Monday, November 30, 2009

PR'ed the Race!

409 39 USA

1:07:16 6:20:39 6:15:23 13:53:41 878 34

TOTAL SWIM 2.4 mi. (1:07:16) 1:46/100m 721 17

TOTAL BIKE 112 mi. (6:20:39) 17.65 mph 529 15

FIRST RUN SEGMENT 6.25 mi. (1:12:57) 11:40/mile
SECOND RUN SEGMENT 6.85 mi. (1:24:25) 12:19/mile
THIRD RUN SEGMENT 5.6 mi. (1:35:35) 17:04/mile
FINAL RUN SEGMENT 7.5 mi. (2:02:26) 16:19/mile
TOTAL RUN 26.2 mi. (6:15:23) 14:19/mile 878 34

T2: BIKE-TO-RUN 4:53

Well, there are the hard facts. It does not look like a good race, especially at the end and having to spend some time in the Med Tent, but I took 1:01:13 seconds off of my Ironman Arizona time. I will take it. It was not the outcome I was hoping for, but my season is over and now it is time to rest. I will be gathering my thoughts (lots of them) and getting it all down with pictures. Until then, I am in a bikini and I am heading to the beach.

Later Gators,


Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Day Before My Journey...

I did not sleep as well as I wanted to last night. I woke up around 1:30 am and then again at 4:30 when I decided to just stay up. I read some of my book and ate some breakfast which did not set well due to nerves. The wind had been blowing all night long and the palm trees outside our windows rustled angrily with each gust. Around 6:00 am, the wind started to settle down as I tried to get ready for the practice swim. The sun is up much earlier here than at home and we were out the door in the sunshine at 6:45 am.

Johnny Tri and I met up with Speedracer as we were racking our bikes we also found Greyt Times and Tri Beaner on the dock out to the swim start. The swells were up and there were a few little white caps but Greyt Times said it was much better than yesterday. To my amazment, when I looked into the water that was inside the docked in area, I saw dolphins!!!
I heard Greyt Times laugh at me as I started skipping and jumping up and down and squealing over the dolphins. To get into the water we either had to jump a good 7 to 8 feet off the dock or go down some stairs and swim out under the dock. I hate jumping off of things so I opted for the ladder. The dolphin came right up to the stairs and wished me luck on my swim. The water was warm and crystal clear! It was strange swimming out under that dock but once clear of it we all swam out to the first buoy. The waves pushed us around and I could detect that I was swimming against the current. The nice thing was that since I was able to see the ocean floor, I could tell that I was making progress. Once we got out to the buoy, we had a little fun!
Greyt Times and Speedracer goofing off.

The swim back in was with the current and there were times that I felt like I was being gently pushed along by the waves. I tried to get some pictures of the dolphins under the water, but they were too far away and more interested in feeding time than me. However, I did get to see these guys under the dock before I got out.

I felt much more confident about the swim after the practice. All I have to worry about is the mass start and feeling like I am in a washing machine for the first 800 or so meters until I get around the two buoys that make up the first turn-around. After that, I am golden. We ran into Greyhound when I crawled back up on the dock and we traded swim stories. I also ran into my friend Norma.From l to r: Speedracer, Greyhound, me, Greyt Times, and Johnny Tri
Luke had just jumped in the water to swim. We headed back to the villa and got cleaned up and went for a good breakfast. I had some tasty breakfast tacos and JT had oatmeal and eggs. We did a little shopping at the Mega mart which is like a Super Wal-mart. JT cracks me up because he had no idea that you can only buy milk in a shelf stable box in Mexico. I was disappointed that I could not find soy milk or rice milk. Oh well, so far the gut is good.

Once back at the villa, I started to get all my gear bags together. It was a little stressful counting out all my S-Caps and Sport Legs capsules and making sure everything I needed on the bike was going to fit in the Bento Box. Once I got everything squared away, I had time to read my book again and relax.On the way to bike drop off.

Around 2 pm, we made our way back to Chakanab Park to drop off our bikes and bike and run gear bags. We were numbered up and sent on our way. I took a few pictures of the transition area. The run from the point that we climb out of the water to the gear bags is about 200 meters but it looks longer than that. My bike gear bag is on the first rack (SCORE!) (I forgot to flip this pic.)
and my bike is on a rack near the bike exit (DOUBLE SCORE!!!).(Hmm, I guess I forgot to flip this pic too.)
After we got squared away, we grabbed a cab back into town and stopped at a Subway to pick up sandwiches for diner. We were complaining that because the sun starts going down so early we were thinking that it was getting to be time to eat but it was only 3:45 in the afternoon. We waited until 5 pm to eat and I put Gladiator in to watch on the laptop.

After the movie, I got the last of my things laid out for in the morning and now all I need is six and a half hours of peaceful sleep. HA! We are up at 3:30 am and we meet Speedracer at her hotel to catch a cab to the start at 4:45 am. Traffic will be nuts and should take at least 20 to 30 minutes. Transition opens at 5:30 and we have to be out by 6:30 for the Pro start at 6:45. As soon as they take off, then they let us in the water and we get going at 7:00 am.

