Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday for Old Farts

It's that kind of day. A pajama and a book kinda day.  No, I didn't want to get out of bed.  No, I didn't want to go to work.  But, unlike the caption, I don't get to choose my adventure.  Crap.

Oh well :-P.  Seems as if last week is rapidly catching up with me.  I'm tired, achy, and have a ridiculous case of Ironfeet.  Blah.  Hopefully I can rest up tonight and be a little more lively tomorrow.  Oh yeah, and I tried to run today during lunch just to see what Sunday might have in store for me.....it's gonna be hilarious :-P  Anyone have any suggestions for an Iron big toe?  I know the nail is gonna fall off, but it is super, super painful in the meantime.  Should I wrap it?  Duct tape it?  Cut it off?  Just wondering :-)

Oh, and in case you missed the memo on Sunday, DUmbass me signed up for the Fall DUathlton.  In other words, Run-bike-run-bike-run.  2-10-2-10-2.  Yup, on 10-2.  And my birthday-wheeee!!  Yup, I know I', crazy, but there's nothing in the world I would rather do than run and bike on my birthday.  And it's my day.  So there :-P  (Expect some funny pictures!)

But now?

Exactly.  It's Friday for old farts time....popcorn, the latest Nicholas Sparks novel, PJs, and Fringe. I love married life. 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Parfaits and Pavement

So, how about we play a little game today and A) NOT talk about triathlon and B) Make this post short and sweet so you actually read it don't fall asleep reading it?  All in favor?  Good, me too :-)

It's a rainy fall day in New York, perfect for all things Autumn.  Ok, more so perfect for for hiding under the covers with my latest book and some chai tea, but, seeing as I have to pay the bills, off to work I went. 

Autumn Perfection #1: Apples.

Most mornings equal a nice steaming bowl of banana oats, but since I was running around, I needed portability.  Enter in Apple Oatmeal Parfait:

1/2 cup oats, cooked in the microwave with a dash of salt and cinnamon....layered with chopped mac apple and Greek yogurt. 
5 minutes to make, and can be eaten on the go!  Perfect.

Check out that baby:

 








Yum.

Autumn Perfection #2:  NEAT (Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis)

Now you didn't think I was gonna sit on the couch this week, did you?  Since I am idiotic enough (yeah I couldn't even make that pretty) to be doing a duathlon on Sunday, I consulted one of my favorite nutty triathletes (yes, Matt, I am in awe of your race antics) to ask for advice on how to not die this weekend.  He told me to A) Swim and B) Walk.  That I can do!  So, since it was raining, I met up with a brave friend for coffee and a walk and combined the two :-)
Got my 10,000 in before 2pm.  Boo.  Ya.

Since I got my NEAT in during lunch, that leaves tonight open for some yoga and guilt free reading under a fleece blanket.  Perfection.
And, on a last random note, wanna see what Ironman does to you aside from making you sore?
Irontummy

Ironfeet
Times a million for um, "other" areas.  Yeah, yeah. TMI.  I know.  Does this make me a bada$$ or just really stupid?  Discuss :-P

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ironman or Irondistance?

And thus is the $64,000 question!  Now that I've done a WTC Ironman and a non M-dot branded Iron distance race....how do they stack up?

Dun dun dun.....first things first.  A few quickie disclaimers.  I am not an expert.  I've done two 140.6's and am basing my thoughts solely on my experiences.  Also, I never expected the independent race to "rival" WTC hoopla, at all.  Thirdly, and this involves trust :-P  Let me tell you right off the bat that I am not a "race snob".  I could care less how much frill goes into a race and really just look at safety, experience, the bottom line-my wallet.  Okey dokey?  With that said, I'll dive right into a few categories for comparison!  (Oh, one last thought-this is not based on the courses at all, either...even though I have thoughts on both :-D)  For each comparison IM= WTC Ironman, CM= Iron-distance (in this case, Chesapeakeman).

#1.  Cost/registration 
IM-Pay $575-800.00 (plus fees) one year in advance to race.  If for some reason you can't race, sorry Charlie (well, you do get $100 back).  In some cases, you need to go to the race site to actually register and may need to volunteer to secure a spot.
CM-Pay $350, can register until it sells out (this year it was open until the week before the race), all fees included.  I registered in March and if for some reason I could not race, I had until August 1st to withdraw to receive $265 of my $350 back.
Winner = CM

#2.  Pre Race Meeting/Athlete Information
IM: Information book provided/Athlete guide. Each segment of the course reviewed prior to race day.  Cut off times reiterated, each discipline reviewed course wise, and plenty of athletes with previous course experience on hand.
CM:  Athlete guide provided.  General review of FAQ's reviewed by Race Director.  Questions somewhat answered vaguely, bike course referred to multiple times as a "112 mile training ride".  No assurances to monitored intersections, on course food/liquid, and jokes made at athlete's expense several times during the meeting.  Very unclear answers to questions.
Winner= IM.  With the breadth of athletes that have done the IM race, you can usually get the answer to your question from either an athlete or the race director.  With the CM briefing, it was really unclear as to what the swim course was, if there would be aid on the bike course, or how things worked.  We were also told that athletes lose all common sense while racing.  Maybe true, but not necessary to pint out the night before an Irondistance race.

