Monday, May 25, 2009

Cali fun and big migraine lesson

I was so excited when I heard from Mark that I would get to spend the weekend with my BFF Ashlea in Orange County(aka: body piercing, big sock, and Ed Hardy buddy). Not only is it a guaranteed great time, but the weather and the training are added bonuses.
Super excited to go and super busy at the same time. I learned a few lessons within hours of arriving in California.

Day of Seattle Departure (4:30 pm flight)

4:30am wake up call (finish cleaning, get ready for the busy day), swim lesson, two classes, hurry over to 60 mile bike ride in absolutely fantastic Seattle weather, with fun friends. Heart rate SUPER high due to antibiotics (last day of them), finish ride and down some chocolate milk- my fave. Pack (procrastination did not pay off this time) or more like throw all the clothes I wore in St Croix back into luggage. Take out trash, trash explodes everywhere- cat litter everywhere in the common areas of the condo, oh yeah and the trash key, where is that? (Mark always takes the trash out and he left for Cali on Tuesday), pull out the vacuum... Ride will be here in minutes and I need two more hours to accomplish what I needed too. Oh well, the airplane isn't waiting for me.

Ticketing, security, train to gate, etc...quick bite and I was off.
Arrival time: 7:30.

Hugs, laughs and and excitement- Ashlea and I meet up. Go for dinner have some wine. Go to bed. Big plans for the morning include my favorite UC Irvine Masters Group and then mani and pedis and then dinner out at a joint that is supposed to have the best hamburgers around. Oh, and Mark is driving up from San Diego at noon.

Wake up 9am.
Biggest head ache EVER. Long story short. Everything I did resulted in vomit (turning over in bed, drinking water, opening my eyes, you name it) The toilet was my friend. And this was not a hangover. Day one: 24 hours in bed.

You know you have a best friend when they can watch you make a mess of their bathroom, pick up your $75 (for three pills) medication and spend her entire day waiting for you to get better. Mark arrives and has great ideas that I needed to get out of bed...Puke. then that I should drink water...puke. Aghh! Great thing Ashlea has a fantastic doctor friend and I have amazing doctors in Seattle (Dr Brian Perry) who texted back and forth with Mark that they were both able to determine immediately that this was a migraine and prescribe the right meds.

Lessons learned: Take care of thyself! I did not take care of my self and it showed. Often we get caught up in the moment and forget about what needs to be done for our health and our body, on this day I ignored every sign and did everything imaginable for a migraine to strike. How was I to know...I had never had one before...But I beg to never have one again.

Still feeling a bit "off", the weekend still turned out amazingly.

The day plans were shot but the next day we made up for it all. With pedicure and pool time and the wonderful hamburger! Some shopping and in bed before 10pm.

Next day ran along the ocean, did our laps in the pool with our matching lululemon suits (thank you Lululemon for the amazing hot pink swimwear). The scene around us was most equivalent to a college frat party and we were pumping out the yardage in the pool.

We then met up with our Seattle friend, Stacey, (who happened to be visiting Cali too) at Laguna beach for some sun time and girl chat.

Then we were off to Javier for fantastic Mexican food and "sight seeing".

Ashlea-Thanks for a fun fab weekend (minus Friday), but also for taking care of me and being so great of a hostess. Every minute goes by so quickly, never enough time, can not wait to see you soon. Ironman Canada??? Kona??? Soon??? PLEASE???

Monday, May 18, 2009

75 degrees- oh I spoke to soon!

Summer time is here and it was hot. HOT in the Seattle sense. The kind of weather that makes you want to ride all day, a day where nothing matters and time flies by as much as it stands still. Saturday the triathlon group had a group run. The biggest turnout for Saturday all year. Then we sneaked over to do our first open water swim in the Seattle area for a year. The goal was to be in the water at 11...some showed up early, others late, some showed up to "watch" and relax. The swim was over in no time, the relaxing and hanging out went on forever. I got in my car to head home and it was almost 1pm. Typically workouts we start on time and get out of there as soon as possible. For a couple of reasons, it is freezing, raining, or dark. All of which make you want to scurry home into your warm bath tub and snuggle on the couch with a warm blanket.

Sunday the day was the same, amazingly gorgeous. A group of us had a bit of a late start for a long ride. But once started it was beautiful, super warm, stopped to buy some sunscreen, and enjoyed every mile, all 60 plus of them and every hill. This kind of weather makes you want to ride for days.

