 tomorrow and you wouldn't be able to pick her out from a group of 30 year olds! We gave her a surprise B-day party and it was fun to socialize again. When you train for IM, you give up these nicities in life and wonder if any one will come back. In my experience, they always come back. And thank goodness for these grassroots type of friends. Life wouldn't be the same without them. I am thankful for them and the fact that they always support 'the cause' of Ironman. I couldn't do it without these folks. I've let them know that they will be thought of on the lonely strip of pavement as I go along the Queen K and persue my dreams on October 11th. They seem to understand, which is cool.
All I need now is the Dane to finish my dream....
Kia Kaha

Friday, September 26, 2008


Now, this is funny:

I don't know Elizabeth Fedofsky (not personally, anyway)but she makes me laugh. Scary how true so much of this is!
TGIF and the Dane comes home tomorrow.
More later.....

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Kona is coming!

Ok, so last "big week" for IM Hawaii is in the books and I'm still in one piece. I had a decent week. Great ride Sat with the "hills" group, luckily they wanted to get in 85 miles so I only had another 15 to do on my own. They are a great group and I am so glad I have been able to ride with this group of wonderful people. Of course, missing Linda M who is still healing from her injuries from the accident two weeks ago. The ride is definitely not the same without her and she is missed greatly! As is the Dane who is freezing his butt off in rainy Vienna. Anyhow, 100 miles in the hills in 5 hours isn't bad. Got my long run in Thursday night, last really long one. It's amazing how much harder the long run is after a full day of work in the heat than if you wake on Sunday morning fresh as a daisy. Another 'character building' experience. I can honestly say that I have more 'character' and, I think, solid fitness going into Kona this year. All I have to do now is get a good taper, pace the race, get my nutrition and I'm golden. No rock solid goals other than to finish, as always with any IM. I'd like to finish higher up than I did in '06 but I'll just do my thing out there and we'll see how it goes. I'm pretty confident in my fitness though, running my bricks off long rides in 7:20's will do that for you! I'll be happy to have the Dane back next weekend then venture off to Kona on 10/5! Thanks to everyone who has helped me and encouraged me along the way. Nobody could do this without support of friends and family. I think of everyone during the suffering for sure! I will try and do my best but having fun is also one of the goals!
Kia Kaha

Monday, September 15, 2008

Assault on Sugarloaf

Had a really good week of training this week. Other than getting rain and lightening'd out of my tempo run on Tuesday, the weather was hot and humid - great Kona prep! Decent long run on Thursday night, 2:20 but boy was it humid! I was soaked half way through. We planned to make the long ride on Sunday and do the Assault on Sugarloaf ride in Clermont. Nice, organized ride along the Great Floridian 112mi bike course - perfect. The weather was great but super hot, about 97degrees at the end of the ride which was also the beginning of my 6 mile brick, whew! I honestly don't remember Kona being this hot. Anyhow, we rode 4 hours on Sat, pretty easy overall. Drove over to O-town to stay at the Rennaisance at Sea World to cut the Sunday morning drive to 30 minutes. Very nice, empty resort hotel. We got to test out their cool sports bar and sushi restaurant, both good. Went to bed pretty early to get up early for Sunday ride. Tried to make this a race rehearsal type day so rode my race wheels and use same nutrition. Since I bonked on my brick last weekend, wanted to make sure I really loaded up this week. We had a nice ride but missed the good packs so ended up riding mostly by ourselves which is very race specific(what I wanted). The Dane had some troubles the last 20 miles or so and we had to cruise it in so he wouldn't be left out in the sticks. The course is pretty hard the first 35 miles or so then fairly flat (and windy) until the last 20 miles or so. I felt pretty good out there and didn't mind doing fair share of the pulling. Got the Dane back to the car ok then set out on my brick. I love running out there, nice paved path with no traffic and some gentle rolling hills. And, the heat! Had a great run, faster than race pace but went by feel not pace. Got done, packed up and drove back home to relax and watch some football and eat Thai take-out! A perfect weekend! The Dane leaves again for a couple weeks today and I'm sad. Having him along for my rides the past couple weeks has been so helpful and we had a lot of laughs yesterday especially. Only 3+ weeks left til Kona - I'm another hard/long week and great taper away from being ready. Can't wait!
Kia Kaha

Monday, September 08, 2008

The good and bad

I had overall a good training week - 20 hours in the log and some dead-ass tired legs. We are overwhelmed a bit with news of friend's bad bike accident when we rolled back into the parking lot on Sat afternoon upon finishing our ride. I was really upset about it and couldn't run so did the brick once we returned home (and bonked, again). Found that Linda was hit by a trailer when they were only a few miles from finishing. She is still in hospital today with four broken ribs and punctured lung. From what I've heard from those with her at the time, could have been a lot worse. Anyway, all the other stuff I would normally blab about seems pretty insignificant in comparison. She will be ok and recover but it is a scary thing to go through. We wish her speedy recovery!

