Friday, December 31, 2010

Adios 2010!



Time to say goodbye to the decade. As this blog is "california training", on the training/triathlon front, it was a great year.
missions were accomplished. i had a few goals this past year.

1) Complete my first Ironman
...check!
2) Qualify for Ironman World Championships
....check!
3) Have the top amateur run split in Kona
...check! (is this check thing getting annoying?)
4) Not get dropped on every ride and not be a "liability"
....working on it. not a total check, not at all.
5) run a sub 3-hour marathon (okay, this wasn't a 2010 goal until october, but it was a general "bucket list" goal
...check!
5) Top 10 age group finish in Kona
...UNcheck!

Well, that now becomes goal #1 for next year. Actually that is goal #2.
Goal #1 for next year is to take 15-20 minutes off of my Ironman bike split (so I want to get in the 5:30 range). WHOA. Scary. Even scarier if you've been on a ride with me lately and understand the State of the Union over here. Goal #3 is to share the 30-34 podium with my husband at Ironman Texas (and maybe some halfs...) but he's got to hold up his end of the deal there and not blow up, so it's only 50% within my control.

Team Walsh is on our way. We finished out the year with Team running hill repeats today ...and saw Kerri at the top of Torrey Pines - she had her new Christmas camera with her!



Oh yes, and resolutions... I do have a couple. I resolve to...
1) save more energy for the husband. sometimes i tend to leave it all in the work day & workouts and am not very wifely when i finally get home.

2) dress cuter at work. really. i workout before work and tend to get ready in 10 minutes. i pull the hair back in a bun and do the makeup in the car. so, by having a cute outfit, i can actually look halfway professional without going big on the actual prep. today i SHOPPED. and holy sales, i bought all this for just about $400. i kill it! that will be my only shopping of the year for that type of stuff. i hate shopping for work clothes.


3) stop saying i'm going to stop eating the snacks in the teachers lounge and eating after dinner unless I really am going to do it. james will really appreciate this.

4) update all the links and such on the side of my blog. half of the blog roll probably isn't even in existence. i also resolve to actually comment on more of the blogs i read. i LOVE reading blogs- and i read every blog in my feed. but half the people i read probably don't even realize it! i think my lack of comments sometimes is due to the annoying "word verification". i hate that crap. thats why i don't have it on my blog. and guess what? in 3 years, i have only ever gotten like 3 spam comments. just sayin'.

5) blog more. i love it! i'm just lazy.

that's about it. Peace!
I leave you with pictures from the Beer Mile....Kerri won best dressed. I agree!


GO KRISTEN! Take it down!



Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Life on the Other Coast





Christmas in Philadelphia was full of things we never do. It was like living opposite life for 6 days.

1) james and I slept past 8am EVERY day [don't think we slept past 8 all year at home]
2) We stayed up past midnight EVERY night [made it to midnight maybe once prior this year]
3) Watched 3 movies (Inception, Temple Grandin, Knight & Day) [I think we saw maybe 2 movies all year prior to this. I have movie narcolepsy and pass out about 20 minutes into every movie. The only one I passed out in in Philly was Inception]
4) Enjoyed a blizzard
5) No bikes were ridden
6) We ran in the cold, wind, & snow
7) Went shopping for real (not lycra) clothes
8) We took extra time to not rush, enjoy, and just hang. Like sitting in the coffee shop and drinking from the "real" mugs.


The best part of opposite coast life was sharing the time with my family and not worrying about work, training, if the laundry was done, and how many bags I needed to pack for the next day. Good, no... Great times were had by all: 2 "parents", 4 grown children, and 3 significant others are quite the party. no drama, all easy-going, flexible, and fun. This was most properly demonstrated on Christmas night when the 9 of us left the house after 10pm to go Karaoke for a few hours in Chinatown. Why not?

Oh, and Christmas is not about the presents, but there were a couple sporty fun ones I wanted to share...Really no reason to enumerate my gifts, but if any men with sporty wives are reading, they may get some future ideas. So this is basically a PSA.

mini computer from James! (this is sporty because it enables blogging, virtual stalking of my favorite athletes, etc)


lululemon cape! this covers my bum so I can wear it with leggings only underneath and not look all POW POW POW....honey's got a booty like WOW oh WOW.

