Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Howloween!

Cowboy Puck, 11 weeks old

And an oldie - Stanley the piggie (at 8 months) and Max the skunk (at 5.5 yrs)

The last ride, all 112 miles of it, is done, as well as a run off the bike.  It was a very long day out there by myself but overall I'd say it went well.  The hay is in the barn and it's taper time!!!  The athlete guide was posted online today - I guess that means this thing is really happening?  Now I have to start stressing about what to pack and everything I need for race day!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

While I'm off riding all day...

please enjoy how nicely Max teaches the youngster how to wrestle.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Something for everyone

Yes, I am still training for an Ironman.  It's just easier to post puppy photos than to say "I swam today.  Again."  But this post will have something for everyone.

I rode my bike 5 days in a row this week (if you include last Sunday).  I've been very happy to not have to ride my bike the past 2 days.  Tomorrow is my last long ride.  I'm still working on mustering some enthusiasm for 112 miles solo, with a run off the bike.  Taper is so close, dangling there tempting me.  I've got to get this done first.  One more big day and then I can be a lazy bum.  Can you see me trying to talk myself into being excited about this? :-)  My last big long swim was yesterday and it went well!  Today I had to squeeze in my swim using the gym pool - BLECH.  Murky water and people with no pool etiquette who just jump in and bob up and down in the water talking to each other for an hour.  There are no (polite, politically correct) words...  So anyway I guess the point is the work is getting done, I'm one day away from taper and I'm finally ready for it to be here.

OK if you survived all that bitching and were looking for a dose of dog, Puck had his first puppy class this morning.  It was fun!  He didn't bound around wreaking havoc but he was definitely distracted by all the other puppies.  And he was so tired afterwards that he's slept nonstop ever since he got home.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Menage a Trois

The dogs finally had a 3-way yesterday.  They had a visitor come to meet the puppy and chose to completely ham it up for her, including the beardies playing with their kid brother!  Puck opted to snuggle up close, steal her sunglasses and run away with them.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Houston, we have a breakthrough

Actually, two.

One: After biking an hour yesterday morning, I hopped off and began my 2:45 run.  It was 5:30am then.  You can do the math on what time I had to wake up to start the workouts.  Jeff biked alongside me with a headlamp as I ran down the completely-dark creek trail near our house for 19.5 miles.  The sun came up 2 hours into the run - I couldn't see my Garmin so I was blind on pace to that point and just running what felt comfortable.  Well, it was a good one - the fastest I've ever run that long.  All the work is paying off!

I won't talk about how getting ART on my sore legs felt today though.

Two: It appears Stanley's hard little heart might be melting with respect to Puck.

Monday, October 24, 2011

What the Puck

Because Maggs commented that the blog can't have all the same photos as Facebook.

Nom nom nom.  Duck wing.

Look into my eyes.  I am too cute to get mad at.  Even when I steal your running shoes.

Puck: "When's dinner?"
Stanley: "When's dinner?"
Max: "When are they both leaving?"

Sunday, October 23, 2011

It begins with a boom

I don't think I ever got to post my video from the swim start in Kona.  You hear the boom of the cannon just after seeing the smoke.  It's amazing to see nearly 2000 people take off swimming en masse.  4 weeks till it's my turn again!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Adventures in Socialization

Puppy socialization is generally a pretty fun thing!  While they can't go out and hit up the dog park until they have had all of their necessary vaccinations (and personally I'm not a dog park fan anyway), they DO need to meet lots of people and go to strange places, hear new noises, etc etc etc.

I would guess that Puck has met over 50 people already in less than 2 weeks at home.  I took him to work with me on his second day, just to visit with a couple coworkers in the parking lot.  I took him to pick up the beardies from their spa day this week and he got carried inside to meet our groomers.

He's gone to agility class with me (met all the dogs in class, played with my teacher while I worked Stanley and generally had a good time watching).

On Friday night we took him out to dinner at one of our dog-friendly spots.  He was carried inside and just sat under the table while we ate.  The only downside was we spent the whole meal with people coming up to talk to us and meet him.

Today we took him down the street to Starbucks, where he got to see lots of kids and their bicycles, more people, cars, etc.

And then we went over to my parents' house so he could run around in someone else's yard (like a fake dog park!) and meet their dogs, a German Shepherd and a pug.

Puck was so sure the old lady pug would play with him since she was his size!  He was sadly disappointed but is still plenty tired after trying hard.

I really like what we are seeing - he sizes up a new situation and then is interested in exploring and interacting without fear.  So far he is showing the nice solid temperament that we concluded he had when we assessed him at 7 weeks!  Next week he'll start puppy class - even more fun!!

Friday, October 21, 2011

One Month Till Race Day

And I feel...*mostly ready*  I have one more big week of training left - peak week - and then it's time to taper and get this body ready to race.  I'm glad I have a last chance at another long run, long swim, long ride next week to lock everything in for race readiness.  But I'm also looking forward to giving my body some deep rest in preparation for Ironman.

