Friday, June 30, 2006

"My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me." -J. Vivano

Really busy day no updates from me. But I did get this inspiring and uplifting video in my email this morning. Take 2 minutes and check it out.

This is the famous father and son duo that competes in athletic challenges together. The son is quadriplegic. They have run the Boston marathon 23-24 times! They also compete in Iron man competitions - For that event, competitors have to swim 2 1/2 miles through the ocean and then peddle a bicycle 112 miles before running a hilly, 26.2-mile marathon.
In the triathlon swim, Rick lies on his back in a rubber raft attached by rope to a wetsuit vest worn by his father. In the bike portion, Rick sits in a chair attached to the front of Dick's bike, and on the run, Dick pushes Rick in the race chair.
Here is the link to the video and make sure your sound is on....

Thursday, June 29, 2006

"A man's country is not a certain area of land, of mountains, rivers, and woods, but it is a principle and patriotism is loyalty to that principle."

- George William Curtis

Log: I took basically a week off. Can't remember the last time I went that long. It became painfully obvious that the endorphins are what keep me sane. Wed., 30 minute run before triclub meeting. Thursday, 5:55am 3000yards swim. I've been ignoring my bike in my garage like it was somehow at fault for my bonking 2 weeks ago but it's time to get back in the saddle. They're turning on the heat again here in "Misery".

I said I wouldn't blog but it does distract me from thinking about how boring my lunch was. I found a great article written by a soldier stationed in Iraq. If you have a made me laugh and it made me think.

Bomb Craters As Potholes - Velonews posts diaries authored by various pro cyclists. However, one of the finest pieces we've read all year was sent in by an American soldier in Iraq. He was able to bring his bicycle and actually ride it in the compound. As you might expect, he's not without his own unique set of training obstacles. If you ride, this five-part series is a must read. Sustaining Sanity in Iraq.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Escape from Alcatraz

The Accenture Escape From AlcatrazSM Triathlon course includes a 1.5 mile swim from Alcatraz Island in the San Francisco Bay. The race continues with an 18 mile bike ride out the Great Highway, through the Golden Gate Park, and concludes with an 8 mile run through the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The finish is at The Marina Green.

I just thought this picture was way cool. This race is on most weekend warrior triathlete wish lists. I believe the only way you can get in is through a lottery. There are 1800 racers. You actually swim (jumping off a boat just off the island) in the Bay with the sharks and 55degree water with a current averaging 3 knots. A fellow triclub member did this race 3 weeks ago and took this picture of Alcatraz as he was about 5 minutes into the swim. Can you imagine?

"How many cameras were on you?!" Joey or Chandler to Monica on "Friends" when she said the camera adds 10 pounds

Good Lord, I got the pics back from the race a few weeks back. Reality check. There were many. I will admit to only these 2. I may not blog for awhile as I am either researching proper nutrition for losing weight while training and/or I am falling off the wagon and need both hands to feed my face.

I am healthy! I am having fun! I am not the largest lady out there! However....I could go faster and with less effort if I was less well-insulated. And I want to race in a sports bra.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

"If you don't consciously prepare yourself each day to practice wonder and joy, you get really good at practicing stress and pain and anger and fear:"

That's from O Magazine....I don't know who wrote it. But here's my list!

1. Air Conditioning
2. Magazines
3. Girlfriend get togethers
4. spending time alone with my oldest
5. the dress I’m wearing to the wedding (halter-v.cute)
6. my good camera wasn’t broke, just bad film
7. hair highlights…I’m sorta blonde again
8. the XM comedy channel on satellite radio & old Richard Pryor stuff
9. when Kate offers to make me chocolate milk…she’s makes the BEST!
10. my clean, sun-kissed sleeping babies after swimming ALL day

Have a fabulous weekend!!!!

“Pain lasts for a moment. Surrender lasts forever.” -Lance Armstrong

Log: 6:00am Thurs. 3000 yards, 9am Sat morning 36+ miles group ride-VERTICALLY, 3pm tuesday-4miles treadmill. Disaster of a ride Sat. underlined my need for a recovery week. I put over 75 miles on my bike last week. So not much in the log. It's also been over 100degrees here for the last few days.