Garmin Forerunner 110 GPS & Heart Rate watch (I have the 310XT & just wasn't my thing. this is simple and will work better for me for racing. And its much cuter...also hoping to get a Garmin 500 for my bike and at some point, a powermeter, but I digress

Custom Betty Designs ISM saddle that matches all my gear (LOVE!!!) and goes perfectly on my Black/White Colnago Flight TT



And, a bag and bottle emblazoned with my #2 Ironman motto. (#1 is Make it Work). I know I borrowed this motto from someone but can't remember who...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Feeling that holiday cheer


'Tis the season to ride the trainer before dawn by the light of the christmas tree. That's "The Sing Off" in the background. It's one of the two shows I currently watch (the other one being Top Chef). Nothing too taxing on the trainer lately- plenty of time for that once the new year begins. 'Tis also the season for Christmas cards. I LOVE getting cards from friends and family far and wide, and for the first time, I got my act together and ordered my own...Now if I could just finish those addresses and actually send them all off!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

If it Ain't Broke....

2010 has been pretty awesome. . I feel like I've learned and grown a lot in triathlon, but even more so in the life department. My first year of married life is almost complete and I must admit that its actually getting easier. The first few months, James and I both realized that we would be living forever as a couple with two people who are both always right. Maybe a bump or two in the road. But, I think we've settled in nicely, as we're both learning to let things go a little more.

In triathlon, I trained and raced with the Nytro Women's triathlon team, a group of 9 ambitious amateur women supported by some incredible sponsors.

Our first year was a success and I'm lucky to have the opportunity to continue with the team next year. I briefly considered branching out with James to do our own little team Walsh as we'll be racing together almost 100% next year. One day, I do want to race as a team with James. But, he knows how important the social aspect of training is to me, and how much motivation I get from my inspiring team members. And, James couldn't promise me this....



After all, it's all about the outfits! Also, three of my favorite training partners- Julie, Tatiana, and Molly are joining the team next year. It truly is an amazing thing Kristin & Nytro have put together and I am so lucky to be a part of it.

We'll be kicking off 2011 with a team training weekend in February in Palm Springs, CA which will kick off my race season...
which looks like this so far:
2.12.2011 Tour de Palm Springs (Century)
2.13.2011 Palm Springs Half Marathon
4.2.2011 California 70.3
5.21.2011 Ironman Texas
6.26.2011 San Diego International Tri
7.17.2011 Vineman 70.3
8.21.2011 Timberman 70.3 (this is a maybe...not sure if my bank account will agree with this one, but it is on my "to do" list and my mom may be racing it!)

After these races, there are some big question marks...If James and I qualify for the 70.3 World Championships in Las Vegas (9.11.11) or the Ironman World Championships (10.8.2011), there is no question that we will be there. We might need to get a couple of roommates or have some bake sales or something, but we'll make it work!

So, lots of racing to be had in 2011 and no better person to prepare me than the one and only Dirkinator. Again, if it ain't broke.....I learned SO much from working with Dirk last year and I know there are leaps and bounds of improvements to be made. I trust him. I believe in his style. I love laughing at his German-isms and I especially love it when he reads my emails literally and takes them seriously when they are not. And I know that with his guidance, this will be the year that all those bike miles finally kick in!

So yeah. All is good around here....Except for the fact that it is Tuesday but all day I thought it was Thursday. LONGEST WEEK EVER!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Las Vegas Marathon 2010

Bust need not apply!!! (in more ways than one)- Sorry to disappoint, D! I know an epic blowup would have made better blog material, but no such luck for you.

I went into this marathon with one goal- give it my best shot at a sub-3 hour time. It may not have helped that i took 2 weeks off 6 weeks out from the race, but I think that is compensated by the months and months of ironman base I convinced myself I could pull from.

Race morning was awesome in that since our hotel was near the start/finish and the race started at 7am, we didn't wake up until 5, which is a race-day treat!


We headed to our pre-race meetup with barbie escorts rachel & katherine. I was blinded by the joy of matching outfits and can't remember much else from pre-race. Or, maybe I was blinded by the lululemon logos on our skull caps.

We lined up in the first corral and came up with the race plan- 6:45s all the way. The gun fired and we were off. I got a bit ahead of the girls after the first half mile, but looked down and saw that the pace was right on target, so I kept it moving and prayed they'd shimmy up through the crowd and yoyo back to me. Soon enough, Rachel was by my side, and Katherine was right behind. We clicked off our 6:45s (which soon turned to 6:50s) and kept ourselves entertained with conversation (mostly Rachel who was feeling fab). I think she was trying to distract me so that I stopped breathing super loud. She was worried about me. Sadly, that is just my normal running.