#3 Pre-Race Amenities/Swag
IM:  Carb load dinner of pork/beef, stuffed pasta, salad, brownie.  Race bib with name on it.  Finishers shirt and hat, medal, bag.
CM:  Carb load dinner with salad, 3 types of pasta (spinach, white, wheat), marinara. pesto, veggie lasagna, 4 different types of rolls, fruit, water, tea/coffee, and two different kinds of cake.  Post race brunch the day after.  Race bib (no name), race shirt, bag, water bottle,gloves, hammer products, finishers long sleeved shirt, bigger medal.
Winner:  CM.  Much better food and swag.

#4  Race Morning: 
IM:  Assistance pumping up tires, only athletes allowed into transition. direction from several volunteers, water provided for bottles, millions of nervous athletes and supporters, long walk (usually) to swim start.  Ample time to get in the water, clear direction about where to go, counted athletes getting into the water.
CM:  Anyone could enter transition, athletes directed to park drinking fountain to get water to fill bottles (water jogs reserved for changing tents), less people, close to swim start, not able to get into water before race, swim course confusion (depending on who you talked to, the course was either around the far buoy or not-the woman who won actually cut the course and they allowed it), not a clear starting signal.
Winner:  IM.  Even though there was less of a crowd, it was clear what you were supposed to do (which is really important for nervous athletes!), and they were safer by counting athletes.  Anyone could have bandited CM. 

#5.  The Swim/Race Start
IM:  Plenty of bouys, big turnaround buoys, plenty of kayaks to keep you on track or provide rest.  Mat coming out of water to avoid slippage. 3 million people in a mass start.
CM:  Buoys few and far between, kayaks drifted into the course and blocked buoys, hard to see buoys around kayaks and you swam off course to avoid them.  Also had Ski-doos.  Did not correct swimmers cutting the course (significantly cutting).  Boat dock super slippery, no mat, several athletes did a face plant. 500 athletes in a mass start.
Winner: IM by a nose.  It was nice having ski doos, but it seems the kayaks had no idea what they were supposed to do. Frustrating that it did not matter if you cut the course. Also, the swim exit was a mess.

#6 On Course Aid
IM:  Aid stations every 10 miles on the bike, port o potties, aid every mile on the run, a million volunteers ready to assist with every step.  A veritable buffet of everything you could want.  All turns well marked and manned, mile markers every 10 miles on the bike, every mile on the run.
CM:  Aid stations every 12 miles on the bike, every mile on the run.  Sufficient nibbles, not quite as varied as IM.  Not as many volunteers, needed to assist yourself most of the time.  Lack of direction for bike loop 2, lack of direction for bike hand off for T2 and also hard to get run and special needs bags (had to wait for both).
Winner:  This really isn't a fair comparison-it's directly related to the number of volunteers (see #7)  Overall, no issues at all with nutrition, but it was difficult to know what to do if you haven't done the course before.

#7  Volunteers
IM:  As stated above, a million volunteers that treated you like gold.  They knew what they were doing, and directed you well via the course.  If you needed something, they grabbed it for you in a second.  Roughly a ratio of 1:1 athlete/volunteer.  Strong incentive to volunteer tied to signing up for next year's race, therefore mostly athlete volunteers.
CM:  Not as many (obviously).  For each aid station, maybe 3-4 volunteers.  Good traffic control on bike (I was worried about this) but not as good at co-ordination/directions.  Alot of kids volunteering-which is great, but you could tell some of them didn't want to be there. (checking cell phones, rolling eyes, etc).The volunteer directing onto loop 2 for the bike really had no idea what she was doing, and same thing with run and special needs run bags.  There was a decent amount of waiting involved there, which is annoying when you are on the clock (and I tried to "help myself" but got yelled at).  However, some of the volunteers were STELLAR-run turn around aid station was GREAT!
Winner:  IM, no doubt.  However, I think a volunteer meeting might have cleared this up.  Also, some of our friends wanted to volunteer but were told they "had enough" volunteers.  They didn't.  And I have no issue pulling over on the bike or getting food myself, but direction would have been great.

#8 Mile Markers/Turnaround
IM:  Mile markers every 10 miles on the bike, every mile on the run. Mats at every turnaround for timing.
CM:  No mile markers on the bike, miles 1-4 on the run, then none.  Some written in chalk on the road, but you couldn't see them well, and there were two mile #23's....a huge mind F%$ck after racing for 137 miles. Also, no mats at all for any turnarounds. You could cut the course anytime you wanted. And people did.

Winner:  IM with a big exclamation point.  This wasn't an issue on the bike, but the run was horrendous.  Evidence of my mini melt down on loop 1.  If I would have known, I would have used my garmin.  Also, CM really needs mats, or at least the illusion of them so people don't cut the course.  I realize that it's on them if they do, but it was really annoying.

#9 After Dark
IM:  Glow sticks.  Generators.  Light (mostly).
CM:  Glow sticks.  3 cars patrolling the roads with head lights.  Pitch black.
Winner:  Eh, I don't know.  Since I wasn't on course for IM after dark, I can't really say.  But CM got super dark, super quick (at 7pm).  I can't imagine those going until midnight.  You couldn't see a foot in front of you.

