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Friday, August 31, 2007

A Photo from TriEric

Thanks Eric for the photo! I love it!

He took this of Matt and me before Ironman swim start:

Thursday, August 30, 2007

It had to happen sooner or later

My training pal Paula calls me "Mountain Goat" and "Gazelle" when we run trails together. No, I'm not a fast runner, but I can power up hillsides, glide between roots and run pell mell down steep sections without fear.

Well, yesterday, I was out for a trail run with some members from the triathlon club. I started talking to one guy about non-Ironman Iron distance races (found some cool ones, but don't know if my slow self could abide running solo for hours - the participant count is generally around 100-200 in these races). Anyway, I wasn't paying attention and tripped on a root (thankfully, it was a flat section and not downhill).

As I was falling, I thought "you should really have a falling plan", but I had none. I skidded along the ground. One palm got scraped up (had bleeding stigmata later), one palm got badly bruised and my left knee is scraped and bruised. My husband was up ahead, so they pulled him back to check me out. I asked him for some water for my palms and started running again. Can't be a wimp, right?

I actually ended up having one of my best runs ever on that trail. After though, my one palm was swollen as was my knee. A little homecooking from my hubby and some carefully applied ice helped tremendously. I made the decision to not go swim this morning to give myself a chance to heal.

On the plus side, my hamstring didn't bother me at all on yesterday's run! Woo hoo! I guess I should be a little more careful for the next few runs, so I arrive at Dances with Dirt next weekend in good shape!


On an unrelated note, stop over on Court's page to congratulate her on a stellar Ironman Louisville Kentucky debut! She got 2 flats and still became Iron. Congrats!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Is there something to this?

My yoga instructor talks of the Yin and the Yang often. He says that the right side of your body is the masculine side and the left is the feminine side. He then says that if you have pain on one side of your body that you may have issues with the parent of that sex.

My right side has been messed up for years now. Piriformis, IT band, hamstring, ... you name it. I love my father, but sometimes we do have issues.

Take for example, this conversation we had last week:

Dad: "Anything new?"
Me: " I did my race."
Dad: "You got a raise?" (not his fault, the connection wasn't the best)
Me: "No, I did my Ironman race."
Dad: "So, when is the hip and knee surgery?"

Seriously, is it too much to ask for my father to actually be beaming with pride over his daughter doing such a feat? Instead, I get the fatherly 'you'll pay for this endeavor later' type of speech. A few years ago when I got serious about triathlon, he said "You're becoming quite a jock in your old age." I didn't know whether to be offended by the jock comment or the old age comment. : )

Dad, if you are reading this, it is okay that you don't get my chosen hobby. I still love you! I'm sorry I didn't wrangle a visit with you when you were in western Ohio last weekend. (and, I promise I'm not saying that to get my hamstring to stop nagging me)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Willpower gone or just hibernating?

Last October, I made the commitment to eat healthier not only for Ironman training, but also to lower my cholesterol. Since then, I've done fairly well and an unexpected result was losing about 8 pounds.

But, since Ironman finished, my willpower is gone. Diet amnesty day is turning into diet amnesty month. Thankfully, I'm still training, but my weight is starting to creep back up. Now, many would say that I was probably too thin just before Ironman, but I need to find the reins before I head north of where I was before. Plus, I am curious to see if my avoidance of most things fried has helped with the cholesterol readings at all. I better get to a doctor soon.

Monday, August 20, 2007


I know I've been MIA. Work has been super busy, plus I really don't have that much that is interesting to write about.

I have been questioning myself whether I feel blue that Ironman is over. And the answer is "not at all." Having gone through IM with Matt 3 times before, I was used to pre and post IM feelings (even if I hadn't raced it). Plus, Matt managed me very well. He set up a list of things to do after Ironman and we are enjoying checking the items off. Further, I still have two fun races left this year (Dances with Dirt and the Pineman Half), plus 2 5ks with my girlfriends who just started running. Finally, we are going to Hawaii in November.