So we kept trotting along out and back down the Las Vegas strip with 28,000 of our closest friends for the first half of the marathon (which is shared with the half marathon course). At mile 5, we saw James bolting back towards town (he ran a 1:15!) and cheered for him. I must admit I felt less than awesome. By mile 7 I realized this was going to be a lot harder than planned. My heartrate was already in the mid 170s (even in Kona- my HR for the marathon was a 155 average and never hit 170) and every little grade felt like it took way more out of me than it should.

Rachel and I hit the half right around 1:30 and I may have dropped an F-bomb and said, "crap- we are going to have to negative split this." Right around that point, things got plain old hard. The course had changed since I ran it in 2008 and it turns out that now the back half includes 4 bridge overpasses, tons of turns, and lots of other stuff that makes you want to crawl back to the VIP tent and grab a glass of champagne and sit your but down.

But no, onward we went. Just before mile 14, heading up a hill, Rachel told me her quads were barking. I told her to take a minute and I would keep the pace. I thought for sure that she would trot back up to me a minute later, but the next thing I heard was a bunch of dudes running up on me on a significant hill. The 3:00 pace group engulfed me and as they swallowed me up (ok, there were only like 5 of them so swallowed may be a bit of an exaggeration) I realized I had to make a decision. My heart rate was about 180 and I felt like I was completely at my limit. But, I knew that if I let them pass and drop me, that the shot at sub-3 was gone. I was in NO shape to make up lost time, so I thought of Monique, and decided to "Suck it Up, Buttercup!" I was running 5k effort to stick with the group, but got a little break when we crested the hill and went down.

I psyched myself up a bit and tucked into the group for the next mile or so. Somewhere around mile 16 I fell back about 20 yards from the group. Dire straits. I thought I was done. But then, I looked over and there was a guy there. A guy on a bike. A guy with a walkie talkie on a bike and official race-looking stuff. Oh no you didn't! He looks at me and says, 2nd place just dropped, you're in 3rd. And magically my pace improved by 20 seconds per mile.

I was talking (or typing) with Rachel before the race and told her that I do believe strongly in a little race day magic. But usually it comes from within. However, I'm not afraid to admit that on Sunday I was a little externally motivated :). I hadn't considered that I'd be near the front of this race, but I was happy to accept the new reality. The good part was, I got another wind. The bad part was, that wind died a couple miles later (18-20-ish?) and I was struggling. I had passed the 3-hour pace group, but they were pretty much right behind me. I looked back and saw that they had picked up a girl. CRAP! Soon enough, the 3-hour pacer, who I had luckily befriended, bridged the gap to me and said, "You got this. She's breathing heavy and sweating like a pig." I found this hilarious at the time. Especially because she was this tiny little thing that certainly didn't look like a sweaty pig, but I didn't argue. At this point, I could see the second place woman ahead of me. For some reason, in my painful haze, the thought of trying to catch #2 never really crossed my mind. All I could think about was holding off #4, but she was closing the gap and just sitting there 10-20 yards behind me for MILES. I knew she was going to catch me, I just wasn't sure when.

The last few miles were pure survival. The cyclist escort kept telling me the gap to 2nd (15-20 seconds) but stopped mentioning the girl in 4th right behind me, I think because he thought she was plotting her attack and was surely going to chew me up. My heartrate hit 188 (the highest number I've EVER seen was 183 in a 5k a few years ago) but I knew that I could break 3 hours if I didn't stop and I kept sight of that goal regardless of my placing. I kind of resolved that #4 was going to pass me. But she didn't. We hit mile 25. Then we hit mile 26 and were 1/4 mile from the finish and she made her move. I have no idea how long she had been on my shoulder because I had stopped looking back. At this point, we were speeding up but not sprinting. I turned to her, smiled wide, and said, "Nice race, great work." I let her think she had me. She didn't respond to me, stayed stone faced and passed me. I think maybe English not her first lanaguge. Anyhow, in my mind, I Macca'd her. I let her think I was done. I faded back a step and rounded the corner a couple steps behind her. 25 meters from the finish, I turned on the kick and sprinted like I never had before. I got quite the gap on her by the time we crossed the line and the clock read 2:59:00. Looking at the video, I'm realizing that if I had kicked just a bit earlier, I might have nipped #2 (pink shorts)...not quite, but I saved 3rd, broke 3, and got on the podium at a big marathon. Who knew that 2nd, 3rd, and 4th overall would come down to less than 2 seconds in a marathon. OUCH.
Its hard to see exactly how it played out, but the video gives an idea. The best part is 20 seconds after the finish where you see that I could not speak or move, but I can still smile :)



Minutes later, Rachel (3:03!) & Katherine (3:07!) were there to join me and PR hugs were had by all. James and Bryan, fresh off the half and a couple shots of Patron were also good finish-line entertainment.

