Christmas 2008

Yeah, yeah, yeah.... I know you are all waiting for my race report. It's in draft. Actually nobody probably really wants to here about my race report so who cares. It's time to get up to snuff and address the here and now.

Tim and I celebrated a wonderful Christmas together. I was blessed with an unplanned Christmas day off. Originally I was scheduled to work but got "called off." I really wanted to be off on Christmas. It was Tim's only day off in long time. I was dreaming of a white Christmas. Well sort of a white Christmas. I wanted for Tim and I to ride the Great Western Loop. I planned to enjoy the view of snow covered mountains in the distance. It rained so we settled for a 9 1/2 mile run. It consisted of Tim starting out at a "zippy" pace (for previously consuming Yorkshire pudding). I was worried about the pace as I don't like to start fast. I might die later. At about mile 6, I had reprieve. We stopped at La Jolla cove. I was left to watch the surf and seals while Tim....umm well Tim wasn't watching the seals like the other tourists. When we started running again I was cold and cramping, I enjoyed lecturing Tim on the benefits of pacing and rationing such things like Yorkshire pudding and Christmas cookies. I had to eat my words when I suggested walking for a bit up Soledad mountain. Crap, now who gets to eat humble pie for dinner?

Lately I haven't had time to blog. I have become a bit obsessed with riding the Great Western Loop and using the new Kitchen Aid Mixer. I received it for Christmas (courtesy of my in-laws). It is very nice and has a splash guard that Tim says was " invented with people like me in mind" Wow... am I special or what an invention with people like me in mind.
Rarely does Tim get to ride the GWL with me. I tend to ride mid week with my friends Julie and Elizabeth. We ride the loop basically as fast as we can. I used to recover on the downhills but now there is no recovery.... the whole ride is an all out hammer fest. After the ride we grab Starbucks and head home. By the time I arrive home I am still fueled with caffeine, fresh air, and adrenaline. I continue to race around cleaning the house, doing laundry, or baking things. (no I am not manic but I do get really tired later). Tim realized how nice it was to come home on these days. We talked about me cutting back my hours at work so I could be at home more. You know ....making things nice. We were both pretty excited. Until Saturday...On Saturday afternoon (after Tim's 30th hour of work) we decided to ride the Great Western Loop. The ride sounded more important than sleep to Tim. I didn't even twist his arm. We picked up Tim's friend Paul and headed to the ride start. The conditions were ideal for me. Yes, the sun was shining and it wasn't too cold or too windy. Even better I had two domestiques. Tim was tired and content to ride my rear wheel for most of the ride. Paul was happy to pull. The boys dropped me on one of the climbs and later on the fire road decent. I was riding my heart out trying to keep up. I fell a bike length back. ...and then another. I was riding so hard and fighting a loosing battle. I could see them switching back and forth in the wind and I was left to push the wind all alone. Just me and my little pink bike. So much for the domestiques. It was time for me to pull on my big girl pants. They eventually slowed down for some recovery and let me catch back up. After that I managed to stay on board through the Lyons Valley decent (a.k.a the road that is really curvy). When we got to Jamual drive the boys were talking like it was story hour or something. I hopped in front and hammered it all the way to the turn on Willow Glen. You would have thought I would have earned some respect but no. Of course not. This is how things played out.

Tim: You didn't used to ride like that
Me: I have been riding with the ladies and it's how we roll
Tim: Remember when your contacts used to pop out of your eyes and I would have to wait for you.
Me: This is how the ladies roll. If you don't ride like this on ladies day you'll get dropped.
Tim: You rode really fast.
Me: Julie and Elizabeth would have dropped me
Paul: You better not let your wife cut back on her work hours. It's a scam. She's just wants to ride her bike more. She's going to try to drop us
Tim: I'm signing you up for extra shifts.
Me: Busted.

So you see how my accused scam plan has back fired. Out of good faith though I did make Tim two pies and a batch of cookies while he napped post ride. Sunday it was back to work for me.

Monday I got to ride the Great Western Loop again. This time with Julie, Elizabeth, and Pat (Elizabeth's husband) These ladies rode so fast I thought my legs might explode and there is no recovery on the decent. I will be pedalling my heart out thinking how could one generate more speed than this. As always, when I look to my left on the first decent there is Julie. She is passing me by with an effortless look on her face and a smile. One day I swear she was putting on a coat of mascara while riding next to me and Elizabeth was reading the newspaper. How do they do it. On the back side is Jamual Drive (the road that is curvy but not that curvy). This is where Elizabeth can drop anybody and I mean anybody. She makes the decent look like a poetic dance. It's awesome. As far as the climbing goes. Let's say I am climbing extremely well in relation to the number of gingerbread men I have consumed. Today's ride was awesome. We did discuss though we may need to start going longer and a smidgen slower or we might kill each other off before the season even starts.
If I have to continue to work full time I am sure glad to get to ride/play as much as I do.
Tim...oh Tim, don't you think it would be nice though to have your clothes folded and put away..... Darn those women's libbers. I could be such a better rider and Martha Stewart wanna be if they didn't make women's jobs so lucrative.

Well on to my next scam. I think if I'm going to continue to work full time I need a treadmill. Sometimes my husband is too tired to run with me and it can be dark, cold and rainy at 8:00 p.m. when I get home. Tim.... you don't want me to get slow do you??

2008 Ironman Arizona Race Report

Race Report. Well actually it's more of a chapter book....but's a long day.

It was necessary for our hotel to post the above sign
I am thrilled with my entire experience at Ironman Arizona. My intentions of this blog are not to brag. I just want to acknowledge that "I got what I wanted" .....That's a term Tim and I tease each other with. I am not going to be the person who has a dream race only to complain and say "I should have, could have done better." I wasn't sure what I had in terms of fitness. I honestly didn't know. A wedding 8 weeks before an Ironman and a foot injury lead to a slightly unconventional training plan. On race day you've got what you've got and you execute it. This is a matter of skill, luck, and psyche. I decided I would give it my all. I would find a way to gut out any rough patches. Above all I would be happy with the results. I owed this to myself, my family, and my friends who made sacrifices and supported me. I was prepared to deal with the worst. Secretly hoping to have the race of my life. I thought I had enough good fortune for one year. It was time the good fortune ticket be passed on to somebody else. I guess I was wrong. My good fortune continues. I'm not sure why I'm so lucky. I just am and I'll take it.

Pre Race:
After eating an 0400 breakfast buffet we were off to the start. My husband kindly got up and walked to the start with us. It was really cool seeing the white lights of the Tempe Town bridge. It sort of reminded me of Christmas lights. It served as a reminder that I just had to get through this day. After I could relax and enjoy the holiday season with my husband. It helped keep things in perspective. No matter how daunting this distance seemed in about the time it takes me to complete a shift of work my endeavor would be over. All of the training, the anticipation, and the excitement would be over in a matter of hours. It sort of seemed like being a kid and opening presents on Christmas morning. I was left with one thought. I better make it count. Soon this experience would only be a memory. I was nervous but not painfully so. It was hard to be preoccupied with my nerves when others had never done this before. At least I knew what to expect. It was cold before the sun came up. Tina, Jess, Elaine and I put on our wetsuits early and were ready to go.

Of note, I was nervous enough to pee 5 times before the race even started.
Of second note, I did not stand in line for the porta potty once.
Of note #3, there were wet foot prints noted on the cement that surrounded the feet of several San Diego ladies
You piece the above together.

