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 -


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!


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...



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!!!



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....


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....


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!


Camp Day 3

early start today - to the pool at 6:15 for a swim, then straight onto the bike for a 3 hour strength ride in the mountains (yeah...they're MOUNTAINS to me!). The swim kicked my royal swimming butt, but i tried to hang in. I tried to use the excuse that i was tired, but it didnt fly - everyone else was tired too, and even i know that when your tired you can still swim!
Practice went along ok- i still want to be faster and it's good for me to be in the pool with faster swimmers. its humbling and motivating all together and i think that is a good combination for me. im not satisified with being "OK", and that is exactly what get's me going every day. yeah, yeah...I know my "OK" is someone else's awesome - and maybe another's total crap....like Dara torres (my new hero at age 41!), but "OK" to me isnt enough...
Off at 8am on the three hour tour with Coach Dan in the lead to be sure we get some good climbs in! Again, i have no idea where we go, but it was sure pretty! This ride was again a lot of fun, yet very tough on some of the hills...i mean mountains. the idea was strength - so no spinning up the hills here. it was a day for mashing, and i felt so strong. Riding thru Victoria was an absolute pleasure. Not once was I assulted by some moron in a pick-up truck or told to "get off the road". The people are so nice and tolerant- like in Colorado. I can only hope one day it will be like that in Louisiana - makes it hard to want to stay there when it is so hard to stay alive on your bike!!! then i think about the food, the drink, the atmosphere, the family, the friends...and then i know i want to be back there...but it'snice to be here for now!

anyhoo, so the ride was fun and tough, but i got off the bike feeling strong. I rode my bike back to the house to eat and shower as quickly as possible, then it was back on the bike to ride to the HOJO for my one-on-one meeting with Terry. I was really looking forward to it since mental advice is hard to come by and it is the most powerful tool around. You can train train train your body to it's max, but if you dont make your brain right, all that training will not amount to much. I have been personally blessed with many gifts in my life - one being Donnie's influence and from day one I have understood the power of the mind - like he says "ENERGY FOLLOWS THOUGHT"
My meeting with Terry went very well- I went off a bit about Donnie and his influence on me, and came away from it with a feeling that I'm in a good place. :-)

Then, guess what - time to swim again! off to another open water swim in Durance lake. This one would be colder than Elk Lake....

todays swim would be a breakthrough of sorts for me. I was a little worried about cramping since we rode, but turns out i made it thru ok. the cramps were teetering at the end, but nothing too bad! todays workout was made up of 300m segments - all at different tempo's. I found that when i pick up my tempo - i can hang on to Bree and go a little faster. It seemed to be the theme of open water swims at camp - Bree wants to hold onto Lisa, and I'm trying to hold onto Bree for dear life! anyway, the faster tempo's mean higher HR, but i think it's totally do-able in my future swims. ive always been a little weary of getting the HR up in the wetsuit as well- but i seem to be getting much better at it! i's getting so stoked about swimming again!!

time for dinner and bed!


Camp Day 2

OK, we're still in recovery mode, but here comes the volume! this morning it was a quick breakfast then onto the bike and out the door to meet up at the Lifesport office for an hour run. OK, again, that sounds easy, but ive only been ther 2 days, and yes, i got lost. the bad part was that i went down a hill that i had to climb back up....and in victiria, the hills are more than the mere speed bumps we have in Louisiana! I was so mad for taking the wrong turn - but i eventually found my way...and i was late again! AGH! 2 days in a row, LATE! I hate that!!! then I heard Coach Paul wasn't there yet, so I got away with it...

there was a huge group of us on the run- all speeds, but mostly fast! To name a few....there was Lisa Mensink (going to the Olympics (GO GIRL!)), Bree Wee (just came off 2nd at IM JAPAN!), Eileen Swanson, Katia Meyer (5th IM France), Terry Orlick, Coach Paul, Coach Dan, Jenny Fletcher (supermodel tri babe)..

I was surprised how good i was feeling since I usually feel so trashed after a race, but i think having the group around made it so much more fun that usual that i paid no attention the the legs!

