12/30/08

15 days and counting....

I am going INSANE.

If I tried to run, I probably could. But at what cost? pain all season? half-ass running all year? possibly causing more damage....

The heel is better, but the pain is still lingering. I have been going through my usual internal battle between good and evil - good being to rest it more and evil being that drive to train thru the pain.

Last week, I swam 34,000 yards. I have not swum (is that a word?) that much since i was a teenager. It felt great to swim that much - i felt strong all week - and i dropped a few pounds too(?)!! but I'm not sure I want to do that again! but maybe i will....

so anyway, that's where I am. swim and bike....swim and bike.....swim and bike.....

later

12/17/08

I love recovery weeks!

I'm lying in bed with my computer propped up watching Ellen on TV. What a Wednesday! Recovery weeks are good for the brain....

I was up a lot last night with my new foot brace on. It's a little bulky, so it was sorta uncomfortable. I went to get my foot checked out yesterday- and low and behold it's a bad case of plantar fascitus (how do you spell that word anyway?). So, I got a big shot (OUCH), and new brace, and strict orders not to run for at least a week. Not too bad, huh? I was prepared to take off more than that, so I was glad to hear the outcome...

So it's Wednesday and I'm chillin' after waking up at 5am to coach. I took a nap when i got home at 7 and have been shooting emails off and burning christmas CD's since I got up. I still have to ......ahem, excuse me, I mean " I still get to" ...... swim and ride today, but i'm in no hurry.

check you later

12/15/08

RUN...RUN...RUN...STOP.

I'm in stop mode now. Lots of athletes go thru the ups and downs of aches and pains, and we toe that fine line between the usual ache and unusual pain. I have officially entered the bad pain zone, although I always advise others to keep from getting to that point! I could use a bit of my own advice I suppose!
I am writing this morning with a block of ice on the floor next to a foot bath full of hot water in which my feet are happily soaking. Soon it will be back to the ice again....and then back and forth.
I have been having the ugly ache for a while, but decided to run the Larry Fusiler 25k yesterday anyway. I could have made the better choice to sleep in then ride my bike again, but I figured what the heck, I'll run Well, NOW she pays!

So, training for today includes a LOT of therapy and no running. maybe a little hobbling around!

12/12/08

SNOW DAY!


Let it snow...let it snow...let it snow...

I can't recall the last time I saw this much snow here. it snowed Christmas day in '04, but that was just a little bitty bit. a beautiful day in Cajun Country! It all started with a great spin class in the morning, then Jeri and I watched the pouring cold rain turn into snow flurries from the weight room at Franco's. This was 6:30 am. By 8 it was a full on snow - and it didn't stop until after noon.
" SNOW BREES"

Now for some of you, this is no big deal, but for us tropical fish down here in HOT and HUMID land, it's a sight. Schools are out, offices are closed and kids are out and about playing in the snow.

I live about 6 blocks from Lake Ponchatrain and after being home for most of the morning, I decided to finally venture out to see the snow around town. I avoided this until later on because this is Louisiana (remember...?) and people here don't see snow a lot, and they surely dont know how to drive in it. I mean, the news was on all day talking about the weather and the wrecks around town! This place was going crazy!

Well, the views were remarkable. At my house, the ground was covered and the cars had a couple of inches.....then I went 2 blocks towards the lake and there was not a drop of snow on the ground. Nothin. The snow falling was more like mush. I was amazed at the warming effect the lake has on temperatures 4 and 5 blocks away.

Then I drove towards covington - north - and this was a sight! It was absolutely beautiful. My dad lives in Covington (where they had at least 5 inches) and he said they were losing limbs off of trees all over since they are not used to all the weight from the snow. apparently they can handle the slapping around by Cat 4 hurricane force winds...but a little snow - and it's over!

So, needless to say, i didn't get a run in which is probably a blessing because i'm nursnig some heel pain, and swimming - well, i took a snow day there too. i needed the day off anyway...... so i went for a massage instead!

11/30/08

VACATION

My jeans are tight.

I think it's time to get back into things. It's been 3 weeks since Clearwater and at first I didn't want to do anything for a while...then I began to do some stuff....and now, i feel the urge to get back into the swing of things before it's all gone - or rather - before it all comes back (the "bootay", that is)!

I officially start back tomorrow. everything comes into play - weights, nutrition, sleep, stretching, heat & ice....did I say nutrition? That's a big focus this year...

I think i ate too much turkey.

11/14/08

Clearwater 70.3

Ironman World Championship 70.3
Clearwater, Florida

My first World Championship Race as a Pro

WOW. It's been almost a week now, and I have had a lot of time to reflect on the race.

Let me start by saying I have had better racing days. In fact most of the races I have done to date have felt physically better than that one.
The weeks leading up to Clearwater have been up and down, but mainly down. My training has not been at it's peak and I knew this going in, but just because I thought I was not 100% ready to go didn't mean I really wasn't ready to go. Does that make sense? well, to me it does. sometimes when we think we are too rested and feel sluggish, on race day it turnes out to be an awesome taper and you have a great day. and then sometimes when we think we are ready to go - then we find out on the bike that we are flat and out legs feel heavy.... and of course, there are those times when you don't feel ready, but you convince yourself you are and you just go anyway. you throw it on the wall and see if it sticks. sometimes it works...I went in hoping it would stick.
it's a puzzle.
actually, it always works and comes together, but the outcome all lies in your definition of "sucess" and "winning".
The key to being the best is to figure out the puzzle. Joanna Zeiger is good at that. I admire her for her ability to be consistantly great. even as I passed her as she walked the run at KONA last year.
I sat behind her in the pro meeting the day before the race and noticed her ring - with the olympic rings on it. I was suprisingly calm going into that meeting. the greatest athletes in this disatnce where here, and i was among them. Would I ever be as fast as her? maybe. who knows. I have aspired to be there for a long time now, and there I was sitting there alongside them.
The days before the race were filled with meetings and fun in the expo. It was hard to find down time but it didn't seem to bother me. I was enjoying being there and seeing everyone from Lifesport and Zoot and many others I have meet throughout the years. I was taking it all in - in my new perspective.

On Thursday, Missy and I did the expo and came across the BLAZEMAN FOUNDATION booth where low and behold was a big picture of DONNIE! We stopped in our tracks. it was emotionally overwhelming. he was there with me. i mean, he's always there with me in my heart, but he was right there. he is on this journey with me, still.....perhaps still trying to reminding me that I get to do this :-) we stopped and spoke to the Blaises' about Donnie and the impact he had on not only Missy and myself, but our whole community. Mr Blais mentioned he recently read an article on ironman.com mentioning Donnie - that was the article about me from Clearwater last year and how Donnie helped change my life (the article is on my website)!! Once we made that connection, it was like meeting a part of the family. It was meant to be. I have always followed the Blazeman and the efforts of his family to keep his spirit alive, but that's just it - i have always followed.
I danced around the idea of making that change in my life 7 years ago for a while before I actually did it. ( kinda like quitting smoking - you know, you quit 100 times before you actually do it. ) Donnie helped to direct me in the right direction. There is no doubt that I met Donnie in 2002 for a reason. He was brought to me by something greater than us both. Now the Blaises have been brought to me face to face. No more supporting from the sidelines and dancing around the issue. No more crying in the crowd when I hear them speak of their son. I remember 2 years ago at Clearwater when The Blazeman was there on stage after he watched KONA (he was progressing so quickly he couldn't do the race again). It was so emotional for me. And in 2006 year when his parents threw some of his ashes into the sea at Clearwater. It's now time to do more. Time to reach out for ALS. I am where I am for a reason. And I am connected.
It takes me a while to get it sometimes.....but I do eventually see the light!
If I forget the whole race one day (which, I admit, at times I wish it would blurr more quickly!) , I will never forget being there with Missy and having that conversation with Robert and Mary Ann Blais.
OK, back to the race. I woke up early as usual before the race and managed to get my stuff together in plenty of time to walk down to transition. I wanted to get there early as I was going off at 6:47 and wanted to have plenty of time in case something went crazy with my bike or something. Walking down the road, I ran into a guy I met last year in an airport waiting in the customs line. ((I missed my plane that day waiting on my bike...))anyway, he was easy to spot because he is a PC athlete, so we walked down to transition together and talked about stuff that's been going on. He has been busy coming off of Kona and a marathon in the past Month! I felt like a bit of a slug at that point! haha
Anyway, I manged to get set up quickly in transition [the camera's didn't seen to get in my way at all :-)....as a matter of fact, I think I got in their way a lot more!! haha ] and then hooked up with Russell and Melissa who flew in to watch the race before heading out on their 10 day cruise (lucky...). they were my 'domestiques' for the day since Ryan couldn't come to the race because of work. thanks for being there you two!
I went out for a quick swim before the race start then saw my friend "Fisch" from Cancun there at the start (he's actually from Switzerland, but we were buddies in Cancun). It was great to see him. I knew he would be there, and I looked for his wife in the program...but apparently they are a "hip couple" as he calls it - so she doesn't go by his last name! Now, who wouldn't want that last name?
It was great to see him and if there was any edge to going into this race, that "reunion" took it off.

