Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sick of being injured

So, in my over-eagerness to be competitive and train with some intensity, I managed to tweak the hammy last Sunday on the road bike. I just HAD to bridge a gap that I saw in the line and didn't even think about it. Duh. I did jog on Monday but couldn't on Thursday, didn't want to push through any hammy discomfort. I'm wondering when I'm going to be able to do any consistent running. On a good note, my house that I'm selling is under contract and we'll be staying in Belleair for now. My office got moved about 6-7 miles further from home so my commute got longer, not enjoyable at all. Christmas will be rather quiet due to the bad economy affecting the Dane's work but we'll be together so that is good. We've truly had an "offseason" going to parties and sleeping in, really getting out of shape. My main goal is to avoid excessive weight gain while I'm on this eternal injury break which I've done pretty well with. Hoping that everyone is as happy with as little as we are.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Still healing..

Well, I've had just about enough "down" time with this stupid injury. But, through the wise advice from my good friend Linda and the Dane, I have to realize that I didn't really start my healing/down time until about 8 weeks after I got injured. So, I guess I'm only 2 months into the healing and not 4. Either way, the rest of my body is fine and I've had so many sleeps of 10+ hours that the overtraining has worn off now. Didn't know I could sleep that much, wowzers. At any rate, I can do everything pain-free, except run, of course. Tried a jog/walk on Tuesday and still had more discomfort than I was comfortable ignoring so I stopped. I've been doing lots of walking, some swimming and riding aerobically. I'm able to ride the road bike now without any problem too. If I seem to be obsessed with this, I am. I hate being injured when everyone else is going through our "running" season and spectating is really getting old. I have thought that one of my goals for next year is to try an off-road ultramarathon - nothing crazy, just 30K or even 50K if I can get the miles in. That would be the reward for being down for so long. I don't think I'll try and tackle any Ironmans next year, keep it short and get some speed back which will take a long time. The only thing I'm signed up for right now is New Orleans 70.3 (signed up the week after the race, loved it so much). Hoping I can be healthy enough even for that at this stage! It may be longer before I'm able to sustain any consistent running. I'm rehabbing as much as I can and doing lot's of dryland for core and all that which should help in the long run. Hoping I'll come out of this stronger in other areas. We'll see.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

IM Coz

Yup, I'm not there. First IM I've signed up for and not done. Feels really strange to pull up athlete tracker on, see your name and not see any splits. Looks like very, very favorable current for the swim, of course I miss THIS race. Either way, can't rate a race you didn't do. On a good note, I feel the hammy has really done some good healing the last couple weeks. Mostly because I haven't done much of anything. I have been swimming 2-3 times per week, mostly pulling (hoping my shoulder holds up) and riding easy. I'll take it over doing nothing....I don't have the mentality for that! I'm 3 1/2 months from my last run and really feel I'll be back to jogging in December which I'm so looking forward to! On a brighter note, the Dane has been a racing machine! He did the 10K run at the Turkey Trot and did about what was expected, another mug in the cupboard. Then another race on Sat night, 5K run and it was cold. He did really well there, sub 19:30 run on sore legs. He's running well and I'm hoping to run! Crazy and I'm ready to be DONE spectating! I do think I've got a head start on the aerobic bike miles, core strength and quality swim yards. Maybe I'll exit this catastrophic injury better.... I sure hope! Keeping the chin up and feeling hopeful, what more could you want this time of year!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Big, big weekend

Me and Linda, now a World Champ!

The Dane and me on our fun weekend

Cassie, the stud World Champ and fun chick!

Do I need to label this! Rinney and Julie Dibens, these chicks are the best!

This weekend was huge. The triathlon world was zeroed in to our little spot on the planet, Clearwater Beach. Also, my brother ran his first half marathon in San Antonio, TX and did really well. Wish we could have been there but I wouldn't have missed the festivities here at home for the world (sorry Mike). I couldn't race because of the hamstring injury (which is finally getting better, I think) so being a spectator is something I throw my whole heart and sole into. I had some friends out there racing so was really amped to cheer as much as possible (and have the hoarse voice to prove it). Short story, it started out with dinner with Crowie (won IM Hawaii x 2) and Rinney (second woman/marathon record at IM Hawaii) at one of our local eateries thanks to Shimano and Outspokin. A real fun time to chat with people who race really, really fast and catch up with Crowie (with whom we had dinner prior to his first win at Clearwater 70.3 in '06). That was an awesome way to start the race weekend. The swim was altered due to concerns over the Gulf being super rough with remnants of TS Ida but the race went on with all professionalism possible. Anyhow, it was an awesome day and I'm happy to say that I have two friends who are AG world champs - Linda and Cassie you chicks rock!! I actually became friends with the winner of the women's race overall, Julie Dibens, what a performance and "not a one trick pony" - quote from her disc wheel. She dominated and was the first women to break 4 hours for the distance - truly awesome to see and a great champion!! The after party was, in the words of Rinney, "fricken awesome". Whew. I have lots of pictures, most are not fit for viewing - you know the party was good then!
I want to tell you about a girl. I had the privilege of meeting said girl three years ago while I was training for my first IM Hawaii. She is a legend in triathlon in this area and, if you're competitive in triathlon in this area, you know who Linda Musante is. I got back into the sport after some years away and knew the name. Here, it's like Dave Scott or Mark Allen - you hear the name but you never actually get to meet the person. Well, I got to meet her on a ride (thanks to Tim H). She was everything I imagined and much more. I have known a lot of smart, cool, fast people in my life but this girl was truly different. She is one of the most competitive and tough people I've ever known. She also has one of the biggest hearts. We are terribly similar in a lot of ways, one of the differences is that she is now, finally, a World Champion. She is one of the most deserving individuals I can imagine. I am not starting a Linda Fan Club, I am just so aware of what she has gone through since her death-defying bike crash in the summer of '08. She could have died, she could have given up but that's not what she's made of. She didn't start back "training" until several months after the accident, and by "training", I mean moving her body after the bruising was gone. She got right back on the bike like a champion does, even though she looked over her left shoulder more often than before. I say all this because she came back from a devastating crash and won her age group on Saturday. We tried like Hell to help her train, the run was her worry. I couldn't run train with her so the Dane ran the course at a pace we all felt that she should/would need to do to win. I told her she is going to win at Clearwater, she didn't want to believe me. I kept telling her, over and over. Bottom line, she came off the bike with a lead, as she often does, and ran her way to a world championship. I'm hoarse but it's worth it! We are so proud of Linda. I'm happy to have a friend like her and hope that one day I too , can accomplish half of what she has! Bravo girl, we love ya! Cheers

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

IM Florida craziness

This is one (main) reason I don't want to go back to IM Florida. The drafting/cheating is rediculous! Check it out...

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Pre Clearwater buzz

Getting ready to SUP on IRB, it's cool out!

The Dane gets the heavy lifting today

That is one tall board! Or I'm short!

Well, now the triathlon world is going to be focused on Clearwater Florida. Fun for us, a major pain for those locally that don't give a damn about triathlon! Since we reside within running distance of the race, we'll be out on course all day long cheering on all the hard working athletes (on mtn bikes). I go back and forth between starting the race and just doing the swim, and doing the swim and bike and not doing any of it. I actually feel I've FINALLY turned at bit of a corner with the injury and only because I've learned the difference between pain and discomfort - something which I have never had to think about. Pain is something that I've learned to disregard, which, ironically, leads me to where I am now! I suppose that being more "in tune" with the inner workings/pains of my body will benefit me in my training/ racing/recovering down the road. I will not be toeing the line on Saturday, I know myself too well and I will likely try and "run" somewhere along the way and set myself back another 12 weeks. Ugh, my sanity cannot handle that! I do, on the other hand, have friends that will be racing. I'll be out there as the loudest cheerleader! I love that we have a World Championship race here and may not be here forever so we have to take advantage of it! So, when you see the crazy group of people at the top of the Memorial Causeway bridge with bells, whistles and lots of antics, it's us and we're just trying to give you our energy! Enjoy Clearwater!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Swim new sport

Video is just our beautiful venue at Carlouel. Can't beat it!

