Friday, August 29, 2008

From Louisville

Here in Louisville, it is really hot! But...I'm too worried about my knee to worry about the temp. It still hurts--a lot!

Had a fast, safe trip here yesterday. The kids were great, the hotel rooms are great. We have adjoining rooms, and because my husband works for Marriott, got a great deal!

Swam in the river this morning--83 degrees. Even the water here is hot! Had a good swim, except that the water smells kind of funky, and my knee hurt!

Picked up my packet and went to the athlete briefing. Good info, not much I didn't already know. Met a girl who is doing her first ironman....and second triathlon! WOW--either very brave or very stu......well, you know!

Have all my nutrition/hydration planned. Hope it works. My husband took my son out this afternoon. Told me to just take it easy and finish the race--it's going to be really hot! Well, I can only do what I can do!

Took Peanut to the pool for an hour or so. She swam, I read/napped. Going to hang out at the hotel tonight. Bring something back to eat. Low key. Had a good sleep last night. Hope for a good one again tonight because tomorrow night......

Bring bike and bags to the transition tomorrow. Short trip to the expo, then back to the hotel. It's so close, I can't believe it.

The next time I write, Lord willing, I'll be through this. I have so much respect to all of you who have done this before--and many, multiple times. I'll let you know if this will ever happen again for me maybe next week--or month?!

Have a great weekend. Pray for all the racers, and me this weekend.

Until next time--God bless!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Last Time

As I write, I'm praying it will be the last time before I am officially an Iron(wo)man.

It has been an up and down week so far, actually, mostly down. I haven't felt well physically and mentally. My knee is giving me major problems. I had a massage today, and I'm praying it helped. I've even thought about not making the trip. But then, what if it feels better on Saturday/Sunday and I don't go. I'm going, and Lord willing, I'll finish! I know I'm mentally tough, praying hard that the physical can keep up.

We're leaving tomorrow (Thursday) by noon. Should get to Louisville about 7:00 local time, hopefully. This will be the longest car trip ever for our two kids. Books, music, food and DVD's will hopefully make the time go a little bit easier.

I'm all packed--food was what took the longest. Hopefully, I've figured it out right. I plan to stick to the plan. I know it will be a long, hot, tiring, frustrating but hopefully very rewarding day/night.

I just spoke to a friend who called all the way from Texas to wish me luck! I love you Leigh Ann and Mike! Thanks so much for the kind words and encouragement. Your phone call was very timely.

I also received a real encouraging e-mail from my friend Kevin. Again, very timely and much needed--you are so sweet and you ROCK!

And my mom called to tell me good luck and say she knows I'll do great. She'll be the first person I call after the race--she'll be worrying until she hears from me. I LOVE YOU, MOM!

To say I'm nervouse is an understatement. I'm hoping I'll be more excited once I get there and my knee feels a little better.

Thank you to everyone who's walked with me through this journey to date. I pray I won't disappoint any of you. Your support and prayers have really helped get me here. Keep praying for #2400 on Sunday--I know I'll need it!

To everyone else out there who's racing this weekend--especially Team Louisville 2008--good luck and God speed! May you have the day/race of your life!

Until next time--God bless!

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Quick Note

I survived the day. My son make it through the first day of high school, however, not without a small glitch. You see, he rode his bike, and had to take the front wheel off to lock it. (It's quick release.) I was out for my short bike ride, sort of watching for him about the time he should have been home. No sign of him. I was getting worried.

He barrels in the garage about 20 minutes later than I expected him. The bike is on the ground, the wheel not attached. Seems he couldn't get the wheel back on and walked all the way home carrying it along with the bike. Oh boy, off to a great start! I helped him get it back on, and hopefully tomorrow it will be easier. Now, he could have called me and I would have ridden to the school to help him, but no self-respecting high schooler would ever call his mom for help!

The rest of the day was pretty uneventful. A quick 1000 meter swim workout. And later in the early p.m. a 10 mile bike--and it was really windy!

I wanted to alert you to a blog by and about a very special triathlete. Her name is Jamie Whitmore, and if you read Triathlete magazine, her story is in the October issue.

She's a huge XTERRA champion, and is going through some very difficult times with her health. She may never be able to race again. She is a woman of strong faith, and I believe it will get her through this difficult period. I plan to be thinking of and praying for her during my race on Sunday. When I feel like quitting, I'll remember her struggle and faith, and I know it will inspire me to not quit! If you're interested, her blog is on her website at

Oh, and I forgot last weeks taper totals:

Swim: 7x for 9000 meters
Bike: 3x for 107 miles
Run: 2x for 14 miles
Stretch/core: 5 sessions for 160 minutes
Total training time: 15:30
Total calories: 6,800

Until next time--God bless!

