Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Lonestar Texas 70.3 race day report

So. I left off just before the last wave ( W 40-44) was to jump off the dock into the salty sea.
At one point there was some discrepancy as to whether wave 16, our wave, was indeed the last wave. As we were being corralled to the timing mat two guys in white caps ( wave 16 color) strolled up to us. One of my "classmates" and I kinda looked at each other wondering why they didnt seem too concerned. I had a moment of "One of these things is not like the other..." in my head since they men were a bit older ( not to offend, but they were in the 60+ group) and if you looked ahead you could see another wave ( maybe 14?) on the dock jumping in. IN WHITE CAPS.

So we advised they get a move on it at which point their " I am in the 17th wave" comment was moot. Anyways....lets back up just a bit.

I got all set up in Transition around 6am and loved that i got my own numbered space on the rack. #1520. All my own. None of this " Hi, I dont mean to be rude but your things are in my space." I am super aware of trying to not trip anyone up, and actually we all got along great, ofering to share sunscreen, someone offered a spray bottle for my feet for after the swim, etc..
As i said, I walked to T with ALOT of people whose waves were WAY earlier than me. Luckily as i felt my race belt on my back I had enough time to go "Duh, you cant swim with that on." and was able to jog back against traffic to drop it in T where it belonged. Kinda like when i left my cleat covers on my shoes at Iron Girl one year, I Couldnt figure out why i couldnt clip in. So the "shoes in the pedals" thing has helped with that calamity.

So i get to the start area and my new friend "Brandi" and i wait for the cannon and the pro start. See I knew if i waited for the right time to pounce some other vulnerable teenager would want a friend as we waited for over an hour for our time to swim. We watched the pro men go off at 7am and had to crack up a bit that the entire field swam WAY left of the 1st buoy. I mean by about 45 degrees. The current was coming right at the starting field and so i am sure they overshot the current but it was pretty funny and i had to comment to Brandi that at least AG'ers arent the only one's who cant swim straight. The women held their line perfectly likely after seeing the waterboard / surfboard's steer the men back to the course.

So lets kill an hour and ....get to the start. Gel down with 30 min to go, Brandi and i head to the dock as we see our sign for wave 16. And we wait. and stand and wait and stand. At first we thought our wave was small, only about 30 women but by 8:00/8:05 we were holding at 80+ maybe more. I dont know. I just know that i knew that jumping off the dock meant re-attaching goggles and also trying to get a good spot to start. Treading water in salt water was not a problem. I was about the 3rd from the outside buoy and just decided this was a good place. Another gal looked like she meant business and i "KNEW" she was gonna take off. So as we counted down know how that ends and OFF we go I just followed her. I lost her feet pretty quick but it got me out of the people and I beelined to the inside and held that line the entire way. I could see out of the corner of my eye about 5-6 white caps stroking about 5 feet to my right but once i made the first turn LEFT ( it was a parallelogram counter clockwise) I didnt see them again. As we started to come upon some other waves i realized i didnt see many white caps. I saw maybe one, but more yellow and purple, the waves ahead of us. I never once had to really divert my line more than a few strokes and was very aware of where people were and how to swim to avoid collisions etc.. The big issue was that as soon as we made that left turn to parallel the shore it was a totally differnt swim. I was thankful I didnt get seasick and i then knew why we had seem at least 4 people pulled and brought in on the jet ski b4 we started.
I just kept sighting and trying to not FIGHT the water too much but as much as i felt strong i know i was being pushed backwards bc i could see other people from the yellow and purple waves when they stopped stroking get pushed backwards. Someone told me there were 8 bu0ys on this parallel to shore stretch and they seemed pretty close together so i just kept plowing ahead. Each buoy was on my inside and i seriously almost got caught up in the string holding them down. I loved seeing the paddleboarder right there within arms reach, not that i needed it but at least i was holding a good line.

Finally i got to the last buoy and turned left again to head to shore. I saw one white cap near me but that was it and thought how pleased i was with this swim, I knew it would be a longer time but i felt strong and never had a moment of " Ugh i am tired," Since this was my 3rd HIM i didnt really have much to compare it to, the last two races I had one perfect day ( albeit cold) and one day where we swam in a rain and wind storm. So I just took it for what it was, got out on the ramp ( there are oyster beds so we couldnt stand up early) and tore my top down and then went to experince my first ever WETSUIT stripping. Oh boy, that was sweet. One gal in my AG passed up the strippers and i thought "hmm. maybe she doesnt do the wetsuit dance like i do." IT was super to just drop my wetsuit near my bike and get on to better things. no dancing.

Haha i am struggling with the wetsuit! Funny!
It was kind of a longer run up from the water, and into T1 but our bikes were racked right there so i got the number on, the shoes on ( not on pedals, boo:( and did a sunscreen spray. I decided in advance that i had to stay ahead of the sun ( famous last words) having had melanoma it was worth it to me to add 20 seconds. But i ran Gretta out and on our way we went.

