Saturday, July 31, 2010

14 down, 4 to go...

Holy Crap. This was another week that was tough to get through. Trevor and I have both been feeling the weight of this training load. Our workouts have been good and actually fun - just long and exhausting. Its been a challenge to juggle all the things we need to fit into a day, but we are doing it. Sure, the house hasn't been cleaned in about 4 months and the yard, well, we won't even discuss the yard....

Here is the recap....
Sunday: Girls and Dudes Triathlon - GREAT day - 15 min swim, 35 min bike, 28 min run. Reminded me that I really do love triathlon!!
Monday: 13 mile run. Ugh, reminded me why I can't wait to get back to a regular workout schedule. This was the hardest workout I have had in over a year. I felt like I was running in mud. The route was out and back and it was all I could do to not turn around early and go home. Good mental training. 2 hours and 20 minutes
Tuesday: 100 mile bike ride - and the hard continues. This was a tough day too. Trevor and I both woke up and didn't want to go. But we went anyway, because there are only two times to train - when you want to and when you don't. 7 hours and 30 minutes later.....Oh. And then we went and swam for 20 minutes with our triathlon training group.
Wednesday: Rest day. sweet, sweet rest.
Thursday: 80 minute run. Today was one of those days that make me push through the hard days. What a fabulous run. First of all, I got up at 5:30 am with the dogs, went down on the couch and fell back asleep. I was sure this run was going to be a disaster. It felt great. I felt light on my feet and just loved every minute of it. How can it be so hard one day and so easy the next?
Friday: 45 minute open water swim. Ahh....finally at the point where 45 minutes in the water feels short!
Saturday: 20 minute bike ride and 25 minute swim with our training group.

Total for the week:
Swim: 1 hour and 45 minutes
Bike: 8 hours and 25 minutes
Run: 5 hours and 08 minutes
Weights: 0 min
Total: 15 hours and 18 minutes

Two more 100 mile bike rides, one 18 mile run left over the next 10 days. Then...we taper....the work is almost done. Kind of scary to think of it that way....but its true. Ironman is 4 weeks from tomorrow. So many different emotions about that. Mostly excited.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


The first few days of this week have been tough. Sunday was a fun day, exhausting, but fun. We did our triathlon - an hour and 20 minutes at the highest heart rate I've trained at in a while. We usually go long and steady, this was a shorter event and we really pushed it the entire time. I felt that on Monday morning.

To make matters worse, Monday morning called for a 13 mile run. I did not want to go. But I did anyway and it was tough. The route was an out and back and it was all I could do to not turn around early. I fought for every step. I kept thinking "this is how the run in Ironman will feel". So I just kept going. Trevor was experiencing the same thing. It was hot and my heart rate monitor had died, so I had no idea what my heart rate was doing and I hate that. I finished up and was so glad to be done.

Then comes Tuesday....100 mile bike ride. Again, I did not want to go and kept trying to figure out how to get out of it. But I knew it had to be done. Ironman is about 5 weeks away. No more time to put things off.

We hit the road about 10 and were out there ALL DAY. It was hot, my legs were sore from Monday's run. It is so amazing how much your attitude can change on a long ride like this. One minute, I felt strong, the next I felt weak. Trevor was feel the same thing - the great thing was that he was up when I was down and vice versa. About mile 50 he told me that in the morning he had also been trying to figure a way to get out of doing this ride! Good thing we both kept that to ourselves.

It was a beautiful day. We rode down by the ride, flat and fast. Then up into Ridgefield - hilly and hot. We made a pitstop at home around mile 70 and it was so hard to get back on the bike. Our final 30 miles was back down by the river and it was WINDY. It was so bad that I felt like I wanted to cry. I was ready to be done....but we kept going.

Here we are at our final bathroom stop - 15 miles left to go. As our friend Trish says "smile when it hurts". I said to Trevor "take my picture so we have proof that I was still smiling at mile 85".

I was so happy to get home. I stopped my watch and let out a huge sigh of relief. Done.

We have two more 100 mile rides planned in the next two weeks and an 18 mile run. Then we'll taper down the last two weeks and then it will be time to head to Canada and get this thing over with. It is crazy to say that I can't wait? Don't answer that...