Sunday, August 24, 2008


Well, as the saying goes, the hay is in the barn. I'm done. Finished. And, hopefully, will be rested and ready to go in one week. In fact, at this time next Sunday, Lord willing, I hope to be on the run course. I've done ALL the training: base, prep and speed (well, for me speed is a relative term) work. The taper is in progress as we speak. Did my last "longer" workouts yesterday and today.

Yesterday I swam 3000 meters, followed by a 3 hour ride. I think I rode about 50 miles. My cyclometer pooped out on me--maybe the battery? My mechanic (husband) will check it out and have it ready to go. Good thing it happened now and not during the race!

I also was stupid and didn't bring enough water with me on the ride. I rode the same route as the week before, but it was much warmer and later in the day. This time, I had money and only had to ride about 10 miles without fluid before I found a Walgreens. It was a good ride. I saw a friend out riding who will also be in Louisville. It was good to see you, Gary. Hope to see you in Louisville!

Today was a 90 minute run. My knee has been bothering me, so I took it slow. I still covered the 9.5 miles in the same time as always. I'm hoping all the hill running will somehow translate into bike fitness. I did train on some hills--hoping it's enough for the "rollers" in Louisville.

My knee wasn't too bad. My rheumatoid arthritis is in a flair, so all the joints that give me problems have joined the party. Could be the stress of the extra training, as well as the stress of the race itself. I'm sure it's a contributing factor to my knee stiffness. The good thing is that the heat always helps my RA. Now, if I can make it through the run in the heat, I should be OK.

This week will be very easy. Which is good, because I have quite a bit on my plate. My son starts high school tomorrow, my daughter starts homeschool (6th grade) tomorrow, and it will probably take me three days to figure out everything I need to bring for the trip.

I've decided to only do one short, easy run before the race. I'll let my knee rest and it hopefully will be good on race day. Just a couple short bikes, and she'll be cleaned, lubed, my race wheels will be put on, and be ready for race day! I'll probably swim easy most of the days. We plan to drive down on Thursday, so that will be an off day. Friday I hope to do the practice swim on the course in the river. Saturday, lots of resting and healthy eating.

That's it for now. Don't know when I'll write again. Hope everyone had a good weekend. The big Chicago Triathlon was today, and the weather was perfect. I also heard the water temp here in Lake Michigan was 78 degrees.

Until next time--God bless!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Less than 10 Days

It's been a challenging week, to say the least. I thought the long, hard workouts would be the challenge, but noooooo! This taper, and the way my body feels, well it really stinks! I hope I'm not the only one tapering for an IM who feels this way.

I woke up this a.m. feeling really bad: crabby, achy, tired, thinking "what the heck was I thinking when I clicked the button on the computer to register for this crazy race?". Maybe we just shouldn't go. What if I'm so nervous I forget how to swim, or breathe, or ride my bike, or what if my knee hurts really bad after the bike and I can't run? Can I walk an entire marathon?

I haven't ran in the dark for over 15 years. What's it going to be like to run/finish in the dark? Will there be other people around me? Will I be able to see where I'm going? Have I spent all this money and time for something that's going to be a bust anyway? My son REALLY doesn't want to go, but he's not old enough to stay by himself, and we have no one to stay with him. He's going to miss two days of school, which is a whole other story. His absences will be "unexcused" and it's up to the teachers whether they let him make up the work or not. More stress!

While today was supposed to be an "off, or rest" day, I woke up so wound up that I went to the pool and swam a real easy 1000 m outside. For the second time this week, I saw a woman swimming who was being coached/trained by a young lady from the deck. She was a good swimmer. She was wearing a cap from Steelhead, so I know she's done some triathlons. I know everyone can improve on their technique, but it made me feel extremely inadequate. She could swim circles around me. She's got a coach. I'm doing an ironman and don't have anyone helping me. SOMEBODY HELP!

OK, so I pulled myself together, telling myself it doesn't matter, I'm just going to do the best I can. It is what it is!

Ran some errands, did some shopping.

I've decided that I have no choice but to use the drink the race will be offering, which is Gatorade Endurance. Is it easy to find? Absolutely not. The lemon-lime flavor is the only one sold commercially, even though they will be offering orange also on the course. So I'm going to bring some with me and start on the bike with it. That way, I'll be drinking the same drink all day.

I'm really worried about nutrition. How am I going to carry everything I need for the bike ride? Hopefully I'll find my special needs bag and I will have packed all the right stuff for the bike and run. How much to carry with me, what will fit in my pocket/fuel belt, what to pack in my special needs bag? Yikes, way too much to think about!

