Monday, June 30, 2008
This week has been all about reclaiming the house. Since mini-Baboo has been in Dallas since May 21st we've been at work cleaning out the dirty clothes and wrappers and empty bottles stuffed into every nook and cranny.
MEANWHILE, with Mini-baboo gone, food lasts a LONG TIME without Mini here. Who knew, for instance, that salad greens got that funky after sitting in the fridge for a while? Mini usually helped prevent funky leftovers, by eating everything in sight. I think I've mentioned this before, but I'm still blown away by the loaf of bread that lasted TWO WHOLE WEEKS.
You know, I've been raising kids--three of them--since I was 19, and so I have never, ever, lived in my own home as an adult without children. I'm accustomed to hiding my food and putting passwords and key locks on everything, and my things being taken and/or broken and "nobody" knows how it happened and I swear, Mom! I wasn't anywhere near that when it fell!
So but, you can see that the prospect of my last born graduating and moving on in 11 months is pretty exciting.
This week, I took an old computer and with a flat-screen monitor and fixed it up--I'll leave out the geekiest parts of what I did--and it now sits in the area adjacent to the kitchen, and I can listen to nearly any music my widdle heart desires while cooking or exercising, or watch re-runs of "Scrubs," or "CSI," or look for a recipe or get information information about stretching online, all with a click of my cordless mouse.
I can also watch movies or exercise DVDs on it.
Or all of these at once.
I especially love having playlists I can listen to on a whim because it is my opinion that life should be like a movie, with the appropriate background music enhancing the scene. This, then, is my only complaint about triathlon: No headphones means I can't further the delusion that I am a star in my own movie.
Meanwhile, I'm working on clearing out a den-like room that is currently full--and I do mean full: of many, many boxes--of my teaching supplies. After that's done, it will become the exercise area. We've decided we want the rest of the whole downstairs to just be full of comfortable chairs, like a giant coffee house, for lounging and whatnot. It won't be terribly impressive or wind up in any magazine. That's not the point. The point is a respite from the world.
Our plans for Mini-baboos area upstairs after May of 09 includes blackout curtains, a kitchenette, and a large, flatscreen TV.
Not really much triathlon stuff in this post, is there? Well, it's back to training tomorrow.
Oh, and here's my monthly miles for June:
Swim: 14,180 meters
Bike: 334.6 miles
Run: 64.38 miles
Hiking: 2 hours
Pilates/Yoga: 4 hours
Sunday, June 29, 2008
IM Bike, 2007, and 2008:
Marathon walk/run, 2007 and then 2008:
I certainly look more energetic. A bit less pained, at my finish this year:
Maybe, some day, I can finish without one of those glow-in-the-dark necklaces on.
This weekend, I did a 30 mile bike and an 8 mile run. Both felt pretty good. I'm getting ready for Barb's race, a coupla sprints, and to pace Sweet Baboo for 30 miles of his first 100-miler.
And, as always, I have to ask myself......I wonder what else I can do?
The athlete tracker at Ironman 70.3 Buffalo Springs Lake is giving me progress on my peeps at BSLT. This is a tough race! I've done the Tri-Raider sprint twice that goes on at the same time, and I've twice done the Buffman and Squeaky Olympic that uses part of the same course, but haven't yet brought myself to do this 70.3. I'm planning on doing it next year for their 20th anniversary. Anyway.
The race starts in a cold, spring-fed lake. The bike begins uphill, with an 8% or 9% climb out the canyon, then has several descents and climbs into and out of a other canyons. The run includes a climb out of Buffalo Springs Canyon and a long out-and-back on a hot, unshaded stretch of asphalt nick-named, "the energy lab". BSLT also offers and an aquabike and a relay on the 70.3 course. ( I wish they had a splash 'n' dash. I'd do that in a heartbeat.)
The atmosphere is fantastic, like a giant party. Everyone calls you "girl" (if you're a woman) and Mike and Marty keep the finish line open for everyone making progress. After you cross the finish line you walk about 50 yards to sit down on a boat ramp in cold lake water and have cold beer and pizza. (In Texas, you always start a race with a prayer and finish with cold beer.)
Update: 1.2 mile Swim times!
Update: 31 mile bike splits!
Cindy: 2:29:24 (All that training is paying off!)
Mo: 2:35:28 (Great job, Mo!)
Wiz: 2:16:58 (Wiz is having a good day so far!)
Pirate: 2:28:02 (the bike is Pirate's forte)
Michi: 2:30:45 (Michi is having a good day so far!)
MuffinMan: 2:07:07 (Smokin'!)
Update: Thunderstorm! It's raining on the course
with Winds E @13mph!!
- Will they be able to finish the race???
- Will the race be canceled?
Update, 11:21 am Texas time
Muffinman has finished the bike. His time was 3:07:21, averaging 17.93 mph! I was worried that everyone had been pulled of the course because of the Thunderstorm. GAWD that would SUCK! But now that MuffinMan is showing a final bike time, I have hope that Cindy will get to finish her first half iron.
Update: Final Bike Times:
Cindy: 4:07:19 (13.59 mph)
Mo: 3:52:51 (14.43 mph)
Wiz: 3:19:55 (16.81 mph)
Pirate: 4:01:24 (13.92 mph)
Michi: 3:42:48 (15.09 mph)
MuffinMan: 3:07:21 (17.93 mph)
Let's have a virtual round of applause for these athletes who rode their bikes on a demanding, hilly course through a thunderstorm!
Update: 1:01, Texas Time. Run split1, most websites say that it's no longer raining there, just really humid (but overcast, thank goodness.)
approximately 6.55 miles into the run course, these are their paces for the first half, to be updated as they come in:
Cindy: 11:37 min/mile
Mo: 10:55 min/mile
Wiz: 10:06 min/mile
Pirate: 10:59 min/mile
Michi: 9:45 min/mile
MuffinMan: 8:48 min/mile
Update: MuffinMan is done, with a total time of 5:44:26. His run pace stayed the same throughout the half marathon portion.
