About Me

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Austin, Texas, United States
I'll make you laugh, or break my neck trying. This is usually accomplished with daily bouts of swimming, biking and running. A former "chub-a-holic," I got fit and healthy the good old fashioned way and went from a mid-pack athlete to top age group runner and triathlete. I'm a Writer and USAT Level 1 Certified Triathlon Coach. I guess that makes me part Tina Fey and part Jillian Michaels. Visit my coaching site at www.fomotraining.com

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Marathon on the Horizon

I'm having that weird panic of going from being way too busy to handle everything to, "Oh My God. You mean all I have to do is run and focus on my real job?" Just a few short weeks ago, I was juggling several bike, run and swim workouts per week along with preparation for the Record-Shattering Turkey Trot. (FYI-It looks like we had about 2,000 more people than last year. That is phenomenal. ) My life feels so uncomplicated at the moment--(well, there's the house thing, but even that's beyond my control. )

I vascillate from feeling completely relieved to being on edge because I'm not doing enough. Now, I know those feelings are completely normal. I'm coming down from a high and trying not to gear up too much since I'm also tapering for the Dallas Marathon. That little part of me just can't stop being vocally annoying. "You should go for a swim. I can't believe your bike is still packed from Florida." etc. You know the voice. However, I'm also trying to listen to my REAL voice. My massage therapist said something on Saturday that really stuck with me. She reiterated that my body is my best personal trainer. It will tell me when it's had enough. Over the last couple of weeks, I've tried to take a little more heed. My body and mind have had enough and my attitudes and efforts are showing it. While I've still run consistently, none of them have felt great. I started back with some official Gazelle workouts this week. While it was great to be back and see so many of my friends and training partners, it's a little frustrating as I know I'm not performing at my best capacity. Every run is a struggle right now mentally and physically. I've lost a little confidence for the Marathon and it really means I have to rest, rest, rest next week!!

Here's a recap of my recent running from the last couple of weeks:

11/18 (one week after Half-Ironman) 15-16 miles...ouchy
11/20 10 mile Recovery Run
11/22 8 Mile Run from Thon's. We did the Turkey Trot course for a sneak peek. Damn that course is hilly! Who designed that?? :-)
11/24 7 Mile Recovery run with Amy--day after Turkey Trot. exhausted.
11/25 14 Mile Mt. Bonnell Run
11/27 Mile Repeats at Zilker...I did 3 repeats (7:11, 6:54, 6:54)...humid. Total 6 1/2 miles
11/29 7 Mile Fartlek Intervals...2 mile warmup followed by 1min fast/1 min slow

I guess looking over that schedule pretty much shows what I need to see. Not only was it a lot of miles, but these have been some tough miles. Over 67 Miles in10 days. duh...

Next weeek is all about massage, nutrition and rest.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Ironman 70.3: Link to Official Photos


The first woman in the wetsuit isn't me!

A Happy Thanksgiving Indeed

I made it. I'm hanging by a thread, but I made it.

The ThunderCloud Subs Turkey Trot was a success. Let me rephrase that. It was a HUGE success. It was packed and bursting at the seams. The Mayor of Austin AND the Governor of Texas both ran it. Honestly? It went to a new level this year and we almost weren't ready from an infrastructure standpoint. Still calculating final numbers, but well over 10,000 were in attendance. Over 9,000 runners/walkers for sure. I'm exhausted, but extremely happy.

Here's what Runtex had to say:

Here, in Central Texas, nothing goes better with Thanksgiving than a Thundercloud. That is, the Thundercloud Subs Turkey Trot 5-Miler. Every year, thousands and thousands turn out for this terrific event. But in its entire 16-year history, there could not have been a more perfect Thanksgiving morning.

Under clear, shimmering skies with temperatures soaring into the low 70s, it was a morning fit for just about anything and everything outdoors: Touch football, frisbee golf, a walk along the lake with family and friends and—natch—starting off the whole shebang by walking or running the Turkey Trot through central Austin. Heck, even a bunch of Aggies showed up.

