Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Well, it is time for the holiday sugar rush to begin. Each year between the days leading up to Halloween until just after Christmas people everywhere will be over-indulging on sugary sweets, tasty fattening goodies, and the standard second helping. It is also the time of year that females dress up in some "hoochy" version of any occupation, fairy, bug, or sport participant and males to either dress up as something way too scary for little children or too tacky to really be out in public. I am not trying to rain on any one's parade here. Just my observations.

My kid's first costume choice was Metal Skull Biker which to my relief was sold out when we went costume shopping on Sunday. I guess that means I will have lots of Metal Skull Bikers knocking on my door for the goods. His second choice was the Scream Mask which reminds me of the painting The Scream and frankly I find a bit disturbing. We left Party City without a costume and headed off to Target to see what was left. The costume selection was pretty sparse due to Halloween parties being held over the weekend. At Target we found "THE COSTUME". I find it amazing that Star Wars continues to have legs after 30 years and still generates millions of dollars. My kid will be decked out as a Storm Trooper or Clone Trooper or Super Trooper or what ever the hell it is. Here is the kicker. The picture on the package shows this great costume that looks like it has all of these cool plates of body armor on it but in reality it looks like a pair of Storm Trooper pajamas that are full and hang down in the butt with molded card board shoulder pads sewn in the shoulder seams. It is a good thing the costume was on sale for $21.99 and I did not have to pay the $40.00 full price ticket.

Well, my Taper has started as I start winding down to the 70.3 World Championships. On Friday I ran my last long run of 11 miles and felt great. Saturday morning my TNT peeps ran either 6 or 11 miles and then I picked up Geoff and Ryan and we headed down to Kemah to ride and run over the Kemah bridge. Traffic was hellish and we cut our ride short but now at least we know how we are going to feel running over that bridge in Clearwater next week. We had a good workout and Geoff and I feel prepared for what we are going to face in our last race of the season. I have done some short efforts but slacking off generally. I have a swim today and tomorrow is a last ride that i may put off until Friday if my bike is not ready at the shop tomorrow.

Travel is one week away and I need to start getting my gear laid out so that I can have everything packed and ready before hand rather than pulling an all night packing rush.

More later on the trick-or-treat events of my Storm Trooper,


Friday, October 26, 2007

Change in the weather...

Fall has finally hit the Lone Star State! The only bad thing is that it is still hot in Clearwater, Florida and I am not getting that good heat training in anymore. Last Monday we had a Blue Norther run thru the state bringing rain and high winds. By that evening, the rain had stopped and it was dry enough to run track practice for my TNT marathon group. I wore a long sleeve tech shirt and a thin running vest and shed down to my shimmel top soon after we got started.

Tuesday was bright and sunny and it has been that way all week long with lows in the 40's and highs in the 70's. It has stayed windy and I have not been on my bike other than the trainer on the back deck of the house so I have not had the pleasure of beating myself up with the wind yet. The running has been fabulous!

Today I had my last long run of 11 miles before I race at the Ford Ironman 70.3 World Championships on November 10th. The race is just 2 weeks away! This weekend, Geoff and I have our last high volume training weekend before we start tapering back the miles but keeping the intensity up for a few more days and then it will be slug time for a few days of travel and getting set for the big race day. Clearwater has a huge causeway bridge that we have to go over two times on our bike and four times on the run. Geoff and I will be training on the Kemah bridge this weekend riding and running so that we know what we are going to be up against. I have to give David and Mitch a call to see if they want to join us since it will be their last weekend to get it in as well. I am really jazzed about the race. I know that I can finish it and hopefully go faster than my usual times that have been all within a few minutes of each other. I would like to think that I could crack this one wide open but we shall see. I may be the last one in my age group to cross the line like I was at the USAT Short Course Nationals a few years ago. But hey! I get all the cool shwag!!!