Update: 1:54 pm, Texas Standard Time (TST) Wiz is done, with a total time of 6:26:15. Interesting story, that "Wiz" nickname. ( I'll let him tell it, if he ever puts his blog back up.)
Update at 2:28, TST. Michi and Mo are both done. Michi's time was 6:45:09, and Mo's time was 7:03:43. Good job, ladies! Make sure you go over to Mo's website and congratulate her!
Update, 2:47, TST. I'm pretty sure Cindy and Pirate are done, but stupid Athlete Tracker isn't updating. Twiddle, twiddle, twiddle. ...wonder what's over at LOLCATS today...
Update: 2:57, TST: Cindy and Pirate are both done. Cindy's time was 7:31:15, and Pirate's time was 7:20:12. Now go on over to their website and congratulate them on this very difficult half-iron!
This has been your 70.3 announcer, Iron Misty Geekgirl. OUT!
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Ford Ironman 2008 Arizona
Now, why would I be interested in volunteering at inaugural November 2008 Ironman Arizona? Sure, Sweet Baboo will be doing this one...along with many Outlaw buds...
I hear it's FLATTER than Couer D'Alene and Kentucky...and, of course, it is a race that sells out fast...
didja know volunteers get to sign up first for an Ironman, before the general public?
Monday, June 23, 2008
So, in T2, I put on my injinji socks, running shoes, running hat, RaceReady LD compression shorts, took some SportLegs, my bottle of hydrade and headed out. I was looking forward to the run. I assumed it would be flat.
I assumed wrong.
The race numbers they gave us has one with our first name on it, which I wore on the run. The result was that total strangers read it and cheered calling out my name. It was awesome, like being a celebrity. I highly recommend having your name somewhere on you when doing an endurance event. When you feel like you haven't got anything left, hearing someone call your name is a real shot in the arm.
I headed out onto a brief 2-3 mile out and back on the first loop and came upon a screaming group of Bloggers, including Duane, Di, and many others. That was pretty awesome! Then I came up on Sweet Baboo, who gave me a big wet kiss. Then I saw Mike, Maria, and several others throughout; since each part of the loop was an out-and-back I had many opportunities to see all my friends (who are, quite clearly, much faster than I!) including SW TriGal and Bigun.
The run wasn't that bad for a marathon, but when that marathon comes at the end of an Ironman any hill you encounter is pretty unwelcome. The big hill was at mile 8 on the first loop, and mile 21 on the second. It is long and steep and banked sharply so you feel unnervingly like one of your legs is shorter than the other. So, you march up the hill to a timing mat, watching your average pace climb as you climb the hill.
On marathons, I hit the wall around mile 16 and recover around mile 21. I'm tired, my stomach is feeling funky, and I'm sick of PowerGels. Then, a new sensation: Around mile 16, I suddenly felt like the ground was very far away and that I was very tall and running on stilts. I started giggling and realized I was a little delirious so I started taking salty broth and an ice-cold coke from every other aid station. That lit a fire under me after mile 21, and then I started running 2 minutes and walking 1. By now it was getting dark, and I took the glow-necklace they offered me.
Did you know: people late in the night at the back of the pack in an Ironman marathon are surprisingly un-chatty. This I've discovered. I would run up on someone, and start talking to them, and they grunt and just continue forward in a slow, shuffling walk. Then my watch would chime and I would run away.
My marathon time was 6:05. My Kentucky marathon was around 6:20, so I took 15 minutes off.I wish I had more drama to add, but I had a great run. I got a little tired and slow during my crash but came right back after the coke and broth. I never reached the dark, dismayed and lonely places that I reached in Kentucky. All the little nagging thoughts about how much I suck came out to play a little while I was on the bike, but then they went away as I cruised into T2, and they never came back.
As I came in toward the finish, I decided I wanted a good, strong finish, and a decent finish picture. I tried spacing myself between large groups of people who that I would be coming in by myself.
A mile out, I was choking back tears, because I was so happy...it was only about 11:00 and I knew that I would definitely make my goal. I slowed down a bit to save up for a run at the finish line. Then as I approached the arch, I saw Duane, who was yelling that I was going to beat the moon! Then, I saw Baboo with a big grin on his face running along the side with me, yelling at me that I had killed it.
Then, I was in the finishing chute running like crazy and I slapped hands with all the people leaning out and sticking their hands out and cheering. I knew that I had bested my time at IM Louisville by a little over an hour. I knew I had a big grin on my face. I couldn't stop smiling. It was an awesome moment!
Pirate and 21st Century Mom were there to catch me, and I was all giggly. I'd used up everything I had left, so when I stumbled a bit they walked me to the medical tent. Pirate said I was "loopy" but I remember just being just really, really happy. There was no more pizza (dammit) prompting me to create Iron Misty's new rule:
doing an Ironman, they will not expire at Midnight.
You can spend some the next day, too.
And maybe the day after that.
And yes, in case you were wondering, this one "took". The naggy little voice is gone.
So do I do this? What do I get out of it?
Well, for me, part of it is the brush with greatness. I have to say, when you're doing an Ironman event, they make you feel like, well, like a pro. First off, what other sport is there where you can race side by side with pros? And have them pee on you?
Sure, everyone is passing me, and I'm at the back of the pack. But then there's the cheering crowds: One is reminded, even if slow, that s/he is still doing something that few people ever try to do. And, even when your family even forgets what day the Ironman is on, after all the hard work there are total strangers standing around screaming like crazy, acknowledging your effort.
I have to say, well, it's quite a rush.
And then there is the boost to my self esteem that comes from knowing that I worked hard for it. Yes, it pays to have nice equipment, but even the nicest equipment won't make up for bad training. I know this from being left in the dust by guys riding mountain bikes wearing baggy t-shirts and shorts who were better trained than I.
Of course, it goes without saying that I couldn't have done this without Coach Baboo, Cindy, and all the people who've been encouraging me all this time.
