Sunday, December 25, 2011

Holiday- Mania

What is the best way to stay fit during the holiday season?! Make all your holiday gatherings revolve around fitness
Holidazzle run with some super fit, crazy-fun-girlfriends. 4.5 miles around Queen Anne looking at lights, singing, caroling, and picture taking. Thank you Cathleen Knutson for organizing, baking, making CD, etc, are a super-girl!

(Bridget Jones-BFF!!)
And fantastic jewelry-maker pics from her jewel-polooza party, but her crafts are shiny and sparkly and any girls dream!

(This may or may not have included a bar stop.)

Prior to the run was some "real" workouts including but no-way limited too my favorite workout day with Curt. Band-tastic Wednesday, and since I have been talking about it alot lately, here is a short glimpse of the fun:

*Sorry for the lame post of videos, taking me forever to download onto computer, so this was easiest :)
Then some big swims were ahead!

75x100 with TNM-mates
All in prep for the 10K swim the following week:

(25+ swimmers, in an outdoor pool, in 40 degree air temps, swimming on Christmas Eve)
(The 10K group- 110x100)

About 40 of the 100's were on 1:25, 10 on 1:20. Additional 100's consisted of 10 warmup on 1:40, 5 kick on 2:00, 10 backstroke on 1:45 and a few on 1:30.

Thank you Laura O'Meara for organizing once again and Powerbar for the fuel!

In even better news. My mom has officially retired (at 55!) So proud of you Mom and excited for all your new adventures, probably consisting of traveling and organizing events with your friends/family!

(Mom and I at Cafe Campagne)
Mark is busy with his new toy....he is on his THIRD time "recovering" today and he only worked out once.

Asking for a screwdriver and some more monkey bread at the same time. Ha! And I am getting excited to figure out my new Go Pro Camera!! Yippee!
And most importantly we are just enjoying lots of time with friends and family while taking valuable time out to remembering our loved ones in heaven.

Love you Dad!
(he loves treats too)
Wishing every one of you a year of health, happiness, friends and family. Live your dreams, love much, and appreciate everything. Happiest of holidays!

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Pluggin' away!

This blog has been on vacation while I have been working. NOT FAIR?! Okay, maybe it is because I am so excited to be seeing improvements every week in my training. And if I look back to 12 weeks ago the gains look pretty significant. This is excites me and leaves me with that burning desire to set some real goals and AIM high!

Back up to six months ago when I could workout but could not see any fitness gains, in fact, all I could do is soak in my own pity on how far I had fallen. I had a process in my head that thought:
#1 When you can’t workout you just can’t work out, accept it, make use of your time and heal.
#2 You now “GET” to workout, enjoy it, love it, and be thankful.
#3 You will soon be where you want to be and ready to race. Just like magic.

I believe so much that if you know you are giving all you can and doing all you can to succeed then you WILL succeed. But the success I was looking for was not coming at the rate I was expecting.

The third was the biggest wake up call. After 8 weeks of solid training (ie: no hospital visits, the humira seems to be working, etc), I was struggling. How could it be SO hard to get back in shape. How come when I was in shape all I did was want more. To be faster, to critique my performance, to not embrace the fitness I worked so hard for?

Of course that is a logical method as an athlete looking to be their best. And I understand we must evaluate where we are at and what we can do better to improve BUT why is it so often overlooked when we are at our peak? As an athlete if you have given your all, day in and day out in training and put it all out on the line on race day, then the only thing you should do is embrace your accomplishments. Be proud of your gains and appreciate all your hard work.

I needed a major overhaul in my training and approach in order to “see” improvements. My volume is still very low, my intensity is high, and I am keeping a solid balance in all three disciples. Strength training is up a ton. Not traditional strength training, a lot of pilates and sport specific plyometrics with bands, drills, and dynamic stretching (Thanks to Kinetic Force and Curt). I am doing a lot of the same workouts over and over to see gains. Typically I love a ton of variety, but it is not the best for me right now.

