Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hard work

So after the disaster on Saturday the plan is slow and low HR. Worked so well on Sunday I ran 1:40 and felt great- did not plan on running that long but heck it was fun and it was nice and ez.

Legs felt good Monday so must be okay. Good masters and ez run. But today, now today was different. Work is very demanding right now so I need to be at my desk or available immediately most of the day so mid day training and fun is out for now. So I am up at 5am like everyone else who works and trains and headed to UCSD to run, yes run, not swim.

Coach Terry has a look of shock on her face 1- it is 6am and 2- I am at the track not the pool. I have done maybe 1, maybe 0 track workouts in the last 2 years. But I decided to give it a go. After a nice long warm up and a few pick me ups we started on 10x90 seconds hard/60 sec recovery. Now hard for me is all relative, it took me a while to get moving and the pace was nothing stellar. But the first time out I am not interested in pulling or tearing anything that is used to moving slowly. So instead of walking or resting for the 60 I dropped to a moderate run pace. I figure my fast was not speedy fast, so my slow should not be totally slow. It was good and I felt strong and my pace on #10 was the same as #1. Now the funny part is that we then did a 1 mile, strong paced run and my pace on the mile was only 20 seconds slower than the supposed all out 90 seconds.

So bottom line....Julie has 3 speeds, Ironman, a bit faster and a bit faster. There is no sprint in these legs- well at least not yet. And boy I was tired.....60 minutes and it was a lot of hard running. So much that I put my CEP Compression sleeves on in the car to ease the rapid cramping. I gotta the time I hit Starbucks the waves of cramps ceased. I need to wear them to track next time and see if I can avoid the cramps all together. Next time Zoot comes along to see how they compare.

So after working like maniac until lunch time...I was thinking about taking a lunch time spin. Hubby was home officing today and he usually does a lunch time hammer ride and asked if I wanted to ride with him. I asked what kind of ride and I am sure he said a fast one. So I get my game on and decide to make it a threshold kind of day. Off we go and I am working hard, out of the saddle on all the climbs in the hood and off we go. At one point he asks what is up with the breakneck speed? What...this was your idea? He claims no that he says he was tired of hammering... well by this time, I am having a great time- it feels good to go hard, so let's not stop. We back off bit but had solid ride and I was back at my desk totally invigorated!!!

It was awesome!!!

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Nope nothing about triathlon. eating or not eating or training. Good ol' movie talk. Since we do not own a TV we are good patrons of

Okay so Friday was a bad day....let's just leave it at that, okay well maybe not. Tough work day followed by a really, really tough parenting afternoon. The kids were gone, thank goodness! And so we decided we needed a movie. The movies that came from Blockbuster just were not fitting my mood so I went and exchanged one for Leap Year. Perfect, perfect movie for the night. Yes another romantic comedy but it was just done well, funny, heartfelt, left you rooting for them to get together etc. The slime dog loses out and all ends well, as you know it will, but the route to the happy ending was great. One of those perfect date movies where you end up curled up on the couch and feeling extra in love and appreciate your sweetie.

So after Saturday, a good day in all, we elected for The Fog of War. No romance, no feeling good, some appreciation for an intelligent - very hard working individual and a bit of compassion for the decisions he made and also questioning how regretful he really was or is? The movie is a documentary about the Former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara- analysis of part of the Vietnam war, involvement in WWII and the decisions to firebomb Japan, the Cuban Missile Crisis and more about the man. He was President of the Ford Motor Company, who knew? Definitely a good look back in history.

What about tonight....Sunday night, prep for the week, so we keep the movies to Friday and Saturday.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Tri Club Race -not

So I decided it has been 3 weeks since IMSG and I am feeling pretty good this week. Volume is up and I feel good- now mind you most training has been in the really comfortable zone, conversational and quite enjoyable actually.

So 1 hour of digging deep, sounded ok. Coach says you may feel awesome and let it rip or......well the or is what happened. Up early and packed up, seriously packing and planning for a 1 hour Sprint is the same process as an Ironman, okay so no special needs, but everything else. I roll down to Fiesta and park.

So fun to see everyone and have NO pressure, no nervousness...just chillin with friends. Jen, Beth and I go for a 2 mile wu run and arrive back in transition with about 5 minutes to the start. No worries. We stroll to the water and off we go. Swim was good- shoulder was great! After the Physical torture session on Friday I was worried. I though PT was supposed to make it better not more painful...well that is another story.

Up and out of the water and thinking this is going to be a fun day. I hope on the bike and settle in and gee my power is low, I push harder, my legs hurt and the power does not come up. I am going hard, really hard the power is honestly less than my 1/2 IM watts. I struggle for a lap and push harder, I am NOT, can I say it again NOT having fun. After lap 2, I decided screw it, just cruise along and enjoy the day. Tati then Beth then Jen fly by me, I mean 5mph faster than me, fly by me. I am cruising along ticking off the laps.

Finally the ride, the really long, long 12.5 mile bike is done and I take minutes, or maybe 5 in transition. What I was doing I don't know.....but I was having trouble getting my shoes on and well I was not in a rush. So I run out and see Lori who could not bike because she broke a cleat and says hey I'll run with you? you running 7 min pace? Sure I say, after the cruisy bike, lets run. Okay so maybe not....At this point, I am bonking and bonking hard. I was dreaming of a carbohydrate...any one - heck I would have eaten a donut if someone offered me on. The metabolic efficiency was not so efficient at this point! My body was screaming for something.

But, heck this #1 a sprint and #2 a club race, sorry no aid stations. So I decide to just go slower...sure why not. Make it a long day. No it was fun...I was happy to be out there and happier I had not shelled out $100 for this performance. I roll across the finish line, no clue of my time or place...but sure many others beat me.

We chilled, enjoyed the spread! Hot coffee, eggs and lots of fresh fruit- yum! I have to say the Tri Club is one class act. All this for free! Okay you pay $60 once year and get these races every month. Well run, well organized and a hot breakfast at the finish. Thank you all!