Living in Seattle you really learn to appreciate the seasons and the change of weather. Rain is fun, snow is fun, Fall is fun, and sunny weather brings out the best in all of us.

Let the open water swims begin, the outdoor rides with friends begin and cheers to tank tops and shorts.

Goodbye to booties, skull caps, and mittens-mine are in hiding, are yours?
Tonight happened. Where "I spoke too soon". There was talk of thundershowers, but really, with the great weather we were having never. I packed up my rain jacket and uggs and headed to track...oh and even brought clothes to run when the group got done.

On the way there I got a kick out of the advertisement on the bus. Attempted to take a photo, but really no zoom, so instead you get to see some of the skyline of Seattle. The advertisement says something to the effects of "Meeting women is as easy with a guitar as it is with bike." ( I know I have messed this up somehow, I tried to memorize it, I tried to even a call a friend to have her memorize it...but obviously I was unsuccessful)

The rain hit, the thunder roared, the lightning sparked. My uggs look like I forgot to take them off for a bath and the straight hair is now springy. The tri group did amazing in finishing up their workout, wet and ALL and no complaining! Beth ran a sub-10 min mile (9:33 to be exact). She is doing so great! This photo does nothing to truly show what the weather is we are dealing with.

The cats are hiding under the bed in case the windows break, I am eating Mac and Cheese. And that run...yeah, if it were to happen it would count as a swim and a run. Instead my warm blanket sounded much, much, better. The run can happen tomorrow.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Take One....

It's like a movie over here. I have rested, rested and rested some more. Knew I needed to get out and start training a little bit. Attempting to workout has long been a challenge. This is where the movie rolls:

Take 1.

Was super tired,had to lie about my naps because it would be embarrassing to admit I took two naps over 2.5 hours each, in one day! Blamed it on traveling, stress and needed recovery. Only to find out I really was sick, 5 days of antiobiotics (on day 3). A UTI infection from the race- dehydration and major exertion. Oh, but it was so much fun!

Take 2.

Go on a run, just planning on a light 30 min, make it 10 before turning around. Both IT bands, super tight. Great that it is equal on both sides, no injury just some more rest. Had the bo' put his elbow in them, yelled a few words at him. BUT- they are feeling much better today. More foam rolling, massage and TLC on those bad boys and they will be golden soon.

Take 3.
Biking! Go to ride and can not clip in, just keep getting bounced right out of the cleats. Go to Triumph Multisport and find, my cleats eroded in St Croix. $240 later. OUCH! I got my ride in.

Take 4.
Tomorrow. Long ride! IT bands are good, infection almost gone, new cleats, rest, GAME ON. It will be the best movie production ever! I love this sport!

Let it Roll.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

St Croix Race Report

Mark decided on St Croix for me in December as the race to set forth to try and get a slot for Kona. With my health issues it was a crazy challenge for me to pull off two ironmans in one year. We decided this would be my best opportunity. All focus on St Croix, very early season A race, 95% of riding on the trainer.

Alarm rung at 4:30am, as transition opened at 5:30am. We loaded the bike in our convertible jeep and were off.

(how else could we pull off transporting 4 people and a bike)

I pre-decide the outfit for the day as Splish had sent me two amazing suits (that I practiced in leading up to the race) and the tnmultisport tri kit was shipped to St Croix and Zoot provided me with some back up outfits, since Friday before the we were leaving I was in a panic (Thank you, loved the tri shorts). Due to the hot weather I chose to stay a bit more “covered up” as the race director mentioned in the pre-race briefing that the sun would strip the skin off your back… I decided to listen :)

(Splish racing suit designed by Kristen at Betty Designs- comes in pink too)

The swim starts on Caye Island which requires a swim away from your loved ones and over to the island where it all begins. I tugged on my blue seventy 3.0 and my fave speedo goggles. Hopping into water at 6:30am has never been easy, but today at 78-degrees plus, I began wondering where the bubbles were to make this a true bath. Today the water was the calmest I had seen it since our date of arrival.

The pro men, then women, then waves of men all went off, before I knew it was our turn, the women 30-34. The swim started out great, besides being kicked around a bit, I took the lead, had a kayaker in front of me and thought, this is going to be fantastic. As we rounded the island the kayaker left me ;( , the sun beat down, I couldn’t see much in front of me, so I kept swimming (not the advice I give to my athletes), and kept swimming, now a kayaker is headed towards me, pointing me in the opposite direction, oops! I look to my left see another pink cap. Darn, all that work and I hadn’t made any progress. Then the buoys stayed right in front of me the rest of the way. No creatures stung me as they decided to in the previous swim and life was good. Swim time was a swim PR and 30 seconds off the amateur course record.

