Sunday, November 29, 2009


As we went to bed Thursday I was complaining that I am tired of the summer like weather. I want winter, cool temperatures. Time to wear socks, sweaters and feel a change in seasons. Plus we are headed to Australia in 2.5 weeks and it is summer down under and I want to appreciate the warm weather.

Friday AM it is chilly....but is has been chilly. We we up early to run? no bike? no swim? no. Shop? yes. The big shoppers we are (not) we of course headed to Pearl Izumi at 7am for the 40% off sale. Most fit shoppers you will ever see. Store was filled with cyclists and triathletes alike. Nothing for JB but I scored some nice winter gloves, regular gloves and a great base layer. Huge deals and savings on gear I love, but don't need. So I used great will power and we left. Home to change into shorts as it was warming up. Off to the 1st soccer game of the tournament and game was a tie. Game 2 was at Westiview- nice and convenient. 4:00 game and I elected to bring a sweatshirt. Well by the end of the game the cold front had come in and I was freezing....home to sweats. sweater. big socks and blanket. Yeah!!!

Up early Saturday for a very chilly run in the rain and wind. Legs are stiff from Thursday...after looking at my powerfile our Thanksgiving ride was a freakin hammer fest and considering I mostly rode alone I manged to hammer myself. Run felt good though, legs loosened up and my ankle felt the best it has since my sprain on Halloween. I think it is nearly healed. Did not swell much after so it's all good.

Headed to JD's game and it was freezing...okay so winter is more fun when inside drinking tea vs bundled up and sitting at a soccer game. But really, I did like it- coats, gloves, hat and an excuse for Starbucks. Game was a loss....not going so well. Game 2 was even colder but it was a win! Yee haw, we advance and get to play early Sunday morning in the semi finals.

Meanwhile we are bundling up and watching movies at night and loving the vacation....but I did get my massive Quick Books project done. Caught up year to date. I am not letting that lapse again. Commitment to reconcile every month so I don't have to spend another weekend on accounting.

So my training week was supposed to be a week off with possible 30 minute spin or run. So I was pretty much off but slipped in a 4 hour hammer ride and then a 1:15 hilly ride 2 days later. I say to coach that is almost a week off.....not so much in his eyes. I say how about swim Monday (only swim) and a ride Tue (oh and by the way the ride is GWL). He replies I would like to see 7 days totally off. I reply, GWL will not be a hammerfest and even forward him Brian's message that Tuesday's ride is his birthday ride and will not be a hammerfest- it says so in writing. I am hoping this gets me the "go ahead to ride" See I am traveling Wed- Friday and will not be training much (maybe an early run before I fly on Wed) but working I want to do something. Have to love KP- he tries and I negotiate and we compromise - well kind of. Actually yes- my plan for this weekend was a massive training week, little work, time off, more training....but I only did that 2 days and ate, slept, drank coffee all the other days. Sleeping until 7 and then getting up for coffee, walking the dogs and then back to bed is absolute luxury. Until about 8:30 and I am totally stir crazy and have to get up.

Kids are wiped out...preparing to head back to school tomorrow- poor JD is wiped out - 4 soccer games, hard games and then lacrosse this afternoon. He stood in our 56 degree pool for 10 minutes after lacrosse - simulating an ice bath for his very, very sore legs. Usually offer a long tournament his club team has practice off, but tomorrow is HS soccer and no day off. So he needs to freshen up and be ready for a full week of soccer- with his first game on Tuesday. He fell dead asleep on the couch at 7:00 reading. Riley had lacrosse today as well but is mostly tired from all the socializing..movies, shopping, sleep overs can really wear out a girl. Hey it's vacation. She did spend 90 minutes on Algebra review today with JB so she her brain got some stimulation and will not go into shock tomorrow in school.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


What a fantastic day.....started with a beautiful run with Zen and a brief run with Rocky. Loaded up and out to El Cajon for our favorite ride GWL. Multiple rides going on today.....Tri Club. Cyclo Vets and lots of traffic so JB and I rolled on our own. We started off counterclockwise and then changed our minds and decided to see if we could catch the group. We rode pretty hard and then settled in. It was a sensational day....clear and warming up and a slight wind. The group had spread out so it was great fun picking off people up the climb. At the beekeepers I decided to keep going to Descanso and the wind picked up, big time, we are talking Kona like headwind. Thank goodness for the tunes and I powered along alone- after not training much it was really nice. The wind got worse the climb steeper and I was dreaming of a my Sbux Double Shot at the Descanso Market- about 2 miles from Descanso as the wind picked up, which seemed impossible, I began to panic....what if they were closed for Thanksgiving. Luckily for me they were not.... coffee in, more water and a tail wind!! Awesome ride back, more coffee at Starbucks and we rolled home.