I love this caption contest waiting to happen photo of skipper (me) & the runner barbies (rachel & katherine) at the finish...we may look like a what-not-to-wear tragedy, but I say you can wear whatever you want when you are 3 of the top ten overall women in a marathon...


I'm not usually a sucker for awards, but this time was different. I was on a huge stage with male winner Josh Cox, female winner Dorota Gruce (who, sadly, is hidden completely behind me in the picture below. It's not that I'm that big- she is that tiny! You can kind of see her yellow jacket behind me. By the way, she killed it and ran 15 minutes faster than any of the rest of us). Ok, back to the podium. Flowers, plaques, a chunk of change AND there were like 10,000 people in the crowd cheering and watching the awards. Oh wait, they might have been there to see Bret Michaels who played a free show directly after us :). Ok, fine. But it was still pretty cool. And they were TOTALLY there just to see me.

So that was the race, but of course, in Vegas, it's all about the afterparty...more to come. CHEERS!

Thank you to everyone for your support and for following along. As always, thanks to Nytro Women, Betty Designs, and Zoot sports. I'm proud to say my Zoot Ultra Tempo 3.0+s carried me to sub 3. And of course, our matching Kona edition Zoot compression socks helped with all the PRs. And- huge special thank you to Rehab United for the brutal but necessary strength training that I know was HANDS DOWN the reason I kicked #4 to the curb. Thank god all those squats are good for something- finish line power!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

you had me at "matching outfits"


I've been enjoying my semi-0ff season a lot. (we will get to the "semi" in a moment). Maybe enjoying a little too much as demonstrated by the scale's increase of 8 pounds in 3 weeks. I swear I wasn't eating pizza and cheeseburgers and chips all day long. I don't even think I ate those things at all. I was still eating vegetables & lean protein every night for dinner. I just wasn't working out as much. Okay and MAYBE I was eating muffins, brownies, cookies, and cake once in a....well, every day. hmmmm... mystery solved!

Well, time to watch it a bit as my off-season has taken a detour to Sin City. Let's back up a bit. A month before Kona, I was cooked and ready to be done. I got a little note from Rachel asking if I wanted to run the Las Vegas marathon with her and Katherine. I quickly said, "Not a chance in hell" and moved along.

Well, welcome to hell! Just kidding. So, a couple weeks after Kona, I was putting together a loose plan for 2011 and initially included a late January marathon. You may remember if you've read here for a long time (if so, god bless you, you patient soul), I ran my first/only stand alone marathon in Las Vegas-2008 in 3:03. It's no secret that my bucket list includes a sub-3 marathon. Thinking more and more, I realized that by late January, I want to be putting in base miles on the bike and upping my swimming a bit for Ironman Texas (May 2011). I also was a little motivated because I had run a 3:10 in Kona, after swimming and then riding for 7 hours. And looking at my bike made me want to puke, but running was fine, so why not run a little more?

So I texted Rachel and asked if they were still going to Vegas and shooting for sub-3. She said yes, and we should wear matching outfits. MATCHING OUTFITS?!?! SOLD! I even got to virtually shop w/ R and K as they sent me pics from lululemon in Oahu testing out outfits.




Whatever outfit we end up with (I think you can tell which shirt they picked :), we will be accessorizing with Zoot compression socks, sock-arm warmers from Target, and black visors (or beanies if it is REALLY cold). So basically, we will end up looking like homeless clowns in tube socks. But there will be 3 of us so it will look, uh, cool?

Soooooo...The training. Oh yeah. Well after 2 weeks rest, 2 weeks active recovery, I put in 2 solid weeks with lots of marathon pace work and now all that's left is to pray to the race-day-magic gods because boy am I going to need it. At first, workouts were going pretty well and my legs felt nice (that happens I think when you are not trashing them with bike intervals and 6 hour rides). Then I got sick, did my longest run (17 miles) and was practically dragging myself home. I didn't hit any of my paces and felt fat and slow. But I'm going to forget about that and move along. I was sick, right? sure.