I hopped on the bike and was ready to ride!

I was not sure if I had was leading because of my off course swim and Mark did not mention I was in the lead so I just figured I needed to go as fast as I could on the bike in

order to allow for “extra” time on the run. Every pedal stroke mattered. I saw a girl around mile 15 and tried to catch up, we seemed to be cycling at the same speed. Flying downhill, I dropped my chain (a problem I thought had been fixed going into the event), pulled over and fixed it and was off again. Saw her later on the beast. This is where I was able to pass her; only to find out she was in the division that started before me. It was hot, but it did not seem to bother me, puked on the bike like Stadler, but

didn’t feel it coming, it just came right out. No sickness, just yuckness! The rest of the ride was smooth, well, not the roads so much, but smooth in that the nutrient was on (infinit, base amino, base water, salt tabs) clif blocks melted, but all in all everything was executed just as planned.

I had heard stories of roosters running the roads (which is

true), but none jumped out like the squirrels do in the Northwest. The roads are being paved more and more each and every year, which I cannot image how they were before. I remembered to cycle on the left side (kind of easy to do with people in front of you, but that doesn’t work for me on the swim course) of the street and grab bottles from the left too, no problems there. The scenery, especially in the back half of this course is absolutely beautiful along the water. And lastly, many mentioned that the back half was harder than the beast, somewhat could agree, but it reminded me much of our Lake Stevens 70.3 here in Seattle. In comparison, St Croix is bigger hills with greater descends, Lake Stevens small hills (close to similar in grade), but less down hill time.

I came off the bike in my goal time and was the lead amateur. I noticed coming in

to town that there were some walkers…I was thinking, already, in the first mile…it was going to be a hot day! I was beginning to feel the heat/humidity immediately upon dismounting. I had a can of sunscreen spray and ran out of transition spraying myself down, and tossing the can like it was a cup of water. I may have officially learned that this girl burns, at these sunny races. 2 loops: on the street, little

to no shade, to the golf course up, up, over around, a little down, and then do it again. I tugged on my flashy silver Zoots and was off. I felt strong the first loop, saw the pros circling around. I knew I was leading, but did not know how close the girls behind me were. Mark then mentioned that a girl was 3 minutes back and then 15 minutes back. I told him I felt “really sick”, his response “you always say that when you run”. I thought “All right, no time to sit here

and talk (really to argue) about my feelings".

(coming up on lap two...please turn volume down!)

(really I am making every attempt to smile here through my sunburned skin)

The last 6 miles the heat really got to me, the whole contemplating the s

port the whys, the hows, the does it matter, etc, then remembering

that I was almost done, that this is what I wanted, I trained for THIS. Just keep running! I could not take any GU or I knew I would be upchucking, and I needed to finish this race. I began guzzling, yes, guzzling water, three cups at one aid station, tried to do Gatorade for electrolytes, stayed on the salt tabs and attempted coke. I held ice to my

face; this girl was not cooling down. What really didn’t help is that the first six miles were marked, the last 6 not marked so well, I saw a 10 on the floor,

thought I was at mile

10, then did some math, okay now at 11, now at 12 then I saw a sign, mile 10. What? I thought I only had a 1.1 more to go…aghhh…the mind games. I needed a moment, really, I had to go to the bathroom, I pulled over, and immediately the amateur women went by (1:31 half marathon she finished in). I started running, knew I would see Mark and Connie and Jeff soon (knew

I would be in medical soon too:)).

With 1 mile left you run up a street and then down into the finish

line. The locals lined the streets; Jeff had them chanting my name. The last 2 tenths are great memories. It was fun, the heat, the tough course, it was worth it, and I remembered my photos from Kona. We are headed back to Kona, this time the arms had to go UP!

So excited that the plan executed the way it was planned.

Here were my refrigerator goals (where when I lose sight of what I am trying to accomplish Mark puts these right in my face :))

Swim: Okay, so I didn't know the course record was a minute slower than my goal time:)

Bike: Right on!

Run: Dream big right!

Kona: Achieved.

*this was by far the hardest half ironman I have ever done. Bike and Run.

