4/19/08

Triathletes and cyclists



If you live or know a cyclist it is quite obvious that there is a big difference between cycling and triathlons. Besides the water, aerobars and running shoes, it is a completely different sport. Here are some of my observations about triathlons:
Triathlons are addicting. You watch one, do one and are hooked. People start training for a triathlon in order to lose weight but after a few weeks, the goals change and a bigger distance becomes the next step in the journey. Triathlons are one of the few sports that anyone can do. If you can swim, bike and run you CAN finish a triathlon. Triathlons are one of the few sports that when you age, you get better and little more competitive. Triathlons have distances for everyone. Triathlons are one of the few sports where you don't have an athletic background to race in a national championship. Triathlons are one of the few sports where you can actually tell your friends and family that you hope to qualify for a world championship. Triathlons are one of the few sports that you can be a world champion at any age. Triathlons are one of the few sports that kids can watch their parents train and compete (not the other way around). Triathlons are one of the most time consuming, yet manageable sports, which keeps your life in balance. You can be competitive at a triathlon AND have fun. You can race at a triathlon and not know anyone and still feel like you have fans and teammates.
Since meeting Karel on May 31st 2006, I have seen him grow as a cyclist. He is so passionate about what he does and since he was a very young kid in Europe (racing for a junior team in Czech) he has always loved bikes. His dad, at the young age of 65 still races!! For the last 2 years I have learned a lot about cycling. Probably a bit too much. The training and racing is very different than triathlons and of course, cyclist have no choice but to ride their bike everyday in order to get better. At the races, the energy is a lot different. You are usually in a field and you see people on trainers getting into their zone. There are usually more teams than indivdual riders so you see a lot of groups, in different areas of the race venue. You can register the day before the race and not worry about the races "closing". There is a payout for almost all divisions so no matter if you are a Pro or a first time road racer, you always have a chance to get paid. You have to upgrade in order to race with the more elite riders and in order to upgrade you have to accumulate points based on your finishing position. And once you are able to race in the 1,2 category (Pro) the field of cycling totally changes. You have world champions dominating the field and Professional teams leading the races. There is a major emphasis on skills and tactics and you don't see experienced riders. You must know what you are doing when you race with the Pros.
Last May Karel was hit by a car and fractured his clavicle. This was the day of his first ride since finishing the Tour de Gila and he was feeling super strong. Well, the crash set him back but he was determined to continue to train hard in order to upgrade to Category 1. Unfortunantly, he wasn't able to race the BIG races to get the points to upgrade. So still at category 2, he is driven and determined to upgrade. He has a powertap, a coach and a team. Aside from working 40-45 hours a week, he lives the life of a pro. He thinks, eats and sleeps like a focused cyclist..just like all of us triathletes do on an everyday basis. No matter how good we are, triathlons are a lifestyle!
Karel started off the season with a few bad crashes and not the performances he had hoped for with all his hard training. But, with determination, hard training (I've never seen anyone train so hard) and a very good nutritionist (ME!!!) he is starting to get some better results. Still not the results he needs since unfortunantly, you have to race the BIG races which have the best of the best racing. And, you have to be the best in order to get the points to upgrade.
So, last weekend Karel went to Chattanooga, TN for a Georgia Cup series race. Not only was this a long drive from Florida, but he had no teammates there and he was without me (his cheerleader/watter bottle hander). On sat morning there was a time trial and as Karel's most unfavorite thing, he did it anyways. Sat. evening Karel was driving to the crit races in downtown Chattanooga and all of a sudden I get a phone call. This surprised me because he doesn't like to talk to anyone the hours before a race. He is so upset because the interstate was closed. He had 90 minutes or so to get to the race and he had been sitting still for over 30 minutes. I felt his frustration and I just let him get mad at me. Well, not really mad at me but he needed someone to release his stress to and of course, I didn't mind it. He kept apologizing for being so upset and the traffic but I kept my cool. Inside, I was super stressed cause i would hate for him to miss this race. He was 1 mile away from the exit and in my mind i am thinking that he should just pull over and ride his bike to the cops and tell them to let him go to his race. Yes, I live in lala land when a race is involved. I want people to be stress free before a race. So, finally Karel tells me he was able to get to the exit and then it was a quick I love you and I didn't hear from him for a few hours. I get a phone call from Karel and when I see his name on the ID I prepare myself for 3 different scenarios.
1) The race was too fast and he didn't finish. This is very common in cycling that a number of cyclists don't finish. Imagine doing a group ride and getting dropped. Once you get off someone's wheel you are done.
2) The race was hard and he did ok. As his loving fiance, I am always happy no matter how he does. Even with triathletes, I always find a positive and I'm always happy when people give it their all after hard training.
3) He did fantastic! As a male, I don't expect much excitment from him. If it is me..I'm super excited for anything (again, always happy to finish a race). But for Karel, he evaluates even the best performance and is pleased but still determined to get better.
So..how did the weekend turn out. Karel had one of the best weekend results in his life! Karel not only placed top 10 in the 60+ min crit (out of over 90 starters) but he was 5th place! I couldn't believe it I nearly cried I was so happy for him. He said he was so nervous for the race he almost didn't even want to start. As for the 92 mile road race, Karel was told by another rider that they were racing for 20th-30th place. Just like in triathlons when you start in waves, you never know how you finish until the results are posted. All week Karel thought he was 20 something place which was great since there was over 100 starters in the Pro 1,2 race. Well, the results were posted a few days ago and Karel and a few others were actually racing for 10-15th place. Karel ended up placing 13th in the road race!!
RESULTS:
  • Road Race

