Monday, October 27, 2014

The other side of racing

I make it a point to volunteer at at least 1 race per year and try for 2...but this year I only make to one.  I am so appreciative of the many who are out there race after race making it happen- THANK YOU!!!

I signed up for Oceanside Lifetime Tri last weekend and emailed the race director and said put me where you need me.....return email says T1- report for duty 4am.  Um...are you sure you don't need me at say 8am?  

3am alarm and I pick up GrooveTri teammate Gina, who greeted me with a hot cup of Costa Rican coffee! And off we went.... In T1 by 4:03.

We started with body marking which is great way to see a lot of friends and well lets just say M20-24 are okay to write on.... just sayin.  After that we moved to sign girls- we held up the wave signs and it was great. Talking and hanging out while THEY got to be nervous and jump in the water.  We saw the pro me and women enter and exit swim (crazy fast) and it was inspiring to see Olympians out there.

Once we were done with the signs we booked it for hot coffee-as we were freezing....yes freezing.  After months of heat it was down right chilly.

Final work was gathering bags in T1. With a split transition the athletes were supposed to, NOTE SUPPOSED, to put wetsuit, cap, goggles - their gear in the plastic bag.  We would then tie it off and put in right box to be transported to the finish where they gather the gear.  

I will say 80% did it right....the other 20%...
1- when  you leave your gear laying on the ground- my thought was I'd leave it there too,  You cheated....sorry your competitors took the time, all of 20 seconds, to bag their gear as instructed.  I am fairly sure if their gear was left in T1 they would NOT do that again
2- if you are going to bring 1, 2 or even 3 towels for your transition area DON'T leave them all nasty and wet for me... cause I bagged them up for you.
3- here is what I found most amusing in T1
    - Caviar jar- WTF? salt, quick snack?
    - Pyrex dish with Quinoa salad - hello this is an Oly race?  really did you sit down and eat it
    - hair brush- who brushes their hair before putting on a bike helmet?
    - full transition backpacks filled with 10lbs of gear?  what was in those bags?  and what don't you understand about USE the race bags ONLY. 

I am a rule follower...when they say put your wetsuit and all wet gear in the bag or it will not be transported- I do that!   

Thank you for all that did and for those that did not..... you are lucky there are nicer volunteers! 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Social Media...

I like social media....yes you see my Facbook and Twitter fun,  but I have 2 good stories...

1: OOFOS the best flip flops ever!!!  "They are designed to jumpstart the recovery process, our incredible footwear offers unparalleled impact absorption and arch support. Whether you've just finished running, playing, lifting, or just a long day, keep in mind that the last step is the most important."   The shoes are wicked comfortable and don't hurt my plantar fasciitis which is gone btw... (blog on PF still coming)  I was told NO FLIP FLOPS but these shoes, when my PF was bad, were the most comfortable shoe I could wear.  So there..... and they are still the MOST comfortable shoes I own.

Any way I now own 4 pairs of flip flops and 1 pair of Oofos Clogs (yes they make clogs)  So back to the story...Roo Roo has been in love with my Oofos since she came home and I dillignely put them away or up when I take them off.  Last wekeend , when they were alone oviously for too long  she helped herself to my Plum Oofos and I came home to this. Eaten Oofos,,,,  I yelled and yelled and Roo and she rolled on her belly and wagged her tail.  Meanwhile Mako was cowering in the corner... #sensitiveMako.

So for fun I took a picture and tweeted to +OOFOS  "can you make a Roo proof Ooofso?"  And I got a reply... " email us " I did with my Roo story and was thriled when they wrote back... "send us your size, color and adddress and we will replace them" Bam!! Love it!!

In return I have to tweet a picture of shaming be on the look out for Roo shamed!  

#2 +Starbucks Coffee at 6:30 Saturday AM on my way to coaching an IMAZ race Simulation I hit Starbucks and there were 2 custimes, 1 barrista and 1 guy slowly stocking yogurt. I stood at the counter while he metholically stocked yogurt and the barrista make 4 drinks for customer 1 and took customer #2's order and began on his drink.  9 minutes have now passed.  Yes I looked at my watch as I did not want to be late.  I suggested Cliff take my order and he held up the 1 minute finger and slowly contininuntied stocking yogurt.   I could have unloaded my entire car filled with yogurt  by time he finsished.  So I make a note on Starbucks FB page how about the 14 min wait while Cliff stocked yougurt...  

