Monday, December 29, 2008

Okay...I'll Finish

So okay, I'll finish up my story and then I'm taking a blog break....

Geez...I can't remember where I left off so I'm just jumpin in.

I got tired of getting beat up and messed up...I wanted to straighten up. I stopped doing drugs and I actually went back to school...for seven years I was in college! I know..that's a long time. I LOVE school now. I'm almost always in a class or looking for one to join. Psychology, marketing, group training, web design, graphic design... you name it and I've taken it or should have a degree in it!!

There aren't too many things I haven't tried once or twice in my life. I've been bungee jumping off a bridge in the middle of the night... I broke into an empty house just for a place to sleep. I was "arrested" once for breaking into that house and I've been on probation before. On the more positive side I was also a volunteer at a homeless youth center for several years in my early 30's and was this close to joining the Peace Corp. just a little before that. In my late 20's early 30's I spent most of my time trying to pay back all of my bad decisions and give back as much of myself as I could. Trying to reverse Karma I suppose.

I live free now. I've given up the guilt and embarrassment. I'm smart, funny, loyal and mostly I just try to live a simple life with a few really awesome people around me. My story ends with this... I am defined by who I am today...not by what I did yesterday. Happy Training....Kim

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Thanks

Thanks to all my readers in 2008....I'm taking some blog time off and just focusing on my training. Thanks for your emails and messages and if I start blogging again I'll be sure to let you know!

Happy Trails

Friday, December 19, 2008

My New CompuTrainer

I'm pretty excited! I bought the CompuTrainer yesterday. I've already downloaded the IM route and I'm ready to sweat. My goal - to blow Dave's mind the next time I race virtual Kim! That's right. I won't see that look on his face again! EVER.... On Wed I raced VK (virtual Kim) and I'm still able to kick her ass but it's getting harder.. She's getting stronger every time I see her. No more....I'm done with VK.

Biking use to be the only means of transportation some months ago and I have to get back to that routine. She's got to be my feet and now with the trainer I'll be able to get so much more done. I'll post photos soon. We are headed out of town for the weekend so watch for pics soon!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Well, I screwed up

If you could see me, you'd see my head held low and a shameful look on my face. I haven't been doing everything I'm suppose to do. Dave's assignment for me while he was gone on vacation was not completed....well, not all of it anyway. I am suppose get 250 bike miles done and I just haven't. I can find all kinds of excuses but the bottom line is, I just got lazy. So today, when I saw Dave he asked me about it and the look on his face said all I needed to hear. As much as I try and make Dave proud of me, today was the complete worst I've felt since we started this 8 or 9 months ago.

I'm truly sorry Dave....because I know your time is valuable. I know you take my training serious and I totally let you down this past week. I'm going to get my bike miles done, and my running if I have to drag my ass over the 60 and 250 mile marker...I promise I'll get it done....

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ironman

Did anyone watch the Kona Ironman on TV this past week? Well, I finally got to watch it last night and I had a whole bunch of emotions arise. Excitement, fear, curiosity, admiration....a wide spectrum of emotion and then I got to thinkin...can I actually do that? Many of the athletes talked about how our bodies are just not made for that long a race so who am I to think that I can actually pull this off? And why the self doubt all of a sudden? I read an article lately about exercise and the writer said, "People don't exercise because they like it. They exercise for the results." Some days I agree, some I don't . What I want to know is where does the self discipline come from? What gets a person up and active when part of them says to stay home and get other things done? How does that part get exercised?

What makes a person keep running when their mind says to stop and take a rest? How does that happen?? What is it? Are we born athletic or nurtured into being athletes?

I'm truly scared after watching Kona. Now, I do realize they featured the elite athletes. I don't doubt I'll feel pain, and stomach upset and the cramps but what I fear the most is the part of my brain that says it's okay not to finish because I tried my best. I have a fairly strong will but we all have a breaking point. I worry a lot about being alone out there on that bike with just my thoughts. That's when trouble comes so I really need to focus a lot of my training on my internal dialog. I just don't know how long I'll be able to yield off the yucky stuff.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

What's up

I haven't written much this week, I know. I need to finish my story and get caught up on my workout posts on my calendar but this has been a pretty busy week.

Here is a quick run down...

Hamstring pulled - OUCH
Shin splints starting to develop - OUCH
Spirits high - YEAH

Getting ready for our holiday party tonight so there has been some construction going on at my house, which has also added to my daily To Do list. Next week things will return to normal and I'll continue where we left off....Until then, "I'll see you on the radio".

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A bust...

This week Dave is on vacation and it's almost as if a part of me becomes a rebellious kid and says screw it (as I toss up my hands). I've done some workouts but they are half ass effort with little desire for more. I called some of my workout friends to help get me going and I think today I might end up on my bike with C.K....which is needed since I'm now behind on my miles.

I'm swimming with a friend again this week...back at Cactus since the maintenance is done. I was really enjoying Lifetime! Nice place. She use to be a swim instructor so it's nice to have her by my side...two fold really..a friend and coach... I need to get back and finish my sessions with Cliff. I think I've improved since we last saw each other.

Off to work...

Monday, December 8, 2008

I'm back

Yeah...I'm back. Here is the really cool thing that I need to report! This was the first workout that I've done where I did not start thinking about all my regrets and troubled past. I've let it go and man, my shoulders are much lighter because of it.
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I got married when I was 18 (still had not seen my parents in years and they didn't know I was married). It was a bust and here's why. John was in jail when he proposed! TOTAL trailer trash huh! It's like an episode of My Name is Earl or something. Seriously though, he was in jail for drug sales etc and was looking at a lot of time in prison so when he asked I didn't think it would actually happen. I was wrong and now I was stuck.

Our "marriage" lasted for 3 years and the divorce was free...because he filed in jail! That was his second home. I was glad to end that huge mistake. I recently found out that he died of a heart attack early this year.

I look back on my life and it doesn't seem real. Did I really do all these crazy thing? Ugh.... I'm so glad that's all over!

Anyway... After the divorce I started to feel like it was time to get my life in some sort of working order. I got my GED and started working a real job at an insurance agency and believe it or not I took, and passed the CA state exams to sell insurance. Though I never did sell it myself, I worked for this agent for a while until I met Scott, a quadriplegic I dated for about 3 years. He was a great guy...but just not the guy for me.

My parents and I started seeing each other again and it was a huge adjustment. When I left I was a punk and now I was an adult.

Oops...look at the time! I have to get to work. I'll write more later!

Friday, December 5, 2008

My bulging biceps

That's right...I'm proud to say that in this past week I think my biceps have risen an inch. I put one of my favorite shirts on today and I had to stretch the arms out so my biceps could breath. Ask me the next time you see me to flex for you..that's some sexy sh*t there! I just can't get enough! Is it vain to be in love with my arms?

So this has to be a little short today because I have a lot to get done for Rick's race tomorrow but just a YAHHOOO for me. I raced virtual Kim on the trainer today and I gave her the smack DOWN! We did one IM loop and at my best had nearly 4 miles on her which adds up to 45 IM minutes! Then Dave's Internet went down and we lost all the data from today. Bummer...but I was really killin it. My cadence was in the 50-60's, which is what it needs to be and my legs felt really great so I'm super happy!!! TONS of improvements have been made.

I'll write more Sunday and finish my story.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Continued....

Yesterday was a frightening workout. I met Dave at Reach 11 for a run but this time...he was going to tow me. YIKES! This was frightening for a few reasons. My legs are really tired. I'm not kidding. They are really sore and hurting and have been since Sunday. I have been pounding my legs all week and given how tired I was, I could only visualize my face hitting the dirt and him dragging me behind. I was afraid of his speed. I had a couple little anxiety attacks but was so out of breath I could barely ask him to slow down. Slow down...are you hurting or in some type of pain, he says? I just can't breath. You can breath, just keep making circles with your legs. Oh my god somebody please freakin shoot me. I was scared the entire Reach 11 loop. We did one lap in 22 minutes followed by lunges until I could barely lift my body up. I hurt....really hurt....

I have another scheduled workout tonight and I'm not too sure how it will go. I can't wait for Saturday!!! (my rest day)

So back to my story....

I failed to mention that my birth mother left me when I was 3. Now, what kind of person could leave a child? Who does that? She had two other kids from a previous marriage that she never left so why me? I really struggle with this. I wonder if she remembers me on my birthday.

