Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Howl-o-ween!

2002 – the first puppy gets all the torture




2007 – but there’s plenty to go around when a new puppy arrives



This year – no costumes, but a little bit of orange thrown in by the groomer!




Have a great Halloween!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Ghosts of Halloween Past

Jeff’s best friend and his wife are notorious for the themed Halloween decorations/sets/parties at their house.  The trick-or-treaters come from far away to see it!  Now that they are selling their house, the decorations are gone but here are some sights from past years.

Pirates of the Caribbean




Van Helsing

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Monster Party

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I also love this one, when they did Austin Powers, years before I met Jeff.  He was a great Dr Evil!


This year?  Well…I have a 4200 yd swim.  And get to go to bed early in anticipation of Sunday’s long ride/brick (my last really long one!!!).  Beyond that?  I got nothing.  No costumes, no dog costumes, no evening plans…nothing.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Easily Amused

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Hope You Enjoyed The Rest, Have a Helping from the Hurt Box

Big week ahead, so hopefully I’ve done my best job resting up.

Saturday’s swim-bike-run brick was not especially fun…pool swim by myself, slow-feeling bike ride by myself, hot but fast run by myself. Allllllll byyyyy myseeelllff….. I guess I should get used to this, I race alone, right? Anyway, it got done and some days that’s all that really matters. It can’t always be pretty, fast, fun and beautiful.

After the workout, I went to Stanford with Jeff to see the ASU football game. With Jeff’s college roommate Chris, we had a good time.



The alarm went off WAY too early this morning (4am, to be precise) and after walking/feeding dogs and packing up our stuff we were off to Santa Cruz for the Big Kahuna 1/2 IM triathlon.

My brother was racing his 2nd 1/2 IM.


Team Pub Inspectors was racing as a relay team.


Unfortunately the fog was so thick and persisted well past the intended race start time, to the point where organizers had to make the call for safety to cancel the swim and turn the race into a duathlon. There was simply no way for swimmers to see the course, or for the lifeguards to see the swimmers.

And so…they started on the beach and raced for transition!

Robert (my brother)



Nigel heading off on the ride (Steve sprinted so fast from the “swim” exit that I missed him!)


Of course as soon as the waves begin to go off, the fog cleared. Thanks, Mother Nature, thanks a lot.


Our spectating crew


By the time my brother and Nigel rolled in, it was getting warm!


And then the men were off on a little 13.1 mile run.


Go Jeff!!!


Since the whole course is out and back, we just hung out at the finish line from that point on and tried to stay in the shade!


I guess 2 out of 3 ain’t bad…


A little under 2 hours, my love rolled on in, hamstring pull and all!


I tried as best I could to stay off my feet and rest for tomorrow’s first big workout of the last BIG week. It was fun to be around a racing atmosphere but I was also happy to not be racing. I’m perfectly content saving myself for the big day that’s only 4 weeks (ACK!) away.

In the meantime, while we were gone, the dogs amused themselves with a garden relocation project. Objective: dig as much as possible in the dirt, carry dirt in on your coat, dry off while sleeping in the humans’ bed. Sweet.

Training totals for week 44 (October 19-25):
Swim: 4200 yards
Bike: 68.7 miles
Run: 11.2 miles
Total time: 8.25 hours

Friday, October 23, 2009

*pokes head up and looks around*

Wow.  I guess rest week flew by quickly.  I kept meaning to blog and then felt like I never had enough to say to make up a full post.  So some randomness from the week…

