Sunday, October 24, 2010

Kids are growing up...

When did my baby become a young woman.....clearly she has. Last night was Homecoming and she was excited to go. Dress shopping and an afternoon with the girls of doing their hair, blasting music, makeup, perfume and products I have never seen or heard of.  They took over our bathroom and it was  a sight!  Three lovely ladies emerged and off they went.

 The style is short, strapless and ridiculously high heels!  When I dropped off the girls at Chili's for dinner the many onlookers were dropped jawed and wondering what was happening.   But I did not see one dress that was much longer than these, nor did I see any sensible shoes.
The chatter to the dance was of eager anticipation for the first real dance...High School.  3+ hours later they were hoarse and it was all about who is a good dancer, who is a fist pumper (apparently a real insult), who was "lame", who they felt sorry for because their date was possessive or boring...Maya (on the right) went with her boyfriend but met him at dinner, Riley and Teya went  without dates as many seemed to have done. They danced all night and could not  believe when it was over.... So excited for the next one- the Winter (in)Formal. 

While JD did not partake in the Homecoming Dance....he did have a milestone this week as well.

Tuesday we spend a lovely 5 hours at the DMV!  Gotta love the government, especially in a bankrupt state like California.  It was pouring rain, 2 ppl did not show up for work and who else knows what the story was....but JD finally took his test and passed.  Perfect score and he has freedom and I have part of my life back!   Every Tue and Thur he goes to the Calculus Tutor and that was a 1 1/2-2 hour excursion and then soccer Mon and Wed + refereeing on the weekend. And now he can do it all alone!!   Of course there is the tremendous worry of him driving...but he is a good kid and I really trust him judgement. 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

44 and counting

Well the big day has come and gone....and well it was splendid!  All started on my birthday eve with a delivery of beautiful sunflowers with a card that said "from Russia with love"  My sweetie in Russia did not forget me.

I was up early, Zen does not get the "it's my birthday let's sleep in" and well I awoke to a variety of sings and notes all about the house. Everything from #1 Mom to Happy Birthday to You are the best....

JD and Riley did well!   Awesome start to the day and off to UCSD Masters.  Even though we had to to breastroke it was a decent swim.  But the better part was the Birthday ride with Jen. So much to catch up on from Kona to  Xterra Worlds (which are tomorrow in Maui- go Jen go!!!)  We planned coffee but I had to dash home and get cleaned up for my next birthday soiree.

Lunch in Rancho Sante Fe with Dad and Kathi.  Delightful lunch at Dolce Pane E Vino and we even shared a bottle of Sparkling Wine.  What's not to love about that!  

I did actually have some work to do so I had a few cappuccino's (post Sparkling Wine) and got to were a tad late from school and since JD is now driving (yes that is another story) I was starting to wonder. But alas...the strolled in with stunning flowers and GoodnPlenty's.   Just what I needed for the late afternoon lull....sugar! 

Next plans it was off to Chevy's....I love that place and it would be fast so the kids could get home to finish homework and we could all have some fun!  Mom and Billy, Marion, Amy and Andy and JD and Riley.  Good food, delicious Margarita and a great amount of fun!  gotta say my friends know me was Pee'ts coffee and Coffee's of Hawaii kind of a birthday!  Keep Julie caffeinated she is happier that way! And my loving Mom popped for the Zoot Compression Tri Shorts excited to take them for a spin. She and Billy were shaking their heads- seriously how can one pair of shorts cost so much $ and bring so much excitement.   See....hard to really understand from the picture and well they look better on me...maybe? maybe not, but the feel good any way.

Active Compression Tri Short

Birthday is not complete without a Sombrero and Happy Birthday!  And thanks to Mom for the special gluten free Peanut Butter and Chocolate Ice Cream Cake!!

Sensational day....I felt the love for sure from friends near and far (thanks to Facebook) 

And the beautiful thing about triathlon is that getting older is not so bad.....Even though I am now 44, come January I "age up" and race 45-49!  Yee Haw!  

Monday, October 18, 2010

A real hangover....

Recovery means feeding your body non inflammatory foods, getting extra sleep, lots of water, maybe some yoga and a massage.  Well sort of....recovery also means not stressing about what you are eating, if you are gong to bed early, what your workouts are the next day.....

Once I started to feel sort of normal I decided to cook some not so normal foods.  Try Frito Casserole- how scary is that....basically vegan veggie crumbles (ok not the real hamburger), cheese, black beans, Frito's. guacamole and more cheese in a dish in the oven. The kids loved it!  Ok so did I.  And well it is sort of Mexican so I had a few cervesa's.  So good..... 