I sure wont bore you with 56 miles but i think that since i really dont have much to say about the bike that is a good thing bc i was just riding! Not thinking! The course is deceptive bc there was a head cross wind for the first 28 miles. You ride thru Galveston on the seawall and then at about mile 22 you cross over a bridge and hit the mainland. 22 miles were freshly resealed, likely after the Hurricane, and it was great. The next 6miles andgoing over the bridge were a bit rough, but i just humkered down and prayed my little 303 sew ups could take the cruddy roads.
I did have a fast air with me but my thought was and always will be that if i flat unless i can get that to work quickly I just want to finish the race, so if that means waiting for support, then it does. luckily no issues. As i got to the turn around the volunteer said "tailwind now!" and as much as i wanted to beleive him i was suspect. Miles 28-34 were again a head cross wind.
From 34-56 I know we had more of a tail cross wind as my split was negative but i also know i am the type of rider that takes a bit of time to warm up, and whether that is physiological ( yes, at 43 it is) or mental ( Yes, for me, yes.) it doesnt really matter. I also got passed in the 1st 10 miles by about 3-4 in my AG and as much as I wanted that to piss me off, it didnt. I wish it did.
So on the way back i made sure to not get passed by anyone in my AG and even caught one and kept her in my sight. I actually think its way too much mental energy for me to worry about other people in my Ag. Maybe i need to change that on the bike, bc on the run....well...I am all about looking at the left calf!

So i get into Moody Gardens relatively pleased that i think kept it over 20 mph. I was happy with my nutrition and with my new bike YEA GRETTA! And my butt hurts. This is all good. Your butt should hurt if you ride aero for 56 miles hard. I got to do my dismount as i like and not wear down the cleats, and ran into T2 ready to rock and roll. But oh my, It seem that there is always this fear of "What if my legs dont run?" So I tiptoe with Gretta to the bike stand, tell her thank you, get my shoes on, put on more sunscreen, grab my visor, read a chapter of Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew ( inside joke with my sister Elizabeth ), check my email, LOL ha not really...but i say "get moving Julia" and off i go.

The run...I ran pretty pace free. Meaning i didnt really look at my watch other than to see my HR. I dont have a Garmin and dont want to run with my foot pod, and again its too mentally draining to calculate my pace so i just ran. I like to do that, and try to run by feel. Despite taking it out easy...
Um, I didnt.
But the first few miles it FEELS like I am going easy but i averaged 7:23's I think. YOu people know, you were tracking me :) I hoofed it faster than i had planned. But the run was odd. It was all twisty and turny with 180 degree turns and running on concrete sidewalks all on the moody gardens property. IT wasnt that bad, but it was not a course where you really got out there and ran bc you had to turn or weave with the runners that you were passing or just be prepared to step up a curb. The water stops were fantastic and as i said earlier the volunteers were great. I needed every water and every sponge given to me at each mile and i ran thru each stop with the water and the sponges slowing as i needed to so as to not run over someone. I decided to stick to my powergels and water adn not do the drink they offered and i was able to get the gels in.
I had a gel about 15 min before my bike ended, and then was able to get a gel in about 20 min into the run, and then again about 1 hour in. I didnt need the last one as i finished in about 1:40 and was going to try to plck the pace up as i felt able. Thing was the my heart race was hanging nicely in upper Z3 and i was a bit afraid to pick up the pace and hammer it home. My plan was to do that after lap 2, but i just felt pretty steady, new i was feeling good, and since i have had no more than a 4mile run in 88 deg temps in Tucson where i struggled to hold 8:30's I decided that the best thing to do was to just keep running and not look at my HR.

The only really "wtHeck?" moment was on lap 3. I had been trying to get my race number to my front, not sure why, but i just figured it wasnt supposed to be on my backside. But it felt weird up there so i figured if the only reason was for the pics, well they could read the number on my arm:) But about 7 miles in the race belt kept slipping down my waist. I kept pulling it up. Then thought "OMG i cant be that dehydrated that my belt is slipping off my hips? Am I shrinking?" This was utterly absurd until i pulled it around to look and saw that the buckle was totally un latched and it was gonna fall off. I kept running actually shuffled and tied that sucker in 2 knots and said "STAY PUT." That was pretty much the only calamity I had on the run.

In looking at the splits i do know i slowed down, and i felt that as i got hotter, but i also know i had to dodge more people that were walking "Abrupt stop....right in front of me!" but that's ok. I know you have to stop you stop. and i know that the last lap I did have legs. I saw mile 10 and said " you can do anything for 24 minutes" and saw mile 11 and said "you can do anything for 16 minutes" and saw mile 12 and said "ok blahblahblah pick it up."

After 4 laps i finally knew where iwas and where i was going. I actually lifted my legs and was greeted with "Julia Weisbecker, welcome home!" Oh yea.

But where was Andy Potts? :) I expected him to be there giving out medals:)

I think the course was a bit annoying at the start just bc at mile 2 you run by a sign that says Mile 11 or you would run by a sign that says mile8 when you know you were at mile 3. STuff like that, but i think once i got that first lap done it was actually good mental focusing to be able to think...ok 1 down, 3 to go....2 down, you are half way done! woohoo! and then when you finish the 3rd lap you are totally on the homestretch! So kinda like any thing that is repetiive
( ie intervals!) the first and last are the hardest!

My sister and her friend Rich were aweomse cheering me on and she took some pics that i will post when she gets them to me:) I am also looking forward to seeing the ASI pics to see if i had my fierce look on or my "smile for the camera" look.

