Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Mako, mako, mako......Chick Magnet!

If any single guy out there is wondering how to kick up his social life..... get a puppy!   Any place I go with Mako I attract throngs of females.   No exaggerations.... girls flock to him and all go "ooooohhhhhhh"   and then ask if they can pet him, hold him etc.   It is quite amusing....

Before you rush out and get a puppy.....consider you will not sleep more than 3 hours at a time, you have to keep the house really clean (even though the puppy will trash it), you have to be home with him 100% of the time (at least for now), and he costs a lot of money....

Now for the pros's...he is by far the cutest pup ever (okay maybe we are a bit partial), he is smart- 7 days and he is nearly housebroken- no newspapers, no pads....just a lot of watching and as soon as he "looks like" he has to go we scoop him up and run him outside.  We did this about every 30 minutes....but it worked!   We have to keep the doors open- thankfully we live in SD and it is not winter yet, but we will have a dog door soon.   He is more fun than imaginable...snugly, wild, crazy, and in love with Zen.

  Here Zen is very tolerant....not always. Mako would love to curl up with Zen all the time but Zen is not too keen on that.    We have these giant pillow beds for Zen and well seems Mako has claimed them.

All Mako has to do it approach the bed and Zen runs away....so sad he is already the Alpha dog.   We are hoping as Zen gets bigger he will "appreciate" Mako and begin to have fun with him.  Time will tell.

In the meantime...trying to sleep, trying to work and trying not to play with Mako all day :)

Ironman- what's that....Oceanside is a long ways away. Pretty sure this off season thing is really going to stick this time.   Between lack of sleep and not being able to leave the house...makes it tough to do much!

Although..... I have ridden a few times with my girlies....good fun on the road bike and no gages.  Few early runs with Zen and 1 swim.  Not a total slug but close....and the diet (not as in trying to lose weight) but what I am consuming... probably too much beer and candy corns- but well I am making up for lost time!

Hate to make this a dog training blog,...but I am spending more time training Mako than I am me.  Next up- leash training, how to sit, better manners (flying leaps with stick in his mouth is cute now but not so much in a few months), better sleeping - although his bladder really needs to get bigger and start to learn to be left alone.  He is happy with his crate, as long as we are near by, it is not in the car and it is not dark (okay we have a ways to go on crate training) but that is where he will hang in the beginning when we leave- too many risks around the house- he nearly committed suicide playing with the iron, loves any and all cords, small anything (yummy)...we hope to avoid a $5000 vet surgery in the near future, well actually ever.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Mako or Ironman....

We have been talking about getting a puppy for years.....but only talking.  See we rescued 2 wonderful labs- Rocky (RIP) and Zen now 8. Both are wonderful dogs but were troubled, abused, left and inherently wonderful dogs.  In fact I'm not sure there will ever be another Rocky to me.   I digress....so when we lost Rocky we vowed no more dogs, enjoy Zen, live it up etc.

Okay well the adorable picture sort of gives the story away..... I have never had a puppy, Okay, not never, but I was 8, so not really.  Face it when a beautiful purebred Labrador ends up at lab rescue it is not because he is a stellar dog... at least not at the time.  So we rescued, reformed and have had 2 wonderful dogs.  But I decided that the next time, I was starting from scratch, or close to it. And that my friends means a puppy,

Timing is everything...no possible way can we have a puppy during IM training- cannot leave the house for ore than  a few hours in the beginning,  Light bulb goes off- coach has been after me for 3 years now to take a proper off-season.  Stop training, gain weight, get out of shape....I always promise to do so and am good on that for a few weeks and then out hammering again. So really, does it take a puppy for keep me at bay?  shamefully, maybe.  Hey better than a baby (at least for me)

So once the idea culminated the discussion was what kind....I really wanted another black lab (just like Rocky) but wanted to get one from a breeder.  Okay, I know, why buy a dog when so many are homeless and need a home...blah, blah, blahs- start reading at the top- I rescued 2 dogs! And one was  train wreck....was rejected by 2 others and we saved good ol Zen. So yes, now I am selfish.  After all this dog will be left when my kids go to college -  My other selfish reason for going through a breeder is that  I want a good running dog so I need to know the genealogy.  Rocky was a great runner, logged some 18 mile runs. Zen not so much...more of a miler kind of a dog.  I want a companion in the trails.

