Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Off.,off, off season.....

Okay so we drove to NM and back and around the state of AZ, I started a race and did not finish it...ugh!   Foot is seriously jacked up (probably good I stopped) and I have not done a lick of exercise in 8 days.  Okay, we did a small hike around Arcosanti and I was in pain complaining because I cannot wear a shoe with a back and up and down is tough wearing a flip flop tennis shoe.  Why a flip flop tennis shoe- I cannot wear a shoe with a back or it sends shooting pains up my ankle- something about the nerves, tendons that are simply not right. 

Oh I lied I went to the gym once on our trip and did elliptical on level1, seriously I am a level 7 or 8 but level 1 seemed a bit challenging. And the sign said 30 minute limit and I am a rule follower so I stopped. 

Now that we are back I thought I maybe eager to ride, run or swim.  KP has zero on my schedule in fact no running, riding or swimming.  Running is out, the whole back of the shoe issue is a problem and since it was 38 degrees this AM barefoot running does not seem wise. Swimming- no thanks.  Riding, contemplated it but I am fighting something and am resting.  Sleeping 11 hours after doing no exercise for 8 days tells me something is not right.

So seems this whole time off thing is working out just fine.

As for 2011.....I have 2 races planned and have committed to. Oceanside 70.3 April 3 and Wildflower Long Course May 1- I have always wanted to do Wildflower but have not done it because I have an IM on the horizon and I need to recover from O'side, get in a big block of training etc.   So my plan for 2011 is to race what I want to race and when I want to race and not force an Ironman.  I did not sign up for one and they are mostly sold out and I just cannot see putting forth the cash for a community fund slot. So that means maybe no Kona and right now I am okay not chasing the coveted Kona slot in 2011.  I could sign up for IM St George and do that all over again, but I just am not jonesing to do it, so I am going to wing it as they say.

Lots of other cool races to do and will let the year unfold as it may.  I love Ironman and am certainly not giving it up, so don't be fooled there. But for now....I don't want one on the horizon to think or worry about.  

So as all things come to an end...seems it is appropriate to give thanks!  I am blessed to have such a wonderful and supportive family, some of the best friends I have ever had, and appreciate all the support from Erin Baker and Kestrel!  Erin, Bryan and Steven have been fantastic and I love the EB Team! 

So for now.... day by day and I am sure I will wake up soon inspired to ride soon.  As for running, time to let the foot heal-  the day I get out of bed and do not have shooting pains when I step down will be an indicator that I should run and as for swimming...I just may take the month off.  I really, really don't enjoy swimming and need a break!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010 ( a few days late)

After the disaster at Sizzler we had to have a proper Thanksgiving. So after 6 soccer games we settled down and cooked dinner on Sunday

JD takes over the Turkey prep this year

 Well done....beautiful bird
Ladies first  
 The master teaching the apprentice how to carve
 Dressed up per Riley's request

 Dad had to join the girls picture
 Proud chef

 The family 
 + Zen

Sunday, November 28, 2010

On the road again....

We packed up and headed to Tucson Sunday night..... up in the AM and off to University of Tucson for the beginning of our week of college tours.  Kids loved UofA and it is fun to be on a college campus again!  This was our first tour so we did not know what to expect.  We sat in a nice room, watched an all inspiring video about UofA. All highlights of college, Frisbee in the quad, packed basketball and football stadiums, classes that look really fun, research and lots of cool kids.  Admissions Director spoke and then we hit the campus.  It is not the prettiest campus but had a good feel about it.  Free laundry facilities resonated with Riley and the state of the art fitness center (nicer than any 24hour, LA Fitness or Frogs I have ever seen) got both of the kids excited.

We hit the road for Flagstaff.  Made a brief stop in Arcosanti, which is a very cool spot. Arcosanti is designed according to the concept of arcology (architecture + ecology), developed by Italian architect Paolo Soleri. In an arcology, the built and the living interact as organs would in a highly evolved being. This means many systems work together, with efficient circulation of people and resources, multi-use buildings, and solar orientation for lighting, heating and cooling.

