Friday, October 30, 2009


so good to be back at ucsd! i love the 7:30 workout time- it's so civil. I can wake up, walk the dogs, even made waffles for the kids for breakfast and then head to swim. word was the lanes are really crowded as we are sharing the pool with ucsd swim team but the 7:30 was not crowded at all. in fact i had my own lane. i love that, still get the motivation from others but i can modify as i like. such as i really don't like to do any strokes but free so i skip the stroke, do all free, and when i am alone i can alter the interval as well. i end of doing an extra 50 or so but it's all good. so the nifty waterproof tape is not so waterproof after about 10 minutes so i had to do the entire workout with paddles, another good reason to be alone. but it was fine- some tough sets today and i was wiped out. after 4600 yards i was done and skipped my bike ride. well, just didn't feel like it and well it's the off season.....this is when i can do this. headed to starbucks instead!

see i gave up starbucks but since my birthday and my buddies and my dad gave me gift cards i can go again and it is such a treat, especially after swimming. so nice to have a toffee nut latte and read the paper.

clearly a few people were going to work in costume as I saw the tooth fairy and easter bunny shopping at vons, a pumpkin getting gas and a hilarious costume at starbucks. as i was coming in she was walking out and she was a "one night stand" she had a party dress on, lampshade on her head and was wearing a sign for a good time call xxx. glued to the sign was martini glass, bottle of booze, huge bra, thong was cute but i got to thinking that is really a nighttime costume, where was this woman going? work??? where does she work. surely she is not a teacher. well i elected not to follow her but am curious where such a costume is acceptable, maybe a bar?

reminds me of the pregnant nun that came to school when i was in high school...seeing i went to a catholic high school and our teachers were nun's the costume did not go over so well.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

update on the finger....

for all those waiting with bated breath for the update on my tragic finger......up early not to swim/bike or run but to have coffee and go to UCSD. it was short and sweet and the dr. was great....blew up the xray so I could see the fracture right across the top of my finger. even i could see it, nice clean break but nothing really to do. only risk is bumping it and then it could displace and earn me a trip to see him for surgery. no thanks. he asked how tough i was....i pondered and replied i race ironman. he says...we are done. i get it now. if i were to put any splint, cast or brace my guess is you would remove it as soon as you got to the parking lot. i smiled, good guess. so he says do what you will, be careful and if it hurts, don't do it. love this dr.

so i drove to the pool, hopped in and started swimming. guess what, it hurt. darn it. hopped out and taped my fingers together and put on my hand paddles and no pain. hooray. i can swim! and bike and run. good deal for me. so the issue was after 2000 yards i am bored. i need a coach on the deck and people in my lane to keep me swimming. but since ucsd is up and running, i am going back to swim with coach sickie tomorrow am.

week is almost over....and this weekend is halloween. ususally not a big halloween fan but a freind is having a party so i am working on a costume...going to have a bit if fun. nothing outrageous but, well, you'll see.

really wanted to ride great western loop tomorrow but coach strongly recommended not to....gave me a lot of good back up reasons and then carefully and respectfully tells me that it is my choice. hate that, but well, good technique. because in 2 weeks at IM St George camp if i am sucking wind.....well then i will know why. okay, okay, i get why he may be the coach and why i am the rookie triathlete.

still using mostly small letters....the shift key is too painful and dr says no pain :)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


since i cannot complain anymore about my finger (says andrew) i will have to find a positive topic.....chatting with a friend about the trials and tribulations in an office got me thinking about my office mates. they steal my food, snore loudly, at times jump up and race to the front door and worse yet can be found licking their butts. but they do not gossip (well that i can understand anyway), don't come to work sick (well that's not really true one did bring worms last week), they are cute and like to walk in the late afternoon.

all in all, it could be a lot worse. add the other bonuses, no dress code, i do dress but usually the attire is most appropriate for my last or upcoming workout, no time clock, cafeteria is down the hall, lunch break is when i want it or sometimes after lunch is when i start my day or end my day, no one cares if i am working in the back yard, on a bike ride, at starbucks or even the beach, my clients are all in all my work is pretty darn sweet.

now if only my pinky would heal so i can use the shift button.......or maybe the emily post style is good for a change.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

pinky fingers...

can i complain more about my finger....sure this is my blog. ok so not capital letters this posting. can you guess why? shift button requires the use of pinky and pressing broken pinky on computer key is painful. very painful.

so the large 1/2 cast/ace bandage is i though anyway. i was not wearing it yesterday when jd came home from school and he asked why and i said it was lame. his response..."my homework is lame so i'm not doing it." funny kid, but well, good point. i did not put it on immediately but after hitting it a few times and the final bang cause searing pain, well i put it on. stabilized and protected it does not hurt. imagine that.

i have an appt on thur with an orthopedic hand specialist so hopefully he can set me up with something that protects the finger but will still allow me to ride my bike. oh and work too :)
i had a great ride today with jen. so fun to see her after a long time....not sure when we last rode. she originally said she needed long and aero and i agreed, she is racing im az so i was doing her ride. but she hates flat and aero as much as i do so she changed her mind and we did elfin. great ride and i bailed out while she did the last 90 minutes....i felt bad leaving her but i did have 12:00 appt. and well i just don't need to ride for 5 hours right now. funny how 3:15 seems so short and manageable.

read about all my friends who raced soma 70.3 this last weekend with a twinge of jealousy I did not drive over and do the race, but well i'll be racing soon enough.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Awesome weekend.....

