Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Weekend fun!

this was my hot date. wearing my pink scarf. after we ran in the rain.

And this is before I lost the lead...

And this is coming into the home stretch. I'm tired. My leg looks huge. And the hot date actually told me I was "carrying a lot of meat on those legs", which would be the reason being me 'losing'.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I broke 20!

I don't race 5ks very often. They're so short. But I'm trying to work on speed now. Now that IM is over. Now that I have a shorter race for which I'm preparing. I said just last week that my goal for the fall was to break 20 mins for a 5k. My previous best was 20:02. And that was a couple years ago.

A friend of mine gave me some info on this 5k that was going down today. I didn't really have any intention of going because my friend, Barbie, was to be doing her first tri today, but then, well.... it didn't happen. So, I decided I'd go over and get in a few miles before and a few miles after and it'd be like a tempo run.

That few miles before? Ugh! I totally felt like there wasn't much pep in my step. and I was feeling that trainer ride on Saturday. My dad showed up and I checked out the competition...not much. Decent sized race, about 2100, but not many serious runners. I could tell right away who was going to be in contention for the win. Dad says "remember how to run a 5k?". I responded "go out fast and try to hang on!"

The gun went off and we all sprinted forward. I was the lead female. Going out into the course, we hit the first hill...and then it occurred to me. Holy crap! I bet this is a hilly course which is why no one is going out very fast. Um, yeah. I don't know this part of town. AT ALL. And that was a hilly course.

SO, I crossed the first mile at 6:02. oh boy. hold on. hold on. Coming up a hill to a water station and almost to mile marker two, I hear cheers for Coach Amy, so I know she's right there on me....and she passed me. I'm fine with that. She was the one I pointed out before the race to my dad "um. she's fast".

Hit mile two in 12:13. That last mile is when my body started feeling the affects of the hills...so I just tried my best to relax and hang on. And give a little smile when people cheered for 'the second girl'.

I crossed the line in 19:39. Totally unexpected. But a fun, fun race! I'll post pics when they're available

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Have Mercy!

OK, so I took it easy for a couple days. I took the entire day off Wednesday...

And then went to masters practice on Thursday. That was fun. I know I've said it a million times, but I love those guys I swim with. They're just good people. It's funny how swimming is for me...well, it's like so many other things, i suppose. When I believe I can do it, I can. with ease. But when I doubt my ability, I struggle. Thursday was just one of those days where I was like "ok, i can do this. no problem". and i did. and i still laughed the whole practice.

After a long freakin' day at work, a short run. And yes, i added some short speed intervals. But it was short. I also emailed coach to tell him that i wasn't feeling tired, that my tt time was slow but not horrible. He's heading out to Kona in a week, along with a super speedy girl that's in our training group. And we all did IMKY. He just responded "we're all a little fatigued. i don't want you to show up to your race feeling flat. you need to recover". Well, why didn't ya say so?? ha ha! he just wants me to shut up and listen, but i have to question question question... but I'm learning to trust.

Friday was some time on the bike trainer and then a short time running on the road. in the rain. it's been raining for, like, four straight days.

And then I had some fun on Friday night.

Today, I slept in. It was still dreary and wet. So, I chose to ride the trainer. Again. And I wanted some distinct instruction. SO, I slipped in the "Have Mercy" Spinervals dvd. It's two hours of the most difficult workouts from the previous 8 spinervals dvds. I had only done this once before. It was about 6 months ago. And it was the most difficult bike workout I'd ever done. The thing is rated a 10 on the intensity scale. and they tell you to make sure you have a towel for the sweat. And it's needed.

Today, it really wasn't so bad. I mean, yeah, i almost fell over swimging my leg off the bike after the 2 hours were up, but really, it was just another training session. And I didn't have to slow down or not follow the gear instructions. I did it all. As instructed. and I loved it. I was totally soaked 20 mins in. So after 120 minutes, I'd soaked through my towel. It was glorious.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

is it possible?

As seen on FB last night:
Amanda Lindsey just sucked at the TT.
   Sean____: I'm sure this morning had nothing to do with that :-) You'll get it next time.
   Edward______: What??? Are you finally admitting that you might be tired?

