Monday, September 29, 2008

I Am SOOO Glad I Didn't Swim!!

To quote race report from someone who did the swim on Saturday
"The swim was one to remember. Right at the start, a downpour began. At the turnaround, heavy chop. A bunch got seasick. Jellyfish stings abounded. Sarah Thorpe lessons and Hains and Eastern Market team swims paid off as I swam decently under conditions that resembled the "Titanic." "

I am not sure about the Sarah Thorpe lessons and team swims references - but I have been stung by jellyfish on open water swims - NOT FUN!! I really enjoy the confirmation of a good decision.

Tomorrow I am actually (hopefully) getting up early to bike. After I took Squeaky - aka the bike formally known as Carlos, for a ride Sunday, I realized I need to get the brakes checked. Now, they worked, I would stop - but everyone in a 5 mile radius knew I was stopping. So, I have one more event I am participating (not racing, participating) on Saturday and figure I should test out the brakes - nothing new on race day, especially brakes.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Good Weekend with Good Choices

Saturday I slept until 8:20. I realized that if I did get up, drive, and do the swim, I would have just finished. The sleep was WAY better!

I met up with Kristin and Lauren for the Book Fair and heard some really good authors. This was followed up with a visit to Jim Henson's Fantastic World. No real workouts, but a lot of walking and standing. AND sweating!! It was disgustingly hot/humid out. I sweated through my shirt so fast. High of 72 - HA!

Today I woke up early to go biking. It was wet, but not really raining, so Diane and I packed up the bikes and headed out. Just then, it started raining. It turned out to be the two of us so we stopped at Starbucks for breakfast first.

Eventually, we headed out, still in the rain, and started our ride. After about 10 miles it stopped and started to get humid and gross again. But, overall, it was a really good 28-ish miles. Not a bad first 'real' ride back on the saddle.

We celebrated with brunch :-)

AND - Woo-Hoo Brewers!! Thanks to their win and the Mets loss, we are in the playoffs!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Just Say No

I need to make a decision about tomorrow's swim and it's going to be a no. I hate the fact I signed up and now am out the $$$ but I signed up because I thought it would be fun - and it just doesn't sound like fun anymore. If there wasn't a chance of thunderstorms, a tropical disturbance, and I knew where to go, park, etc. - I wouldn't mind getting up at 3:30 a.m. and driving the 2 hours. But, they already changed the swim course and there is still a chance of a delay or even dropping the swim completely.

And when I asked my Magic 8 ball if I should do the swim, it said "Very Doubtful". Everyone knows the Magic 8 ball is never wrong.

So, I think I will go with 'plan b' - pedicures and a movie with Kristin and Lauren. That does sound like fun.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

To Swim or Not to Swim...

Well, I don't think that is really up to me any more. Mother Nature strikes again.

Now I was getting a bit annoyed at the Columbia tri org for not posting more information about the swim. I understand that the main event is the full Iron distance race and most information is in regards to that event. However, do not offer an event (the Swim Fest) if you are not going to give it attention. I e-mailed the info address with some basic questions
- It's a point to point swim. Where do I park and what times are the shuttles (assuming there is one).
- Is there a bag drop? If so, where, the start, the finish?
- Where do I pick up the swim cap?

All basic info, right? The logistics must be a nightmare with with the start, T1, T2 and finish all in different places. But again, post information about each event, or don't offer them.

So, all of this being said, not receive a response from the race organizers, and having to get up at 3:30 am and drive 2+ hours (including across the bay bridge) - I started to wonder if I should even do the swim. Now I have not signed up for a race and backed out in over 3 years. Something I am very proud of. I don't quit, I don't stop, I just keep going - slowly, but I do. And I hate paying for things and not doing them. But - I might have to on this one, especially with the weather. "They" are calling for rain and up to 30+mph wind. A possible tropical storm. Maybe some flooding in the area. Overall, not ideal swimming conditions.