But it's back to reality now. I jogged slowly down the hall this morning about 10 am to get my free hotel breakfast, and my legs and feet were like, ARE YOU MAKING US JOG? NOW? ARE YOU EFFING KIDDING ME?
Sadly, I didn't make it. The hotel had stopped the free breakfast at 9:30.
Left foot, A blister on my middle and "index" toe. Small ones. Oh, and blisters? After they pop? Don't like hot water. Ow. Right foot, very small blisters on the same two toes. These blisters all occurred on the bike. I did not wear my sexy toe socks on the bike, but I will next time. Bottom of right foot: very tender spot in the ball of my foot that probably would have become a blister had I continued to insult it by running amok in Cordy Lane.
Calves: no problems. I attribute that to all the trail and hill running I did this spring. Quads: mildly pissed off, but very bearable. Much less stiff and tender than after other endurance events.
Skin: Very, very mild pinkness. I rubbed in sun screen, spf 80, the night BEFORE the race and again the morning of, and then got sprayed with it after the swim. Sweet Baboo had read that sunburn speeds up dehydration by messing with your skin's ability to breathe and perspire properly, or something like that. I was pretty badly burned at IM Loo last year, so I was taking no chances. Otherwise, I've discovered some new places to chaffe. Will be addressing this problem with lots and lots of Baby Aveeno next time prior to getting on the bike!
Chest: achy. I have asthma, and whenever I go short on sleep, my chest aches and I wheeze a little.
Lower back: Achy. Nothing that some stretching and a nice long Hatha Yogurt class (I always call my yoga class my "yogurt" class) won't fix. And a message. The rubbing kind, not the voice kind.
So, okay. My race report. Here I'll talk about the swim and the bike. Here's some mood music for you:
Well, my swim was about what I expected it to be, given that it was colder and I. Am. Lazy. I really blew off my swim training this spring, because I wanted to focus on the run and the bike. I will be refocusing on the swim because of the unexpected results: It wasn't just that I was slow, but I became mired in a thrash-fest of other slow swimmers from which I was unable to extracate myself for nearly an hour. I know, I know: that sounds mean. But it's the truth. When the cannon went off, I had counted to ten, to let the more aggressive swimmers get in and avoid getting pummeled in the process, and every time I do this I get stuck in a human washing machine.
Next time, I'm not only going to train, but I'm going to put my goggles on under my cap and take my chances with the fast folks.
I've never really done the mass start that is so indicative of the Ironman. So the cannon went off!! I counted to ten, and then ran and dove in. In such a swim, all you hear is splashing. All you see is arms! I found myself trapped in a human washing machine of people who started side-stroking, breast-stroking, and one guy was dog-paddling, and this was before the first loop was even half over. Eventually, I was able to make a space for myself and start swimming properly, and finished the first loop in about 45 minutes. Yay!
then as I finished the first loop I was surprised at how people walked slowly and casually over the timing mat and then slowly over to get back into the water. WTF? I had to weave in and out them to get back to the water, where I dove back in. On the second loop, a wind had come up, starting some wave action on the water, blowing waves at me, which was a bit disorienting. I was bobbing up and down even as I tried to swim forward.
Also, for some reason, the kayakers had gathered near the end buoys, blocking them. Not sure what that was all about. But at least at this point I had a nice open space to swim in, even if I was getting bored and tired of swimming. The second loop took nearly an hour for me! I finished the swim and exited, running to t1 and the bike.
Hmmm. What can I say about the bike? Well, I can say this:
- The really big hills are between mile 22 and 44 (first loop) and 78 and 100 (second loop)
- There aren't quite as many as there were as there were at Kentucky, but the hills are looooooonger and steeeeeeeper. Like, over 6% steep.
- On the first loop, the hill are "challenging".
- On the second loop, the hills take away your will to live.
What a beautiful day!
I am a lucky woman.
I was singing U2's "Beautiful Day" to myself. What beautiful country! What friendly citizens! Seriously, the people I encountered on the course were amazing: enthusiastic and friendly, right up until the end. I pulled over once to let the large fly or bee or whatever had found its way into my helmet out, but otherwise stayed on the bike until around mile 60, when I finally got off and hit the porta-potty. I had my brush with greatness when, predictably, the pros blew by me early in the loop.
There are some pretty cool downhills! I went down them full tilt, my aero helmet making a really cool train-like noise that only I could hear. After a while, I started yelling choo choo on my downhills. (Like all things southern, I sounded just like a freight train.) At one point, I hit 41 miles per hour. At mile 30-something, there was a timing mat, and I started imagining good energy from my blogger buds coming at me whenever I heard the beep as I went over timing mats for the rest of the course.
On the way back into town, between mile 44 and 56, there was wind In. My. Face. That sapped some energy, but I was half expecting it, having talked to a couple locals before the race. As I rounded the halfway point, I sort of high-fived myself, because I knew I had passed the cutoff. It was only about 12:30, I think. I went by the bloggy peeps cheering section and heard my name being yelled. Awesome!
Then I hit the second loop. Not. So. Great. I was almost crying but mostly just muttering and swearing to myself. It's pretty clear that my bike needs work. My quads are weak. I hate hill work, and it shows. I was getting tired pretty fast and, and no longer singing "Beautiful Day". My chain kept jumping off my cassette and lodging between the casette and the tire - the first time I was able to pedal backwards and move it back out, but the second time I had to get off the bike and get my hands greasy. I need to have that looked at.
I was stopping halfway up some of the hills just to let my breathing slow down. By the time I hit mile 80, I was pretty convinced that I wouldn't make it, and I was pissed.
But for me, pissed works. "Pissed " raises my ire and makes me work harder. By mile 90, my will had come back and I calculated that I might make it. By this time, though, I wasn't smiling so much. I was grumbling and asking myself why on earth do I do this $hit? What is WRONG with me? Normal people are canning, or watching TV, or something. And here I am paying someone to put myself through this crap.
I kept stopping on the way up the hills to give my quads a brief respite and let my breathing slow.