Swim start - man, lots of camera's on the pro's. again, I think I was in their way more .....although there were going to get run over by me if they didn't move! The swim went off without a hitch, except I was a little slower than I wanted to be. Other than that, I felt great and relaxed.

Then it was onto the bike. After about 10 miles, I was hoping to settle into a good pace. I kept looking for that pace and a good feel, but never seemed to find it. "It is what it is" I kept telling myself - even if it is not what I want it to be! I was struggling. I felt like my legs just wouldn't go. I was working really hard to go this slow i thought. maybe it was the wind (not). maybe I had a flat. No. I was the one that was flat.

There were a few girls around me on the bike and except for one, they were all riding pretty legal i thought. I was a bit peeved at one girl drafting close to me (especially since i didn't feel good to begin with and was working hard enough just to carry myself along), but the officials soon took care of her! she pulled out of the race later on...

so, about halfway on the bike, i conceded to the fact that today was not going to be the stellar day I was hoping for. but i was still out there, upright and moving. I was just going thru the motions now, hoping for some magic and that things would improve...this course didn't seem quite as fast as I remembered it!

I went to some dark places on the bike. places i have not been a lot, but have visited on occasion. Why does this happen, I don't know. Controlling those thoughts is a work in progress. And I admit, I was not doing a very good job for a while. The ideas of calling it a day passed thru my mind over and over. I had a good reason to stop - I'm a pro now. If the race isn't turning out the way I want it to, I should stop to save face. Who want's to be in the bottom 3rd? not me... so, DNF (Did Not Finish) - that's what Pro's do, right? It's all about winning as a pro, right? Surely I'd be ok with it if I just rode into transition and called it a day. My sponsors would understand. I kept going back and forth. I thought....It sure would ne nice to stop this misery.
Then I turned a corner and saw a guy laid out on the side of the road beeding from his nose and mouth. He had to be a pro that crashed bad. the medics were everywhere and he was unconscious from what I saw. I only had a glance of the situaton, but that was all I needed. It was a wake up call. That guy (bless his heart, and I hope he is ok) would trade places with me in a heartbeat to be upright and riding right now. then I began to think of many others who would like to be where I am at this moment. Maybe I'll feel ok on the run....
Into transition and onto the run....it was ugly. My legs were like lead. or maybe it was the few extra pounds in my booty! [that's another story :-) ] I saw some spectators and friends as i was going out on the run and as they cheered me on i am certain my response was not a positive one. I could kick myself now for letting the bad stuff overwhelm me, but I had to go thru that I guess in order to take away from the race what I eventually did. I made it to about mile 4 where Andy Potts passed me up heading home for the day. I cheered him on thru the aid station while I was walking and slamming a GU... I was really not feeling good at all. I even had the idea that I could just call it a day after one loop. I mean, it was getting worse than ugly out there. But I just kept moving on. I made it over the bridge that kicks my ass every time then down to the ground where the message board was...and I saw something on that board that sealed the deal for me. I knew Missy typed something in there for me on Thursday before the race....what would was it I wondered?....."ENERGY FOLLOWS THOUGHT". she nailed it.
It was then that my lightbulb went on. no wonder I was feeling so bad. My mind was going negative so my energy was negative. why I didn't get a grip on this sooner, I'll never know. but it turned me around almost immediately. no way am i stopping now. I was out there for bigger reasons that winning that day. I have a greater purpose then many of my peers.
Thanks, Missle.

The rest of the run was a personal victory. I had no excuse to stop, except plain ol' quitting, and that wasn't gonna fly. My career as a triathlete has a different foundation than most of the other Pro's out there. I have 10 years of being a bum to keep me motivated to "just finish" without feeling like I am settling for less. 7 years ago my life was on a different path. everytime I finish a race now - no matter where i finish in the results, I suceed. It's all about perspective.
And it sometimes takes a conscious effort to keep it all in perspective. I have to work at it. I have lost it on occasion and have witnessed others lose it altogether and believe me, it wreaks havoc on you.
So, my eyes re-opened at that moment and my energies turned positive. I began to really focus on the good things. Perspective. I mean, all along in the race so far, these positive thoughts floated around in my brain, but i failed to really tune into them.


At the finish line, i was not only relieved to finally be there, but also happy to see everyone else there. I saw Ben Harper with Zoot and fellow athlete Amanda (who just came off a top 10 finish at IM FLORIDA!) waiting for us to come across - and some of the other girls that were out there suffering alongside me for the past 4 1/2 hours. I told everyone about my day and how relieved I was to make it to the end - and what an internal personal journey it was. My time was reflective of how poor my overall race was, but my attitude was reflective of how excited I was to be there, how truly blessed I was to be in that moment and to pursue a dream.

then it was time to eat.....

11/5/08

Gearing up for Clearwater

I know it's been a while.......I've been a busy bee

I spent last weeekend in Florida watching Ironman and now I'm off to Clearwater to race in the Ironman World Championship 70.3. Wish me luck! I'll catch up later whan I get home.

http://www.ironmanlive.com/

11/2/08

Ironman Florida

With World's in Clearwater looming in a week and my training winding down, I took a trip with Ryan this weekend to watch him do Ironman Florida. For a while he didn't know if he would even be able to do the race with work being the way it is and all, but he fianlly decided to "get her done" and put all that long training to use...

The past few weeks have been a bit weird trainig wise for me. I'm not sure if it is a result of the long season and the wacky up's and down's that came with it, or if it's just plain old mental fatigue, but my training just has not had the "pop" I want it to. I can't put my finger on it, but something's up and my body is responding with sleeping whenever I can, sluggishness, illness, and the desire to get Clearwater over with so I can look forward to the next year. Maybe I'm being a little too honest by saying all that, but that's what I've been dealing with. When I am faced with this crap(as I am sure I am not the only one out there who faces these mental and physical challenges), I always find a way to push through it and make it to the starting line and hope some of that "race day magic" comes through for me...

The past week has found me with a cold that I aggressively fought off by resting a lot and drinking lots of fluids, then a sudden onset of another migrane. this is the 2nd one I have had in the past year that has made me violently ill. brace yourself -- 6 hours of puking....and you know, after an hour or so, theres nothing left to give up - so it's just brutal! And since these are new to me now (guess it's hormonal or something) I haven't been able to figure out what's going on until it gets so bad I can't get any medicine down. Needless to say, my taper for clearwater started way earlier than expected since the week was pretty much scrapped with all that stuff. I just keep hoping the rest will be for the best!

So back to Ironman Florida. It was great to go to a race where I get to watch it all happen and NOT be a part of it. OK, I was a little part of it. I had a few of my swimmers toe the line - so I decided to get up close and personal and volunteer for the swim where I helped corall all the athletes for the start then helped a PC (physically challenged) athlete Chris Self with his prosthetic leg. Nothing inspires me more than watching someone like him tackle an Ironman. I got to watch the 2,500+ mass swim start go off from a perspective I rarely get to see - from the back of the pack - and man, what a mess!

NOW THE DRAMA...

Since the swim was 2 loops, I stood at the beach watching for Chris to come to the beach so we could help him out. we were watching closely when all of a sudden, from a pack of swimmers on their feet exiting the Gulf flew 2 objects - over to the inside of the pack landing in the water. there were about 10 of us (volunteers /media/ NA Sports Staff) on the beach who saw this and we were all like "what the ** was that?" and then simoutaneously mortified to realize the objects floating in the water were fins. someone had fins on and tossed them off before exiting the water for the first loop. we were all in shock - and no one noticed who threw them. we were all stunned, and pissed that anyone would even do such a thing. I mean, why do an Ironman if you are going to cheat? you're just cheating yourself. and if you find yourself so focused on the time it takes to do the swim.....then you've missed the greater gift of embracing the journey to get there. some people will never get it i guess.

