Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Doughman 2010

After Ironman Canada I received an email from an athlete that claimed she wanted to withdrawal her 2010 Canada entry for this race. My eyeballs nearly popped out of their sockets and I read the email again and then immediately reached for the phone for a heart to heart-without clicking on the link. Suddenly I stopped myself, thought for a moment and decided to find out what race could possibly be more important for this athlete than Ironman Canada.

Nope, it was not April Fools, but if it were she would have gotten me REAL good. Since then I have saved the email and decided today to wonder back too it. I found entertainment in the video, and the race shirt, and when clicking on the race details they have a training program for participants. One that may not be too challenging to follow. In fact, off season is the perfect time to train for this one. Hope all of you find as much humor in this race as I have and thanks to the fine athlete that keeps me on my toes!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Nike Human Race 10K

Saturday was the day the world ran. This event is for EVERYONE and then in select cities Nike puts on organized races. The catch- 1. must own the Nike Plus system and 2. must be computer literate. You download your time and then you are placed amongst the world for your 10K race. I do not fall into either of the above categories....I just wanted to RUN!

Our super great sponsor Road Runner Sports (Greenlake) was hosting one of the organized runs. Mark's alarm went off at 3:45 in the morning to "finish" things up. He ran the 10K with the mile markers, using his handy dandy hammer to dig the signs into the ground. Then he hurried back to RRS where the DJ had the jams rolling by 6:30 am. The cops arrival was a bit of a surprise due to noise disturbances. But that DJ really kept things exciting for packet pickup at 7am.

(T, Chuck, Betsy, Nat, Rebecca)

Everyone got their Nike run tops WITH their numbers printed on them. Lots of photos and we walked over to Green Lake for our 10K (2 loops). The weather is changing fast around here as you can see the fog lifting off the ground and ourselves, having to hold our breaths for photos (NO- not to look thinner, but to make sure it didn't look like we were smoking pre and post race).

Mark hammered the "start/finish" line into the ground and explained the directions one more time. He did one loop (as fast as he could PRing in a time of 17 minutes), because he was the aid station volunteer too and had to make it back in time to fuel up the 170 athletes.

(the organizer, the announcer, the aid station volunteer, MY everything!)

I had a goal in mind for this race. I had done nothing more than a 30 min run since October 10th, in fact, I am not even sure on October 10th I did a 30 min run...but whatever. I wanted to negative split the run. And that I did. One minute faster on the second loop. I was only 1 min off my best 10K time. That doesn't say much however, my best time was done on Mercer Island which has some great hills and rollers and there is nothing flat about it, where Greenlake is as flat as a skating rink.

(kicking up the smoke. Ha!)

Post Race was AMAZING. There was more goodies (food and freebies) than that of the Ironman World Championships. I think nearly everyone that showed up won something and the grand prize was Nike shoes, Ipod Nano, Nike plus watch, plus the Nike plus system (Yes, one single person wins this!) I am not sure I even see that many gifts under a Christmas treee. It just so happened to be one of Marks super good buddies....hmmm...that took home the grand prize. What cracked me up even more was the fact that since he won his significant other decided it was time to shop! Not sure why Mark couldn't have pulled his girlfriends name? J/K.

(Super Cool TN Multisport Athletes)

Road Runner Sports Greenlake and the Nike staff on hand did an absolutely fantastic job and I highly recommend this event to everyone. It was fun, very well organized, and with how much of a great sponsor and store RRS is you can never go wrong with their events.

(the best finish shot!)

Thanks to TN Multisport athletes for coming, supporting and racing (you all did really fact everyone PR'd minus but coach T), to RRS for everything you do, and to Nike for the fun event.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Really? For a Cat?

Seven years ago. I got two baby kittens, not sisters, just to little kittens smaller than the size of my size 8 shoe. I would lose them in the house they were so small, so quiet, so precious. One remains this way, well just about 6 pounds heavier, but for the most part is a gem. The other is that way 50% of the time. The 50% of the time during daylight hours. I am living as if I had a newborn, a kid, a newborn least from what I am told.

