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 drop....off 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 early...next 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.