Ok, enough rambling....back to the fins. we watched them floating in the water - still shocked that anyone would even do that - and wondering who threw them, when low and behold, a guy who was entering the second loop of the swim just shimmied over and picked them up! HA! what a FOOL! Immediately the swim police were on him like white on rice and took the fins, and had his number and wetsuit make and followed him for the rest of the swim. he was a marked man. I am not sure what happened from there on out since my job was done after the swim, but I hope they bust that guy and don't let him race Ironman anymore. I am a big fan of "COPS" - so I love to see people get BUSTED! I must have been a cop in a former life.... :-)So, in spite of all that drama (which was exciting to me I must add) I had the pleasure of watching all the athletes including Pamela and Bobby and Mike come out of the water happy with their respective swims and start their days off on a positive note...yeah, I missed Ryan AGAIN coming out of the water.

I went out for an hour run (of which i was not feeling too good on, but plugged along anyway) after that then returned to watch the pro's come in on the bike. I then got out the mountain bike and spent the rest of the day on the course watching the suffering unfold! I love to watch it. And surprisingly I wanted to be a part of it! I wanted to take part in the race and the beautiful weather they were having. I haven't really felt that way about an Ironman since last year....good sign i think!


I had a lot of fun out there and have some great pictures I will post - so be sure to visit this post again in a few days...

After it began to get dark, I parked the bike had a few beers and waited at the tent for everyone to finish. Ryan finished in 11:55 despite many visits to the porta potties along the way. I am so proud of him. Training has been tough for him this year, but he stuck it out. I remember how frustrating it was for me to do IM Florida one

year and have the GI issues. We learn more from the tough days. It's all part of the puzzle....and I hope it wasn't dinner the night before :-). After we collected his things, we headed back to the condo and washed up. I was pooped! He wanted to go back and see the midnight finishers (!), but I wasn't gung ho about it. (something weird about that...past my bedtime I guess! spectating is hard work!)we ended up crashing instead.

Everyone seemed to be happy with the day - from the Pro's to the Age Groupers. It was a fast day out there and I wondered what I could have done on a day like that. I find myslef looking forward to taking one on as a Pro next year. why not....?

Congrtas to Bobby for smashing his 12 hour goal and to Pamela who finished in a rockin sub 14 1/2 hours - pushing throug the struggles of injuries while training and staying focused on the journey. Over 50 and an Ironman - way to go!

visit back for pictures...I'll post them when I get my camera back....

10/7/08

Longhorn 70.3






Austin, TX
oohhhwwweeee...another tuff day. who said it was gonna get easier as I got faster? whatever.
I got 10th - here are some pics - more to come later....
me passing Russell after my first loop - he was just coming out of transition

then there was post race with a couple of girls who smoked me!

9/30/08

Bath time

when you dont have a bike rack.....a tree will do! man, this bike gets dirty! but it sure is PRETTY!

9/25/08

.....snooze

oh man, i'm tired. i guess it's from the heat, but i seem to not be able to get enought rest. wake up, sleep, eat, sleep, ride, sleep , swim, sleep. geez.

yesterday i scrapped a long ride i was supposed to do in lieu of sleep. i just needed it - and i felt so much better this morning. it pays to recover.

we are getting our first taste of fall this week and after my experience in Cancun and all the hurricanes, it is as welcomed as ever. This mornig the temp dropped to just under 60 here which is a BIG DEAL in these parts. i had a sweatshirt on when i went to the gym at 4:30am!

They say it wont last long, but it is still a nice change and a relief from the insane hottness. I wonder if Austin will be cooler next weekend for LONGHORN 70.3? Hmmmmm....

LOOKING BACK --

I have been spending a lot of time reflecting on my race last weekend, and going over all the drama in my head and sharing my experiences with friends and family. What a trip. The only thing that would have made it better was if Ryan was there. The time I spent in Mexico was fantastic - very calm and relaxing leading up to the event, then explosive when race day rolled around. (of course, when I say explosive, I am not referring to my time!!- if you haven't noticed that is was hardly a quickrace). I met so many wonderful people in Cancun, one in particular was Fish. Gilbert Fish to be exact. What a name!! Fish and I met as we rolled out of the hotel early Saturday morning and rode our bikes down to the practice swim going on at 7am. we became instant buds on the ride and ended up sharing our stories and experiences in triathlon (and life) over the next few days. He was there after missing his Clearwater spot in Monacco and wanted to secure that in Cancun, and I was there, well, to race well and hopefully make a little moolah. Who knew what the day had in store for each of us.

We hooked up for our pasta dinner the night before the race which was nice to have company, especially since I was about bored to death with myself and spanish TV. The morning of the race amist all the hubbub, he came over and we wished each other luck. I told hime I'd see him at the finish line...but like I said, only God knew what was in store for the day.

Then, it was at about mile 25 that I saw him on the side of the road leaning against his bike. he wasn't scrambling to change a flat, just hangin' out - so I knew it wasn't goot. but there was no time to ask as I was riding pretty quickly. then I saw him again....and again. he was out there in the sun on the side of the road for more than an hour - maybe 2. The next time I saw him I was on the run and he was standin' around talking to MJ on the side of the road cheerin' me on. He was done for the day...and I wanted to be done too, really bad... but I had to finish my race first. He so kindly reminded me of the margharita we spoke of before the race - the one waiting for us at the end of the day - which kept me running as if I hadn't earned it yet! whatever!

Anyway, to cut to the chase, Fish broke a spoke and had to call it a day early on in the bike. a total bummer and hopes of racing in Clearwater...POOF! It's hard to find the lesson in that and see the silver lining, but you have to. and he did...I hope! He took it in stride and joined me in my celebration for lunch and cocktails back at the hotel and for the awards ceremony.

Thanks Fish!

9/21/08

"HIELO!" "HIELO!"

Ironman Cancun 70.3

word for the day......"HIELO" (means "ice"). I think i yelled this 100 times on the run. ice was my best friend today. i had it everywhere. even in my shorts! it was cold, but that was the idea...!

Holy crap was it hot out there. I was having flashbacks to when I did this race 2 years ago and remembered exactly how it felt on that miserable run - VERY UNCOMFORTABLE and UNPLESANT! :-)

Now, mind you, every run is "uncomfortable" to me (hehe), but this race takes the cake and wins the prize again for the hottest race I have ever done. it´s officially a tie - Cancun 2008 #1, Cancun 2006 #1! There is something to that pure mexican heat.

So how did the race unfold? interestingly enough, it seems like patience and slow paid off in the end. It´s all on a relative scale, I know. Slow to me is wicked fast to others, and scary slow for the super fast. I just tried to stay in my zone and watched the race unfold before my eyes. it all all seemed to happen on the run..... although there was plenty of drama on the bike, i will refrain from getting into it right now.