I just found out there are 24 women competing in my age group (50-54). There are four women named Karen! It was a very popular name when I was born. Most of the time when I meet someone named Karen, I know they were born about the same year as me.

I am the only "homemaker" listed. Several "fitness consultants" (a.k.a. fit/fast athletes), several nurses, and even one lady from Mexico! Should be an interesting group.

Oh, by the way, my race number is 2400. Should be easy enough to remember, right?

Weather forecast for Louisville on 8/31--86 degrees (hot, but hopefully not 90's) and sunny.

There was a short time yesterday when I was stretching that I was starting to feel excited, not just nervous. It didn't last long. I'm hoping it will come back. After all, we'll be in Louisville one week from today.

Enough babbling for now. If anyone has any kind words, good advice, atta girls, or whatnot, please feel free to comment. You don't have to be a blog member to respond.

Hope everyone had a great week and has a greater weekend!

Until next time--God bless!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Free Falling....Apart

The last three days have been crazy. I feel like I'm falling apart, mentally and physically. I'll just give you the high/low lites of these days.

Monday: My daughters 11th birthday. Wow, in some ways it feels like forever ago that she was born, but in others just like yesterday. I remember her birthday (literally) vividly, and the next several months. Good and bad times, as all mothers/parents know and can relate. But I wouldn't change having her for ANYTHING! She is the light of my life, and she makes our entire family so much happier. I love you Peanut!

Rest day, although I did do a very easy 1000 meter swim at the outdoor pool. Just enough to move and loosen up all the 53 year old joints and bones. I was tired, but felt better after.

Met a veteran IMer at the pool, who asked me how I felt. My response was "tired, achy, cranky, just want to get this over with". He could relate. In fact, he mentioned that the way I felt was a good indication that I trained hard and that my taper was working. Yuk! He's doing IM WI the week after Kentucky, so he could definitely relate to what I was feeling. So, I guess that's another highlight!

I spent a lot of the day preparing my daughters first couple weeks of school, since the first week we leave for Louisville, and the second week, well, I'll probably not feel like doing a whole lot the week after the race. We homeschool, so it's a bit of a responsibility to get started on my part. This will be our third year, so while I don't consider myself a veteran, at least I have a little experience and feel a bit more prepared.

Tuesday: 1500 meter swim, followed by a 22 mile bike. Swam and rode relatively hard. Felt good after, at least for a while. Later in the p.m. my bad knee (has had 3 scopes) started bothering me. Now, know that through all the hard, long, hilly bike rides and runs, my knee has been great. Why does it bother me now, when I'm actually taking it easy? Well, I did do a lot of running (for me) last week. I'm hoping with the rest during the taper, it will get better. It did feel better Wednesday a.m.

Tuesday p.m. was the Freshman Family Night at the high school for my son. Let's just say I don't envy him come next Monday. It's a big high school, and it's going to be a big adjustment for him, coming from a small, private school and homeschooling. Also, we're taking him out of school for two days to travel to Louisville. I've been told that this could be a real problem. Too bad, says my husband, we'll work it out! I think I'm going to let him call the attendance office and explain why he won't be there! It scares me!

One of the reasons I haven't posted is our internet service was really messed up. In and out, finally more out and in. Comcast came and fixed it yesterday, so we're good to go. I never realized how much I relied on it, until it was gone.

Today, I had a nice bike ride with my friend. She needed to ride 2.5 hours, I only had to do 1.5. We rode together for about two hours, then I headed back. Thanks for the company, route, and fun conversation, E2! It was great riding with you!

After, I stretched out, swam really easy outside, and finally headed home. Here I sit, worried or maybe nervous is the better word about so many things pertaining to Louisville. I can't believe it's almost here. Next week will be insane crazy: packing, kids starting school, etc.

Youtube has a great post of Heather Golnick riding/running and reviewing the bike and run course. She won the race last year and is competing again this year. At first, I thought this would give me more confidence and make me feel better about the race. WRONG! I think I would have been better off not knowing some things. Oh, boy, more things to worry about.

So, just a couple more days of what I call real training. Short run tomorrow, off on Friday (and I DO plan to take the day off). 60 minute swim/3 hour bike brick on Saturday; 90 minute run on Sunday. Hopefully, my mind and body will make it through. I think I'll be more nervous the less training time I have. GOOD GRIEF, CHARLIE BROWN!

Anyway, hope everyone out there is having a great week.

Until next time--God bless!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Two Weeks to Go!

I've been a little crazy the last couple days. Didn't really take any time to celebrate my birthday--so much to do and think about.

Friday was a day off from training--and I actually did NO training/working out that day! I must say, I felt horrible! Physically and mentally, it was really hard. I have rheumatoid arthritis, and if I don't do some sort of exercise, my body rebels. It's what keeps me able to move. So, I've decided that even on "off" days I need to do some sort of moving.