More Turkey Trot Ramblings soon...

I'm beginning my taper for the December 10th Dallas White Rock Marathon. I'm not sure how, but I still managed to put in 40 miles of Bad running last week. My body and my mind were pretty wasted and I finally admitted on Saturday that I was burnt to a crisp. Enter Massage Therapist Julie and two days in San Antonio. I had the most incredible massage on Saturday, followed by a couple of days out of town. I'm beginning to feel normal again.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Turkey Trot Countdown

Imagine this... a few mintues of downtime. I feel like I could rant and rave about how stressed the Turkey Trot makes me. Race Management is a lesson in patience and overwhelming amounts of detail work. As Race Director, I field every call and email about the event.In the blink of an eye, I go from zero tolerance (when people ask the same questions that are clearly marked on the website) to overwhelming gratitude (when people say how much they love this event). If nothing else, I have learned so much from this process. I bitch and moan every time my phone rings, but am energized when that same caller tells me that they appreciate my time. Sometimes I answer the phone as if I'm being bothered. Shame on me. Most of these people only sign up for one event a year--this one. When I'm at Packet Pickup and Registration, I love it! I love being surrounded by the volunteers who are giving their time and I love being surrounded by the participants who are excited to do the event with their friends and families. They always have great things to say about this race.

I also have a newfound respect for Event Planners. People have absolutely no idea how difficult and costly it is to shut down city streets. You don't just cone off a lane and call it a day. It involves re-routing traffic, hiring extra officers, posting notices and paying the people who get their asses up at 4am to change the traffic direction of the thoroughfare of downtown Austin. We're also in the vicinity of a major hospital, a major university, a major highway, the Ronald McDonald House and the State Capitol--all very important things to consider from a safety and security standpoint.

I'm having a fleeting moment of calm before the race. It's going to happen regardless of my mental state on race morning. I just hope someone brings a keg

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Ironman 70.3: 13.1 Mile Run and now I'm Moving On!

I can't believe it took my 5hrs 35 minutes to complete Ironman 70.3, but over a week to actually recap the damn thing! :-)

So, it’s now Sunday evening, November 19th, and the race was over a week ago. I’m just now getting to actually recap the running portion of the triathlon. Damn, it seems so long ago. Let’s just say it was hot and difficult but I finished the 13.1 miles…the end! Moving on…

Oh, I wish it was that easy. As I alluded to in my previous post, this was the first time I wasn’t looking forward to the run. I knew I would finish, but I honestly didn’t think I was going to meet my goal time of 1:45 (8:00 min mile pace). For whatever reason, the thought of almost 2 more hours of hard physical activity was almost unbearable. And then I thought about them…my running partners. I swear. I knew they would check on my time at some point and they were expecting a 1:45 run. I couldn’t let them down. After all the training I’d done, I couldn’t have the run be my weak link. At that moment, that’s all I needed.

I started running like everyone does—stiff and awkward since my legs had been doing something completely different for the last 3 hours. They were used to spinning at a high cadence and now I was forcing them to stride out and pound the pavement. At one Mile, we climbed the Memorial Causeway Bridge. It was the same bridge we started climbing on the bike. Now, here I was three hours later doing it again on foot…In this race, I would have to do it still again…and again…and again. This was a two-loop course so you had to climb both sides of the bridge twice. Four ascents. Now, I’m not smart or scientific enough to have timed each of the climbs, but I’m pretty sure they got slower with each progression. Like always, my first 4-5 miles were too fast. You know when you get off a treadmill and immediately start walking and you’re still walking at that fast funny speed? Well, I guess that’s how the first few miles of the run are for me. I clocked them at 7:40-7:45 (with the first bridge climb). I had immediate thoughts of, “This will bite you in the ass later! SLOW DOWN…” I thought I was slowing down, but each mile was still coming in at a sub-8:00 pace. I was still running through the waterstops at this point and trying to alternate between water and Gatorade. Volunteers were passing out power gels and I also remember seeing Coke, pretzels, cookies, bananas and other goodies at each stop. (note to non-athlete friends: Races have some kick-ass food). When I wasn’t climbing or descending bridges, I was running through neighborhoods and even a paved trail for a portion of the run. I was passing people left and right and it’s always good to hear encouragement from the other athletes. “Looking good…Great Pace” Everyone is so positive out there. I’m proud to say that I was not passed by one person on the run…woo hoo!!

