Preliminary Race Schedule 2015

Black Cat 20 miler March 2015
Boston Marathon April 2015
JCC sprint tri May 2015
B2B bike race/ride June 2015

? Musselman July or Lowell Olympic
? challenge Maine olympic in august
sprint or half September

Thursday, July 29, 2010

IMLP, " The Bike, Part 2" Also known as, be patient or you'll get your ass kicked on the second loop

Okay, so after getting out of T2 a bit longer than expected but feeling better and a bit less disoriented, I realized a few things:
1. No sunglasses
2. My aero bottle was on backwards which means the straw was way out front instead of close to me- ok, didn't think it was going to be a problem but it proved to be a bit challenging to drink during the day.

The weather started out a bit drizzly, overcast and windy, did I say windy, oh yes I did. Usually this course provides wind on the second loop especially on the 11 mile climb back into town but today it started from the get go, oh well, just had to get used to it and watch my cadence and my watts. The fist 11 miles or so out of town you really need to be careful, you have to be patient, there's a bit of a downhill at the beginning and then there is some climbing to be had before getting to the ever well known 10k decent. If you choose to hammer the first part of the course you will never survive, your legs will crash and burn, so I knew to just back off, catch my breath, get some fluid in, reorganize my thoughts from the swim and get focused. I actually felt really good until we got to the decent and realized that it was raining and the road was really wet and I got a bit scared. I like speed and I like going downhill but not when its raining or when the road is wet, so I road my brakes a lot, which I don't like to do and several women passed me which just pissed me off. After the decent there is a nice long section that you can really motor on but again you have to be patient you can't hammer its the first loop and even if you think you feel good you should back off a bit and save yourself for the next loop ( which I did).

I have to say the first loop was really uneventful, nothing too different than I did in training on a weekly basis, the only things that stand out for me are that made a bit of a difference of my race day where:

1. The new race course powerade bottles I didn't like. The flavor was fine but trying to squeeze the fluid out to put in my aero bottle was almost impossible. I either had to keep the bottle and put it in my rear water holders or stop my bike, unscrew the cap to beable to get all the fluid out. The new bottles are made of a harder plastic and the caps are just terrible if you want to empty the fluid out quickly, I believe an email to Ironman is in order to make changes for the future, I don't think I was the only one with this concern. So obviously I didnt drink as much as I should have, which has never been an issue for me in training.

2. The aero bottle position on my bike was starting to become an issue with regards to getting my fluid in, I should of just stopped and turned it around, but hell no, why would I take 30 seconds to do that, ( what an idiot I was- stupid, stupid me)

3. I only peed 3 times the whole time and it wasn't much, so big red flag going into the run.

I enjoy the climbs on this course, its a challenging course and it keeps people honest, I felt good the whole first loop, my legs felt fresh going into the second, the weather was changing every 5 minutes, wind, rain, sun, clouds, humid, etc.. By all in all not bad. I passed a lot of men and women but a lot of women in my age group passed me which sort of bummed me out. I think once on the second loop another 40-44 AG female passed me and under my breath I said something like, " of course she has to be in my age group" and she turned her head and stuck her tongue out at me. At least I didn't see her for the rest of the day. I wasn't trying to be mean I just was gettting angry that I had so many good cyclists in my AG.

The 2nd loop was uneventful again, I felt good both physically and mentally, I didn't let myself get too negative, the crowds were great, the support from the volunteers is always amazing, I actually look forward to seeing the 3 bears ( the 3 last climbs into town) because I know the bike is almost over.

Anyway, I finished the bike in 6:25 about 25 minutes slower than I wanted but at least I kept my two loops within a 15 to 20 minute difference from each other which I did which probably meant that my overall average was ok and I didn't blow myself up on the first loop. Total avg speed, 17.44mph for 112 miles

Things I learned on the bike:

Take the few seconds you need to fix the simple things that can make or break your ride ( i.e, my aero bottle would of taken less than 20 seconds to fix and I probably would of drank more if it was not such a strain to get out of my saddle everytime and reach over to drink.

I should of stopped once or twice to pour the whole bottle of powerade in my aero bottle, it would of again only taken 20 or 30 seconds. This lack of fluid intake probably started me down the path of becomming significantly dehydrated on the run and all could of been prevented if I just took the time to manage these things on the course.

Being positive and having fun on the bike lets the ride go by faster, I really enjoyed the ride and had fun with it.