I took my son to register for high school Friday--YIKES! It's going to be a big adjustment for him but probably more for his Dad and me. If you believe in prayer, please keep us in yours. We will need them.

Saturday it was back to "normal". A very early (start in the dark) 50 mile bike ride, followed by a 2 mile run. The weather was very cool at the start, but by run time just perfect. Not what it will be on race day, probably, but weather is something we have no control over! Since I hadn't been in the pool since Wednesday, had a nice 1000 meter outdoor swim after. Aaaaahhhhh! Nice!

Today and tomorrow were slated as OFF! days. But....I decided to do some core/strength training, and I'm trying to decide on a new pair of running shoes--not for race day, but for the future. You see, New Balance stopped making the shoe I've been wearing for the last 5 or so years. I'm trying out two different sizes of the most current model of that particular shoe. I walked/jogged a very easy 3.5 miles on the treadmill. Did my last long strength training session until after ironman. I also enjoyed an 1100 meter outside swim. It was so nice. Relatively quiet, water was relatively cool, and the weather perfect!

Now, I must say that when I think that two weeks from now I should be finishing up the bike course in Louisville, it makes my stomach queasy. I know I've done the training, but I'm still not sure if I'm going to be able to put it all together on race day. When I do long rides and short runs, or short rides and long runs, I think, "How am I going to do 3 times this (or so) on race day?" I'm just praying that the program I followed works for me that day.

I've decided that IF I ever do another iron distance race, I'm going to get a coach of some sort: on-line, in person, whatever, but someone who knows ME and my body and my strengths and weaknesses. I definitely understand why a generic program is difficult for this distance, especially at my age and with my health issues. I thought I would be OK, and I might still be, but I think having a coach would have been a big advantage!

Haven't the Olympics been amazing! I've enjoyed every event I've been able to watch, and unfortunately I've been staying up too late to watch a lot! Go USA! So many of the athletes are amazing. Can't wait to see the triathlon. I hope they show a lot of the races.

Last night I went to church service. I was very tired, crabby, depressed, and upset when I walked in the door. Not a good attitude to have to worship God. But thank God I was able to get my head on straight, realize how blessed I am, and how thankful I am that God cares about all of my life. When I think about ironman, I realize how blessed I am to be able to attempt such a thing. I have the support of my family, my health is good (relatively), and I have the discipline, drive and resources needed to train. No matter how bad things may seem, there is ALWAYS a silver lining.

The next two weeks I'm going to really try to relax so I can enjoy race day. No matter what happens, I want to have "FUN"!?

My week goals for training reads: "Two weeks to go! Enjoy the further reduction in hours and resist the urge to go longer or harder. Also resist the urge for pizza, beers and 5AM clubbing with all your newly found extra free time."

I rarely eat pizza and don't drink alcohol. I have never been to a club, and 5AM is when I wake up, not come home! The going longer/harder area, however, will be a challenge!

Hope everyone had a great weekend! Congratulations to everyone who raced or trained hard!

Begin Taper Week Totals:

Swim: 5 times for 7,800 meters
Bike: 4 times for 138 miles
Run: 4 times for 24 miles
Strength/Core: 6 sessions for 254 minutes
Total time: 21 hours
Calories burned: 8,700

Until next time--God bless!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

In what seems to be the norm lately, it's late and I'm tired. But since today was my "special day" I wanted to check in briefly.

Had a good day. Turned 53 years young. Rode 21 miles, and "made it through" a 12.5 mile run. I have a day off training, but lots of stuff that I have to do tomorrow. More details to come.

I'm so blessed to be who and where I am in my life. God is definitely good, and to Him goes all the glory.

I have a lot in my head, but too tired to write it all down. Hopefully I won't forget (that happens when you get old) and I can share in the near future.

Have a great night/day.

Until next time--God bless!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Too Tired to write, but....

Since I didn't post yesterday, I figured I do a quick recap of the last two days.

Tuesday: Up early (relatively). Did a 3000 meter swim, followed by a six mile run on the treadmill. Trying to watch men's beach volleyball during the run, but the TV at the fitness center was too far from the treadmill I was on, and I couldn't read the captions or scores. Turns out the Americans won! YEAH!

Also did a little stretching and core work. Came home, tired, but not bad. Did some house stuff, even took a short nap. I knew the women's gymnastics was on late, and I'd probably stay up to watch.

When it was over and the US got the silver--the Chinese really rocked--it was almost midnight when I went to bed. Still awake at 1:00. Was planning on waking at 5:30 for an early swim. Stayed in bed until 7:00, but still got the 1600 meter swim in. Rush home, pack up, drop Peanut at the gym, ride a good 31 miles. The weather is still too cool for Louisville training, but it sure does feel nice.