De-training is a must in all training programs, but I de-trained to nothing. Every muscle disappeared. In fact, I had my first shoulder injury from loss of muscle and sleeping so much on one side (when I was sick I slept a minimum of 12-14 hours a day and all on my right side).

I can honestly say that I am doing nearly everything (come on, I love chocolate cake!) in my power to do the best I can right now. Does this mean I am following my plan 100%, NOPE, not the written down workouts, BUT I am listening to my body and doing as much as it allows me to. I continue to plug away each and every day looking for little improvements, setting super small goals and looking at my new goals for 2012!

Lets just say I am loving it!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tough Pills

Yep, I am alive. Today was the first day of the Humira treatments and they should come with a "tough pill" to swallow ahead of time. Inflicting pain upon yourself outside of working out is not what I am trained to do. Left feeling nauseaus after the 4th injection the nurse had to lie me down and remind me to breathe. Really, I was embarassing myself.

I was well past the time of a Remicade treatment, in fact nearly 4 weeks late. I was feeling SO great without all the medicine in me, feeling stronger, more energy, etc. But there is still a grumble in the gut occasionaly reminding me that I need to stay on the medicines and that is where I was anxious to start the Humira. Praying for fewer side effects!

Amongst other things we traveled to Hawaii to witness friends and like-minded-crazies in the Ironman World Championships. Was so lucky to be able to bring my bike and train while we were there, riding LONG and solo, and battling the headwinds on the Queen K made for a smiling ME! While Mark and buddies were out on the golf course breaking golf carts, losing clubs, and enjoying the views. Outside of training Mark and I got to spend a lot of time together just the two of us, sort of like a real vacation!

As everyone knows you see all the big time pros out and about the week of the ironman so that was no surprise. BUT, what was a big surprise was being at the Kona Aquatic Center on Friday (the afternoon/evening before the race) at 4pm and seeing 5+ big names (oops, the secret may be out) all swimming and hanging out with their children. These pros never stop! Lets just say my swim was nothing short of absolutely amazing that afternoon!

I believe that was our final vacation of the year, we added it up (well actually were working on book-keeping) and realized we traveled 13 times this year (between May and October). This is way more than this home-body is accustomed too. Thankful for all the splendid journeys this year, but even more happy to be at home with the holidays quickly approaching.

Congrats to all the Hawaii Ironman athletes, now bring on the pumpkin flavored goodies and egg nog! As many are winding down I am just winding up the training, just doing as much as I can when it feels right. Needing many more "tough pills" to get me through all the indoor training ahead!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Black Diamond Olympic Triathlon

Wow! The season is officially over, that never really started. I mentioned in previous posts that I was hoping to land myself in one more race here locally and luckily got the opportunity. Black Diamond has been around since I began triathlons 10 (gulp) years ago. I had little expectation going into the race and set the goal of trying to break my time from 5 years ago. 5 years ago I had never done a full or half ironman. It would be nice to think that I would be fully capable of doing this, but you all know how the story has been all year. I also had a little bet with a fellow teammate and so the goal was to come out on top there too :)

We woke up early on Sunday with the blinds shattering with wind and rain storms that forced us to close our windows for the first time in weeks. A few text messages from other athletes deciding not to race, but it didn't stop me. I knew this course was not very technical and I REALLY wanted to race again. Mark reminded me that if we made the drive I would be racing "no matter what the conditions". GAME ON!

It ended up being absolutely perfect conditions. A tad chilly but nothing over the top, the wind was up and making pine needles fly from the tree with the perception of snow falling on the ground. I would later inhale one of those as I was gasping for air on the run.