In this complex, creative environment, apartments, businesses, production, technology, open space, studios, and educational and cultural events are all accessible, while privacy is paramount in the overall design. Greenhouses provide gardening space for public and private use, and act as solar collectors for winter heat. 

John in love with this place....something he wanted to create on his property here in San Diego.  People living in harmony with the earth, maximizing natural resources, creating very cool art- primarily unique bells.

After our brief stop we cruised to Flagstaff to see Northern Arizona University.   Wow it was chilly. 25 degrees when we got into town!  We had dinner with one of my childhood friends....Cari and I were the best of friends for years through middle- high school. Inseparable and it was so good to see her again.  We last saw each other 13 years ago and we picked up where we left off, a true sign of a life long friendship.  Funny to see our kids together....

We were up early and it was, gasp 21 degrees, and he headed to NAU.   This tour started with a 1 hour PowerPoint and we were all in a coma....too long and too much information.  Ironic there were 5 other kids from Westview in the group- Riley knew a few of them.  Seems NAU is popular with San Diego kids...affordable out of state option is what it is.   Hard to concentrate on the tour because we were freezing. Campus is a bit run down and I had high hopes for the college town etc. The kids were non plussed.   Note- if your kids are considering a cold weather school, go in the winter.  Better figure out now that real winter is not for your child versus spending tens of thousands of dollars and then realizing it. 

  NAU with fresh snow

Back in the car and we were off to Albuquerque.  Next stop UNM.   Long day in the car and John wanted to see the Petrified Forest, but we wanted to get to Abq, so we compromised and stopped Holbrook County, AZ and toured the original courthouse.  We were the only people there and it was very hokey but we had a blast.  Lots of history with the Pony Express and a room full of old typewriters, which was the most fascinating to the kids. They want to try one and think they are really cool!    It broke up the drive and we saw some history along the way.
Pony Express.....

There was an actual courthouse as well and we had a little fun....Judge Riley and JD was on the stand. We had a jury of 1 and had our mock trial.  Tried, convicted and thrown in jail.  Amazing what fun you can have after being locked in a car for hours. Free petrified wood for all and we hit the road - destination Abq.

4th hotel in 4 nights..... we are in Abq. This is getting old, have to say.  Last tour of UNM.

We are tired of listening to people...so the 3rd tour was going to be tough.  It was short and sweet- bonus for us.  The campus is big!  Kids liked it but were again not highly excited, but frankly, not sure what would excite them on this day. The campus was empty, day before Thanksgiving and most classes cancelled.  Hard to say.
I can say that looking at colleges is a sales process, much like when I tour a hotel for my clients, but these tours are not led by sales people.  I'm telling you they need a short, motivating video with the highlights of their college life.  Make the student want to be a part of the excitement.  Quick overview and then a fun tour.... I am thinking there is a buisness here, train them how to sell.  Although most Universities (public ones that is) are short on money so not sure their marketing budget has room for a consultant.  Anyway....would do them a lot of good.
Off to Sante Fe.....

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Great start....early finish...season done!

Well....I went into IM AZ with an attitude of indifference. Lucky for me!! Race morning went well. The lake was a pleasant surprise, tad chilly but ez spotting. I went for it in the swim and it was awesome. Felt great and loved it. Onto the bike and all was good. I was cruising and feeling great. Tail wind out and a major head wind back- tough but well gotta pay back the tail wind. Strong 1st lap and onto the 2nd. Wind picked up even more and rain started, no worries all was fine. Onto #3 feeling great, thinking about the run and hoping my foot holds up. Psssst, front flat. I am off and changing it, maybe lost 4 min. A bit down but determined to regain any lost ground. I settle in and am passing ppl who are struggling late in the race and then pssssst again, crap. Hop off, rear wheel this time. Wheel off and I cannot get the tire off. Seriously struggling and I cannot get it. A highway patrol stops and wrestles with it, calls tech support and nothing. Lots of time has passed, it's pouring and um not having fun. Brad finally gets it off, quick change, and cannot get the tire on. So much for new tires... I cannot get it back on. My hands are raw, my nerves are raw, and I am realizing my awesome race is fading. We finally get help and I am ready to go. As I hope on my bike, my injured foot slips and it feels like the tendons pull unnaturally. Ouch... I star riding with a lot of pain, loosen my shoe to ease the pressure and am seriously bummed.