Lots of unpacking, repacking for tomorrow's early 60 min bike/2 hour run brick. Cook dinner, do laundry, feed the kids, and now I'm finally getting ready to chill for the night. No Olympics past 10:00 for me. I'm tired and need the sleep.

Go USA! I love the Olympics. Tonight is the men's individual gymnastics--the Chinese should win all the important (gold) medals. Hopefully the Americans can medal.

Michael Phelps is a swimming MACHINE! His body was made to swim---FAST!

Have a great night/day.

Until next time--God bless!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Ready for that Taper.....

I'm pooped! Tired, wiped out, spent, out of gas, done, had it, ready to get the show on the road. I'm ready for this race already.

After a good weekend of training, and staying up too late to watch one of the most exciting Olympic events EVER (the men's 4 x 100 relay--record setting, unbelievable, don't have all the adjectives to describe it), I'm TIRED!

I rode 36 miles today, did some stretching and core, and swam a very easy 1100 meters. Now, I'm tired. And even though this is the beginning of my three week taper, I'm scheduled to swim 3000 meters and run for an hour tomorrow--I plan to do inside and on treadmill. Wednesday will be a 1550 swim and 90 minute bike. Then on Thursday I need to bike 60 minutes and run for two hours (brick). It doesn't really sound like a taper to me right now because I'm soooo tired! Oh yeah, I think I already said that.

Basically, I think I'm just ready to get to this race. I've been training and working so hard for so long, I'm ready to rock and roll. A nervous wreck, but ready to go! So much to plan and think about packing. I'm most worried about the nutrition end of the race. Hoping I've figured it out, but I'm sure something will blow up on me on race day. Or not. Ha!

I'm hoping I can stay up to watch the swimming tonight--of course it will probably be the last thing they show. Tomorrow is an early start, so I may miss it.

Too tired to say much more. The weather was way too cool (74 degrees while biking) to acclimate for Louisville. Hope everyone else is enjoying the unseasonable August temps.

Have a great day/night/day. Go USA Swimming and Gymnastic teams!

Until next time--God bless!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Cool Weekend

The Olympics are finally here, so I'm really glad my training time will be reduced. Three weeks from today at this time, Lord willing, I will be on the run course at the Louisville Ironman. Can you say, NERVOUS WRECK?!

This was a great weekend for training, but not great weather-wise to acclimate for Louisville. Yesterday was a 38 mile bike, half of which I did with some friends. What a blast! I was only supposed to ride for 90 minutes--total ride time was 2:10. Started at 6:00 a.m., finished by about 8:00. Followed by some good strength training, core work, stretching, and a very relaxing, wonderful, outdoor 1500 meter swim! YEAH!

The temperature was really cool both days. Saturday it was 60 degrees when we started the bike. Never got past 75 or so. Louisville was a cool 83. THAT would be perfect race day temperature. Today called for a 90 minute run--did 10 miles in 1:50 at the HILLY PATH! Felt really good after the first 45 or 50 minutes. Once again, I ran up and down every single hill! It was about 60 when I started, never getting past 75 or so again today. After the run, some stretching and an easy 1200 meter outside swim. YUM!

Hubby decided to barbeque chicken for dinner--which of course called for my help and took almost the entire afternoon. He's watching the olympics. Whenever he's not at work, he will be watching the olympics. The fitness center we belong to has these super HD TV's, so I think he'll be there more often during the next two weeks--to watch the olympics!

I've decided to start watching the TV show "Lost". I've heard so much about it, and I just love the cutie who plays Jack (Matthew Fox, from Party of Five). I belong to Netflix, so it's fun to get the DVD's from them. Almost done with the first disk (pilot and two episodes). I think I'm going to like it! I'll have something to do to fill in the time I've spent training for the last nine months!

I have a couple "semi-long" days next week. The training plan I'm following says of this coming week: "Welcome to tapering! We'l slowly reduce hours over the next 3 weeks, while keeping the sword sharp for race day."

Recovery Week Totals:

Swim: 7x = 11,600 meters
Bike: 3x = 96 miles
Run: 3x = 21 miles
Strength/Core/Stretch: 5x = 175 minutes
Total time: 19 hours
Calories burned: 7,200

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Until next time--God bless!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Remember Recovery

I needed to remind myself several times this morning that this is the end of a recovery week, to be followed by three weeks of tapering before the race.

Today I swam a good (not hard/not easy) 3000 meters. Other than the water being too warm, it was a nice day. The first 1500 I swam inside, it was so warm, I decided to check out the outside pool. A little cooler, and it always feels so good to be outside!

