Sunday, June 28, 2009

Back on the wagon

This week was a return to training, getting my body back on track and gearing up for the next race build.  It also turned out to be a lot of work to get re-acclimated to the heat after 2 weeks in cool temps in Idaho.

Of all 3 sports, surprisingly, swimming went the best this week.  In addition to my drill swim with Jenn on Wednesday, I finally worked up the nerve and did the 1-mile OW swim around the Santa Cruz Wharf on Friday night, poor sighting and territorial sea lions and all.

And it was AWESOME!!!!  I am so grateful for Chris and Melissa, who led the way for me to follow.  Compared to Boise, the ocean chop didn’t feel bad at all, and at 57 degrees it was the warmest the water has ever been for me ocean swimming.  I went through the swim significantly faster than I expected and figure it’s a 1-mile swim PR by 5+ minutes.

Saturday’s “easy” run turned into a bit of a death march due to another surge in the mercury.  After 2 miles in the 100+ heat I wound up walking quite a while and was eventually rescued by Jeff (who did the whole run easily) looking for me with the car and a bottle of water. 

Today I wrapped up the week with a lovely bike ride on the SJIT course – flat to rolling with only one climb on Bailey out of the valley and into the foothills.  By the time we hit the switchbacks up the hill it was about 90 degrees but I felt great due to well-planned hydration and salt tablet intake.

Nearing the top of the climb

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I was trying to get the mountains on the other side of the valley but it was too bright out.

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My only disappointment for this week – besides the crappy run in the heat Saturday – was a missed weekend drill swim.  My masters pool suffered catastrophic pump failure that led to dangerous chlorine levels (I hear so high, it ate the pump up), the community center has virtually no weekend lap swim, and my backup pool was holding a swim meet both days.  Weekend lap swim hours being more limited, I basically ran out of places to swim (unless I wanted to try to do 2,000 yards of swimming in a pool with no lane lines, while 40 children dove in and out and beat each other with pool noodles – no thank you).

Catching up on training/racing totals from the last few weeks…

Training totals for week 25 (June 8-14) including Boise Ironman 70.3:
Swim: ~4400 yards
Bike: 70.1 miles
Run: 17.6 miles
Total time: 10 hours

Training totals for week 26 (June 15-21) aka Recovery Week:
Beers (bottles): 3
Margaritas (tall glasses): 2
Training time: NONE!
Time spent spectating Ironman CDA: 16 hours

Training totals for week 27 (June 22-28):
Swim: ~3760 yards
Bike: 36.25 miles
Run: 10.1 miles
Total time: 6.25 hours
Plus 2 hours of yoga

Next up is my first big training week in a while…lots and lots and LOTS of biking.  We’re going to whip these legs into shape!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Swim Dates and Dog Dates

I talked Jenn into swimming with me this morning – my first day back at the pool in over 2 weeks.  I think it was the “AND you can video me for my coach!” that must have pushed her over the edge into accepting.  I sure know how to sweeten the deal.

The video itself is hysterical more for the circumstances – several lanes were taken up by a random visiting synchronized swimming team blasting music while the coach-mom yelled through a megaphone, a slow breaststroker (who Jenn felt had terrible lane etiquette) hogged part of our lane, and Jenn can’t hold her breath for 2 minutes underwater (the nerve!), necessitating her surfacing periodically during taping to capture the hilarity.  The good news is the ELF had some positive things to say about my swim improving since she saw it in February!

We’re too much fun to fit in one camera lens.

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Tonight the boys had a puppy playdate.  Stanley’s cousin Eva – just 11 weeks old and new to the neighborhood – came over for a visit with her dads.  She took a whole new environment in stride with confidence, sniffing the yard and checking out every nook and cranny, before meeting each dog one at a time.  Stanley in particular decided she was meant for him and designated himself her protector.  I think these two will be quite active playmates within another couple visits.

Beardie baby cuteness knows no bounds!