I was finally surrounded by mass groups of people, although I couldn’t tell if most of them were on their first or second run loops. It was pretty discouraging to see the really fast people finishing as myself and so many others were simply starting. Shawn swears he was cheering for me and shouting at the turnaround point. I didn’t believe him until he showed the pics that proved it. I was totally in “the zone” and gearing myself up for bridge climb #3. I was still ahead of pace, but fading fast. I was there, but I wasn’t. I stopped at the Mile 7 water stop and walked for about 15-20 seconds. I did that at every other Water Stop. I think my slowest my was an 8:26. I was still getting “Wow—great pace” remarks from the crowd and the participants, so I knew I must not have been looking too bad. I was just starting to feel that way. The last bridge climb at Mile 10.5 was tough, but it was also such a relief knowing it was done and I could enjoy the last downhill and straightaway back to the finish. Once again, as if I was air-lifted, my pace began to quicken on the other side of the bridge. I knew I was pretty much right on pace and I wanted to finish looking strong. My last three miles were in the sub-8:00 range and the agony and self-doubt of two miles ago turned to an abundance of self-pride. I felt like a champion. The atmosphere made me feel that way. The volunteers made me feel that way and the crowds made me feel that way. I remember another competitor yelling at how fast I was going and how good I looked. I also remember the announcer calling my name and saying something to the affect that I was “representing Austin, Texas!” I found it silly even as I was running towards the finish line because of all the other elite athletes and pros from Austin who had crossed the line hours before. I was hardly “representing” Austin. I just happen to be fortunate enough to live there.

My run goal time was a 1:45. My run split?

A volunteer was assigned to me immediately after I crossed the line. In the blink of an eye, I had my medal and some shells draped around my neck. I had a towel and a bottle of water immediately. The volunteer literally takes you by the arm and leads you to wherever you need to go. For some people, it was to the medical tent. For others, it was to the food tent. Still others wanted to sit down or find the restroom. I wanted to be led to Shawn who was waiting for me on the other side of the fence. He seemed so proud and it meant so much that he “gets it.” He knew what this race meant and he knew how hard it was since he’s done two half-ironmans as well. He also new immediately that I has set a Personal Best.

So that’s it. That’s my Ironman 70.3 Recap. I'll be posting both candid and official photos at some point.

Now—it’s on to the Dallas Marathon on December 10th. I ran 15 miles on Saturday, but felt pretty crappy the entire time. Ummm…yep, I need some rest and a big fat massage. I’m also in Turkey Trot Hell this week, but it’s going to be an awesome race. We did packet stuffing today and it went by so quickly. Thanks to all who showed up to help! We stuffed over 4,000 bags in two hours. Rock on!!!!!!! Also, our on-line entries are up over 25% year to date. As scary as that is, it’s also very exciting. This is going to be a great event.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Ironman 70.3: 56-Mile Bike Ride

Starting from the back of the pack can be a good thing, but not when you’re in the World Championship Race and virtually everyone is faster than you are. I learned that pretty quickly. A Mile into the bike ride, I climbed my first hill over the Memorial Causeway. My heart rate was still fluttering from the swim-to-bike transition, so this first incline felt discouraging. I didn’t get out of the saddle to climb, but instead decided to put it in the Granny Gear and ease my way up in the small chain ring. I totally thought, “Please don’t let it be this tough for the next 55 miles!” Fortunately, it wasn’t. The course was primarily flat through the streets of Clearwater and across the bridge towards Tampa. We did go over a couple of bridges that tested my resolve, but I had settled down long enough to be a little more relaxed. As I mentioned in a previous post, the weather was absolutely phenomenal and the wind just wasn’t a factor at all. I was so afraid we’d be blasted with an ocean breeze on the bridges, but it never happened. Every now and then, I’d feel a slight headwind, but it was nothing debilitating.