Message in my inbox asking for details, store number, recap of "incident" and name of offender.  24 hours later circled back, "we have shared your customer service issue with the store and district manager and thank you for speaking up"  Free drink coupons are on the way.....

Any way.....I like when companies pay attention and take action! 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Kona 2014

Groove Tri Girls ready to rock Kona
in Betty Designs kits

Kona 2014

Friday Dinner was copious amounts of fresh pasta with small amount of steamed spinach, EVO and generous amount of Parmesan cheese.  All consumed by 5pm while sipping on Osmos Pre Load (nasty tasting concoction)  And to make it worse, Les whipped up a pineapple, Malibu rum concoction for Geoff and I was salivating. Literally.  And I licked the blender.  

2 Sleep Aid + 1 Melatonin and I was horizontal at 7 and asleep by 7:30. I slept great, other than 2 bathroom breaks it was solid sleep until 3.  UP and at em.. Les was up and chatty and we were starting the day.  12 cups of coffee going, Les had a potatoes in the oven and I whipped up a large batch of GF pancakes.  Start the eating fest…1500 calories later- pancakes, butter, syrup and a bit of almond butter and it was a delicious feast.
We rolled out the door 4:35 and Alii was eerily quiet.  The jumbo tron and finish line was up and it is the calm before the storm.  Pre- race is fun with friends… we filled bottles, peed, checked out bikes, added stuff to bags and then all fond each other on the grass for some Groove chill time. 

The start this year was different… 6:25 males pros, 6:35 female pros, 6:50 AG men and 7:00 AG Women.  In the past I have seen the pro start from the pier and the entered the water….this time women were held back and we missed the navy seals parachuting in to the water etc.  Men were off and we were still on the pier… as soon as the canon went off women entered the water. 
500 women vs 2000 is very different…while it was calmer I did miss the chaos of the churning water as we (in years past) treaded water for 20+ minutes.  Cannon off and we went. Dog fight chaos only lasted for 200 yards to the Body Glove turn around in years past. But it was not smooth water from there on out… we  were overtaking the slower male swimmers and the further I swam the more I encountered swimming diagonally and the number of idiots  athletes who stop to check their Garmin at the turn around. DON’T STOP during the swim…. if you cannot glance underwater or while swimming JUST KEEP GOING.  And to the chick who touched me feet every 3-5 stroke for 2 miles – I could KILL you!   Nobody touches my feet, not even my husband, so she was pissing me off.  But all in all, it was a great swim... Kailua Bay is stunningly beautiful and clear, you can see the bottom 25+ feet, perfect temperature and although some minor swells nothing to worry about. This is by far my favorite part of the day

1:01 swim- I was happy! Roka Viper Skinskin- ROCKED!  Once I wrestled it around my hips it was great…no chafing or rubbing and comfortable.
T1 was wicked fast and on the bike.  The first 7 miles is in town and a lot of fun – looking all around, crowds and Ironman excitement.  Then we hit the Queen K and well this is when this race begins.  Hot- yes.  Humid –yes.  Windy- yes.  I settled in and was sluggish but knew my legs would come around.  By mile 12 it was apparent there was a big head wind…..well fighting a headwind is okay as long as you get the tail wind.  38 miles to Kawaiha and I was struggling to hit my watts vs Whistler where I was holding back, but I was on target and HR as where it should be.  Nearing Kawaihi the crosswinds hit hard and this was scary and relentless.  With the turn towards Havi we now were climbing with headwinds and crosswinds.  Frankly I was NOT having fun, the legs did not come around.  Turn around was okay and coming down form Havi I saw a women get blown off her bike and go down…. Fricking scary.  Lots of people sitting up and holding on tight. 

