About Me

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This is my 6th Summer of racing triathlon. I have now completed 3 Ironmans under my belt, Florida 2009, Coeur d'Alene 2010, and most recently Ironman Wisconsin on 9/11/11. I love my family and I love my sport and everything they have both done for me.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Postrace news

Ok, so here we are almost two weeks after the race. My recovery has gone well for the most part. I have actually enjoyed the time off. I managed to get 1 swim in before I went to get my tattoo done. About another 10 days and I should be good to get back in the water. I am still nursing a little bit of a left posterior knee issue. It tightened up about mile 70 or so on the bike and I remedied it for the remainder of the race with some Advil. It was swollen as all hell the day after, but 2 days after it had gone way done. It is still noticeable, but barely. I went for a 40 minute easy run yesterday and today it actually feels better than yesterday, so hopefully it was just some tendonitis that has taken care of itself. I am going to see my sports medicine doc tomorrow to rule out anything major like a meniscus or pcl (posterior cruciate ligament??) issue. Like I said, I'm thinking it was just a hamstring or calf strain but I wanna know for sure before I ramp up the miles again. I plan on spin class today and a 40 minute easy run friday, ride saturday, jog sunday. If all goes well, I'd like to be at about 25 miles a week running by the time I go start with the new coach. My loyal and loving fans are throwing me a party tomorrow night so I'm looking forward to that. I'll update again soon when I am so moved. Stay strong everyone!!

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Monday, November 9, 2009

You are an Ironman!!

