Thursday, May 31, 2007


There are quite a few TRIgirls, including myself who are IRONSTRUCK.
TRIgirl Jones recently posted a link to this site, and in preparation for Eagleman, I have been reading it every chance I get....even if it means shirking the dishes and the kids!
So far, I've been focusing on the top 10 first time Ironman mistakes sections...and seeing that I have NOT made these mistakes (so far in my preparation) has given me a slight (and well needed) confidence boost.
So far, I think the best advice I've learned from this site in preparation for my first HIM is NOT to run in the transitions. It really won't affect your time too much in a 6-7 hour (maybe more) race, and rushing in transition can lead to costly mistakes. I'm relieved to think that I can walk the transitions if I want. Running in bike shoes always sucks anyway!
Of course, it doesn't hurt to learn about men's leg shaving either. In the Shave or not to Shave section. I'm looking forward to reading more in preparation for my race. And of course, the RACEDAY section is a must
Now that we are in the homestretch, I'm starting to think about things like:
Confirming my Homestay
Directions to race (and dinner)
Racking my bike the day before and checking out the swim
Packing my bag ( and remembering all this STUFF!)
Visualizing my race
The pre-race meeting with VITO the race director
Maybe going to the The Spinvervals Pro Forum with Troy Jacobson and Q & A with Guest Panel of:Natascha Badmann - Chris Legh - Desiree Ficker - Luke Bell
Missing my kids the night before the race, and being worried about them all day while I'm racing
Getting my derailleur cable tightened after having had in changed out yesterday at 3Sports (they usually stretch out after 2 rides
Getting a final test in on the wetsuit
Figuring out how I'm going to have the strength and endurance to pull this thing off.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Riding with Nature

Last night I rode on the early side, I was trying to catch up with 'lil sis Ann, but by the time I got there, she was basically done. So, instead of riding with the Tgirls, I rode with a white tailed yearling dear (who almost got hit by a that would have been a mess!), a turtle, a hawk (or buzzard, not sure I was going to fast to spend too much time looking at the sky), a really cool electric blue-tailed lizzard. As I was packing up to go home, the rest of the team arrived. It was much cooler by then and I was happy for them...but also happy for me that I got a good heat acclimation workout in.
My biking felt really fast (17.3 mph average) but when I realized that I averaged 17.8 mph at the Crackhead open, I realized I wasn't as fast as I thought I was. I guess the heat really did affect me after all. The run was miserably slow -- a foreshadowing, i'm sure, of how i'll react to the heat while running on race day.
I was thankful for the taper -- a 90 minute workout instead of 2 hours was a nice break.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

75 Mile Bike -- Saddle Sores Really are Real!

Yesterday was our last super long workout before Eagleman -- a 75 mile bike ride. Mr. Preschool had warned me that miles 60-75 would pretty much suck and well he was right. Particularly because for the last 15 miles I was confined to West Creek.
After a late start, Liz, Kate O., Lynn and I made our way out of West Creek. For me it was the for the first time this season. I had almost forgotten how great it is to ride early in the morning out in the country. The smell of honeysuckle was thick in the air. Everything had sort of the misty morning look -- It was so beautiful and it was all rolling hills.
From Patterson we turned on to 621 and then took Broad Street for about 1 mile and turned back on 623. After one 8 mile loop at West Creek, I was ready to leave and go out on the open road again. I grabbed my lil' sis Ann and we were off. We did another 18 mile loop on 621/623. Yes, it's true I told her, no hills, no traffic, smells like honeysuckle -- and it was true the last loop. This loop however, it smelt like manure and there were trucks pulling horse trailers and other traffic. I think her idea of a hill and mine are different -- but hey, at least we weren't in West Creek.
I was so proud of her. Until yesterday she had only ridden 18 miles. By the time we got back, she was at 45 miles! Ah, but the sad news was that she was done and now I had 30 more to go. I needed to find someone to ride with!
I hooked up with Lynn and Kate O. again and we rode and rode. Lynn gave me water becuase I'd run out and that was a true blessing, I dumped most of it on my head. A group of crit guys blew past me and I tried to hang on and let them pull me but I couldn't.
And then, before I knew it we were done. I checked my cooler for water and remembered I'd put a container of frozen pinapple in there. Man that was the best treat ever!
When I got home, I quickly learned -- saddle sores really are real and they suck -- especially when you pee. Hopefully they will be well healed by the time Eagleman gets here -- in 13 DAYS -- OMG!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Final Countdown, Swim Waves etc.