  • Crit

  • Pics from GA cup website

  • I'm so proud of Karel. Although cyclists and triathletes are different, the one thing we all have in common is that we love what we do and the passion for getting better is what keeps us craving for more.


    4/18/08

    Hormones, Training and Food

    All week (mon-wed) I was acting a little off to Karel. Karel and I never fight and barely argue. We disagree on things which is totally normal but we don't have the time, energy or desire to get into fights. For some reason though, I was just a total mess in my personal life (Karel) during the beginning of the week. Karel had just come back from his race (which I will update this weekend) and I wasn't trying to be mean or rude. I just kept thinking that he was the one that changed and he was tired and being difficult to me after his race. Well, apparently it was the wrong time of the month (if you get my drift) for me to blame him for his change of moods. Please fellas...keep reading the blog, I promise it isn't about womenly stuff :)
    I had no idea why I was so emotional and a few days later I figured out why. I am probably one of the few women who don't crave chocolate or sweets and it can be any time of the month for me to want carbs (I LOVE BREAD!) so I guess I experience a major change in my emotions. I haven't acted this way in a long time (I can't even remember a time!) but it was like I couldn't even control it and I had no idea what was going on. I thought i was thinking clearly and Karel was the one who was being difficult but I was so wrong. I had to apologize to Karel cause he just didn't understand what was going on with me. A weekend away for a race and I'm an emotional mess! Well, it all has to do with the massive change in hormones most importantly estrogen, serotonin and progesterone..what lovely hormones. So men, understand that your loving girlfriend, wife or friend has almost no control over how they feel once a month. And with those cravings, the body is releasing a massive amount of hormones, and specifically the serotonin (a by-product of tryptophan) hormone drops which causes you to crave sugars and sweets (refined, quick sugars) to quickly raise the serotonin to make you feel good.
    OK boys, your attention again..lets talk training. I'm sure everyone has experienced bonking or some type of glycogen depletion that causes you to get extremely moody, hugry or tired when training or immediately after training. Again, that lovely serotonin hormone gets depleted during endurance activity, especially if you haven't kept up with your carbohydrates during training. My advice, instead of loading yourself with calories every hour for those workouts lasting more than 3 hours (the body can only absorb around 240-280 calories/hr) start off with a low amount. Because you ALWAYS want to practice, practice and practice your nutrition well before a race, you have plenty of time to practice and see where you don't bonk. I do suggest going on some long workouts and experiencing a slight bonk so you know the minimum level. Then you can work your way up with calories but I have a feeling it will only be around 50-100 calories more an hour (also-it makes a BIG difference of what you are consuming, liquid calories of maltodextrin digest the slowest with the best absorption). If you consume too many calories per hour you may always feel great during training but you can't understand why you aren't losing weight (or maybe even gaining weight!). Also, come race day, if you are use to taking in too many calories during training and then you kick up the intensity in a long race (like IM or 70.3) you may experience total GI distress. So, my point here, don't let that serotonin hormone affect your training. Be sure you focus on carbohydrates during your long workouts and emphasize protein in the form of amino acids.