I got in the water early, as I have yet to EVER forget how chilly the water is at Nolte State Park. My double cap did the trick and the water was perfect! Mark told me to start further left, so I moved a few more people over to the left, where honestly he meant as far left as physically possible. Immediately the girls to the left had a full body length on me. I will remind myself of that when I do this race another five years from now! I worked extra hard to get to the first buoy first, not to be first but to make sure to round it fast enough in hopes that no one would grab onto my feet. worked. I needed a minimum of a six minute lead on my teammate to have a chance at winning the bet.

The bike felt good for the first time in ages. I had a power number set in my mind and the goal was to hang onto it for as long as I could. Not the best pacing strategy (but it would have worked had I been rested going into this event, but since the decision last minute there were no changes to the plan and I stuck with running the 30+ miles that were scheduled). I hung on until the last 5 miles....then faded. Power and HR were dropping. But I just went with it. I was racing after all! And teammate X was nearing!

I felt fantastic on the run, despite teammate X passing me on the way out of transition and asking if I was okay. Yes, I was okay, I just don't run as fast as you (yet!). I held on slightly below 7:40 pace. This is great for me right now, yes, I used to run that in a half iroman, but I will take it for now. That is until the last 2 miles. I figured I was fine and didn't need any gu. I mean really, its only two miles. Ugh! Mile 5 was a 9' mile and mile 6 a 9:30....oops!

(1st overall- yeah!)

The goal of surpassing the 2006 time was achieved by about 30 seconds, the bet..... (ie: Addy-rematch!) by 1:30. I will say that had I taken that gel the outcome would be different (ha!) but I will go with it and be more prepared for next time.

My body is just not yet conditioned to use its stored glycogen as fuel, still being totally dependent on gu and more gu (or should I say powergels). I had 2 powergels and all three scoop of PB perform on the bike (410 calories) and still needed more on the run (way more than I ever take per hour on an ironman). As my conditioning improves I know I will be able to limit this number and push harder in the later stages of the racing game.

I was so happy to do this event because I know it is the start to even better things to come. If I keep setting small goals then the big goals will be here before I know it! I learned a lot about where my body is at now and feel like my season has finally begun. Let the training begin!

Once again I can't thank all the amazing support to the right of this blog and my friends, husband and family, for making this journey so much more worthwhile. Everything is more fun with friends and I couldn't have done this without you!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Summer from the eyes of the camera phone.

Completely stole this idea from Beth S. But her post cracked me up that I couldn't help but go through my “random/unpublished” photos on my phone and realize that it truly brings back memories of the summertime!

Drum roll please (in no particular order):

Kukio Challenge after party. This man was SO tall Mark had to walk up to him to get a comparison on height. Wowza!

An attempt to ZOOM in on the bee that RIP on the Queen K after hitting my chest, leaving my sternum swollen for days.

Boise resevoir. Cold?!

Attempt to take pic of a pic. Dad and I. Yep, braces and puffy paint shirt for my 13th birthday party! Miss you.

Super close-up anyone?

Rev 3, Mark in desperate need for coffee, three shops later we landed here. Unaware of where we "really" were. Very difficult to make eye contact!

Brent this is a pic of B, for you! She can't wait for the next run date!

Lake Stevens OCD participants vehicle. Must be organized to succeed! And the front seat looks the same.

"You can use anything."- says CDA homeowner. Golf cart gets flat tire, golf cart keys get thrown on roof top. Maybe next time the golf cart will be off-limits. :)

Phone cover. Leopard or trout?!

Anyone doing Canada just may have witnessed these on yellow lake. Gotta love some Betty Designs and then some additional extra flare!

Happy final summer days everyone!

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Busy Livin'!

Not really sure where I left off, not really sure where to begin. But this blog needs some attention :). You see the life of a coach is fun and I wouldn't change it for the world, but you never really get a day off (unless you are super disciplined to give yourself a forced day off). And this is the "high" time for races so time is spent tracking athletes, cheering, meetings, traveling, you get the point.....and what an emotional roller coaster, of lots of highs, it has been!