The swim:
At 6:50 the pros started and we were instructed to enter the water. In addition to swimming 2.4 miles we had to swim to the start and tread water for 10 minutes (and walk up hill to the start). Luckily, I had been advised not to waste my energy treading water. I swam to the side where I could hold the wall.
I think Tina, Jess, Elaine and I clung to each other, our teeth chattering with cold and nervousness. I would have probably hyper ventilated if I hadn't been with these girls. Social pressure keeps me well behaved and I put on my big girl pants and tried to relax. Above the wall were tons of fans. I scanned the crowd for Tim but didn't see him. I knew he would find a way to see me somehow. I was glad when the gun went off. It was time to stop thinking and start doing. This is so much easier for me.
The start of the swim was slow going. I hung in the back as I figure I am slower than most. I don't have a swim background nor do I "swim enough." I am steady though. I knew I could handle the distance. Maybe I should have bolted for the first few minutes and tried to get out of the tangles. It might have been faster. Maybe I would have got in trouble going out to hard. I crawled along for quite sometime, breathing every stroke because the pace was so slow. This didn't bother me too much. I had far fewer size 13 feet in my face than at Couer D'Alene. The water was warmer. I followed the wall until the stadium, then I let it go away from me. This is just what I was supposed to do. I proud of that. I tried to stay on a pair of feet slightly faster than my own. After things spread out I found my rhythm and really enjoyed myself. I love swimming in a wetsuit. I love swimming in open water. It's nice to be buoyant.
I knew I was getting close to the turn and gave myself a bunch of pep talks. At Couer D'Alene the turns were really jammed up. I got stuck. Frankly it was a bit of a scare (even for me). All those arms flailing, people breast stroking, treading water and panicking. I headed into the turn very wide to avoid the crowd and it was cake. Of course, part of me began bargaining with myself.....did I need to take the corner that wide, all the extra distance. I squashed that thought and accelerated forward. I knew I had completed the hardest part of the swim. A huge weight was lifted. The only difficult section of the swim left would be the exit. I tried to swim as efficiently as possible. I know my swim time wasn't "fast" but other than changing tactics at the beginning I couldn't have gone any faster. Now, give me another year of Masters and that is a different story.
I didn't fall down upon exiting the water this time... so I would say it was a success. I quickly made my way to a wetsuit stripper and they freed me out of my suit. I said thanks and I ran to my gear bag. I was cold and shivering but I knew things would warm up quickly. I grabbed my bag and quickly donned my helmet, goggles, shoes, and socks. I was off before I knew it.
The bike:
Lap #1
I felt really jumpy at the start of the bike. This is where my race starts and my legs just wanted to fire. My head knew I was supposed to pace myself but it seemed so slow. My legs just wanted to rip it up. I tried to settle into a steady rhythm but it took a long time as I start out the bike so far back. There was a head wind going out on the course. I remember looking at my speedometer and thinking it might be a long day. There was a bit of a steady climb for the last few miles before the turn around and I remember looking at the speedometer thinking it's going to be a really long day. I was ok with that. I could deal. Having a head wind gave me something to sink my quads into and quieted my mind. I'm such a weirdo that having an obstacle outside the race course itself actually calms me. I hit the turn around and realized just how much of a headwind we had and how much of a tail wind I had on the return loop. Now it is time to party I thought. Wow, this was fun. I smiled, I laughed I began to relax. Free speed I thought. This is great.
Lap #2
Now I am stressed again as I really have to pee. It is so early in the ride and I really don't want to stop. "I don't wanna....wah" I thought. Proving my amateur status, I failed to take care of things while riding. I began to get a little negative but I knew better. I decided to fix things and began putting all my energy into finding the nearest porta potty without a line. In my opinion IMAZ is well supported but could have a few more porta potties....the race is today. I finally found a porta potty without a line but it was a bit off the road. A nice lady offered to hold my bike and I ran to the bathroom. She handed me back my bike and said "Good job, you're at mile 44 -- almost half way." Umm, not quite. Half of 112 is not 44.I felt so much better I knew I had made the right choice and headed back to work. It is amazing how much less men drafting or blocking bothers when you don't need to pee. I started to relax a bit more. I had been so worried about flatting or going too fast and losing steam but I was starting to feel like I had plenty in the tank.
Lap #3.
I see Tim at the turn around. I am hoping he's not upset with me for riding too slow here. There was a no pass zone and I was stuck behind somebody monkeying around. Literally, he's doing yoga on his bike in a no pass zone. Dude ...the race is today. I know IM is a long day but save the yoga for the mat or at least the passing zone. I remember though Madonna Buder's advise on not allowing negative thoughts into your mind so I focus on eating, drinking, and perceiving being boxed in as a good rest during this time.
I head out for the final lap of the bike. I start to realize I might be in a good spot time wise but I don't allow myself to read too far into the numbers. It could be discouraging. I start to focus on starting the run by 2:00 p.m. I knew this would be a good time for me. I the lap goes on and I feel pretty darn good. Then something happens and I want to cry. It looks like a mirage and I keep riding but the turn around looks further and further away. I want to cry. I want to whine. I am sure somebody has moved the turn around. I acknowledge this lack of coping. That's the joy of having bonked so many times over the past few years. You figure things out and I know the I want to cry feeling means I have about 15 minutes until I bonk. I whipped out an espresso Gu and downed half of it. I shoved the other half up my shorts. It leaked out down my thigh and made for some awesome photos :) About 10 minutes later I felt awesome again. Well, awesome minus my symphysis pubis feeling like it was broken. I now knew and feared every imperfection in the road and was unloading the saddle before every bump. As much as I love my bike, 112 miles in the aero bars with skimpy shorts on was plenty. I was ready to run.
I passed mile 90 and got excited. I felt much better than at CDA at this point and felt that I could steadily accelorate until the run. I had read in a book to slow down in the last 20 miles and not to eat or drink anything because it would make starting the run hard. That tactic didn't do me any good at CDA. I decided I would try things my way. I kept hydrating until the end. The 2:00 p.m. run start seemed very possible and it seemed like I just kept gaining momentum. I saw Tim as I headed toward the T2 transition. We exchanged grins. He said that was fast and I smiled the "I know" kind of smile that indicated I surprised myself and was happy. At this time I had no idea I had biked a 5:29. I wouldn't have dared to dream that. I feel like I have a lot more to develop in terms of cycling. I know it takes a special course, conditions, and a special day to do that and I am so lucky that everything came together today.
I felt like I was in a great position to run. The one were you feel you could have gone harder on the bike. I think that is the key to the run. I wanted to nail a 5:45 so I would have a chance to execute the run. I was so excited because my legs felt pretty darn fresh. The bike course at CDA had demanded a lot more of my legs and I survived the run there.
Ran in feeling like a rock star with the roaring TCSD contingency. I quickly changed I couldn't wait to start running. I ran out of T2 and was so elated. Now I really felt like a "Celebrity" because some awesome TCSDer was taking pictures and all these people were cheering me on. It was so unbelievably awesome. I felt so lucky and blessed. I also had an over whelming feeling that this time I would get that run right.
As I headed down the lake and towards the park my legs began to feel "dead" and I started to huff and puff. "Oh no, already I'm struggling" then I looked at my Garmin and saw I was running a 7 minute mile pace, it felt like a 10 minute mile. That is a pretty quick pace for somebody who just biked 112 miles and has a marathon left to run. "Whoa girl, easy," I thought. (It's funny how self talk is always in the third person). Apparently I got a little too excited. The run course was fun. Up and over the bridges and weaving through the crowds. I was steady. I felt very strong. I saw Tim and he was so excited for me. I saw my coach and he told me I looked strong. I saw Danielle, fast-Philipe's wife, and she was cheering for me with so much enthusiasm I could cry. It was awesome I just kept sucking in the energy from the crowd. This time it is different I thought of the run. I felt like I was trudging in CDA but now I felt like I was running. It was great. I worried though that I would run out of energy and remembered to take my nutrition slowly and steadily. I had used a formula that used my weight and estimated speed to figure out approximate calories expended and calories I could absorb at that speed. It was really quite low, about 150/hour. My stomach alternated on feeling bloated, churny, and ready to explode with feeling growly like I could eat an elephant. I just focused on what my coach told me to spread my calories out and take in small amounts frequently avoiding overload and bonking. I was sick of sweet gel but this time I wasn't carrying food on me. I had a water bottle and electrolyte caps. This time I planned to get my running fuel from the North America Sports buffet. I loved the pretzels in CDA but I couldn't chew them in AZ. My mouth was too dry. I resorted to the gel. The little wimpy girl in me said she "didn't wanna" but I pulled on my big girl pants and focused on being rational. 150 cals at an 8-9 minute mile pace meant I only needed to consume 1 1/2 gels over 7 miles. At each aid station I would take a little mouthful that was all. I certainly was not going to throw out my chance to have the race of a life time because I was fussy. I had to make two portapotty stops during the run which sort of killed me since I was having the "race of my life". The focus on being rational said "Dude, it's bodily functions; give yourself a break." I'm glad I gave a lot of respect to being rational because it helped me to make some wise choices. Really how fast would I have gone if I would have had a party in my pants to run with? So I stayed positive. I got to the half way marker in just about two hours. I'm not sure if the second port-a-potty stop was at 13 or 13.1 miles but I think I ran a steadier pace than my splits indicate because of the stops. I fell back into my rhythm and my shoelace came untied. am I supposed to impress my husband with all this lolli-gagging. Remain rational, I thought. How fast are you going to go if you trip and fall down. I fix the shoe and get going again.
I know this is sick and twisted but despite wanting to be done I actually didn't want things to end. There was only about 2 miles that were really rough. Miles 14-16. The rest was like a party. I felt like a rockstar performing for an audience. As I headed into the last lap I felt satisfied. I would just cruise it in and cement a decent finish. Tim thought otherwise. He ran out to take my sunnies as it was getting dark. He was so excited. He told me I was steady and strong and that I was going to beat his time at CDA. He said I was starting to move up in position and told me that this lap was were the money was at. Then he slapped my rear so hard it sent me forward at a pace at least one minute a mile faster. I swear there was a red imprint of Tim's hand:) After this I was so fired up I swear I accelerated until the finish. I do remember passing people that had passed me earlier. So much of my fatigue vanished and I was so excited. I was racing now. Trying to get to the finish as fast as I could. This was amazing because I thought I would claw my way into the finish but this was so different. This was my vision. Running fast in the dark. So many times during evening runs I ran thinking if I could only run like this on Ironman day. It was happening. It was real.
I remember heading through the grass chute area by T1 and T2. It was lined with people. This girl in front of me motioned to the crowd to cheer. The crowd totally errupted. It was so cool, it gave me energy and I ran faster. I caught up with the girl and thanked her. We started to run together and sailed through the section I struggled on the last lap. Getting through that section easily was like a get out of jail free card. I was loving things now. Only 4 miles left. The girl I was running with started to slow down. She said she felt bad and to go. I didn't want to lose my new friend so I offered her on of my electro-lyte caps. She took one of her own and told me to go. I felt kind of bad leaving her but picked up the pace and moved on. There are no guarantees I will ever do an Ironman again so I wanted to make the most of it. Also I started to become aware that I had the potential to finish in 11:11 which was my grandmother's favorite number. The next few miles went by quickly. After mile 24 though it seemed like I had been running for a long time. I began to get nervous that I had missed the turn to the finish as it was dark. Then a girl came all out sprinting past me. I knew I hadn't gone the wrong way. Nobody would be running like that with 8 miles to go. I looked at my Garmin. 25.6 it stated. There wasn't a 25 mile marker on the course and I had a half mile to go. Crap.....time to pick it up the race was almost over and I still had tons in the tank. I turned a headed down a dark alley towards the lights of the finished. I swear I was sprinting (but I probably wasn't). I entered the finish chute and started high fiving everybody. I saw Tim and high-fived him.
I finished in 11:14:01... Sorry Grandma, but minus the potty stops I probably executed the course in 11:11. I'm pretty excited as I started and finished the run in 17th place. This is the first time I have not given back a zillion places on the run.
My friend Whitney from San Diego was volunteering in the finishers chute. She intervened the other catcher and instead of screening me for medical needs asked if I PR'd. I was half laughing and half crying and said by about an hour. She let me go to the fence and hug Tim. After that Tim and I headed to the finishers area where they served the best pizza ever. Tim and I snorkled pizza down and I called my parents and Tim's parents. They had been tracking me all day and I couldn't wait to share my excitement with them.