We had 3 hours to get the turkey cooking, make the stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry and sweet potatoes. Oh and clean the house and set the table. More coffee and I was ready to roll. John and I did it together.

Here are the girls from dinner....Lori had to go (umm had a date) so here we are. John had dinner with a harem.

Great dinner....turkey was a bit overcooked- first time bbqing a bird and it got done much faster than expected. The sweet potatoes were my favorite and T brought a sweet potato, curry and kale salad that was delish. Desert was mmmm with a Pecan creation by C and how can I forget the fresh bread by L. Everyone helped and it was great- nice long walk with the pups as John slept after dinner.

Missed the kids but nice they could be with their Dad and his family.....each sent me a nice Turkey Text and was able to chat with Dad and a quick call to Mom for a "what do I do with the flappy skin where the turkey head use to be" question and missed my Sis and Bro. With Bro and family in India did not expect to connect and surely sis was as busy as us...all in good thoughts.

So much to be thankful for.....but the top of my list has to be family, wonderful kids, husband and my parents and siblings. Beyond that am blessed with great sis and bro in law and step parents. Being surrounded by my family is one my favorite things. Having a healthy body is another gift I appreciate, one that will take me through this journey of life and tolerate all the suffering of Ironman. And of course my friends...from long ago and now. The ones I talk with daily and the ones intermittently but keep close in my thoughts and memories.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

6 hours driving for a 90 minute meeting??

You betcha....Hey working from home is luxurious and the majority of the time I work in shorts and flips and throw on sweats and a hoodie when it chills down. So to actually shower and put on "real" clothes for a meeting with a potential client is quite enjoyable sometimes. The true key that I have not been in the real world for some time is when I have to dust off my shoes. See when you meet with cleints 10x a year you really don't need a huge wardrobe. I wear my favorite pants, tops and shoes every time since rarely am I meeting the same client twice. It gets tricky when I travel, ie my upcoming trip. 4 days of business causal attire and it must be all different. Since we will be in Puerto Rico the dress will be less business and more resort casual but definitly not my usual running shorts/t or cycling gear. There is no room for spandex on this trip. Room for my running gear- of course and I'll toss in my swim gear in case there is some down time and dip in the warm ocean is possible.

As I am headed out the door, JD rolls downstairs, sees me and says "wow" I styled, clothes, heels and even a briefcase. Great meeting, great lunch and so here is my confession how lame I am about dressing up. I leave the meeting and stop for gas and pop into the restroom with my shorts, t and flips in my briefcase. Out I come for my road trip home.....really like to be comfy. Good thing I did as the traffic was horrendous.

I has 6 Competitor Radio podcasts to catch up on so the drive was great. I listened to Chrisse W and Crowie's post Kona interviews- talk about motiving- hearing the 2 world champs talking I was ready to pull over and squeeze in a run, except well I am not training hard this week. Awesome to listen to Meb Keflezighi's interview after his recent win at the NY Marathon. What a great story of immigration from Eritrea. He recounts his father's journey of escape to Italy via Sudan and eventually brining the family to Italy and finally the US. He arrived in San Diego at 12 and did not speak any English. First time he saw a group runnning in Balboa Park he asked his mates what they were tracing. He soon logged a 5:20 mile in 8th grade PE and is career was born. He graduated San Diego High with a 4.0 and earned a full running scholarhip to UCLA. Really amazing young man....1st American to win NY Marathon since Alberto Salazar.

Came home to a quite house....John is working and the kids left this afteroon to go to thier dad's. As much as I love my family, I do love a quite house sometimes. I can do my thing at my own pace. For me usually that means clean up all the clutter when I arrive- just drives me nuts. But not today I laid on the floor with my boyfriend Rocky. I took Rocky to the vet yesterday to address his issues...legs giving out, not being able to get in my car, avoiding the stairs etc- I went with great trepidation and was releived I guess. No massive tumors, no hip dysplasai. He has spinal issues. Due to arthritus and his car accident 3 years ago he has some collapased, inverted and disolved discs. Where that happens bone grows and fuses the vertibrae together. The result is that the spine cannot bend in those places- so jumping is out and going up stairs is very painful. They don't do back surgery on dogs- thank goodness. Vet recommednaiton is another anti inflamatory coupled with the one he has (increasing the dose) and make him comfortable. There are side effects but the dog is in pain. I would rather have him happy and pain free for less time that in pain....Judging by his appetite he will be around for a long time.