Next night, twice baked potatoes.  Bake a nice healthy potato, hollow out the inside, add cheese, (supposed to be sour cream but I have my limits so I used yogurt), chives, bacon (real bacon for JD and me-none for Riley), salt and mix it all up and re bake them and add more cheese.  OMG beer tonight but yes a nice Chardonnay was perfect.   

Friday night one of my best friends was in town and we attended the US Grant's 100 year Anniversary Party. Nice shin dig with terrific wine and great company.... early on  I decided I was going to spend the night. I had a lot of people to catch up with and did not feel like waiting in line for food.  Not a good combo but we had a great time and then ventured into the Gaslamp for a sensational dinner and some girl time. But we were horrified at #1- how young everyone was (or how old we are) and #2- how ridiculously short and tight the dresses were- so most of these "kids" could be our daughters and we were so out of place...but we had an awesome time. I love you and miss you Beth!  Hate that she lives in VA!  

Saturday was a rough start,,,,so you know it is bad when I am taking salt tablets and electrolytes to help with last nights damage vs. a long work out.   JD was reffing and I had time to kill so I went for a nice run in the rain. Had to cap it at 30 min- yes coach I am committed to a good recovery- well sort of.   Coffee and the newspaper at Starbucks- what leisurely Saturday.   

Sat night was girls in the hood....Moms of Freshman Girls at the Dunkle House.  We have known each other since our girls were in 4th grade I think and some of us since pre-school. So fun....we ate delicious treats and talked about kids, life, name it.  I love these women and it was the perfect night. 

Sunday....Zen and I went for a rainy run...he protested at 15 min but I explained that we had a 30 min run allocated and we were doing it.  He cocked his head and came along and I gave him an extra scoop of food as a reward. Not sure he got the correlation but he was tired and full-  a perfect combo for a dog.

The weekend was getting to the spa with Marion!   More girl time (can you tell my hubby is suffering in Russia) yep I am sans husband.  Wonderful spa and then breakfast at the Broken Yolk.  Afternoon with Riley, poor JD was studying, and hanging at Mom's house.

Now I love a weekend where I go to bed at 8 and ride 100 miles on Saturday, rush to the kids games and relax Sat night and get up early Sunday for a 2 1/2 run....but well I loved this weekend too- just for a change and to really mix it up! 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Ironman hangover.....

Training and planing for Ironman takes over your life, house, family etc. It is all consuming and that is why I love it!  The bigger the volume the less gets done, ie I have Ironman House ie- a disaster.  I think my family secretly likes Ironman House because I am not nagging everyone to clean up.  My mission is to make dinner, stay awake during dinner which is the only family time we have with 2 busy teenagers, clean up and then survive until 8 and go to bed.  My loving husband....well not much left for him at the end of the day.  Sorry love.... Where are you now? Right Russia!

Finally taper comes and yee haw energy increases but the stress starts creeping in and I worry about getting hurt. Oh the garbage is too heavy, cannot work on that may get hurt and all my free time is spent thinking about the pending race.

And then you travel to where ever, happened to be Kona this time and spend a sensational week with good friends and complete an Ironman!  WooHoo.

But when the race is not what you hoped for, the feelings of post race disappointment begin to creep in.  Other than my first IM and my 3rd IMCdA (the best race ever), as time passes the disappointment creeps in. Monday morning quarter backing, coulda, shoula, woulda, what if?  

And that is where I am now.  Honestly I thought my only goal was to finish IM World Championships in a decent time- Done.  But when I look back, my bike split was slow.... my run even slower and so not to my potential.  So why?  Well 6 weeks out I was in a training fatigue hole like no other...could not sleep or function- not good.  Surrendered and brought back KP- thank goodness!  But I was forced to take time off or risk not making it to the starting line.  I did and my power came back, resting HR came down and things were looking up.  2 weeks out I felt great and had long forgotten about the place I was just in.

I had the time of my life in Kona, good friends, soaked up all the fun, no stress about how much leaner and faster everyone was (okay maybe a little since I had to mention it here). Just happy to be there and thankful to start the race!  I sat at the Awards Banquet so thankful to have the support of my family, flexible job and God given talent to get me there and it felt good.  But since then....not so good.  Too slow, unfinished business and not ready to end the season!

I should have a spring in my step and be wearing my finishers shirt every day....but I am not.  So what now...