So, I've finally come to the realization that I won't be back to running any time real soon and am backing off the hard cycling and some of the swim sets. Tried a jog on Monday and had pain, bummed. I have really backed off this week with the hard cycling, just doing easy power crank rides, swimming and weights (core and upper body most). I think this is having a good effect because the Jog on Monday didn't set me back as much as two weeks ago. I am hard headed but eventually I catch on! We had an open water social swim race on Sat up at Carlouel. The week temps were so warm this past week that the water temp actually bumped back up to 80 degrees. The Dane, Linda M and I brought wetsuits anyway - I always get cold and I have this pipe dream that I may get a miraculous cure before Clearwater 70.3 race! So, we wore wetties but nobody else did. Linda needed to practice in hers as she IS racing Clearwater and hasn't done much swimming in it (she swam great, expect great result at Clearwater from her). We had a 1/4 mile swim first and that was over quickly which was nice. Then the long walk down to the start of the 1.2 mile swim, seemed forever. Went well though, I actually PR'd for me at that distance (with a bit of a current) at 29 and change. Also, have another household trophy, thanks only to the Dane's poor sense of navigation! Damn, why can't I race! Very frustrating but good to know my swim training is going pretty well. We had a celebrity appearance by Cassie M who is also racing Clearwater (won the AG a couple years ago) so fun to catch up with her. Overall, super fun event and venue for swimmers and triathletes to test themselves. Much thanks to Leo. The next event will be an SUP, swim, beach run race on Dec 5th - praying I can run some by then (or I'll get a pinch runner). Athletes are starting to show up for Clearwater 70.3 now which is exciting. Wish I could race but I've accepted my current lot in life. Could be worse, could be snowing!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Updates on the injury front


Wish I was Kara. Slap, back to reality. And, Linda and the Dane on the long run.
Ok, I think I officially have surpassed the longest time I've not run in at least 20 years. It's testing me more mentally than anything. It has been over 9 weeks with no running due to the hammy tear now and, good news, it is feeling better. So, in my ambition to return to running and sanity, I tried running, read jogging, on Monday while the Dane was doing his mile repeats. Just jogged 2 min on, 1 min walk for about 15 minutes. Didn't "hurt" but I did feel uncomfortable. Bummed and set back a bit for sure. But, I feel ok now, think I recovered ok. I've learned that when I am riding, though I have no pain, I place a lot of stress on the hammy with sprinting or accelerating so I have been avoiding these parts of riding. I have been avoiding riding in the hills as well for the same reasons. I have been riding the Power Cranks twice per week but on the Computrainer with the IM Canada real course video and I love riding the climbs but find that is stressing the hammy. So, I need to keep riding boring, flat roads to not place stress on the hammy. I'm learning. I downloaded a really good hammy rehab program online and a progression schedule so that is what I'm focusing on doing daily now. Mix of stretching, both static and eccentric, and strengthening, both concentric and eccentric. The eccentric rehab is what needs to improve before I can run again, in my opinion. Figure I'll wait another week prior to another jogging trial. Bummed I'm totally going to miss out on IM 70.3 Worlds here in Clearwater but I don't want to do anything that will set me back. I thought hard about doing the swim and bike but I know I'll instinctively sprint out of the water into T1 and that could set me back another 3 months, no can do. So, I'll be cheerleader like the last two years and get motivated. Watching IM Hawaii online last Sat was awesome. I want to give major props to my friend Lisbeth K who had a well deserved win in the 40-44 AG in Kona, truly awesome performance for her! So, I will be back and, I think, better. I'm riding a lot more than I would, has to count for something. Thinking about a swim camp or two during off-season also to improve my technique. I am not signing up for any races until I'm better, that's my rule now. I am, however, already signed up for IM 70.3 New Orleans so have that goal. I am excited for my brother who is going to run his first half marathon in four weeks, I think he'll surprise himself. He has done a 10K and 5K in his training and has hardware to show for each race - better than most. His goal is to do a 70.3 race next year, should be fun to help him on his journey. So, that's where we are now. Into the off season for me but the Dane has the last sprint tri of the season next Sat, I think he'll win Masters again (at 49, not bad). Warm wishes.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Not dead...really

So, for those who aren't on facebook (mom), probably wondering what the Hell happened to me, I'm still alive. Found out on Monday that I had torn my hamstring at the origin (biceps femoris, to be specific). Note that this MRI was done nearly 6 weeks after the injury so it was probably much worse initially than what showed. I am extremely disappointed but relieved to know exactly what the problem is - makes rehabbing and goal-setting easier. I'm sure now, after doing some research, how this happened. I think that I was totally overtrained and my quads had been really shot for weeks - probably more than I should feel is "normal" for IM training. But, being the overachiever and driven individual I am, I chose to ignore and push through this. I've read that when the quads, main cycling and running muscles, get overdone, the other, smaller muscles get recruited and may or may not be able to handle the load. My hammies are relatively weak, something I've known, and took the brunt. Felt a twinge on the last long run (that I ignored completely) and pushed on. Bad idea and the beginning of my demise. One day, running 7:30's on my last long brick, the next, can't run 1/2 mile. The log tells all and, if I had a coach, I would have been told to back off way before. The complications of being a self-coached athlete. So, fast forward to now. I haven't been able to run for 7 weeks now. My ortho said likely 8-12 weeks for me. Note, I am pain-free mostly with swimming and cycling, thank God - my only source of therapy other than the grappa! So, riding power cranks with no pain - actually riding these better than I ever thought possible for me (the mind is amazing). I'm thinking/hoping this will make transition back to running easier, we'll see. Riding regular bike too and swimming. My swimming has come back to me also in the pool - the other "sign" I was overcooked was I couldn't swim worth shit during the summer, just plain drained. I've learned alot. I'm not 25 anymore and have to take recovery days - very hard for someone who loves to train (and has a stressful job/needs the release)! I do have the IM 70.3 World Championships here in November and I plan to at least do the swim and bike. If I can run some, I'll give it a go but my ortho told me the last thing to come back is fast running (and don't re-injure and go through this all over). Great, in a World Championship race and no fast running - should be a humbling experience! Well, I earned this and will embrace it fully and be thankful that I have qualified for this race - a feat that is no longer easy (I couldn't qualify last year). So, I'll keep updating to anyone who wants to know. Onward and I'm not giving up just getting stronger!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

And, more video

Love making movies with my Mino HD and Flip!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

More video

Getting around to making movies of the video footage I shot on our trip to Penticton. Don't worry, I won't quit my day job just yet.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sand Key Tri, well, duathlon.....