Soon after we "raced", well the others did actually race, Tati, Jen, Beth and I rolled out for a 3 hour ride. We all changed into our cycling gear and were off on a normal weekend ride. Well most of us anyway....see Beth was afraid of getting dropped so she kept her aero helmet on for the ride up the coast, add the compression sleeves and she was a site to be reckoned with!

Okay so the alien warping is interesting as well...but actually makes the picture even better. We had a terrific ride and managed to chat away up through La Jolla. We picked up John at UCSD who had been waiting for....well a long time. I had thought we would be rolling around 8:30 and it was more like 9:30. So he joined the Estrogen ride and fit in marvelously as usual.

As we headed back towards Fiesta I started to get that familiar feeling- oh crap, seriously I am bonking for the 2nd time today. Here I realize I grabbed the water from the car and not the bottle with some calories. Okay body, what can you do.....not much really. Ugh, begged a gu off John and hoped for the best. Thank goodness for the company or I would have hitched a ride back to the car.

I was oh so cranky by the end.....I was so screwed up I went the wrong way and missed the car so we had to do another small loop on Fiesta. Ahhhh kill me now.... Back at the car, mumbling obscenities metabolic, this....where is the biggest carb bomb I can find? Ahhhh all my stuff is cleared out of the car- only high protein and a banana. I want more, I want more!!! Ok eat the banana, protein wheat free bar and be cranky all the way home. Oh wait I remember the bottle of Infinit, I am guzzling it, wishing I could inject it and then the edge starts to soften and ah....I am beginning to feel human again. Wow crashed and bottomed out and on the way back up. Now I am freezing, my body is revolting. Hot shower, eggs and spinach and some coffee and I am normal again.

And really...this was a fun day!!! Gotta love triathlon

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


So I think anyone who is a consistent blogger secrectly dreams that their blog will someday be a life changing ticket to a very cool and lucrative lifestlye- just like Jule and Julia, right? Okay maybe that is just me. Blogging is very fun, therapeutic and somehow just so much better than scribbling in a small book with a tiny lock.

So far to date... no book or movie offers have come my way. But I have met some cool people (online) that is and spent (or maybe wasted) hours reading many other cool people's blogs. Between FB and reading blogs, you can seriously kill a few hours.

You must know something did happen or why is she yammering on about this. In one of my pictures I was tri geeked out in my compression sleeves and I decided to explain this fashion trend to all the non tri-geek readers so they did not silently sit at home wondering why I had school girl knee socks and running shoes with a hot pink running skirt? Well in my description I mentioned the Zoot Compression and linked to their website....not because they sponsor me, but because they were new, I was loving them and wanted to spread the word.

Well, a few days later I receive an email from CEP asking if I was familiar with their product? I was honest, I had only just discovered them during IMSG when I 6'5" dude was wearing neon green knee socks during the marathon. At the awards I asked if he was Irish or what was the deal- he explained there were CEP and he figured why look like all the other tri geeks in white compression knee socks and go for green. Nuff said. But that was the extent of it. So she asked if I would "test" the product and write about it.....sure- it's not like she asked me to run the IMSG course again wearing them- because that would be a no, never..but to try them sure.

A product tester- now that is something I can get into. So no reviews yet since the arrived in the mail today. I am excited to wear my green compression knee socks though. I'm thinking with shorts and my Zoot recovery sandals when I am out with my teenage daughter? She would die.....I'll hold onto that as a threat for bad behavior. But seriously I am still in recovery mode so hard to test out how well they work. I can see it now, WOW great compression socks, I felt great throughout the entire 45 minutes of my run! My legs were fresh after the grueling 2 hour spin up the coast.

But the recovery is ending so the need for compression will be coming back soon! I am thinking for the calf sleeves the way to test if one brand on one leg and one on the other after a killer run. But I am not one to sugar coat my hopefully they are as good as they say or I might get fired after my one and only product testing gigs.

So CEP does claim to be different....let's listen in and hear what they have to say...

We are actually owned by Medi; one of the worlds leading medical compression companies. Every brand claims to have "Graduated" compression. Most products on the market can say this without backing it up because they're not tight enough to be medical grade. Anything below medical grade, 20mmHg, is considered over the counter and not regulated.

In order to penetrate your deep veins and target the arteries you need a specific amount of compression. One sign to look for is when a product goes by shoe size. How does the athlete know they're getting the right amount of compression? Shoe size doesn't tell the circumference of ones leg which will determine the size range to get targeted compression...

It's important for us to spread the truth about compression and that not all compression products match what they claim. We have a published medical study that shows runners had 5% better performance running in our socks and used 6% less energy. That's 10-12min in a marathon! Our socks aren't just for recovery but for performance as well. That's what makes them so great.

How many read 10-12 minutes in the marathon and clicked and ordered a pair? Seriously they could be selling them in T2 of an Ironman- take 10 minutes off your Ironman marathon....not sure how to collect payment but just an idea.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Really only 2 weeks.....

Hard to believe Ironman was just 2+ weeks ago. Funny how I went from feeling so terrible to pretty darn well. Although I have been cautious not to do too much too soon. I have kept heart rates low, key to recovery.

Zen is happy to run slowly so no worries there. My other friend is on a low HR training plan so that worked out well and when I ride with JB he drops me on every climb and circles back on a regular basis.

On Saturday we rode up to Encinitas, took the long way so it was a 90 minute ride. JB hung for a bit and headed home and I worked at the Tri Club booth at the Expo for the Encinitas Sprint Tri. So fun to see everyone getting their packets and eager to race- having no personal desire to race myself. Met some new people and caught up with a lot of others. Post expo I hopped on my bike and rode home- no power meter, no worries just a nice ride along the coast. Biggest workout since IM!

Sunday was great- ran with M for 1/2 her long run- with her low HR plan it was good recovery paced run and then we did an hour spin and JB rode circles around us. Hung out at Peet's and enjoyed the day. So, so nice to not be rushing to get the long training in, worrying about recovering etc. Really living like a normal person- well normal in our world anyway.