Friday birthday dinner at Dad and K's, with kids and Mom and Billy was it was an outststanding evening . Food was delicious, as usual, lovely chardonney and a beautiful and tasty cake made by Mom. It was nice to all be together in D/K's recently done stunning kitchen. We ate too much and admittedly I should have passed on the last glass of wine. Luckily JB was napping on the floor and was the designated driver.

We were up and out by 8 for a nice ride through Elfin with KP. Ride was all about fun and was soon reduced to a hammer fest between KP and I. It was great, working hard and no worries about having to back up the ride with a run for another long ride etc...hence why I am not racing IM AZ.

Rest of the day was kids, soccer and then driving about. By by 6:30 I found myself alone with the dogs and relished in the quite. Watched the last 2 Mad Men episodes from iTunes and enjoyed the glutenous relaxation. Whipped up a taste meal of organic chicken, black beans, roasted corn, a dash of heat and poured over brown rice. Delightful. About the time the house seemed to be very quiet my sweetie came home and Riley soon there after.

Sunday I planned to run for 45 min or so and it was another stunning day so I kept on going and manged a 13 miles....but the pace was comfortable and thanks to my iPod and a few gu's I had all was wonderful. After breakfast R and I headed to the Tri Club aid station for the CAF 70.3. We handed out water, gatorade, gels and blocks for a few hours to both able bodied athletes and challenged athletes alike. So inspirational and a good reminder for when I think I am struggling or having a bad day.

Sunday evening Zen was his usual bundle of energy so I started wrestling him with a toy. My end had frayed strings and before I knew it he was pulling and shaking and there was a string around my pinky....I heard the crack before the pain set in.

Turns out it he dislocated it in 2 places and fractured it. The Dr. shot it up with Lidocane and then popped it back in place and put a ridiculous split on it that went half way up my arm and was a cast on one side and then an ace bandage. That will never work....will see what the Ortho recommends. This is my bad pinky anyway, broken 3 years ago and never healed straight to begin with. Will be out of the pool for some time...but can ride and run. Good think I'm not racing.....

43rd family celebration...

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Freaky Friday.....

Coach planned a 30-45 minute ride so I rode 3 hours....hey no IM in the future right. Okay here is the rational....1- It's Friday 2- It is a stunningly beautiful day 3- I lost all desire to be productive at work by 11am. So....what better to do than ride. I took off thinking I would do my usual 1 hour loop but when I hit Rancho Sante Fe, Elfin Forest was calling me.....I purposefully rode without my power tap or any electronics, just enjoying the day.

1st incident- Del Dios, where there is a wide shoulder and a bike lane. McDonalds Truck honks, no blares his horn repeatedly, scares me to death, slows down and waves and in the process veers over towards me and I am now in the gravel. Nice....did not see a "How is my driving?" sticker on his truck.

2nd - on La Costa Avenue and the Geek Squad Van abruptly pulls in the bike lane and dies....the ran out of gas and decided to hit the breaks and stop. I slam on my breaks and nearly smash into them.

3rd - pit stop at Exxon on La Costa and a Monster Java since I was there. I come out and there is a big gulp on my saddle and a guy is smoking. Oh I see, the bike was like a cocktail table. Hello?

4th- heading to the coast and it is stunningly beautiful, warm but not hot and crystal clear skies. Head south on the 101 and suddenly ride into a complete fog bank- so foggy I cannot see the ocean and I am right above it. Surreal.... entire coast was like that, 1/4 mile East on Carmel Valley Road- crystal clear again!

5th and last - I have a phobia of snakes and when I see anything resembling a snake (rope, twig, wire etc) I always assume it is a snake in the bike lane and then I have a huge fear of it lunging into my wheel and flying up and onto my back. Yup, I today I see what looks like 2 snakes on San Dieguino Rd, but I talk myself out of this by the time I come upon them. As I give them/it a wide berth I realize yes it is 2 snakes and it looks like they are holding tails. Very odd....if I wasn't so afraid they may lunge at me I would have taken a picture. So then I began to wonder, what the thanks to google you to know know the rest of the story

When a female snake is ready to mate, she begins to release a special scent (pheromones) from skin glands on her back. As she goes about her daily routine, she leaves an odor trail as she pushes off resistance points on the ground (See Getting Around). If a sexually mature male catches her scent, he will follow her trail until he finds her. The male snake begins to court the female by bumping his chin on the back of her head and crawling over her. When she is willing, she raises her tail. At that point, he wraps his tail around hers so the bottoms of their tails meet at the cloaca -- the exit point for waste and reproductive fluid. The male inserts his two sex organs, the hemipenes, which then extend and release sperm. Snake sex usually takes under an hour, but it can last as long as a whole day.

