Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Update and looking ahead...

As we wrap up 2008, we are already plotting our 2009 "challenges". I am already signed up for "Beach to Battleship" half IM in November. H is threatening to change to the full IM but I will NOT be joining him in this endeavor. Two in one year will carry me for awhile..We are also signed up for Buffalo Springs Lake 70.3 in June. I just looked and there are only 5 women so far in my new age group!! Now if I could only learn to go faster to place! I may be looking to Eric to help me with this. He has proven to be a great coach in the swimming Dept. so maybe will hire him again...I don't know how serious I want to be about racing this year. The only reason I may want to try and go faster is because now I am racing in my new...ahem..age group-women 55-59 since my 55th birthday is next year..I am seeing that the numbers drop off the older we women get probably because most women see that there is more to life at this age than trying to relive our childhood dreams of winning a damn race but alas I do not think I am there yet. Still in high school trying to win that 100 yard swim!

H seems to have too much time on his hands even with the 4 year old running around because he has come up with 2 more events for us. One is the O.C. Marathon-well actually I picked that one because it had more appeal than the "Shiprock Marathon" in the desert. And little Lane lives less than 15 miles from Newport Beach, where the marathon is being held. Sea level too..ok maybe I will be doing that. Then last night as he was surfing the internet, of course he found a century ride in Lake Tahoe for us to do in June, a couple of weeks before BSLT. Will someone please give this man a job? I am worn out already! Not really, I am sure I will "have fun"at all these events. Then throw in Jay Benson sprint triathlon in May and Socorro in August and there we go...I am looking forward to doing less racing, more retirement this year. With 3 grand daughters to see now, I am counting on seeing those little ones more.

My body seems to be fully recovered from IMAZ. I am so glad I took a whole month off! My running, though short distances (5 miles the other day) seems to be easy. Back to weights... Allison being here has been helpful in getting me back on track. We are going to the gym frequently while she is here and taken 2 spin classes-her first!

I have been on track with my eating for the most part. Well except for for the "sugar free" white cakes we polished off... Now there is an oxymoron.."sugar free cake"!! I haven't checked my weight recently but clothes still fit..

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Sluggish re-entry..

Geez-finally I am blogging again. After getting back from Mexico, guess I have been on strike from training and blogging. Well, this past Monday, I finally got back on the horse and ran outside 3 whole miles with my daughter Allison, who promptly kicked my ass. She has been running a whole 6 months and already running 9min/miles but afraid she couldn't keep up in a running club. I assured her that I am a turtle in my triathlon club and certainly if she can whip her old mom's ass, she will be good to go in a running club in Long Beach. I see a little budding (26 year old) triathlete in her of course. Just the biking and swimming to go. Something really nice about seeing your kids get into sports as adults. I feel like the role modeling of good behaviors may outweigh the bad after all!

We have Lane, our little 4 yr. old granddaughter here for 2 weeks. The innocence of a preschooler is just too cute for words.

Here she is writing a letter to Santa. So adorable. We played with playdough this AM and I am now fully engaged in "Hannah Montana" and know the theme song quite well...

Lane is such a girl..

A bundle of energy, Lane is keeping Grandma and Grandpa on our toes!
We had our other daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter here on Sunday, Heather was here last night when we opened presents. Becca, Dan and baby will be here next Wednesday-yay! We have an overabundance of love this holiday season. Dinner later today with Nana Bea, where H will make a turkey and we will all eat bad sugar foods again.

I know I will be back in full force training after January 1st. For now I am doing what I feel like doing, which so far includes a spin class, 2 runs and a weight workout. Amazing how weak and sore I feel after taking 4 weeks off post Ironman!

I will get my writing muscles back again soon. I feel like my creative blogging juices are gone for now and that is OK...Looks like snow is coming to ABQ today..Will be a lazy day here in Grandma and Grandpa land. We are now on our 4th time watching the "Barbie Diamond Castle" movie...It's pretty bad really, but Lane loves it..over..and over...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Mexican vacation in short..

A quick post from beautiful Cancun, Mexico where we roughed it for a few days of cloudy weather but managed some great sun time the last couple of days. It has been nothing but rest, eat lay on the beach, by the pool and rest and eat some more. No training whatsoever unless we count the 2 mile walk on the beach yesterday which only got aerobic at the end when I had to walk fast to get to a bathroom. I am sure I have gained 5 lbs already but don't care at this point. One highlight is that I did not have to spend 2 days going to the dentist this year. A real improvement from last year!

Back to real life tomorrow as we travel back to the States and Christmas begins..

Back to training soon enough!!

Life is unbelievably good..

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Ahhh..the joys of aging..

There are certain things about being in my 50s that I really like:

1. I do not give a shit what people think of how I look. No really! I use to want to have the latest styles, the nails and hair..the whole bit. Now I just do stuff that I like..if others like it too..that's cool.

2. I get to not work. I have worked up until this point since I was 14 years old. I deserve it, have worked hard for it.

3. I get to enjoy my kids. Not the "oh my god I have this overwhelming responsibility to raise these kids and they drive me crazy half the time" anymore...they just love us and we love them and love hanging out with them. Now they are bringing grand babies to us to love. Need I say more?

4. I get to say I did an Ironman in my fifties!! Not just one, but three! I am sure doing IM is incredible at any age but when you add the fifties factor, it just sounds more impressive to me..

5. I can blame alot on menopause...tiredness, weight gain, crabbiness, almost anything..

Things that suck about being in my 50s:

1. I will never, never have a flat stomach. And it is getting worse. I have loose skin all over me where muscle use to be. Wrinkles in places I do not want to have wrinkles. I can't really botox my arms, can I?

2. I need more sleep. I just can't do the "get up at 5:00 to swim" anymore..just cannot..

3. I find myself thinking about death more often. Like it is more close than it use to be. Nothing to morbid, just a fact.

4. I am stuck in a routine and seem to have lost some of my spontaneity. Like, let's go to the movies on a whim just doesn't seem to make any sense to me these days..

5. The worst part is my memory really really sucks these days. It is a bit better than a few years ago but I still have a hard time remembering some conversations, mostly with the family. I must repeat myself because I cannot remember the stories I tell half the time...I use to be soooo organized!!! Now I am lucky to remember to get our bills paid. I was the anal traveler who always had everything order WAY ahead of time. Documents checked and rechecked months before big trips.

Well, this brings me to our current plight. H asked me a few weeks ago if our passorts were up to date and I said why of course they are good until 2010. Well, as I pulled them out of my drawer yesterday, much to my angst, H's expired in Sept. 2008. Oh shit! My memory failed me again!! Mine is the one that expires in 2010-duh!! We are leaving Tuesday for Cancun and as of 2007, you must have a passport to fly into Mexico. After many frantic calls to the passport government agency, it became clear there is no easy way to get a passport in 3 days. The only way to have a chance is to show up at one of about 6 locations around the country, one of which is Denver, in person and try and get your passport renewed. Weren't we just in Denver?? To make a longer story short, Hartley now has to fly to Denver Sunday night. He has an appointment with the official passport agency on Monday AM at 8:30 where hopefully he can get the process done right away. I fly to denver on Tuesday and we meet up to fly to Cancun. This change in travel schedule cost us and would have cost more if I went with him so he will be up there seeing my little Hadley along the way while I sit here at home packing. I don't think I have ever felt so stoopid. I do not think I have ever made a more dumb travel mistake..One time I lost my driver' s license and didn't realize it til I got to the airport and had to go home to get my passport instead and take a later flight.

I blame this on my age. CRS-can't remember sh#^*t!! We will laugh about this someday I know. I will be the butt of family jokes..I can feel it coming..Grandma Debi had some weird illness and had to wear a mask around the baby then forgot her passport had expired..something like that will be a family memory for sure...

Monday, December 1, 2008

Who is that masked Grandma?

This is not really how I saw my week going with my new grand baby. We arrived in Denver last Tuesday. I felt a sore throat coming on on Wednesday and the rest is history as they say. The cold has gone into a cough so I am wearing a mask at the new baby's house and not touching the little one. It is torture to say the least. But rather be safe than sorry..

I guess I should be grateful this did not happen before IMAZ. The fact is, I managed to train for the last 9 months without getting sick. That is pretty lucky..

Just wish it would have waited one more week!