Theoretically, I should be able to run under 3 hours in an open marathon. But, although some don't believe me, I run off the bike relatively similar to my open paces (ahem, coach Dirk who doubted me when I told him I would run sub 3:30 in Kona) . And for me, 7:15 pace (3:10 marathon) feels QUITE different than 6:45 pace (sub-3)....But sub-3 or bust! Luckily I have two hot barbies to block the wind for me (I'm midget Skipper)! Too bad they are so skinny. Maybe I will send them some cookies this week to up their wind-blocking potential.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

take it off....season!

After, Kona I took six full days off. Okay, there was ONE yoga class, but that's it. I took my down time seriously. On the 7th day, I ran. I had no choice but to run. Colleen was getting married, I was a bridesmaid. Thus, part of my duty was to escort her on decompression runs leading up to and the day of the wedding. Well, this is a duty I am certainly equipped for, but the o'dark thirty wake up calls were rough....But- anything for the bride! Running felt great. I kind of felt tapered since I hadn't done a lick of exercise in a week.

Me + Colleen...

The wedding was amazing and I'm so happy for Justin & Colleen. I'm also a little jealous- as they are currently touring France by bicycle for their honeymoon. They're hitting a lot of major tour de france climbs.

Other than that, I've been relaxing, eating a lot, and starting to get into our off-season strength building routine. I know there are two reasons I was not injured last season: 1) Good coaching from the Dirkinator and 2) Rehab United strength program. Bryan's programs have us lifting heavy (for measly triathletes) this time of year to build a strong body, bones and core to support us all year long.

James doing kettlebell swings
Kristin getting her squat on

Trevor doing some slider lunges


Also have been easing back into riding with coffee (+muffin!) rides along the coast.



I'm loving my new Betty Designs cycling kit- perfect for halloween! Now that Betty is selling her kits online at her website, I'm sure my wardrobe of cute cycling outfits will expand..Some girls buy purses and shoes- some buy lycra.

A little sunrise bike commuting.

Other than that, just chilling out. I only made it to the pool once, but I'm thinking I will have to go a bit more if I ever want to live up to the Splish suit (&matching cap) that Shelby sent me (in an awesome care package for no reason other than to say "nice job" in Kona- pretty darn thoughtful and totally made my month!) .


Other than that, just living life and enjoying. I tried my first cyclocross race and had 45 minutes of painful fun. James prepared me well with a little cross lesson and lots of tips. I'm also running quite a bit. Sure, I should spend time on my bike or in the pool and work on my weaknesses, right? Hmmm...maybe starting December.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Ironman Hawaii Race Report

Grab a coffee....this is not short...
Race morning went smoothly and I soon found myself sitting on the Kona pier with 1800 of my closest friends wondering what I was about to get myself into. After the pros started at 6:30, the age groupers began funneling into the bay to get the party started.
where's waldo? (above the dude with the orange cap)

I was a bit chilly and didn't want to tread water for 30 minutes, so I filtered in and snagged a spot on the seawall.

I spent the next 15 minutes just stretching and taking it all in. The people, dawn, the beautiful ocean, music, nervous and excited athletes. I was about to begin one of the most incredible events in endurance sports and I felt incredibly lucky. I knew my family and friends would be out there all day long cheering me on and I couldn't wait to see them. My stomach felt great, but I wasn't sure if I had eaten enough- I had downed 1/2 cup of oatmeal, 1 banana, 1 spooin of Nuttzo, and 1 purefit bar. 500 calories or so. Well, it was too late to eat any more, so I reminded myself to get on it as soon as I hit the bike.

Swim- 2.4 miles in Kailua Bay (1:06)
Everyone told me the swim was the biggest brawl they've ever been in and now that I've been there, I agree. Then again, I brought it on myself, lining up right next to the pier (the inside line) with a straight shot to the buoy line. I figured that this is where fast people would be and although I am not a fast swimmer, I hoped to get dragged along a bit. I was clinging to the pier until the cannon went off and then the rest is a blur.

hanging on to the pier...

For a bit, I couldn't even swim, so many legs and arms and bubbles everywhere. A big frothy mess of flailing limbs.

But, soon enough, I was moving right along. The swim was beautiful, the perfect temperature and I was just happy to be there. I knew this would be the only time I'd be cool all day so I tried to enjoy it and soak it all in. I kept having the "holy crap, this is really happening" thoughts running through my head. Before long, we hit the turnaround boat and I glanced at my watch - 33 minutes- pretty much what I had expected for the halfway point. I knew I should be working harder and I felt like I spent half of the swim with my head up or breaststroking but there was nowhere to go. Bodies on every side of me and no way to get around. So I just hung out and cruised it in, I figured it would be a long day. Out of the water in 1:06 and into transition to prepare for the long ride.

