Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanks and stuff.

Thanksgiving left me baking some pumpkin caramel cheesecake (with some additional caramel on top), based on past experience I knew this was something I could handle. However, I had this little angel/devil hanging off my shoulder the entire 1:15 min that the darn thing cooked. Originally set the timer for 1 hour. At 55 min he (that is Mark) decided to open the oven to tell me that he "thinks" it may be burning around the edges. I jump up to find that what he though was burnt pie was actually the pecan gingersnap hand made crust crumbling to the side. The buzzer goes off at 1 hour. I check it...still not done so I set it for the an additional 10 min. It only took 5 min later for Mark to tell me I should check on it, just in case I forgot to start the timer and it was burning...ugh...back to the kitchen. Nope, 5 min later it still looked the same. Put it in for 10 more...Mr Mark Panic came back...nervous that I would mess it up. Have faith in your girl that only bakes once a can do it. I pulled it out...for his sake, it could have gone a few more minutes,but man he was making me nervous. The finished product was delish'.

We spent the early afternoon with my mom and her boyfriend and had dinner number 1 of turkey, mashers, and apple pie with cinnamon ice cream...yum! Then we went and joined Marks family for dinner #2. All the same fixin's. Good thing we paced ourselves. The food was our much needed carbo load for the next two days at the Seattle Marathon Expo.

At the expo the legs killed. Calf cramps, aches, stretching, repeat...ouch! We luckily got a hotel room comped at the Westin for 2 nights so it made life a bit easier. The expo is always fun to meet some new vendors (loving the SPI Belts) and to see all the racers getting ready for the big day. The Seattle community is really very small so it is great to see runners I had not seen all year, and then those that I see nearly every day too!

Bri and I had a great time sporting the newest pink and white Gracies Gear tops and the ever popular Bondi Band hair decorations! I also had a marathoner who couldn't resist the great head gear.

Sunday was the big day! Big day as a coach and an athlete. Mark and I were nervous of our individual performance because really we have been some lazy fools, enjoying life, doing nothing structured and working like crazies. And two, because we are always shot after working the expos. I was super excited though to be racing with all of the TNM athletes (15+) that were out there on race day. I truly enjoy watching athletes race, but too, it is also fun to be "part of the action".

We were running late as usual, got to the race start, I had to go potty for the umpteenth millionth time, Mark needed to get front row seating. So we quickly went our separate ways. I let him know ahead of time that it would be okay if he wanted to run a little faster, that I would let him have this one!

With 7 min to race time I couldn't find any of the athletes I was hoping to run with. Instead I was in a panic mode trying to figure out where I could even get into the start coral. It was BUSY...herds of spectators standing around, confused people and who knows what. I pushed near the start line to get next to the fenced off area and jumped over the fence. I look to my left and see the man who was so anxious to get to the front right next to was Mark :) I once again explained to him that I was not going to start at a 6 min mile pace, so he could go right ahead.

As I stood up front, my run coach (who is also the announcer for the event), was talking with all of his athletes, talking pace and such. "Oh 5:30's or so", "6:30's I plan on holding", blah, blah. I know I have mentioned before but I am the odd ball out in this group. He looks at me and says "what's your plan?". Really, he wants to even acknowledge he knows me, does he really want to hear my goal in front of all these "runners". This could be the end of his career if they hear what I have to say. I whisper my goal time of 1:40. Nope, no joke, that would give me a 5 min Seattle half PR. He promises to announce that as my time at the finish, no matter what I finish in. Good coach!

I started out smart, smooth and under control. I knew I would get passed alot in the first three miles, I was all for it. The more that passed the better. They can zig zag passed me all they want, I just dont want to play frogger with others! I felt strong the whole way, had some minor quad cramping issues, but really nothing to complain about. After my second 1/2 of a gu I had a little colitis issue, but nothing that held me back. I ran and ran. I was fast on the flats, fast on the downhills, and literally killed on the hills. The same two people would pass me on the uphills (the girl in the black lululemon capris and the red dri fit and then the girl in the red Nike tempo track shorts with a white dri fit top) and I would repass them on the flats. Luckily the last 2 miles are a bit more of a downhill/flat so I finished ahead of my new two no-name friends :)

I was ecstatic to see a 1:38.55 as my finish time. A 7 min PR on this course. I can not walk today...but I wouldn't change it for the world. Mark had a 1 min PR. If I stay on pace this means in two year I can beat him!

My 2010 training started today and this race was exactly what I needed to finish off my 2009 race season.

I am thankful for the amazing Thanksgiving day we had with both families, I am thankful to have legs to run, feet to stand on, and friends to smile with. Happy holidays.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

AZ recap.

This was my first time to Ironman AZ and we were in need of the sunshine! We arrived on Thursday night in surprise that there was a one hour time difference. Friday and Saturday were busy leading up to the race as usual, and I wasn't even racing.
Our great friend and athlete Connie was doing her first ironman. On Saturday I got into swim, and man that wet suit is tight. Training starts tomorrow, for sure! The water was cold, Lake Washington cold. 62 degrees cold. I hadn't experienced that temp in awhile and thought I could shake the ice cream headache, but after 12 full minutes I was done! Connie on the other hand was freakish with her training and dove into the Puget Sound a few times leading up to the race. She would describe the water as "pleasant". I would fully disagree.

