Friday, June 29, 2007


It's been awhile since I've posted anything - so.....where to start.....hmmmm....

Well, I guess I can start with the fact that I've had at least one solid, GOOD week of training. I had a week where my times were down and body felt good and overall could not complain about anything - including my hip! Yeah! So I was a little less than optimistic about a 100 mile bike I had scheduled for Saturday. Heck - at Liberty, my hip didn't last past mile marker 35.....what made me think it was going to be any different on THIS ride?
I don't know if it was the air temp being extremely low for the majority of the day - but all-in-all I had a great ride. It was even in less time than anticipated. I even followed up with 40 minutes of running. I couldn't beleive it - I FELT GOOD!
But let's back up a bit, to earlier that morning when I was chastizing a fellow rider -Tac Boy and his friend Tri-Turbo Kraut to put some sun-screen on. Well - somehow in all that mothering I failed to add some SPF to my own back. You can imagine a back having not see the sun all spring/summer what a 7 hour ride could do for you. Can you say Krispy Kritter? (speaking of which - I think that was a favorite cereal of mine when I was much younger - very similar to Alpha-Bits - but I digress) Therefore it was an afternoon of happiness and much pain for me. Youch! It is however healing - seemingly very slowly I must add. Of course - it didn't help much that I THOUGHT I was going swimming on Wednesday night. Put the swimsuit on and as I rolled the racer back straps up my back side - YYYYYYYEEEEEEEEOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCHHHHHHHHH! Mother of Pearl!!! HUN? Blister? What blisters? IS there ANY skin on my back left? I was lucky to have ANY skin on my back and quite frankly felt as I'd been skinned and quartered like a deer.
OK - so back to my great self-esteem building weekend 'o workouts...
Quick shower....dressy casual clothes on - oh - did I fail to mention we had a wedding reception/barbecue to go to? Made a cameo, ate some food - dropped off a card and some money - met the family - chit-chatted a bit and said our goodbye's. I sort of felt like we were eating & running. (which we were) Lucky for me the bride knew I had a busy schedule to keep.
So - Sunday brought a couple of obstacles. The Waconia Triathlon. Mark and I had promised a friend of ours we would come out and cheer him on - not to mention my fellow P2er's and Gear West teammates. The triathlon in and of itself does not appear to be an obstacle but when you couple it with a threat of soring heat and humidity and a need to complete a 3 hour run....and the fact that we KNEW it would be at least noon by the time we got out of there - well - silly me....I simply was not prepared to run midday in that type of heat. I've just not acclimated well enough. And for those of you who are thinking - well - there IS Sunday evening....bite your tongue. Sunday nights are religious in our household and are left for watching t.v. and actually trying to cram in 72 hours of "relaxing" into the last few hours of the weekend. That leaves one option - get up butt early and run your 3 hours prior to leaving for the race at 7:00 AM- build in at least 1/2 hour to shower and re-fuel....and another 1/2 hour on the front end to make some oatmeal and cram it down my throat - you guessed it - Clock was set for 3:00 A.M.

At first it was a little errie as it was still dark - but I still felt geeewwwd. 1 hour into things and a few hills later - starting to show some signs of familiarity, resembling Ironman Wisconsin. Hips and quads a little sore. Carbs, need some carbs....ok - refueled....I'm geeeewwwd to go... 8 mile mark - hey - what's that in the middle of road (slight distraction) Oh - hey - it's a baby bunny! Baby bunny - you shouldn't be here....shew! Shew! What are you stupid? Are you have a death wish? Off the road with you!!! Ok - onto running.....10 mile mark - oh yeah.....this is EXACTLY how I felt at Wisco! Ugh - keep the legs moving...... Just think Tif....only 16.2 miles to go if this were the real thing.....11 mile mark - ok - walking for a bit is a good thing - after all - I'm not - you need to run...pick up your feet you lazy fat a**! Mile 13 - yeah - I'm almost home - I'm turnin' in. I'm tired - I just want to curl up on the sidewalk and go to sleep.....You should really run another 1/2 hour......but you don't have tiiiiiime! Besides - you're barely running! Come on now - what kind of work out is that REALLY? Ok - you win - I'm going home. Three hours next weekend for sure - ok? Yeah - sure - 3 hours. (fingers crossed behind back) 3 hours - you got it!