  • Iron mood swings are not fun.  I spent the first part of the week down in the dumps before boosting my spirits with an evening run Tuesday and a kickass run off the bike Wednesday.
  • Wednesday’s run, despite being short (only 15 minutes), brought about that wonderful state known as runner’s high.  My arms and legs were just swinging smoothly and I felt like I was floating down the sidewalk.  I was also going fast (for me) – like sub-8:00/mi fast.  Sah-weet!
  • My wonderful massage therapist worked out all the tightness in my calves (from Sunday’s long run) and they feel great 2 days later.  That is not to say it was pleasant at the time…  It also turns out 120 miles in the saddle will leave some knots around the sit bones that make you cringe when they are dealt with.  Boy howdy that sure makes me want to get back on the bike.
  • Stanley started his new competition agility class last night.  And we didn’t totally suck!  He’s been rained out a couple weeks so he was extra enthusiastic to be there.  He was fast and focused and did surprisingly well on the harder courses!
  • I just got my training schedule all the way through IM AZ.  I am alternating between excitement and staring at it in dumbfounded shock.  Not because any one workout looks intimidating at this point but…this means the race really is coming and I need to get prepared!  So many logistics to work out…need to decide when I’m heading to Arizona, when I can fit in a bike tuneup, when I should get new tires, and so on.  Also next week still brings a whole lot of work and I need to make sure I end rest week truly rested and ready to go.
  • I haven’t done my workout yet for today.  I don’t know why I am procrastinating an easy 45-minute spin on the bike, but there you have it.  Maybe a nap first?
  • Medium-ish brick workout on Saturday (“only” 4 hours of swim-bike-run).  I think I am opting for sleeping in and going to lap swim, instead of beginning the brick at masters at 6am.  Just because I can.
  • I wonder if I can nap at the ASU-Stanford game tomorrow night if it gets boring.  Will Jeff mind if I use him as a pillow?
  • Because Sunday morning will start super dark and early when we get up around 4am to drive to Santa Cruz for the Big Kahuna 1/2 IM.  Before you start thinking I’m racing – oh no I’m not.  My butt will be firmly planted in a chair all day spectating (2nd rest day in one week – thanks Coach!).  Steve (super-Alcatraz swimmer) and Nigel (best biking buddy ever) and Jeff formed a relay team for the race so I’ll be out there to cheer them on.  My brother and several other friends are racing the whole thing so it should be a good time!
  • OK, time to get up and get to work.  1 day at a time and I’ll be ready when it comes.*

*But I do reserve the right to have at least one good meltdown and cry like a baby sometime before the start line.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

*gulp* 5 weeks to go

I’ve been somewhat MIA online this weekend.  Dave and Meredith came to town so that Meredith could race the Nike Women’s Marathon.  Hence I have been busy hosting them and having a darn good time hanging out.

On Friday I had a nice easy swim on tap, which I completed using an excessive amount of pool toys.  Fun!  Then I picked Dave and Meredith up at SFO and we headed to the City for the expo/packet pickup.  The race expo was…interesting.  It was a long slog through city traffic with crazy drivers and parking situations to get there.  I had been hoping to buy some sports drink and a few other items, but there wasn’t the usual shopping you would expect at a race expo (I hear this was located somewhere else but then not very convenient).  As a (mostly) women’s race, the unusual features were things like manicure stations at the expo, chocolate stations on course, firefighters in tuxedos at the finish line to hand out Tiffany jewelry.  I am sure that appeals to some people (and gawd I hope this isn’t controversial to say) but for me…who needs all those excuses to run when the joy is in just doing it?!

Anyway, the Niketown store had all the racer names up on a wall outside their store.  Yay Meredith!


Saturday was my longest pool swim ever (4200 yards = roughly IM race distance) and Dave joined me at crackass-of-dawn masters for his first long swim since his Ironman in June.  It was good to have the company as I ticked off the yards.  We came home and I hopped on the bike while Dave and Meredith watched college football. 

Stanley considered it his duty to keep Meredith’s feet warm and race-ready


The rest of the day was spent eating, napping, and eating some more while gearing up for Sunday.

Sunday dawned dark and early at 4:15am when I got up, walked the dogs, and ate breakfast in the half-dark kitchen with Dave and Meredith.  We were on the road to San Francisco by 5am!  Dave and I dropped Meredith a block from the start and headed across town to Ocean Beach, where he could spot her around the 9, 11, and 13 mile markers.  I headed off on my longest pre-IM long run and took advantage of the cold foggy weather and race-closed roads to cruise around Lake Merced for 2 laps of the late miles in the marathon before the racers got there.  18.5 miles later, I was done and back at the race craziness.