Swim cancelled due to a few waves. What is coming of this sport.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Ironman Canada '09 race report

Warning, this is long. Read if you dare. 7th Ironman, worst result.
Was going to title this "cut lip, sprained thumb, bruised ego race report" but thought better of it. This is, though, what I left Penticton, BC with. Every year, I manage to have an absolutely horrible day in a race. This year, it ended up being the biggest race on the calendar, unfortunately. Yes, still bitter, upset and moderately depressed. Training went extremely well this summer. I had the Dane around to do the workouts with me and that pushed me harder and harder. Not gonna lie, the goal was to qualify for IM Hawaii in October for my third trip. We had wonderful group on Saturdays to do long rides with in the hills. We had another wonderful group for fast ride on Sundays. I felt these weekly jaunts which pushed me very hard, would benefit me in the end and give me a great bike split on a tough IMC bike course. I was riding the powercranks twice per week along with another mid-week ride to give my cycling a boost. It was showing in training but I hadn't raced since Florida 70.3 so not really sure where it was all going. I had a foot/achilles injury coming out of (and going into) Florida 70.3 so took a week off from running then and decided on a huge change, to rid myself of orthotics. This proved over the following several months to be a good decision as my foot pain mostly resolved as I continued to train. Enter taper week one. Went for regular Tuesday tempo run and got about 1/2 mile before I had to walk home with strange extreme pain in my left hip/upper hamstring area. Funny, I don't remember tweaking or injuring this in my brick the previous Saturday. No biggie, I was sure this was one of those fleeting taper problems. This hampered the taper, no running at all, just some riding and swimming. I admit I backed off the swimming this year due to many reasons but mostly so I could focus more on biking and running - the money events in long course racing. Anyway, I proceeded tapering without running, figuring this would certainly resolve prior to race day. Still felt a bit tired riding but this is usually the norm for me. Got to Penticton and had three ART sessions in the days prior hoping this would cure me. Onto the race. Slept great the night before, not unusual for me. Had my normal breaky and got in thewetsuit and warmed up. I had been paying attention to recommendations on where to line up for this one loop swim and felt I knew where to be to get good benefit of drafting. Don't think I overestimated my swim speed. I was trying to be competitive and go for a Kona slot - can't do that from the "back of the pack". No offense to others. Gun went off, waded/swam behind the fast-looking girl I lined up behind and thought I was in good position.....until the masses came. I will make this very short and just say that I felt I was going to drown and meet my maker on this swim. I had a full panic attack, the legs went numb and felt the day was ending here, needless to say, not a good way to start a long day. I did manage to find clean water inside the buoys and decided this was the place for me and managed to stay there the remainder of the way (with exception of the turns, obviously). I managed to survive the swim and it was much slower than I wanted/expected but I did indeed survive which was a new feeling for me. I felt the leg/hip pain and WALKED up out of the water and pretty much knew this was how the day was going to be. Getting my wetsuit off, I felt pain in my right thumb, not sure if this occurred during the swim or out of but didn't pay much attention, as I would normally do (this swelled during the course of the ride and added to my dismay). On to the bike, ready for my great adventure. It was an adventure indeed. All I can say is that it's hard to do this course if you don't train/descend in mountains. Needless to say, don't have that opportunity living in Florida. No excuses here - I've been working hard on my climbing and was climbing very well and passing folks along the way. Problem is, I was getting creamed on the descents. I am a total pussy descending (and I only weigh 104 pounds), and I know it. It's been a known fear/weakness of mine for a long time. I was freaked out in the water and now freaked out on the bike. I got through the bike and if I was on a "scenic" ride, it would be great but unfortunately, I was in a race. I am disappointed at how fearful I was on the descents but when I learned that the Dane was not that comfortable either, I didn't feel so bad. I had several girls in my AG pass me on the descents but I would pass back on climbs but I never felt good. I found out later, the Dane was having severe cramping issues only a couple hours into the ride. I couldn't hold my planned power numbers on the flats later either and figured I was just too cooked from training. That's the risk when you're self coached and extremely motivated! Anyhow, finally made it back into town and got off the bike and tried, by reflex, to run into transition and had the same pain I'd been having for two weeks. Bummer. Got into the tent and didn't hurry too much. Chatted with the nice volunteer helping me and limped out of T2. I knew immediately, the marathon wasn't going to happen for me today. Wanted to cry but just walked and soaked in the disappointment. Managed to find the Dane coming the opposite direction and told him I was done and he told me the problems he'd been having and wanted out with me. I made sure that he was very certain about this and we walked hand in hand to the med tent. We were treated very well there and had a nice massage. Overall, a good learning experience, I suppose. The thing about having a bad day is that you truly analyze everything that would not otherwise really be looked at too closely with a good race. So, for those reading this mammoth sob session, you might ask: What do I take out of this? Several things, actually.
1. Don't sign up for races with mountain descents, I suck at them
2. Don't smash yourself so hard in training that you are still tuckered for the race
3. No extra-curricular activities within two weeks of a major race (SUP session in the swells I think contributed/caused this last-minute injury)
4. Consider hiring a coach to put a governor on my motivation.....oh yeah, can't afford that at this time
5. Consider not doing races with mass starts with 2600+ people - panic attack is close to follow
What are the good/positive things?
1. I had a solid 7+ hour "race situation" training day
2. No pounding from a marathon
3. Nice Vietnamese meal while others were still running, ugh
4. Awesome trip to Canada where I'd never been before (and may never return to)
5. The crowd support at IMC is second to none. Yellow Lake climb was like (I imagine) climbs at the Tour de France, no lie
6. I still have IM Cozumel at the end of November - trust me, if I can run , I WILL be going for this.
So, I have a couple of appointments with doctors who, hopefully, know more than I do and can figure out what is wrong with my hip/leg so I can get back to running. In the mean time, I will enjoy the beach, walk barefoot, ride my road bike, swim masters, swim open water and move on. I do also have IM 70.3 World Championships here in Clearwater in November. If I'm healthy, November will be a very busy month. I am truly hoping so!!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Mini IMC race report

Well, what can I say. I've never dnf'd an Ironman so I guess my time was coming. I was pretty sure starting the race that I wasn't going to be able to run since I haven't really been able to run for the past 12 days or so. I still don't know how I injured my leg/hip but absolutely cannot run and that's the only thing I can't do. The swim was super crowded and scary. Was slow but glad I survived as I was sure I was going to drown in the first half mile or so. Managed to sprain my thumb also. The bike was epic and the downhills were scary - I think I was the only person riding their brakes going down the mountains. Lost massive amounts of time there. I climbed well though. Got off the bike and couldn't even run through transition so I knew my day was done. Very, very disappointing to have an injury like this come up during taper. I think I may have injured myself SUP'ing, not sure. Will figure it out when we get home. The Dane was cramping severely during the bike which continued into the run so decided he didn't want to walk 26 miles either. We showered then found a great little Vietnamese restaurant along the run course and called it a night early. Great race overall though and I would love to come back here and finish what I started. Anyway, need to pack the bike.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

One sleep left

Transition bags lined up, like graveyard, eh

Mere hours prior to starting our epic day tomorrow and feeling pretty calm. I was able to sleep past 6am today for once since coming to the Pacific time zone. Even though I fell asleep before 7:30 last night - real party animal! Anyway, got up and walked to the lake for our daily swim which was nice because it was warmer and there was a little cloud cover. The swim will be tough on the way back to the beach because the sun glares in the eyes. I have some great Sable goggles that are mirrored so hoping that will be good (thanks, Val). We did a little 30 min spin ride through some beautiful rolling terrain just out the door from where we are staying. I have some video and plan to post this when I get a chance. Stunning vistas and I wanted to ride there all day and forget why we were here! Back to the expo for more ART torture/treatment to finish us off. We cleaned up and had a bite of leftover pasta which was supreme with the awesome ingredients we have to cook with here! Went to local farmers market and got a few things to cook with tonight - the Dane is in his glory with all the great veggies! Had to rack the bikes and drop the transition bags today also so got to see the lay of the land, as it were, for tomorrow. Just relaxing now and enjoying a local wine, doesn't get much better. My "injury" feels a bit better today but the test will be tomorrow and I hope that I can work through this. I'm more worried about surviving the bike - it is truly an epic course that I want to be sure to manage my energy on. I was going to do a video blog today but too lazy and video isn't downloading as I would like. None of you should mind missing my mug! Thanks for all the well-wishes which we appreciate very much. This race will require the best we have and it's always a bonus to have all the encouragement. Thanks.

