Friday, April 30, 2010

the days before ironman

me again. sick of me yet? all this time, so little to do! blog again, it is!

what do folks do the day before an ironman? now i know! the secret life of...

#1- get awesome messages and virtual cheers from bloggers and athletic friends. its truly amazing how thoughtful everyone has been. i hope you know how much each and every comment, note, text message, and even facebook status "like" has meant to me. if you've done ironman, i suspect you "get it" with how much this suport means. i am in the processing of writing a mental A-Z list of all of these awesome supporters. there are 26 letters in the alphabet and 26 miles in a marathon. each mile, i want to think of people who's names who start with...."A." who have helped me along the way to the ironman and who might be tracking and cheering online. each mile i want to think, "i want to keep going because _____ rode with me that one day when no one else would finish 100 miles with me :) and she might be watching on the computer". i am thankful for "Zoot" for giving me some Z people to think about. and for Yasi for being a fun internet friend solving my "Y" list. now, X and Q, if you read this and are an X or a Q- help a sista out and i'll have some thinking material for miles 17 and 24.
and of course i will think of my family and friends who don't share my delusional hobby, but i'm not quite sure they get it. haven't heard a peep from dad who will probably read this on monday and be like, "oh yeah, you did that ironman thing this weekend!" but he still gets major props on mile D (that's mile 4) for being my biggest life supporter.

#2- google chat with other soon-to-be-ironwomen in nearby hotel rooms while sitting in bed. they say this is all a "science". this conversation with rachel is let's just say, not so scientific. it's like soooo toally ironman, like oh my god, like i'm so, like, confused
achel: i'm bored.
3:37 PM
me: bored?!?!? i cant figure out how to pack these crazy bags and i'm jus tnow deciding what the nutrution plan will be. so much calculation. how muc?
Rachel: my roommates are watching robo cop
me: much calories on the bike- 1400?
Rachel: lol, haven't started the bags yet
3:38 PM
me: EW robocop
i just realized have to drop all the bags in the am and katya is taking me to sand hollow and wants to go early
Rachel: as for calories...i think i am trying for 1800
me: good call. i have no idea! never tried to run a marathon after riding !
Rachel: i think my tri nerd bento box holds 2200
3:39 PM
(with 1 bottle)
me: like in bars?
oh i see
Rachel: 1200 calories, i use carbopro
me: what do you put in special needs? i put in a snickers!
Rachel: in the drink
i'm putting gushers lol
me: and popchips
Rachel: and socks on the run bag
yum popchips
3:40 PM
me: i'm putting on socks before bike and before run i think. 2 pairs!
Rachel: for sure me too
me: and i am wearing a full bike kit and changing into run shorts and top
overkill? i'm terrified of freezing
Rachel: after the swim today, i amtoo
3:41 PM
i was going to wear bike shorts under the wetsuit, which i've done before,
but going out wet may be too cold
and i have tri shorts for the run
me: i've got bikini bottoms and a sports bra i will wear the sports bra the whole time. swap bikinis for bike shorts
Rachel: i was just going to wear the tri top the entire race
yeah, that was my 2nd plan if too cold morning of
3:42 PM
me: put on cycle shirt over sports bra. can stuff junk in cycle top too
Rachel: yeah
i'm more and more leaning towards that plan
it's nice that it's a fresh water swim
me: yes- the bright side!
3:43 PM
Rachel: lol
hmm, maybe i should start thinking about those darn bags
3:44 PM
why is everything so complicated?! this sport is messed up
3:45 PM
me: i know. the bags are driving me nuts
immodium? people take that, right?
i have it. do i need it? who the F KNOWS?!?!!
Rachel: elizabeth swears by it. my coach made me pack it, but i didn't
3:46 PM
i've never taken it in my life
me: me either! nothing new on race day. but what if! i don't want the poopy pants!
Rachel: ugh, i know.
3:48 PM
3:49 PM
stupid q much breakfast to eat? 500 cal?
3:50 PM
Rachel: i don't know how many calories are in anything
so i never really pay attention to that
3:51 PM
i eat oatmeal, brown sugar, and banana
however much that is.
plus a gu before swim start
me: but do you need more for a bigger raCE?
Rachel: yeah, i suppose so
me: thats like what i eat.
Rachel: but i don't want to barf
me: i am planning on oatmeal. banana. yogurt. = 400
3:52 PM
then bringing a bar with me on the bus. i hate gu
so like up to 600
Rachel: yeah
me: BARF :) i love that word