The whole day????? Really????

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Giving back....

This week is the Challenged Athletes Foundation San Diego Triathlon Challenge, one of their biggest fundraisers annually.

The mission of the Challenged Athletes Foundation to provide opportunities and support to people with physical disabilities so they can pursue active lifestyles through physical fitness and competitive athletics. The Challenged Athletes Foundation believes that involvement in sports at any level increases self-esteem, encourages independence and enhances quality of life. The event is non competitive 70.3 Triathlon to raise money, over the past 15 years this event has helped raise over $21 million to support more than 4000 challenged athletes.

The foundation is based in San Diego and near and dear to the San Diego Tri Club. I wanted to help and was assigned a great task of transporting a family who is attending from N Carolina. I picked up Hailey and her mom and grandmother. Hailey is a below the knee amputee, at the age of 4 she lost her leg in a lawnmower accident. Thanks to CAF she has received a running foot and is able to run with her friends at school and participate in the Jr Paralympics.

The weekend is a fun filled event for CAF recipients. This was Hailey's first time on an airplane, 1st time out of the state of NC and she was elated. Driving to the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club she was excitedly pointing out the cruise ships, military ships, all the palm trees and was thrilled to see the Sea World Tower. She was bouncing up and down in the car asking what a hotel is like? Is it like Grandma's trailer or better? Will there be a pool? It was so fun to share her excitement and see what our fine city has to offer visually through her eyes. The family was so gracious and appreciative of my help and I will look forward to driving them back on Monday after their weekend of picnics, a nice banquet and more.

Sunday, Riley and I will be helping out at the Expo near the La Jolla Cove. Sometimes seeing what others are dealing with can put a lot of perspective into what we see has frustrations and hardships.

The start of my day was a post Birthday breakfast at the Original Pancake House in Carmel Mtn Ranch. I was there maybe 10 years ago and my friend recommended it as her favorite spot, so surely wanted to go back. While I had pancakes on my mind I could not pass on the egg white omelet that was by far the biggest and fluffiest creation I have ever set my eyes on. It was amazing....and food rarely amazes me. It was so light, fluffy, filled with vegies and green chili's that I could hardly roll myself to the car. Thanks Sue. What a treat.

Other than that a great day of non structured training..went to masters at 6:30am only to realize that particular masters is only mon/wed/fri so I went to Froggs and swam on my own but only until I was bored. Then ran for 30 on the treadmill watching CNN and then did some strength training. No's all good!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

43rd Birthday...

So another sick thing about triathletes is that most of us do not put a vex on birthdays....why is that? Well eventually you age up- that means move to a new age group and in most cases, well when you get to be my age, that means the competition gets slower!!! So aging up is not so bad. But no suck luck for me....I am only at the top of my age group, which means the oldest, and the slowest. But alas.....still a good year ahead.

Great day indeed. Hubby took the AM off as did a friend who will be nameless so he does not get in trouble and we met a few others who don't have jobs or have "flexible" jobs like mine for a ride in East County...the infamous Great Western Loop. Best ride in the county. 40 miles, 4500 ft of climbing and spectacular scenery. Special thanks to E who is still recovering from Kona but still did the ride and managed to bring a nice pan of Happy Birthday Brownies. Thanks to J and M for the Starbucks treat!!! So after a fabulous ride we had coffee and brownies. Good Times as JD would say.

Had to eat and run as I did not want to be late for my next engagement, lunch with MOM. Fabulous lunch at the Club. Beautiful day and we sat outside and had a most enjoyable lunch. I feel so fortunate to live so near to be able to share a birthday lunch with my Mom.

During lunch, mom asks if I need to get back to work....well actually I told her I need to get to work since I had been out riding and eating brownies all morning. Thanks to an iPhone I was on top of what needed to happen. Headed home and caught up, made some calls and then took the pups for leisurely walk, no rushing, just enjoying the beautiful afternoon.

Kids, carpool.... the usual and then JD was the master BBQer for dinner and we had a nice evening. J and I had a nice bottle of Sonoma Cutrer Chardonnay and all was good. Could not have been any better....

Spoke to Dad and K today, Kathleen and family and received a wonderful video of my nieces singing HB in English, Chinese and Spanish followed by a long conversation with my bro from down under.

Great day....and looking forward to going to bed early as that is always a treat. Cold is 90% gone- thank goodness and looking forward to an early swim and then breakfast with a good friend! She tried for today, but well the dance card was full. And thanks the the joy of FB I received so many wonderful HB nice to feel the love!

The ride today was awesome....I love, love GWL and have missed riding out there regularly. It is back on my weekly schedule. gotta have it. Could be worse addictions right?