Mark and I take turns sleeping on the couch to take care of our ever needy, loud, scratching through the night cat. No, she is not in heat, been completely ruled out (after hundreds of dollars in tests). First diagnosed with anxiety, now depression. I can tell you the medications are doing NOTHING. We put a bike box in front of the main door EVERY night, then we have a night light on too. We have gone to the extreme of sleeping with the lights on, of sleeping on the floor next to her while she cries, you name it, we've done it.

(preparing for her rendezvous tonight)

So with today being a new day, we got new cat drugs. Vet already warned that at no point would this be a magical cure. I don't think she understands that is what we NEED. So I made a point today to not let her sleep, nope, if we can't sleep neither can she. I am forcing her to play and in her drugged out state she doesn't want to. If this doesn't change by next week I am officially doing all my training from midnight to 3am so she can cry through the night and I can be out and about. Then sleep through the day. I will live the life of an animal.

Really? Is this what it has come to? She is taking over the house...soon she will have a new apartment....this girl knows how to work the system for sure!

Lucky thing she is loved so much.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Backyard Run Beauty

(new race hats)

In between rain showers I decided to get up and go on a run. Not because I was dying to run or anything, but because this is the one week of all year where I have no plan, no agenda, just do what I want, when I want. I decided after soaking in all the beauty of Hawaii, I needed to share the beauty of the Pacific Northwest with everyone. And the new TNM race hats arrived so I had to "test 'em out" :) The handy dandy sweat proof camera landed right in my sport top and I thoroughly absorbed every view of the fall. So much that I couldn't help but smile as I ran (that could also be because the garmin was dead, within 5 minutes, but oh well). Here is my run on Alki....a 7 mile stretch if you go all the way to the end where the cars load onto ferry boats to travel to different islands.
(gorgeous long straight path)

(Mini trail off the normal path)
(Most beautiful yellow tree of the day)
Then you hit the scenic water views:

The way home I always stop by the kitty adoption center and take a peek. I want to bring them all home with me!

Today was beautiful. I ran at my Ironman Hawaii 2009 race pace so as you know I had a lot of time to enjoy the leaves on the ground, the smell of the clean air, and to take photos to share with you!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Dolphin Love.

ALOHA! This was on the ocean floor at Refuge beach where we snorkled. The biggest highlight of the trip was swimming with the dolphins. I had always heard of it happening, seen it happen, but the right opportunity was never there. Until about 40 dolphin were right underneath us. The video does no justice as to how gorgeous, peaceful, and how much this moment "took my breath away". At the very end of the video you can see a bulk of them and then the battery went out, which is the time you can close your eyes and imagine the beauty yourself.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Drum Roll Please....

It is finally here! Long awaited....just as the ironman is this write-up. I was living on island time and the computer was far from my side....except FB ;)

(Sexy volunteer that I couldn't resist)

Morning of went fantastic except for that as I was wiping on sunscreen I practically rubbed off my entire race number so had to run back over for remarking. People get really confused that early in the morning as I was moving backward in comparison to the herds of people going through their pre-race rituals that usually start with body marking....and I had moved it to the end.

(wondering what I can do next to get ready)

I started in the same place as last year and nothing about the start was even remotely better than the previous year except for that I had my friend Hallie right next to me to exchange words with in between salt water gulps. The cannon was off and so was the chaos. I swam and swam and tried to sight and not once thought about my stroke, and being fluid and was survival and feet and whacks in the head for the entire time of my 56 min. A new ironman PR.

(Hallie and I pre-fight of 1800+ athletes)

Up onto the bike things were great, felt strong, got passed by a few girls and passed a few that led me out of the water. Realized my back waterbottle was missing by mile 15 but didn't think it would affect me much. Took some extra gatorade instead. Nutrition was the same as the past with a little extra water. The trip out to Hawi was much nicer than the year before. Little to no crosswind was super helpful. The climb up was a mental battle because the boys were passing like crazy. At the turnaround I did a quick stop for special needs and felt great on the way down. There were a few "lord help me" moments, but all in all, it was FUN. The headwind on the Queen K was enough to make me crazy, it felt like I was sitting on a bike trainer going nowhere, wondering if it would ever end, the only thing missing was "the girls next door" episode sitting smack in front of my face, oh, and the cat trying to sit on the aerobars. I came off the bike in my goal time of 5:32-5:35.

