Thursday, July 31, 2008

Thursday's Photos

Stanley and Nan
Poor Harmony is saddled with sharing the car space with the youngsters
Max knows how to relax
What is that on the roof of Coombs Old Country Market?
Yes, it IS goats on the roof. And though I have no photos of the inside of the market, this place was amazing! Lots of good stuff to look at and buy.

OK, a few dog pictures

Yvonne took these upon our arrival yesterday. As you can see, we are drowning in beardies.

Royston, British Columbia!

We arrived yesterday and have settled into our home for the next week or so. They let us in the country (suckers!), despite my apparent inability to properly navigate border crossing booths. The boys were positively overjoyed to see the three beardie girls and I promise many pictures of five bouncing wild dogs. Yvonne and Gary have been great and made us feel right at home.
In the meantime, a few photos from our visit to Anacortes, where the boys had a wonderful time with Penelope Hardy, and the ferry ride to Vancouver Island.

Ferry lines
And we're off.

I went for a nice 40-minute tempo run this morning before the rain started. The weather was cool and perfect! I'm hoping to squeeze in a long ride tomorrow in between all of our prep for the dog shows that start Saturday.
And please everyone think happy thoughts for Jeff this weekend as he'll be riding the Shasta Summit Century! I don't want to come home to a broken husband.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Vancouver, Washington

Our latest stop on the journey north! We wrapped up the agility trial with three double-Qs (for the non-agility folk, a double-Q means you were perfect on both of your courses run each day). I think that's a first for Max! We're spending the night in Vancouver before heading to stay with Rhonda in Anacortes and then finally getting to Yvonne on Vancouver Island. After we checked into the hotel, I took the boys for a drive and we found Salmon Creek park to take a long hot walk. Here they are looking dorky on the trail.

Crashed out in the hotel room after a hard night of drinking.

It was a bad idea to screw with the sleeping bathtub puppy. A very BAD idea.

I'm thinking about doing this ride later this week after we get to Yvonne's place (I don't know if the link will work, gmaps has been messing with my head lately). Someone told me it was a beautiful ride up to Mt Washington. Um, did she realize it's 4000 feet of elevation gain over 10 miles? That's like a double Henry Coe! We will will also be a factor, as I'm not willing to come screaming down a mountain on wet roads.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Can I do it again?

It's been 6 days since Vineman and even though I know my body is not fully recovered, is still slow and tired...*sniff* I want to do it again!

Yes, I'm in the midst of a 2,000-mile roadtrip. Yes, I'm still exercising here. I'm just already feeling like I want to do another race! Maybe I need to look at my training plan and see where I can squeeze in races as training runs and such...

In other news, poor Max is not in a good way today. On his walk this morning, he yelped every time the leash touched his ear. When I went to check it out, I found it was very oozy and bloody and stinky - a major ear infection. He was in quite a lot of pain so we blew off our morning FAST run at the trial and high-tailed it over to the emergency vet. It appears to be bacterial in nature, no yeast, and deeper in the ear canal is clear. They gave him his first treatment and I've got drops for the next few days, as well as ear cleaner once the pain is diminished enough to attempt it.

And with all that, screaming any time his ear was touched, he still managed another double-Q at the trial today - that's 2 days in a row!

Friday, July 25, 2008


That's where I'm at right now - Medford, Oregon! It may have seemed like I've been quiet this week but life has been anything but. I barely had time to get home from Vineman before it was time to start packing up and leave again for my road trip with the dogs. For the moment, we're at an agility trial in Medford - 4 days of fun with Max!
On Monday afternoon, we'll head north with the goal of making it to Yvonne's house on Vancouver Island by Wednesday. I rode my bike around Medford today after the trial - it was OK but hot and the endless red lights got to me - I didn't find someplace I could really cruise at pace. This evening I hit the Harry and David store/factory/headquarters - woohoo!
Now on to other business...LadyPatsFan was kind enough to nominate my blog for an award!