The other important news is that I have 83 half marathoners and 75 full marathoners that recommitted to TEAM IN TRAINING in my training group for the Houston Marathon!!! That is not counting the three other training areas. I am super stoked because they have almost met last year's fundraising total and they still have lots of time to keep raising money for the fight against leukemia, lymphoma, and other blood related cancers. MY TRAINING GROUP ROCKS!!!

All right, it is time to go raid the kitchen or go out and find some food in this city.

More later about my Saturday workout with the peeps...

Coach Liz

Monday, October 22, 2007

Lance is in the House Part 2...

O.K., some of you have been on Johnny Tri's blog and seen those awesome pictures of Lance signing my LIVESTRONG Challenge jersey. JT did a great job of detailing the whole event so I won't re-hash it. If you did not hear about it, hop on over to his blog and read on! Needless to say, I was pretty jazzed about the whole event. But, what JT did not mention is what I am going to do with this signed jersey. That is the story that is gonna make you all warm and fuzzy.

Here it is...

Last year I was signed up to ride the 100 mile route for the Austin, Texas LIVESTRONG Challenge ride. Only four weeks befor the ride I had to have knee surgery to repair a torn medial meniscus that I had f---ed up in a kickboxing class. I had done some fundraising and thought that I would ease back into some bike riding and just do the 10 mile route. It had only been a week or so before the ride that I was able to get on the bike and pedal slowly (with a lot of pain) while teaching my indoor cycling classes. I picked up my kid after school with the bikes loaded on the Honda Element and we drove west into the sunset to get to packet pick-up.

The free SHWAG was great and the two of us were loading our bags with water bottles, posters, magnets, buttons, bandanas and more. They had the Nike/LIVESTRONG gear on sale and since I was only a few days off from my birthday, I decided to buy myself this nice LIVESTRONG Challenge jersey for $90. I have a couple of cycling buddies up in Portland who were part of the 10//2 crew and I had seen the jersey and had been very envious. We get back to the Motel 6 and my kid tells me that he does not have a jersey to wear for the ride. I told him that I had packed him a jersey but he said it was not good enough since it was not a Ride for the Roses or LIVESTRONG jersey. Only a mother's love would drive me to say that he could wear my new LIVESTRONG jersey and I would wear the 2003 Ride for the Roses jersey that I had brought with me. He was under strict orders not to spill red Gatorade on it or get bike chain grease on it.

The next morning while we are waiting for the ride to begin and we hear Lance talk to the crowd, the kid anounces to me, "Mom, we have to do the 40 mile route. Lance is riding the 40 mile route!" O.K., so what about this 10 mile route that we had discussed, and what about mom's knee, and hey you only have a Giant BMX bike that is a single-speed...all of that did not mean crap to my kid. Lance was riding the 40 mile route so we were riding the 40 miler. He did a great job on the hills and he did not linger long at the rest stops because, "Lance might be at the next one mom. Let's get going."

I thought it was great that on the last 10 to 15 miles of the route, the guys who started barreling by us as they finished up their 70 and 100 mile rides began shouting out encouragements to my son. "Come on Buddy, you can do it!" "You're looking great Bud, Keep it up!" "You're almost there, keep pedaling!" There was only one hill that he had to get off of his bike for but 2/3 of the adults were pushing their bikes up this hill. He was so tired at the end and almost wanted to quit and walk the bike when I pointed out where the finish line was. He stuck it out and rode across the line looking like a WINNER.

He talks about Lance everyonce and a while, but he is pretty consumed with other things such as Ferarri automobiles, Ed Roth's Rat Fink drawings, and baseball. At the begining of the school year, the kids are asked to fill out a worksheet that lists their favorite food, best subject, and their hero. My kid put down...My hero is Lance Armstrong. WOW! I asked him about it and he said it was really cool what Lance was doing for people who had cancer like Grandma. My son was able to remember my mother's battle with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma and her loss with that battle.

