Monday, November 21, 2016
16 hours in Yangon ... a try at the blogger app. No pics.. just thoughts
Getting from my brothers to HK Intl airport is painless.. modern, efficient and a comfortable train ride. Yangon airlines was passable (barely) and now that we are on Air KBZ I've upgraded my opinion of Yangon Airlines.
Arriving into Yangon is impressive as you approach a brand new international terminal. Modern design and beautiful. Navigating is quite easy and we soon found the $ exchange. Suddenly out 16 $100 bills turned into $2,600,000 kyat. 2 x 3 inch piles of bills. Crazy... next stop with our wad of cash and was the SIM card and whamo we have cell service.
The 10 mile taxi ride took nearly an hour due to rush but traffic. The time change is -90 min from HK. How is that for a new one. By the time we arrived at the Chatrium Royal Lake Resort I was famished and exhausted...the plan to seek out a place for dinner soon was killed and we found ourselves in the hotel Restaurant and a lavish buffet where you selected raw fish, lobster, meat etc to be grilled as well as copious other options of which some were questionable but most very good. So far my impression of local wine is quite low. We feel into a deep sleep by 8:30 with full bellies and enough drinkable wine to feel good.
The 5:20 wake up call was not necessary as we are still a bit jet lagged and had been up for a bit. A lavish breakfast included was wasted on me but the coffee was strong and flowed readily. Onto the dometic airport for our flight to Bagon with a very friendly driver who commentated the entire drive and we undrtstood little of what he said. We nodded and smiled and toward the end hear "Trump"
But am still unclear if the context. This terminal is quite old, although ornate, and bustling. Noisy, busy and chaotic. And into Air KBZ and cat piss comes to mind. They were quick to serve breakfast- bun with a mayonnaise and mystery spread, pink cake with frosting and a chunk of dark chocolate. Wishing now I'd enjoyed the omelette and fresh smoothies. Coffee is warm and instant.
Let the adventure begin!
Tuesday, November 8, 2016
|day before- we are good - lets just look from up top|
Our group of 6 was only 4 due to an scary illness in Heidi so they could not make the trip (boo).
We drove SD to GC Friday- 8ish hours and were at the SK (South Kaibob) trail head by 4pm and this was both of our first look at the GC. My gut dropped...it was so stunningly beautiful and hard to fathom we would someone get to the bottom and across and back. It was a bit like, nevermind, lets just sleep in and do a day hike.
|perspecitve on the climbing|
We stayed at the Yavapai lodge which worked well for us. Family room and we had a king and bunks so Jen could stay with us. http://www.visitgrandcanyon.com/yavapai-lodge 2 miles from BA and 4 miles from SK. We took a taxi to and from without issue.
|ready to roll at 4am|
Once we finished
|what are we doing today|
The 3am Ironman alarm went off and it was go time! We brought lots of food so we fueled up on protein pancakes (cold) with nut butter and coffee. 3:40 met Jason out front and called the taxi and he was there within 5 min. NOTE: cash only. Temp was 46 and comfortable.
4:00 at SK trail head and off we went- we have a 20 min stop about 2 min in due to sunglass loss down the slope but John found them. On we went.
SK descent is steep, pitch dark and technical. Headlamp a must and Jen and John had hand held flashlight which I recommend too. Jens was great- super light and a strap. Nathan Zephyr. Mind you I am not a trail runner and am a terrible descender so my goal was safety first and stay on my feet. This is why I will never be an Ultra runner- my skills suck and before you say " you can still learn" , please cut me some slack, I am 50 and was a swimmer for good reason - can you say uncoordinated. Every time I work on my trial descending skills I end up face down and bleeding....
We hit Phantom Ranch around 6:45 and the sun was coming up. We ditched our jackets (behind a rock). We descended in Tech T.s , shorts, compression socks, ear warmer, trucker hat and gloves. As the sun came up and were were on the GC floor it is breathtaking and the most amazing sight I have ever seen. It still brings tears to my eyes. Stunning!