Friday, August 28, 2009

you, you and you

Our patio dining spot, not bad

Early to swim, not bad

Bike and run course, very pretty

Somewhere along the bike course

These are the wise words from one (and only) Paula Newby Fraser. If you don't know who that is, do me a favor, save me the time and google her. Briefly, she won IM Hawaii nine, yes nine, times. More than anyone else. And, she has won IM Canada. We had a breakfast with her because we contributed to the community fund which goes far to help the local community support programs such as children's sporting events and various others. A feel-good thing to do, good karma builder and I'm happy to support charity in this community which we happen to invade for a few days. Today, was a swim in the lake which is beautiful. Then over to the breakfast and here Paula give many words of wisdom. Waited for more ART torture then had that. My ART guy today suggested that I try a jog today, just 5 minutes or so (most I've been able to do in over a week) to see how the treatment is working so I can report back tomorrow. Let's just say, if these people can save me, I may change my career!! I did jog for three minutes with moderate pain but, an improvement. How I'm going to string that into 26.2 miles, I haven't yet figured out. Very, very frustrating because I'm in the best condition of my life, I feel, and running pretty well all year. That said, I'll take what the day gives. This afternoon, we drove the bike course. If you want a challenging, epic, stunningly beautiful ride, come here. It is going to be scary in the long descents but, more than the wind, I can control this. I will post video when I have better connection and it doesn't take an hour to download! Having our healthy pasta meal tonight that chef Anders is whipping up as I type. Will try a video blog tomorrow, we'll see how that goes.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

O Canada

Beautiful Seattle sky

Lake Chelan, WA

Our view of Penticton from the patio of our duplex

Made it to Penticton last night. The drive was pretty and uneventful until we hit the border. Yada, yada, yada 2 1/2 hours later we were allowed in. Hopefully, my faith in the pleasantness of the Canadian peoples will improve during the rest of our stay! Seattle was really cool and the drive out of there was amazing. We stopped half way in a little town called Lake Chelan which borders the Cascades and ate a fab Thai meal. That said, I'm sick of eating out already. We just put the bikes together since I cannot seem to sleep past 5am! We will get registered, take a swim and a bike ride and try to find an ART guru to help me with this hip/groin/hammy problem that I've managed to obtain and hasn't gotten better by not running. Wish us luck and I'm praying my race doesn't end in T2!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

In the barn

Well, taper is in full swing. I feel really tired, which is usually normal for me. I have managed also to somehow injure myself during this taper and I'm still not quite sure what's wrong or when/how I did it. I ran fine last Saturday after the long ride and felt tired but good. My foot has slowly been better and better and is, essentially, a non-issue. We SUP'd quite a bit last Sunday, tried to battle some big swells which was probably wrong. Then had the whole thing with the manatees and were on the boards for quite a long time. Felt a twinge in my groin area, where the adductors and hamstrings attach on the left leg but didn't think much of it. Went to run on Tuesday and could barely go 1/2 a mile and had to walk home due to pain. Haven't run since, have been favoring it just to walk but doesn't bother me to swim or bike. Today, feels a little bit better. Praying it won't be there in one week so I can run a marathon. I'm moderately freaked out but realize not much I can do but rest, ice and take lot's of Advil (which I don't think helps much). Anyhow, otherwise, things going well. We leave on Tuesday and I'm in desperate need for a vacation! Have a full day at work tomorrow, should have taken it off but didn't. Oh well. Will make the days off more sweet! The bike is packed but still have to pack the rest of my stuff. I took a couple photos of my IM Canada Splish suit - hope it's not too cold to wear! Hope I get to run a full marathon in it also! Will certainly update from the road as we will be traveling with laptop. Wish us well, eh!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

video proof!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

manatee orgy and other various topics

I hope to have some footage of the amazing scene we were blessed to see today while on the SUP's in the intracoastal. We witnessed at least 8 manatee (endangered, I think) in a mating pod along the sea wall not too far from home. The day started out on the Gulf. We had the day off from training (thanks, taper) so ventured out to the Gulf as there was a tropical storm brewing so the waves were starting to come up. Since the wind was offshore, we thought we might be able to paddle and catch a few waves back in to the shore. It was way worse when we paddled out that it looked from the beach. If I wasn't two weeks out from my Ironman race, I would have been more daring, maybe, but not today. The winds were blowing but offshore so the water was pretty glassy but decent swells. We bagged this due to fear of injury and went home. Got home, and noticed the tide was super high so decided to launch off the sea wall across the street. Best decision of the year. Got out to the flats and saw huge pod of manatee making a big stir along the sea wall. They were slapping water and moving around, even swimming under our boards! It was a truly magical experience and something we hung around a while to watch. Luckily, friends who live close by noticed us out there on the water just hanging around and brought out the cameras, I'm hoping to get footage. It was truly a highlight.
The week of training last week was ok. Super hot and humid so I think we have that covered. We had a "race rehearsal" ride/brick yesterday in the hills and I do not feel recovered on the bike at all, mostly going up hill! Hopefully, that will improve during our taper. I do, however, feel super strong running. I can run on extremely tired legs and keep 7:30 pace which is encouraging. I think IM Canada is more a runner's race (as long as you can ride decent) so I'm feeling good about my run fitness now. I hope my bike legs come around during the taper or it will be a long day! Getting excited to leave for Penticton now and making packing lists. One thing for sure, if I don't do well, it's not because I'm not fit! The Dane hurt everyone on the ride yesterday and is rediculously fit!
Cheers to the manatee!

This is LM and the Dane SUP'ing on the glassy Gulf!

Driving to SUP in the Gulf (not today)

Saturday, August 08, 2009

What it takes

Do we really know, well, not really. The game changes constantly. The competitors change, constantly. We think about it, constantly. What am I speaking of......Kona. What else? In my mind........constantly. Wanna go back. My ticket is going to have to be earned in 3 weeks at IM Canada. Won't be easy but we've trained really hard. Today, for example, rode only 4 1/2 hours (cuz I'm baked) but the brick was 6 miles at an insanely happy, feel good pace of sub-7:30. That shouldn't "feel good", it should "feel shitty". Don't know but I'm certainly embracing running with really, really, tired legs. Good, I hope. Ran 18 1/2 miles on Thursday night in the Florida heat at sub 8:10 pace and stayed aerobic for most part. Is this my IM marathon pace now, sure hope so. Just glad to get through the key workouts. The foot/achilles is doing well out of orthotics, never going back if I can help it! I feel much more fit and definitely faster than the spring doing the 70.3 races.
Video is just stupid coverage of parking lot in the hills getting ready in the dark. We're tired of waking at 4:15am on Saturday mornings! Taper is a whisper away! Cheers.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