The one thing I noticed on the bike was that I was constantly hungry! I swear I don’t know how that’s possible since I had been loading up all week long, but sure enough, I needed nutrition about every 45 minutes. I alternated between gels, CLif Blocks and ½ PB bagel (yes, I had packed one). My legs started to wake up and I had some decisions to make.

By Mile 20 I thought, “What the heck is going on? I was passing plenty of people on the bike, but they were primarily people in the older age groups. I could not find anyone in the 30-34 age group!” It then hit me that these women were riding just as fast, if not faster than I was. Turns out, they were riding much faster than I was. I was never going to make any ground on these people like I try to do in a local race. It was then that my focus shifted completely. My goal was to no longer try to gain ground. It was to race for ME. It was to see if I could improve my previous PR of 5:44. I started comparing it to a Marathon. I NEVER think about my overall standings in a Marathon. It would be like me being disappointed if I didn’t place in the Top 10 at Boston. Duh…It’s not going to happen. In a marathon, I focus on MY previous time goal and MY new time goal. That was my new approach and I’m not really sure why it took me 20 miles on the bike to figure it out.

So, here was my major decision. I could hammer the bike and try to ride as fast as I possibly could, or I could ride comfortably hard and hope that I still had enough legs for my goal run of a 1:45 Half Marathon (8:00min pace). I obviously chose to ride comfortably hard. I made a very conscious decision to keep the speedometer between 18-21 miles per hour. Again, in any other race, that’s a great bike time. In the World Championship, it’s below average. Amazing…

Time went amazing fast on the bike and the scenery was fabulous. We did ride on several busy roads, but the Police did a fantastic job of controlling traffic. I never felt in danger. However, there were several severe bike crashes which took people out of the race immediately. I hated driving by those scenes, but it’s part of the sport I suppose.

I remember passing a couple of the disabled athletes on the bike including Sara Reinersten who competes with one leg. She’s such an inspiration and always has a smile on her face. She was the one who cheered for me as I passed her.

All in all, once I changed my focus, the ride became so much more relaxing. I was in awe of these bad-ass athletes.

I rode into transition and dismounted the bike. 2:57 and some change. Wow…My previous best was a 3:02. I had gained 5 minutes on the bike and averaged about 18.9999 mph on the bike. I couldn’t ask for anything better. My inner thighs and quads were burning slightly, so I was a little nervous about the run. For the first time in triathlon, I was scared of bonking on the run. 13 miles suddenly seemed almost impossible. Not only did 13 miles sound brutal, but the thought of being in “race mode” for another 1:45 was tough to comprehend. I was already mentally and physically tired so it was definitely time for a gut check. I was never in fear of not finishing. I was more in fear of a total bonk on the run, which is always my saving grace.

I handed my bike off to another volunteer, headed into the changing tent with my run bag and quickly threw on my running shoes and visor and headed out on my running journey.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Ironman 70.3: Pre-Race and Swim

In any scenario, you could not have painted a more perfect picture of the weather on Race Morning. The ocean was actually glass-like: no wind and no waves. How is that possible? Apparently, just a couple of days before, the weather was so bad that there were warning flags out as in, “Swim at your own risk, FOOL.” Today, it was so peaceful, except for the 1500 or so people that would soon be thrashing through it.

