Thursday, April 12, 2012

Something Was Bound To Happen

To get me to post again.

There were many times I thought about blogging.
  • When I had the most fantastic run with the Personal Cook. It was a Thursday at lunch, PERFECT weather, had a solid 9:1, and felt great. Those so called endorphins actually kicked in and he felt them too.
  • Erica came to visit over St. Patrick's day weekend. And she was totally cool about me taking 2 hours to run on that Saturday morning, and staying in drinking beer. Except I got super sick (AGAIN) and sent her off to do touristy stuff while I slept on the couch and dreamt about running.
  • I met DAVE SCOTT!!! And Dave Scott knew me and my name for like 2 hours. I know, I am awesome.
  • My fantastically wonderful awesome parents came to visit.
  • I did finish the Cherry Blossom 10 miler. With the help of the PC and Mr. Shorty Shorts. And really, this topic does deserve its own post.
  • My dear friend and former running group partner Rachna got married in Raleigh. In addition to the wedding and her looking like an Indian princess/Bollywood actress, there was also a visit to the WORLDS largest chest of drawers. (A picture will eventually make its way to this blog.)
All of the above topics were/are blog worthy, as were a few other things that happened over the past month and a half. But, laziness continues to win and sometimes blogging is hard (said in a whining voice).

Until Tuesday. I am very scarily close to my "I am never going to weigh this number again!" weight and trying to find motivation, again. I keep trying new things like more weights and total body condition classes, more yoga, and hoping I can figure out to make sewing a zone 5 activity. I am also working on finding a balance between workouts and a social life. Tuesday's have become trivia night with my brother and his GF. The PC and I figured we had time for a quick run, make a decently healthy dinner, and get to trivia on time. A win win for all aspects. Right? Right.

We get to my apartment, lace up the sneakers, and head out the door. I am very lucky because I live right by Rock Creek Park. We (meaning I) figured to change it up a bit and try a trail run to get to the main path. Not even 3 minutes into the run, down I went.

Not.Cool. But I attempted to keep going, much to the concern of the PC. I insisted he continue to go first but he kept turning around every 5 seconds - even after repeatedly saying I was fine. Which I was. Just a lot of dirt, some blood, and only a few tears. And 35 minutes later we finished the loop, took pictures and started dinner.
Oh, and we came in 3rd for trivia.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I WAS Funny


Having this blog serves/served many purposes.
1. A place to vent my happy and sad thoughts about post Ironman, Ironman training, and post Ironman again. This time around, the after Ironman posts have been few and far between.
2. A place I can go back and reference what I did in terms of training and races. This is very handy when searching for perspective.
2A. This is also handy when I am looking for 'speed' workouts I have done in the past. And laughing to yourself about running with Mr. Shorty Shorts either on the treadmill or outside. Man, I really don't like to match people!
3. The weather is changing. I wrote how I was super happy to run outside in February in pants and a long sleeve shirt. I don't think I have had to run on a treadmill due to weather yet this winter. And I have mostly been in shorts.
4. Looking at old posts triggered a few memories of workouts with friends, beating the odds, and that this stuff can still be fun.

So overall, you may be wondering why I am even 'running' in the first place. Do I still hate running? Yes. But I wound up in the Cherry Blossom 10 mile 'race' on April 1 - and no, it's not an April Fool's joke. My goal is to not DNF - which would be less than a 14 minute miles. Can I do that, yes, BUT its 14 minute miles from the start of the gun, NOT when you cross the start line (which takes a good 10 minutes). So, I do have some reason to worry.

I was doing really well with training. Running 3 days a week, strength training once a week, and a total body conditioning class once a week. Then work changed and I got super busy with 9-10 hour days and no lunch break. Then I got food poisoning and missed a long run weekend and a few extra workouts. Now I only have 4 weekends/32 days before the 'race'. So, I am trying to make every workout count, including what will be a speed workout on the treadmill. Which sparked this entire post and why I went back to look at old workouts.

Unfortunately, Mr. Shorty Shorts hurt his knee so he should not be running (hear that Mr. Shorty Shorts! NO RUNNING! REST!) which means it will be just me and a treadmill. But he gave me a speed workout to try. I think it will go well with my new playlist from Karen.

Overall, I know I don't post much anymore. Mainly because when I go back to read old things, I crack myself up. And I just don't seem to have many funny things happening right now. But who knows, that may change soon.

Friday, November 18, 2011

600 POSTS!!

It's not like I really have that much to say... But I guess I have had 600 posts worth of stuff.