4 weeks to go

We are in the middle of the heat of IM training. It's hard. Every morning comes with groaning and slowness. We do it anyway because it's what needs to be done, basically. If you want to be good, to compete, you have to get up and keep going. The really hard thing, I think, is to keep going after hard, stressful work days. That's what no one sees and doesn't get factored into the "training time/stress", but it's a factor, I assure you. But, you might ask, why do it then? I don't know. Everyone's answer is very personal but I just like pushing my body to the max and seeing what I might learn about myself, how do I handle real pressure and misery. I get a lot of pleasure from a long day of work, training the body, pushing the boundries and maybe too far sometimes. It's likely rather sick but it is what it is. I feel most fit and "healthy" (not mentally, of course) when in this place. You walk into a public place and know that you can out run/bike/swim anyone in the joint for the most part - in a Darwinian world, that's pretty powerful. But, I digress. We had a good week of training. Long run was faster, at lower heart rate. Long bike in the hills with longish brick was brutal in the Florida heat but it prepares us for anything (except cold). Ride today was good tempo and tolerable. Definitely earning the taper but it's a couple weeks off. Staving off further injury for the most part. The foot is holding up pretty well, off all orthotics. I'm very happy about that! Got to SUP for a little bit today but conditions weren't great - pretty breezy with a lot of chop but we managed a bit of time on the boards but relaxing on the beach is our real reward for a hard week. To get back at it again tomorrow for sure. Light at the end of the tunnel for now though.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Lightening makes the hair stand up!

The Dane pondering the sunrise
Paddling away

Dodging the lightening, we ended the week of big training block. Looking towards this week on the schedule, I was just wanting to get through it without any major problems. That occurred, and I'm happy for it. Damn near got struck but lightening today on the bike ride, it was scary. We had to bale out into the Tarpon Springs marina to save ourselves, good idea! We got to stand there and watch a forming funnel cloud try and get angry and we avoided to full on downpour and electricity. Ended today's ride with a solid brick of 6 miles at sub-7:30 pace. We were supposed to do that run yesterday off the long run (5.5 hours) but I was already bonking (bad calorie management) and I had wicked cramps (you gals know what I mean). I have gotten all my runs in this week and need to do the same for the next two weeks for sure to feel moderately confident about my IM marathon. I stopped using my orthotics and that seems to be a good decision thus far. The only time my foot bothers me now is if I run fast - which isn't an issue now with training for IM! We got two good days of SUP also. Friday the water was glassy and we saw lots of fish - tarpon, snook and mangrove snapper. Pretty cool when you're "standing" out among them. Today, a bit more challenging because the water was not glassy but choppy but I like that challenge to try and keep paddling and stay up. We did much better today in the chop, it's a real workout! Fun, fun, fun though. Five more weeks to IM Canada......

Sunday, July 19, 2009

"Rest" week

We had a nice, unusual rest week training-wise. That basically means, back off the long run, and Sunday ride is optional. We opted out. Actually, we opted to SUP as the sun rose today. Great decision as the storm clouds kept building off-shore. No riding in the rain today, thank God. Yesterday, the ride felt like storm chasers. We managed to ride in and out of every thunderstorm in Hernando and Citrus county. It was plain not fun. I hate riding in the rain, I get very unnerved that I, or someone else, will crash. Or, worse yet, a car will come skidding into the group. When we hit Brooksville, the lightening started. It was not fun but we had a 5 hour ride on the calender so that we did. Then we took our soggy selves onto a 40 minute brick which went quite well (other than Jaime getting bonked and lost). I'm feeling tired but in pretty good shape overall - likely, better than a year ago. The more I run, the better I feel. I've managed to slim down into race weight now and we still have 6 weeks to IMC so will need to be careful to not lose any more weight! Then Dane is in unreal shape. He won Masters category at the Morton Plant sprint tri last Sunday after riding 90 miles in the hills on Sat. Unreal, for sure. We will continue our IM build now, it gets longer and harder but will go by fast for sure. I hope we aren't dodging thunderstorms all summer though.
Way to go AC in today's stage! Only Tour stage I'll get to see live but it was worth it!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Well deserved beach time

We had a good week of training. I managed a tempo run and long run of 2 hours without too much complaining from the foot. The tempo run (long warm up/cool down with only 20 min at 7:15 pace) was hard as I haven't run "hard" since St Anthony's - had to get the brain to remember how that feels (been running real slow the past couple months to let this foot get better). The foot complained for a day afterwards but I was able two days later to jam out our 2 hour run. Nothing pretty but got it done none the less. We had a solid long ride in the hills on Sat with good group then Anders did the Morton Plant sprint tri on Sunday. There is no way I could have done a race, I was spent (ended up peddling squares by my lonesome for three hours instead). He did awesome, won Masters. The video is celebrating that. He had a broken seat rail also but brought home the W and was really happy. I had a really good brick run but felt like ass the entire time - I guess running sub-7:30 will do that. Anyhow, have to recover a bit and ramp up a bit more next weekend. On a lighter note, we had the best SUP session ever. Got to the Gulf before the wind kicked up too much and the water was super clear, you could see everything. Had an amazingly large school of rays swim right through us, very cool. As per the video, the wind kicked up and forced us out but we got back in about an hour later with somewhat of a choppy sea but rideable (our first ride in the choppy Gulf). It was a great time and good workout (like I need more workouts). Loving it here in sunny FL......when it's sunny!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

tempo run tuesday

Have a new toy and will try and post videos

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Oh, am I tired

A little motivation on my paddle!

Lovely three day weekend is ending, sadly. One would think I'd now be all rested and ready to tackle another week. Probably would if not for IM training in full effect. I am quite smashed today from the weekend of swimming, biking and running. It was so rainy during the week we did miss a few workouts but nothing disastrous. Working on getting my long run to be, well, long. Not there yet but hopefully will be able to jam it up to 2 hours this week. My foot/achilles seems to be tolerating the work and gradual increase in mileage. I have gone 180 degrees from the world of orthotics and am just going without and it seems to be a good thing. There is a big sprint tri next weekend that most are doing although I'm going to pass. I really need to get in my bike rides more than one hour hard tri effort. We did get to SUP on Friday morning. It was pretty windy and the surface chop in the intracoastal made it very challenging! My calves were sore from constantly gripping the board to stay upright. Fun, fun though. We spent the 4th riding, running and beaching with L&L, fun times! Loving Le Tour!

Friday, July 03, 2009

Ohhhhh, so excited on war against cancer
Go through the effort and see the you tube.
If you can watch this, please take the time to. Amazing women. Lance get's through. I see a ton of cancer and I believe in the cause. Go Lance! (He's already won if people give to the cause).

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

some pics

Gettin ready to ride

Yippee, happy to go ride at sunset

Ugh, heavy after paddling!

