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.