T1 (3:57)
I thought I had a pretty quick T1 (more on this later) and I headed out on the bike. The transitions at Ironmans are pretty incredible because of the volunteers. There are the nicest, most helpful volunteers in there, helping you dress, undress, apply cold towels- everything you can imagine. i wanted to stay all day! With help, I took off my borrowed Orca swimskin (thanks Katya!), put on my helmet, glasses, garmin 310xt, and got smothered in sunscreen. I put my bike shoes in my hand and carried them to the mount line where I put them on and then hopped on my bike.

Bike- 112 miles (5:48/ 19.27 mph)
As soon as I hopped on the bike one of the pins holding my garmin strap on flew off in an almost exact repeat of IM Saint George. Nooo! Oh well, in the sports bra it went and I knew I could check it periodically to see where my heartrate was. Right out of T1 I saw James & Dan and gave a wave


I pedaled away and started getting passed by hundreds of people. There is an out and back along the Kuakini highway that is packed with athletes and is pretty narrow. To say there is drafting on this section is an understatement. I was getting a bit frustrated because I just kept letting people pass and then I had to stop pedaling to fall back to a legal distance. After the race, I learned that the drafting in this section is just inevitable and its not even marshalled. So basically everyone just accepts it- well, live and learn and next time go with the flow. Right out of transition, I noticed blogger bud Laura right up ahead. After 10 miles or so, I pedaled up to her, we had a chat, and then she became my ride buddy for the next 100 miles and I rode into transition 2 right behind her. Having Laura there was a huge highlight to the bike and I felt lucky to have her there to motivate me. When she would get ahead, I'd focus on her blue butt that said, "Race With Passion" and eventually make my way back up to her. When I'd jump ahead, I'm thinking she did the same.

Back on the Queen K highway we started the ride up to Hawi. I had heard about the possibility of strong crosswinds and was terrified. My #1 goal at this point in the race was to make it down from Hawi and then start my "race". I rode pretty easily and got passed a ton. I know this paid off later in the run, but am left wondering what would happen if I pushed it a bit more. At mile 40 we started the climb up to Hawi and this is where I switched from race mode to survival mode. I have never ridden in winds like that and I never want to again (although I'm sure I will). I was griping the bullhorns for miles on end, just praying to make it down alive and making deals with madame pele. I was very unconcerned with my speed and pace and very concerned for my life. I know this sounds dramatic, but the winds were pretty rough. When you combine this with my intense cycling anxiety (i have a very real fear of descending and anything that involves bike handling) it makes for an interesting couple of hours. I just read Julie's race report and its funny that she thought of me in this section, thinking, "if Beth can do it, then I can do it". She's right! We did it! I finally made down from Hawi and got hit with a headwind, but who cares! The crosswinds of death were over. I concentrated on eating and drinking again and got back in aero for the first time in 25 miles. I tried to push the whole way home, but made sure I didn't go too hard. It started to get lonely the last 20 miles and I wondered if I had gotten passed by the entire field in the Hawi section. Where did everyone go? I could see Laura's blue butt a couple hundred yards up and focused on keeping her in sight. Looking at my watch (I had a time-of-day watch on my wrist, garmin still in my top) I was going to break 6 hours, maybe even 5:50, so I wasn't disappointed one bit. Still on track for a solid day.

My stomach felt great the entire ride. I drank a ton of lemon lime powerbar perform- about 4 bottles (700cal) and I ate one sleeve of clif bloks (200 cal). I also tried to eat some bars (clif mojo, luna) but they tasted nasty in the heat and I ate only about half of them (400cal). I am usually anti- gels, but I knew that since I wasn't eating my bars, I needed something else, so I ended up eating 3 power gels along the way (300cal). I think my stomach is interesting in that it likes variety. I don't think I could handle getting all my calories from one source (like all gels) . All-told, I ate about 14 or 1500 calories on the bike. By mile 100 I was SO ready to get off my bike, I couldn't wait to run!

T2 (4:09)
Again, I thought I did a great job. I handed off my bike and shoes to a volunteer and then ran to the changing tent after taking a very quick stop in the porto potty (I never did go on the bike). Cold towels, sunscreen, a quick change into run shorts, grabbed a redbull, and shoved 2 sleeves of clif bloks in my sportsbra. Ready to roll!

