Thursday, February 19, 2009

Not Just Running Races....

I didn't want a full year to go by before I started up blogging again. I haven't quit training or racing (though this year has been minimal). I have been busy with another side of it-actually putting on two new trail races in the Santa Barbara area. It has been interesting and educational to see what goes into producing these events. I had no idea just how much work they were!

The Blue Canyon is the first race and is in June. Check out the website for specifics. I am heading up to Walnut Creek today to get my RD Certification through USAT. The course is 2 days and seems pretty interesting.

Can you believe how much rain we have been getting?? Lots of running in the rain, but I think that is always fun. I took the kids up to Figueroa on Friday to see the snow. It was snowing so much, my car was covered! We got to hike a bit in the snow and build a snowman. That's enough snow for me.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Looking for Inspiration

Yikes! What happened to the time. I wish I could say I have been too busy training to blog. The truth is I have been busy, but hardly training. I am looking for something to motivate me back to long hours of running, but haven't found much to inspire. I think I must have needed the rest and intend to go strong again any day now. I took inventory of all my supplies (gu, clif blocks, heed, etc) the other day and came up super short. Next, I tried to clean the hose part to my Nathan hydration pack bladder and melted the damn thing with boiling water. I did finally check out the Tequepis Trail, that has been on my list of places to explore. It's beautiful and fully overgrown. I had tons of stickers in my socks and shoes, but can't wait to do it again soon. The trail is across the highway from Lake Cachuma and climbs to a high elevation quickly. The views are awesome and the vegetation was a bit unusual for the area.

Swimming has been consistently good, with increasingly harder workouts. We have been doing more back, breast and fly than before and I feel (and see) my arms getting stronger. As my motivation to train returns, so will my desire to blog, I'm sure. Cheers.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

2 x 400 swim
4 x 100 kick

4 x 200 swim on lane base (LB): 3:30 for my lane
4 x 100 kick, increasing speed

8 x 50 LB (:55) plus 10 seconds

cool down

I have made up my mind to do Angeles Crest again this year. Gail is on board for crewing and I have a couple of possible pacers, so looks like it will work out. Now, I just have to run. Gail wants a partner for crewing, so if anyone is interested.... let me know. Also, if anyone want to pace me, you have 4 months to train.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I'm back to swimming. I actually started back last week, but somehow feel more tired this week. I am finally getting a massage today. It will be the first one since Ironman. For someone who works with several massage therapists, it's amazing that it took me so long to get on someones schedule. I am so looking forward to it!

The Wildflower Triathlon is this weekend. I know several people competing, so I may bring the kids up there and cheer people on. I am going to work on being a fan and volunteer this year, more than just a competitor. That is not to say I will not do any races, but I am going to really limit my racing for a while.

Calvin wants to do another 5K and work his way up to a 10K, so I will be looking for some local short races for us to do. Any ideas?


800 free
400 kick
4 x 100 pull

800 free
4 x 100 pull

cool down

The second 800 was a bit tough for me. We were supposed to increase our speed, but I think I went out too fast and faded toward the end instead. I can still pull the 'I'm recovering from Ironman' card. I think that will be expired by next week, though. All the Wildflower people will be recovering from their event.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Now What?

People keep asking me 'what's next?'. I am asking myself the same question. There are still so many challenging events out there that I haven't tried. For now, I hope to get back to some serious trail running. I have missed it so much and need to get out there and explore again.

My recovery has been surprisingly easy, physically, but emotionally, I have been a train wreck. I think I put off dealing with some necessary life stuff to get ready for Ironman. Now I have to take care of so many things and spend more time on my business. Coming 'down' from such a big event is hell. Will I do another Ironman? Probably, yes. Mainly because I want to shave a couple of hours off of my time, now that I have the experience. I think I will wait a year or two, though.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

AZIM Race Report

The swim...there I am! ha ha
The bike
The run, notice the well sunscreened legs.
The finish
Post finish...Iron Sandee aka Ironmom
Until today, my post race depression has kept me from even wanting to recount the story of my first Ironman. But today I feel ready to share my story of one damn tough event. Aptly named, Ironman is a test of organizational skills, patience, proper clothing choices and of course, physical prowess. I need to start with what amuses me most about triathlon, and that is, the clothing. Do men really need to wear half shirts? Okay, I'll get right to it.

Saturday Night: I try to get to bed early, around 9:30. As I'm lying there, I start to feel my heart beating through my ribs. I start taking long slow breaths. Why am I so nervous? I never really get any sleep. I keep waking, thinking I've overslept, worrying about the swim, sure I have forgotten something important. Of course, I finally get to sleep when my alarm goes off at 3 AM.

Sunday: It's easy to get up. I am so anxious to finally start the race, so I can stop being nervous and worrying about the details. So many details. JLu has coffee waiting, but there is not much talking between us. "Did you sleep? No. Did you sleep? No." I make some oatmeal and try to eat it, but my stomach is quivery and dosen't let much in. I have my special needs bags packed and my wetsuit, goggles and pink swim cap. We are ready to go at 4:15. That gives us 30 minutes to drive to Tempe and 15 minutes to walk to the staging area, which opens at 5 AM.

5 AM: The triathletes are in line to get to their bikes, so they can load up their watter bottles, gu flasks, clif blocks and whatever else they need for the bike ride. I try to take it all in, knowing I have plenty of time. I load up my bike, then take it over to the mechanics to get my tires filled. It's still dark and you can feel the tension in the air, it's like a buzzing silence. I still need to get my shirt out of my swim to bike bag, since I mistakenly packed it the day before. So, I head over there and dig out my shirt. I proceed to the potty, to pee and change.