Monday, July 26, 2010

Girls and Dudes Sprint Triathlon Race Report

This is the second year we have participated in this event. We also sponsor it, which adds to fun to the day. We get there early and set up our booth, then set up our gear for the race, then race, then help out at the booth (we have an employee come work) and then pack up our race gear and the booth. Whew.

This is a great local event and we really enjoy it. Last year, Trevor came in second in his age group and was really looking forward to improving his time this year and moving up in the rankings. My goal is always to just enjoy the ride and finish! Secretly, I wanted to see if I could push as hard as I could and possibly place in my age group. But I didn't tell anyone that.

It was a great day for a triathlon - sunny and warm. My start time was 9:10, Trevor's was 9:25. We know this course well, we ride the bike course all the time and it can be a fast ride! We know every turn and every bump, that helped going into the event.

As always, I was totally nervous ahead of time. I can't really talk to anyone or be of any use! We saw SO many people that we know and that was tough. I was trying to be nice and talk to people, but I get so freaked out that it is really better that I be alone with my thoughts. Trevor's parents came up to watch us, that was fun too, but again, I didn't have it in me to be too social.

This was our first race with our new bikes and I was hoping they would pay off! We also have aerohelmets that we plan to wear for Ironman and we needed to test those out too. I remember the first triathlon we did two years ago, we saw people with their nice triathlon bikes and their aerohelmets and we thought "what a bunch of snobs". Well, now that is us!

This is a great race for beginners and there were a lot of first timers out there, lots of mountain bikes. I really liked seeing that. I remember being a beginner. Everyone was so nervous. I kept telling people it was okay, I've done it before and I still get nervous too!!

The swim is a downriver swim, so we walk half a mile up river to the start. We made the trek and then it was time for me to get in the water. Gulp.

I got in and positioned myself behind the main line of people, which is what I always do. I like to let everyone else get started, breast stroke a few and then start my swim. It helps my anxiety. I had forgotten that there would be so many newbies. I should have started a bit closer to the front. I found myself dodging breast strokers and side strokers and even a few who stopped and stood up (you could touch the bottom). I wasn't annoyed by it, like I said, I remember being new. I kept thinking this was good practice for Cananda. I need to get used to swimming with others around me and working to find open space to swim. I just relaxed and did that. I was happy that I didn't freak out. I just kept moving. Before I knew it, it was time to get out of the water.

Swim Time: 14:22

I usually take my time in transition, but today I decided to actually hurry! So I did.

T1: 2:26 - that is fast for me.

I hopped on the bike and knew I was going to cruise. I got into the aeroposition and just rode. I was not passed by a single person on the bike and I passed a TON of people. It really felt great. I felt comfortable. I was loving my new bike!!

Bike Time: 36:46 - looking at the results, there were only two people faster than me on the bike. Wow.

T2: 1:41

Here's what I struggle. I can run forever, I don't go fast, but I keep going. Well, three miles isn't forever. I ran faster than normal, but it wasn't fast enough. My 10 minute mile is slow compared to the 8 minute miles going on around me. It is a bit discouraging on these shorter distances to get passed on the run. I felt like I was going fast for me, but for the rest of the world, I was probably pretty slow.

All the same, I was happy with my run time.

Run time: 29:03

Overall time: 1:24:20

This was good enough for second in my age group - looking at the results today - the girl who was first, beat me by 10 seconds. Her swim was 4 minutes slower than me, her bike was 4 minutes slower than me and her run was 8 minutes faster. Damnit. So close.

I got an award and I was SO happy. I finished 2nd out of 28 in my age group, 16 out of 160 in my gender and 58 out of 260 overall. Not bad.

For the first time, I felt fast. I never feel fast, I always feel like I am dragging along and I will admit was FUN to go fast. I forgot how much fun these short distances can be. We have been doing so much long distance work that the short distances have eluded us!

Trevor did great too. He finished 3rd in his age group with a time of 1 hour and 16 - 17th overall. He is a maniac.

I was really proud of both us today and I had a blast. I love doing these things with Trevor. I love seeing him on the course and at the finish. Because of the way the start times were, I got to finish before Trevor. I never get to see him finish. He is always waiting around for me. It was great to see him sprint to the finish. I love him so much.