I have nothing to prove. I wanted to do this because I like swimming. I wanted to see what it felt like to try and go fast(er), knowing I didn't have to bike and run after. But I don't think it's in the cards for me.

Still keeping the option open. The storm could turn and the weather could be perfect, then I will go. But right now, it's a good 70/30 - not going.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

It's Not Thursday

All day today, I thought it was Thursday. But, I went to my Wednesday weights class, my Wednesday meeting, and was excited for my running clinic (which I knew was tonight, Wednesday night). However, I still thought it was Thursday. And when I was told it really was Wednesday, I got really disappointed. Does that make any sense???

Oh, and yesterday - crummy day at work. In addition to working with stupid people, I couldn't move. My 2.5 mile 'run' from Monday left me feeling like I ran 15. Body still isn't liking the workouts....

Saturday's 2.4 mile swim should be interesting

Monday, September 22, 2008

I Ran...

Not quickly - but I did. And I decided to stay on the treadmill. I wasn't sure how I would be feeling and didn't want to get stuck somewhere on the mall, in pain, and having a hard time getting back to the office.

Luckily, there was I guy on a treadmill that I have know for the past few years - so that made things much better. He is almost 50 and his goal is to run a sub 5 minute mile. He can LITERALLY run circles around me. But, he would drown in my wake for swimming.
Anyway, over the past year he was always asking about my training and ended each conversation with how impressed he was of me for the commitment I was making. It was just a nice reminder of the time and effort I did put in for the past year.

The run felt pretty good. The stretching was even better. So, I thought I was in the clear. I go back to work and after an hour or so, went to fill up my water bottle... ha ha ha - I couldn't get up. My hips!!! Something I haven't felt yet.

It's always somewhere new...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

That was AWESOME!!

Today was the Capital Criterium. 125 pro cyclists ride 85 - 1KM loops. It was A-W-E-S-O-M-E!! Well, most of it.

I got off the metro to go find Tony and Nicole. As I was getting close to street level, I hear it. My version of h-e-double hockey sticks... Cow bells. Not just a few. A one hundred thousand billion million zillion and two. They were EVERYWHERE!! Each corner had a white tent and piles and rows of orange cow bells. Bah!

After I found Nicole and Tony, we wandered around in complete awe of what we were seeing. Even after watching for a few hours, we still couldn't figure out how they went so fast, didn't crash (as often), could bike sooooo close to each other, and be almost on a 45 degree angle on turns. It was SOOO cool to watch. They would turn, come down the hill into another turn, short flat into a third turn - that is what we watched the majorty of the time. It looked like a snake - Wow!

We were trying to find a good place to watch the finish and wound up on Pennsylvania Ave - straining our heads to see them fly by on the last few laps. On the last lap, on a turn before the uphill, it happened - a crash!! The bikers were petty much in 1 big group, it was a few people back; one guy looked like he took the turn too tight and about 4-5 guys went down, and went down hard. A few were up and really up set (rightfully so - LAST LAP!), and 1 guy took a bit longer. But a few minutes later, we saw a bit of the finish, however were still concerned about the cyclists in the crash. Once we saw laughing, we knew everyone was okay.

Even with the crash and the devil's music in the sound of cow bells, it was a really fun few hours. And no, Blain and Carlos are not interested in this type of biking...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Well.. We Rode...

One of the things I was excited about being done with training for IM Moo was not getting up early for workouts.

It's Saturday and what do I do - get up at 6:15 to go meet M.E. and Diane for a bike ride. I decided to take Carlos back out and give him some love. Last night I lubed the chain and make sure everything was running smoothly. So to my unpleasant surprise when I was heading to the car this morning, my back wheel fell off. No idea how that happened but I think it was Carlos's way of rebelling. But, I got it figured out and was a tad bit late meeting the ladies.

And I knew they couldn't start because Diane needed my pump. After I handed the pump off, I accidentally knocked Carlos over. Oh, and it was cold!! Maybe 55 degrees!!! It's still September - that is cold for DC. Basically, it was not starting off as a great morning.