After the run, we had time for a quick lunch then out for a 2:30 ride- nice and easy, just the way i like it! of course, the hills make it hurt a bit, but it was an awesome ride around victoria - and where i was I had no idea?! the goal for the day - don't get lost! oh, and have fun. it was fun.

After another quick meal on the go - it was time for my first open water swim with the group. I was so looking forward to these swims because the water is too hot at home to do a wetsuit swim, and the only experience i get seems to be in races when my mind gets the better of me and i think keeps me from reaching my potential in the swim (that's where Terry Orlick comes in!!). Yeah, I did somein Colorado - but i was always alone, and i need to be on to of people more.

so - whoa - again, like in the pool, i was left in their wake. Coach Paul [by the way, My Coach, Alister, Is in Scotland, so he was unable to attend Camp - so I was taken under Coach Paul's wing for the camp...and MUCH APPRECIATED!] said I had a good strong stroke, but needed more tempo - basically if i can speed up my arms, then i could pick up speed...hmmm...made sense. something to work on.

firs big day done - time for dinner and bed...

LIfesport Training Camp


this was my first PRO Training camp, so I had no idea what to expext. Last night after the race we all got on the ferry to take the 90 minute rideover to Victoria where we will all be meeting our homestay's and getting settled in. The ferry ride was beautiful through all the islands along the west coast of Vancouver and we even had a visit from some Orca whales swimming around us. Since we were all starving...well, most of us (i hit the gelato at the ferry terminal- what i really wanted was my post-race brew, but I couldn't seem to find any place that served beer!) we all sat down to the buffet dinner served on board (there are no ferries like this at home - the longest would be the mississippi river ferry which lasts just long enough to eat your sandwich). Everyone was so great - it was nice to finally let loose and have some fun and get to talk...and the food was suprisingly good too. Before we knew it, we were on the island headed down to Victoria to meet our homestay's and finally get some sleep. when I got to the Noel's home, I was able to sit down with them and chill out for a bit while they ate after coming in from a run. Turns out Cathy is a big-wig with the Royal Victoria Marathon every October, so running is big to the both of them....and so is kickin'back with an ice cold beer! I was gonna like my stay here!!!!

Monday morning - we got to sleep in (yeah!) then it was off to the pool for a recovery swim. no problem, right? maybe not. everything seems so close to everything in Victiria, but it's not. I mean, if i draw a straight line, it's close, but if you follow the roads, it seems twice as far! Since my bike was at the office, I would be walking to the pool this morning only to realize what I thought would take me 20 minutes took me about 35...so I was late. Not a good first impression on the coaches, but i was there nonetheless, and it was a recovery day anyway. I'm pretty sure I was more pissed off about being late than they were!!!

I hopped in the pool in a lane that i thought would suit me to find that I felt merely like an average swimmer who had a long way to go! Geez, these guys were somkin'! Maybe i was in over my head - or maybe I've just been getting complacent in my swimming habits at home. I always swim (in a pool) alone. why? no one else keeps my schedule and the masters practices around mandeville aren't what I need. so at home it's just me, and occasionally someone I'm training - but they're always slower! The swimming in Victoria is going to be tough - but it's good for me. At first I was a little taken back by the speed of Lisa and Eileen, and Bree - but then I embraced it - I get to train with these girls, and I will be the better for it! so i tried to hang on the best i could...and as it turned out, I wasn't too shabby!

After swim, we had a little time to get a bite to eat so Coach Dan brought us to a local Bagel Shop where we ate Lox and bagels until it was time for our session with Terry Orlick. Terry is a great motivator and a top sports psychologist with some awesome advice of hor to fulfill your aspirations, maximize performance, and reach your goals - check out his book IN PURSUIT OF EXCELLENCE. i'm in the process of reading it right now!

After the meeting, I was able to get my bike and suitcase and it was back home to get settled in and eat. I was staying at Doug and Cathy Noel's home while their 2 girls were at the family cabin somewhere up north waterskiing(this made me chuckle, since I was already "up north" to begin with, but i guess there was more room to go up there!). it was dinner - then to bed. oh, and i think i stuck another beer in there too!