Nope, not bummed about Ironman being over. After all, it is only a race and it is only one day. Lots of good races and days left ahead!!

On a kind of related note, congrats to Charlie on his first Ironman finish in the U.K.! Charlie, you are an Ironman!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Yet another long, but rewarding weekend!

I should be working, but I haven't blogged in awhile. Plus, I'm actually awake for a change, so why not take advantage of the situation? : )

Saturday, I had a lovely 3-hour ride with my pal Sam J. followed by an equally fun 40-minute trail run with her. My legs finally feel back to normal on the bike - in fact, they feel better than they have in a couple of months. Yay! I also cannot say enough good things about Bag Balm. Matt's been using it for years, but I always used BodyGlide or Chamois Butt'R (I'm a sucker for gear/product). But, my lady parts were not loving me on the bike especially when I wore my tri shorts. Bag Balm has turned it all around and I am comfortable and loving it!!

Shortly after getting home, I had to head out to the Greater Cleveland Triathlon (GCT) expo to man (woman?) the Cleveland Triathlon Club tent. I met a lot of nice people and got to see some familiar faces. Good times for sure!

I had a 80-minute run on tap for the next morning, but I couldn't figure out how to fit it in. Matt said he would run with me if we did it super early. So, at 4:50 AM on Sunday, we headed out for about an hour run in the dark. Luckily, neither of us fell, but Matt couldn't breathe all that well, because he had bruised a couple ribs in a fall the previous day (check out his blog on this), so we ran at a nice, slow pace. Didn't matter. It was just nice to be getting my run out of the way and spending some adventurous, quality (some might say crazy) time with my hubby.

We then headed to the GCT to volunteer. I finally got to meet IronG2015 and really enjoyed cheering for her all day - check out her blog for her first triathlon race report ever! Welcome to triathlon G!

Matt and I started out as pointers for swimmers exiting the beach. At one point, I had to assist a girl to the medical tent, because she got kicked in the ribs during the swim and thought at least one was broken.

After the swim gig, I was on to the transition area. Pam assigned me the job of identifying the lead male/female for each distance and then running from the bike entrance to the run exit to tell the mountain bikers when to take off for their pacing job. While waiting, I got to do some more cheering and assisted our CTC president with the bike dismount line.

Finally, the half-IM man and woman were out on the course, so I could join Matt at our run aid station just past the run exit (also doubled as the half-IM turnaround point). Unfortunately, I had missed many of the sprint and International distance runners, but got to see all of the half-IM people. DaisyDuc completed her first half-IM in just over 5:43. That girl rocks! My pals Jodi and Paula did the aquabike and both did extremely well as expected.

My wonderful massage therapist, Kristen, came out to help us at the aid station and her help was much appreciated. I had half-jokingly asked her to help out and she took me up on the offer. She worked for nearly 6 hours and I think enjoyed watching all the runners go by. I've talked her into doing a 5k with me in October and I know she is nervous, but she will be just fine. Now, if I could only talk her into wearing a costume while racing (it is a Halloween run)! : )

I really like the GCT, because I know so many of the participants and am friends with the race director. He has really done a good job at making this a classy event. It was my first half-IM ever and you never forget your first. ; ) Volunteering was wonderful too, because I got to assist so many people like I have been assisted in the past. I didn't stop moving from 6:30 AM to 2:30 PM, but it was well worth it. If you ever get a chance to volunteer, definitely do it. As a racer, it definitely lends perspective to the whole thing.

Overall, an exhausting, yet rewarding weekend! Next weekend, we hit the wineries for more good times!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Who turned on the blast furnace?

I swear I'm not a heat wimp, but last night's run was completely miserable between the oppressive heat/humidity and excessive bugs. 45 minutes felt like a helluva long time - I don't know how my husband went 1:40 in it. He said he lost 6 pounds and he drank 3 pounds of water during the run!