Yay us!!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

13 down, 5 to go.

Time just keeps ticking away, we are just about to the final countdown! I wasn't quite so exhausted this week as last, but it was still a tough week. It is difficult to fit it all in. A 75 mile bike ride takes about 6 hours by the time you get ready, go ride and then clean up. That takes a good chunk of the day. I am so glad that Trevor is doing this with me, I don't know how people do it alone - amazing.

Here is the recap....
Sunday: 10 mile run
Monday: 1 hour and 15 min open water swim - longest EVER!!
Tuesday: 75 mile bike ride - this was a tough day - the route was not the best - first 25 miles was good, last 25 miles was good - the urban 25 miles in between felt like an obstacle course. yuck. Then a 20 minute swim with our training group - it felt good to just get in the water, with no pressure!
Wednesday: 40 minute run - trail run with the dogs, in the heat...exhausting.
Thursday: 1 hour and 25 minute open water swim, 90 minute bike ride, 60 minute run
Friday: REST!!!
Saturday: 40 minute bike ride with our training group.

Total for the week:
Swim: 3 hours
Bike: 7 hours and 40 minutes
Run: 3 hours and 30 minutes
Weights: 0 min
Total: 14 hours and 10 minutes

Saturday, July 17, 2010

12 down, 6 to go....

6 to go...that makes me want to throw up - to think that Ironman is only 6 weeks away!! ACK!

The next couple weeks will be build weeks, meaning the training will be high volume....lots of it. Last year, during training for our Half Ironman, I remember be really really tired during much of it. I needed a nap just about every minute of every day. I would lay my head down on my desk at work. When I got out of bed, all I could think of was how much I couldn't wait to get back in bed that night. I haven't felt that way at all during Ironman training....until this week. Man, was I tired. Getting up was tough, staying up was tough. My workouts felt pretty good (better as the week went on), but they were more of a struggle than they have been. I know that I can make it one more week, then a recovery week will be waiting.

I think most of this exhaustion came from our long ride on Sunday and my lack of appropriate fueling afterwards. I'm admit it, I didn't make the best choices. I learned from that and will do better next time.

Here is the recap....
Sunday: 100 mile bike ride up to Mount St. Helens!!
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 60 minutes abs/upper body weights, 75 minute run (this was a tough one for me)
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: 1 hour open water swim, 90 minute bike ride, 10 minute run
Friday: 10 mile run
Saturday: 45 minute open water swim (supposed to be one hour and 15 minutes, but we ran out of time!)
Last week I mentioned that I needed to figure something out on my goggles because they were cutting off circulation to my brain. I loosened them up a bit this week and boy did it ever make a difference!

Total for the week:
Swim: 1 hour and 45 minutes
Bike: 9 hours and 45 minutes
Run: 3 hours and 10 minutes
Weights: 60 min
Total: 15 hours and 40 minutes

10 years.

July 16, 2000 - Trevor and I had our first date. I worked with Trevor's dad and he had been trying to set us up for about six months. He finally succeeded. Trevor and I double dated with his parents on our first date. We went to a car show - this is how we looked. His mom looked great! When I look at this picture, I can hardly believe it is us. We have changed SO much since then. It is kind of funny to me because I think about how I looked my best that day. I was wearing my favorite summer outfit. I had no idea that this day would change my life forever....

Fast forward 10 years and here we are...

Things have been hectic for us, so we didn't go out to celebrate on our actual anniversary (which is what we usually do), instead, we went out a few days before and had a nice dinner. We had a gift card to Jake's and so that is where we went. We did a bit of a recap, like we always do. It is so hard to believe another year has passed.

On our actual anniversary, we went for a 10 mile run - one mile for every year we've been together. I tried to think of each year as the miles passed. The first few were hard to remember, but once I got close to the five year mark, it got easier to remember!

We got engaged on our five year anniversary. Our run was an out and back, so at the five mile point, I turned around and thought about our engagement and then the years that have followed.