Monday I was all set to swim, yoga and run. I got up and ran, had to ditch Zen after 2 miles- he is a slacker and finished a great run. Planned a noon swim and yoga but took over with vengeance. I was chained to my desk, okay slight exaggeration, but I worked a solid 10 hours with little break - and working like that at home means no lunch, no chatting with office mates - Zen is great and all but really not a good conversationalist. I had my office line and cell going a few times. But it's all good! Busy, busy means I am making money. And that is a critical goal in this thing called life.

Been experimenting with my diet.. I have been reading alot about metabolic efficiency and it makes a lot of sense. I have 2 friends who follow the program with great success. With the GI distress I have had at my last 3 races, I need to take a look and see what can be changed. As I told a friend, after my last porta pottie incident at IMSG, it was not a light bulb that went on, it was a streaming strobe light- hello, there is an issue! I always thought I had a iron stomach....well not so much when it comes to IM. So it is different and a challenge. The concept is teaching your body to burn fat vs. carbs- since we all, well most of us, have a lot more fat stores, it is more efficient and useful for endurance racing. We cannot store nor replace the carbs necessary to race for 10-12 hours. So I have cut out all simple bread, rice, carb snacks, cookies (okay this is the toughest one) and increased my lean protein and good fats. More avocado's, almonds and nut butter. The first 2 weeks were the hardest as a lot of what we eat is habit so I would go for the rice crackers and stop.. The ideal time to make the change is the off season, post race or when training volume is low. Literally you have to bonk a few times as your body is "learning" what to use for fuel. It's funny I picture my body looking for carbs and not finding any, panicking - thats when I feel crappy, and then seeing the fat and a big sigh of releif- oh good, we are not going to die.

I still have a lot of questions and am learning. I am going to stick iwth it and see how it goes as training volume increase. Bob Seebohar is somewhat of an expert on this field and has a great book. METABOLIC EFFICIENCY TRAINING: TEACHING THE BODY TO BURN MORE FAT The title pretty much sums up the book. So if you are interested...check it out or if you are metabolically efficient, drop me a line- I want to learn as much as I can.

3 hour ride today with KP and I was definitely depleted at the end so need to figure out how to make this work before the volume and intensity kick in or training will not be effective or much fun.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Sort of back at it.....

I was like a little kid last excited to play with my friend today. Jen and I had a riding date. But first we swam at masters and then headed out for a recovery (well for me) and 4 hour ride for Jen. We rolled up to La Costa and never, never stopped chatting. We had so much to catch up on. Jen has been racing Mtn Bikes and hanging out on the podium! Go Jen!! Dropping lots of boys in the MB scene and of course I had to relive IMSG. Even though she read the detailed race report, we still had so many details to cover!

La Costa back to Carmel Valley we had all the other weeks of news to catch up....In the blink of an eye she peeled off to finish, or maybe really start her ride- at a respectable pace, and I was headed back to UCSD. We laughed that this is the best way to catch up...riding bikes and yammering away. Forget happy hour and the other normal social venues. Too bad I am still trashed from Ironman and had to cut it short.

So after 1.5 weeks of yoga or walking the dog being my workout for the day, I managed a masters swim and a 2 hour ride. Seemed like a lot, frankly. Although my HR never came up to even an Ironman effort so no fear of gaining fitness. Just felt good to be outside and having fun.

I am under a considerable amount of stress at of my favorite clients was affected by the Nashville flood and we are scrambling to find another location- stressful for but 10 fold for her I am sure. That and another group who wants to cancel a meeting, which is just not ever fun and anther who wants to make major changes after the contract was signed. Add all this up and job which is the envy of most, is not so enviable right now. And I am a stress has not seen this in a while. They are all very supportive and give me a wide space when I blast out of my office.

It is a good reality check of how great I have it most of the time....the good thing is I really like my clients- they are all good people and I work hard to get the best for them and they genuinely appreciate it! That is all I can ask for.

So looks like I am heading to the land of the mouse next week....Orlando! Again, travel is part of the job and sometimes I love it and sometimes not.

The other stress in my life is the results of my MRI.MRI says Superior labral anterior to posterior labral tear extending from the 10 to 2 o'clock positions (SLAP 2c) What does that mean? You can read all about it! Basically the tear is in the cartilage that goes around the rim to hold the ball in the socket joint. The problem is that the tendons get stuck in the tear and then pop out, which yes can be very painful, or just inconvenient.

I have figured out how to swim with little pain and can avoid the popping, as long as I don't do backstroke or fly. A really good excuse to only swim freestyle. But the pain manifests itself when I am riding. Aero is the worse, after about 30 minutes is starts aching and soon is shoot pains and I have to come up and alleviate the tension. Even on my road bike I have to take the pressure off or it gets very painful. So the swimming I can live with and the cycling I can too, I lived through IMSG but Ironman causes enough pain and adding more is just not fun.

I am going to deal with it through Kona and hopefully find a way to to manage it, but it not, will have to go the surgery route after Kona. Labral tears do not heal....they need help. So that is an added stress that weighs on me as well.

So with that.....I say goodnight and thank goodness tomorrow is Friday!!!!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Training.....not so much

First week post IM I was tired and hungry and not looking to do much...

Now I'm feeling a lot better and looking to get back in the routine, sort of. Okay not really. but face it my friends are triathletes and we swim, bike, run together and when I am not doing a lot of that well I don't see a lot of my friends.

Funny too how you become closer to different people different times of the year- all based on who is racing a the same time. With all the training we do, then the living of our lives and work, we don't have a lot of time to just hang out and socialize. So the socializing and training go hand in hand.

Thank goodness for FB, we all stay connected that way, but that is just not the same.

So my point in all this....I miss my friends! But I don't quite miss the long training. Nor am I jumping at the bit, so to speak, to get back at it. I am quite content with the 30 minute run, 1 hour swim- which I love- because if I don't like the main set- I just get out, and my big ride on Saturday included more time at Peets that it did riding. Not too shabby.