A quick recap of "life":

Swim for Life is a yearly event I love to do that is not a race, just a fun organized 2.4 mile swim across Lake Washington. I had four great friends on my team that swim practically identical speeds and another 14 TNM teams (each team consists of 4) swim across the lake for the Puget Sound Blood Center. The weather was amazingly beautiful, Mark claims fish jumped over him, and the water was so calm that it made anyone's day beyond enjoyable. I was so sad to miss this event last year, just getting out of the hospital, however, that year was the toughest conditions by far! This event is a fantastic lead up to Ironman Canada so the team really looks forward to it each year.
(swimming through glass)

Then we were of to Long Beach California for my beautiful friend Heather's wedding (whom you will see racing in Las Vegas this coming weekend). It was a weekend full of festivities, including running with an elliptigo chasing us down, 69 cent sunglasses that were the "hit" of the party, and epic eyelash extensions! The pic below truly sums up our friendship. Laughing at the little things and living in the moment. So happy for you dear friend!
Ironman Canada was next on the agenda with 21 TNM athletes ready to race. As always, Canada is exceptionally beautiful and I was blessed to be able to swim/bike/and run to my hearts content while supporting the amazing group of athletes and friends we had racing in the 96 degree sunshine. Each athlete tells a different story out there and I couldn't be more honored to be part of their journey. I am proud of each of you and am excited to watch you grow in this sport and life.

(happy coaches, everyone is in!)

Our highlights of the trip included several bike rides to Naramata (hello bakery!), runs that left Rebecca-ie: mediocre athlete (who is now recognized internationally around the world, and whom will come up with a much more comic blog about this so I won't even attempt) and I gnawing at our tongues for hydration, Bridget devouring bags upon bags of ketchup chips, and just "hanging out with friends and teammates" around the dinner table. Catching up with Kiet (seriously, I could talk with you for hours!)and finally meeting Jill!

And a dear friend/athlete/and TNM coach crushed this weekend at Hy-Vee 5150. Tears of ultimate joy, so proud of you!

Next up: Vegas 70.3 and Kona Ironman. Life is busy, life is good, dreams are coming alive!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Friday Night Swims and Lake Stevens....delayed!

