Thursday, December 31, 2009


Well, the last post of 2009! The year has been busy with a race nearly every month, beginning with the New Year's Day 10K and ending with the Bear Creek 10 miler in early December. In between, I did a 5K (Forest Hill 5k); the Monument Avenue 10K, the Capitol 10 miler, Kinetic 1/2 IM, IM USA, VentureQuest, and Turkey Trot 10K. Of all the races, the Capitol 10 miler was probably the hardest, because I went into it thinking I did not have to train...I was wrong and paid for it with sore legs for a week. IMUSA was great, even though my bike time was terrible, I still finished in under 16 hours. All in all, it was a hard year with all the riding in the Blue Ridge Mountains in some pretty interesting weather, rain (sometimes torrential downpour, hail, winds, bears (well, only once bear cub). I also really enjoyed the LP torturefest in May, some hard riding in cold windy and rainy conditions, with a long run thrown in to boot. The eating and drinking that followed the training with fun people made torturefest a great trip.

I am thankful for the ability to do all the races, and training, with only minor mishaps, like the endo I did on Buttermilk where I thought I'd broken my wrist. Fun times. Otherwise, I was pretty much mishap free! That's a good thing!

I am hoping that 2010 will be a good one as well, and maybe I can complete IM Canada with a better time than Placid. Happy New Year to everyone and may 2010 be the best year yet!

Friday, December 25, 2009


Merry Christmas. Here I sit, on my couch watching cheesy Christmas movies and writing this on my new laptop that MyKaren got me! So, we enjoyed the snow, which fell last weekend and we actually had a white christmas, if the leftover snow counts. Anyhoo, it was nice to have snow so early that MyKaren, Lynn, Molly and I decided to go for a nice snowy trail run last Sunday. After the rainy run the weekend before, running on snowy trails sounded like it would be fun.

I had no idea what to expect, I was thinking it would be a bit harder than normal, but had no idea just how hard it could be. The trail had been walked and run on, so there was a narrow sort of beaten down path to follow. First it was not bad, as we ran on the Buttermilk west and onto to the Boulevard bridge. It was sloppy, but crunchy. We got to the bridge, and it was closed to cars, which I have never seen. The only auto on the bridge was a crazy duo in a pickup that was racing up and back to "plow" the bridge. We ran on the bridge itself, since the sidewalk was unpassible, and as we got to the south end, the plow truck came roaring back and started to fishtail. I thought we were going to watch it go over the edge, but of course it didn't.

The north trail was waaay sloppier than Buttermilk which made it harder to navigate. We slipped and slid our way on the trail, Lynn stepped thigh deep into a drift but no one fell. It wore me out big time since no step was firm and sloppy. We ran one loop and it took 30 minutes more than normal and I was dead tired. Afterwards, tired and cold, we went for hot chocolate at Crossroads and then home to collapse. This trail running is hard!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Weekend Training When Rainina

Now that enough time has passed since the training whilst raining debacle of Sunday, I am now prepared to report on that event. Kidding, it wasn't traumatic, well, not really. ProKaren, MyKaren and I all went shopping on Saturday in NoVa with our winning gift certificates from the VentureQuest race in the fall. We managed to spend our prizes and got some socks, gloves, and other cold weather stuff. The only hitch of the day was the lunch at a Spanish/Mexican place, where PK and I got the same spinach-mushroom quesadella. I thought it tasted a bit off, but not off enough to scare me. As it turned out, we both felt kind of gastro rumbly that night, so I was a little scared of our scheduled run on Sunday.

Sunday dawned...rainy. We bucked up and took off for Pocahontas anyway, planning on running around 3 hours. As we started the run, it was cold, and drizzly. After a bit, the drizzle turned to sprinkles, and thence to rain, followed by the final downpour. PK and I both were not feeling great in the gastro department, but we persevered and kept running. We pretty much stuck to the Old Mill bike trail and then Fendley Station which are not easy but at least are not single-track.

As we slogged on, and of course pretty far from the start, I began to notice that I may need to go to the bathroom. Then, the need became quite significant. I didn't want to have a double-glove moment in the woods, but I was becoming concerned. At this point we were by the campground on the single-track, but of course the bathrooms were all locked....With no options I had to do as a bear does in the the cold pouring, pouring rain. Not my favorite moment, but thankfully there was no one around at all to witness it.

Always bring tp. You never know.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Bear Creek 10 mile race report

Oh, the beauty of the woods, the trees, the slight dusting of snow, the gurgle of the creeks and streams....the sound of stomping feet, the mud, crossing the gushing creeks, and the swamp. Bear Creek once again outdid itself as an off-road adventure. It snowed pretty much all day Saturday as we drove to the state park and our cozy cabin. Not that it stuck much on the roads, but it did look very pretty and dusted the ground very nicely. Our group this year was 6 racers, 5 dogs, 4 non-racers (one being Wolverine) in 2 cabins. Staying at the cabins and eating/drinking with friends is the real fun of Bear Creek 10 miler...well, the run is fun as well!

We had a fabulous dinner on Saturday, some beers, some puzzling and then an early bedtime. It was cold on Sunday, pretty darn cold, but sunny. We all bundled up and drove to the race start with just enough time to pee one last time. Then with little fanfare, we were off.

The trail was almost immediately slippery and muddy, that should have clued us in as to the conditions when the real trails begin. For the first several stream crossings, I foolishly tried to find ways across to keep my feet dry, making one good crossing decision, but then one bad one which cost me several minutes. I pretty much ran by myself, for the first part, then the gaggle of gals caught up to me as I knew they would. I don't care how many times I run this race, the way out (first 5 miles) always seems to take forever! We finally got the last 2 mile section before the turn-around and were passed by the front runners, who at this point were 4 miles ahead of us...not sure how they run that fast. Tyler was smiling and in 3rd, and told us to enjoy the swamp. We quickly found out what he meant, as the next mile was slogging through some pretty serious mud. I finally gave up on trying to keep my feet dry, when I stepped mid-calf deep into the mud crossing a small creek. At the turn, I took a gu, and set off just a minute or so ahead of Sharon and Lynn, with Jill right behind me. Karen was about 2-2 1/2 miles ahead at this point on the way to a PR of 1:51.

I tried to pick up the pace a bit on the way back and managed to pass a couple of people as I went. Slogging through the mud and splashing through the creeks made the return trip a negative split, but my overall time was 7 minutes slower than last year, which was slower than the year before, etc. I finished and was glad for it, the girls were minutes behind and everyone looked happy. Somehow this race convinced Lynn and Jill to sign up for the 35 K in Janaury. Somehow I was convinced that I, too, could do the race. So I am now signed up to run 21.7ish miles in the dead of winter....what the heck am I thinking?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Trail running, etc.