Okay so back to the black lab....seems a "real" black lab is the English Lab  - those are the ones breeders breed, well I like the American Lab- less boxy, smaller frame and cuter (IMHO) so I was stuck....cannot find a real breeder of an American Black Lab... so I resorted to Runners World for best running dogs. Germain Short hair Pointer or Vizsla.  I looked at GSP and well...they just don't do it for me- no attraction.  But the Vizsla....now they are cute!  and rare and expensive.... classic Julie for you.

So we found our breeder based on timing...I want the pup 1 week post Kona if possible....and magically, Mako was born  8 weeks ago and ready (well sort of ) to come home this weekend.

Big family trip to Alpine to pick our baby... you get to pick your pup in the order you made your deposit. Of the 14 puppies (yes 14) there were 11 boys and we were # 9, we laughed that the fat one, the run and lame one would be left.  We were close, but big one (who was adorable but a slug- although now I'm thinking that would have been a good thinking) the Runt (Mako) and one in the middle that was wickedly wild...more than Monster (I mean Mako)

He slept like a baby in the car and it has been a massive introduction in our house....where are is 13 bothers and sisters and his Mama?  Zen pretty much ignores him except when he is eating...this runt can eat and eat.   So we are potty training- at 8 weeks they can old it 30 min to 2 hours... that is a lot of running outside with him. 

He is a bundle of energy and then passes out..... into everything and we have to watch him like  a hawk.  We take him out to pee and he comes in and if you take your eyes off him..he is in the corner going. No poops inside...he does a crazy dance and we have gotten him out each time.

So maybe 4 hours of sleep last night, lots of up and and down the stairs....we are crate training him so no papers to pee on at night.  Training.....hardly.... he is going to be my off season!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Random thoughst on Kona

  • Love the Island, love the town, love Ironman ....need to find a way to love the Ironman in Kona
  • Kona Coffee is the best especially Coffees of Hawaii
  • Swim up  coffee bar is a highlight of the week   (well maybe 2nd to running down Alii at the finish)
  • I am so thankful for all the friends I have met in this sport....so amazing to see them all in Kona!
  • More sunscreen next time!  My back is molting right now
  • Wish I had not donated my orthotic to the Island Gods
  • Nutrition plan?  Taking suggestions on one that keeps my fluids in my body!
  • Blister prevention- actually I have all the aids but used none of them- why?  I'm stupid sometimes
  • Kona is HOT!
  • Euro's shopping in speedo's is funny
  • TYR;s new Special Ops Goggles ROCK!! Polarized, NO Goggle marks and they are the best...available in 2012 - look for them
  • Half Ass Donkey Balls (frosted) are as good as sex
  • 4 Ironman Athletes, 2 athletes not racing but riding and 2 teenagers can eat and drink ALOT in a week!
  • Ron Tribendous's wife is a saint.... 8 3/4 months pregnant and she wanted Ron to come and race in Kona- she deserves an easy birth with this kid
  • There are some really fast people in Kona
  • There are a lot of really nice people in Kona and a few not so nice
  • Less wind means it is much hotter! 
  • Craig Alexander is a good guy!
  • Mike Reilly's induction into Ironman Hall of Fame at the Awards Ceremony was awesome
  • The swim in Kona is the toughest of any Ironman
  • Doing Vegas 70.3 and Kona is not a good idea (for me anyway)
  • Seeing the pro's in front is inspirational but seeing the ones in the back suffering and gutting it out is also inspirational -they have bad days too
  • For $600+ to race I want MORE Porta Potties....have to wait in line is just not fair- Garmin says 6+ minutes in idle time :)
  • Biestmilch wins the award for viral marketing....create the demand, give out swim caps and very cool t-shirts. How many people really know they are pimping "colostrum or the foremilk, this quintessentially natural substance, which is produced by the mammary glands of all female mammals "  Have not tried it but love my shirt
  • World Bicycle Relief is a cool org.....and brilliant with the marketing- nice pink and green t-shirts with the number 89,707.  What does that mean, everyone asks? # of bikes given away to date
  • Can everyone come to Kona 10lbs heaveir next year vs leaner and faster?  Just asking