Our hotel was less than a ½ mile away so Tracy, Bob and I meandered down around 6am. Shawn would join later. My pre-race ritual was easy since I had dropped everything off the night before. I just made sure my helmet and sunglasses were on the bike and I double-checked my tire pressure. Still good…Please God, no flats!

Helicopters circled above capturing the moment for the March 31st, 2007 NBC broadcast of this event. I soaked it all in as much as I could, almost chuckling to myself that I was actually here surrounded by Ironman banners, Gatorade inflatables, big screen TVs, International competitors and announcers, TV crews, etc.

Shawn found me in the port-a-potty line (go figure). Even those were more efficient than any other race! By the way, is it UnAmerican to be in the port-a-potty as the National Anthem is being sung? Hey, at least I was sorta standing!!

The pros started at 7am and my wave of women 18+ went off shortly after 7:30am. Yep, that’s right. My wave was ALL of the female non-pro competitors. Me and several hundred other people at the same time. I wasn’t really nervous until we were corralled to the ocean. As soon as they said “Go,” we immediately started running into the water. It was very shallow for a while so swimming was futile. I started well (as much as I could tell). I stuck with a pack and tried to hug the buoys (which seemed to move) as much as I could . Always keep the buoys to your right. The inevitable happened. I got a huge gulp and mouthful of salt water. YUCK. Keep swimming. Try not to panic now. I knew it was going to happen plenty more times over the next 40 or so minutes. I was trying to focus on form, or at least as much as I could with people grabbing at my ankles and swimming over the top of me. The buoys just kept coming. Finally, I saw the last buoy and made the turn. I was still with a pack of people. Keep in mind, that is a rare occurrence for me. The course was a rectangle so I actually glanced at my watch as I made the turn back towards the ocean. 21 minutes…I got excited. Oh my God, I can do this in 40 minutes! Or so I thought. A 40 minute swim is still pretty slow by comparison, but great for me. For as brilliant as the morning was, it started to haunt me on the way back to the beach. The sun was coming up making it difficult to see the buoys on the way back. I started losing my pack because I was drifting to the left. Shit…Get back to the buoys. I started trying to swim in a diagonal pattern back towards the buoys and didn’t seem to make much progress. I was probably now about 10-15 yards away from the pack who continued to blaze ahead while I continued to fight to swim towards them. Once that happened, my usual swimming demons reared their ugly head and I couldn’t ignore the internal, “Why are you so bad at this?” comments. My swim went from “Good Job,” to “You suck” in a moment. I kept thinking, “You are the last wave to go, which means virtually no one is behind you. Please don’t be the last person out of the water.” Fortunately, I wasn’t…I got towards the pier and noticed that most of the spectators had moved on to cheer the others. I finally made it towards the beach and, of course, looked at my watch under the SWIM FINISH tower. 46 minutes. Damn…A brief pity party and then a run up the beach (which also sucked in deep sand and a heart rate of about 190!) Because you’re in salt water, you run through fresh water showers and volunteers are on the other side yelling at you to lay down so they can rip off your wetsuit for you. This is a welcome change from most races where you are on your own. I grabbed my gear bag and the awesome volunteers were there to help me get my shoes ready and pack up all the swim gear that I had just thrown on the ground. I could get used to this. I felt a little chaffing under my arm from my wetsuit so I quickly lathered it with vasoline as I ran towards my bike and began what would be a sub-3:00 excursion through Clearwater. The bike is usually the time where I begin picking off people in my age group. I settle in for about 15 minutes and then I start pushing it. I was anxious to see how many people I could catch today. Believe me, there were plenty of people on the course that I could choose from.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Ironman 70.3: Pre-Race Excitement

As I had mentioned earlier on race week, my main stress was actually getting to Tampa/Clearwater and making it in time for Packet Pickup, which was closing at 2:00pm on Friday. As traveling goes, pretty much everything is out of your control. I knew we were landing at Tampa International around 11:30am, which would give us plenty of time to take care of everything we needed. I also knew that if something went wrong, it could throw off everything.