Next post will be about the Run, Part 3.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ironman Lake Placid, Part 1, " The Swim, also known as the Battle"

So the two days prior to the ironman start I was in my hotel ( The Mirror Lake Inn, which was beautiful) and had a lot of thinking to do. The mental game is never good for me and I had to really work hard to stay in the moment and know that I was fully prepared and then some to have a good race. It was hard to be alone but friends were coming up and joining me for dinner to relax me and then Phil was arriving on saturday, so I knew I wasn't going to be alone for long.

I had a few shake out workouts to do, the weather was hot and humid ( not unusual) but race day was looking to be good. A little cloudy, some sun, maybe a little rain but no higher than the high 70's.

On friday I checked in at the high school, got weighed ( boy I was pissed I gained 2lbs during my taper) and then walked through the ironman village at the oval, took in the scenes, listened to some of the pro's talk about their tactics for the race. One racer ( Tara Norton from Canada said, " I swim like I don't have to bike, I bike like I don't have to run and I run with whatever I have left- notice she didn't place in the top five", anyway, I digress, I was getting a bit tired and went back to the hotel to rest. It was a bit out of the way but only a 15 minute walk to get back to the Inn. I took a nap, and waited for my friends, Michelle, Nancy, Gary and Maureen to meet me for dinner. They did a great job calming me down, telling me I was well prepared, chatting with me and making me laugh, its so nice to have very supportive friends and friends who do the same thing I do so they understand everything that your feeling and thinking inside. After dinner I went back to the room, got all my gear bags together and went to bed.

Saturday was a routine day, did my swim in mirror lake, beautiful and 73 degrees, a little bike to check out my wheels and gearing and little run. I finished, showered and went to the oval to drop off my bike and my transition bags. After that it was picking Phil up at the Saranac airport at 2:30p, and having fun for the rest of the day with my hubby.

I chatted with coach around 3p for some last minute race strategies and thoughts, its amazing how thorough he is and amazing he can walk me through my whole race step by step and not miss a bit. We talked about pacing, nutrition, the thoughts I might have during the day, etc... I felt like everything was in order after I chatted with him but unfortunately my brain started to think and I had a really hard time wrapping my brain around racing on sunday and going through the pain cave again and the " What if's" I have a bad bike or bad run, I didn't want to fail again, I didn't want to feel that pain again, both emotionally and physically. I started to cry a bit, feeling defeated afraid that the run was going to do me in again, I was glad Phil was coming because I needed a hug and I needed him to tell me I was going to do ok.

I picked him up we chatted, had dinner, rested on the beach across the street from Mirror lake Inn and fell asleep. He is so confident and mentally strong, sometimes Phil has a hard time listening to my mental weaknesses, the, " not believing in oneself even though you did all the training and hit all your numbers type of weakness". We went to bed around 9:30 ( or I should say tried), slept about 3-4hrs and woke up. Not too nervous, not too worried about the swim, however I was told the day before that 3000 people were in the race and that it was going to be a" BATTTLE" out their in the lake.

Oh well, its just never pretty on that swim and I new I probably would get the shit kicked out of me" , anyway, I showered and made my way down to the oval with Phil and my special needs bags, did all the necessary things I needed to do after eating my breakfast, taking a poo and pee and putting on my piggy tails. We walked down to the oval together and he helped me get things situated, I checked my bike, pumped my tires and put all my food in my bento box. It was time to leave the oval and head to porta potties one more time and then get my wetsuit on. the weather was holding out, not too bad, I couldn't get into a porta potty the lines were too long, I was kinda bummed because I probably had one more little poo to do ( I don't mind peeing in my wetsuit) so I knew I needed to hold it until after the swim because the pro's just went off at 6:50 and I had just a few minutes to head into the water after kissing Phil and getting on the front of the line.