Yesterday I had great strength training session (1:20), then a 6 mile run on the treadmill, followed by a wonderful, delightful, awesome 2000 meter swim. The workout called for 1000 m, which I did, but then I felt so good I did another easy 1000. I swam outside, the water was cooler than normal (i.e., not as hot), it was beautiful weather and it was quiet, not too many kids. I really love to swim. It makes me feel so good.

My dad still tells the story of when I was about 4 years old and he threw me in the pool for the first time. He claims I started swimming immediately. I don't know about that, but I can't remember a time I didn't love or know how to swim.

I heard from my friend Snoopy yesterday that tomorrow will be either a 50 or 70 mile bike ride. I was so excited and looking forward to riding with the group. But then it hit me--I'm in a RECOVERY WEEK and I'm only supposed to ride for 90 minutes. YIKES! What to do? When I woke up today, I thought it would be O.K. I rode 100+ miles the last two Sundays, so what's another 70 mile day?!

Well, after my swim, I was chatting with a couple triathlete friends, and I was reminded (by myself) of the importance of rest/tapering. OK, so I don't think riding 70 or 50 miles would be the best idea in the world for me at this time. Maybe I should just do my own thing--1200 recovery swim and 90 minute bike. Boring, but I guess I should follow the plan. After all, I don't want all the training I've done over the last gazillion months to be for nothing and I end up overtrained, fatigued, and not rested for Louisville.

But then, when I was leaving the locker room, I met one of the cyclists from the group. She had this great idea of me starting out with them, and then just heading back on my own. I was afraid I might get lost, but she assured me no, I'd find my way just fine.

So that's the plan. Ride about an hour with the group, head back, then go to the pool and do my swim. I just have to be sure not to ride too far. I'm hoping my friends help encourage me to turn around when I need to! After all, what are friends for?

Next week I get to ride 3 hours on Saturday. Hopefully we can meet up again for a longer ride.

Looks like the weather is going to be nice here again this weekend. Hope it's nice where you are. Have a great weekend. Good luck to everyone racing.

Until next time--God bless!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Feels Like Hump Day

It's been a long time (15 years?) since I worked full-time and remember Wednesday being called "hump day". But as I was sitting here trying to think of a catchy title, it's the first thing that came to mind.

I felt tired and shaky after today's training. It started out innocent enough. Good sleep, house cleaning and other household stuff early, drive Peanut to the gym. I switched my schedule so today was a two hour bike and a 1150 meter recovery swim. (Tomorrow will be a 60 minute run, which I plan to do inside on the treadmill, along with some strength training and the swim I was supposed to do today.)

It was a great day for a ride. Cool (80's), just a little breezy, and I was able to ride my normal hilly route. Did 35 miles. I don't think I ate enough before or during the ride. I went right to the fitness center, did some core/stretching, and swam a continuous 1500 meters. Didn't feel like doing the 1150 workout that was scheduled.

I felt weird when I was done. I knew I needed to eat ASAP. I brought food with me, so I showered quickly and ate as soon as I got to the car. Felt much better after my healthy PBJ sandwich, banana and nectarine.

My legs still felt shaky at home, so I made a good salad. Also had a small bowl of low-fat ice cream--YUM!

I sit here now eating a mini bad of popcorn--the bad stuff. All the healthy popcorn tastes like cardboard and isn't worth the calories, even though there's no fat.

Maybe I'm just a little tired/burned out. Also, I've been upset about the way I look again. I really did try hard to lose weight in the off season, but it just didn't happen. (Really long, boring, unbelievable story!) I keep telling myself that when this IM is over, I will be 15 lbs. lighter by next race season. I'm not sure how I'm going to do it, because nothing I tried in the last 18 months worked, but I really need to find a way to do it.

For now, I'm just going to concentrate on Louisville and the remainder of my training. Hopefully, I can get through this and have a fresh perspective on everything starting September.

I have so much to be thankful/grateful for, that this weight issue seems very petty. I'm going to try to deal with it the best I can. A good sleep, and maybe not feeling hungry all the time will help. Is it normal to be hungry all the time when training for an ironman? Right now I'm not sure about anything. I think I need to sleep on it, and tomorrow will be a better day, right?

Hope everyone had a good day.

Until next time--God bless!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Oh, What a Night

What a night it was here in the Chicagoland/Indiana area. There were probably other areas hit by the big storm, also. Thunder, lightning, monster winds, power outages, and tornados. Just heard on the radio that one was spotted in my town of Bolingbrook. Don't know if it touched down, but I do know I spent about half an hour in the basement with the kids last night. It was scary! Other than losing our computer and our cable going in and out, we made out unscathed. Praise God! Hoping everyone reading this was as fortunate.