Fortunately, both legs of our flight were picture-perfect. We got to the Austin airport in plenty of time (4:45am for a 6:00am flight!) and got our bags and the bike checked in safely and securely. Check. We made it to Houston and that leg landed in Tampa right on time. Check. Go Continental. As we were walking towards baggage claim, I said to Shawm, "The pilots did their job. Let's see if ground control did theirs."

While Shawn waited for our luggage, I got in line at Budget Rent-a-Car to pick up our car I had reserved earlier in the week. Long Line…no biggie. Why are there about 20 other people standing around though looking very frustrated? I made my way up to the counter and he said, “I see your reservation, but we’re waiting on cars to come back. It’s going to be at least 15-20 minutes before a car is here and ready.” I had time to spare, so it was cool at this point. However, I could tell by the expressions of the other 20 or so people standing around, that it had probably been longer than 15 minutes and they still didn’t have a car.

I walked down to our baggage carousel and didn’t see Shawn. I called his cell and he very calmly and bluntly said, “Your bike never left Austin. I’m in the Continental office.” Surprisingly, no melt-down occurred. Because he was so calm (thank God), I remained calm. The agents in Tampa obviously weren’t to blame and they said that it should make it here by 2:30pm, but they would call regardless. Well it SHOULD have made it on our flight, but it didn’t. I had little faith that my bike was going to make it. Besides the 2pm Athlete Check-In deadline, there was also a 6pm Bike Check-In deadline. The bike and all of your gear had to be in transition by 6pm.

I called my friends Tracy and Bob who were already in Clearwater and let them know of the situation. We were going to go to Athlete Check-In and then head back to the airport for the bike. After waiting over an hour, we finally got our rental. They had given us a discount and upgraded our car for the inconvenience, which ended up being a blessing with the bike box). We made it to the Packet Pickup by 1:15pm and the Volunteers took care of me and handed me my bibs, numbers, gear check bags, shirt, etc. It was a little overwhelming because my heart rate was already elevated from the stress of the morning. It hit me that I’m here for the freaking World Championship Triathlon—a sport that I’m not even very good at doing. It didn’t take long to look around and see the athletic bodies milling around the lobby and the expo. I mean spandex and tight shirts EVERYWHERE! This is where I immediately get psyched out with any race. You overhear people talking about what their next Ironman is going to be and how fast their bike splits are, what crank set they use, whether or not they prefer endurox or perpetuum, etc. And then there’s me who doesn’t even have my bike yet!!

After I got my packet, I had to get weighed. Are you shitting me?? So, like any other natural human being, I take off my shoes and he’s like, “Nope. With your shoes on…” So, it’s 1:30pm, I’ve been drinking water and Gatorade by the busload, eating like a freaking bear going into hibernation for the winter, I hadn’t gone to the bathroom yet that day (#1 or #2) and I’m wearing jeans and tennis shoes. I’m using all of the above as an excuse as to why I came out 6lbs heavier than normal!!!! The guy who weighed me said, “That’s a good fighting weight! You’re going to do great.”
“Thanks jackass. I wasn’t planning on fighting anyone…Until now!”

OK—once the humiliation ended, we picked up our stuff and headed to the Merchandise tent and proceeded to shop. Hell, I’ll probably never make it back to this event so I ended up buying a racing visor, t-shirt and running sweatshirt during this trip. We had time to kill and the airline hadn’t called yet, so we went over to Einstein Brothers Bagels and had a turkey bagel. I also purchased extras for my breakfast in the morning.