Now, those of you in the south will scoff at our idea of hot, but you have to remember that we are not acclimated to it. : ) Mallie, can I order an 80-degree, dry day for our visit? : )

I'm running again in it tonight, but the forecast calls for cooler temps soon. I'll still take these sticky hot temps over the 20 degree weather coming our way sooner than later.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Long, busy, but fun weekend

When I left my house at 6:30 AM on my bike Saturday morning, I felt like I was going on an adventure. It was the first time I've ridden south directly from my house and I was on a one-way trip. Very cool! No cars in sight and I'm lovin' it - just me and my bike on a 3-hour adventure.

I was headed to volunteer at mile 26.8 of the Burning River 100, but needed to get a 3-hour ride done first. My hubby was driving down there to get in his own workout (2.5 hour run), so I had a ride home. The ride was relatively uneventful. My legs still aren't back to full strength, but I was able to climb many killer hills without too much stress. And, I got to see a lot of the runners on their way to our aid station.

My coach was the captain of the aid station and a majority of her athletes came out to volunteer with her. It was nice catching up with my friends, but it was even cooler to help out the runners. At this point, most of them still looked pretty fresh and in good spirits. I even got to see my old co-worker and friend, Paul, who had just done the Mohican 100 and BT50K in the prior 2 months. As I'm trying to assist him with his bottles and such, he is nice enough to congratulate me on my Ironman. Thanks Paul!

The last runner came in around 1:15 PM, so we packed up the aid station and Matt and I were on our way home. I caught a quick nap at home and then we went out to the Wine Festival. We really let our hair down and ate/drank whatever seemed like a good idea at the time. We feasted on pulled pork sandwiches (a favorite of mine), mac-n-cheese, baked beans, funnel cake, wine of course and then topped it off with an ice cream cone on the way home. Now, those of you who know my husband, know that this is not standard behavior. But, you only live once, right?

We went to bed early, but the alarm clock was still an unwelcome sound. Matt got up around 2 AM (to get in a run first) and I got up just before 3 AM. See, we volunteered to help e-speed with her aid station at mile 91.3 from 4:45 AM to 8:45 AM. This didn't seem like a big deal to me until I realized it would take 1 hour to drive there. D'oh! Seriously though, it was even better helping the runners at mile 91. They really needed us by then. Most were still in good spirits, but many were slightly delirious.

E-speed and her family were incredible volunteers! E decided the food provided by the race wasn't enough, so she also brought fixings for grilled cheese sandwiches, lunch meat sandwiches and scrambled eggs. When I approached a runner and said "What can I get for you?" most of the time the response was "I don't know" or "The finish line". When I suggested a grilled cheese sandwich, their faces would light up like it was Christmas morning. Very rewarding (although I didn't cook any of the sandwiches - but I did eat a couple leftovers and they were yummy!)

I had to take off early just as the last runner was coming into the station (our aid station saw 70 runners come in, but 2 dropped out there - all 68 made it to the finish). I drove another hour to go for a 90-minute bike ride with my friend and her father (he kicked our butts and he's in his 60s). We then got cleaned up to go to TriSara's baby shower. She got lots of cute stuff and looks absolutely fabulous!

After I got home and did some errands, I was spent. By 7:30 PM, I was zonked on the couch. I don't think I was that tired after Ironman. But, the weekend was rewarding and it feels good to give back! We always get such great volunteer assistance, so why not pay it forward?!

On a completely unrelated note, I went with the first swim picture of me checking my watch between the two laps. I didn't want to spend the jack to get all 3, plus Maggie's boyfriend got a lot of cool swim pictures that I can have for free. Thanks Brad!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Pick a picture

I purchased the official race photos the day after the race. They didn't have any swim photos then, but you got a voucher for one free swim photo when they became available.

They are now available, but I can't decide which one I like best. Which one do you think I should choose?