Around mile 70 when I was climbing aero I felt a weird pull and pain go down my right glute.  It was startling and painful - I spun it out but it was nagging.  Soon thereafter I realized we had a headwind going back and I was demoralized.  In pain, had not peed since I got on the bike and my watts dropping.  I forced the nutrition- no GI issues but was having a hard time getting calories in.  I was worried about not peeing and just kept drinking. It was hot and miserable.  Again…Kona is not a beautiful, amazing course- it is hot and lonely.  I tried a lot of self-tak – how lucky I was be there racing alternating with what a dumb ass for coming back to I am honored to have qualified with I hate Hawaii. It was windier and windier…. Long ride back …. Finally the airport in sight and this hell will be over.  By this time my glute was seizing up and my quads were totally cramped.  When I handed my bike in Whistler I jogged/ran through transition.  When I handed off my bike on the pier I nearly feel. I was walking, slowly around the entire pier holding my glute wondering how the heck I was going to pull this off.

I got my bag and sat down and puked all over T2- oops…sorry. Sat there and pondered.  Really slowly shoes on, hat on, salt etc…. stood up and walked out.  I knew I had to start the run and go from there. Mile 1 was agonizing and slow.  By mile 2 I was walking and wondering what to do.  When I saw John by mile 4 I was in tears, in pain and thinking am I really going to walk 22 miles.   KP was out there and gave me a few stretches to do and I did those at each aid station and was able to run a bit.  I was running – really slowly- aid station to aid station with cramped legs and my right glute in agony.  Self-talk the whole way…. WTF, I love Ironman, I am the dumbest person o do this, GO ME…..

At mile 10 you leave Allii and town and back out to hell on the Queen K and I was demoralized.  I decide to walk and so be it. I walked a mile and then jogged a bit, walked a bit and then just started walking with a cool Norwegian.   We walked a mile and Amy jogged by and I decided to run with her.  She was hurting to and we jogged between aid stations and walked the station.  I was feeling a bit better and happy to have company. I was a bit delirious and I recall saying things like “wouldn't it be great if they had puppies on the sidelines” and then I was so happy picturing Mako and Roo’s along the run course… we talked about the miserable awesome bike adventure.  How fricking ugly this Island is.  I tried more positive self-talk….it sort of worked.  We hung together for 4-5 miles into the Energy Lab.  So the Energy Lab for the record is more of an energy sucking place in hell, but off we went.  They were playing soothing Hawaiian music, are you kidding me?  At the bottom, yes you run downhill a mile and then out to the end and turn around.  At this point my race is th time I saw him on the run. 
blown and I just want to finish.  Amy needed to stop and change socks and use the pottie and I decided to keep trotting along.  Along the way I got my 4 Advil’s and that was helping my glute and I stated drinking chicken broth and it was helping.

That with my glucose tabs and I was moving, actually running.  I went from 11-11:30 pace to 9:30 and was feeling ok.  So I started running and ticking off the miles.  John is usually parked outside the Energy Lab on his bike but there were not letting bikes that far this year so I was totally shocked when I saw him waiting there.  Huge smile on my face, running and so in love with him for being all over the course. This was the beginning of me loving this race, smiling, talking and feeling so fortunate and blessed to be here.

So I ticked off 1 mile at a time, walking the aid stating and downing chicken broth.  Let me digress. It was Campbell’s Chicken broth and thank you Les for texting me the label at 4am after race day to read what disgusting byproduct are in it- but frankly it saved my race.   My suggestion- Miso Soup.  Really?  Good for all of us…. Come on Jen W get WTC on that one. 

Ran with Sven form Sweden for a while and drilled him about Ironman Sweden.  I had done the same with Danish guy about Ironman Copenhagen.  Sven a youngin at 24 was great…. But he slowed down at 22 and then I met Constantine from Melbourne and we chatted it up for a while until 25 and then I took off.  Another blog for my stories….but Coni was funny when I took off and said “come on” he laughed and said no you go then yelled “Julie you are a bad ass” No idea where the 8:00min mile came from but I was the horse gong to the barn ….saw John coming down Palanii and its downhill, left on Konkani a bit lonely and dark – yes it was dark.  My first experience in the dark ( I did not like it ) and then the magic of Allii drive…. Tears, music, screaming fans, passed 5 people in the last .20 mile (1 in my ag) and ran into the light and the voice of Mile Reilly!