Just wanted to put up some stupid SUP pics. We are trying to launch off the seawall across the street but hard when tide is out. I am having difficulty lugging the board as well - I know.....weak!
Training is going well except for the running. Trying to manage upping mileage with foot/achilles problem but going to work it and see how far I can go. Supplementing the running with power crank ( workouts instead of swimming tues and thurs morning prior to weight/core work. I have good days and not so good days with the foot but it doesn't bother me enought to take a hard break from running so..... I won't. After all, we're 9 1/2 wks out from IM Canada, kinda have to run! Winging it!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Starting IM training

We are 10 weeks out from IM Canada and a good week in the bank. I have been cycling 5 days per week, up to 4 runs per week now and 4 swims. My run is not where I'd like it now as I'm nursing my left foot. It only bothers me when I run, of course, but I'm going to try and push it and see what I can do with it. I'm supplementing my run with the power cranks twice per week on the computrainer which is no easy task, I assure you. We had a nice 85 mile ride in the hills yesterday with a good group. It has been super hot here for June with humidity through the roof, even for Florida! Came out of that feeling quite tired. We got the call that our SUP boards were in and we went and picked them up, very exciting! We couldn't stand not riding them straight away so did a sunset paddle off the sea wall across the street. What a ride! It is amazingly peaceful to paddle at sunset in calm water. I think I found my new drug (besides regular training). Today presented the usual Sunday ride. It is always fast, hard and now, hot. I tried harder to tack on the the front group today in spite of the fact that we did the 85 in the hills yesterday. The legs were really tired but I feel a bit stronger every week now, good progress. After 100K on the bike today and a max HR of 183 (don't know if I've ever been that high on a bike), the run beckoned. It was over 90 degrees once we started our 4 miler off the bike. Heat index was way higher I can bet - hotter than any part of the IM Hawaii course in my two showings! Got through that with a niggle in the left achilles but all went away with a dive in the pool once home - ahhhhh. All pain goes away once I stop! We didn't quite have the energy to paddle today, yet - maybe later. My dream is to paddle in Hawaii and see the fishies beneath me. I'm glad that my motivation is back in full force after a good spring racing season. After all, YOLO.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


If you look at the youtubes. just mute the music. There is sooooo many cool videos on SUP, it's SICK. We aren't surfing the big swells.......yet! Thanks Christina N for the link! You're a rock star and I wish I was riding with you in France in July!!

Good week in the books. I started back running after a forced break due to left foot/heel/achilles problem. Haven't really nailed down what the culprit is but I don't think my achilles is the major problem, which is good. I had a couple ART treatments on it and my ART guy didn't feel the achilles was problematic either. I do/did have pain in the ankle ligaments which is really strange. I thought I had injured every body part possible, this is new! Anyhow, I feel better although not totally pain-free. I only have pain when I run, of course. I plan to try and manage this and begin on my Ironman journey as is. I can't afford to take any more time off from running. That said, I will just be doing run frequency for now - nothing super long or fast until I feel my foot can handle it. I am really intrigued now by the whole barefoot movement and plan to persue this idea more in the off season. I'm reading "Born To Run" so, forgive me. Awesome book and extremely motivating - makes me want to take up ultra running! Meanwhile, we had our "first" long ride (we've been doing this all along during the spring) in the hills yesterday without too much problem. Actually, I felt quite better as the ride went along. The Dane was moderately shattered (but, ran 12 miles thursday evening then raced a 5K on fri night) so, it's all relative. We did the usual Sunday group ride this morning which I was concerned about after 4 hours in the hills yesterday but I felt better than last Sunday! Crazy but glad to know my fitness hasn't dropped off too much on the bike. I've had five days on the bike this week and plan to continue this track until I can run more. Swim-wise, we are on long course now which is always difficult to begin with but I love it as it goes. Now, our extracurricular SUP activity was awesome today. We launched at a new spot (normally alot of fishermen there) and got about an hour riding which is a real sweat-sport! The more I do this, the more I like it. We toured around the bird islands off the Belleair causeway which was cool. The Gulf is still a bit too rough for us right now, the wind blowing out of the west is churning things up! We will stick in the intracoastal for now. I will post pics of the boards when we get ours - they are getting shipped now and we are on borrowed boards. Great core workout and fun in the sun!
Cheers. And, my new mantra, YOLO (You Only Live Once)

Sunday, June 07, 2009

It's all about the SUP

Boards sleeping in the pool

Owe, that hurts!

Our lovely launch spot

The Audi is packed!

The Audi likes carrying stuff

So, as if we need more physical activity and sports in our lives leading in to Ironman time, we have discovered the SUP. For now on, understand the SUP means 'stand up paddleboarding'. Cuz I don't want to keep typing 'stand up paddleboarding'! So, we saw these last October while we were in Kona but didn't rent because we were dead set on surfing. I am not a good surfer and I'm still not a good surfer. If I lived in Hawaii, I'd likely become a good surfer because it's all about loving the water and becoming one with the elements which I love. Here in FL, I have to mix work with training which doesn't leave much time or energy for watersports. And, the "surfing" on the Gulf just aint that great. I know, you can drive over to the East coast but we simply don't have time for that. That said, for some reason we rediscovered the fasted-growing water sport in the world, SUP. It is described as 'walking on water' and it really is......once you get more more comfy with it, I'm sure! So we have sought out a few shops who actually sell these boards locally and got some demos this weekend (the shop insisted on it......and they can't keep stock because there is such a demand). I had a bit of a shocker the first time out. I, first of all, had a board that was a bit narrow and short for my skill level, which is......nil. We had to launch these monster boards in water that was calm, not choppy and with a sandy bottom (preferable to oyster bottom...ouch to the feet). Went to a little park near the Sand Key bridge, under which runs the fast current of the Clearwater pass. I got up ok on my "narrow" board and paddled a bit but ended up in a bit of a current which I found which was more than my amateur self could handle. I fell off the board for the umteenth time and found I was getting swept in the current and got a bit panicked. I got off the board and swam with the paddle in one hand to the shore as as fast as I could with one arm. The board, paddle and myself survived but I was spent. I tried to carry the board and paddle back to where we started but the Dane came to my rescue and carried it for me. My arms and shoulders were done. I went back out but avoided the current, I learn fast! We went out again today, found a calmer launch spot, and totally enjoyed the workout (that is after our 3 1/2 hour bike). We found calm water with dolphins and fish jumping, it was nice. My shoulders are pretty rocked but I'm all in. Swim tomorrow will be ugly but that's ok. On the injury front, my foot is ok after a week off of all running. Had ART on thurs and found where the pain really is so going back tomorrow for more torture. i'll likely get back running this week. We're 11 weeks from IM Canada so I don't want to take much more break from running. I think I'm heading in the right direction so feel good as I can without running (thanks Powercranks). Cheers.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Givin props

Another great weekend on the beach in FL. I failed to mention and thank my greatest weapon and favorite training partner and man of my dreams, the Dane. He has been a huge part of my success this season and I wanted to make sure that he got proper cred. He knows this all of course but I'm not sure that anyone really knows how much of a positive influence he is on my training and racing. The music fits so don't shut it off......
Val (from Outspokin) did great yesterday taking over one hour off of her prior best in the Hawaii 70.3 after losing 40 pounds - we are very proud of her accomplishments and look forward to more from her!
Inspiration is everywhere, you just have to keep an open mind...

Saturday, May 30, 2009

I like this

We are two weeks into our "summer mini off season" and I'm actually enjoying it, believe it or not! I feel totally out of shape but that's how I'm supposed to feel on a mini break. We start our big build for IM Canada in a couple weeks then, God willing, further push to Kona. We'll see. I have a painful left foot and I can't quite pinpoint it but I'm not at the point where I think I need to stop running all together so, I won't. Not much running going on now anyway - just beach runs after open water swims, nothing organized. I'm enjoying getting back on my sweet road bike, such a nice ride. In fact, the leader and likely winner of this year's Giro is riding the same bike - awesome ride on the Giant TCR Advanced. I highly recommend a test ride on it if possible, go to Outspokin's new store! Our new bridge opened yesterday - Belleair Causeway bridge which replaces an aging draw bridge and gives us a really nice 13 mile loop with three such bridges to climb on the bike or run (although no pedestrian traffic allowed yet). We also had great opportunity to try out a stand up paddle board today from one of the owners of Nekton surf shop ( who was gracious enough to take us to his house and try out his board. I instantly fell in love with this! So many toys, so little time! We're going to check out a few other shops prior to laying down any coin on this but it's definitely in our future! We have a few friends racing right now at the Hawaii 70.3 on the Big Island so many positive vibes going their way. Some local folks also racing Mad Beach Tri tomorrow and likewise to them for a safe adventure. Race wise, we are going to spend most of June doing beach 5K running races and a sprint tri in July then onward to Penticton, Canada for the epic North American Ironman race the end of August. All's well that ends well! Hoping the body holds out for a few more but I've had a great run thusfar. Thanks for all the well wishes after Florida 70.3, I really appreciate it!