Having 8 for dinner tomorrow I should be prepping, cooking etc....but am not. Enjoying the quiet afternoon, cleaned my bike and will figure our dinner tomorrow!! Time for some egg nog and brandy....that's what I'm talking about!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Vacation....kind of anyway

Kids are out of school and it feels like vacation.... quiet week at work which is great. Kids are enjoying well deserved down time. As busy as they are it is good to take the pressure off, have no schedule and regroup. Whenever I think, no school, I think, where can we go? Buy the kids both said they want to chill, hang out and well with a HS Soccer Scrimmage tonight and a tournament this weekend, it's good we are here.

I need this week to recover from the weekend....busy is good, over scheduled and crazed is not so good. But it was the last weekend for Club Soccer for JD and regular season lacrosse for Riley. We should resume our usually busy schedule now.

I say that but 12/2-6 I am traveling for work to
Puerto Rico, John leaves for Australia on the 12th, my company annual meeting is 12/13-15 and the kids and I leave the 16th for Australia. In between we have tournaments for soccer, lacrosse, and a few weeks of school. I recently asked the kids (well this weekend) if they felt like they were doing too much and there was a resounding NOOOOOO! They are old enough to know.

Training....what training. KP says I am tired, so okay, I will concur. Never took a real break after the season and it is catching up with me. While the weekend was exhausting with the kids I did not train- easy to do when I am busy from sun up to sun down. Monday, forced day off, was tough. But I did it!! Today I fell off the "take a break from training" wagon. It is John's birthday and what do we do on birthdays, we ride GWL. I rode GWL today out of dedication to my husband and commitment to my marriage. Right? Right!! It was so fun....chilly at the start and we rode with R and I. Warmed up by Lyons Valley and was stunningly clear and sensational. Post ride, we had gluten free birthday muffins (yum ;) John went to work and I did a short run with R and I.

Tomorrow day off....promise! Big work day. Time off is says it's best to take time off by choice vs. taking it off not by choice. Which I strongly agree with. Last time I was forced to take time off I went to Europe for 3 weeks and the time before that I went skiing in Aspen. Hmmmmn maybe I should have gone away over the break. Well when you think about time off., it's all relative right?? Okay here comes the rationalization. So when you are used to training 7 days a week and you only train 4 days a week, that is time off right? Okay....maybe not. I'm trying here- concerted effort.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

when soccer becomes more than a game.....

JD's U15 competitive soccer team won the league title! Very exciting for the boys. The title was cinched with one game to play, so we headed to Carlsbad last night for our final season game. We have developed a significant rivalry with this team over the last 3 seasons so heading into the game there was tension.

As we arrived on the filed, you could feel the edge..hard to explain. Beautiful field, under the lights at 5pm. There was energy in the air and the boys lined up. Whistle blows, kick off and the game is under way. Within the first 2 minutes they other team in in scoring position and the ball to shot but and our goalie is running for the ball, as he dives to capture the ball, the opposing player continued to advance and kicked. The other player's cleat made contact with the goalies face. Whistle is blown, and the referee calls a penalty. Here is where it gets interesting, the penalty is called on us! He calls the penalty on our goalie, gives him a
yellow card, and the other team is awarded a penalty kick. Our goalie has to leave the game, he is bleeding and as the adrenaline of the event wares off, is in increasing pain. We sub the goalie, they take the kick and score.

Unbelievable...meanwhile the menagerie of Dr's and Nurses we have as parents have rallied around the goal. There is a lot of blood and ice on his face. The consensus is he needs to go to the ER. The game continues and it is ugly. The reffing calls are the worst we have had all season, blatantly biased toward the home team. Before the 1/2 ends they again score off a forward that is 10yards off sides- so obvious we wait for the whistle to have it called back, but no such luck. The game is aggressive and the parents are getting frustrated, the comments are louder and the entire scene is intense.

We rally with a goal in the 2nd 1/2 but end of losing the game. The league victory is not compromised but a final win would have been the topping on the cake. When the final whistle blew we had been playing a man down due to red card late in the 2nd 1/2. The final tally was over 11 yellow's and 1 red card.