Julies GWL Birthday Ride

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Coffees of Hawaii

So I am hitting my afternoon was a bit more than I anticipated this AM, thanks to Johan. It was great to be running but towards the end my body was reminding me I have been sick for nearly 2 weeks. Finished feeling great and absolutely would think I ran 3 hours. PB honey, still hungry, coffee, let the food settle in. Still hungry, egg whites and salsa + coffee. Still hungry. More coffee, okay to much coffee. Still hungry. Time to go after the fruit....3x bowls of grapes and finally satiated. Full pot of coffee- GONE. But thankfully it was a blend of decaf and regular. It was some of my souvenir coffee from Kona.

Ironically this afternoon I received an email from Coffees of Hawaii... there is the famous coffee boat. Offering me discounted coffee from Kona. I decided no, the next time I will enjoy this wonderful coffee will be the next time I race Kona and will have to swim out for the coffee. The email and picture were enough to pick me up. Okay maybe the FRS did too :)

Lunch Appointment

Jose's Courtroom

Has to be my all time favorite place to eat in San Diego....and this goes way back to my first hotel job at the Empress Hotel in La Jolla with my good friend T. We were young, clueless and figuring out how to sell. That included many happy hours at Jose's, hangover lunches and some late nights as well. Jose's was our Cheers. First name basis with the bartenders, we always ate the same meal Tostada Jose's (which they still have 15 years later but it's just not on the menu) and life was good.

So without a formal training plan in place I have time for lunch! What concept and it is not liquid calories on my bike or some bar substance.

I met an long time friend and former colleague at Jose's and it was so much fun! We worked together 13 years ago and she is not living in Atlanta but was in SD over the weekend for her 2nd Triathlon. Go Girl!! Welcome to the club of the most OCD people you will ever meet. She is so hooked, she wrote me for a recommendation on where to rent a bike. I of course recommend my friends at Moment Cycle but she also needed a wetsuit so I recommended Nytro. She arrived to rent her bike and ended up buying a new bike, wetsuit, shoes and more....She has been training and riding a Mtn Bike and she is now the owner of a new Kestrel Talon TT Bike. Good choice A, I love my Kestrel Airfoil Pro SL (well except for the SRAM RED) In any case she is all tricked out now and had an awesome race on Sunday. Totally bummed I missed her when I was out there freezing in the water.

Reflecting back on the swim in Kona and then following it up with Mission Bay could not have been more opposite. MB no visibility, smell of fuel and lingering sewage....nice spot for a race. Oh and no coffee boat in site.

Anyway A and I had an awesome lunch talking tri, work, kid, life, marriages the 2nd time much fun!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Extra time...what do I do

Well mostly just be sick.....actually today was the first day I woke up able to breathe and willing to get out of bed. 12 days of feeling like I wanted to stay in bed. Health is something I take for granted...I worry about sore legs, injury from training but to feel sick gives it perspective. And its not like a real, serious, life threatening sick, just bad cold sick.

So needless to say there are no monumental rides or runs to report heroic swims in the fog. More like working, being a mom and sleeping more than usual.

Saturday was a day of sports....but not mine. 2 lacrosse games and a soccer game and before I knew it, it was 4:00. Cruised by Nytro where Chrissie Wellington was speaking, signing autographs etc. Very cool to meet her, see her and hear what she had to say. She is amazing and not just for her athletic endeavours but for her educational, environmental and world good commitments. I suspect she will be around for a short time and then be off to purse bigger dreams....

We had dinner with some good friends, long overdue and an absolutely wonderful time. Comfortable, enjoyable and walking distance. And it was so nice to enjoy wine and not worry about my long, ride, run etc the next day.

I was up early to volunteer at the US Womens Tri Series Triathlon. I was a swim buddy. This was my first Tri, 3 years ago and it was great to go back and see all the 1st timers, see the pure joy and sense of accomplishment. I swam with a few waves and helped some get through the toughest part for most. It was absolutely freezing. An hour later when I was done my lips were blue and I could not stop shivering. The water was 70 and I had a wetsuit but I was not putting out a lot of energy so I got cold. I had some friends racing and I saw glimpses of them heading out on the run and I wanted to see the finish but a family commitment was calling and so I had to leave.

Sunday was so for tutus and fairly wings with RM and a friend. It was great. They even seemed okay to be hanging out with me. The afternoon was filled with an arduous work project but I did get it done and we enjoyed a wonderful dinner, BBQ by JD, and a nice family night and close to the weekend.

Frustrating today to have learned there should have been some studying going on......

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

what next.....

Being home is wonderful, being sick is not. It has been nearly a week and I am still hurting. My ears have not cleared since the airplane so I find I am talking loudly, have my phone volume maxed out and sometimes feel like I am underwater. My head is still so congested it too feels foggy. I had dreams of getting back to San Diego and hitting the training hard, but my training has been getting up and going downstairs, working, and going back upstairs. Walking the dogs is now like a long run for me. Winded riding my Mountain Bike 2 miles with the dogs. What is the sickness and when will it be departing my body?