So, I've been running my longer runs off-road on the weekends as well as doing some mountain biking which has reminded me how much I love off-road stuff. I love the smell of the fallen leaves, the quiet of the woods, even in the city, the songs of the birds, the rustle of the squirrels, chipmonks, etc. I love the solitude of trail running. I was running on Saturday morning, along Buttermilk and Belle Island, and I was completely alone, and it was great! I did not see a single person for the majority of that loop. The weather was a little crisp and the river was a little high, so it was roaring along in the background, but I didn't hear a human voice or even cars or planes. As I huffed and puffed up and down hills, all I could hear were my footsteps and breathing. I think that is a pretty darn cool thing about Richmond, I was running in the City, but in the woods and by myself!

I'll be running the Bear Creek 10 miler this coming weekend, which has continued to kick my butt for several years, and I am not getting any faster, but I love the race because it is in the woods. Last year it snowed the night before, so the run was through the quiet snow and that was great! I hope to continue to trail run and mountain bike through early next year, and I encourage everyone to get some trail time!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

11/17/2009-Off Season!

OK, the off season training has to begin, and sort of has begun with some indoor cycling and circuit training at a new shop along with guppies swimming which comes with a track workout. Sounds doable, right? The spin/cycle is good, different than what I am used to but good nevertheless. The circuit training is kicking my fatass, which is also good...but hard. It is amazing how much body weight excersies can hurt. Doing them over a minute at a time, with multiple minutes can cause some suffering, in a good way. My training plan is to do the weekday schedule and then try to get off road on the weekends for some variety. I do like trail running and mountain biking!

My race plans for the next year are not quite finalized, I am currently freaking out about the Turkey Trot 10K next week, since I basically stopped running after IMUSA. Trotting may be all I can do, but I'll still be out there! I also have the Bear Creek 10 mile in early December so I am trying to concentrate on trail running when I run.

Since I am either off season or pre-season training, I needed to think of my mantra for the coming year. I've had the "Any done run is a good run" mantra for 2008, and had none for 2009, so I thought that 2010 needs something to get me through. Since I have foolishly signed up for another mountainous IM event, and since I am in my 50s (WTF????), I've decided that I need to stop shying away from the suffering that IM training brings and my new mantra for the 2009-2010 season is "Embrace the suffering".

We'll see how long it lasts!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

11/10/2009-Post IMFL Sherpa Report

Many people have asked me why do IM events, when they have resulted in interesting physical issues (shingles and bruised bladder-so far) and are hard as shit and pretty much take up your life. The answer for me, was standing at the finish line for a time between 11 pm and midnight, watching and cheering my lungs out for the finishing athletes at the back of the pack.

I have been to 4 previous IM events, participating in 2 of the 4, but I had not been at the finish for the last hour. It was amazing, moving and motivating. I stood along one side of the finish chute, pounding on the placards that line it, keeping time with hundreds of other people, singing, shouting encouragement and mentally willing each athlete across that line. It was crazy and beautiful. Earlier finishers lined up with the families of those still out on the course and volunteers and others that were simply spectators and cheered and screamed and pounded along with the music as the athletes turned the corner and ran, walked, staggered, danced, hopped, skipped and jumped through the final few yards to complete their 140.6 mile journey.

There were the happy finishers, taking the time to hand slap on their way to the finish. There were the serious ones, whose determination clearly carried them across. There was the very tall and thin man who, with a slightly vacant look, somehow walked across, swaying from side to side, with a medical person beside him. One fellow stopped to mime out Y-M-C-A in time with the song on his way across. Family members cried as their athlete crossed, tears of joy and relief. I got choked up a few times, watching it all unfold, as the clock ticked closer to midnight.

I hear that the last person had some 16 seconds to spare. I wasn't there, but I am sure her last few yards were the most memorable.

Congradulations to everyone who completed that journey in Florida on Saturday, especially to Molly, Mary, Tim and Sarah, the Ricks and the Todd, Jill, Jackie and Trish. You are all an IronMan!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Recipe for suffering: lay off running for a couple of months, get sick the week before, be too stupid to bring nutrition, and then try to complete a 10 mile run on a fairly humid morning. Suffering will follow. I stupidly did the above this past weekend, somehow thinking that 10 miles is not much, given my IM finishes. Well, I think that freakin race was harder than either IM, mostly because I am an idiot as indicated above. Not only did I kind of blow off really thinking about the race, I had not run more than 10 miles since Labor Day weekend, in fact, I rarely ran at all since IM USA. Whew, the suffering began pretty early and I staggered through it, finishing not quite last, but pretty darn close. Not a PR, unless one counts really slow times as PRs. It is now Tuesday, and my quads are still sore...I could barely walk on Sunday...this from covering only 10 miles. And, to top the morning off, I did not bring any nutrition on the run, how many times will I bonk before I get it? Evidently, a lot of times. I guess I am that stupid person that we all see and wonder why they don't get it. I cannot tell you why. I just do not think correctly about running. I get the bike nutrition, but somehow remain stupid for running. Something to work on.

Guess I am now officially out of shape, so maybe I'll consider beginning training again!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

VentureQuest Race Report

OK, the super short summary: we finished, we are all pretty much unscathed and we got first place in our category. We were the only team in our category, but hey, we did finish the long course so it was a hard-earned first place.

I don't eat enough, which is weird given that I could lose about 10-15 pounds, but evidently I chose to eat too little at the wrong times, like before a long day of running, biking and paddling. But, more on that in a bit.

The race was in Fountainhead Regional Park in Fairfax County. Nice park on the Occoquan Reservior (which, by the way does not allow swimming at all, and which one should not drink--even though it is a water supply--go figure).

The team was 2 Filly's (ProK and MyK) and a Nag (me). It was purported to be 28-35 miles of trekking, mountain biking and canoeing with some special test(s). It ended up being a shit ton of mountain biking (took us around 4 1/2 hours for around 18 miles of biking--don't smirk, mountain biking is much harder than road riding--, about 8-9 miles of trekking (running and bushwhacking) and probably 4-5 miles of canoeing. We did well on the trekking and canoeing parts. The part I usually like about adventure races is figuring out how to get to the check points, but this was not that kind of adventure race. At one point early on, we were in dead last place, but we did not end up there! Yeah!

The biking was following arrows, around and around and around for ever, which is a bike race, not an adventure race. ProK's tire got a flat about 1 mile from the end of the first bike segment, so she runs it in about as fast as we were riding. I bonked big time on the bike, huge bonk, bad bonk, whiney pants bonk. So, of course there was some fighting between MyK and I...enough said, we still like each other which is good. The first bike segment took 3 hours, I ran out of water and energy and was ready to throw my bike down one of the many ravines. But, I didn't and somehow we got to the end of that segment.

Then, we had to run to the next checkpoint by 1:30 pm or we would be dropped from the long course to the short course. We had 14 minutes. Thank god it was mostly downhill and ProK was pushing me (yes this was trekking) and we got to the checkpoint with 1 minute 30 seconds to spare. Did I mention this was supposed to be a fun race? After that, we were on target for the next several points which we reached via canoe and trekking. Then it was back to the bike, to finish. We fixed ProKs flat, but didn't put enough air in the tire, and it went flat about 1/2 she runs the damn bike for another 2+ miles. We didn't have another spare tube. Never seen anything like it. We finally finished (9 hours+), tired and sore, and got our first place prizes--pint glasses!

