Sunday, June 24, 2012

rest and changes

Just wrapped up another big IM block.  Now it's time for some rest to let all that work settle in.  And then.....the LAST big block before taper for Canada.  Wow, snuck up on me in some ways.

I will admit....I'll be glad when race day is here. IM is stealing my weekends and I'd like them back.

Last weekend I followed up a 6+ hour brick on Saturday with a little 2 mile OW swim event on Sunday.  Molly, my unofficial official photographer, was swimming the 1 mile.  So she grabbed some pics:

ELF athletes, pre-swim.

That's my yellow cap in the center...just after the start.

Truthfully, I had *no* idea where my swim fitness is at, so my guess of 1:10-:15 for 2 miles seemed reasonable for a wetsuit swim.  I came in the first lap (2 laps of a 1 mile course) in something like 28 minutes, so I was quite happy with that.  I wasn't sure I could hold the pace, although it felt nice and steady.  Not working too hard, not too easy.  I got a little off course on the second lap, nothing horrible, and as I was approaching the last of the buoys, I knew I could squeak in just under an hour.  For a 2 mile swim, I'll take it.  Let's hope I can shave a little more off of that time before Canada.  We'll be testing it out next month in  a 2.4 mile OW swim event.

In other news, I'm making a change.  I'm leaving my full time job in favor of a part time contract programming position.  Well, a couple of part time gigs actually.  The things I'm looking forward to most:
  • not having 6-ish hours of commute time/week
  • working from home almost exclusively!
  • setting my own work hours
  • giving my brain a workout, instead of stagnating some more with my current work
  • working with some former co-workers that are great friends
And that's just the top handful!   I have a 1 year contract, so worst case it doesn't work out long term and in a year I look for something else.  But it's time to give it a shot.

And now....I'm off to enjoy rest week.  Ahhhhhhhh.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

honu wrap up

This will be the bullet version, because seriously.....who even remembers the race that was 3 weeks ago (almost).


  • Remember those palm trees. Uh, yeah, wind.
  • Started left, but did I mention the wind?  Blown right into line with the first buoy.  Can you say sardines?  Standstill for at least a minute or two while we fought our way around the buoy.
  • Turned for the long side of the rectangular course and could NOT find the next buoy.  Evidently the entered pack I was in was blown out and off course.
  • I'd guess I swam an extra 5-600 yards.  Ugh.
  • I'd say 5-8 minutes longer than even my 'worst' expected time.
This is *not* a happy face.

This *is* a happy face....but it's just because I'm happy to see the family,
Jeff and my step-son Ryan.  And also to stop tasting salt.

  • Loooooooooong run up to T1.
  • Biggest mistake...not putting more sunscreen on.  Very white girl turned into very sunburned girl by the end of the day.
  • Oh, hey, did I mention that it was windy?  So windy that I'd come out into an open area and have to tilt my bike sideways to avoid getting blown off the road.  Here's where a little more weight may have actually come in handy.
  • Let's see.....there was wind......and wind.  But at least it wasn't too hot, and we even got cooled off by a rain shower a bit before the climb into Hawi.
  • Not a whole lot of time spent aero for fear of losing control of my bike.  And a bit of under fueling for fear of taking my hands off the bike to drink.
  • At some points all I could do was laugh because the wind was so ridiculous.
  • I wish I knew her name, there was a woman who I was hopscotching with that was the most encouraging woman.  Encouraging everyone.  I lost her on the climb into Hawi, but as I passed her when I was heading back down, I encouraged her that she was almost to the turn around and she said, "Thank you!  I REALLY needed to hear that right now."  :)
  • I had told Jeff to expect me between 3:15 and 3:30, due to.......can you guess........wind.  Evidently he didn't trust my assessment and so missed me coming in on the bike.  He said they started getting worried and asked someone to look up my # and that's how they found out they had missed me by a minute.  Ha!  I told him my biking has gotten much stronger. Sheesh.
A slight tilt to the bike....this was mild compared
to some sections.
  • Another loooooong run. 
  • See T1 for biggest mistake.  
  • Yes, you guessed it....even on the run......wind.
  • As mentioned, I came off the bike dehydrated and feeling sloshy.  I tried to keep up the fuel plan, but by mile 5 I had moved on to cola.  And can I just say it tasted *so* good after all that Perform.  
  • The first 3 miles went by fairly well, then I started to get really beat down by the heat and wind.  I tried tucking in behind some taller, bigger guys.  
  • Biggest disappointment is that I couldn't keep my legs moving and ended up in a walk/run mode.
  • And can I just say....running on grass kind of sucks.
Yeah, this sucks.
Proof there was *some* running done.
This photographer knows how to take a good pic. Well...
except for that palm tree growing out the right side of my head. ;)