#3 make videos about the ironman fashion show. i swear it took me longer to plan my race attire than it did to buy my wedding dress. watching this video over again, i might be in the wrong profession, i wonder if they are hiring mimes.

have a great day- good luck to all those racing Wildflower, Sprint Sprint in San Diego, and Alvcatraz. and especially thank you to the many many volunteers at all these races (especially the ones at Ironman Saint George ) that spend their time and positive energy out there to support. gracias!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

greetings from saint george, utah!

we arrived late wednesday to someone upstairs playing funny jokes with the wind.....

thursday morning, we took a nice jog, a windy ride on the run's beautiful, but gnarly. the hills are relentless.- james just got back from his ride, had to cut it short- he said the average speed for the first 90 minutes of his ride was 12 mph with the wind.

and then i scoped out the neighborhood. i found a health food store with plenty of apple cider vinegar for james (he drinks it 2x/day every day!) - these are the biggest bottles i've ever seen!
and i cased the frozen yogurt joints in town... i can practically sniff 'em out from miles away!
i had planned on going for a quick swim in the sand hollow reservoir today, but with the nasty winds and the 20 degree below normal air temps, i'm going to skip it. and it's like 20 miles away.
so, im off to the ironman expo and to check in! i'm here! i'm ready! let's do this!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

all in my head

i'm having trouble putting into words (and finding time to put into words) all that's in my head surrounding what's about to come in my first ironman this weekend. so, i suggest you read slater's blog which is very well articulated and learn all about putting hay in the barn for this same race. slater has been a true inspiration for me throughout this process because he is so damn positive all the time and he is turning into the incredible ironman hulk under legendary gordo's tutelage right before our eyes.

so, if i am going to put anything into words, you'll have to excuse me- this is just what i'm thinking right now... (in no order and very poorly organized)...this is a little more "Dear Diary, " than i'm used to writing-
*i never thought i'd be heading into my first ironman knowing i'm doing another one (Kona!) in just 5 months. two ironmans? can i do it? wait!!! i need to focus on the first one first!
*the weather forecast for st. george has been less than stellar (rain, wind, storms....) but we all know that can change.
*if i'm honest, i'm a little (lot) worried about the run. i know how hilly it is and i know that's my weakness. i also know i haven't really run over 2 hours at all in training. and i've done very few 2-hour runs. but i have backed up a lot of days of solid running in a row and done many long-ish runs, just not long runs. dirk really has helped me focus on the bike on weekends, but now, of course, i am doubting that i've done the run training. if i learned anything from my great day at oceanside 70.3, i learned to trust in the plan. dirk knows what he's doing and i've done the work (except for long swims- whoops, only did ONE over 4k...). i backed up week after week of training and had a nice solid "spring break" 4 weeks ago that should help me on race day. i think i need to look back over my training schedules and list out all the tough, long, solid sessions i have done and then i'll stop doubting that i can make it! this is one of the reasons why i MEANT to track and log my training in 2010, but i stopped somewhere february-ish. i just don't have time or energy at the end of the day. [so- needing some reassurace- i just went back and looked at my spring break schedule where i know i followed it to the tee- from April 3 to April 11 (so 9 days, not 7)- i trained 36+ hours. that should serve me well!
*and i know, everyone will say, "you'll be fine" "you're going to run 'em all down", etc...but we all know how messy things can get on an ironman race day! i just hope to keep on keepin' on and not have any major meltdowns. i'd be happy with that.
*time goals? i don't know honestly. if this were a flatter ironman, like IMAZ, i'd say my goal was somewhere between 10 and 11 hours. with this one- who knows- i'm DEFINITELY not going to run the race by pace at all. it will be slow. there are hills. lots. time would demoralize me. i'm thinking this race will be at least 60 minutes slower than a faster ironman, but who knows! so please, if you're tracking online- don't cringe when you see that i rode more than 6 hours or something- no big deal - i'm thinking it may even be like 7. who knows.
*other than that, i gotta go finish packing and get to bed. i'm packing for every possible outcome weather-wise and i hope i don't forget anything. i'm off to swim and work tomorrow and then we're hitting the road to UTAH! i hope to post a few times in the next couple days so you can really get a glimpse of what a headcase i am :)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Big Rock Triathlon (olympic)

i woke up super bright and early to head to the Big Rock Triathlon on a whim. i noticed on wednesday that the Dirkinator had a 2 X 20k race pace bike + 2 X 5 k race pace run on the schedule for friday. kind of like an olympic distance race. so i thought, "why not do one?" i knew some friends heading out to the Big Rock Triathlon in Perris, CA so i jumped on the bandwagon. it was a 90 minute drive, but i knew that i would get much bigger benefits from racing others than racing myself on fiesta island (ick!) and it wouldn't hurt to get in a solid swim in my Zoot Zenith. dirk gave me the ok, but told me to stick between Ironman and Half Ironman heart rate/paces. i thought i could live with that.