Am I nervous? Hell yeah! When will I stop being nervous? Sometime during the swim. I have a plan that I think might work well for tomorrow. I am sticking to the plan. I will make it to the finish.

Tomorrow is a day for greatness,


Friday, November 27, 2009

Cozumel--Day One

Well, I am on the island and it is beautiful. I picked up Johnny Tri at the airport last night and we were back there checking in only 12 hours later. The flight was uneventful but I had to make a mad dash off the plane to find "el bano" because I had a smoothie before getting on the plane and I was drinking water during the flight. We got to our villa and got unloaded and headed over to the Convention Center for packet pick-up.

We must have hit things just right. We walked up and the expo was empty. We ran into my Team in Training buddy and fellow coach, Coach Luke and his girlfriend Norma (who I have coached in the past). We took care of packet pick-up quickly and then spent money on official race gear. Gotta have that stuff! We were given some pretty cool stuff. We got a super jacket with the race logo embroidered on it along with a drawstring bag and water bottle. Word on the street is that we some cool stuff when we cross the finish line. Here is a pic of what I got in the race bag and what I bought at the expo.

After going to the race meeting, JT and I did a little grocery shopping and then tried to find where the athlete diner was with no success. We went back to the villa and put the bikes together and watched a movie.

The wind has really been blowing here and we all hope it will clam down before Sunday. Temps are great and we hope they hold. I am super tired so more tomorrow on our adventures.

Have a great day,


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

She's real fine my...

I have one last little deposit to make into my Ironman account today and then I am going to cash out on Sunday. I have been putting in the work all year/season long and I am ready. Well, as ready as I will ever be. I have overcome intestinal parasites, bike crashes, and myself to get ready for this. Does my race number mean that I will clean up on course while I am out there? Who knows for sure.

I pick up my bike at the shop today and I want to finish my packing up tomorrow. I pick Johnny Tri up from the airport on Thursday and we leave for Cozumel on Friday morning. From the time we step off the plane we have packet pick up, race meetings, athlete dinner, bike rebuilding, and if we can fit it in, a small swim. Saturday is bike and gear bag drop off and get off the feet. Sunday we are up at 3:45 to get breakfast and to get to the shuttle that starts running at 5:00am to take us to Chakanab Park for the start.

My race number is 409 if you have nothing better to do on Sunday and want to check in and see if I will make the cut off by midnight. Keep me in your prayers that I have an uneventful race.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Taper Time!!!

Wow, I really am enjoying all of this free time. I have been getting caught up on the last 5 weeks of Grey's Anatomy, doing laundry, and goofing off. Yes, I still have workouts. They are just short and intense. I was joking with Greyhound that this is what it must feel like to train for sprint and Olympic distance races. I have been doing more than goofing off. Really. No, really!

Bud had a big swim meet. This was his first USA Swimming affiliated swim meet. The 8 teams were all USAS programs. These meets are run much more efficiently than the NWAL meets with the neighborhood team. The other thing that makes these meets a step above the summer league meets are the use of the Colorado Timing System. This is the touch-pad system that is used in meets where the finish time is recorded when the swimmer touches the pad. These timing systems are very accurate. Bud's meet was only for swimmers between the ages of 9 and 14. He swam 5 events: 50 Free, 50 Back, 50 Fly, 100 Breast, and 200 IM. Bud came in around 17th and 18th in most of the events out of anywhere from 36 to 45 boys in his event but placed 5th in the 200 IM and gained 4 team points for his swim club. We have another meet the day after I get back from Cozumel. Bud's coaches from the swim club who he has swam under for the past year were pleasantly surprised at his 5th place performance. Mom was pretty proud as well.

Last week the kid and I put together 6 shoe boxes full of goodies for Operation Christmas Child. There are so many children all over the world who live in poverty and have very little to call their own. These children are so thankful to get a surprise gift of small toys, school supplies, personal hygiene items, and some hard candy. Our family is very blessed to have so much, it is the least we can do but share with those who are in need.

I have been attending some USA Triathlon continuing education classes in Austin, TX. Last week I attended a lecture on Weight Loss Strategies for Endurance Athletes by Bob Seebohar. This was a great lecture! Bob works with Olympic level athletes. He has developed a strategy called the Fuel Target. It is a concept that is easy to understand and helps athletes figure out what they need to focus on in their nutritional plan. I am sure that I would not be able to explain it as well as Bob can so if you would like more information, you can find it in his new book titled, Metabolic Efficiency Training: Training the Body to Burn More Fat. His book is so new, that it is not in stores or on Amazon yet. If you would like to order it, just click here.