the swim was ok. i have no idea what my splits were, but i wasn´t very fast, i know. BUT, I kept all anxiety to a minimum, and just tooled along. the first loop was totally uneventful, but the second loop was little to be desired since as soon as we rounded the buoy it was straight into the second wave of AG men in a holy mess of flaling bodies! from there, the swim was a bit more stressful and much more crowded, but in the end it turned out fine.
The marathon barefoot run down the beach and through Wet and Wild to the transition area was FOREVER. It hurt my foot a bit to trek along there and was passed my a few foreign women on the way, but i made it to my bike eventually only to be completely out of breath and fumble with my helmet that didn´t seem to want to cooperate. but...as always...i got it on and was off on the bike. now i had to catch those girls who passed me on the T1 run!
I passed them 5k in...only to see them BOTH in a pack behind me at the turn around 20 miles in. I was pretty peeved.....but tried to stay in my own zone and focused only on the rider in front of me who was in blue..I had her # for the time being....!
at about mile 40....after i passed the blue girl...I had a queezy feeling come over me and I puked some of my carbo-pro-Gu20 up. yuck! I started to feel pretty bad and decided to lay up a bit, and get some water down. I guess it worked. i was able to burp a few times without hurling before the bike ended, so that was a good thing i thought. the brief shower on the bike was nice....but the headwind that followed it was ugly. the final 10 miles on the bike were slow into the wind....peaks and valleys.....I was not feeling too optimistic about how i was going to feel on the run...but you never know...
so it was into T2 and off onto the run. oh man, rough. but I kept telling myself..." just keep moving. sometimes it takes you time to get going." re-assuring myslef i can be top 5 if i just stay steady. . .she was done. i was 4th headed out on the run. then 5th about 1k in. then i saw MJ (michellie jones) on the side of the road. 4th again! then 5th by mile 5 again. ok, 5th. just hang on, i thought. then, the heat began to take its toll. by mile 7 i was 4th again. then soon after that I was 3rd. whoa. they were dropping like flies. where was 2nd i thought....? i saw her at the turn around. not too far, but by this time, i was cramping, and was trying not to push too hard. ok, so i didnt have to try to go slow. i couldnt go any faster! my body kept me in line...finishing at this point was most important. i was happy with 3rd, but cramping and pulling out towards the end was unacceptable to me. the final 4 miles were tough. mentally and physically. i was crapming in my calves and i felt my quads twitching. would i make it? focus. picture the finish. i as good as there. man it´s hot. then at mile 11 or so, i needed gatorade. anything with electrolytes. somewhere around this time i hit the pavement. some guy after the race told me he saw me fall as i hit the leg of the table with my foot. i went down and totally cramped up in my leg. yes, i let the 4 letter words roll out in my very own true-to-form-fashion. oh, it hurts to lock up. how would i get up? no idea. i had to. i peeled myself up and leaned on the table to calmly stretch for a bit....(yeah, if you know me at all....there was nothing calm about me inside, but i didnt want to contract any muscle at all so i was forced to move slowly) then i looked to my right and there was the 4th place girl coming ....time to go, i thought!! so i began to walk, then hit a semi stride...and just ran home. then low and behold....ahead and around the corner - there was 2nd place. could i catch her? no way. yes. and did she sprint to the finish line. yes. did I? yes, but it was more like a wobble. so she beat me to the finish...BUT....did I mention she got a penalty for running off course? yes! VOILA! 2ND PLACE! There you have it. what a day. I´m as red as a lobster.
Now it´s time for that margharita I´ve been dreaming of....

9/19/08

Ready to Roll

I`m starting to get a little edgy now. I picked up the packet and have to wait another day to race. I spent most of the day putting the bike together, cleaning it, and watching bad movies in spanish.

There`s not a lot on TV here and I`m trying to stay out of the sun - so I`ve become a vampire of sorts and only come out of my room when absolutely necessary! I`ve had enough of the american CNN network as they keep playing the same ol political doom and gloom over and over and over.....so the spanish movies are more entertaining. all those years of french in private school are doing me no good now.

So tomorrow i`m off to swim, bike, and run to work off some steam and get my legs under me for the race on Sunday...wish me LUCK!....and here`s hopin I don`t get stung by any strange sea creatures like I did 2 years ago here!

HOLA

Here we go.....time to race

Ironman Cancun 70.3

Why on earth do things get so crazy before I leave for a race away from home? Sometimes I wonder if I am the only one this happens to, or if everyone else in this sport goes through the same thing. I dont know what to think. I think I make it a little more difficult on myself, but maybe not. Maybe I just try to do too much to prepare for my absence in addition to the regular prep of the equipment, etc....
On Monday and Tuesday nights, I had very little sleep. By Wednesday, i was a walking zombie just trying to get through the day. That proved very difficult with all the packing required and last minute preps needed for the bike, etc... I just kept telling myself once i get to Cancun, I can sleep, sleep, sleep. Not really recommended to do this sort of thing in this sport as recovery and rest are vital, but I had no choice.
Wednesday night I stole about 6 hours of sleep once i finished packing, etc. I was supposed to run before heading to the airport at 6am, but after emailing Coach about my sleepless nights and my super fatigue, he told me not to run, and sleep however much I could. I liked that response. It was what my body wanted to hear!

So, now I`m here. I made it to Cancun without a hitch! I love it when all my luggage shows up and my bike comes out in one piece. It`s a gamble every time I fly, but a necessary evil. Last night I slept for 11 hours. WHOA. it was awesome.

So today I will check in, get my stuff, and rest some more. I am still tired, but on the upswing. The weather here is typical - sunny and hot. It will be just like home, but with more of a sea breeze. i like it.

9/16/08

The IKE effect

So what do you do when a lake takes over your regular 5 mile run ?

Well, get the mountain bike out and go for a ride of course!


Old Mandeville took a lickin' from Hurricane IKE - not nearly like Houston and Galveston,but no one really expected so much water here....the winds were just right and pushed all that that gulf water into the lake then, since we have no levees up here, it just flowed right into Mandeville about 5 blocks up. Yesterday, the water finally flowed out enough that folks whose homes and properties flodded could begin to clean up and I went to visit my friend Tommy (aka "Dr. Gunbo") who lives on the Lakefront. He was trapped up in his house for the time the water was up - of course, he had a pirogue to get around if he needed to - like paddling up the street to keep moving his car as the water rose! when I went by to see him, he was cleaning the debris from the lake out of his muddy brown pool while the neighbors were walking around with a bucket picking up crabs out out of the grass! Only in Louisiana!

Here are some of the pics in the hood....I just walked, or waded out my door last weekend and this is what I found...


notice the blower on the rear....
































Look who I found....our favorite mandeville cop- YVETTE!

9/7/08

What's so LOVABLE about a bug?

Hurricanes are good for something....or so I thought until yesterday afternoon....

Last saturday before the mass exodous from southern Louisiana for Gustav, Ryan and I went for our long ride. We figured we needed to get in in before all hell broke loose and there was no
telling what the next few days would be like. (turns out that was a good idea). The ride was one of the most trecherous I've ever been on - people driving like maniacs to get from here to there with trailers full of generators, plywood, and gas, to prepare their homes or properties or deer stands...whatever. I was almost hit a few times by oncoming traffic - people passing on two-lane back roads at high rates of speed. And ryan was run off the road by an apparently angry dump truck driver who i guess thought bikes had no business on the road that day.

The traffic was a necessary evil of the day and we knew it would be nuts going in, but there was no excuse for the new love bug invasion. Highway 450 was downright ugly. Remember the scene from "You,Me & Irene" with Jim Carey on the motorcycle with the bugs in his teeth? well, that was me. I didn't think it would be that bad because early on in the ride it wasn't super hot and the sun wasn't totally up - but once it heated up and the asphalt got relly hot - they went crazy. They are apparently attracted to the heat of the roads. I think I swallowed a few, and I had to stop once along that stretch to wipe my sunglasses clean of dead bug guts.

Towards the end of my ride, I was glad to be almost done and still upright (and not in a ditch somewhere) and thinking how awesome it would be if this hurricane just comes along and doesn't do any damage and completely wipes out the love bugs. how cool would that be? surely they couldnt survive 100+ mph winds? They're splattered on my windshield when I go 40 in the car. It was good timing for some high winds I thought selfishly - clean the air out. save my face from the pelting of dead bugs. at least a hurricane can be good for something other than forcing me to clean out my fridge and freezer....

Well, I rode yesterday, and my theory was shot to hell. not only did Gustav do his damage around here, but he left those pesky little boogers behind. clever little creatures. again, it started off cool (cool for us...the 80's) and was overcast most of the morning, but by 10, the sun peered through the overcast sky and the heat came up and VOILA! there they were! just in time for the last 10 miles of my ride. smack! wham! splat! It was terrible. How did they survive? It amazing how a little bug can be soo annoying! They make me crazy....especially when they don't die when they hit you, and thay stick to your arms b/c you put on sunscreen...and then they crawl into your jersey and helmet and torture with an itch you can't scratch unless you stop...but if you stop, they all find you and you cannot escape....then you finally get to your car and open the back to put your bike in, get in quick and drive home only to find there are 100 love bugs inside your car and if you can only make it home without wrecking it will be a miracle....

Oh, boy.....I LOVE LOUISIANA in September!

Now I'm gonna grab a beer and check out Ike's path...