My commitment to Yoga is flourishing...I have gone 1 time and I was so tired I spent a lot of time in child's pose and Savasana (or the corpse) Not sure how much benefit I was getting just laying there- but darn it, it felt good. I was in the very back and whenever it was mildly uncomfortable I was collapse. I figured too soon to suffer again. Plus the fellow yogis were staring at me in my running shorts and compression sock get up. No hip and trendy yoga clothes for me. Tomorrow- I have it on my calendar and a reminder on my phone - so no excuses.
Julie doing Savasana

So the day after IMSG Trevor and I were complaining and complaining and saying that was so bad I would not race if someone stopped me on the street and gave me a free entry...Trevor said he would not even do it again if someone paid him. Okay I had to take pause me? well maybe. So I decided if a random person gave me a free entry and paid me $500 I would do IMSG again. We laughed and that was that..

So last night I dreamed that I got an email saying... we are calling you on your word- it was an entry and a check for $500 dated for May 2, 2011. I was freaking out, no, no, not again.....$500 is not enough, I need more....I woke up in a sweat- holy cow! Maybe for $1000......:)

I have bad news about my shoulder but don't feel like writing about it now.....maybe tomorrow

Customer Service....Xterra

Xterra Home
Xterra Home

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Now I work in the hospitality industry and am exposed to a lot of service. I have the privilege of working and traveling to 4 and 5 star hotlels and then sometimes the 3 star hotels. While luxury is wonderful, truly customer service often what makes an experience, a product etc.

So my recent wet suit mishap at IMSG was not fun. It is not Xterra's fault....the wet suit is on it's 3rd season and there were signs it was giving in. My gut said to get a new one but I was waiting on a sponsor to come through so I decided no big deal. Well as you have read from my race- I did 2 warm up swims without issue but come race day the inseam under the arm tore and it tore big.

As I learned duct tape is not waterproof nor does it really stick. Now I could claim it affected my swim and how it wrecked my race....but really I had a great swim. So maybe I was so cold it motivated me to swim harder??? who knows....

In any case after returning to SD I wrote to Xterra and asked about repair. Within minutes Keith Simmons, Fouunder and CEO wrote back personally and directed me to the local store for repair. I left without getting a loaner...I just finished Ironman SG and froze and the idea of open water was not appealing. Keith later offer to mail me one if I wanted one in the interim. Seems it need more than a minimal repair and had to be shipped off.

It's just nice to have people who respond, when you call they answer the phone and who genuinely seem to care about the customer....

disclaimer...I am not sponsored by Xterra, was not bribed or paid to do this....just want to recognize the companies who care!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

I vividly remember going to brunch 16 years ago when I was 5 months pregnant with JD. We were at the Marriott downtown with my in-laws. My sister-in-law had a 7 year old and we were with my ex's parents. As we walked in they were giving all the Mom's a flower. They handed me one, seeing the tremendous belly, that was forming and I remember hesitating. I am not a mom yet, what if I take the flower and lose the any case, hard to believe here we are 16 years later.

We had a wonderful morning....plan was to get up and go swim with some friends at the cove at 8. Well we went to a party last night (yes IM is over) and did not go to bed until 11 (which for me is late, really late) but since I was meeting people I set my alarm and got up at 7. I stumbled downstairs only to realize my wetsuit was at Xterra for repair after Ironman. Okay so now I am tired and the idea of swimming in 62 degree water without a wetsuit is well.....not going to happen. So I texted my swim buddies and went back to bed. And get this...slept until 8:45- that is like noon for most, considering 7am is late for me. It was awesome! And Zen was good to his mommy and let me sleep.

Went for a short run and yes....I am feeling normal again. Slow 30 min run and legs feel good. No big plans for training but nice to feel somewhat normal.
And then we had brunch with Mom and Billy at the "club" Nothing like a buffet for a 15 year old boy...he got his moneys worth and more. We had a great morning and and I am so thankful to have such terrific kids and to be able to share Mothers Day with the worlds greatest Mom!

And I am thankful my kids know and love their Granny so much.

We clean up pretty well.....even though I had on jeans which is a big no-no. Come on these are nice jeans and cost more than my other pants- but the CClub has a policy, riff raff has to sit outside. You think I would learn, when I was in college we spent one Christmas in Boston and Mom wanted to take us to High Tea at the Four Seasons but we had to settle for the Hyatt because I had on jeans. I guess at 20 it make sense but at 43 well....maybe not. But really they are nicer than the other pants I had one :)

No golf today.....just eating and drinking mimosa's.

Papa is grateful Riley will fill the dessert plate for 2.

More IM SG

So when we drove to SG we used the TomTom nav system of TB's. He plugged in the address and we drove and drove. We are now in SG and winding through neighborhoods to find our condo. The TT announces you are here....and we nearly died. This front yard is gravel filled and decorated with an eclectic array of yard art. As is turns out this was not our house but we had to go back and take pictures.... because it was oh so special.

Cactus Mailbox anyone?

Trevor and some of the classic yard art
Personally I liked the bear
This just maybe our Christmas card....
And the eagle....tears me up- the patriotism of it all

Side note about outfits. 1- Trevor is not a Prima Ballerina- he is sporting his compression tights. And I am not in some wacked out school girl costume with knee socks. Running skirt and compression calf sleeves. For the non tri-geeks viewing this. The compression gear helps to accelerate blood flow and aids in recovery. Believe it or not my rockin Zoot calf sleeves make a huge difference- they take the aching and cramping away.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Less emotional Ironman St George Race Recap

So the question that is asked again and again....would you do it again? With each day that distances me from the race, the probability increases. Really? yes....and here is why.