Run- 26.2 miles (3:10/ 7:16/mile pace)
Right out of T2, I ran up the hill with my Red Bull and saw James and Dan and then more friends.
fist pump for the camera...oh jeez, someone please put me on the Jersey Shore because there is more fist pumping in the run portion of this race report than in a night on the town with the Situation and Snookie. Watch out!


The first 9 miles are an out-n-back along Ali'i drive and if you're feeling good on this section, it's almost like a free 9 miles. I was running easily and worried when my first mile split was in the 6:40s. But, I was keeping my heartrate at 150, so I knew I would be ok if I just executed the plan. I reminded myself that the reason I had put in mega bike miles in training was to be fresh for the run. Pace was irrelevant to me and I ran by heartrate. I was able to see all of my friends on and off the course during this first run section and I was completely 100% motivated to get 'er done. I realized I was a ways back from most of my training partners, but I was having a grand time and just concentrated on keeping a high cadence, staying totally relaxed, and taking in my surroundings.

My parents and sister were at the 4.5 mile turn around with signs and chalk and this was a huge boost- they are the best cheer squad around! (Well, maybe second best to Chloe and Sue Hutter :) Back into town, mile 9 or 10, I ran up towards the Queen K and saw James, Kristin, Katya, and Kerrie. I wanted to stay and chat, but there was work to be done! So, I probably gave a fist pump and went on my merry way.

Once I was up on the Queen K, things got a little more lonely. But, the men's and women's pro races were unfolding in the opposite direction and provided a nice distraction. I had a blast cheering for all my favorite pros and kept on truckin'. Trevor and Joe were out there on bikes which was awesome as well.



I had lost my salt pills and was paranoid about cramping so I started asking around about extra salt tabs. Joe pointed me in the direction of one of his friends/athletes on the course who helped me out and gave me a couple. THANKS GUYS! I kept moving and followed my nutrition plan : 1 mile=one shot block for the first 12 miles. I also made sure to take water and ice at each aid station.
Running through an aid station oasis. Thanks to Kerry Ynestad for the photos...


Chomping on ice


At mile 13, I swtiched to cola for the rest of the day. Each aid station was one cup cola, one cup water.

Mile 13 was an important one. If I remember correctly (which I may not) this is where I met Robbie, who ended up running stride for stride with me the entire back half of the marathon. This is also where I looked at my garmin (clasped in my hand now) and saw 1:35 for the first 13.1. Okay, so if I don't blow it, I might squeeze out a 3:15 marathon....hmmm...and this guy Robbie I picked up seemed to be on the same page, dishing out a nice pace...Well, I didn't want to count my chickens. Okay, maybe I did a little chicken counting. Robbie and I kept moving towards the energy lab and caught up on life stories. Super cool guy who works for his family business selling elevator parts. He had had a tough swim, a good bike, and was looking to round out the day with a solid run. We had a silent agreement to get eachother there. For the next 13 miles through the energy lab and back down the Queen K, Robbie and I each had our highs and lows, but when one of us was about to crack, the other one took control. We were just hanging on to eachother and it reeeeeeeeeeaallly started to hurt. But we weren't really slowing down. We were holding steady. Around mile 23 it became clear that I was going to beat the time goals I had set out for my total race (i figured a great day would bring me in around 10:30/40). I wasn't sure where I was in my age group, but I knew that if I was under 10:15, I had a good shot of making the podium. I really pushed through wanting to give up, but I knew that it was all mental at this point. My quads were cement like none other but I knew we needed to keep going. Robbie and I booked it down Palani and then over to Ali'i drive.

Me and Robbie in the final mile...Guess what I got...Whoa, looks like another fist pump. Really, I need some new material :)

Everyone says the last mile is "free" but noooooooo, not for me. The last mile was one of the hardest as I had really emptied the tank to get there (I know all the fist pumping is making it look like I am having way more fun than I actually am). I crossed the finish line with nothing left but a smile and of course, a fist pump.

I was super happy to be there, lucky to be safe and couldn't believe it was over! Dan picked me up at the finish and walked me through the finish area.

Results:

10:13:51 / 13th AG / 25th Amateur

Swim: 1:06

Bike: 5:48

Run: 3:10- fastest amateur run o' the day.


Afterthoughts
Dan didn't tell me where I had placed in my division, so I figured it wasn't worth mentioning. Turns out it was 13th. I would have liked top 10, as that was my goal, but you can't control the performance of others, and my performance was excellent FOR ME and that's all I can ask for, especially my first time in Kona. If I was still 29 years old, I would have been 2nd. But guess what? I'm not 29, I'm 30! Gotta deal with that- and I actually love this about triathlon- that the speediest women are those with a few years on those youngins.

