Thursday, January 28, 2010

Team Trakkers

Last week was one heck of a good week.  It started off with a PR at RNR Arizona, quickly followed by an email telling me I had been accepted into a nationally known coached elite triathlon team (which I declined, more later),  then I discovered my mug shot in TriLife magazine, and the topper.....I was accepted to Team Trakkers!  Good things come to those who wait, and to be quite frank, I had given up on the possibility of representing this team in 2010 since I had sent in my application several months ago.  I knew it would be a great fit, I really like the product (keep reading), I had met Carole (team manager) a few times and really clicked with her (very chill chica), it's a family-oriented team, and is a sponsor of some of my favorite pros.  And, of course, PIC Sonja has been with Team Trakkers for a while and I have heard nothing but wonderful things about the team and product from her.  But Thursday I received the call, and am now an official member of Team Trakkers!

You probably remember, I helped Trakkers out with a beta test of their product at the Denver Half Marathon in October, read about that here.  Trakkers is a GPS device that you can wear during a race that tracks where you are on course and delivers real-time stats to your friends and family watching you from home!  I know that some of my friends have tried to watch me at some races (ahem.....Ironman) from afar and have been disappointed with the coverage of those events.  Splits weren't coming in as expected and some even thought I had flatted, bonked, or dropped out of the race.  For them, it wasn't a great experience.  Trakkers will be a great improvement for those that have encountered these problems.  As I mentioned, I wore the device during the half marathon and I didn't even notice it.  I hooked it to the back of my shorts and forgot about it!

Trakkers is also a sponsor of the Rev3 events this year.  In fact, my first tri this year will be at a Rev3 event - in Knoxville, Tennessee!  I was excited about this race before I was on the team, and now I am thrilled I will be wearing a Trakkers uniform at Rev3.  This is sure to be a fantastic event to start the tri season!

I also am going to have the opportunity to try some of the best nutrition products on the market - First Endurance.  I am placing my order today and will have a full report in the coming weeks.  Saucony is also a sponsor of the team as is Tri Swim, Tri Slide, and Foggle.  So much more to come on these products!

That's my recap of a great week.  Not much to talk about on the training front, a nice recovery week after the marathon and my last week of "freedom" before officially starting with my new coach - yip yip!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Page 47

Or, alternative title, The Woman on Page 47.  Or, BAMF on Page 47.  Or, my favorite, My 15 Minutes.

What am I talking about?  The most recent issue of Triathlon Life.  You know the publication sent out to USAT's membership that many of us receive and many of us (or not) read on a regular basis.  I received my copy on Tuesday and had briefly flipped through it.  I read PIC's summary of the coach's perspective on World's and that was about it.  It was laying on my coffee table waiting for me to spend a few more minutes with it.  Until Thursday about 12:30 when I received a phone call from PIC saying that my picture was in the magazine.  As in Page 47, the entire page, a huge picture.  OMG.  I ran upstairs with PIC on the phone, grabbed the mag and opened to the page and whoa.  Yep.  It was me.  At Nationals.  

What can I say?  It's pretty cool to be in the magazine and really, it's not a bad picture.  But I am the low-lying type, usually trying to avoid attention, and my only "saving grace" is that my name isn't on the picture.   So there it is.  My 15 minutes.  And now all 3 of you (including my mom) that read this blog know about it too!

How did my picture end up here?  Not sure but I think it has something to do with the endless forms we have to sign waiving all liability, giving up first-born children (sorry Iz), etc. etc. and apparently giving permission to use any/all photos!  I think I remember when this was taken, I was coming into the finish and a photographer was right there getting all up in my face for a picture.  As you can tell, I was not amused.  No time for smiling, just get out of my way, the finish line is in my sights.  Nationals was a great race and one of the highlights of last season, so what else can I say?  Enjoy the moment I suppose, enjoy the picture.

Oh, and all autograph requests (all 3 of them, thanks mom!) will be honored as soon as I bump Matty Reed for the cover!!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Rock N' Roll Marathon Arizona

Time for the race report!!  This was a quick trip.  As in, fly into Phoenix Friday night, pick up packet Saturday morning, check out Ironman Arizona bike course in the afternoon, dinner with friends Saturday night, run a marathon Sunday morning, fly home Sunday night.  Don't blink, you might miss it!  