I also realized my legs were
And now the 5 miles up the NR (north rim) steep and slow but again stunning. Every time you look around it is breathtaking. It was surrel. I was hurting a lot- hot spots on feet (despite band aids and body glide) were sore. We met a great group from Alabama who was on the same R3 route and hiked together for a bit. Good stories about their journey and some good smack talk about LSU vs Alabama. I had imagined there would be no one else around but you see people off and on all day, except in the pitch dark when you would LOVE to see someone.
|OMG we are only 1/2 way|
At the top of NR I was considering calling it a day. My periformis was sore and I was the weak link, holding up Jen and John. They convinced me to keep going, we would hike/walk and they were okay with the pedestrian pace. I was ready to hitchhike back, find a bar and call it a day. But then it occurred to me that I would
And down we went, it felt "good" to be going down vs up and we continued our chatter of any and all topics . The views never quit, just when you think I've seen it all you see it from a different perspective and ooh and ah all over again. And when I was really hurting
Jogging back was not happening for me- between the periformis and the feet it was power walking and Jen was okay with that. We merrily chatted our way across the GC. In what seemed an eternity we finally made to back to Phantom Ranch. There is a Cantina there cooking up food and at this point you would pay $100 or $1000for anything that was not in your pack, but they are closed 5-8pm for campers only. We were too slow to get real food... although we did not plan on it anyway.
Sunset, headlamps on and the climb out. I have to say I was miserable due to my feet, the pace was slow but it was just painful. Thank you Jen for the conversation and fun! John had run across and waiting and hour for us as he did not want us to ascend alone. Thank you honey! He wanted a nap mid run and he got one. And up we went, and up and up and up. 20 min in Jen and I saw a Mountain Lion- no joke and for sure. It was on the ridge and when our headlamps shone on his eyes he bolted. That was terrifying...
The never ending trail takes you down to the river first which is really confusing and caused
No medal, no announcer, no finish line- just the pure satisfaction that we did it! 18 hours which was our worse case scenario. I did not plan to walk so much but so be it. We finished and I have ZERO desire to go back. One and done is good for me.
|best fuel option!!!|
- Only crazy ass M'fers would do this more than once or even once, but well we fit that bill.
- plan for the worst- we planned for 18 hours and hoped for faster but no avail - we had enough for 18-22 hours
- walking/hiking you burn less calories so we consumed less
- don't descend with 3liters of water- you only need 1/2 L for the descent and keep your pack light as possible on the way down
- you only need 2L option due to frequency of water- for this time of year. If it was 100 degrees you need more
the pack I used
- go with 2L bladder and collapsible bottles as back up (in case some water is turned off)
- mix your calories as you get tired of the same food - my favorite for the day was the nut butter- not too sweet and dense in calories
- we "saved" the gels and those were not what we wanted to consume on the hike out- but alas only option
- caffeine pills saved us
- I would reverse the run and go down BA - 2 miles longer and less steep an thus "easier" to descend in the dark. Coming up is brutal anyway - I'd rather just get it done, mind you I have not done that so maybe the steepness is just not worth it. The downfall of this is finishing at SK there is NOTHING so you are waiting in the cold for a taxi and it took 20 min at 10pm
- Go in April/May- similar temps to what we had BUT you have 3+ more hours of daylight so you are not ascending totally in the dark.
- Training- I felt woefully under trained or maybe just fatigued from a long season. I'd do at least 4, 5+ hour trail runs on technical terrain up and down with your pack loaded up- the extra weight changes your gait and adds to the load
- Duh- wear your proposed shoes AND socks on those runs- due to Ironman I was not able to do that and I paid for it.
- Hiking poles- Jen brought a pair and we did not expect to use them but we did and LOVED them- we each took one- easy to run with and use when hiking
- Wear shorts with pockets for easy accessible food/pills etc. Have a hydration pack with pockets you can access without taking your pack off
- More weighted stair sessions- 5 or 6, 2+ hour sessions with a weighted pack.
- Bring food in case you are not up for the pizza /beer option. We were freezing, tired and just wanted to get clean and warm. I had made enchiladas and brought some wine/cider. We cleaned up and had a picnic in our room.
|Love you honey- never again|
Thursday, November 3, 2016
2x 70.3's and 3 140.6 and a few other random races should, I say should, be a solid season but NO I have one more tiny
Saturday, we are doing R3 or R2R2R ( Rim to Rim to Rim) As most people ask next, all in one day? Yes in one day (or at lease we hope) 48 miles and 20,000 (yes 3 zeros) feet in elevation- 10k up and 10k down
The sordid story is not all the sordid....really the topic was broached early this year as what should we do for my
We reached out the the R3 Queen (Smashfestqueen) for her guidance as she has knocked this bad boy out 3 times. We needed training plans.
Mine was- train for Kona and add a few 30 min stair sessions. Whereas John's was building up more miles and had many more stair sessions with a 30lb pack + some long runs. I did my long runs in Whistler, CdA and Kona. What is as stair session? Head to Swami's where there are 140 stairs to the beach and you go up and down for said time.