Edward would be my coach. This man has never commented on my status. To my knowledge, he never even checked it. But, of course, the night I complain, he sees it. And comments.

Sean is a fellow masters swimmer. He knows how kick ass our swim practice was that morning. I mean, warm-up was 10x50 with odds on :40 and evens on :50. Then another 900 on a pretty quick interval. And later we had 4x200 w/paddles on 2:45. And 3x100 all out.

Alas, swim practice doesn't usually leave me tired. And the time trial doesn't usually produce such poor results (it was horrible, but it was slower than I hoped. or expected. or wanted). And I rarely get nine hours of uninterrupted sleep. So maybe i am fatigued like coach says?

I was glad to sleep in (til 6:30), but by 4pm, I was thinking I might blow off this rest day and go for a run. But the universe tends to give you what you need...and i ended up having to work late. And just an extra hour of intense brain power left me drained of energy.

I came home to an email indicating we're taking it easy for the remainder of the week. And while this saddens me a tad, I trust my coach. So, here I sit, sleepy-time tea in hand, after having done laundry, dishes, vacuuming, grocery shopping, and NO swim/bike/run, willing to follow instruction. Mostly. :)

Signing off. Good night.

Monday, September 21, 2009

weekend pics

going up a hill on Saturday morning ride...the leaves are already changing!

um, i was kinda lost.

but i smiling the whole time!

and then i got rained on during my run

and went to watch Judi race in the rain

She and Suzanne were all smiles!

and all dirty!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

the great debate

I got a question from The Iron Curtains about my nutrition on my 3 hour ride yesterday...

Personally, I have different nutrition tactics for racing different distances. In prep for IM on long rides, I can handle pretty much anything in my tummy on the bike. I eat pb&j, bars, gels, gatorade, shot bloks, beef jerky...and the occassional Diet Mt Dew (if, say, on a 6 hour ride and we stop to refuel at a gas station). My coach and some fellow (very fast) athletes eat things like oatmeal cream pies, combos, fig newtons, coke... In prep for shorter races (HIM or Oly), I try to stick with what I'll consume when racing. For me, at a higher heart rate, it's more difficult to stomach solids. With the blood diverted to the legs, it's more difficult to digest bars and bread. (Think about when you do track repeats...you'd probably rather have calories from fluid/gatorate/heed than from a pb sandwich, right?)

Nutrition is really one of those things that is debatable. And a lot of it comes down to personal preference and trial and error. Right now, I'm training for Long Course Worlds, which is 2x Oly distance - 3k swim, 80k bike, 20k run. I have shorter workouts with more intensity than I did when training for IM, so I've also adjusted my diet for those hours when i'm not training, to contain fewer carbs and a bit more protein.

Yesterday's ride was straight from my apartment and first thing in the morning, so I had water and coffee and about 15 mins before i left, I had one slice of whole wheat bread with natural peanut butter, honey and half a banana. I took a package of Clif Shot blocks, which I took 2 at a time, at about 1:15, 1:40 and 2:05. I also had a Powergel at 2.30. I sipped on grape Gatorage G2 and water throughout. If it were any hotter, I'd have needed more fluids. If my run after were any longer, I'd have needed more calories, but as it worked, my pre-ride food and consumption during the ride had me feeling great. Some may think this isn't enough calories, and I've been on rides where I've needed far more calories than this, but it worked for me yesterday perfectly. I had another gel and a bar (and cash) on me in case i needed more.

Obviously, the rest of the day I didn't want much sugar, and after my run, I had tuna and chopped carrots in a whole wheat tortilla. The rest of the day, I loaded up on veggies, more protein and some fruit. And I drank lots of water and some green tea (staying well hydrated helps fight muscle soreness). 
I did get up this morning and run for 90 mins at about an 8 min pace and had no issues with fatigue or hunger. I had water and a slice of bread with pb and honey (again. it tends to digest easily and i had no intervals for this workout). I didn't consume any calories during the run, but I made sure my route went through a park with water fountains. And again, refueled upon my return home...because I still have a 2x1000 time trial swim this afternoon!
The supplements I got were a fish oil/flaxseed/borage Omega complex, time-release Vitamin C, spirullina (which is plant food chock full of amino acids) and another one i already take for a specific medical condition. I'll let you know if I can tell a difference in anything.
Obviously, I'm no dietitian, but I do pay attention to what I put in my mouth (even when it's cake and cookies). And I know a few of you guys over at the Iron Curtains are very tuned into your diet and consumption. You'll figure it out. You have plenty of time to dial it all in! Happy training!
Also, Marni is on her way to becoming an RD, so her blog is full of useful info.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Make the rules up as I go...