I knew what I had to do. I went back to the car and was glad it was a cool morning and I had not really sweat in the newly signed jersey. It is now awaiting a framing job along with the picture of Lance signing mom's back that JT took and it will be waiting under the tree on Chirstmas morning. I cannot wait to see the look on his face when he unwraps the jersey.

Alright, I still have more to blog about, but I have to get to track practice. More later...

Coach Liz

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Day after Kona IM...

What a day in Kona! Huge surprises all the way around. Familiar faces were missing or puking their guts out on the bike and new faces and rookies were riding/running like they stole it...and they did. Now we get to see if Crowie and Sam can defend their titles in Clearwater. It should be interesting to see it all play out. Now we just have to wait for NBC to put together their IM show to see all the stuff that was not happening at the front. All of the human interest stories are the ones that make you cry or inspire you to make that big leap of faith and sign up for an Ironman.

I would love to do another one, but my schedule is hard with a nine year-old and a husband who does a lot of international travel and when he is home, works nights. It is hard to get all of that training done. I can handle half IM training and even that is tough on some days. I will stick with the half IM distance for a while until my son is a little older. I know that sounds like a cop-out, but I don't have a better way to get the training in without becoming a single triathlete and possibly loose custudy of a kid because all I do is train. Not as bad as being a drug addict, but very very close. That is why the number of men far outnumber the women at these distances. You have to have the support to do the training and unless the family or partner is part of the triathlon world, it is very hard for them to understand the drive and the desire.

Ok, enough of that...

Yesterday, I had a blast! After going and running a 10K with my TNT group, Johnny Tri and I headed to the casa and hooked up the laptop to the flat screen Sony and started the live-feed of the Hawaii IM. We downed a bag of BAKED Tostitos and salsa as we got things hooked up and then...URL not Found!!!

No coverage for almost an hour!!! What's up with that??? Some ding-dong probably tripped over a power cord and lost the feed. Well in the mean time, it was time for more food and more friends showed up. Geoff and Lauren along with Sunny and Jay showed up. Jay it a great friend! He brought me 4 6-packs bottles of Dr. Pepper made with Imperial Cane Sugar! DP from the can just doesn't taste the same. It is $7 a 6-pack and it is worth it. Thanks Jay!!! Johnny Tri was on to his second sandwich and we waited patienly for the live-feed to come back. Norma and Luke showed up and Luke brought his framed finish photo and medal from The Longhorn Half Ironman, his first Half IM distance race. Luke finished in 6:22!!! Great effort for a first Half. Congratulations Luke!!!

Now that most everyone was there, it was time to start digging into the brownies. I have gotten famous for my brownies and Norma had requested them. I'm not sure how well brownies go with Corona beer, but both were consumed in large quantities. I passed on the beer. If I am going to ingest calories, I would rather it be chocolate over barley and hops. Sunny and Jay had to leave because Sunny was ready for a nap. She did her first 10K that morning and she did a great job. She earned that nap. Dustin and Shika brought some more Corona and the bike leg was playing out on the live-feed that had come back up.

Right now my house is the cleanest that it has been...probably ever, lol. Naw, it has been clean before, but with work and training, and keeping up with family stuff the house gets neglected. I have a post card in my bathroom by the mirror that states, "A clean house is a sign of a waisted life." I live by that motto.

Ok, I have lots more to blog about but I have a project for work that has been looming over me for literally months and I was asked about it on Friday and I lied and said it was done. So I have to do it today!

I will write more later...


Sunday, October 7, 2007

Birthday Fun!

Only a complete tri-geek would have a great birthday getting up at 5:15 am in the morning, driving out 30 miles to pedal over 60 miles of rolling hills with your training buddies. The only thing that could have made it better was if all the roads we covered were as smooth as the ones in Montgomery County. Thanks to Geoff, Ryan, Nathalie, and Johnny Tri along with Lauren later in the day wishing me a Happy Birthday. It seems a little uneventful since USA Triathlon rules state that you must race under the age you will be on December 31st of the year. It seems like I had my birthday back on April 1st, when I did my first race of the season.