So overall the nerves were gone as soon as the gun went off. I did what i could on that day and know i have a few things to work on, but am glad i didnt work on pushing myself so hard that i ended up in the med tent. For a bit while running i thought " maybe i can still break 5!" but realiity set in when i did the math. I got a massage, Heide checked us out. Rich helped me get my stuff and we were off back to Clear Lake to get my nephew and head home. Yup I didnt shower. Ick i know, but that was ok. IT was only an hour ride home and it was hot and sticky so why not be hot and sticky for another hour:)

I will say that i am SO IMPRESSED with the 40-44 AG. I think racing in Texas must be like racing in Cali, bc Austin and Dallas have their own Tri mecca, well Austin more than Dallas I am sure. And obviously there were some women in our AG that placed way up there. It was nice to race in a large field, even if it is intimidating to start. I am excited to race in Kansas in a month and continue my quest to break 5 hours. Maybe not at Kansas, I hear that's a tough one.
So this ends the novel and likely i have more to say but I will spare you more thoughts for now!

Oh neat look what showed up in my mailbox:
tiny but i stole them so beggars cant be choosers.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Pre-race report Texas 70.3: Can you say NERVES?

First off, thank you thank you thank you for all the nice comments, the FB comments, the emails etc before DURING ( i did read them all in Transition, hence my slow T times. LOL) and after the race. It was super fun to "see" people cheering for me while i raced and i felt it!

Last time i did a huge long blog it was bad. So i am going to break this up since i am pretty tired and also dont want to leave out fun details of the race:) So pre-race here goes:

Thursday: Flew in later in the day to Houston, via St.Louis. It was my first time flying Southwest and I loved it. Did you hear me? I HEART SW. I cant even tell you how evil i think Delta is. But i just did, so there. I mean even the passengers on the plane seemed less stressed, and more willing to share space, etc. So I Got in a bit late to Houston and my sister picked me up. I had a slight travel meltdown in the airport parking area bc she had so much stuff in the car that we had to literally repack her cases of diet coke and water ( and shoes, and flippers, and clothing) that live in her car. Heck, she works alot, i get it:) but I just wasnt in the mood to hang out travelling any longer. I was READY TO RACE. ( note this, bc by saturday night at 3am when i email JEN I am about ready to lose it)

We get to her house and we are all into bed by about 11:30. Decent sleep, cant complain, its like 70 out! Raining but 70!

Friday: Heide is running around working and taking chippy to School ( my nephew, who btw has grown another foot!) and I am kinda hanging around waiting to go. Of course ( recall last night) I am ready to rock and roll. I mean i must be racing soon, right? Lets get this party started! Anyways I am sure i annoyed the heck out of her, but we finally got rolling around 1:30 and it was so good to be heading to GALVESTON! Woohoo! Chippy would come down after school with Janis, his au pair, and a friend. We had adjoining rooms so the kids could do whatever they wanted all weekend and we could have race HQ next door. We got down to Galveston and the sun peeked out but it was windy! We got into the hotel ( Moody Gardens) and then decided to go check in to the race and then go swim. By now it has become a long day and the travel of the day prior caught up to me. I am spoiled. I usually fly nonstop. But repeat after me " I LOVE SW!" so no worries.

We go check in and its pretty short, do the mandatory shopping ( Rich needed a cool shirt!) and Heide stocked up on some gels and water bottles. And then it was time to swim. Heide decided to go ride her bike and i went to check out the swim. I was tired. But knew i would regret not seeing what this salt water pond ( a bayou ) was all about. And when i finally got to the start area there were tons of people in little packs so i just tagged along. You know the type, the middle schooler that stays about 10 feet behind the cool kids and doesnt talk but looks the other way when they turn around and see you? That was me until about the 1st buoy on the course. Seriously funny. This one couple was out there and i was just about 5 feet from them with the current and then I think i creeped them out! So i went back! The water was warm ( 72!) no signs of anything as i couldnt see my hand, a bit of a current, no sharks ( Marit, do this race!) just good old salt water.

I met up with Heide in the room and we had dinner in the room. Lame I know, but i really HATE eating out during races. I just want to eat in my jammies and drink my own water etc and not wait for the nice garcon to bring me iced over water. So anyways...we found suitable menu items and took them to the room. And we forgot the loaf of bread so my lunch the next day was hurting. I had ALL THAT nut butter and bananas and rice cakes, but as much as i love rice cakes they are NOT a proper bread pre race :)

Saturday: Heide is up at a normal hour of 7am. Her wave doesnt go off until 8:50! Lucky sleep in. I slept ok, but every so often i had this stomach churn of " this will be me tommorrow!" It never really left my mind that I had my day in 24 hours. That kind of "gulp" you get when you remember that tick tock your time is approaching!

I had planned to do my Brick day ( 10 min of each) early in the am and meet her at the swim. So she headed to Transition and I headed out on my bike to check her out. The roads were wet so i didnt stray far, and i couldnt get on the course which was ok. So i zoomed up and down the parking lots. It was pretty windy. I lost the number off my helmet ( dork I know, as sooon as i got checked in friday i numbered everything. I only had 2 days may as well not leave it till the night before. Do you see a trend here?! Hyper) So i got Gretta rolling, checked the wheels for the 100th time and then ran to the swim. But there was nobody there?! I kinda thought they had delayed it, but they actually cancelled it. BUMMER. I met two Oly athletes and they were ready to go. But it looked rough, but not THAT rough. In hindsight, we had rough water sunday and the winds were about 1/2 of what they were sunday. So the Sprint and OLY races became straight TT Start bike to runs.

I was messed up on her times, etc..but finally saw her coming in on the bike and then watched her chase down some women in her AG. She did awesome! She ended up winning the oly 50-54 women and her friend Kristi got 3rd OA. I have some pics of them, and they all look like fit and fast Texans! Super proud of her! and super tired. But i wanted to go to the 12:45 meeting not the 5pm meeting so i sucked it up and continuted ON MY FEET for another hour. In hindsight i would NOT stand up for 5 hours the day before a race and THEN sit outside in the sun for a race meeting. I crawled under a tree, seriously.