Ok, In short because this post is getting too long, the swim was brutal, from start to finish, I never had any room, I got hit so many times in the head and face by the men that I just plainly got pissed off and started hitting them back. I stayed away from the line because its just too crowded, I made my way out of the first loop at 30 flat which was okay given how much congestion was on the swim and with 700 more swimmers in that lake I was ok with the split, I ran around the deck and hopped back in for the next 1.2 mile loop which ended up being 3 minutes slower because I ended up on the line and got the shit kicked out of me again, this time I got clocked right in the middle of my eyes and then in my mouth which gave me a fat and bloody lip, I started seeing stars a bit and my siting was a bit off and I started drifting away from the line and more to the right, I needed to stay on course, I only had about 400 meters to go and it was hard because my lip was feeling huge and I was really pissed off. Anway, got out of the water at 1:03 something, a minute + faster than last year but definitely feeling a bit beat up and a bit dazed when I got out. The wetsuit strippers got my wesuit off within seconds and I was off down the long ass run to T1. I saw all my friends as I ran out, Phil, my coach Janda, Sara, Greg, Maureen, Nancy, it was awesome, however, I was definitely a bit loopey in the head so after getting my bike transition bag I saw a MD and she kept me in the tent a bit longer to make sure I was ok to get on my bike. After she cleared me I realized I didn't have my sunglasses with me ( oh shit) but, off I went, 8 minutes in T1.

Tomorrow, Part 2-The Bike, also known as, " slow down you ass its the first loop, I guess I'll see you on the second loop and pass your ass".

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ironman is like pregnancy and Childbirth

Okay, so it begins with the planning, 10 months to a year in advance you make the plunge ( or you and your spouse take the literal plunge to make a baby).

Ironman: Then it happens, the base building phase, the first few months. The foundation of your training is being laid, your excited but overwhelmed, you can be tired because the volume is increasing and your body is changing.

or with regards to the unborn fetus, the growth begins, the foundation is made. You might feel a little overwhelmed with the choice you made to have a baby but your excited. You might experience a bit of nauseau and you might be uncomfortable at times but it will get better as the trimester goes on.

Ironman: So you finally made it to the build phase, your intensity is starting to increase, your volume is increasing, your starting to notice your body change, your building muscle in the gym, your appetite is increasing, your getting more and more excited and your starting to plan your big day.

Pregnancy: Your starting to show, your excited, your starting to feel better, your beginning to think that this is really real and its going to happen, your not sick anymore, your energy is returning. Not too long now, 4-5 months to go.

Ironman: Okay, we are in the final stretches now, your kind of getting sick of the training but you do it, the volume is heavy, your body is tired, at times your grumpy and you snap at your loved ones. You've been planning for 9 months and its almost here, when is taper you say, lets get this over with. However, your still excited and think about the event often.

Pregnancy: Okay seriously, how can I get any bigger, when is it going to be time now to have this friggin thing. " I want this baby out you say". Not much longer, your getting pissed with your hubby, your grumpy because your huge and things are sweating in places that didn't sweat before, your tired, clothes don't fit but your excited and you can't wait for the big day. your still planning, still eating, still staying in the moment.

Week of Ironman: Okay, the nerves are kicking in, all the training is done, your tapering, your questioning everything that you've done, " am I prepared?", " can I go the distance?", your body is tired from the tapering, your mind is racing, the planning is still continuing your wondering why the hell you ever signed up for the friggin thing, " can't it be over right now"

Week of due date: Okay, seriously, take the friggin thing out already, I'm huge, I'm tired, I cant roll over in bed without holding on the the backboard of my bed, why the hell did I do this again really, geez.

Ironman day: Its hard, you work hard, you get your heart rate up, you sweat, you have all the dark moments and all the good moments on the day, you hurt, you might get sick, you curse yourself and others, you say to yourself that you will never do this again, but in the end when you cross that finish line you cry, you hug everybody, " You are an ironman" is one of the best things you can hear and no matter how long the process took, 8 hrs- 17hrs, its a hard work and you did it.

Delivery day: Your hurting, your sick, your in pain, you want it over, the labor may last 1hr or it may last 24hours but your working hard, you curse your husband and everyone around you, you want the easy way out. You say to yourself, I'll never do this again, " Give me an epidural you say", help me. You vomit, you poop, you pee, but in the end this beautiful baby comes out and your cry, you hug your husband, and tell everyone around you that you love them. When you hear, " its a boy or its a girl" its one of the best things you can hear in your life.

Post Ironman and Post baby delivery: The pain is gone, you feel better, you are so excited that you did something that you never thought possible, you became an ironman and you became a mom. The funny thing is that you don't remember the pain and suffering of ironman so much after the event as with childbirth, you eventually only remember all the good stuff and what the end result was. I think that is why as a mom, I signed up for another ironman 7 months ago, I forgot the pain and suffering for a little while and had a mommy brain and signed up. Now just 3 days away I'm remembering and getting nervous, just like childbirth, I had 4 kids and each time we got pregnant it was amazing but right before childbirth you remember the last experience you had and you get nervous, its amazing what the mind can do to you.