The first time I did 30 min, post a 90 min run, it was not bad at all, until the next day and the day after. My calves were totally wrecked. OMG. So table that and train for Kona. I
Basically I chilled for a week and started climbing stairs, not really thinking that I had just done an Ironman
So we are now tapering, cramming, packing and still trying to figure out how to carry 4500 calories, 3 liters of water and stay warm in the AM (30 degrees) and comfortable in the canyon with the least amount of weight.
It is looking like this.
Salomon Running Vest with 2L bladder and 2 1/2 liter collapsible bottles
1200 calories carbo pro
1200 calories YUM butter
10 x HUMA gels
2x Boba Bars @390 calories each
2x The Perfect Cookie @ 400 calories each
6x The Right Stuff for sodium
|Can you say hello 1970's split running shorts|
I can tell you know- if the fashion police are in the GC this weekend
I am busted...it will be hideous
Hoka Challenger ATR shoes
CEP Compression socks
1970's "race ready" running shorts
long sleeve tech t
First aid kit
And there you have it....
We are driving out Friday AM to the Grand Canyon- meeting Jen and Jason there.. wihs us luck!
Thursday, October 27, 2016
One of the aspects of being a triathlete is that you "age up" on January 1. Once the calendar turns you become whatever age you will be on 12/31 of that year. So for 10 + months I have been 50 in triathlon years that is. The first time I had to answer the "how old are you?" was in March at my first race this year. I did gulp a bit and say 50. I have had 50 scrawled on my calf 6 times before my birthday. So the actual day did not change much, other then well I am 50.
I decided that 50 is really halfway to 100. You may laugh but my Grandmother lived to 99 and my Aunt is currently 99, so it is within my family genes for sure. Time will tell.....
|learning to drink from the bit valve|
|thanks mom for the cake and candles|
|Cannot wait to roll this baby|
Onto 51 and still feeling more like I am 40.
Tuesday, October 25, 2016
|real photo from Kona swim start|
|UP run fun with D3powered|
|dinner with friends|
|My 83yo mother...what a trooper|
|My love and #1 fan|
|Finish line pic with Riley - hugs|
|Post IM SUP with kids and my sis|
Wednesday, October 5, 2016
2 years ago I switched bikes from Felt to Cervelo...now part of that decision was driven by sponsorship but I had a choice among a few bikes. I remember when I was deciding and chatting with a few people, I frequently heard "don't go with Cervelo, everyone has one." Around that time I was here in Kona and I had minor bike issue that needed working out. Felt was no where on this Island thus I was forced to go to the "Ironman" bike shop, wait in line, leave my bike and pay for the service. I recall watching by the giant Cervelo set up and seeing 4 techs there cranking out tune ups and service on a Cervelo. I was jealous. I than recalled seeing them at many NA Ironman races and took that into consideration.
Today I was glad I own a Cervelo. Again some minor issue needed addressing and I rolled up, filled out a "VIP" ticket and 90 min later my issue was fixed and they had done a once over to make sure everything is in working order. While I had a full tune up from my trusty mechanic at Nytro prior to leaving, my bike was on a plane and I have seen those bikes tossed around. It is a piece of mind, knowing all is well!
I have used Quarq power meter for 6+ years now and love them. Again, it is a popular PM and not the newest, flashiest etc but it works! I was sold on the Stages when I bought this bike and it was nothing but problems. Not only did it scratch my bike, it dropped power, was inconsistent and the customer service was not all the helpful. I eventually returned it and went back to Quarq. Sometime between my last ride in San Diego, in pouring rain, travel and some work on my bike, my power was not reading. I though it was okay when I rode Sunday but later realized I had picked up Sarah's PM and was recording her power- that is a whole other story as she is much smaller than me, thus power is much lower, so I was freaking out that I had lost all my fitness.... OMG- only to realized it was NOT my power. (can we say Ironman brain)
John called customer service and they were extremely helpful and once she realized where we were suggested we go to the Quarq tent when they opened. I may have been a bit hysterical when I got there and the tech says "are you Julie?" had all the info, the asked me to leave my bike and after some troubleshooting and realizing it needed a firmware update and they did not have the right tool, instead replaced it with a new power meter. When Rory called me he says " we are not taking any chances in Kona" DONE! Customer for life! I've had athletes I coach have issues with Stages and Garmin Vector and maybe they have worked them out- not sure, but I am sure Quarq works and stands behind their product. AND they are in Kona!
I fitfully went to bed. As the office did not open until 10am ( welcome to HI) So I headed to the Ho'ala Ironman Training Swim. This is a great pre- race swim if you can get here by Friday. It is 2.4M and is the Ironman swim, finish is a bit different but you get the 1 loop LONG swim. Water start and relatively mellow. It is a good reminder of how far out we go. Sensational water- so warm and clear. Sheer heaven.