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Ironman World Championships

This is a long one…. Amazing what a 5+ hour flight allows for

Kona is a special place….it is a competing of the best in the World and I am truly humbled and grateful to line up toe to toe with so many amazing athletes.  This was our 3rd year in Kona and by far the best trip.  Having the entire family was both memorable and great fun!  Staying with great friends who were also racing really adds to the excitement and builds the energy for the big day.  Our house was a few miles from the start but not down Alii which is where all the activity is, it was up ( and I mean up – as in Torrey Pines x2 up)  a hill in a very quiet neighborhood.   At first I was disappointed we were so isolated but in the end we really enjoyed it.   A house full of athletes meant we were in bed by 8 and often up by 5am…never really adjusting to the time zone- which was intentional for race day. 
We cooked in most nights, big family cooking, had a bbq with other friends one night, went to a terrific dinner hosted by Zoot and then pre-race we ate our own pre-race meals…..

The real fun of staying with other athletes is when the alarm goes off at 3am and you are not the only one getting up! The coffee was prepped and that was the first thing to get going.  Next stocking piling calories- most of us had to get down around 1200 calories by 4am, mind you we had eaten a large dinner at 6pm the night before.  So eating was not really what we wanted to do.  For me- Pamela’s Gluten Free Pancakes – one giant pancake (i.e. 700 calories) slathered with almond butter, banana and honey.   Chased that with lots of coffee, PowerAde and we were ready to roll at 4:30.
Housmates ready to race!
We have a secret parking spot so there is not race day stress of where park…and we were in transition by 4:50.  It is very dark and the energy is low….bright flood lights as you enter body marking and it is very organized- no random sharpie on your arm.  You had a station with your range of numbers and they use stamps. Team of 2 with the block letters.  Dropped off our special needs bags (this is extra food, drinks etc. you drop in bins and they will be given to you ½ through the bike and run) and onto the pier where the bikes are.  I reconnected with Ron and we put our bottles on the bikes, checked computers, pumped up tires, last final prep.  The energy is lifting now for sure…still dark and we see Jen and Chuck.

At this point we are ready and decide to chill out and sit down…. It starts getting surreal at this point.   As you start to realize what is ahead- a long day and the butterflies are active.   Here is where I started to worry a bit- this was my first year not doing another Ironman early in the season- someone that started to give me doubts…I squashed those soon.
Michelle Simmons...blog land friend

It seemed like minutes passed and we were suited up and heading to the water… so here is the big dilemma- where to start- center (this is where I usually start in an IM but too chicken in Kona), near the pier or left of the car (yes floating car)…. I ended up starting pier side.   We are treading water, hula dancers on the rocks and the drums are playing- an absolute surreal place to be.  1800 athletes in the water and 1000’s of people spectating.  This is it! 

Chatoic swim start
Cannon goes off. And holy hell breaks loose.  Kicking, fighting and absolute chaos toward buoy.  In most races this eases up with 500 yards but in Kona it is a dog fight for nearly a mile…. I was pulled under once, gulped a lot of water, swam over many times and had a tough time getting a rhythm.  I finally settled in and it is a long swim. But sure enough pretty soon you start to hear the announcer and see the pier and start mentally transitioning for the bike!

Up the ramp and onto the pier- very dizzy standing up after swimming hard for an hour.  In and out of transition and onto the bike. Riding out of the bike the streets are lined and people are screaming….Lots of shouts of my name and support for Nytro.  10 miles of an out and back and then through town and before too long you are on the Queen K and it gets quiet and the race really begins.  Ride was fine out to Kawaihi – around mile 40 is usually a low point for me, I have been riding 2 hours, not working really hard but am feeling like I have been out there and I realize  I still have 70 miles to go…a long way!
Kona is a special place but the ride is not so special
Lava, lava, lava

Winds are not bad at all, eating and drinking- left at Kawaihi and up to Havi- 18 mile climb and our first headwind of the day.  Slow climb and long haul…finally Havi, special needs and downhill – seems the descent from Havi goes by in 20 minutes…. So fast and then back towards Kawaihi.  I am sticking to my power guidelines but getting passed by everyone….. I stick with my race, but still a bit demoralizing.   I am feeling good at this point and pick it up a bit.  The last 30 miles is straight on the Queen K in a headwind and as far as you can see are cyclists……it is a long haul and where it gets uncomfortable- back and neck are aching from being aero so long, legs are fatiguing and rear end is ready to get off the bike! 