We still have had a great time here with Becca, Dan, Allison here from California to help with her new little niece. Her presence and recent mommy experience was much appreciated. I do remember some things basic things, like changing diapers and breast feeding basics. Beyond that, it gets a little foggy. Well it as been 27 years since I had a little newborn. Dang Hadley is so little..Were my kids that little? There is something surreal about watching your daughter who was once that little, nursing and mommying the next generation. What a miracle!

I signed up for Beach to Battleship half IM , slotted for next November this AM at the crack of dawn. This is the one that all the Outlaws are doing next year so wanted to get in before it filled up.

I have not missed training. Not one bit! I am relieved to be finally, after all these months, to be "resting" The days are full right now in Denver but tomorrow we head home to rest for a week before we leave for Cancun. Then more rest..I can't think of a better way to head into Christmas! I am not even thinking about training yet. I think I will free form it until after Cancun then make some kind of a plan to keep some base over the holidays...right now it feels so good just to have no structure to my day and to go with the flow..

Friday, November 28, 2008

Run and finish..

As I sit here in Denver, visiting my new grand baby for Thanksgiving, I can't believe how lucky and grateful I am for all my blessings this year. The baby is TOO CUTE! Here I am holding her, before I realize that I have a full blown head cold. For now I am quarantined in my hotel room until the Dr. gives OK for me to be around the baby with a mask and gloves. I really hope so..

Back to IMAZ:

The run: I ran out of transition after an angel stretched my legs post biking. I felt pretty good the first lap of the run. It is 3 loops that went kind of in a figure 8 around Tempe Town Lake although I could not retrace my steps for the life of me. Thank goodness it was well marked and lots of people running. The volunteers at the aid stations every mile were fantastic! Of course there were folks passing me who were obviously on their 3rd loop which was a little discouraging but I kept up a 12 min/mile pace the first 8 mile loop. At the start of the 2nd loop Lorna called out to me that Becca and baby were doing great, as this was a worry of mine and she had agreed to call them for me. I thought of the new little one the whole way, I was so happy. The 2nd loop it was getting progressively harder to keep up the pace. My legs were really starting to hurt at this point. At one aid station there were more stretching people, but I didn't want to stop. I walked all the aid stations, stopped at the porta potties probably 6 times on the run. My stomach was getting pretty upset by now. Infinite concentrate and water worked for awhile. I tried to take in some Carboom but that made me go to the bathroom only more so finally I switched to chicken bouillon and coke. I crossed paths with H 3 times on the run, at the same place. He was about an hour behind me I finally figured out. I walked with Miguel for a bit, who was having leg cramps. I saw Brian heading the other way,also Mark and Michi. The last loop was really, really hard. My legs were hurting more than they ever had before, probably because I was on pavement and we had been training on dirt for so long. Also I had pushed on the bike more. I took as many Advil as I could but then lost track of how many I had taken so was scared to take more. I usually take Tylenol also on the marathon but somehow had forgotten to put them in my race belt-damn! I started to walk some at this point. It was very dark by now, I was just trying to get the whole thing done by now. Trying to keep positive thoughts. I'm a runner, I'm a winner, I can do this! was my mantra. I even talked out loud to myself I think at one point. The weird thing is I never got what I call "Ironbrain Syndrome" on this IM marathon. In the ones past, I had gotten really spacey and dingy in the head at the end. Even though I was hurting so much more at this one, I never had that experience. I crossed paths with poor MG, who was obviously suffering on his run. I tried to encourage him. I saw a clock somewhere along the way and knew I would not get a PR. I was, and am, discouraged by this. I thought I deserved to get a PR since I had done 9 months of training, 2 IMs and 2 half IM's in a year, shouldn't I be getting a PR? Oh well, I changed goals-beat my time at IMCDA. Land somewhere in the middle..Last lap, mile 25, I saw a woman in my age group walking. I flew by her running and just ran as fast as I could into the finish. I could have sworn she was right behind me but she really wasn't. It was inspiration to fly into the finish though. I slapped hands, jumped into the finishing tape and there was Duane!! he gave me a big hug, they gave me a T-shirt small I might add, usually they are out of my sizes but this time. Small but important detail..

Run time: 6:02
Final time: 14:44

Halfway in between my IMFL and IMCDA finish time. My run seems to stay the same almost with each race.

28th out of 52 in my AG although 60 women signed up for the race so I choose to count those and say I was in the top half of my AG. Also I was one of the older ones in my AG. So I can console my non-PR with that I guess..
Off I went to the pizza tent and wolfed down 2 pieces of pizza, while sitting with Mark and Lorna in the dining tent, waiting for H to finish. I stood at the finish line and finally I saw his red hat with a big smile on his face!! It was so great to see him and he was soooooo excited!!

We hung around to cheer the rest of our crew in. We all finished!! It was happy times in the Ironhouse that night and the next day. MG managed to pass out in the middle of the night which gave Michi a scare, but he was just dehydrated and was fine the next day..
This is my last IM for a long long time, maybe ever. But I have the fondest memories of this one, training and racing with my Ironmate was the best! Getting good coaching at the end to do a faster swim was amazing! Staying with my people at the Ironhouse was so much fun-I would do that again in a heart beat.. Having a grand baby the night before IM-well I might try and time that one better-that was pretty nerve wracking!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I took off on the bike feeling really good. I decided to try and eat right away some solid foods, since I knew later they would not go down. MISTAKE! I know better than this, really. I cannot eat solid food in a race, no matter what. I know this but wanted to "try it" since we had been eating in training...I paid the price. Although my first loop bike split was not bad, my stomach was a swollen mess. I took some Gas-X, I tried drinking more water, then was afraid more water would make it worse. About 1000 people passed me on the bike..one problem with having a good swim..and being an average rider. I had my HR monitor on and kept my HR below 145 for the most part. Finally in lap 2, I stood and passed some wind! Ahhh, that felt so good..I knew my stomach was operational again..Managed to suck down some Carboom gels and Infinite in loop 2 & 3. By loop 3, my legs felt really tired. I was having a hard time keeping my HR up, which I knew meant I needed to take in more calories, which I did with the gels as much as I could. I had to stop at the porta potty about 4 times, which I guess was good but totally sucked because I really wanted to break 7 hours on the bike. Which I did according to my Garmin, but with all the stops, it ended up being 7:06.

Since it was a 3 loop bike, I finally saw H on the first loop and each loop after that. It was so good to see him. He had a smile on his face..that made me so happy! I saw all my Outlaw peeps on the bike except for Brian and Cody...There was an ambulance that came zooming by, which made me a bit nervous..

As I calculated my bike time, I knew I would have to pretty much rock the run course if I was going to get a PR (14:15 at IMFL 4 years ago). My secret goal was to break 14 hours. I felt ready for it, I knew I had done the training. The weather was perfect! In the 70s for most of the day, very little wind, even had the headwind going dowhill on the Beeline Highway. What better conditions to ask for? I felt like I gave it all I had on the bike. I had pushed much harder than at IMCDA and knew I may pay the price on the run but wanted to push my limits a bit on this race..

As I headed into T-2, I was still in good spirits...still thought the PR may be in grasp. The volunteers at T-2 were amazing. Not only did I get my own personal assistant that did everything for me, there was also an A.R.T. therapist there offering to stretch my legs for me. Are you kidding me? Is this a mirage? I thought..Nope, she really did stretch me after I changed all my clothes. I decided to bag the Garmin for the run. I just did not want to deal with the chest strap and extra weight and stuff.. Off I went to run. I thought sure my T-2 was 20 min but it was "only" 10 min.

IMAZ-part One..

The house was a buzzing at 4:00 AM race morning. Hartley and I have our pre-race meals down to an art really, consisting of 2 bagels with cream cheese and peanut butter and our favorite WAKE UP drink called Wired. We loaded up the car and took off in the dark, wetsuits in hand and half asleep. It was kind of strange that we were both doing this thing, I have been spoiled to have H as my sherpa for so long for these things. We were both pretty calm and all in all never really got on each other's nerves the whole week before IM..we parted ways at transition and planned our meeting spot later. After fussing with my stuff a bit more, I was ready. Here is a pic that Duane took of us and Geekgirl at the body marking:

It was pitch black and hard to believe we were about to swim. After a long wait to the porta potty, I jumped into this:
I am the one in the pink cap-ha! My goggles came apart as soon as I jumped in and I calmy put them back together.