While en route back to the airport, I received a call from them letting me know that my bike was officially there. It was about 3:15pm and I still had to get everything in by 6pm. It was Friday afternoon so we had no idea what traffic held for us. Fortunately, it didn’t back up until we were pretty much in back in Clearwater. We pulled into a parking lot by transition and opened the bike box and proceeded to put it together. Pedals…on, seat…on, handlebars…on, wheels…on. A woman let us borrow a pump to blow up the tires. I took it for a quick spin. Nothing seemed to be out of place. I took it for another 30-second spin. Looks ok to me! Ideally, I would’ve liked to have taken it for a 30-min ride, but we just didn’t have the time. I was going on complete and total faith that the bike would get me through the 56 miles. God Bless Shawn for being so patient through all of this. I’ve told him over and over, I would not have done this event without him and his support. Nope. No way.

It was now after 5pm and I had to also pack all of my transition bags. So, in the middle of this parking lot, I was physically and mentally talking myself through the transitions. “Come out of the ocean and I need socks, bike shoes, race belt with number attached helmet, spare tubes and nutrition.” That all goes in the blue bag. “After the bike, I will need my running hat, shoes and power gels. My race belt is already on so I won’t need that.” That goes in the red bag.

At 5:30pm I was standing in line at the transition area with my bike and gear bags. With the stress of the day, I was beat and honestly had no idea whether or not I had everything that I needed packed and ready to go. The volunteers were awesome and helped me find my bike rack and my gear bag rack. What an amazing operation it was. There were still tons of people making their way to transitions with their stuff as well.

After I took care of that, it was only then that I truly looked around and saw what was happening. Ironman 70.3 banners everywhere, inflatables, bleachers, the Swim start tower and corral down by the waterfront, buoys in the water, big screen TVs and The freaking OCEAN in front of me with some of the most pristine white sand ever in my toes. I took a deep breath of relief, nervousness and gratitude and thought to myself, “I made it.”

Monday, November 13, 2006

I Did It!!

It was a whirlwind weekend and I finally got home around 2:00am this morning, but I'm excited to personally report that I had a fantastic race and I couldn't be happier with my personal performance (well...there's that swim thing, but I'll get into that later!)

I'm launching into Turkey Trot hell this week so I'll be writing race reports as the time permits, but I will do it because I don't want to ever forget this once in a lifetime experience of racing with the pros...and not coming in dead last place :-)

My 5:35:37 is an almost 9-minute personal best from my last Half-Ironman in June! I had a plan and In executed it correctly. What more could I ask for of myself??

Reports and photos coming soon!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Race Week: Sufficiently Bloated

Short run on Monday...
Easy bike ride on Wednesday...
Quick Run on Thursday...

Because of the lack of intense training this week, the consumption of multiple calories and the "right on time" presence of Mother Nature, I'm sufficiently bloated heading into the race! Ughhh...I guess that means I'm right on track :-)

File this one in the "Too Cool" Folder:

You can track my race at www.ironman.com
Track An Athlete
Either type in my last name "Sapp" or my bib number "1387"


Conservative, yet realistic expectations are as follows:

Swim: 45-50 min
Bike: 3:00-3:15 (yes, that's 3 hours)
Run: 1:40-1:50

Transitions will be slightly different than I'm used to as I will have separate gear bags for my bike stuff and run stuff. It all won't be shoved under my bike like it usually is.

I'm on my way to becoming an official Ironman, well...at least a half of one anyways.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Race Week: A Few Jitters

4 Days Away

We leave bright and early for Clearwater Beach on Friday morning, but I'm in a virtual marathon until then to catch up on work deadlines, Turkey Trot correspondence and packing my gear. As you may or may not know, packing for a triathlon involves an entire evening of dismantling your bike and going through the mental checklist of everything I will need on race morning--goggles, body glide, wetsuit, sunscreen, socks, timing chip, running shoes, cycling shoes, hat, tri-suit, sunglasses...you get the point.