But we were on our way and had a good lap and a half in. There were a lot of stupid drivers around the softball fields, so that wasn't fun. Then we hear a pop, hissssss. Diane's front tire popped.

So, the 3 of us get off and start to change the tire. Now I think I did a pretty good job taking out the old tube, replacing the new tube and getting the tire back on. What I am slightly ashamed to say is that we couldn't figure out the CO2 cartridges. M.E. had one, it didn't work. I had 2, couldn't get either one to work. During all of this, M.E. and I were 'fighting' about which one was colder (mine was) and only 1 person asked to help. Our guess was that since there were 3 of us, we should know how to change a tire... Another reason why assumptions are bad.

I biked back to the cars and drove Marcus over with the bike pump. Diane learned a few good lessons about presta valves and to not stand up quickly when you are right by the pump. So, it was a good learning day for bikes.

And of course instead of continuing on biking (or running like M.E. needed to do) we went to brunch. 12 miles - totally wroth brunch.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Another Great Thing About Having a Blog

A lot of the people I go to events with read my blog. So if I am participating, watching or volunteering, they have learned what I like and don't like.
Why is the great - the cow bell. Almost all of you should know by now I really don't like the cow bell. Yes, I am from Wisconsin and I think cartoon cows are cute (especially when they are on finisher t-shirts and medals). However, I can not stand the cow bell at races. I can't explain it, I just don't like them.

So, at Ironman, on one of my signs there was a drawing of a cow bell that they were shaking.
Volunteering at Nation's tri last week, we voted to return the cowbells as they were not needed (wanted) for our water stop.
Now, I am planning on watching the Capital Criterium on Sunday with Nicole and Tony. E-mailing to set up plans, Nicole writes "I was going to bring my cowbells, but will refrain. :)". A bit of water came out my nose when I read that. Too funny.

I am so grateful that people read my blog, and take my dislike for cow bells as seriously as I do. Thanks everyone!!

Shiver Me Timbers

Today is the best holiday EVER. Talk Like A Pirate day!!

Good times.

Oh, and it is always National Run at Work day. Maybe people should run wearing eye patches shouting "Blimey!" and "Gangway" and "Matey".

And in regards to last night's/this mornings post - a friend pointed out that I am possibly hitting that 'down time' that happens after you achieve a goal - which was finishing Ironman. Something I haven't thought of, but very glad she pointed it out. Thanks!

When is what you have, enough?

Really, when is it? I know I am so lucky with a good job, great boss, amazing friends, incredibly supportive family... but I still feel like something is missing. I know it's cliche, but there really must be something more. And if there isn't - do I live hoping for more or accepting what is wondering if that is all there will be?

Yes, it's almost 2 in the morning. Yes, I just might delete this post later. And yes, I have been out with friends I haven't seen for almost a year. But it's the friends you have that totally opposite views and you get into really deep discussions about EVERYTHING. I have missed that aspect of thinking.

Off to bed. I miss working out. That really did seem to calm my mind...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

My Friends Are SOOOO Great

I know I have said this before, but it is really true. I am not sure what I did in a previous life, but whatever it was, YEAH!!!

I got together with my former running group for a dinner party. I met them over 5 years ago training with the AIDS marathon training program. They are always so supportive of all the events I have continued to do. We do run much anymore, but continue to have really great dinner/drinking parties. Once again, I am just lucky to have these people.

Pat even brought me a flower, a gerber daisy, as a congratulations. Unfortunately, I will kill it in a week.

My Legs Are Mad at Me

I took last week off from working out. I figured I deserved it and for the first part of the week, any movement felt like a workout. But pretty much by Friday, I was walking fine. Saturday I went for a swim and felt really good. So, I thought this meant all signs pointing towards doing easy workouts.

Monday I had planned on going to the gym, but it was a co-workers birthday so we went to lunch. And after work was the Nat's game.