The swim start is in the water about 200 yds from where you jump in. So I was treading water for about 15 min. I managed to head up to the front of this fray and kind of in the middle. After the National anthem, then boom! We were off! I swam faster than I normally do in the first few minutes which was the plan. Or tried to swim in this as fast as I could. Yes, this is really how it was pretty much the whole swim!

Usually things kind of thin out after about half the swim but by golly I would swear I got hit, swum over, banged around pretty much the whole swim. I could not gauge how fast I was going but I was using the new stroke Coach Eric had taught me not 5 weeks earlier and felt like I was going pretty good. I never saw the buoys until I was right on them, there were so many people. Finally I saw the last red buoy and the turn into shore and I was psyched. Yes!! I did it! I always have that feeling after an IM swim..Done, at least this part!

As I got out, the clock said 1:15, which was my swim time. PR!! Yay!! Off zipped my wetsuit by the strippers and off to the T-1 tent, which was about 500 yds from the lake exit. That kind of sucked but I was never cold, like I was at IMCDA. The water was a balmy 63 degrees and after Lake CDA in June, that was bath water to me!

T-1 was an uneventful 9+ min. I couldn't find my bike, nor could the volunteer, which momentarily pissed my off-they were suppose to hand you your bike, which is what they said in the pre-race meeting but then I thought damn I am spoiled! IM is the only race where you get your own personal assistant to help you get dressed in transition and then get your bike handed to you..So off I went on the bike..I felt great!


Where can I start? Let's see, Saturday AM about 8:30 I got the call from my son-in-law Dan (in Denver) that Becca was in labor, in the hospital and 6 cms dilated. OMG, the baby will be here by noon! I thought. As we were busy getting our stuff together to go down to the race site for drop off, I anxiously awaited word from Dan..and nothing..I managed to only text him like once an hour, trying not to be bugging the parents' to be and he reported no changes except baby was not moving down and was upside down. We headed down to Iron Village and dropped our bikes and stuff off.

There is our little Ironhouse crew, Michi, MG, me, Hartley and Mark. Lorna, Mark's girlfriend, who was the "house mother' and resident massage therapist (how did we get so lucky?) was not in the picture but was a huge part of the weekend..

Off we went back to the Ironhouse, where MG kept us wrapped tightly in his ADD pre Ironman mode. We made videos of fight scenes, danced on the living room, sang karaoke and generally acted like drunk people who were stone cold sober. I was not only suffering very badly from pre-iron nerves but was getting more nervous by the minute about Becca and the baby. I was getting calls from the rest of the family all day wanting word of Hadley's arrival, to no avail. Dan was great about keeping me informed but I was so worried about my baby, Becca, who I knew was suffering for so long (she did have an epidural for some of this time). Finally when all my Ironpeeps were fast asleep, I got the call. Baby Hadley Lee, 7 lbs, 7 oz, 20.5 inches long finally was delivered by C-section at 9:42 PM the night before Grandma and Grandpa did an Ironman:

Here she is just waking up to a whole new world:

I was so grateful she was OK, Becca was OK and poor Dan-I knew he had been a trooper the whole 28+ hrs of the whole ordeal...I finally went to sleep with a new grand baby.

Dan texted me: Run the race for Hadley. So I did...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Done, done, done..

Total Time: 14:44
The swim was very jostling but a PR.
Bike was tough but doable..
The run was brutal.
29th out of 53 in my AG.

I am hurtin' so bad today but happy! Hartley rocked it and finished..We are the Ironcouple.

Full racer report to follow..


Friday, November 21, 2008

Pre Race jitters and fun..

We are tucked in the Ironhouse with 6 people, 3 of whom are sick with one ailment or another. The worst part is the one who has a cold is the MASSAGE person amongst us..bummer..I did let her do a foot massage on me last night. Figured the little germ critters couldn't sneak up my leg, right? I am not that worried really. We went to the race site this AM for a pre-race talk and the wind was blowing so hard, it was freezing outside-so we left. We did not want to spend $100 on a long sleeved shirt that has the IM logo on it-we already did that yesterday as we plunked down $300 on IMAZ bike wear and hat. Now we have to finish! H says..Yep, pretty much once you buy the gear, you have to finish or you can never wear the golden bike kits..no pressure there..

Got a call from the pregnant one today. She spent the nite in the hospital puking her brains out but no baby to show for it. Back at home, it seems she must have just had food poisoning or something..Poor thing..hopefully she can get some rest before the real deal happens, which I have a feeling may be Ironman raceday..Little Hadley Ironbaby..ahhh...

The weather is suppose to get better on Sunday so they say! But after today I think arm warmers in transition bags may be in order..

Last night we went out for a steak dinner. Kind of like the last supper since we figured we could digest beef and get all that iron in us before Sunday..Our little group is alot of fun..we laugh alot , which eases the tension of IM jitters. Of course I freaked out when I realized everyone has slime in their race tires but me. A high amount of flats I read somewhere describing IMAZ race course. Hartley already had one the other day. So now Mark will help me get Stans in my Zipp Race wheels sometime before race day.. A little thing like this can just send me off into a tizzy...pre-race jitters for sure..please no flat on raceday..

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Trippin' in Tempe..

We are here. It was an uneventful trip here except the new Pre-Ass gets really sucky gas mileage hauling 2 bikes on the hitch in the back. Still better than most, it was a disappointment. We arrived to a very warm day here in Tempe. Our home away from home is a vintage retro 70's house in a nice quiet neighborhood..It has a pool, although after swimming in Tempe Town Lake a couple of times, I can't imagine wanting to jump in for a dip. But you never know..I started sneezing and coughing as soon as we got here...allergies I hope...

Had Vietnemese dinner last night (H's favorite). We figured it wasn't close enough to IM even if we got food poisoning. Will probably eat in tonite..

Slept like a rock until an alarm clock went off in the bedroom, not once but twice until H yanked the cord out the wall. I did go back to sleep and slept until 7:00. So awesome to sleep in!

I talked to Momo this morning, who lives here and will be riding the Beeline Highway with us this AM. So nice to have our own private bike guide! The weather is warm (80s) so I am ready!

Still no word about baby Hadley although I talked to Becca everyday..nothing has changed..

Here she is taking a walk trying to get the little bugger movin':

Latest weather report shows no wind, high 76 on race day-perfect!! Tempe Town Lake is 67 degrees. We will go swim tomorrow AM there. Not the same dread I had going into IMCDA practice swim, where the water was 55 degrees! I pray the weather gods stay in the no wind zone. Our other friends arrive in the Tempe Ironhouse tomorrow. It will be a party!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Nutshell Notes..

SunNov 23
Partly Cloudy
0% chance of rain.

There it is..the first forecast for race day.

My number is 2611. I am trying to find out some signifigance to this number but haven't done so yet. H's number is 2005. We can be followed on raceday on Ironman.com by clicking on "athlete tracker" for IMAZ.

3.5 hour bike ride today, 40 min slow run, 200o yd swim. Our last "long" workout before IMAZ.

Taper agitation has set in..H and I have not killed each other yet.. :)

Hadley not here, Mom Bea still holding steady..

That is it in a nutshell..my world is in a nutshell right now..

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tick, tick, tick..

Goes the countdown to IMAZ. It's all over but the racing. We swam 4500 yds yesterday...check! A couple more shorter workouts this week, then barely any next then in 11 days-BAM!- the gun will go off. I have been watching on YouTube the IMAZ start in years past. That makes me a little anxious but hey, I have done it before and know it has to thin out eventually over 2.4 miles, right? I feel ready, my body is rested, I have my mantras down for all the legs of the race..We leave for Tempe a week from today. Wow-that is soon!

My mother in law's appointment had no surprises really. Treating symptoms, taking one thing at a time. She remains positive despite all odds and that is what has kept her alive so long. A strong woman! I hope I can have the will power this woman has at 87 years old!

My sister and brother in law are here until tomorrow. We are having somewhat of a Thanksgiving Day dinner tonite since we may be all scattered come T-Day this year, with Hadley making her entrance sometime in the next few weeks. Grandma Debi will in all likeliness be in Denver over Thanksgiving feeding turkey to the little one. Well, maybe not quite yet this year but at least I can meet and hold my newest granddaughter!