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She’s even an agility prodigy already :)

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By the way, have I mentioned that I AM SO EXCITED to be back to training?  It started yesterday with miserable run drills on the track in 95-degree heat, then the pool today, and tomorrow?  BIKE TEST!  Yeah baby!!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Speaking of Stanley…

Baby dog went to the groomer today (hey, I’m training for an Ironman, my time isn’t what it used to be).  They love him there and do a GREAT job with his coat (no trimming!!!!!) so I trust them.  So much so, that I drive 120 miles total to have it done (really: 30 miles to the groomer to drop him off, 30 miles home, 30 miles back to pick him up, 30 miles home).

Adult color is starting to come in, slowly, and he’s getting darker.

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Max…um…really likes Stanley when he comes back from the groomer.  He smells *special.* LOL (I think he feels the need to re-establish his dominance since Stan has had a spa day without him)


While I was out of town, Stanley did his usual “make the bed” the way he likes it routine.


We have fairly flimsy T-shirt sheets and they’re starting to get old.  Apparently they just could not hold up to the vigorous digging action of a bored 2-year-old.


I guess that means I get new sheets! :)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Lessons Learned from IM CDA

It was a crazy weekend of spectating and seeing good friends at CDA.  I don’t have much in the way of photos because it was far too busy…but there are a few.

#1: Use layovers to your advantage.

A 2.5 hr layover in Salt Lake City on the way out turned into a chance to stretch my legs at elevation with Kirsten and her dogs on a lovely creek hike.

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#2: When going Ironman, go BIG.  (Or, when in Idaho, go white trash…)

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#3: Shine on and smile even if you’re nervous.

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#4: Ironman swim start = scary stuff. 

I’m actually glad AZ is a water start.

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#5: I am officially too old to just crash on someone’s couch.

Somewhere along the way, I became a princess about my sleep.

#6: Meredith and D are awesome to spectate with.

It was a cold, tiring and wet day.  Having friends to commiserate with while we waited to see our athletes again made it better.

#7: Cupcakes are fucking heavy.

You laugh, but my arms feel like someone beat them with a baseball bat.  I directly attribute this to 5 hours spent walking around the run course carrying 10 pounds of cupcakes (and sometimes, shielding them from the rain with an umbrella).

#8: My friends are utter rock stars. 

There were so many high moments in the day, seeing them smile their way through the tough course and revel in the finish line.  I thought I was all cried out but…

#9: Delta Airlines fucking sucks.

I got to the airport this morning, only to be told they had eliminated my flight from the schedule and oops no one told you?  Given the total booked-up nature of all flights out of Spokane due to Ironman, 20 minutes of searching led us to the only available option.  Spokane –> Minneapolis –> San Jose.  And so begins my cross-country adventure in order to get home.

#10: I can make anything fun.

In the spirit of what my friends cheerfully suffered yesterday, I am making the most of my little trip today – stocking up on books and snacks and determined to enjoy a day on airplanes.

I do look forward to finally getting home to my bed and my family.  And back to training tomorrow!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Packed and Ready to Leave

Yes, I just got home 2 days ago.

Yes, I am leaving town again.

Where am I going?

Does this give it away?


It should.  After TriGirl Kate O’s cupcake booty calls at 2 training camps this winter, it should be quite obvious. 

I’m looking for some action of the booty call kind.

Just kidding.

Tomorrow, I leave for Coeur D’Alene, so that I can cheer on all my friends doing the Ironman on Sunday!  And any one of them who wants to partake of a fancy cupcake after (I know Marit won’t turn me down) will have one waiting.  Of course that applies to our spectathlete crew (Meredith and D and I in particular!) also, and we don’t have to wait till the race is over to eat them.

Never to Idaho in my life and then twice in the same week.  Funny how THAT worked out.

I will try to blog from CDA if I have wireless access, but in the meantime, GO GO GO Erich and ADC and Dave and Marit and Andrea and Tri To Be Funny and Rob!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Boise Race Photos

I’m feeling sort of..meh…about these but here they are anyway.

