Wednesday, December 30, 2009

12K's of Christmas

Not sure what prompted me to participate in this event, maybe the holiday spirit, maybe all the team members participating, maybe just for the fun of a really tough workout. It happened to fall the day after the "forever" long swim practice. And on top of that we rushed to the White Christmas play at 5th avenue that was beautiful, then dinner, then over to watch the Kona Ironman 2009. As if all that wasn't enough to get into the holiday spirit we were up bright and early Sunday to do the 12K's.

(Can't resist a super fun group like this one!)

Last year we showed up for the race but the snowy winter and the icy streets caused the race to be cancelled, that really doesn't happen much around here.

I missed warming up, well if you count running around trying to find a bush to avoid port-o- potty lines then I warmed up, but not true get the heart pumping and ready to race warm up. Kirsten and I arrived to the start line about 3 minutes before the gun. Then it just happened that several other TNM athletes were in the same place, so there was more chatter than race focus, but truly that is what C, or D, or E races are for right?

Within 10 steps I was TIRED and hungry. Not a good feeling to have when you are climbing the first mile or maybe it was 3/4 of a mile. Truly I don't know, I just know that from the start it was not going to be pretty. So I put my "happy" face on and just ran. I cheered for my friends, I smiled the pain away, and the "good" angel helped me fight off all the "bad" angels thoughts of just wanting to drink a gallon of water, snuggling up in a blanket and eating everything in sight. Those prior days events had me wiped out.

(happy face!)

After nearly an hour'ish (I mentioned it was super hilly right?) the finish line was near, those last miles were flat and fast...for most...for me I just kept putting one foot in front of the other. I truly did have fun. Fun seeing everyone, fun looking at crazy costumes, Santa didn't pass me like he did in Las Vegas, and joy of just getting a workout done and checked off the list. Even better it was a PR because I have never done this race nor a 12K so I will take it and just be more prepared next year.

(run away Santa and his wife - Kevin!)

What a challenging course though, and a reminder that hills, hills, and more hills are a necessity to my training in 2010. I guess I need to chase this man around a little bit more ;)
Here's to looking up and getting there a little bit quicker in the future!

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Ten Grand was a gift to myself this Christmas. I could only wish it was in $$, but nope, 10 buckaroos in the pool. Laura had a grand plan to organize the FAMOUS swim set of 100X100. Believe it or not 25 crazies RSVP'd to the event. We swam at an outdoor 25 yard pool and it rained the entire time, only noticed at the start and finish though.

(Type A'ers)

We all went into it a little apprehensive. My goal was to make 75 of them. I had the horrible sickies and only started swimming again the week of the event. So on Tuesday I did 2,000, Wednesday 3,000 and then Friday 5,000 in prep for the event. The workout was broken into sets of 100's and we took a 5 min break around 55 and 80. Let me repeat that we took a much needed, could not live without, survival 5 min break around 55 and 80.

The average send of for our group was 1:30-1:35. By number 70 I was a bit loopy. A little giggly and feeling a little out of sorts. Good thing we had coffee on hand. Shots of coffee after each 100 never hurt anyone right? Then at #80-ish, or so it was a mad dash to whatever food we had in store!

(So out of it!!! Notice the coffee on deck!)

Upon completing 100 a few swimmers/triathletes (not including myself) decided that wanted to make it a full 10K. Excuse me? What? an extra 936 or so yards.....hmm...I did a little math, that is nearly 20 more minutes. No thank you....I was out...and chowing and still giggling at the craziness of it all.

(Yeah! We did it all!)

Sad thing is, I will be back again! Thanks everyone who swam, watched, provided food and drinks, and for organizing. Exactly what I needed to get into the holiday spirit...sorta :)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Got the BOOT.