Major race debrief, analyzing with KP- addressed a lot, still need to figure out the nutrition- I would love to say my run was so slow due to barfing and diarrhea but honestly my legs started to load up at mile 9- I could tell then I had to readjust my expectations.

Option 1- season over.  Drink up, Eat up. Have fun- take a break
Option 2- recovery wisely and put in a few weeks of work and line up at Ironman AZ!    Coach asked me if I am ok with a sub par finish in AZ?  Sure, no f'ing way! The goal of IMAZ is redemption, but is that possible.  Maybe I am only 50% out of the hole of fatigue....hard to say.  

I want to be excited about being done, chilling out, relaxing...but honestly I want to train and race again!

Ugh!  Well for the record this week looks a bit like this....Sunday Awards Dinner followed by party on our Lanai which included Pineapple rum, Kona beer, Chardonnay and a late night.  Braman was the leader of the pack....slamming pina coladas and the life of the party.  4 hours later when he had to get up to begin his 27hour trip to Russia he was not so perky.

Monday...long journey home but elected for  few drinks on the plane- major issue was no food. Ugh!  By the time I tried to buy food all the had left was Pringles- okay I know junk food is okay this week but could not do it.  Drank a carton of milk and took a nap.

Since being home... I am chilling with the kids- love those guys and so happy to be home.  We had Taco Casserole tonight- oh yea...cheese, corn chips, taco meat, chili's, salsa, avocado, onions, black beans all baked in a big dish.  Kids are loving life- cool mom chips in our dinner? I had 2 beers-I crack the 2nd one and JD says Mom, another?  Yeah baby, we are recovering...or whatever.

Last night was about fat and delicious.   Desert was fresh pineapple but we soon cracked open the chocolate chips and chowed on those.   Confession....few glasses of wine.

The mornings are the most unusual-only have to wake up to see the kids.  I have been making them breakfast and they are shocked...."really Mom I can butter my toast"  I offered waffles, but they reminded me they did not really have time for a sit down breakfast.

In addition I am battling a cold...let it run its course and no stress since I have no training...but well, I have to admit I did find myself checking out my road bike today. I am thinking a nice AM spin and a stop at Peets!  

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


The race is over and the nausea passes and it really set in….I did it, I competed and finished in the Ironman World Champions hips!   Tears are flowing and I soaked it all up.   Found John soon thereafter, well he found me. See I had a GPS Track My Athlete pod in my jersey and he could find me online.  So he navigated in the vicinity and started shouting my name.  He found my shoveling chocolate ice cream down my throat and peacefully sitting in the grass.

He likes to hurry along and I am well a bit wiped out.  So he is marching along with all my gear and keeps turning back looking at me, not saying come on damnit, but looking like he really wants to say it.  Ironman is a long day for spectators too…he was up at 3 and all over the course and does not have the benefit of adrenaline surging through him to keep him going.  He is tired and cranky.   Just past the finish they had a garbage can filled with ice water and poured a pitcher over my head a few times so I was actually feeling mildly clean. 

We found the car and then it was time to change and find Jen and Chuck who secured a table on a patio at a restaurant overlooking Alii.  It was nuts, music blaring, people screaming and Mike Reilly welcoming so many across the finish line.  I was so happy to be drinking a beer and eating the best tasking hamburger you can imagine.  The plan was to stay until midnight and wait for the last athlete but well the food and beer took its toll and John’s patience was up so we headed home around 11.

Taking a shower seems like it will be so awesome…but frankly everything hurts and after 11 hours in the Kona sun I was burned so the shower was more of a process.   We headed out to the Lanai and I had some time to reflect on the race….

My time was slow, certainly not what I had hoped for, but was not going to allow disappointment to squelch the feeling.  Truly I wanted to finish respectably and I accomplished that.   I was thinking about how many awesome people I have met since I did my first Ironman 3 years ago. That first IM I had my family and coach out there and I knew one other competitor.  In Kona I saw and cheered on 30+ fellow athletes who are friends, training partners, Erin Baker Teammates, Facebook friends and more.  And so many familiar faces on the sidelines….really is heartwarming to see how my triathlon “family” has grown.   That is what makes this sport so incredibly wonderful!!!  

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Ironman World Championships 2010

An adventure, a journey, a long day, awe-inspiring, intimidating, thrilling, friendships, terrifying, painful, exhilarating, rewarding, demoralizing, thirst, heat, intensity, patience, tolerance, support, celebration, emotion, and finally accomplishment…. There are just some of the thoughts and feelings that come to surface when reflecting on Kona 2010.