I am not a good patient.....I wish I could lay in bed, sleep and relish the excuse to be unproductive. But I want to have energy, feel good and go, go, go. Not happening. I have been sleeping a couple hours each day and well went to bed at 8, So listen to my body.

Today I woke up able to breath! Big step, hear, what? not really, but I'll take what improvement comes my way. I have resisted most medications as I am trying to figure out what is going on. Meds these days clear it up, mask it all and then you don't know if you are well or just drugged.

3 paragraphs on being sick...see what happens when I am not training, what I am left to blog about. So I have run the cycle of what next? I have pondered and considered it all, Ironman Arizona, SOMA 70.3, NY Marathon....and more but have put that idea to bed. NO more this year. Take the time, recover, enjoy non scheduled training to keep my fitness, get back in the Gym and build some strength and then look to Oceanside 70.3 in April followed but the next key race Ironman St George May 9th. This makes being sick a touch easier as I am not stressed about losing a week of training, panicked about losing fitness etc. I can enjoy the break, well not really, but sounds good anyway.

Dogs seem most pleased to have me home. Although all they do is sleep all day, they seem to like company while they are sleeping. Rocky has come over and licked me a few times each day, just saying glad you are home!

So I did the painful process of a post race report for KP. Tough to do! But well, it is good to put it all on paper, analyze the power and JR from the bike and see the 8 miles of the run. Looking at the bike, my HR was 20 bpm too high for the 1st 20 minutes on the bike, not the way to start a race, my power was a bit high but not so high to derail a race. The 1st hour my HR was over 1/2 Ironman pacing, again power was not, but my body was working at a level for a 1/2 Ironman not a full. So that is where the lesson is learned, when HR is high, pay attention and adjust your efforts. My power was rigth where is should have been so when I was riding and seeing the data, I ignored HR and focused on power. But lesson learned, if HR is high and you ignore it, things go wrong much later, especially when it is 90 degrees. The 2nd 1/2 of the ride shows the beginning of the end...power steadily declining and then HR declining as well. The run was well pathetic, each mile I survived was 30-45 seconds slower that the previous mile and mile 8 which I really thougtht I was running was an 11:30 - yikes! And then it just stopped and well we know the story from there. Seems being sick raised my HR and with a HR too high, body cannot assimilate calories and fluids and without those 2 in Hawaii you are done. So what do you do if you are sick going into an IM, KP says a lot of people don't race...I cannot imagine going that far and saying, well not today. I think I would race but would have to take all expectations off, slow down, manage HR and know that the time would not be where I wanted but the goal would be to do the race. I have never suffered the way I did the last 90 minutes on the bike and on the run- so I am sure that feeling will be a good reminder for a long, long time!!

So for now, catching up on work and doing some good proactive work as well. Hired a web designer to launch Time to get the real site up and running and get this thing, web forum and more. Cycling jerseys and shorts are in and they totally rock!!! I think I am going to drive out to IM Arizona and see if I can really push the gear, website and get some good energy going on this venture!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Home, sweet home...

Landed in SD at 7:30 this am feeling rough.....tough flying sick especially with congested sinuses, was sure they would erupt on each landing. But happy to leave the airport into 65 degrees and overcast. Yes. cool weather. I love it.

So nice to see John...even thought he was yelling at the Airport Security about the Valet Parking. Nice to see you too dear :) I get in the car and there is a letter and a box from RM. One of the most touching letters I have every read and surely most touching I have received. It was hear felt and genuine and so Riley. She has such empathy....she melted my heart and warmed me so. And in the box was a favorite book of ours when she was young...I Love You With All My Heart. A book I read to hear at least 5 nights a week for years and one she would carry into me when she needed some good loving. Brings tears to my eyes now that at 13 she is able to fill me up with love and support.

Home soon there after and there were the pups...... Zen was all over me and so happy and excited. Rocky was bit reserved, more cat like, a bit miffed for going away but could not stand to have Zen getting all the licking and loving so he moved in and mauled me too. KP was right, dogs did not even ask about my race :)

Kids at school and we had a lovely morning. So glad JB did not rush off to work. He had to go and I logged in and manged what was happening work wise, took a hot shower and slept for a few hours. Woke up refreshed and since work was quite used the time to unpack and clean the house. Oh the dog hair and the mess ......Happy with a clean house and unpacked so I went work on my bike. Very proficiently put my bike back together, even the derailleur, new cassette and it is good to go. Feels good to take more and more control of my bike.

Took the pups out and surveyed the hood. All was good. Caught up on emails and was excited to see the kids. RM was first and she loved the silver plumeria earrings and we chilled and caught up. JD was home soon thereafter and due to a double header in soccer this weekend practice was cancelled so we could just hang. It was heavenly, the 3 of us sitting on the kitchen counter eating pineapple (not from Hawaii) and burritos. Love my kids!!! Best afternoon I could have asked for.

