Monday, June 22, 2009

Foto Friday on Monday

Riding your bike for 500 miles in 5 days causes all sorts of whirlwind activity like swollen private parts - OUCH! shoulder pain - DOUBLE OUTCH! crashes, flats and too many products that start with the letter G (Gatorade, gel, granola bars). Ohhh! The thought of something that starts with the letter G triggers my gag reflex. BLECH! What a trip!

My body feels quite good, amazingly except for the shoulder issues I experienced. It's a safe bet it's a result of my aerobars, so today, the bars are getting an adustment for optimum comfort.

I did not take the time to create links to everybody's Foto Friday, I'm soooo sorry. So today, here are your link ups:

The Running Fat Guy
A Journey Through the Desert
Chasin' Bunnies
Journey to a Better Me
Diana's Blog - My Road to Marinette

Thanks Diana for riding 100 miles in honor of the 5 Days ~ 500 Miles. Next year, I want to see you here in Nebraska riding with me!!!!! :)

Today's workout: 20-25 mile RECOVERY Ride. RIDE ON!

Friday, June 19, 2009

FOTO FRIDAY - on the road riding 100 miles. Day 3. Comment and I'll link you up this afternoon. :)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Ironman Kansas 70.3 Race Report

Ironman KS 70.3 = an experience of a lifetime!

My journey to become an Ironman event participant began last year when I got wind of a 70.3 competition they held this close to home. Who could pass that up? Of course I couldn't! It was on my mind for several months and then it was inevitable. I registered.

Fast forward to June 13, 2009 ~ check-in day. McRib (my sherpa, my hubby) and I drove to Clinton State Park to go to the expo and get my bike checked in. We arrived around 1:00, parked, unloaded my bike and off we went so I can officially become an Ironman 70.3 groupie.

The expo was probably 1/2 mile from where we parked. No biggie (even tho I'm in flip-flops), it's not that far. I'm now getting quite excited as the reality of what I'm about to participate in sinks in. I hear music playing, athletes are everywhere, I'm drooling over all the cool bikes and starting to plot my next triathlon adventure. Shhh, don't tell my sherpa. :)

After standing in line for about an hour, I get all checked in, we peruse the expo and we're off to set up my bike in T1. T1 is at least a 1/2 mile, if not longer from T2 and the finish. I get all markered up, find my spot, chat with a few athletes and we're off. Everything is nice and relaxing, running smoothly and I'm feeling pretty good about how I'm going to race the next day. My goal was sub-6.

We headed into Olathe as we were staying at KimPossible's place - she was very kind to open up her home to us even tho' they were off running another marathon in a far away place. :D Next up was dinner - Oklahoma Joes. Yummo...OK skipping over minor details of the evening, which some I might say are rather hilarious...I found myself not able to fall asleep. I didn't feel nervous or anxious or overly excited. It was just another night before a race. *sigh* 1am rolls around and my looky-looks still are not closing. hmmm and my alarm is set for 4am.

4am rolls around, I peel myself out of the sheets and gear up. I'm tired, but not draggin hiney like I should be after less than 3 hours of sleep. It must be the hunger I have to become Ironman 70.3 that's propelling me forward. A few words with Kim and Doug as they rolled in around 3am (crazy maragoingthoners - lol) and we are out the door.

I always like to be places early so I have plenty of time to prepare and have some leeway in the event of some sort of mishap. Here's my timeline of how the morning was supposed to go:

4am - wake
4:45 - leave
5:30 - arrive Clinton State Park
6:30 - race officially begins
6:42 - my swim heat starts

A quick stop at Dunkin' Donuts for some pre-race carbs and "oh no! I left my pre-race drink at home, coffee will have to do". We enjoyed a nice quiet ride to the park, we exit off and oh my... there is traffic everywhere. One long line from this direction, another long line from that direction and we are now rolling along at a mere 5mph. The clock is ticking. hmmm. We are still traveling at 5mph. And the clock ticks on...

40 minutes later we park and....we have to walk - to each transition area and set up. I start the power walk thing, dragging McRib behind me to T2. T2 - running gear is all set up. Hit the porta-potty. T1 here we come. As I am power walking again dragging McRib behind me to T1, I glance at my watch. Shiz! It's 6:30. I swim in 12 minutes. I am now running! My sherpa is still walking....he's got my gear. Not going to work. Run Sherpa Run! Faster Sherpa Faster!