The days were warm, a perfect temperature, the nights were cool enough to sleep under the fluffy comforters.
Maia (Connie's daughter) and I spent much girl time together. We made signs, got manis and pedis, studied the states and attempted the capitals and chilled while drinking lemonade ($2 refills)!
(Cherry Lemonade with Maia)

Race morning we had clothes for every temperature. We woke up at 4am and were off, with the uggs, the layers, the jeans, etc, by noon, in shorts and a tank and by 5pm back in the 4am clothing.

(Mark's mouth full of sunflower seeds)

Connie was the calmest I have seen anyone getting ready to do their first ironman. We wished her luck and hurried to scout out the perfect spot for spectating. We witnessed the start from the bridge overlooking all the athletes. Hot chocolate, a blanket and donuts killed the time to the start.
The athletes were off and then we ventured over to the bike exit. The athletes run far, real far in that transition area and then right as the exit they make a sharp left hand turn before mounting their bikes. There were so many athletes that bit it (the ground) right there, all happened to be men (insert double cough). Bikes were flying, shoes were looking to the sky, it was frightening to watch. Connie got on her bike with no problems and was off.

Loop 1, Loop 2, Loop 3, each one was stronger than the next. She raced, we ate, applied TNM tattoos, napped, and searched ironman live until the phone died.

The run was the same: loop, loop, loop, finish! It was so exciting to be so close to the action and so close by to help Connie when needed. She came back from a bonk and finished her last loop very strong. The finish line was like many of the other finish lines, which just the thought of one can bring a smile to anyone's face. It was filled with the bright lights, the fans, the kids waiting for high fives, and most importantly Mike Reilly's voice. It was exciting.

I was so surprised to see so many athletes that raced Kona out racing Ironman AZ, hats off to them. My bike just made it out of the box a few days ago and the pedals still are not attached.

Connie had an amazing race, an amazing day, and her family, friends, TNM athletes, and myself could not be more proud of her.

Ironman AZ was inspiring, it was exactly what I needed to witness, to be a part of to get the itch in me to get back going for 2010. Not one ounce of me wished I was racing, I am not ready for that, my body needs a ton of rest. I am excited to try a new swim group, to get back on the bike and to do a half marathon this coming weekend. We are back in Seattle, rain, cold and such. And just like a fireplace being lit up our indoor training is on fire.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


The headline tonight on the news: "Another storm is coming..."

And I am prepared!

It is cold, it is wet, real wet, it is pouring....not complaining, just not much going on except trying to stay dry. My swimming takes place during the times I run from work to the coffee shop and from the car to the track. Soaked non-stop around here. The Uggs came out after being in hiding, however, they couldn't last in the storm. So the highlight in this past week are my new boots!

I even got matching fleece socks for the inside, so they nearly feel like Uggs, my best purchase in a long time, next to the luggage.

.Bring on the puddles and as soon as it dries up I will get back into the pool!

PS. The bike woke up from the box yesterday...I see some cycling in my near future.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Event Planner.

Event Planner. This has been my new title this past week. Post Halloween things got busy. More because this procrastinator works best in that sort of mind set.
Chris Lieto called on Saturday night wanting to speak to athletes in Seattle. This is great, but we had 4 days to plan it and the goal was to get 150 people. 200 people later (we stopped counting!) the event was fantastic. Not because of Mark and I, but because Lieto gave an absolutely fantastic presentation about his race this year at Kona. He described the race in detail making everyone that was not there really experience the sights, the sounds, and the heat! He talked about what he did differently and how his mindset was completely different. Audience participation was a must as he had us practicing our own visualization and going in our minds how we shower off each morning (you must attend a presentation to understand that one). And most importantly explained how he can race in a white spandex outfit!
Mark at RRS (well my b-friend too) did an absolutely fantastic job getting this event to go off so smoothly. RRS should be very happy to have him as a staff member because without him the store would not be at its finest! Thanks to Chris, Mark and all the Seattle athletes who came together for this night!

Post presentation, it was full on planning for our Saturday night TNM team party. My only real job was to get the evite out which was done, order the cake, and put together a speech. #1 got done early on, #2 was a disaster, got all the way to Costco in the rain/wind storm in Seattle (that needs to be added because getting anywhere in Seattle is twice the challenge) and arrived without my wallet, my id, anything. So 40 min wasted. #3 I put together on the way to the event. I thought it was good, Mark kept swinging at my leg during the talk to tell me I was talking to much :) Wine, no wine, I would have said the same things!

I could not have pulled this off solo. Amanda opened up her beautiful home to us, her husband did all types of chores so she could get her workouts in day-of-party, Beth put together the below video that would have taken me a over a year to figure out, Bridget (my co-coach) arrived on-time, unlike yours truly, and did all the dirty work. Mark, as usual, kept the crowd entertained until the late nights! And of course the team, couldn't have a party without the amazing athletes!

Congrats to everyone this year. Many more smiles and miles to go for 2010!

Sunday, November 01, 2009


We traveled to a spooky mansion:

With spooky food:

And a spooky (unscripted) play that ended in gunfire:

With a spooky man:

(Army Ranger with the highest badge of honor, that somehow was stitched on upside down!)

And the spooky pigtails and Mr Nelson (the monkey) scared him off!

(This costume came full on hooch that I had to learn how to sew to add on four inches of fabric and add a dress underneath)

Thanks Ashmun's for a fantastic party. Met some super friends that encouraged us to travel to New Zealand, good thing there is an ironman there!