2008 Ironman Arizona Pre Race

The few days before Ironman were busy. Here's the jist of things.

Packed and fretted about how how three girls, three bikes, three sets of triathlon gear, and everything else needed for a weekend away would fit into one car . Of greater we would have room to bring back are finisher gear.

Thursday morning:
I met Tina and Elaine.
Miracle 1 of Ironman weekend:
All gear fit in Tina's CRV 
(thumbs up to Honda for that one)

Miracle 2 of Ironman weekend:

I was no longer nervous. Elaine was making me laugh. She had obtained the Hanna Montana version of Clif Shot Blocks. This quote "Get your mind out of the gutter, it's Hanna Montana...don't you know a guitar when you see one" I will never forget. Elaine promised one for each of us girls to carry in our Bento box. At this point nerves were out the window. I knew that in the darkest of dark moments out there I would be reminded to have a good laugh and not take things too seriously.

Of note: I did not have a Hanna Montana guitar in my Bento Box on race day. Over the course of the weekend they became so popular Elaine decided not to share them. She decided to sell them on e-bay. There were no hard feelings about this. Ironman is expensive so we thought it smart to recoup the expenses.

Thursday afternoon:
We checked into host hotel. We met Mike Riley, the voice of Ironman. I vaguely remembering promising to come back to the finish line and cheer on those still finishing after our races ended. I stifled a sarcastic snort....I just hoped I would finish. The thought of partying at the finish after my race was too much to ask for. We walked to RA and had happy hour sushi prices. Yummy. Shocked the waitresses with quantity of food consumed:)

Friday morning:
Met with Jess, Tina, Elaine, and Mary for swim practice swim in the Tempe Town lake. I insisted on swimming with my squid lid on. I'm superstitious and insecure regarding my Ironman swim experience. The water at CDA was beautiful but cold and full of chaotic kicks to the head. I didn't care that the water was a warm 63 degrees. I wanted my squid lid anyway. It was murky water and I swam over Tina a time or two. I swam crooked. There was a lot of current. I hoped there would be no current on race day. I braced myself for chaos and current but hoped for the best. After our 20 minute swim we did a whopping two mile run. That was fun. Tail wind out, head wind back. I figured that was how things would be on race day. I just wished I had my gals to be silly with during the race. My ankles were doing something very weird.....stopped to roll them out a few times. I remembered they always do that when I run right after swimming. Good thing I would have a 112 mile ride between the bike and swim Sunday. We went back to the hotel, showered and changed. Thanks to Mrs. Moytl for being group Mom and Sherpa extraordinaire. She watched our stuff while we played. I mean practiced.

We headed to registration/weigh in. Ugh. Who wants to weigh in after two weeks of tapering? Please. We picked up our race packets and headed to the Saks 5th Avenue for triathletes. The Ironman Store. I tried not to spend too much money. This time I would be around when they rolled out the "FINISHER" gear. I picked up a coffee mug to match my CDA one. Now everyone knows why my wedding registry didn't include dishes.