To celebrate, Ironman FINALLY put together their 2011 Wisconsin 'awards' video. I didn't make this one either (or the TV version on Universal sports), but it's so great to watch and remember that I did that. Twice.

It only seems fitting I post my 600th post with why I started blogging in the first place.

And yes, I got all teary-eyed watching it.

And no, I still don't want to do another one.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Yes, I am.

I need to keep to a workout schedule. I really do. But I don't want to. My clothes are tight. I ripped a hole in the butt of my favorite jeans. My new favorite dress doesn't fit any more. The PC and I have goals to meet by Christmas, my birthday, his birthday, etc. But I am still not motivated to keep up a regular workout schedule.

I did go to a total body conditioning class yesterday, and I am pretty sore. And I should have gone to the gym today for some easy cardio/core/something/anything. Instead, I spent my lunch hour researching.

Not triathlon. Not races. Not training plans. Not recipes. But CRAFTS!

See, my mom planted the seed a few weeks back about sewing machines. Not that I should get one, but that she was thinking of getting second one. I said "Of course! My 4 bikes have different purposes, so you should have at least 2 machines for your different sewing purposes". Which got me thinking...

About a year ago, I 'hired' my mom to make cow bags for some of the ladies doing Ironman Wisconsin. In the cow bags were bike/run shoe drawstring bags (so you don't have to throw your gross shoes into a duffel bag/car all gross; the grossness can now be contained).
Fast forward to a few weeks ago and I realized maybe I should try to make some of these bags myself. It didn't take long for me to realize how valuable it was to have these types of bags for multiple purposes, and I didn't want to keep asking my mom for new shapes, sizes, and fabric patterns.

After some research, we settled on a nice starter model that should meet all my basic needs. During their visit this past weekend, I received a lesson from my mom and got to work. Needless to say, it's all I can think about now. My first solo project (well, I did have some cutting and pinning help from mom) went well and my new list is growing fast of things I want to make. Many of the items are triathlon related, so I don't want to spoil any surprises by sharing this list. However, some people are in on my new found (hopeful) talent and are already putting me to work. And I am very excited.

But don't worry that the sewing machine is now where the bike trainer was, and you can see 3 of the 4 bikes in the corner. No one puts Blain/Carlos/New Bike in a corner! Well, maybe just for a month or two...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Pain in the Park

This past weekend was great. My favorite parents came into town for a long weekend visit. There is always lots of shopping, some touristy stuff, and of course - EATING!

To counter some of the delicious food, I decided to go to Pain in the Park on Saturday morning. My parents and brother were more than willing to sleep in while I went to this boot camp style workout put together by Karen. You remember Karen, she is the one who comes up with things like the 100 push up challenge and other fun off season tri stuff. And this was no different. Lead by Jill and Sandy G, it was very apparent how I have really been enjoying my off season.

It was a beautiful day, but a little chilly without the sun. We started with a little jog (major walk up call about my 5K in a few weeks...) and walking stretches. Which turned into high kicks. Somewhere things turned from stretching to more sweating and the need to keep moving so we didn't get cold. There were mountain climbers/high knees/lungs. There were bicep curls with cords and tricep dips on benches. 50 meter 'dashes' and running backwards for 50 meters. There were medicine ball throws. There were a lot of laughs and yelling at Sandy G and Jill for making us do all this stuff (yes, it was our choice to be there at 8 in the morning, but no one likes to be reminded of that fact).

Finally, when we got to planks and boxing, I just took my aggression out on Jill.
I promptly left before the "abs circle of death" and extra squats. I can only handle so much pain and I had to get back to my parents so I could fill up on clam chowder and Eggs Chesapeake.

Thanks to Karen for organizing (and the pictures), Sandy G for constantly fixing my form to make things harder, and Jill for adding extra core work by making me laugh with your crazy ideas of leap frogs and jump switch leg lunges.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Full Dogfish Dash Race Report

In my earlier post today, I mentioned a little 5K the Personal Cook and I did in September. The more I thought about it, the more I decided it needed a full race report.

Not necessarily because of the race itself - which was awesome. We got to Rehoboth Beach and walked around, played a lot of Skeetball for $0.10 a game, and we camped the night before the race - PS. falling asleep to the ocean is fantastic!

The next morning, we know parking would be an issue so we got up early, tore down our campsite in about 35 minutes, and headed to the brewery. Of course we had some time to kill after the port-o-john line, so I showed the PC a little YouTube video. I really don't remember where I found it, but it makes me laugh EVERY TIME!