PIC and I making the best of the plane delay at DIA

A little history.....the first marathon I ran was in October 2007.  Just 10 months before that, I really had no intention of ever running more than 6 miles.  I mean really, what's the point?  I was doing Olympic distance tris and you "only" had to run a 10k at the end.  No need to run more than that right?  In fact, I have friends that remember the time I said, if I ever want to run a marathon please hit me because I have clearly lost my mind.  Fortunately, those friends never hurt me and I ran that first marathon.  And it was great.  I ran a controlled pace/heart rate.  I ran the entire way.  And I finished in 4:19.  I was happy and proud and couldn't believe I had run a marathon.  Not even close to qualifying for Boston, but that is for REAL runners and I'm just a swimmer pretending to be a runner.  At that point, I had no intention of ever running one again...."one and then done".  But a few days later, I knew that I would run another marathon.  

Well, that day was Sunday.  It worked out very well in my schedule to put the marathon in January.  Although, with the cold and snowy December and early January, I was concerned about my prep.  I took that week off after Clearwater.  I did a pretty slow/conservative build.  I actually never ran more than 20 miles although the snow run at the end of December was 3.5 hours.  So I just had to trust that was enough.  Plus, I was doing this on my own!!  No coach!!!  Yikes!!!!  The 20 mile run went OK.  The 18 mile run with tempo efforts went great.  And then my new unofficial official coach started guiding me and had definite opinions about my last two weeks.  

I arrived in Phoenix feeling fairly confident.  My goal you ask?  That's right.  I wanted to qualify.  For Boston.  Because if it's a qualification process, I'm in....let's just see if I can do it.  My pacing efforts seemed to be perfect for a qualifying time.  I just needed 3:50, I believe that's an 8:45 mile average.  But I had this feeling that 3:40 was in my reach.  Why?  I don't know, it just felt right.  I knew that as long as I didn't take it out too fast and I nailed my nutrition, I had a great chance at doing  just that.  

The biggest problem I had on Saturday?  Yep, I brought the wrong shorts.  I had ordered some shorts without trying them on first and....well....let's just say I am not comfortable with my ass hanging out for 26.2 miles.  10k maybe.  But not a marathon.  No worries, a quick stop at the Brooks booth at the expo and I had new shorts!  Also at the expo, mix1 who stocked me up with my pre and post race nutrition.  Thanks Amy!!  My nerves were pretty good too, I was relaxed!  I was actually thinking more about Ironman Arizona in November than the marathon I was running the next day.  Hmmm. Priorities?

Sunday morning arrived and PIC drove Sandy, Randy and me to the start (btw, she did a stand-up job as a spectathlete!).  I got busy with my tour de portapotty, one of my favorite pre-race activities.  If anyone is counting at home, that would be 3 stops before race start!  I had done a couple of training runs with Sandy and Cody and we all gathered in Corral 2 for the start.  We had a plan too.....8:45's to start for a few miles, and then start bringing it down.  Sandy really wanted to hit it at 20miles like she had done last year and it sounded like a good plan at the time.  The race started and we were off!!  A very controlled mile 1....9:00.  I was worried that it was too slow and I didn't want to lock in at that pace.  But mile 2 rolled around and again 9:00.  Hmmmm.  I picked it up a bit and Cody and Sandy came with me.  8:45.  Good.  At mile 3.75 we saw PIC and she was screaming at us!  I tossed her my shirt wondering if we'd see her again, she had a busy schedule trying to keep up with us and with her hubby who was running the half.  

I was feeling good. My heart rate was pretty low and I was comfortable.  The only thing was, my pink pouch with my gel blasts and sports beans was annoying the crap out of me.  It was bouncing up and down and moving back and forth on my belt.  Grrrrrrr.  I kept having to move it out of the way, 3-4 times a mile.  Grrrrrr.  But I couldn't ditch it!!!!  And I wanted to!!!!  

The miles kept ticking along: 8:41, 8:40, 8:31, 8:33, 8:33, 8:17, 8:35.  Sandy was keeping us in check too.  That's too fast she kept saying.  But I felt great with what we were doing.   Mile 11 was pee-stop, just snuck behind some bushes real quick and then picked it up for the rest of that mile.  8:45.  Then we hit a headwind.  Cody saw some bigger guys ahead and we ran to them to tuck behind.  The problem with this strategy though was A. the guy I tucked in behind was approximately 7 feet tall and I thought for sure his elbow was going to crush my skull, and B. they were running too slow.  So on we the half-way mark, I was right where I wanted to be 1:53-ish.  The body felt OK, nothing bad nothing great but I knew I would hurt at the end (who doesn't hurt at the end of a marathon????).  