Now all I have to do is keep checking the weather and praying no freak wind or snowstorms decend upon Arizona in 11 days. So far looks pretty good!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Taper Time..

Oh yea...'tis the season to be rested!! I can already feel the energy shifting in my body as after our 4000 yd swim yesterday I felt like I could keep going! That is a good thing.

We decided to bag the Tempe 2.4 mile swim this weekend. They changed the course to a 2 loop version which doesn't even really resemble the IMAZ course. When I emailed the director of the Swim and asked him about it, he was not so nice but did give us a refund. H's sister is coming into town on Sunday anyway, for the big meeting with my mother-in-law's doctor on Monday so this will give us more family time anyway. We are hoping for some sort of plan of attack on my MIL's condition where we can all be on the same page and at least know what to expect if it gets bad or plan some kind of treatment to reduce her symptoms. It is funny being an ex-nurse. I know enough to be afraid of the months to come yet close enough to the situation to have a sense of denial about the whole thing..

We are playing the great balancing act of keeping going with life as usual but knowing the other shoe could drop at any time. "The Perfect Storm"as H calls it. IMAZ 2 weeks away, baby Hadley coming in about 2 weeks and H's mom slowly heading for a health crisis..We have only control over what we can control, which is very little in this situation. I can control the outcome of IMAZ..that is about it..I can control how I react to any given situation..When I think about it, much of life is really out of my control after all..

Today is rest day..I plan on pampering myself with a pedicure, maybe a massage, errands, laundry, preparing for company..Things could change on a dime. I have learned to roll more with the punches over the years. Something life has taught me. I can make plans but they may change, just like in an Ironman really. Ironman is a metaphor for life when I think about it. Shit happens you don't expect, you adjust, you have ups and downs..Sometimes it takes you out of the race. You adjust your thinking on this race of life as you need to. You decide how to react, you breathe through the hard parts, are exhilarated when you excel. You see friends along the way who are suffering too and this inspires you. You call upon your deceased loved ones, God, the angels, anything that helps you get by.You have cheerleaders on the sidelines that spur you on..Then..at the end..you cross the finish line and the reward was in the journey..

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Just made up my mind..

As I was busy bitching and moaning about taper, can't wait to rest after IMAZ, etc., we got a pep talk from Eric yesterday as we had our swim lesson. He talked about how building for a race was just as much mental as physical. This is not a time to let down mentally, it is a time to focus, focus, focus. Time to start visualizing the race, each part while training. Kind of a Zen thing..Time to see yourself in each leg, doing well, doing your best, leaving nothing behind. At mile 6 of the marathon, then you think about "the rest period". Just get through that last 6 miles and we are done..It was very inspiring really.

I have had such good teachers in my journey for IM. My first coach, Mark Mico, taught me that my body really could reach new limits...I can run fast! I also read about "The One Thing" somwhere along the way..This has helped me in both IM's I have done...and will push me in this one as well. My friend MG who trained with me for my first IM in 2004. Neither of us knew what to expect but his positive influence inspired me at every long ride we did together.. my friend Mark, who came back from some pretty sucky circumstances to complete an IM a couple of years later..Many other NM Outlaws I have trained with along the way are a constant source of positivity and strength..

My husband Hartley is my biggest cheerleader. He started by begrudgingly hanging out for IMFL training, got to do almost all the workouts I did for IMCDA and here he is, training for his first IM, IMAZ. How did he get there? By hanging out with crazy me mostly. Then he met my crazy tri friends and he was hooked. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em! I am so proud of him, can't wait to see him cross the IMAZ finish line..here he is, 61 years old and competing in his first IM triathlon. So next time you think you can't, think of him. This was a guy who could not even ride a bike 4 years ago, or swim..So no excuses for anyone..

My new mental attitude is my choice. I choose to continue to train my mind, my emotions for the big day. There is no reason right now that I cannot have a PR and finish respectably in my age group. I am fit, in the best shape ever and expect to do well..

That..it my One Thing..

Saturday, November 1, 2008

My mom, Patty Ann..

Today my mom would have been 82 years old. She has been gone a staggering 14 years (I can't believe it has been that long). Before she got sick at the young age of 45, she was athletic, a golfer, a tennis player, a leader in the Girl Scouts. She raised 5 daughters. I use to be amazed at the thought that she used a whole loaf of bread to make our lunches. My mom was one of the strongest, most persistent people I have ever met.

When she was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis at such a young age, she never shed a tear that I saw. She just started fighting it with everything she had, medically, mentally..She didn't complain much to me anyway, never seemed to feel sorry for herself. After 10 years she ended up on a wheelchair and that is how she lived out her life. She just saw an obstacle and went over it. She persisted with an undaunted will...I must admit it was a real bummer to have the roles reversed so young. She was my mom and had always taken care of everyone and everything and now, she was the dependent one. She never demanded my attention, even when she got sick. We wanted to be around her, even if it was a few trips across country to mom's house to spend time with her. I always loved being around my mom for those visits. I could just hang out, go shopping with her, the wheelchair just became a part of our lives. In 1994, she became even more disabled by this crippling disease and finally, when she could no longer talk, she let go and passed on. There is never a day in my life that I do not miss my mom. The hole in my heart is smaller, as the days pass but I can still remember her voice, her unstoppable will power to live and go on and be positive.

I know that is why I am who I am today. That is what makes me want to conquer Ironman and Mount Kilimanjaro and do all the things that seem too hard.

Because my mom taught me that nothing is too hard if you just set your mind to it.

Happy birthday Mom!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Somedays you got it..somedays..

Sometimes we train ourselves physically, some days-mentally. I was training myself in the latter today. We did a hard hill ride with Coach Eric yesterday, then a 3500 speed swim workout with him in the afternoon. You know the kind of swim workout you hate but then at the end you love? My HR was in the 160s for once while I was swimming! I tried my new wetsuit out-it is awesome although I really cannot gain a pound before IMAZ or I will be wetsuitless...

Today we headed for the track for a speed workout. That was a joke. I could not for the life of me get my legs to run fast. I was tired, out of gas, not sure what. So I played mental games with myself. I suck, I am the worst runner, I can never do Ironman, what was I thinking? turned into I'm a runner, I can do this, I'm a runner..

So on and on my workout went, H too far ahead of me to even count laps with. I just mentally fought the good fight and finished, even if it took me forever..Then it dawned on my Why this is just like Ironman. You just mentally decide not to let it get to you. NO MATTER WHAT the day brings! You fight the thoughts with other thoughts. You get the mental messages down before the race and on game day, use them..

Monday, October 27, 2008

Crazy weekend, trying to stay sane.

Tough weekend in H And D retirement land. It started out by a 5 hour wait in the Emergency Room on Friday night with H's mom, Bea. Can I just say what the hell happened to our medical system? It was ridiculous!! There was no less than 50 people in the waiting room. We had my 87 year old mom-in-law, who was suffering and in pain and needed to lie down. She was "next on the list" to get an ER bed. I talked to a poor girl next to us who had a burst ear drum and she had been there 5hours. It was all based on acuity and since Bea was next in line, she got the "first bed" AFTER THREE HOURS?? What a nightmare! To make a long story short, they admitted her. To protect her privacy, though I can't imagine her ever reading my blog since she cannot even open e-mail, I will only say that her chronic condition has worsened and our days with her may be limited..She is home now and still a very sharp woman. I cannot even imagine living life without her but that is something it looks like we do not have to deal with at least in the immediate future. We meet with her Dr. on November 10th to get a treatment plan so will know more then..

In the meantime, if she gets in this situation again, we will be calling 911 or getting her Dr. to admit her directly...That ER stuff is WAY out of control!!
I will say once on the hospital...thank GOD, she got such good medical care from the nurses and aides, had a great private room. It was almost worth the wait..

Our training went to hell. In between hospital visits, we attempted a long run on Sat and long ride on Sunday. Between Dr. and family calls out on the road, we only got 50 miles in on the bike. We still saw Bea when she got home and helped her get settled in and somehow made it to dinner with some friends. I collapsed last night in a heap and woke up to ants on the kitchen counter from leaving the dishes dirty for 2 days...Yuk!