WHY to race IMSG again
It's close- driving to an IM is awesome.
- road tripping is fun
- packing is a lot easier
- you can bring everything and not worry about it
- no bike stress- pack/unpack, airline fees etc
Early season IM
- I like to race early- which is why I do O'side each year
- If you are looking to qualify, its nice to get it done and be able to take a nice long break and
then begin the work for Kona- really make it 2 seasons
- Helps keep the weight off during the holidays (although did not work so well for me this year- so if you do gain weight it comes off in January when the long rides and runs stack up
Fair Course
- sure there was some drafting but not a lot- the hills really break up the groups
1 Loop Swim
- this is nice, not having to get out and run around a timing mat
- opens up fast as the 1st buoy is 1000 yards away
Bragging rights
- face it, now that it is done and it was every bit as brutal as expected and maybe even worse due to the conditions - it is awesome to say oh yeah, I was there
Possibly this was the worst
- Every IM has it's bad years- the year WI was over 100 and the year CdA was over 100 and the year it poured rain etc. Maybe this was a fluke, just like ALL the locals said. Really, the water is usually around 65 (not 53), the weather is mid 70's (not 60) and there are not gale force winds (some wind, but not a lot)
- Time will tell on that one- if the next few years are awesome...then well bragging rights get even bigger


Windy, not minor head wind, but this wind sucked big time
Freezing water- I am not a wimp, I do O'side each year and it is 59/60, I did IMCdA and it was 58 and this water was not close to either temperature. Rumor was it was 51-53
Run was a total bitch - nuff said (maybe not a reason not to do SG, but still a sore point for me- literally- since my quads are still tired Race + 5days)
Roads are miserable- chipped seal is just not made to ride on- possibly repave the road?
Cattle Guards- can you put more than plywood over then that call for mandatory bunny hops or risk bottle launches- I actually saw a speedfill, how the heck does that launch out- It takes 2 of us to get mine out....I'm just sayin
Split transition...
-having the start 20 miles away is just tiresome to drive out and do pre race swims and not to mention having to catch a bus at 4:30 from T2 to get to the swim start
- registration in a 3rd location
- no Ironman village feel- the vibe where it all happens is not happening in SG
- on race check in day - drive 20 miles and drop off bike + T1 bag and then go back to T2 to drop off run bag
- race morning- drop off special needs at T2 and board a bus to T1-
Town shuts down on Sunday
- so the final weeks of race prep and I cut out alcohol, most sweets and watch what I am eating to be in the best shape for race day
- post race is all about eating and drinking
- no alcohol sold in stores on Sunday! Thank goodness Trev and I stocked up in NV on our way out so we had some sweet celebration wine
- the famous frozen custard place we were told we HAD to go to- closed on Sunday.
- Fro Yo- closed on Sunday as was pretty much everything but the ColdStone and Sbux

I'm sure there will be more.....but for now that is it.

Never say never....I will see how the weather is the next 2 years before I go back. Will the repave the roads? Doubtful. Make the course easier? Not sure I want them to do that- just pick an easier IM- keep it tough, just the other factors are well....not my favorite.

But I will not leave on a negative....road trip out with Trev was a blast! Good times. Condo was ideal and Trev, KP, and John. We had some good times.... Met some new friends, always a bonus. Hung with some San Diego buddies and watched a few complete their first IM - priceless. Lots of familiar faces on the course- because it was so close to home. And my Kona slot, so how can really be a bad place.....Maholo SG!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Recovery continues...

So as the days wear on....and I am still tired and sore by the way. Longest IM recovery to date. I thought a short run sounded good this AM but it was much shorter than planned and soon became a nice walk. My quads are trashed. The foam roller is still a pure torture session but one I try to endure a few times a day. I went to swim and after 1200 got out, why? Because I wanted to and I was tired.

Recovery from training is key to maximizing your next training session...recovering from IM is about feeling normal again and then maybe thinking about training. Since I returned home. I took my bike off the car, rinsed off the nastiness and hung it up in my office. Still up there, race wheels still on and no driving motivation to take it down. I rode my 20 year old Mtn Bike with my dog this morning, only because I could not run with him.

The license to eat what I want when I want has to expire soon. The first few days it is easily justified, I burned close to 10,000 calories and my body is in a caloric deficit?? Right, but when Thursday rolls around and I have been working hard to fill the deficit, reality says, time to back off the food. Its not like its cookies and processed junk, I am eating mostly good food- lots of dried fruit, nuts, avocado, chicken and fluids (as long as they are not fruit punch, lemon lime or orange flavored- which bring back IM memories). I actually have ankles today! Seems the cankles are subsiding. But good food also add time to get back on the pay attention to what I eat train.

Sleep...I am still making up for lost sleep. Getting 8-9 hours of that solid, wake up drooling kind of sleep each night and am loving that. Hope that lasts for a while.

I was still so tired yesterday that I fell dead asleep during an MRI- they nurse was shaking my leg when it was done. So more on that....shoulder felt great on the swim (maybe it was the duct tape) and terrible on the bike. After I am aero for 90 minutes the shooting pains start and it is just no fun. As if Ironman is not enough!

So after the race I had an Arthogram + MRI. You can follow the link for the text book definition of an Arthogram or you can read mine....lay on the table, take an xray, large- really large needle is aimed at shoulder, exactly where the pain is, and it goes in. Now this is the lidocane and it burns as it goes in. Oh right and don't move since there is a giant needle in your shoulder. Lay there and it goes numb. Another needle for more lidocaine deeper. Wait and then out of my peripheral vision I see what looks like a 5ft needle coming towards me. Now this is when he puts the contrast into the joint and this is when I close my eyes and practice deep zen breathing.

Okay done- not painful so much but terrifying.

Off to the MRI for 30 minutes in a very small, dark, loud chamber. They hook me up with the noise cancelling head phones, put on 103.7 and away I go. I am trying to relax thinking why did I stop at Starbucks on the way, I need total relaxation, not caffeination. But amazing within 2 minutes I am out, so out I don't realize the procedure is over. The nurse says wow, you were very relaxed did you take a Valium. I say no, I did an Ironman.

So now we wait....hopefully there is no tear! If no tear then I do ART and PT and get the impingement worked out. If there is a tear, I suffer through October and then go under the knife to get it fixed before next season.

Oh the joys of being injured!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Race Recovery.....

Okay so I don't sleep well the night before a race- that is a given. After getting up at 3am on race day, laying it on the line, leaving a bit of my soul on the course and suffering for over 11 hours I earned a good night sleep, right?