Naturally, I dorked out and managed to turn my garmin off at mile 13.12.  Fortunately, I realized it 8 minutes later.  But from there on, I had to do race-math.  Which I am not good at.  The miles kept ticking by 8:28, 8:41, 8:20, 8:28.  Cody and Sandy were taking water at the stops and I would run through sipping on my bottle but then they would need to catch up to me.  After mile 17, they didn't catch up and I heard Sandy from behind saying the pace was too fast.  She was breathing pretty good and I needed to make a decision.  11 miles left.  My heart rate was fine and I had room to go.  I gave them a thumbs up and I kept on with my pace.  It was my race too and I had my goals.  I needed to run my own race at that time and I didn't want to try to "hit" it at 20 at that point.  I just wanted to speed up a bit and hold it to the end.  Mile 18 came around and there was PIC!!  And she said exactly what I was was GO time!  And so I picked it up.  8:03.  Felt good.  I passed the 3:45 group.  6 miles to go.  Only 6 miles.  8:09. 8:12. 8:12.  Mile 22? 8:03. 

4 miles to go.  I decided I had entered the hurt locker.  Because I really started to hurt.  Constant forward motion.  Dig Deep.  Keep the turnover.  My stomach turned and I started feeling a tad bit sick.  I was passing all sorts of people.  I'd see someone ahead of me and then all of a sudden they were behind me.  I can get there.  My race brain was telling me I was on target for 3:45 even though I had passed that group at 18, I thought they were right behind me.  My nutrition bottle was empty and I was feeling thirsty so I took some water.  For the first time in months I was actually warm running!  8:13.  C'mon keep it going don't slow down gogogogogo.  1.5 miles left.  YOU CAN DO THIS!  8:12.  Turn the corner oh god there's another corner my feet hurt!  And there's the finish.  THE FINISH!!!!!  I picked it up as much as I could and crossed the line.  I saw a 3:42.  

I did my typical hunch over and gasp for breath.  I did it.  I qualified for Boston.  Does that make me a real runner?  Or am I still a swimmer pretending to be a runner?  I tried to walk.  OUCH.  OUCH.  That I do remember from the first marathon, the moment you stop running at 26.2 miles it is difficult to take just one more step.  I got my picture taken, I think I smiled.  I wasn't walking real straight and a nice man from the med tent came over and asked how I was.  Lightheaded?  Yep. Can I sit down?  No, he wanted me to walk with him a bit.  So I had a nice conversation with him while he assessed my well being and I started feeling better.  He finally let me sit down.  I ate just a bit and I decided to see if I could find any friends in the mass of people.  Of course, within seconds after leaving the finish area, I saw PIC hanging off a lightpost!  

And she told me my official time.  3:41:59.  An average of 8:28's.  What can I say?  I am so happy!  I nailed my nutrition, I didn't start off too fast and I held on at the end.  And it looks like I'll be heading to Boston in 2011!  Who's joining me?  

Me and Troy at the finish! Yes, he really is that tall and yes, I am really that short!

A huge congratulations to PIC's hubby Troy.  He nailed his half marathon!!  And to my running partners Sandy and Cody, well done guys and thanks for a well-executed 17 miles!  Keith, I really wish I would have seen you that last mile:)  Randy had a great race too and congrats as well to first time marathoners Gaye and Josh - way to go! (if I forgot anyone, my apologies)

The gang's all here at the finish: me, Keith, Sandy, Randy and Troy

And a huge thanks to mix1 for my pre/post race nutrition.  As normal, I was only able to drink my fuel in the morning and 2 mix1's later, I was good to go.  Thanks to nuun too - I drank it all weekend and was actively hydrated for the race!  

Boo Yah Boston!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Dig Deep

The other day I was putting my shoes on for a nice little treadmill run.  In fact, I was putting on the shoes I am planning on wearing for the Rock 'n Roll Arizona marathon on Sunday, my favs the Brooks Launch.  All of a sudden, I saw writing on the end of one of the said DEEP.  Wha?  Then I looked at the end of the other shoelace.....the writing was DIG.  Huh.  Deep dig.  ?  And then I figured it out.  DIG.  DEEP.  On my shoelaces of my marathon shoes.  Coincidence?  I think not!!!  Not to mention, how friggin' cool??!!!

I will remember Dig Deep at mile 22 on Sunday.  Or maybe it will be mile 18, or 6 or 25.  But I will remember Dig Deep.  The first marathon I did was back in 2007.  A miserable day in Denver, 35 degrees and misting out.  But I had a fabulous day.  Paced it perfectly and finished in 4:19, my goal had been 4:30.  Did I Dig Deep that day?  Yes, kind of, well maybe not really......I never hit a wall.  I never wanted to quit.  I was smiling at mile 22 because I only had 4 miles left.  Did I enter the hurt locker?  I think I opened the door and put a toe in.  But I never entered it, shut the door, and threw away the key.  I do remember at the finish, crossing the line and immediately shivering and not being able to walk.  It was an amazing experience.  I loved it and couldn't wait to do another one.