Well, first off, I should say that I am addicted to the internet. It has been 6 days now that we have been without phone, or dial up. All, in an effort to get a larger needle -- upgrade to DSL.

Sixteen measly days left till the race...OMG! Eagleman swim starts are up, and as I predicted I am in the last group of triathletes, starting at 8:08 a.m. I know, get ready for HOT, HOT, HOT. What I would give to do the swim last, so I could cool down and enjoy it!

That's it for now. Off to pick some strawberries!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Crackhead Open

It's not named the "Crackhead Open" because someone cracked their head open, but because we decided that our coaches were on crack when they elected to have us all race against each other for our final long BRICK workout.
I know I am not the only one who was terrified at the prospect of it. Certain "anonymous" blog commenters agreed with me that we really shouldn't have to do it...but I also know the coaches were right. You don't train 6 months for a race and then not try to simulate the conditions before the big day. They wanted any mistakes that we made to be made at a mock race, not on the real race day. The good news is that hardly any of us made any mistakes. Everyone looked very strong.
Believe it or not I actually and truly thought I was going to come in last on the bike. And I knew I was going to come in last on the run. I had been dreading this day for months -- as soon as I found out there was going to be a day when I had to run 16 miles. When I signed up for Eagleman half iron, i never intended to train for the run. I figured I'd just limp along as best i could on the run and walk most of it -- just trying to finish. But I'm also one of those people who just follows the rules. And there was so much guilt associated with not doing a workout, I decided it was easier just to try my best to get it done. And with very few exceptions, that is exactly what I have done. True, I haven't followed all the swim workouts -- mostly because I am a strong swimmer who enjoys open water and who doesn't have access to an indoor pool or health club -- I do all my workouts at Maramarc or with TRIgirls.
Anyway, I'm rambling... I never ever expected that I would do so well on the bike. Now I know it is for several reasons that I "appeared" to do better than I actually did.
1. Cyndi didn't race with us (she would have rocked out!)
2. Liz and Susie got bumped up to the Ironman-Maramarc racing group and also rocked out!
3. Although there was no public acknowledgement of it, I'm sure there were several girls who could have performed better and raced faster but were silently protesting.
So, Anna Mac came in first. I came in about 10 seconds later...and actually everyone else was RIGHT behind me. There was really no big gap between all of us who finished. (unlike on the run when after that big gap would be me!) It turns out I like racing. It was fun being passed by Anna and Carmen and then passing them back and then being passed again by Anna.
Mark was sorta upset when I told him that I planned to run for an hour before the "race". Actually, he wasn't upset at all. Basically, he told me not to and I'm the one that got upset! Then he said, you know, you do what you gotta do. He wanted to see me race on fresh legs. I wanted to get a jump on the run so I didn't finish an hour (or more) after everyone else. I sort of compromised...running 4 miles before and running 12 miles after the bike race. For the 4 before, I took it really easy, it was difficult to shake Mark's advice not to run at all. I walked up each hill. The morning was cool. The sunrise over the lake was lovely and I really enjoyed my time. I allowed about 15 minutes when I got back to rest my legs before the race. Sharon was so cool and got everyone race "packets" with water, race numbers and a first aid kit, which I needed almost immediately -- I busted open my thumb right before the race while pumping up baby pink Kim's tires. Certainly, this is a fun group to train with. I love the spirit and the humor of this team.
Here are my times for the bike race:

26.40 1st 8 mile loop
28.16 2nd 8 mile loop
26.41 3rd 8 mile loop
Total time 1:20.41
average 17.8 mph
23.97 miles
Unfortunately, the run didn't go as well. Including breaks it took me almost 3 hours to run 12 miles. And, although it was about 75 degrees, windy and beautiful, I found that I was hot and didn't have enough water. I'm looking forward to water stops each mile during the race. Blake gave the great advice to ask for a cup of ice at each water stop put it in your hands and anywhere else it it'll fit to help keep cool. I counting on putting it in my bra and my hat. I know I'll need it. Mr. Preschool has promised me a nice day, not too hot for Eagleman (you didn't know he was a Shaman, did you)....but says that in the process it might have to rain. Anyway, I know I can't count on it. I'll be trying to find some hot afternoons to run. I was walking way more than I had anticipated on the 12 mile run and wasn't able to be as consistent with my run to walk ratio as I would have liked.
Running 6 miles before the bike and 6 miles after the bike, or breaking up my run in other ways on long run days, really has been much easier on my body and perhaps has not been the best way to train for a 13.1 mile run. Regardless, I feel optimistic that I will finish -- especially given the moonings, and cheering section that I'm anticipating at Eagleman.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Water Slide Triathlon Start -- Only in My Dreams!

Have mercy on me. The pre-race triathlon dreams continue. As do the 4:30 a.m. wakings. Please don't let this last through Eagleman...I'm not sure how much more I can take!

Last night, not only did my big race start inside of an office building...hmmmmm, I think it was on the 4th floor, but also, it was a water slide start. You know where they count down 5-4-3-2-1-GO and swwwwoosh down the water slide you go --headfirst. When you get to the pool at the end, then you start your swim. What? You've never done a water slide start in a triathlon? Well you should, It was fun!

And, it beats getting kicked in the face during a wave or mass start! I was so preoccupied, in fact, with the anxiety of the whole race that I forgot to actually to my "homework" when I got to the venue. You know things like checking out the swim start and exit, checking to see what the slope and the floor of the water are like. Visualizing each transition, and where I will be and how I will be racking (or un-racking my bike). Driving the bike an run courses...that sort of thing. Maybe this is my body telling me to make sure I arrive at the race site early on Saturday so I have plenty of time to check things out and worry! And wish that we were having a 4th story water slide start!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Triathlon Training Tips

By the way, check out Desiree Fickers Training Tips, she's got some great ones!

Eagleman Weighing on my Mind

Two things have been weighing on my mind. O.K., way more than 2 things! The triathlon race dreams have started. I think it is all being caused by the fact that our coaches are making us race each other this weekend on our 28 mile bike. After that, I don't think I'll have much left for the 16 mile I'm planning on running 6 before the bike and 10 after.
My first response to the whole racing thing was "that's crazy!" why do they think they can pit us against each other like we are racing! I mean we are friends -- not competitors....that is SO taking it up a notch. But, I know how silly that is. The truth is that we are all in it to race -- even if some of us don't view it that way. Personally, I think -- well, I'm not going to win, so I'm not really in it to race. But the truth is we are all in a race. And Eagleman, more so than any other race I've ever done is a true race with serious competitors.
Nancy Toby, tells me that last year, the Athena's (150 lbs. +) had a primo spot in the transition area, racking next to Natascha Badmann (Six-time Ironman Kona Champion) and Desiree Ficker (last years 2nd place winner at Kona). They are slated to compete again this year at Eagleman and the thought of that is quite intimidating for an age-grouper like myself who is quite in awe of their accomplishments. I've heard that Badmann rides with ONLY aerobars on her bike....I'd kinda like to see that!
The other thing that is weighing heavily on my mind is that yesterday at our 2 hour brick workout I injured myself -- for the first time this season. It is really no big deal....basically I was just trying to catch TRIgirl Cyndi (impossible) and pushed myself a little too hard. I turned my ankle kinda' funny and although I knew I could certainly finish the brick, I chose to cut it short and go home and ice it because it was hurting with each pedal stroke. At this point in the season, I know it would be devastating (to my confidence) to miss a major workout like Saturday and if I did, it would make me doubt whether I was fully prepared for Eagleman.
The good news is that 2 hours of icing seems to have done some good. It was quite stiff this morning but is feeling only a little sensitive now, later in the day. At the same time, I can't believe how much not being 100 percent for a workout and how much cutting out an hour early affected me mentally. I guess it is a good thing that I'm pretty much a go by the rules girl. Because when I don't go by the rules and do a prescribed workout I feel like crap! Even if I have a good excuse.
On another note, we went to the pool yesterday, the first day of the outdoor season. The water was perfect for a wetsuit -- I'd say maybe 65 degrees. So, I'll be testing one out later this week. Too bad Daisy didn't have one for her swim. But, I guess she didn't mind too much because she was swimming around like a fish!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