Yesterday I took a weights class. Now it has been close to a year since I took a weights class as Coach and I decided to focus on the endurance part of training. Anyway, the class was only 30 minutes so I thought it would be a good starting point. WRONG!!! I don't remember the last time I did a squat or a lunge and my butt and quads were not happy! This mornining I almost fell out of bed as my legs decided to rebell. So what do I do for lunch, head to the gym. But, I decided to use the elliptical - something different. My 30 minutes are up and as I step off, I almost fall over. Luckily there was a pole next to me that I could grab onto. My legs are still rebelling. Not in pain, just soreness. I am now walking as I did Sunday night/Monday morning.

It's an odd sensation. My body was feeling fine and my mind really REALLY needs to workout. But once I do, my body starts screaming "NOOO!! Give me a FREAKN' BREAK!"

So, I need to find that balance. I can hear Coach in the back of my head "be patient" blah blah blah...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I SERIOUSLY Do have a problem

I just signed up for a 2.4 mile swim in 2 weeks. I was wondering what I could do for the same distance, but without 2206 other people. Okay, I am sure there will be others, but probably not that many. I haven't done a swim where I push my self in awhile, so this should be fun.

Then I realized it's 2 hours away.

So much for my plan of sleeping in on weekends. But, I do enjoy doing events and it's a Saturday.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Ummm... Ballpark Food...

Tonight was a Nat's game. The first time I was able to go and not worry about what I was eating. Now if you follow baseball, you know our beloved home team here in DC isn't the best. But, there is a new ballpark and really REALLY good food. And beer.

So, Brooke had some tickets but didn't want to go and met M.E., Diane and Arin for the game. I spent the first inning deciding between a hot dog, Philly cheese steak, cheeseburger, pizza and nachos. Maybe chicken was in there too. Anyway, I decided on a half smoke with chili, fries and a beer. SOOOO GOOD!!! And there might have been ice cream after. With 2 flavors.

Okay, I know I need to stop eating everything in sight soon. And I will. And I will get back to the gym too. Mainly because (stupid) Rose talked me into signing up for the Marine Corps 10K at the end of October. And I have 1 more sprint triathlon October 4.

Why do I do these things... WHY!?!?

Oh, and the Nats won!! Woo-Hoo!!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

My First Weekend After Ironman...

What happens the first weekend I don't have to swim, bike or run???

Well, yesterday I swam.

Today I got up at 6 to go volunteer at a triathlon.
But, it was Nations Triathlon and I volunteered at a water stop with the DC Tri club. It was a lot of fun and some people really enjoyed dressing up. And it was in the 90's and humid. AND she kept the hat and beard the whole time. Nice Brooke!

I had a really good time. I was able to cheer for so many people, hand out Gu (tri berry), see Mayor Fenty, Ryan and Janel.

After, a few of us headed to the after party. Unfortunately, the waitress didn't feel like taking our order. So, M.E. and I headed somewhere else. I had SO MUCH FUN!! She probably got a bit sick of me because I kept saying how this is the first time I really have been able to go out and not worry about how it will effect my swim/bike/run. K showed up and as nice as he is, we disagreed on the Brett/Packer/Jets issue, but whatever. We got over it and shared some wings.

And why wings - because I can eat them again! Oh yeah!!!

No Longer Attempting

So what does that mean??? It means I am AN IRONMAN!!One week ago, I accomplished my goal. It took 13 months, money I don't want to even want to come close to adding up, time, support and dedication. I learned more about my body, bike, and my self than I could have ever imagined.

So now what??? I have had such a great time blogging, sharing my stories; good, bad, funny, sad with poor grammar and spelling, I can't just stop. Things keep happening and apparently there is life after Ironman. So that is what this blog will be about.

Still with a focus on training, triathlons, drinking, swims, runs, bars, bikes, Pilate's and everything else.

Onto life after Ironman...