Its truly amazing how much ironman and pregnancy/childbirth has in common. Ironman is a birth of some sort if you think about it on a cerebral level, so lets hope for a short labor this weekend, minimal pain, no vomiting or poo'ing if possible and an easy delivery. See you in the recovery room with ironman baby #2.

p.s. so if I had 4 children does that mean I need to do 4 ironmans?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Emotions, up and down

So, I haven't been sleeping all that great, I mean, not bad but not great lately. I've been having those race dreams, playing it through my mind, every different scenario that is possible, the great PR, the Kona qualifying finish, the concussion on the swim, the crash on the bike, the walk on the run, every scenario. Its kind of scary to have these dreams and I think its harder this year than last because I have experienced an ironman before and I have seen and felt a lot of what I have been dreaming lately and really dont' want to experience them again.

I have trained hard, I have put in the hours and done my races, why doubt still races through my mind, why completion sometimes sits in the forefront and I say to myself, " I would be ok with that". But you know what, yes, I would be ecstatic to finish IMLP and finish safely and uninjured but I would by lying to myself if I didn't think I could do a bit better than that. 13:42 was my finish last year and that was with a crash on the bike and walking at least 10 miles of the run, incapable of even bringing myself to a light jog those last 10 miles last year. It haunts me in my dreams that crash, me walking, I wake up in cold sweats sometimes thinking of that and remembering ( like childbirth) how painful of an experience that was. How healing from the road rash was so painful it took 4 weeks to really start healing. My scars are still there on my right side to prove it. I guess no runway modeling for me in the future, huh? ( hee, hee)

I'm going back to LP for some redemption, to hopefully get past that turn on the bike without crashing, to hold a steady even pace on the run and not walk and hopefully finish in a time that is better than last year. To make myself proud, to know that all this training paid off both mentally and physically, to prove to myself that I can do this, that I can be good at something. Its 8 days till IMLP, hopefully I will get a good 6 days of sleep, continue to hydrate and eat well and finish my last few workouts and off to NY I go next Thursday.

Lets pray to the weather gods that its less than 80 degrees, cloudy with a chance of showers ( not meatballs) and no humidity. Lets pray that I stay upright on my bike, no flats and a good steady pace.
Lets pray that my legs feel good right from the get go and if I manage my hydration, nutrition and pacing that I will be able to run a solid marathon for me off the bike and finish feeling like I just conquered the world.

Am I ready, I think so, I just need my mind to catch up with my body. I'll keep you guys posted. I have a nice run tomorrow, 1hr, a bike and swim on sunday and then off on monday. Heres to tapering.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Don't Quit.....

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit-
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a fellow turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don't give up though the pace seems slow-
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man:
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor's cup;
And he learned too late
when the night came down
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar,
So stick to the light when you're hardest hit-
Its' when things seem worst that you mustn't quit.

Unknown author

Monday, July 12, 2010

The DAM race report and the 3rd annual Furse Luau

So this past Saturday was a quick sprint triathlon in Amesbury, Mass, it started at 8am so it was getting super warm at the time. I was excited about racing because a bunch of my friends were going, however, I knew I was throwing a party for 75 people that night at my house so I had a lot of stuff on my mind and knew I just needed to get the race over and head home to finalize everything.

My friend Erica picked me up at 5:30am to go to the race, so much fun to chat with someone pre race and not discuss race stuff at all, makes me less nervous and seriously I don't think I thought of the race more than 5 minutes in the car ( good or bad, it was just fun). We got there with plenty of time to set up our transitions and scope out the scene. We found out that the water temperature was 82 degrees so it was a non-wetsuit swim, I didn't care much but besides swimming at the pool I haven't done any open water without a wetsuit and I didn't try out my new tri shorts in the water yet ( came to bite me in the ass but oh well), I certainly don't mind any crazy stuff when it comes to the swim ( waves, cold or hot temps, wet suit/ no wetsuit, long, short, whatever) I won't be the fastest swimmer but I'm not the slowest and I feel any adversity gives me an edge so I'm cool with that.