She took two kids with her but not me and that really made me feel like I was not good enough to keep, which has been carried into other parts of my life. The whole I'm not good enough thing ya know and the constant need for approval and acceptance. I met her for the first time when I was 8 or something just to have her leave again and not make contact for several years. We repeated this whole cycle two or three more times until I finally said no more in my 20's. She's had 5 kids now and 7 husbands. Maybe more by now..who knows but I have never had a relationship with her and at this point don't plan to.

Our last conversation was over the phone when I finally had the guts to ask her why. I was able to track her down through my grandmother's relatives and making that call was one of the hardest I've had to make. She blamed everything on my father of course and never took responsibility and never apologized for missing my life. I wonder today what her struggles are and what her pain is like...did she tell her other children about me? Seriously...who leaves their kids like that!
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So I don't really need to go into details but I did get a shower eventually and was then dropped off at a pay phone in the middle of a town I was not familiar with. Very scared and not sure what to do, I called Social Advocates for Youth and eventually ended up in the police station. Tons of crap and pain I moved up towards Sacramento with my grandmothers relatives. That didn't last long. They kicked me out too for a mistake that I cannot blog about. Ask me in person and I'll be glad to tell you.

I ended up with my friend Lori again and right now I need to go take a nap so I'll finish this later...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Here I am...

I'm reading this book my friend gave me called, "Becoming an Ironman". Super awesome book. It's short stories from people who have done an IM and what they went through to get to it. Stories like "I began to cry the last 500 meters. The end was so overwhelming - the feelings that have been numbed by training and racing catch up to you." And "I was sure I was in HELL. All I needed was someone to drip water drops on my head and shine a bright light in my eyes. It was no fun." Stories that encourage me, and make me wonder why am I really doing this.

I train alone alot and that leaves time for me to get to know myself - maybe too much. In the beginning, when I first started this process I thought my reason for doing IM was different. Or, maybe it's just evolved - I don't know but it's bigger now and much deeper. So much deeper that I think it's time for me to "come out of the closet" and share some of who I really am. It just so happens that my diary is read by you... This is important because these things hold me back from being who I really am. I live in secrets and in shame. I just don't have the energy to hold on to all this crap anymore. Now, as you read this please note that to you it's probably not a big deal and heck, your story might be similar but I've hidden from it and pushed it down for so many years that now, when I think about getting it off my chest it feels like just yesterday.

I've tossed out pieces of myself throughout the 8 or so months I've been writing. I was running yesterday and felt like it was time to share all of it and just be free...I'm so ready to be free!!

I grew up in a combined family, like most I think. I went from being an only child to suddenly the youngest of four and I was pretty okay with that. I liked having a sister and brothers....but they were not too thrilled with me. I was 7 then. By the time I started 9th grade things started to go south for me. The typical teen who hated her parents and her life and school where everyday was a challenge just to not get beat up or made fun of. I was quiet and never had friends. This was a new school and my siblings had all gone off to college so I lived with my Grandmother and parents...a house full of fun I thought. My entire life changed in one day...one class...one moment when I decided to skip math because I was too scared to walk in late and have the entire class turn and look to see who walked in after the bell rang...I will never forget how I felt that day and will regret nearly everyday after for the following 10 plus.

I found some kids who did pick me that day...they picked me to smoke some pot and cigarettes and at that moment I was scared and happy at the same time. I was making friends and loved it. At the same time I had met a gal named Lori in church. Oh yeah, it was church morning, noon and night at my house. Anyway, I'll cut to the juicy stuff here. I was now a full fledged smoker, pothead and Lori and I started sneaking out at night to meet and party with whoever would take us. To this day I don't know how we didn't get seriously hurt. I tried to run off with my parents car once but the e-brake was broken and I didn't know how to get it undone...

Months of pot quickly turned to meth and drinking and lots of trouble. I new I was addicted to meth when I would buy it and not tell my friends because I didn't want to share. I think the longest I stayed up was a weekend on acid, meth and some coke sprinkled in my joint.

Maybe you wonder what about school? Well, I got kicked out and sent to an alternative school where I got kicked out of that too. My highest high school education is 10th grade I think....I can't remember really. I got my GED in 92 or something but I'm getting ahead of myself here. At the same time I was getting kicked out of schools I was running away from home too. My parents wouldn't see me for days until I finally ran away for 3 years without a trace or a word, letter or phone call. It never bothered me to sneak out the window at night and be gone for a weekend. They nailed my window shut so I started leaving through the front door and actually appreciated how much easier it was that way.

Three years of hell and shame that I have hidden and tried to forget. Drugs, Yukon Jack, and some homelessness change a person. I didn't trust myself anymore and I didn't trust anyone around me either.

My lowest point was giving myself up for a shower. My life was in a grocery bag, I had a dollar to my name and it was in dimes and I had nobody to call...nowhere to go and more than anything I wanted to take a shower...I got into a car with three grown men who promised they would help me. How naive and how angry I am for believing them....

So this story is getting pretty long so I'll finish tomorrow. It's about feeling good enough on my own...it's about seeing myself today for who I really am and being okay with how I got here. It's about forgiving and letting go and realizing that I cannot hold the weight of this anymore. I already feel free and clean and better and I've just scratched the surface....

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Ah-ha moments

A few things today... I forgot to mention that Dave told me some software he had analyzed my cadence on the CompuTrainer and I'm not doing so great. My circles are not efficient or something I guess. I push down on the pedal but that's it so he says we are going back to one leg biking. eeks.. That's riding my bike with one leg clipped in and working entirely on my circles pushing down and pulling up.

I felt for the first time today what it's going to be like when my days are nothing but training. I've been gone since 10:00 this morning swimming and running. Neither were super long, but the time goes so fast. My friend Sarah and I did 2000m total but broke it into some drills for nearly 1.5 hours followed by a 7.38 mile run on the canal. I'm pooped. My calf hurts, quads hurt, arms hurt... everything hurts right now and I don't think my legs could handle one more mile. All this and I haven't been on my bike in almost a week. I'm in "maintenance" mode until January when the real IM training starts but damn, how does a person do all this AND work?

My goals for Dec are 60 miles running and 250 miles biking. That only ads up to 2.5 miles a day for 6 days and a bit over 10 bike miles per day but include the swimming, which is going to be 3 times a week and that's a good days workout for 6 solid days. I'm tired just thinking about it and I haven't scratched the surface.

I came to the computer with lots to say (there is alot to think about when you run 7 miles alone) but I'm too stinky and tired so I'll write more later. I think I'm ready to share some of my deepest secrets in an effort to clean out my closet. I need room for some better stuff so be sure to check back maybe tomorrow for the real juicy stuff.

Monday, December 1, 2008

I've got more to say

(here it is!! I just got this info from Dave..it's the Stairmaster Crossrobics 1650 LE - total bitch of a machine!)


I blogged once today but man, my gym workout was so freakin crazy I had to write again!

But wait..I forgot to tell you about my sexy legs :) So yesterday while I was waiting for Brigid I was doing some calf and shin stretching....WOW! Through the stubble I could see my muscles bulging out of my legs and man that's sexy ;o I was making myself drool! I had to do a double take because I couldn't believe how my legs have changed. There I am, in the middle of the parking lot checkin out my stuff with zero shame...yep, and I'm gonna do it again today too! There - just did!

Had a fantastic ass kicking I can't believe I sweat that much workout today at the gym. Every muscle fiber in my arms are just shredded....and my legs...and back and okay just all over. I'm so sore that holding my fingers up to type is making my arms hurt. LOVED IT!

Here is the deal - which I obviously forgot about. If I don't bike to the gym I get punished. Well, Dave doesn't call it punishment but please, let's get real. I even asked him why he was mad at me.... I don't know what this machine is called but it's a real butt kicker. I don't even know how to describe it really but just know that it sucks really bad and I'd rather have a tooth pulled then get on it. I had 10 minutes and Dave says, "no whining" which means I must have been really bad because he's never said that to me before. 10 minutes and I'm done...too tired to stretch and too tired to now drive home...I can't feel my legs because my quads are in a spasm and I can't hold the wheel because my arms are shredded...I should have biked...I should have biked....