On not to mention the post race food bonanza....we finish and find Trevor and John is the uber Sherpa hauling my backpack, Trevor's and his bike as we trudge to the car. He is a good 2 blocks ahead of us as we shuffle along dreaming of food and wine.

Quick stop at Albertsons for 4 10lb bags of ice and 2 boxes Epsom salt. Back at the condo and we have big plans to go out for BBQ.... until we get inside. No one wants to go out- so John continues is awesomeness and finds the local BBQ place, puts in our order in the nick of time and is out the door to go and get dinner.

Meanwhile I am contemplating really getting in an ice bath- after all I took one for 55 minutes that morning during the Ironman swim. I know it will do wonders for my I grab a Guinness and my ice and epson salt and hit the tub. It takes all I can muster to get in the ice bath- I slug down the beer. Now after and Ironman it goes straight to my head and I jump in. The goal is 15 minutes. At 9:46 I am shivering and miserable and I get out- I have suffered enough today, damn it.

Hot, hot shower and turn over the tub to Trevor. Meanwhile John arrives with pulled Pork for the guys and the most delicious bbq chicken for me. And of all things they had nachos - we are devouring the food- KP and John have been up nearly as long as we have and don't have the adrenaline surging nor the volumes of caffeine from the race. They are starving and crashing.

I dream of going to sleep, even hang a blanket on over the window to make it dark to sleep in. I lay there for an hour, 2 hours and want to sleep. Finally I nod off around 1 and am up at 3am - wide awake, as if my body says okay time to get up and do it all over again...not so much.

I lay there until 4 and give up and get up and eat- still in calorie deficit I have a sandwich and surf FB and the computer...Trevor rolls out around 6am hungry as well. The food makes me tired and I roll back to bed for an hour of solid sleep. I get up stiff but not too bad actually. I figure I can mainline caffeine all day and no biggie...

John is working on a ride back to SD and KP is packing for his flight. We head to the Convention Center to pick up my slot- no regrets handing over the $550 check for Kona. Lots of very happy and limping people in that room. People are beat up, war stories are starting and it is now fun to have survived the race.

We go to the awards lunch- great food and we eat and eat....Mike Reilly is the MC has says IMSG had the 2nd highest DNF in IM North American history, only 2nd to IM WI the year it was over 100 degrees. They pulled out over 40 ppl on the swim due to hypothermia and the others were a slow attrition due to not making the cut off for the bike and all the other horrendous stories of the horrific course. Close to 500 did not even show up to race due to weather, cold water, fear of the death march and more.

But we did it and made history- the 1st group to survive. In all other IM's I have done the line the next day to regisster for the following year is long.... I mean 100's of people. The line to register for IMSG 2011 was empty. Will be interesting to see how long it takes to sell out.

Rest of the day was ideal....we went hunting for the famous frozen custard - closed- after all it was Sunday- argh!! Plan B find some FroYo - closed- Sunday. Finally we settle for Cold Stone and it was good and then we shuffle to Starbucks and take some more caffeine.

Sitting in the sun reading the NY Times and drinking a latte was a much nicer way to spend the afternoon vs trudging up and down Red Hills Parkway.

We finished off the day with an outstanding dinner at the Painted Pony - delicious meal and superb bottle of wine and closed out the Ironman day.

Today is when the Ironman hangover hits...the race is over, body is wrecked and we had to pack up and make the drive home. Although we managed to eat our way from Utah to AZ to NV and finally to SD. And hit a few Starbucks as well.....all the bad foods we gave up during training are satisfying our cravings now.

Very sore, tired and beat up I arrive home to find a fansatic sign and cake from my kids

And a beautiful plant and card from my Mom......

Feeling the love and support at nice! And so many well wishes on FB, email and more. It is so overwhelming and amazing. Thanks Bryan from ErinBaker for the nice call and for all the support you guys give us....really I am often fueled by Breakfast Cookies. During the race many people saw my race kit and said "oh I would die for an Breakfast Cookie right now"
Love it all......and all the very cool people in this sport.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Been there done that never again....

So the alarm goes off at 3am- thank goodness as I have been tossing and turning all night. Up and get the coffee check of gear for the day. Coffee, 2xtoast with PB and honey and some carbo pro in the coffee.

We roll out just before 4 with Ron, another one of KP's athletes and we are at the Finish line in 10 min, parked, dropped off special needs bags ( bags that they will give you 1/2 way through the bike and run during an Ironman), and we are on the first bus out to SandHollow Reservoir.

The wind has abated for the is calm and 55 degrees (which feels balmy after the 45 degrees the other mornings) So we are now at the reservoir at 5...what do we do?. Hit the porta pottie, recheck our swim to bike gear bags and I again am in a quandary about what to wear. I decide to wear my tri shorts since it is a bit warmer today and stick with the sports bra and put my tri top on in the tent after the swim. Amazing how the time just ticks away and soon it is time to suit up.

So my wetsuit has a few repaired holes and I know I need a new one but.....well I don't have that now. I have swam in this the last 3 days and all was fine. So I am pulling in on, adjusting it etc and I discover a reasonable size hole in the armpit that goes all the way through. Nice!!! A cooling vent for the swim. Not what I need when the water is 51-53 degrees NOT the 60 degrees as advertised, for the record! Don't panic, don't panic.....I have 15 min until the race starts. Head to the med tent looking for duct tape. She tapes me up and in the process binds my shoulder....which in hindsight may have been a good thing- my bad shoulder did not hurt while swimming. The tape consequently did not really stick and just gave me a ghetto look with a taped together wet suit that still leaked live a sieve.

Now this is a water start - which means they need to get 2000+ swimmers in the water, deep water and then start. This is not unusual but when the water is 51-53 degrees, no one wants to get in and not for long. I wanted to be front row so had to debate how long I could wait....with 2 minutes to go I slipped in and wove my way to the front- painless. Few minutes of chilling and we are off. I love swimming in a lake- fresh water is nice. The swim is a big rectangle and we swim counterclockwise. It opens up quickly and I basically swam the entire 2.4 miles alone. A group ahead of me a significant space and then me and one lone swimmer off to my right- which happened to be Ron (of course I did not know that then) Swim was fine...but about 1/2 way through I was cold, could not feel my feet or hands and I was shivering. I generally love Ironman swim, but today, well just get me through it. I pushed hard and was hoping for a good result after moving down a lane at masters. I am out of the water finally and I see 1:10- I am devastated, I am hoping for 55 or 56. I soon find out the clock is running from the Pro Start and they go off 15 minutes before us so I did swim a 55! Nice when the extra work pays off.