The day begins at 3am with Ironman.  Lucky for us, we were in bed by 6:30.  Sticking to California time was key for this and our household managed to do it well.  The alarm goes off and the calm resting HR immediately skyrockets as the brain process, this is the day of Ironman.  And not just any Ironman THE Ironman.  Coffee is on and the house comes alive.  Within minutes Jen, Chuck and I are sitting around the table drinking coffee and beginning the morning ritual of loading up on calories before the long day begins.  We are still full from dinner and the thought of more is not a pleasurable one.  Liquid calories are the way to go Glucerna and Pediasure- calories and vitamins, slowly going down. 

By 4 we are off. Jen and Check in the hot convertible mustang and me following the Jeep Wrangler. Pitch dark down Alii to the Queen K and Jen  is taking turns at 50- I fear my day will be over before it begins as I roll the jeep into a ditch. 

We park and begin walking down Alii; all is quiet and very dark.  The jumbotron is up at the finish and the music is soft by building with the hour.   Pictures of 2009 are displayed.  100’s and 100’s in the street are descending along the pier. You walk around the Queen K hotel and drop off special needs and then to body marking.  Flood lights everywhere and the energy are building.  With your number on, the race has begun.   Around the lot and onto the pier, athletes only and time to recheck T1 and T2 bags, fill the tires and check out the bikes.  Millions of dollars in bikes and gear is stacked on the pier.  My mind is quite as I walk by and see Crowie checking out his bike.  How cool is it that we line up with just like the Pro’s. 

The mood is serene, it is dark.  As the sun creeps up the announcing beings and the music is louder and the energy is flowing.  I find Amy and we sit on the pier and talk, just like 2 friends hanging out on a nice morning.  It was awesome, so normal, yet, not. 

Before we know it we are linking up, skin suits on the pro’s are ready to go.  They announcer says Chrissie has pulled out….the pier goes quite as this news settles on the crown.  The 3 time World Champion is not going to start the race…..Wow. 

Soon we are making out way to the water and I am so thankful to be with Amy and shuffling along.  Holy cow, we are doing it!   I see KP and final good luck and I am in the water.  Deep water start and I am ready for a dog fight.  I swim to the middle and start 2 rows back.  The Kona swim was all it promises to be, arms, fists, elbows and white water for the 2.4 miles.  My plan is stay calm, don’t get upset and swim with confidence.  Coming back when the pier is in sight on the left the mind begins to transition from the swim to the bike.

Running up the stairs there are 1000’s of people screaming along the sea wall, in transition, it is mayhem into T1.  Quick change and it is along run around the pier to the bikes and then to the bike mount.  I wiped out last year so I am carrying my shoes and rolling my bike.  Hop and you are off and into the screaming crowds and up and off Alii.  There is about 10 miles of and out and back before you settle onto the Queen K for the ride out to Kawaihi and then to Havi.  Temperature is good, hot and humid but not oppressive like last year.  I settle in, my HR is spot on (not 15 beats high like 2009) and I start the 2nd leg of the journey.  My plan is to ride conservatively, the goal for today is not a PR but to finish this race.  The hardest part on the way out is keeping my steady pace with the 100’s of people passing me.  Swimming near the front has its advantages and disadvantages…. Nutrition is spot on and I am very comfortable.  As we make the turn to  the 18 mile climb to Havi the wind picks up significantly and we are climbing into the wind and that is continuous and the only relief are the cross winds.  Terrifying crosswinds sit up and hang on crosswinds, cannot take my hands off my bars to drink crosswinds.  Finally Havi and the turnaround….and downhill and bigger crosswinds.  I was blown many times across the road. I have never been so scared. I was so scared I was actually begging for a head wind- anything but these crosswinds. Those with better bike handling skills dropped aero and flew, I was just too scared.  Beth was my inspiration on this tough section….she is significantly smaller than I and while she is a tremendous athlete her bike handling skills can use some work.  I kept thinking if Beth can do this, so can I.  So thanks you mate for the strength to get me down.

The ride back to town was good- I was feeling strong and I knew my split was slow, but I was in control of this day.  I picked it up the last 90 minutes it felt good physically and mentally to finally pass some of those who dropped me.

Before I knew it was flying down back to Alii, slipping my feet out my shoes and ready to dismount.  The saintly volunteers whisked my biked away in its filth and grime and back on the long run around the pier to T2.   I am feeling 100% in T2 over last year, huge sigh of relief.  