#10 Post Race
IM:   Mike Reilly announcing "You are an Ironman!". Pizza, subs and soda.  Massage.  Medical . A T-shirt and medal.  Catchers.  A long walk back to the car.  Race results up ASAP (mostly), finishers paper the next day.
CM:  Announcer yelling your name (no ironman).  Massage, medical, catchers.  Long Sleeved shirt (dress) and medal.  Preliminary results.  Post race food....the same as food served on course!  (Gag me).  Results up two days later, with many many mistakes.
Winner:  IM, solely for results.  No biggie on the food, though it was amusing to go into the gym and see....pepsi, gatorade, cookies, and bananas.  Gag me.  No biggie with Mike Reilly, especially if you've done an Ironman. Results slightly frustrating because they actually gave awards to wrong people and DNF'ed people that didn't DNF.  But neither of those applied to me.


WHEW!!!  Ok, I'm done.  Bottom line?  If you want to race an ironman, do an M-DOT race, especially if it's your first.  If you want to race 140.6 and have a sense of adventure, go for an independent race.  You also need a heck of a lot of mental HTFU and be perfectly okay with the space between your ears to do it. 
Again, I want to say that I only have these two races to compare.  Will I do C Man again?  Probably not.  Would I try another independent Iron distance race?  You betcha.  Again, I want to reiterate that at no time was I looking for this race to be exactly like a WTC Ironman.  More like Jeff Henderson's Musselman versus a 70.3.  (which I would rate Musselman over in a heartbeat!)

Unfortunately, it just didn't stack up at all. Looking forward to trying B2B, Redman, The Great Floridian or Vineman to investigate further :-)  One more disclaimer-both days were completely awesome to me (IMLP 2010 and CMan 2011).  I was so happy with my performance both times, and don't regret doing either one.

So now.....onto the next adventure!!  What's your next adventure?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Chesapeakeman Iron Distance 2011: Swim, bike, swim, bike, swim, bike run to 140.6!

Settle down, kids, I'm on it.  Time for the long awaited race report!  Ironman #2-DONE!  This is gonna be a two parter at least, I warn you....I am full of emotions from the day, and I really needed them to settle down before I wrote a report.  My intention is to do MY RACE report today, then a comparison tomorrow of Ironman M-Dot versus Independent Ironman.  I will try very hard to keep any judgement or opinions out of today's report.  Okey dokey? :-)  Here goes!

Pre-Race

Pre-Race bike prep!
The alarm went off at 3:45.  Jumped out of bed (ok, kinda-the people on the floor above us got up at 3, so I had been laying in bed just watching the numbers turn :-P), took a quick shower, and made my pre-race breakfast #1 (Pb toast and coffee).  Drove to T2, where I dropped off my special needs bags and my Bike to Run bag, then headed over to T1.  I pumped up my tires (ok, the hubster did :-P), got my nutrition settled onto my bike, pit stop one and two, then ate a zone bar 45 minutes pre swim.  Wriggled into my wetsuit, applied some Vaseline to discourage the jellyfish, and headed out to the swim start.  Listened to a few last minute directions (There was some confusion as to the buoys for the course) and then the National Anthem.  The mic cut out halfway through the anthem, and as the singer got soft, hundreds of voices of triathletes joined in to honor the stars and stripes.  Shivers.  It was beautiful.
At 6:55, they let us into the water, and we lined up at the start.  And we were off!!

The Swim
The swim was a clockwise, two loop swim in the Choptank river.  The river lived up to it's name, there was a decent chop to the water, and also jellyfish.  I felt pretty steady the whole swim (there is certainly a difference to a mass swim start of 400 people versus 3000!).  got my goggles kicked off 10 minutes in, no biggie, stopped to re-adjust.  I swam the first loop conservatively, the second loop was a bit wide, as the kayaks began to drift out further than the buoys.  Sighting was rough-it was pretty gray out and there were only 7 buoys for the whole course.  I did swallow a healthy amount of salt water (just making sure I got enough sodium, obviously :-P) and got stung twice by jellyfish (it wasn't too bad, I just poured vinegar on the stings in T2).  Exiting the water was a challenge-there was a boat ramp that was filled with algae and slime that a bunch of people wiped out on (I was lucky not too).  Hit the timing mat for T1 in 1:26:xx....7 minutes slower than Placid, but with the chop, I'll take it.
T1: 4:44
Ripped of my wetsuit, slid into my bike gear, downed a gel, applied sunscreen and bug spray, and was off!
Swim Predator!
The Bike (and swim and bike and swim and bike)
The bike course was a 2 looper as well-65 miles for the first loop, 47 for the second.  It lollipopped out for 10 miles, then came back in to do the two loop sections.  The entire course was pretty flat, max grade of 3-4%.  The first 20 miles were pretty windy, as it was through open fields.  I stayed pretty conservative, averaging about 18-19.  Turning onto loop 1, we pulled onto a highway with a decent shoulder and I was able to just spin out at a decent clip.  The first few hours it rained off and on, nothing crazy, just enough to notice.  At mile 35, we turned into the Blackwater Refuge.  Yup, a swamp.  It was ridiculously humid with headwinds, but nothing to gripe about.  I settled into a decent routine of eating every 45 minutes (half of a powerbar/gel/etc) and tried to drink consistently.  At mile 50, we turned into the "flooding area" of the refuge...we had been told that high tide was at noon, and I was averaging about 18, and hit at 11:30, so I thought I would be safe....no such luck.  For about a mile, there was off and on water on the road, about 1-2 inches deep.  Super fun.  I sprayed through, and got my kit and shoes soaked with swamp water.  As I passed a half Iron competitor, he laughed at me and said "Don't wanna be you guys when high tide hits next loop!".  Awww crap :-P .  Check out the hubster's clip:


Finished out loop one with no problems, stopped to reload fuel and liquids at mile 60.  As I hit the special needs area at mile 65, the full and half split off and we headed out for loop 2.  There was some confusion as to where to go to get back out on the road, but after a minute of "where the heck do I go" I was off again.  Loop two was pretty uneventful, passed alot of people who went out too hard and still kept up a decent clip.  About 4 hours in, food lost its appeal, but I tried to keep up, as I knew I would need it during the marathon.  The swamp portion was more humid, the air sticky, but I tried to joke with fellow cyclists as I passed them.  Even though this ride had no comparison to Placid with elevation, it was mentally draining to ride with little change, and my back cramped up alot due to the fact that you could never coast or stop pedaling.  At mile 100, we hit the famed tidal road again....this time it was a good 4 inches underwater.  Ridiculous.  This time the water sprayed up into my aqua cell and I got thoroughly soaked.  Thank goodness I was almost done!  I tried to stretch it out the last 10 miles....my legs were a bit sore, but nothing crazy.  My feet were the worst...after being soaked at mile 50 and again at mile 100, they were pruny and felt just wrong.  I turned into the school at mile 112, and searched for a volunteer to hand my bike off to.  After a few minutes, one grabbed it and I was off to T2 with my run gear.  Total Bike time:  6:24:xx (official time 6:26:xx after my bike was taken away and I crossed the mat). 

T2:  6:30
When I entered the women's tent, there was not a single other person there.  No volunteers or athletes.  I wriggled out of my wet bike gear and into my run gear, wiped off my face with a wet towel, and tried to get my socks and sneakers on over my wet feet.  Fun fun :-P  After throwing on my race belt and visor, I exited T2 ready ready ready to run! (as evidence when the hubster filmed me coming out of T2.  I thought he was just taking a picture :-P)


The Run
The run was a 3 loop course that was out and back for each loop.  It was 90% flat with slight slight elevations, on a desolate road, with hay bales for scenery.  There was an aid station each mile and also one at the turnaround and....nothing else.  I started the first loop with optimism, clocking an 8:34 for the first mile-a bit fast, but nothing crazy.  Then I needed a porta potty stop :-P  Miles 2 and 3 were uneventful...I stopped at each water stop, grabbed a cup, ate something (a bite of cookie or a cracker) and was off.  I averaged about 9:30's with the potty stop for the first out, which was about where I wanted to be.  My feet hurt from being wet for so long, and my stomach wasn't sure about life.  I definitely didn't want to be eating, but knew i had to.  After I hit the turnaround, something just shut off.  There was no mile 5.  Or 6.  I began to lose it.  I saw the hubster about mile 6.5 (I'm guessing) and whined about life for a minute.  I told him I didn't want to do this.  There were no effing mile markers.  That my feet hurt.  And my stomach.  (Playing a small violin.)  What the EFF was this??  Pull it together, Rae!!  I don't think he knew what to say, but tried gamely to encourage me on.  (I later found out he was really concerned, as the run is typically my favorite :-P)  I hit the end of the first loop (mile 8.7ish) pissed about life and not wanting to go back out there.  So I stopped at special needs.  It took a few minutes to get my bag (there weren't alot of volunteers) but I grabbed notes that my Uncle and Hubster wrote me in case I needed a pick me up (I did this for IM #1-just a little something to make me laugh to get me through a rough patch, and it really worked.)  I also grabbed a 5 hour energy.....even though I'd never had one (spare me the lecture, I was friggin desperate).  Round the turn to loop 2 at 1:32, over a 10 minute mile average.  I saw my dreams of a 4:30 marathon start to fade away.  Taking a deep breath, I read my note from the hubster, laughed my ass off (he knew exactly what to say) and zoned back in.  And I was off. 
Run course "Scenery"
Loop 2 was so so much better.  I resorted to a 5:1 run walk strategy, averaging 10-10:30 miles.  I stopped at every aid station, hydrated, sprayed on bug spray at one, and peed again.  I finally found someone to piggy back with, and chatted with him every so often when we would pass each other.  When I saw the hubster again at mile 14?  (I'm guessing....still no mile markers) I was a different woman.  I joked with him about his note, and was off again.  Rounding the corner to loop 3, I stopped at special needs again, read another note, grabbed some dried fruit (one can only eat so many cookies and saltines) and headed out for my final loop.  Loop #2:  1:35.  Doing some quick math, I realized I could hit my goal of a sub 13 if I managed this last loop in 1:50 or less.  I had a goal.  I was on a mission.  Heading out, I was able to keep the same run walk strategy, and had renewed purpose.  Even though I was physically hurting, I had a much better outlook for this last loop, and did a high 5 with the aid station volunteers at the turnaround (who were freakin' awesome, by the way. They set up a tropical theme with torches!)  On the way back in, it started to get dark, quickly.  Even though it was only 7pm. it was cloudy and muggy all day, and it got dark super fast. As I hit mile 25, there was a kart motoring down the road handing out glow sticks.  You couldn't see a foot in front of you.  Only one aid station had a flood light, and a few cars drove down the road with headlights on.  It was kind of creepy.  Coming up to the last aid station, I looked at my watch and saw 12:40:47.  Could I manage a 9 minute mile for the last mile and go under 12:50?  I wanted to try!  I ran as fast as I could after 12 plus hours of racing, gauging purely on effort, as I couldn't see my watch past the aid station.  Running for all that I was worth, I crossed the line at 12:50:09, 10 seconds shy of breaking 12:50, but smashing my sub 13 goal by almost 10 minutes and taking over an hour off my last Ironman time.  Boo.  Ya.
Post Race
The hubster and my best friend from high school (who lives in VA) caught me after the finish line, where I was literally speechless for a good 5 minutes (which is pretty abnormal).  I had a hard time breathing after racing in the humidity all day, but calmed down pretty quickly.  We collected my stuff, and I went off to find the post race food, but none of it looked appetizing (more on that later) so we called and oredered a pizza to bring back to the hotel.  I showered off the lovely combo of salt water, sweat, vinager, bug spray and god knows what else, then celebrated with two of my favorite people :-)