9/5/08

Back Home



We made it home as soon as St Tammany Parish said we could come back, and to my delight - I had POWER! I am soo lucky to live across from a school (hospitals and schoold come online first). It was a long drive from Jackson as we were joined on the road with millions of others from this region making the anxious drive home wondering what we would find when we got there. After Katrina, the drive home was downright nauseating as we drove across the gulf coast from Florida and thru Mississippi where the eye passed over. in 2005, there was debris everywhere, boats in trees, cars flodded on the side of the interstate, road washed away, and trees snapped in half for over 60 miles....and that was along I-10 outside of New Orleans!

This time, we drove the back roads for a while to avoid I-55 that was backed up all the way from the Louisiana state line to I-20. I knew this thanks to the am news station WWL which is by far the best news station in the world. If you are from this area, that is where you get your information. It's the real info - not the crap you see on CNN. WWL streams and if the weather is just right (cloudy and overcast) you can pick it up as far as Jackson in the daytime - and at night I've listened to it as far as Missourri. Two years ago, Ryan and I went out to the car in an Ice Storm to listen to a Saints Playoff Game! It was zero degrees outside, and we were in the parking lot of Wal-mart (best reception there) tuning in! it was priceless - OH, they won too, which made it even better!

So anyway, the trip home this time was much less stressfull. The traffic was moving well and the damage was so minimal that there was very little anxiety about what we would find at home. Along the way we found a few trees uprooted and some signs down, but all in all by the time we made into St Tammany, the debris in the roads was cleared and it was smooth sailing. Granny and I drove down to the lakefront to see how high the water came up and it looked ok - I don't think it came up as high as Katrina, but it was up at least 3-4 blocks (I'm 6 blocks from the lake!). There was still some water in the street (the rest of it drained back into the lake already) and we stopped when we saw an egret looking for some lunch. It wasn't long before he scooped up a fish out of the puddle in the street! It was awesome!


Thursday was back to business. I got a text message from Franco's to let us know that the club would be open since the power came on there too. I was so happy to hear that b/c my training has been a little off since i have not been able to ride since saturday. riding in Jackson was out of the question - high winds and rain - and i didnt bring the trainer :-(

I tought a spin class on Thursday morning that lasted 2 1/2 hours. There were a few troopers who stayed the entire time (JP and Sue), but most just came and went during that time. There were no official classes on the schedule - but being the die hard that I am in addition to the fact that the roads ate full of debris - riding outside was again out of the question. Oh, and did I mention the a/c in the spin room was not working? yeah, it was hot, too. after that, it was home for a nap then back to swim, run and do some weights. I didn't think I would be able to swim so soon since after Katrina the pools were out for so long. But Robbie and Sue stayed in town for the storm and got to work as soon as they could to get the pools up and running. What a great job they did - us swimmers and truly grateful!

Now, it's recovery time - in more ways that the one I'm used to. Today is my day off of training, but for the community it is a mass scramble to get back to normal. I will be heading into Metarie and New Orleans today where power is still out and there is much more damage since they were closer to the eye of the storm. I have to run a few errands, and Granny wants to come along and take a look. Her apartment building in the city will not be re-opening until Monday, so she is still camping out with me in Mandeville....and she is bored to death!

9/2/08

Still Waiting

Well, the news is good all around. It seems like this hurricane was just that - a hurricane. Maybe now we can get that Katrina reaction out of out heads. It will be tough to convince the media to chill out though. Yesterday as we were watching Geraldo, you would think the city was sinking yet again. It is amazing how much hype the media puts out there. If there is only one sign down and a tree uprooted, they'll find it an put it on TV!

Today is Tuesday and Gustav-O is just sitting around over Louisiana pulling moisture out of the Gulf and keeping us wet. I am still in Jackson, MS with Granny and have decided to stay one more day. I hear my home is ok and the water did not come high enough to get inside (YEAH!). We have no power though, so that means hot humid sweaty nights ahead. I am sure there are plenty of tall pine trees down in Mandeville, so it may be a while -hopefully they'll get the power on soon. as far as Granny getting back home in New Orleans, well, that may be a few more days.

Yesterday (monday) was another good day running for me. I was able to get a long run in some hills early and the foot held up fine. If it stays like this, I will be so happy. It feels sooo good to run!

The weather began to turn bad at about 9am Monday here and has been raining ever since. the winds are gusting pretty good too as we are getting the feeder bands off of the storm now.

I made it to the Y here for a good tempo run and some weights and will be able to get in a swim later on. Seems a little like normal...but i'll be glad to get back into the regular swimg of things

A BIG THANKS TO MY FRIEND HEIDI HOWE
AND THE YMCA in Jackson
for letting me train while I am displaced!
y'all are awesome.

8/31/08

CHAOS...but calming down

What a wild year so far. First I couldn't race the Gulf Coast Half because I got overtrained and had to rest, then thankfully I got to do Lubbock and Vancouver....but decided not to do Timberman because of timing, then Sandestin was cancelled due to Tropical Storm Fay, and now Cajunman is out of the question since Gustav will attempt to erase Lafayette from the map in a day or two. I don't even need to check the website to know the race is cancelled. After Katrina, they cancelled it and donated all the t-shirts and goodies to the Hurricane effort....I expect the same thing to happen here.

The chaos began on Tuesday - when Gustav was in Haiti. The local news wouldn't drop it and it was bringing up a lot of buried "katrina stress" in people all around the area. at the same time, most of us were in a state of denial - like..."how could this be happening 3 years later? No way.." Katrina like storms only happen now and again - not 3 years apart - and NEVER in the exact same place. I kept thinking to myself - maybe this will be just a hurricane, with no major katrina like effects. this way everyone will remember what a "hurricane" is and not have Katrina as a baseline. just trying to stay positive while all of the hyp was building...

On Tuesday, I decided to be safe and get a room - just in case. I called Jackson and it took me 2 hours to find a room. Thank GOD I did that. Since then, it has been a sort of scramble. There would be no more groceries as we had to eat everything in the freezer. After a hurricane - we lose power and everything in the fridge and freezer spoils. after Katrina, we didnt even get to the house till a week later - and for others it was even longer - and the foul smell of the fridges? well, i'll never forget it. foul. people just duct taped them and threw them out on the street instead of attempting to clean them. it was really gross. I got a new fridge after that.

So we ate what we could from the freezer, and cleaned out anything that would go bad. Then it was time to prepare - and that takes a lot more time then you might think. I picked up my Granny on Friday and brought her to my house to keep watching the storm and prepare to evecuate. We headed out on Sunday morning at 6am and it took us about 41/2 hours to get to Jackson in the contra-flow on I-55 (normally a 2 1/2 hr trip). It was kinda long, but not too bad. at least it was moving. We made it to Jackson and are happy to be out of harms way.

The hotel is full of evacuees from all over louisiana with all their animals in tow. every time i get in the elevator there is a new pooch just excited about all the fuss. the lobby is like a dog park. big dogs sniffing small dogs, small dogs barking at big dogs. i love it. i'm glad i dont have one at a time like this, but i miss having a dog. i will probably go down there again soon to play!

When we got all settled in yesterday, I decided to go for a run. I initially gave it a try for 20 minutes yesterday (saturday) after my bike, and i didn't feel very good about it. the foot still hurts. But Dr. G said pain is my only limitation right now, so if I can handle it, then run. So I did, but came away from it not feeling very good about things. So, when we got up here to Jackson, I wanted to DO something, and running was all I could do since there is no pool open on Sunday evening and biking - well, I just WANTED to run.

I mapped out a 1.3 mile loop at the hotel that goes around the baseball stadium here and took to it. in the first 10 minutes i was so upset with the foot. it hurt. I could tell I was running funny and was tring not to because I didnt want to make something else hurt. I was about to cry out of frustration.... i just wanted that feeling I get after getting my HR up in a brisk run! But I stuck with it, and then the foot began to feel a little better about 15 minutes in, and progressively better. I could still feel it, but I got my groove on and went for 45 minutes. It felt so GOOD! I felt so good. I was so happy afterwards. It was great. not pain free, but do-able!

After my run, I went across the street to watch the Mississippi Braves baseball game (they gave all of us from LA in the hotel free entry) then it was back to the hotel and to bed. It was nice to get away from the radio and the TV with all the storm info for a while. Granny was up watching TV when I got back - and thankfully it was NOT cnn or the weather channel or Geraldo! We are so overwhelmed with information these days from every angle that I just didn't want to see it anymore...it can't be healthy to watch it that much. fat chance though...it's like that train wreck you can't help but stare at.