I am so blessed to have Trevor as my partner in life. People make fun of us because we do everything together. This works for us, Trevor is my best friend and there is no one I would rather be with. So, when its time to go do something, I want to do it with him. I cannot imagineliving my life with anyone else.

When I look at that picture of us, all those years ago, I wonder if we had any idea that who we are now existed inside us. It makes me laugh because Trevor's dad set us up but always says he didn't think we would even last until Thanksgiving of that first year. The idea that we've made it 10 years completely boggles his mind. Gee...Thanks!

We have come so far in 10 years, I can't wait to see where we are in another 10 years. I don't know where we'll be or what we'll be doing, but I know we'll be there, doing it together.

I love you Trevor, thanks for another great year...

Monday, July 12, 2010

The One Thing

I've been thinking alot about Ironman, about WHY in the world I would want to do such a seemingly ridiculous thing. We are at the point in our training when things have kicked in to the highest gear. I have many moments of self doubt, many moments of fear. I know I need to push through those to accomplish this goal of mine. I read an article that talked about mentally preparing for what Ironman will bring. It said that everyone needs their One Thing. The thing that keeps them going when everything else is telling them to stop.

During my run the other morning I was thinking, really thinking about who I was, who I am and why I am doing this. It has always come back to this and I realized, this is my One Thing. I started writing in my head and this is what I was saying....

To the girl who was an All Star, All State High School Athlete, who made herself sick so she wouldn't have to run two miles in training camp before Varsity Soccer, the one who finished dead last during all the other training runs. To the girl who gained 20 pounds in college and fought with those same pounds for 10 years. To the girl who decided to run a marathon to prove that she could, hated every single second of it and swore "never again".

To girl who was scared to death of the water and thought she'd never be able to do a triathlon, the one who told herself that her body just wasn't made to run more than 13 miles, to the one who took one swim lesson, couldn't even swim one length of the pool and then six weeks later did her first triathlon. To the one who signed up for a Half Ironman triathlon only a year later and spent six months training for it, the girl who decided to give the marathon another go. Then to the girl who said "half Ironman is enough" and two weeks later signed up for Ironman Canada.

To the girl who did 3 marathons and a half Iron distance triathlon in a 12 week period, the girl who does the training, puts in the time, works hard, smiles when it hurts, feels the fear and does it anyway. To the girl who cares way too much what other people think, even though she tries to act otherwise.

And finally to the girl who spent so much of her life hating her body, and honestly, hating the soul that inhabited that body....This is for you. You can be anything and anybody you want.

I am doing this for all those girls. All the ones that I have been over the years, all the ones who made excuses. Now is the truly live for crazy.

By the way, I asked Trevor what his One Thing was and he said "We do this together. In most marriages neither person could do this, we are both doing it. That's something". I love him. In the rest of my life, he is my One Thing. The reason for all else....

And I would walk 500 miles....

Well, thankfully, it wasn't 500 miles and we didn't have to walk it. It was 100 miles and we got to RIDE IT!!!

With Ironman Canada only 7 weeks away, we are ramping up our workouts to places they have never been before. Sunday, we did a 100 mile bike ride to Mt. Saint Helens. From what I heard, it was 50 miles up and 50 miles down. I was nervous about this for a few reasons. Our bikes are less than a week old to us and this is the longest ride I've ever been on. The longest we went on our old bikes was 70 miles. This is longer. I was also concerned about the uphill for 50 miles. If it got too hard, the only option is to turn around and come home. I didn't want to do that. Finally, this was a good indication of where we stand for Ironman and I was nervous I would find out that I was not in as good of shape as I have been training to be.

Well, nervous or not, the ride started at 7:30. We drove up to Toledo (about an hour north) and met up with Doug and Ron. The sky was overcast and a bit rainy. Doug and Ron attempted this ride on Monday and had to turn back because it was so cold. We were hoping that wouldn't happen today.

Away we went. The beginning of the ride didn't seem so bad. We stopped at a gas station to use the restroom, then at rest area around mile 25. After that, the climbs started. From mile 25 to mile 37 was uphill. All uphill, smallest gear, no stopping on the pedalling, no taking a break, no flat road. Just. Up. Hill. I was going at a comfortable pace. My heart rate never spiked, I was able to control it. I didn't feel like I needed to stop or couldn't keep going.