Monday, September 01, 2008

kona winds........FL style

Ok, I know we cannot begin to replicate Kona winds but, when there's a significant hurricane floating around in the Gulf of Mexico, we get some good winds.....and waves. Did my 5 hour ride Sat in the hills with a small group, got smaller the longer we went then the group let me out on my own after 3 1/2 hours to finish up. No worries, I've never ridden out here in redneck heaven by my lonesome but my mental mojo for the weekend fear. I'm going to stop being afraid. Of riding alone here, of the weather, of the wind, etc. It may come as a surprise to some but I'm am quite the insecure chickenshit at times. But, like Linda M says, riding the last bit of long ride all alone "builds character". My mother always said I already have a lot of character... but, I here I am, building more. Can't hurt, right? So, off I go saying my goodbyes to my former group (thanks guys, seriously) now off to embark on character building. By the way, it's not like I haven't done long rides alone, never in the hills though. The weird thing is when there is a major storm brewing out in the drink, the weather can be very unpredictable. We got a little rain during the main ride and the pavement was wet the last bit. Then, the big black clouds were building in every direction.....challenging my "no fear" mojo. Had the opportunity to cut bait and run for the parking lot at less than 4 1/2 hours but decided Kona deserved more. It is not a course that welcomes those who cut long rides and runs short. The words "chewed up and spit out" come to mind. I digress. So then, the downdrafts of these building storms are blowing and I am struggling to keep myself and Lucille upright. Reminded me of riding the Queen K in '06 on my training ride. I tried to stay relaxed like the Dane taught me, hold the handlebars as if you are holding a small bird. Whatever that means - he's not out here with me. So, while screaming "oh shit" at the top of my lungs when the big gusts would come through, I held tough. Made it back to the parking lot unscathed. Decided the brick run would be done when I got home - way too much lightening out here for me. Got home, did my 40 minute "brick" in the rain and actually ran quite well, felt great. Sunday morning brought more winds, more steady, sustained variety. Rode the beach first to test the mojo one more time and was bouncing all over the road keeping the rubber side down. It was a hoot and appreciated this opportunity to train in the winds, I wasn't going to miss this. Got through that just fine. Picked up the Dane in the afternoon and shared my "Kona" moments with him and he wished he was there. Today, less than 6 weeks out, I feel pretty fit. Hopefully, the weather will hold up so I can get long rides and runs in. These are things I cannot control so I try not to worry about. Here I am with more character......hopefully, that helps!
Kia Kaha

Saturday, August 23, 2008

TS Fay GO AWAY!!!! And new addition to family

No, it's not mine! New nephew. Congrats Mike and Allison.

Ok, I'm so over this weather! Yes, I'm happy that where I live in FL has been the least affected by TS Fay, which is a blessing since we were originally slated for a direct hit. But, the rain all week and again today is trying to sabotage my IM training. Went to bed last night not sure of where/how I would get in a long ride today. Heard some heavy rains on and off all night. Shut off the alarm at 5am and went back to sleep. Decided it was going to be a trainer day. Spent three hours in the position you see above, staring at crank arms with pain in my legs. Spent majority of that three hours just under my lactate threshold which is painful. Me, Troy Jacobson and the rest of the masochists on the "Tough Love" spinerval spent quality time together. As he says, three hours on the trainer is worth at least four hours on the road. Took one break to refill water bottles and get more Gu Roctane (thanks Gu for the freebie Kona pack). It actually went by pretty fast until about 2 1/2 hours and then I really had to dig deep and remember why I was doing this. I thought about standing on Dig Me beach in seven weeks with anticipation, fear and excitement to be competing in Kona again. The motivation was there for sure. Spent my cool down period watching the end of the women's basketball gold medal game and Lisa Lesley talking about not being afraid to set big goals because anything is possible, or something along those lines. Very appropriate at that point. Then onto the brick. Only 35 minutes. Of course, like every other run this week, it started raining as soon as I got out the door. No worries, I don't mind running in the rain as long as there's no lightening. All done now and proud that I survived the mind fuck of three hours on the trainer! Could have used some company but the Dane is back in Denmark for now. IM is a solo event after all....
Kia Kaha

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

possible new suit design for Kona.....