HAULING A**

HURRICANE'S SUCK.

things are crazy here. we have boarded up the windows, tied everything down, sandbagged...and hauled butt inland to escape Gustav. here is a picture of our last meal in Mandeville at my favorite place - the Broken Egg Cafe- where they will most likley have many feet of water spilling into it from Lake Ponchatrain in just a day or so....

We made it to Jackson, and now, it's wait and see...and PRAY.

8/27/08

VARSITY SPORTS ROCKS


THANK YOU


VARSITY SPORTS !


In light of my new foot discovery, I have the urge to protect my foot with a pair of super mack-daddy MIZUNO Wave Creation's . Thanks to Ryan Green for fitting me in these awesome shoes (rumor has it Dr. Groves wears the same shoe!) - they feel great and look good too - plus, I get an extra inch or two in height and a cool T-shirt!


Varsity has been a huge multisport spporter in Mandeville since they opened here and I thank them for their support of this community - and for helping me out in my personal racing endevors.

8/26/08

To The Doctor

MYSTERY SOLVED....

I am so lucky to know a podiatrist like Dr. Jay Groves here in Covington, LA. He is the BOMB. Check him out if you ever need foot stuff addressed. He has always taken such good care of me and knows how important it is to keep me running.



So what's the skinny on the foot? It isn't pretty....BUT IT COULD BE WORSE! ( that's my silver lining!) As soon as I got in the office, it was straight to the X-ray machine then that told the whole story. Apparently, I have a Ostracondral Defect in the Metatarsal Phalangeal Joint. Got that? Ha! I don't even know if I spelled that right. It was as plain as day on the X-ray and Dr. Groves picked it up right away. He went straight to the toe that my toenail is all messed up on (i used to have such pretty feet before I began to run) and bent it down, then pushed on the metatarsal and VOILA! OUCH!
BTW...this is NOT my Xray, but it looks like what I saw on mine. see the 2nd toe/foot joint? ooowwweeee!

So what does this mean? First, it meant a big needle and a shot in the foot. Now, it means wait and see. He says I can run this weekend (YEAH! 4 more days) and we'll have to monitor it. will it go away? NO. so it's there for good. Will it always hurt? We don't know. Is it new or has it always been there? we don't know. How did I do it? we don't if anything "caused" it. If I caused it, I am guessing it came from trauma - like that Degray Lake race I did when I lost that toenail and it has never been the same since...or some other stupid run move i pulled to save me from a blister. I remember that race in Arkansas when I was getting a blister on my foot, so I curled my toes under to take pressure off the blister area. This was NOT a good idea after all! By doing that I managed to mess up my 2nd, 3rd, and 4th toenails - the 2nd which is forever mangled.


Lesson of the day - TAKE the BISTER....Save a TOE!

8/24/08

brain adjustment

I get to swim, bike, walk, water run, eliptical, talk, breathe, eat, drink, play, see, hear, rest, relax, get massages, email, sleep in a big comfy bed, take naps, drive, buy gas [at least for now :-) ] drink good wine, laugh with friends, teach, visit my Granny, be inspired, inspire others....and on and on.

so if I can do all of these awesome things, why am I such a crab when i can't run?

Yesterday, I tried the foot out.

3 minutes in, I felt it. but I hoped it was just a ghost pain or something so I kept going. 6 minutes in it was still there so I stopped, turned off the treadmill and unplugged my headphones. It was instinct. I was dissapointed. I walked about 10 steps and turned around and got back on. My mind was not satisfied. maybe I was confused. I waited 10 days. I was patient. I was good. I didn't run, I cold dipped, I massaged...it can't still hurt, i thought. I had been so good. so I got back on. turned it up to 8:00 mile and made it for 3 more minutes, then stopped again. This time I was pissed. I gathered my towel unplugged the headphones and walked over to the eliptical and finished out the 30 minutes. I was so bummed about not being able to run. I just wanted that feeling I get coming off a good hard run. I miss it bad.

The rest of the day revolved around my foot. It didn't start off very well - as I was bent out of shape about the treadmill incident earlier today. angry at the world I suppose - that place we athletes go when we're hurt (where in the back of our minds is that reminder that everyone else we race against is out there ia racing and training hard and leaving you for dead while you "rest and heal". ) it can be a black hole if you don't watch out -and it will suck you in before you know it.

you know that "energy follows thought" thing? it's true. negative thoughts - negative energy. i was trapped in it today. for a while, I was so focused on the foot, that God must have had to send me a gazillion messages that day to remind me about what was really important. (or maybe it was Donnie....). All day, I came across people who are far worse off than me. from friends battling cancer to hearing of others in the hospital. there are people struggling through life and realtionships much worse off than me and facing bigger meaner foe's. I sense perspective creeping in, but the black hole still has it's hold. When we went to church this evening I was ready to pray for my foot (I was still obsessing - sad, i know, but i felt he urge to ask for a little selfish help here ) - ironically, the message at church in a nutshell was about what you do have - not what you don't have. Hmmm. interesting. God sent in reinforcements here. and in my mind it was a full hour of "man, what have I been doing to myself?" I was way off track. OK. I GET IT. By the end of church I got the message loud and clear and chuckled about it. it was back to the good life. and my life is good....it's GREAT! I GET TO DO IT.

so i slipped a little. I'm human. sometimes we struggle to stay positive, but it always pays off. everyting is better with a silver lining.

man, what if I couldn't even do the eliptical? what if my foot hurt so bad i couldn't ride the bike? what if I couldn't even walk? what if I had a cast on and couldn't swim? AGH! thank GOD my foot isn't that bad off. maybe all I need is another week. that's not that bad. what's another week? 5 minutes, 5 days, 5 months, 5 years. in 5 months, it won't matter. ill just swim and ride harder, longer, stronger....ill talk to coach about that...

8/23/08

Earthquake @ Shelley/Hewett Home

Tropical Storm Fay kept us from Destin.....so why not just bring the party home?

We gathered for our usual friday at The Spokesman where we met up with Team Earthquakers from around town - and across the Nation. Missy from Tampa and Jeff and Jessica from Utah came in to visit us here instead of spending a weekend in rainy florida. we had a great dinner at the Shelly's then were up for a ride on saturday followed by a party at Team Hewitt's House in their new pool. We had a late start waiting for some of the late night partiers to arrive and collect thenselves, but soon enough we were off for a good ride - tough for some (you know, hangover's and all) and just longer and mostly solo for me. remember... no running, so I get to put in some more bike miles.

I had to take this great picture with Sondra and Missy who showed up in their matching ZOOT gear!

8/22/08

Patience Please

The foot. A mystery pain in my right foot has me sidelined on the run right now. After 9 days of water running and a little eliptical training, I am beginning to lose my patience. I keep reminding myself that time off on the front end of an injury makes more sense than the necessary double or triple the time off on the back end once the injury takes hold. I know it's the right thing, but that doesn't make it any easier. I think I may give it a go this weekend, but I am still having that argument in my head!

To add insult to injury...rather, to add injury to injury, when I was swimming yesterday I tweaked my hip flexor or some other muscle in the top of my Quad on the other leg. IN THE POOL! that's supposed to be the safest place! So, now I don't know what leg to favor ! Haha! lets hope it was just a muscle spasm....I'm going with that! Maybe it's just a little reminder that I shouldn't run on that foot yet...like I said, I'm still having that argument in my head!

I had my massage guy Mike work on me Wednesday and Thursday to help move all this stuff out. I know I've said this before, but if it wasn't for him, there is no way I would be able to do any of this! He is a life saver and if you do triathlon and don't get massages - you need to. It's like having good management. preventitive maintence keeps the big setbacks from setting in. it keeps you moving.

De Ja Vu

3 years ago this weekend, we drove to Destin for the ever popular Sandestin Tri for a quick sprint race and a pool party that always promises not to be forgotten - unless you had a little too much fun (which usually happens)! For those of you not from Louisiana, this race attracts over 300 athletes from this area alone along with their friends and families to this one resort, one race, and one pool. Just about everyone who lives here goes to Destin for their weekend getaways - as a matter of fact, when you are there, you are bound to run into people from home. Even the Broken Egg Cafe is there! There is one down the street from where I live, and there is one at the resort. you get the idea....