Friday December 18th marks the day that Mark gave me the boot. We had dinner plans and Mark decided we should open some "early" Christmas gifts because he had a hunch I would want to wear my gift that night. He pulls out a box of Frye's boots that I was hoping Santa would bring. I open them up and slide them on and click my heels around a bit on the kitchen floor. Mark asks me to take the boot off and starts feeling around in it, thinking maybe he left the recipt in the shoe (wink, wink). Then he looks through the boot box on the counter and says..."oh, the card, there is a card under the tissue there". I reach over and lift up the tissue and there is a ring, no not another Tiffany silver ring that I lost in previous posts, but a REAL ring. I just looked at him and with a little swelling going on in both our eyes he proposes.

(self portrait of my new ornament)

We then went out to dinner at La Rustica (amazing Italian restaurant in West Seattle) where Mark planned for a few of our close friends to join in on the celebration. Connie, Jeff, Christina and Darin. Thanks for sharing our special night with us!

Some additional highlights of the night:

The cat scratched at the door during the proposal so we ended up laughing off the tears.

Mark decided to purchase himself an engagement gift. A new watch, just so he would "always remember this day every time he looked at it".

It was all so real, so normal, and a day we will never forget.

And to Mark....looking forward to a you lots!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Hair Love.

I was super lucky this year to not have any major medical issues, however, it was at some costs. This year it was at the cost of my hair. New medication and n I was peeling a dead rat out of the drain on a daily basis. I have been cleared of these meds since September and am finally seeing some regrowth that isn't making styling very easy, but I will not complain....soon I will have a full head of locks again.

May 2009= Super THICK braids:

October 2009= Super SKIMPY braids:

December 2009= No Braids (cuz no racing), just some MAJOR flyaways:

Here's looking forward to new hair and hopefully a skin color change too!

Sunday, December 13, 2009


The coolest thing about the RNR Las Vegas Marathon is that is was sponsored by one of my top charities, the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America. They are making huge steps to get the word out and to help control and minimize symptoms in children and adults. I love that they are now promoting health and fitness through their Team Challenge program (this one is specific to running). They now have bike rides, walking events and running events that help support the cause. Thank you to everyone that came out and supported. Check out the site and your local area, as you may have participated in some of their events without even knowing, or too, maybe it will encourage you to participate in an event you have not yet done. Thanks athletes!
Learn about CCFA. (click on chapters and events for biking, walking, and other events). PS. A couple of us will be working diligently to get this going into the triathlon know who you are! :)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Coming and Going....

That has been my life. Out of town, in town, out of town. Race, train, race, train. Sick, healthy, sick, healthy.....six continuous weeks. No complaints about traveling and working that stuff. But the third has really but a burden on everyday FUN lifestyle.

Last weekend was the RNR Vegas half marathon. Lots of fun. You start heading "away" (don't ask me North, East, South or West) from the strip and then turn around at less than a mile when you hit the "Welcome to fabulous Las Vegas" sign.

Then you turn around and see the show of fireworks in the sky to the right and the other 25,000 people that have yet to to start the race. It is a straight out and back for the half marathoners, flat, fast and VERY entertaining as nearly half the crowd are those still out from the previous night, or at least acting that way :)
A few of us met up in the lobby of Mandalay pre-fight, I mean, pre-race. We scurried to the start line stopping for water, bathrooms, clothing check, herds of people, wondering how the heck to get to the start line. 25,000 people is not the easiest way to get anywhere in a hurry. We had 6 minutes to start time and still not even near the flood gates, we jumped fences, peed behind trees that were not quite big enough to cover my bum (good thing an unknown spectator was willing to hold up her jacket for our personal coverage), and with 1 minute to go we were in coral 1. I was a little disturbed that three volunteers (while in coral 1) asked to see my bib to confirm I was in the right place.....what'choo saying????? Ha, they were just doing their job I know :)