Trail Run

Okay, so remember months ago when I blogged about my friend "Julie's" biceps? Her real name is Brigid and we did a trail run this weekend. Once I started to think about it I realized that I had never really done a long trail run before so I was a bit nervous. I was a little worried about our speed too because, well, you know I like to worry about stuff.

The day could not have been more perfect! Families hiking and people biking...it was just great to see everyone outside.

Our goal was to start at Dreamy Draw Park and run to Tatum and back. - SIDE NOTE Brigid is signed up to do Ironman 09 too. This will be her second - END .... The route leaving Dreamy Draw was mostly uphill and you all know how I LOVE anything that involves an incline. But I do know that for my leg endurance this is the type of workout I need most. I also took comfort in knowing it was all downhill on the way back. Anyway...the conversation was so fun that I didn't think much about the distance...until we started getting close to Tatum. Man, I don't remember that last stretch being that long. It went on forever and I could feel my legs getting really tired. They are pavement legs and the terrain was beating me up. I started to wonder, how long of a rest do we get? Would I be able to sit down? HELLL NOOO...we turned right around and started back up the hill. Okay, I really do need to rest now so we started walking so I could catch my breath and try to get the feeling back into my legs. We did a walk/run all the way back and I appreciated how easy it was being with Brigid... She's such a cool cat!

The run home came quickly and I could not have been more happy. My legs now feel like bricks and all I want at this point is a cold shower and a nap...I can't wait to do it again! I think overall it was about 8 miles but with the terrain it should count as double that.

Off to the gym today and I'm ready to test my limits again this week. Let's get ready to RUMBLE!!!!

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Trainer

This is what I like about the CompuTrainer.........um.....give me a second.....Oh, wait! I know......no, that's not it.

Today I did this crazy hard workout that really made me sweat. The idea was to keep my RPM's high while going up a mtn and at the top of a mtn. As if the steepest grade (9%) was not hard enough, trying to maintain a high RPM at the top was stupid hard. Sweat was dripping down my scalp!!! I kept thinking about the workout that Jillian gave her group on Biggest Loser (my favorite show). They were doing a spin class for hours and she took their seats off so they had to stand and spin!!! YIKES. That's some crazy shit there!

Anyway. Tomorrow is my day off and I'm trail running up to 10 miles on Sunday. I'm pretty excited about that because my last run was a little over 9 miles and I had an injury. This time around should be better - I hope....

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The last person picked

When I was growing up I was always the last one picked for just about everything. I never won a prize or award and never competed for anything. Many times I felt like I was just an observer of life looking through a glass box wishing and wanting to participate but never really fitting in anywhere... I just wanted to be part of a group. Any group for that matter...but just a group. Even as adults we look for like minded people to hang with and share food with and laugh with....we are drawn to each other....at least most of us are....

Something happens to a little girl when she's always picked last and always left out. She finds a way to manage, sure, but the pain never really goes away and she can't help but wonder why. Why wasn't I ever picked....why wasn't I good enough for your team....

Over the years I've learned that the same is true for adults. We are very clickish and it's hard to break apart a strong group... No matter how hard I try to fit in or become a part of the group it never really works out. Have you heard that theory about spending time with the people you most want to be most like? Toss that shit right out the door because the people I want to hang with don't have time to wait for me to catch up...

I'm learning more and more about myself these days. I have two different personalities. I'm a very strong leader at work and I'm damn good at what I do. However, once I leave work I become somebody who lacks confidence in any social setting and seeks out the approval of almost everyone I meet. How can this be? So who am I really? Am I strong or not? Am I a leader or follower? What I have learned over the past few weeks is that if I want something I just need to do it on my own. I'm not going to get picked so I'm done waiting to hear my named called. Today I am letting go of the hope that somebody will want me on their team. Today I am letting go of the hurt feelings...the resentment...the confusion and the questions why. It is what it is and that's going to be good enough. It's about me now...and only me....

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

What a whirlwind

Wow, these past 5 days are really a blur. Let's see how much I can remember. Thursday was my first Ironman volunteer day at the registration tent. Let me first say WOW!!! What a well run operation. I picked up some really great ideas. Seeing all the athletes was truly amazing. I can't wait to be a part of that group. Thurs was a quick hike up A mtn when my shift was over.

Thur afternoon I stuffed swag bags for Rick's Mad Mud Run event that was Saturday. Carla from REI and I stuffed bags for over 8 hours!!! My feet, legs, back and hands were exhausted. I don't care if I see another swag (stuff we all get) bag in my life.

Friday was super busy getting everything ready at Rick's race sight and at REI so that day was pretty much shot...as was Saturday. Our day started at 3am and ended about 7pm so again, my legs, feet and arms were pretty much toasted.

Sunday at the Ironman again! This is were I really did learn a huge lesson. Watching the transition from swim to bike inside the changing tent gave me great ideas on what I need to do, and the best way to get it done. Those poor athletes were so cold that their teeth were chattering. My first order of business is to get a hood, gloves, booties and a wetsuit with arms. It just looked painful to see them so cold.

Monday was equally COLD! I worked the registration table again where some folks had been in line since 3am! Can you believe this. The line got so long at one point that it was from Tempe Beach Park to the Mill Ave. corner and down the street a ways. WOW! I was so lucky that I got to sign up for Ironman 09 before we even opened the gate.

I ended up in bed at 6pm last night. The exhaustion of 5 straight days on my feet just hit and I was out like a light. I'm glad it's over and to get back to my regular routine! Congrats to Cliff, my swim coach for finishing the Ironman in 16 hours! Nice job.....

This time next year I'll here, Kim Robinson you are an Ironman!

Monday, November 24, 2008

I'm in!

Just a very quick update... I'm registered and paid for the Ironman 2009!!! More info about these past few days coming soon!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Chase

Do you like being chased? Well, I guess it would depend on the circumstance, right? The right person, the right mood...being chased could be down right fun! I wish I could say that about today's workout. First of all, the chaser was Dave and second, he was chasing ME - total mood killer!!!

We played chase on our bikes today. We've done this before and the idea is that when he starts to get next to me to try and pass, I can't let him...I have to speed up. I know, my first thought was to push him over too but I didn't think his wife Windy would be very happy with me. In addition to being chased we were going up an incline - nice! Okay, I have to admit that this is a great workout for my legs but wow, this was a great cardio workout too. One thing about Dave that I learned a LOONNGGG time ago is that he does not schedule breaks into our workouts. I'm just S.O.L., if you know what I mean. That doesn't mean that he wouldn't give me one if I REALLY needed it so I tried desperately to time our ride so that we would have to stop at every stop light. Eeerrggg.. When I needed it the most that damn light stayed green all the way through!

The ride back to the start was great...all downhill and he stopped chasing me...can't really chase when we are flying at 26mph! Reflecting on today's workout I'm realizing that he never really got next to me that many times but man, the stress of having him behind me really made me work hard. I wanted to cry, toss my cookies AND my bike and push him into traffic all in one workout. I'd call that a pretty good morning :)

Monday, November 17, 2008

A little out of sorts

I'm sure you've had one of those days where your head and body were not communicating very well.... I had one of those mornings. Perhaps it was because I knew I had to be home by 9:30 for a 10:00 appt and I was fearful of the time.... or maybe it was the sudden headache I developed doing chest presses... I'm not completely sure but today's gym workout was not my best performance. Oh well...what the hell. I got it done and made my appointment on time too.

Did I mention that Saturday I took a 4 hour nap after the race? I did and man, I could have pulled an all nighter but the dogs woke me up for dinner. I did not get anything on my to-do list done that day, which included going to a bridal shower and for that I'm sorry :( I can't stop getting up at 3:30 every morning and sometimes it catches up with me. Today is another good day for a nap!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Results are in

So yesterday I did the Splash n Dash and I'm still trying to decide whether I'm happy about it or not. Here is the deal.....I'm so freaking slow in the water that my competition is in the 65 and older group. How can anyone swim so slow? What the hell is wrong with me? I was pretty frustrated when I had to practically have an asthma attack to try and beat the 71 year old women ahead of me on the run just so I could finish 3rd to last overall. Geez how humiliating. The look on my face in this photo says exactly how I felt the entire race.

Don't get me wrong. I totally get that swimming a mile is a pretty great thing to be able to do. The first person out of the water did it in some crazy time like 28 minutes! Who does that!!! ugh.

So my overall swim time was 55 minutes, which is good enough for the IM so I guess I should be happy about that, right?