    So now food. My favorite topic. Your food choices affect how you feel everyday. And if you are stressed, tired, overtrained, moody or sad, your food affects you even more! Food affects the neurotransmitters in the brain which ultimately make you feel completely crappy if you don't focus on protein and commplex carbs with all meals and snacks. Now, here is an area that you can control all the time. I don't think there as many dieter-athletes as there are sugar-loving, high calorie meals, big snacks, I just trained therefor I can eat whatever-athletes reading my blog. Serotonin drops if you have been dieting or cutting back on carbs. Probably not a problem here. But, if you are training and not properly replacing what you burned on a daily basis or eating too many high sugar, simple, low fiber carbohydrates (be sure to think portioned controlled meals and snacks and more pre and post training foods) serotonin levels will drop. The body, in return will want you to eat sugary foods which will raise serotonin levels quickly to get back to normal. However, once those sugars are introduced in the body the pancrease releases insulin and digested sugars are either stored as fuel or stored as fat. so here, we now have a situation where we can control what we eat and ultimately it will affect how we feel no matter what the day. My point...be sure to focus on protein with all meals and snacks. No matter if it is the time of the month (ladies) or a day when you are training (that is everyone, all the time!) you must be sure to balance the blood sugar to keep the hormones stable. Also, with the long distance training, add some amino acids to your drinks (or amino acids with water for early morning hour workouts, where food isn't needed and you want to workout out with an empty stomach) for those longer workouts to be sure you keep the brain energized and well fueled!
    Make yourself a yummy smoothie after those long workouts.....
  • Smoothie Video
  • Workouts

    I texted my friend Kate (IronKatemonster.blogspot) this morning and told her 1 more month until Disney 70.3. One month!! I can't believe it! This is my third year in a row racing it and I am really excited. I will try to do my best in my new age group (25-29) but I will miss the 18-24 girls :(. I guess we all grow up. The last couple of days have consisted of some great workouts. Wed morning was my early morning spin. As I have mentioned in previous posts, my spin class isn't a typical spin class. We train in there. Music keeps us energized (and my big mouth) but we have sets to focus on. I don't time anything to the beat or to a song, the music just plays for entertainment. I break down my workouts into 5-week sessions, so we build on one specific speed set, one muscle working set (usually jumps or hovering, a lot of holding still, up and down stuff) and one climbing set. I make them visualize, I ask them where they want to go (usually out west since visualizing florida gets kinda boring) and I make sure I let them know that I am hurting just as much as they are. "Mind over muscles" I always say! Oh, and I forget to mention that only about 1 or 2 people in my class actually race! These are all gym enthusiasts and since i started teaching this class almost 2 years ago, my class is consistent and always packed. I love it! My spin class ends at 6:15am so I head to the treadmills for a run. It took me a while to get going but I ended up with 6 miles and felt really good. No aches, no pains and the tempo run (with a few intervals, I got bored) was finished in about 45 minutes. I did some arm and leg weight exercises (mostly arms) and finished with core. After cleaning myself up, I spent the rest of the day in class and studying. Thursday morning I headed out for a cold ride. It was a freezing 56-degrees when I left at 6:50am. Ok northerners...go ahead and laugh.