i watched the sunrise over the mountains and sipped my coffee, excited for a mellow race.

the lake perris campground/park was actually REALLY beautiful..
i checked in pretty late (they were closing down registration!) and made my way to transition and the start uneventfully. the swim was fine, but i swam alone. all the women started in one big wave and i was racing everyone, not just my age group, which was fun- especially at this smaller race. two girls went out ahead of me (Terry and Jennifer) and i think the others were behind. i swam 25 minutes. the eventual winner (Jennifer Chalmers) swam 22 and that was how the race was won!

i went out on the bike in 3rd place and stayed there. the bike was two loops, and some nice sections including one fun climb. i tried to get my heartrate up, but my legs were on FIRE! ugh. i was not enjoying this racing on tired legs thing. was much more fun on fresh legs at oceanside! so, i didn't even need to abide by dirk's rules because i couldn't make my effort even go that high apparently. oh well, it felt hard. i biked a blah 1:10. but i guess that's 21mph so not bad. i had a lemming guy who drafted me for 9 miles. i tried to snot on him and kept sitting up. he wouldn't leave. eventually, i asked him politely if he would care to race his own race, or go home knowing a girl did all the work for him. that was fun.

this is my friend scott, enjoying the ride. he killed it out there and won his AG.. woop woop! (thanks, Billy, for all the pictures)
and here's my kick butt teammate Terry Martin passing Jennifer Chalmers on the bike ride...Terry smoked it and beat our bike splits by more than 3 minutes! she's an animal.

so, while those girls were out in front, i was back a couple minutes (they swam 22 ans 23 respectively). i set out on the run and just wanted to run strong. i also wanted to test the zoot compression socks on the run, and see if i wanted to wear them for ironman. the run was pretty darn cool for not having any idea about where i was or where we were going. the 10k out and back was along a trail for 1.5 miles and then the rest out and back along this cool dam- it was awesome! i felt pretty good and started making up time on the ladies....i also got to see all my friends and hi five!

Trevor looking strong...

Terry in the zone- beautiful, huh?

and me, thinking, "look! i'm on a dam! i never been on a real live dam!"running out of steam (and real estate!)

home stretch! I passed Terry in the last mile, but never caught up to Jennifer. she swam 3 minutes faster than me. We rode about the same. I ran about 2 minutes faster. which means that the race was won on the swim and she beat me by one minute. Oh, well, i was stoked with 2nd place and happy to have banked a nice tune-up for st. george.

i was most happy that i had run under 40 minutes in a 10k. never done that before....too bad the actual run course was 6.5 miles, so its not so apparent in the results. when i saw this on my garmin i pressed stop and pretended my race was over :)

post-race, i hung out with the crew and- so excited- i won TWO free entries to an off-road triathlon in Temecula, CA in november! i'm trying to convince james to re-become a triathlete and join me there. can't wait for my first mountain bike triathlon, even if it is like 7 months away.

the Big Rock crew...Terry, Scott, Me, Trevor, and i forget his name. we're pretty tight :)

anyway, i most wanted to write this race report because this is an AWESOME race. the race directors were SO freaking nice, wonderful volunteers, the location was BEAUTIFUL, the raffle was insane (wetsuits, entries, it went on FOREVER, though which got a little over the top, and it was nice to have the low key, "it's all about the good times" vibe. i highly recommend it if you live in the LA, San Diego, OC or east county areas...

oh, and OF COURSE, i google stalked "Jennifer Chalmers". guess she won her age group at Kona this year so i can't be too disappointed. i think i need to learn to swim! that seals the deal. this summer- operation SWIM!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

recover better

since california 70.3, i've spent some time resting, but i also jumped right back in for one last big push before ironman utah. as i've spent a little more time on my bike and a little less time on my couch than i usually would following half ironman, i've tried to focus on recovering better and treating recovery as the 4th sport i need to train for.