Out of the water and drop on the ground- wetsuit strippers are great and I am in the tent. One benefit of being a fast swimmer is the volunteers are eager and looking for something to do. I have 3 people putting on my shoes and helping wrestle on the tri top which is virtually impossible with frozen hands and wet. But they did it reasonably quickly. It is quite a treat to have people putting on my cycling shoes, race belt and stuffing things in my pockets.

Out of the tent and they have my bike and I am rolling. It is chilly....doable though. Best day by far! No wind, at this point. The ride into town was great. Rolling hills and warming up. Roads are marginal but not an issue. We cruise onto Red Hills Parkway and onto Snow Canyon, sounds beautiful yes and it is as we wind through the neighborhoods and on a random bike path and make our way out on the loop. Soon the smooth roads end and we begin our journey on chipped seal paved roads which are bummmmmpy and noisy. And the climbing begins and the wind picks up. We are headed along a 2 lane highway, settling in for the work. Our next big turn is toward the town of Gunlock and we are on rolling roads and the scenery is nice but the roads are rough, there are cattle guards covered with boards which you have to bunny hop over or risk losing water bottles - there are 10-12 random bottles scattered about as proof of the big bump. And the ride is a grind, hilly, rough road and lots of wind. As you crest the "wall" into Veyo there is about 3 miles of more rolling hills and a 90 degree right turn to Highway 18 and a screaming descent toward town.

What change to be aero and topping out at 40+ mph. Nice relief and enjoying the break. But who is the genius that planned special needs along this descent- nothing like having to break to get your bags.... anyway soon the downhill eases up and another right turn and guess what? Loop #2. This is where it gets tough, you are only at mile 70 and still have 42 miles to go. Still windy, still hilly and the roads still suck. Here is my low point- my shoulder is in agony- after being aero my shoulder seizes up and I have shooting pains up into my head and aching down my back, relief comes when I sit up, which I have to do to climb the hills. So hills are welcome? maybe, maybe not.

Here is where the talks of why do I do this creep in, what was I thinking, never again, and it goes on an on. But just when I am feeling low and we hit another climb I see a few people who are on loop 1 of the bike and are walking their bikes up the hill, okay it could be worse. I want to offer a few words of encouragement but what do I say- nice walking, good job? So I put my head down and ride.

Finally the last right turn and the screaming downhill toward transition 2. Finally watching the miles click off 100, 101 etc.... and then I see it and I am slipping my feet out of my shoes and I hop off the bike and gladly pass off the bike to a stranger and don't really care if I ever see my bike again.

Off and running into the changing tent. Whip off the tri shorts and into a nice dry and clean pair of running shorts- ecstasy at this time frankly. Socks, shoes, hat and I running out of the tent excited to be starting a marathon. Sick how it really seems like a great idea.

There are lots of people, music playing and all is good! And then the climbing begins, a slow steady climb at first but a harsh reality of what is in store. Mile 1- done! My nutrition plan for the marathon is 1 shot block at each mile mark and 1 dixie cup of water at the aid stations. I eat one and keep moving. Mile 2 and it gets steeper and then we do and out and back which we do 4 times and it is about .5 of a mile and it is up a short steep hill and around a culdesac and back down. But there are lanes for in and out and it is a maze of people so you have to follow your lane and go over the timing mat so they know you did this piece of the course and did not lay down and take a nap instead.

Out of the cul-de-sac and then the serious climb begins, the steep up hill and oh crap is this for real kind of climbing. I am slow and steady and in good spirits. Crest the hill and down a bit and back up and then we enter Pioneer Park and all I can say is it looks like a Disneyland ride, people are all over this windy park road- above me and below me- how can I possibly get to all those spots. We are hamsters in a giant habitral. But I am having a good time and saying to fellow runners- its like an E Ticket Disneyland Ride and one grump runner says not really more like an F (as in Fuck this) ticket ride. Okay then, some of us are not having fun....

We follow the path and it meanders up and down and the out the bottom and we do a loop and turn about and then go back on the path. Hard to describe but a bizarre and interesting way to add another mile and when you come out of the park it is back down the way we came. My next favorite comment a guy is running along tooting as he runs and then he sees me come along him and says gosh I sorry for all the gas....I laugh and say look I have basically been pissing on myself for the last 112 miles on the bike, a little gas? No offense there- he belts out laughing and says I love this sport when a chick passes me on the marathon and lays out the truth. Good on ya.... and off I go. Back up and back the cul de sac and then all he way to the finish, in fact so close you almost go through the finish line arch but guess what there is an arrow on the ground for loop 2.

Cruel, cruel to see the finish line and then have another 13 hilly, miserable miles to go. Does this sound like fun yet? I am actually feeling pretty good. At 13 I get my special needs and KP had given me 2 Red Bull shots for the bag and I chug those and hope for super powers! And the 2nd lap begins.

I see KP and he says I am in 3rd place, but 4th place has gained 5 minutes on my on the 1st lap and she is now less than 5 minutes behind me. He says if I want the slot (Kona that is) the 2nd lap will be painful and I am going to have to dig deep. Not really what I want to hear. Frankly, I want to survive. I spend the next mile waiting for her to fly by me and decide that 4th place is just fine and then I don't have to do another Ironman this year. Okay good idea. I suffer along and at mile 16 I see John on his bike, he is excited and screaming that she is catching me and I can do it, just pick it up. Right I am thinking- you get your butt off that sweet bike (see now the bike seems like a nice idea) and start running on this mountainous course. But I don't say that I just grimace and am also realizing I need a porta pottie and need one soon. John is saying don't stop just go and I am yelling I am not pooping in my only can do that if you are winning a race.