That was pretty much my theme today for training. On the schedule - 3 hour ride followed by 15 min run.

I woke up with no alarm. I was out the door by 8:15 and headed East. Decided to hit the back roads, uphill...around Ft Thomas, into Cold Spring, across way-too-busy-for-a-Saturday morning 27, down a big scary hill into Wilder, across the AA, out to the "dog road" (and I was reminded why we call it this - 4 unleashed, non-fenced dogs chasing me forced a speed interval whether I wanted it or not), past the guys pickin' up trash on the side of the road, to Rte 10, back across 27, rolling on nice new, smooth pavement, into Silver Grove, west on Rte 8 to 445 and climbing my way back into Ft Thomas, down Memorial Parkway into Newport, across the bridge to Cincinnati, down Eastern to Lunken airport to turn around near the Farmer's market and back home... and out for that run. Nice easy pace. North, East, South, West and South again...

It was the best solo ride I've had all year! Perfect weather, spot on nutrition, unexpected course, and a smiled planted on my mug all morning.

And off for coffee with Tom. I always love catching up. There was a discomfort about him at first. But it was good to see that dissipate over the 90 mins we sat and discussed family, life, health, training, friends, gratitude...

Walked Clubber when I got back home and my neighbor, who is a Chiropractor, had a couple treats for her. We started talking...small talk about jobs and weather...and the talk turned to training (um, yeah, typical for me). Turns out he's also got a degree in Nutrition and he's certified in sports medicine (yes, I saw the diplomas and certifications). He's anti-prescription drugs (and I am sooo hesitant to take even over-the-counters). We discussed ailments and natural cures, and next thing i know, i'm walking out with four bottles of supplements (all GIVEN to me at no cost and teh exact ones Judi has been trying to get me to buy for a while now) and an appointment for a free consultation on Monday. I think I just got my first sponsor!

Friday, September 18, 2009

The track, the road and running the human race

"It's because we have feelings and thought to battle one another that we are so complex. You wouldn't like being a sheep, but then again, if you were a sheep, you wouldn't know any different. And sheep can't do Ironman" - a good friend

It's been a challenging past 24 hours, emotionally. Physically, I've had a couple great workouts. Actually, I've had pretty great workouts all week.

That track work on Wednesday evening was a little more painful than I remember...

This also happened to be the evening that my high school track shorts decided to lose their elasticity. So, my mile repeats entailed run, run, run, pull up the shorts that are even double rolled at the waist. Pretty hilarious, actually. Man, I loved those shorts. Those are the shorts I ran my first (and only outside of IM) marathon in...along with a regular cotton t-shirt, the shorts that I ran so many miles in, shorts I q'ed for Boston in. But, i suppose it's time to retire them, considering they're over 12 years old...

After my mile repeats, I did some bounding drills, some high knees, some strides and then I sat and stretched. Exhausted.

Thursday morning was swim practice. And yes, Aaron wants to hurt me. We did 12x50, then 10x50 and then 12x100 on 1:25!! And then it was MASSAGE TIME!!! Thank God! That TT on Tues, then track work on Wed and two hard swims, weights...I was in need.

Them after work, on to a quick brick. I was also given caution by coach "If you at all feel tired, go home and SHUT it down! Remember, it's only been a couple weeks since IM". But I felt good. And I met a fellow rider...we chatted as we rode hills. Made the time go by. And then home for an easy 15 min t-run.

After some restless sleep and emational distress, I awoke this morning needing a run. I just needed to clear my head, wipe away some spider webs and get rid of the dust between my ears. I told myself I'd just go short and easy. But I felt good, so I opted for a 45 min run.