As I ride back m foot is painful and I decide that my race is most likely over.... And I hit T2 and realize it is. Not worth further damage...

So we pack up and start the family roadtrip. Off to Tucson for some fun with the family. It's all good....long season over!! Time for some RnR

Saturday, November 20, 2010

IMAZ..... Ironman Arizona for those that don't know

Well since the "lake" is not open to swimming Mimi and I went on an adventure and found the pool at ASU- awesome pool, great facility but not very IM like, swimming in a pool.  But it was warm and clean- 2 qualities the lake seems to lack.

We then drove 1 loop of the bike course....what can I say- Tempe is just not offer the scenery beautiful lake front scenery of Couer d'Alene, the farm hills on WI, red mountains of St George, the lava fields of Kona...it offers a lot of freeway, flat roads and dirt.   But the 3 loops is what I hear makes this course...you come back to town and see the crowds and that is the motivating, en energizing part of the course!  I am counting on that.... I rode out 5 miles and back and could feel the head wind, false flat etc...all I have been told.  Temperature was perfect today- around 70 mid day but rumor has it the temp will drop a bit and possibly rain.  We shall see....AM is very chilly.  45 degrees and the "lake" temp is rumored low 60's.   Bring on the cold water, cold weather- seemed to have worked well for me in Utah. 

We found the Whole Food-  yes!! Nice to stock up on all the IM pre-race must have..Nuttso butter, bananas, grapes, coconut water, delicious roasted root vegetable and curry salad and more delectable treats from WF.  And as promised it cost a fortune...but hey I'm racing, my body "needs" all this!

RnR the rest of the day and then dinner with the Erin Baker crew.  Great to meet more peeps on the team and off to bed early.   2 nights before the race is the key night sleep after all so I was determined to pack in 10 hours!  Forgot my earplugs but Tylenol PM was in my bag. 

Darcy arrived and she went off to dinner (not racing) and I went off to bed!   Plan was to be up at 6:30 and at the swim start by 7 so I could scope out the sun, how it will look race day etc.  I did not set an alarm since I wake up early and oops rolled over at 7:30.  Seems I needed the sleep more than I need the recon of the race.  And I learn that swim is not "open" until 9am anyway. 

Coffee, banana and Nuttso and off for a dip in Tempe Town Lake!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ironman Arizona

So I am here in Tempe which is a very cool, hip, fun college town.... Hotel is walking distance to the Ironman Village which is great.  I dropped my bags and met up with Frank from NY and went to register.

The village is at a very cool park on the Town Lake, spacious and efficient process but I have to say there was no Ironman energy.  It was the most underwhelming check in I have ever had.  The expo is reasonably small and maybe because it is Thursday and so many people are driving or because it is so spread out, it was just....just that. 

Maybe it's me I don't know...I am usually excited, nervous etc and well I was just...

As I was walking back to the hotel I spotted MoJo Fro Yo and could not resist...not really a great pre IM lunch but they had all natural FroYo sweetened with Agave so I said that was perfect!  Active cultures and fresh fruit so it was just fine.  And then I passed Dunkin Donuts and I love, loved their iced coffee- so well perfect add on to a lunch of champions!

So there you have it update from Tempe. 

on the road again....

Erin Baker Team in Kona

bags are packed I'm ready to go.... lots of songs running through my head this morning.  It seems like just yesterday I was all packed and ready to go to Ironman, okay well maybe it was 5 weeks ago.  Race wheels off, race wheels on.  Racing close together is great in some ways as you remember all the stuff you need, where it is and know it is in good condition. 

My bike had a check up thanks to James at Nytro, seriously the guy is awesome. Always willing to help and is fast and thorough.  New bar tape- more pimped out orange and new tires.  Not taking any chances after hearing about all the debris on the roads in Temps.