So we won the league, lost the last game, but the most disappointing thing was that we as a team (parents, kids and coach) allowed ourselves to be brought down to the level of our competition. You cannot control what ref's do and we know that. As the poor calls progressed our team crossed the line to unsportsmanlike on some occasions and driving away that is not a good feeling. One of the parents of the other team confronted our coach and pushed him. How did we get to this....we discussed this as a team with our coach and agreed- this is not how we represent our club! Losing with dignity and sportsmanship is quality of our team and a reason we are proud of the team, the boys and the club. Lesson learned and mistakes recognized.

The sad ending is that our goalie has multiple facial fractures and will be sidelined for up to 3 months. Here we are commencing High School Soccer and he will not be playing.

Friday, November 20, 2009

off season...really

So whenever I end my season, I say that as if I have have 100's, frankly this is my 3rd tri season and 2nd Ironman season, but it seems like a lot more. You race and are at the top of your fitness and the idea of losing it is devastating. All that hard work and then to build up to it again. I mentally say (always- all 2 years that is) I am NOT backing off, going to keep up a long run, ride and moderate training so I don't lose fitness. So the first few weeks are great and then the alarm goes off and um don't feel like getting up, or the coach gives a set that well don't really feel like doing and the workouts slip.... skipping here and there and shortening as well. Soon the 5 hour ride is 3 hours and well that is a good base right, the run is an hour...and well here I am,

Did an awesome block on training in Utah and since then- day off, 2 swims, 2 rides and zero- yes zero runs. The runs I do have an excuse- ankle is swollen and stiff. KP says let the darn thing heal- its off season, no need to push it and well since I always listen to coach (hee, hee) I am letting it heal. When the desire drops, it is convenient to follow orders.

I have to say it is so liberating to get out 45 minutes into Masters because I hate breastroke. I am in the showers feeling empowered and of course guilty. The guilt overtakes me as I already know I am not running, even though my shoes and gear are in my bag, it's not going to happen. So I get back in the pool and completely discard the work out, do my own set in my own lane and get out feeling satisfied. I find it amusing that I still put on my running shorts, top and shoes and head out to the car. I move the car from USCD, come on pay for parking to run too- no thanks, and I head for my usual post run spot. I exit the highway and get right back on, come on who am I kidding. Looking at it now the perspective is quite funny. So I went to Starbucks, got coffee, read email, picked up groceries for dinner and came home.

Sick minded... we really are.

Good news on the JD front- he successfully secured a spot on the JV HS Soccer team. Whew...he was elated and thank goodness- his hard work, good decisions (despite some unprofessional pressure from another coach) and unwillingness to quit all paid off. Sports offer life lessons....everything from setting goals, politics and no not everyone wins or has a place on the team. We celebrated with Cool Cravings Yogurt- nothing like $18 worth of yogurt and toppings before dinner. That was dinner for Riley but when you are 15, well you still have room for dinner.

My current dilemma is shoes....not fancy, styling shoes but cycling shoes. My all time favorite Peal Izumi Tri Shoe is no more and my pair is shot- stretched out and now causing hot spots. I went back to Shimano (my first tri shoes) and bought the latest and greatest a few weeks before Hawaii. Felt great in training and not until about 4 hours did I get flaming hot spots, cramming and utter misery. Nice that I found that out during Ironman, Total rookie move...never try anything racing that you have not tried in training....duh. I had enough problems that day, this was just one more.

Since returning I have cursed them and bought 3 other pair...2 pearl isumi and 1 shimano. None held up to walking around the house- not comfortable, too small, not right - I am starting to feel a bit like Goldilocks. One could argue that Cinderella may be a better Fairy Tale reference since it is a shoe issue, but Goldilocks wanted her bed to be "just right" Kind of like how I want my shoes. But it's not like I can ride 100 miles (not that I am doing that any time soon) and then decide if the shoe is right and return them - there is not a Road Runner Shoes in the cycling world, Hey not a bad idea. In any case....dogs just went nuts, doorbell rang, UPS guy hurls the box onto the doorstep and runs ( we have a screen door and Zen is barking full tilt- the funny thing is, he is laying in a chair- not jumping at the door, actually curled up in a chair) So the Pearl Izumi Tri Fly III not so sure....wearing them at my desk but not sure if they are the right pair.

Thinking about going for a run....right like that will happen. Maybe a little work is in order.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Too much camp.....

Went to bed Sunday feeling motivated and eager for the week and woke up Monday tired and a bit over trained....gee, Ironman weekend camp was a bit more than I am used to. Not to mention 12 miles on the sprained ankle- ouch.

gotta love the off season...alarm goes off to swim- uh NO- instead slept in and made waffles for the kids before school. Much better- food, coffee and sleep. Took the day off and tried to get some serious work done- after all if I'm not training I need to take the time and energy and work, so I can train more, race more and spend more $$$ on the sport- oh yes and save more money to retire some day as well.