Our reward was stopping at 5 Guys for bugers and fries. I am still sore. I don't think I'll do that race again, unless I do a whole lot more mountain biking ahead of time.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


OK, not much to say about training, since I've taken the low road and told ProK that I am sooo burnt out on training that I need to do the absolute minimum to get to and through Longhorn 70.3. So, I am not doing much and it is soo nice! Spent a week in Duck with MyKaren and her sister and financee and her dad. The potential for funny stories with her dad was very high, but he more or less behaved so nothing on that front. It rained every day, with high winds and the beaches were closed for swimming due to the really, really angry sea, but it was relaxing and I got to read a lot. Good times.

This weekend is the VentureQuest adventure race in NoVa that I foolishly signed up for...with MyKaren and ProK as teammates. While they have both assured me that this will be a "fun" race, somehow I am worried. Obviously, they are both so much faster than I, I think I'll wear a shirt that says "anchor" since that is what I'm going to feel like. Silly me, I just had to sign us up and then recruit ProK. WTF? Yes, it was my idea. Yes, I am somewhat stupid.

The race is 28-35 miles long and includes mountain biking, trail running, and canoeing, which doesn't sound bad compared to 70.3 or 140.6...but off road is a whole different animal, and as I said earlier, I've been dragging on the training front. If I survive, I hope to have a race report on Monday.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

O Canada! IM Canada 2010!

Ok, crazy train stopped last night, and I got back on the darn thing. I'm signed up for IM Canada in 2010, some 363 days off. WTF? It all happens so fast! SO, more torture to come. Yeah! Sad thing is that now that I know what I am doing next year, I am much happier. What has happened to me?

Monday, August 24, 2009


Well, this is the time I've been waiting for...the rest and recovery part! Of course, recovery can mean different things to different people. Pretty much took two weeks after the race off, then MyKaren, ProKaren, Shelley and I started hitting the dirt on our mountain bikes. We are signed up to do a short adventure race at the end of September so it was time to get some dirt time.

It was nice to be better than ProKaren at something for about 30 minutes, as she is not a mountain biker. How sweet to hear some complaining about how hard it was! Aahhh. ProKaren was building up a nice set of bruises, but of course I did one better.

We first took her to Poor Farm and then Pocahontas parks since the trails are not as technical, and despite a spill a day, she was doing great (darn her). So, last weekend we decided to tackle Buttermilk. We had made our way to the Boulevard Bridge, I was last in line. At the section that goes under the bridge, both Karens walked their bikes, as it is very washed out and has big rocks. Of course, I decided to try to ride it. All went well for the first 10 feet. Then I ran into a big rock that I did not roll over, so over I went. Flying face-first towards a big pointy rock, I decided to put my left hand out to stop my face from hitting it. Good idea, as it saved my face. Not so good for my wrist. Anyhoo, a bad sprain, major impact bruises and gashes and a hospital visit later, I've been taking a little more time off than anticipated. I hit the ground so freakin hard, I really thought I broke my wrist, so I'm laying in the dirt yelling my head off and scaring both Karens to death. My knees ended up being the things that hurt the worse, I still can't really run. Waahh. But, my wrist is getting better!

We rode yesterday at Pocahontas, I tried the single-track but the jarring hurt my wrist so we did the Fendely Station trail...without a map. 2 1/2 hours later, after riding in circles for quite a bit, we finally managed to get the heck off the trail and back to the car. I wish the trail signs had actual directions on them. I know that portions are easy, but we were not in those areas, we were north of the dam, trying to find the damn dam, to make a big circle, and we just could not find it. Doesn't make the idea of an adventure race seem like a smart one...We think we got chiggers as times!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

IMUSA Race Report - Final Part!

Sheesh, the run. What can I say about it? I was concerned about the run before I even started the race, and the bike and foot cramps really got me nervous, but I found myself on the run course, trotting down the hill in town and making my way slowly towards the first turn around. Todd ran by me (on his 2nd lap), and we talked briefly before he went ahead. Amy also caught up to me on the 1st out and back, looking strong, but cursing the course. Then MyKaren came along (again all were on their 2nd laps) and she helped me get through a lot of that first out and back. I was feeling like crap, some stomach cramps and general yuckiness, but gamely tried to drink water and gatorade and eat gu every 30 minutes or so, along with more damn SaltStick pills, I think I had about 12 of them overall that day. I was miserable and I made MyKaren promise that she would not make me do another damn IM.

I made MyKaren go ahead after a mile or so, since I really wanted her to finish with daylight left and continued my pathetic trot/walk along the road. I hooked up with a guy name Tom and we trotted and walked along crunching numbers and splits trying to figure out if we were going to make the midnight cutoff. If anyone out there has not been in the real back of the pack, that's what we do, calculate times and distances, and hope that we are not too late! We finally realized that we had done 8 miles in 2 hours and that we had 5 hours left, which made us feel better since we felt we could keep that pace. Going along, I think I saw our entire group at one point or another, and everyone looked good!

As I got to the steep hill in town, ProKaren found me and walked with me up the hill, I was still having stomach cramps and was worried that I wouldn't be able to keep the slow pace I was going at. After some words of encouragement, I trotted off to do the out and back along the lake, and Lisa was kind enough to trot along with me for about a 1/2 mile. At the water stop, I took some cola and that ended up being the difference in my run! I started running at the turn and somehow finally felt good enough to run. It was strange, but some switch seemed to go off and I ran and ran that second loop. I must have passed 30 people as I ran, not a fast run, but an actual run nevertheless. I still walked the hills, but the sun went down, I ran some as well, since I couldn't really tell if there were hills without lights. It was strange running in the dark, from light pool to light pool, aid station to aid station. I kept downing some cola at every aid station, and choked down some more gu and salt pills. The moon that night was very pretty over the Ausable River as I made my way back into town.

At some point I decided that I really didn't want to finish in the last hour and that goal kept me going. Sharon walked with me for the last little bit, and then I took off in an actual run into the stadium for the finish. I had wondered if this finish would feel as good as IMFL, and I have to say it did. I was very, very, very happy and the crowd was great! I ended up running the marathon 4 minutes faster than IMFL, I had a negative split and I finished in under 16 hours. All in all, a hard, but satisfying effort!