Airport is a good sign. 7 miles to go. Energy Lab…. 6 miles to go and now I can see the pro men running out on the marathon- I try not to think about the fact they are on mile 10+ of the run and I am still on my bike.  Riding into  T2 is great….packed with people and lots of energy.  I feel pretty good….off my bike and my legs are definitely more rubbery that I would like- bit worried.  Long run to T2 and I am not in a hurry….

Sitting in T2, deep breaths, mentally preparing for the marathon. And out I go…see the kids – nice to see their happy faces- Mile 1 is tough…. I am a bit worried here.  The first 10 miles of the run are awesome- down Alii with crowds and you get to see everyone.  By mile 3 I am feeling better and am not so worried.   Focused on my HR and pace and settling in for the run.  At mile 10 you run up a steep hill and out onto the Queen K- it is hot and lonely and this is where my race fell apart last year.  I am feeling okay, but I have made 2 porta potties stops (not so pretty but I am thinking I must be empty) I take 3 Imodium and hope for the best.  5 stops in total but after mile 17 no more….so while it was dehydrating and depleting it did stop thankfully.   Approaching the Energy Lab is where I really slowed down, my feet were blistering, and my tending throbbing and I am not having fun. Down 1.5 miles where there are no crowds…. Into special needs and I sit down, pull off both shoes and socks and lather my feet in aquaporin.  My biggest blister is forming under my orthotic so I rationally throw it out as on offering to the Hawaiian Gods.  I am back on my feet and trudging along…..  This is my low, low point…… I see a lot of friends and they are all so positive. I exit the lab near tears and John is there with so much encouragement and Kevin is there soon after.

I walk a bit and KP tells me to suck it up and dig….. ugh!  I rally for a few miles and pick up the pace but soon slow again but I kept running one mile at a time counting my steps to 100 and starting over.  Forcing glucose tabs and coke to keep it going. 

Finally I crest the final hill and head down Pilani…1 mile to go.   And you can hear the crowd, feel the energy and this is when the emotion hits….. Running down Allii with 1000’s of people screaming at the top of their lungs is really surreal.    Next I here Mike Reilly says “we are approaching 11 hours; let’s get these athletes in…”  Okay final sprint to break 11! 

Thank goodness…… I am done and even when the race is not a PR or my best……it is so tremendously rewarding to be done! 

Nutrition plan
·        Pre-Race: 1200 calorie pancake, almond butter and banana +3 cups coffee, 22 oz. PowerAde Zero
·        Bike- 1400 calories – all power bars
o   Guzzling water and drenching at ever aid station- great for cooling down body, not so great for sunscreen- I am fried!
·        Run- PowerAde ever mile until diarrhea started and switched to coke and glucose tabs, even ate a few pretzels….

Final thoughts…PR in Kona (but was also less windy this year), not an IM PR
·        Swim- decent- but want to be swimming 58
·        Bike- happy with bike split
·        Run….HELP ME!!!!!  Seriously 30 minutes slow…… need to STOP dying out there in the Queen K and NOT spend 6+ minutes in Porta Potties – WTC seriously, you need MORE Port Potties- 1 o 2 with that many athletes in need…come-on we paid $600 – more potties please!

Thanks to my adoring family!!!  JD and Riley were all over the course on mopeds, made signs for all of us, wrote our names in chalk near the Energy Lab, John rode many miles and said all the right thingsJ, KP for making me suck it up and get out the shovel to dig deep and of course NYTRO for all your support this year, Brand Betty for making us look so cool and Zoot for letting us in your Tribe!   And thanks to everyone who called my name and said “you look strong” even when I was hardly moving and possibly crying.  I do love this sport and all the great people!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Let's Get it Done

Really it is happening!! Today is the day.... #3 Ironman World Championship race for me.  Less nervous than the last 2 times and feeling pretty good!  It has been an amazing week + with the family and many moments of feeling like I was merely on vacation with intermittent oh sh#t I have an Ironman to do.   We are staying with a great group of friends so I have had great company on the taper week swim.bike.run workouts and plenty of company at 3am eating and drinking before the race.

Hoping for a great day but looking for a fun day!!