Out the path and onto the run.  The first 9 miles of this run are awesome.  Running down Alii with lots of people, feeling good and I am optimistic for a good day. So nice to see so many familiar faces cheering on the road and so many good friends out on the course.  With the out and back you see a lot of people, we ran right by our house and I had no interest in sneaking in for a nap.  I am feeling good and soaking up the amazing experience this is.

Around mile 9 the glory started to fade, the legs began to heavy and I could feel this was going to get tough.  The Queen K is a hot, lonely, miserable place to run.  And that is where I was when I began to fade.  John, the most supportive husband out there, was riding along side alternating with words of encouragement and utter bossiness’, get ice, drink water, more ice, and put it on your head, ice down your shorts.  

As I hit mile 18 my pace slowed significantly and I was miserable. The race was not longer about what will my time be but how can I finish.  Porta pottie stop 1 and I thought that was all I needed, cleaned out my stem and was back on the road.   Heading into the Energy Lab (what an ironic name- the energy lab is hot, lonely without spectators and is 1.6 miles downhill only to turn around and run back up) I could tell my stomach was not settled and the inevitable was coming.  Puked and felt a bit better and I am shuffling along, just getting it done.  I test my stomach with water, came back up.  Tried coke, returned a well. So the next few miles nothing and now I am really slowing down and walking. Cannot do an Ironman in Kona without nutrition and hydration.   KP had recommended Glucose tabs in special needs, which is at mile 18 but the way, I could be dead by then.  In any case they saved me.  I was able to keep them down and slog along.  

I exit the energy lab to see John and I am about to puke, in tears and cursing the island of Hawaii.  Shortly I see KP and I am now screaming I HATE HAWAII, I HATE KONA AND YOU CANNOT PAY ME TO DO IRONMAN ARIZONA.  Okay done with that and slog along.  I can do this, 1 mile at a time.  Okay mile 22 and I am feeling like I can do this.  KP rides up and says, you really only have 3 miles as the last mile is “free” with all the crowds.  Of course mile 23 is uphill….stomach is rebelling and I am going on fumes at this point- really don’t want to puke or stop for a porta pottie again.   Finally I am at the top at an excruciating slow pace and I hit Pilani and the street is packed and people are screaming, waving cow bells.

Yes, this is my free mile…downhill, ouch, ouch, ouch and then we make a left turn, away from the finish line onto a totally deserted street.  I am cursing KP, this is not a free mile, this sucks.  Nothing like running away from all the action and finally after what seemed like 5 miles you turn right and drop down to the infamous Alii Drive. 

The streets are lined with people 10 deep, screaming at the top of their lungs, cow bells, booming music and the booming voice of Mile Reilly.  I am now crying out of sheer pain, exhaustion and joy. Running down this shoot has been a dream for a long time and to actually be doing it is surreal.  I see a guy ahead and decide to sprint and catch up but about 20 yards away I decide how crappy to run by him and ruin his picture so I run across and do the victory arms in the air and hear those magical words….JULIE DUNKLE YOU ARE AN IRONMAN! 

And then….it all got bit fuzzy for a bit.


Friday, October 8, 2010


Bags are packed....and for those who don't do Ironman what that means is a lot of anxiety and stress!  When you check in you get a packet and in the packet is a roll of plastic draw string bags color coded and with your race number.  

Dry Clothes Bag- this is where you put your clothes in after you get to the race at 4:00 am and finally get ready to start at 7am...what ever you were wearing and whatever you want after the race.
Bike Bag- helmet, bike shoes, race number. sunglasses, and anything else you want on the bike
Run Bag- running shoes, hat, salt tablets etc
Special needs bike- near the 1/2 way point on the bike they give you your bag with your number if you need anything- ppl put in more food, extra calories
Run special needs- same as bike but 1/2 way

Why is this meas the race is about to happen!   All this is done the day before so you have to plan well.  

Big is checked in and ready to roll......

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Kona at last....

Well the big show is a few days away and I am calm, collected and thoroughly enjoying Kona.  We got in Wednesday without much hassle and settled in nicely.  I arrived before John, long story there, and that gave me time to register and drop off my gear at  our very funky Bungalow.  We are right on Alii-3.5 miles from the Pier (start of the race) and on the run course.  Place is terrific- 2 bedroom and 2 bath and a terrific Lanai overlooking the ocean.  Hard to not love it here.