Wow!! It's Monday morning and I'm sitting in the Memphis airport waiting to go to Minneapolis and then back home to GF. I figured it would be a good time to write my race report, so here goes... I said goodbye to Leah and my dad about a quarter til 7, and made my way under the archway to the beach where the swim starts. Pros went off at 6:50 - they start separately from age groupers to ensure a fair start. I seeded myself at the front of the pack, so as to avoid crawling over everyone after the start. The cannon went off at 7 and off I went. Now I have heard horror stories about the chaos of a mass start of 2000 + people. It was different than a wave start but really not all that bad. What I found was more difficult to deal with were the (what I would call) slightly less than calm water conditions. Call them waves or swells or whatever - I was definitely rolling around out there. I finished the first lap in just under 28 minutes, ran out on the beach through the arch, grabbed some water, and headed back in for lap number 2. Definitely easier to navigate this lap, fewer people... I did swallow a fair bit of salt water, and got kicked a few times, but nothing deal breaking. Finished the swim in around 59 - I was happy with it.
Ran up the chute, got my wetsuit yanked off, and I headed off through the showers to T1. Definitely different than any other transition. Waited a little for my gear and headed into the change tent. Threw on my bike socks, shoes, race number, got my pills, put on the helmet, sunglasses, and arm warmers and headed out - got lathered up with sunscreen, a volunteer gave me my bike, and off I went. Sipped water for the first 30 minutes or so, then I started my nutrition. 4 bottles of EFS, 2 energy bars, 2 uncrustables, a can of redbull, couple of bites of cookie, and 1 bottle of gatorade endurance. I picked up water at almost every aid station, 2 more bottles of sports drink and the cookie and redbull in special needs, and the gatorade at the final aid station. My pace was up at about 20.8 for prob the first hour, and slowed to around 19.2 with the wind, a few rollers, and the special needs stop. The last 25 miles or so were on brand new paved road with the wind so that picked my pace back up. I was starting to feel it a little in my low back and back of my left knee, so I took 1 advil with about 40 minutes left on the bike. That perked me right up and so I pushed it a little near the end of the bike. I came in at about 5:36 - or about 20.1 mph or so - I was happy with the bike, but a little worried about the back of my knee at this point. If I could have done anything different, I would have gone without arm warmers.
Got into transition, handed my bike off, got my gear from the no-nonsense, johnny on the spot volunteers and went to change. Threw on my tri shorts, body glide, socks, shoes and visor - all the while a volunteer is unpacking and packing my gear up for me. Then I contemplated how far a marathon was, and headed out the door to the porta potty. Felt better!! Then I got more sunscreen from a young lady who was really into her job - she even gave me a hug. Then I set out on the run. 26.2 to go!! The marathon was about survival. I eventually settled into a comfortable pace and the heartrate came down a little. Definitely started to feel the back of the knee at about 3 or 4 miles in. I was telling myself to go as long as I could without more advil. That lasted until somewhere between 10K and 9 miles. Then I took 2 more advil (if you're keeping track, that's 3 total so far). Again that dulled the pain and I felt more comfortable. I loved the aid stations. Among them were MASH, a 70s theme, and one had women shall we say dressing and acting inappropriately - think leather :-) They made me smile. I took water, coke, gel, and gatorade at aid stations. Finished the first half marathon feeling not all together horrible. I picked up special needs, had another redbull, and got a long sleeve shirt to tie around my waist. Now the race begins as they say. The sun started to go down and I appreciated the slightly cooler temps. I continued to push forward, doing the run / walk thing, and chatted with a couple of people along the way. I got to about mile 20 and started to do math in my head, calculating how fast I needed to go to break 12 hours. So needless to say, I was in pain at this point, but I was going to finish. I started the chicken broth - tasted good actually. Several waters, gatorades, cokes, and broths later, I realized I would make my goal of sub 12. The last couple miles were the longest. I ran a quarter mile, then speedwalked a quarter. When I came around the corner onto Thomas drive, about a quarter mile to go, I decided to run the rest of the way. I came around the corner, under the first arch, and high fived my brother, and then ran the rest of the 30 yards or so with my arms up under the finishing arch and then looked to the sky. I was an ironman!! Got my medal, t-shirt, and hat. Then I got my picture - After looking at it, I look tired in the picture for some reason. Then followed high fives, and hugs and tears with my faithful followers. Then more pictures, then the recovery drink, then pizza - yummy :-)
Then slowly but surely we made our way back to transition. Chris came in to get my gear and bike with me. Let's just say I didn't need the emergency immodium during the race but did after :-) So I got my bike, my gear, got changed, hit up the porta potty, and then left transition and walked back to the car with the crew. Back at the condo I had more advil - 4 to be exact - then showered and ate more pizza. I went back to the finish line with Leah and Rodrigo for the last 90 minutes of the race. The best part of the ironman, aside from your own finish, is the last hour of the race. Really fun time!! Then I went home and went to bed. Woke up around 6:30, had mini wheats and advil for breakfast, realized the back of my knee really hurt, then left to go spend copious amounts of money on finisher's merchandise. Stood in line for an hour just to get in the store. Did the shopping, then hung out with friends and Leah the rest of the day. A couple more race notes - I was really happy with my heart rate control during the bike and run. Of course I couldn't really run fast enough to elevate the heart rate much the last 10K of the run :-)
What an experience!! Thanks so much for all the support and encouragement. FYI the leg is much better today than yesterday. Just a matter time I hope!! Now it's into maintenance and recovery mode til Christmas or so. I love you all. Thank you and good day!!

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Friday, November 6, 2009

The day before

This is the big pre-race thank you speech so prepare yourselves :-)

Well it's about 2:30 on Friday, November 6, the day before the race. There's absolutely nothing left I can do to prepare physically. I did a short swim behind my condo this morning, followed by a 30 minute spin and a 15 minute run. After eating, I proceeded to get my bike and run gear bags ready, as well as the bike itself. After taking my time getting everything in order, I took my bike and gear bags and checked them in to transition. I will see them next at about 5:30 in the morning or so. It seems like yesterday I was here volunteering with the intent of signing up for this year. Well a year has passed, and here I am!! I don't have any overwhelming feeling of nervousness yet - I'm assuming that will happen when I wake up and try and choke down my much needed pre-race breakfast - the same one I eat before every single race. We'll make our way down to the race start, I'll add a couple things to my bike gear bag - race number belt and pills, get my nutrition and fluids ready to go on my bike, then I'll air up my tires, hang around the porta potties for a while, then sit around and wait - same as every race.