SUBARU Vancouver 1/2 Ironman

The morning started off with a bit of a chill in the air ( this southern belle was in sweats, everyone else was in shorts...!) and would prove to be a beautiful day for a race. I got to transition early as usual to get situated and be sure i had pleny of time to warm up before having to get into the wetsuit and hit the water. since i swam in it yesterday, i wasn't too worried about the temperature, but still wanted to be sure my core was warm before i got going. this race has a mass start - so no easy task starting in a mass of people on the beach. i got a little worked up beofre the start - the longer i wait around, the more i think....but soon we were off and on our way. i found a line on the outside quickly and made my way around a few of the swimmers who seem to think they should be up front even though they are hardly considdered strong. ( i still haven't figured that one out. why on earth would someone want to put themself in the position to be swum over by masses of swimmers? i know you shouldn't seed yourself, but lets get real. ....) anyway, the swim was 2 loops which meant we had to run out of the water and go around a buoy on the beach - then back into the water for another go. some people like this, but i am not a fan of the 2 loop swim - because i get so dizzy..it was hardly a run around the buoy - more like a walk trying to hold my line and catch my breath...then for some reason (maybe because it was a "race", i picked it up to a slight jog, then into the water where i had to stop and chill out for a second while i caught my breath. how ridiculas is that? not sure what was going on there, but it passed after a minute or so - and it was off to loop 2.

out of the water - again up the beach fighting the dizzies and trying to stay upright. the run on the beach was forever - twice a long as other races like IM Florida or Sandestin. I was so glad to get off the sand and into transition where i then found myself fumbling with my wetsuit, doing the dance around to get it off! not much cooperation fron the wetsuit there(maybe i was just cold and had a hard time grasping it), but i got it off and was on the bike in a jiffy.

the bike course was flat for about 2 miles, then it was up. we did the loop 4 times then it would be back into transition for the run. I settled in early on the bike getting comfy and taking in fluids and hitting the cheetah bar. By the first turn agound, i realized i was in 2nd place not far behind Bree, but there were plenty of other girls off my rear, so i didnt want to get too complacent. by loop 2 bree dropped off the front and i didnt see her until the turnaround. turns out she went off course a bit and that eliminated her lead and put her with me. we rode along a bit - i think we were both trying to get away from each other, but it wouldnt happen. then past halfway, Rachel came along and left the 2 of us for dead!
off the bike, I was in 3rd and feeling ok - glad to be off the bike. for some reason my legs didnt feel great on the bike, so i was hoping they would feel a little better on the run. as ususal, the first 2 miles were sketchy with the VMO wanting to cramp up. I had to go pretty easy and even stopped once at the top of the hill to stretch, then continued on trying to keep the cramping to a minimum - and it worked. by 3k the cramps were subsiding and i felt like i was getting into rhythm. I still had Bree in sight, but wasn't sure I would be able to catch her. I was running as fast as i could trying to stay relaxed and keep the HR reasonable, and that was keeping me behind her by about 30 seconds. about 7k into the run, there was cheryl murphy (miss "i can run faster than anyone in canada") running by like i was in the park for a sunday stroll. I tried to run with her - mimicking her stride and trying to make it look easy the way she did - and i nearly passed out my HR went up so high- then i realized was kidding myself!! (hehe). she is an amazing runner and a great athlete! as far as half's go, the run went by quickly - with 2 loops- one part hilly on trails, the other flat out and back along the beach. by the last 6k, i realized i was in 4th today, unless i would redline it to try to run down Bree ( didnt have it in me) or stop and let 5th place run me down. So, I just cruised in. I

began to look at the view along the beach where I was running and saw what I was missing the whole morning - an awesome view of North and West Vancouver along the water with downtown just ahead. It was really beautiful, and I am glad I had the opportunity to see it while i was out there. It'samazing how much you can miss when you are so focused on the race...

At the finish, I was glad to be there and done, and happy with how good I felt compared to after the race in Lubbock 2 weeks ago. In Lubbock i was spent, but today, i felt tired, but at the same time i felt good. sounds weird....hard to explain.

after the race, we all hung around for awards then it was a mad rush to get back to the homestay's house to pack then to catch the ferry and head over to Victoria for training camp!