I blaze through setting up my bike gear as they are shouting "transition area closing". HUH? Quick glance over my stuff and I run out. Now that I'm out I realize I didn't leave my glasses. Sprint back in. Sprint back out. I'm now stripping down to my tri suit with one hand and slapping on my swim cap with the other - Oh no! My gatorade bag. The purpose of the gatorade bag was to hold all your swim gear to be transported up to the finish line. No GB, no transport. At this point, there is nothing I can do other than have McRib hand me the bag when I'm done swimming.
RED W40-44 in the water, READY, SET....WHAT?? I'm not in the water. It was like slow motion....I ran and dodged every green and blue cap looking sleestak that ever existed, forging ahead to the water....where of course all the red caps were...*sigh* I made it! In the water, water felt good, I'm finding a spot in the back of the pack...of course not much of a choice now - GO!

And we're off. I'm pretty sure I added some distance to my swim. Totally intentional as I wanted to let everybody know that I may not be fast, but I can swim even further than the distance you have mapped out for all us tri-peeps. I finally made it to the swim finish after many zigs and many more zags - 47 min later. UGH! OK, that bites, but I can make up that time on the bike.. As I'm running to my bike McRib yells at me - gatorade bag is on your bike. Coolio sweetie - you rock! (pic below - I'm the one in the red swim cap)
Fast forward to the bike ride. I'm off and I've got some ground to make up, yet save some for the run. Ride starts off great. I'm booking along, shift down to hit a hill and I hear a grinding noise in my gears. Hit another hill, shift down more grinding noises, and my gear totally shifts from big to to small ring. ARGH! Obviously today my bike has a mind of it's own. As long as I make it to the end, this bike can grind as much as it wants. Overall the bike portion rocked. I smoked past many riders, chic riders in my age group and was loving it - I was making up time. Making up the lovely time on a day with beautiful weather and loving the ride until.......mile 52.5. My chain came off going up a hill right before the entrance of the park. Hopped off, got the chain back on, hopped back on bike. Pedal around - and a noise I can't even explain - chain broke. Oh *#!&% I have two choices: quit or walk. I do a garmin check...3.5 miles to go...I started walking. I took off my shoes thinking it would be easier than walking in my sidi's. Wrong answer. Put sidi's back on and clomped to T2.

It was quite the journey walking 3.5 miles, pushing my bike, walking in my sidi's. Lot's of support from bikers and workers. I tried running, not good. I thought about hopping on my bike and coasting down the hill...couldn't do that either in case the chain would get lodged and propel me into another direction. So I walked and walked and walked. Getting closer, I could see athletes running and all of a sudden, right in front of me... *boom*. A nasty sounding thud. A biker was coming in, a pedestrian was crossing....I'm sure you can imagine how hard each went down. Ouch! After seeing that, I'm even more okwith walking my bike...because I'm not going out on a stretcher. (pic below: I'm the walker in the all black tri-suit)
I finally got to T2, smiling that I made it and I was all cooled down and ready to run. As I walk into the transition area, I look around and it appeared as if every bike possible was racked up. Reality hits me like a freight train! The tears started rolling down as I thought of my 6 hour goal and the 40 minutes it took me to walk in. I was right on target to hit 6 hours even with the slow swim. I looked up as I was changing shoes, saw a few them I found comfort in the fact that I did not give up when my chain broke and nothing else matters but having a great run and crossing the finish line. I sure as heck am not giving up now. Laced up, hit the porta potty and I hit the road. Run was good - 2:03. The path was well supported with fans and 12 miles seemed to fly by. Then the last mile - hit me hard. I am now feeling the heat of the day, the lack of food, the lack of sleep and the overwhelming emotion of I being soo close and to accomplishing a goal - becoming Ironman 70.3. My time no longer mattered, I'm hitting the final stretch and I'm going to relish the flags, the fans and crossing the finish line to officially say I am Ironman 70.3.