Thoughts


Welcome home, Ironman #2!
Again, saving the comparison of the events for tomorrow.  But in terms of MY race, I was super happy with my time.  The swim for this event was much harder than IMLP with the choppy water, jellyfish, and course confusion. For the bike, there is no comparison between the elevation obviously, but since there were no downhills, there was no coasting. (Interestingly enough, the long rides on the computrainer in my humid basement really helped me out with this course). The volunteers on the bike tried hard, but you did need to stop for bottle handoffs, and the fact that 3 plus miles of the course was underwater also made it challenging.  You really had to know your bike ability to not blow your load on this course-I saw alot of 5:30 bike splits paired with 5:30 run splits.  As for the run, this was the hardest marathon I have ever done.  Even though Placid was hillier, the course was gorgeous and the crowd support was phenomenal.  This course was out and back x3, so you saw the same nothingness 6 times.  Also, by the time we hit the run, the half iron athletes were (mostly) done and the aquavelos didn't run, so there were only 250 of us on the course.  There was some serious mental HTFU going on to get through the run.  If you were not okay with the space between your ears, you were done (case in point for my mini melt down). 
Bottom line-I am ridiculously happy with my effort, and would change little.  I ended up coming in #119, about halfway through the pack.  A solid effort for me :-)
So what's next?  Yeah, I'm the sucker who signed up for a duathlon this Sunday.....I'm not that bright :-D  Stay tuned for tomorrow.....WTC or independent Ironman? The showdown!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Welcome to Pennslytucky!

Yes, yes, I know everyone wants the race report from Ironman #2, and also is waiting with baited breath for the big WTC versus Independent 140.6 comparison…..tomorrow, I promise!  I still have a touch of Ironbrain, and want to give good thought to both posts!  Recovery wise, I’m doing ok, though.  Obviously, I feel like someone ran me over, backed up, then did it again…and I am feeling really off in terms of headache and stomach wise (kind of flu-ish) but that’s pretty standard I think.  Putting your body through 12 plus hours of racing plus an 8 hour drive home will do that to you!

And speaking of the drive home….just a few gems from the wonderful state of PA.  Wow.
IMG_1477
In New York, we just call them bathrooms....
IMG_1476
What if I don't want to smile?

IMG_1478
Welcome to PA.  Help the old folks.  Screw the kids.
IMG_1479
18 inches??  Thats what she said....
IMG_1482
Even if you're from PA.  We really care.
More tomorrow friends Smile Stay tuned for the 140.6 RACE REPORT!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

12:50!

 12:50:10......a firm hour plus PR.  I am an Ironman again :-)  AWESOME.
Time to hobble off to bed....more later :-)
YAY!!!!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Bad Squishy!!

So, let's talk about this Iron distance race tomorrow, shall we?  This morning, I went out for a practice swim and now have a lay of the land.  Met up with a few triathletes and chatted about the race, got my gear bags together, and now am resting before tomorrow!  So what do I get to do?......