60.28 Miles

Yes, I did feel a bit like a gerbil going around and around in circles for my 60 mile ride at West Creek. But I got it done anyway. A new distance PR for me. It took me about 3 hours and 40 minutes of riding I guess I know what kind I've time I'll be going for at Eagleman.

Fun? hmmm I'm not sure if I'd call it that. But 1. I was glad I was not doing 60 in the blue ridge mountains like many of my teamates and 2. I really enjoyed riding with half Iron hopefuls Mary Jo and Becky.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Eagleman Half Ironman Forum

My stomach is now starting to knot. It always does when I look at the swim wave start times for
my next big race. Don't go rushing to see them....they are NOT up yet for this year...I was looking at last years swim starts. But, a little birdy told me they will be up VERY shortly!

I was curious because I found the official Eagleman Forum where someone asked about the current. A very knowledgeable forum member provided the low tide time: 7:22 a.m. and said that the current shouldn't start picking up and be bad until about 8 a.m.
Well, when am I swimming? I thought. I hate being last to go. Not only do I have to finish later because I started the journey later, but also it is hotter! And I hate standing around with early morning jitters -- the worst hurry up and wait of my life.
If they do it the same as last year, I will start with the Athena's at 8:08 a.m. in the third to last heat. My goal is to swim fast because the longer I take, the worse the current will be after the turn around especially. My only consolation is that if I was not an Athena, I'd only get to start 5 minutes earlier at 8:03.
So, for now, I'll take a deep breath and worry more about that 16 miles I have to run in 8 days.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Worst News....

I have the worst news....for me that is, not for you. This is life alterning. Things will never be the same again kind of news.
Redfish has given up his nap. No more blogging about workouts during naptime. No more talking to friends on the back porch or checking up on the news. No more sneaking out to the garage and getting a little cardio on the trainer in.....O.K. wait...I never got around to doing that, anyway.
Naptime is officially out the forgive me if I shed a little tear.
It was bound to happen eventually....But my little boy is growing up so fast.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Brick Sandwich (Bike + Run = ick)

7 Miles Running (8 minutes running, 1 minute walking)
Plus 28 Miles Biking (in the rain)
Plus 7 Miles Running (5-7 minutes running, 1 minute walking -- in the rain)

That is all I have to say about that.....Workout DONE!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Triathlon Training Tip No. 1

Eagleman Triathlon Training Tip No. 1.
You know it's OK to skip a workout (or half a workout in this case) when you ......only have 3 running bras and they are all in the wash. Not because you slack at doing laundry....but becuase you worked out that morning, you worked out the night before...and the night before that! And besides, it's raining out there.
Hmmm.... I guess if I was hard core I'd just put a wet bra on and bike in the rain anyway.....maybe someday, but not tonight. OK, How many of you were out there biking last night in the rain? YOU are hard core!