Race meeting. Was ok. I didnt tell you that this was my FIRST M DOT race ever, so to be even more frank. IT. SEEMED. SO. BIG. Like scarey big. so i wanted to go to the meeting to make sure i knew all the potential rules i may break. Seriously do they always do the "IF YOU DRAFT, we will kill you." speech? Actually i think it worked but it only works if EVERYONE respects the rules, and luckily in what i saw most everyone did. shoes in the pedals, that was a bummer, and I could rack Gretta race morning. cool. and cool that I had my own number on the rack so i didnt have to be a meanie and tell some lady to move her @#$% off my space. (oops getting ahead of myself)

i go back to the room after awards and PASS OUT. I mean PASS OUT COLD. I slept for about 40 minutes then got hungry and get up to eat at 3pm/ I ate alot saturday it was like the bottomless pit. I think it was part nerves and part " eat up sister, you are eating gels tommorrow!" Gross i know.

Heide, chippy, Kristi, and Heide's BF "Rich" seriously his name is Rich, all go out for dinner and i am in the room eating my boring old meal and watching some movie with Meryl Streep and Uma Thurman. I am thinking about the race but trying to not think about the race, and thinking how pretty Uma is and wondering if that is her normal hair color.

See, nutzo-ness is setting in. I NEED TO GET MY JOB DONE. And i am totally wired. I have had no caffeine in a week and so that is not the cause. As you can guess, lights are out at 9pm and until about 3am I am thinking of all the scenarios, all the good ones ( hmm...did I really think about those?) and all the bad ones ( what if our swim is cancelled, what if i really was supposed to rack the bike I mean it said MANDATORY in the papers, but the race director said we could do it in the am...what if i have a panic attack in the water? What if my shin hurts when running right peroneals were killing me after all the standing and walking on CONCRETE friday and saturday...what if what if...does my fast air work? I have never used it? what if i get a flat?) Yup seriously. The good thing about all this "chatter" and i do mean it, is that despite not having a playmate to help diffuse the nerves, i really have no anxiety about who i am racing against. I mean if i looked at every fit chick in my rack or I looked at all the bike porn I COULD be intimidated. But i know that fast women come in all shapes and sizes and honestly I know that just like in tennis, If i play my game, I take care of my shots/stick to my plan, then i will do the best i can on that day. So who cares what they do. I guess that pre-competition anxiety has always been a part of me thru all the tennis i played, but thankfully it is less with racing.. after the gun goes off!

Jen told me ( respectfully) to SHUT MY MIND OFF ( I think i had a better way to say that but i wont write it here) and to let me body do what it knew how to do. And Rich ( my Rich) also talked me down as i sat in transition at 6:10 am ( yes our wave went off DFL....Dead F-ing LAST) at 8:15 but we had to be out of T at 6:40. oh yea. And worst of all was again i was the middle schooler tagging along out of tranistion looking for a white cap, or a group of white caps to kill another hour ( standing, again!)

So...the middle schooler graduated after the swim start and got a life of her own so dont you worry. More tommorrow:)

Below is a picture just before i graduated and got my Go!!! on.

PS...I didnt see many pros, actually I kinda hoped they would be waiting for me at the finish! I mean really? :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Seriously? Yes, Julia. Seriously.

Well here we go....
Ironman 70.3 Lonestar

I cant say I am feeling totally ready. But at the same time I cant say I am not feeling ready. How does that sound? I think i am more concerned with travel and getting Gretta there in one piece, what wheels to bring ( since i dont really have alot of option, pick the disc and if its super windy I am screwed..) Life will be easier when i am driving. For now I am looking at Lonestar or whatever its now called as:
2) I get to see my sister race in the OLY saturday!
3) Its flat. I train on hills all the time. No not Lemmon-esque hills but I dont often ride or run flat. So this may be fun, or dreadfully boring and hard on overused muscles that wont get a break going up a hill!
4) Challenge myself on the bike to suffer a bit more. I have this weird issue where I can ride a Time Trial balls to the wall, but when it comes to the HIM Distance I tend to lallygag into Zone 2 and let my head get the best of me. So the challenge will be to see how hard i can push it and see what's left in the run.
5) While 4) is legit, I also need to be patient and not hammer it out mile 1-20 then soft pedal home:)
6) Will be a quick trip, but hope for nice weather and a good first race!
7) Forgot to mention salt water swim! Mouth closed and lots of lube on the neck so i dont chafe.

Have a great rest of the week y'all!

Friday, April 16, 2010

When it rains, it pours

Seems there is alot going down around here. Literally.
We got Rich home yesterday afternoon and he is doing well. Happy to be home, not gaunt and underweight like last time ( despite wanting to get to his TDF climbing weight like last time) he is happy that he isnt a winner of this visit's MAYO BIGGEST LOSER.

My Mom, on the other hand, took a fall this morning at the YWCA. The superstar 80 yo was hustling to get to her elliptical for her alloted time slot and...boom. Down she went, tripping over the leg of the elliptical and taking an assault to her chin and her kneecap. I had just finished my swim and was headed to Nina's for coffee when she called me. Back i went and Troy ( super TRX Troy) had her taped up and iced. Good man.