And I got home to find that Coach had sent me my workouts for the next three days... and guess what today was?? A 45 min run! It was dark and the city was quiet. And I was up early enough to go to the grocery before work as well!  So, tonight, i think i'll walk down to the bookstore and get a new copy of Triathlete for some weekend training motivation...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tuesday night TT

So much fun! Just not so fast. Seems I forgot how to ride fast. I finished and I wasn't feeling like I wanted to puke. My legs weren't jello. I wasn't sucking wind...though I do think I caught a couple bugs in my throat.
And then I went for a run. And I clicked off two miles in about 14 mins. Ryan started out with me and I think he really wanted to hang (because after I told him he could slow down, he said "I'm going to keep up if it kills me". I may have started to push the pace at this point. *snicker*) but he turned around early...only to get back before me, making it look as though he were the faster of us.
Tonight I have some run speed work! Yahoo!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I am blessed

I have not only one coach that wants to kick my ass. No. I have two. Two coaches that want me to be fast. Two coaches that will push me. Two coaches that each have a specialty and a purpose.

I have my tri Coach. And I have my masters coach. Aaron really wants me to learn how to swim fast. I also believe he wants me to dismantle the belief that "I am not a swimmer".

This morning's practice began with a decent warm-up of 6x50 where the first 25 is sharkfin kick (REALLY?! I am World's slowest kicker. I create drag for myself. there is not forward propulsion. Aaron laughs at me. Seriously!) second 25 is swim. Then comes the swapping of the lanes...

Somehow, I end up in Lane #1 with 3 others, all faster than me. And that's when we got the main set. 18x100. Doesn't seem so bad, right? It's just 1800. But I'm no dummy. I know there's a catch. Yup! It's 18x100 as in 2x100 on 1:20, 1x100 all out on 2:00, six times through. Then check heart rate.

Yeah, so I made the first 700. Then, things started fading. I made all the first 100s of each mini-set (of 300. are you following me?)on 1:20 (because I had some rest after the third, being on 2:00). By the fifth time through, my times for each 100 were 1:20, 1:25, 1:30. I see Aaron on the side of the pool, running along side me, telling me to "GO! SWIM! FASTER! GO!" I could feel myself flailing about, poor form, barely cutting through the water. But I made it through. And check this out: my HR got up to 180. One freakin' eighty! In the pool!

Then we all did some hypoxic pulling - 6x75 w/specific breath instructions. Fine with me. My arms/lats/back do not use much oxygen. My legs? They suck it all out. Actually, i think it's just keeping my ass afloat that takes so much effort. Thank God for floaty little buoys!

I got exactly what I stated I wanted...the kind of swim that makes it hard to pull myself out of the pool after.

And on Sunday, I asked Eddy if I could do the TT on Tues night. His response? "YES! And hammer it! And then do a 15 min run".

So, I'm pretty lucky to have not only one, but two, coaches that care enough to push me like that.

Monday, September 14, 2009

All good things must end sometime...

...but that just means it's time for something else to begin!

So, IM training and recovery are through.

And now training starts! I got the email last night from Coach... "Training starts tomorrow". It's not that I haven't been training all along, it's that it's time to start the serious stuff. The hill repeats and the intervals and the tempo runs and track work and the kind of swimming that makes it difficult to even lift myself out the side of the pool after.

And I've been waiting, oh so patiently... all through IM training, all through IM taper, through the past two recovery weeks... just to be able start serious training again. For a shorter race.

And it couldn't have come after a better weekend.

Saturday's ride was beautiful. Sunny and 80 degrees. No humidity. No clouds. A cool breeze. And as I rode over the hills, fallen leaves skittered across the my path. That smell was in the air...you know, the smell of football and pumpkins and trick-or-treat...the smell of autumn. I passed a roadside farmer's market selling apples and sweet potatoes, a few other cyclists had stopped for a treat. I considered it, but I was focused. And having fun. And it ended the same way it bagan, with a big smile across my face.