I also remember my first half marathon in 2008.  It was awesome and I had a fabulous experience.  Did I enter the hurt locker?  Ummmm, maybe a little bit.  Had gas in the engine the last mile and finished it up with a smile on my face.  This past year I have tried something different, looking at the hurt locker and saying....Bring It.  The place where you need the reminder on your shoe laces with the words Dig Deep.  You know the feeling, when you finish and people ask if you are OK because at that moment you might not look so good!!  You may look like you're gonna hurl, or pass out, or cry.  But to know you've given it your all that day, you need to open the door.  Put a foot in.  Then the other foot, heck go ahead and close the door of the hurt locker. I visited the locker at Clearwater on the run.  I definitely entered the hurt locker at the half marathon in October.  And at the Boulder Peak the hurt locker = med tent.

But I'm ready.  A marathon in the morning, the weather will be beautiful.  I even did something uncharacteristic this morning, I changed corrals...moved myself up one.  Into a faster group.  I have a pace plan.  I have a nutrition plan.  I now have shorts that are not too short (I decided this morning the shorts I brought will NOT do).  I have cheerleaders.  I even have shoes that say Dig Deep.  And by tomorrow afternoon I will have 26.2 miles under my belt. 

Race report Monday! 

Monday, January 11, 2010


Today is the day I have dreaded.  That I was hoping would not come.  That we wouldn't have to make this decision.

Let me tell you a bit about my first baby.  Almost 12 years ago, newly engaged, and proud new homeowners, Michael and I brought home our malamute puppy.  The drive home from the mountains was hilarious....he sat in my lap and farted the entire drive.  We called him Primo.  We actually wanted 2 dogs, and name them Prima and Pronto, you know, after the ski runs at Vail.  So Prima should have been a girl but since we had a new boy puppy and Pronto does not come before Prima on the ski mountain, we came up with Primo.  It is also the name of a Hawaiian beer and means cousin in spanish.  Oh, how we adored this puppy!

From the get-go it was clear how big he was going to should have seen the size of his paws!  He was good natured and pretty mellow - clearly all his extra energy was being filtered into growing into a large boy.  The only time he wasn't mellow was when he was around other dogs.  Alpha male to the extreme.  I mentioned that we wanted two dogs?  Primo made it clear early on that he was a "one dog" family type.  Even with all that alpha stuff going on, he made a few great puppy friends!  Primo eventually topped out at 125 lbs.  A gentle giant.

Primo was a talker.  If you know a malamute, you know how they talk.  They don't bark really, but communicate through a kind-of howl.  I would sit and have conversations with Primo,  back and forth.  He would howl at all sirens, and everyone in the neighborhood could hear him.  Primo had a personality too, he was kind of funny.  And the expressions on his face!!

He loved chasing squirrels, and well, really anything smaller than him.  Cats, mice, small dogs, birds.  He was pretty quick too so those small things had to be careful!  We took that dog up many a mountain and hiking was his favorite thing to do.  He could pull me up any trail at break-neck speed.  When he got hot, Primo would just sit on a sprinkler or in a river or wherever else there was water to cool down.  But he hated swimming!!  He was also not a "running" dog.  Sure, he was great for the first half mile but then he would just stop and I would end up pulling him home.  Guard dog?  Not really.  But he was big enough to scare folks especially when he barked.  Give Primo a steak and he would give you the keys to the kingdom.  It didn't even have to be a steak!

Primo used to sleep on the bed with me when Michael was out of town!  He took up nearly the entire bed, he'd just jump up and settle in.  He was such a good boy.  And then the kiddos came along, and he settled into the life with kids role pretty well.  Isabelle and Charlotte loved him so much but for some reason, Primo really had a special place in his heart for Charlotte.  As he got older, he just loved going into her room and settling down at the foot of her bed.  And Char always had a hug for Primo and fed him treats.  Both girls loved helping take care of him although the "excitement" of picking up Primo poops with their dad wore off after a few months.  I'm pretty sure Charlotte always fed Primo under the kitchen table too!

The last few years, Michael and I watched our Primo grow gracefully into old age.  Although at times, he was absolutely a cranky old man.  His walks got shorter and shorter.  His activity level fell off but he still got up to say hi to the neighborhood fox (yep, a girl fox who always flirted with him).  He had some quirks, I'll never forget his aversion to wood floors.  And his eyesight was going too.  But he'd still come in at night and hang out with the family.

Some dear friends of ours had malamutes, Primo's cousins, that were a couple of years older than our boy.  And we watched their puppies grow up and into old age.  And we watched them have to make a tough decision too.  We kind of knew that one day, we might have to do that as well.

