Thursday, September 25, 2014

12 Days to Go- This S#%ts Gettin' Real!

Never in my wildest dreams did I think the biggest stress the week before leaving for Kona would be a mouse in our house! Wednesday H saw a little critter in the garage, never a good sign..

Honestly, the little rodents are kinda cute, look innocent enough but if you research online about mice and how disgusting they are and how many diseases they can carry (over 200), they're just not that cool. We didn't think much of it after the garage sighting. I always have a bit of mouse poison in our garage. Leftover, I suppose from a super big mouse problem we had in another house of 20 years ago (We live near the mountains and desert-yes it is a problem up here at times). Living near open space it's to be expected. I guess the poison has a shelf life cause next morning H was greeted with a little critter in the kitchen while making breakfast Thursday. Out came the snap traps..Friday AM we caught one of the mice and for a couple days we were on mouse alert..Finally we were mouse free!

Thursday during my late day run on Tramway I came face to face with a 3-4 foot long snake slithering across the run/bike path, slowly slithering. I thought I would cry. I waited until a brave dude went running by and ran next to him past the snake. Had I thought quicker, I could have captured the snake, taken him home to eat at the "Mice Hotel" up here at our house..Geez!

Then Friday, **Somebody** left a laundry room faucet on full blast and forgot about it, so we had a nice flood of an inch of water throughout about a third of our house. The water was limited to the tile area. There was lots of mopping involved,a ton of sweeping and a large fan to dry things quickly. I was secretly hoping it would drown any mice. See how sadistic I get when under stress? So my "day off" from training wasn't so relaxing between the mice and the flood. I fully expected for famine to follow at that point. To say I was grumpy and upset is an understatement!

Then I remember:

Deep breath, deep breath..

Oh yeah, that little Iron Race that's coming up..then there's that! I had a rough end to my training week as well which is predictable at this stage of the game. My workouts are getting shorter, faster and taper is beginning. The time where one can get grumpy, tired, and hungry. I am already G&T off and on..On Thursday, I didn't want to swim over 4,000 yards in the morning and run 45 minutes in the PM. I tried to weasel out of it telling my coach I really needed to take Thursday off, too tired, I could do workouts on Friday, etc.. My coach is awesome, doesn't baby me-I think I like this in a coach. He was encouraging and gently coaxed me to do the deal and take Friday off. It was a struggle but I did it! The swim was a bit challenging at a city pool I found that actually has hours after 8:00 AM, so I got to relax a bit Thursday early AM. At the pool, some woman wanted to share a lane with me, then glared at me, eventually asking me how much farther do you have to swim? I said uh, about 400 more yards...she looked unhappy, not sure what was going on, but I wanted to take her flipper and throw it to the other side of the pool..I just haven't had good luck in any lap swimming lately! Don't any of these people work?? :>)

So glad come yesterday that I had done the schedule and taken Friday off! My Saturday bike was an easy hour long ride around the hood with hubby, then I was off to run "faster than race pace" for an hour. I did my usual run 4/walk 1 min., but really picked it up on the run. I ended up running almost 6 miles-yay! This is really an accomplishment for me on a training run after a tough week physically and emotionally..

Sunday, a few of my riding buds showed up to support me in my last longish bike effort. A four hour bike ride with 4x20 minute Time Trials (haul ass as fast as you can for 20 minutes times four, then easy ride in between.) I was really appreciative that people showed up for "lil OLD me" to give me a send off to KONA. I was really touched! I have great friends here and lots of similarly crazy people to enable me in my enthusiastic goals...

I I really can't believe in 3 days I am off on a plane with my favorite SD (Supportive Dude). I really don't know if I could have done all the training it takes to prepare for Ironman number two In 2014 without my fantastic husband, who did almost all the training with me. Who does that? He didn't have to but he is my biggest fan and supporter-encouraging me in ways that only someone that knows and loves you so well can. I am one lucky chick!