    I took this pic so you can see how us Floridians dress in the cold. I didn't even take off my arm warmers. I finished with 2 hours and around 35 miles and the legs were a little tired. Good tired from doing several 1 mile race pace intervals with 1/2 mile recovery. Unfortunately, about 10 miles from home I got a flat. I didn't hear it but as I am flying with tail wind at 24 mph I feel my back wheel wobbling. I didn't even have to look. I pulled myself over and pulled out the big staple that was sticking out of my rear wheel. I changed it in about 5 minutes (had to text Karel on my record for changing a flat) and finished my ride. This morning was just fantastic. My friday morning swim with the guys (this morning there were two other girls...a pleasant surprise!!!). The funny thing is that a lot of these guys don't race. They are older guys, several of which who were former swimmers. But I love swimming with them and I feel like I spend more time laughing than breathing hard. The workouts are good and I like feeling the push to keep up. Every couple of weeks they spice things up with relays as part of the set. We break up into groups and it is a great way to relay feel competitive (but for fun) and get the heart rate up. The set today was 4 x 150's, 4 x 125's, 4 x 100's and 9 x 50's. After the 150's we did a relay where we all did a 50. I thought that would be nothing hard since we had only done a 500 warm-up and then the 150's, but after that 50 relay..I was feeling the lactate! Then came the 125's and another relay. This time it was a 25 for everyone but after you finished the 25 you had to run around to the other side of the pool and do it again. There were 4 people on a relay (we use 3 lanes, there is about 12-15 of us) and the heart rate was up again. Then to the 100's and another relay. This time..the 25's were butterfly! (without running around, just get out and do it again when it is your turn). I use to be a 200 butterflier in college but now, I call myself a triathlete...I just swim freestyle and an occasional IM set to spice things up. Nothing butterfly all out..ever!! haha. Well, after the 3200 swim (did some pull afterwards) I dressed for the treadmill and did an easy 3.5 mile run (30 minutes). I say easy cause i felt really comfortable. 7.2 mph for 10 min, 7.3 for 10 and then 5 x 1 min at 8 mph and 1 min. at 7.5. I felt really good and finished this morning with abs and some weights. I think with one month to go until Disney I am feeling really confident with my training. I look forward to keeping up with my intervals and building my speed with my workouts and hopefully all will come together on race day so I can achieve my racing goals. Have a great weekend everyone!

    4/17/08

    Thank you Sponsors!

    3 years ago I applied for sponsors for triathlons. I applied to everyone and anyone. I was new to the sport of triathlons and I felt that if I had a sponsor I would be more of a "cool and competitive" athlete. I guess having a sponsor would make me look like a better athlete. I didn't really care what I was given (if anything) but I thought wearing a jersey with a company name on it would make me competitive just like everyone else who had a sponsor. Well, I got nothing. I did get a letter from one company that I could pay money to get the products and the jersey...pay money to be on a sponsored team? That didn't make much sense. And when I have to pay hundreds of dollars for just one class in graduate school, the sponsorship idea went out of the window. I competed in my swim suit and if I remember correctly, I don't think I even had a short sleeve biking jersey to train in. I wore a tight t-shirt for my bike rides.
    2 years ago I was finishing up with grad school and getting ready for Boston. I applied again to everyone and anyone and I received sponsorship from Amino Vital. I was thankful for the products and I believed in the amino acids. I felt so cool in my Amino Vital jacket and I guess I had "the look" of a competitive athlete. I was starting to get some good results which helped me get on the Amino Vital team but I didn't feel like the Amino Vital alone could take me where I wanted to be in this sport.