Since i am a frequent flier at Summit Ortho I got her in and she saw an MD at 1oam ( about 90 minutes post fall) My dad and I coordinated the driving and as in the past, he was a trooper and got her where she needed to be. Sidenote: my dad is 82 yo and is about as agile as they come. He loves to show us all the "correct" way to balance on one leg, eyes closed, etc...then bend down and do some knee bends, then go out and cut down some tree's with his chainsaw.

Diagnosis: Fractured Patella. I emailed Kari to tell her " I win!" and she replied..."huh? what did you win? another patient?" and sadly I told my mom before her xray "bet ya fractured your patella." Sick PT mind i have i know.

Prognosis: Immobilized 6-8 weeks in a straight leg brace, no stairs ( um 4 story house) and a walker. I am pretty sure that the arthritis she has in her knee means there will be no pin and actually if it isnt cracked in two, just cracked, I guess a pin doesnt make sense. No need making her more uncomfortable.

But like most things my mom has a high pain tolerance. She said she feels more comfortable standing up than sitting down:) Any drugs mom? Nope.

Sigh....I told her that i would far prefer, as would she, to be running back and forth to the ortho doc's as opposed to the cardiologist, the oncologist, etc....

Hopefully she can get back in the pool sometime soon but i guess until that bone heals she is stuck in that dang immobilizer.

Chin up Mom, at least it's spring!! And Ruby will be at your side as will the rest of us. But Ruby will be GLUED to your side!!! And when i say glued, I MEAN IT! see below:)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Board: Day 9

Not sure you can read this but we have had some fun with this....
The GET TO KNOW ME board. Last time we were here i wrote all over the medical board with indelible ink. You know the one that says the date, the RN's name, the PCA's name, what your diet is, what your activity level is. So i think this dry erase board is for me:)

The pickles and chips and salsa will be on hold for about 6 weeks, as we will hit the white food groups hard in the next month. No seeds, veggie skins, fruits etc..that could potentially get "caught" in the GI. Just think about all the good stuff you normally eat, and he cant eat that.
I will have to watch my Tapioca consumption, and lucky for me I dont care for mashed potatoes!

Best of all is that he is eating soft foods, and he refused the Heparin today. Those shots are as bad as they sound, the bruising on his triceps is pretty bad and even Arnica hasnt helped. If the MD gives the go ahead we are headed home thursday. The incision is a bit inflamed and they are watching it to be sure they dont have to drain it. Fingers crossed again.

Have a super day everyone.
PS Oh and I had a GREAT tempo run today! My blister/callus that i somehow ignored in Tucson is hurting on my big toe and even with Moleskin it seems to just not go away...bum.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


My mind has been in a thousand places this past week. Bouncing around from Rich to work, to Rich, to training, to Rich, to work, to family support and my awesome friends, to Rich, to Mayo, get the idea. When i was running today I finally said to myself...ME. ME. ME. ME.

With a recent post by girl pal Mary on motherhood and all that it entails I realized i wanted to write about ME. Not about Mayo, not about Day 6 or whatever day it is, not about NG tubes, hydration and not about Cancer. This was hard for me to realize. Last time I was down here with Rich we were uncertain about his prognosis. To date we know he is cancer free. That makes all this "complications" from surgery seem ok. Last time we were here we had the wedding on the horizon, would we get married? would he be ok? would he have the energy? And I was also DONE for the season with my racing and the training was sorta to keep me sane. It was the start of winter hibernation.

When I planned my race calender for 2010 we were to have had this current surgery DONE! It was planned for January 2010, but our surgeon suggested waiting another 3 mos, and if the surgeon wants to wait, by all means, we were for it. Little did i know that this would bring the surgery to about 2-3 weeks pre my first big race of the season. Lonestar 70.3, or Memorial Hermann 70.3, or whatever IM is calling it. I just know i signed up bc my sister lives in Houston and I thought it would be fun to have girls weekend in Galveston. I had no plans to be training thru my hubby's Mayo stay. Luckily we had a great build at JH camp and the after camp in Green Valley. I think i got some good volume in and despite it being concentrated I think it helped. I hope. At least i got to ride and run in temps over 30 degrees. Lol.

As i ran today ( and felt like my legs were back after the Tucson trip! yea!) I realized I have done NO speed work. I have raced once. a 10 miler which was a good race for me for March. I have been on my Tri bike 1x outside. I rode her yesterday for 2 hours. It was not a workout it was just an endurance ride. And i realized that 56 miles is gonna be hard. Yes we rode alot in Tucson. Alot of it involved climbs which means you get some free miles descending. Lonestar is flat flat flat. For me this means hard hard hard. I also realized its salt water. Oh boy. I guess i swam in St John's and didnt have a problem but i have to keep my mouth shut!

Anyways I wont dwell on all the "Oh crap" moments i have had this past week. Because at the end of the day I am so excited to get out and race and throw all expectations out the window. I really mean that. I HAD some time goals, and really now i just know that my competitive juices will flow when it counts, and if I am not feeling it I will pace as i need to in order to cross that line with my head high and my shoulders back. ( ie not hunched over like a little old lady!)

So this is the ME post I wanted. I wanted to write about me, and how this Cancer thing and how being at Mayo has made me feel. I am just hitting the surface of it really, but the guilt i feel leaving him here is huge, as i drive home every night and get up and drive down in the AM. I also know that after that first night ( where i was miserable! on the couch! ME again, remember this is about me, its my blog) I could not have left him. No way. And this is THE MAYO clinic.
I think you have to experience this place ( now dont go out of your way to get here) to understand how EXCELLENT the service is and how passionate and caring the RN's, to the MD's to the transport service to EVERY frickin person here is compassionate. I am not kidding. The people that take the parking tickets are professional and courteous. Really.