Click on the red X (I don't know how to get it to come up otherwise).
May amend but will sleep on it.
Love Splish suits!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Beijing and Fay

Thanks sis for the poster - very neat, I thought. She leaves for Beijing today. Sis-in-law has new baby tomorrow. Exciting.
Had another good training week last week. Got rained out of long run last Thursday night so pushed it to Sunday, after two hour ride. On Sat before, did 90 miles with small group in the hills - my longest ride out there and I wasn't trashed. So Sunday, decided to do "long brick". We lucked out with overcast skies and had a good ride and great run, surprisingly.
We, then, awaited the arrival of TS Fay. Originally, we were supposed to get a direct hit so we took the appropriate steps in case this occurred. The Dane was supposed to leave for Europe but had to postpone this a few days in case of this storm. Turns out, we didn't get the storm, thank God. This storm has been quite strange, strengthened over land of all things, very unusual. Anyhow, cloudy skies and wind don't keep me inside. Hopefully won't have to move workouts around this week!
Kia Kaha

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Remission and IM training...

I heard a wonderful word at my recent visit with my rheumatologist.........remission. He said that based on my steady progress, x-rays, lab work and overall assessment, my RA is considered to be in remission. Although, he didn't recommend (nor would I agree to) going off my medication due to the consistent inflammation in my left wrist. I've had this for almost 11 years and have been pretty stable for the past few years and am so grateful for that!
Our long ride scheduled for Saturday morning was not to be, the weather got the upper hand. Not the rain I mind but the lightening which, in Florida, is a regularity. I bonked on my brick run for reasons I'm not really sure of but still got most of it in. We salvaged much of Saturday boggie boarding in the rain which actually was a lot of fun. I was disappointed to not get my workout in in it's entirety but decided living to fight another day was going to have to do. We had clear skies today and made the most of it. Had a good long ride, just the Dane and me. Spent a couple hours on the sunny beach today and now watching the Olympics. Week one of IM training in the books, less than 9 to go 'til Kona. Yippeee!!
Kia Kaha

Friday, August 08, 2008

The OOOOOOOOlympic Games!

Yippee! Few people know just how much I love watching the Olympics. I will watch any sport at any hour but unfortunately, most of the action will take place live while I'm snoozing. Bummer. I will still love it anyway. The first Olympics (I'm mainly speaking of summer) I remember was '76 watching Bruce Jenner win the decathlon. I cried my eyes out when Mary Decker (my idol) fell to the ground in '84. I had the wonderful experience of seeing some of the '04 Games in Athens - dragged my sister and her husband to watch the women's triathlon, very cool! My sis will be heading to Beijing in a couple weeks to attend her 4th Olympic Games.
Pretty good training week. Swam my first real overdistance swim this morning, 5500Y. Ran long last night, 2 hours in real heat - 91* at start with heat index well over 100*. If that doesn't prepare one for Hawaii, I don't know what will. My hammy is being pretty bothersome but not much I can do for it now, 9 weeks out from IM. Couple of long rides this weekend should finish the week off right! Still playing with the bike fit but I feel dialed in much better now. Nothing like 8 hours of cycling over two days to really test that! That which doesn't kill me will only make me stronger! Besides, I want to earn my massage on Monday!
Kia Kaha

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Pics from Top Gun...