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Weekend S & D

Okay, I've been talked into doing the Splash n Dash this weekend. It's a 2000 meter swim followed by a 3k. I've done a mile swim with Rick out at the lake but eeks... it was pretty hard. I don't anticipate any problems as long as I stay calm and focused. This is not for time - just for practice but that doesn't mean I won't try my best to do well.

The swim is followed by a really short run and from my past experience it's sometimes hard to get my head and legs to coordinate after a long swim. Geez, I hope I don't fall over!

Off on a really hard uphill ride again today. I'm just not satisfied if I don't have that lactic burn in my legs ya know... Something is wrong with my head!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A little swim

I did some swimming today. I haven't been in the pool for a couple of weeks but it sure didn't take long for body to remember what to do. I took it slow and easy putting most of my focus on bilateral breathing (breathing both sides). It's still very uncomfortable so I decided to breath right side up the pool and left side down the pool. This worked well. It provided more opportunities to take a breath and my muscles will grow evenly.

If you haven't noticed I posted my training calendar for you to watch. I'm in "maintenance mode" until January when the real fun begins.... Yeah, I'm really looking forward to 5 hour bike rides....ugh. But that doesn't mean my workouts aren't hard and super fun now. Who doesn't love riding up roads like South Mountain for darn sakes! Why do I like getting my ass kicked so much?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Damn Bees!


This is the second time I've trained with Dave and been stung by a bee! Give me a break!!!

We rode all the way up South Mtn today just passed the towers. YIKES. I was excited when he first told me we were meeting at South Mountain. I thought we were going to mtn bike....but then I got the real story. From what I can find the elevation gain was over 1300 ft, which is more then Camelback and Squaw Peak! My quads sure could feel it.

I had a little fear going into this ride simply because I'm not a strong uphill rider. Fear of what I'm still trying to figure out. Fear of the pain I would endure - maybe. Fear of falling - not really. Fear of not being able to do it - please! My mental toughness never lets me down. I firmly believe that there is nothing I cannot do and that's the attitude that pushed me up those super steep spots.

Chatting with Dave during the ride kept my mind from thinking about the strain on my quads. We got to the top and found some people parachute jumping!! It was a good rest until a bee went down my shirt and stung me!! Yes, you read that right. The little bastard went down my shirt! I started freakin out trying to get my shirt off as fast as I could but he got me. Dave had to pull the stinger out. It itches and hurts still.

Downhill was not so bad. It was cold and I did hit the breaks probably more then I needed to. With a fun "race" between us at the end, I felt great and pretty proud of not once needing to stop and rest my legs. (I appreciate Dave letting me stay out in front during races...but his front tire always reaches the finish line before mine - as one might expect ;)

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Good Ass Kicking!

Well I'm back at it. I met Dave at the gym for one of my favorite workouts. If I ever have a choice between workouts it will always be the gym...I LOVE IT. Or maybe I love all the mirrors...hummmm Anyway, I was changing shoes before I left and my arms and legs were shaking!

Dave has increased the amount of weight that I lift, which is always okay with me. (I hate it when he hands me anything below 15lbs....hate it!) Rick commented on my arms today... apparently seeing my biceps muscle without flexing is sexy ;) Every muscle from the waist up is sore right now. I think sore muscles release some chemical in my brain that says "give me more!" because I'd do it all again tomorrow if I could. Maybe I should trade in Ironman for a body building contest!!!

So this was a pretty bad week but as always Dave is supportive and positive about where I'm at in my training. Ironman is pretty far away so really I just need to maintain my position until after the New Year. Then it's full on and eeks...I'm scared. He's going to give me a workout schedule that I'll post for you to see. That should keep me on track!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

I'm back

Yep..that's right baby! I'm done with this funk and I'm ready to put my heart back into this. I woke up early and knew that before anything I had to get outside for a run. First things first..I jogged around the block with my dogs for a warm up.

Here we go! I didn't really have a route plan but rather a just get your ass outside plan. I started on 36th and Cactus and ended up on Tatum before I started to feel my calf cinch up on me. This was the slowest jog ever but I started to walk so that my injury did not get worse and maybe work the cramp out some. From Tatum back home I did a walk/jog with the intent of keeping my leg warmed up but not too stressed out. My last mistake was pushing through the pain and now a week later I'm still paying for it.... It so happens that my next event is the Chang's 1/2 marathon and I have no intentions of walking it! It was so slow this morning I'm embarrassed to even call it a jog....but...what am I gonna do....

Good luck to everyone doing the 24hr bike race this weekend. I wish I could do it with you!

Friday, November 7, 2008

To better days

So I'm starting to feel better. Thanks for your emails and messages...and thanks to Christine for the nice bike ride yesterday.

It's been a pretty tough week for me with Rick gone...some post race depression and the lack of desire for anything other then candy bars and TV. I can't remember the last time I exercised so little. Maybe I did a total of 25 bike miles and one gym workout. I'm starting to feel better though. I woke up with a smile and plans for the day so that's a start. Rick will be home in three days so I still have a chance to enjoy this time to myself without indulging in chocolate the entire time.

I'm going for a nice easy jog tomorrow along the canal just to see how my calf feels and to detox some of the crap I've put down my pie-hole (mouth) this week. I'm looking forward to getting outside.....I've been hiding in this house since Monday and it's time to shower, brush my teeth and put my game face back on!

HERE I COME!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Pain...and Recovery

Last Saturday I ran just a little over 9 miles and it was great. I'm a little competitive when I know I can beat somebody and so my usual mind games had me picking people off one by one in order to win a race I concocted until it happened....my calf cramped up on me again. This pain is not like your typical muscle cramp. This pain is a deep, really sharp pain that takes several days and sometimes weeks for me to recover from. There I was, upset that my race was disrupted. The pain of walking was worse as my leg would stiffen up so I grit my teeth and shuffled...for about 4 miles. Pretty pissed at this point because I felt super and wanted to challenge my speed.

Yesterday I tried to run again and no...it's not ready yet. It was back to limping as soon as I stopped at just less then a 1/4 mile. I'm pretty frustrated at this point. The older I get the longer it takes to recover.

Rick and I went mountain bike riding and that doesn't really bother my calf much. As long as I stay on pretty flat trails I can manage just fine. By the way - I LOVE my new mountain bike!

Here is a call out to YOU...my readers. I'm having some motivation challenges. Please, send me your messages of encouragement - they are needed. What challenges have you overcome? I need to hear from you now more then ever since I only see my trainer twice a week. That's 5 days of exercise on my own and it's hard folks...really hard. Here is my hand...reaching out to yours...please help me up.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Stolen Quote

After I posted this morning I found this great quote on the Irongeezelle website.

"It’s not that I had the courage to finish, but that I had the courage to start"

That pretty much says it all for me. I've gotten to the point where I don't understand when somebody doesn't want to push beyond what they know they can do. I don't understand the lack of excitement over some of these races that are real ass-kickers. I no longer understand how fear can dictate a persons life. Why wouldn't you want to see what you're made of? It's not a physical challenge for me but rather a mental one. The challenge will never start if we just continue to do things that we know we can do. How boring is that! Personally I prefer to walk towards my own fears and as long as I continue to do that, I'm a winner!

I'm in a funk

Do you ever feel that way? Like you're stuck in a funk? That's were I'm at now. No less motivated to exercise but bored and not sure what's next for me now that Soma is over. There are some open water swims around Ironman that Cliff told me about...I should probably do those and one is actually the 2.4 miles! Geez...I should try it and see how long it takes me?

Now that it's Nov I'm only seeing Dave twice a week until the end of Jan. Trying to save some $$ since Ironman costs $525 and Christmas is around the corner. It's REALLY stressing me out!! He's like a drug and I need my fix man! Give me my fix!!!

I think I've got some personal issues happening too. I'm turning 40 very soon and as it approaches I find myself looking back on my life and having more regrets then I'd like. Things are shifting and it can be scary.

I'm finally finished with Rick's website so give a look see.... www.SierraAdventureSports.com

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I know...I know

I haven't blogged these past few days I know. The week has been pretty good. I'm a little bothered though. Ever since the beginning of summer I started to notice I'm getting pimples on my back and neck and I'm grossed out about it! I'm so sweaty all the time that it's making me breakout everyone. I HATE IT!