Wonderful family dinner and we are all feeling reconnected! Perspective is good!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Post Kona....

So how am I feeling today.....physically I am sick- head cold and sore throat are miserable, but more so, my ego and psyche are bruised. Realistically I know I could not have continued, although, with a day of perspective it seems like somehow I could have, should have, walked or found a way. But then I do recall how I felt and that was scary too. So not the post Kona day I had imagined.

What did I imagine....really sore, emotional high, soaking in the Island, drinking Mai Tai's. So intstead I am seeking cold meds, changed my flight and am heading home. Spent the morning with my bro and his family. Great fun and love to see my niece and nephew in the pool. Kids are a great distraction. My muscles are fine, minor soreness, but really yesterday was a long training day after a big taper. I have done longer days after training 15 hours that week. So other than the sickness, my body feels good.

So I took a nap, cleaned my bike and took it apart. I am getting good at this bike maintenance. Frustrated at this bike...okay not the bike I love my Kestrel, frustrated with SRAM RED. The shifting is just not like Dura Ace, it runs rough and I am not a fan. Wonder how housekeeping feels about the grease on the washcloths. Gee, sorry Sheraton.

My family at home misses me and I decided to take the red eye out. The family here in HI are leaving early tomorrow AM so it will be an early night anyway. We have plans for a nice dinner and then I will fly out. The IM Awards dinner is said to be fantastic and I would love hear Chrissy and Crowie's acceptance speeches but I'm just not up to it.

So back home to San Diego....see my hubby, kids and pups. Settle back into life, get well and prevent this cold from getting any worse. And then... look forward. After all Ironman St George is May 1, 2010.

So all the crazy thoughts have been swirling in my head...can I do another race this year? Should I do SOMA 70.3 or even Ironman AZ? Of course they do, that is just how sick this race makes us. In bed, cannot breath, wounded ego and what is the and relaxation, no thinking about another race.

But no....time to focus on my family, work and put training as a lesser priority. Take a break, absolutely not...

The Island won today....

Clearly not the Kona I had hoped for....but I have to say as disappointed as I am in the race, I am utterly stunned and so touched with the support of all my friends and family. As KP said, "to your your kids, your husband, family, close friends and even your dogs it does not matter- it's you that they care about" And while I know that is true, I am so appreciative of all the well wishes and heartfelt condolences.

So my brother asked as we were leaving the race..."how are you feeling? Never again or come back with vengeance?" I feel humbled and determined to come back and master this race.

So here is how it played out...up at 3am ready to go, honestly head was congested and throat was sore. Used some
Mucenix and cleared it up. Off to the race, thanks to Troy for taking me down there. I was mentally ready to go.

E and I hung together for the start of the swim and it was utter chaos. So much kicking and pulling and it never really opened up. I was fighting most of the way. Goggles kicked off twice...but I felt good and was happy with my time.

Out and onto the bike and it was all good. Well not really, my HR was too high and it took me over 20 minutes to bring it down, finally got it down and settled into the ride. Most of the ride to
Havi was great, fast and enjoyable. About 10 miles from Havi a train of 8 riders, drafting in a way that was shocking, cruised by and suddenly I was stuck, riders in front, train on my left so I passed on the right. The referee pull up and I am sure he is issuing penalties for the drafting but no he give me a yellow card for passing on the right. I am floored! Soon after the turn around I stop in the penalty tent, only 30 seconds as it is yellow. As I am rolling out I flat on my front tire. Damn it!!! Change the tire and lose 4-5 minutes. I am rolling and not feeling so great. Cruising along and suddenly I realize I am going to barf, I turn left and there goes the Gatorade and carbo pro. Very soon a guy rides up and says, well that was interesting. Clearly I barfed on him. I am horrifically apologizing when he says, well if I was the legal 3 bike lengths back I would not have gotten hit. The Island Gods are working their "magic." So as you came imagine after throwing up I am not in prime condition. And the head wind is like nothing I have ever ridden against. It was so strong and so hot...89 degrees and to be honest, totally miserable. It was all I could do to stay on the bike and get to T2.

Getting off in T2 I knew something was not right, I was seeing stars. Cruised through, not at record pace, and headed on the run.
OMG it was hot and humid. Took 1 mile at a time and was forcing liquids down, but around mile 3, they elected to come back up. Nice, 2nd time in one day. I am running slowly and just trying to get to the next aid station. I am slowing down already but am settling in for a slow run. As I approach mile 7 I am chilled up and down and feeling unsteady, as I reach to take the ice from the volunteer, I fall into him and the table. Some else grabs me and the next thing I know I am under a tree. How I got there is a little foggy but I was happy to be there. My HR was high, my breathing labored and I had a temp. The volunteers are calling for the EMT and I am still not totally comprehending my race is over. Soon however I am being transported to the medical tent. I am give IV and am now freezing. Funny thing is I realize they have taken off my shoes and there is a crowd around my feet....staring, whispering. Well I sprayed my feet with 2nd Skin to help prevent blisters and the 2nd skin was peeling all over. These poor Docs and Nurses thought I had some freakish condition where all the skin was peeling off my feet. I did notice the Nurse had on gloves....afraid of what I may have had.

