Tuesday, April 29, 2008

satis est satis

i have taken 2+ weeks to relax, workout only when i want to, and gain back the weight i left in tempe. as the title states, "satis est satis". i am ready to rock.

i find myself in a totally different place when i compare my state to how i've felt weeks after my prior IMs. i felt burnt out, tired and overall lazy. this time round, i have been counting the days until i get my new program. i am pumped!!

i haven't done any running since the race (under strict orders from coach), but i've been on the bike, in the water and back in the weight room (after a three month hiatus). i've also been water running just for fun!

i'm super excited to get the season going as i have some interesting races planned for this summer.

my mom filmed ryan and i (and some stranger we met on the the way) climbing mt. lemmon. you may actually be able to smell my quads burning. this is around mile 21 -- almost there. i love this ride.

my family escaped the southern ontario weather and came up for a visit this past week. it was great to see them and we had a fantastic time doing some sight seeing and touristy stuff -- i haven't really done that much since i'd been here, so it was nice.
they left this morning and i will definately miss them!

Monday, April 21, 2008

IM AZ in numbers...

4 -- months of training.
15 -- outdoor rides.
3 -- rides over 5 hours.
1 -- pre race swim in the wetsuit (and it was in a pool!).
2 -- rides up mt. lemmon.
95 -- degrees farenheit.
25 -- mph winds.
18 -- percent DNF (including Frank).
1200 -- calories of Infinit on the bike.
8 -- bottles of water.
1/2 -- cliff bar (gingerbread...yummi).
1 -- pee while riding.
4 -- minutes in the sin bin.
10 -- Saltstick capsules on the bike.
300 -- calories of Infinit on the run.
6 -- Saltstick capsules on the run.
20 -- cups of coke (didn't all go in my mouth).
4 -- sticks of gum.
40 -- sponges (2 at each water stop).
1,000,000 -- cups of ice.
6 -- moments of shade.
0 -- gels.
1 -- potty stop (for a #2).
1 -- untied shoe (first time not using Yanks).
15 -- visits to the potty post race (questionably # 2's).
1 -- blister.
2 -- square centimeters of missing skin "down there".
140.6 -- miles travelled.
2 -- nd amateur female.
1 -- long awaited kona spot.

Monday, April 14, 2008

IM AZ Race Report

shortly after i finished the race, i received an email from my coach telling me to take a few days to recover and reflect before analyzing my race. well, it's been a day and with nothing on the plate as far as training, and legs that hurt sooooo bad i figured i could utilize this time to write a report and give my initial thoughts about race day.

the days leading up to the race were pretty uneventful in tempe. athlete dinner, bike and transition bag check in, and then a full day to sit and wait to race. normally, in the day before an IM, i've been somewhat nervous and tend to eat continuously. well, on this saturday all ryan and i did was sit around, watch tv and eat. the nervousness however, was not there as it had been in the past. not because i wasn't worried about what the day would bring but i think i was
'at peace' with what ever could be thrown at me and the possible result. i was confident that i would give it my best however it mannifested itself on that particular day.

we went to bed around 11 and i slept wonderfully.

alarm went off at 4, we had breakfast and were out the door by 445. transition opened at 5 and i like having lots of time, in case something goes wrong.

after stocking my bike and pumping the tires i got to go chill at the edge of trasition for a bit to try and relax... this is when i start to get nervous. we are really doing this! by the end of the day, we'll be ironman! crazy.
i plop myself down next to none other than: Michellie Jones! i was hoping some of her speed would diffuse into my body..... funny, she looked pretty nervous too. guess she is human after all!

the swim was in tempe town lake. rumor has it that phoenix's sewage runs into this river.... by the smell and the colour, i can believe it. probably the equivalent to London's Thames -- and i wouldn't swim in there is my life depended on it. none the less, off we all go. in order to get to the start, you had to jump off a pier and swim about 100 m and man the water was cold!!

we picked our spots and treaded water, waiting for the gun (deep water start). this freaks me out a little bit..... sooo many people in such a small area and everyone slowly creeps forward, giving you less and less room the longer you wait. this part is definately the most stressful.

the gun goes off and i start fast to try and stay ahead of the men behind me who wouldn't give a second thought about running me over. i end up right on the buoy line -- not good. there's people everywhere. i'm getting pushed, pulled, grabbed and my goggles get knocked half off.
at this point, i was in a panic. i put my head up and looked for open water - i needed to get out of here. no open spaces, and all around me were blue caps (men). at this point, i felt like i was playing defense instead of swimming.
what made it worse was the fact that the water was so dirty, you couldn't see the feet infront of you, so you just swam right into them or over them!!

i have never been in such a rough swim.

this went on until just before the turn around, when i went far enough to the outside to have some open water.
the way back was much better. i felt like i was actually able to swim and find a rhythm.
i get to the stairs and see my time -- over an hour. poop. not happy, but alive. i will later find out that the swim was "slow this year", and that makes me feel a little better.

i get through transition and onto my bike. first thing i notice is the wind... feels a lot stronger than the forecasted 8 mile/hr. what can you do.
i look down to check my speed and realize that somewhere in trasition, my odometer fell off, nice. for a split second i get bummed out. what a start. but i quickly turn it around. no point throwing a pitty party. i've always wanted to try and race by feel -- here it goes.
after feeling quite heavy in the legs for the first 8 km, i decide that i should really just spin my way to the turn around and not burn too much energy heading into the wind (they were actually 17 mph winds with 23 + gusts). the first lap felt pretty conservative and i was hoping to just consistently hit the same lap time (i think it was somewhere aroun 1:47 for 60km).

the wind picked up slightly for the next lap, and the sun was definately heating things up.