Now, I am hoping to join the crew at IM I crazy, stupid or just a lemming?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

IMUSA Race Report - Part 2

The bike was hard, fast, hot, slow, painful and beautiful....just not in that order and not equally. I had an eating plan, which I tried my best to stick to while I trudged up the hills around Lake Placid. The first lap was fine, the downhill into Keene was fantastic, fast and smooth! I was flying down the hill passing people like crazy (because I figured that would be the only time I would pass people). From Keene to Jay was fast as well, and then the fun stopped. The remainder of the loop is pretty much uphill, and it sucked the energy right out of me. I had set my watch to beep every 15 minutes to remind me to eat, and it began to drive me crazy, but I drank my CarboPro and Gatorade, took my Saltsticks and nibbled on bananas, pretzels and cliff bars. Lynn caught up to me on the uphill out of Jay, and we rode together into town for the end of the first loop. I got my special needs bag and sat on the curb enjoying my picnic lunch, when ProKaren appeared and was yelling at me for sitting down...I guess she doesn't have picnics when she races. So, the second loop was harder, the wind picked up and it was harder to go, but the downhill was just as fun as the first time! I loved it, I have no idea how fast I was going, but I didn't brake at all, so I'm guessing hi 40s or low was bliss.

After catching back up to Lynn on Hazelton out and back, we rode most of the remainder of the loop together and then with about 10 miles to go, my feet started cramping up. This was a new thing, never happened before, but my goodness they hurt like hell. I was trying to wiggle my toes, but it did not good, and the pain got worse as I climbed the bears and then the bastard. I got really worried about running, since it felt like I was being stabbed in my feet and my legs were toast from the climbing in the wind. I somehow tottered into the T2 area, off my bike with less than 45 minutes to spare, and promply took off my shoes and tried to walk to the tent. It was agony, so now I am wondering if I can even walk the marathon, or if I even wanted to try to do so.

The woman "helping" me in the tent was kind of brusk, and she kept pushing clothes on me when I wasn't really ready for them. Bethany and Lynn were changing at the same time, but were a little ahead of me. I was getting a little pissed at the helper, but in retrospect, she did me a great service since she didn't give me a chance to bail. Somehow, I found myself leaving the tent at a trot, I cannot for the life of me remember how that happened as I have no recollection of making the decision to go ahead and try the run. I actually had a faster T2 time than IMFL by nearly 3 minutes, so at least I PRd in something!

Monday, August 3, 2009

IMUSA Race Report - Part 1

Shoot, I could sum the race up like this: swim was good, bike was ugly, run was ok. But what's the fun in that? The race was a bitch, a couple of bears, some cherries, and a bastard all rolled into one big long day of moving forward. Lake Placid is a very nice town, and we had a great house of racers (Rick E, BlakeE, Shelley MyKaren and myself) and sherpas (some prefer domestique) which was so nice. I need to thank all of the sherpas, because without their wonderful pre-race care, we would have all been in trouble: Sharon, Lisa, Twila and Susie were the best ever! They fed us great meals, made us relax and took care of us throughout the race and afterwards. An IM race simply cannot be done without sherpas, and we had the best! So THANK YOU!!!!!!!

So, the pre-race stuff was all good, we all arrived safely, as did our bikes (MyKaren had a bike scare shortly before leaving, but it worked out) and other equipment. The weather up to the race was nice, not cold, not hot, not humid and surpisingly, not rainy! After last year's torrential downpour and all the rain we trained in this year, we expected rain and more rain. Race day was a bit warm and humid, which took its toll on everyone.

For this race, I had two goals, one was to officially finish the darn thing and the other was to PR in some part of the race...keeping in mind that even a better transition time would count!

The swim start was a crazy as it looks in the photos and from the shore, I waded in about 30 seconds behind the start gun (which has, on both occassions, seemed anticlimatic) and after rounding the dock, found myself in a mosh-pit of swimmers about 5 feet from the golden ticket: the cable. This swim was much more congested and thrashy than the IMFL swim, and I realized pretty fast that being close the cable was not where I really wanted to be! I nearly ran into a safety canoe as it kept moving around, and my goggles fogged up so badly that I really could not see, but I found a spot about 15 feet from the cable and managed to fend off being kicked or punched in the face. The first lap was not as bad as I had feared, I pushed some people away from me and had to stop about 1/2 to clear my goggles, but I finished the 1st lap at 41 minutes or so. For the second lap, I had decided to swim inside the cable and I found a super sweet spot behind a woman and beside a guy and there I happily drafted to the first turn. It was some sweet action! I kept touching the woman's feet, so she was probably pissed off by that, but I didn't mean to! I lost that sweet spot at the turn and the inside line became very congested so I just kept as close as I could to the line and finished the swim. Only really cool thing was at the very end, when I caught a glimpse of a diver below me! I know they are there, but had not seen them, except for some random bubbles!

I was hoping for a swim pr, but missed it by 30 seconds: 1:23:38. The run to T-1 is long, and I took my time changing, since there was sand everywhere and I didn't have anyone helping me change. As it was, I missed some sand in a place that sand should not be when one rides a bike! My t-1 time was abismal, 13:30is, but I felt ready to ride when I left the tent and then waited while the bike people found my bike and got it to me. So, no pr on T-1!

Monday, July 13, 2009


Well, in 2 weeks, it will all be over with, and I hope I am leaving the finisher's merchandise tent clutching my purchases! I went to another camp last week, this IM training has been filled with out of town travels, to LP, to the Blue Ridge and Skyline Drive, to Smith Mountain Lake and finally to Lake Gaston. It was a not so torturous torturefest...mostly open water swimming, some running and some biking and lots of eating and some drinking. Speaking of eating, I've been a girl-gone-wild with eating and finally got on the scale yesterday. The number was not good, so I've got to rein in the free-for-all food attitude lest I lug lots of lard with me at LP, which will not make the race any easier.

Yikes, I do not feel ready for the race, my rational self knows I am as ready as I can be, but my emotional self is sitting in the corner sucking its thumb with its eyes closed and hoping for a miracle. Well, perhaps not that bad, but I feel somewhat unprepared. I was told that if one feels ready for an IM, then one has trained too much, and if one feels not ready, they are. I am not sure if I believe that. At any rate, in two weeks it will be in the books. I'll be thinking of my race report as the long day unfolds in 13 days.

Monday, July 6, 2009


OK, just to get this out of the way early, I did not ride the scheduled 100 miles this past weekend....I could only muster enough energy for 50 miles of hills along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Bottom line is that the furthest I've ridden for IMUSA is 85 miles. It will have to be enough. I am tired. Way tired. Ready to not be tired. Ready to not be worried about whether or not I'll make it in less than 17 hours. This has been so freakin hard and I am ready for the start gun, good or bad, rain or shine, cold or not. Whine.

So, there you have it! It will be an interesting day come July 26th, but I'll just keep moving foward until I cross the finish line or someone makes me stop. Yeehaw.