We joined Mer and Joanne for lunch. Minus Mary the girls were together. I must say I had so, so, so much fun with these ladies. As catty as this may sound, I didn't know what it would do to my jittery pre race nerves to be in a big group. These girls were, are, and forever will be awesome. There was nothing but love....none of that head tripping psyche stuff. The kind that makes you feel like a student about to take a test wanting to cry "I didn't study that". No not with these girls. The dynamics are not like that. We were in this together.

Friday evening :
We went to RA again for dinner. Then met up with the rest of TCSD for the mandatory meeting. Found that drafting was 4 bike lengths....for some reason I thought it was two. I consulted with Jess and Tina regarding the math. Was it even possible for 2200 bikes to be four bike lengths apart on a 37 mile loop?

That evening we watched TCSD member Don Lopez presented with the Ford Everyday hero award. We cheered very loud.

Saturday morning:
Elaine, Tina, Jess and I met with our coach for a swim strategy meeting then we were off for a 30 minute bike ride to test our race rigs.

Memorable moments: Riding with arrow helmet and disk through Tempe Town and a cup of Starbucks. Seeing Tina ride with a coffee carrier containing two coffees and an oatmeal.

We discussed swim strategy. The plan was to swim near the wall until the stadium. Then I was to "let the wall drift away from me" as it followed the perimeter of the lake. I was advised to hold on to the side of the wall from 6:50 -7:00 am so I wouldn't get warn out before the swim started.
I felt a few wind gusts. I asked out loud if a 5'3 female would blow off her bike in a wind gust while rolling a disk. "Hope not" was the consensus. I was warned to watch out on the bridges. I felt great riding and wasn't blown around. I began thinking that the men who say things like "You'll blow off that bike" are afraid I'll drop them. I think they would like to see all women riding 100 pound Huffy's. Reality was I didn't have much else in the way of choices. I needed to check my bike in by 3:00 p.m. and the stress of dealing with the wind seemed far less that a wheel change, derailleur adjustment, and brake pad change.

Text from Tim: Plane fogged in. I'm bringing you a rear wheel in case it's too windy for the disk we can change it out.

Crap. Crappy Crapola. No Tim around and another decision . I hate decisions. I'll would deal with the wind. That is that. I readied my bike and gear bags to turn in. I was hoping for Tim to take a last minute inspection of my bike but he was still on the ground in SD. I turned in the bike and hoped for the best.

4:00 P.M.:
Finally Tim has arrived. Yeah! We get to hang out. He offers me the head Tri spoke. He says we can change out the disk. It might be windy. I can handle the wind I say. I can deal. I actually believe I can deal with whatever comes my way tomorrow.
6:00 p.m:
RA for sushi the night before the race. Since I already know this agrees with me what could be better than fish, rice, and Miso soup ( sodium) the night before a race. Oh and how about some cinnamon ice cream.
9:00 p.m:
Lights out. Tim tells us all to be very quiet in the morning and not awaken him. He'll see us on the course around 9:00 am. We all laugh.

Ironman Arizona Thank You

Before I spend time writing my race report I would like to take a moment say thanks to everyone who supported me over the last year while I trained for Ironman Couer D'Alene and Ironman Arizona. I could not have hoped for a better race and I couldn't have accomplished these dreams without you guys. Throughout the long hours of training I have replayed the words of encouragement you all gave to me a thousand times. Thank You

1st off....Thanks to my husband Tim. For putting up with me when I am behaving out of hunger, fatigue, or nervousness....I know none of these are the are pleasant sites. Also thank you for making me eggs and toast (on homemade bread) for breakfast in the weeks leading up to IMAZ. It gave me the fuel to get through the workouts and made me feel loved and supported while I trained. Thanks also for the countless hours you have spent prepping my bike and for all the special touches you put on it like stickers that say "I drop boys"all over my gear. Thank you for flying out to IMAZ and being the worlds best sherpa/cheerleader extraordinaire. I know the sidelines aren't really for you but I sure was glad to see you there.

To my parents... Dan and Judi for encouraging me and telling me that whatever kind of a day I had it would be sufficient and for "NOT giving me a ride to track practice". Thanks to my in laws Bruce and Cindy, who had so much confidence in me they put money on me. Yes, it was me vs. the Sherminator....a middle aged male. Essentially they put meat on the table.

To my original IMAZ training partners Mer, Elaine, Tina , and Jess along with Joanne and Mary who I met during training. Thank all of you for your determination and dedication that inspired me to keep going even when I struggled a bit a after Couer D'Alene.
Thanks to Stacy, who although she wasn't racing at IMAZ put in a lot of miles with me. Thanks for listening to me perseverate on the details of CDA, a foot injury, my wedding, and IMAZ. Thanks for all the wisdom you shared and telling me I could manage IMAZ when I honestly wasn't sure if I could.
Thanks also to Meredith, who encouraged me to take a break when needed but refused to let me quit. She said that I was too strong and if I tried to quit she would check me into a spa until I was jonesing to get on my bike again.
Thanks to Elaine for making me laugh and for your willingness to drop boys even a mile 90 of a ride. That's good stuff.
Thanks to Tina for coordinating IMAZ girls nights, training rides,accommodations, and even driving to IMAZ.
Thanks to Jess who is always an example of what great things come of hard work, organization and diligence. I don't know anyone else who could balance training, a full time job and obtain and MBA at one time. Also thanks for your awesome attitude after Ironman. We were walking to the awards and you started setting new goals for yourself in the marathon. Just as I was getting ready to prop up my feet and drink a cold one you go inspiring me. Now I'm starting to have twinges of Ironman Fever again. Thanks a lot for that one
To our coach Mike Plumb of Tri Power....Home of affordable training. Thank you for preparing us to have great races. Thanks for tracking all of us so we were sure to see each other finish.

Thanks to Elizabeth and Julie all of the great rides and reassurance that I would recover, my foot would heal, and I would be alright for IMAZ. Thanks for setting such a great example inside and outside of triathlon. Also...thanks for making me work a bit on the bike. After riding GWL with you ladies the ride at IMAZ was cake

Thanks also to the entire San Diego Tri Club, ecspecially those there on race day whose cheers made me feel like a rockstar.


Ironman Arizona Race Report Coming Soon

Nervous Morning Smile
For now we'll just say I had the time of my life.

Racer Ready

Racer Ready 3-2-1- GO.

Those were the words I heard just before it was my turn to race when I was a ski racer. It felt like eternity.

In the amount of time my heart would skip several beats. I would feel nauseated and sick until I broke the wand. Then I became exhilarated. My race then would last about 1 minute.

Now imagine my feelings before starting a race that on a good day would last around 12 hours and span 140.6 miles. ......I am a nervous, excited, tornado whirling around everywhere. My apologies to everyone I have encountered over the past few days. I am not thinking so clear. In fact I have been so scattered in my thinking that I have 5 blogs in the draft folder that I just can't finish.

Does this mean I am not ready for Ironman?


Does this mean two Ironman's in one year is too much for me?


Does this mean I am going to go slow?

(well depends on who's standards)

Does this mean I have a disorder?

No comment
(well probably but doesn't everybody)

Am I going to have fun?
Oh Yeah

I renewed my CPR today. Of course I got 100% on the test and was the first one done ;)
CPR is very basic. It's about the ABC's. I am amending my race plan to be that simple

A)Attitude (have a good one)
B) Breathe ( I have been known to screw this up:)
C) C myself finishing strong

Veterans Day

On Veterans Day, as a service to the veterans there were no surgeries and Tim got the day off. We started the day by attending masters. It was great except Coach Sickie wasn't there:(

No telling what would happen if coach Sickie was at masters. Last time Tim and I were at swim together Sickie celebrated our marriage by making us hold hands swimming a 100. He then commented I needed to pull my own weight. Insightful. I think I got water up my nose I was laughing so hard.