If i cant be confident leaving him here overnight I am nuts. Plus THEY get ALOT done at night. It is pretty weird/curious that when rest is so important to healing that they are in here every 2 hours doing stuff. Blood draws are at midnight, and there are other things that all require you to spell your name, state your date of birth, etc...all for positive ID before the shoot you up with Heparin or do whatever. Rich had an Ambien last night to sleep. Um, yeah right.
But still its hard to leave him here alone. Thank god the Master's is on :)

So i get up and try to get a workout in. Then i eat something and shower. The bad thing about not swimming as much this past week is there are no built in showers:) And riding early has still been chilly, so I have been on the trainer. But its all good since it makes my exit from the house faster. Then i throw more food into a bag, and grab more things to bring down to Mayo, and start driving. Now I am a bike racer. I like to drive fast. And up until friday I was safely and cautiously driving a speed that got me to Mayo in about 75 minutes. Lets just say that friday I cut my drive a bit too close to get to a 4:30pm appt in st paul. I got off the freeway and was right on time to get to my appt ( for a massage, selfish i know...but they give massages at mayo you know, so i wanted one too!) and as i was heading down a local street about 1 mile from the massage therapist I saw it.

That suspect car with the lights inside the car and too many antennae. I dropped speed FAST. But who knows where his little camera was sitting but I went by him and about 10 feet later i was pulled over. Nice. I have NEVER been pulled over EVER. I had alot going thru my head.
To make a long story short I was honest and told him i was coming back from Mayo and I knew i was speeding. I was going 44 in a 30. oops. He warned me and if we had had the updated insurance card in the glove compartment i would have been scott free. oops, again. I called Rich and he said "oh sorry." All is fine I just had to send in a copy of the card and i should be good to go.
Officer Friendly was SOOOO nice. I felt really lucky, he wanted to know how Rich was, wanted to know if i was ok, wanted to know more about our wedding, etc...and then wrote on the ticket "Very polite and courteous." I didnt cry and I didnt flirt. I just told him like it was. And I got lucky. And trust me I have slowed down. I know that driving fast isnt the answer, and trust me I was tempted to say " I race bikes and i had the perfect line coming into that corner." But i didnt. But crap. I mean really Julia. Dont be in such a frenzied rush as next time there could be a bike or a kid in the street. And if the Chief of the St Paul Police Dept was still Chief John Harrington ( he isnt anymore, he retired) I could have pulled the Dartmouth Card. Yup. Chief H is a Dartmouth grad:)

Thanks for reading about ME today. I will update more on FB about Rich:) Happy weekend everyone.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Day 3

Happy times!

If my selective memory serves me right day 3 was a pivotal day when we were here in October.
Rich always tells me that 72 hours is when inflammation peaks, and his body is proving to be a good case study. I am going to keep it short ( since I didnt last post!) and say we are hanging out at Mayo, the surgery was succesful in that they were able to do the procedure they had hoped, and now we wait until his GI tract calms down and he can take in nutrition and have normal body functions. ( I wont be more detailed than that!)

It sucks to see my honey in such agony, and when they put the NG tube back in we both groaned. And then he started throwing up ( double groan, bc you arent supposed to throw up with an NG tube, that is the point) and triple groan bc they have to reposition it and that hurts. Imagine a giant straw in your nose and down your throat. Ouch.

We got part way thru The Big Lebowski and he couldnt finish it. That tell's ya something bc the DUDE is Rich's favorite. Oh well, there is always tommorrow.

On my front ( yes I know i said this would be short..but..) Post Tucson I feel the effects of a less than comfortable couch here at Mayo, some fatigue still from the 10 days of training ( that i would not change in a second), I had an MRI of my left GH joint ( shoulder) and I am stressed out about Rich. Oh and I am leaving for Texas in how many days? To be honest I will be so happy to race Texas 70.3 or Lonestar or whatever it is called bc Greta hasnt even been outside yet. As for the MRI my Orthopod was not impressed and that is good. I know i still have something going on in there but thankfully nothing APPARENT that a surgeon wants to play around with. This is good news for swimming and means i just need to lay off the Atomic Pushups for a bit. OR forever. TRX is one strength wko i kinda liked so i hope i dont have to return to my stabilization and cuff exercises for good, but for now to get me to the start line of some races I would rather swim than do pushups!

Hope you are having good spring weather. We had 30 this AM and high of 53 so not really getting the 80's some of you are. Enjoy it!

Sunday, April 04, 2010

JH Tri camp report plus extra footage of the after camp in Green Valley!

Before i get to the disorganized blog entry...

I thought about bringing these socks to camp. I am glad i didnt. When Mary told me she was trying to put GOBIGGREEN together with me in the flesh i was double glad I didnt bring these bc I can be kind of a smart A$$ and dont think people know that about me...unless you know me....but i still love these socks and have some good stories from wearing them...

So be patient as i have alot to blog about but after 10 days in Tucson i may very well end up with bullet points and stuff you have already heard on FB or on other campers blog's.
We just got in last night and with Easter today ( yea!) and Mayo "Stuff" starting up again tommorrow the blog has been neglected, for good reasons. No time.
So I did my best to start jotting things down on my iphone while gone and this is what i came up with...I wont win any English awards for good sentence structure or a well designed story but have fun reading it anyways!