FB update on Monday says a few are riding GWL on Tuesday, I write back, no thanks recovering from camp. My 7pm I am thinking about going, debating it and ok well packing to go ride. It's like a drug out there- if others are riding I cannot pass it up. I wrote back I was a maybe. But there I was 7am at Sloan Canyon, the issue was it was 40 degrees. R had an awesome idea, drive to Starbucks have a coffee and wait 30-40 minutes. We rolled at 7:40 and it was 10 degrees warmer and warming by the minute. Awesome ride- rode much harder than planned but PE was good, company was great and it was a good time. Until I realized the car was not at Sloan Canyon and we had another 20 min to get to the car and there was a head wind. Lots of work and we shared the load pulling....Pulling the train into the wind was 50-60 watts higher then when I cycled back for a rest. Amazing what a group can do. Transition run- no- why? not fun to run in a strip mall, ankle is a bit sore and well, its the off season.

Up today and off to the pool- Wed is test set day. Last Wed we did 11x100@1:40 and I rocked the set- held 1:11's/1:12's and finished off with a 1:10. Today was 12 and on the first one I knew it was not a good day. I roll in at 1:16 and think ok, I will ease into these- harder I push and maybe gained 1 second. Absolutely pathetic- put paddles and buoy on for 7-12 and worked for a steady pace. Amazing, 1 week and significant difference in the pool. Stroke was off, no feel for the water and kicking induced ankle pains. Plan was to run for 30 after swim, well I ran for 14 min. Just not there for me so I drove to Starbucks and parked as far away as possible- can that be a run, hoofing it from one end of the parking lot to another?

When not trying to learn Joomla. The program for my new site The new site is up... well the shell and now I have to add content- web guy says it's easy....well for him maybe and for you maybe. for me....ugh- it's not just like Word, if it was it would be Word. It is kind of like word. So I am trying..... I want to shout to all- check out the site, join and contribute, but well I have one article and clothing to sell. Priority.....yes and I am so far behind in Quick Books I am afraid to download the last, um 5 I put it off and what - hope for the QB fairy???? I know, this weekend!!!

Except this weekend we have a lacrosse tournament, soccer game, 2 days of driving JD to ref soccer, lacrosse practices, soccer victory dinner and lacrosse year end party. Right, I can work on QB after 8pm.

So the exciting news is JD's competitive soccer team won the division....very cool Division Champs and that means we, well they, move up to the next level. Hard work, awesome coaching and a committed group of boys. I'm thinking playing in Spain this summer is what did it! On the soccer front, stressful time for JD- this week is high school soccer tryouts- over 75 players trying out for 25 spots on JV. One would think playing competitively for so long would make him a shoe in...but well so have all the other boys. Mon/Tue was fitness, scrimmages and starting tonight they begin cutting players. I asked him to text me before I pick up the carpool- need to know what transpired...So stressful but a great lesson in life- not everyone makes the team ( in anything we do really.)

okay injury update before I go..... pinky finger- bruising and swelling gone. 90% of the time no pain- painful to reach the shift button - thus many non caps and about once a day I hit it on something and am reminded with shooting pain that yes there is a fracture that is not healed. For the most part I just let if hang out there and try not to use it. Ankle is mildly swollen- tender to run so thinking I should back off until really healed. Still some bruising in foot and morning time is tight and super painful as I stumble out of bed and try to not fall over Rocky. Knee- still big scab....10 days, yep it was a deep one. That's all for now - no pictures sorry.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Ironman Camp Recap

Official Course Review to come later.... this is all about the camp

Friday we were up at 6:30 for breakfast and a "talk" - all good training and Ironman stuff. Headed to the pool- we planned to ride but it was raining. And a cold front had moved in and the temperature was dropping.

Nice pool- indoors with funky bubble over it. We had 5 or 6 lanes so we broke up by interval and did a tough workout. I swam with Pro Chris McDonald (he had a buoy and band on his legs), Gordo, Slater and Nina. Interval was not tough but the effort was and by the end it was all I could do to stay on Chris's feet. 4300 yard and we are done..until Gordo says "want to play a game?" of course I say yes so he says ez 200, then Chris asked for another 50 which tipped me off, the "game" was going to be tough. The set we completed started with a series of 400's and worked down to 100's. Gordo asked what my 1st 400 time was and then challenged me to beat the time. And I could not sit on Chris's feet. We were the only 2 nut cases who took on the challenge and Chris took off and me 15 sec behind and Gordo 15 after me. It was all I could do to finish the 400 but I was 6 seconds faster! Yes, challenge done. Chris laid it down and swam a 4:39.....(with buoy and band) Pulled my tired body out of the pool.....sought out food!