So there you have it.....the Island beat me. Physically I am okay, other than a massive head cold and sore throat. Psychologically I am bruised but thankful for my family to rally around and assure me they are proud and still love me!

Ah.....the mystery of
Kona remains in my life. Look out I will be back!

On another note I have to say it was darn awesome to see Chrissie Wellington out there tearing up the course, breaking the record!!!

And a congrats to my comrades who survived today.....Well done ladies!!!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Race Day Baby....

Up and ready to go....except it's only 3:30! No place to go yet. Feeling good today, sore throat is no worse and head is a bit congested. Key is nothing in my lungs.

Wow. wow. wow! Cannot really believe it.

Yesterday it really hit me. My bro and family arrived from Australia early afternoon! So great to have some family around, starting to get lonely. Chilled at the pool with my niece and nephew and then S and I headed to the pier to check in my bike etc. What an experience..

Not like any other IM I have done. Single file line into the pier for a helmet check and along the way there are 15+ people sitting with clip boards furiously writing. I could not resist and had to ask what they were doing. They were recording bike name, components, saddle, wheel set - you name it about the bike. Slowtwitch ( does a review of what was in Kona, % on SRAM Red, Dura Ace etc. Kind of cool stats. Then I was greeted by Roberto (my personal concierge) he took me around to drop off my bike, walked me through transition hung up my bags and then took me back to take a bit of air out of my tires. It was so hot on the pier, "I'd hate for your tires to explode" Gee, me too, so I took his advice.

So we exit the water, ramp will be instatlled over the exisiting stairs, onto the pier, through the tent of showers to rinse off th sale water, grab our T1 bag from the numberical hooks and run the lenght of the pier to tpan>he Womens change tent, bike gear on, and out and back down the pier to the bikes, run/walk the bike to end of the pier and onto Alii and off we go. 112 miles later, enter in same way and hand off bike to volunteer and run to 2nd set of hooks where Run gear is, back into the tent and out you go. Very different set up with the hooks and all. A bit confusing but as I always say, there is always someone in front of me so no need to blaze the trail. So many volunteers and they were as excited to be there as we were.

S and I hung on Alii soaking it all up for a bit and then had to get out of the sun. Very hot! We stopped in a bar along the way, 2nd story so he could inquire about reservations for race day. $100 gets you a place at the bar, does not include anything, just a seat. $300 gets you a table, again that is a rental fee only. Seems like the bar owner has figured this race out.

Meanwhile Mom and Billy and Dad and K are arriving and are back at the hotel. It is nearly 5 and I need to eat. We headed to the hotel restaurant which did not start serving until 6. Come on people get with the program, we need to eat at 5pm since we have to eat again soon. We went to the bar and I watched everyone enjoying Mai Tai's and local favorites while I was drinking my Carbo Pro and FRS- that was not the happy hour special. S was great he tracked down the server and ordered me a big bowl of fettuccine, no sauce, no chicken- just noodles and oil on the side. Perfect, max amount of carbs. Billy did a nice welcome, good luck, you are nuts toast and I was out of there before 7.

Settled in and did all kind of homeopathic rituals to clear my nose, ease my throat and settle in for the night. Took me a while to get to sleep but I was laying down in the dark and relaxed, best I can do. Of course due to the volume of liquid consumed I was up many times in the night, but had a reasonably good night of sleep.

Up at 3 and time to eat again. This is the least satisfying meal. 1- not hungry 2- nervousness is fluttering about and 3- well not hungry. And 1/2 way through I want to be done but I'm not. For all those wondering why 3am? Race is at 7 and I want the meal to be totally out of my stomach before the swim. I need the blood in my muscles not working to digest the food in my belly.

Final race prep is now done. Had to make my other delicious caloric intake for the day. All my calories on the bike are liquid, so I make 1 28oz bike bottle with carbo pro and Infinit. It is not paste but is also not a flowing liquid. I sip off that every 20-30 minutes for calories. I have lines along the bottle to ensure I drink enough each hour. The rest of fluid is all water and that come through a Speedfil (big bottle mounted on the bike with a straw up to my aero bars) Each aid station fill the Speedfil and I am good to go!

All that is left is to put on my HR strap, timing chip is on my ankle (I slept in that- no need to worry about forgetting that, no chip to entry to the pier), and my race gear. I will wait a bit as I will have that on long enough.

Hope the family survives the day- long, hot day for spectators. Not knowing what to expect it is tough. S is in charge of getting the crew down to the start and weaseling their way for a view. Hopefully I will see them out there on the Queen K, but not planning on it. This race is a solitary race, few crowds out there on the course, bigger crowds than anywhere in town, but the bulk of the race is you and the lava fields.