Wednesday: Arrival. Good friends, new friends, nice sunny skies and a busted bike box from Delta but at least the bike was fine. Yummy dinner thanks to Jen's forward thinking that nobody wanted to cook or do dishes! Kate O and I scored the master suite with a giant bed and an extra bath and were happy to have other campers use the poddy as needed, and for Tracey to crash her air mattress in the room the next night. Good times were starting!

Marco thanks!!! Marco is the best, to come up there and give us food and snacks and cheer us on!
1-14 to windy point with kari and kept thinking it got easier after that:) I remember last year being about 100 feet behind Renee and that helped me get to the top. Even if we went to the TOP and to the ski resort last year, oops, this year I knew to not climb more! And after 14 at least you had some times you could shift and pedal and as I told Jerome "get some free miles!" Jen said 1-5 is worst but I think 10-14 was the most unforgiving!
fun to ride with Mary ange and Jerome to the top!

Refuel and head down it was balmy must have been 50!!

A quick T run with Kari post Lemmon, and i mean Quick! I loved running with Kari, she is a speedy runner who runs with little effort ( or so it seems) and i felt honored to have her at my side.
Dinner at Blanco that night was great, those fish tacos are divine and it was fun to see everyone all dressed up:)

Friday dawned and it was swim then run time:
From my DOUBTS post this is what i arrived in Tucson armed to do, tape up my biceps and my pecs with the kinesiotape. Yup i swam with this. It was touch and go friday as it had been a full 9 days since i swam, horrors i know, but really Jen was great about it. She was the one telling me not to swim, to wait, etc.. and i was the one thinking "this is KILLING Jen, that i cant swim." Ha, wrong. Friday i took it easy in the pool ( no not really but i really made sure that if anything hurt i would stop) and it just felt tight. no pain and best of all no pain afterwards.

AFter the swim we hit Le Buzz, yum!

I got a cookie for after the run, had a nice bagel and PB and a banana and the best frothy capp i could ever want. Ooops. About 1 x a year i do that. drink coffee pre run. And learned my lesson again. Thanks Mary who said i was scared and had to turn back mid Telephone pole run but i was doubled over with GI issues. No espresso pre run!!
I was going to turn back down and run the road and then said "dang it, just slow down, walk if you need to and keep going." I met up with Cheryl and Sharon who were doing a nice pace of run and walk "When you think you may trip and die" and so i thought that sounded good.

When Super Kari and Jerome flew by us we knew it was time to turn around and try to make the descent in a safe manner. And I tell you i could not help but think that i loved descending Lemmon more than this. Seriously.

So 2 hour run done and home for? I cant remember, it all is a blur. Basketball? likely! Kari and i chose to stay in friday night and we went to the grocery store where i proceded to nearly run over a little girl whose mom was selling tamales in the parking lot. Serously? do you send your little kid into the traffic to get customers? I think Kari and I were a bit shaken at this sales technique.

The decision was made for the shorter riders ( ie short meaning not 118 miles!) to drive to an Alberstons and ride Gates Pass, MCcain Loop and some other climbs that were great. We had a few issues with the road cracks and Mel went down, but she was a trooper and got back up again and was good to go. It was a lovely course and after Lemmon I think we were all relieved when Jen said "there is the top." Seriously? Nice! AFterwards we had a nice FAST T run in the "hood's around the Albertsons to finish off a good training day.

Some TRX demo in the afternoon and some hanging out by the pool was just what we needed.
Zona 78 for dinner that night was perfect, and we got to hear the war stories of the 118 miles. I have to say, when we were in Green Valley riding i saw HOW Far they had gone. Whoa that was alot of riding teammates. you should be super proud of that training day, and if i am doing an IM in 2011 I am going to have to get my big girl pants on for a hundo. ( would prefer 100 to 118, ahem)

A few random thoughts mixed in here:

Ange has the prettiest hair color and crap she can ride...zoom zoom. Descent of gates pass and I couldn't see her and all the sudden when we hit flats she took off like the the batmobile.

Mel: brave and no pitty party...and then she goes home and rides a 100 miles this past weekend. You Go Girl!

Kate: cupcakes!!! Az stagecoach protected my bike her cc's...the lady driver told the guy helping us with the luggage...LOUD AND CLEAR...

" Jimmy we have cupcakes be careful!!!"

Sharon; Nurse extraoridnaire and hilarious mini van driver. I loved haunting her with the minute by minute weather report!

John ( poor John took a beating from the tough women as he was better than a garmin "when it's convenient... Get in the left lane.." and after I bashed him for working for Wilson not prince. Fed plays Wilson. My bad. Sharon offered him a great gig playing X box with her kids and he just laughed it off.

Mary is so tiny. But tiny in stature still means that woman is putting out some major power! Fun to hear about tri moxie too.

Tracy: let's ride 118 miles on nuns! Haha. While going up Lemmon she had this little boucning noise and Jerome and i were like WTF? And Tracy told us it was her NUNS. So of course my delusional head at about mile 16 was some image of her plastic NUN ( non NUUN) in her water bottle or some statue on her bike handlbars. Ok it was funny then.
And that chick has done 3 IM like "no big deal!"

Jen/rich happy anniversary how cool and riding 118 they won't forget!

Cheryl: who I liked before I even met her and love her dogs! What a kind well spoken I wish I had your shoulders athlete!!!

