11/9/07

Something's Fishy




Karel and I added a new edition to our home last weekend. NO-I'm NOT pregnant! We got fishies! 7 of them in our new tank. The cat is loving them just as much as we are and who knows what Smudla (our cat)is doing to the fish in the middle of the night. It is fun just to watch the fish swim around and play with each other. I love the water and although I have been asking Karel for a turtle or dolphin (my two favorite creatures!) he compromised and we got fish.
I'm so happy it's Friday. I find myself glued to the computer screen 8 hours or more a day and even more on the weekends. I think my job is so rewarding and I love helping people with their nutrition. I have some videos posted on BeginnerTriathlete.com and you can check out nutrition for 1-hour or less workouts. I also have a smoothie video on the website and finally, all my days of watching the food network paid off! It would be a dream of mine to have my own cooking show for athletes so maybe one day all my work on BeginnerTriathlete.com will pay off! Working with BT.com has been a blessing and I just love the tri-community on that website.
So I'm living vicariously through everyone racing in Clearwater this weekend. My mom volunteered on wed. and I went with her to check out the expo. Then, on Thurs. I went to registration with my friend Hunter who is racing in his third 70.3 race where he qualified in Cancun with a PR by over 50 minutes! Sadly, I found my name on the participant list but didn't pick up my stuff. They have a lot of great swag there but as a tradition of mine, I only buy 1 special thing before a race and wait until everything goes on sale weeks after the race. I've been calling everyone I know and wishing them good luck in the race this weekend. I have lots of friends racing at Miami Man and I'll be rooting them on as well. The Silverman is also this weekend and that is a race that is on my list of future races. I'd like to do the relay portion of the Ironman distance w/ Karel and find a runner so that I could swim and Karel could bike. That would be fun.
The thing I love the most about racing is the whole experience before the race. I am still a total Newbie to the sport and I race for a t-shirt and medal. Who cares about your time when you have a cool medal around your neck and a nice tech shirt to flaunt around the race venue after the race. You won't find me complaining about my race packet bag cause I haven't done enough races to compare anything. I love swag even if it is a water bottle, energy gel or sticker. I don't like to waste all the flyers and coupons in the bag so I try to use those papers for scrap paper when I make things. Since I have been known for running into things in the transition area in addition to running right past my bike on the rack, I spend lots of time reading course maps and checking out the layout of the transition area. I enjoy racing far beyond the race itself. I feel the race is something I do to keep me competitive but the days leading up to the race are filled with so many emotions. I hope all those 1st timer World championship participants are really enjoying this experience. Although I was super excited in Kona, I was pretty overwhelmed at St. Anthony's and the Morton Plant Mease Triathlon. I think it is good that I still get excited and a bit nervous for my races (Especially the short ones that REALLY hurt). I just find a first-timer to hear his/her story and that always makes me feel so much better.
Just a couple suggestions for those racing this weekend, the weather will be cool and nutrition isn't going to be as important. However, saying that..don't forget to hydrate! The body will not need as many calories due to the great weather conditions but the tendency to forget to drink is likely. I would suggest sports drinks and hold off on the gels until the run in order to ensure that you are getting enough fluids in the body before the run. The body will be warmed up and feeling great on the run so Gel's will be necessary if you choose to hydrate with water. You won't feel like you need to stop at every aid station but to be prepared, hit every other aid station even if it is just a sip. As far as dressing for the event, have a dry pair of clothes in your T1 bag. That outfit under your wet suit will get wet and it is no fun jumping on a bike in 50-60 degree weather, let alone with wet clothes. Take 30 extra seconds and put on a dry jersey and shorts for the bike and put on those arm warmers. The course is filled with rollers and the weather will be cool. You will get warm by the end of the bike portion but you don't want to spend the first half of the bike trying to get warm. Be sure the blood is flowing to the working muscles and not to the skin for heating...this can be done by overdressing for the first hour of the bike. You can always pull a Joe Boness and wear long socks on your arms for "arm warmers" and toss them at an aid station bottle drop zone (just be sure you get rid of trash in designated areas in order to avoid a penalty). I'm sure everyone will do great and I'll be riding my bike to the race venue around 6am tomorrow morning. I'll be taking lots of pictures and cheering loud. At least I feel I can be apart of the race since the volunteers and specatators are the true reasons why athletes can push harder than they ever imagined.