I crossed with a smile and tears as I took the bling and began celebrating my accomplishment. I didn't even take time to have a pic with Chrissie Wellington because all I cared about was what I had just done! :D
Total time: 6:49. Without the 40 min walk, I would've been close to 6 hours. Next year. :)

Race Results in and my official time is: 6:37:03. :D

Up until IMKS, I received tons of emails, texts and words of support from friends, family and peeps on FB. The one that stuck with me during the race was the words I received from my friend Randy:

remember: Zpain is temporary, what you can accomplish tomorrow you'll remember forever

In my mind all I had to say to self was Zpain and my mental game on. Ironically, every orange cone they had directing the flow of athletes had a Z on them.

Today, my heels hurt from walking. But with each step I take I remember the choice I had to make...and I wouldn't take that moment back for anything in the world.

Thank you so much for all your support! I thought about each and every one of you along the way as I got closer and closer to the finish. I couldn't have done it without you!
Up next: 5 Days ~ 500 Mile Bike Ride. RIDE ON!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Foto Friday

The last few weeks have been nothing but prep for IMKS. The physical training has become a piece of cake - I'll let you know how that cake tastes on Sunday - but I started to add the mental training. I focused on what it was going to look like, feel like, and sound like. I posed scenarios and asked myself how I was going to handle them.

Throughout all my training, running, biking and swimming, I always come back to one day which I feel has set the theme for my mental strength training: the day I rode with Phil Keoghan. Ok, yeah, I know he's famous and all that. But more importantly was the challenges we faced that day on the road. It was cold. It was windy. 25mph+ winds, not at our backs, but in our face. There was more than once I wanted to "uncle out". I don't "uncle out". I don't give up. So you know the conditions were tough.

I had to dig down deep into my heart and decide that no matter how tough it was or was going to get, I was going to finish this. So the question was: how bad do you want this. It's not about riding with Phil, it's about completing this ride in extremely adverse conditions.

Of course I finished the day and was on cloud nine for several weeks because I rode with Phil, but the day set the tone for all my training since. I conquered the hardest battle: overcoming that brief second where I wanted to quit.

So, when I'm competing this weekend in IMKS, there will not even be a brief second when it gets tough that I will ask myself "why are you doing this" or "I wish I could just 'uncle out'". I will be asking/telling myself "you have more in you, give it all you got because when you are done, you know in your heart that you want to have given 300% blood and guts to this race - now dig deeper and kick it up a notch!".

Todays foto tribute is to Phil!

Ok, so here is a silly one. Don't ever let this happen to you...

Foto up? In your comment, please put a link to your Foto Friday post - it would really help me out! Thanks! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Vegas Bound?

December 6, 2009

Get $20 off if you register today! Enter code NEWCOURSE, exp. 6/11/09

I'm in. KimPossible and Doug are in.

I'm thinking we all get like shirts to wear because obviously we are going to hook up, have some pre-race fun and run like he!! the next day. Who's in?

p.s. If we do shirts - I am suggesting the COOLEST ones possible. :D Dryfit and knockout design. Any designer runners out there?

today's workout: NONE!!!!!! :D

Monday, June 8, 2009

CB 1/2 Mary Race Report

Sunday, June 7, I ran 1/2 marathon #4 in Council Bluffs, IA. After signing up I regretted it. Why? The fee was high, we had two social gatherings to attend (and I had to be a good girl and go home early) and I had this business plan I was writing for an interview Monday morning.

Now that I'm committed, and I won't give up that boy cut shirt and bling - the CB was a small 1/2 mary. It is a week before IMKS 70.3 so my total goal was to lay low and use it as a training run. It was a lot further than I was supposed to run per my training schedule and taper....but what the deuce. I want to do as many halves as I can get in this year not to mention I love challenges. I'll recover.

My friend Chester, who is running all 50 (thanks Kim, I always do that! where I get the extra 2 I don't know) states, went with me. There wasn't much chatter about running together other than "this is your run" "this is my run" we'll start together and go from there. Well, Chester runs a lot faster than I do, but he was just out to fill a weekend with a nice run.
Starting line. It starts to sprinkle. I hear thunder. We are going to get. wet. Sprinkle. Sprinkle. Sprinkle. Rain. Dump. Dump some more. Rain. Done.