Friday Night Swim races at Lake Meridian are held twice a year now and land perfectly with the athletes prepping for Ironman CDA and Canada. Since the focus is on my swim I signed up for the 2.4. We arrived early, just to allow for more time to stress over which division to participate in (rubberized or not). Flashbacks of Rev 3 Portland where the temps were 73.6 and feeling warm in the comforting Torque had me debating the actual 75 degree temps of Lake Meridian up until the final minutes. Webb reminded me that this was to be “fun” and no pressure so I figured, if I get hot I could just slow down (what a concept huh?!). I got myself the fresh out of the box TYR Hurricane and TYR tracer goggles and got in a quick warm-up. The water was very “comfortable”. Rumor had it that the first few buoys on the way out can be difficult to site so I played it safe for the first ¼ of the swim, swimming side by side another athlete and leading the first pack of 6 or so swimmers (which had some speedy non-wetsuiters in there). The rumors were true as we could not find the “green” buoy anywhere (the line-up was orange, then green, then yellow, repeat). A kayaker came over to get us as we were way to close to shore. Fellas it’s a good thing there wasn’t a lululemon nearby or we would have really been off course. Never leave me in charge :). By the first turn buoy I finally felt comfortable to swim on my own so I settled into a normal 2.4 mile swim pace and kept myself in check until half way through the second loop to make sure I was not boiling. In the final quarter I added in more power in my arms and a little more bang to the kick to finish it off (Hard to believe if you know how I swim-all legs. Hand me a pull buoy and I drown). I landed first place which got us a huge apple pie that kept my husband happy for days, three to be exact! To note for fun, second place is a cinnamon roll and third a stack of cookies. Always trying to fatten up the podium! (Pie at end of day two!)
Two days later was the Lake Stevens 70.3. We put together a girl relay team with the plan of having a blast. We were the final wave to go off and it was only 3 minutes behind Mark’s wave. I think he stressed all night as to “when” I would catch him. We joked that I would get in front of him and pull him a bit. All joking aside I figured there would be no way we would find each other, UNLESS he followed coach’s instructions of staying on the inside of the buoy line. Relays are always an unexpected abundance of athletes of all abilities. I started out steady to see if there were any “current-collegiate-swimmer-type swimmers”. There was one but not even close to the buoy line where I started. So I swam solo for a bit until catching the wave ahead of us, then the swim went by quick, I felt like I was play frogger in the water trying to dodge swimmers. About a ¼ of the way headed back “home” I saw Mark (he followed instructions :)) ahead of me in his purple cap. It immediately made me laugh…..his fears had come true! Oh, there was so many things going through my head to do to him, but I didn’t want to affect his race, remember this was all about fun for me, he had an agenda (ie: Worlds 70.3). I came up to him on his left, ughhh….he breathes to the right. So I stayed with him stroke per stroke for 5 or so strokes just waiting for him to look over. It was a no-go; he was racing a dude next to him and not even considering looking left. Thinking “I could whack him in the head” OR more kindly I will just get right in front of him, the annoying wife just wanting to say “hi”, and if I do something really obnoxious he WILL notice me. Backstroke it is… I did some backstroke with a super-grin and he finally acknowledge my existence in the smelly lake of Lake Stevens. It was LOVE. I continued on and got out of the water knowing my swim time would not be pretty because I felt like I was “playing” the whole time, never really thinking of racing. I checked my watch and it read 28:xx. That sounded about right, until I later remembered (okay, I looked at ironmanlive) and forgot I had started my watch a minute early. Somehow I managed the fastest women’s split of the day! The timing chip was quickly off and handed to my great friend/TNM coach/training buddy Bridget Jones! She hammered out the bike and buddy Karen ran a half ironman PR. We were women relay champs!!! Yeah! Very upset we don't have a photo of the three of us :(

And Double-Yeah to Webb for qualifying for Vegas…bring on the heat and hills and for me the suntan!

Monday, August 08, 2011

Islander Aquathon I

Although I am banned from any big races, I have received the okay to do some smaller events. I am avoiding the swim/bike/run all together stuff for now, but don’t be surprised if you see my name on a start list of a local tri at end of season :).

The Islander Aquathon consisted of a 1000yd swim and a 10K run. After looking at the results from last year this race would take me right around an hour which is PERFECT for my fitness right now (run course differed this year). We have been working on building up my swimming right now to build up a solid aerobic base, as anything over 2 hours on the bike or 1 hour on the run leaves me exhausted for the remaining portion of the day. I would be sleeping my life away if we had any other plan!

As usual, the decision to race would be last minute. It fell on a Wednesday and the Friday prior I had Remicade and the doctors attempting a new medicine (DHE) to help prevent the post-treatment-migraine-ER-visit-chaos. After 1cc of the DHE (prescription called for 10cc) I had the worst reaction to medicine ever. Jaw went numb, then chest, then closer to my sternum, then began sweating profusely, followed by excessive vomiting (sorry guys!). Needless to say, it didn’t work, and by 2:30am on Sunday morning we cashed in our frequent flier miles once again to the ER. Was feeling fine by Tuesday and wanted to race. I have accepted this now as my just “normal” routine and want to play when by body says play.

By 5pm Wednesday it was a gorgeous 70 degrees so we strolled to Mercer Island to let me race for CHOCOLATE (the grand prize).

(The trusty fast TYR Hurricane wetsuit and myself!)

The swim: I started out fast on this two loop course, okay, maybe too fast….as I dove back in I was a tad nauseous (typical two loop fashion. ie: ironman CDA) and had to slow it down a tad to keep some fuel in me. I was happy to land my one and only goal of the day of having the fastest swim split!