Chilled for a bit and then we headed on a short ride with a reasonable climb into Snow Canyon. The ride to Snow Canyon was 15 minutes and then we entered the park and it was stunning, no snow but beautiful. Climb was only a few miles and 1000 feet of elevation gain. It was fun that Trevor, Gordo, Braman and I did it again. Marilyn McDonald, pro cyclist, gave us an awesome descending workshop. You can check it out here....good skills to have

Ride was 2 hours and although tempted to do more we headed home as we knew we had a big ride on Saturday. Followed the ride with a 30 minute run and all was good....but it was time for meeting and dinner.

Now St George is a funky town....not cute, charming, or even historic. It is laden with strip malls, low end hotels and very few coffee shops....seems the Mormon influence may not encourage a coffee place on every corner. In search of caffeine before the ride a few of us headed out to find a local Java spot. Was not ez and we could not have picked a worse place. Looked okay from the outside, inside had some Reggae playing. We order, 3 coffees and a sandwich. The drip was not issue. The cappuccino took about 10 minutes and I had to go and remind them of my coffee. TB had to remind them about the sandwich so 20+ minutes later we had mediocre coffee and a lame sandwich. Seems the help either lit up that morning or have lit up so many times that their brains are not really functioning. We had dinner at probably the best spot in town....very casual, but not a chain and good food. Twenty Five Main Cafe. Will be good to keep in mind for race weekend...but then again I have a condo, which was a good move I think after checking out the town.

We are up at 6:30 and have staggered departure times based on your pace and how aggressive you felt like riding. JB and the majority of the group rolled at 7:30, 2 of us rolled at 8:15 with KP (I wanted to ride with him) and the last 2 rolled at 9 with Chris (Chris who holds the Ironman Wisconsin bike course record of 4:45) It was cold...real cold, maybe 40 degrees. We had on all the gear. Goal of the day was to ride about 15 miles and then ride part of the course. From the swim, you ride 20 miles rolling hills to where the 2 loops take place and then you ride back to town- T1 and T2 are in separate locations. So we hit the split button and the goal was to ride 2 loops and ride the 2nd loop faster - so ride controlled and then see how it feels the 2nd time. Trying to get a feel for how tough the course is. Each loop is 43 miles. So off we went with a very undetailed map, no cross streets listed, not to scale but we felt like we had a good idea of where to go and it did not seem that hard. Gordo made a parting comment at breakfast " as long as you are not climbing out of a canyon on your way to Vegas you are fine."

So we are are rolling and we get to a point that we can turn off right towards Gunlock or keep climbing. Nothing on the map says Gunlock, no one has mentioned Gunlock, so we keep going. We have now been climbing 9 miles continuously and we finally reach the top. I am thinking this Ironman is a beast, people will not finish, how can anyone do this twice and run a marathon. We go screaming downhill, fast and far.....we realize we have not seen the SAG van...little voice hmmm "are we not climbing out of a canyon?" We stop, I pull out the iPhone and punch in "find me" there we are on the map about 5 miles from the Arizona border.... bummer, not where the course takes us. Why we did not think about this before we descended the 9 miles we just climbed. So we go back up and all the way down to the Gunlock turn off and sure enough within 5 minutes we see the SAG van. So there goes our pacing efforts....but we figure we are basically starting the course now and with the mileage and climbing we have done it will simulate lap 2.

The course is stunningly beautiful, rolling hills with a few very steep climbs. The last being a switchback that is brutal, nearly everyone was out of the saddle. Pacing will be critical...if you override loop1 your are history.... so we finish the ride, I add on a bit as my mileage was a bit short due to our "adventure" Ride felt good, rode controlled and was able to pull off a nice 20 minute transition run. 5:31 ride time, 90 miles and 7132 ft total elevation gain.

It was cold all day.....not likely to be so for the race, but it was cold for us. Had dinner at the Golden Corral, which is pretty much like a Hometown Buffet, not a place I will return but actually worked out pretty well for 18 starving cyclists. Something for everyone and we ate a lot, no wait for the food and lots of lemonade.