I've been lazy about posting...but Lisa sent me a great comment that encouraged me to continue so here I am with a hodge-podge (?) of thoughts rattling around in my brain.

The morning radio guys I listen to were talking about a story involving a little girl who came out of a coma when her mom played her favorite song to her. Then they all gave their idea about what song they would want people to play to bring THEM out of a coma (101.1 the River). Got me thinking about what song might bring ME out of a coma. It would probably have to be my all time fav "What a Wonderful World". What about you?

My dad got his first hole in one on Tuesday. Go DAD!!!

I'm re-reading Lance Armstrong's book, "It's Not About the Bike". It's about how he got his start and how he got through his bout with cancer. He's a little bit of an egomaniac but his passion for life gets me fired up and it's an interesting read. Especially if you know someone fighting cancer. I can't seem to find any good books lately. Any ideas? Keep in mind...I'm not big into murder, mystery, or sci fi.. However, after reading Greg's blog I might try Blankets.

Morgan and I are heading to Glenwood Springs, CO for my cousin's wedding this weekend. I get to spend 3 uninterrupted days with my girl. How awesome is that!?

So, the bike ride last Sat.. There's a group that goes long (30-60miles) every weekend and I'd been trying to fit that in and this is how it was advertised last week. "It's going to be hot so let's ride the hills in the SHADE! Route is 31-41 miles....pick your distance." Sounds good right? SHADE? In MO? I'm there! I've been tackling the hills lately....I'm BAD and I"m ready! Ha! The only thing good I can say is that the heat that usually does me in was the least of my problems that day. It usually takes me 4-5miles to get the legs warmed up and the lactic acid build up flushed out. I looked at my computer at mile 6 and thought, Oh no....this is going to go from bad to worse. And I have no idea where I am (I did have a cue sheet which is a list of all the turns...but no map) so I better just suck it up and pedal. A friend that I ride with, Jeff, is training for Ironman Australia in Nov.. so he needed to spend about 7 hours in the saddle that day. He rode about 30 miles and met up with the group....was going to take it easy and pull for me during the ride and then ride the 30 miles or so home. Thank goodness he was there ( and does this ride every tues apparantly with the roadie snobs) and was willing to literally tell me what to expect as we rode up to every hill. I had to get OFF my bike and WALK 2 hills or I actually would have rolled backwards down the hill. Now, I feel like I'm in fairly decent shape...aerobically at least. This just kicked the s**t out of me. For 2 1/2 hours I fluctuated between trying not to cry and wanting to lie down and take a nap. Near the end, I was struggling on Jeff's wheel grinding up another hill that took almost 5 minutes to climb, he took a phone call on his cell and was just chatting away. F**K! (I don't cuss often but that was a popular word for me that day) I hurt from my ears to my ankles. BUT, I didn't give up. I finished it. I was never so happy to see a parking lot in my life. And I pushed the limits. I didn't enjoy it but I went further than I thought I could. It was a sufferfest....but when I didn't have to doubt whether I could do it anymore...that singleminded focus turned out to be extremely cleansing. No room to stress about money, kids, life. Sometimes it's playing, sometimes it's just an escape. Life is good.

Occasionally, my best girls and I write a list of 10 things we're greatful for at that moment. Stay tuned...I'll try and post one before the end of the day.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

I don't chase boys; I prefer to pass them. -Ultramax event t-shirt

This is all about my race so if anyone is reading this and is bored with my tri-geekdom you might as well skip it. Cool video at the end though.

Log: Sat. race day. Monday: flats ride, solo, headwind, 17.6mph. Beautiful cool night/70degrees. Why do I always feel the urge to "moo" at cows who are minding their own business? But I do it every time. When I'm riding alone that is.