Sunday morning, I awoke to darkness. One more sign that summer is over. Shorter days. I walked Clubber and got out the door by 7:30 for my 90 min run. I went across to Cincy and then back to KY, up to the hills in Ft. Thomas. I made a little loop and headed back toward home, crossed paths with my high school coach. The weather was, once again, perfect. 56 degrees. Cool breeze. Sun shining. 11 miles of hill after hill after hill.

It heated up nicely and I picked up Barbie for her first OWS. She's got a tri in two weeks and I figured it best to get her out there. She did really well except for sighting...and she even began catching onto that.

I tracked some teammates that were doing IMWI. Amazing! There were some awesome times out there. As I watched finishers cross the line on Ironman Live, I got excited. Inspired. And my heart raced. And my ears buzzed.

Six weeks til race day.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Loving my Saturday ride!!!

All alone. Back in the saddle for some hills, some wind and some (seemingly) fast riding :)
The Ohio, at the end of Rte 8 W. Only slightly jealous of those out on that boat.

The road back home. The temp was perfect. Maybe 80. No humidity. I was dancin' in an out of the shadows thrown by those trees.

And I came home to this...a very sleepy Clubber!

I was driving down the road yesterday and couldn't keep from smiling thinking about just being ok with where I am. It's been a hell of a year. Very rollercoaster. Ups and downs, speedy and stagnant. And it's not the end of the ride, but I think we're over that first big, scary hill...when you can finally feel ok loosening the grip and letting out shrieks of laughter, when you know you'll be ok, through the loops, corkscrews and crazy turns. And you know that by the time you get to the end, that first big scary hill was probably the best damn thing that happened. Even if it didn't feel like it at the time.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Pictures, lyrics and gettin' back in the saddle

Mom's pictures from IMKY.
Waiting for the start. At the end of the swim line.
As the line bagan moving... and I'm holding Clubby for warmth.
Post-race. Me and my little Irondog!
And me and the greatest dad ever!
Talking with Coach after the race. He'd already been done for about three hours. Me and my wonderful mama.

I was driving into work this morning and heard this song on the radio. I couldn't help but laugh. But I really liked it! I like the idea of getting out of hell before the devil knows you're there.

If your going through hell
Keep on going,
don't slow down
If you're scared don't show it
You might get out
Before the devil even knows you're there

Yeah, If you're going through hell
Keep on moving,
face that fire
Walk right through it
You might get out
Before the devil even knows you're there

I know vacation is fun for me, but I guess you guys want training stuff, right? So, I'm getting back to it, prepping for Worlds. Coach gave me one more easy week. And he told me to go back to Masters. All summer I've been going against his wishes...and now he tells me to go. And wouldn't you know that Tuesday morning, I go to practice (which was, um, interesting because I fatigued toward the end, but i'll talk about that more later) and Aaron gave us his two week notice that he won't be doing Masters anymore due to other obligations. He'll still write us workouts and we can lead our own practice, OR he invited me and one other guy to join his age groupers. from the club team. Right. I can see it now. A bunch of kids less than half my age lapping me in the water! Awesome. I have yet to decide what to do.
So, after a nice long Holiday weekend full of food and fun, Tuesday morning came quick. And practice was challenging. Started with 4x200 where the first 100 of each set was kick. I am the WORLD'S SLOWEST KICKER!! I still made the sets, but I went last in our lane. And I got lapped because the second 100 was swim and lane leader would always catch me as I was finishing up my kick. Arg.
And then to 12x50 where the first 25 was non-free. What joy. Then 100s. Nine of them. The first four were on 1:30. The last five were on 1:25. Right. I think I made two of those 1:25s. Maybe three? And I was the only one in our lane who made any. Then, the arms fell off. But we weren't done. A 200 for time. I basically just got through it. There was no sprinting. It was just about toughing it out and getting it done. 2:52. That sucks.
But it was a beautiful evening for my easy 30 min run. 80 degrees and not at all humid. I was told "NO PUSHING" this week. And each time I felt myself begin to push, I backed off. The legs still don't have that zing but they feel ok.
Wednesday was my first real ride outside. I got on the trainer last week, but nothing major. It was great to be out on the road! It was only an hour and i was given instruction to keep it in the small ring, which forced me to spin. And I'm glad I got that instrcution because I'd have pushed it if not. no doubt.
Got Team USA uniform options. I can go with a Speedo FastSkin II unitard, a TYR Tracer tri suit or a De Soto tri suit. The FSII looks sweet, but I fear ordering a specific size and it not fitting after it's been customized. I don't want it to be so tight that it's uncomfortable. Anyone have experience with any of these???