The Swim: 
2.4 miles in the lovely choptank river, and offshoot of the ocean.  Salt water.  Choppy (duh).  And tons of JELLYFISH!  I got in the water to swim part of a loop, and freaked out for about 30 seconds when I saw my first jelly guy.  He shall be mine.  And I shall call  him squishy.:-) I took a few breaths and calmed down, then did a 15 minute swim.  Not used to salt water, but it wasn't bad!  Too bad Squishy didn't think so....yup, I got stung :-P. Bad Squishy, bad! Better today than tomorrow!!  Seems the jellies are out in full force....I saw about 30 during my 15 minute swim.  Yikes!
The Bike:
112 miles-65 miles for loop 1, 47 for loop 2.  Flat, windy, and swampy.  It was kinda cool looking, till we saw mile 50....which is underwater.  Nope, not kidding.  Hopefully the snakes don't come out.  And my bike wants a half mile bath....twice :-P
The Run:
26.2 miles.....3 out and back loops of 8.something miles.  Got my mile bracelet and my special needs bag ready to go (you can access twice :-)) and not tough terrain, but I imagine some major mental HTFU will come into play.

=140.6  Phew!  Go time is 7am....lets hope the rain stays away until post bike, and I can do this!
Chessyman, here I come!!!





Miles and Miles and Miles

My mental prep from Ironplanner suggested amping up my arsenal of mental tricks in order to help me with 140.6.  Sounds a bit strange, but so true....as physically daunting as an Ironman is, it's way more mental than physical.  You need to give your body a damn good reason to keep moving, as the average Joe (or Josephine) takes anywhere from 9-17 hours to finish. 

Therefore, I have process goals for each segment, mantra's, an Epic "Battle", and magic.  Add in Gollum and a Delorian and I am good to go.  :-P

All joking aside, my favorite mental trick is during the marathon.  I pick one person or memory or theme for each mile, then think of that for the entire mile...I remember good times with the person/group, have conversations with them in my head, and, in general, dedicate the mile to them. It works well.  I did it for Placid, and it made the more desolate areas go by so much faster, it seemed.  For this Ironman....where there are 300 people doing the run portion instead of 3000, it is vital.  So, without further ado....I give you....my miles!!

Chesapeakeman Marathon Miles

1.  The Hubster.  He always chooses mile 1.  I wonder if he knows I curse him out as my legs feels like poo.....
2.  Ironman Lake Placid.  First Ironman.  Such good memories of that day!!
3.  Drew.  My best friend from high school.  He will be there watching.I can't wait!!
4.  Mama TFB:  She can't be there to watch, but I know she'll be thinking of me!  (And wondering why I am such a crazy pants :-p)
5.  Jen D. One of my bridesmaids from my wedding, and an awesome friend.  I can't wait to catch up post IM....even if she thinks I am "so stupid" for doing something like this!
6.  Mom G.:  Always there in spirit.  I miss you.
7.  Dad G. aka WUSS.  I will wun like a wabbit and think of ballerina mugs!!
8.  My Tri Friends:  Eric, Dale, Carolyn, Marc, Train-this, Nice Tri, The Kellman's, Ultra Adam, Boots and Ellen....you guys make me laugh, cry, and love this sport.  you are amazing.
9.  Rachael aka my "sis".  Love you.  I am so happy for you.  And I will be thinking of "names" :-)
10.  James.  My twin from high school.  I am so stinkin happy you are into racing and are so happy and healthy....I hope we can celebrate :-)
11.  Aunt Diana/Uncle Royer/Amy/Lisa.  Love you guys and our new family traditions!
12.  Iron friend Andrea.  We ran most of Musselman together and I thank you for your positive spirit....you helped me out so much! (we'll add in Kingsley, too!!)
13.  Brennan.  So happy you took up running and biking.  It's been so fun to re-connect!!
14.  Aunt Barb/Michelle/Lisa.  Love you girls.  I miss you, but know we will pick up one day like no time has passed at all....oh, and "Diane", too :-D
15.  Kinship Mom.  Can't wait to see you and your imaginary husband!
16.  Tanya/Jeff/Wyatt/Lorelei.  My CO family.  Jeff, I still blame you for this mess.
17.  The Roost.  Closing tomorrow, but in my heart forever.  If I have enough energy, Ill do an extra "kick" at this mile!
18.  The DFC.  John, Kim, Sgt Dan, Peter, MJ, Mike, And all the "Sue's" and IRONjoe.....my training staples and such a GREAT PLACE!!
19.  Robert.  Love.  The hubster understands if we ever want to elope and run off together.  Too bad you don't like girls :-(
20.  Uncle Alan.  You are the one person who has always believed in me without reservation or judgement no matter what.  No way will I hit the wall with you behind this mile.  Love you.
21.  my OKAY work crew-I'll be laughing my head off all through this mile!
22.  The 'Roo.  Or Summer, my fur child :-)
23.  IronBABY!  Project post IM.  No, I'm not preggers.  But I can think of names.  At this point, it might be P.O.S.  The hubster will re-evaluate with a cooler head, of course!
24.  Karen/Tom/Noah.  My cousins....I am so glad we have gotten closer over the years....you are such wonderful people.  Can't wait to do some hiking post IM!
25.  Alexa.  My Ironfriend :-)  Last year on the 25th we battled our first Ironman.  I will be thinking of you!
26.  Me.  Always dedicate the last mile to me.  What can I say, I'm selfish like that :-)

And that's a wrap,folks.  I should be pretty busy for 4-5 hours, no? :-)

Okies, off to wake up the hubster and do a quick swim!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Welcome to Cambridge!