Thanks a million to Trevor for driving K2 to the race so I can fly with my massive bags.  So we are road tripping for a week post IM so I had to pack for a week of regular life, but seriously that bag is pretty small in compared to the overwhelming race duffel bag.  How can all that race gear be so frickin heavy.  And I keep adding in this and that and well, let's just say thank goodness the bag has wheels. 

I am honestly really looking forward to racing and am not nervous.  It will be what it will be.   I definitely recovered from Kona, hopefully added a bit of fitness, lost fitness from the taper and recovery, so hard to say where I am physically right now.  Nothing to be done but race....I am thinking of going hard and seeing what happens- if I blow up, well lesson learned it was too hard.  If my legs don't respond then I will back off.  My foot is the only concern, the incision is fine, I think closed up but I cannot see it through the steri-strips.  But I developed plantar fasciitis by altering my running gate and wow it hurts. So I am hoping it has 26 miles in it and then it will have a well deserved break.

This trip will be fun...dinner tonight with KP, Frank (good buddy from NY) and Mimi and tomorrow with the Erin Baker Team which is always and awesome bunch. I am sharing a room, usually a huge no-no for me (I hardly sleep with my husband pre race) but I am looking forward to spending time with Darcy.  So it's really a weekend away, hanging out with my friends and a big day of training on Sunday!!

And then...time off, relax and road trip with the family. John and kids arrive Saturday so I will see them out there on the course!!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

More to life than Ironman....

Really there is.....while I write about my family some, I certainly write about training and racing more- mostly because well this is an Ironman blog.  But there is a lot more going on the around here than training and when I don't have a big race looming...more of my mental energy is focused on home.

Yes I am doing IMAZ.....notice I carefully said doing and not racing because that is my approach going in.  IMAZ is 6 weeks post Kona, where #1 I did not have a stellar race and #2 barely made it to the start line as a result of my uber aggressive self coaching. KP saved me 6 weeks out but well the lead up was not ideal.  So looking at AZ the lead up is not ideal...but I am going. 

Why?  1- 2 days after Kona (an after I swore off Ironman, cursed at the Island of Kona....) I got the niggling feeling of I want to do another race.  And well since I was conveniently registered for one, AZ and it is driving distance and the family is planning a road trip that week- well why not!

So recovery ended and training resumed.....gash in my foot- stitches, no swimming , no running- yikes.  We are good now- back in the pool ( and dying thanks to my custom workouts from Sickie) and had a good week of running, although there is still a fair amount of pain (tissue knitting itself is what I was told) . So with 2 weeks to go- we take it day by day.  Tomorrow's ride may be 5 hours or maybe 2- flexibility is key right now.

Okay so maybe Ironman is still consuming a lot of my life....but there is more. Countless hours helping Riley with Honors English and a very, very tough essay on To Kill A Mockingbird. Seriously I had to google examples of symbolism and characterization in literature.   Thesis, supporting arguments, backed up by quotes- Hello she is 14!  OMG this is really hard stuff. If she can get this now- I'm thinking college will be easy.  No I am not a Mom who does her kids homework-  1- I cannot understand 1/2 of what they do now anyway and 2- that does not do anyone any favors.  But I am willing to collaborate, give examples, google information  and claim it was my idea so she thinks I am really smart, proofread etc.... And all this takes place in the evening when I am thinking about going to bed. 

I wish I could help JD (okay not really with AP Calculus, Honors American Literature and AP US History but really all I can do is nag him to stay focused and do more work- even though it is Saturday night and Sunday....sorry dude, you picked these classes.  Not that I say that...but I'm just sayin.

Big win for JD's soccer Team Carmel Valley Manchester United- with the game on Saturday the cinched their win of their soccer league.  This is huge...they now play in National Cup (vs State) and they move up to Premier Level (that is the top of 5)  Hooray!   Exciting for the boys and a lot of fun to watch! 