So - I made it to Waconia and cheered on several friends and teammates and several of those I didn't know - or had just met recently. Chatted w/ my coach who told me I was insane - but pointed out I was clearly ready for LP since in less than 24 hours I had put in over 12 hours of work outs....this made me a little happy. I had tons of fun and it was simply nice that I didn't have to race for once. I was home - back in bed before to la-la land and dream about next weekends workouts......ooh - that hurts, turn off sunburned back - to side......exit into a peaceful sleep.
I'm happy - I'm sunburned - I think I'm ready.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Pitty Party of One Be Done

I've been sort of crabby around the house these last few days and pretty solice at work. After having put so much effort forth into a race where I felt completely miserable I had a hard time sleeping as my hip would simply not allow me to get comfortable so I was up most of the night on Saturday night. I watched The Pelican Brief twice and The Client once all beginning around 2:00 AM. I was registered the following day in one of my favorite sprint distance races, which I've completed every year since moving to the Twin Cities area. The Manitou Sprint is part of the Midwest Events series sponsored by my favorite triathlon store Gear West and they have AWESOME Giveaways.....Did I mention they were awesome? They give away a Zipp Wheel set, a Tribag filled with bike shoes, speedplays, a helmet, body glide, a speedo fastskin etc and they also give away a QR carbon fiber frame. All race participants have an opportunity to to win one of these great give-aways but you MUST be present to win. You might see where I'm going with this.
Considering I had little sleep and my hip was a pain...I decided to stay home and and keep my body on ice. I thought briefly - Tif you should really go, if nothing else to cheer on your Gear West Teammates but alas I made the decision to stay home and rest/sleep.
Imagine my surprise, when I received an e-mail from one of my teammates later that day advising me my name had been the first drawn for the bike frame........
long pause here to muster my composure..........
ARE YOU FLIPPIN' KIDDING ME? Seriously folks, I could have cried. Well, actually, I think I did. It was the proverbial "icing on the cake" to a weekend where I HAD BEEN super excited to race.
I've had to remind myself these past few days there are tons of people who would kill to be in my shoes, hip pain and all and what importance does a new Carbon Bike Frame have? I mean really. Of course it's extremely nice - who wouldn't want it....but there are more important things to worry about or get upset over. Losing out on a good opportunity - well - why it may suck, it surely isn't the end of the world. And maybe, just maybe, that bike frame went to someone who really needed it. (that's what I'm telling myself anyway)Why then am I feeling so blue? It's beyond me. It's just a pity party I guess. One I'm snapping out of as of today. I've got tons of things to be happy about and be grateful for and I'm counting my blessings.
Case in point - this Friday evening Mark and I are going to a benefit to help raise money for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society. My coach from Ironman Wisconsin and recently turned Pro triathlete was diagnosed a year ago with Leukemia. His wife has chosen to compete at Ironman Lake Placid as a tribute to his vitality and love for life. So far, treatment has been successful and we're all extremely grateful. We enjoy his presence far too much.

Tonight as I was preparing to send out a graduation card to a cousin of mine....I re-read the card I had purchased several weeks ago and it really had a nice message so I'm going to post it here, mostly for myself. However I hope you enjoy.

“Lemons and Roses”

Life can bring lemons and roses –
The bitter along with the sweet –
And it’s mainly the way that we handle those things
That determines success or defeat.

Enjoy all the roses life brings you,
But notice how quickly they fade,
While lessons you think of
As toughest to swallow
Can always become lemonade.

For lemons and roses are both a reward
For your efforts in every endeavor.
And to think of them both
As the gifts of a lifetime
Will make you a winner forever.

Attitude is everthing -
Good Night all

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Race Report - Liberty 70.3

Let me first start out by saying how much I looked forward to completing this race. Seriously. I was pumped, excited, exuberant blah, blah, get the picture. I ate right, I was well rested. I felt ready. Other than my ongoing hip issues and of course this nagging cough I haven't kicked yet I felt ready.

I started the swim and it took me awhile to get into a comfortable rhythm but after a few coughs I was well on my way. Little did I know that one of the buoys had apparently broke free and had meandered a couple hundred feet. All of the ladies in my wave, including me swam to buoy tacking on that distance and time to our swim course. Actual distance swam - 1.4.