I knew my legs were tired from the Seattle half and too, I had been battling a cough and the cough was winning, but with over 15 friends participating in the event I couldn't say "no" to this weekend away. Also somewhere, when I thought this was a good idea, I believed that Vegas was always 70+ degrees, nope, 31 fun degrees for the race. I figured such a flat course would be GREAT for me since that is where I flourish, notice I said I flourish, not FAST, just faster for me. I started out right on pace, 7:10 ish, I just had to hold that (since my best time ever in a half is 7:15's), then progressively just got a little slower, and a little slower and a little slower, by mile 10 my legs screamed ouch and I fade to 7:20's, oops, just like the ironman I re-evaluted and figured I could settle for my second best time. Yep, that's what it was just a minute short of a PR. What followed after crossing the finish line was the hacking of myself and all the other participants from the super dry air, and the feeling of a bloody nose. This was not due to my sickies, but the air. I waiting just a few moments for a couple of my friends and we made our way over the, um, fancy-dressed Vegas girls...flamingo girls....what do you call them? We then scurried back to our rooms to unthaw our toes, nose, and hands, well, our body for that matter.

Note to self: Vegas gets cold...REAL cold and the air is D.R.Y. , oh and the race starts at 6:15 am.....woha!
The sickness has put me out now for 6 weeks, and personally, I am tired of hearing myself talk about it....all 2010 training is on hold. For some reason you need a healthy body to tackle the training.....hopefully soon. Real soon!

Friday, December 04, 2009

Antlers=Vegas Baby

We are here ready for the Rock n' Roll Las Vegas.

(Elvis, T, Matt, and H*)

There happens to be the national rodeo convention going on too. And we nearly died laughing as we were driving by the Paris hotel and saw this:

(Antler Chandelier for sale)

The humor comes from by buddy who did Ironman Canada this year and also finds opening day of hunting very much the equivalent to Christmas day. He just moved in with his girlfriend and had to cut a run short the day of their house warming party so he could hang up his antlers before the festivities.

I plan on wearing the chandelier over my head on the way home. I am sure his girl Jess can't wait!
So I truly thought the weather her was in the 70+ all year. And then the night before leaving Mark let me know that the high was 50. What? I signed up for this as an escape from the cold during the Seattle winter and now I will be racing in the same get up as last week at the Seattle half marathon. Good thing shopping is indoors (and there is a lululemon here too)! And really it is summer compared to the 20 degree temps in Seattle today. Yikes. Shop on!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Recovery spin...HA!

Is there a such thing as a recovery spin after 2 full months off of any bike, saddle, or two wheels that move?

It took an hour to get my act together to pull this 1 hour ride off. needed to be pumped, PSI joke:

It's a bit better than my other half's PSI of "Zip".

For some reason I couldn't get the trainer to work, yes, that is possible, the knob wouldn't turn right. So the mechanic in me had to go to work.

Then I hunted for the bike shoes. Searching, searching, searching. Then later found out they had been sitting right next to my bike. You see,Mark had one job for the day (in my mind), to make sure I got myself on the bike,so he went above and beyond and put the pedals on, pulled my shoes out and got it all ready for me. But my vision did not bother to take me to wear he put the shoes.
Next up, waterbottles! Except "no water". The condo faucets had been turned off to figure out some water leaks in the garage. "Great!" No way to jump back into training than to train without water (not EVER recommended BTW).

Then I hop on the bike...speedometer not on...still on race wheels. Oh well, I figured I really didn't need it that I know what cadence of 90 is. (later to remember that cadence is always on my bike, two different magnets, duh!).

I felt a little tired, but I kept riding, thinking it would get better. I checked my time at 2:57, yep, not even 3 min into the ride and I am wondering "how much longer". Next check at 24, then 45, then 51, then 53, 57, 59....nearly done!

What was worse was the chamois butter was no where to be found (still in the huge box we shipped from Kona). I have as many bottles of that stuff as I do lip gloss. As soon as you need it you can't find it anywhere. Getting back on the bike after 2 months has nothing to do with getting back in shape, it has everything to do with saddle tolerance.

I am officially back in the saddle, as is, the cat on the aerobars (she's missed this stuff!)