RULES:Here are the rules for the Brillante Weblog Premio 2008 Award:1. The winner can put the logo on her blog.2. Link the person you received your award from.3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.4. Put links of those blogs on yours.5. Leave a message on the blogs of the girls you've nominated.
And so with that...the 7 blogs I nominate, in no particular order!
1. 21st Century Mom. She's smart, she's funny, she rocked her first half-Ironman! And she is a gnome like me :)
2. Days of Speed and Slowtime Mondays. Elayne is another dog agility AND triathlon addict! Hopefully she is not toxic from contact with the Chicago River.
3. Little Miss Runner Pants. Because she cracks me up regularly and has such a positive and humorous attitude.
4. Running Jayhawk. Who - woohoo! - also rocked the 70.3 distance recently and in adverse weather conditions too.
5. Geekgirl. For being my #1 inspiration to attempt an Ironman - she's done so many things I want to do!
6. Three Woofs and a Woo. Easily summarized as: Best Dog Picture Stories Ever.
7. Tinywater Photography. I'm lucky to be friends with such a brilliant photographer. Everything she does is art!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

One Day

One Day. That's how long I lasted without exercising.

Usually after a half-marathon or a marathon or another big race...I don't want to even THINK about working out for at least a week. I assumed with Vineman being my big race of the summer that I'd enjoy taking the following month off as the dogs and I would be gallivanting around the North American continent. I assumed wrong.

I got through Monday but that's my usual rest day. On Tuesday the itch started. I ran 3 miles and swam 1000 yards. Today Jeff and I went for a bike ride. He's got the Shasta Summit century in a week and a half and needs hill training, I just wanted to stretch my legs. While he took off to speed-climb Hicks Road from the Shannon side, I pedaled along the same road at a slower pace as my legs felt sluggish to start. But as I went along I realized I felt great! It turns out that I only did about 1/2 mile less than Jeff up the hill. We're going for a swim tonight too.

So...I give in. I admit it. I'm hooked. Call it endorphin addiction or whatever. This is my life now! The bike and the running shoes are going to Canada with me. I'm not sure how safe it is to swim in the open water off Vancouver Island so maybe the wetsuit will stay home.

Monday, July 21, 2008


I'll post the pro photos when I get them - there should be some nice getting-out-of-water, biking, running and finish line pics. I also need to take pics of all the cool schwag I bought at the expo! And here is a short video of the swim start and my finish:

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Half an Ironman

It's over! I'm still working on thoughts...I have a lot of random stories from the day but let's just go through the basics.

Unlike other race eves where I toss and turn, I slept like a complete brick and was not happy when the alarm went off at 3:30 am. Got up, got my stuff organized, got the car loaded and we headed out at 4:30 so we could get to Guerneville by the time transition opened at 5:30. Got my bike set up at transition, walked the dogs around town, set up the rest of my transition and got body-marked. Watched the pros go off at 6:30 (they are so fast. they breathe every stroke and are so high out of the water!). Hit the porta-potties a few more times. Got tired of shivering (air temp ~50 deg) and finally put my wetsuit on an hour before my wave.

1.2 Mile Swim: The water was a balmy wetsuit-legal 70.5 degrees. We all oohed and aahed when our wave was allowed in because the water was so much warmer than the air. I knew this one would take me a while longer than everyone else - planned to just focus on my pace and sighting along the way. The swim went about as expected - I hit just barely under the time I was expecting so no surprises there. It's really hard to swim upriver into the current.

T1: About the same as always. I'm pretty fast in transition. Grrrrrr that they took all the other bike racks down and stacked them in the runway so I couldn't get through while jogging out with my bike. 3:04.

56 Mile Bike: I pushed hard to hit my goal time. I also had to kill 2 minutes stopping to pee at an aid station. Felt really good for the first half of the ride, just powering up the hills I had hated when we pre-rode them. Turned into not-so-happy-Molly at the turnaround, when our headwind turned into...a stronger headwind. I really had to fight to keep my pace. I did great on the big hill that other people were walking, but I was in pain the last 10 miles. My knees were toast from pushing hard uphill. I could not believe I had to run a half-marathon still. I beat my goal time by nearly 7 minutes!

T2: Quick transition, just wanted to get on with it. 2:34.

13.1 Mile Run: This hurt from the get-go. I was moving fast for the first mile but not happy about how far I had to go. I think I quit triathlon about 6 times! But, I motored on and didn't let myself take a walk break till I'd completed the turnaround and hit the 7-mile mark and could calculate what I needed to maintain for my finish time. I walked a lot during the run, but somehow still pulled off a pretty good time after everything else I'd done (2:13).

I had a nice bout of wheezing after I crossed the finish line. Not being able to breathe is always fun.

Jeff was my saint for the day, being my support crew and cheering me on. He kept me sane before the start (though I was uncharacteristicly not nervous), drove all over town to cheer for me at various points on the course, and hauled everything back when I could barely move after the finish.