Today our daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter, Avery will be here to cheer up Nana. We have our next bike and swim lesson with Eric today. Hopefully we can stay on task today after such a crazy weekend..

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Short non-creative post..really..

The whole world seems to be going to hell in a hand basket on the economic front, but I choose to keep the blog light:

It is four and a half weeks before the big day of IMAZ and the birth of my grand baby, little Hadley. Which comes first is to be determined by the little one..

My week has looked like this:

Saturday: 100 mile ride, followed by a 30 min brick run.

Sunday: 3 hour run

Monday: 20 miles on the bike with our new coach Eric, in the foothills up and down hills. Followed by a 3500 swim, with tips from Eric again..

Tuesday: hour track workout with 3 & 6 minute intervals. Also a quick gym workout.

Wednesday: 45 mile pretty easy paced bike and 1:10 min. easy paced run

Today: We will do a 4500 yd swim and short weight workout.

Why I am not curled in a ball in fetal position is beyond me. Actually as the week as worn on, I am feeling better and better..go figure.

A few things I have changed in this last month of training. Don't most people hire a coach to get them through the last month? Probably not..but I am SO glad we did. H wanted some bike tips...I am along for the ride mostly on that. But the swim..now I am cautiously saying this but I think after 7 years of triathlon, I may be getting faster! I have learned more from the Coach in 2 swim sessions than I have since I started swimming again as an adult. And this includes all the years in Masters I swam. I got so excited I ordered a new wetsuit yesterday:

Yep, a new Blue Seventy..This should give me the best chance for a swim PR..

I also decided to get a round of A.R.T. before the race so my back would stop hurting. It has bothered me for about 6 weeks now, getting more consistently painful over time. Dr. Scott is helping me with this and after 2 treatments, I have no pain at all. Magic!! I have always heard good things about ART and now I know...it works..

I feel as if all my creativity is kind of on survival mode right now so that is it....Just a report of the latest training stuff. And Becca is feeling good and pregnant..things going well there. The rest of life goes on..the laundry piles up..I am incessantly hungry all the time..my weight is the same.. some of my family is getting annoyed because we are training so much and not available..I have already voted...I found a new bike mechanic...etc...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Less drama this week...

The weather man lied. The wind blew about 15 MPH for the last 2 hours of the ride. Mostly headwind. We got through a total of 100 miles including 2 pretty big hills, a couple of flat tires. The first one was H's. I am faster in tire changing Dept. and he is better cooking. So it all evens out at the end..as I was putting on the spare tube, my finger ran along the inside of the tire and OW! I sliced my finger on a piece of glass stuck in the tube. I could be really dramatic here and say how I bled like a stuck pig and had to have intense pressure on it to stop the bleeding before I pulled out my trusty band aid, which I now carry on all my rides...oh that is exactly what happened. Here i am in the middle of that episode:

MG thought it was Facebook worthy. That is blood on my mouth and tongue. I look like I just got done eating a wild animal or something...

We carried on without any more real excitement. At one point with the wind in our faces, I was bitching and Michi said At least it is not hailing! That made me laugh because now all our rides will be base lined against the ride from hell last weekend, which makes all other bike rides seem like child's play..

MG wanted to go up another hill at the end and there was mutiny in the troops and we decided to do the last 40 miles flat-thank god!!!

Total miles: 100
Time: 6:42
How I felt: Like dog doo-doo the first half, pretty decent the 2nd half.

Followed by a 30 minute brick with MG and Michi...

After a call from Mark and Lorna, who thought we may be hungry..Oh no not at all, we are just about to wolf down anything we can get our hands on..we met them for a great pasta dinner and now.....I am wiped out..

On to a 3 hour run tomorrow..

Friday, October 17, 2008

Riding tomorrow AND...

This is the forecast for tomorrow:

W 9 mph
Max. Humidity:
UV Index:
6 High

nuff said...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Less is more..

I am crying uncle!! When I feel like I am over training, I start to get diminishing returns on my biking, running and swimming. Today we took off for a 3 hour bike and about halfway through I felt so lousy and could barely push myself up the hills. So I cried UNCLE! and said I needed to go home. That was that, I was done... Not to mention there is still friggin' wind here and I was freezing when we started into a headwind. I am having PTSD from Saturday's ride I guess. My back hurts, I am exhausted -so I am bagging the run I was suppose to do today. I am in my pajamas and it is mid-afternoon. I am laying on the couch and feel like I may not move for a week.

Such is life in Ironman training world. It consumes everything. Very selfish unbalanced sport really when I think about it..That is why no more "just 2 IMs" in a year. The half Iron distance seems to be just enough to not completely take over. The full IM training just feels like too much. Even though I am not working it still is overwhelming training right now. The thing that makes it tolerable is training with H and looking forward to seeing him finish. I love the long rides with my crazy IM Outlaw friends, even if they are torture like Saturday's ride...

We are hiring a swim coach. I know a little late in the game. We found this fellow who appears to swim like a fish and that is what I want! I want to be 25 years old and swim like a fish! OK, well maybe not the 25 year old part is possible but I really think I could PR this whole IMAZ thing if the stars are aligned right and I have the race of my life. Anything is possible...Swimming better will help.

I looked (unfortunately) and out of the 60 or so women in my AG at IMAZ, I am 2nd to the oldest! That kinda sucks for me...So if I happen to get a PR, it will have to be among the youngin's in my AG. Damn!! There goes my Kona slot. Ha!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

I survived...

OK, there is really something wrong with people who see this:


and this:


and this:


and STILL go out for an 80 mile ride! I woke up this AM at 4:30 AM..I can't seem to sleep in these days..probably something to do with training..who knows? H told me last night about the weather report. Then this AM I saw the above warnings and immediately texted Mark and said are we still on for the ride? Of course he was not up that early so we carried on thinking There is no way we are riding in this. No-one will show up, etc..We got at our Sat meeting place and not only were there 7 NM Outlaws there who are training for IMAZ, but then there were 3 or 4 other folks there just to come along with the crazies..So as we discussed in total denial what route to take for our long ride, the wind was blowing a bit and it was partly cloudy so hey the weatherman is wrong all the time, right? Off we went on our merry way and man were we FAST the first 40 miles. I must have averaged 18 MPH going out to San Isidro, our turn around point..Me being one of the last ones in, never has enough time at the stops. I want to relax, take a nap, drink my energy drink. But after everyone has been waiting 20 min, well time is limited. And we knew we would have wind coming back.

The plan was: Stick together and stay on the wheel of the stronger riders. That worked for awhile. The wind was stronger now, alot stronger. I think around 25 MPH with gusts higher.

S. Baboo was telling me stories of how IMAZ 3 years ago was twice as windy..Are you kidding me? I decided right then and there I would not have survived that race..

In the midst of riding back to town, I saw in the road, the biggest friggin' tarantula I have ever seen! I don't think I have ever even seen a tarantula outside the zoo. I tried to yell above the wind to Mark, who did not see it. I wanted to go back and take a picture for Facebook but there was no way in hell I was going to turn around and get dropped at this point. As I went up that hill (above), I was really struggling. I was peddling as fast as I could, in the headwind and felt like I was standing still. By now I think the wind had picked up, if that were possible. Oh, these must be the 50 MPH gusts they were talking about..I thought..Then it started to rain-pour actually. Then it stopped.. As we went down the hill the wind was so strong it was blowing my bike around. I was still able to control it but damn-it was hard!! Dust abound..poor Pirate kept stopping because dust was obliterating her vision..Two folks got flats-that sucks, glad it is not me! I am so compassionate when it comes to pain of others..Our next stop, we were a little more flustered, S. Baboo sticking to his IMAZ story..we talked briefly about calling someone to bail us out but we are OUTLAWS!! We must endure! Well, we headed south, now directly into the head wind, which by now was consistently 30-40 MPH I think. Then the lightening started..Uh-oh...this is not good..Wind, dust, rain continued. Then at one point it really started to pour..I am talking about the "flood advisory rain" Then the hail came. H & I were basically with just each other at this point. I knew the next gas station stop was about 3 miles away. This seems like an eternity in a torrential downpour...I was one of the lucky ones to have a jacket. Many didn't . Two people bailed by now and called for a ride-I don't blame them....Others had loved ones calling to make sure they were OK. I can't talk right now-I am trying to survive a hurricane right now..I think I heard them say. The next time we regrouped we were all cold, more complaints other than just me. I think I bitched the whole ride. At least under my breath, Oh my god this is so bad, geez the wind is incredible..oh shit did you see that? Now I was hearing the really strong IM peeps getting a little freaked out too. One more called for a ride. Now there were 5 of us, riding the last 5 miles. We had a chance to catch a ride but H wanted to do the last of it..I gave in..It was beautiful for about 10 minutes! No rain, no wind, etc..Then came another storm. VERY windy, cold-we were just speeding back to the car to beat the rain. Just as we got in the parking lot, very large rain drops were coming. We raced to get the bikes on, attached to the bike rack on the Pre-Ass and boom slammed the doors just in time for the worst rain of the day with large hail and flooding conditions. Whew! At least we didn't have to ride in this!! Now that is just sick thinking that is all there is to that...I survived the wind, rain, dust, a tarantula today...