i've been taking recovery soak baths...this one has epsom salts, dead sea salts, and eucalyptus essential oil. epsom salts are supposed to aid in recovery by reducing inflammation, eliminate toxins, and increase circulation.. i even did one double whammy bath (did i just write that?) where it was an ice bath with recovery salts in it. [btw- the BEST way to ice bath is with a hat on and a nice cup of hot chocolate].

i've also been using the trigger point therapy torture devices. the GRID is the new improved foam roller that really digs in and makes you cry. i'm trying to work on rolling out my adductors because they are mad at me because my fried hamstrings are making them work too much and this results in a VERY angry right knee. did you follow? me either. but somehow when Dan the ART man explains the chain reaction of my niggly knee, it makes sense.
Speaking of Dan, as always, i've been getting ART from DTM (dan the man). the picture below is Dans howing me how i have aggravated my pes anserine insertion and demonstrating how it looks like a duck's foot. good news is, he says i am fixable.

and of course, i'm eating good recovery food after long workouts...i deserved this after a 5-hour swim bike run session (Berry Happy frozen yogurt with lots of fresh fruit. mmmmmm.....i got my sister addicted to the stuff- turns out they don't make it like this in chicago!). my rule is that its healthy if you can't see the yogurt!

AND, since i was on spring break, i got to recover like a pro and even took a NAP on a towel in the sunshine! Here is proof that it was a good one

lastly, and most religiously, i've been wearing my zoot compression tights. i just added a pair of the compression shorts to my collection so now i can even wear compression under my springtime dresses!

other than train & recover, spring break flew by because my sister was in town which was SOOOOO fun, but a post all of its own (i feel like i have 10 posts in my head right now and not enough time to write them!)
since i began this current post about a week ago, i emailed the cool guys at since they carry all the goods (except the fro-yo and ART guru) i pictured above. i asked them if they had a discount code in case anybody needed any compressing or soaking or rolling and they said YES!
so, if you want to buy any of that stuff, you can get 15% off at by entering the code SOCAL at checkout. if you can buy just one thing, i'd say go for the Grid. or, well, its a tie between the Grid and some zoot tights. hmmmm....decisions decisions.
what does everyone else do to recover better? any good secret tips? i'm good for a non-proven placebo effect recovery suggestion too, so no worries if its not research-based :)

Monday, April 5, 2010


taking a page from linsey, i'm celebrating gratituesday and focusing on the little things that make me happy and motivate me...

this week, i am grateful for...

* a kind friend who made me some beautiful flowers for my "first kona spot"....seriously, how beautiful are they? she arranged them herself!

*Mr. Belding and crew keeping me company on the treadmill monday morning. It was raining outside and this was perfect. brought me right back....

*being surrounded by inspiration. you can't escape it here in san diego! i trained with lesley paterson weekly at rehab united. she CRUSHED it at california 70.3, as the second place professional woman! lesley surprised a LOT of people out there, except us, who knew our little san diego secret wouldn't be secret for long. she WILL take 70.3 by storm this year. go lesley!

* thoughtful (and resourceful!) co-workers. at school, as I was walking to my office, I saw thoughtful and awesome. they looked me up (and found my blog- uh oh! guess i can't get away with a "sick" day to travel to a race :) )

* a fabulous chauffeur through the headwind at the end of a 5 hour ride

*being oblivious to what i'm getting myself into with this ironman thing. ignorance is bliss, right? until you read stuff like this on facebook:

Jimmy Riccitello's (former pro triathlete, coach, and ironman bike official) last two status updates:

"St. George Ironman: a true test of toughness and intelligence - my new favorite course. There is no easy way to the finish line - and that's how it should be. This course will break people. Tears will be shed - and not the good kind. Get ready for it!"

"Doing IM St George? You'll get your money's worth, and more, on that run course. Holy suffer-fest. Dang!"

*my new Zoot Energy 2.0s and the entire new Run line....nice and cushy for these long runs, but not clunky.

(SIDE NOTE- by the way, in Oceanside, I ended up going with "more" shoe rather than less. Instead of the Zoot RACE shoe, or my brand new ULTRA TTs, I went with the ULTRA TEMPO+ 3.0. They were ONE ounce heavier than the TT (each tempo=8oz, each TT=7.5oz on my home food scale), but I had worn them in enough and knew i loved them. This ended up being a GREAT move and I was happy with the choice. I didn't even notice the concrete!)

*and last but not least on this grati-tuesday, i am grateful for....SPRING BREAK! and sister is coming to visit on thursday. i can't wait!

Hope you have a happy grati-tuesday! i'm off to ride with the girls.