Monday, June 29, 2009


Whew! What does a bear cub, thunderstorm with downpour, and gusty winds have in common? The answer would be the Skyline Drive ride on June 20th. The IMUSA crew all converged in a rental house near Luray for the long Skyline ride on Friday, June 19th. After dinner and some beers Friday night, we all got some sleep and left early Saturday for the long ride. We had planned on 2 out and back rides of 25 miles (that would be 25 out and back, 2x). The weather at Thorton Gap parking was cloudy, and as we started out, it began to rain a bit. The ride was hard as shit. There was a big climb up to the highest point for that stretch of the drive, beginning at around mile 4.5 and ending at around mile 11 or so. Pretty much straight up. In the now pouring, and I mean pouring rain. At the top, in the rain, my riding buds and I all kind of dreaded the downhill, as our brakes really didn't work due to the wet conditions. But off we all went. My bike goes really fast downhill as I have said, and the rain didn't make me any slower. I was bombing down the mountain, fast as shit, brakes fully engaged, and not slowing down at all. I was not the happiest I've ever been, but at that point there was nothing I could do but go. I tried to stay in the middle of the road (cars be damned) since that was the only part of the road that wasn't running water, leaned back and down on the rear wheel hoping for traction. Raindrops were pelting me in the face and something hard hit me in the chest (not a clue what it was) but I kept screaming downhill. Finally got to the bottom, realizing that it was one long downhill that would need to be climbed back up. More up and downhills ensued, with my biking buds catching me on the climbs.

Towards the end of another downhill, I was alone and saw what I thought was a bigass dog coming out of the woods on my left. I quickly realized it was a bear cub and squeezing as hard as I could came to a stop about 25 feet from it. I was freaking out, b/c I was sure Mama bear was close, so I got off my bike slowly and backed up the hill a bit, until I was about 40 feet away. I was standing there, in the rain, looking at the cub, and it was looking at me and there we stood for a few minutes. Then Lynn came down the hill and I was frantically waving at her to stop. She did, and thankfully she saw the cub as well (I didn't want another goat incident). We stood there for another minute or so, then the cub rambled across the road and into the woods on the other side. No Mama bear showed up. So, again, off we went.

Now the weather got even worse, thunder and lightening, harder rain, maybe some we kept riding towards Dickies Ridge, because at least there would be shelter. We saw most of the rest of the gang coming back up from Dickie's Ridge in the thunder and rain, as we descended further into dense fog patches. Not a ride for the faint of heart. We finished the first 27 miles and gathered ourselves for the return trip, which was harder than the first part. So, 8 miles of uninterrupted climbing back to the top, more rain, and then the wind picked up. At this point I had decided not to go all the way back to Dickie's Ridge, and was having some serious conversations whether I'd go out again at all, if the weather didn't get better. More screaming downhills, but the rain finally stopped and Lynn and I decided to go to top of the big mountain one more time, back to the start and then out for another 10 miles to get 85 miles in. We did that, with the sun finally out but with the wind gusting pretty intensely. The ride back up sucked big time, but I made it. Since the roads were now drier, the ride down was a blast. After finishing the 85, Lynn and I ran for about 30 minutes and I actually felt pretty good. Other than MyKaren, who ended up riding 107 (she is a stud), people rode between 60 and 100. Much, much, much harder than LP. I figure 85 in that terrain is worth 100 on regular land....

We all drank and ate that evening and then the few that remained did a short lake swim at Arrowhead Lake. Swimming through underwater plants is kind of weird, but once free of those, it was a nice swim. MyKaren and I booked back home, reloaded the cars for a trip to the beach for my family reunion. That was uneventful, but I did get some sun.

We did our last long run on Saturday, was supposed to be 22, I did around 18, MyKaren did around 21. We just ran from our house. I hated it and if anyone had stopped me to offer me a penny if I quit, I would have taken it. Somehow, I got myself through the hot, humid, horrible run, and now I only have the marathon at LP to worry about. I hope to get through 18 miles in 4 hours on race day, so I would have 2 hours to do the last 8; that is my current hope. But if it doesn't work out...I'll just keep moving until the end!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


One long run and 2 long bikes left! The long Blue Ridge ride 2 weeks ago was on a beautiful day, one that started way early with some serious fog in the mountains. The LP crew that went did 3 out and backs, 1st from 13-3/4 to 0 and back, then from 13-3/4 to 25 and back, and then the 13/34/ to 0 and back again. Some hardy souls then went down the Gates of Hell up to Wintergreen and back, but I was not one of those. 86 miles or so of nothing but climbing or descending was more than enough for me! Lynn and I also did a short transition run afterwards, which I thought was not bad.

What can I say about riding the Blue Ridge? It is hard as crap, I think much harder than LP since there really is never a flat or even flat-like section. The climb grades are around 4% on average, whilst the LP ones are an average of 2%. So, if I can ride BL, then I guess I can ride LP for real. The time it may take me is the thing I am worried about! The 2nd leg goes up a 3+ mile climb, which is all switchbacks and which has been a fun, but sometimes scary downhill. I had the best time on that downhill I have ever had in my life. For some reason, I just took the curves perfectly and was flying downhill with a huge grin on my face and giddy with happiness! It was a blast! As I have said in the past, my new bike loves speed, and for once, I let it go! Wow! Of course the climbing is not so much fun, but after a few stops to talk to myself, I got through it. Working on nutrition, I tried Carbo-Pro and gu on the last leg, and that seemed to work for me, so I'll do that again for the bigass Luray ride this weekend.

Last weekend MyKAren, Sharon, Lynn and I all trooped to Pocahontas for a little bike/run fun. It was kind of humid and hot, and the run was supposed to be 20 miles. We decided to have an adventure and ended up taking our shoes off and crossing the creek downstream of the dam for a 14.5 mile loop. I was losing it for the last several miles of that loop, as that section of trails is not as shady as the the Old Mill Bike trails, but we all got through it. MyKAren, Lynn and Sharon (who, let me remind you, is NOT training for anything in particular) took off to run the BBT loop for the remainder of the milage, while I went off on my own to finish via the Old Mill loop...I actually ended up doing around 19 rather than 20, but I'm ok with that. Given my state when I finished the 14 miles, I was happy with my running for the rest of the run, I had downed some gu and managed to run the majority of the last miles. Who knows what race day will bring, if I can run even 1/2 of the marathon, I'll be happy! So we all finished running, and then ate and then I had to take a nap!

We swam at the secret 50m pool location on Sunday, Lynn and I did 2.5 miles, MyKaren and Shelley did 2.75. I love the longer pool for long swims. Next up is the 100 mile Skyline Drive ride, looks really scary and hard, maybe I should add lights to my bike!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


OK, now that I am actually 50, it kind of freaks me out. I turned 50 on Saturday, and to celebrate, MyKaren, Lynn and Sharon all went to Pocahontas State Park for a little ride and a lot of run. We rode the park roads for about 45 minutes and that was very nice. The roads are not flat, and since they paved the road to the group camp ground one can get in a loop of about 13 miles. So, we road all through the park and then we had to run. Running is most definitely not my favorite thing and it is not becoming my favorite thing. But, running on the fire roads and wide trails was very, shady, challenging and not hard as hard on the body. We ran an 11 mile loop, and then a 7 mile loop for the required 18 miles. It is not an easy run, very hilly for the first 4 miles and then rolling terrain until the short hill at the very end. Very good training for Placid. I really tried to pop the Salt Stick pills and take gu every 30 minutes and drink all my fluids in an attempt to stave off kind of worked, I still felt very tired and unenergetic for some of the run, but much better afterwards so maybe I am figuring it all out.