Between soccer, homework and lacrosse tryouts (which did not go well for Riley- without a mouth guard she could not do most of the tryouts and thus made the B team for Winter League.  She let me know Friday at 10pm that she needed a new mouth guard -gee honey I think the lacrosse store is closed and probably will not open before 9am) , we watched very cool movie  Hell on Wheels - an amazing documentary about the Tour de France and I made some really horrible Gluten Free Peanut Butter/Flax seed cookies- I will not be posting the recipe.  Riley put it best.."they don't taste like cookies...kind of like I sponge I think"

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Beware in the kitchen.....

Okay so after months of training for Ironman....I manage my worst injury in the f'ing kitchen. Okay that little bike crash 4 week before Kona was not fun....so maybe this is about the same. This wins for how the heck did that happen....I am making dinner, the good domestic that I am, for JD as he has practice and is eating early. I tap, I mean tap (accidentally) the plate against the granite counter top and it frickin shatters in my hands... I am more worried about the grilled cheese burning than the china fragments.  I feel a wet -pooling sensation in my flip flop and look down to see blood running from my thigh and seriously gushing out of my foot. 

Holy S.  I get a rag and wipe it off and it is bleeding....I bandage my leg and the tape up the gash on my foot.  I am determined to get food on the table and as I am walking around something does not feel right.  It's like my skin is moving around in a not so normal way.  I am now on my 6th band aid and looking for my 7th.    I am beginning to think I may need more than a box of band aids and a roll of duct tape. 

I call my neighbor (who is a nurse) and she nicely comes down and when I take off the bandages, I kid you not, the blood squirts in the air.  Ummm...even I know this is a problem.  Seems I have sliced down through all the skin to the fascia.   So I re bandage, put on a cloth and wrap tightly in duct tape, add ice and off to Urgent Care.

I arrive at the perfect time and the fact I am bleeding moves me up in the triage order.  So the Dr sees me and unwraps the mess and we are chatting away about running, triathlon and all is good.  Meanwhile she is filling a big needle and I am not really paying attention. Soon there are 2 nurses at my side and I am feeling really special with all this attention....until I realize they are here to hold me down as the puts that long, pointy needle into my very sore and bleeding cut.  She casually says if I can handle Ironman I can handle this.....gulp!  Okay, I did without screaming. 

Bottom line.... I nicked a vein and she took care of that and then stitched up the ankle tight- 5 stitches and she said it may not be pretty but it will hold. Somehow she knew my foot modeling days are over and the likelihood of me riding and running soon were high.  She says I can ride and run as pain permits...cool! No swimming for 7-10 days!  Yeah I hate swimming, boo I am thinking about racing IMAZ. Hmmmm.  All is well and I head home.

I am thinking not a big deal, I lay out my running clothes for the AM and head to bed.  Sometime around 12-1am the Lidocane wore off and holy cow....it hurt to lay down and the idea of walking let along running was out of the picture.   Anyway.... painful getting up but it did loosen up with movement, ice and ibuprofen. 

My cycling shoes hit just below the stitches!  Cool, so I went for a spin to test it out.  As I rode it felt better - unclipping was not fun, nor was climbing, but it was mostly flat and felt good to be out in the sun!   After the ride, the aching set and swelling set in. Maybe a bit much - naaa, Dr said it was ok. We had to bail on our Halloween Party as I needed to ice and keep my foot up!

Had a very fun movie night with JB and RM!  Watched The Girl Who Played with Fire.  Love, love the film as much as I loved the books.  Cannot wait to see the 3rd movie.  JD was off somewhere.... now that he is driving. I'm just sayin.

Saturday was supposed to be a long run...ha!  I made it 2 steps and ouch, ouch, ouch.  Pouring rain so lacrosse tryouts cancelled so RM and I headed to the gym.  Nothing like 90 min on the Elliptical- I only do that darned machine when I am injured and cannot run...only consolation is that there was TV and it was great fun to watch Law and Order reruns while sweating and stepping up and down.   Peet's was our reward....not such a bad day after all!

Sunday was a long, flat ride....usually I really despise these rides but with JB and KP we had an awesome time and worked hard, a bit harder than planned, at least for me anyway.  But all good in the world of Ironman training and the weather was sensational....70 and blue skies!  Nothing like summer in November.

And since this post has now taken days....Ill just end it and post it now!