Finally out of the water and clearly thrilled about it


Probably reminding myself not to fall over getting on the bike


In the first mile of the bike course (how nice of them to capture us looking so happy)


At the top of the climb at Birds of Prey (I think these photographers violated every one of DC Rainmaker’s suggestions for good bike photos) – I had high hopes for this one but I don’t think I’m even in focus.


Halfway through the run course




Wow, my finish line catcher was really tall.


And with that, I’m washing Boise out of my hair and moving on.  I’m 6.5 weeks away from my A-race 1/2 IM of the year – Barb’s Race/Vineman – and it’s time to turn my attention there.  I hope to use everything that happened this weekend to get all fired up for Barbs!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Adventures in Boise

On our last day of exploring town before heading home, we checked out downtown Boise a little more.  I’ve been sleeping poorly since the race, so my overall mood and health has felt down in the dumps.  Today’s activities served well to cheer me up.

Remember all that pouring rain, cold, hail, thunder, lightning, wind, hellfire and brimstone we’ve had essentially since I arrived?


Sunshine and 80 degrees.

FUCK YOU, Mother Nature.

First up we walked the dogs in Julia Davis Park, which houses the Boise Zoo, the Boise Art Museum, Idaho State Historical Museum, the Idaho Black History Museum, as well as the Boise Rose Garden and a portion of the Greenbelt that I raced on the other day.

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From there, we walked into downtown until we reached the state Capitol.

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Then it was time for lunch.  Stanley and Max both expressed how smart and benevolent their master is and how brilliant she would be if she just shared a slice of turkey from the sandwich.  (If you are a dog person and you haven’t seen “Up,” get off your butt and go NOW!)

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In the Grove (where the finish line party was on Saturday)

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Had to take a picture of this store name for Jen Harrison

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Jeff and I spent the afternoon working and relaxing.  You get 3 guesses as to which goober is the most relaxed of all around here.  I keep finding him on the bed upstairs sprawled out on his back fast asleep.

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Like a good athlete, I checked my training schedule for the day to see what I was supposed to do.

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If the ELF issues orders, far be it from me to question them.


Tonight I am testing out a relationship with a new friend.  I hope that my new friend helps my back pain AND helps me sleep like a baby for the first time in days.

In the morning, we will be on the road, working our way home.  Have a good Wednesday!

Adventures In Idaho

Yesterday we headed north to the Sawtooth Wilderness a few hours away from Boise.  Jeff’s friend Kelly graciously took the day off work to show us around.

This is what it looked like as we passed Lucky Peak dam. 

The weather has improved so much since race day.

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As we approached the Sawtooths, they were still shrouded in clouds.

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Our first stop: Stanley, Idaho – stepping-off point for the National Forest and Wilderness areas around and the only spot on the road with wireless and food!

The dogs got a romp first after the long drive.

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And then a casual lunch.

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And a trip to the ranger station to ask about the trails. 

Stanley with the Stanley sign.

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The clouds were starting to clear over the mountains.

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Finally, it was time to hike and find ourselves some snow!

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First water stop

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Stream crossing

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The real fun started when we found the snow line.

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The characteristic jagged peaks of the Sawtooths

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Snow is fun fun fun!

I have to laugh that Kelly took this picture of Jeff and I, and Thatcher is having a little fun with Max in the background.

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Happy dogs are my dogs in snow

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Stanley is always making friends

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Who needs a sled for downhill sledding?

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At least someone in the family is swimming.  After all, it’s a whole week of no swimbikerun for me.

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This rare junk food snack attack is for Jen Harrison (aka Miss Daisy) and D.  The Reese’s Pieces aren’t quite M&Ms and the Coke isn’t quite Diet Coke but I thought of you ladies nonetheless.

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Overall not a bad day for the dogs after being patient through pre-race preparations and race day.  I’m so glad I got to explore more of Idaho as well!