I am starting the lists.. So much to do, so little time. I have even asked H to wear things over and over this week-NO MORE LAUNDRY!! Haha..I am somewhat stressed watching Ironman Kona specials from years past on YouTube. The race looks HOT. Really HOT! So not sure what my race gear should be. Wear too much and I will cook and that is not good..wear too little and I will get the effect of sun on my skin, causing more heat and dehydration. Oh, and everyone is different when it comes to the Island heat! I am really hoping all of this will be clear to me once I can actually feel the conditions for myself at the end of the week. Typically I don't feel all that good in humid high heat but we will see..worst case scenario, I have to buy something in Kona to doesn't sound like a bad option to me! Is there a Lululemon store in Kona? Lemme check on that..













Wednesday, September 24, 2014

18 Days til the Big Dance..

Friday I said goodbye to Chama and these guys:

This guy got up close and personal
On my last bike ride for the week, there they were. It was soooo cool! Friday I traveled back to the big city, got myself immediately to the Club Pool (different location-oh why can't the city pools be open midday???). I needed to share a lane so went with the older sweet looking gentleman, who apparently unbeknownst to me, was swimming backstroke-starfish style with paddles and fins..Really?? I managed to cut my hand on the water fill pipe on the edge of the pool, I was swimming so far to the side to avoid the guy. This went on even into my 20X100's, every other one "hard effort". Finally the "water aerobics" class (and I use this term loosely-sorry..) that took up 4 lanes was over and I got my own lane. The good news is I consistently swam my 100's in 1:40. This is really good for me. With 45 seconds rest and an easy 100 in between, I am a rockstar! Lol..hopefully this will translate to a decent swim in the clear waters of Hawaii in 3 weeks (yikes, I shudder at how close I am to the race).

I also Skyped with my coach Michael on Friday. He is in Hawaii already (from Australia). No, I'm not too jealous! It was good to see him and the conversation about my training, the Kona course, etc. brought the race even closer to reality..Always feeling uplifted and younger than I am after talking to my coach, I went to sleep anxious to get the coming two days, my biggest training weekend so far and ever, maybe.

Saturday, up and atem, ready for my epic 2.5 hour run, followed by a 40 minute run in the ("PM"). I noticed my stomach felt kinda queasy and had some pain there up in Chama the last couple days, but didn't think much of it at the time. I started my run down Tramway and about 20 min. in my stomach started to go South. Horrible gas pains, don't want to be too graphic but I had to stop a dozen times to the potty. Luckily there were some along the way. At one point, I dashed onto a running trail to find a proper bush and boom! tripped over my right shoe, these same thing I have done many times. I managed to scrape my left knee which is typically what I scrape when I fall. There were some blood. So I scooped myself off the ground put the Band-Aid that I have with me on my knee and went along my merry way. A couple of people stopped to ask if they could help and was I alright. I graciously said no and then cursed under my breath. My left knee is not too happy with me! I have abused it one too many times..

On I went with my miserable run. The stomach was a real issue. Was it the tacos and burritos I has eaten on Friday? Or a stomach bug? Whatever, I did the run, even the 30 minute sets "within the run" at "effort" (faster). All in all I kept it together to finish. I felt quite dehydrated by the end and was pretty much worth nothing the rest of the day. I was suppose to do an "optional" 30 minute swim afterwards but I was in no shape to carry on so just rested..I couldn't eat hardly anything my tummy was so rebellious, but managed to hydrate a bit as I knew Sunday would be a long ass day too. I emailed my coach-whaaaaa! Stomach is a mess..what to do? He calmed me down, as always. Just drink and eat as much as you can..have good ride tomorrow! I calmed down. This was my biggest training weekend before IMAZ Kona and I was pissed the physical issues were getting in the way!