This is how I was going to do it:

*Hill repeats...oh yes, they hurt, okay, not just hurt they were the agonizing pain, the wondering constantly, on each repeat, if I would actually make it up.

* Okay, so I enjoy wine, just a glass or so here and there, but not for this race, I cut it out.

*100% is alot for me, I like working too, so 100% was asking a lot of myself. I had to MAKE this happen.

*Rest, yeah, always needing more.

*Stress, only way to keep my gut healthy

Some Rookie mistakes to ST Croix:

*Flying on Cape Air- they do not fly your bikes, let alone, the 10 seater pla

ne was enough to call medic attention to Mark (this was actually flying continental then transferijng to cape air).

*Remember your cartridge adapter, not many on the island. (cartridges in huge supply, however)

*Vacation longer after race!

*hydrate more post race..yes, got sick that night at awards


Things that went well and would repeat:

*Arrive on Tuesday, helped get acclimated,

*Ride the beast,

*Cartidges in huge supply,

*Very well organized event (race director great about email us back pre-race, and great communication)

Thanks to my sponsors Inewmed for keeping me healthy and getting me ready fo

r this event- seriously could not have done it with out you guys-Brian, Peter, and William, Richard Dizon for the weekly stretching/massage work-you are amazing, Road Runner Sports for the amazing gear and shoes, Zoot for the awesome race shoes, the compression I get to train in and for getting me some race clothing (that was a panic), Splish and Betty Designs for the great custom apparel that makes swimming so much more fun, Base Performance for the amazing products that keep me hydrated, recovered and strong, Blue Seventy for the super speedy skin suit, and Rudy Project for the great glasses and helmet.

Thanks to friends and family and mom for tracking, facebooking, blogging and cheering all day, most of you starting at 3:30am! Thank you Beth for supporting/sponsoring me in my adventure to Kona.

Thanks to Connie and Jeff who made the trek all the way to the island to support and put up with me in the days leading up to the race. It was so great to have you there to share the trip with and to see you while racing.

Thanks for Mark who did all the research, decided on this race and led me to believe that we could make it back to Kona. Thanks for doing EVERYTHING for me to help me get ready, not just at the race, but everyday. Does this mean I have to return the favor for Ironman Canada? :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

mom, mother, best friend.


Mothers Day was Sunday, today is Tuesday, Tuesday night to be exact...I just haven't had time to post about my wonderful MOM, well the real reason is that I am the BEST procrastinator EVERY, ask anyone. However, I did get to spend time with her and we some fun. She is racing a local sprint race called the Issaquah triathlon. We went out and rode the course, fought with the stupid voice on the GPS system that had us exit long before we truly needed to, had us turning on roads and streets that we second guessed, but we finally made our way to the park. Then we had her practice in her bike clips/cycling shoes (she has taken them off and on over a gazillion times, due to fear of falling, okay, really falling and deciding that rode rash neither looks nor feels good). So she will be racing in her SPD pedals for the first time here in a few weeks. We topped our ride off with lunch at a pasta restaurant (Cafe Revo) close to my home. Upon getting our food we thought, no way could we eat it all, before you know it we were licking our plates!

(no more running shoes on the bike for this girl!)

10 reasons why my mom is THE BEST EVER(opening day 2009 Mariners)

1. She is super fit and active...more this year than ever. Breaking 2 hours for the first time in her half marathon, completed her first duathlon, and continues to do local races and triathlons.
2. She is super supportive of me, coming to all my races (unless she is racing some place else) and doing "whatever it takes" to assure I am ready.
3. Whenever I am upset her first words are "why don't you just come home and stay the night?" Is that for her or for me?
4. She is the best shopping buddy....EVER!
5. She answers all my phone calls, well, she calls back because she always misses the first call :)
6. She started a running group in her town of Bremerton/Silverdale called "just us girls". Her and a group of girls get running shirts for every race, run together ever weekend and inspire one another.
7. She helps me with anything I need, from my business to paying my cell phone bill (yes, I am 32), to hopping on a ferry boat at all times of the day and night for ANYTHING.
8. She has a fantastic hairstylist...whom now is my great training buddy and friend;) Thanks for matching us up!
9. She is super smart, healthy, and a GREAT lady, mom and friend.
10. She raised only child...isn't that enough to make anyone FANTASTIC :)!

(super mom and I)

Friday, May 08, 2009

St Croix FUN.