I came back and worked on my bike, after I hit Lava Java for coffee and my favorite Island style macadamia nuts. Yummmm. I was fogging up the glass on the office window "let me in" LONG strory and 90 min later it was sorted out....some issue when I changed my reservation to arrive early. It was locked, cancelled, moved - who knows BUT the saint in the office got me our ocean front condo, and I only cried once. Got my bike built up and hit the Queen K with Sarah, another D3er and it did not disappoint. Lovely on the way out and hello WIND on the way back, welcome to Kona.
Did a HOT run on Alii but loved it! OMG I love this place. And on Saturday it is still pretty mellow.... quiet streets without the crazed athletes. Food shopping ($250 for a $125 worth of groceries- Kona pricing) and went to ugh Wal Mart, after going for my mom when she was sick, I swore I would never go t this store again, but there I was. Buying bikes for kicking around town and for the kids to use on race day. Rentals are $100 a day and mopeds are $300 for 2 days. So for $109 each I got the f'ing heaviest bike you can imagine but it rocks!
I was wiped out and laid low on Saturday....Sunday there was a random 10K which I did NOT do but was psyched to have the streets closed for my run. Waking up with the ocean crashing, drinking Kona coffee on the Lanai- this is what Kona is about. Great run and off to pick up John!!
|Walmart special $109|
We settled in and went out exploring on our bikes- no expo, no madness just pineapple at the farmers market and a killer dinner at the Fishhopper with some old friends and new friends. Sheer heaven!
Monday hit the swim early and another majestic AM in the ocean- ton of fun with Kevin and his go pro - I was so excited I went and bought out and used it this AM. Seems I was off on the settings so I video the inside of my swim top the whole way out, stopped it to view the fish, started it in my top and stopped it to view the dog on the SUP, resumed in my top and stopped it for the Coffee Boat. My career in video needs help, just saying. Dinner that night at On the Rocks in the sand with more friends from Smash.....we all met at camp in March and here we are on the big island
|smash girls and a betty|
My weight neurosis is so bad that when I did the Gatorade Sweat test I made the nice tech (female) come into the tiny hot changing tent and take my weight. She was so nice and understanding when I told her I could not look at the scale :)
And BTW John knocked out 28 miles runnning on Alii Dr on Monday! R3 training
1- the couple who rang up $1611 of IM World Championship Merchandise and the card was declined- guy goes nuts yelling at the cashier.....
2- the women I registered with and I ask if she is ready? " its in God's hands now" Wow, how big are those hands anyway?
3 - 4 inch MDot tatoo with 6 race logos tatted below it- what happens next? tatoo that says "see front" for the next 6?
4- Bike porn...wow just wow- I definitely need a $15,000 bike
5- so many products that are "guaranteed" to make be faster, fitter, stay hydrated and fueled well- I'm planning to try them ALL on Saturday and new shoes - why not?
6- No matter how fit you are, you are fat in Kona
Saturday, October 1, 2016
Thursday, September 29, 2016
I have a love/hate
I have tried Bikram,
I do admit that I feel better after yoga and I feel even better after Hot Yoga. So I decided
Here is my 8 week yoga summary. ITS OVER!!! OK more to share...
1- I will NEVER
2- I "like" Core Power Hot Power Fusion,
3- The room, floor and people don't have that "hot yoga BO smell" because it is lululemon encinitas kind of yoga
4- The locker rooms are nice! Showers are plenty cold, because who takes a hot shower after HOT yoga. Clean floors and I can hose down- I don't know HOW people stroll out of HPF and get in their car. I am still dripping sweat as I drag myself into the locker room- OOH, yuck - the idea of getting in my car.
5- I did acclimate. When I started I needed 2x 20 oz bottles of fluid and I had to take at least one break, as in walk into the AC lobby and contemplate leaving. This AM- I had 1x20oz bottle and felt great at the end of class.
6- When I started I did child's pose at least 10x to prevent from passing out. Today I only did it when instructed.
7 - I wish I could tell you I am better at yoga, but I am not. I still am a falling tree on my left leg. I refuse to really do chair pose as my quads are generally tired and this is "recovery" not my workout for the day, eagle bound airplane just does not happen and standing splits is just cruel.
8- I am no longer angry when I go. When the instructor tells me to stay on my mat, emotionally, I do for most of the class. I still wander off a bit but try to "stay present" for the 60 min. I no longer hurl mean thoughts at the accomplished yogi's or the chipper instructors.
9- I just cannot get into Savasana when it is 105+ degrees and I am laying in a soaked towel of my own sweat. I do a bit more stretching.