This now brings us to why this race was awesome and needed its own race report. I have a new goal for pictures during races. I have never made it a secret that in races, especially triathlons, I tend to run for 3 reasons, and these 3 reasons only. When I see the following:
1. Family
2. Friends
3. Photographers

Fast forward to the race and the gun went off, we started running, smiled for the first photographer, and stuck to the 9:1 plan. Yes, I said run 9 minutes, walk 1 minute. All was going well, and during a walk break we saw a photographer, so we had to start running. However the PC said "How about we do the T-1000", and that changed everything. Every other photographer we saw, we tried to capture a different style from the Awkward Runners. Unfortunately, only one picture really shows our dedication to the craft.It was SO MUCH FUN! I mean really, no one EVER looks good in pictures while running, so I might as well try to capture the Geezer or Dandy. I think this shows my skills with the Flightless Bird.

That was a nice distraction as I was HURTING after about 20 minutes. But as I said, the PC stuck with me, kept me running, and got me across the line in 37.01, a solid 2 minutes faster than my last stand alone 5K (not including the Warrior Dash). I beat my all my 'targets', was very happy with my time, and the post race food was fresh fruit with yogurt and granola - and good BEER. Oh, and with the PC. Really couldn't ask for more from a race.

Hi. Remember Me?

First of all, so sorry for the delay in posting. I have had some funny/blog-worthy stuff happen, but I didn't want my first blog post back some random story. I felt I needed a nice lead-in to the next chapter of this "No longer Attempting Ironman..." blog. But that seemed like a lot of work and time, and I am still pretty lazy right now. However it's now November 1st, and I didn't blog at all in October, and I just need/want to start again. I think most of you (all 3 of you) read this via Google Reader, however I think my dad still checks everyday (Hi DAD!!). Thanks all!

So, where to start...

The rest of September was a blur. Right after Wisconsin, I had to go to Indianapolis for work. It was super difficult sitting in a conference for 8 hours, but it was also good rest. I went right to Deep Creek Lake to cheer some friends race in the hardest Oly and Half race EVER! After all that fun, I finally made it back to my apartment in DC.
I then spent a lot of time resting, trying to get the right side of my body back to normal (HA!). This of course included a lot of time doing bicep curls of beer/wine/vodka sodas.
The Personal Cook took a mini vaca to Delaware beach for camping and a 5K, and it was awesome. Once again, he stuck with me (and in real running shorts, not khakis this time) and kept me running to my best 5K time since 2005. I mean really, I was running TO BEER! I highly recommend this race to anyone on the East Coast. I was embarrassingly sore after, but we had a great time.

And October... What happened in October... I am really not sure. There was more drinking. Lots of catching up with my neglected couch. A bike ride and a hike. But mostly trying to find some pattern of workouts and eating. Oh, and actually doing my job.

Overall, I have been very much enjoying my off season. I have no huge desire to get back into sports right away. My right hip/butt is still not completely better; not doing anything didn't just solve the issue.

So I would like to cover a few other topics soon: new workout schedule, diet (including meatoberfest), my opinion of married men who paint their toe nails blue, and a few other things. Hopefully this is enough to keep me on your Goggle reader for a bit longer.

Happy November!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Race Report

There are so many things I have wanted to say about this race, and I have had a hard time collecting my thoughts and actually writing (typing) them down.

The Days Prior.
It's no surprise to anyone that I was not at my peak before the race - physically or mentally. Between the 'big things': not being able to walk 3.5 weeks prior to the event, major hip pain from the 12 hour drive that left biking extremely painful, an unfortunate family situation that kept the Personal Cook from my side the days prior to the Ironman; and some "smaller" not ideal situations: my weight being 7 pounds higher than when I left DC, not receiving the hotel room I thought I reserved, having a CRAP practice swim on Friday.

All the big and little situations left me questioning even if I should bother getting into the water to start. I didn't feel well. I didn't feel ready. I was already an Ironman. So why even bother? I could get drunk, cry, and watch my friends accomplish their goals. I had lost my drive, and it showed. Coach kept calling for me to give him a play by play of my days and thoughts. Toby talked me into having a glass of wine and taking a shower to relax, and not make any decisions. The PC kept calling to check in. AJ was on a flight with Alejandro to sherpa. Erica was driving down the next day. Suzie, Rick and Therese were all coming on Sunday. And of course there were my parents.But Sandy and Lindsey talked me into going to the banquet and dinner. So I went, still in a funk. And something happened. There was Mike Riley, the motivational 9-11 participants, the married couple, the youngest and oldest participants, and a video. One little video with one line that changed everything.