No big birthday plans as the party was my celebration! All of us met and swam Sunday am, very early at the secret 50 m pool site, very lovely and most of us swam 2.5 miles. We love the 50 m pool! Afterwards MyKaren, Lynn and I all had a big breakfast and then went home for yard work. Not a bad birthday weekend!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Beer = weight gain. I drank a lot of beer this past weekend and perhaps some days leading up to it, and have gained nearly 5 pounds. Shocking and scary all at the same time! I celebrated my 50th birthday this past weekend, with a very nice party organized by MyKaren and lots of my friends in attendence. I am humbled by the thoughtfulness of my friends and thankful for them being in my life.

Not much else to say about LPTF, we all did a full loop of the bike on Monday, followed by a swim in a very wavy pool that evening, and then more food and drinks and a mostly rest day on Tuesday. I am glad I went, and know that I can physically finish the course, I just hope I have enough time.

MyKaren, Lynn and I went to the Blue Ridge Saturday and rode 57-60 miles. For the record, the Blue Ridge is harder than LP course. Blue Ridge is either uphill or downhill, with no real flatter sections. And there are some flat sections at LP. So, we rode several hours, and then did a short transition run on the AT. It was a very beautiful day, with lots of cyclists out there. On Sunday morning, we did a 7-8 mile trail run on the downtown loop, and while it was humid, that was also very nice. I swam 1.25 miles yesterday to top off the weekend's training.

Friday, May 22, 2009


Did I mention that this whole multi-day torturefest was a birthday present from MyKaren to me? Silly me to accept such a gift!

The run for LPTF was listed as a 20 mile run, and one of the participants actually did run 20+, just not anyone else. ProKaren actually made us run 3 hours, which in my book is about 16 miles or so....that was the average milage, except for speedy-boy. We ran around Mirror Lake and then on to the run course. It is not easy. The long out and back is long, and I can only imagine it will be dark and kind of lonely after the sun goes down come race day...and I am 100% sure that I'll be out there after the sun calls it a day and sets. However, on the good side, it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be (keeping in mind that we were running the NEXT day after an 88 mile bike, not IMMEDIATELY after a 112 mile bike) and the scenery is very pretty. The hills that are hard are the intown hill and the one that starts at the ski jump parking lot down to the bridge. The out and back is kind of rolling but not too bad.

I did ok on the run; started to bonk after 2 1/2 hours, even though I thought I'd been eating enough gu. I did, however, recognize that I was bonking, which is a good first step. I now just need to make sure I take appropriate actions, like eating, at the very early signs! Sounds easy enought, right?

But, I made it back, and up the bigass intown hill in one piece and I was happy about that. No real horror stories on the run, except that evidently someone had a badly timed potty stop and "lost" their gloves to that cause. I'll say no more about that, except I thought I was going to have the same type of bad potty stop, but my shy sphincter ruled that out. Bathroom humor is certainly the topic of any long distance racing, triathlons are no exception!

More eating and drinking and napping ensued and we all had a very lovely dinner at the View, where the food was good, but not as plentiful as our appetites would have liked. I did get a nice Happy Birthday dessert and got a nice photo of the group and that was great!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

5/21/2009-Lake Placid Torturefest-Part1

Part 1
To say that I was nervous about attempting the LPTF09 would be a little bit of an understatement. Nervous because if it all went south, I'd be a complete mess until IMUSA. So it was with a bit of trepidation that MyKaren and I started our northern journey on 5/14. We drove up the 81 way, to miss the cluster that is DC and NYC and made it to the outskirts of Scranton by 11:30ish. I wanted to find Dunder-Mifflin's office, but we had a schedule to keep so we got up and left. We were the first to arrive at the house...nice digs, by the way! Got unpacked, which included a bunch of freebies from QuakerCindy and 8-5 gallon bottles of water from Diamond Springs. We sloshed all the way up to LP with the car riding kind of low.

Everyone eventually arrived and off we went for a little spin around Mirror Lake and one lap of the run course. A very long out and back. Very long. We all went to dinner at a great little place in town, the Brown Dog Wine Bar and Cafe (I think I got the name close) and after eating, we all staggered back for some frenzied water bottle filling, CarboPro, Endura, Gatorage mixing, food organizing and general frenzied scurrying around to get ready for the early start of the long bike on Saturday.

Saturday morning was cold and overcast. We left in three groups, the first being DeannaL, Scott and ProKaren, followed 15 minutes later by the larger gang of 5 (me, Lynn, DeannaB, Bethany and KateO) then by the speedsters: MyKaren and Bart. ProKaren said that it was all downhill the first part of the bike, but we quickly found out she lies. It is most certainly not downhill up to the long descent into Keene. We have sinced named the first several miles "the Wench" for the steady uphill climb to the "Gates of Hell" or the descent into Keene. Others may share their experiences going through and down the Gates, but mine was pretty good for the first lap. It is basically four downhills, the first two are short with some flats along the lake (no idea what the name of the lake is) and then there is a 1.5 mile downhill with a little flat, followed by the 2 mile one into Keene. I went pretty darn fast, with no odometer I can't say for sure, but I think I got to the low 40s the first lap. The road is bumpy, at times very bumpy and going that fast for that long is kind of nerve wracking. I find the last 2 miles to be the scariest, simply due to being a bit tired of being super vigilent about speed, body position and road surface.

We all made it down the Gates safely, and had our first sag stop to take off some layers. I really need to give a shout out to Kim, our Sherpa for the weekend, she was AWESOME! The next 10 miles from Keene to Jay are fast, and we were going at a nice clip. The turn towards Wilmington is where the fun starts...the climb out of Jay is one of the harder ones. Pedaling along 86 to Wilmington is up and down, up and down, up and down. We did not do the Haselton Road out and back the first day (well MyKaren and Bart did, but they are studs). Off through Wilmington and then the steady climb back up to LP starts. The climb goes in sections, but it is pretty much a steady climb for several miles, going past White Face Mountain ski place and finally ending at a camp ground. This unnamed climb is now "the Bitch." Then its another potentially fast section to the 2 Cherry's and the 3 Bears and the final one, "the Bastard" when one turns onto Northwood. First lap done, nice sag by the lake, and then the fun started. The weather turned a bit ugly, rain, wind, temperature we went anyway, with ProKaren and Bethany their own group and then the remaining gang of 4 taking our time at the sag.

The Gates descent was hairy to say the least. I got pushed around a lot by the wind, which kept changing direction and swirling around. It was not my favorite thing. When I got to Keene and the sag, my shoulders where killing me from being so tense. I am proud of all of us for doing that descent. If, for some reason, the weather is bad for race day, we are all ready. I was tired the second lap, but it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be and we all finished with some legs left for our transition run...only 20 minutes, but in the pouring rain and mean ProKaren made us run down the big hill in town and up again. It was hard, mostly because I was bonking, due to ineffective nutrition on the bike. But I did finish it.