DONE  11:59…. My slowest Kona finish BUT I finished.  Kona is not like any other race- it is humbling to most….. and it was not my day so it was about readjusting goals along the way, living in the moment, soaking up the experience that it is and truly being thankful that I was there!. Early in the run (walk) I told John and Les when she passed me it may be a late night ….but you just never know. Take it 1 mile at a time.  Yes I negative split my marathon but it does not really count when you walk 5+ miles in the 1st half.

Swim- loved the Roka!  - No calories, I eat 1500 at 4am and nothing after that, Osmos Pre Load 30 min prior
Bike:  5x Bonk Breaker (espresso chip was my flavor of the day) 3x bottles of Osmos Mango for women and as much water as I could handle
Run – 1 bottle of Osmos preload through mile 6 and then whatever I could handle. 

Within in 20 minutes of finishing I see Marty and Carol and he whips out the “butteriest chardonnay I could find” He know me well and there we were…. Leslie and I were soon slugging wine in the King K lobby.  Les and I were ready to go eat and drink but our family and friends strongly suggested we shower.  Lisa and Marcus allowed me to clean up in their room and we hit up Lefties.   I don’t recommend Mexican food in Kona but the drinks were fantastic and we ate!  

Slowest finishing time BUT best trip ever! Wyndham was ideal location 1.5 miles down form the Pier, close but not too close and we had fun all the time!   Other then when Leslie poisioned me Monday night at Sushi we had a grand week. 

John was amazing…. He was everywhere race day and again my solid rock out there.  Geoff popped up, Amy’ family rocked and so many other familiar faces makes this place magical. Marty with the bottle of chilled Chardonnay at the finish - that was classic! 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Twas the night before Kona...

(phone post no pics... will post some later)

Twas the day before Kona and the town is a buzz with triathletes in spandex and compression galore.  The vibe is a good one and people are ready.  The energy is out there and infectious. 

We were up at 5am, our usual this week and had the 12 cups of Kona coffee going immediately.  We go through 24+ cups a day in our house.   Today is about eating, hydrating, eating, gear bag prep and eating.  Building up fuel stores are key as tomorrow we bite 10-12,000 calories so storing a few extra is beneficial. I eat normally race week- so lots of kale, veggies, egg whites... And each day a bit higher carb intake.  I've been eating Trader Joes GF. (No I don't do GF race week but John has celiac so it makes it easier ) Pumpkin Pancakes each am.  They are THE BOMB!!! Get some now. Each day I add one more pancake so today I am up to a stack. 

40 min spin at 6 with with Les and Amy and then Sag Monkey did a bike check and final once over.  10 min shake out run.  Headed to Dig Me beach for a final test of my Roka Viper swimskin.  The water is just amazing... 82 and clear as far as you can see.  Early in the week I saw pods of spinner Dolphins every day- babies and adults playing and spinning along with the manta rays.. Coral and colorful fish.  Truly an aquarium.  Today was a lot of lean, as in eat a cheeseburger lean, bodies.  Short swim to the coffee boat, espresso shots as you hang in the edge and listen to the myriad of accents and languages.  This is when you realize this a World Championship - not just a bunch of yanks....

The goal after that is get out of the sun and off our feet....but we had to go get some more love from Bonk Breaker ( or more fuel for tomorrow) and then one more iced Kona coffee and home.  Pancakes round 2 and RnR.  Out of the sun, horizontal, reading, on the phone, working (yes working) and then the bags... swim gear, bike gear, run gear and special needs bike and run.  Lots of mixing of fluids, tiny bags with salt tabs and other pills, water bottles, race numbers..... and no pictures.  Focused and just got it done.

Then the red carpet/cat walk.... where you check in your bike - a long carpet lined with people and clipboards marking off what bike, helmet, shoes, glasses etc you are wearing for the "kona count" which is published later. Helmet check for safety and the personal escort to your "box" on the pier to rack your bike then the the LONG walk around the pier to the hanging racks for swim and bike gear bags.  Lots of familiar faces and hello's.  It was overcast with intermittent rain drops..... please be like this tomorrow.  And it is done.... lots of lean, fast and excited people.

Home.. then early dinner of pasta, EVO, parmigiana and some spinach. Osmos PreLoad and now water...chilling out and hope to be horizontal by 7.  ... alarm goes off at 3 :)

1028...wish me luck