My weekend was pretty consumed by the race events at the beautiful Innsbrook resort. Morgan went with me to pick up my packet/t-shirt/volunteer info friday night and decided to enter the kids aquathon to be held Sat. afternoon. That's my girl! Listened to pre-race talk about course changes etc.. Chatted with fellow tri-club members who are surpisingly hard to recognize sans workout gear, ponytails and sunglasses.
5:30am...pack my bag and drive to site in beautiful sunshine...but a little humid. Works for me. Didn't forget anything. Whew! Body marked and transition set up by 7:20am...stand around and wait to go down to the water. Enjoy the all estrogen atmosphere. The guys race tomorrow and usually they are all business and I always feel like I'm in their way. Very different vibe today and we like it! Get in portapotty line twice (anxious bladder).
Cannon went off about 8:20am. I knew to position myself towards the front because of all three sports...swimming is still my strongest. And swimming is hard to do when someone is kicking you in the face and/or swimming over your legs and I wanted to avoid that. Fast pace out and then as the pack thins I can settle in. Works like a charm until I start to get a little winded. Stopped kicking as hard and let my arms to the work. Felt great after that....and was 5th out of the water! (a little over 8 minutes) Cap and goggles come off and I run up the hill to slip socks/biking shoes/helmet on and run out of transition to the bike mount. Key here is to bring the heart rate down a little and get a comfortable spin going. Ha! I was in 5th place! And surprise surprise...I forgot to start my bike computer. So I was never sure how my time was. First 5-6 miles is sucking wind/legs burning hilly. Got passed by a few but got passed by a few more on the flatter section in the middle of the bike. This is where aerobars (the cool looking bars that allow you to stretchout over the handlebars of you bike which creates a more aerodynamic path and generates more power) make a difference. That is going to be my next investment. Anyway...the second half of the course I had to myself. This is also the part of the race where I can tolerate taking calories in. Gatorade and shot blox do the trick. I'm a heavy sweater so I need to take in alot of fluids even in a short race. Talk myself up and over the last big monster of a hill and back into the resort. Loose dog creating a moving obstacle but managed okay. (a little over 1:05 for 17+mile bike) Dismount, rack bike, loose helmet, switch shoes, snap on race number belt and off I go again. Encounter huge hill (buzzkill!) and I am walking in the first 1/4 mile of the run. Bummer! So much for that goal. I was not alone though. Even seasoned triathletes talk about walking this course all the time. Sometimes you can even make up time that way. First mile slightly uphill, second mile is huge hills and the last half mile is finally sloping downhill. I finished with a smile on my face in 24th position overall (top third!!!) and 5th in my age group. 3.25m run was a little over (33 min). first race where I felt I finished strong and can't wait to do it again next year! Maybe the long course.....

Here's the video if you're interested(click on the video link) can see me in the first few a red tank with lovely blue goggles on. We were just about to take off...

Video - In contrast to the weather faced by the men on Sunday, the women's race on Saturday was in many ways the perfect day. Appropriately, our raceday video is set to Hoku's song by the same name. You know the download drill by now. It's a Windows Media Video. (15.27MB). Enjoy.

Friday, June 09, 2006

"I thought of that while riding my bicycle." -- Albert Einstein

Log: Easy 3 mile run on the track. 84 degrees. Felt fine but track running is boring. Morgan went to a youth track program for the first time and had fun. I got my run in while she was with the team. Hopefully fixed my bike computer...changed battery and had to reset.

Well, I can now begin to obsess about the weather for the race tomorrow. My swim wave leaves at 8am and I hope to be done by 9:45. Hoping for dry roads and no wind. I expect to spend about 10 minutes in the water, and hour on my bike and about 35 minutes on the run. that doesn't leave any time for transitions which are going to be tricky considering the venue. With that goal I need to be quicker on the run but we'll see. Still planning on not having to walk!

Tomorrow: Partial cloudiness early, with scattered showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. High 89F. Winds SE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 40%.


Tonight I drive out to pick up my packet which should include instructions, a swim cap that corresponds to my swim wave, my race number and chip timer which is worn on my ankle I believe. Schwag includes a t-shirt and coolmax socks and samples. This is a fun part....everyone excited and anxious about the race.