We hit a flat and some downhill and then started to climb again. This climb took us through the clouds and the sun came out. We hadn't seen the mountain yet, on this 7 mile climb, we came around a corner and there she was - Mt. St. Helens - bigger than life. We all said outloud "WOW". It was beautiful. Not a cloud in the sky, they were all below us. We had climbed to 3800 feet (from below 1000).

From about mile 40 to 45 was downhill. Then it was time for the final climb to the top. The last five miles were way more uphill than anything else we had done. There was one point when we turned a corner and I saw how much further we had to go and I just laughed because it was SO far.

We reached the top and it was the best feeling ever. We did it! I did it!! I knew the 50 miles back to the car would be easier, but we did have one long climb and I was not looking foward to that.

We took some time at the top and refilled our water bottles, had a snack, took some pictures and hit the road. There were some people eating Subway sandwiches and I could have beaten them up for them!!

We got back on the bikes and headed back to town. The downhills were so steep that it was scary, I rode my brakes so that I wouldn't be out of control. We got to the bottom of the first hill and then started the last long climb. I kept reminding myself it was the last long climb.

We made it to the top and then it was really all downhill from there. Around mile 70, I had a bit of a lull and it seemed hard. Then I got comfortable and that the miles went fast. We hit mile 90 and I didn't think we would ever see 100. Wow, those last 10 miles were mentally difficult. It took up 5 hours to get to the top and only 3 to get back down. 8 hours on the bike...yes, that is a lot.

We got done and I felt great. Everytime we ride with Doug and Ron, they take us on an amazing adventure that really builds my confidence. I can't keep up with them, they are very strong cyclists and at first, that always bothers me. Then I remind myself to do that best I can do and I settle into my pace and it all works out.

I think the thing I love the most about training for the Ironman is that I have so many opportunities to do things I never thought possible. It is a great feeling to go out and do something you have never done before. We have a few more of these long rides to go on our training schedule. And then, of course, on long one sandwiched between a swim and a run on August 29th....can't wait.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

11 down, 7 to go....

Another week down, hard to believe. We had a bit of a heatwave this week, which made it a challenge to get some workouts in, but we did them anyway! We only swam once this week. We planned to swim twice, but it was so hot one night and Maggie was really upset, so NO ONE got any sleep. I felt like that warranted a rest day!

The other big news this week was the purchase of two new bikes. This was a big deal for us and I am thrilled! Trevor had been wanting a new bike, I didn't care much. I figure I'm not going to win, so what does it matter. Well, then he was set on getting a new bike and I was like "if you are getting a new one, I should at least test ride a new one". I was still undecided and then the salesman said "you could cut about 30 minutes off your Ironman bike time". Done. Sold. Wrap it up. And home we went.

We took two test rides on the bike. We needed to break them in a bit - tomorrow is our first 100 mile bike ride ever. Gulp. The bikes really do ride nice. I am still working on getting used to it, the way it feels and how it shifts, but I like it. I like it alot. We'll see how I feel after tomorrow's ride..

Here is the recap....
Sunday: 9 mile run with Vancouver Fit
Monday: 60 minute spin class
Tuesday: 3 hour ride on the NEW bikes
Wednesday: 2 hour ride on the NEW bikes
Thursday: 30 minute abs, 40 minute run
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 1 hour open water swim, 40 minute run. I need to figure something out with my googles. I am so worried about getting water in them that I have them clamped down super tight on my head. Today they were cutting of my circulation and I ended up with a headache and probably some brain damage. I'll loosen them up a bit for next time!!

Total for the week:
Swim: 1 hour
Bike: 6 hours
Run: 3 hours
Weights: 30 min
Total: 10 hours and 30 minutes

Still continuing my love affair with the pretzel M&Ms, I need to stop that. Seriously....

Next week I need to get back into my weight routine as well, I miss my two days of week of strength training and I think I really need it!!