So lucky no one passed me as I was “sitting” in T1 trying to get my wetsuit off, not on purpose, but because I literally fell on my booty trying to get it off using the “tap-dance” style that needs to be re-perfected for sure.

(gorgeous trail run through Luther Burbank Park)

The run: 4 loop hilly up and down on gravel, on grass, on pavement, and on sticks. On loop two I ran into a girl who had made a slight wrong turn landing us side by side. We ran within two feet of each other, taking turns on leader, for nearly three loops. It felt good to be “racing” again and especially to be pushing the pace while running! By the middle of the third loop I will admit, I was D.O.N.E. The goal going in was to just run as this would be my longest run in some time. I found out the girl I was racing was one loop behind me, “phew”. I backed off, or just slowed down in general, and enjoyed just smiling while running!

(On the podium with great speedy friends!)

It was so much fun to be out racing, to push the pace again, and to have so many friends out there! The Luna Chix-Seattle were “manning” each corner and seeing each one of them FOUR times was a treat! And then super-buddy Kirk Sall was there to witness my victorious fist-pump. And of course to have so many teammates and Mark (reminding me of “no-pressure, just fun”) too made the day such a blast. And SO much chocolate we got to bring home!!!!!
The same event falls again at the end of the month…..hmmm….I can’t wait!

*On the medical front we are stopping the Remicade and switching to Humira (assuming insurance gives us the okay). These are self-injections every two weeks with the first treatment being in the ER (lets hope this is the last ER visit for eternity). Fingers and toes crossed that this will have way less side effects, in less than six weeks we will know!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Fat Salmon 2011

(Fellow fish, I mean teammates and a view of the "scene"!)

(Enjoying this gorgeous day!)

My favorite open water swim race was this past weekend (2010, 2009) . The sun was FINALLY out in Seattle so the day was absolutely beautiful to swim 3.2 miles from I-90 to Madison Beach. Choppy waters made this event a little more challenging than years prior adding 4-5' on most swimmers results from previous years (a long eight additional 8 minutes for me). My past swim buddy was gone from the get-go, so no pedicure for good-ole' Tom while swimming THIS year!

(Tom, the speedy feet dude! 4th overall and #1 Master!)

(Mark demolishes his first 3-mile open water race!)

(Bridget and I ie: partner in crime!)

The choppier the water the more strength is needed. As I long for more strength, that I recognize can not be achieved through swim/bike/run alone, I (and Bridget) have enlisted in my long time buddy Curt Ligot and his Kinetic Force shenanigans to get me in "fightin' shape", as I am now officially now at "fightin' weight" (Insert big smile! Take that UC!!!). Excited for a few focused months of building some real muscle back, the heels and wedges will be in the back of my closet for now!

Thank you TYR for the amazing Hurricane, tracer goggles, and comfy suit to do this super fun adventure!

To more open water swimming, strength, and is good!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Rev 3 Portland 2011

I did it! The 2011 goal was to complete a triathlon. Seems so minor from where I was a year ago. Seems so BIG from where I have been this past year. (reminder posts: here and here)Who would have thought? Would love to say I did the race to prove to myself “I am back!” but really I am so far from that (but will use that as a blog title someday!).

I did this race for ME. I needed to know that I could do this sport again. Yes, it is incredibly challenging to go to a start line with not even half the fitness I had currently displayed, especially with a little “P” marked on your left calf. The “P” represents professional, a choice I made when my health was at its best for months. But at the end of the day, life is too short, and I wanted to play. I didn’t want to wait around until my fitness surpassed where I was in July of 2010 just because of the “P” status and the expectations that are placed on you while “displaying” it.

This race brought more tears to my eyes than any athletic event I have ever participated in. Everything truly felt surreal.

It is challenging to write this report because it felt so unusual than any other race in my life. There was no second or third gear, there is no pushing the pace, and there is very little fitness to pull from. It was a race of staying steady and making it to the line on both feet. This made it incredibly challenging to “race” as it was nothing of that sort for me.