By mile 100, I knew I would make it so I decided to see if I could hit T2 by 5 pm. The wind had died down some, so I was able to make some good time coming back in. I was smiling again, and singing something. When I hit mile 100, and crested the last hill, there was a short flat sorta downhillish ride to an intersection, where there was a guy standing there directing us back toward town, and he said, "It's all flat after this!"
I flew by shaking my finger at him laughing and smiling, yelling, Don't tease me!
I hit t2 and was pretty happy, although tired. I was done with hills and bikes and even though I had discovered some new girl places to chaffe (eek) I felt pretty good.
I knew that I had nearly 7 hours to finish before Midnight, but I was hoping to finish before 11:23, you know, beat the moon. I left T2 around 5:09, I think, considerably faster than at Kentucky. I had finished my bike about 50 minutes faster than I had at Kentucky. I was feeling pretty good, and happy, because now I get to run! (How weird is that?) My right foot hurt like hell, but as soon as I took my bike shoes off and walked on it, it stopped.
Okay. I'm going to lay down some more and rest. I'll write about the run later, after coffee and some red bulls.
OVERALL FINISHING TIME
(1 hour, 6 minutes faster)
CordyLane: 1869/1943 total, 97/137 of Women 40-44
IMLoo: Official last finisher. Of the entire thing.
(9 minutes slower)
(Almost 4 minutes faster)
(46 minutes faster)
(almost 10 minutes faster - it saves time not to sit down and cry in transition, I've found.)
Difficult, difficult race. Very comparable to Kentucky.
Thanks SO MUCH for all the well wishes.
I was imagining each time I rode or ran over a timing mat that all your positive energy was represented in that little beeping noise!
after I sleep some more. The only thing keeping me awake right now is that an equally tired Baboo occasionally hitting rumble strips on the highway.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
I would be remiss to say that, obviously, I just want to finish IM-CDA. But there's a little more to it than that. See, the thing is, most of my life I've managed AD/HD. When you grow up with it, you acquire a lot of little demons. They whisper things at you when you're at your most vulnerable. Lazy. Incompetent.
Most of my life, I've been chased by one little demon in particular: one that whispers in my ear:
You just got lucky.
When I got my first degree, I remember thinking, boy, I was lucky that the professors all liked me! There's other examples, but it's not useful to write about them. The result of all of it is that I make the following attribution to my achievements: If I did it, it can't be that hard or I just got by, or it was easy that day etc. etc. etc.
Triathlon is the first thing I've ever been able to do that was all me, no luck involved, and it's been great for my self esteem. It doesn't matter who you know. You do the work, and finish, or you don't, and then you don't.
But then, last year at Ironman Louisville last they extended the finishing time by 37 minutes. My finishing time, 17:19, the last official finisher. And there was the little demon again, whispering: Boy, lucky for you they extended that cutoff.
I've never admitted it, but that's bothered me a bit. Yes, I finished. Yes, I followed all the rules. But since my issue is 'getting by' it's pushed a very big button.
and all this goes back to the sneaking suspicion that really, I'm just not all that special, and
one of these days, everyone will know it. They'll all find out. Then they'll all know the truth.
There are cutoffs halfway on the bike, and the run. They aren't any different from the cutoffs I would have imposed on myself. But there they are, gnashing their teeth at me. Beat me! Beat me!
This time there will be no time extension by which I can hedge my bets. If I don't make the cutoffs (1:30 pm, pacific time, for the first bike loop; 5:30 for the end of the bike; 9 pm for the 1st run loop) then I'm done.
But if, when, I do make it, then I've really made it. Maybe the whispering, naggy self-doubt will stop. I guess. Now, I know before you tell me that all this sounds really, really stupid: I'm still me, whether I finish or not. But you know, we all have our demons, our buttons, and issues, and now I've told you mine.
I'm going to get up tomorrow and walk into the lake in Coeur D'Alene Idaho and head out, and try to beat the moon, and go Ironman a second time.
As Commodore says, this one Ironman doesn't doesn't define me.
It is nevertheless very important to me. More than I want to admit. So, In addition to my somewhat lacksadaisical training and legendary stubbornness and the many, many phantom pains I've dicovered that come an go right before a race, I'll take onto the course all the best of my friends to sustain me, including:
Sweet Baboo's love.
This will be my last post until after the race.
BEAT THE MOON!!!!
Friday, June 20, 2008
All the iron lemmings drew
And froze their butts off.
I did a 20-minute swim in water with Greyhound and Baboo, so smooth, so calm, that sighting was accomplished without even lifting my nose out of the water. I was oh, so slow but felt good. Swimming in water like this, albeit 56 degrees, was like BUTTAH. I wore a snug-fitting l/s shirt under my wetsuit, which seemed to increase my comfort without slowing me down too much. Today's water temp: 56 degrees. TOTALLY doable. All I'm worried about, as usual, is the bike.
Last night I had dinner at a place called Capones and met so many bloggers that I hope I don't leave anyone out: In attendance were Tea, Momo, Iron Eric, Greyhound, Blink, Neoprene Wedgie, SWTriGal, Big'un, Di, Tac Boy, Spokane Al, Supalinds, and many, many more, and many wonderful Iron mates and kiddos.
Beat the moon!
Thursday, June 19, 2008
The stuff on the left is stuff that we got when we picked up our packet.
The stuff down below is the bike kit I bought at the expo. Now I HAVE to finish; this set is too gorgeous not to be worn and I can only wear it (in my mind) if I actually finish this thing.
Here's what I know about June 22nd at Cordy Lane.
Sunrise is 4:50. It'll be getting light around 4:15 am, if it's clear, and sunset is 8:50. It will be dark around 9:20. Thus, length of daylight will be 16 hours. Since the sun will be lower in the sky when I finish the bike, chances are I won't need a hat. SwTriGal is convinced we'll finish before sundown. Riiiiiiggghhhttttt.
I do appreciate herself's optimism. However, I have another goal in mind.