10 - I like it when the mirrors fog up as I don't want to watch ME doing yoga.
Will I continue? ha ha ha ha ha.... I used my last class on my punch card and the person who checked me in asked if I wanted another 20 card pass? I smiled and
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
As I drove up and opened the garage I noticed all the cupboard were open. First thought, John was frantically looking for something, yes I have seen this before. Next, the door to the house is open, that rarely happens and the side garage door is open. I am more pissed at his recklessness, at this point as I glance up and realize both road bikes and 3 sets of wheels are gone. BUT John had moved the bikes into the bedroom when I was traveling so I thought he must have done that again.
I call the dogs and they sheepishly came out. Red flag #1. I walked in the house and all the drawers of my desk were open. Back to "what was John looking for" and then I see my "trainer bike" is not on the trainer and I see all the drawers open in the bedroom and it hits me.... FUCK we have been burglarized. Mild
There is so much more to say.....but I don't know who stole from us and if they ready my f'ing blog! They knew our patterns and knew what to take. They bribed our dogs with french fries and left us feeling violated, angry, scared, sad, and more....... The last 3 days have been about building walls in every sense. We will be living in a fortress, both virtually and physically. I dare those bastards to try again, ok not really.
All I can say is that sure it is stuff and that can be replaced....what feels horrible is not feeling safe in your own home, wondering who did this, knowing someone pawed through all your stuff. I go to sleep worried, wake up in the middle of the night scared and burst into tears a few times a day. I am so thankful for my friends and the support. The outreach from so many offering bikes, wheels and anything triathlon related is amazing and why I live this community. Knowing we are loved means so much. From bringing us dinner, to an offer to simply keep me company in my house while working and reaching out with support, I feel the love and thank you all!
We are fine and will move on....but for now! Fuck sums it all up
Monday, August 29, 2016
I've had a few people ask me how to you rest, build, taper and race so many Ironman's in 11 weeks.
Well, considering this is a first, we are entering into uncharted territory- I leave this so my coach to figure out.
Post IMCA I had 4 weeks to CdA.
-Week 1: only real training was a 30 min recovery swim and 2x cruiser bike rides in Vancouver. The rest was travel, dog walking and a work trip. I do eat a lot the first few days post race - after one gluttonous meal I try to get back to my clean eating but the calorie intake is high.
- Week 2: was 19 hours but a lot of very aerobic training.
Swim: 3 masters swims - 4100-4500 yards each
Bike: 2 really easy 3 hour bikes, 1 hour spin and a 5 hour ride with 3 hours of IM watts and 1 hour of 85%.
Run: 3 runs
1st run was Tue (9 days post IM) 45 min and legs felt good, Thur 45 min run and Sat was my "long run" of 1:35
Yoga: 2x hot yoga
- Week 3:
Swim: 2 x 5k masters swims and 2 x recovery 30 min swims
Bike: 2x 2 hour bike sessions with a some short intervals
Run: 4 runs 1x 35 min with pick ups, 1x30 min ez, 1x 22 OTB, 1x45 min
Yoga: 2x hot yoga
- Week 4 Race Week
normal race week- 4k masters on Monday and the rest was 45 in bike with pick ups, short runs and swims and 1 hot yoga
Bam! there you go!
This was a bit more focused.... Post race I ate a steak and mashed potatoes- yes I did. It looked good and I went for it!
I have been in the Normatec Recovery Boots every day min 30 min and if possible 2x 30 min sessions
Deep Tissue massage on thursday followed by Epson Salt bath
Mon: travel day - OFF
Tue: 30 min ez swim and 30 min spin
Wed: 90 min ez spin
Thu: 45 min swim
Fri: 4k swim, 1 hour hot yoga and 10 min pool running
Sat: 2.5 hour ez ride, body weight strength work and 20 min pool run
Sun: 4500 y masters and 25 min pool run with intervals
I have a roughly outlined schedule from coach but we are going to stay flexible to see how I come around.
Tomorrow i finally get to run outside! I am pool running on days I am not outside to build on the run but not take the beating. BTW I really DISLIKE pool running. Yes I have a waterproof iPod, but it is just plain boring. For more on pool running and how to do it? here is a great article.
My body feels pretty good, except my feet. I had to go to the Dr and he removed on toenail and lanced the other toe, which is now infected, and the nail will drop off soon. Today is the first day they don't hurt just siting here. I started soaking them in epsom salt and putting bacitracin + bandaids on.
Next priority is shoes! Thank you to Dan Beaver, owner of Cadence Running in Glibert, AZ for reaching out to me with some suggestions.