By the end of the banquet, I was so happy to see all my DC Tri peeps and we were ready to CRUSH IT on Sunday.

On Saturday, the swim was under perfect conditions. The bags were packed with the check boxes marked. Blain shifted perfectly before he was racked. Racking was an issue - as number 403 did not have a spot. Actually, 401-410 didn't have spots... But given EVERYTHING else that went wrong, I took this in stride, found the proper place for Blain, and was on my way. I finally felt ready.

Race Day
Erica and I actually got some sleep before the alarm went off at 4:30. She was there in 2008, and commented on how different I was this time. Almost calm - hearing that actually helped. I was calm. I was excited. But I was not nervous. I know I had done all I could do, and the fact I was going to the start line was an accomplishment.

What can I say about a swim with 2400+ people? It's just crazy. The first part started well. Then I got punched in the face so hard I thought I was going blind in my right eye. I didn't bother looking in my watch, I really didn't care. I had a goal time - but not really. A few more punches and kicks, some open water, and a lot of thinking about how to handle the bike. Before I knew it, I was making my way towards the finish. Time - 1:13:23

Emily had an awfully terrible picture of me coming up the helix. It's a combo of "confused/dizzy" and to quote her "you look as if you'd been sleeping for 22 hrs and I just woke up and you're all "Whaaaa? Huh?" ;)" Which is true.
What, you want to see that picture as well? Fine. But it's not pretty! The rest of T1 was pretty uneventful. I just tried to move as fast as I could, but still make sure everything felt right. 112 miles is a long time to not have your socks in the right place!
Time - 11:45

Again, not being mentally ready for 112 miles crushed any confidence I had in my fitness. So when my right butt started to hurt 20 minutes into the bike, I was worried. Then I remembered that I tend to hate the first 45 -60 minutes of every bike ride, so I kept going.
Adam and Jen passed me first. I saw Suzie, Rick, Erica, and Therese 3 times within the first hour. (Erica had my phone and was taking pics and updating facebook. Thanks Erica!!) I think it was Dena and Jelena next. I FINALLY got to meet Stephanie (hi Stephanie!!) for a good 5 seconds as she passed, and I tried to keep up and chat. Becky passed me next. Then I heard Sandy, who just made me smile. And Jenny. And then it was the 3 hills.

At the end of the second one the guy in front of me clipped out and people just started cheering for me, as I was still pedaling. A guy in a full banana suit ran up, and passed me... and a few others in Speedos with flags wrapped around them a la Tour style ran passed me too... And then I saw the lead PRO MALE pass me as if I was standing still. Oops... all those cheers were for him, but I didn't clip out so I really think there were a few in there for me too.

And when the third hill hit, around mile 50, I had a pain in my right side I had never felt before. Almost like a side stitch, but it kept me from taking a deep breath. Not.Good. Alejandro and AJ were at the top with a sign that said "GO BLAIN! (and Amanda too)" - which I LOVED! But I pulled over and started to hyperventilate. My legs hurt, my foot hurt, my back hurt and I couldn't breathe. So I clipped back in and pedaled off to with special needs (mile 58) in mind. Lindsey passed, and Jen passed. And Tammy. I got to special needs and started to stretch. I took what felt like 5-10 minutes figuring out what to do. Motrin, salt pills, sun block (thanks Jen!!! Note - always back a spray, not a tube!) biofreeze (I had been stopping about every 45-60 min to reapply) and Gu. No blocks. No combos. No power pellets (peanut M&M's). No SNICKERS! I know, all the training I did with Snickers - but I did not want them.

I got back on and kept going - seriously questioning why. I passed Erica, Suzie, Therese and Rick and gave them a thumbs down sign. I passed my parents and told them I was giving everything I had. And I was. If I stopped, I would have been happy with what I did. But my favorite part of the course is mile 30/70 - 40/80, so I figured I should at least do that - I was so close. And once I enjoyed that section, I figured the 3 hills were right there, so I might as well try them. Plus, I wanted to make sure there were Hula girls and not Pirates at the 40/80 mile water stop. I was sure Brooke, Diane and ME were dying to know.