So here's my random facts:
There will be a waning gibbous moon, rising at 11:23 pm. (Hold onto that thought)
As of 6/18, the water temp is 54 degrees F (12.5 degrees C) and current forecast for Saturday Jun 22: 20% chance of showers or thunderstorms, High in the lower 70s. Maybe wind. Maybe not.
I am stoked. And terrified.
My swim goal: 1:45:00
T1 goal: 12 minutes
Bike goal: 8 hours, Average 14 mph
T2 goal: 12 minutes
Run goal: 6 hours, or Sub 14 min/mile
There will be a gibbous moon, rising at 11:23 pm.
My goal: Beat the moonrise at 11:23.
My goal and mantra for Sunday, "BEAT THE MOON!"
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
It's worth noting that the sun comes up here pretty early this far north of the equator. I wake up with the sun blazing in through the windows
What the hell--is that the sun? What time is it? 4:45???
So this morning we found a fantastic trail next to the lake--through the woods, all twisty turny and shaded and stuff. I did about a 5K run and now, of course, I'm eating again. Surprisingly, I've been able to stay within my weight watchers point for the week. This despite the fact that I eat when I'm bored AND weight watching does not consider acute anxiety to be any form of exercise. (They never seen my anxious freak-outs, apparently.)
SW TriGal and her beloved H arrived yesterday and she was able to snap one of the rare pictures of Sweet Baboo and I without sunglasses. Enjoy!
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
First, the positive stuff:
The lake house that SW Trigal found for us is awesome. It's on Rose lake, well away from all the madness, and includes 4 large bedrooms, and everything you need to live in the house except for food. There's a small dock on the lake, and a hot tub. I'd tell you more but I don't want to drive you crazy with jealousy. It's quite, peaceful, and fantastic and just what is needed for the taper. No internet, though. Probably just as well.
I had the best grilled cheese sandwitch EVAR at a place called Java on Sherman, after we did an hour-long ride on part of the bike course. The first part. The easy part.I know,I know, it's hard to screw up a grilled cheese, right? But this grilled cheese was on toasted thick slices of whole wheat, using real cheese - not the processed slices--and included much coveted tomatoes that are so hard to find these days. Great place! I recommend it.
Now, the stuff that is not to positive:
Yesterday we drove the IM-CDA bike course, and I would have thrown up except that my stomach was empty. I had flashbacks of IM-Kentucky: Steep, long, climbs; steep downhill corkscrew turns. Screaming downhills that ended abruptly in a sudden 90 degree turn that then immediately went uphill. And I'm going to average at least 14 mph on this?
After I pried my fingernails out of the dashboard, we found The Original Mongolian grill. We paid for "all you can eat." They were completely out of tofu, and when we asked for some, the waitress wandered off and forgot to tell anyone. After about ten minutes, I asked a 19-year-old who appeared to be in charge, he said they weren't going to refill it. I protested, and he said, well, we have some raw tofu. That's fine, I said, that's awesome. We'll take it. He stomped off to get some.
He brought us a small bowl. When I tried to explain that we would need more, he got all pissy and said that he'd already brought us a whole block of tofu and that it (the whole block) cost *Eight dollars, more than your whole meal," he said, with a broad sweep over the table.
"We're not eating any of the meat over there," I responded, "This is going to be our main source of protein. you're going to need to bring us another bowl." He flounced off and brought another bowl, setting down with a loud CLACK.
So what do we learn from this.
1.If your bottom line is threatened by a couple of vegetarian triathletes on a diet, you may want to rethink your business plan.
2. If you're paying $8 for a block of tofu, then your supplier is seriously screwing you. At most, retail, the stuff is $2.99. Trust me; I know this. I've been buying tofu a Loooooong time.
3. If I pay for all-you-can eat and I'm not a SUMO wrestler, you don't get to bitch about how much tofu I eat.
4. If you'd kept the tofu pan full in the first place, none of this would have been necessary, including my very public declaration of what a jerk you are, mr. Manager or manager wanna-be man.
I won't be going back there, ever. That's all I'm going to say about that.
Some other, random crankiness I've noticed on our travels:
- Breakfast is usually some permutation of eggs and/or flour, two of the cheapest ingredients you can find. So why is it so danged expensive?
- My computer abruptly decided that I no longer have a wireless card. Even though it's in there. It declares that it isn't. Bad Athena. No internet.
- Food suppliers don't seem to GET IT that when you process vegetables where you process meat, YOU WILL GIVE SALAD-EATERS FOOD POISONING. I'm pretty sick of not being able to have tomatoes one week, or brocolli another week, because they're recalled. Last week, we couldn't get a black bean burger. Recalled.
Okay, that's it I guess. Her Iron-Crankiness: OUT
Sunday, June 15, 2008
I got to practice my transitions, and discovered that AFTER swimming in a lake that is in the low 50s you get used to the water, but after you get out your fingers don't Work. So. Well.
Zippers, snaps, socks? fuggetabout it. Looks like I'll be letting the wetsuit strippers do their jobs.
I also noticed that I was pretty chilled, still, heading out on the bike, so I'm taking along a lightweight jacket, just in case, in addition to my arm warmers. Also wondering if I should consider cycling KNICKERS for this ride.
This morning, we headed out to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National parks, where we did a couple of short trail runs, totaling about 5-1/2 miles for me, and a couple of short hikes, totalling about 3 miles. All of this stuff has been above altitude which means I hike energetically until my heart is about to leap out of my chest (or not so much, as it turns out) up hills and then run down hills. And I STILL exceeded my WW points for the day. Crap.
We saw a lot of cool stuff: Buffalo, Elk, bacteria mats, and geological wonders. As I am heavy into nerdly things (remember the undergraduate degree in Geology) I was practically climbing over the fence wanting to stick my fingers in the hot water, figure out what chemicals caused all those colors. And swooning, of course, over Old Faithful.
Sweet Baboo took pictures at Yellowstone. See his blog for them!
Tomorrow, we arrive in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho. Then the anxiety truly begins: Friday, I noted with MUCH anxiety that weather.com predicted a 70% chance of rain RAIN on RACE day, June 22nd.