Sunday, August 03, 2008

Top Gun sprint tri RR

Ok, so the race was insignificant to the Dane coming home late Friday night! He was signed up for the race but the late arrival back home Friday night and the fact that his tri bike hasn't seen the outside of it's bike box since Rhode Island meant that he'd be volunteering! The weather all week was significant for morning thunderstorms and clouds and humidity all day long but we were in luck! No rain upon rising at 4AM. Yipee! Clouds, breeze and humidity were fine with me. I always forget that this race attracts more people than one would normally expect - over 800 were signed up. A major credit to the awesome race directors!! Anyhow, I was set to go off in wave number 5 with the 35-49 women which usually pits me against the strongest women overall....not today. This race was one for youth! The younger women (girls) went off a couple waves ahead of us so I knew if I had any chance at the overall, it was going to be a time trial effort, me against myself. I have no problems with that, I can push myself pretty hard and did. So, back at the beach, the water was a tad choppy but not bad by any stretch but the current meant keeeping the sighting in the right direction. I got a great start, off with two others in my wave but ahead of them after the last turn buoy. I figured I exited the water first in the wave and ran fast to T1 (long run to transition, I love) and got on Lucille (my bike). I was really motivated not to repeat the shit ride I had in Rhode Island (I know, it's totally different but I have issues) and rode my heart out. Nobody passed me (10 mile ride) and got off the bike ready to kill more people. I rode about 2 1/2 minutes faster than last year. Went out of T2 in a 6:16 first mile and knew I was going to pay! No worries, that's what sprint tri's are for.... pain!!! I loved it and wanted more. I was on a solo effort against the clock but died a bit at the end. Understandable since I haven't done much training in the past three weeks except easy, aerobic stuff and weight training. In the end, ended up first for masters, third overall female. I will say, when I looked at the results and splits at home later and saw #1 after each (for my wave) swim, bike and run - I was shocked. I don't think I've ever accomplished this in my triathlon life. Progress. This is my goal. Balance. This is also my goal. Slow to come, hard to get, but very worthwhile. Looking back over results, I had top 4 OA (female for all) swim, top 3 on bike, second fastest run. Who'd of thunk it! I am overall pleased with the effort, especially after looking at power numbers from the bike. I can say, the two girls who beat me (overall), should be followed for the future - they are fast! Alex Lechner and Alyssa Burkert are stars of the future, should they chose to pursue this sport! Go girls. I have no issues being beaten by girls this young, 21 and 16 - I applaud them and love to see this level of competition at our local sprint tri. Props to our great race directors!
The Dane and I rode 3 1/2 hours of fair tempo today and I wasn't trashed in the legs! Last time I'll feel that until Kona, I'm sure! Official training begins tomorrow and I'll try and get it all done but the last three weeks of winging it has been fun.
Kia Kaha

Friday, August 01, 2008

Ch ch ch ch changes......

So I just found out this morning at 5AM masters swim practice that our coach at this pool (I attend two different masters swim programs) is leaving and we may not have a new coach. WTF! I have IM Hawaii in 10 weeks and cannot deal with major changes to my training routine at this point. Bad enough that the coach at the other program changed a couple weeks ago but we do have an intermin coach who is really good and I hope she stays on. Holy crap! I don't like swimming on my own, making up workouts and challenging sets - I have no background in swimming and hence no creativity! Oh well, I'm sure something will work out.
Racing tomorrow, Top Gun sprint tri. Hopefully this crappy weather we've had all week will subside long enough for the race to go off. No goals just an hour of power and/or pain. Start training for Kona next week, officially. I've enjoyed just winging it with the training since RI 70.3.
The Dane got delayed in his travels back to the U.S. - was supposed to return home yesterday. He is scheduled to arrive tonight......hopefully
Kia Kaha

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Another boring training week

Another boring week in the log. The Dane is still gone and I feel somewhat empty without him. So there you have it, wearing my heart on my sleeve in public. Not normalcy for me.
I have been pondering my race future for '09, early, I know. I'm really excited to go to Kona this year but not at the top of my confidence for some reason. Wondering if I even want to do an IM next year. I think the race in RI really put some reality into me. I got beat fair and square by some really quality world class AG women but am still beside myself a bit. I work my ass off day in and day out training and also work a pretty stressful job (physician) and wonder what more can I do. I try not to use work as an excuse but I've never been 41 years old before either and I can see that I can DO the workouts, I just don't RECOVER from them as well. I guess it doesn't help that I've had rheumatoid arthritis for over ten years and take medications for that but I don't ever like to use that as fuel for any excuses, as anyone who really knows me understands. I've been told that I'm too hard on myself and I don't disagree. I just want to be able to compete with the cream of the crop and hold my head high. I will do just that in 11 weeks and give my all regardless of finish times, splits, scrutiny and all the other stressors that come along with competing on the largest stage on earth for triathlon. I gain a lot of my personal confidence from my partner in life, the Dane. When he's not here, I begin to show cracks in my armor, as it were. The phone calls several times a day are not enough to keep me.... well........ me. Yes, I have a tear on my cheek typing this. We all have our weaknesses.
I have another weakness, my bike. I did another bike test today and didn't gain as much improvement that maybe I expected. Granted, I haven't been doing any strong bike work since before taper for IM RI 70.3 but I felt I should have been progressing (from the training leading up to RI). Such is life and the bike is the bane of my existence as usual. I used the think that about the swim! I have made the swim my strength now, who'd of thought! There is hope in my heart and 10 weeks and 6 days in my schedule to improve - which is what I try to do every day. Be strong...
kia kaha