My original goal when I started training for this race was 7:30. Coming into today, I had a semi-secret (not so secret after I blogged about it Friday) goal of 7:00. My final time was 6:42! It's slow by HIM standards, but no complaints here.

Now excuse me while I minister to my brutal sunburn (I swear I wore sunblock) and have 1 beer and pass out :) There are photos and videos from the day. I'll get around to uploading at some point.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


My race # is 1449. Hopefully this sounds like an auspicious number?

Phew! Nothing like checking in for a race with 2000 of your closest friends. Registration for last names from A to M began at 10:30, just a little while before I got there.

Transition opened at 11:00 and by that point I had picked up my numbers, timing chip, shirt, etc and was ready to cruise for a spot. We're racked by age group, but I was the first one to get a spot in W30-34. I got something perfect, right on the end of a row where I can't miss it.

Then I had to wait until 1:00 for the athlete briefing. So I went back and forth to the car putting gear away and then fetching water several times. I shopped (brand new Vineman running visor, Vineman running shirt, Vineman bike jersey, and sunglasses - because I forgot mine at the cottage). I ate (pesto pasta salad). I looked at my spot in transition about five times. I played Tetris on my cellphone for 20 minutes. And finally, the meeting!

Meeting highlights: *The water is 72 degrees. Wetsuit, bay-bee! *I must try not to crash and kill myself at the hard right downhill 5 miles into the bike ride. *Don't pee anywhere along the course except the portajohns (how does this affect the people who pee WHILE biking?). That's about all I picked up...

Now to put race number stickers on everything I own and finish getting things ready for tomorrow...

Race Eve Inspiration

By this time tomorrow

I should be out biking!

Jeff is out on a long ride and I walked the dogs around downtown Healdsburg and hit up the Costeaux French Bakery for a chocolate croissant for breakfast. When he returns I'll head to Windsor High for packet pickup, the pre-race meeting and to set up my run gear in T2.

Friday, July 18, 2008

We've Landed*

*Shout-out to Andra Sue who can't be here this weekend.

4 hours of traffic later and we're at the cottage. Who shuts down two lanes on I-880 on a Friday???

I think it's time to go run the INSANE dogs at the river so that we can have some peace and quiet.

And we're back from the river...

Let's go swim!

Sweet Max

Stan loves to swim and fetch sticks

Cornered by stick stealers

I'm not giving up my stick

Friday's Inspiration

Expectations and Goals

The car is packed, the dogs are bouncing off the walls knowing we are going somewhere (I spent a lot of time ripping undercoat out of Stanley this morning - can't have him going to Beth's house looking like a wooly mammoth!), Jeff is showering and it's almost time to go.

So maybe this is a good time to talk about my expectations and goals for this race? Part of me feels like I shouldn't have any, it's my first HIM and I don't know what to expect. But's good to try, right? A lot of my day/goals are riding on whether the swim ends up being wetsuit-legal or not. The river temperature has dropped back into legal range but I'm sure it will go down to the wire race day as to what happens. With that in mind, my hopes, dreams, plans, goals for Sunday are as follows:

1) Have fun. Remember that I'm doing this for fun and no matter how many times I get elbowed, kicked, passed or made to feel slow, I am out there doing a half-Ironman and gosh darn that kicks ass!

2) Complete the 1.2 mile swim in roughly an hour (yes, I'm really that slow). This may wobble one way or the other depending on whether I can wear the wetsuit or not. Enjoy the warm water and scenery.

3) Complete the 56 mile bike ride in roughly 3 hours, 30 minutes. That's an average of 16 mph. Doesn't sound so hard but it is a long ride, with some big hills, and we'll see how it goes. If I go faster than that, I will be thrilled and you can all do happy dances for me.

4) Complete the 13.1 mile run (half-marathon) in under 2 hours, 30 minutes. I actually think I can do it faster than this (my personal best for a half marathon is around 1 hour 55 minutes) but I have no idea how I'll hold up AFTER the swim and ride, in the heat on the hilly run course.

5) Transition smoothly at each stop. I'm generally quite good at transition in triathlon (hey, at least there's SOMETHING I'm fast at!) and I hope to avoid any significant complications here.

6) Finish overall in under 7.5 hours was my original goal at the onset of training. I have to admit I'd be overjoyed if I broke 7 hours, but no idea if it will happen. This is still really slow in the HIM world - the pros will be done in about 4 hours and most people finish in 5 or 6. I really should just be happy with finishing, but I wouldn't be me if I didn't try to set a stretch time goal as well.