Oblivious to the extra energy spent during the swim, I swiftly move through T1 to the bike. I spent little time in T1 and actually was rather impressed with my cat like reflexes. (I wish) On the bike - I was feeling rather good about my pace until we got out onto the main drag and was hit full on by a strong head wind. CRAP! Oh well - this too shall pass....I passed people and was passed by others stronger than myself. On the way back in of course we had the wind at our back which was extremely nice. This however was a two loop bike I got to experience that wind for a 2nd time. Nice. I sooo missed the opportunity to race in windy conditions. NOT. As time wore on the bike I noticed the nagging pain in my left hip begin at mile 35. How bad could it get though? At some point I felt a pop in my right hip followed by extreme discomfort. Nah - couldn't be. Shake it off.

T2 - still quick with cat like reflexes however I was sort of ticked off at how much pain I was experiencing in my left hip. (the ongoing Labral tear story) Normally I don't put my gear away in transition, however I so pissed and my gear bag happened to be open just enough that I tossed in my shoes, I jammed in my helmet for good measure. Then running shoes on, number belt, fuel belt, visor - I'm off like a prom dress. Only thing is - this hip thing is still nagging, and beginning to nag a little more. I walked the first mile 1/2. I focused then on running 5 minutes on - 1 minute off, walking the aide stations. For a brief couple of miles I really thought the pain was going to go away. 1/2 point - complete flare up. Tears, anxiety, thoughts of IMLP gone.....I walked, ran, walked more and more, ran a little - more tears. Thanking the volunteers through complete tears - th-an-k yo-u f-for vol -shniph-unt-eering....there was a medic on the course on a bike. At mile 8 he began hovering. To tell you the truth I thought several times about throwing in the towel. At this point even walking was excruciating. Now it's two minutes of running by two minutes of walking. Mile 11....Mile 12....and at mile 12 1/2 I saw Mark w/ his camera. Tears in full force - I knew the finish line was close. I kept thinking - this was somehow not the day I envisioned. This bites ass! I'll take it though because I didn't quit. But did I mention that this REALLY SUCKED?!?

Positives I took away from this day - It was a mental victory for sure. Perseverance is key. Friends and loved ones who greet you at the finish line with smiles, kind words and even better hugs when you are salty, grimy and stinky are worth more than money.

Bring on the recovery week - bring on the last few weeks of Ironman training. Mentally - I'm tough enough. Now if I can only get my body to cooperate.....

Here's to mental toughness -

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Train Hard - so you can enjoy yourself

These were the words I heard from Greg Lemond's Exercise Physiologist Dan Zeman on Friday evening when I picked up my packet for my first and only Olympic race this year, at Buffalo.

I have to admit - these words of advise do not seem to be rocket science - but yet I've never quite thought of racing/training this way. The approach - rather than train to bust your butt to leave all you have on the course and shave seconds off your time from last year, why not train so you can do the same race you did last year "more comfortably." Hmmmmmm....So being that I have been pretty sick these past few weeks and hacking up a lung prior to entering the brisk waters of Buffalo this a.m. I decided this was the approach to take.
Let's face it, coughing coupled with swimming does not make a favorable outcome. Picture coughing, followed by MORE coughing because of unexpected water intake. Ugh! I was happy to see the last of the big yellow rubber duckies behind me. If anyone is wondering about the ducks - well, take a look at their site and you'll find out.
The bike and the run were much more "relaxing." While I didn't have a stellar performance, I was fortunate enough to cheer on several other friends and acquinatances as they passed me. (heading to the finish line on an out/back course) I even met a few new friends and chit chatted a bit with them before settling into a comfortable pace with a fellow GW teammate of mine. He's doing Ironman Zurich in a few weeks, so this was his final race before making the trek overseas. How exciting!

I was pleasantly pleased with the overcast day we had. The night before I was secretly hoping for rain (a little bit of rain.) Years past this day could bring wind and an unforgiving sun. Ok - so it's only a 6.2 mile run - but hey I'm a middle of the packer so I'm out there longer ok? I was happy with the rain. Sorry to any of you who feel to the contrary!

The greatest news of all however is the feeling of leaving the race and not spending the rest of the afternoon in extreme discomfort as in years past. My legs were not as stiff and sore so I'm happy about that. So - I really took what Mr. Zeman had to say, to heart and I feel pretty good about that. I know I could have pushed myself harder to have a better time but rather I chose to stop and meet some people along the way. I had a great day and I truly enjoyed myself.

Now I only have two more races this next weekend. I have a 1/2 iron race on Saturday and I am signed up for a sprint on Sunday. Not sure I'll make the sprint....but I can surely go cheer on some fellow teammates. After that, all I have is the final home stretch of training until IM LP. 7 weeks and counting.......