Now, thankfully, they're revised their prediction for Jun 22:
30% Isolated T-Storms,High70° Low 48°
Partly sunny with a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid to upper 70s.
I think I'll take: the second one!
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Oh, no--not I.
It was three grubby kids, ranging in ages from 7 to 13. And, they were extra grubby that day, I promise.
Sweet Baboo had decided at a young age not to have children. He got a lot of family pressure, but he knew himself; what he wanted from life, and his own limits.
And there he was. On my front porch.
And there they were.
Less than a month later, he loaded a third-grade class into the back of his very clean station wagon and took them to McDonald's for a birthday party. When we took them all home to their parents in a small, rural town, most could not tell us where they lived. We drove around, hoping they would see familiar landmarks.
It's the blue house. It's by my grandmas. oh, there's a silo, too. And some cows.
And, one by one, the kids grew up and left, except for the youngest: Mini-baboo.
From the beginning, Mini-baboo, age 8, was resistant to Sweet's attempts to set limits on his behavior. I am, I will admit, too easy on my kids. I had "single mother guilt" .
But Sweet Baboo is a rock. When Mini-baboo wanted Blue hair, I wavered; Sweet Baboo said, "No." When Mini wanted to wear lots and lots of hair gel, until his hair was white with it, Sweet grabbed the Wal clippers and performed his first "fade" haircut perfectly. I forgot when someone was grounded. Sweet Baboo always remembered. Calm, unwavering, Baboo was the rock that Mini-baboo flung himself against in an attempt to break every rule.
He made friends who, for the most part, had parents that set limits, like we did.
Sweet Baboo did, deliberately and thoughtfully, what many men have done without much much thought: He became a Dad, not just simply fathered a child.
He didn't have to. He chose to.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Ouray really is a cute town, nestled into a valley along route 550. It's not really a town for vegetarians, though. I've found that to be the case for most smaller towns in Colorado. Boulder and Denver are about the only veggie friendly places in Colorado I've found. Interestingly, though, there does appear to be 2 bakeries and 2 ice-cream or candy stores here.
But I was a good girl! I bought a salad and had a Boca chik'n sandwitch with Kraft-free cheese from one of the two coolers I brought.
I'm determined not to gain my usual vacation pounds, particularly before the race. However, I'm not starving myself. Starting tomorrow, my diet will be shifting over more toward the carb side of things, instead of emphasizing protein as it has been.
So I'm eating, it's just that I'm just trying not to be a big giant pig about it. Contrary to popular belief, race week is NOT an excuse to eat like crazy. If I don't have a big workout, I need that much fuel.
Tomorrow, Sweet Baboo has planned a 3-brick workout for us in Ridgeway Lake. According to Sweet Baboo, whose been reading a CDA thread on BeginnerTriathlete, the water levels at CDA are near normal and warming up--the lake may be in the mid to upper 50s by race day. This would be awesome, because it's the temperature I trained in at Cochiti.
And as you all know, you should always train like you race! I'm posting this for all the newbies out there who missed is that last time this video made the rounds on Blogger.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
So today I did the following:
- Did a 1-hour spin class (at IM pace)
- Ran a couple miles at marathon pace
- Did 5 quick 100-meter repeats
- Sat in the hot tub a little while and relaxed
- Did a 90-minute yoga class
- Bought a latte
- Got a pedicure (why you no got all you toe nail? You want me put acrylic toenail on for you?)
- Got a message (the kind where you get touched, not where someone talks on your voice mail)
And then, well, then I had LUNCH.
That's right. I did all that before NOON.
And just for the record, I said "No" to the acrylic toenail. There's vanity, and then there's well, just plain weirdness.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
(Mine is at the top of my website)
Big'un - 1234 (as a numbers geek, I so covet this number)
Bolder - 1231
"Gogo" - 2276
Greyhound - 66
JohnnyTri - 713
Mike M. - 679
Momo - 2116
Spokane Al - 1684
"Sluggo" - 680
Stitch - 1405
Sweet Baboo - 1064
SW Tri-Gal - 2366
Tea - 2125
T-Guy J - 290
Random Geekiness: to find out if your bib number is prime, go here.
Today's workout was fueled with an almond-marzipan croissant with powdered sugar.
Soooo, the last couple times I went out there I'd been suffocating, not because of the temperature. It was the wetsuit. I know this now. My suit never fit properly. My shoulders would start hurting as soon as I put it on. It fit fine from the waist down, but from the waist up, it was a disaster, as though someone was squeezing my chest, keeping me from taking deep breaths.
Today, however, I wore Mini-baboo's LS Qunitana Roo wetsuit. It was much more comfy in the upper body, fit properly across my shoulders, fit properly as far as torso length, and was looser in the chest. I was able to move and stroke properly. I also put on my neoprene cap PROPERLY this time, not the way that someone (who shall be unnamed) told me to put it on, and it didn't feel like it was choking me. Neoprene booties completed the ensemble.
The fact that I was comfy in a man's XL wetsuit gives me pause, but not for long. It's all about the comfy for me, and even if I get a bit of drag, I don't care if I can swim comfortably and BREATHE. To get an idea of how much difference this makes to me: Two weeks ago my 100 meter pace it was 3:00. Last week, working hard, it was 2:45, and today it was 2:22. On the same lake.
This means, of course:
- I am a pear, not an apple or--what was the other shape? A banana? grapes? Gorgonzola cheese? I forget.
- I have a bigger butt than most guys my height. As well I should. Variety, you know. Spice of life and all that.
- I have a longer torso and wider shoulders than most women who have my girth.
- I will be able to do the swim in the glacial Lake Couer D'Alene.
- I can do this.
- I will do this.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
I've been eating like a PIG. In weight-watchers, you earn extra eating priveleges by working out. One time I ran 10 miles and earned enough to eat a half pizza. I've been careful to just fuel my workouts, most of the time, and I've lost 10 pounds.