My Activities 10-18-2009

Before too long, there was Meredith finishing one seriously hilly marathon and quite early in the field compared to most of the marathoners (those are all 1/2 marathon folks finishing on her right).


She is one tough woman and gutted out a hard day out there to finish.  I know this will just make her stronger for her first Ironman in Kentucky next year!


I have to thank Dave and Meredith for being so patient with all of my training while they were visiting.  Dave certainly didn’t have to come swim for what felt like forever with me, and he was very gracious about spectating the marathon alone while I ran for hours.  I will miss them when they head home tomorrow – it’s been fun to hang out and compare notes on races, nutrition, etc.

Post-race, it was time to get down to the most important business of all.  MARGARITA TIME!




With that, my biggest volume week of my Ironman training is done.  WOOHOO!!!!  I have a rest week up next and then one more solid week of training before my taper begins.

Training totals for week 43 (October 12-18):
Swim: 8450 yards (4.8 miles)
Bike: 179.3 miles
Run: 27 miles
Total time: ~19.3 hours

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Becoming One With the Bike

Today was the infamous overdistance ride. 120 miles of just me and the bicycle. With houseguests coming for the weekend, the ride needed to be done today, so I took a day off work.

Miles 1-11: Maybe ignorance is bliss? This isn’t so bad. Whee, I’m cruising along. Long day ahead though, let all the men with big egos sprint past me.

Miles 12-25: Hills, hills, hills. Still feeling OK but am I sure I want to keep doing this loop? Damn, it’s warm out here early today.

Miles 26-50: Long out and back up and down Foothill Expressway to Woodside and back to my car in Cupertino. Those last 7 miles on Foothill HURT. Uphill, headwind, slow going.

Mile 51: 0.5 miles from my car and I get a flat rear tire. Change it out as fast as I can and head to the car to refill my bottles.

Miles 52-59: Decide to ride all the way home. Worry endlessly about the flat tire and if I changed it well enough and if it will flat again. Legs feel dead tired after the stop. I am in a dark place.

Miles 60-65: Grab hold of Susan’s idea and start singing 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall. Decide that I will do what it takes to work self into a better mood.

Miles 65-72: Get home, guzzle water and refill bottles, ask Jeff to check my tires, ride 1-mile laps around the neighborhood. Wonder if I can do 48 more 1-mile laps and not get sick of it.

Miles 72-90: Take the long way through Los Gatos and downtown Saratoga back to Cupertino with Jeff along just for this leg. Tell the whole world how much I love it while cruising fast up Saratoga-Sunnyvale Road at 20mph (slight downhill).

Miles 90-104: Another out and back on Foothill Road, this time feeling strong in headwind and enjoying the subsequent tailwind.

Miles 104-116: Ride home since Jeff picked up my car from Cupertino. Tell every car that goes by what a rockstar I am and that they’d better not kill me now that I’m into my longest ride ever.

Miles 116-120: Laps around my neighborhood to finish it off. Feel like my fueling plan must’ve gone pretty well based on how I am cranking. Is it time to run a marathon now?

Or I could just lie here and rest for a minute…


I can’t believe I did all that and I still really really like my bike (a new development this fall, believe me!). But maybe I can take a day off from riding her.


Thanks to Soon-to-be-a-120-Miler-Virgin-No-Longer Barb for the encouraging text messages all day, and thanks to Jenn for going out and leaving me a note on the road!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Jedi Mind Power

My dogs are masters at it.

You don’t want to work.  You want to take me out for a walk.


Sorry if you mistakenly thought this was yours.  This is not the bed you’re looking for.


Become one with the round bed.


Using all your Jedi powers in one burst of fun during a rainstorm will leave you spent and weak.