We skied through puddles, swam through marshes and pushed forward all while our feet were turning into a state of prunes. Chester hung with me at an 8:30ish pace. We are nearing mile 5. I need to take my HammerGel pack, but I also need water. Water station where are you? Here you come. It's about 6.5 miles now and I soon made a plan with self as I'm beyond the point of "just doing a training run". This is how the conversation went:

Self, you are going to go for the PR. You can do this. You can do this even if it hurts. Next Sunday the pain is going to be 100x worse, so suck it up, you haven't felt nothing yet!

Self responded quite quickly and said:

Do it. {breathe} I'm doing it. {breathe} Even if it kills me. {breathe} I can always lay down and die later. {breathe} Check Garmin. Garmin checked. I'm on track. I'm going to get that PR! {breathe of excitement}

This feels good. I'm ok. I know I can hold this pace for another 2-3 miles before I want to kill myself for choosing to PR.

Mile 10 rolls around. I'm feeling the pain. Calves are tight. Knees are starting to hurt. If only I could stop and take off my tights, rub my calves, catch my breathe, drink a glass of water, hit the potty {by now I gotta go poo}, and start running again. Those darn "if only's....".
I started visualizing the country roads where I train to take my mind off the pain and of course taking my pants off. GAH! What a sight that would be.

Mile 11 is here and I yelled to Chester, the best pacer in the world right now: "We can do anything for 2 miles!" {ok, so I know this is a day in the park for him, but I had to convince myself he was feeling my pain}. My mind is back to the country roads, Jai Ho is on my iPod and I'm rolling along checkin the Garmin for pacing. We are on track.

Ok. We are at mile 12. Oh gawd. 1.1 to go. Self, we need to talk.

When you are sitting in the car when this is all over, don't look back and wish you would've pushed harder. Do it now. Get it over with and you won't have to worry about regrets. Just! Do! It!

I'm eyeing a target ahead that looks about .5 miles away. Run to the target and the next target will be the finish line.

Pace picks up. Calves are screaming "ice me" "rub me". Knees are screaming "take off those tights". Self is yelling "pick it up!" Garmin states, "your on track". Good ol' Garmin.

We are coming around the corner about .2 from the finish line and the Fun Run 1 milers were coming in and who did I see? My little man Jacob. I was soooooo excited. You could never guess how excited I was to see him run. I picked up my pace. Chester moved over and said "the finish line is yours". I got to see Jake run.

Finish line. I'm here. I'm done. Ok. Do I breathe? or do I puke?
End results:

Jake took 4th out of 60. I finished with an 8:31/mile pace. A new PR and 2nd in my age group. Rock on!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Friday ~ Foto Friday

A couple years ago somehow I got into mountain bike racing. Like it. Thrilling. Challenging. At this particular race I led the entire race. I outran the chic (in the middle) on the all the straightaways so I pretty much had first place secured. At the finish you had to bike down by a fence for approximately 25 yards, make a quick switchback to the finish. I had first place, so I quit pedaling and coasted to the finish. She caught me at the last second. hmmm. Hard lesson learned. Never stop pedaling. :D

Pony up! Post. Comment. I'll link you up! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Ok. So yes. It's true.

I am doing 1/2 marathon #4 this Sunday in Council Bluffs. Blyfinn I hope to see you there! Next Sunday is Ironman Kansas 70.3. Ok, so a 1/2 is a wee bit more than my training schedule calls for this weekend, but hey, it's just right next door a few miles, or so.... :) {Should I tell you about the 50 mile bike ride I have planned for Saturday??}

I'm pacing at the best I've ever paced and I'm totally loving it. Do I go out to PR at every race? Heck no! My goal was to PR at the Lincoln 1/2 Marathon, which I did: 8:33/mile. I also want to PR at the Vegas R&R 1/2 Marathon in Dec. The ones in between are for training, some bling and the boy cut shirts. :D Not to mention get me ready for Ironman!!!! {70.3}

My goal for this Sunday is probably 9:00ish/mile. My # goal is to take care of my legs. I will walk if I have to, but the 10 mile runs I've been doing have been easy peasy. So the 13.1 I'm not too worried about recovering from in time for IMKS.

So, if you have any last minute advice, want to scold me or give me some cowbell, you know where the comment section is. See you tomorrow for Foto Friday!

Today's workout: arctice 1500 yd swim {done}, 35 mile bike ride, 40 min run. RUN ON!!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Anybody doing the Council Bluffs 1/2 marathon this Sunday?