My girlfriend Erica was a bit nervous about the swim and she felt it looked a bit long, I saw panic setting in her face and I really did try to talk to her and comfort her before our wave started. Little did I know it was her first triathlon in open water, her last two were pool swims so she was exceptionally nervous about this . Two years ago I experienced that same look and sense of fear when it came to the swim and I sat my ass right down on the beach and then drove myself home, I didn't even compete in the race, I completely talked myself out of it. Not Erica, she didn't quite finish the swim, she got a bit panicky and turned around and was helped to the beach but she hopped on her bike and finished the bike and run of the triathlon. I was so proud of her and just inspired by her to put the swim behind her and finish what she started, probably 9 out of 10 people would of cashed it in, but not her. Way to go my friend. I only wish I had the magic words to have helped her more before the race start. Anyway, I promised her we would work on open water swimming together and have fun and build up her confidence. I can't wait.

Anyway, my swim was ok, slow ( no wetsuit) and my tri shorts gatherered water in the front, I had a natural drag suit on, pissed me off but there was nothing I could do. I think it was a bit long but not much over 1/2 mile. Ran out to T1 and felt fine. Didn't see many women in my age group but then again I only start looking when I'm on the bike. On the bike it took a while for my legs to really start feeling ok, I don't know if it was the fact that I"m not training for sprints or that I kicked too much on the swim ( normally with a wetsuit my legs just drag behind me, I don't use them much, but I used them a lot more without the suit), so they were tired. The course had some good hills and some rollers but also some downhills so it was fine. I think I averaged 20.7mph, sucked, but oh well, and don't ask me my overall wattage because I so underperformed on the bike it sucked, however no women passed me and I passed a gazillion people so in the end it was still ok.

The run was hot, nothing really more to say about my performance on the run, I didn;t feel great until mile 2 when the legs finally said oh, ok, we are running now, then I was able to pick up the pace but overall again, an area I desperately need to work on when tri season is over.

I finished 4th overall female and 2nd in my age group. 2nd-4th place were within 30 seconds of each other which pissed me off because I had to stop twice on my bike because of cars for some significant periods of time, however, my run could always be faster and then the 30 seconds wouldn't be such an issue, so Im not going to bitch because I should be faster and those other girls where, next year I'll get them.

Anyway, stuck around with my friends got my award and then went home. I ran another 5 miles when I got home to finish the workouts for the day and started in on finishing up all the stuff for the Luau.

The Luau of course was a blast and it wouldn't be the Furse Luau if it didn't rain/lightening and thunder, but by the time the party started it was perfect. The food, the music, my friends, it was awesome. The party ended around 2am, I finished cleaning by close to 3am, my hubby was a bit under the weather so he slept in until past 12p, I of course was up at 5:30am with the kids and struggled to keep them entertained until daddy could help. I didn't drink at my party but I was exhausted being up for over 24hrs, racing, planning, the works. However, in the end I wouldn't do anything different, the party has become a staple in our neighborhood and Phil and I look forward to it every year. Thanks to everyone who came.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Vermont weekend and last few week of hard training

We went away over the fourth of July to Burlington, Vermont, a place that my husband and I have been going since before we were married ( that would be agessssssssssss, ago), lets say about 16 years or so. We have friends who used to have a tiny little cabin on Lake Champlain but they recently tore it down and build a 4BR house and its amazing. Now all of their kids have kids and we have kids so its just a huge freak show when we go up there, swimming, fishing, hiking, biking, eating, drinking, playing cards, sleeping in the hammocks, etc..... Anyway, so much fun with the kids and other families.

The only issues over the last 4years since I started this crazy triathlon stuff is fitting in my training during this weekend and Phil getting in his golf. Well this weekend went by really well since I didn't h ave to bike, I did all of my 16hrs of biking during the week so all I had to do is swim and run. What I had to do is:

Friday-4hr bike with a 15 minute run transition
Saturday- 40 minute Lake Champlain swim with a 1 mile fast run right after
Sunday- 14 mile progressive run with a 40 minute lake swim later that evening
Monday- 1 hr run ( didn't swim since I did my swim on sunday)

We drove home late last night and I felt really good that we were able to do everything we wanted and the kids had tons of fun and both Phil and I got in everything we wanted to do and needed to do.

Even though it was really hot I was able to finish all my workouts and felt fairly well. It is getting very close to LP, 19 days from today and I'm getting excited.