Every year I have gone for this race I have had the best time...until 2005. In 2005, I finally won this race (which is usually fun), and was ready to enjoy the big party and celebrate, but Hurricane Katrina spinning in the Gulf put a crimp in my plans as she decided to change course the night before the race and beeline it straight for home instead of the projected Florida landfall.

Some people left for home as soon as they woke up in the morning skipping the race, but most packed up and left as soon as they crossed the finish line to get home and prepare for the storm all the weather guys said wasn't coming our way 1 day prior. I decided to forego the frantic drive home and stay in Destin until the storm passed which ended up being a good thing for saftey, but a stupid thing to do in every other sense since we still had hurricane conditions there and we lost all contact with home. I felt like I was trapped in the twilight zone since I lost touch with my family and saw the destruction of New Orleans on TV (thanks to Geraldo, who I think made the whole thing worse) But that's a whole other post...and I'll spare you...

So here we are again.

The race was scheduled for tomorrow (Saturday) and we all got word yesterday (Thursday) afternoon that the race was cancelled because of that pesky little storm FAY that will not die (It's a freakin' rain storm. It's hardly a "Katrina", but they cancelled it anyway)I was soo looking forward to this weekend - getting away and having a good time with everyone (hard to do as a pro since racing is a little more serious and I have opted not to do a lot of the fun little races in lieu of bigger, more high profile races). as a matter of fact, after I got the news I was still going to go just to get out of town. But after a while, sense set in and we decided to stay home instead. what a total bummer.

So this morning I wake up for a cup of coffee and am wondering what I will do today since I will not be spending my day off of training on the beach in the sun (yes, today it's sunny today in Destin). I guess I will go to the gym and do a little cold / hot thearpy on my foot/leg....did I mention I'm hurt?? maybe i did.... still, another post :-) then cook something for the party we will have tonight to make up for missing out on Destin. Poo.

8/17/08

waiting for a lane...

My camera is broken and I am not happy about it. I was getting on a roll with the pictures here and now, no camera...so thats why no more pictures now. I will either get a new one, or borrow Ryan's....
Is it just me, or is everyone pumped up about swimming? I have never seen so many people in the pool at the Franco's in my life on a Sunday morning! It's insane - and it's not just the young kids - all ages. I love it! that is unless I need a lane...
Yesterday I went on a group ride and pushed the 80 miles and felt good. It was a bit uncomfortable out there, but afterwards it was a real confidence booster. I am focusing on the bike for a bit as I feel like I need to get it back up to where it was last year. I miss being able to leave people behind on the bike and I need that advantage again going into the second half of the season.
My run on the other hand has hit a little blip. I have been getting progressively better over the last few months....but I have had a pain in my foot for a few weeks and can't figure out where it originates and what it is. I am afraid of it getting any worse so I (well, me and Coach) decided to take a week off of running and see how it feels after that. Today (Sunday) I usually do my long run, so I opted for a water run in my AQX water running shoes and hit the pool. I am not sure if it will do any good, but I have to believe it will. It's only a week, and I just have to stay positive. My legs are not nearly as fatigued as if I ran normally, but I guess it's better than nothing. after I finished, I went upstairs at Franco's to so some weights and find Ryan running on the treadmill - through a grueling 18 miles. at least the olympics are on and there is something good to watch! He was struggling, but pushing through like a trooper. I felt for him, but at the same time, I wished I was runnig too to get that feeling we are all addicted to when we finish a hard workout. the water running just doesn't do it for me!
So now it's home to dinner and a nice glass of wine (cheap wine, but good - JP "the frenchman" scouted it out for me! He drinks A LOT of wine, and he french, so he knows what's good) and then a day off of training to be spent with my Granny in New Orleans. :-)

8/12/08

Who Has Time for ANYTHING??

it used to be sleep, eat, train, sleep, eat, train, eat....but now it's sleep, turn on the TV, eat, train, eat, watch TV, eat, train...watch TV. The OLYMPICS are wearin' me out, but I can't stop watching it. I was up until 11 last night, and i had to get up at 4am!!! This is insane - and to make it worse, the finals in swimming are on last and I have to stay up for that!
But it's worth it - Like the rest of the country, I'm still high after that 4x100 swim realy. I swam like a beast today in the pool. went under :30 in my 1st 50 of a 20x50 set...the rest were a bit slower (hehe), but i haven't been under :30 in forever. Felt like a kid again.

So, if you are wonderin' where I am, I'm veggin out in front of the TV.....and I will emerge when swimming is over! GO USA!

8/3/08

Second Place....again

Always a bridesmaid....first place loser....whatever you want to call it. I'll call it next to best. Or how 'bout this one - a good race. It seems like no matter where I am in my racing career, in the 6 years I've been doing this race, I can't seem to pull off a win! It's becoming sort of a joke now....Does it bother me, well kind of. A little. But here's the thing- I always fall short to a (different) really fast girl who has a better race than me. It's that simple. This year it was a fellow Zoot teammate Amy Marsh. she smoked the bike...

The morning started off hot, and just got hotter as the day went on. that part of the country is in a heatwave, and in dallas it was 108....and shreveport is just 2 hours east of there. we started off with the swim in the hot tub - the balmy 92 degree water of cypress lake, then we were off on the relatively uneventful bike - same ol same ol - passing a bunch of guys like they're standing still. you see, this race has no pro wave, so I went off with the age groupers 28 minutes after the first wave went off... so there were lots of people to pass along the way on the bike. this year I must say that most of the guys were riding pretty legal and to the right, which is a nice change from years past. usually I have to hollar "LEFT" or "PASSING" the entire way.

I saw amy coming out of the water and when we got on the bike, but that was the last I saw of her since she put the hammer down on the bike and left me for dead. now, I don't think I slow on the bike, but racing against her these days makes me think i'm a slug. When I got off the bike I saw her Scott Plasma racked with the wheel still moving to I looked up to see if she was still around maybe running out of transition - but she was long gone...but since the wheel was still moving I felt a little hope...until the turnaround halfway into the run! I felt pretty good on the run and my first 2 mile splits were 6:18's which I'm glad to see - but but once I realized amy was so far ahead, i realized running her down was probably not going to happen - so i laid up a little and decided to just cruise in. I ran my my friend and sponsor chris boggs (SRS WEALTH MNGT) and pinched him on the booty (he's lost an obscene amount of weight and is looking awesome I might add) and brought it home. Thankfully the run was good and shady so the heat didn't really bite you on the run, but when the heat creeps into the 100's its hard to hide from it. I stopped for some water about a mile from the finish then came across to find i ran a 20:02 5k off the bike- figures! that's what i get for walking thru the aid station! oh well...

7/28/08

A SHOUT OUT

I wanted to send a BIG SHOUT OUT to everyone for such a great time in
Vancouver and Victoria, B.C.!



I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I first came on with Lifesport earlier this year and certainly never thought I would have that much fun at "camp" as an adult! So here goes a quick thanks to everyone who made my 11 days in Canada so awesome -

THANK YOU.....

to Coach Paul....for taking me under his wing,letting mepick his brain, and giving me my new tempo trainer!!!

to Shantel.....for setting me up with homestays, for being so patient, and for always answering the phone so sweetly!

To Coach Dan...aka "Captain Downhill"..... for taking us on all those awesome rides and not leaving me for the wolves...or bears.

to Terry Orlick....for your sound advice and for listening to my perspective.....and for making me feel like I've got it all together, when we all really know I don't

To Lisa M.....for making me feel pretty good about myself when I can keep up with her sometimes. now I get to say i trained with an olympian!!

To Eileen S...for keepin' her germs to herself and showing us how to hang tough. Hope you're feeling better!

To Bree...for lettingme swimon your feet...and for making me laugh! your passion is your fuel .....oh, and for making me realize I need to keep my blog up to date!

to Sam Mazer - for breathing down my neck on the runs and keeping me moving!

to the Regensburg's...for welcoming all of us into your beautiful home and for preparing that awesome salmon dinner.

to John B....for putting on such a great race and keeping the conversation alive on the runs...and for always having the coffee ready!

to Katya Meyer....the comeback kid...for showing us all that just because your down, that doesn't mean you're out! You've just made it out of the "swim" of your pro career - and now it's your turn to kick some butt!
to Janet....for having such a great laugh! I can still hear it!

to Mark Shorter.....for putting me up (or putting up with me!) for the race and giving me the best directions for getting around Vancouver in the traffic...and making me realize i need to run more stairs at home!

to Doug and Cathy Noel....for the great food and drink - making me feel so at home during camp. No one could have set me up better!

to the NOEL girls - Robyn especially....for giving up her room to me for the week

and, of course, I can't forget Mike Flynn....it it wasn't for your generosity, I would not have been able to go to Canada at all. YOU made this experience possible!