After two big training weeks in a row that both involved travel, this was a recovery week and I can only say THANK GOODNESS.  Because I woke up Monday tired and had to spend a full day in the office at meetings.  Tuesday morning I felt like a bus hit me, missed masters and spent all day at a training for work.  Wednesday morning I realized in my crazy month of travel I forgot to enter Stanley in the big shows next weekend and came close to crying over it.  At that point I decided I needed a day to recharge my mind and body - mental health day!  I grocery shopped, I ate a lot, I cleaned the house that looked like a puppy exploded in it after a week of Jeff single-parenting all 3 dogs, I paid my bills (Coach doesn't work for free!), I rebuilt my bike that had been sitting in the box since I flew home Sunday...and I felt MUCH better and more in control of my life by the end of the day.  Ironman does tend to attract the control freaks and I think that's half the reason we all tend to have a meltdown somewhere in training.  I'm just glad mine came during an easier week.

Bib numbers came out this week!  Last time I did this race, men got all the low #s and women got the higher ones (I was 2333 in 2009).  I guess they reverse things every so often because I will be floating at the start line in 2011 as #329!

You were all super sweet to comment on my photos from Arizona LOL  I wrote a few months ago about changes I'd made to my diet and health leading into Ironman training.  The combination of things I did seems to have worked well as I leaned out over the summer while still eating my usual massive quantities of food.  The gluten free thing has really worked out well for me in terms of keeping me eating cleaner and cutting down on tummy issues during running/racing.  I've looked at my last couple races as a test of if I'm at the right racing weight and given the results I think I've hit on something that works.  I had a bike test a few weeks ago, my first one since spring, and the combination of more watts and less pounds pushed my power-to-weight ratio to a place we've been trying to get me for a couple years now!  *sets eyes on the NEXT target* :-)

Stanley is off at a dog show this weekend (only 40 minutes away but easier for him to stay there than for me to fight traffic back and forth each day) so the house is a little quieter than usual.  I know he's having fun getting spoiled rotten and enjoying puppy-free time though!

Max is loving being the only big dog around and getting spoiled with treats and attention.  He's also a very good example for Puck, who keeps us laughing with his antics!

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Puppy puppy puppy

I've got all sorts of things to talk about but I'm too tired and busy to write about any of them.  So I'm hoping I can just distract you with lots of dog photos in the meantime.  Look, shiny!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Stick a fork in me

because I am DONE after a tough weekend and a huge training block!  

Jen and I got out the door early on Sunday to get our bike and run done before it got any hotter.  We revisited the site on the Beeline Hwy where I gave Jen a 9.5 for sticking the landing after vaulting a large metal post with her bike.  It was a testament to how trashed we were riding in the heat on Saturday that neither of us saw this giant metal beam sticking up in the air, about 6 inches across the ground, all the way across the bike lane until we were on top of it.  I was able to veer into the lane of traffic but Jen had nowhere to go and somehow managed to bunny-hop it with her front wheel.  When we returned to the scene on Sunday, it was moved aside as shown in the photo and not blocking the way as much.  Jen moved it all the way off the road before we left.

Thankfully we had planned ahead to reward ourselves handsomely after the training for the weekend was done.  Poolside cabana at Valley Ho for the rest of the day!!!

We were so damn healthy.

When Jen abandoned me to return to her responsibilities back home, I was able to snag a flight out Sunday night instead of o-dark-thirty Monday morning so I was back in my bed and home with my 4 boys by midnight.  I'll argue it's better to feel trashed in your own bed at 7am than trashed going to the airport at 4am :-)

Have a great week!  Thank goodness I have a rest day!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

It's Getting Hot In Here

Friday night we gathered for a big dinner before our crazy Saturday of training.

Some people are a little difficult when it comes to ordering food.  Our poor waiter...

It was so good to hang out with a group of women that eat A LOT :-)

Saturday morning started bright and early with an open water swim race at Tempe Town Lake.

 From there it was time to ride LONG.  In retrospect, on a day that offered record-breaking heat in the desert, we probably should have skipped the swim and started riding at 5:30am.

Because even though it was beautiful, it was painfully hot before long.

Jen and I rode together all day.  I could not have asked for a better person to share a total meltdown with :)

Early and still happy-ish

The fountain in Fountain Hills was not on

Sightseeing in Tonto National Forest

End of paved road

Not too long after that, I had a bit of a meltdown on a long climb (Jen said Cranky Molly has arrived).  It was 100 degrees, we'd been in the sun for hours, and I was melting.  We found the nearest convenience store and filled up on water and I pounded a Coke.  Wheee, instant sugar/caffeine rush = happy chatty Molly!

From there we pretty much hit a gas station every hour to fill our bottles with ice and water.  It was stupid hot out.  As in we were stupid to be riding long in it.

Eventually it was Jen's turn to get cranky and need a stop.  I was happy to oblige and we got to see all the sights of the gas station on the reservation until we were ready to face the heat again.

So much salt on our faces, you could probably read our fortunes in the patterns.

Thank goodness tomorrow is a lighter day - we will be getting our work done EARLY.