Total Miles: 78.6
Time: 5:17
Ave. MPH: 15.1

Oh H just told me they issued a friggin' TORNADO WARNING (no joke) in Albuquerque!!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

OMG is this Ironman ever going to get here?

I am grumpy, tired and sore...OK so that means the training is spot on! We did 7 miles on the treadmill this AM, then 40 mile bike ride..After consulting with our chiropractor (that just sounds like something an old couple would say), we are to stick to the "dreadmill" or soft surfaces for all our running until IMAZ. Has anyone ever run 3 hours on a treadmill? It is like torture..I am sure..

H has a pulled or inflamed tendon in his lower leg, I have back pain..from long standing arthritis in my back and all the training..no doubt..The chiro can't seem to "crack" me out of the pain so plan B is to go to a pain doctor and look into an injection in my back. I know this is risky but just once before the race-I don't think will hurt me..I just need to get back to "normal" training and I'll bet the pain will be gone..

Hunger..now when you go to bed and lay there and think I am so hungry! then you know you are doing some hard training...Large tablespoons of peanut butter are helpful at this hour..better than candy or doughnuts I guess...Still have the extra weight I did not have before IMCDA. Oh well, just have to deal with it..Is frustrating to do all this working out and still be gaining-actually really pisses me off but what the hell-I am still in good shape..

The economy is going to hell in a hand basket and I continue to be in my little Ironman world.I guess it keeps me from becoming actually worried..It did motivate me to go to Blue Cross yesterday and discuss my benefits with this really nice woman who explained everything to me. Basically if I use "out of Network" doctors, it sounds nice that it will be "covered" but in actuality they are not....long story short, I have been scammed for the past 2 years, paying for this benefit..Time to switch to HMO. The good news is I found out I have some retirement left over from my nursing career 15 years ago..I may get to collect as early as next year. For some reason, this makes me feel good-all those years of working as a nurse and I do get some payoff in the end..

I feel like I am rambling but this is my life..

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Rain, rain go away!

I woke up today to an interesting sound: Rain...not just pitter/patter of the rainfall but gushing down pouring rain! Very unusual in the "Q" but it does seem to come every year at Balloon Fiesta time. The International Balloon Fiesta is here very year the first 2 weekends in October. I remember one of the first times I was there in 1970s and there were maybe 50 balloons:

Now there are literally hundreds and it is quite a sight..

This is our crew riding up Tramway yesterday on our quest or a 95 mile ride. It was "fun", tiring, challenging. The best part was when Bones and MG pulled us the last 35 miles against a headwind..thanks guys..

The bike profile is less 10 miles since my Garmin stops working after about 5 hours ...

The big payoff was the pizza afterwards..The whole thing took us 5:45. 16.5 MPH!! YAY!! Oh did I mention I turned off my HR monitor? There is no way I could keep up with this crew unless I did.

Note to self: Do NOT weigh yourself the day after you consume massive amounts of electrolyte fluid and pizza, even if you did burn 4500 calories the day before. I gained 3.5 lbs!! I weighed myself because smart ass Miguel mentioned last night that he had lost 3 lbs after the ride yesterday. I wondered where, you SOB, you are so skinny already!! Oh, we women and our weight...just stupid really..

I am wondering if some of these folks actually did get up at 6:30 (in the dark) this AM and run in the pouring rain! As for H & I, we will be at the gym, running a mere 2 hours, 10 min. on the dreadmill. You know you are Ironman training when this seems like a short time to run.

Seven weeks from today, I shall be doing IMAZ..Can't wait!!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Ups and downs of my week..

Life in Iron training has it's ups and downs.

Ups: I was really up when I ran 11:30 min miles in my tempo run the other day. First time ever with my HR being under 135. I rode 44 miles in less than 3 hours yesterday..up Jemez Damn, which has a pretty good hill. I am clearly, for some reason after all these years, getting in better shape. I am figuring it is because of pushing myself a bit harder this IM trip training around. I feel good, especially now that they got infected tooth out.

Downs: I guess I have had this tooth infection for awhile now. Remember the tooth fiasco in Mexico? They had to pull a tooth. I opted out of the dental implant route..something about the words sinus lift surgery just didn't sound good or safe. So I opted for the permanent bridge route. While in between the temporary and permanent, the infection of the bordering tooth got worse and to make a long story short, I ended up with a root canal on one of the attached teeth to the bridge before they had put the permanent one on. In this I was lucky. The Doctor who did the RC was special and young and cute, with no real communication skills.

Seems he is also a mechanical engineer and invented this:

Take your practice to its full
potential—with Guidance.
The V-Taper™ Rotary System is a series of three (3)
variable taper NiTi rotary files. The V-Taper™ Rotary
System will allow you to complete most molar and
premolar root canals using 2-3 files and anterior root
canals using 1-2 files. This performance-enhanced
system is easier, safer, more efficient, and less
expensive than any other NiTi rotary file system.
With the V-Taper™ Rotary System, you will perform
your best root canals.
V-Taper™ 3-File Rotary System

Which means that a. Every endodontist in the world uses this now. b. He is very rich-does not have to work but just does cause he likes it and c. The whole thing was done in about 15 minutes after the numbing stuff kicked in. Amazing!

It was all kind of strange though. I walked into the dental office yesterday and the first thing I noticed was the shh. quietness..of the office. Very dark, very Zen looking in the waiting room. Then they led me into the procedure room where I proceeded to stare out a window at a fountain stream with fish in it for about 30 min while the Novocaine set it. The Dr. came in and very softly said hello there.. I told him he looked way too young to have invented anything-what did he invent? (this was before I researched it). He told me in very few words what it was. Probably spoke about 10 words the whole visit-not rude, just friendly and quiet. His assistant said not one word to me. It wasn't a mean vibe-just weird. Plus the Doc was so damn cute it was hard to be too upset by his lack of communication skills. This endodontist came on good recommendation from my dentist, who I trust implicitly. So I went along and poof it was over! Last time I had a root canal it was 2 very long trips to Columbus Ohio as a teenager and painful. This time it was over in a flash. I had some pain last night but feel fine this AM. What a difference! As I was leaving and paying (this very rich Dr. is still getting richer), I remarked how quiet everyone was in this office. The woman said this was on purpose because most people are totally freaked out by root canals and need calming..Ohhh, this explains alot! OK, whatever, I woke up this AM totally pain free except a little soreness..

Ups: Seven more weeks of IM training. YEA!!! Off to swim and do weights today.. Gosh I feel so teeth Zen today!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Something cute about triathlon..

I found this on some guy's blog and thought it was cute:

Ironman Life's 8 Tips On How To Be A Triathlete And Impress Your Friends Without Actually Doing An Ounce Of Exercise

1. Shave your legs. Chicks dig it.
2. Lycra. Buy it.
3. Get into the pool before 6:00 am at least once. Brag about it forever.
4. Re-mortgage your house - buy a bike. Mention words like "campy" and "downtube"
5. Go to the running store, buy the most expensive shoes available. Refer to their "superior technology"
6. Buy Triathlete Magazine. Leave it on your coffee table. When people ask about it, start your response with "Oh that? It's nothing..."
7. Choose a race. In every conversation, figure out how to talk about the intense training you're doing for it (don't worry, no need to actually do the race.)
8. End the last conversation of every day with "I've got to get to sleep. Early training day tomorrow."

Can you add any?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Where's the sun??