Let' see...this week I went to the gym, mtn biked, road biked, ran and now I'm going to swim. Pretty typical stuff. Kinda boring this week.

For Nov/Dec/Jan I'm only seeing Dave twice a week and I'm a little stressed about that. Let see if I can keep on top of his workout schedule. It's going to be a long holiday season, that's for sure.

Take it outside!!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

My name is Kim and I'm a TRIATHLETE!


I wasn't really nervous until about 3:00am Sunday morning...race day. I woke up with some stomach issues of course and thinking about all the things I had learned leading up to this event. I felt deep down that it was going to be a great day for me...I just knew it would be my best performance ever. I had set goals for each discipline and did better then planned.

We arrived about 5:30am and seeing 2000 people with tricked out bikes was pretty inspiring. The crazy thing was...I wasn't nervous anymore. I was completely calm and totally focused on what I needed to do.

While waiting to swim, all I could think about was what Cliff had taught me about swimming in a crowd. I held my line, kicked hard when touched and was not going to back down to anyone who tried to swim over me. Nobody was going to disrupt my swim and sure enough, I took 4 minutes off my time from just 4 weeks ago! I did it without taking rest breaks this time. I really focused on sighting and "thumbs to hips" in the water and I'M THRILLED at how I felt when I got out. Strong, relaxed and ready to ride.

The wet suite strippers were just great but eekss...I could have lost my shorts in the whole ordeal :0 I wonder how many people did...


The bike section was great. We figured out my average speed based on my time and I'm at 15mph. Not bad, but I need to improve. Here is what I need to fix. I packed TONS of food in my Bento Box but I forgot to open the baggies. That posed a challenge. I slowed way down so I didn't fall while I tried to open them with one hand and my teeth. Going around all the corners slowed me way down too. I tried to be a little fearless and use the turn techniques Dave and I have practiced but some time was lost there. Oh, when I drink I tend to stop pedalling so time was lost there too. Don't get me wrong though. I felt super strong on the bike and could have done another 30 miles!

I kept myself pretty entertained through the bike section. For any person I passed I got one point and if that same person passed me then I lost a point. I didn't want to pass people if I didn't think I could put distance between us. It was fun. I went back and forth with one gal but in the end I took her out because I was tired of playing games with her. I had an 18 - 20 mph pace during sections and 9 mph up Curry. So between the turns, eating and drinking I lost some time...

When I got to the run section my stomach was full of fuel and I was feeling groovy. My goal after all this was a 15 minute mile giving me just over hour and 30 min to finish the 6.5 miles. The pavement was really hard on my knees so I felt slow. My only walking was through the water stations and I really didn't know what my mile time was at this point. As it turns out I finished the run in 1:20...about 15 minutes faster then planned.

Hearing Rick and all our friends cheer was fantastic. It really helps pull you through a race when you know that people are waiting to see you. Thank you SO MUCH for the encouragement. Congratulations to Dave, Windy, Vickie and Hollon (who is also a 1st time Triathlete) for a great job yesterday. None of this would be possible without Dave's training and Cliffs swim coaching. A special thank you to both of them for accepting nothing less then my best at all times. I hope I made you proud :)

I have to add one special thank you to Rick. Race day was also our 6th anniversary. He never stops supporting me in all my adventures and he truly is my biggest fan - I love you babe...happy anniversary!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Am I Nervous

So far this week I've had four people ask me if I was scared or nervous about Soma. No, I'm not really. But now I wonder if I should be dammit! - Side note - I just looked up the word dammit in the online dictionary and to my pleasant surprise there is a play button that pronunciates the word for you! I'm in stitches over this! Click here. I really need to find something to do with my time! Rick and I have enjoyed typing in many slang words we probably shouldn't have ;) -End Note-

Anyway, I'm seriously not that freaked out about this weekend. Maybe it's because I know I'll do my best and that's really all I have to offer. It's not a competition with other athletes like it is with some folks I know. I'm going to achieve a personal goal and that's it. Now, that's not to say that once I arrive race day morning I won't have the pre-race jitters and perhaps I'll even make several trips to the toilet but for me it's all part of a much bigger picture - Ironman. If I can keep control over my head, I'm going to have a winning game - period.

Do you like my ghost? She was made with a Tampon :0

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Much Improved!

Watch this video and then tell me again why your vote doesn't count. We need them just to cancel out these idiots! Click here to see who Sarah Palin refers to as "real Americans"

I'm doing the Soma Quarterman this weekend and now I'm starting to get anxious. I've been given the instruction from Dave today to go super easy on Thursday, take Friday completely off and do the practice swim on Saturday with Cliff. Up until today I really haven't given tons of thought about this weekend but now that it's prep time I'm starting to feel a little self imposed pressure.

Rick and I were chatting yesterday about how sometimes I do feel that my performance is a direct reflection on Dave and Cliff and anyone else who spends time teaching me how to be a better athlete. Let's break this down... I spend most of my time training with Dave and really, it's him that I worry most about. He's such a great teacher for me and I just want you to know that he's done an excellent job busting my buns. I'm totally ready for this race and there really is no discipline involved that I do not know how to do. My only competition this weekend is with myself and I'm pretty sure I can hold it together and finish with at least a few people behind me :)

Speaking of Dave (I know, I blog about him alot but training with him is pretty much my life right now) we ran Reach 11 today and I'm so happy to say that since April I've taken 7 minutes off my time!! I know, I was impressed too. Towards the end I had just a little cramp in my calf and that sharp cramp in my stomach but I was able to push through as hard as I could past the discomfort and get it done. My thoughts remained focused and positive the entire run as I continue to remind myself that I'm good, I try hard and cramps will not stop me from finishing the Ironman!

If you are interested in coming out this weekend click here. Look for - 2008 Athlete & Spectator Guide!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Specialized ERA

Check this out!!! This is a picture of my new Specialized ERA (female version of the Epic)!!! Pretty sweet huh! This photo is from a web search but it's exactly like mine (including the colors).

I pretty much knew that I was going to get a new mountain bike because my Gary Fisher had been beaten into the ground, but I didn't plan on such a fully loaded bike.

Learning to ride a beast like her during a 7 - 8 hour race was probably not the smartest thing I've ever done... This bike is so light that it flies up hills and tossed me over the handlebars on the downhill. Yes..you read it right. I went up and over and I'm REALLY lucky I didn't break my arm. Rick said it looked like I did a cartwheel over the entire bike. I shed a few tear, brushed myself off and went at it again. I fell over, and over and it felt like an entire day of near misses. Not my best race.

Rick's navigation was perfect. I could not ask for anything better. Out of nowhere he would just stop....right next to the checkpoint! I was so impressed and pleased.

Rick also suffered a bad fall and went to the hospital shortly after we got home. He's lucky he didn't break a rib but it's pretty bruised and he can't laugh or take deep breaths...poor guy.

Overall we raced for about 7 hours I think and opted to finish under the short course instead of continue for another few hours. Everyone was packing up to leave and our spirits, or at least mine, was pretty beat up by then. I'm tough, but not that tough!

This week I anticipate some easy workouts to gear up for Soma on Sunday. Geez...I hope after this weekend I'll FINALLY be a triathlete!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Monsoon Adventure Race

Well, I said I wasn't going to do it but I did anyway..ugh! I have to pick another day off because I'm going to start running and swimming on Thursday. Leslie and I hit the pavement yesterday and pulled off 4 miles in 40 minutes followed by a swim lesson with Cliff. I'm not sure what I'm going to do because the only other day is Sunday and I don't want to give up my women's riding group...hummmm

Swimming was fun yesterday! We did some really fun exercises which included swimming with my eyes closed. HILARIOUS! I continue to breath on both sides when I swim and it's getting better and a tiny bit easier. It really is hard to believe that in April I could barely swim 25 meters without a 5 minute rest.

Rick and I are off to Tuscon for the Monsoon Adventure Race. I think I'm going to decorate our bike helmets to look like a witch's hat and his a pumpkin! How funny would that be? LOL Watch for pictures cause I think I'm gonna do it...