I am truly blessed!

7/26/08

Back to the HEAT


Whoa....I forgot how hot it is down here!

this weeknd was my first time back in the Heat and whoa, it's steamy! All the time I have spent away over the past 2 months it has gone from Hot to WAY HOT here at home. This morning I decided I would ride with the group since I had such a good time riding with the group at camp. With all the solo training I do, I forgot how good it can be mentally to train with friends...and it doesn't hurt physically either. the group here is strong and I feel like I got a good solid ride in with other there to keep me going to the end. and then there was the run. OH MY GOSH! I had my fuel belt ready to go with the water frozen in it - and 10 minutes in, the ice was melted - 15 minutes in the water was warn and it was time to turn around. I poured one of the bottles over my head and saved half a flask for the 1 mile to go mark. It was everything in me to make it back to the car - the only thing keeping me from stopping was that if I stopped - it would feel HOTTER! well, i made it, and unloaded another full water bottle from my cooler over my head and proceded to head over to the only shaded part of the lot to sit down and try to cool off.....everyone was sippin' their cold beers, but i stuck with the recovery drinks since I still had to get a swim in before the day was over...

7/25/08

UPDATES COMING!!

hey all!

I have returned from my trip from Training Camp in Victoria, B.C. and am updating my blog...please stay tuned more updates to come this weekend and by monday i will be all caught up!!!

YEAH!!

7/20/08

My last weekend at Lifesport Camp


















Ok ...today we were in for doozie. we met later than usual (9am) for our run then it would be straight on the bikes for a five hour ride around the island. Again, not real sure where we went, but it was sure pretty. I was feeling pretty good until the last hour when Coach Dan took us up some long a** climb that I thought for sure was ending at least three times before it finally did. you know - those climbs that go on forever, and you're relieved when you think you're coming up on a flat part - or even a downhill only to realize it's still a hill, just not as steep?? ha! yeah, that was how it was.....and then it was downhill time and POOF! the group was gone (all 4 of them). I apparently need some more skill on the decents! The last hour of the ride was tough for me especially since my longest ride this year was 4 hours and that was by mistake -usually I go around 31/2 - so I was just cruzin in my zone - alone - for that last hour sucking on GU's hoping someone would wait for me at a turn since I had no idea where I was!! of course, Dan and Bree were up ahead waiting up for me (THANKS for that!) and helped me find my way back to the office where we called it a day and i packed up the bike in Coach Dan's car and hitched a ride home to eat real food!

As soon as I arrived, I dropped the bike on the lawn, walked in the house to the back yard where the neighbors were gathering and there was an ice cold Corona with a lime waiting for me (Thanks Doug and Cathy - y'all are the best) and steaks on the grill. What an AWESOME way to top off the day - and what a day! I was so hungry, and ready for some R&R and the Noel's served it up. I can't say enough. Bed wasn't too far off after dinner...


then it was up and at 'em for the 2 hour run. Sunday was my last Day in Victoria as I had to catch the ferry tonite and stay over in Vancouver to catch my plane in the morning. We all met up at the office for the run which was nice and easy and long on the trail around Elk Lake. I wass urprised at how good I felt - at least until the last 20 minutes when I was noticibly getting tired. I made it back to the office (I was the caboose again!) then we were off again to ice our legs in the cold ocean waters for the last time.




As soon as we were done, I had to get home to pack my bike and my suitcase before going to one last swim in Elk Lake at 2pm. We did an easy 2k then I had to say my goodbye's and I headed out.

I was sad to go because it was such a great experience to meet everyone at Lifesport and get to train alongside some of their finest athletes - some of THE finest athletes in this sport. The entire week was such fun and a learning experience on so many levels. I got to tune out every day life and tune in to what I love to do - triathlon. training. racing. preparing. I got to learn from the finest coaches, from acomplished athletes, from Terry Orlick, and from myself. It was a great week!

Now it's time to go home....

7/18/08

A Day to Chill

today is a light day - Just a swim in Theitus lake and a massage a little later on. I hitched a ride with coach Paul since the like was a little too far to ride the bike - and I have no sense of direction on this Island apparently! We were the first ones there and as Paul was unloading the kayak, I walked down to the beack to see the other swimmers there and some strange creatue making ripples in the water near the dock. I watched for a few minutes alonside a strange man standing on the beach trying to figure out what on earth was in this water...when suddenly a head popped up - then a scuba diver emerged! Hahaha!! - we had a good laugh about that one. soon enough it was time to get the wetsuits on and hit the water. we started with a warm up and some beach starts (which I am horrible at by the way...ahem, I mean it's a major GROWTH area!) then it was onto some long tempo swimming. I have a new toy now - the tempo trainer - the new voice in my head. beep....beep...stroke...stroke - it's a good thing. I have figured out that all the swimming I do on my own is good in many ways, but i think i am losing sight of the competitive edge i can have in the water. long easy swimming solo puts you in a zone, but i think the zone i have settled into is a little slower than what i am capable of. so with the tempo trainer, i picked up my stroke rate and hung on better than before - comfortable in the wetsuit, feeling good in the water, and swimming along in the pack - i love it. what a great opportunity to train like this! I came out of that swim feeling great - then realizing i need to practice my wetsuit removal tecniques...
After the swim, I got to go home and chill out until my massage. I got some of my stuff ready for tomorrow's run and ride since i knew it would be a long day, then got to take out my homestay's car to got to my massage. yes, i studied the map and knew where i was headed - didnt want to get too lost! i made it around town and got to run a few errands like buy some fruit, send the post cards i bought of places I have yet to see, get a chocolate chip cookie....or two. I made to my awesome massage then it was time to rush home to get picked up to go downtown for dinner. Sam and Bree swung by to pick me up then we took a little detour to Mount Doug - one of the best views around. im not sure if its the highest point on the island, but you could see forever up there.....

then we made it to dinner and walked around the waterfront a bit - finally I got to see some of the things on the post cards I sent out! Dinner was good, although I wasn't too impressed with the Margharita - super weak! but that was probably a good thing considdering the day we have in store for us tomorrow....








7/17/08

Just Another Day

....at camp...who knew at 37 that I would have such fun at Camp? My homestay is awesome, their friends are cool and everyone at camp is way cool and fun to be around. I am just so excited to be training alonside these girls - well rounded and well grounded.

OH....have i mentioned how cold it is here in Victoria? I am freekin' freezin all the time! Every morning, i wear sweats - and a jacket on the ride to any workouts before noon! and I don't think my Homestay even has an air conditioner in the house! that's insane....ok, it's no THAT cold, but for steemy little me, it's a bit chilly - i'll bet the energy bills are a lot lower!!

this morning - guess what - WE SWIM AGAIN!

this one would be a tough swim - 5k with the main set 3.2k. long, grueling, but getting the yards....um meters (we're in Canada - - it's all meters and Kilo's!)

after swim, we grabbed some breakfast real quick (yet another theme of the camp - eating on the fly) then met at the office for a meeting on race strategies. - It was the pep talk of pep talks - keeping it all in perspective and how to set yourself up for success. you have to give it everything to get everything...


not long after our meeting, it was off to run intervals in the afternoon. My jaw hit rock bottom when i heard the set....8 long intervals...ouch! but it is what it is....just do it. I was off to a good start, trying to keep the faster runners in sight aroung the bends, but it wasn't soon before the tummy acted up and took control. in the end, i made it through 6 of them - still a pretty good day, and considdering the tummy, im glad to have gotten out of it what i did!


after the run, we headed over to the ocean to ice our legs....and boy that water was iiiccccyyyy! brrrrrrr. but it felt good on the legs!
now it's off to shower then dinner at Coach Paul's Mom and Dad's house. Papa Bruce as he is called went out the day before and caught a HUGE salmon that they so generously prepared for all of us for dinner tonight. it was SO YUMMY! and to top it off - good wine and ice cream and cookies for desert! Uummm.....I like this camp thing!