I am up at 5:00 AM this morning for no particular reason other than the fact that I was dreaming that we were having a party with hundreds of people, bands and everything. I was tired of hosting that big of a party and woke myself up. You see if you are retired and the economy is about to tank, it just makes sense to wake up before the sun comes up once in awhile..Not that we have anything really to worry about but had to make a few financial decisions just so we could sleep better at night and here I am awake at the butt crack of dawn..Oh well, I can always take a nap..or go back to work..I know I am not going to get much sympathy here because when your friends are mostly younger than you and working people they just do not feel sorry for the retired-evar!!

We spent the weekend in Denver for baby Hadley's baby shower, which was a success. The ultrasound shows a healthy baby at 33 weeks and we are ticking down the time of her debut. She looks adorable on ultrasound (of course).

I bagged any working out yesterday. H hurt his calf muscle about 3 miles into our 3 hour run on Saturday. I could have been selfish and kept running-he said go ahead, I'll wait for you. But alas I couldn't bring myself to it..so we walked back the three miles. We were running on the most beautiful running trail in Denver-goes on for about 26 miles one way I think, in the woods kind of-is flat. Not sure on the H leg front. He will see the chiro today. It is one of those re injury things..I think it will heal but he may be out running for this week.

So as we drove home from Denver, I chose not do any training yesterday. I am starting a new training week today so will get back on track with a bike and swim today.

It is still dark. What the hell time does the sun come up these days anyway?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

IM training and stuff....

Ironman training: OK, I am psyched now! H and I did our long ride today instead of the weekend which I will explain later. We were suppose to start at 7:00 AM for a 5 hour bike ride wrapped around a ride with our Wed bike group at 9:00. Well, when you are retired you should get to do whatever the hell you want-so we did. We slept in, met the group at 9:00 and ended up riding 4 hours and 15 min. I have to confess that we did do a fairly flat ride, to Los Lunas and back. And yes, our friend Chris on a fixed gear mountain bike pulled us most of the way (he is amazing-no duh). Regardless, we averaged 16.5 MPH!! Holy crap-that is really fast for me! Then it started to sneak in. That little thought in the recesses of my mind: I do believe I could get a PR at IMAZ.. Then H said Wow I'll bet you could get a PR in Arizona! Now do I believe this? YES! But what I said was Well, you never know what could happen..Shit can happen you know.. Immediately doubting myself..To think that 2 weeks ago I was ready to bail and now I feel like I am in the best shape ever...Oh my..

The Baby: The reason I am missing my long bike ride is that I am going to daughter Becca's baby shower in Denver. Here she is with baby Hadley:

Isn't the baby cute? Oh that's right,we haven't seen her yet. However the genes are quite strong on my side of the family so chances are she may look alot like her mom.
We get to see baby Hadley on ultrasound on Friday. This may give us some clues!

Something new: I am kind of a creature of habit. I eat the same stuff everyday, always sleep with a noisemaker, fall asleep to the radio in my ear. Watch TV at night, train during the day, walk the dog every other day..You know..that stuff. So for me to get off my butt and do something out of this zone is new for me. I have never been a very political person. I even went a couple of times not voting at all for a president...Somehow, this election year, I am invested in who wins. Soooo..instead of just blabbing about it, I took action. I went to my candidate's local office last night and spent 2 hours making phone calls. To strangers..asking who they were going to vote for. As soon as I sat down I said I am about to be one of those annoying people that I usually hang up on! But I carried on anyway. The first call of course was someone who had a question I did not know the answer to about my candidate. Strike one! My biggest fear realized already..Then I went on to call about 200 people and talked to maybe a dozen. Some hung up on me (I will never hang up on a pollster again)..One guy said it was none of my damn business who he is voting for! OK so I took this as a sign that he did not want to discuss politics with a random stranger. I can understand that. But do you have to be so rude? I visited with really nice people too, who cheered me on in my quest to do something to help the campaign. One guy said he was voting for Perot (as in Ross). I said I thought that he was a bit behind on the news..is he still alive? The guy gave me a hard time and finally I said You know I am just a Joe Schmo just like you just trying here.. He softened and said yea you probably talk to jerks like me all the time on the phone. To which I said Oh no, you are not the biggest jerk I have talked to tonite by any means! We both laughed and I said Be sure to vote for whoever you are voting for and have a nice day! On and on it went. It was kind of fun, very interesting and yes I will do it again next week..

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I did a 78 mile bike ride yesterday with some Outlaw IMAZ training buddies. Although I was a bit grumpy to begin with, I did manage to pull it off in a little less than 5 hours. I am getting faster!

Later, we had dinner with Bones, IronOutlaw, newly named CP Killa (my hubby)and Lorna (yet to be named) at the NYPD pizza place.
And of course afterwards, we saw this:

H at the end of the rainbow! MG in front of my new "Pre-Ass"

This was sign that we go to Flying Star to have a decedent dessert. I, for one, thought I had just done an Ironman already because I pigged out on some huge chocolate thing..We laughed until my sides hurt. Great time with friends!

Today 11.7 mile run to be exact. Now it is Fall. No more hot weather running, I hope. There were beautiful days the past 2 days to do all this crazy training in..I have my mojo back for sure..

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

More pics from the relay..

Just a bit of my difficult leg on the Colorado Relay:

The decades..

H asked me yesterday how it felt to turn 54. This is what I thought:

1. When I was 4 years old, my mom was in the hospital, very ill and almost died. My dad was left with 5 little girls, (youngest being 5 months old) until my mom recuperated.

2. When I was 14, I got my first job. I worked at a snack bar at the local pool..I was busy on the swim team and becoming interested in boys.

3. When I was 24, my first born was a year old. My ex-husband and I bought our first real house. I was a nurse and a housewife.

4. When I was 34 years old, I was divorced and having a great time being single while working as a cardiac nurse.

5. When I was 44, I lost my ability to drink responsibly so I quit. I started getting in shape..

6. I am 54 today. I had a man 20 years my junior proposition me last week (I said no of course). I still got it!! My life is full, I love my family, my friends and my freedom..I am a triathlete, mom, Grandma and wife.

What else is there?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Part 3-you really know who your friends are..

This is where things went a little south for me..After my final leg of the race, we had some time to kill until the finish. My stomach was not doing so well and I thought, Well I must be really hungry or something.. We went to Village Inn, where we waited and waited so by the time we got served I was gobbling down OJ and wolfing the pancakes I ordered, thinking OK I just need to get some calories in.. Wrong! Then not only did my stomach feel yucky, now I had all this food sitting in it. Not a good sign..At the finish line I tried my best to find a coke or anything fizzy. The only thing they really had was beer, I don't drink so didn't go there. I did find some weird drink at the Expo that worked for awhile and I just thought it would go away with enough water and time..I did feel myself getting a little grumpier as the day wore on. We went to the Hot Springs which may not have been the best thing for possible dehydration but it kept my mind off my stomach issues that seemed to be somewhat abated by now. And it was fun!!

If you have a queasy stomach do not read on.. We got back in the van..Off we went to head to Breckenridge for a night in a nice condo with real beds where we could relax, eat and just hang out after all our hard earned work. Margaret was driving, and all of a sudden I got that feeling.. which felt vaguely familiar from my drinking days..Oh shit! I think I am going to puke! I think I said..You really know who your friends are when they immediately hand you a plastic bag and ask Do you want me to pull over? I think I said no thinking I will just have a little regurg and be done with it. But noooooo....I had to have the projectile kind that went all over me, the car, my bag, shoes and probably some people, I don't know. OK, time to pull over...WTF??? I felt so embarrassed, tired to clean up as best I could, my friends trying to help but were as tired and helpless as I felt, I am sure. I got up in front and we stopped at the nearest gas station where Jane scored me some coke and Gator Ade (you can tell she has kids-nonplussed by the whole thing). Mark reassured me I probably was going to be OK (that really helped in my foggy state). I took my pulse-no rapid pulse. The thing that worried me was I could not remember for the life of me how we had gotten on the mountain. Where we started, how we got there, little details like that. That scared me. I am thinking high altitude, exhaustion, dehydration, all of it.. being the hypochondriac I am-I immediately envisioned myself in the hospital in Breckenridge, which was in the boondocks to me. So I made the executive decision to call my daughter to come pick me up from Denver..They told me later I was near one of the most highly ranked hospitals in the country in Vail...whatever..I wanted to get out of the mountains..like now..