    I finished up my 2006 year with Boston, Disney 70.3 and IMFL and I thought I'd give it another go around to apply for sponsors. Since finishing graduate school and taking my training to the next level, I started to realize that sponsorship is more than just be apart of a team or wearing a jersey with a logo on it. You are representing that company. You believe in the product, you use the product/gear and you know the company cares about you. As a frugal lifelong student (that is what I feel like right now) I know I am thankful for anything I can get even if it is at cost or %30 off the retail price. But when I was training for the Ironman World Championships last year I knew that I needed to have the best nutrition for my training and the best quality gear to get me through all the long workouts. At the beginning of 2007 I applied to several companies which i used their gear and I didn't hear back from many. I even emailed outback since I go there before all my races!! I didn't even get a free loaf of bread!!! :( Oh well, I will still go and enjoy my bread and sweet potato. But, I didn't hear back from Zoot and Hammer. I had fallen in love with the zoot gear after buying my first pair of cycling shorts in 2005. I loved the idea of having pockets in the shorts! Also, the clothes were super comfortable and since then, there are so many great products (wetsuits, socks, clothes, jersey's, trisuits, etc.) from zoot. I just love being on the Zoot team because I feel like I am with family. When I was in Kona I had zoot people cheering for me and they were everywhere! I get friendly emails from the staff at Zoot and Eli (the Zoot rep) is my twin (not really, but we do look alike!). They are so good at sending out congrats emails and keeping the whole team up to date with how everyone (Amateurs, Elites and Pros) is doing during the season. Last year the team bike was an Orbea and unfortunantly, the team bike (ordu) wasn't available in my size without being custom made. I would have loved to be on an Orbea but it didn't work out for Kona. However, the zoot team was cool with everything. I thanked them so much cause I know how important it is to have the team ride the bike of one of their partners. I was a little worried this year when I re-applied because the team bike is now a Scott (again, great bike) but this year I can't afford anything new. With paying almost $300 per credit for my online dietetic school starting in May and now taking 12 credits in-state, my concerns are on studying and school. When I told Zoot that I wasn't able to afford the bike they made an exception and told me that they would still love for me to be on the team. I nearly cried because not being a Zoot athlete would really be sad for me. I'm so happy to be on the team!!!

    I love representing the company and because of them, I always feel extra comfortable and super cute in my clothes. The other day I received a suprise package from Zoot so in the middle of me studying for an exam I was excited to see some goodies from Zoot! Thank you Zoot so much for my gear!!

    Of course everyone knows about my other Sponsor- Hammer Nutrition. Now this is a company that really gets it with the science and physiology of nutrition and training. I agree with everything they have and that is hard to come by with me and sports nutrition products. I couldn't be more happy to have them as my sponsor and because of Hammer, I really feel I have taken my training to the next level because of their great product line. Thank you Hammer!



    For 15% off your first order, use my product code 97495 or mention my name.
  • Hammer Nutrition

  • Zoot Sports


  • Smudla thought she should get something too, so she created a new bed with my Zoot box.

    4/15/08

    Karel the Baker!




    Last night I came home from class around 9:50pm and saw a bag of groceries on the counter. Karel went to the store for the weekly food necessities but came home with baking ingredients. Well, since I'm not a baker I thought this would be great that he would cook and I could eat! I had to wait until today to enjoy the muffins and might I say these were YUMMY muffins. Totally healthy and around 120 calories. Karel found the recipe on the side of a Raisin Bran (generic) cereal box. These would be perfect for after a long weekend workout or 1/2 of one for a snack with some yogurt (or other protein). I had one with my lunch today...I just couldn't resist! How could I not try Karel's first attempt at making muffins! Well, to make things even better Karel made some substitions to make them even healthier and they taste great! I'm so lucky to have someone in my life who is not only aware of my healthy habits (woman and a vegetarian) but has taken the time to learn how to eat like an athlete and as a health-conscious person.
    Here is the recipe with our substitions. In parentheses is what the recipe called for...still healthy, but we cut out a lot of fat, sugar and calories.
    1 1/2 cups Raisin Bran cereal
    1 cup milk
    1/4 cup natural, no sugar added applesauce + 1 tbsp olive oil (instead of 1/4 cup vegetable oil)
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 eggs, beaten
    1/2 cup chopped walnuts
    2 1 /2 cups all-purpose flour
    2 tbsp light brown sugar (instead of 3/4 cup sugar)
    2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray muffin cooking pan w/ cooking spray (makes 15-18 muffins). Combine cereal, milk, applausauce, eggs and vanilla. Let stand for 10 min. Stir to break cereal, stir in apples and wanuts. Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon in seperate bowl. Add cereal mixture to flour mixture and stir until moistened. Spoon into pans and bake for 16-18 minutes.