Yesterday's training schedule called for a rest day. But.....I decided I needed to do something. I'm having trouble with my left calf/achilles, something that bothered me last year. It's an overuse/dehydration/too much running type of thing. So, my plan is no more back to back runs, stay off the hills on the run, and limit hills on the bike to 2x per week. I'm also planning to do my shorter runs on the treadmill (flat and soft!).

I did about an hour of core/stretch/strength (mostly upper body). I was a little tired from the long day Sunday. Because it was such a nasty day, the outdoor pool was quiet and the water was a little cooler than normal. Had a great, easy 1600 meter swim in the clouds/drizzle. It was really nice. Have I mentioned how much I love to swim? I LOVE TO SWIM!

After the big storm, I had a great sleep. Slept from 11:00 to 5:00 straight. If my husband's alarm(s) hadn't gone off, I might have slept even longer. Felt rested and refreshed when I rolled out of bed at 5:45.

My original plan was to run inside at LTF on the treadmill (45 min) then ride outside (75 minutes). I wasn't sure if the weather would cooperate, but after checking the forecast decided to load the bike in the car just in case. It turned out beautiful. Had a good, easy (slow!) 5 mile run, followed by a good, easy (slow/mostly flat!) 22.5 mile bike. Stretched out and cooled off with an easy 1000 meter swim. Good workout, nice day, it's ALL GOOD!

Tomorrow was supposed to be a 60 minute run, but I'm going to switch the workouts so I don't have to run back-to-back. Two hour bike instead, maybe some core/strength and an easy swim. Thursday I'll do the 60 minute run, probably on the treadmill to save my calf/foot.

I can't believe IMKY is almost here. I'm really getting excited (nervous!). I want it to be here, but then again I don't. Does that make any sense?

Well, I hope everyone is safe and cool. Have a great day!

Until next time--God bless!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Best Laid Plans

First of all, a great big shout out and congratulations to all who competed in Steelhead yesterday. Everyone I know did a great job. Lots of first time half iron distance racers. You all ROCKED!

Now, the plan for today was fairly simple. Ride 102 miles in about 6 hours. I was going to do an organized ride, close to home, so I figured this would be a piece of cake. I wanted to average 18 to 20 mph, what I hope to do at the race (hoping to get the speed up with all the downhills!). Following the ride, an immediate 25 minute run. (I brought my running gear with!).

So, after a good sleep, with great weather, I headed out to the ride. Here's what happened:

1) They gave us a map at registration. Just a map. (Well, to be honest, we also got a T-shirt, which I wasn't expecting.) When I say just a map, what I mean is there was no cue sheet--you know, take this street so many miles, then turn this direction, take the next street for so many miles, to such and such a rest stop. Nothing. Just a map with a yellow marker to mark the route. Well, I figured I would follow all the other people and the signs. I don't think ride organizers are allowed to mark up roads anymore, so there were signs on posts on the side of the road.

2) About a mile or so into the ride, I got stuck by a freight train. For about 5 to 10 minutes. Well, maybe not that long, but it seemed like a long time. Had a bad feeling this was a bad omen for the rest of the ride. I was CORRECT!

3) Talked with some riders who assured me the course is always marked really well. HA! NOT SO MUCH AT ALL!

4) First rest stop at 10 MILES? What? Already missing a bunch of signs. Continue to follow people.

5) There were 5 different routes available--20, 40, 55, 82, 102 miles. I can't prove this, but I think only 2% of the riders actually rode the entire 102 miles. If there were more, they passed me in the first 10 miles and I never saw them again. This is possible, really possible. But I also think some people got frustrated and bailed at the 55/82 mile marks. Didn't feel like playing "try to read the map the rest of the way home" game.

6) By mile 12, I knew I must have missed a sign. Plus, the area we were riding is very popular for weekend riders doing their long rides. So, not everyone we saw was part of the Rotary Club ride. Just following was not an option. Two guys pulled up next to me and another guy to tell us we missed a turn. They were not part of the ride, just out doing their thing, and knew the route. I had never ridden out here before, so I had NO CLUE where I was.

7) This little miss only cost me 2 miles. But who knows how much TIME!?

8) Second rest stop at 20 (for me 22) miles. What? The rest stops were very different from what I'm used to. There were one to four volunteers, one table of food, some drinks, and one or two port-a-potties. Huh. OK, whatever.

9) Third rest stop around 35 miles? Very confusing to get to, lots of missing signs, stop about 1 million times to check out map, very confused, what in the world is happening? Heard a rumor that someone was removing the signs from the major intersections. Guess they didn't want the cyclists on the road. Ha! What a _____ (insert your own nasty adjective here).