Unfortunately, today was that day.  Primo woke up Saturday morning confused.  His hips didn't look so good, and it was clear that moving around wasn't any sort of picnic for him.  He drank a ton of water, didn't eat, and laid under a tree the majority of the day.  He got up the stairs OK on Saturday night but by Sunday morning, going down the stairs hurt him.  Primo drank water and finally ate some yummy wet food but only with assistance on Sunday night.  He slept inside in the basement but woke us up around 2:30 because he was no longer able to move on his own.  He was in a great deal of pain.  Michael and I made the decision that we didn't want our dear Primo to hurt anymore.

Primo, you have been a most loved doggie.  Thank you for being with us and being part of our family.  You will be missed and will always be in our hearts.  Thank you for all these years!

Rest In Peace Primo.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

In Other News

My training as of late (mainly the last month) has been going great.  I have essentially been freed of a "set" schedule, and although a bit scary at first as far as the "what should I do" questions, I have essentially just done what makes sense (to me) for that day.  And that has meant a decent amount of running in preparation for RNR Arizona a mere 12 !!!! days away.  Some swimming here and there, some weight/core training there and here, and run run run.  The weather has somewhat cooperated but right now I feel pretty comfy running on snow and ice, with or without Yaktrax.  Yea, I know, those skills won't help me in AZ.

But after Sunday's run session (a mere 12 miles mind you), my shoulder seized up.  Shoulder injury from running?  I know, it doesn't make sense to me either.  It's one of those limit your movements to either side type of things......hard to look over your shoulder to change a lane while driving sudden, twisting movements things.  An injury from running?  I would expect that to happen hip level and lower!!  But alas, no.  So now I have to lay off swimming too.  GRRRRRRRR.  No worries though, should only be for another day or 2.  Or 3.  To top it off, my carrier monkeys (kids) decided to give me a cold for the New Year too!  A little tickle in the nose and throat this morning.....but no worries, I'm fighting it with all I've got!  I dare you to take me down silly cold!  (no actually just kidding silly cold, I completely respect your power and will abide by the law of cold for next few days.....please please please don't take me down).

So here I sit, thinking of things to do since I won't swimbikerun today.  Hmmmm, clean out closet?  Write endless amount of blog posts?  Tweet till my phone dies?  Stalk my Facebook friends?  Write schedules?  Budget?  Christmas returns?  Clean house?  Boyohboy the possibilities are endless!

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Year's Thoughts

I suppose I'll give into my steadfast objection for doing the reflection of 2009 post and the things to look forward to in 2010 post.  I've always done a personal reflection and thoughts about the new year, but I usually keep them to myself and share with my hubby.  But for some reason I feel compelled to share a few thoughts.  So here they are in no particular order:

getting "let go" sucks.
getting "let go" was awesome.
choosing a new life path has been scary at times but is exciting too.
racing in 2009...lot's of great times with friends in Vegas, Grand Canyon, Tuscaloosa, Australia and Clearwater.
training in 2009 was about pushing the limits, exploring "overtrained", laughing uncontrollably on many runs and rides, interesting conversations on Deer Creek...
family in 2009 was about watching my hubby complete his first Oly distance tri and observing and guiding my girls to grow into beautiful creatures.
watching my sister's wedding in Hawaii was beautiful and I'm so glad me and the girls were there to see it but so sorry that hubby was not.
rebuilding my relationship with my sister has been tough but the rewards are very fulfilling
podium finish at USAT Nationals.  That was awesome.
living out a lifelong dream of traveling to Australia was amazing, who knew that triathlon would lead me there?
having my family with me in Australia was wonderful especially having my parents watch me race for the first time.
having more time to spend with my family is priceless.
watching my almost 12-year-old doggie Primo decline with age has been sad, don't know how much longer we have with him.
letting go of my coach of almost 3 years was a difficult decision but incredibly freeing when I finally did it.

And for 2010?
it's true, I'm gonna clean my closet (I still have my work clothes and heels in there and need more room for my 10 pairs of running shoes, yak trax, and workout clothes)
budget budget budget
I will log all of my workouts so that I know exactly what I have done, how many hours I have put in
I will follow a plan, a detailed plan to be put together by a new coach
so excited to see what said new coach has in store for me (!!!!!!)
qualify for Boston marathon
continue to nurture and love my family
continue to build my coaching business
support my husband as he decides to race more this year
Worlds Budapest
ironman arizona
represent my sponsors the best I can
love and support my incredible friend network

I could go on, but I think that's a pretty good summary.  2009 was a year of change, discovery and growth.

2010 will be a fabulous year!