John dropped me at the Ironman Village so I could get my bike and go for a ride. I followed the course as I will on Saturday and headed out the Queen K.  Nice tail wind heading toward Havi and I knew what that meant...when I turned around to ride back I was hit with the wall of wind.  Strong reminder of last year.  Temperature is hot and humid but not unbearable.  Felt good to ride and be out there.

It is absolutely crazy race week, 100's upon 100's of athletes are riding on the Queen K and running Alli....all hours of the day. From early AM to after dark.  Getting the stiffness of travel out, working out last the pent of energy of tapering, trying to imagine how it  will be and more...Some look like they are hammering- gotta wonder or want to say, hello....race day is around the corner, really save it.

Hit the grocery store.....everything is double here- and had a nice dinner of Quinoa, veggies and organic chicken (I literally had to grab the last package before the guy next to me picked it up)   Jen and Chuck arrived, long trip from Tulsa....and we had a terrific welcome to Kona dinner on the lanai.

Up at 3am.....bummer this is not race day- but well that was 6am CA time- time to get up and take Zen out- oh wait, he is not here.  So tried to relax and stayed vertical until 5 and finally gave up and got up.  Ahhhh Kona coffee on the lanai and getting some work done.  Finished all I could and headed to the coveted Kailua Bay....beautiful, clear water and it was packed! Another good reminder of race day...swimming with 1800 of your new friends.  After 10 minutes though the water was clear and I could really enjoy the swim.  Out of the water and off on a run on  Alii. Legs are coming around feeling good so that is a nice feeling  indeed.  

Coffee with Amy and then a massage.....did I tell you my life does not suck!  I'm telling you.  Headed back to finish working and cannot complain.  RnR and then off to the Erin Baker Team dinner.

Being back for the 2nd year is a lot less stressful. I know where I am going, have scoped out where to park, where I like to run, where the bathrooms are and all that good stuff. And it is so fun to walk down Alii and see familiar faces.  The streets are packed with really lean, veiny, fit people.   I am trying to appreciate it all and not get overly intimidated and look at everyone as being leaner, faster and in my age group.

John took off for a 3 hour ride with KP..that was up 8 hours ago.  Received a message he was leaving looks like he is riding the Ironman course... will see how is preview ride went.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Taper time.....

So I am diligent about completing all workouts as written and if anything..more than less. If it says 60 minute run and I heading down my street at 57, I will run around the park to make sure I get to 60 minutes.  Same on the bike and swim..... Whatever just who I am.

But come taper's funny, and only when I am a week out, I take liberty in skipping some workouts, doing less etc.  So today... Open Water swim on the schedule which is a great idea since I have not been in the Ocean since Santa Barbara and that was for 1000M and before that is was like June.  1 hour OW swim was perfect....except I had a terrible night sleep, it was really foggy and cold and I decided to have coffee and take the dog for a walk with my husband.  Yeah, that will help me on that 2.4M swim in uh 6 days.  And  it was not even like I could do it later...I had a soccer game and a million errands to do before I leave.  Run- yes did that and extended it a bit.  Since it was cold and well it's hot in Kona I had on tights, 2 shirts and a fleece vest. Overkill...maybe.  It was 68, not 50 degrees.  I run up along a friend in the Canyon sweating like someone going through heroin withdrawal and she just looked at me. I calmy explained what I was doing and she says..."yeah I thought you were  a bit overdressed."  I am sure as I ran away, she is thinking "nutcase"  Oh well it worked for me.

Had a ride on the schedule and that I was sure I would do later...but well it is 7:30 and dark and really it's not going to happen.  But I did hang out Riley, had a hilarious shopping trip to Costco- serious giggles and fun.  And a great dinner and post dinner with JD and Riley with random jokes, laughing and serious good family time.  Oh did I mention I took a nap at 5- yeah all this training it wearing me out.  Nice to have that solid family connection before I take off for a week. 

I am 99% packed!  Yeah baby....well done.  Few things to do tomorrow but all in all in good shape!  Trying to reduce the stress.  Driving to UCSD for my BIG 45 min swim tomorrow only so I can do my really long (not) ride with Jen so we can hang out.  Heck without the hours of riding we are so behind. The 1 hour spin last week was just not sufficient....

Hard to read all the FB posts from (what seems like) everyone already in Kona!  But well.... I would not have traded the fun today with my kids to have been on a stunningly beautiful tropical island.. really would not.  Okay maybe I thought about it....