(bike exit)

By mile three on the run things decided to turn. My tri shorts felt as if I had eaten an entire Krispy Creme store. I was pulling my short away from by belly in a sense that my stomach might make them bust open at the seams...good thing there are no buttons on spandex. By the turn around all I could do was think about when I would see the cheering section. Blurred vision forced me to take the sunglasses off, and a little teary eyed I was. I kept moving forward. Mark always reassures me that he will love me and not be mad at me for anything, so long as I finish the race. That became my new goal, no more worrying about pace, and place, and goal times. Just FINISH. I got on the Queen K (by Bike those guys) and 5 big pukes in a row and this girl had nothing in her. From then on it took every bit of effort to run 10-11 min miles, but I kept moving. Orange slices and a little water for the next 14 miles was all I could take. By mile 24 I tried some coke...YIPEE...the bounce was back, a little to late in the game but I ran with many peeps can you pass in the last 2 miles was the game and I played it with passion, then coke again at 25. Yep, averaged 10:30 all day and in the last two miles 7:30.

(live stream photo finish...thanks Beth!)

That was the race in numbers. I had so much support from all across the country and that is what kept me going. By far this race was the most challenging to me, but I wouldn't change it for the world. I never want to relive it, in its entirety, but I wouldn't change it. Being in the most competitive field of athletes, having an amazing swim and bike split, and knowing that I have trained to my ability at this time. I did what my body allowed me to on the day of October 10th, 2009.

The best in the world shined (by winning, by setting PR's, by breaking records of all sorts), and too, the best in the world were also defeated. Defeated in terms of not reaching their established goals, by lowering places, by being forced to reevaluate what they were set out to do this day. I was behind athletes I never thought I would be and there were athletes behind me I never thought I would be in front of, but this, this is what the Kona Ironman is about, the unpredictable. And in the end, we all learned, and learning is winning and all of us are one step further to making this event even better for ourselves and for others. We learn, we share, we grow and then we find away to do it all over again.

It is an honor to be at Kona, a very special place, a place that you keep with you throughout the year and reminds you of the beauty of the sport. I will be back to show myself what I have learned on this journey and to inspire others. I will be ready to take on the day again, someday, someday soon.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

3 more sleeps.

We've been relaxing and we've been busy. We made it out to the Energy Lab to see who could sweat the most. The first two miles felt GREAT, a bit of a breeze, hot but tolerable. Until the turnaround. STALE air. DEAD. No joke, 105 degrees, not an ounce of exaggeration. The boys ran ahead. Finished before me...sweat dried up a bit. I win! My pigtails had sweat dripping from them. Oh, how I heart the energy lab! On race day this is where the inspirational mile is too, where your loved ones can type you a message and an electronic screen displays your message to you and everyone else that can read it. That is if any of the athletes are capable of reading at that point!

(Can you spot the boys, way, way, way far away)

(Mark came back to get me...or he wanted to take advantage of a photo op)

We cooled off, the next morning that is, by an aquarium swim out to the Kona Coffee boat where we were greeted with options of cream, sugar, and the new flavor of Pineapple Gu.

(Kona Coffee that-a-way)

(The BAR)

(underwater legs wanting coffee)

I am super lucky to be able to sport the new TYR Sayanara speedsuit. Thank you to TYR. And can you beleive their new wetsuit line is called "Hurricane". Ha! And we are living right next to them! This is the cool pic on the garage. Maybe one of these days we can deck ours at with the TNM logo :)

(H* and I in the Huggos house)

We stepped way outside of the box this morning by walking across the street for breakfast. Went to Huggos for breakfast. Much quieter than our normal Lava Java. Great view, great food and very relaxing. And more TYR shwag. Dang!