    For dinner tonight, I made myself a really yummy meal. Everything seemed to taste so good. After a morning of intervals, I guess anything would be yummy in my tummy. I had a piece of onion matzah (I know, a bit early for passover) w/ garlic hummus on it and it tasted so good with my egg beaters, tofu, mushrooms and corn. The tofu and eggs are typical ingredients in my vegetarian dinner meals. I also had a salad w/ carrots and cottage cheese.

    Interval Tuesday!

    It's my favorite day of the week...Interval Tuesday. That means I run until I can't run anymore. I know it is tuesday but my body doesn't feel like it is Tuesday. I'm not incredibly tired, my heart isn't pounding as I write this blog and my legs aren't shaking. I'm sore but it is a comfortable sore. Did I work hard enough this morning? Something just feels different? Perhaps I am getting stronger? After a weekend of racing on sat and then doing a tough brick on sunday, I decided to swim on monday morning (my "day-off") as a form of active recovery. I think it really loosened me up and I really felt good all day on monday as oppose to feeling tired, stiff and sore from the weekend. This morning the alarm went off at 5:30am and I was quick to get out of bed. I had my coffee, put some amino's in my water bottle and I headed to the Y. I had a bit more time this morning to train so I decided to go to the Y and run on the treadmill so I could swim right afterwards and do some core work(instead of in the afternoon and run outside). I really pushed hard this morning, had my HR monitor on and stay focused the entire run. I visualized running at Ironman Florida 70.3 on my favorite 3-loop run course on 1/2 off-road, 1/2 pavement. I visualized giving it all until I crossed the finish line, only imagining myself breakinf 5 hours (my goal). I started off with a 10 min. warm-up at 7 mph and it felt incredibly easy. Almost too easy that I bumped it to 7.2 for the last couple of minutes. Here's the main set which I did 2 times: 3 x 1 min, 2 x 2 min, 1 x 3 min. Here's how I ran them. During the first set I did the 1 minutes @ 9mph and the 2 min @ 8.8mph. For the 3 min I started at @ 8.7 mph. but every minute afterwards I had to run what I did on the 2 minutes and then the last minute was what I did on the 1 minutes. So my 3 min. run was ran at 8.7, 8.8 and 9mph for each minute. I recovered for 1 minute @ 7.5 mph (which felt like I was jogging) after every interval throughout. After the first set I recovered for 5 minutes and repeated the set. The next time I bumped up the pace. Set #2: 3 x 1 min @ 9.2 mph, 2 x 2 min @ 9.0 mph and 1 x 3 min starting at 8.8mph, then 9, then 9.2! I used the last 15 minutes for a cool-down because I wanted to run for an hour total and did 5 min. at 7.5 mph, 5 min @ 7.8 and 5 min @ 7.5. I was sweating, my hair was all over the place (even with my hair in my ponytail poof and my headband), my face was red but I felt like I could control my breathing. I'm still working on the muscle memory so I need to really think about my leg turnover and making sure I am stricking with my mid-foot and keeping my hips squared. If I don't think about things I may have the tendency to add a little limp from my injury and I don't want that! I ended up with 8 miles this morning!!! After a few arm exercises and core I jumped in the pool for a swim. I was dead tired but i didn't want to get out of the water. I swam a 1500 w/ a 500 warm-up, 6 x 75 on 1:15 and 6 x 50's on 50. 300 cool-down and I was done. I made myself a yummy smoothie when I got home and had some dry cereal with it (granola, raisins, generic cheerios and some bran flakes). Suprisingly, I feel really good about my hard effort today. I am not wanting to collapse in pain and I feel like I really gained something from this morning. I'm sore enough to remember what I did this morning but I feel like I am really gaining something from all these interval tuesdays! The great thing about being consistent with your training is that you really recognize the improvements and you are always wanting to go a bit faster and further than the last time. Unfortunantly, because I feel somewhat ok, that means so relaxing on the couch... I must study for my biology lab quiz today :( Have a great Interval Tuesday everyone....even if you don't do intervals today :)