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


OK, so maybe you can't tell from these first couple pictures, but we really did have fun on vacation. It's just that this two year old doesn't like to smile for the camera. She prefers to be behind it. So, every time I'd say "smile and I'll take our picture", this is what I'd get.

There was just no complying. So, I just let her take pictures...and this is what we got.

I think she started to get tired there at the end, but really it's not too bad for a little tot.
Dad and I got into Galveston on Friday evening and went straight to see Marley devour the icing on a Dora cake for her second birthday. She LOVES Dora. And purses. Especially when they're big. and hold lots of stuff.
We also spent some time with the new little peanut. Actually, Saturday morning, he fell asleep on my chest. And then I fell asleep. So that was fun.
My brother and his family are late risers, so Dad and I walked down to the beach. This is a picture of all the people fishing off a jetty in the early morning. The fish were everywhere and the water was super clean. Apparently, the wind was coming in just right!
While we were out and about, we saw some remnants of Hurricane Ike that hadn't yet been cleared. Like this tree out in the ocean. Must've been washed over seawall during the storm.
There's this hotel that sits out over the water. You can see the top left corner was ripped off.
And the ramp to get out there was destroyed.
For the most part, they've really re-built quickly. You might even forget that just a year ago they were evactuating...and then you come across something, like an abandoned building or debris or a house that hasn't been restored. And you remember pretty quickly. Many of the trees that line the streets have died. No bright vibrant leaves, just bark and branches. Some have been strong enough to survive or blossom, but the salt water killed most.
Saturday afternoon was spent at the beach. And, admittedly, I ran home. I couldn't resist. It was only a half hour. It was hot. But it was my first run post-IM. And a half hour was about all my legs would take me. Then we were off for ribs and chicken!
Sunday morning was more beach walking. Only it wasn't as bright and sunny as Saturday. We saw this in the distance. And it quickly came inland. So, we headed back to the house.
That afternoon, we went to Alyssa's (my sister-in-law-to-be) parents house and played water volleyball in the pool. Somehow, my bro and I got beat by the dads?!? Like four games in a row! yeah, it was bad. And lots more food. Brisket and more ribs.
But hey, I was on vacation... and I still have one more easy week of training.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Happy Birthday!

To my little niece, Marley(that's her, with my dad), who turns two today!!! And who I get to see tonight. Along with my new little nephew, Owen, who was born just last week. In Texas. At the beach. Where there will be no tri training. HA!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

IMKY, the run, my favorite

I love running. I always have. I asked E (Coach) for help on my bike this Spring. And that's what he provided me. He also helped me on the run and the swim, but mostly with the bike, both in terms of comfort level and speed.

After getting sick, my track sessions and my long runs took a back seat. Most of my runs were 45-60 mins. And my longest of the recent season was 2 hours 20 mins. That is not marathon distance training. Other than that one long run, I only had a couple others, all two hours or less (is that even considered long?). My body just couldn't seem to handle the stress. This concerned me pre-race. E was worried I'd go out on the marathon too fast. I told him I wouldn't because I worried about making it through the whole thing, let alone going out at lighning fast speed. He assured me my run legs would be there.

I ran out of T2 and my legs felt a little tight, but there were Holly and Sarah and Mike and ton of other training buddies all cheering. It lit me up (as seen below, and don't miss that sweet bike short tan line) and I'm not sure I quit smiling from that point on.

I saw Ryan, who had passed me on the bike, going the other way as I made the little jog over the bridge. My stomach cramp had begun subsiding by then and hunger was taking its place in my belly. I'd made the decision before the race to walk through every aid station and take in fluid. I did that last year at Great Floridian and it left me feeling not so horrible. And well hydrated. First aid station, jsut water. Second...water. And a cookie. And it tasted so good.