Friday, May 22, 2009


Nothing intelligent to say (not as if there is ever) but we are getting cabin fever here in "sunny" Florida. We have slept in (til 6am) every morning all week which is really a treat. Wanted to swim but felt I needed the sleep more at this point. We did a road bike ride this morning (off work) and found my legs are still dead. We'll ride through the weekend and try and open water swim if the water cooperates but otherwise no programmed workouts for now! I'm eyeballing my kayak! IM Canada is on the horizon and I want to be hungry!! This will happen.........

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Fun pics at Florida 70.3

Since I'm sitting around doing nothing now, figured I'd post a few pics

Our little cabin feast!

The Dane tired post-race!

I'm a bit more elated post-race

Ah, the awards.....finally getting the big one!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

5 tries, one AG win... Florida 70.3 race report.. never stop believing in yourself

Got back from Disney yesterday morning in a full-on Florida downpour! I fully expected we were going to crash and die in that rain but, luckily, I wasn't the driver! Once again, we hit the right weather for the race on the right day! We got to registration and what not on Saturday around 1pm with our housemate Linda M (female 55-59 ass-kicker) and all went smoothly. Had no real issues and didn't forget anything this time - pays to have a couple races in the bag already! Tom Z does a good job as RD and should be commended! I didn't feel particularly great in my workouts during last week but that never really means anything. I did have quite a bit of stress at work and figured that would eat away at my energy and likely did somewhat. We had such a nice Saturday afternoon with our house mates and just sat and relaxed. Luckily, all of our waves went off around the same time (Linda at 6:30, me at 6:36 and the Dane at 6:42) so we needed to be to transition early to set up. No issues here except it was quite dark out! It is very strange starting a race in the dark, I think sunrise finally came when I turned the last buoy for home! This swim start is hard because you aren't "allowed" in the water prior so all warm up has to be dry land - something I'm not very good at, not being a swimmer from birth. I had a really good start and lead my wave about half way to the first turn buoy until my left arch of my foot started cramping - a brand new thing for me! Had to let that work it's way out and slow up a bit. In doing so, another purple cap (my wave) got ahead of me - granted, since I breathe to my left, I had no idea what was going on on my right even though I took a gander every now and then. So, I jumped on her feet and let her navigate me through the throngs of other swimmers from the earlier waves. Not much contact so I didn't get too freaked out. I lost my navigator every now and then due to the traffic but found her usually. Towards the end of the swim, which I thought was quite long, I had another cramp in my foot and had to let it work out, weird. Now I'm thinking if this is something that will come back to haunt me today. Got on dry land and hauled ass the long run to T1, managed to pass 2 purple capped gals in the process - knew I didn't have a good swim at this point. I let it go mentally, no use in getting down about it. On to the bike and I felt tired and moderately sluggish. I had to work way harder to push the power that came easily in New Orleans. Luckily, my SRM kept me honest and I tried no to lollygag too long. Passed another two in my AG on the bike. The drafting was pretty bad, mostly with the men that I saw. The Dane finally caught me after mile 40 and seemed to be struggling to lose the pack ahead of him. The wind kicked up the last hour on the bike but nothing like it was in New Orleans so I handled it mentally pretty well - wish my legs handled it as well! Got off the bike without issue and onto the run. Actually left T2 with the Dane just ahead -found he was cramping in T2 trying to get his shoes on! I had a bit of a bounce in my stride and ran through the first mile in 6:40 - either short mile or my pacing really sucked! I felt the vague twinge of a side stitch building and didn't want a repeat of Kona '06 so had to slow up and regulate the breathing pretty much the next 8 miles or so. I never felt good but never felt horrible although had a couple spots where I thought I was going to pass out and managed those ok. I broke the run course down in my mind and it went pretty fast until the third and final loop. I had no idea of my placing or anything so just tried to push the third loop even though I thought I was going to puke at any moment. Finished strong and waited for the Dane who looked great finishing. We all gathered in the CAF (Challenged Athlete's Foundation - awesome charity) and they were awesome to sit with. Seeing all the folks with amputations of various extremities do the same thing I just did is really awe inspiring! Linda finished strong and crushed her age group.....again! The Dane finished strong also but had many cramping issues that we'll work on figuring out later. I didn't know I won my AG until we found the unofficial results page. This is my fifth time doing this race (missed last year due to Europe trip, well worth it) and I finally got a win! The time wasn't fast and I thought I could go faster but I went fast enough. Never stop believing in yourself. If anyone wonders how hard it is and how much dedication and consistency it takes to finally win one of these (70.3) races, just ask me but you better have a lot of time to hear my answers! I was very gratified that, even on a day when I didn't feel my best, I could do enough damage control to be competitive. We'll take a little mental and training break now before embarking on IM Canada training. Thanks to all who sent us well-wishes, it really does mean a lot to me. The groups that I train with in the pool and on the bike really have helped make me a better swimmer and cyclist. I hope I'll continue but for sure I'll continue having fun!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Just a thanks

I am honestly astounded by all the friends that I have. I guess we realize these things on such days as birthdays. I have had so many B-day greetings and well wishes it makes my head spin. I can't possibly thank everyone individually, which I'd like to do. So, instead, I thought of every single one of you and remembered cool times I've had with each. I really did. I also got a massage (pre race type of thing) and spent time on the beach with my man, which is my favorite thing to do. We are racing Sunday and will go 110% as usual but will have fun, most of all! Wish us all luck!
Thanks again to all!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Great weekend!

Beach at it's best in FL

The picture says it all for me! Awesome beach weekend in FL! Good heat taper training, sun and plenty of fresh air. We did an open water swim with the kids from the pool we do masters at and that was fun. Rode the bikes there and back and then hit the playa for sun and more sun. Today, did a short ride then a brick and find my legs are still quite tired so this week will be really chilled - just some focused workouts and not much else (except stressful work). Spent the rest of the day today on the beach with L&L and that was fun and relaxing. Happy Mom's day to all and congrats to Jennifer my niece for having a new baby. Here's to a great week!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Episode #13 - Kara Goucher 20M Pre-Boston Workout | Workout Wednesday, Season 3 on Flotrack

Episode #13 - Kara Goucher 20M Pre-Boston Workout | Workout Wednesday, Season 3 on Flotrack

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Check out this sick, freak workout prior to Boston Marathon. Only for true fans, watch at your own risk...

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Sunday ride

Last hard ride until we taper (once again) for last half ironman for the spring campaign. Group ride today which, after 71 miles in the hills yesterday with hard run, was a daunting task. Just went through the motions and found I finally get warmed up after about 30 miles. So, we head to Trouble Creek out and back which isn't terribly hard then the ride back to Outspokin was hard hard....for me. The ride back from Trouble Creek was about 7 guys which are really good riders (including the Dane) and me into a stiff headwind. I just kept hanging on to wheels because I knew if I had to push against the wind on my own, it would be slowwww at this stage. Made it almost all the way with the small group and hung on and was proud that I could do that after yesterday's ride/run. I'm pretty much done and confident in my cycling fitness, just need to recover. I'm hoping that the next half IM will be better than New Orleans 70.3, we'll see.
Props to the folks who conquered St Croix 70.3, especially Jeff C who laid down the law like he said he would when we saw him last weekend. You're the Man, JC!