Made it to Vancouver in one piece bike and all. That is always a great way to start out a trip!
My homestay, Mark and Cara, live in North Vancouver which has one of the most beautiful views I have ever seen. It took a while to weave around all of vancouver in my tiny little rental car(Vancouver is a HUGE and densly populated city). From their deck you can see all of downtown Vancouver and the Lion's Gate bridge and even the race site -- a spectacular view!

First full day in town I put the bike together without a hitch (more good karma)and was off to meet the Lifesport coaching crew and some of the other pro's in the race, as well as some of the sponsors. I wasn't sure what to expect since this was my first official VIP party, but everyone was so nice and inviting, I left with a great first impression of everyone involved lookng forward to participating in a well run event with some great support!

On Saturday, i woke up with terribly sore calves. what the heck? how did this happen i have no idea. all i can think is it was either from lugging my bike, suitcase, wheelbag and backpack thru the vancouver airport abouta mile to the rental car place....or all the hills i have been walking up and down - or the stairs at mark's house!! he lives in an awesome house built down the side of a mountain that has a lot of stairs - and i have no stairs at home...so maybe it was the ups and downs...? ha! it's funny - how you think your in such good shape but you change one little thing in the routine and end up with wickedly sore claves! I was walking like an old lady the day before the race! I tried not to think about it!

So I made my way down to the event venue (about 45 minutes through Vancouver - traffic is HORRIBLE, but i was in no hurry...and neither is anyone else!) for a little swim/bike/run to get familiar with the course and test out the frigid water. Turns out the water was tolerable - yeah, cold for me, but with the neoprene cap, i was perfectly fine. the new neoprene cap I got was the one made by ZOOT and I LOVE IT. I hate to have things around my neck, but this chin strap on this cap was flexible that I barely noticed it...and thats a good thing! this afternoon, we dropped out bikes off in transition and it was back to Mark's for a hot bath for the legs and good night's sleep before the race.


Buffalo Springs Lake Triathlon 70.3

OK, OK ...
I know, it's late! I don't know what's up with me, but everything seems to be taking a lot longer to get to these days. I am working very hard to prioritize, to get the must do stuff in, and in the meantime, some things slip. So my race report was put on the backburner, but it's here nonetheless!

Dated July 1, 2008

What a day it turned out to be!

Ryan and I arrived early as usual, only to find that we were not the first one to the park! parking was a snap and we hopped on our bikes and rode down the hill into transition where we went about our usual business of setting up. This was my first 70.3 as a pro, so I had the honor of having the primo transition location right near the bike out and the porta potty! I couldn't have planned it any better myself! After getting all my stuff in order, ryan and i went out for a little warm up in the dark along the run course then it was off to the swim start. I debated getting in the water before the start because it was a bit chilly in the air and it was not going to be a wetsuit swim for us, but i got in anyway thinking it would only be a few minutes of standing around in the chilly air before the race started. Turned out I was wrong, and we were all dragged out of the water while the race got set to start...a little late. this ended up lasting about 15 minutes. i was cold, but cracking up because we were all huddled together cozily - most of us not knowing each other at all -just to stay warm and conserve heat.