We had a great dinner and played cards and all crashed fairly day was the long run.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Sooooo, it seems like every 1/2 IM I do, my finish time gets longer and longer. I guess I could come up with the excuse that it was hot and humid as hell, but everyone else seemed to manage the heat and humidity and I am not one to make excuses. As with most of my races, there was a good, an ok and an ugly. The morning began with some excitement, as MyKaren and I tried to get breakfast at the Ashland WaffleHouse at 4 am. At 4 am, the clientele is interesting enough, but some redneck boys decided to have a scuffle in the parking lot just after we walked in. Some thumping ensued with shouting and finger jabbing and all that. Some dude's t-shirt was all stretched and torn, and it all seemed to be a passing thing, when someone called out that a guy had a gun. OK, at this point, MyKaren and I were looking for a safe place to duck, and I was thinking that it I got shot going to the race that I would be totally pissed off. The wait staff was calling the police, yelling about the car make and license plate number, and the waiter guy was being held back from going out to get in the mix. We see the cops screaming towards WaffleHouse and the gun toter's friends were yelling at him to leave..he squealed out just in front of the cops, but of course they caught him. As everything settled down, a woman returns to her seat at the counter, and starts going on about the gun...evidently she was the person towards whom the gun was pulled (which was why the guys in the restaurant were so pissed, "them homeboys can shoot at each other all they want, but don't pull no gun on a chick"). She says "it was a damn 22, if you gonna pull a gun, pull a gun, don't pull no damn 22 pistol." So much was wrong with that, we just ordered our food and got out of there....

Good was my swim time: 40:03, best ever, some 3 minutes better than Timberman and 15 minutes better than my first 1/2 IM swim 2 years ago. Clearly, I am getting the swim. I found out later that many people had trouble in the beginning with breathing in the swim, some had a great deal of trouble. I think that no one realized that 68 degrees would be cold, given that the air and water temp were the same at race start, so we were all surprised at how difficult the first part of the swim was in terms of breathing. Everyone knows what it is like to put their face in cold water. I had some scared minutes, when I just could not get my breathing going correctly, even with some stern talking to. I finally held my breath for as long as I could as I swam, and somehow that worked. The swim was nice, some chop, but not bad, and I just tried to swim with the best technique I could. I really thought my swim was a 46 minute swim, I could not tell where I was in the pink cap pack, but I did much better than I could have expected.

I got to the bike, and felt a little woozy, but that is not unusual and get out on the bike course. I do not have an odometer on my bike right now, so I've been riding by feel and I just tried to go at a slightly uncomfortable speed. No weird bike stories, there was some horses with Hispanic riders, riding along the side of the road at one point, but the ride seemed to go well. I tried to eat the food I had brought with me, and took water refills at the water stops, so I thought I was doing ok. My bike time was 3:25 something, not bad, not great, but ok.

Then the run...well, I can say it was my own damn fault as usual, I just do not seem to learn how or what to eat on the run, so I bonk. And I stagger on, nauseated, weak death marching in the heat and sun. I was kind of dizzy with an upset stomach when I started the run...I ate part of a Gu and had 4 bottles of Endura on me. I thought I was going to pass out during the first lap, as I staggered on, I was waiting for the white vision edge that would signal I was going down. Didn't happen, and I did make sure I ran some part of every mile. Not sure why I didn't just stop. So, MyKaren catches up to me at the end of my 1st, her 2nd lap. She berates me for not taking electrolyte pills, so I start taking 2 every water stop, along with coke and water. No food, because I am stupid. Needless to way, the 1/2 marathon time was not my best one ever, but I did finish and maybe now I'll get the fact that I need to have a nutrition plan FOR THE WHOLE RACE and then stick to it no matter how I feel.

IMUSA is looking more scary each day. I can only hope that I get everything figured out by then. Next up, Torture Fest....I am scared about that as well waaaaahhhhh!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Well, Kinetic 1/2 is just around the corner and I have just as much anxiety as I always do before a race. I keep thinking that I must be faster than a 7+ hour 1/2 IM, but 3 races don't lie. So, who knows, I sure don't. The swim should be ok, since I've done the bike, it should also be ok. The run, well, let's just say it is not my favorite thing in a race and I am not thinking I'll be setting any PRs. I am hoping it is not too hot or humid or hot and humid on Saturday, or for that matter, that it is not pouring. What the heck...the weather is one thing I certainly cannot change so I'll just suck it up and finish!

Training is going, I think I am finally realizing that I actually do have an IM in a couple of months. It's just been such a strange winter and spring with people getting hurt and grumpy. I guess that comes with the kind of training we all do! I am feeling pretty good so far, so that is good. Last weekend I rode 70 and did a small transition run on Saturday, and then swam about 3000 meters on Sunday with the RTC swim at ACAC in the beautiful 50M pool. It was good to get some long swim sections in for a change. My biking is fine, but my girlie parts are KILLING me after about an hour, and that makes it hard to get in aero. I just cannot seem to get the seat correct. I think I am going to try a new seat, but then if that doesn't make it any better, I'll have spent money for nothing. Whine, but it really hurts. I was singing girlie part hurt songs on Saturday, but it didn't help the pain.

So, focus now is getting through Kinetic. Next week we leave for LPTF (Lake Placid Torture Fest) and that should either make me feel better or worse about the IM.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Seems I cannot get myself as excited about writing the blog as last year. Maybe its indicative of my overall lethargy with IMUSA or maybe its not. Who knows. The list of people who are injured and cannot do IMUSA seems to grow every day, and its kind of freaking me out. I hope the injuries are done and everyone else keeps themselves healthy!

But, I still love SP2! I've gone on a 60 and a 70ish ride and she is a sweet as the road is rolling! I feel like a freakin rocket going downhill, probably because that is the only time I go as fast as she is designed for! Anyway, she is one sweet ride and I feel faster overall, so that is a good thing!

This past weekend MyKaren, Sharon, Molly, Lynn, Bob and I all went to ride/run the Kinetic course. Not flat. MyKaren was the usual rocket so we didn't see her except at the beginning and end of the ride, my group got lost the first lap, I got bird shit on my face not more than 5 miles out, and I nearly had a squirrel run into me. The squirrel was mid-air and about a foot from me when it realized I was there, so it somehow put on its mid-air brakes and flailed itself backwards. The little bit I saw was hilarious, the riders behind me nearly peed themselves. We cannot imagine the story the squirrel told! It was a good ride, the course is going to be challenging, as the run is lots of uphill and it is a three loop run. The bike course is rolling hills, enough to make you work, and some of the road surfaces are crappy but its not bad. Of course, the water will be cold as crap! Yippee!