I hope everyone had a good week! Mine was pretty wishes to the girls running in the Bellin 10K. You ROCK! I see PR's for all. Oh, and Lisa is published AGAIN :) in a magazine...filed a race report for the Chicago Shamrock Shuffle 8K in Runner's World. Is there nothing she can't do???!!!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

“Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm

Hey all,

Log update: Sun. rest day. (Sort of....went on a hour long bike ride with my girls for doughnuts...that evens out right? They got new helmets and are very cute!) Monday: flats Monday night ride, perfect cond. abt 75 degrees. Computer still broke, 24+ miles in about 1:20...someone else do the math. Last hard effort until the race on Sat.. Tuesday...snuck in a long lunch and swam about 1400 yds with my new st. louis tri club tank on!!! Had to make sure it didn't drag too much. I am NOT one of those impossibly tiny athletes that race in a bra top and bikini bottoms. Not yet anyway. It's on the tight side so I look a little like a stuffed sausage but oh well. Like I said, there might be pictures.

Anyway, my header suggests finding peace in life. I live amongst a fair amount of chaos. I admit, I even create some. Unintentionally perhaps. In fact for a long time there was so much chaos that I lost myself a little. Maybe that's part of being a mom. But it didn't feel right. And for me, I think it's important for my girls to see their mother passionate about more than motherhood. So, I decided to look around a little bit more, make a few more connections with people, step outside my comfort zone and certain expectations and try to find a balance that worked. And most days I come pretty close. It's opened up a whole new chapter in my life that is already filled with many blessings. However, it's a fragile balance. Mine's been a little off kilter the last few days. That usually means change is about to happen which is always hard for me. So, I'll hope for peace.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

In the Absence of Talent There Is No Substitute for Preparation - J. Bingham

Ok, I’m ready. Water temperature 77 degrees. Sunny and about 85. Perfect. Exactly a week early. Chances of getting two Saturday mornings with sun and low humidity in June in MO…..exactly zero. Hard as I might try…just can’t control the weather.
Lake swim went fine….turns out I can swim in a straight line without a black line on a bottom of the pool to guide me. What is sort of odd is finding myself in a rather large and deep body of water with NOTHING to hang onto. That can be unnerving and for a few seconds I was heading towards panic. But then I remembered…I don’t have to SWIM….I could float if I had to. Crisis averted. Silly, I know.
Bike is getting easier probably because I know where the hills are. My ride is making funny noises…not going to mess with it until after next weekend though. My bike computer quit today too so I couldn’t tell my pace or distance. But I’m pretty sure we rode the real course today after our little detour last weekend. Hopefully that’s just a battery issue. 30 minute run went great…and I don’t get to say that often. That’s usually where my wheels come off. So that’s basically my race. My goal for the first of this year is to finish without walking. Would be nice to finish in the top half of my age group (35-39!!!!!) but that’s a secondary goal. I’ll let you know! There might even be pictures. I may not be talented but I will be prepared :)

My daughters asked me today if it was summer yet and I explained that it was still three weeks away but it can feel like summer. So I asked, “what makes it feel like summer to them?” We decided it’s the smells like sunscreen and fresh cut grass. It’s also when my little hillbillies quit wearing shoes and rough up the bottoms of their soft little feet. What makes it feel like summer to you?

Thursday, June 01, 2006

My journey begins with a choice to get up, step out, and live fully.

Training log update: 6:15pm Wed.,4.5 mile run: 76 degrees, 110% humidity, felt fine. Found out I sweat out 48oz of fluids in 50 minutes (I was 3lbs less at the end of my run) Yikes!
5:55am Thurs., 3200yd swim-sprint intervals. Swam next to a guy who's doing an ironman race at the end of the month in Idaho. Go buddy!

Is it time for lunch yet?

I admit I get lost from time to time. And I am usually the first one to stop and ask directions because I hate not knowing where I'm going. I also like to be helpful and friendly. HOWEVER, let it be known that stopping a sweaty runner, wearing an MP3 player, going in the OPPOSITE direction (so runner must stop instead of continuing to run while leaning towards an open window) to ask for directions, is in very poor form. This keeps happening to me...and I had to laugh a little last night because the guy who stopped me was trying to deliver Chinese food and didn't speak English very well. I never did understand what he was trying to find.
Every run is a good one because I'm moving and using my body. Yet some runs are harder than others. And sometimes it's hard to get moving again once I stop. And chances are I don't know where you need to go either.