No problems falling asleep and up at 6, dark and 37 degrees. It's winter baby.....head to Gordos room for hot coffee and banana bread- nice way to start the day. Braman is in bed- between swimming on Friday for the 1st time in years followed by the 2 hour ride and then the 6 hour ride on Saturday he felt he had gotten his money's worth from the camp. Sunday's goal was to run 1 loop of the course, or as much or as little as you felt. My ankle is still healing so to have run the loop from the hotel would have been 15+miles...too much too soon. So C and I hitched a ride to where Transition 2 will be and we did a loop of the run from there..... all I can say is holy cow. 1st 3.1 miles are up hill and then you go down and then back up....pretty much the entire course if up or down and some parts are so steep our pace slowed by over 2 minutes. More details to come pertaining to the course.

Lots of expletives out there as we realized what a day May1 will be. What were they thinking in creating hte course...hardest, masochistic....who knows.

But now I know what is ahead and am prepared for the journey. Lots of training, lots of hills and lots of good wisdom gained at the camp.

Camp is fun....sort of feels like what it would like to be a pro (well assuming I was 15 years younger and a whole lot faster) but the idea of training full time. We basically ate, trained, ate, relaxed, trained, ate.....Met some awesome people. Group was made up of 10 hour IM'ers to 14+ hours. Will be great to see more familiar faces out there on the course.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

St George...

great drive today to SG with a new friend TB. we piled in and we packed up with 4 bikes- tough fit on the rack. We brought KP's bike so we were weighed down. fun road trip....found 3 starbucks along the way for caffeine and gas and we manged to chatter away about everything....triathlon, politics, religion, sex, dating... you name it. great fun and time went quickly.

St. George is beautiful...small town for sure. We are at the luxurious Holiday Inn. Really not so bad. Casual dinner and met the other campers. Great intro by Gordo and we all had to give our 1 minute pitch and tell what we wanted to learn or get from the camp. Cool to have Chris McDonald here with us - Pro from Boulder, IM Wisconsin course record holder and his wife Marilyn who is a female pro cyclist. Great group of people, seems to be all levels. Couple in their late 50's from LA and she did her first tri at 50.

Early to bed as we are meeting at 6:30 and off to the pool for a big swim.....and then a small but hilly ride.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009 it

Just finished a most enjoyable dinner with some good friends and family....J's birthday, M's celebration of an awesome race and a toast to JB's nephew for Veteran's Day. Fun night and thankful to have them all in my life. JD was with his Dad tonight but wonderful to have RM with us at dinner and bless her for putting up with all the questions..... she is a great kid.

Great ride Tue GWL, of course, but have met some new friends and love that- love to meet new people while riding bikes. Really, does it get any better than that?? B and R are both from elsewhere and have such great stories and attitudes that are infectious. You can really only feel better. We rode GWL and did a transition run and it was just plain fun- so darn glad to be a part of it all.

Packing for camp exciting, when was the last time I went to camp. And my husband is coming too. Sooo excited to take a road trip with him and our local friend TB. Going to an Ironman Camp in St George, UT. My next IM is there in JB doing IM no...just coming along for some fun and will get some good cycling in as well. Kids will be great with Granny and they are do darn busy they will hardly miss us :)


Monday, November 9, 2009

moving along.....

another good crazy training and that leaves time for the kids, family, projects ( well didn't really do any projects but thought about them) With lacrosse and soccer in full swing it is amazing how I can leave for the first game and 8:30 and not be done until 2:00. It's all good and with so many friends on the teams it makes for nice socialization.

Big weekend for JD's team....another win. they are in 1st place, 2 games to go. If they win, they win the league and move up a division. Big deal for the boys. We are taking it week by week- checking off the wins and looking to the next one.

Had hoped for a nice run on Saturday but my ankle decided otherwise....swollen and painful, not a good time to run. So I went to Starbucks instead after dropping off Riley to warm up. I did get a project done this weekend- a big presentation/bid. I scrapped all my old presentations, powerpoints etc and started fresh- it took time but I really like the way it came out and hopefully it will get me the face to face meeting.