    4/14/08

    What you call yourself...

    After my 43 mile WINDY ride and 45 min. run on sunday morning, I was glued to the computer most of the day. Even before my ride, before i discovered I had a flat tire on my training wheel that I put back on after my race, I was sending good luck emails to people doing IMAZ. When I got back from my ride I was super tired but i needed to get some school work done so I at least felt somewhat productive for the day. So I would study, check online, study, check online and then once the live video aired in the evening, I was stuck on the computer. I was checking splits, reading forum pages, contributing to chats online and just feeling super excited for all the athletes. I started to miss Ironman training, Ironman racing and just being an Ironman. Of course I know I am an Ironman but when you sign up for an Ironman, your whole life changes. You dedicate weeks, months and lots of money to one long day and when it comes and you do whatever it takes to cross the finish line you just feel complete. I was so happy for everyone out there and just seeing the excitement for everyone crossing the finish line was overwhelming. When you complete an Ironman (first, second, third, tenth...) you know you did something remarkable that not many people can understand..unless they too are an Ironman. It is a society, a group a distinguished club that many want to join. And once you join, your life changes. Everything becomes easy, your perspective on life changes and you just appreciate everything much much more. I almost forget what it was like to do an Ironman. Sometimes when I train on the weekends I forget that I am not doing an Ironman. I am focusing on 70.3 races for the next two years until I do another Ironman (Thinking IMAZ in 2010!). Right now my focus is on school but that doesn't mean that I am not still an Ironman. I want everyone out there to know that if you haven't done an Ironman, it is something that requires a lot of time, patience and dedication. however, it IS possible. YOu find an inner strength that you never thought was there...to get you out of bed to go ride your bike for half the day. You challenge your mind to make you run for over three hours and when if you think about it, you don't even like to drive that far. You make yourself swim and swim and swim only so you can learn how to be efficient in the water. You know you can't win an Ironman in the swim and that is only 2.4 miles of your 140.6 mile journey. But for those who aren't quite ready for an Ironman, I know you feel the same passion for triathlons, running, cycling, etc. for whatever you train for. So remember when you train that you are an athlete and you must eat, sleep, train and think like the athlete you want to be. Have goals, even if it is just to finish and remember that no matter what the finishing time, your goal is to finish the race you decided to sign up and train for. So no matter what you call yourself, you are an athlete..a dedicated, hard working athlete. Never let anyone take that away from you!!! my friend Angela emailed me on sat. and mentioned she saw me on TV again in the very beginning of the 70.3 world championship airing on NBC (listen for the word PAIN and you will see me cross the kona finish line). I must have missed that part so I went to my DVR and saw myself painfully crossing the finish line. I almost forget what it felt like to complete an Ironman and as I am watching everyone cross the finish line at IMAZ on the computer, I was glad I saw myself on TV again just to remind myself why I love what I do and more so, why I love helping people with their nutrition to help them get to where they want to be. Congrats all you IRONMAN and dedicated athletes!!!!

    4/13/08

    Ironman Arizona!

    Good luck to all those racing at Ironman Arizona! All that training, all that time, all those great habits....all for this one day!!! And before you know it...you WILL be an IRONMAN!!!! I'm going to busy on the computer all day watching everyone...