Monday, July 21, 2008

Alive in quad soreness hell

A week ago I did a half ironman. My quads are still rocked. It's crazy and I don't like being old and recovering sooooooooo slowly. I did a run yesterday and damn near had to walk home because my quads started screaming after a bit. Anyway, they'll recover eventually, I hope.
Did the last Clearwater Beach Ocean mile swim on Sat. It was fun. Seemed to be fewer people because I didn't get clobbered on the way to the first turn buoy. It was nice to get my heart beating again after doing almost nothing all last week (except a couple masters swims). I swam a little faster than the previous race but really had to work hard. It was fun. And, I won my age group! First win for this swim! Yippeeeeeeee!
Boring, lonely weekend really with the Dane away.
Kia Kaha

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

IM Rhode Island 70.3

view from our hotel window

the race crew

view of beautiful RI coast

post race fun

Ok, finally a gory race report. I am kind of over this race, not physically, but emotionally. I was really quite upset about not obtaining a Clearwater slot but such is life and I need to be faster. Period. I don't know quite how to accomplish that with all I have going on in my day to day but I'll continue to push on and compete with what I have.
The race was well put on but a logistical pain in the ass. The swim start was roughly 30-40 miles from the finish and Providence proper. The drive over was made more fun with my weekend race mates and genuinely fast folks! I loved being able to share my many fears and anxieties with Laura and Linda and they really helped me out. Thanks gals! Anyhow, the race spanned essentially the entire state of RI! Swim was in Narragansett in southern RI and the finish under the Capitol stairs in Providence. I had some issues with packing/unpacking my bike and had to visit the expo instead of getting a pre-ride in on Saturday which I didn't like but had to live with. Registration was very smooth and well run (on Friday). We decided to spend Friday afternoon driving the bike course. We got lost numerous times so never really saw most of it but got the gist, its HILLY! The road surface left a lot to be desired as well, especially for a chickenshit rider like myself. We drove back out on Sat to rack the bikes, run the gears, etc. Back to "town" for dinner and an early night to bed. The alarm set for 3am so we can make the trek, yet again, out to the southern part of the state. Did a little 10 minute jog prior to pulling on the wetsuit then into the sea for a warm up. The wind started to really kick up during the night so the normally calm bit of water for the swim became quite choppy and wavy. Not a worry for me because I've been good about doing open water swims at least once per week. We had a great wave, women 40+ in the third wave. Guns off and away we go. I was sure to line up next to the scathing fast Lisbeth Kenyon - it was the last time I'd see her til the end! FWIW, she's my pick for Kona for our AG if all goes well. Anyway, I got a great start but missed the feet I wanted due to the waves separating everyone. Drank a bit of water on the journey out to the turn around buoy but once around that, felt quite. good. Counted strokes to keep focused and out of the water in 30:xx minutes, very good for me especially in rough water! Onto the bike and the very scenic course awaits. The first 20 miles or so ran along the coast and was beautiful. Apparently, I was doing too much sight seeing but I saw no other souls on the bike for many miles and sat up several times wondering if I was still on the course! I was and found the hills pretty soon which came with cross winds and gusts. That actually didn't bother me but I was really tense about the descents and poor road surface in many areas. I didn't really push it at any time during this ride and it showed. Anyhow, along the bumpy, crappy, fried chicken smelling area back to Providence, L & L came bombing past me and I was pretty dejected. Not for nothing though, they are exceptional cyclists. I got into T2 feeling like I could have done the loop again (not the feeling you want in a HIM). Scooted out of there onto the unknown run loop - out and back twice. I had been warned by none other than Lisbeth herself, thanks, about the wall of a hill on the first mile - almost couldn't believe it when I saw it. Way worse than Palani hill in Kona and longer. Frankly, there was no flat area on this whole loop which I actually prefer. I felt light and strong and ran quite steady the entire time. I had more trouble running down the steep hill than up it! I have the painful quads to prove it! Anyhow, I had a steady run and pushed hard and was honestly happy to finish under 5:10! Finished 4th in the AG and no Clearwater slot - have I rehashed that enough! The Dane had a hard day and finished a few minutes behind me. A household trophy for me but not what I wanted out of the day. I am extremely sore so I know I raced hard and should be happy about that. I think this will help me keep motivated for Kona - not that it's a problem. Gonna take a week or two to recover then start into IM training. I have thought about going to Cancun to try and get the elusive Clearwater slot but then I remind myself how much I don't even like the Clearwater course. Who knows, I'll figure it all out. I should not make any decisions now because the pain is still fresh. Congrats to Laura on her Clearwater slot! Brilliant! (you had to be there...). The Dane is off to Europe as I type and will have to pay his dues for being home for "so long". I'll be lonely but will survive. Enjoy the pics!
Kia Kaha