Now is the time to soak it all in and enjoy the day. There is no pressure, no goals for this race, really want to experience it all and finish with a smile on my face. I will be back here and can decide then if I want to really go for it then, but today, is appreciating the journey to took to get to this very special race.

To those in the triathlon world....taken from
If you are a triathlete, there is no bigger day in this sport than the Ford Ironman World Championship. It is the race that defined our sport as it came of age, and continues to be the defining race in our sport for any avid triathlete.

To get to the starting line in Kona, you must either be very lucky and get yourself a spot through the lottery, or very talented, and win yourself a qualifying spot at one of the qualifying events held around the world.

Tens-of-thousands of triathletes try to get one of those coveted Ironman spots every year. Only 1,800 succeeded.

That means 1,800 "lucky" people get to test themselves on one of the biggest challenges the sports world has to offer ... 2.4-miles of swimming, 112-miles of biking, and a 26.2-mile marathon run through tough ocean waves, and challenging lava-covered terrain.

While there are thousands of triathlons around the world, it is this one that truly defines the sport. It all began at an Awards Ceremony for a relay running race in Honolulu in 1977. A group of local athletes discussed the idea of an endurance triathlon and combining three major events that already existed on the island. John Collins suggested combining them and making it a single-day event. Later that evening, Collins took the stage announcing the event and that "whoever finishes first, we will call him the IRONMAN." It has since become triathlon's Super Bowl, Wimbledon, World Series, World Cup, and Tour de France all rolled into one. What makes this event so unique is that "average" people get to compete alongside the best in the world.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Getting ready...

Had my last swim for espresso. Today they even had a sign on the ocean floor with an arrow to the Coffees of Hawaii boat. How can you beat that. KP served me in the water and I was feeling relaxed and enjoying the crowds. Swam in my kit and speedsuit and all was good- not that 20 minutes will determine much but hey - all will be good. Max out on the glide -

Short run through town and legs are loose and then it was last minute errands...needed a hat for the race, the one I have simply does not go. Found an awesome Ironman hat in bright green- will be easy to see me and the Ironman on my kit is green so there you go- color coordination.

Food, more food. Had to get my pre race meal- bread, organic peanut butter and local honey.

24 hours and counting....

7am on Friday...tomorrow it will the start of the race. Feeling pretty good right now- had a good night sleep. Was in bed, room dark by 9 and took a bit of time to drop off but fell asleep soon thereafter. Made a few nighttime visits to the head....all this hydration catches up with me. And every time I woke up of course the race popped into my head. But all in all feeling pretty rested. Elected for the decaf this AM, I think there are enough endorphins surging through me right now.

Work is good....nothing major and tackled that early. Now off for a short swim, final swim in my race kit, speed suit etc just to make sure its all good. I just got my Erin Baker Tri shorts so want to give them a go for a short swim and short run. When I say short we are talking it takes more time to get prepped to swim than the amount of time I will be in the water. Same for the run, shake out the legs and take off the edge.

Off to the pier...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Underpants Run, snokeling, race prep....

Another awesome day! The Underpants run was classic...all kind and it was a riot. Huddle and Roch led the run and it was so fun. There is so much tension this week and everyone is nervous and checking each other out, pros and age groupers alike, but this morning everyone was able to blow off steam and have a belly aching laugh and have a good time.

Darc, E, P and I met for coffee at Lava Java - the place to be in Kona. I was bouncing off the walls, coffee, pre race excitement, pent up energy from the taper. We are chilling and here comes Darc on her bike - people are cheering and taking pictures.

We headed to the pier, E and I are still dressed, but we finally take of the shorts and t's and headed to the run. It was a riot, clapping, cheering- all too much fun.

We are laughing the entire way and hamming it up. Hey why not- We jump on the wall to P can take a picture and literally people are lining up to take pics.

We ran about a mile in a massive pack. Babbit and his buddy are Elvi with music blasting. Good times indeed.

I soon left the Alii Drive mayhem and needed some down time- lights out chilled and relaxed for a while. Refreshed with energy to burn I got my work done for the day and headed down to the Bay and rented a snorkel and had a marvelous float/swim and saw 2 turtles, coral and some beautiful fish. It was just what I needed.

Worked my way to the chaos to have Steve give my bike a once over, good to go. Suggested I clear the chain, lube and get her ready to rock. Good project for the afternoon. Finished off the day down by the Pier, it is being transformed for race day. Grandstands are going up, transition is being set up. It is happening baby! KP met me down there and we walked through the entire race, drove some of the parts and it was a big reassurance.

Laying low tonight and hoping to get to sleep early. Tonight is the key night for sleeping- maximum sleep tonight for good race. Since CdA went so well I am trying to follow the same pre race agenda. That means steak for dinnner....ugh not really what sounds good. Last steak I had was 48 hours before CdA so I'll do it again. Sorry, mr cow, my muscles may need it on Saturday.

Cheers!! Aloha!! Maholo... and all the good island vibes.