Rick talked me into doing the long course. He must have waited for the right moment to ask because normally I would say NO WAY! I'm looking at about 8 hours of racing now and my mountain bike is literally falling apart piece by piece. It's time to invest I think. Now I just have to convince Rick of that :)

I'll post again on Sunday or Monday to share photos and race results. Until then...GET OUTSIDE!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Things Are Looking Up

First off, Thanks Christine for the Gas-X! Nice one sister :)

As it turns out, I'm ALLOWED to enjoy my bike rides on the way to the gym!!! YEAH! So I feel much better now. I am rather hard on myself and as long as I continue to work hard for Dave, and on things he tells me to I'm A-OKAY.

I ran 4 miles last night with some friends and that was nice. However today, after mtn bike training with Dave my legs are really sore, and they don't feel this way often. Poor Leslie....my run tomorrow is going to be slllooowww girlfriend.

Speaking of DAVE! He fell into a cactus at the PBR Off Road Tri this past weekend! OMG. I tried to find an appropriate picture to post but ouch..it's just too much to look at. Some people lifted him off the cactus but can you image the pain? He still has some thorns stuck in his hands and I imagine his body too. Here is my suggestion Dave- go get waxed. It sounds crazy I know but if the needles have little hooks, the wax will be able to pull them out. Glue is not sticky enough to hold onto the thorns. Just get a wax and you'll be good to go. OUCH

This weekend Rick and I are racing in the Monsoon Adventure Race. I'm looking forward to some challenging hills and technical riding...if you can believe that. I never thought I'd say this but I do enjoy mtn biking.

I know, I can't believe my own gassy confession! Ballsy wasn't it? But, YOU have gas too so check yourself before you shake your head...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My Lame Confession / Don't Fart!!!


The real me...watching TV last night with my new bike helmet on, remote in hand and half asleep. Yes, I was really watching TV with my new helmet on! It's really cute :)


Okay look, I'm not perfect...and neither are you so don't you judge me!!

I need to clear my conscience and come clean. I'm a total slacker! It's totally hard to believe I know. Typically Dave and I meet at the gym on Monday's and I ride my bike to meet him. It's about 16 miles total...not a big deal at all right... When we started I use to come home from work by 6:50, jam to get ready to leave by 7:00 and work super hard riding to get to the gym by 7:30. It was hard, but I did it and most days I was on time. Well, I got lazy and moved our time to 8:00. That gave me more time to eat, change and have an easy ride to the gym. Yes, I said an easy ride to the gym. Easy meaning 10 - 11mph and a 45 min ride. If you know my training regime you just went, UtttOhhh If you know how much I need to work on my leg endurance and strength you just went, UtttOhh

I'm not proud..I'm ashamed. There is no excuse other then the truth, I got lazy and comfortable. Today I decided to take back my own fate and do something about it - hence the confession to you, and to Dave. So, in order for me to continue to push the envelope I have to go back to meeting at 7:30. I have some hard work to make up for now.

Here is another confession, but a little more entertaining (or embarrassing). I have some gas...but not the kind for my car. Rick will be the first to tell you that I have ALOT of gas and I'm not very lady like about it either. When Dave and I meet I'm a little, well, afraid I'll let one slip :0 I mean it's bound to happen, right??? We see each other four days a week! Today it ALMOST happened! Look, when you're on the Leg Press pushing 260 pounds some things can happen to your body that you just lose control over. My ass is as tough as my legs from squeezing so hard. So here is your warning Dave...one day something is going to slip and when it does, our relationship will have reached a whole new level :)

Monday, October 13, 2008

My Longest Swim - Ever!

I am SO happy! Rick, Hollon and I set out for the lake this morning for a swim before Soma. My goal today was to swim a mile without holding on to Rick's boat for a rest. By the way, today's swim would not have happened had Rick not agreed to be our safety boater. Thank you SO MUCH Rick for giving us that time...I know it was boring...but seriously appreciated.

I also wanted to try my wetsuit before Soma and I'm glad I did. My arms are chapped from rubbing the seam, however my bike shorts under my suit worked perfectly.

So, the water wasn't too bad and I felt pretty good. We circled the buoys again and again with just a few stops to catch my breath and see how far ahead Hollon was. A mile is a long way in the water! I never doubted my ability to do it, but I wanted to feel good during and after. Some things to work on - my left shoulder. I cannot get my left arm to come out of the water much and it's dragging me down. I've had five people (three were coaches) tell me my left arm doesn't look right but my shoulder doesn't want to lift that high so it was a little agonizing out there. A handicap I will have to learn to swim around...I'm just not sure how yet.

I spent some time breathing on the left but because I could barely get my left arm up it was a challenge to catch my breath. I did the best I could and moved back to right side breathing.

So, did I get the mile done? Was I able to go that far without help? YES!!! In fact I went OVER a mile! Okay, not very much but I'm stilling counting it. :) I'm SOOO happy. I accomplished tons today and will be better prepared for Soma now.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A Super Fun Weekend

This weekend was great. Rick held his night race on Saturday so he and I did some riding Saturday afternoon and put out some checkpoints. That race was so much fun! Everyone had a great time and the fire pit hit the spot...it was so cold!

Today there were so many events going on in town that it seemed I knew folks in all of them. Race for the Cure had Tim, PBR had Dave, Windy, Vickie and Brigid and the Phoenix Orienteering race had me, Rick, Dave, Tracy and Ron. Adventure Racers were out in full force today!

Rick and I did really well Orienteering. We ended with 510 points out of 700+ so I'm happy about that. We went for the furthest CP's with the most points and were faster then in past events. Rick's navigation was spot on so thanks for a perfect "race" today Rick.

Tomorrow we are swimming out at Saguaro Lake...I'm going for my first mile! My longest swim was 1000 meters so I have to double that. Let's see how it goes!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Swimming

Thursday's I meet with Cliff, my swim coach, and I'm quickly learning that he's no more lenient then Dave is!

Today we spent time breathing on both sides and WOW, I felt like a beginner again. Everything just kinda fell apart so I have some work to do. HUGE difference in my strokes when I do them properly...my arms and shoulders felt like I had just left the gym. It was exhausting.

This week was good, overall, but I'm getting bored I think. My mind is starting to wonder and I feel the need for a change...I'm just not sure what that means yet. I want to add more hours now that it's nice outside but I'm a little fearful of burnout. I've been thinking about joining another swim club, but don't want to get boxed out again. hummm.....much to think about.

I need to get the lead out on some 1/2 marathon training too! That's it!!! I'm going to make some commitments and get this stuff on the calendar NOW.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Today's workout TRUMPS all others!

That's right I'm going to say it again...today was the HARDEST WORKOUT YET! So it doesn't sound like a big deal but from my sore butt's perspective, it SUCKED! I rode 37.8 miles on the CompuTrainer today. It was one Ironman loop to be exact plus with my warm up I'm at about 40 miles.

Now, I've done 40 miles before but on the CompuTrainer I don't stand up to release the pressure and I can't stop when I need a rest. This was my first NON-STOP 37 miles ever and it wasn't pretty. I'd swear that Dave has eyes in the back of his head because every time I stopped to try and stand he'd yell at me "keep pedalling!" From the kitchen I hear, "keep pedalling!" From upstairs I hear, "keep pedalling!" The whole house echoed, "keep pedalling!" My mind was fighting me and all I could think about was how red my a** felt. How far can I go, I'm thinking....how long before I say that I can't do anymore because it hurts to much? Why did I decide to do the Ironman anyway! My thoughts were heavy but my will power was strong enough to handle the load - for that I owe my trainer who is steadfast and firm with me.... He does not give an inch and that's exactly what I need for the task at hand. I would surely take a mile!!!

There was a potential meltdown which he quickly took control over, "You're fine, it's okay Kim, you're doing fine" and some punchy laughter that really raised my spirits...there is a silly side of Dave too.

By the time I was done I had been on my bike for 2hr45min (approx) and burned 800 calories (every girls dream) and finished what we started. A huge thanks to Dave for putting up with my whining, making me laugh and holding my feet to the fire all at the same time.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Rocky Point...

Where do I start about Rocky Point? A HUGE thank you to my support group, Rick, Leslie, Sonja and Jennifer! We really had a great time and leaving today was pretty difficult for me. I wanted to stay another few days. Thank you for everything team.

Since yesterday I've been thinking about my blog and what I wanted to say. Should I really bash the company that put this race on?? Is that the right thing to do? What will that accomplish really? I decided that just telling the story and leaving the rest up to you is all I needed to do.