Monday, July 14, 2008

IM Rhode Island 70.3

Just wanted to do a quick update as we are leaving the hotel in a few minutes. Will write about all the gory details later. The race was very well run, highly recommend this event. That said, it was the hardest half ironman I have ever done. Riding in the hills once per week in Florida did not prepare me for this race. However, I swam well and ran pretty well considering the nagging hammy. I ended up 4th in the AG, a full 10 minutes out of 3rd so even if I didn't have such a pedestrian ride, I wouldn't have cracked the top 3. Only two Clearwater 70.3 slots in my AG and it rolled down to third. Third place girl won the AG at Florida 70.3 in May but I guess she didn't take her slot there. I was pretty upset about that yesterday (and still am), but there's nothing I can do about it right now except focus on Kona in 12+ weeks. I'm in good shape now and need to try and get over this injury as much as possible to make a good run for Kona.
More gory details to come...........

Monday, July 07, 2008

Manatee sighting....

Power sign (as the Dane says) or prediction of my upcoming swim? I'm betting on the former, trying to remain positive and confident for Rhode Island 70.3 on Sunday. Had a pretty lazy holiday weekend, not much training due to taper. Really enjoyed watching Oly trials, swimming and track, Tour and Wimbledon. Of course, we spent plenty of time on the beach as well. So yesterday, we were sitting on the beach and noticed a crowd gathering. Couldn't have been a shark or there would be more running and screaming. Walked to the shoreline and there were two huge manatee checking us all out. It was pretty cool, they just swam up and down the beach for an hour. Neat to be able to see an endangered animal in its natural habitat. I had a really good swim this morning though. Never really felt out of breath or tired - I love those days (I wish they would happen in RACES). Hope this week goes fast....
kia kaha

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Taper time

Yippee!! I actually don't love taper that much because I love training but it's nice to have a little break now and then. We rode in the hills last Sat, did a "race rehearsal" type deal - 50 mile ride (pretty slow though) then 6 mile brick at "race pace". Notice my use of quotes. The race rehearsal is supposed to be done with race clothing/foods/drinks/yada yada. Yeah, like I'm gonna ride in hillbilly heaven in my swimsuit! Not. I did manage to get my aerobottle thingy strapped to my aerobars and used it as I would in a race. Had to move the SRM mount and it's not happy where it is so I'll need to rig something up. Anywho, the Dane, Linda M and I had a nice ride through the green pasture-lined roads. It wasn't too hot when we hit the parking lot to transition to the run.......until later! Wore the fuel belt to simulate G-rade at aid stations - hate wearing that thing. Set out at....ooops.....6:57 isn't goal race pace (dream on). Slowed it down and managed to get in a little over 6 miles @7:24 pace - more reasonable. Found the Dane and LM under the pavillion hiding from the sun when I rolled back into the parking lot. We exchanged war stories then went on our way back home. Hit the beach to unhook. Good day. Sunday was supposed to be a no workout day but I don't do that very well. We took out the road bikes and tooled around Clearwater Beach then did an open water swim later. Got sunburned but felt happy except for my nagging hammy - just won't get better. I'll worry about it more after Rhode Island. I'm gonna get back to the ART guy after the race so I can train for Kona. Can't wait for 3 day weekend! Cheers to the taper....
kia kaha