Now that I'm tapering, though, I have to eat lighter. Right now I'm eating mostly lean protein and lots of antantioxidant foods: fruits and vegetables, soy foods, and lots of water. Next week, the calories will be shifted over to lean carbs and lots of antioxidant foods. It looks like my race weight is going to be about 156 lbs (11 stone, ~71 kg)
I'm taking in lots of electrolytes, since drinking lots of fluids without electrolytes can flush them right out of your body. With an IM coming in about 12 days, I need to hang onto all the electrolytes I can hold onto. So, I've been drinking lots of sugar-free sports drink.
PS: If you've decided to make it your mission to warn others about the dangers of artificial sweeteners, no offense, but I'm not interested. Thanks.
Not much more to say. I guess I'm a bit cranky. I'm missing my post-workout binges.
I was tagged by DAWN.
1. How would you describe your running 10 years ago?
BWAHAHAHAHAHA. HAH. Sorry, it's just that-HAHAHAHA- I not only wasn't running, I was bragging about my non-running status and actively mocked runners.
2. What is your best and worst run/race experience?
My best: Las Vegas marathon. I was wearing a Pricilla Presley wig and a dress, but I wasn't trying for a particular time or anything, I was just running for the sheer enjoyment of it. The weather was nice, and I pulled a negative split.
My worst: the Grasslands marathon in Texas. Now, this is a GREAT race, but I was in significant pain due to IT Band issues and a cyst on each ovary (sorry, guys - I know, ew. That's the last of the girl stuff.) That's even including the painkillers I was taking. Maybe I'll go back and do it again sometime, without all the oxycodein. I think it took me more than 7 hours to finish.
3. Why do you run?
Because it makes me feel strong and clean, like I can do anything.
4. What is the best or worst piece of advice you've been given about running?
The worst advice I ever got was to roll on that stupid foam roller thing for my IT band. It didn't help and it hurt like hell. During the few weeks I was doing it, I was practically bleeding out my eyes from the pain and my IT Band stayed exactly the same. Only after I stopped doing it did my IT Band rapidly begin to get better.
I know there are those of you out there who love the foam roller. Want to marry the foam roller.
Keep it to yourself. Personally, I think it's a cult, and I will not be sucked in.
5. Tell us something surprising about yourself that not many people would know.
I will, at times, spend considerable effort avoiding cracks in the sidewalk. Other times I'll step on them on purpose, to show them who's boss.
What concerns me that I'm even taking the time to be aware that there are cracks in the sidewalk.
I'm going to break with convention and say, that if you're reading this, you're it! I know, it's a cop-out, but I'm going to fall back on the undeniable truth that I'm tired from Ironman training.
Sunday, June 08, 2008
Iron napping With no warning, in the middle of the day, I'll just suddenly drop off....Oh? Eh? >snort<
Iron tapeworm Orders you to feed it with anything within reach. In a loud, raspy voice that will not be silenced.
Iron Cravings. Not to be confused with the tapeworm, iron cravings lead you to large quantities of salt, potatassium, protein, and carbs. Usually directs you to unhealthy things such as cheese fries, fried chicken, and fried cheese sticks.
Iron fidgeting Seen mostly during the taper, this is the part where you're tempted to go and get one more long run in...just in case. Surely one set of speed intervals wouldn't hurt? Are you SURE i'm supposed to be doing "nothing" for three days this week?
Iron ADHD. Huh? What were we talking about?
Iron shopping Lets see...Neoprene booties, neoprene cap, new running shoes, sportslick tube, Garmin strap, chois butt'r pocket pacs, chapstick x2, fig newtons, red bull, baked lays...
Iron offspring "Mom, when are you going to call me back? How come you're never home? Where were you all weekend long?"
Iron perseveration How cold is the water? Will it be choppy? Will there by wind? How high are the hills? how cold is the water NOW? Will the run be hot? Are there hills on the run? have you checked the weather forecast for the race venue today? Is it a one loop or two? Is the road in good shape? Is it a closed course? Can I finish before midnight? Did I train enough?
How cold is the water NOW?
Now? What about NOW?
Saturday, June 07, 2008
I was thrilled to find out that, once again, this training crap WORKS. My times, in comparison (approximate):
- - - - Swim - t1 - - - bike - - - t2 - - - run - - - total time - - results
2006 - 12:00 - 3:00 - 48:30 - - 2:00 - 42:00 - - 1:48 - 3rd place Athena
2008 - 12:00*-1:30 - 46:00 - - 1:30 - 34:00 - - 1:36 - 1st place Athena
*in 2006, I used a wetsuit. today I did not.
This is a very well run race near Roswell, New Mexico which as Baboo points out, "is trying very hard to be a real city." They have a very nice restaurant for carb loading called Pasta Cafe and a great local coffee shop called "Out of This World" coffee.
One of the sponsors is Shwans and a local dairy, so after the race there's ice-cold drinks, chocolate milk, and ICE CREAM FOR EVERYONE. The trophies are milk bottles and pitchers. Baboo, who was head ref for this race, is insanely jealous of my pottery bling.
The lake is very shallow, and tastes kind of bitter. There really high winds on the course this year, at your back on the way out and in your face on the way back in. The run is HOT.
Next up: Ironman Couer D'Alene. Serious taper to commence NOW. Well, right after my run tomorrow.
Thursday, June 05, 2008
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
<-- These are Blue Seventy neoprene socks.
They are, as all gear designed for foot comfort must be, insanely sexy.
Current water temp at CDA, about 50 degrees F (11 degrees C).
Today I swam Cochiti Lake (60 degrees F) It's 2.2 miles if you swim down and back. I found that I've been very run focused and my swim has slowed down as a result.
Hey, why can't fitness be like a college degree? You reach a certain level, and then you get this certificate, and it's yours forever. No matter how much TV I watch, I'll still have a master's degree. Not so with fitness though.
Wouldn't that be nice?
E.g., You can now run an 11 minute mile. forever.
Anyway. Cindy swam with me, (and faster, I might add.) and I'd like to take a moment to publicly thank her for accompanying me in a great deal of my training. Honestly, if you've known me for long you have some idea the level of laziness I'm capable of reaching. However, if I know that someone is waiting for me, I'll show up and do the training. Plus, there's no way I would have done this swim alone - not safe.