445 miles later....and 75 miles of course driving,....here we are!! The hubster and I left at 6:45 this morning, got into Chesapeake Bay about 2:30....checked in the hotel....and were suprised with a free room upgrade-sweet!!  I booked a single queen, we got upgraded to a King Suite.  Rockin'.
Twice the size room....hubster gives it a thumbs up!

"kitchenette"
After unpacking, we swung by the Hyatt to pick up my race packet and swag.....so far, super impressed.  WTC gives you a hat and a shirt....check out Chessyman's haul!

backpack, water bottle, gu's, bars, fizz, chip strap, Chessyman gloves, reusable bag, shirt!

Iron bags....no name on the bib, but that's what sharpies are for!!
 After picking uo my swag, we checked out the swim, drove the bike course and run course.....more on that tomorrow :-P  While there aren't hills on the course, it's gonna pose it's own challenges....namely certain sea life, humidity, road "issues" and mental challenges.  Stay tuned :-D Course logistics tomorrow....

Post driving the course, we headed off to the dinner.  The Hyatt sponsored the dinner, and I got the hubster in for a *very* reasonable cost :-P  IMLP=pork, salad, white roll, manicotti and brownie.  Chessyman:



Pasta (3 kinds, including spinach), marinara/meat or pesto sauce, salad, wheat/white/pumpernickel rolls, fruit, chicken breast, and homemade carrot cake or chocolate torte for dessert!

Life's too short to pass up homemade torte....Shared with the hubster :-)


PHEW!!! Full day!  Relaxin' time, then up early for a swim, bag packing, bike check in, athlete meeting..and OFF MY FEET! Night :-)



Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Hide and Seek

Ok, enough of that non tri-related nonsense.  Back to our regularly schedule program!  (At least for another week.  Then, I promise we can talk about other things.  Maybe).
3 DAYS!!!!
Today is packing, last bike ride, packing, last minute store run, and hopefully some relax-a-max.
Phone is off.  Shutting myself off from people as much as possible.  Hoping to get some centered me time to mentally prep for 140.6!
im-not-hiding-i-live-here-now

Catch ya tomorrow from Cambridge!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Redneck Woman

4.  Yup, that's it.  4.  Commence to freak out.....tomorrow.  Today, I want to deviate from triathlon.  Yes, you can pick your jaw up off the floor.  I do pretend to have other interests in life, I promise!

Today is a sad, sad day my friends.  I found out this morning that one of our local bars will be closing it's doors on Saturday.  The Roost, or "The Roost Country Showcase", which has been a part of my life for the past 9 years, will be closing.  Yup.  A country bar.  Did you think I really went to a bar to drink?  Nah, I go to dance :-).  From Thursday Nights throughout the Geneseo years (when my roomie and I taught line dancing to a bunch of drunk college kids and I got tossed out of the bar for under-aged drinking!), to post BJ's nights with the crew (how I worked from 7:30am-10:30pm the went to the bar for 4 hours, I will never know!), to hanging out with the future hubster and line dancing once a week (yup, he learned how to line dance, he's a keeper).  And finally, my bachelorette party where Mama TFB got ridiculously drunk and gave everyone a huge laugh.....such a good place!  Very near and dear to my heart, and it will be missed. 
And so, in the spirit of TFB, I give you....the top ten reasons to love The Roost!
1.  It was the only bar in town where in a ten minute span you could hear Jessica Simpson, Hanson, Def Leopard, and Boney (Ra ra!)
2.  The hot RIT guys came out to dance every week.  This is a big deal when you are 20.
3.  Couples dances.  A new way to fall in love with your man-having him dip you on the dance floor.  Such fun.
4.  The "really into it" cowboys-kicks over their head and 80 year old men that like to dance with the 20 somethings.  Love.
5.  The bouncers. Three of my old college friends, especially Johnny.  Smooches.
6.  Cheap drinks.  Not so much my forte, but they have everything from 2 dollar cokes to 3 dollar shots-which is super helpful for those under 21- they let you in at 18 :-)
7.  AMAZIN' Thursdays-both in college with my roomies, which was an awesome kick off to the weekend, and in the post college years with my BJ's people....ahhh, such fun.  And it wasn't even the weekend!
8.  The ability to go to a bar and not be bored.  Dancing....everything from crazy country lambada (hunk of burning love!) to the Electric Slide...the Roost had it all.  Impossible to be bored.
9.  My bachelorette extravaganza-much love to my bridesmaids for the awesomeness that was this night.  Somehow, I got to propose marriage, pluck a chest hair, get a piggy back, steal a sock, and inspect toilet paper.  All while seeing Mama TFB drink 7 Smirnoff's in two hours.  No, we weren't drunk.  What are you talking about? :-D

10.  last but not least.....getting to the know the hubster.  Boy meets me at work one night, then braves the country bar a mere 2 hours later Just to see me.  Sigh.  Learned every country couples dance just to share them with me, and never hesitated to jump on the dance floor.  Love ya, babes!

And cause I'm a little crazy like that, I also have to list out the top ten line dances (circa 2006...I fell off going for awhile after that!)