ok, so it was time to start - 2 minutes they announced. then, not 10 seconds later, the gun went off and everyone around me started running along the edge of the beach....so i followed along. we ran, and ran...all along the side and around the bend until the rocks got big and there was a dock that cut us off. by then, i was breathing hard and had to chill out a minute to catch my breath! it was insane. i laughed at myself for getting so out of breath in the start, but i just dove in and went easy for a bit to get my composure. I'm not sure if it was such a good idea for me to get all caught up in the running or not - especially since i got to out of breath and my anxiety got out of control a bit...but i did it regardless and had to get back on track to stay in the mix. I realized that i was in the back of the pack when i began to get my mojo, but i just trucked along swimming alongside another gorl until the fianl turn buoy heading towards the exit. by then, i was feeling pretty good and just built up my effort on the way in.
out of the water and into transition i went feeling pretty good and hobbling along over the rocky parking lot to my bike all the way at the end. I seemed to take a bit to get it together there, but was off on the bike hoping to see some of the other women not too far off. Up the first climb were about 4 of us - one who had mechanical issues on the hill and was already off her bike. the rest of us just steady climbed up and over and settled into what would turn out to be a very difficult and dangerous day of riding. after exiting the park, the wind seemed to really pick up and not long after that, the rain came. I am not sure exactly what the winds were, but i was getting blown agound pretty good and feeling a bit slow going into the wind. normally, I would tell you how slow my speed was if i could, but i pulled a not-so-smart-move about 2 miles into the bike where i tried to adjust the position of my reciever for my computer (while riding) and in the process adjusted it too close and it sent my magnet flying off....that was worth a good head shake and a smart as comment to myself...! anyway, so needless to say, the weather was bad - windy and rainy which made for a pretty stressfull bike course. the climbs were as hard as ever, but coming from colorado and having those mountains under my belt, i felt pretty good on them and just popped right up. now going down was the hard part since the roads were so wet and the winds were picking up my disc wheel pretty good. i really wanted to get some good speed going on the downhills, but i kept having to hold back as a matter of saftey, and that was a little frustrating. perhaps i need a little more time training in the bad weather to get used to handling the bike in those conditions....but anyway, and important goal on the bike was to stay upright....and i did...
off the bike and onto the run....i was feeling pretty good about where i was coming off the bike. i seemed like 4th, but i wasnt sure. since this was my first 1/2 of the year, i was a little weary of what my VMO (that would be my vastus medialis oblique muscle) would do - since it has a tendancy to cramp up off a hard bike. i am always optimistic, but the realist in me knows it is a possibility, and a probibility, that it waill cramp up within the first mile of the run. sure enough, the cramping reared it's ugly head, and i was reduced to a walk a few times hoping to keep the legs from totally locking up. at this point, I was passed by 2 women, one was Kelly Handel - a pro from Austin and also a member of the ZOOT team AND a fantastic runner. I knew if i didnt have a good run she would probably catch me (I passed her about halfway on the bike), and she apparently had a good bike as well, because she caught me within the first mile when i was hobbling along...! needless to say, that is one of the hardest things i have to deal with ....the cramping issues coming off the bike and making it so easy for people to catch me, but i have to roll with it and take whatever the day brings...and if it means i need to be humbled and patient, then so be it. i learn something every time it happens. then another women came along....now i waas getting downright mad!
fortunately, the cramping only lasts for the first 3k or so, and it usually subsides if i respect it and chill out. so I was able to run a bit after that last girl passed me - keeping her in sight up the first real climb out of the canyon. by then i was running OK (not strong, mind you. but OK enough i suppose!)and up the hill that kicks my butt every time i do this race. and today was no exception. I guess the hills in Louisiana and the ones I did in Colorado still weren't enough for me to make it up this hill without walking. I walked about 10 steps halfway up this hill to save my Heartrate from going off the charts! I chuckeld to myself, and got a little peeved too that this hill always seems to get the best of me...but i had to keep moving forward and hold onto the girl in front of me. By the first real downhill, i was able to overtake that other girl and move back up a place. i was either in 6th or 7th, but i wasnt really sure, and honestly, just being able to run - not cramping up totally - felt great! now the goal was to just hold on as my legs were already aching.
so, the run wasn't pretty. I was tired and my legs felt heavy, but i figured that was just from the bike, and if i felt like that, then so did most everyone else! at the run turn around, i felt pretty good about where i was and again, just kept saying "hold on" to myself and tried to keep my form good and make it look easy...
and now the real fun begins....12 miles into the run - about a mile to the finish, something happened to me that I never would have imagined could ever happen to anyone...until now. I was running along, thankful for only one more mile to go and hoping the girls behind me weren't too close that they could see me. i knew i was slowing down at this point, but i was trying not to focus on the achy legs and hips, and just think about the finish line and reel it in. I was passsing some of the age groupers coming out on their first mile of the run and being soo happy that i was almost done instead of just going out - definately one of the perks to being pro! then, out of nowhere, a wheelchair racer popped around a group of age groupers to pass them and in doing to made a straight line for me on the opposite side of the road. it all happened so quickly - i remember screaming and scrambling a bit as i saw it coming, then in the moment, i had only one way to go to get out of his path and that was by going up. now, lets get real. the idea of sudden movement and jumping as high as possible after swimming 1.2 miles, biking 56 in the wind and rain, and running 12 miles did not appeal to me, but it was all i could do to get out of his path as he headed straight for me at record pace. so, i jumped, and in mid flight, his helmet hit my legs and sent me airborne into the brush and dirt on the side of the road. [what an action shot that would have been! ] I hit the ground pretty hard that it knocked the wind - or what was left of my wind - right out of me. i was in shock! stunned. it felt like i was hit by a mac truck, but i think that was just how i was feeling from the race!! it wasnt long though that i got up thinking that those girls were right behind me and ill be dammned if i was gonna let them catch me now! so i peeled myself off the ground and said a few loud words [of the 4 letter variety :-) ] to help shake it off, and kept moving forward to the finish. glad and relieved to finally be there, i had a good laugh about being hit, and told the photographer he missed a great shot out there (hehe)... and hoped the wheelchair guy was ok too (which i found out later that he was).
so the outcome - 7th. not great, not too bad, and I'll take it.
I've got a lot of room to grow and look forward to getting there!
catch you later!