Swam 1.75 miles yesterday, felt good in the pool, nice and long and relaxed. So the weekend totals were 69 mile ride, ~5 mile run, 1.75 mile swim. Not a bad weekend.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

SweetP2! - 3/25/2009

So, I got my new ride; a Cervelo P2C, which for lack of any imagination, I have named SweetP2 or SP2 for when I am in a hurry! It is sswweeeeeet! Got the Ultegra model which is blue, gray and white, and it looks very cool. I rode it on the trainer for 3 hours Saturday (I know it is sacrilege, but I will have plenty of outdoors time with her), and felt great! I am looking forward to outdoor riding! For the record, I am not thinking that I'll be faster, I am hoping that I'll be more efficient.

Training is still training, and not all that exciting, so nothing new to report on that front. I'm still kind of struggling with the whole training thing, since I feel pretty burnt out, but I need to get over that and be happy about the work I've been doing. Maybe its the months long intensity that has curdled my training milk....I'm ready for some longer, slower workouts!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Snow! I've been waiting for a snow day, and yesterday I got my wish! MyKaren and I lounged around yesterday, even though we did shovel the walk, steps and driveway (which is not short) and chopped up a big-ass branch that had fallen over a neighbors drive with our trusty axe. I count that as a back and arm workout for the day. It was very pretty and I am very happy that we finally got enough snow to care about.! The House of Pain was open for business, but we didn't feel like taking our chances on the slick roads with idiot Va drivers, so we are going to go tonight and tomorrow.

The weekend workout was supposed to be 2.5 hour bike followed by a million 1/2 mile repeats, but a few of us mutinied and did a 8-9 mile trail run instead. My thinking is this: I am not going to be doing anything fast at IMUSA, but I am going to be running (or more likely walking) on hills, so my preference is to pack in lots of hills. And it was hard...and we did push there! I felt pretty good at the end and tried to pick it up to catch MyKaren, which I did, but only because she had no idea I was chasing her. Swam on Sunday, and I bagged yen yoga since I got to go on Friday.

I was hoping to get some more bike try-outs this Friday, but now I have to work in the office. Baahhh humbug. I've ridden a P2C, a Kestral and a Orbea so far. I wasn't expecting any big differences from how Sweet Pea feels, but the minute I got on the P2C, the difference was dramatic. Even though I hate to follow the pack (so to speak) I know why so many people have that bike, LIKE BUTTA! I am waiting for a few more similar models (Look and Scott) to come in to try out, but so far the P2 wins hands down! I was really surprised at how responsive, light and yet powerful it felt. At least if I do get one, it will have a different paint job than others....

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

February 24, 2009

I can tell that my enthusiasm is not quite what is was last year, since I can never think of what to write! The training is kind of wearing on me, I feel like I have been doing this forever, and the amount of effort, while hard, has been the same for a while. Of course both MarcoDiablo and Mean Mr. Ed are hurting us every week, and the weight lifting has been even yummier than last year, but the distances that we are doing have been pretty much the same for a while and I feel like I am not moving forward with the training as much as last year. Maybe I am just tired.

A few of us have been faithfully running a mid-week early am hill workout for a month or so, running pretty much the length of Riverside Drive (both ways) from the Lee bridge to Boulevard. When we started, we would see the sun rise over the City at the end of the run, now it is getting light before we get 1/2 way through. As hard as it is (and after lifting and biking Monday nights, Tuesday mornings are HARD) it has become one of my favorite things. Pain can make you silly.

I'm trying to work hard on the biking this year, not that I didn't last year, but I am trying harder this year. I am hopeful that I'll see a difference when we get outside. I am also hopeful that I'll be riding a new bike (don't say anything to Sweet Pea!) by the time we get outside. I love my bike, but she is a bit heavy and I don't need to try to hump any additional weight up the Lake Placid hills, I think its going to be hard enough. So, we'll see if or what I get and if it makes me feel fast.

Monday, February 9, 2009


Yikes, I've been feeling a bit under the weather for the past week, yuk, but it was soooo nice this weekend. February is power month, and the cycling has been cranked up a notch, I had forgotten the joys of power month from last year. Mean Mr. Ed has been cracking the whip and Marco Diablo, well, let's just say he continues to earn his name. I am not looking forward to working out tonight, knowing how it is going to hurt. Oh well, I signed up for this so I only have myself (and a few others who pushed me into the mailstorm that is IMUSA) to blame.

I still am not feeling 100%, which is annoying, and the run on Saturday was much harder than 8 miles should be. I almost puked, and I wasn't running fast or anything. Blah, blah. We swam on Sunday, I did 1 1/4 mile, KillaK and Shelley did 1.5 miles, they still finished ahead of me. Swimming remains a work in progress.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Today is the best day...we, as a nation, are getting new leadership and that makes me very happy. In many ways, I am terribly lucky to have been able to witness some extremely important events. Some of the events are not so great, but I have high hopes for today.

Enough of the politics.

I found out what it is like to try to work out in a freezer this past weekend. I do not recommend it. MyKaren, BlakeE and I all traveled down to Pulaski County, Virginia, to participate in a "sprint" adventure race on Saturday. I was freaking out the whole week, as the projected temperatures got colder and colder. The race was supposed to last 6 hours and include paddling, mountain biking and trekking. I had already informed my team that I was not going to do the paddle, knowing that if anyone fell in, they would be dead, with the temps in the single digits. As it turned out, the paddling was canceled anyway (whew!) due to the cold and the fact that the lake was frozen and no one could launch a canoe. We went anyway.

The race started at 7 am, and the official temperature was -3. Yup, that's negative 3. Colder than my freezer. The race would have been ok if we had started out running, not that running in sub-zero is good, but it is better than trying to bike in it. I had tried to use neoprine booties, but could not get them on, becauase of my stupid feet with their high insteps. I got some toe "warmers" and hoped for the best. They did not work as planned, and my right foot in particular was on its way to some serious frostbite. I had also gotten some baklivas for our heads and faces, but trying to breath through the little mesh mouth hole was impossible and we ended up pushing the mouth below our chins. MyKaren and I had on skiing mittens and our ski goggles, both were good choices. The first check point was about 10 miles or so away, and we ended up not making there, as one of us was going hyperthermic and we had to get back to the transition before they got into more serious trouble. I was glad, as my right toes were on their way to frostbite land, and it would not have been a good thing for me to have been out there much longer.

As it turned out, I cried when they thawed. It felt like they were being burned and stabbed at the same time. We got everyone thawed and warmer, and set out for the trekking part, which went much better. We got both trekking checkpoints with some warming breaks in between the two points, and then set out for some orienteering points, and some good old bushwhacking! The run/trek was actually fun, but still hard. We got 4 points in all, and ran/walked for about 5 hours, so it was not a complete bust.

To give some perspective, 16 teams signed up and showed up for the sprint race. 2 teams did not start race morning. 4 other teams (inlcuding us) bailed on the bike. There was also a 30-hour race, to my knowledge, they all started. Those people are the crazy ones.