11/7/07

Racer #171

The Ford Ironman 70.3 World Championships are this saturday. The news is on TV, in the paper and on the internet. The pros have been training locally for the last week and the age groupers are arriving as I write. The carbo dinner is tomorrow evening and registration is all this week. Friday is bike/gear bag check-in and Saturday is race day. The world championships are less than 5 miles from my house and sadly, I'm watching the race. I qualified for this race at IM 70.3 Florida in Orlando in May. With a PR by 20 minutes in my second 70.3 race, I was 3rd in my age group and received a slot to Clearwater through roll-down by one place. I accepted the slot thinking that I would take the opportunity to participate in two world championship races, one being the race of my dreams and the other being so close that I had to participate. After barely getting through Kona, I couldn't imagine going through the pain to finish this race. I thought about swimming and biking but I still don't feel 100% and that is where I want to be. My swimming is feeling stronger than ever and I'm just spinning my legs on my bike. I'll be honest, I'm sad about this decision not to do the event but I'll be taking lots of pictures and cheering on A LOT of my friends and training partners during the entire race. I will down in Clearwater just as if i were to race and I'll be arriving to the transition area super early. Karel is helping out on the bike course as a street marshall and my mom is helping out with registraion this morning. I think it is great that everyone is helping out and although I thought about volunteering for this race, I felt I would enjoy the race as a spectator and use my energy to cheer. I thought about the pros and cons with doing the race and I just want to be able to run again. I miss running and I miss feeling good about my training efforts. I feel 95-100% but I want to feel 100% about my sore leg. The limp is a habit and I'm trying to get rid of what's left on my gimpy leg. The deciding moment for me to not do clearwater was thinking about the pain I went through as I ran the last mile of the Ironman in Kona. I believe everyone will push through the pain at least once in life and for me I hope I only have to push through that pain once a year...wait, let me think about me at the finish line again...Ok-I hope I only have to push through that pain ONCE in my LIFE! Before I left for Kona I told Karel that finishing Kona is all I wanted to do and I didn't care about anything else this season. I just want to finish that race! Therefore, I did what I wanted to do and I can't be upset at my decision to not race this weekend. I do appreciate the support of my friends who check-in on me and my training. My sponsors have been just great and I don't think I would look so good and feel so healthy without Zoot and Hammer. Also, I owe so many thanks to those who helped me have the season of my life. The past 2 years have been very exciting and from the Boston Marathon in 2006 to the Ironman World Championships in 2007 I feel incredibly lucky to have raced in two amazing events. As far as my upcoming season, I have big goals and expectations and I can't wait to continue to work towards my dreams and help others pursue their own.
Good luck to the 70.3 World champ participants and a special good luck to Hunter Orr, Celia Dubey, John and Dan (my two favorite cops!) and Joe Boness.

11/5/07

The weekend is gone and now it is Monday...

I'm so Lucky! The #1 reason why I love Florida is October through April...the weather is just beautiful! I am waking up to 60-degree weather and the air is much lighter. Karel and I had to dig out our arm warmers for our early morning rides last weekend. Of course they come off around 8am when the sun is shinning, but it is great knowing that we can train year-round. While I would love to live out west and experience some snow and altitude, I am totally enjoying the open-window season! I've been riding a bit more and feeling good on my bike. Nothing fast and crazy and last weekend I got in around 90 miles. Karel is working on his base training so we can atleast start out together on our rides. We are enjoying spending some time together at the Y and looking forward to weight lifting and swimming together (yes-Karel can swim!). If you date (or are married) to a competitive athlete you can understand that "racing" season is tough on a relationship. It is especially hard for competitive athletes who date someone who is not as active/competitive. Karel and I are usually doing our own thing during the racing season and we find ourselves crossing paths either on our bikes or if I'm running and his riding. Right now we are both staying busy and I'm working my butt off with pleny of BT projects and nutrition consultations.
This past weekend was great and I watch plenty of sports on the TV and internet. All day i was checking splits for IMFL and wondering why I raced in 30mph headwinds in 45 degree temperatures and this year was perfect! Oh well, it is what it is and it looks like it was a great day for many athletes to accomplish thier dreams and goals.
Sunday morning I drove to my parents house and rode my bike through Starkey Park to the suncoast trail and met up with the Gearlink guys for a little of their ride. Karel left the house on his bike before I got into my car to my parents and about an hour and a half later I was riding with Karel and the other guys. Karel and I always time our trainings so if one person needs/wants to ride longer, we seem to work it out with the car. We are all about time-management and teamwork. After the ride Karel and I enjoyed some pancakes at my parents house and helped them install some of their new wood floor (they are doing it themselves and it looks great!). Afterwards, karel and I headed home to enjoy the rest of our day together. We usually talk cycling/triathlons, google the internet to see what's going on in the cycling/triathlon world, read triathlon/cycling magazines and watch movies. Typical sunday for us...including pizza on sunday night. I love Hungry Howies veggie pizza (karel is a good man to live with a vegetarian like me) w/ the cajun crust. Since I'm a thin-crust girl, I love HH pizza!After a movie and pizza it was dark and only 8pm!! Oh the time change makes it so depressing in the evenings :(
This morning I went to the Y and did the stationary bike and lifted legs. When I was swimming I stopped on the wall for some water and saw Sam McGlone stretching before she swam at the Y. I re-introduced myself to the 2007 70.3 World Champ/2nd place IM Kona and we talked a bit. I am on the Zoot team with her and she recognized me from St.Anthony's after I told her my name. I told her we were on the same plane together on the way home from Kona but we both laughed that we were a little out of it. I thought that was pretty cool to be at the Y swimming in the same pool as her.
Well, time to get some food going. I guess it is 6:23 but the clock says 5:23pm. I'm a bit confused.