Friday, June 24, 2011

Hello from BEAUTIFUL Coeur D'Alene

I arrived in CDA on Wednesday, and was greeted at the beautiful home of Marie and Tom. They've hosted a number of athletes in the past, and graciously opened up their home to me for the weekend. Their welcome mat says it all!! And the view out of my window when I woke up the next morning was a quick reminder of why I always knew I had to return...
 It was 2003 when I first ventured to CDA (from Michigan) for my first Ironman, and second ever triathlon-Go big or go home, right. I got into the sport of triathlon with the purpose of racing an ironman, however never dreamed that 8 years later I would be back in CDA to race my first ironman as a professional. Back then I just wanted to do an ironman before starting the dredges of law school, and the demanding law firm life thereafter. Life sure does throw you curve balls and opportunities! Embracing this one has been a blessing and will continue to be an incredibly journey.
When people talk about the cold water, and potential cold weather that comes with this race I struggle to picture it. I was still a MI girl back then, and although I hated the cold just as much, I certainly wasn't the softy I am now. Plus, race day in 2003 brought temps that soared over 100! The problem then certainly wasn't keeping warm. Each day lake temps are rising. Slow, and still won't even reach 60, but 58 is better than the 54 of last weekend. The weather will be what it will be, just have to bundle up.
My taper for this race has been a bit out of the ordinary. I've always been honest on this blog, and honestly last week I was in a bad place. I returned from San Francisco with one goal- REST. My lactate testing proved what my body and mind were feeling....I was exhausted: physically, mentally and emotionally. Craig and Chris both concluded that it was time to shut it down...and hard. Last Sunday-Tuesday I could hardly get out of bed. I won't lie, I was worried. But I also knew the hay was in the barn and if I could just freshen up and rest up I will be golden. I tried to tell myself that this could be a blessing in disguise and would really force me to rest. However, the inability to even get on top of the pedals during rides, or run without feeling like I weighted over 200lbs and was trudging along, did not help the psyche. I could tell Chris wasn't excited to cut so many workouts short, or all together, but he was very careful to really ask how I was feeling each and every day. Each day we reevaluated the plan for the following day, and more often than I'd like to admit this involved "day off again tomorrow" texts or emails. However, this weeks everything started coming around again, and as things stand 2 days before race day I AM READY! I am mentally recharged, physically feel I'm right where I should be and emotionally couldn't be better.
I am beyond excited to race amongst this talented group of girls.  A text from Chris yesterday sums up what lies ahead for me. Suffer fest ;-)  "Sunday will be about racing, not fitness, it will be about learning to race (and suffer) different than any AG race..." I'm 100% in this and up for the challenge. It's going to be a day I know I'll never forget, so I better go out there, dig deep, push myself to new levels, and see what I can make of it. This is exactly where I belong, and I'M READY.

Friday, June 17, 2011


Last week I traveled north to beautiful San Fran. Chris wanted to me to get in a little training with him pre-IMCDA. I love that city, so it didn't take a whole lot of arm twisting. The morning after I got to town fellow AIMP athlete, Rich, treated me to a masters swim sess at the Olympic Club. If you aren't familiar with the OC, it's a swanky prestigious club in the city. I knew the athletes that train there are no joke, but I didn't realize that jumping in the fast lane would be so demoralizing. They flew as I tried to hang on in their wake.
Jordan and Rich, thank you SOOOOO much for hooking me up and making sure my training time in the city kept me on track for CDA in 9 days!
The weekend featured a solid training day at the Silicon Valley long course triathlon. It's a local event that was perfect for my final push for Ironman (1mi swim, 56 bike, 9mi run). I won't get into a ton of details (although entertaining), but let's just say things went wrong wrong and wrong. I was in the lead on the bike until I missed a turn (I wasn't alone. I think about 20ppl missed this turn). Once we made a group decision to roll back I got a flat. Seriously?!?! I decided to jump in the truck with a farmer (and his baby, so I felt totally safe!). He took me back to the course and let me off. I tried to fix the flat but the tire was WAY over glued. Lesson for all- for tubular tires make sure to leave a strip of unglued tire across from the valve. This allows you to get the tire off. I also carry a razor blade and cut it off. But it wasn't my tire or wheel, so I opted not to. Instead I went back to the corner and directed traffic so others didn't miss the turn. Finally I got a ride back to transition. I was famished so instead of heading out for my run I stood at the Cliff tent and downed about 4 bars.
Coach wouldn't let me off that easy and sent me out for a hard run later in the day.I'm pretty confident that the 9mi run off the bike would of been significantly easier than this long run was. I did laps at Chrissy field. The wind was howling, so I had to put my game face on and get 'er done. 1mile warm up then hammer out 9 more. I just about passed out after! The day was exhausting. It was one last deposit in the bank to cap off a solid block of training.
Sunday I went for a cruise ride (wasn't capable of anything more) through Sausalito. Other than fighting my way through tourist traffic over the bridge it was perfect. My legs were fried so I just took in the beautiful scenery, and enjoyed running into several friends from January's coast ride. Missed them, and can't wait for next years adventure.
Then it was off to Berkley to celebrate with Jordan and Rich. One year of blissful marriage for them. Congratulations kids!! A killer concert to complete the weekend.
The rest of my time in SF was pretty mellow. Sunday night I hit a wall and was instructed to sleep sleep and sleep more. Monday I did my best to hammer out a solid lactate test with Craig Upton (if you're in the SF area, he is your man for lactate testing and bike fit!!!!!) This info helped Chris tailor the optimal taper plan for me, and will help me manage my power and race plan for CDA. Thank you Craig!!!
To everyone who helped make this trip possible, thank you. My brother was a real trouper! I just love this city, and am so happy I made the visit. Every chance I get to train with Chris is a treat! We're on the same page and ready to tear it up in Coeur D'Alene. Water and air temps are slowly on the rise. I'm ready for the magical day that awaits me there.