I did finally finish....finally.  It was a much longer day out there than I had hoped.  I have to say thanks to Jeff and Ryan for hanging out there all day and cheering for me.  They did find me on the run course after missing me on the bike. And I think they had a good time watching Lance bust the course record.


When the official recap came up on the Ironman website, they said the course conditions were the worst they've ever experienced on that course.  So it was an experience to say the least.  And now that it's all settled in....I so want another shot at it.  Truth be told, I emailed coach during my vacation the following week and told her I want a re-match.   Yeah,  triathletes truly are crazy.  In the best way. 


Thursday, June 14, 2012

honu part 1, pre-race

We arrived at the Hawaii airport on Thursday morning before the race.  I got off the plane and immediately began my weather assessment.  Overcast.....good.  Not too hot......great.  Only light winds.....excellent.  But if there's one thing about Hawaii that I know....the winds in Kona or by the airport can be decidedly different than what they are up by the race course and into Hawi (the turnaround for the bike course).

We waited for Ryan's (my step-son) flight to arrive from Tucson and then picked up the rental car and went to dump the luggage at the hotel.  Then I figured I may as well go pick up my bike, rather than wait until Friday.  We made the drive up to 'race central' in about 45 minutes and I quickly got registered and found Tri-Bike Transport to pick up my bike.  They put my pedals back on the bike and I grabbed a pump to fill my tires.  Uhhhhh.....evidently the valve extender on the rear tire wasn't sealing properly and I couldn't get any air in.  I wasn't really prepared to fix it myself (didn't have all the supplies, lesson learned) so I dropped the bike off at the on-site bike shop.  Yeah, me and about a hundred of my closest friends.  It would be a few hours before they could get to it, so I told them I'd just pick it up in the morning and we headed off to find dinner and hit the grocery store.

On Friday, we trekked back up to pick up my bike and then headed to the beach so I could check it out and do my pre-race brick workout.  Helllllooooo wind.  I swam out about 10 minutes and turned around to come back in.  Or tried to come back in.  Maybe a clue to the strength of the current/wind was the guy on a surfboard I saw chasing down one of the run-away buoys.  Or how about the two Team In Training swimmers who were being rescued by the lifeguards. But I didn't panic too  much.....yet.  After all it was much later than I'd be swimming on race day.  I finished up my brick and then as instructed got *out* of the sun.  We made the drive to Hawi so I could refresh the bike course in my mind.  Can I panic now?  Evidently I could.  I freaked out a little and sent coach a panicked email.  She did her best to calm my nerves and let me know that I was ready for this.  On the way back we dropped my bike off at T1 and I hit the athlete's meeting.  "Winds 10 early, to 25 later in the morning, gusting to 35."  "Hardest run course on the 70.3 circuit." Oh joy.  More panicking. Deep breaths, early dinner, and early to bed.

Race morning we were up *way* before the crack of dawn.  We made the drive up to the race, parked the car, and grabbed the shuttle to T1 (transitions were in different locations for this race).  As soon as we climbed off the bus, the wind hit us.  Not good.  I went thru my set up, making sure everything I needed was in my bike bag or on my bike.  I sprayed my back with sunscreen, got body marked, and suited up to head down for a warm up swim.  The warm up went well.  The water felt good, my swim stroke felt good.  Ready to go.  But evidently I didn't give the wind enough consideration.  I mean....this doesn't look *too* bad.....right?  RIGHT?!?!  Wrong.

Monday, June 04, 2012

island time

Yep, I owe a race report on this:

Short version: a tough day out there ("toughest conditions ever" at the race according to, made some dumb mistakes on the swim, had a decent bike despite almost getting blown off the road, let my head get the better of me on the run, finished.  Not a personal best, but not a personal worst either.

Right now though, I'm too busy enjoying this:

Lava tube along the Queen K.
Hiking inside the lava tube.

to write up a full report.  Soon. :)  Aloha.