10.  Round the World!  (Irish dance, Ra ra Rasputin! Russian, Greek)
9.  T-R-O-U-B-L-E
8.  These Boots (are made for walkin')
7.  Push
6.  The Canadian Stomp (To Def Leopard, of course!)
5. My Maria
4.  The Tush Push!
3.  Nothin' to Lose
2.  The Shadow-beginners couple's dance :-)
1.  And of course...the forbidden dance...The Country Lambada!

To the Roost.  May you never be forgotten! 

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Pen is Mightier

And Monday it is.  At least it's a short work week for me...just two days!  (Don't hate, please).  Of course, I suspect all of my clients KNOW this, thus I ran around like a fool today, but at least the day went by quickly, right? :-)

5 days.  I knew you were worried I forgot to mention it.  It's ok, I'm on it.  And to add to the mix, 5 days means now that I can stalk weather.com every hour day to check on the forcasted weather for Saturday.  Right now, the weather gods are smiling:
Actually, it is forcasted as sunny and 72-I'm not kidding about that.  But I know enough about weather "future casts" to determine that the weather could be anywhere from gorgeous to Lake Placid circa 2008, when it was basically a day-long deluge (please, weather gods, don't hate on me that much.  I beg you!)
Moving along.  It was a crap morning, to be honest with you.  I woke up with a sore throat, sore knee, aching head, and feeling crappy.  I didn't want to go to work.  I'm becoming increasingly nervous about this silly taper that is kicking my booty and I did NOT want to go to work.  pfft.
But go to work I did.  And I logged onto my email and had my day made by a sweet friend who gave me some positive feedback that I really, really needed.  A breath of fresh air.  I Still feel like crap, but sometimes a smile is all it takes to give your day a new tone, right?  Right!  Remember-the Pen is mightier than the sword-sometimes a nice word to someone really can make their day.  Sean Connery would agree.

The question is..."DOES IT WORK, MAN?"
Why yes, I'll take a dozen :-D


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Lead Shoes

And now for the inevitable downside of taper.  Lead shoes syndrome.  6 days till go time (crazy) and with the run I had today, I am feeling pretty poo-ish about this marathon!  It's normal for taper (repeat to self a thousand times).  My shoes felt like they were filled with lead.  My head hurt.  I couldn't breathe.  Ack.  The pace still wasn't too bad, but I felt like I was crawling and barely keeping my head above water.  Fail.
Meh.  At the risk of sounding like a total Debbie Downer, this taper sucks.  My feet hurt, my knee hurts, I'm tired, I have a headache, and just feel like blech. 
I keep telling myself this is normal.  It is, right?  Someone please tell me it is :-P  Sigh.
Moving along.  The Sunday before Ironman is typically an extremely dead day for me....aside from my mess of a 7 miler, I've watched a few random movies (The Social Network-which was so-so, and Megamind, which was actually quite hilarious) and I've read the most disturbing book ever.
It's so strange...I have no energy at all and don't feel like doing anything, but at the same time, I am super bored.  Hopefully, this will pass.
Channeling myself ahead to Thursday....when it is time to get out of town and head to Cambridge....the path of training for Ironman 2 is almost complete.....breathe, just breathe.
Anyone else get crazy when the big day is almost here?  How to you prep for it?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Seg(ue)way

So….next week at this time, god willing, I will be running an Ironman marathon. (Yikes!)
Until then, it’s a marathon of getting ready, packing, and doing the pre-ironman prep madness.
A look into my world:
IMAG0042
Bike, Run, Special Needs bags piles!
IMAG0043
Run bag up close
Ahh the joys of packing for ironman.  No worries…I’ve got a 5 page list, complete with normal clothes, Ironman Swim, Bike, Run, Special needs, and a massive nutrition and to do list.
And since this is boring as he-double hockey sticks, here is something purely for your amusement:


No wonder I can’t find my helmet….that bastard stole it! Smile with tongue out

Friday, September 16, 2011

Hurtz Donut

8 days.

Thought of the day:  I HATE tapering.  Hate it with a passion.  Even though I've been cutting back like a mo-fo on my workouts, I still feel like crap.  Can't sleep enough.  Going through my workouts like mud.  In a poo mood.  And having wicked caffeine withdrawal  headaches from kicking coffee this week to use it as a race tool next weekend.
It hurts. And I'm not a fan.  But deep down, I do know that it will be beneficial next weekend.  As long as I can get through 2 more days of work, 5 more workouts, packing, and 400 miles of road.  Then it's simple-just 140.6 to go...or something like that :-P

But let's talk about something better....how about fall, shall we?  Its gorgeous here in New York.  Its about 58 degrees here today, and the signs of fall are really coming through.  The air is nippy, the sun is shining, and I saw a few trees turning on my way in to work today.  Not exactly conducive to thinking about jumping in the Choptank river in 8 days, but nice to see overall :-)  I'm thinking corn mazes, haunted hayrides, hot apple cider, and donuts.

Source
 Preferably not the kind of donuts I'm experiencing right now. 

Of course, I might be tempted if I could transform the Hurts Don't it to a Hurtz donut with a side of pumpkin coffee?  No?  No?

In 9 short days.....eyes on the prize people :-).  Time to go map out some race goals and sit on my hands....errr....rest, I mean.  Yup, that's what I said.  Taper.