To Lubbock

woke up early this morning for my drive to Lubbock. I figure it would be about a 10 hour drive, with a time change, so if i left at 5am i would be there by 4 - with enought time to go to the race site for a swim and a bike ride. When I got into the park, I hopped out of the car - and boy it was hot. dry, but hot. for some reason, without thinking, I put the wetsuit on to go for my swim - only to sweat my you know what off after 2oo meters of my swim. there was no way this would be a wetsuit swim on saturday, i thought. i gutted out the swim, tore the wetsuit off then climbed in my car to get out of the canyon for my bike ride. I rode for about an hour along a flat part out-and back part of the course and it was as windy as i remembered it as being a few years back. nothing new...hot, dry, and windy...
After my workout, I was off to meet my Homestay- Mike and Suzie Hyman. They were an awesome pair, very light hearted and sweet as can be - with two of the cutest dogs ever - all bark and no bite!!! The dogs were a hoot! I couldn't figure out how to get them to stop barking at me at first, but once i got my hands on the dog bones, it was all over. i think they have learned that if they just bark and bark, they'll eventually get a bone, so that's just what they do! If I were them, I'd probably do the same thing!

Last Days in Fort Collins

Day 13, 14

my last 2 days here. I am going to miss the Casey and the Bucky more than anything (no offense theresa and salty)!! no, just kidding, I'll miss it all! I have spent the last few days doing open water swims to get used to the wetsuit and just doing some light stuff to keep loose as much as possible. plus, i treated myself to a long massage (thanks gary!) to workout the kinks of training in the hills for the last 2 weeks. I have begun to pack up and get my wheels ready for the race and of course have come up with some issues that needed to be fixed right away - one of them was finding some good extenders for my tufo clinchers (my favorite tires in the whole world) to fit the Zipp 808's. the tufo's have a different set up than most other tires and you really need the special extenders, and i didnt have any and to get them at a shop back home was pretty much impossible. I usually order them from tufo.com and get them myself, but when i saw the ones that came with the zipps i figured they were the good ones i liked.....but they weren't. BUT no fear, in Colorado, everyone rides a bike and sure enough, there was a shop here that actually had them! go figure! so i got that all figured out....along with some other stuff, but that's another story....

Taper Time

Day 12 (monday)

OH, the taper. I love this part of training! Today is another day off and I spent it like all the other ones up here - doing a whole lot of nothing. I have officially worn a hole in Salty's recliner - especially since he's been out of town since Thursday. I need to get myself one of these things at home. Not much to report today - just that the weather is awesome and I am feeling good!
.....I have never watched so much Law and Order in my life.

same ol' same ol'....just in Fort Collins

Day 10, 11

I've gotten into a pretty good routine up here. since i'm not teaching or coaching, and the heat isnt an issue for training mid-day, i dont have to get up so early to get it all in! On saturday, I i did the usual brick except this time i opted for flatter land and on sunday, i did my long run, with both days having an afternoon swim.

ever since i had all that trouble earlier on in the season, my longer runs are not exactly as long as they should be. I figured this would be my weakest part of the upcoming race - but what's new, right? my run is the thorn in my side. oh, um, i mean "my growth area"!!!

so the weekend was uneventful, just hours training and looking forward to the lighter week and the trip to Lubbock for Buffalo Springs 70.3...