So sunday the final day of JHC. A nice run on the roads of Sabino after a nice swim that seemed alot harder than the first one. But I got to again share lanes with Kari, Sharon and Rich and we did the wko and my shoulder was good. Tape and all. The Van driver ( sharon) drove us home to our house and we all hustled to get cleaned up and get the place cleared out by noon. Most headed to the airport I was heading to my next camp..
RICH CAMP in Green Valley with my mother in law:)
It was fun for rich to meet Jen and Jerome, kari and others ( he knows KO) and at one point I called Jen, Lucifer. And I did not mean that. really. As others have said, Jen brings out the best in us and if I were to call her that it would be my own devils talking, not her's.

Sunday we went to get Fro yo at the place close to where we stayed last year and then drove south to Green Valley. with a stop at the in and out burger bc Rich was dying to try it. Big Lebowski you know. I was tired but not COOKED. I really worked hard but maybe this year i knew what to expect. I cant say I had ridden outside much but riding that dang cross bike maybe did me more good than i thought as I felt great on the bike, normal on the run and just plain respecting of the swim given my shoulder.

Monday: Time to head to Arivaca!!!
Its about 10 mies till we hit The ROAD TO ARIVACA. open road, sights 360 deg where you see nothing but the open road, moutains, Cacti, and....

Border Patrol!

FUNNY STORY : The funniest is seeing a border patrol wagon go kareening into taco bell and rich and I say " make a run for the border?"

26 miles of gentle climbing to about 5000feet and border patrol screaming back and forth The ridehome is fast and fun with a gentle downhill and a tailwind if lucky! I glad I felt good Monday after camp to work that ride bc it was so worth putting a few More nails in My reserves. No t run:) yeah!
Grilling outside rocks!
Sweet potaotes!! We had them EVERY NIGHT. Oh YEA!

Riding up more mtns is just as hard even
If u keep thinking it's not Lemmon. It's still hard.

Tuesday long brick...with two more mountains to climb. Magee Ranch road and Madera canyon.
88 degrees....
Richs front tire blows and the rear looks like tumorville. I descend Madera faster and get worried!
He usually gives me a head start and flies by making my 30 mph look slow.
Run 4 miles after and almost explode into zone 4. Ice bath sorta helps. I felt good riding and running i just was not ready for the heat. And I love heat....

75 min run becomes 65 min...swim becomes 1500 recovery!
I am toast... and some eggs and oranges and peanut butter with that toast please? At this point i am really getting sick of instant oatmeal and am sustained by eating an entire jar of Laura Scudders Peanut butter on whatever...bagels, toast, bananas, a spoon...:) and smoothies and just about anything at this point.

Nap time starts becoming a daily event...


We wake to cold wind( 38 degrees) Yea 80 in MN!!! go figure
and Rich and I are a bit miffed thinking:

... but no rain to we head south to Tubac including some paceline pulls of 30-60 seconds to which I was grumpy and tired but did it anyways even if we were going 12 mph into a headwind in the small ring! And then you have a mile stretch in 19 where you ride on the freeway apparently that's legal!
Tubac and Tumacacarori were dead at 9 am but we got a quick coffee and cookie and headed back up the road past the border patrol checkpoint off our hi 19 TT and home. 42 miles no rain! Phew!

Rich did a t run and admitted he stopped for a mcd ice cream half way! Really! Why didn't I think of that?

Sweet potatoes ongoing
Wine at the store! Nice! That is pretty cool you can buy wine....and i start to crave

Take your pick...Yorks won. Or maybe i just miss Kari!'
I make Rich go to the MC D's so i can get an ice cream cone and i come out with a cone AND a McFlurry, so i can share it of course :) hehehe.

Friday: 90 min run needed a gel after 30 minutes! Stopped looking at my pace or hr ( it was solidly z 2) and just ran. Didn't feel awful but didn't have anymore gears instead focused on cadence and thought about feeling like thus on a half.. It could happen and this was good training to keep on trucking despite my less than normal long run pace.

Bailed of idea if one more ride (boo) ate something and headed to the pool. A tame wko awaited and after the wu I asked the pool volunteer the pool temp as it seemed hotter than normal.

Normal is 84-85
Heavenly muck

The night prior it was 37 deg so the pool was now 88. After attempting to do 2x250 then 5x50 on 30" usually just fine.. I said. 'nuf done. The swim ended after 2200. Crap I had to get into the 60 degree air to cool off.

This was a great block of training and I am tired...
In a few weeks I go to Galveston and I am minorly freaking about my bike as i have never travelled with my TT bike, but not about the race strangely....
If you think all we did is train, that isnt quite right. We had a great time spending nights with Rosemary and we laughed and had some fun nights out with her friends. She taught me all the different CSI and NCSI shows she watches. And i decided i liked CSI Miami the best.

We also took some nice walks and did some good reading. Just finished "How Evan Broke his Head" by Garth Stein, the same author of "The art of racing in the rain." Both great reads. ( Mary..not scary!)

We took walks where Rich tried to see how many pokey things he could touch without drawing blood.

We kept an eye on the morning dove protecting her nest in the carport...

Saturday we have to fly home, and Barf i mean it. The pliot had it in for us and i still feel queesy, I dont fly well and i tell ya i was GREEN on that landing.

Sunday Easter! Lovely run... lively easy spin!

Eggs bacon family tennis in the backyard. No we dont have a court, just agile nephews and two rackets, balls, a golden retriever RUBY and some sun and 65!

Monday Mayo! Tuesday surgery!
Prayers welcome!
I will update FB about that!!!