Monday, July 5, 2010

4 keys to Ironman

I saw this article from Endurance Nation that talked about the 4 keys to a successful Ironman. I really liked it. Here is a recap:

1. Execution, not fitness. I believe this one. When we are doing the half Ironmans, I find myself passing people on the run who appear to be more fit and probably more experienced than me. I think I am pretty good at execution. I try not to get too wrapped up in who is passing me, trying to keep up. Mentally, it may make me feel badly, but I don't push myself harder than I plan going into the day. I don't get caught up in the hype.

2. The Line. I LOVE this. They talk about the line as being the place when it gets really really tough. You spend the whole day preparing yourself to perform at your best once you hit the line. The Line comes on the run.

3. The box. This is the space you create that allows you to mentally get through this long event. You can't have your mind all over the place. I refer to this as "the now". A good friend told me "don't focus on what's next, focus on what's now". I believe this is important in life as well. You can spend the entire day thinking of what happened already and thinking of what is next. So much energy can be used up with this. Instead, create your box and stay in it. They said to keep the box as big as you can for as long as you can, focus on only what is in the box. Practice decision making in the box.

4. The one thing. This brings tears to my eyes. They said to determine the one thing that put you in this race. I think for some, this is super clear, for others it can be fuzzy. For some it is monumental (fight against cancer, honoring a loved one who is sick or has passed), for others, it is less dramatic. But for all of us, it is the one thing. No one thing is more important than another. I know what my one thing is. I'll blog about it at some point.

I have started mentally preparing for the event. I am spending much more time visualizing about the day, about each discipline, about them all strung together. I figure the more I do this, the more familiar the day will seem to my body when we get there. And there you have it...the 4 keys...just that simple, right?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

10 down, 8 to go

This was a strange week, we did very little working out between Sunday and Saturday. But I felt like we were really working out hard. I was tired and really struggling to get out and get the workouts done. Friday morning, I did not want to go for a run, much less a 65 minute run in the RAIN! Then I remembered something I read last year "there are only two times to train - when you want to and when you don't". It must be done, so I did it. Next week will be back to normal, higher volume. We will have few weeks of building before another recovery week. July will be our most challenging training month of the entire program. Things will slow down a bit in August as we approach the big day....

Here's how the week went...S
Sunday: Drive home from Pac Crest, relaxation and recovery.
Monday: continued recovery
Tuesday: 55 minute run - felt good to get moving again
Wednesday: 60 min spin - felt hard
Thursday: rest
Friday: 30 minute warm up and ab workout, 65 minute run
Saturday: 1 hour open water swim - my longest open water swim ever!

Total for the week:
Swim: 1 hour
Bike: 1 hour
Run: 2 hours
Weights: 30 min
Total: 4 hours and 30 minutes

The heat last weekend REALLY took it out of me. I was just exhausted and it showed. I ate way too much crap this week and I expect that had something to do with it. I was feel stress about Ironman and so I ate a few too many pretzel M&Ms and other such things. On to another week.....

Friday, July 2, 2010

Gussie the miracle cat

Back in March, we got the diagnosis that our cat, Gus, had an inoperable tumor. Prognosis was 6-9 months. We started him on chemo and he did relatively well, until about 5 weeks later. He got an infection, spent the night in hospital after careful consideration, brought him die. The vet said it would be a matter of days. Well, that was May 17th. It is now July 2nd and Gus seems to get better every day.

There is a still a huge, gapeing tumor on his tail. That will never heal and complications from that are what will kill Gus. I know that and every time I look at him, that is obvious. His behavior, however, tells me something different.

Gus is a survivor, he has made it through many illnesses that I never thought he would live through. This seems to be no different. Back in May (shortly after I brought him home to die), I thought it was the end. I called and made an appt to have him put to sleep. After a few hours, it became clear that he was not ready. He started to be more active (he had been laying all the way at the back of our closet). I spent some time laying on the floor with him. He snuggled right up to me and purred away.

I cancelled that appoint and he has never looked back! He runs and plays, eats and sleeps just like normal. He comes in and workouts with me, gets up on the counter when I am brushing my teeth. It makes no sense...and I don't care. I will take every day I get with that sweet creature until there are no more days to have.

Maybe we will actually get 6-9 months. I want him to live through the summer so he can enjoy the open windows, the sunny spots and the chirping birds. He deserves one last's hoping we get it.