ThAlign Centeris is what you win
if you are swimmer of the week....
A bobble head of coach Sickie.
It is a coveted bobble head.

After masters we enjoyed our favorite meal, second breakfast....otherwise known as brunch but we prefer to call it second breakfast in honor of the hobbits. Tim's the breakfast chef unless it's some sort of oatmeal or baked goods. I'm not to creative early in the morning and typically choose sleep over food prep. Tim made my new favorite breakfast. Soft boiled eggs on homemade toast. Any other bread would be blah.... but Tim's bread is the best. (I am not biased)

I washed the dishes and filled water bottles (see I pull my weight) as Tim aired up our bike tires. Soon we were off on a ride. It was windy heading up the coast and I liked that. I have been trying to catch wind gusts to prepare for IMAZ but the summer wind was nothing like the gusts January, Febuary, and March. I guess that's one of those race day variables I can deal with but I can not control. I wanted to ride in front to deal with more wind but Tim didn't think his wife should ever have to pull. He said it was unshivalrous. I gave in and let him pull but forced him to go at threshold since I was supposed to go hard for the middle 20 miles of my ride. We didn't really bring much nutrition except two Clif fruit twists and one gel (240 cal/2 people/total). We weren't going that far and had a big breakfast. On the return trip in Solana Beach I started to get a little hungry. Tim said he was really hungry. I gave Tim the gel and made him eat a fruit twist. As we headed up Torrey Pines I started to get really hungry. Tim full on bonked. He was able to ride just fine but I think his senses were impaired and he kept apologizing for bonking. Of course, I used this opportunity to manipulate Tim into agreeing to all sorts of things he may not have agreed to other wise:)

When we got home Tim said he was done.....I scampered off for a short run in my new knee high compression socks. I had a hard time catching my breath on the run. I think it was because in addition to the knee high socks I was wearing a baggy long sleeve t-shirt, a Garmin, an I-pod and pink running shorts. This was topped off by my head lamp I insist on wearing around my waist as it pulls my hair. I ran as fast as possible for fear a co worker might say "umm I saw you running the other day" I think that is why I couldn't catch my breath.

I arrived home to overhear Tim on the phone complaining. He said he was manipulated and abused, not by his residency program but his wife. Then he started complaining about the squash again. "Fine" I said that we were switching from squash to beets. Triathletes are always beleiving in miralce foods. I couldn't afford the goji berries at Whole Foods so I got beets instead. I read on the Whole Foods website that beets betaine decrease inflammation so I figured from now until 3 weeks post Ironman we should consume them. I don't think Tim believed me yet... so here you go baby doll. I know you went to med school but I read the Whole Foods web site so I must be right.

People whose diets supplied the highest average intake of choline (found in egg yolk and soybeans), and its metabolite betaine (found naturally in vegetables such as beets and spinach), have levels of inflammatory markers at lst 20% lower than subjects with the lowest average intakes, report Greek researchers in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Detopoulou P, Panagiotakos DB, et al.)

Recently my parents adopted a one year old black lab. His name is Sparky and he writes me letters via e-mail. He must be a really smart dog. He's going to be a great training partner next time I visit my parents. Until I arrive he is working on his endurance by running and building his core strength by jumping in piles of leaves. He does interval training by chasing birds, squirrels, and chipmunks.

Sparky is like a lot of triathletes. He has trouble with his nutrition. Since joining my parents in the U.P. his training has caused him to loose weight. After running all day he collapses onto his rug and goes straight to bed. Sometimes he sleeps for hours and doesn't want to get up. Sparky told me I shouldn't complain about the Gatorade served on the course. Last week, when Sparky was on his long run he needed nutrition so he ate what he could find in the woods. He said I only thought I knew what tummy troubles were.

I'm hoping Sparky starts his own blog soon.

Race Report: World's 70.3

So the one thing better than my own race report is reporting somebody elses....

When I talk to cohorts who are non athletes they make comments at like I'm too old to run or your knees are going to give out and you are going to be a cripple. All of those people need to meet Bruce.

Trumpet Fan Fare and Drum Role Please

My Father in Law, Bruce PR'd on Saturday in Clearwater, Florida at the 2008, 70.3 World Championships.

click here for some of the action

He swam 1.2 miles with alligators and rafts from Cuba. Then he biked 56 miles while dodging Florida's infamous blue haired ladies driving enormous Cadillacs. Finally he ran 13.1 miles in the staggering Florida sun. He also ran the entire distance on concrete surfaces without the use of performance enhancing knee high socks. He managed to do all of this in a time of 4 hours 51 minutes and he finished ninth in his age IN THE WORLD.
Bruce is currently accepting applications from sponsors. However as his self appointed agent I can say he is very exclusive and won't associate his name with just anything. Interested parties should respond to this blog.
Bruce is currently relaxing and recovering by eating his wife Cindy's apple pies and by running the Pleasanton Ridge three times daily, once with each of his dogs Elle, Polly, and Riley.

Married Life

Now that Tim and I our settling into married life we are discovering we have some differences. Yes, we have some huge fundamental differences. Like our appreciation of things like squash. Today, after my 9 million mile bike ride I went marketing. I went to the produce market and then to Costco. Speaking of which ....I am so glad I became a triathlete because my arms are much stronger pushing a Costco cart around these days.
After that I headed home to unload my loot of groceries and manage my produce. You know wash and prepare all the veggies so they don't go to waste because you were too lazy to clean them.
I also found time to prepare some molasses cookies and the chocolate cherry ones I made yesterday seemed to be disappearing at a very fast pace. Hmmm....maybe we have a mouse.

There must be a mouse in the house

Anyway when I started working on the molasses because I knew they would be good for future ride and for recovery after our evening run. I am so good too my husband that I typically save my evening run until he gets home. I know he really loves to run after a long day of work. Sometimes he apologizes for being so late and offers not to make me run, but I always tell him it's no problem. Sometimes I even get his head lamp out for him to show him how willing I am to support his running.

Tim came in the door and that was when I discovered our fundamental differences. His face looked crest fallen and he said" more squash?" Then he saw the cookies and started eating them. Hot, right from the cookie sheet. .....They didn't even make it to the cooling rack. Much less the intended spot in the freezer so I could bring them on long bike rides. Side note: Screw power bars, clif bars, carbo pro , and shot blocks. I'm over it. After November 23. I refuse to consume any form of maltodextrin until April. He gobbled up 5 or 6 of the freshly baked cookies and then said he had a few things to do before running. I thought it to was to study for the Ortho in training exam. I encouraged him to do so but later found out he was searching Craig's list and allowing the cookies to digest. I started preparing dinner so we could eat in the magical 30-60 minutes after training and optimally recover from our whopping 40 minute run.

He came out and looked at the dinner and again looked crest fallen. "That's a lot of food" he said mournfully. I could only think A) You are not a 115 pound female and B) I thought you were hungry...eating 5 cookies? I was extremely perplexed by this because when we first started dating Tim had issues with my idea of dinner being oatmeal, Kashi cereal and yogurt, or best yet a Trader Joe's soy corn dog. I couldn't figure out what exactly was the problem. Then I got it, eating dinner would keep him from eating as many cookies.

Good Luck

Good Luck

This weekend is the 70.3 (or half Iron man) World Championships. I am proud to say that last year my Father - in - law was the 11 th faster person in his age:) That's fast.