I also attended a lecture on Sunday titled Run Your Best Off The Bike by Bobby McGee. Bobby McGee is Barb Lindquist's coach and the coach to many other ITU and top level Olympic, 70.3, and Ironman athletes. There were three big topics we discussed on how to improve the run leg of your triathlon. The first item was to look at bike set-up. Most running injuries are the result of improper bike set-up. Bottom line, spend the money to get a good bike fit and to find the right saddle for the bike. I had my bike set-up done by John Cobb on both my road bike and my tri bike and I have not had any injuries other than the injuries I sustained from falling off the bike. The second was to employ a run/walk strategy to the run leg of the triathlon. Bobby is now working with athletes that are shooting for the 2012 Olympics and they are currently working on this strategy. There is a huge ego factor that they are having to overcome. Every athlete wants to run the run leg and run the entire thing, but the evidence is showing faster overall pace times and negative splits in races where the run/walk technique is used. Wow! The third, and most controversial to the class, was that no one should run a marathon as part of their Ironman training. Many of the coaches in the class were arguing this one saying their athletes needed the confidence in finishing a marathon in their training before the IM race. Bobby argues that the marathon really breaks down the body and that there are other ways to get the distance in over two consecutive days on in one training session that are gentler on the body. If you want more information, you can look at all the details in Bobby's new book, Run Workouts for Runners and Triathletes. The link to order the book is here.

I was so intrigued by Bobby's lecture that on Tuesday I did a webinar where Bobby covered the Run/Walk method in detail for improved running in Triathlons. Jeff Galloway has been using this method for half and marathon runners and they have been turning out fantastic times. This was great stuff!!! Bobby said that if your IM run time was less than a 2:40, your 70.3 run time was less than 1:10, and your Olympic distance tri run time was less than 40 minutes then you should be applying the run/walk method to your training and racing. Wow! WOW!!! I am using this for Ironman Cozumel. I know that I can play with the ratios if the heat and conditions require me to be flexible on race day but I am using it. I used a run/walk method at Ironman Arizona and on the third loop of the run I was passing a ton of people and only had one person pass me. I had been working on building up my running endurance to be able to run without many stops but I know there was going to be some point in the run leg where I was going to have to walk just due to fatigue. Now with a plan, I can see where I will employ the run/walk strategy from the point I get to T2 and play fishing on the last half to third of the run leg and pass people who are having to walk at the end. I am super stoked about this! We will see how it goes in 11 days. My coach is all for it so it is golden!

I had a webinar last week with Steve Tarapinian on Swim Training Myths and tomorrow I have another webinar with him on Optimal Offseason Training. I am loving all this knowledge that I can start implementing with my people that I coach. There is always new stuff to learn.

Besides all of that, I have had time to go shopping. I cannot believe what I found at the local Wal-Mart...

I do not have a dog so I will not be buying one of these. However, there are suckers out there who are going to put a run on these things. What does this product say about us as consumers???

Anyway, 11 more days to go. I need to start getting my stuff together, organized and packed.

Later Gators!


Thursday, November 5, 2009

She is not dead, only nearly dead...

If the mile repeats could not kill me, I may just get through this...

24 more days of staying swine flu free. 24 more days of Ironman focused workouts. 24 more days of falling asleep as soon as I sit down on my sofa. 24 more days sitting in the sauna a work 30 minutes each day to get used to the heat. 24 more days of being on good terms with Zone 4, Zone 5a, and Zone 5b. 24 more days of saddle sores. 24 more days until I can have a margarita!

I have been busy. Between the internet being on the fritz at my house, getting my workouts done, work, and mom stuff I have had no time to get a post in for a while. The weather has cooled down here in H-town but it still gets up into the high 70's during the day. My fear is that it is still getting up into the high 80's in Cozumel. That is why I am sitting in the sauna every day so that I can keep my body used to being acclimated to the heat. I have also done my bike interval workouts in "The Hot Box" or my garage. Warm temps, bad ventilation, and Zone 4 and Zone 5a make for some good sweaty workouts. I have had to do some long 3 hour workouts in "The Hot Box" because there have been bad rain/thunder storms and even a tornado watch.

Greyhound has been a fantastic training partner these past few months. He has made sure that I get my miles in on the bike and then spanked me on the run. Here we are at various stages of last weekend's 100 mile bike ride followed by a 45 minute run. You can see how much fun we are having. It was chilly when we set out, but it warmed up nicely for us.
Greyhound is telling me that he is keeping his eyes on me so I don't pull any funny stuff.
I flipped this photo so I am not sure why it ended up back on its side.
Heading back out on the bike after refilling bottles for more training goodness.

When he was off in Austin for Longhorn 70.3 I played hooky and took Bud to the zoo. The next day, I did my long ride in "The Hot Box" I started at 5 am. One hour in, I had to take a bathroom break and it was still dark out. Another hour later I had to get more water and when I opened the door to the porch, it was light outside. After the final hour I hopped off to run and the sun was up and shining and things had warmed up. I was proud of myself for doing a long trainer ride like that on my own. Since then, long workouts on the trainer have been easier.

Here are some fun pictures from the zoo and the fun Zoo Boo celebration they were having for the kids:
Fun on the Herman Park train.
We got to pet a gator...
and a cool snake!
The kids got to learn the "Thriller" Dance...
and the sea lions gave a great show.

My workouts are getting shorter, but they are still hard and the intensity is still high. I know that I can finish this off. I feel good going into this race and I feel good about the effort that I am capable of on race day.

24 more days...

Later Gators,


P.S. Thank you to everyone who has donated to my TNT fund and for all the messages of support. I still have a way to go and I hope to hit my goal by Christmas.