My friends, bless all of them. They treated it like it was no big deal, did not say Oh my God she puked and it smells so bad in here-get her outta here!! Thank you!! They took care of me until Becca and Dan showed up a couple of hours later. I got back to mile high Denver, sucked down a whole bunch of Gatorade and proceeded to sleep 12 hours straight..Funny how things look different in the morning! I remembered everything by the next morning so probably little brain damage resulted..

I have been hiking in some pretty high mountains before, have seen altitude issues, dehydration, but never had first hand experience. I think I saved my friend from having to calm me down all night because my mind is a dangerous thing when it comes to illness..I felt really sad to miss that last night...but there is always next year..

Afterthoughts: We learned alot about each other in our little van and on the whole trip. Lots of profound thoughts shared Everyone is responsible for their own happiness and Life in dynamic..things like that. Things that in those circumstances seemed so funny and absurd at the time that only crazy people in a van couped up for 24 hours could appreciate.. We learned I am not such a great navigator when I am tired. Tim is a great driver in the snow. And Damon, the other driver was the best navigator gadget person I have ever met. Mark likes triple peanut butter sandwiches. Jane can sleep anywhere. Margaret loves running uphill, in the snow. On and on I could go.. I loved the whole thing (except the puking part). The weather made it interesting and challenging. Since we faced it as a team, it felt so doable and less frightening..

It took me back to when I was on the swim team as a kid and the team depended on each other to do well. Team racing is the best. I felt camaraderie this weekend like no other feeling..

Sign me up..I am ready for next year!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Colorado Relay..Part Two..

At the 100 mile point:

As we waited for Tim, the moon rose over Colorado:

As we were messing around in the van, and hanging out in a real bathroom, Tim arrived 10 minutes early. We found out as we got to the Exchange Point hearing Team 178? Anyone here? Oh shit, we just lost 10 minutes..Oh well. Off Jane went for her nighttime run. Tim was glad to be done..

Off we went to the next checkpoint where we were not late to get Margaret off on Leg 12.

I must have gone brain dead the next few legs, because there are no pictures for the next few legs of the relay, but Jane, Margaret and I got out in the dark and did our legs with headlamps, reflector vests and a very beautiful full moon and cold night. When I left on leg 15, I headed down the street to absolute nothingness into the night on the streets of Vail. At this point of the race, it was 10:30 at night and I had 9 miles to run, mostly downhill this time. It was surreal running in the dark. There were no markings on the road at this point of the race so when I got worried I was off track, I would wait for a runner to come up behind me and breathe a sigh a relief that if I was lost, then there were more than one of us..I made a pit stop into a hotel to go to the bathroom and reorient myself on the map I did have. For one split second, I thought seriously of booking a room for the night. But my team was depending on me! After about 5 miles in traffic in Vail, I finally got to run on the most beautiful bike path ever..it was surreal..The full moon and stars, the river rushing beside me, my Ipod music in one ear and not a soul in sight for what seemed like forever. By this time I could relax, because the trail was marked well for the relay..It was really one of the most serene runs I have ever done. Being mostly downhill, I was making good time. When I arrived at the Exchange point, I yelled for Dave and there he was! Then I only had one more leg to do!!!

Now we had to find a place to crash for awhile. After trying the airport, which was closed, we found a hotel, who allowed us to crash in the lobby, until 4:00 AM. I managed to sleep for about 2 hours finally..the rest of my team managed to rest a bit too..After coffee and more snacks, we were off for our final leg of our part of the trip. Here comes Misty again!

Off went Tim again, bless his heart, for the last run in the dark:

I survived and lived to tell about it..Part One.

I decided I will probably not be a good candidate of "Survivor" at this point of my life. I did however, have the time of of my life at the Colorado Relay this weekend. We left on Thursday and flew to Denver:

where we shopped as a team of 11 in the local Walmart. Snacks abound as we left for Whole Foods in Denver where we checked for the race in our 2 vans and had the team dinner:

We excitedly discussing our triathlon careers and weight loss. I didn't realize that Mike, Tim and Brian had lost a total of about 300 lbs between them in the last 5 years. They compared old license pictures:

After that, we headed to Georgetown. After a team meeting in the hot tub:

We hunkered down for our last night of sleep in a real bed for 48 hours. Up at 4:00 AM, I looked outside and it was pouring rain! Not the just dripping silent type of rain, but the kind that sounds like a deluge on the ground. OK, so we are going to run in the rain..it's official. We headed off to the starting line and there were the other 249 teams, checking in as we all anticipated a real test of endurance in these conditions. Dread Pirate, our team captain and I listened, outside in the pouring rain, as the race director said, "Some people treat this Relay as a race, some as an adventure with your friends. In these conditions, I suggest you treat this as the latter." We heard along the way that these were the worst starting conditions ever in the past 5 years anyway, of the Relay. Here we are ready to begin the adventure:

Tim, the bravest of us all, started the first leg of the race:

Jane, our fearless leader, was pretty psyched for her leg.\

Off Margaret went on leg 3, in the snow (she loves running in the snow-no kidding):

On the way up this pass, the van we were driving decided it had had enough and just slid into a stop, not 200 yds from the top:

Luckily, a nice man in a Bronco, towed up to the top of the pass, where Mark took off on his leg, down the mountain, in the snow

We slid the van down the mountain, where I waited for Mark to hand me the bracelet, which was the hand off object for the relay.

Here I go!

I started running as fast as I could down the road, Ipod on, feeling fabulous-flying..All of a sudden I hear a car honk and Tim yelling at me from the van: Debi-you missed the turn! Oh damn-I had to run up the hill to connect up with the trail head, where the real fun started. It was 5.8 miles of running straight up a mountain, to 10,700 feet and then back down to 9,000 ft. It was called Burning Bear Pass. I prefer to call it Burn My Ass Pass. It was considered "hard"... Are you kidding me? I don't even get to rate it "very hard"? I was huffing and puffing much of the way up, power walking much of it. There were large puddles of water on the trail, many streams to jump over, several inches of snow at the top, where I decided to put on my Yak Trax, which are basically little wire thingies you put on the bottom of your running shoes so you can run in the snow. These came off at the top, when I started descending on boulders and rocks and mud down a very steep narrow trail. The only thing that kept me from feeling totally like a failure was that several young looking men were even walking at the top. Note to self: Next time try practicing running at 10,000 feet! I almost bit the dust many times as I hopped and jumped my way down.. I was very stressed that my teammates would be worried about me, as I was about 45 min. off my expected arrival time but I was doing my best under the circumstances. It was raining or snowing the whole time-the only advantage of over packing, which I always do, was that I was overdressed and certainly not cold at all! I finally managed to get to the next exchange point, where Van B, the other van's first runner, Dave took over. I have never been so glad to see anyone in my life!

Next we found a place to lay down at the exchange point for our next start. We had about 5 hours to kill so DP and I found a little cubby hole in a Community Center to take a nap in. By now it was around 4:30 in the afternoon, still raining, but abating a bit.

Can I just say that I have never met anyone who could sleep as easily as Dread Pirate. She slept in the car, on the floor, anywhere she could between her running legs. I was sooo jealous!! I tried to nap here but found it very hard to sleep after all the caffeine I had consumed to run up a mountain pass.

We all met up at this point of the race to start Van A (out van) out on leg 11:

Mike had the hardest leg, up Georgia Pass, which was closed for awhile because of snow. He started out with the first group allowed to run the snow packed mountain, fell coming down and has the wounds to prove it:

He is OK, thank goodness, although road rash on your body and hand cannot feel good.

This is a picture of the masses (and Tim) as we waited for GeekGirl:

Here she is!!

Our view as we drove to meet Tim at the next exchange point:

By now it is 6:00 PM, Friday night, 12 hours after the Relay began. The sun is setting...

In the van, we laughed so much my sides hurt. We reminisced about parts of the relay, we ate and ate and ate..Margaret, Tim, Mark, Jane and I made for a very fun van ride. Tim and Mark did much of the driving (thanks guys!). Being the van driver was my previous designated job. I am so glad I got to run instead..Otherwise, we would still be up on Guinella Pass, stuck in the snow I am sure
More later as night falls...