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Wet one

We did Clearwater Beach Ocean mile swim Sat morning under dark skies, thinking we may get a chance to ride afterwards. Not. I had no goal, once again, just wanting to get in a good workout. I have a love/hate relationship with these open water swims. On the one hand I like to compete with the pure swimmers, see how I measure up (usually, I don't). On the other hand, I like (yeah, right) to try and practice being more aggressive in the opening, not bowing down to the blows and attempts at drowning me. I really don't like that but it's not dissimilar to a tri start! So anyway, survived another start and open water swim. I never got in a good rhythm due to some chop and current, I'm not great with choppy water. Every look ahead on the way out was greeted with lightening in the distance. Yikes! We had a favorable current going out, which means not so favorable coming back in. I finished, unofficially, second in my AG which is better than I've ever done in one of these swim races. I wasn't happy with my effort, just couldn't find the extra gear to push it but then, we're 3 weeks out from "A" race so that's probably totally appropriate. The Dane had a good effort as well. We got back home and realized there was no way we were going to fit in a bike ride amongst the lightening strikes, so lounged at the beach until the black clouds rained down. We spent the evening wishing good friends Bon Voyage on their adventure moving to the OC! Fun but sad at the same time! :>(
Today brought yet another ride in the hills. Yet again, longer ride than I was supposed to do but couldn't get the brick in due to rain and lightening so no harm done. We fought the pouring rain and lightening for over 2 hours of the ride and managed to get back in one piece! Thanking God for safe return now, we venture into the beginnings of the taper. Ahhhhhhh. Really, I'm always thinking of how far out from Kona I am now, 16 weeks for those who are counting! So, the 4 1/2 hour ride was not all for nought! As LM says, building character type of ride today! So start to back down a tad this next week, necessary as far as I can see based on my need for sleep! Maybe it's just my age! Best of luck to all....
Kia Kaha

Monday, June 16, 2008

Winning one in the swim

A major first for me! When you come from nearly drowning in the swim for many of my beginner years of multisport to actually coming from behind to win a race, any race, in the water, it's encouraging. We did the Sunrise Biathlon on Sat morning. Felt it would be a nice low key affair, as have been the other 2 biathlons I've done ever. And, since I've been training about 18 hours a week for half ironman in 4 weeks with no real rest days, I wanted a low key event. Showed up and there are a lot of people and timing chips. Wow, not low key at all. Took it all in stride and used it more as a nice hard workout than a real race. We swam every day last week too so the old arms/shoulders were pretty tired. No excuses, just here for fun anyway. And it was fun. Two mile beach run (out and back), 1/2 mile ocean swim (two loops) then one mile run (out and back). The first run I was a little slow to get going, no speed at all! Passed a few gals on the return trip and went into the swim in third, but the first girl was flying on the run! Arms super heavy and breathing hard around the first loop of the swim and wanted to settle into solid tempo on second loop. Stood up to exit the water from the first loop and there was the first girl right in front of me so I needed to hammer the second loop hard to get a lead on the fast-running girls ahead of me. Out of the water, onto the second run. Didn't realize I was in the lead until the turn around. I DID realize the gals behind were charging hard to catch me. Luckily, it was only a mile and I was able to hold them off for the win. The Dane finished up second in his AG. We took our bikes with us and did a 2 hour ride to/in/out Fort Desoto then it was Corona time! Rode super hilly 66-miler yesterday, reportedly 3000ft of climbing on this ride and I felt each foot! Did 45 min brick off that which felt better than the ride! One more week of hard workouts then easing into taper for IM Rhode Island 70.3. Can't wait. Think I'm ready.
Kia Kaha

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Whoa Nelly

Ok, I should have known I was totally going to jinx myself with the last post. Live and learn. I'm not wrecked or unable to train or anything but the hammy isn't as happy as when I posted last. Ran hill (bridge for us in FL) repeats on Tues with Linda M and the Dane. This workout was fine but tightened up the hammy a bit. Rode intervals at Fort Desoto on Weds night which was really tough but got through it. Swim in AM and long run after work on Thurs kind of burried me. Ran almost 13 in pretty sultry conditions which I'm slowly getting used to. Rode 78 miles in the hills on Sat and had some tough spots but didn't get dropped. Pleasant 65 mile ride on Sunday with a 45 minute brick which I wanted to run around race pace. I had some really tired legs for the brick but that's what I want to train, to be able to run steady with really knackered legs. Managed to average 7:15/mile for the brick and was happy with that. Back to it today after couple swims already, we'll hit the bridge today again. And the beat goes on...
Kia Kaha