Although it may sound dramatic, the truth is, my mind could not stop flashing back to the days in the hospital bed (total of 7 nights, over 10 ER visits, and one only 2 weeks prior to this race). To the days of taking 50mg of Prednisone and 3 vicodin for over 5 months (and tapering off these medications have been even more of a challenge). My training is half of what it used to be, simply because the recovery time is twice as long for any workout. I need two days off a week, and typically have 10 hours + a night of sleep. When the going got tough I would just smile thinking about how lucky I was to be out on a beautifully sunny day, with 31 TNM athletes, and countless supporters out there cheering for me. I was awe-struck by how many people had really followed this journey back to health that did not even know me.

I did not need this race to show to me or anyone else how weak I have become (losing over 8 pounds and I can tell you it was all muscle), I needed this race to know exactly where my body is now, how much recovery time is needed, and to help coach and I move forward with my upcoming plans. I needed to just get out there again, experience living, and doing what I love. I got all this and more.
You will probably not see me at a triathlon for the remainder of the year, Coach and Mark and I have developed a plan as my fitness and health improve to get me stronger. With this intact, I am accepting of the strategy to taking a few more months off of triathlon racing. I got my fix and am satisfied….for now!

To my amazing supporters (a little story first):
My swim coach growing up (Dick Hannula) would, along with emphasize the importance of our fitness and health, would also highlight the priority of friendships and the relationships formed in sports. His words were “Your best friends in the world are with you during your highest- highs, and your lowest- lows”. He would reference this as our teammates sharing the same experiences during every practice, every swim meet, every great success, every hardship. And that they were!
It takes a true person, a true company, and a true heart to support someone during their most challenging times to date:
Thank you to TYR, Gerk's Issaquah, RUDY Project, Cyclops, Lululemon,Brian Perry, Peter Schmidt, Mom, Mark, all my teammates, tri-buddies, coaches, doctors and family.

With you guys......anything is possible!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

June and on to the other side!

We've been doing a lot, but who hasn't. Unfortunately, we have been doing so much that I can't even remember what we did yesterday!

Here are some highlights for the month of June (post-Hawaiian sunshine):

Boise 70.3-

*Went to observe the athletes race and planned for a little swim training. The lake, more or less, left us feeling like we were freezing our bodies for future lab testing.

*Friend, TNM Coach and athlete- Kim Pancoast won the overall amateur in her first half ever!

(strong, strong, stronger)

*With athlete-tracking down I played the role of Matt Lieto and Hillary Biscay for a short amount of time to send updated to the world (okay to twitter fans, but you get the idea)
Ironman CDA-
Upon return we had postponed my Remicade treatment to the following Monday so I could enjoy a weekend at home. The training was superb and all I had hoped for this weekend. Thanks to Brent Hardy for keeping me honest, or is it the other way around?!
Monday I had treatment. By Wednesday our nomad-like selves were off to Ironman CDA. An entire week of VACATION! My vision was clear going into this. Loads of times with friends, family, training, and eating. The minutes were booked to the second. By Wednesday afternoon the head was aching.

You would think we know the routine by now but the medicines are still changing so each treatment is different. All that “pre-booked” time became eternity in the “Dream” bedroom of our 6-bedroom rented home. And a visit to the ER. Once the migraine (not sure of the terminology of a migraine-beyond-migraines, but it hurts and I can only accept vomitting while racing an ironman) diminishes it is still a few days of feeling really wonky before returning to normal life. Can’t thank our loving family enough for helping me, once again. (Webbs, Cunninghams, Mom and hubby Webb).

Some photos of what I wanted to be doing:

(These two champs swam in the minus 55 degree water....brrr! Maybe the migraine WAS a blessing...ha!) (Current was so strong that the paddle boat got stuck at shore, these boys came to the rescue but still had to be pulled in by the boaters!)