Sometimes when I talk about Iron man with non triathletes they ask how I ever got the idea to do an Iron man. That would have to be where my father in law Bruce comes in. A few years when I thought the swim split in a sprint was a big deal. (Like worth hyper ventilating over) Bruce was chucking out full IM finishes like a batches of cookies for a bake sale. He made it seem so easy. One year he did Oceanside 70.3 in April and Wildflower in May. In June he did the Sierra Century with a friend who had never done it. That evening he flew down to San Diego to help Tim and I in the marathon we failed to train for. Not help as in stand on the side walk and as in pace our behinds to the finish and carry us in if needed. A couple hours later he flew back up north ( and probably did a recovery swim). I thought Bruce would be a little disappointed in our times as at least mine didn't reflect having trained. Believe a positive split is very different than having a positive attitude. He wasn't though. I could tell he was so genuinly happy we were sharing in the fun of the sports he loved. Later that month he did IM CDA. Then he did the Death Ride with Tim and I. After that he did the Vine man Half and IM Canada. Missing a Kona spot by one minute. He made it seem sooooo easy. Never complaining of being sore, tired, or even hungry. Bruce encouraged Tim and I to do these events and recommended books on training and some of Hammer nutrition's products (which Tim and I swiped when Bruce's head was turned). After doing one Iron man I realized how really tough it is and how much a big event takes out of you. Despite run skirts being popular, compared to Bruce, I really look like I am wearing a skirt. If things get a little hard for me at AZ I'll have to remember that somebody I am related to did a marathon, a century, 3 halves, 2 fulls in one season.

Thanks for the inspiration.

Good luck and go fast, and have a good time.

The Update

Happy Halloween
Last night Tim and I carved pumpkins for Halloween. Today Tim was on home call meaning he could have to go to work at anytime and respond to pages all day. Not wanting me to miss out on the the fun he sent me out to ride with the girls. What fun!!!! The only problem with riding with the girls is sometimes I'm a little bit hoarse after chatting all day. When somebody advises to train at conversation pace....I take it very seriously.
I actually pedalled a few extra miles today because I rode to the ride start so Tim could have use of the car. In addition to sharing a bathroom we are sharing a car. 116.66 miles later I arrived home from my ride (I only report this number because I like random numbers and feel it is similar to the # I finished Ironman , 666) Anyway, I thought Tim would be raring to go for a run after waiting for me all day. I was wrong. Instead he was up to his eyeballs trying to resuscitate his car (which is on a modified hospice plan) He said he'd be ready in five minutes to run. I quickly changed into my running clothes.
Then I peeked outside and knew it would be more like 10 minutes....or an hour and 10. Tim and I our learning the secret language of each other.
In Tim speak I'll be ready in a sec......means I'll be ready in an hour.
In Jen speak I'm just going to go for a quick run means I'll be back in a hour.

In the meantime I started preparing another homemade pumpkin pie (with real pumpkins..YUMM YUMM)

Honeymoon's Over

Honeymoon is Over
Now I'm back to work!

Actually the honeymoon has been over for quite a while. Tim and I enjoyed a whole two days at the Terrace Inn in Bay View. This was very fun and I highly recommend it to anyone. Even people who don't appreciate going for a 9 mile run along the shore of Little Traverse Bay just after breakfast.

Lately I have been a bit behind on my blogging. It has fallen behind my other tasks and interests and covers an array of subjects. I have elected to take on such wifely duties as attempting to make a pumpkin pie from scratch....I mean scratch as in real pumpkins, to additional requirements in my professional life, and of course IMAZ training. The IMAZ training is back on in full tilt and if you saw what I accomplished over the last few weeks you wouldn't worry about what I missed. I'm certainly not. By the way my husband and I have even taken to hosting parties and serving drinks that people have to google to figure out (PIMMS).

I could talk more about my training.....or debacles of training (Sunday's ride shortened by a mechanical) but there are far better blogs to read about that I will talk about what people seem to ask about.

How are Tim and I adjusting to married life????

Common Questions Are:

Who squeezes the tooth paste from the wrong end and how do you deal with it?

Does your husband change the roll of toilet paper after using the last sheet?

Does your husband put empty cartons of milk/orange juice back into the fridge?

Does your husband leave the toilet seat up or down?

Does your husband fold and put away his clothes or leave them in a wad on the floor?

All the women I work with seem to assume I am perfect and the husband will be the perpetrator of the offensive toothpaste squeezing. In a way, Tim is lucky. He will have a lot of get out of jail free cards because I am guilty of occasionally leaving a wet towel on the bed.

All couples need level playing fields to discuss important manners. Tim and I usually do this running or biking. I know you all think this must not be a level playing field for me but I sometimes my legs get magic powers (not so much during races). Tim and I have been put to the test slightly as his car is out of commission. Lately we have been sharing transportation. Well ...not all the time as Tim often bikes to work. The other night we were using our 4 mile run to discuss sensible transportation options. Tim kept suggesting things like a jacked up pick up truck (monster truck) or a motorcycle to use as a form of reliable transportation. Tim likes to joke and is good about doing so with a very serious voice. Apparently it riled me up and I started running faster. Tim asked me to slow down as he had just had a snack before running. Tim wouldn't admit he was kidding and said I was a "kill joy." I sped up more. I don't know where this speed was coming from but my legs were magic. Soon I heard him say (from behind) if you don't slow down I'm going to throw up. Then I played cat and mouse with the pace until Tim admitted I was A) not a kill joy and B) did not view monster trucks or motorcycles as reliable transportation. The problem with this is now Tim is going to razz me just to make me go faster.

More Pics

No time to write a blog just yet.......too busy being a wife, training for IMAZ, unpacking, and planning a chin dig to celebrate with So Cal friends.

Wedding Preview

I know you are all awaiting this blog......but folks I'm on my honeymoon. You are going to have to wait a bit longer.

The Joy of Bok Choy

The nice fiance I am ......I have been trying to do most of the grocery shopping, meal planning, and preparation. Tim works more hours than me. I would rather the division of labor be as follows: Me .....unimportant details. Tim.....bread baking and bike maintenance. Due to Tim's residency he is in a hostage situation and is suffering from "Death by Vegetables"

I make vegetables for dinner and then pack the leftovers for lunches. Otherwise known as "overdosing me on vegetables"

I say....."You'll harden up mate"
I cook most of the veggies with a side of chicken or fish for protein. We also eat a lot of cottage cheese and plain yogurt for protein. Concerned though that I didn't have good enough sources of iron I added bok choy. Maybe I went a little overboard trying to get my RDI of Fe (remember science class) from Bok Choy.

Anyway. Friday night I ignored all the rules of race prep. Early dinner. High carb. Low fiber. Easily digestible. Blah, blah, blah. If I managed an Ironman I must have an iron gut. At 8:15 p.m I served up a dinner of beets, bok choy, corn, red peppers, onion, and a little bit of chicken.
At o530 Saturday morning I was a little sorry. Tim had a bit of a green look on his face too as we headed to the TCSD club race. My stomach felt more full then it did last night and I would be racing in an hour. Ugg....Sprinting. Most people like sprints because they are shot. Too me they are more stress full then longer courses as there is no easing into to things. It's full on insanity from start to finish. Sprints usually hurt but today was going to be good. Once in the water my tender tummy was ok. On the bike it was alright....but on the run I think I had the worse side ache ever. Oww Yoww Yoww and this is from a tough tummy girl. I could only think if I feel this way Tim's really hurting. Good thing we aren't married yet.....he might not be as forgiving when his wife sabotages his tummy (and Saturday morning race).