Saturday night, we piled in the car and drove the hour+ to Sky City Casino, the home of the start of the Tour de Acoma, which was to be my 100 mile training ride for Sunday. The Tour de Acoma is an organized ride and race either 25,50 or 100 miles. We have done the 100 and 50 before. The Pueblo opens this area just once a year for cyclists. The race is well supported and views are absolutely stunning! Especially once you enter El Malpais National Conservatory Area:
(These are not my pics. I heisted them off the Internet)

Breathtaking views as we winded around huge sandstone rocks on our bikes. I could just feel the wonder and history coming from those rocks. I felt blessed and so lucky to be able to bike through this wonderful land.

Anyway, we went to dinner at the hotel Sat night, my stomach still a mess. I could hardly eat. But got all my nutrition, drinks and bikes set up for the race Sunday AM. Tried to drink as much as I could, went to bed at 9:00 and hoped for the best.

I was wide awake at 3:00 AM. Thank goodness for Mickey-D's across the street. Open 24 hours a day, I ordered breakfast and (free) coffee and observed, well no one basically in McDonalds at the hour. I was hungry..good sign..awake much to early, I got on my computer and checked emails, surfed the Internet for info on Kona and drank much coffee. By the time H was up at 5:45, I was over ready to go! At 7:00 the 100 milers lined up at the start line and someone said "go" and that was it. I decided to take a timing chip just to see what my official time was at the end. My goal was to do a pretty good pace, not racing just steady. Limited stops and keep to my nutrition plan..oh and enjoy the view on the ride!! Soon the riders were spread out, there were 54 riders on the 100 miler, 7 were female. I saw a couple of gals out there but didnt think much of placing in the race itself. In 2009, H and I tried to "race" this ride and it was miserable. I think I was 10th back then and I didn't see too many gals out there in 2009 either. They only give awards to the top 3 overall men and top 3 overall women.

The wind, ahhh the wind. I was just thinking the other day I really haven't gotten to train in some proper Kona wind conditions on the bike yet.. Be careful what you wish for. We had WIND for much of the hundred miles of beauty and wonder as we fought side winds, headwinds, 20-25 MPH with gusts, which my old Zipp wheels didn't seem to like very much. I had to hold on for dear life when the side wind almost blew me over a few times..Ahhhhh, Kona wind is my friend! I figured all I had to do was contend with heat and humidity as I think I got this wind thing covered. H and I pulled each other the last 20 miles, taking turns except on the hills, where I was barely moving. My legs were still screaming a bit from Saturday's run at this point. My stomach started to hurt. We finally had an anticlimactic crossing of the finish line. I didn't even stop-go to the timing tent but instead headed straight for the bathroom and Restaurant. H and I were starving! We got way too much food from the almost closing brunch buffet, thought we could eat it all after burning 4,000 calories (according to my Garmin), but of course we had many leftovers. Food never tasted so good! I had stuck to my nutrition plan of gels and Shotz electrolyte drink, with little food so I was making up for it!

For anyone who is interested in the course. It is really amazing!

Monday was spent in pajamas. Except for the 90 minutes I crawled onto my bike on trainer for 90 minutes and did an "easy spin", followed by a short run outside, where I just missed the big storm coming in. I was so beat up that day, was overwhelming tired. My daughter had to put her 13 year old dog down Monday in San Diego. I so was so sad for her and heartbroken to hear Riley was leaving us. Riley has been to our house many times over the years and was a permanent part of B&D's family for so long. So tired, sad and sore- I tumbled into bed at 8:00, opened a message from a friend and he said did you know you got 3rd place in the Tour Sunday? Whaaaa?? I had no idea. That perked me up! I checked the timing site and I'll be damned, sure enough.. And the prize for placing is a nice piece of beautiful handmade pottery! I immediately emailed the RD and hopefully H and I can go pick it up or they can mail it to me.

Yesterday (by now this was Tuesday) was an early morning 2500 yard swim, which included 40, yes 40 sets of 50's. I made it to the city pool where I still had weird experiences but the water was crystal clear! I had hard set every couple 50's. Anaerobic swimming accomplished.

I ran at sunset last night. It was amazing. I am starting to visualize the run in Kona, with the ocean instead of desert around me. I remembered my run in Melbourne at sunset, it was magical. I thought I am really doing this!