By Sunday I was feeling up for cheering on friends from all over the country! Every Ironman event is beyond surreal. So many dreams coming true in one day, at one event! The TNM team had an amazing day and Mark came out with more improvements than ever. He continues to prove that hard work DOES pay off!
(the boys an hour before conquering the world)

As for racing, Rev 3 Portland has always been on the table. Taking an entire week off (with only 3 weeks to go) was less than ideal. We are beginning to realize that my training plan is 6 weeks ON, 1 week completely OFF. Once home I was able to get in 4 solid days of training and now sniffles and congestion is settling in. Painfully depressing blog, I know!

So Rev 3 continues to be a yes, then a no, and is an affirmative maybe now. The decision will be made by race morning.

My fitness is far from where it was, and I am staying away from comparing THEN from NOW. My new now is what matters and my fitness has continued to improve since beginning training in the last week of February this year. That is all I can truly ask for.

There was a plan to participate in a smaller race for lead up but for a few reasons I bailed out, primarily due to the torrential downpour, but too, because I was clearly not ready. Not ready mentally. This was a huge eye opener for me because I had not realized the level of confidence you get from racing frequently. There is a level of assurance I had not realized existed in myself. I was so unsure about everything that I knew my day would not unfold in a positive manner. I was more nervous that I had ever been in my life going into a race. I, pulled a quick U-turn and headed straight home. More mental training needed for me!

Rev 3 Portland will mark exactly one year since I have had the opportunity to race.

Fitness or not, my heart is strong and my mind is tenacious with belief, with that, the body will mimic.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Kukio Challenge

Another trip down and it is always so sad to leave Hawaii! I am not cleared to do a "full" triathlon yet so I continue to enter fun activities and try new things. I heard of the Kukio challenge last year from Kiet and Bree and when I knew I would not be racing Honu 70.3 I jumped on the Kukio Challenge bandwagon.

What it is:

1/2 mile swim, 3 mile run (uphill and then back down), 2 mile paddle board.

Swimming: done that forever

Running: coming back slowly but surely

Paddleboarding: once at Honu 70.3 2010 and once the week of the 2011 Kukio Challenge

We took of from the swim and there was no draft from Flannigan as he took off and we battled the chop. It was two quick buoys and with difficulty sighting the shore I stayed with the board short dudes stroke per stroke to stay on target to the shore.

The run was up and up and Rachel had pre-warned me about this. She sped past me on the way down the hill in her cute Betty Designs signature suit (BTW she raced Honu the day before!).

The paddle: YIKES! Volunteers knew my lack of paddle experience so I was told it was okay to stay on my knees. I saw the far buoy and it was not getting any closer. I had a Powerbar energy gel in my suit but could not reach for it, in fear that I would move back another 10 feet if I stopped paddling. I promised myself that Powergel no-matter-what when I reached the buoy. But it was like holding a donut in front of a starving was never coming to an end! 25'ish minutes later I made it to the turnaround. I was ready to sunbathe on my board at this point as I lied down to take the ever-so-sought-after gel. I need to train to sit on my knees that long! The paddle back was much more "refreshing" as the waves assisted in the forward movement and the calories gave the muscles power to motor home. In the finish chute I reached the volunteers and immediately a the big Kahuna wave came over me and flushed me to outside the buoys. Yep, I was "that girl" making the grand exit after being on the paddle portion of this event longer than anyone. Flailing outside the finish chute, cutting up the toes, and smiling while running the dirt path to the finish line!

So I was passed by all the islanders, however, somehow managed first in the division (Rachel took 1st overall thrashing the women's field).

I will be back.....and next time on the prone board simulating swimming on a board, instead of submerging an oar into the thrashing waters of the ocean and moving no-where-fast!

Thanks Kukio for the amazing venue, amazing pumpkin pancake, fresh fruit, drinks, and sushi, and super fun event. Kiet we have a challenge next year!