The race started late, and I don't mean a little late either. We didn't start until 11:00! I'm not sure how HOT it was in Phx but in Mexico it was HUMID AND HOT. I have a unique perspective here. I understand how events can start late (though ours never do) so I tried to not let it bother me. Until I realized that the water in my bike bottle would be hot and I would be running in the middle of day when the sun was at it's peak...then I was getting pissed along with 200 or so other racers.

Why the late start? Well, the ocean was so rough that one of the buoy's made it's way back to shore. I totally get it...but what I didn't get was the 2o minutes it took to decide if they actually wanted to go and put it back. What? Are you kidding me? Yes...the person in charge seriously could not decide what was best and was surrounded by angry racers. Taking it back out set us back some too. They also could not decide which side of a buoy line to start from so we all lined up on one side, were told to move about 100 yards over and about 15 minutes later moved back to the first place we started. Yes...it's getting hotter and hotter by the minute. Now we had to wait for the Olympic swimmers to go before we started. The waves were really bad and getting worse. Okay the race finally starts and nobody can swim through those pounding huge waves so we are all pulling ourselves forward by holding the buoy line. Then some guys are coming back saying it's too dangerous for us to go back. Personally I heard two people calling for help and though I could only reach one, I lost sight of the other. Guess who is waiting for us towards the beach on his jet ski?? The owner of the company putting on the race. Not to see if everyone was okay but to collect our chips. You know, he didn't want anyone getting credit for coming out of the water early and all. I told him that people were calling for help further back and his reply, "I know but I have to take all of your chips first". Um....excuse me?! Half of your sprinters are calling for help and you want my Fing chip? I knew at this point I would never participate in any of his events again.

I pulled myself out of the water and went for my bike. Down a steep hill slow because now the sand was blown all over the roads and my first turn is just at the bottom of this hill. Two laps, I'm out of water and pretty pissed at this point that I don't have any aid stations on the course. I'm thinking that I only have a 2 mile run and I'm done with this event. Water down my body, put my running shoes on and off I go. Cramped because I had been out of water and couldn't get my shot blocks eaten and just HOT as hell.

The best part of the day was seeing my friends and Rick at the end and proud of me just for finishing this poorly planned out event. The water was so choppy that their professional kayak boaters could not stay afloat. Why did they let us in the water to begin with! When your rescue boats can't stay afloat then perhaps it's time to make the event a duoathlon instead.

Another bone to pick! Oh, I'm just getting started here. My girlfriend and I were looking at the results and the first thing I noticed was the person in 2nd place did the swim in 11:58 minutes. No, I'm sorry but I don't think so! He didn't get HER chip so she's taking 2nd place from somebody who did do the swim and THAT really upsets me. Some of the good swimmers made it..and deserve a reward but some came out of the water early and didn't get their chips taken so they are now getting credit for an event they did not finish.

I look forward to redeeming myself at the Soma Quarterman race where I know the event will be properly managed with enough event staff that I can feel safe.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Mexico, here I come!

Well, I'm leaving for the Rocky Point Triathlon tomorrow and I'm pretty excited. After this race I officially become a triathlete!

Cliff kicked my butt today swimming. He told me to start swimming and not to stop until I see the blue buoy in the water.... okay, about 15 laps into my swim I'm thinking when is he going to put the buoy in the water? Okay, 20 laps later and I'm getting worried because no buoy. "Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming" ugh...

FINALLY I see the buoy and not soon enough. My arms and shoulders where exhausted but now I really know what a good stroke feels like. One minutes rest and I'm off again. I did 1000m today! Nice job and it was really tough.

So I won't post again until maybe Sunday or Monday and I'll post pictures for sure. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Becoming my own hero


Since this is my own blog I get to write whatever I want...right? This past week or so I've been a little hard on myself and well, there is only one reason for that - my "monthly friend" has arrived. Damn it!!! I have a race this weekend too and I'm a little put off by the whole damn thing. eerrgg I'm bloated, hungry, irritable and tired all at once. What - did you say something to me??? Yeah, I didn't think so!

The good news is that all the negative junk I've been giving myself these past few days is about over. (a big sigh of relief) It seems about once a month (go figure) I get a pep talk from Dave about my internal dialog when I'm training. I do put a ton of pressure on myself and when I'm not close to living up to my own expectation I allow myself to crash and burn feeling down right pissed when I'm done. - Side note - I just realized that poor Dave is surrounded by women who have "monthly friends"...how does he cope with the ups and downs of all our emotions? Poor guy. Job well done today Dave. -End note-

When I train, whether it's with Dave or not I always hear his voice in my head and at times I'd like to stick a pencil in my ear. (that's the irritability talking:) No, seriously I hear him yelling at me to do this or do that and I need it...I like it...it does help me. He gave me some good tips today on how to have positive dialog with myself and basically work on becoming my own hero. He didn't use those words exactly, but that's pretty much the goal. I work hard, I do well and there is room for improvement even for the best athletes. Some days are good and some days are not and that's just the bottom line for everyone.

What I need to focus on is working hard even when I get tired instead of just giving up. I can take a beating so stop being a baby and suck it up! (I'm having internal dialog now). Pull yourself together :0

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Two against one....


Today's event (workout) was fun. Dave and I met at Vickie's house for a duathlon...but with a Dave twist. Vickie did two bike laps followed by two run laps while Dave and I relayed for an entire hour. She's a super tough competitor and she did beat us... Congrats Vic!!!

Sometimes when I exercise with my super athletic friends I get a little intimidated. To me they are pretty hard core and no matter how hard I try they will always be stronger and faster then I am. My only frustration today was just how fast my body wants to shut down after I start these brick workouts. I can go about 200 yards on my mtn bike and my legs just can't keep a strong hard pace and then I get upset with myself. I want to do well...I want to be fast... Any hill, I don't care how tiny really sucks the life from my body and ugh... I don't know why this is happening to me and when I won't feel this way anymore. Could be I'm just a sore loser.

Perhaps a little PMS has got my head thinking backwards and not forwards... I'm glad I get a do-over tomorrow :)

Monday, September 29, 2008

It's been days!

It's been several days since I've posted but nothing really fun or new has happened. Well, except this! I got another email from the Ironman volunteer lady and it turns out that she was WRONG when she told me volunteers get to register for 09 the same day racers do. Volunteers register on Monday, the same day as the public except in a different line. So, just hope that it does not sell out before Monday. My guess is that it won't, but you never know.

Yesterday was a windy ride with my women's group. There are 18 of us who ride together and it sure is fun! We made our way up to the McDowell Mtn area and then back around town. I was determined this time to not be last the entire ride. Sometimes I get really tired of feeling like a burden and there is just one way to cure that - speed up! On our way out I was pretty sluggish and the first climb was slow but we turned a corner and I had just had enough! I pushed hard to put a few people behind me on one of the smaller hills and I was pleased not to be last again. We stopped for a water refill at a gas station where I slammed down some Shot Blocks and wow, something happened to me after that. I was going about 20 mph and on the heels of one of the fast women in the group. She and I quickly moved forward and soon could no longer see the rest of the group behind us. I went from the back of the group to the lead and it sure did feel awesome! This is the kind of rider I strive to be... What a perfect way to end a long ride :)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Splash & Dash #2

First I need to set the record straight on something. Rick was all over me yesterday after he read my blog about the mountain bike ride Dave took to Anthem from Bartlett. Dave's mountain bike ride was "not just to Anthem," Rick was quick to tell me. He left Bartlett, went into Cave Creek, North into Seven Springs then went towards I17 on Table Mesa Rd. Now for those of us who don't know that area it's because nobody ever ventures out there except maybe Jeep tours or crazy adventure dudes like Dave. He went about 35 miles without seeing a single soul and only 80oz of water. It was very dangerous and just the fact that he didn't get attacked by or see a Mountain Lion is a miracle. Not a recommended route choice for any novice Mountain Bikers....

I participated in the second Splash & Dash last night. It was a 750 meter swim followed by a 4k. I had a swim lesson yesterday morning and wanted to practice what I had learned. What I didn't really realize was just how tired my body was. I finished the event but certainly did not swim my best or run very fast. The run portion was pretty hard because I had stomach cramps and my legs were really heavy. This morning I woke up stiff and with some lactic acid...which I have not felt in several months. Dave was quick to tell me that today is my rest day - do nothing! I'm doing just that and trying not to feel guilty about it. A part of me said, just hike up Squaw Peak, and I did seriously consider it, but I need to really focus on recovery days and let my body make all those fabulous changes Dave talks about.