Anyway, my swim was incredibly S-L-O-W, although I figured out on the way back across that if I sort of pull up on the torse of my wetsuit (neoprene wedgie not withstanding) and pull up on the sleeves, this provides some "give" in the neoprene over my shoulders, so I could reach better in my stroke. I'm going back out tomorrow, but a little more gently because I don't want to wrench my shoulder. I'll be doing it twice next week, with at least a day in between swims.
Lastly, I've been obsessing some more over the the bike course at CDA. Looks like, about 12 miles of gentle rollers, and then about 25 miles of hills, then about twenty miles or so downhill. Lather, rinse, repeat. If I don't get a flat, I may actually pull this off. Ayii.
And hey, did I mention Mini-baboo has been gone for 2 weeks, and will be returning in JULY? Hah!
More on that later.
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
May's totals ....................2008 totals (so far)
Bike: - 282.5 Mi..................... 1042.1 Mi
Run: - 84.29 Mi.......................368.48 Mi
Swim: - 7430 M (4.4 mi)......20730 M (12.5 mi)
These days, I waver between feeling excitement and dread, and worry and confidence. It's a hell of a rollercoaster. And like all rollercoasters, it nauseates me. Erp.
And even though my training has been far less than it should be, it's far more than my training last year. Yyyesssss, that's right. This year I was sorta lazy, but last year I was lazy SQUARED and i paid the price. I finished, but if they hadn't extended the cutoff I would not have. So I'm counting on this training thing coming through for me.
So here's how the planning breaks down, after the cannon goes of at 7am on June 22nd.
SWIM: At IM-LooAvul I swam in 1:31, and I'm fine with this. I will probably be a bit slower this year because the water will about 20 degrees colder. I'll be wearing whatever neoprene is allowed, and I'm confident about beating the cutoff at 9:20 am.
T1: At IM-LooAvul this took about 11 minutes. I should be able to knock about 5 minutes off this. I'll be pulling on cycling shorts, into which has been smooshed a LOT of Baby Aveeno and Sports Slick, a sleeveless jersey, arm warmers, thick cycling socks. Sunscreen applied to my shoulders and arms and nose. Sunglasses.
The Bike: My nemesis. This is what will make or break me. At At IM-LooAvul my bike time was 8:55. 8:55, and the bike cutoff is 5 pm. I've got to take about 45 minutes off my time. yikes. The weather at IM-LooAvul was mid-nineties with about 70%+ humidity. IM-CDA is supposed to be cooler - by as much as 15 degrees - and drier.
Nutrition: My nutrition at IM Loo worked, so I'm not going to change that. De-fizzed coke and three SportLegs capsules at mile 0 and mile 56. Gatorade the rest of the time. 2 Fig Newtons at mile 0, 30, 60, 90 with plain water.
T2: At IM-LooAvul, this was 20 minutes, because I sat down and cried. Think I'll avoid that this time. I'll change to a long-sleeved meshy long-distance running shirt, RaceReady Long Distance Fitness Shorts, of course the insanely sexy Injinji socks, my NB768s, and my Garmin.
The Run: The part I'm worried about least. The bike cutoff is 5 pm, after which I'll have 7 hours to finish the marathon. At IM-LooAvul, I did the marathon in 6:20, when it was hotter and much more humid. I'll be carrying my inhaler, SportLegs, and blister bandaids. I'll also be carrying a hand-held water bottle. My Garmin will chime every minute.
Nutrition: Same as IM-LooAvul, coke with ice and SportLegs capsules at mile 0 and 13. Powergels every 2 miles. Gatorade throughout.
So that's the plan, i guess. I'll be fine-tuning it over the next couple weeks.
Goal: Finish before midnight.
Monday, June 02, 2008
Sunday, June 01, 2008
Oh, they said sometime to me, I think.
I wonder what it was.
And then finally my brain
mouth fall open and I say, "WHA--?"
And then, remember that there's two of us, wandering around in a fog. So the house is falling apart and our system of doing for each other what we don't do ourselves is falling apart.
A scintillating conversation between me and the Sweet Baboo these days is likely to be something like:
Hey, did you get, you know, the thing? That thing you were gonna get?
Did you get that thing?
you were saying something this morning. About a thing. A thing you needed to get. You know. Stuff.
Do you remember what it was?
The thing - do you remember what it was?
What thing? Huh?
Oh, never mind. This is wearing me out.
Oh, Yeah: It's a regular McNeil-Lehrer Hour over here.
Meanwhile, my body is screaming for food!! Now, I don't really feel hunger, and I was raised in the south, so in place of hunger I have inappropriate food impulses. For intance, if my body wants carbs, I crave potato chips. Although sometimes I crave chips if I'm low on sodium, too. It's complicated. If my body screams for fried chicken, which I don't eat because I'm a vegetarian, then I know I need protein. So lately, these days I'm wondering around in a fog, my attention diverted sharply by KFC billboards and Frito-lay trucks.
So in this fog I embarked on my last "long ride" today which was, to say the least, disappointingly slow. I was just whipped. I couldn't get my legs to move and when I did, they hurt like hell. Not injury hurt, but the "leave me the hell alone so I can recover from all this running and cycling" hurt. My ride had over 4800 feet of climbing, and the temperature was in the nineties when I finished.
back burner so that things like pedaling and drinking at the same time can be done.
And it was in this fog that I did not wear any sunscreen today. Yeah. 6+ hours in the New Mexico sun. Luckily, only my legs and arms were exposed, but I now have this super charming tan on my legs that Pirate refers to as "Neopolitan legs": brown, red, white.
My feet and torso are white. The rest of me is in various shades of red and brown.
And I'm tired. But now the taper starts, sorta.
Now I'm going to eat a pizza and drink a gallon of Gatorade and
stare at the TV, slack-jawed, until I fall asleep. I'm watching, uh,
that show. With the people. And the stuff.
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