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Showing posts from September 25, 2011

Kona Countdown 6 days: Reflect and stay focused

"Being able to see the end result, rather than just the task, eliminates obstacles, focuses your energy, and provides motivation to excel". Well, today was my last "long" brick workout. In Kona-like winds, I did a 2.5 hour ride w/ 3 x 20 min over/under tempo intervals (15 min recovery) followed by a 4.5 mile run. The weather was absolutely beautiful, in the upper 70's and I had a lot of fun riding with my hubby during my warm-up. Tomorrow I have an hour bike + an hour run, followed by a long flush-massage, w/ visualization from Marjorie. I welcome this last "long" weekend as a way to test out every item that I will be using in training. I have my race outfit, shoes and aero helmet ready to go as well as my fuel belt, visor, sunglasses and running shoes. On Fri I very focused at work today as we had another busy patient load at the hospital. I saw some very interesting patients and as always, learned A LOT! In the past few days, my energy has continued

Kona Coundtown 7 days: Fueled by plants

In 7 days my body will be racing for 140.6 miles at the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. The human body is absolutely amazing in that it can endure a 10+ hour event. As athletes we rely on our mind to stay focused and alert. Our amazing heart muscle beats faster and faster with every hard effort, in order to provide nutrients to the body, clear waste products, provide glucose and oxygen to the brain and to pump blood to keep the body warm or help with cooling. The lungs help with gas exchange, removing carbon dioxide from the blood in exchange for oxygen-rich blood. The muscular system is no less complex. Although we can easily recognize when our heart beats too fast or when we need to slow down to grasp some air, it is the muscular system that we can identify with the most, as it allows us to facilitate movement on a daily basis. Either involuntarily or voluntarily, muscle tissues receive signals from the brain in order to contract or relax..this allows us to move. Becaus

Kona Countdown 8 days: My Team

From my first Ironman to now my 5th Ironman, I do not take the journey of becoming an Ironman very lightly. Although an Ironman finish looks like a thrill of a lifetime when watching it on the internet, seeing pictures or reading a race report, any Ironman athlete will tell you that balancing training with the rest of life is a constant struggle and often requires wishful thinking for the stopping of time (or a magician) and 140.6 miles of swim, bike and run does not come without its ups and downs (both mentally and physically) on race day. Although the Ironman is likely the most exhilarating, mentally challenging, life-changing experience that many of us will voluntarily commit a year of our life to, the journey of becoming an Ironman requires much more than sheer determination, an individual training plan and good nutrition. In 2006, I was recently out of graduate school w/ my Master of Science degree in Exercise Physiology, had just finished an internship with the Ironman Corporatio

Kona Countdown 9 more days: Time to pack!

I think most athletes would agree with me that a triathlon can be a bit time consuming (and stressful). For in a running event, you must bring your shoes and well, that's really all you need. We have a full day of flying on Tues October 4th. My parents are leaving from Tampa Florida on the same morning and they arrive to Kona around 1 hour after we land on the big island. Our longest flight is 8 hours and 20 minutes (Houston to Honolulu) and the other two flights are fairly short. I think Honolulu to Kona doesn't even count as a flight. Our 37 minute trip will be a quickie! I will be bringing my bike with me on the plane, as will Karel. He is looking forward to doing some climbing while in Kona - any suggestions as to where he should ride? I am just so happy that Karel and my parents will be with me as we all love traveling together and spending time together. I know my brother will be cheering loud from Pittsburgh as he recently started a new job with Ernest & Young

Kona Countdown 10 days: Kona-inspired dinner

First off...who turned up the heat and humidity in Jacksonville Florida over this past weekend??? I was beginning to get use to the 80-degree temps but I guess it was all a big tease. After my last "long" brick (4 hour ride + 4 mile run) I spent the rest of the day resting with Karel (watching cycling on Universal Sports). Around 4pm, it was time for a 3 1/2 hour trip to Bartow Florida for Karel's 9pm criterium race. Karel absolutely LOVES criterium racing at night and this 80 min crit in downtown Bartow was no exception. (Loving my new Oakley Women Short Sleeve Roadmap tee) It was too dark for me to take any pics of Karel but here are two from the official photographer at the race. It was so exciting to watch Karel race as he was really active during the race. I remember just a few years ago in 2006 when he did his first Pro 1,2 race. He was completely exhausted and after his first few races as a Category 1 rider, he continued to tell me "I don't know how those