Tatiana (who won her age group!) made some good points in her race report- there were a lot of fast women this year, but that just means that the sport is growing and becoming more competitive for women, which is a good thing.

I really had a great race for me. I know I can knock some time off of the swim and ride stronger and more confidently in the future- so I'm excited to move forward and work hard...a sub-10 finish is sort of kind of in sight (Did I just say that?!?) I also realize in hindsight that I need to work on those Ironman transitions. I think I had it in my head that everyone takes their time in there because it's a long day, but not true! I spent about 4 minutes in each transition. My friend Caroline (who clocked a smoking 10:07 PR- yeah C!!!) spent just about 2 minutes in each transition. I think I'll have to ask her for some tips this winter. I also need to learn how to mount with my shoes already on the bike. So, in transition alone, I "wasted" nearly 4 minutes compared to my fastest competitors- I gotta fix that! Other than that, as I mentioned, I really want to build bike confidence and handling skills and that, I hope, will come with time and lots of hours in the saddle with my speedy friends who may one day tire of waiting for me at the bottom of the hills.

At the end of the day, I'm so completely happy and fulfilled and ready to put my feet up for the rest of the year! Offseason here I come!

But first, a thank you to everyone who helped me dream big this year.


My parents and sister who came all the way to Kona and were my travel sponsor :) , my husband, my amazing friends who cheered all along the course, my coach Dirk who has done so much for me this year, my training partners and everyone out there in internet who reads, follows along, offers support, cheers, and cares. You are all the source of my motivation. When things get rough, I always think of that next timing mat, and making it there, hearing that beep and knowing that people are watching!

And huge thank yous to all my supporters. Nytro Women and the team sponsors for supporting insirational female age group triathletes- I am constantly in awe of the women on our team, Colnago and my speedy Flight, Zoot for the fastest shoes around, Powerbar & Nuttzo nut butter for keeping me fueled, Betty Designs for keeping the sport hot and for great clothes in and out of training, Rehab United for making me strong and giving me a core that can take an Ironman beating and stay strong, and both Rehab United and Dan Selstad for doing the impossible- keeping me injury free for an ENTIRE season!

Aloha!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Pre Race!

First, I want to thank everyone for following along all year. Tomorrow is the big day for me and I know I wouldn't have gotten to it without the support from so many people out there. I'm ready for the "its all about me" to be over and to just enjoy the race and then the post-race with my family and friends. If you care to track along (since until tomorrow it is still all about me:), you can head to www.ironman.com and click on "Athlete Tracker" . I am #1726 and racing under Beth Walsh. I think there is also a live broadcast online at ironman.com, but unless you are entrenched in triathlon it may be an experience akin to watching paint dry. I'm not sure how long it will take me, but if it is a very good day, I would be a little bit under 11 hours. If it is not a good day, well, break out the glow sticks!! Either way, I hope to have a Mai Tai in hand to watch the midnight finishers.

Its been jam packed good times and business since arrival late Wednesday night.

waiting at the airport...sweating in my Zoot ComressRx blingin' tights, but the sweat is worth the squeeze :)


We are staying at a neat house on Ali'i drive with a Koi pond, big lanai, and pool- perfect relaxation station. That is, except for the shoddy internet which is very intermittent and only works in certain areas of the house.
our crash pad for the week... life doesn't suck at the Koi house



Since arriving we have swum in Kailua Bay to the Coffees of Hawaii boat with Kerrie, ran down Ali'i drive in our underpants, had a lovely ocean-front dinner at Huggos, eaten lots of fresh ahi tuna and mangoes, had a little spin with julie, some prime ART with Dan the Man, visited the Oakley house and the Zoot store, and had some good family time with James, Dad, Marsha, and sister Erica.

Some highlights....
Getting my picture at the Zoot store on Ali'i with my picture (with Nytro Women's team) on the wall. Okay, we're at the bottom and you can barely see me, but I'm there! And look, Charisa right above us!

checking out the Oakley pad


ready to dominate the underpants run with tatiana and kristin...

today is supposed to be all about chilling, but there is a lot to take care of. I still need to pack my gear backs, special needs bags, and do all the bike check in.
luckily my hot mechanic is here to help with last minute prep...




The energy here is unreal and I'm bottling it for tomorrow. See you at the finish line! Aloha!