Sat night JB and I watched Everlasting Moments, a Swedish movie set in the early 1900's. We enjoyed it...but be warned this is not a light hearted comedy.
JB and I had a good ride on Sunday....seems our new route is Elfin Forest, but we took a detour ad JB thought we could take a cool road up and over a neighborhood and drop into Elfin. Well the road we turned on, Mt Israel (off Del Dios near Lake Hodges by the Pottery Shop) climbs 500 feet in .6mile. Not sure what the grade is, but it was steeper than anything I have been on. Out of the saddle steep and hoping not to fall off my bike. HR was near 190 just trying to make it up the hill. Only to find out the road we hoped to turn on was closed to the public and after 2 dogs came barking and racing into our path did we turn around and head back down. Riding down was precarious as I hardly wanted to go flying onto Del Dios Hwy and get run over....rode the brakes all the way down. See JB loves to adventure and check things out and me, well, stick to the route. But see this is the off season so a detour here and there is not a big deal. I am trying...really. I know I need to lighten up a bit :)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

work, work.....

good day for work!!! fantastic HPN opportunity with a new client - great call with a prospective company and am working on the proposal and hoping to fly to seattle for a face to face meeting. very exciting.

exciting for new website is nearly done. working on text and a few changes before it launches. I am so excited... the site is going to be great and have a web forum and room for cool articles, reviews and be very interactive. met with a good friend today who is a trainer and coach and hoping we can do some co-marketing and help each other. it's all good....

went for a nice, well not so nice ride. rode john to work and was dealing with issues with sram red again! not shifting well and frustrated. my patient husband was adjusting and adjusting the rear derailleur trying to true it up. well one time it was not adjusted well and i put too much pressure when starting up and the gear slipped and i went down on my sore ankle and skinned up my knee pretty badly. did not seem that bad until I got to KP's (who was working on my tendons) and he cleaned up the wound only to find a nice hole in there. so much that is bled through 2 band aids by the time i got home. well maybe this is my 3rd calamity and all will be healthy again.

stopped at black mtn bikes on my way home and they worked out all my issues so riding home was nice.....when it rides well, it well rides well. had a little fun pedaling up black mountain road toward the 15. as i approached the climb saw 2 bikes ahead and decided to go for it and worked my way steadily toward them....was working hard and cruised by and dropped them nicely. always love it when you hear expletives from the guy you are passing....he, he, he. enjoyed the push mr. specialized roubaix and trek whomever you were. I was fricking dying...had to hold the pace until the left turn. legs burning, power and hr spiked but it was all good.

stunningly beautiful day....felt like fall riding with my arm warmers. cooled off nicely this evening which makes for the best sleeping weather, chilly nights. love it!!! looking forward to a nice swim in the am and hopefully another run, carefully, i will run and stay upright.

had the best and simplest dinner....rice, organic re fried black beans, roasted tomatoes and roasted corn all heated up in a pot and spread on tortillas for burritos. a touch of cholula sauce and it was divine. oh and did i tell favorite, favorite food item is in stock. egg nog. love it , love it, love with brandy but i even love to have it over ice (virgin style) with nutmeg. so, so good.....used to be for christmas but now it comes out during halloween- okay by me.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

good week.....

ankle is feeling good.....swelling is nearly gone and the fluid has dropped to my foot. so I have a fat, swollen, bruised foot, but it does not really hurt. well until I went swimming and the kicking motion, hold sh$% nearly screamed, that aggravates the ankle/foot. so ended up pulling most of the workout today.

had an awesome ride yesterday... group of us met at sloan canyon and did gwl was hot, hot. we regrouped at the car, refilled bottles and e, j and I headed out for loop 2. I could not do the entire loop as i had to get home for a conference call, so i climbed up to the beekeepers and when they turned right i turned around - good ride 4:08. other than being really hot it was great. took a nice shower under the tree and was in my car and headed home. could have used more salt but it's all good.

after my swim today i headed to the gym (safety zone) to test out my ankle running. i ran on the treadmill and with my brace it did not hurt at all. kept the run to 4 miles but felt fine. so now if i can stay on my feet i should be okay. the pinky is coming along nicely (still hard to use when typing, hence the small letters- the left shift key is too painful and cannot be reached easily with my ring finger)

jd is 90% healthy and no one else in the house is showing signs of illness...thank goodness, let's keep it that way.

love the light in the mornings due to the time change. it is so much easier to get up and going at a reasonable time. dark by 5:30 is a drag, but given a choice, will take the mornings.

looking forward to our ironman camp next weekend in st george, ut. gordo byrne and KP are putting on the camp and it should be great. we are rolling out thursday am and will be there in time for dinner and opening talk. friday we ride 5 miles to the pool, reservoir is too cold to swim in this time of year, for a big swim and then an optional ride up snow canyon. 12 mile climb but supposedly moderate and beautiful, so will have to give it a go. saturday we ride the 2 loops of the IM course and am really looking forward to that. am eager to see how tough it is and practice pacing the 2 loops. sunday we run 1 loop of the course- 13 miles and i hear it too is very hilly, so again will be good recon to learn what is needed to prepare for the race. ironman st george 5/1/2010!