Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Almost here

Things are falling into place.

Bib number....check (1387).

Dog nanny set up.......check.

Packing list......check....even some stuff packed.

Bike box borrowing......check. Bike and box will be dropped off at the shop on Thursday for packing up and then bike goes on the plane.

Race wheels...almost check....should hear back tonight about the details, but am told that the wheels are on their way to Kona as we speak....er write.....er whatever.


Of course, there are still a million things to do, but there always are just before vacation it seems.

Once everything arrives safely in Kona, I'll feel much better. Well, better at least. I'm sure the butterflies will get worse, but the excitement will build too. I think my coach really helped get it through my head. This is going to be harder than anything I've ever done. Kona is an animal unto itself. Finish and have fun are my only goals. I'm almost laughing now as I think about it....I'm going to KONA for goodness sake. Freakin' Kona. Hot daaaaamn.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I've been thinking lately about how to manage expectations. This is a difficult thing for me, I'll admit. Oh, I don't mean other people's expectations of me, but my expectations of myself.

I have a *bit* of a competitive streak. And it runs even more deeply when the competition is with myself. Although on one level I know it's just not possible, there's a niggle in my head that every event could be a PR.

So I come down to my last event of the year. *The* IM. Kona. Now I obviously won't be competitive with anyone else there, but the competitive fire with myself has been seriously fueled by my disappointing performance at Vineman. Okay, okay, I *know* it's not really a disappointment. There were folks that didn't finish. That's a disappointment. But still....I guess I only know it on a superficial level. It hasn't sunk down deep just yet.

With that said, I've been contemplating how my day will go at Kona. I've read a lot of race reports, the athlete guide, etc. And I've come to the conclusion that no matter how much I might like to smash my Vineman time to bits....I'm going to have to be satisfied with just enjoying the day. Now don't get me wrong...I'm still planning to do the very best that I can do. I'm not going to just coast through the day! But the conditions....the ocean swells, currents, the heat, the wind, the hills combined with wind.....I just don't know how my body will respond or how truly difficult it will be.

And so I have to get it through my stubborn head, that I'm just so lucky to be there....ENJOY IT. Soak up every minute and store it away. It's not likely that I'll be heading back, so make the most of it. Repeat this 100 x to self. Eventually it *might* sink in.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Yes, folks, there's a mutiny in process.

My body is telling me that it has had *enough* thankyouverymuch. I have an increasing list of aches and pains plaguing me. Nothing serious yet and mostly they subside with icing/stretching/anti-inflammatories (in limited quantities). But I can almost hear them threatening to stick around if I don't start getting the message.

My workouts this week, the last BIG week prior to Kona, have been mostly less than stellar. HR up when it should be down, down when it should be up. Legs feeling like they weigh about 100 pounds each....and no, I haven't gained *that* much weight in pursuit of IronMan, although sometimes I feel like it.

I just need to make it through a big ride (7-ish hours) this weekend and the taper will start once again.

Coach is reassuring me that I've put in the work, not to worry. Better to be rested and not over trained heading to Hawaii. These last big workouts are more about nailing nutrition than gaining any kind of additional fitness. I'll definitely defer to the expert on this one.

So hold on legs, arms, lungs, and most especially heart and head. Stay in the game for just a few more weeks and I promise you a just reward. I see a long stretch of down time in the not-too-distant future.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


I spent this weekend.....cleaning house, seeing a movie, walking my dog. Why yes, yes it is the weekend just before my biggest Kona training week. I was supposed to do a 2.4 mile OW swim on Saturday, and a bike test/run on Sunday. But...I was grounded.

My rest week had not been very restful it seems. Work conspired to take away some of my rest and my body just didn't seem to want to recover from the workouts I *did* have. My HR was too high on my run on Wednesday, not bad for my bike on Thursday, but my Friday run brought not only a higher than expected HR (for what was a decidedly crappy effort), but also shin pain. New shin pain. Well...not *new* shin....*new* pain.....but you knew that. So my trusty, trusty coach said, "You're grounded." Okay, she actually said something like, don't do the swim, and stretch, stretch, stretch, ice, ice, ice the calf/shin, you need more rest, etc.

So Saturday was spent running errands, taking the dog for a long walk and vegging out. Which as it turns out was okay because the swim was canceled. We had a very unusual (for us) thunder/lightening/rain storm come through Friday night and although it had mostly passed through the area by Saturday morning, they canceled the swim anyway.

I did want to do the bike test. Had been looking forward to it. Had my route all planned out. But big picture has to be getting to the line at Kona healthy. Take care of the body now and it will take care of me later. At least that's what I hope.

I'll be testing out that theory this week to be sure. This is the last big push for Kona. A bit over 15 hours, including a 6-7 hour "Kona simulation" ride on Sunday. Each section has been laid out by coach. XX min of flat, XX min of inclines with tail wind, XX min of climbing, XX min coming back down, etc. I'm planning to head to Livermore on Sunday for this one. Projected temp for Sunday...92. Perfect. Bring it. Let's go. I'm ready.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Old age

My girl had to visit the vet last week. She's been coughing and wheezing a bit. I put it off for a while, thinking it might be allergies, but then T encouraged me to take her in.

When I called to make the appointment, they asked me some questions and then told me that for respiratory issues, the dogs needed to come in on the "cat side" of the clinic. That was interesting for Bam....lots of enticing new smells.

Dr. R came in and listened to her lungs, checked her circulation, etc. I described the problem, "If she really was a cat, I'd say it's like coughing up a hair ball." Then she did something...like pressing on B's throat somehow....that elicited the cough. "Wow, that's quite a cough." Next up....chest x-ray. I was pretty sure Dr. R was thinking lung cancer, based on B's age and the symptoms. They took her to the back room and did the x-rays. Which she ought to be used to by now, since she's had pretty much every joint in her body x-rayed at some point. Dr. R even commented that she did really well, she's practically a pro at it.

The good news...no tumors on the x-ray. The bad news...there's *something* on the x-ray. Dr.R points out some striations in the x-ray along both lungs. She says that older dogs typically have them, and I'm fairly sure she called it 'old dog lung', although I can't find much via Google on that. However, B's were excessive. So, we're trying an antibiotic. Almost had some excitement as we left the exam room and Bam proceeded to stick her head in an open cat carrier that was sitting on the bench. Yes, there was a cat in it. Evidently a very mellow cat. Lucky for B.

I'm supposed to give Dr.R a status update tomorrow. While the cough seems a little better, at least I don't hear it as often, I think the wheezing is worse. Or else I'm more attuned to it. Either way she sounds like a train when we go for walks and she starts panting. Next up, I think, is a stronger antibiotic. But we'll see what Dr.R says tomorrow.

This is the worst part of dog ownership. When they get old, or sick, and you can see that their best days are behind them. I hate that. It's worth it, of course, for all the good times and joy. But I still hate it.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

I typically feel slow....but not quite this slow.....