Splish and Betty Designs continue to amaze me with their fast, awesome, flair induced creativity. They busted out this top for Kona. Wore it on a training ride today and loved it! Thanks so much to Dawn, Ira, and Kristin!

And for everyone that loves numbers here is a list of participants from each state. I only know 7 of our home state. SAD :( Hope to meet many more.

Three sleeps to go until the big day. Athlete #1644 is registered and ready to roll...and swim...and bike...and run....and then cheer until midnight!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Settling into "the life"

The Hurricane and I landed on Saturday, a few hours later than expected. But safe. Difficulty to complain about aviation issues on your way to the big island.

(T and Mark waiting for the bags, and bags, and bags.)

We were greeted with this amazing view from our front window. It is EXACTLY across from the final turn buoy on race day. It will be exciting to see the boat from out our window on the big day. The sun is shining down on it in this photo.

We were so thankful that Bree was able to pick up some stuff we had shipped over. And I got the best good luck present ever. The Hawaiian hula. It will ride securely with me this week and through the race. We met her little man Kainoa and 1 piece of licorice became two then three then....(J/K). He was a little sneaky though.

(Bree and T)

Yesterday I was a little nervous. As I knew I had the ride up to Hawi. After the practice ride last year and the race I was ready to take on the wind. I was ready to have a perfect practice day where I would let the wind be my friend. Lets just say I hope race day the wind is that nice to us. We (Hallie, Aaron, Mark and myself) were given the "no wind" day. It was so clear, no white caps, just some nice riding with the wind at our back on the way up and little to no cross wind on the way back down. I never thought it could be that gentle. But, I will not loose focus on "playing" on game day with the wind as my friend. I will be strong.

(Hallie, Mark, T, Aaron at the turn around at Hawi)

Especially because my hula girl will keep me smiling the whole way!

(Happy Hula loves the winds)

Six days and counting! Good day from the islands.

Thursday, October 01, 2009


Some weird things are happening lately, explainable, YES, but it should come to an end because I am starting to look pre-Halloween like and it is not quite that day yet.

For starters, that bike ride I went on a couple weekends ago, Cycle the Wave. It is haunting me. After one loop I tore my number off the back of my shirt when I no longer needed long sleeves and shoved it in the bento box (in case I stopped at an aid station and they needed my number). Luckily, the clothes have made it thought the wash and are being worn again. I spend the whole morning at work, walking around, teaching lessons, etc, around 1pm someone a co-worker says "What do you have on your back?" Oh, yeah, I learned in grade school you don't fall for that one! In reality, I had 4 safety pins attached to my back in perfect formation for the next number I need to race with. Seriously! Not the latest fashion trend that I am aware of.

Today. A quick 45 min trot to Alki- that is an out and back run. Put my hair in two little braids (yes, little. I have lost so much hair this year I can barely make a braid) and was off. I was flying (for me flying). I couldn't stop smiling and telling myself how wonderful and amazing tapering is. I LOVE tapering! I noticed my hair flapping around a bit. Nothing too out of the ordinary just a little different. At the turnaround I was think to myself I was going to set a 10K PR. Hold back, don't need to break any records today. Until immediately I was resistance training all the way home smack into the wind. Hair still flapping. Get home walk by the mirror and see that I only have ONE pigtail. I had run all the way past Saltys, by the Fish and Chips joint, by all the condos, by all the sea divers with the hair flappin' in in the wind on one side and nicely tightened on the other.

In other news the cat drugs are working. Somehow my cat (Brenna) has been diagnosed with anxiety. Instead of acting up for six hours a night it is down to a half an hour. Needless to say she is even more knocked out during the day now.

(Brenna cuddling and being too if she would just do that at night)

Called the vet today to ask for a lifetime prescription and she said this was only for the short term?! WHAT???? Humans take these pills all the time! So after our vacation in Hawaii it is back to the drawing board. She is recommending a humidifier. Seriously? For a cat? We have already purchased her a night light. What next, her own personal bedroom and some counseling?

So if you see something off, that is not year'round "off", laugh a little and then tell me and I can laugh a little more!