I see the porta pottie ahead and am dying for it, he rides ahead and cuts off a man opening the door and says my wife is in 3rd place, can she please go ahead. So in my brief visit in the porta pottie I decide I am not giving up 3rd place without a major fight. I blast out, slamming the door and take off running and pick up the pace. By mile 17 John says I have put 40 seconds on her (including my porta pottie stop) I am now taking this one mile at a time and feeling good. By mile 20 I have added a minute so now she is 3+ minutes behind and I am increasing my lead.

Trudging along, ticking off the miles and I am suffering. I see KP and he cheers me on. By 22 I am not happy I take a shot block and cannot swallow it, I try to suck it and the gag reflex returns it so I spit it out. Taking one step at a time. This hurts like I cannot even tell you. Hit the aid station I take Gatorade, spit it out, coke, spit it out, water, spit it out- and realize I have 4 miles to go and no more fueling.

So I count 100 steps and then start over. I see John again and look at him pleading....please tell me she is not any closer? He is screaming, "you look great, you are putting time on her, she is dying" KP is yelling all good things. I am realizing I am holding her off. And then I go back to counting and it is downhill finally. But frankly the downhill hurts as much as the uphill but it is faster. So I run with what I have left. I hit 24 and John appears again and says Jules you just passed 3rd takes me a while to realize I am in 2nd now. So I just keep running and murmuring obscenities with every step. KP is yelling and I tell him I am leaving a piece of me on this course.

Finally I see mile 25...1 mile to go. I see John and ask him are you sure she is not catching me- he assures me but I keep running. I finally make the final right turn and can see the finish and hear Mike Reilly (the voice of Ironman) He is THE announcer and I sprint, well as much as I can do and then I see the finishers shoot and the crowds are screaming like I am winning the race and then I hear the magical words....Julie Dunkle You are an Ironman! And the emotion wells and the tears come and I cannot beleive it! KP is right there and I literally fall over the finish line. I did it and I am going back to Kona.....

Really all that pain and suffering just to go and do it again- Really!

So Ironman St George- I am not coming back anytime soon...if ever. The course was a beast. Hands down the toughest day ever- but well with each passing hour the pain eases up and the memories get better!

John you are the number one husband! All over the course today cheering and giving me splits- I could not have sucked it up and dug that deep without you love! And KP, thank you for all the answers to the whys and why not's in the training and for the support out there today! It takes a village to get to Kona and I am blessed to be a part of a great one! And of course ErinBaker for their great sponsorship and Kestrel Bikes for the rocking AirFoil Pro ride!

This trip has been great....traveling with TB has been outstanding. A true friend and good times indeed! With each race I do my network grows and I was excited to see so many familiar faces out there today. A special congrats to Rachel and welcome to the Ironman Club- she is my hero for taking on Ironman St George as her 1st. My Erin Baker team mate Kevin- way to go bro and Aloha I will see you in Kona. Beth, TB, Ron, Debbie, Mia and everyone one else who laid it on the line today! This was a medal we earned x 2.

Trevor and I.....hardly looks like we just suffered for 11+ hours....

That my friends are my comments about Ironman SG.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Been busy around here....

Pre race is usually days of relaxing and chilling out, reading blogs and writing blogs. But we seem to have been busier than usual this race week.

Great drive out on Wed- painless, managed to find a few Starubucks along the way and hit the last stop in Nevada to load up on post race wine (fearing the wine selection may be weak due to the majority of the population abstaining from alcohol)

Cruised in and found our condo-great spot and as we drove up to park I parked between 2 SUV's with bike racks and Mdot stickers. We are in the right place. As you looked at the rest of the cars....License plate SWBKRU, I140.6 and frames and all IM related gear. Sweet condo, spacious and very comfortable. The owner many times explained how well they take care of it, recently did a major renovation and was hesitatnt to give me the unit number prior to arrival in fear we were planning a big party. I finally asked if he knew what an Ironman was and he did not, once I explained, he acquiesced and gave me the number. I assured him we are upstanding citizens and are responsible. Not to mention the 4 bikes alone we hauled in are worth more than the major renovation- no parties here, just a lot of carbs and sleeping.

We went for an ez spin upon arrival and could harldy stay on our bikes, huge winds and major gusts. Temperature was warm and we had on tri tops and no arm/leg warmers- it felt like summer. But we knew that too would pass.

Thur AM it was 44 and chilly and calm. We headed to the Reservoir (Sandhollow State Park) 20 miles from here and the finish line. Got lost a few times and finally arrived out in the middle of no where! Water temp was posted at 60- sweet. Well until we jumped in and it was not 60, not 58, we later heard 55. Which is ice cream headache, shocking temperature- so cold that after a 20 minute swim we could not talk. Frozen cheeks.....

We change, dry clothes (jersey/arm wamers+ shorts and shoes with toe covers and socks) and rode out into the gusty, now chilly winds. Freezing on the bike- time to rethink race day- hopping out of the water in my tri suit and getting on the bike wet, which is what I have done in every Ironman, every race for that matter.

Short run on the dam with a tail wind out that was wonderful and a headwind back that felt like someone was pushing against my shoulders with both arms.

Wow is all I can think...forget Ironman, this is going to be an adventure race!

Stopped for coffee....yes! And the off to registration and bodymarking- again, what the heck? Bodymarking takes place race morning with a big magic marker. But here they are airbrushing on a temporary tatoo with a stecil. Sounds cool but the line was over 30 minutes....kid you not. I fell for it and after my number was on my arm I was told to go to the other line for my age on my calf. Forget it- time to get off my feet. I then found out that they are doing traditional body marking race morning - this is a new approach they are trying and it stays on for 5-7 days. Gee, I really need 43 printed on my calf for a week! No thanks- Sharpe works for me. So for the non tri geeks- your race number goes on your arm and your age on your left calf so everyone can see how old everyone is. We race against those in our age group so its great to see if the person going by is 40 or 38- if she's 38 who cares, if she is 40 she is now potentially going to beat me.

More later....gotta run it's time to race baby!