Within the next mile or so, I was coming up behind Ryan. He just shouted, "Will you hurry up and pass me so I can walk?" This is a picture of Ryan and me. He's like 6'7" or something. He's a giant. I am not midget, as appears in this picture.
There were spectators galore through this part of town. It was amazing! The streets were lined with people cheering and carrying signs (the best one i saw was "Run like her husband is chasing you") and holding out their hands for high-fives.

Then it's out on the road for the first real "loop" part of the run. I was mostly distracted by other runners. I love cheering other people on. The run didn't take much focus because it tends to come fairly naturally to me. I watched the faster people coming into town as I was headed out. I knew my teammates would be coming in soon for their finish.

At mile marker four, I checked my watch. 30 minutes and some change. Oops. Better slow it down. Legs won't last at that pace. At the next aid station, I took a gel. My legs were magically revived.

I kept watching for familiar faces. I saw Coach E first...and I think he blew me a kiss. I shouted "you're my hero, Eddy!". The guy right behind him shouted back to me "no, you're my hero!" and a guy running next to me shouted "you're both my heros because you're both kickin' my ass". (this is coach on his way to a 3:18 marathon. and a 9:35 IM)

I also saw Missy, who went 10:28 and is Kona bound...

And Squirrel, who Pr'd by four hours with an 11:06 finish...
And Kevin, who did his first IM in 11:14...

And Pete, who finished his first in 12 something...
And Judi, who I hadn't seen the entire weekend until out on that run course. And she was ALL smiles! We stopped to hug and then kept going, in opposite directions.

And Jess, who raised money for Girls on the Run during IM training...
And Mark, who probably has the most inspirational story of us all...
My dad was out on the course with Clubber. And the first few times I saw them, I stopped and gave her a kiss and pet her soft little head. She was pretty dazed by that time. I mean, she'd been out and about all day long!

E had directed me to take it easy for the first ten miles and then see what I had left. At ten miles, I still felt great, but I wasn't yet ready to push the pace. I just ran comfortably. One foot in front of the other. And i took in a gel every 30-40 mins. I also ate a few cookies in between. And at one point, I reached my hand into the fruit bin and ate some grapes (it wasn't until I stopped a few miles later at the port-a-potty that realized how germ-infested that fruit bin must be...UGH!!).

I just kept chugging along, back into downtown, which was about 14 miles. That's where the crowd was! It was loud and just incredible. And under my sunglasses, I had tears in my eyes. Because there was only 12 miles left. And I knew I was going to make it. Some people find it frustrating to have to go by the finish chute and out for the second loop. I found it inspiring. Mom was there in town and the CE crew was there and a million other people, cheering and shouting. And then out for the second loop. I just chugged along, cheering for others as they passed for the most part. I felt fine, and surprised by it, actually.

And then it hit me. Around mile 18-19. My legs started to feel like lead. My walks through the aid stations began lasting a little longer. My mental state? FREAK... but I held it together on the outside. I continued to take in gel or maybe it was a cookie then...and water. I kept moving. And at that point, it was just about getting to the next mile. My liner in my shorts were chaffing areas that were irritated from peeing in my tri shorts on the bike all day. Every little irritation seemed like it might be the thing to make me stop. And that's when the real focus had to kick in. Run on the side of the road for the shade, tuck my butt, belly breathe, relax the shoulders...

At the aid station just before mile 22, I stopped to pee again. And I came out of the port-a-potty with brand new legs! Who would've known an adjustment to the shorts could make me feel a million times better?

There were only four miles remaining. So, i just hit it home. Again, coming into downtown, I was overcome with emotion. I didn't know my exact time for the whole day, but I knew it was around 11:20 and I'd gone 3:55 for the marathon.

My second IM distance in 10 months and I'd pr'd by 48 mins.

Swim - 1:15:38
Bike - 6:01:59
Run - 3:54:35
Total - 11:21:59

Good enough for 12th in my AG, 55th amateur OA. I'm happy with that. Especially since 4 days later, I've already been back to swim practice and I feel really good. We're using this week as rest to put the hammer down for ITU Long Course World Champs at the end of October. And I still have training partners since E and Missy are going to Kona!