On the first hill, my right inner thigh cramped. I had enough time to take a few salt tabs, some combos and a swig of Accelerade before the left inner thigh cramped. Again, all the guys around me were clipping out, but I kept going. I swim through leg/foot cramps all the time, so why not try and pedal through 2 inner thigh cramps. While going up hill... but it worked. And I made it. There was no one was in a banana suit to get me up the next hill - at least in person, there was one there in my mind. And I started talking to a 25 year old who agreed that at every turn was into the wind, or maybe he was a hallucination too... I saw my parents and said "1 more hill, I think I can do this". And no side stitches, no unclipping, I just moved forward. Back to Verona. And back to Madison. As fast as I could, so I would have more time on the marathon. And a slight tail wind helped...
Time - 8.02.40

Once I got into transition, my order and plan was out the window as soon as I dumped my bag. I just wanted to get moving. I forgot to body glide my feet, biofreeze my feet, take off my heart rate monitor strap, and re-body glide my knees for my knee brace straps. (I paid for all of those when I hit the shower...)
Time - 5:29

My plan was to walk the first mile, then try and run:walk. But the first mile is around the Capitol, down state street, people are calling your name and cheering - so walking is hard. But so was running, so I knew a run:walk wasn't going to happen. Option 2 - walk with a purpose. I knew if I did 15 minute miles, I would finish. And I was surprisingly happy... Still not confident I would finish, but I really happy I made it as far as I had.
AJ found me around mile 3 and I told her how my foot was really hurting and I needed to retie my shoe, but was afraid to stop. I eventually found a ledge and kept going - worried about what that 1 minute stop did to me, that I knew I couldn't stop again. Andrea passed on Observatory hill (and I only mention everyone passing me because it was SO GREAT to see everyone on the course. Same with Ellen, Amy, Chris and others I am not thinking of right now). On State street, I heard lots of cheering, people yelling "Go Amanda" and "Woo Hoo!". Normally, I like to ham it up for the crowds, but I was on a mission and needed to get a buffer on my 15 minute mile pace - so I didn't even stop to hug Greta, a college friend from my polo days. She got a quick (sweaty) hug and hi as I kept moving. So when a guy yelled "Hey Baby" and stared to come into the street, I was ready to stiff arm him out of my way and keep going. But to my unbelievable surprise, it was the Personal Cook, ready to get me to the finish line, dressed in khaki shorts and all... He had left the Chicago area after a family wake, with the funeral the next day, to be at my side.

The marathon did not showcase my finer side. There was some yelling, informing the PC that the only answer was "Okay", but not in a questioning way - a firm, OKAY tone, was all I wanted hear. He wasn't allowed to complain (khaki shorts... really...), or tell me to "Never give up, never surrender" as we joked about before. He was to ignore my mantra of "You WILL do this" - which I had taped on Blain and read it over and over - so I had to keep saying it, but he wasn't allowed to say it. However he was also not allowed to leave my side, unless it was State street (tons of people so I was fine), or the Ford motivation mile (thanks mom and dad, I kept Moooooooving), or another out and back where I felt confident. (Side Note - I fully understand that outside help is not allowed in the Ironman. And some people may not think I earned my finish - and to them, f' off.)

It wasn't until I was whining for the 127th time that I hurt and I just wanted to stop moving forward, that he pointed up to the sky at something all a glow - the Capitol. It was so close, and I started to get choked up. I had 1 hour and 14 minutes to do 2.2 miles. I was going to do it again. I was going to be an Ironman, a second time.
Walk - 6:49:37

Nothing. And I mean NOTHING compares to an Ironman finish. Nothing compares to hearing the crowds. All the pain being lifted away. The party. And the voice of Mike Riley.

"From Washington DC, Amanda Chadwick - Amanda, YOU ARE AN IRONMAN"

Monday, September 19, 2011

Saturday, September 10, 2011

So, What Are YOU Doing Tomorrow?

Here is my plan.

Wake up at 4:30.
Have some cereal. Some coffee. Eat a banana.
Walk over to the lake, but stop off to pump some tires and drop of a water bottle or two.
Put on a wetsuit with bag balm around my neck and under arm.
Around 6:45, hop into Lake Monona with 2200 of my closest friends. Go for a little 2.4 mile swim. Give some high 5's as I run up a parking ramp. Change in front of hundred women. Hop on Blain and bike down a parking ramp.

Thanks what I know will happen for sure. And I hope I will finish my 112 bike bike ride, full of snacks and no flats.

And I hope I do that fast enough to bike up the parking ramp and start a 26.2 mile walk with snacks.

I am not 100% sure on those last things, but I really hope they come true.

I have been reminded how lucky I am. How many people are pulling for me. And more importantly, how many people love and care for me to tell me it's okay if my body says no - it won't change their opinion of me.

I am finally excited. I am believing again that I WILL DO THIS.

Thanks for sharing in the journey again.