7) HAVE FUN. That's why I'm doing this, isn't it?

Stan is whining at the door and the rest of the dogs are staring at Jeff so I guess this means we are leaving now.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Thursday's Inspiration


According to, you WILL be able to track my race progress online on Sunday. I'll post the link and my bib # once I have the information on Saturday.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Four and a half days to go.

Um, not much to say right now. The kitchen table is stacked high with gear I haven't gone through yet, but let's just say we're firmly in the packing stage. I've printed directions, maps, race program. I've picked out all the restaurants we'll eat at. I've grocery shopped. I've made a run to the Sports Basement for extra bike bottles, Gu20 packets, etc etc. I haven't even begun to pack for the dogs or the non-race parts of the weekend. I really need to start going through my race gear and ensuring that I've got everything I need. And then...

Then, it will be time to PANIC. What have I gotten myself into?

Unlike many of the other Ironman races, you won't be able to track my race progress online and I don't know my bib number yet. But you can track race day weather if you like by going here.

We are heading out on Friday morning to check into our rental cottage on the Russian River. We should have wireless at the cottage so I'll try to provide additional updates if interesting stuff happens!

*Not only an expression of panic, this is also what Jeff named his first dog (he was two or three years old at the time). Gah, Cujo...he's got a real gift there, doesn't he?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Week 11 - Done!

This week's totals are brought to you by the letter T for Taper. Winding down the training and now it's time to get all rested up!

Swim: 5450 yards - 2:40
Bike: 64 miles - 4:30
Run: 14.1 miles - 2:30

One week till Vineman!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

What is a title, really?

Received this one today...a nice reminder of why I work so hard with the boys in so many venues.

What is a title, really?
by Sandy Mowery

Not just a brag, not just a stepping stone to a higher title, not just an adjunct to competitive scores; a title is a tribute to the dog that bears it, a way to honor the dog, an ultimate memorial. It will remain in the record and in the memory, for about as long as anything in the world can remain. And though the dog herself doesn't know or care that her achievements have been noted, a title says many things in the world of humans, where such things count. A title says your dog was intelligent, adaptable, and good-natured. It says that your dog loved you enough to do the things that please you, however crazy they may have sometimes seemed.

In addition, a title says that you love your dog. That you loved to spend time with her because she was a good dog and that you believed in her enough to give her yet another chance when she (or you!) failed and in the end your faith was justified. A title proves that your dog inspired you to that special relationship enjoyed by so few. That in a world of disposable creatures, this dog with a title was greatly loved, and loved greatly in return.

And when that dear short life is over, the title remains as a memorial of the finest kind, the best you can give to a deserving friend. Volumes of praise in one small set of initials after a name. An obedience (agility, flyball, herding, tracking, lure coursing, conformation) title is nothing less than the true love and respect, given and received and recorded permanently.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Book Recommendation

I wish I could remember where I read about this book...someone's blog, webpage, magazine, something. Anyway, I just finished Jen Lancaster's Such A Pretty Fat: One Narcissist's Quest to Discover If Her Life Makes Her Ass Look Big or Why Pie is Not The Answer. And it was awesome! Made me think a lot about what I'm eating and why and what I'm getting out of my fitness routine.

Now I need to read Jen's other books (Bitter Is The New Black and Bright Lights, Big Ass)!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy 4th, Y'all!

I've got my crankypants firmly attached today. Damn race directors said the race program would be out 4 weeks before the race. In case you haven't noticed the race is in 15 days. Then they said it would be out by the 4th of July. Hmm, looks like after the close of business on the 4th to me now. #$%^&*!!! Why promise something you can't deliver?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Holy cow, we did it!

In case you were wondering what I've spent the last year and a half doing at work.....

Xience V gets FDA Approval!

Halftime Report

Inspired by another blogger, it seemed a good time to take a look at where I'm at so far this year. At the halfway mark for 2008, here are my training totals:

Bike: 1,538.3 miles
Run: 316.1 miles
Swim: 64,127 yards

My running miles should go up in September when I start training for Vegas. My August number will be very light...between Vineman recovery and heading off to Canada for a couple weeks, I won't be training much.

In other news, I am eating myself out of house and home. Seriously I think Jeff sees me in the kitchen more than anywhere else right now. Yes, the words "you're eating AGAIN?" have come out of his mouth. What can I say, I'm starving! Will have to be careful about this as I begin to taper my training for the race...I don't need to be pushing an extra 10 pounds up those hills.

And finally...only 18 days to go? Yikes!!!!