6:15: I guess it's time to get into my wetsuit and turn in my dry clothes bag. First, I get personal and generous with the body glide. I lube up my wrists and ankles, all the "dark" places where clothing might rub, lastly, my neck. I feel like I am stalling for time, watching everyone, some people frantic, some relaxed. I am in between, less nervous the closer I get to the water. Time to find JLu and Jerry J. I say I can't wait to get in the water so I can pee, but JLu says, just pee now, no one will know. I figure it's all part of the experience, so I do it. It's lovely and warm, standing there in my own urine. J says he has already peed three times. I start to notice others with the dry grass wet on their feet, others who are freely wetting themselves. We start to move toward the water and I see half moon heel marks on the concrete where all the experienced triathletes know to pee early and not wait for the water. So, basically, you keep stepping in other peoples urine and don't care. What a sport.

6:45 The Pros are off and now it's our turn to jump into the lake and swim to the start. Finally! I have misplaced the boys, since I wanted to see the pros start. I am now in race mode and not at all nervous about the two thousand people surrounding me in the water. I just want to start and get on with it. I am ready to experience my first Ironman, bring it on!

7:01 The gun goes off and it's somewhat slow going at first as everyone is looking for a spot they can comfortably swim. I soon find out that there are not really any spots like that. I'm also soon experiencing what I've been told by other Ironman survivors, severe brutality by your fellow competitors. I make it to the turnaround point with minor injuries, but for some reason, things get bad. I am kicked in the face several times, resulting in my goggles coming off of my face and a possible bloody nose, who can tell in the water. Next, I am slugged in the jaw several times. I should be pissed, but I am laughing to myself, thinking, well, this is ironman, all part of the experience. I finish the swim in 1:19. I am pulled out of the water and I start jogging to the wetsuit stripping area. I am unzipped and free of my wetsuit within seconds, about 3 to be exact. These people are good! Next I am handed my swim to bike bag and am off to the women's only tent to get ready for the bike.

8:25 Apparently I spent about 10 minutes in the tent before I emerge to find hands, all male, slathering me with sunscreen. Three men all to myself, worried about my tender skin. It was the most pleasurable part of the race, hands down. I embark on the 112 mile bike ride on my trusty steed. I am feeling great till about 5 miles in when I hit the blow dryer 20 mph winds. I pedal slowly uphill till the first of 3 turnarounds. Finally, some downhill, but wait, 40 mph wind gusts are making it hard to stay on the bike. I see one person blown over, I hold on tighter, determined not to go down. The second loop is ugly. My right foot is cramping so severely, I feel it to the tips of my toes. I can't even pedal and have to stop, massage my foot, move on. This happens several times. I am truly miserable, but loving the experience. Oh, how I love to suffer! I'm so sick! I was so glad this was hard. I finish the third loop, much stronger than the second and am very relieved and happy to be done with the bike. I give my bike to the peppy volunteer, grab my bike to run bag and head into the tent for the last time.

The Run: Just for the record, I did not pee on the bike. I tried, but couldn't relax enough to do it. I stopped and used the porta potty, which really helped to stretch my legs. Okay, so I changed into my running shorts and changed into running shoes and stepped out of the tent for another round of ooh la la: the men, the hands, the sunscreen. I was now ready for the run. I knew at this time, I would finish the race. I would follow the advice I got from the pro, Michelli Jones, and take it aid station to aid station. It was still really hot and maybe felt even hotter on the run than the bike. Bless those lovely sweet volunteers with the ice cold sponges. I think I took a sponge at every aid station. That's 26 aid stations, one every single mile. I ran like a true triathlete, kind of a hunched over shuffle. I managed to straighten up and do a little real running now and then. There were so many people walking, it was hard to keep up the run/shuffle. I like to tell myself, the faster you run, the faster you'll be done. I am half-way through my third, and last, loop and see a fellow athlete sitting on the side of the course at a picnic table, throwing up, boatloads of clear liquid. I am feeling fortunate and decide to pick up the pace and just finish this thing. I continue giving encouraging remarks to all the people I am passing, with no return love, but I'm used to it by now. Triathletes are not an overly friendly bunch.

The Finish: I find the love I am looking for at the finish line, in the form of dedicated fans, friends and my very own ribbon to run through. The photographer snaps my finishing photo and I get my very own volunteer to walk me through the sequence of finisher events. One person puts a ribbon over my head. My very own volunteer hands me some water, than walks me over to the other photographer taking the final finish picture. I am then led to the food tent, aahh, the fooood tent, where I leave my volunteer for the loving arms of Ray Ray and JLu. We eat the best pizza of my life and head back to the finish line to see Jerry J run across the finish line with his two daughters. We all finish. We are all Ironman finishers tonight. I am so proud of all of us. It was a tough day, but divine. Go team Bada Bing!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Look out for #2179

Practice swim with Jerry J
Much needed ART with Kevin
JLu duct taping my profile bottle to bike
We three are Ironfolk

Tomorrow I get up at 3 am and off to Ironman I go. The day I have been anxiously anticipating for way too long. The preparation the last few days has been brutal.
Bike and transition bags are at the event area and we are just getting our "special needs" bags together and getting to bed early. You can follow our progress online at the Ironman AZ site. I am 2179, Justin is 1006 and Jerry J, 1108.

Send us positive energy and lot and lots of love!