10) Continued on. Started riding with a couple women. At about 45 miles, one lady told me she was only planning to do 55 miles. Missed the turn, oh well, maybe I'll do 80 something? What a mess. No one knew where they were going. When we mentioned this at the rest stops, the volunteers knew the signs were missing, but didn't seem too interested in doing anything about it! O....K....... (This is when I realized that a bike ride not organized by a bike club.....not such a great idea for the future!)

11) This list could continue ad nauseum, but I'm too tired. Suffice to say that after spending tons of time stopping to try to figure out where I was, I did complete the ride. I met a really nice lady named Molly. She's doing her first ironman at Madison. We rode the last 40 or so miles together. I didn't want her to be alone, and frankly I didn't want to ride alone either. We saw MAYBE four people the last 30 miles. Where was everybody? Most people we saw were very annoyed and disgusted by the lack of signage. But what can you do? (There were quite a few cars in the parking lot when we got back to the school, so we actually weren't the last riders on the course.)

12) I DID NOT FINISH THE RIDE IN SIX HOURS!!! Ha, like you couldn't guess that one. Actually, the total time was even longer than last week (7:28) and ride time was 6:30. But I have to say it was a good mental test. I know that physically (and hopefully now mentally) I should be able to handle whatever comes my way in Louisville. At least I HOPE AND PRAY I CAN!

13) Alas, the day was not a total bust. I had a really good run after the ride that never seemed to end. There was a great park with a really nice path across from the school parking lot, and I ran about 2.5 miles. Felt good.

14) The weather was great, not too hot, not too windy, and there were actually some rollers on the course. (Last week was sooooo flat.)

15) I feel good--tired and ready to rest, but good.

16) And did I mention, this was the LAST BIG TRAINING DAY before Louisville? Yeah, me!

Today's totals:

Bike: 105.88 miles; total time: 7:28; Ride time: 6:30; AHR: 121; MXR: 191; Zones 1-3;%MHR: 67-106; calories burned: 3,322.

Run: 2.5 miles; 26 minutes; zone 3; AHR 142; MHR: 165; 71-83% MHR; 215 calories burned.

Week totals:

Swim: 6x for 11,100 meters
Bike: 3x for 171 miles
Run: 3x for 28 miles
Strength/Core work: 4 sessions for 115 minutes
Total workout time: 26 hours
Total calories burned: 10,500

Hope everyone else had a great weekend! Have a great week.

Until next time--God bless!

Friday, August 1, 2008

One Really Big Day Left

Yesterday (Thursday) and today (Friday) were tough days for me. Yesterday called for a 2 hour bike ride. According to my odometer, speedometer and HRM it was an easy 2:15 (a.k.a. SLOW) ride. However, my legs would most definitely disagree! But, I got it done, did some easy stretching/core work and an easy 1000m swim. Two more tough days left!

(Note to the ladies: That visitor I got unexpectedly on July 9th for the first time in 11 months returned yesterday--YOW! What is happening? Needless to say, it was a tough workout yesterday and today. Again, I forgot how horrible I/we feel this time of the month. Just praying it doesn't visit again until AFTER Labor Day!)

I knew today would be tough--3 hour run; 2700 meter swim. I also knew it would be hot, but I thought I was prepared. Turns out I picked a really bad place to run--I forgot there's NO SHADE AT ALL on the path (Springbrook, for those who are familiar). What was I thinking? I should have braved either the hills at Waterfall Glen, or done a bunch of loops in the shaded part of Greene Valley. I had lots of water, and even stopped to refill after the first loop. Was planning on three loops--about 16-17 miles. Half way through the second loop I knew I was in trouble. I did a lot of walking. My legs were good, but I was really over heated and when my head/neck started hurting I knew it was over. I stopped after the second loop at the car to refuel, but I knew it was time to quit. Too dizzy, nauseous, shaky, etc. I hated stopping after only 11 miles or so, but better to be safe than sorry. Plus, I really didn't think walking another 5 or 6 miles in the heat would be of much benefit at this stage.

The good news, I came home, changed, refuelled, started laundry, visited with the kids, and headed to the pool where I had a good 2700 meter swim. Felt good, but that pool water is way too warm!

Tomorrow is a day off. Last week I did NOTHING and felt horrible. So, I think I'm going to do an easy strength/core/stretch session and an easy 1000m swim. Just enough to let my body move a little.

Sunday will be warm, a long (100+ mile) ride, followed by a 25 minute run. Then, it's all downhill from there! PTL!

Hope everyone had a good week. Have a good weekend. For everyone who's racing, have a great time!

Until next time--God bless!