I've kind of been thinking about the sacrifices that have been made over the past year. Not only by me, but mostly by those around me and close to me. The ironman is not a solo journey, not by a long shot. It is a family sacrifice. My family has done just that. I don't know how much time and money has been spent on racing, traveling, eating, new bike toys :-), and countless weekends away from home. How much of Leah's life has revolved around me and my racing? A whole lot of it would be the answer. I can't thank everyone enough for all the sacrifices that have been made so I can do this, especially her. Hopefully, you will all be rewarded when I cross the finish line. I don't really know what I'll do when I cross the finish line - it depends on how much energy I have left I guess - I'm guessing it won't be too dramatic - I'll probably make it up right before I do it. And lastly, I don't want to get too sentimental, but I know mom will be watching my every arm stroke, pedal stroke, and stride - of which there will be many!! This one's for you mom!!

And when I'm done, I am going to eat something I shouldn't. I'd love to make it back to the finish line for the midnight finishers - cause finishing the ironman is cool - but when you finish in the last half hour of the race, you are the center of attention and a rockstar. Again, we'll see how I feel. I might take the day after the race off too :-) So the next entry you'll see from me will be my race report. Follow along tomorrow on the internet - talk you you all after the race.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

So I'm nicely settled in here in Panama City Beach. I arrived, got my car, luggage, and found the condo with relative ease. The only slight glitch I have had is a tear I found in my wetsuit. I went to the bike shop and the guys there let me take the repair stuff out of the packaging, and repair it on the spot instead of spending $30 for the whole package of stuff. So far, every volunteer and worker I have encountered has been very accomodating, understanding, and will go out of their way to make sure things go smoothly for you. That's the way it is at Ironman and I'm sure my number 1 fan appreciates the repair effort instead of dropping $500 on a new wetsuit :-) So last night after I got to my room, I got my bike put together pretty quickly, and went out for about a 30 minute spin up and down the main drag where the race starts and finishes - felt pretty good. Then I hit up Walmart and got some shopping done - made some pasta and chicken for supper - it was good :-) Today, I took my time getting going in the morning, and eventually went down to check in and get all my stuff. Numbers under 1000 got to go right to the front of the LONG line - I am number 224. After I repaired my wetsuit, I did about a 10 minute swim in the ocean to loosen up a bit. I have a 20 minute run at tempo later, which I'll get done before dinner. Tomorrow is an "off" day. But I think they have the swim course buoys set up tomorrow, so I might go cruise the swim course in the morning. I found a Starbucks today - no chocolate chip cookies to be seen :-( but the nice girl working there told me they'd be set out tomorrow or she could just give me some frozen ones now - I got some frozen ones - those are going in special needs for the bike and run. I am writing from a library that I found where there's a time limit on the computer. 22 minutes remaining..... I'll write at least one more time before the race - take care all and thanks for reading.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

So I'm sitting in the vast expanse that is the Grand Forks airport getting ready to leave. I'm slightly annoyed that my bottle of chain lube got taken away from me - It's 4oz, the limit is apparently 3.4. Oh, and my individual packets of chamois cream weren't in a quart size container. And they let me keep my 10oz bottle of chamois cream - do the math - make any sense?? Guess that's one on miss G.I. Jane TSA chick who got all gung ho on me when I asked her if half an ounce was a big deal. Yay for the 6 am airport rant!! So after having one more injection in the medial retinaculum of both my knees yesterday, they both feel lots better. Swim felt fast on Saturday, bike felt good Sunday, and short jog felt good yesterday. So after I get there, the plan is to put my bike together, lube the chain with saliva, and do a short spin before dark. Then maybe a quick dip in the ocean or condo pool. Here's hoping the baggage morons can get my bike where it's supposed to be. I'll update you all soon.
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