Despite the side ache I actually had a very good race. It reminded me of the side aches I got in grade school on a daily basis. We always ate lunch and then had 30 minutes to run and play. We played a lot of girls vs boys and there was no pacing myself in this arena. Saturday seemed quite the same.

This is my race report for Saturday.

We arrived at Coronado and staked out transition. Tim added air to our tires as I absent mindedly chatted with many of my girlfriend I hadn't seen in a while. There was a bit of a course talk but as usual I paid no attention as I was chatting with the girls. Soon somebody was yelling for everyone to head toward the water and poor Tim wasn't in his wet suit yet. (Probably my fault as he was airing my tires......) I zipped him in and we waded into the water. The gun blew...actually somebody shouted 15 seconds... and Stacy and I began to ask if it was one wave or two. Somebody shouted "Go" and we figured it was one wave as males and females were starting to swim. Guess this means one wave. Hmmm.....maybe somebody should listen at the course talks;) That will never change. I go hard at club races but I'm there to have fun too. Anyway we start to swim and I am happy that despite my belly full of bok choy I feel is a relative term. I do my swim training in the pool so when race day comes and I am suited up in my wetsuit and floated my the salty ocean water....I am a rock star. "Wow"...I think I'm am swimming like a champ. There are people to my right, people to my left and in front of me is Stacy's yellow cap and Blue 70 suit. Yee Haw...I want to stay near Stacy. She is fast and she swims straight as an arrow. I breathe to my right as somebody slides into me from the left. Soon I am on top of somebody with a white swim cap. "Oops" I have swum over top of this person. I swim a bit to get my rhythm back before realizing that I have swum crooked in my 500 meter swim. Stacy's cap is long gone now. Darn.


I run to my bike and head out on the course. The joy of being a slow swimmer is passing lots of people on the bike. The strand is flat and windy. I spin myself up to speed and remind myself I only have 12 miles to do my work (Not 112). I pass some people right off the bat and catch Hank from High Tec. Hank has been riding competitively roadie style forever and I know he is every bit smart as I am aero. I pull ahead. I know he is playing with me a bit. I know this may be stupid of me but it is a sprint and I don't have time to be tactical. Plus, I want to catch Stacy, so we together can stomp boys. Hank and I go back and forth and another man I don't know but am now referring to as Hank's hemorrhoid had attached has attached himself to Hank's wheel. I play legal and he is not 1/2 an inch back little lone two bike lengths. It fatigues me to think of the 30% break he is getting. I grit my teeth and pass them again. I am done with these boys. I see Stacy and pedal towards her. I feel like a fisherman pulling in a fish......I am pulling 5 guys on my back wheel.....Tim's says they were cleaning my air and reducing my drag. I catch Stacy and we ride side by side for a little bit. This is hysterical. I was hoping to do this long enough for the TCSD crew to get a picture. 2 small females, one on a powder blue bike and one on a pink bike, pull a pack of guys in a non draft legal triathlon. Hilarious. They have no shame either. Stacy and I started talking and they were like "if you can talk you can go faster".....I wanted to say if you can draft you can pull but I didn't. I would be too tempted to wheel suck myself. The other funny thing about this ride was the view I got. I was closing in the gap on this man with black and gray shorts.......The thing you've got to remember about being a triathlete is not how you look when you leave your house. It's how you will look wet. Not only could I see the crack in this man's behind. I could see the hair on his butt. Eww. I think it hit 27 mph into a head wind (uphill...with out shoes in the winter) as I passed him. Crack may not kill but it might spin you into the red zone.


Stacy and I started the run together. I have no idea how fast we were going or if I started to fast. I was not asthmatic but I was feeling very short of breath and my gut felt like it was ischemic (if one really knows what ischemia feels like). I am guessing my heart rate was very very high. (Not like 130 on my Ironman run) I am rejecting all external influences right now such as the Garmin for pacing and my heart rate monitor. I really only want to be encouraged by training. I think if I feel good on a run I should enjoy the feeling vs. fretting because I ran 9:00 minute miles and that was all I thought I had....Then the cascade of non productive self absorbed thoughts go on... and on....until nobody wants to read my blog anymore because this is supposed to be about Jenny from the Block dropping Boys. Anyway I'm off track. ....back to the race course. So I am running and I wonder if Gino the PT, who fixed me up is here. I'm hoping he isn't. I don't think I am demonstrating the good running form I showed him at my last visit Thursday. Ohh dear. I think I'm heal striking. My side aches as all get out but my foot. It feels great. My foot is Fabulous. Tim passes Stacy and I and says there are three girls in front of us. Stacy picks it up and tries to track down and 3rd place finish. We get gift certificates for placing in the top three. I want to push Stacy that's what good friends and training partners do. I can't though. I am gassed. I wonder how I will get through IMAZ and I'm not sure. I get to the turn and swoosh.....all the guys I pulled on the bike go cruising passed me. Ok....this is a bit of a pill to swallow. I know I am all the better served for not hanging on somebody's wheel. I don't race in draft legal tri's and I need to do my own work at threshold. Swoosh again .....skinny JT passed me. Now I have no idea how this happens but always....always JT ,who swam in college, owns a bike shop, and has skinny runners legs, is always passing me near the end. He should never pass me. He should always be way ahead of me. There is always it seems he forgot his bike shoes and just did the run pacing his girlfriend Lynn. As they pass me, JT mutters through his pencil thin mustache, that I am sandbagging and can go faster. I am going as fast as I can. I work my way into the finish and see Tim. All I can think of is how bad his side must be aching. Tim has a sensitive side. Ask Cindy for her imitation of Tim running at CDA.

The after math:

The TCSD breakfast is in full swing. Everybody is celebrating. Tim and I are a little subdue as we are in vegetable distress. I am actually quiet. (Can you believe it?) I'm a little down because I am sure with all those people passing me on the run I have ran a really slow run. I feel like the kid that didn't study for a test properly and then wonders why he doesn't get an A. I tell myself to be real. I am thankful to be running again and this is a good speed workout. Things will come around and I have had more success then I ever could have expected for one season. I don't know if I thought I was Wonder Women or Super Women when I thought doing two full Ironman's in one season was a good idea. I take a step back and think about the big picture of things and yes I am going to do IMAZ. Even though I might not be as fast as CDA .....that alone is not a good enough reason to quit. In fact it's a really, really poor one.

Tim and I don't stay long at the club race. We head home to clean our gear. Then we head up to Carlsbad via our bikes to see Tim's mom and grandmother. Tim's grandmother is in a care facility. Even though I work with the sickest of the sick I am always struck with the same thought. It's hard getting old. I think tight calves are a serious problem .....try contractures in your extremities, not being able to swallow, wounds that won't heal...just from lying in bed. To think I blog about my blisters (and I still have readers).

I ride my road bike to Carlsbad. Tim recently adjusted the seat position as it felt long for me. This is the first I have ridden it since the change. I descend Via Capri as fast as Tim (well there was a car going slow in front of him but still) I like this bike. It's like a good old dog. It doesn't care how fast I go or expect me to get in aero and hammer. It feels good not to ride in aero for a change. I guess I forgot that maybe the muscles used to ride in aero just might have become tired over several thousand miles. The more we ride the peppier I get. No slugging along. We get to Carlsbad and meet Cindy for lunch. A man starts commenting on my bike. Asking me about the where I got the various accessories. The pink tape from Tim. The blue striped tires a Christmas present from Cindy. The pink and blue seat a Christmas gift from Tim. I sum it up by saying there is a lot of love in this bike. Tim tells me there is one thing wrong with my bike. It says my name on the side and that will soon change. I really enjoy riding with Tim today. We used to ride all the time .....when he was on research. Despite mourning the loss of my daily riding partner, I am proud of Tim. Although the transition into this year was rough. He really has done a good job getting behind his choice and putting his best foot forward in his residency.