i'm not sure about my second lap time, but i don't think it was too far off the mark. i was starting to feel warmed up and like i was settling in a groove.
by the 3rd lap the course was getting pretty congested. i ended up getting caught behind a group of slower rider starting their 2nd lap and got a drafting call. i actually thought they were calling the slower riders for blocking, so i just keep riding. he was giving them a drafting call too, but i also got one for being in the mix... first time for me and i was bummed!! i thought, "oh well, i could use the chance to pee - and not in my pants, as well as stretch and get in some fluids, etc." Actually, i knew the ref in the tent so the four minutes went by pretty fast and ended up not affecting my placing so no biggy. i finished the bike just over 5:40 with my legs feeling fresh. i'll take it.

while i wouldn't say this was a flat course, it was definately much flatter than the two other IMs i've done. the biggest difference in my opinion was that i never hit LT..... i never felt the lactic acid build up you get from steep hills or hammering real hard. you can only go into that kind of oxygen dept so many times before you don't recover and i didn't hit it once on this ride....

On to the run. it's now over 90 degrees and the run course has very few shaded areas (you run under a couple of bridges -- that's it). i was more than a little worried about how my body would respond. i was reminded of my first (and only) experience at the Boston Mary. 2004, high 80's and i crashed and burned, finish time 3:46. i wanted to do better than that today. could get interesting but i knew i was ready.

i wanted to take it out easy, so i really held back the first mile... or so i thought. time check 7:07. WHAT???? why do i always do that? second mile: 7:20..... okay, so from there, i slowed down to what i felt was a shuffle, but the feed back i was getting from the spectators told me i was holding a reasonable pace. for the next 19 miles i pretty much hovered between 7:45's and 8:20's, depending on elevation changes. around 20 miles i got some pretty intense cramping and decided it was imperative to stop at the next potty. i didn't think the suit would look too hot with brown stains on the rear. i felt much better after the stop and was ready to finish it off. through the next couple of water stops, i took a couple of walking steps to get fluids down (by this time i was chugging coke - probably not the best plan), drinking water, filling my hat and bathing suit with ice and holding as many sponges as i can to wipe down my body. i had no idea where i was in my AG, except that i knew Rachel must have been infront. i was pretty confident that i was in the top 3, so i just made sure i maintained my pace to the finish, nothing fancy.

for once, i crossed the line feeling pretty good. marathon time of 3:41 something. i ended up with 10:28:48, 15th female, 2nd in AG and 2nd amateur female (behind the world champ. Rachel Ross). of course, i took the kona spot and am looking forward to the rematch!!!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

putting goals to paper

i'm laying in bed, watching some pointless tv (which i actually miss), and thought it was time to put my goals for this IM on 'paper'.

1. have fun - not to hard at an event like this.
2. make it to the finish line - as quickly as possible.
3. leave it all on the field - race without regret.
4. put together a solid race in all disciplines, hopefully nailing the nutrition (and potty) aspect.
5. not get too burnt (right mom?!).
6. have fun.
time for bed. big day tomorrow.


tempe is a beautiful, clean city... the flora is much like tucson, but everything is groomed and looks professionally maintained. i could definately live here!!

we headed out to the course yesterday, basically 3 loops, out goes up the hill - back comes down. somewhat scenic, but takes us past a dump.

the run is a figure 8, another 3 loops around the transition area. good for spectators.

temp. will be a concern for all. 94 degrees (33 in canadian) but no humidy. which means it cools down in the shade. no shade on the course. could be interesting.
either way - i can't wait!
in the immortal words of ryan huggett, "lets rock!"
the athlete dinner was last night. nothing new there. food was okay, setting was decent (they had the dinner outside under the sun). frank farrar is here.... this is a 79 year young man who seems to do most of the NA IMs every year. in each one, he is minutes away from the cut off. he said, 'for this race, his goal was to do it in a day'. he is truly inspirational.

Monday, April 7, 2008

darn good quote

i'm reading a great book right now, and this quote really hit home.....

a young high school high jumper is at the local championships and he looks to his coach, questioning his abilities. the coach responds with, "if you throw your heart over the bar, your body is sure to follow."

Sunday, April 6, 2008

the seven day count down.

one week until my first tri of the season, and it's a biggin!! can't believe it's here... time has just flown by (except when i'm putting in a 12 hour night shift at the hospital). and i'm ready to give it my best!
i've got two more shifts at the hospital (mon & tues. night) then i'm off to phoenix for thursday to register and swim. then i come back to tucson for friday morning to take an EKG class, then we head back to tempe for the dinner. we will be staying at a hotel friday, saturday and sunday nights. i will definately take some vids of the race site and such.... that is my favorite part! it just gets me so pumped to be surrounded by athletes and people who 'get it'.

so far the forecast is not showing any surprises - hot and windy.

FYI: our bib #s are 1991 (me - pretty cool number eh?), and ryan 612.

Friday, April 4, 2008

splish is the best!!

just a quick note to remind everyone to get their custom swim suit from splish...
they have been so amazing to me!! dawn (owner) just sent me my new and improved custom silver suit (sorry,no sneak peeks - race day surprise!) and it rocks!!
nothing beats their customer service -- of course, it doesn't hurt that they have the best swim suits out there... how can it get any better than to design one yourself??
check em out... www.splish.com

ryan's new steed

this is ryan....he's specialized. oh, and yes that is the wind in the background.

preliminary test of the video feature.... more to come in the future.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

ryan has arrived!!!

ryan made it (finally!). have missed him a ton.

after some biking, swimming and running, (and in my case, working) we took his dad and headed up mt. lemmon -- in a car this time! these were taken at mile 14 (windy point). you can see the road way below in the right picture...

this is a climb in a different mountain range... gates pass. steeper than lemmon, but shorter.
so many great rides, can't wait to get back to the big mileage!!