I met Amy for a Medium Paced 6-mile run on Monday morning. I was planning on taking the day off completely, but Amy called Sunday night looking for a running partner and I couldn't refuse. I was slightly hesitant because I had run Friday, biked 40 miles on Saturday and swam on Sunday Morning. Plus, I had just had a great deep tissue massage on Sunday afternoon. It turned out ok, though and the run felt great. I didn't feel any exhaustion or soreness whatsoever. We averaged a nice 8:46 per mile, so we weren't killing ourselves either.

The rest of the week is a wait and see. I'll probably swim and bike just a bit on Wednesday and then complete one final short 4-5 mile jog on Thursday. Mike, Richard and Thon arranged for an official "Send off" pasta dinner on Thursday after work. God, I love these guys...always looking for an excuse to eat :-)

The real race happens Friday when I arrive in Florida. Apparently, packet pickup ends at 2:00pm on Friday and I arrive in Florida around 11:30am. If all runs smoothly, I'll be fine. If not, I'll have all of my friends bombard the Race Office and let them know I'm en route. here's the number if you want to put it in speed dial. 1-727-593-6081 I'm serious, I may have to cause a scene if I'm running late. I'm definitely cutting it close with the car rental situation, bike transporting and commuting. I'm more nervous about this race than the actual event right now!!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Week 13: 14 Mile Mt. Bonnell Run

"Mt. Bonnell is my taper."

I didn't mean for it to be the theme for this morning's run, but it ended up being that way.

I didn't mean for it to sound cocky, pretentious or over-confident. Most would assume that's what it meant. My running partners understand what I mean.

It's not about disrespecting my training. It's about respecting my body and evaluating my current mental and physical strength.

Adding Mt. Bonnell to any workout builds confidence. Adding Mt. Bonnell to a workout a week before my race makes me feel ready...and...trained.

I met Amy this morning at 5:30 to do our 14 Mile Run. It was cold (low 40s) and we, of course, over-dressed. About 2 miles in to the run, we met up with Julie--Amy's massage Therapist. Julie ran with us for several miles as we marched towards Bonnell. The sun started to rise the same time our run started it's rise. we couldn't help but remark at the gorgeous sunrise that we were lucky enough to witness. Absolutely stunning...

The run was a good strategic one...First couple of miles in the low 9:00's, the middle miles in the 8:40s-8:50 range, Mt. Bonnell was a 9:24...The way back home got gradually faster...8:30, 8:24, 8:06, 8:06...start slow and end fast. The way it should be done.

Hopefully, that's how my triathlon will also go next week.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Week 13: Run/Swim

Here's why I love Triathlon. You can be laying in the Med Tent after a race receiving IVs and fluid, but the medal is still around your neck and you can still smile at the accomplishment.

OK--I'm not being a total slacker. I have been doing some workouts, but as I told a friend, tapering to me just means cutting back to one workout per day ;-) slightly tongue-in-cheek of course.

Did an 8-Mile Slow Recovery Run

Ate too much freaking Halloween candy and didn't work out at all

I was mentally prepared to do the Gazelle 4-Mile tempo run, but Coach G had Thon and I do a Fartlek workout instead. We warmed up for a good 4 miles, did 12x 1min fast/1min slow fartleks, cooled down for about 1/2 mile. It felt good to get the legs turning! Total--7 Miles

Even though it was 47 degrees this morning, I dragged myself to Barton Springs for a Mile Swim a Race Pace effort. I say effort because I forgot to wear a watch to time myself. It felt pretty darn good except when that long, lean swimmer glided right past me! Actually, because it was so cool this morning, I virtually had the Springs all to myself with the exception of about 4 others who also braved the cold. The cool thing about Barton Springs is that when it's 47 degrees outside, the 68 degree water actually feels oddly warm.

Doing my long run tomorrow and a 36-40 mile ride on Saturday called the Tour de Gruene. I'll probably swim on Sunday and then really back off next week. I can't believe I've made it through these last 13 weeks of intense training. I'm feeling good and strong. No real time goals, but I did Eagleman in 5:44. It would be great to at least equal that, if not improve slightly.