So.....when I got my test back in class on Monday. I was pleasantly surprised. Although the only split that registered for me was the run....the time was 22:42 (and believe me I didn't take the most direct route). This may not impress most people but I was mentally prepared to see 27-28 minutes so this was exciting.

Weekend in the City

September 4-6

Last weekend Tim and I headed north for a visit with Tim's parents (and of course Riley dog).

I actually flew up Thursday morning and BARTed into the city for my final wedding dress fittings. People talk about how planning a wedding is a learning process .....I agree 100%. I am now accomplished at using public transportation. I know how to get myself from SFO to Union Square....the Embarcadero name it.

Thursday afternoon Cindy picked me up from the train station. We went to masters at their sports club that evening. it was so fun. The water was so nice ecspecially since it was a 100 degrees out. (No joke). At the end of practice we divided up into relay teams and faced off. Me on a team vs. my soon to be in laws. I dualed Cindy......she handed it too me. I was huffing and puffing and she was like " that all you have for me" Just kidding... she was gracious.

Friday....everybody was working except me. I took Riley for a run. He didn't pace himself very well. At first he was running me for dear life. That was until Bruce intervened. He returned from his bike ride to see Riley's ears flopping and my pony tail flying. Riley was zig zagging a 6 minute mile. Bruce then showed me how to use the gentle leader...and my leader was much gentler. Towards the end of the run I had to tug Riley home. Typical male.....goes out fast and crashes. I asked Riley what was up with this. He said if he's ever going to catch a squirrel he needs to maintain his fast twitch II fibers. After that I walked two miles to the community pool and went to open swim. Then I walked back to Casa Neuschwander and took a nap. It was Riley's idea.

Friday night Tim arrived. We picked him up and prepared for Tim's big day in the city. Tim and Bruce were going to pick out the ties for the guys to wear. On Saturday morning. I would have the final fitting of my dress and then Cindy and I would give our thumbs up or down on the ties. We are a tough crowd.

Saturday started off with a good laugh. Cindy and I left for the train station sans Tim and Bruce. They weren't ready yet and we told them we couldn't be late. After Cindy and I boarded the train we sat parked for a while. Just before the train left the station two familiar faces boarded the train. Guess we could have carpooled after all. We arrived in the city and were walking towards Amy Kushel when we passes the Sephora store. There about a 1000 people lining the street hoping to be "America's Next Top Model" Most of them would have been better served somewhere else. I started laughing as it reminded me of dinner the night before. Tim had donned my oversize sunglasses ( Polarized from Road Runner Sports for $14) I told Tim in a very funny voice "Tim if you put on lipstick you'd look hot" (pronounced HAUT). Cindy and I ditched the guys and headed to Amy Kushel. We told them an alarm would go off if a man entered the building.

Despite much harassing the guys settled for cappucino at a side street cafe. This is actually a priceless Saturday morning in SF thing to do. There was actually singing of opera music in the street. It echoed and carried for blocks. When Cindy and I arrived Tim was looking casual and relaxed.

The face of the male getting ready for a wedding.

I don't know why Tim didn't get into private school!!!!

Tim and Bruce selecting ties. (Rear left) Horace in the white shirt offers advise on tie. He states the groom is really just back drop for the bride. (Not shown) Enrique. Enrique states true beyond the wedding day. Enrique is currently seeking other employment.

Back at home Tim bonds with man's best friend.

Shopping For Shoes

My foot is getting better. I can run again. In fact I can even drop boys running.....this is cause celeb. Like a Hollywood celebrity I have been going to rehab. Like a drug seeker I stalked Md's until I had a Rx for physical therapy. Low and behold things are shaping up. Anyway one of my tasks in this therapy is determining the cause of the injury and addressing it. Some people blame my running shoes as there have been many anecdotal injuries associated with the Newton's. They tend to require people to run in a certain way to be beneficial and if you don't run in that way...... trouble. However I have been pretty darn comfortable and injury free for over a year of running in them. (Well there was that IT band syndrome....but that followed sand running in racing flats....different story) In my case I think it may have been a combination of factors. To be on the safe side I decided I would entertain the idea of trying some other shoes.them. It was suggested that I go to Road Runner Sports and try normal running shoes.

Road Runner allows customers to try shoes on the treadmill. They also give customers 60 days to use the shoes at which point you are "encouraged" to exchange them for another pair. Hmmm. I can just imagine.... me with my 60 day old, dirt caked, shoes in the box stating my dissatisfaction and asking for a new pair.

I stroll into Road Runner and pick out 5 pairs of shoes to try and head to the treadmill. It seems the sales clerk doesn't really care to fetch me any of these shoes. It's sort of like pulling teeth. He seems to want me to try 5 different pairs of shoes not in my size that I haven't selected. I later realize it is because some of the shoes are stored next door in a warehouse next door and require a fork lift to fetch them. (Not really the customers problem right). I throw on the first pair of shoes while he looks for the others. I start running on the treadmill.

Boy these feel great...on a flat smooth treadmill at 7 mph. Soon I turn the treadmill up. I am at 0.5 miles and he's still not back with the other pairs. Actually he is standing and chatting with the other sales associates. I keep running. I'm a busy girl and I want to optimize my time. Plus, I like this treadmill. Finally I get off the treadmill and see to expediting the process of getting my shoes. They are at the desk but I guess he wanted to see me run a whole mile before I got them. Back on the treadmill for another half mile......boy these feel great too. I love this treadmill. I am going really fast now and sweating. I don't care as I am getting another half mile in. I might accomplish my entire run in the store. The next pair comes and I run only a 1/4 mile because the forefoot is too thin and I think I would feel every pebble. I like to run off road. I try another pair. I think they feel great too.
All of the shoes I try on feel a bit baggy side to side and in volume but not in length. However when I start running on the treadmill they feel amazing. I keep turning up the pace and running faster and faster. I just can't help myself. I keep running just a little bit further. I am sweating now but the larger that life picture of Heather Fuhr running at Torrey Pines is motivating me. I turn the pace up a bit.
I overhear the lady in a pencil skirt telling her sales associate she doesn't think she could run like that and nodding at me. I hear the words "treadmill princess" uttered by the sales associate. Duh......your wearing a pencil skirt and nylons......I'm wearing running shorts with a sports bra on under my shirt. This is Road Runner.
I love this treadmill. I wonder if they'll sell it to me. Then it hits me....the shocking truth. This treadmill is like the skinny mirror. Like the mirror's in Nordstom's or Banana Republic which along with it's generously inflated sizing makes you think you are a rock star. Then you go home and go out and when the pictures come back you are like ahhhh.......what was I thinking listening to that sales person saying I looked fabulous. This is no simulation to the curvy, winding road off the side of a mountain I run daily. What they really need is a canted treadmill with a pot hole to dodge every minute and curbs to hop. Along with friendly dogs who run under foot to sniff me in midstride and dog poo to dodge. Now that's the real world. I pictured myself with baggy heavy shoes on the Wildflower course and that narrowed down my choices. I'd break my ankle for sure.
I decided that picking out new running shoes was much more difficult than picking out a wedding dress or wedding shoes. My princess shoes as my mother stated. They actually have achieved good reviews from friends of mine. I settled for a pair. I still think I like my Newton's better but these ones felt like cushy Cadillac's. Remind me in 60 days to exchange if I'm not 100% satisfied. I'll do it on a rainy day so I can again use the treadmill.