Until next time - take it outside!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Mental Strength vs. Physical Strength

Remember several blogs ago when I expressed the need for a challenge that would truly kick my butt? I wanted to find my breaking point just to know how much I could actually take. Well I'm not sure but maybe yesterday was it....you decide.

I knew that a bike ride out to Bartlett Lake would be the ultimate test of physical and mental strength. Every person I told about my desire to ride this loop thought I was crazy...it's REALLY hard, is pretty much what I heard over and over. In fact I think everyone else BUT me thought it may be to soon for me to try this ride. I never doubted myself coming into this. I am stubborn enough that I would walk all 40 miles if I had to just to prove that I could do it! Nevertheless, yesterday was it - the ride to Bartlett.

Dave drove his SUV out to Horseshoe Lake and mtn biked up towards Anthem for what turned out to be 50 miles and nearly 6 hours for him. WOW - imagine 50 freakin miles on your mountain bike! Something I have ZERO desire to do. Anyway, my plan was to ride my road bike from the bottom of Pima and the 101 to Bartlett and then drive his SUV to pick him up in Anthem. We had a plan, and I had a "rescue plan" in case something happened and I could not finish.

I felt really great leaving. My ride up Pima was pretty easy and I kept a steady 10 - 12 mph pace. Then I had a flat. I was prepared for this...but what I WAS NOT prepared for was how beat up, and cut up my tire was. This tire would not make it to Bartlett and now I'm in a situation. I absolutely refuse to call for help. I will finish this. I contacted my friend S.M. who found me a bike shop in Carefree....great news right. Well, it's on the opposite side of town which means a nice ride down hill gives me another 10 miles UP hill back to the start at Pima and Cave Creek Rd. I lost over an hour but left the shop with two new tires and tubes. I was ready to roll again. (shout out to the guys at Flat Tire Bike Shop - they were really awesome)

Let's get serious here...this was the most mentally challenging ride, or workout, that I have ever done. Being alone and the cars are either zooming by or it's totally silent really takes a toll on your mind. The ride up Cave Creek Rd was the longest and hardest ride of my life! In fact, I walked some of it. I would ride for 15 minutes and then walk for 15. Then I would ride for 10, walk for 15. Mental games got me through it...and the hand of my Heavenly Father.

I finally made it to the Bartlett Lake turn and I was home free. I knew I had 17 miles to go and I was thinking about the air conditioned car, a tall Coke and getting to Dave as fast as I could because I knew his ride was harder then mine...but that 17 miles was steep so I walked/ride the entire way. Scared to be alone and fall off my bike for the birds and bugs to eat me, I said a prayer...."Lord, if today is the day I die please save my soul and bring me home. And please let Dave, Windy, Brigid or Vickie know that one of them needs to do Ironman on my behalf. Amen" :)

I walked and rode and finished my ride around 1:00pm. I never sat and rested (except when my bike was getting fixed), I never cried and I never picked up the phone to have somebody come and get me. I said a lot of foul words and foul word combinations and I savored all of the things we take for granted daily when I finished....like that air conditioned SUV, the Coke and the company of my friend and trainer Dave (who I was worried about all day).

Will I do it again - NEVER! But I'm glad I did it once....

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

"Bike Butt"

Today is MY super Tuesday and here's why. So I signed up to volunteer for Ironman this year. Somebody told me that volunteers get to register for Ironman 2009 BEFORE the general pubic and it turns out - IT'S TRUE! Yesterday I received volunteer instructions from the woman who runs registration and I told her I could not help the day I had to stand in line to sign up for 09...you know what she said! Volunteers get to sign up the same day the racers do!!! She told me to come early and get it done, then help at the table. That means I'm in for sure and WOW - I'm really excited. Ironman is in my cards...

Dave and I went for a really cool bike ride today around Mummy Mtn. I had never heard it called that before but it's up towards Camelback and some of the roads I had been on with my women's group. We did some major climbs that I couldn't believe I was able to do! I was so proud of myself today....These were not just baby climbs either. This was some serious stuff and the crazy thing is - I didn't want to stop climbing. I felt so fresh and strong that I could have gone for another 20 mile ride.

Oh, something new to think about. You know I've been having "bike butt" chaffing where my shorts rub under my cheeks so I tried using Body Glide on my cheek creases before I left. Great stuff!!! I don't have "bike butt" today.... :) (a little visual entertainment for you)

Here is the pretty cool thing I was thinking about on my way home from Dave's. I'm really starting to notice my endurance level increase again. Sometimes it's one or two steps further then before but there are those days when I just can't believe how strong I am and how much I can take. I'm so fortunate and thankful to have Dave on my side! We've been training together 4x's a week for 6 months and he's not sick of me yet... I keep my head focused on my goal, train hard and never give up....thanks again Dave for everything you do.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Sexy!


Gilmore was a blast! Let me start off by saying that I STINK at navigating. I'm not sure if I'm just really bad or the map size totally threw me off but man, I cost my team a win and I feel really bad about that part.

We were two teams of two so Leslie and I set off feeling really groovy. The hike section was up a giant hill full of stickers but we found a really great way through this nice wash on our way down so we were happy...

We hit the bike section feeling strong and ready to roll. I'm thankful for all the teams that helped us find out way. Well, the bike section is where I really screwed up and we went UUUPPPP and down these hills for about 30 minutes in the wrong direction. What's worse is that we had to go back UUUPPP the hills another 30 minutes to get back onto the correct path. Our legs were toast by then but we pressed on at probably the slowest pace I've ever held...and it was still too fast for my tired legs. Let me tell you something.... we had to pass the TA on our way to the last bike CP and that was mentally challenging for me. I didn't want to bike anymore. I didn't want to pass the TA - I wanted to STOP in the TA! Of course we didn't stop....we finished with The Wall....

Leslie and I knew the wall was coming but up close and personal, it was a giant. We watched another team use the low crawl tube as a ladder so we did the same. However, the leap up towards the top of the wall was scary and it took me several minutes to get my nerve up. I was so tired and unsure if I could hold my weight...but I did. Why was I second guessing this when I do pull-ups at the gym with Dave ALL THE TIME! It's no different - I took a deep breath and a big leap and look at me!!! I made it!!!! Here comes my partner with no troubles at all and at that moment I was so proud for us!!!

It was a great way to spend a Saturday. I'm glad to be back in Adventure Racing and look forward to the challenges that the Monsoon Adventure Race brings next month. Rick and I are doing the long course so my day will be longer and harder...but I'm ready! - "Bring it"




Friday, September 19, 2008

Packing for Gilmore


Packing the camper for the Gilmore race tomorrow... This is so exciting!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Meet Cliff

I met with Cliff today, my new swim coach. Cliff is a four time Ironman competitor with 3 podium finishes. In 2007 he was 2nd in the men's 70 - 74 age group. He's no joke. So we met and had a great chat before he told me to jump into the water. First, stop training with water and food. huh? Yep...nobody is going to have food or water for me during the Ironman swim so why would I train that way. Very valid point and one I never considered!

In the first 15 minutes I took 5 strokes off and decreased my time across the pool and back. WOW I could really feel it too. Though my body position was not something I'm use too, gliding across the water was amazing! I took only two breaths from one end to the other, that's how quick and effortless it was.

The goal is simply this. Finish the Ironman swim quick but with little effort so that I'm fresh for the bike. I can do that swim in less then 2 hours...I know this! With over a year of swim training ahead of me I better look like a damn mermaid in that water!! Needless to say, I have a lot of work to do.

I'm having some bike fear. I know this doesn't sound like a big deal but to me it's very real. I've never had a bad fall or broken bone or had any horrible injury (knock on wood). That created a fearlessness that I was pretty happy with....There is really nothing a person won't try if they don't fear pain, right. Well, when I fell off my road bike the other day something happened. Now I have fear. I'm afraid to go down hills fast and I'm afraid to turn corners...I'm just afraid of another flat that hurts worse then the first one. Now I have my eye on my tires more then the road and I've gone so far as to put liners in the tires.

I like my life without fear much better. I enjoyed my bike more and I want it back but just how do I get it? Maybe once I'm healed I'll forget and move past this but for now...I'm a little slower and a little more cautious and that's just the way it goes.