I did not make it to see the Yamoto Drummers of Japan. Instead I had dinner at California Pizza Kitchen after work and ate some pizza wih my son. We got to watch the Braves whup up on the NY Yankees. Friday I had a PT client that did a no-show and then I had my small group training session with 3 ladies that I train. Had lunch with my son and then it was off to train.

I was trying out a new Speedo race suit on the bike to see if it was comfortable with no pad in the seat. After an hour on the bike I had determined that it was ok. The road was rough in spots and the wind was gusty, but rough roads and wind are your friends during training according to one of my past cycling coaches.
The big surprise was when I came around a corner and came face to snout with a longhorn bull that had gotten out of the fence. I stayed calm, but moved past as quietly as I could with little distraction so that I would not get charged at. He was curious enough to stop chewing his cud and scope me out, but at least he held his ground and did not move.

I met up with Johnny Tri and we waited for another training buddy who did a no-show and then we put in some open water swimming time. JT had to practice in his wetsuit. I should be doing that as well since the swim at the World Championships is a wetsuit swim, but it was hot and the water was warm. We did just shy of a mile and then it was off to find some food and fuel up.

Saturday was an early morning setting out course signs for the Houston Marathon group that I am coaching with TEAM IN TRAINING and my trusty assitant coach, Johnny Tri, and I got in a 6.5 mile run before the rest of the group showed up to run at 6:45 am. With all the whining that JT was doing about the humidity, the length of the run, and the need to pee I was ready to open a liquor store. Well, read on and you will see how "What goes around, comes around".

Saturday afternoon I splurged and bought a new easy chair and ottoman. I had moved some furniture and made some more space in my living room because I am having a bunch of tri buddies over to watch the live feed of the Hawaii Ironman next Saturday. So moving the sofa left a huge spot on the floor that needed to be filled with a chair. The best part was it fit in the back of my Honda Element (I love that car!).

So then it was Sunday and that great ride. I have a cousin who has a birthday the day before I do. 20 years ago she was in a car accident that left her in a wheel chair. I consider myself to be very lucky to take a bike ride on my Birthday because Jayne will never get the chance to do that. Be thankful for the small things or the things that seem insignificant.

O.K. I have work to do so I will get back later!


Thursday, October 4, 2007

10/4 Good Buddy...


October is here and I am still training like mad. I have eased back into the grind again as I get ready for Clearwater, Florida. I am actually very excited to be going to the World Championships. I would have never thought that a front of the pack sprint and Oly racer and a mid pack long distance racer would have qualified for a slot but stranger things have happened such as having K-Fed determined to be a better parent than Brittany(not that the inverse would be more logical).

Johnny Tri and I went out for a 30 mile bike workout yesterday around 1:45 in the afternoon. I am not sure what the weather is like in your part of the world, but where we were it was sunny, 93 degrees, and windy. We thought we were going to be getting a tail wind on the way back but that did not happen. It seemed to be harder on the way back. Here is the part that really sucked. My Polar said I only expended 863 calories and his Garmin said he was over 2300 calories. Yeah, I know, he is a lot bigger than I am so he has to burn more...but almost 3x as many??? Shi...I was going quiet a bit faster than he was and had to be nice and slow down so he could catch up on several occasions. I did not even earn a scoop of ice cream outta that one. I love you JT, but dang man, stop rubbing it in that I'm little.

I am going to try to get some tickets tonight to see the Yamoto Drummers from Japan. I will be cutting it close getting to the theater after work, but I won't be all sweaty. That is one of the benefits of teaching Pilates over, say a run workout. I won't be smelling like a water buffalo. Just a treat for myself for my birthday. I will finally be the age that I have been racing under all year long, LOL!!! It really does not seem like I have aged a bit since I have been "USAT Aged" since the first race of the season back on April 1st.

O.K., nice training weekend coming up. I will try to get some photos and show what I've been up to.

Roger that...

Coach Liz