At the awards ceremony we had the honor of hanging out with Sister Madonna. Mark and Jeff were zooted out in their fancy Zoot button ups to match her. Sister Madonna told us some great stories of her past and her race at St Croix. Including that of a leach being tied to her during the swim (someone wouldn't stop touching her), mounting and remounting her bike three times on the beast and her desire to return to Kona (her, umm, somewehre around 35th ironman). We will be cheering her like mad in Canada :) Thanks for a wonderful evening Sister Madonna.

Post race we became super busy with only 3.5 days to see the island. (Hence the lack of blog posts) We went to an amazing meal at Bocchaus. Where,not only did I eat an entire filet, but as you can see, we order an array of desserts (all three went down our hatchets).

By morning we were up and running, okay, everyone but me was up and running, I relaxed by the pool, they used the pool as an ice bath :)

After we fried our skin enough to actually be the lobster we saw snorkeling the next day.

(aghh...relaxing in the hammock)

(my pool boy crush)

Then we were off to eat again,this time to a place some locals recommended, we had to venture into this cave to get there. We found it very amusing that at all but one of our restaurants the servers just slide a white board over with the specials and say "let me know if you have any questions."

Then we took a small boat over to Island on the Cay, this is where the swim start was for the race, little did we know what the rest of the night had in store. It started with a bit of entertainment from this man, dancing around and breaking glass, then jumping on the glass...BAREFOOT.

Then it turned to this:

(tongue out is a sign of concentration)


(Jeff's feet don't turn quite like Mark's)

(mission accomplished)

(the crazy man)

Then rain shower hit, they hit hard....we waited for a boat to get back across, no luck for some time, we hid in a boat,planned an escape in the boat, contemplated if we would go to jail, if we would ever get out of jail, and then our boat arrived...soaking wet, laughing, and thinking we were all being a bit crazy, thinking we could actually pull of an escape.

(random photo on the street)

We took a boat (40 min crossing) to Buck Island for snorkeling and walking on the beautiful sand, your feet literally sunk 4 inches with each step and the untouched land is indescribable. However the trip over left Mark a bit green in the face with the waves surpassing that of an Deadliest Catch episode. The coral and fish were amazing, more coral than fish, but it was so close to us, we were swimming over the top of it. Once on beach, we saw little shark nearly 3 feet from the shoreline and a pelican diving for fish over and over again, it was an amazing sight to see.

(our boat)

(the pelican, just 5 feet from shore)

(writing in the sand, as if still in grade school)

(Jeff, Connie, T, Mark- St Croix 2009)

Tuesday, May 05, 2009


Vacation time! We woke up early, put on the suits and hopped into the jeep. We decided to explore the island. No agenda, no plans just GO. We stopped at two beaches, ate at America's Cheeseburger Paradise, dodged some heavy rain storms and enjoyed the day. Proof below:

The first day we arrived we met Carol (a local who won the top women Virgin Island award) and she invited us to her home for a triathlete dinner, there were a little over 30 peeps there. We enjoyed meeting a lot of other athletes and making new friends. Thank you Carol for opening your home to us!

Monday, May 04, 2009


Excited to announce that we are headed back to Kona. The race was hot, hard, and a big challenge, yet, absolutely worth it. Race report, photos and video to follow in the upcoming days. Thank you everyone for tracking, cheering and means so much to me and truly did help get me through the race.


(Kona entry-thank you BETH!!)

(Sierra Snyder-2nd place division, only divison with 2 slots to Kona-congrats Sierra)

Now we are going to rest, relax and see the Island...not to mention break in those new bikinis (Ha! Mark has no idea there are four of them!)

Saturday, May 02, 2009


Yesterday was spent driving the course...WOW! It is technical and bumpy but absolutely beautiful....practically all along the ocean and I am looking forward to a super fun ride.
In the evening was a big local event called JUMP UP. Since the day we arrived everyone asked if we were going. We decided to swing by to check out all the excitement. The streets were packed and little mini bars and shops were set up everywhere. Discounts galore on the shops! We took tons of photos (blogger takes awhile here) and some videos to be downloaded later (need to check to make sure they are G-rated)

The music was loud and could be heard on every street corner the excitement for the event is the dancing and the men on stencils. I think every local and every triathlete in town was here.

Check out Bree Wee's blog (to the left of my site) for a great description....because my writing skills are half of hers :)

Below are some photos...I am having a hard time moving them around with captions, this is what you get :)

Tomorrow is race day! Yippee!!!