Saturday, May 02, 2009


Thanks Ken for the pic!

Had a good ride in the hills today, 71 miles at a good clip with a fast crew! I wanted to go 60 but when you are in the hills and you don't know the way, you follow wheels, shut up and ride! I felt pretty horrid this week. New Orleans 70.3 three weeks ago, check. St Anthony's last weekend, check. Another half ironman in two weeks, check. 42nd birthday upcoming in two weeks, check. The old body just doesn't do what the younger body used to......amazing! That said, had one last go at a long run this week and it was, in a word, awful. I got through it and trained my mind to just HTFU. That's all half ironman racing is anyway so it was a mental training effort. I felt horrid coming out of that then my good friend Mary D wanted to go out for "a glass of wine" and, yada yada yada we are stumbling home on Friday night. Had a bad week at work so that's easy to get sucked in to! No worries, up at 5am today for a committed ride in the hills and I actually didn't feel nearly as bad as I thought I would so went with it. The run wasn't perty but got through it and another shot at character building (thanks Linda M) and mental HTFU training. Swimming long course a bit now so that is a good thing and I feel good in the water - I'm ready to swim in a triathlon!! So, tailor the taper again and see how it goes. The Dane seems cured (I wish I got over injuries so quickly) and very hungry to race a half IM! Watch out! Good luck to all the fun folks we know doing St Croix 70.3 tomorrow.
Good luck Jen and push that baby out!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

St Anthony's tri, er, duathlon - sort of

So, the winds picked up on Saturday in St Pete, just as predicted on the Weather Channel. I wasn't too concerned about the wind - after surviving Kona in October and getting through New Orleans 70.3, I felt it wasn't going to be anything new. Get to transition on Sunday morning, doing the normal bike checks and finishing touches and the announcement comes, the swim for the amateurs is cancelled. The girls in my wave were all sort of standing around wondering if it was a joke and if the elites would get the option to swim. No joke, no option, no swim for us. I've been busting my butt and swimming quite well (in the pool) for me so ready to get a new PR for this course. Not to be and the rest of the day was very strange to say the least. The Bay was a washing machine and the pro's, who had to swim, echoed this for the most part. I had a nice long run warm up with Cassie M then we headed for the "line up" for our time trial start. A start I've never done as I'm sure most people here hadn't. Totally not warmed up, we sprinted through transition, got our bikes and started the bike portion of the race as if it was a normal race. It wasn't. It's really hard to go into the bike hurt box with no warm up. That said, we were all in the same boat. I rode really hard at the outset, wanting to get warmed up in a hurry. It was quite windy but not as bad as New Orleans, IMO. I settled down into my pre-planned power zones and went for a new bike PR for the course. A few packs of girls got away but I had a couple girls that wanted to keep trading the lead and we did the last ten miles or so legally pacing which kept me engaged mentally. Got off the bike and had my usual slow transition but got out onto the run and didn't feel hot but I've come to the conclusion, I'm not supposed to feel good off the bike if I ride hard enough. Settle in around 6:30 pace but gradually slowed and wanted to be done! I got passed in the finish shoot and though not happy about it, I couldn't do anything. Felt bad because Brian Harrington was saying such nice things about me (Bri, thank him for me!). I wasn't happy about my overall result but the positive is I biked a PR and ran about 2 minutes faster than last year. We can all pontificate about what the swim would have done or not done but the result is what it is for everyone. I likely won't do this race next year because of New Orleans 70.3 which is going to be one week prior and I know I can't recover that fast - I barely recovered enough in three weeks! Age is a real buzz kill! The Dane got his top ten finish and hardware he so desired and his body is ok so we can move on. We will do some open water swimming and see what 70.3 races we can do to get the Dane into Clearwater since Disney is closed. We had a lot of fun post race hanging out with everyone and trading war stories and made sure the beer tent volunteers were busy and entertained! Thanks to everyone who cheered me on and if I didn't acknowledge you, I heard you! Onward.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

And, oh by the way...

If you haven't seen this, (and who hasn't) it inspires me on a whole 'nother level. Go Kara G.(she reminds me so much of Cath, my BFF).

Pre St Anthony's Tri

Cool flyover in NSB

Relaxing in NSB

So, we're on the eve of St Anthony's tri. One of the biggest olympic distance triathlons in the country and very competitive. Time to bring the A-game. Unfortunately, I think I left my A-game in the Big Easy. That said, I am racing tomorrow in the Elite Amateur division so the ass kicking will be big. Got a target on my back (locally) and that's ok and a compliment. The expo was awesome and the Dane worked his arse off and hopefully, helped Outspokin. I, on the other hand, can't sell anything! Off topic, the Dane and I just watched "Seven Pounds" and I only recommend it if you have a box of kleenex nearby! It did, however, remind me how lucky I am to be doing this sport on this level. It was only 11 years ago that I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and thought my athletic life was over. It wasn't totally over, just slower and I truly appreciate every athletic adventure that I can embark upon because I do really think of all of this as a gift. If you ever wonder, just ask me. So, my only message is to do what you can with what you have because you never know when your body will take a nosedive on you! As Spencer (smith) says, go to the hurt box and embrace it! I will do that tomorrow and be at peace that I am able to still do this. Tick, tick, tick......
Kia Kaha

Friday, April 17, 2009

Pics from New Orleans 70.3

I'll walk you through this agonizing blog. First pic, yup, took the time to remove my wetsuit prior to hitting to swim timing mat, duh. Next is biking the bridge, headwind is ugly here (no, I wasn't drafting, just getting ready to pass). Next, boy, I didn't think I said anything nasty to that girl but I sure have the bitch face on! Next, yes, it was hot (note red face)! And, finally, glad as hell to finish!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Fun weekend, not racing!

Gorillas in the mist, er fog

The Queen of the Fort and me

The Athena battle starts!

We pretty much took most of last week off from training due to soreness, my cut up feet, generalized fatigue and getting slammed at work. The Dane is still rehabbing his bum hip but we think we've nailed down what it is. We got to go and watch the Escape From Fort Desoto sprint tri on Sat which we normally race but we were not in any condition to do so this year. It was super foggy, very strange for this race - normally, it's so windy that fog never has chance to form! It figures I miss the one year that there is no wind on the bike! We had our fair share of wind in New Orleans 70.3, that's for sure! It was a lot of fun to see people I haven't seen in a while because this is usually the first race of the season for local triathletes. We had a guest appearance by Cassie M (an age group, mine of course, 70.3 World Champ) and it was fun to spend some time with her; she, literally, ran away with the overall win for the women! Bravo Cassie. We had the Mad Dog party after that and the 70.3 World Championship lottery give out, I don't need one for '09 now! for Easter Sunday, an easy ride today with the Dane, short run then an open water swim in the chop. A perfect Easter Sunday for us - a long day on the beach! Two weeks to St Anthony's and hoping the legs come around this week so I can do some fast running and hard biking to prep for that race. Hope everyone had a great Easter! I think the race director for New Orleans 70.3 should put me on the payroll because I told everyone I know that it was an awesome event and we'll be back in '10! Official invite for my family to join us for a super fun event!
On to Easter dinner that chef Anders is cooking!